The Sweet Dreams Affair
Follow-up piece to "The Revelation Revolution Affair"
Napoleon Solo realized he was rereading the same paragraph for the third time while retaining none of the words. Throwing the dossier onto the coffee table before him, he yawned, stretched, and decided to join his partner in calling it a night. He had ordered Illya Kuryakin to bed earlier, after the Russian agent had nearly fallen asleep on his feet in the middle of a conversation.
Napoleon knew he had been troubled by a recent spate of nightmares and had gotten little sleep in the last week. Dark circles had taken up permanent residence under Illya's eyes, and his concentration had been frustratingly abysmal. Solo had tried to get him to take a sleeping pill, but Kuryakin had merely raised an eyebrow at the suggestion. He had stumbled off to bed, and Napoleon sincerely hoped he and Morpheus were on better terms tonight. Truth be told, the nightmares were beginning to affect him also, impotent as he was to stop them or give much in the way of comfort.
The dark-haired agent came out of the bath and quietly entered the bedroom he shared with his lover. Light from the hallway spilled softly across the sleeping form in their bed, and he stopped for a moment to gaze at Illya. True to form, he had fought sleep even as he knew it was desperately needed. Desk lamp on, propped up by pillows, he had a sheaf of papers in his hand and had fallen asleep with his glasses perched on his nose. To Solo he looked like a young boy who had tried to stay up past bedtime to read a favorite comic. Napoleon smiled at the comparison and walked to the far side of the bed.
Easing carefully into the sheets, he gently removed the papers and pulled the glasses from Illya's face. He made a small sound and Solo held his breath, hoping he hadn't roused his partner. A moment later, Illya relaxed into the pillows and snored softly. Napoleon smiled, grateful that Illya was resting, and looked at the report he had been reading. The smile left his lips as he looked at the after-action report from their last assignment, a mission that had been the catalyst for the nightmares. It had ended badly with a woman hostage being killed before the two U.N.C.L.E. agents had been able to attempt a rescue. Napoleon had felt terribly, but Illya had taken it hard, much harder than he deserved to. Solo had physically removed Illya from the room after he had seen the bloodied body on the floor. He had gone white to the eyes and the American had thought he would faint. As they were leaving he'd heard a strangled whisper come from the normally stoic Russian. "She looked like my mother," he had said as quietly as a prayer. Biting back a sob, he had followed Solo's lead into the hallway where strong arms had wrapped around him. The nightmares started that night.
Solo's reverie was interrupted by Illya rolling on his side toward him. He flung an arm out across Napoleon's chest and reflexively skimmed his fingers into the dark hair. Solo marveled at how easily the pair had taken to being together, and how each little loving gesture had begun to be so important to him in such a short time. At work they were conspicuously circumspect, and even their fellow agents were unaware of their true relationship. It was unfortunately necessary to keep up appearances, for their world was not tolerant of all forms of love. Consequently, when they could be alone they both felt the need to assure each other of their bond through physicality. Most nights, after returning to the apartment they often shared, the two men couldn't keep their hands off each other and ended up tumbling into bed together before any other needs were addressed.
Napoleon covered the pale hand on his chest with his tan one and stroked the soft skin tenderly. He watched Illya sleep, his eyes flicking back and forth in REM state. Solo rolled over to him and tucked Kuryakin's head under his chin, hoping his closeness would be enough to keep the demons at bay. He leaned over to turn off the lamp and felt Illya snuggle in against his chest and the strong arm tighten around his waist. He breathed in the scent of his lover and exhaled a deeply satisfied sigh. His world was currently sleeping soundly in his arms, and Napoleon dropped off to join him a moment later.
Illya Kuryakin bolted straight up in bed, anguished whimpers coming from his corded throat. "Nyet, nyet, Mama," he cried, wild-eyed and confused. His blond hair was plastered to his forehead with cold sweat, and his body was covered in goose bumps. He panted furiously, trying to disentangle himself from the bedclothes. He was as near panic as he ever came and disoriented as he felt warm hands reach out for him in the darkness.
