"Tell me again why we attended that party?" Illya's question was plaintive in the quiet hallway, the babble of voices and glassware dying away behind them.
"Because we were invited and it was the polite thing to do." Napoleon's answer was a drawl, interrupted by a yawn.
"'m not polite. Why did I go?"
Napoleon chuckled. "I know you're not polite. But you are self-interested."
"What does that have to do with anything?"
Napoleon regarded his friend with amused affection. He recognized the truculent tone as the product of fatigue compounded by too much to drink at the engagement party.
"I could have just gone home to sleep after debriefing with Mr. Waverly," Illya muttered.
"Yes, you could have," Napoleon agreed. "But Sandra had invited everyone and we need to stay on her good side. Never bite the hand that signs your expense checks. Is it my fault you've been on two back-to-back courier runs?"
"At least her vodka was properly chilled." Illya looked wistful. "I think there is more at home." He staggered a step, putting out a hand to the wall. Napoleon reached out to steady him and missed, starting to laugh as he realized that he'd also drunk a little more than was good for him.
"She did serve good liquor; smart girl," Napoleon said appreciatively. "Knows how to throw a party."
"Good party." Illya's reply was interrupted by a yawn of his own and he leaned against the wall his misstep had brought him to. Napoleon's mouth twitched as he watched Illya's eyes close.
"You can't fall asleep in the hallway at HQ, Illya," he said.
"I can fall asleep wherever I want," Illya replied, eyes still closed.
"Drunken slumber in a hallway is against regulations, tovarisch. Let's go home. You can sleep in the taxi."
"Thought you brought your car in."
"I'm not driving when I've had a snootful. Come along." Napoleon extended a hand, let it fall gently on the back of Illya's head and slide down to the back of the tired neck, massaging the tense muscles.
Illya grunted in pleasure. "Do that, and I will follow you anywhere."
"Just follow me home. This way."
"If I could walk that way—"
"I know, you wouldn't need the baby oil. Just wait till we're home."
"There's baby oil at home." Illya pried himself off the wall, took a deep breath, drew himself upright and started off down the hall again, walking a painstakingly straight line. As Napoleon caught up to him, he could see the little frown of concentration drawing the fair brows together. "And olive oil, and massage oil, and vaseline, and—"
"Hold that thought till we're home, love," Napoleon said softly.
"As long as you promise to do something with all those oils when we get home. Wait. I need my suitcase." Illya stopped dead in the hallway, swaying slightly with the abruptness of the halt, looking glassily and stubbornly at Napoleon, who was realizing just how punchy Illya was.
"You don't need it tonight, tovarisch. It probably just has dirty clothes in it."
"It has my suit in it. I need my jacket." Illya had lowered his head, a bad sign. It usually meant he was preparing to argue at length.
"What for?" Napoleon asked.
"To cover my gun." Illya started to turn around, and Napoleon blocked the attempt.
"It is covered, tovarisch," he said.
"With what?" Illya's eyes were puzzled.
"This big sweater you have on. I must admit I've been wondering where you got it. It looks like you borrowed it from Anthony Quinn." Privately, Napoleon thought it was hilarious—the sweater was huge, shapeless, handknit—it hung on Illya, effectively hiding the holster and anything else Illya might have been carrying, up to and including a knapsack. He'd been wondering why Illya had been wearing it but hadn't been able to ask over the party's tinkly hubbub.
"Oh." There was a silence of several seconds while Illya looked down at himself and seemed to absorb the fact of the sweater's existence. "It must be Mark's. Grandmother's," he clarified vaguely.
"Why are you wearing Mark's grandmother's sweater?" Napoleon urged Illya forward with a slight pressure and they moved together down the empty hallway into the elevator. Down. Elevator door open. Almost to the door. Give up the badges. Through the back of the changing room.
They emerged into the cool night air and Napoleon duly let three cabs rumble by before hailing the fourth and bundling Illya into it. The change of air had refreshed him, cleaning some of the alcohol-induced muzziness. It seemed to have no effect on Illya. When Illya let out a little unhappy sigh, Napoleon said, "Put your head back, Illya. I'll wake you up when we get there."
"I can't," Illya replied peevishly. "I'm too tired to sleep. And I've drunk too much to be tired. Besides, Mark's grandmother made him the sweater herself."
"Well, how did you get it then?" Napoleon opened his window a crack, then reached across and rolled Illya's down a bit too when Illya rolled his head toward the fresher air. "Are you going to be sick?"
"No, the—fresh air is very—good." Illya's words were slower, more laboriously formed. Napoleon guessed that his partner was losing the battle to stay conscious but, being Illya, was fighting to the end.
