by tw

A soft warmth welled up from Napoleon's belly as he lay half-awake hearing the sound of the shower running in his bathroom.

It was a remarkable sound, your own shower from the outside, rather like being chauffeured in your own car. The sound of someone naked and comfortable in the practical and perfunctory routine of morning lending a calming concreteness to the surreality of remembered groping and caught breath, flesh and animal grunts. Evidence. Civilized human evidence that what happened in the dark was as real as the rest of the world. That salty curve of bicep under skin that Napoleon bit to stifle and steel himself had been real. Was right now, audibly, being rinsed of soapy lather; maybe fingers lingered over a tenderness Napoleon's teeth had left.

He had a weakness for the calm of these domestic slow-wakings. For the momentary comfort that follows the crackling violence of a passionate dueling duet. The lingering heat and slowly steadying heart rate. There is a lot to be said for hasty discreet exits, and these are preferable to a guest who overstays their welcome, but it is also nice to linger in the pheromoned air and sweaty sheets of immediate recall.

And it was especially comforting on this morning, to hear the normality of the running shower because the night before had been particularly surreal. In a way, it had almost been less believable than the few other never-spoken-of occasions when he and Illya had entangled. While those had been sudden and reflexive, last night had been rather more premeditated; Less an unanticipated attack-counter-attack, and more a strategic seduction.

Illya, naturally, had been nonplussed at the invitation to dinner. And damn him if he hadn't been equally unplussable by the tried-and-true Solo Special smouldering gazes Napoleon had poured over him. Alternatively ignoring them and returning them, Illya had called Napoleon's bluff over dessert by conspicuously letting his eyes drift down Napoleon's suit front to the point where the edge of the table obstructed further investigation. All while continuing, in a perfectly casual tone, to debate UNCLE's allocation of funds for the latest section four project. The man's smugness was infuriating. But Napoleon could well hide how ruffled he was. This was another Solo Special talent.

Back for a nightcap? But of course. Illya's tone continued to feign innocence while his eyes continued, for flashing but unmistakable smirking instants, to defy Napoleon not to pounce.

He let Illya, who peeled off and folded his jacket as he walked, into apartment before him, as he closed the door and reactivated the security system. Turning back into the room Illya was startlingly right there, directly behind him with silent agility, only just sidestepping Napoleon's shoulder and darting his fair head directly for Napoleon's throat as Napoleon turned into the room. Like a jaguar Illya, but Napoleon matched Illya's ninja silence with instantaneous reaction time. Before Illya's mouth could find purchase, Napoleon had his hands around the base of the blond head and pulled it away, with some effort, so that he could see Illya's face.

Half-closed blue eyes having fixed hungrily above Napoleon's left collarbone slowly wound their way up to Napoleon's face like coming out of a trance. Six inches apart Napoleon stared, maintaining his grip on Illya's neck which was still trying to arch forward and only gradually released into Napoleon's hold. Illya's whole body relaxed then and he did not surge forward, as Napoleon had thought he might, but kept his arms at his sides and returned the gaze. Illya's intent and aggression had not waned, but only coalesced up through his body into his eyes. The full of Illya's jaguar hunger was now coursing through those blue eyes every bit as potent as if Illya's whole body had been unleashed upon him. Napoleon's arms slackened and his hands stayed on Illya's neck only because they were not sure where else to go. They no longer held the blond back, but Illya, nevertheless, retained the position, body calm, eyes clenched on Napoleon's face.

As Illya glided backward into the room, Napoleon, by that piercing blue gravity, was compelled forward by the same measure until they tumbled over the arm of the black leather couch and into each other.

Breathing grew faster, motion. Buttons fumbled out through buttonholes. The feel of Illya's muscles maneuvering under Napoleon's weight and around his own maneuvers gave a sensation of buoyancy to Napoleon's body and a matching light-headed rush of power to his upper-hand position. Illya's hair, which was never "neat" by Napoleon's standards was presently quite undone, a sizable thatch of it standing provocatively askew. Napoleon's want of it between his fingers issued out in a growl even before he had it in his hand.

He paused, Illya's body arching pinned and head struggling against the fist in his hair, for what felt a deliberately long time --but was probably less than a second-- to regard his prey once more, in its full majesty, before closing in for the kill.

The shower abruptly stopped in the bathroom and Agent Solo rolled onto his back, picked up his watch from the nightstand to read the hour, sat up, finger-combed his hair, and ran his right hand over the stubble on his chin, workday autopilot engaging. This morning when he got to headquarters his partner, for once, wouldn't be the usual Kuryakin forty-five minutes early and wouldn't raise that one sanctimonious eyebrow at him for arriving precisely at nine.

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