"Illya, Illya. It's all right. I'm here. Shh, easy, boy, I'm here." Napoleon's voice was a lifeline and he clung to it for all he was worth. The remnants of the dream clawed at him and he flung himself into Solo's waiting embrace. He felt caring hands stroking his back and shoulders and tried to calm. His heart was pounding in his chest and a jackhammer was in his throat. He moaned into Solo's neck and willed the fear to go away. Napoleon felt the fine tremors that wracked the too-thin frame and pulled the fallen blanket up to cover Illya's body. He kissed the top of his head and whispered soothing sentiments to him until he felt him relax minutely. Solo rocked slowly, letting the familiar motion soothe Illya's fears and subdue the trembling.
The last few nights, Illya had shrugged off Napoleon's attempts at comforting him, insisting he was fine and it was nothing for him to be concerned with. Solo had given him his space, but had lain awake listening to his partner struggle to shake off the effects of the nightmare to no avail. Tonight, Illya was too exhausted and heartsick to hide from Napoleon and allowed himself to be gathered into his loving embrace. He felt elated that Illya trusted him with this burden and was determined to make him open up further. But for now, the senior agent was content to simply comfort him and let Kuryakin draw what he needed from his strength.
Slowly Illya's pulse returned to normal and his breathing slowed. Occasional hitches told Solo that he was calming now but that his emotions were on a razor edge. He ventured a soft endearment to his lover. "Illyusha." He heard Illya take a deep breath and hold it. "Remember when you promised me that one day you would tell me about the dreams?" he prodded. "Well, love, that day is now." He let the words hang between them, unsure of their effect on his infuriatingly private partner.
The held breath was released with a sigh, and Illya pulled back from Napoleon's embrace. Arms loosely wrapped around each other, they touched foreheads in a familiarly intimate and loving gesture.
"I don't know...how to...what to say, Polya."
Napoleon brushed the sweaty hair out of Illya's eyes and looked at him in the glow of the hall light. Treading carefully, he spoke softly to the anguished man. "I know our last case shook you up, partner. And I understand why. What I don't know is what happened in your past that scarred you so deeply that it still haunts your dreams. I also know that if you don't deal with it, it will only get worse. I can't watch you be torn up like this, milok. What hurts you hurts me, don't you see? I love you, Illya. Please let me help you," he pleaded, trying to gauge Illya's reaction.
The tightly wound agent pushed away from his partner's embrace and stood up, beginning to pace back and forth in the small room like a trapped animal. He breathed raggedly and broke out in a sweat. Solo sat on the edge of the bed and watched him, content to let Illya determine the pace. He sat quietly and relaxed a little as Kuryakin stopped moving and leaned against Napoleon's dresser. He was obviously agitated and ran his fingers through his hair and let out a deep breath.
"You know I don't like to talk about my past, Napoleon. I am by nature a very private person, and there are some things that are better left buried. Don't take it personally, Polya. There are things that I can't tell even you." The last sentence was whispered so softly Napoleon had to listen carefully to hear it. He felt a deep ache start in his chest and there was an irritating lump in his throat. Damn it, I can't afford to get emotional now, Solo thought. Illya needs this and I can't let him run away again.
Hating himself, Solo switched to his Chief Enforcement Agent mode and spoke commandingly to Illya. "All right, Illya. I won't force you to tell me. If you won't talk to me, then I can arrange to have you talk to someone else. Dr. Mueller in Psych, for instance. Maybe professional help would be the best thing after all."
He saw the sharp jerk of Kuryakin's head when he mentioned Dr. Mueller, and knew he had delivered a low blow. The hurt in friend's eyes almost made him back down, but he steeled himself for the next round.
"You wouldn't dare," the Russian hurled at him, advancing two steps toward Solo in his anger.
"Think again, milok. I may be your lover and your friend, but I am also your boss. And if I think you need help, then you will get it. How long do you think you can go on like this? You're not sleeping, you're barely eating, and you've lost ten pounds already. It's starting to affect your work, and sooner or later you're going to get hurt. Or worse, you're going to hurt someone else. Could you live with that, Illya?" he asked, knowing how deeply his words were cutting into the stoic Slav, using them as he would a weapon to get the reaction he hoped.
Illya sighed and looked at the carpet in resignation. Finally he answered softly, "No, Napoleon. I could not. Especially if it were you that got hurt instead of me."
Solo closed the distance between them and hugged Illya to him for a long moment. He released him and looked into the sad blue eyes before him. Kuryakin resumed his pacing, and Solo took the chair from the desk and straddled it, folded his forearms over the back and watched his partner intently. After another moment Illya turned and looked at a point over Napoleon's head and stared off into space.
"The dream is always the same," he began. "It never varies or changes with time. My mother and I are in our house having our evening meal. My father was long gone, conscripted into the army, and we had no idea if he were even alive. We heard boots and shouting in the street outside, and my mother tried to get me to hide under the bed. I refused, of course, trying to be the man of the house." He stopped and looked at Napoleon, a fleeting smile that did not reach his eyes danced across his features. "My stubborn streak started early, obviously. I took a poker from the hearth and stood back from the door as it was kicked in."
"How old were you?" Napoleon asked, hating to interrupt, but needing to know all the details now that his partner was opening to him.
"Seven," Illya answered.
He saw Solo's eyebrows lift and continued.
"Two Werhmacht soldiers rushed into the house and grabbed my mother and me. They laughed at my attempted defense and one of them held me while the other..." He stopped and swallowed before taking a deep breath. His eyes were far away and Napoleon knew he was reliving the past in intimate detail. Illya possessed a photographic memory, and that ability unfortunately made this painful process even more so.
"The other soldier threw my mother on the bed and started to rape her. I wasn't old enough to understand what they were doing, but I knew they were hurting her. He kept calling her a... a whore and was hitting her in the face." Illya stopped and hung his head as tears trickled down his cheeks.
Napoleon wanted to comfort him but merely closed his eyes at the agony his friend was sharing. Staying in his chair he silently urged the Russian to continue. Answering tears traced down his face as well, silent testimony of his love for this man hurt so deeply so long ago.
"I couldn't take it and bit the man holding me hard and he let go of me. I got two steps toward my mother and my legs were cut out from under me, and the German was on me and hit me with his rifle. I don't remember much after that except the sound of my mother screaming for them not to hurt me. They must have thought I was unconscious; I think I was for a while. Anyway, they left me on the floor and had their way with Mama. I remember coming to and seeing the poker next to me and I grabbed it and rushed the closer of the two soldiers. I got one good swing in on him before he hit me and threw me across the room. The other one laughed and called me a son of a whore and took out his pistol to shoot me. I heard my Mama scream my name and then she jumped on the gun and it went off. How she could even move after what they did to her..." He trailed off, a sob catching in his voice.
"The soldiers took what food we had and anything else they wanted while my mother bled to death on the floor. They left me alive. I don't know why. After they left, I crawled to her, but she was already dead. I must have passed out then, because when I woke next, it was morning and I was in a neighbor's barn. He was part of the home guard and convinced me to join their ranks. I was only too happy to do so, hoping to get my chance at the Germans."
Illya stopped his recitation, shoulders slumping at the cost his emotional outpouring incurred. He was deathly pale and shaking with grief.
Solo sat stunned at the revelation of his partner's story. He was beginning to understand the horror that had molded his friend into the reserved and sometimes detached person that he was. He wondered how he would have coped if faced with the same pain at so tender an age. Solo blinked and realized that Illya was still holding something back, something very crucial that Napoleon was just now realizing. There was an even bigger ache inside the Russian and he knew it had to come out, whatever the cost. He walked over to the slender form and placed his hands on his shoulders. He lowered his gaze until he met Illya's eyes, and peered into their blue depths.
"But that's not everything, is it, my love? There's still another ache gnawing away at your insides, isn't there?" Solo asked gently, trying to draw his partner out.
"I don't know what you're talking about, Napoleon," Illya stated as he tried to back away from Solo. He diverted his eyes from that gaze and tried to turn away. Napoleon increased the pressure on his friend's shoulders and held him fast.
"No you don't, partner. You're not running away from this again. It's time. Tell me, Illya. Tell me the worst part of all this, the part that's been tearing you up inside since you were a little boy. Get it out, man, it won't go away until you do." Napoleon watched the ashen face lose all remaining color and hoped he wouldn't push Illya over the emotional brink.
"What more do you want from me, Napoleon?" Illya sobbed, looking at the floor in defeat.
The despair in Illya's voice seeped into his heart like ice water, but he would not be denied.
"The truth, partner. Only that."
When there was no answer, he shook Kuryakin hard, once, twice, three times, until he saw a spark of anger kindle in the azure depths of his hard-set eyes.
"What did you want to tell her, Illya? That you never got the chance to? That's been holed up in your guts for so long you can't live with it anymore? Tell me. Tell me, damn it!" Napoleon ordered. Repressed rage blazed in those eyes that stared at Solo in shock and anger.
Illya launched himself at Napoleon, grabbing his biceps with fingers of cold steel, biting hard enough to make Solo flinch. He propelled him across the carpet until Solo slammed into the wall and could go no farther. Napoleon made no move at defense and let his partner seethe.
"I couldn't stop it!" Illya shouted. "I couldn't save her, Napoleon. They were too big, and too strong, and I couldn't stop them. But... but...I could have, should have done something, I should have tried harder!"
Illya railed, harsh, defeated cries tearing from his throat. "Forgive me, Mama. Oh, God, please forgive me! I loved you. I loved you so much, and I let you die! Why did you have to do that? Why did you die for me?" he asked pitifully, needing to know the answer with all his heart. Illya sagged, his legs refusing to hold him, and Napoleon gently lowered him to the floor. He gathered the trembling form in his arms and rocked him soothingly, aching for him and his loss.
"She died for you, Illya, because she loved you. More than anything else. More than life itself. Because you were her son, her little boy," Napoleon told him. He rubbed the back of his friend's neck and pulled him closer. "You were just a child, Illya. You can't blame yourself anymore. You have to let it go. Let it go, love. It's what she would have wanted." Napoleon continued to rock his lover gently, kissing the back of his neck and taut shoulders tenderly. "Illyusha, Illyusha..."
His last words broke something in Illya and he wept aloud and buried his face in his lover's embrace. Great wracking sobs convulsed him and he was lost in his misery. Napoleon cried with him, his tears falling onto the man he loved with all his heart. The American let him cry himself out, letting Illya feel the love and compassion that radiated from him like a blanket. Weak as a child, Illya allowed Napoleon to lift him in his arms and carry him to the bed. They lay together, Illya's head on Napoleon's chest until his tears abated and a calming peace settled over him. Illya drowsed, listening to his lover's heart, and feeling an intimacy that was almost frightening in its intensity.
"Moya dushka," he said sleepily.
"What, love?" Solo asked.
But Illya was already asleep. He kissed the blond head and whispered, "Sweet dreams, Illyusha."
I must have overslept, thought Illya Kuryakin as he watched his partner walk through the bedroom door dressed for work and wearing a silly grin on his face.
"I'm sorry, Napoleon. I'll only be a minute," he apologized and began to get up. Solo stopped him with a hand on his shoulder.
"Don't bother getting up, tovarishch. I'll just have to order you back to bed if you do." A confused look ran across Illya's face and he looked at Solo in irritation.
"What time is it?" he asked carefully, wary of his partner's ebullient mood. A cocky Napoleon was always a dangerous thing.
The American glanced at his watch before grinning at Illya, "It's 12:30, sleepy head."
Kuryakin had a stricken look on his face and tried again to leave the bed. Napoleon laughed at the look and sat down at the side of the bed effectively blocking his escape.
"Just where do you think you're going?" Solo chided.
"To work, Agent Solo. You know, that largish building where I single-handedly thwart the best laid plans of Thrush everywhere?" he deadpanned, throwing Napoleon his best 'get out of my way look' and stopping short when Solo snorted in laughter.
"Relax, milok. I've already saved the world this morning and cleared both our desks to boot. You're on inactive status for a couple days now, so just lay back and enjoy."
"And just who authorized my little vacation? A certain underhanded, sneaky Chief Enforcement Agent I know, by any chance?" Kuryakin was getting angry and let Solo know it. He glared at his friend and crossed his arms over his chest.
Napoleon cleared his throat once and replied, "Actually, it was Mr. Waverly who suggested it. I merely agreed. Don't think the old man has missed your discomfiture lately. Nothing gets by him, you know."
Illya's anger quickly melted when he realized Napoleon was telling the truth. He sighed dramatically and leaned back against the pillows. Solo crossed the floor and began undoing his tie and cufflinks, placing the items away for the day.
"Don't you have work to do?" Illya asked caustically as he realized Solo was in for the duration.
"Ah, but that's the beauty of it, Illya. A certain underhanded, sneaky Chief Enforcement Agent like myself can set his own schedule. I gave myself the rest of the day off." He grinned at Kuryakin and changed into jeans and a t-shirt before crossing to the bed again. Kuryakin loved seeing him out of his professional attire, the years seeming to melt from him with the change of clothes. He grabbed Solo as he came close and pulled him down to the bed on top of him.
"Why did you bother to get dressed, lyubov? It just makes me work harder to get what I want," he said as his lips sought Solo's. His tongue pushed against Napoleon's mouth and they kissed hungrily. Napoleon looked down and laughed at his partner as he saw the growing need under the thin sheet.
"You certainly look a lot better this morning, tovarishch," he smirked, his eyes shining with the knowledge that Illya was indeed better. The circles were lighter and his mood was considerably brighter than it had been in days. Solo caressed the erection concealed by the sheet and said shamelessly, "You, ah, feel a lot better, too."
"Let me prove it to you," Kuryakin growled and tossed Solo over to the other half of the bed. He pounced on top of the older man and began an aggressive assault on his neck, chest and especially Solo's nipples. The t-shirt was ripped open before it could be removed. Napoleon growled back at his lover, passion ignited by Illya's urgency. Something had changed in his partner since last night and Solo tried to pin it down.
Laying bare his emotional past for the first time had seemed to let down the last barrier between them, and Napoleon rejoiced at the revelation. Illya seemed to need to be closer to him today and took the lead in their lovemaking. Solo was just as glad to let him and gasped out his pleasure as Illya nuzzled his erection through his jeans. The thick material annoyed him, and he used his tongue and teeth to undo the snap and pull down the zipper. The dark-haired agent watched through dilated eyes as Illya pulled the pants and shorts off him in one fluid motion. He haphazardly threw the clothing over his shoulder and dove for Solo's engorged flesh. Illya moaned when he felt the velvet skin against his tongue and licked it deliciously. He couldn't get enough of Napoleon's taste and scent and sucked greedily on the tender head. After his emotional release last night, Illya knew there was nothing to hold back now. That insight made him bolder and he needed to drown himself in his lover now, and seal their newfound intimacy in flesh.
The dark head was thrown back sharply, Solo's respirations quick and shallow against the pleasure he was receiving from the little Russian wolf devouring him. He gazed down the length of his body at the blond head pulling him deeply inside and almost came from the sight.
Illya recognized the signs and doubled his effort on poor Napoleon. He stroked the sweaty cleft and ran a moist finger around the rim of his anus. With a strangled cry of delight, Napoleon thrust his hips upward in surrender and exploded into the warm throat of his lover. Illya swallowed quickly wanting to fill his senses with the essence of the man underneath him. He felt his own cock twitch in preparation of his own climax but willed it down to a pleasurable ache. He wanted another end to the next round of love play.
Napoleon regained his senses and pulled his sweaty partner up to his mouth again. They tangled together for a time, until Solo realized how hard Illya was against him. He started to inch his way down the pale body when he felt strong hands grasp him. He looked up at Illya with a smile and a question in his eyes.
The serious look he got in return puzzled him. He relaxed against the pale form and asked gently, "What is it, Illya? What do you need?"
The blond man gave a shy smile and dropped his eyes, a sure sign he was embarrassed about something. Napoleon caught it, and pulled the beautiful face up to meet his eyes.
"Illyusha, you can ask me anything, anything, you know that, don't you?" he assured him. Illya nodded and took a deep breath.
"I feel so close to you now, lyubov. I didn't think I could love you more than I already did, but after last night..." he had to stop and swallow before his voice worked again. "I shared something with you that no one else has ever known, and I need..." He stopped, unable to put into words what was in his heart.
"You need me to share something with you now; something new between us, is that it, love?" Solo finished for him. Illya nodded and kissed the palm of Solo's hand cupping his cheek.
"Polya, I want ... I want to be inside you. I want to come inside your body, like you do in mine. I need to, Polya. I need to possess your body as I do your heart."
Napoleon leaned down to Illya's ear and whispered seductively, "Then take me, Illyusha."
He had been waiting for Illya to make this request and secretly yearned for it. The thought of his lover inside him made him shiver in anticipation and he rolled onto his stomach to make it easier for Illya's first penetration. He placed a pillow under his hips and felt his erection returning with a vengeance. Illya had lubed himself thoroughly and parted his lover's cheeks and slowly stroked his fingers against him. Solo bucked at the first touch, wanting more of Illya. He tried to calm down, and felt a tentative finger begin to probe him. He groaned, and pushed against the hand entering him. Illya pushed a second finger into Napoleon and thrust into him deeply. He gasped and Illya tensed, worriedly asking, "Am I hurting you, Polya?"
"Only by making me wait for all of you. Please, Illyusha, I want you inside me."
He felt his partner draw up close to him and settle between his legs. Illya gently pushed against the small opening and drove his hips forward, sinking into Solo in one fluid motion. Their groans of mutual pleasure rippled through them, and Illya felt he would die from the pressure on his engorged flesh. Both men knew they would not last long with the new sensations assaulting their bodies, and Illya reached around his lover's hip to wrap a hot hand around Solo's erection. He thrust experimentally and gasped at the velvet vise surrounding him. His other arm was snugged against Napoleon's chest, pulling him back into the thrusts with each motion. Napoleon tried not to push back, knowing it would trigger his release, and relaxed into the loving embrace letting Illya do all the work.
After a few gentle explorations, Illya settled into a hard, firm stroke that made his groin tingle and had Solo grunting in pleasure with each pass. His hand encircled Napoleon's flesh, and he fisted him faster with each passing second. Illya was panting now and seconds away from oblivion. He wanted desperately for Napoleon to come first and he plunged deeply into him, hitting his prostate by chance and causing Solo to clench around him and shout his name as he spurted into Illya's hand. The feel of the wet warmth drenching his fist and the sound of Napoleon's voice combined to push him over the edge as well. He felt the exquisite sensation of Napoleon's passage constrict around his cock and he plunged deeply into his body as he jetted his release into his lover. He was sobbing, "Polya, Polya," over and over, and finally went limp against the sweaty, strong back of his partner. His softened member slid out of Solo and they groaned in unison at the loss of contact. He was spread-eagled atop Napoleon, too drained to move and hoping he wasn't smothering the older man. Solo luxuriated in the loving weight and enjoyed the feeling of Illya's heart pounding against his spine.
They both slowly returned to normal, and Illya slid off Solo's back to lie on his side next to him. They cuddled together, too sated to even talk. Finally, Illya said softly, "I love you, Napoleon," and kissed him gently.
Solo returned the gesture and said, "And I love you, Illyusha." The two agents failed to make it out of the bedroom the rest of the day.
So much for inactive status, Napoleon thought and smiled against Illya's mouth.
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