"How did you get the sweater, Illya?" Napoleon prodded, aware that it would be easier to get Illya upstairs if he were still ambulatory. Any celebrating of his partner's return would have to be postponed till the morrow, at least. He sighed and grinned ruefully, adjusting himself surreptitiously in the dark of the back seat; he'd been looking forward to some vigorous celebration—it was fun to be up against Illya under the sheets.
"Um...grilled coffee... uh... spilled coffee... on my jacket. Someone... jogged my... elbow."
"Didn't that ruin your shirt too?"
"Yes. All Mark had was... the sweater. Borrowed it." Illya let his head roll toward the window and melted back against the seat, eyes firmly shut now.
"You mean you've got your gun on under the sweater and nothing else?" Napoleon almost forgot to keep his voice down for their driver and suddenly wasn't sure he cared. He drew back the hand that had already started to reach for the hem of the sweater, conscious of a rush of heat, and he breathed deeply in, then out, reasserting the control he'd almost lost at the thought of all that luscious skin covered only by that lumpy monstrosity of a sweater. A vision of the tight nipples standing up under the wool's irritation, inches below the wide tight embrace of the holster, had him shutting his eyes. He wished he'd crossed his legs before so he'd have room to uncross them now and have somewhere to expand to.
He ran his eyes quickly over Illya's lax form and saw no cuffs, no collar in the round woven neck. Not the hallucination of a mind drugged with fatigue and liquor, then. Illya really was naked under the sweater. Another rush of heat overwhelmed him, and he stifled a groan. Not here, damn it! Just wait...
"Of course I have my gun." The cold air rushing through the window robbed Illya's words of their volume. "I will be glad to remove it when we get home."
The vision of helping Illya remove it was shattered by a jerk and a rough voice saying, "Two dollars and forty-five cents."
"What? Oh." It took Napoleon a second to realize that the cab had come to a halt. As Illya pushed ineffectively at the door handle, Napoleon made it past the obstruction in his pants to get into his pocket and find his wallet, which for once contained a stack of singles. "Here," he thrust some ones at the driver, "keep the change. I'll need a little time to get my friend out."
He hopped out of his side of the cab, energized by the cold, clean air and his vision of removing Illya's sweater, happy to see that he seemed to have shed most of his tipsiness on the ride home, and carefully opened the door Illya was working on. "Come on out, tovarisch," he sang. "I know it's been a long trip, but we're almost home."
His partner finally seemed to realize that the door was open and unfolded himself from the taxi, blinking owlishly as Napoleon closed the door and waved the driver away. He turned around to find that Illya was starting to make his way along the sidewalk, swaying as he went, and he sprinted after him.
"Hey! That's not the way home! Come on, partner, turn around." Napoleon caught the edge of the sweater and tugged and Illya stopped and obediently turned around. At the sight of his set features, Napoleon lowered his voice and said, "Let's just get upstairs, lyubamai, and I'll put you to bed all right and tight." His libido retreated as concern took over. He wished he'd noticed just how tired Illya was before allowing him to drink anything at the party. On the other hand, trying to control how much his Russian drank was always a bad idea.
"I'm just tired, Napoleon, not sick." Somewhere Illya found the energy to growl, and paid for it with a yawn that nearly snapped his jaw in two.
"Then let's go this way, and the nice elevator will get us up to our floor. There's a door with a number on it that I'll open with a key, and at the end of the hall there's a wonderful bed with your name on the pillow..." Napoleon used the rambling narrative like a soothing spell to guide Illya into the building and up to the apartment, where he let him lean against the wall while Napoleon found his keys and opened the door.
"Oh, no." The moan from the drooping figure caught his attention.
"What? Feel sick? Headache?" Napoleon looked over his shoulder. Illya had straightened up, and was looking livelier, face caught in a scowl.
"I am feeling more awake."
"Excellent. Make it easier for you to change."
"No, you do not understand. I am waking up, I am getting a second breeze. I will never get to sleep!" The Russian sounded both more articulate and utterly distraught. Napoleon thought if Illya were getting a second wind, it was in mind only. His livelier speech was contradicted by the lack of muscular control as he caromed off the wall in the hallway.
"Just give me a second to lock up." Napoleon reset the alarm faster than he'd ever done before, and followed the sound of grumping down the hall into their bedroom to find Illya standing next to the bed trying hard to coordinate his hands and arms enough to draw the sweater over his head. In two steps, Napoleon had come up behind him and had reached around him, crossing his arms over his partner's, feeding the hem of the sweater into his grasp. For all his concern, the embrace, the feeling of his partner's solid body against his, brought love and lust welling up to feed the libido gone quiescent downstairs.
"I do not need help!" Illya's pronunciation was blurred again and he struggled to drag his arms up, flipping the sweater over his head, where all progress stopped. "Ow! Chyort... stupid watch..."
Napoleon was absently aware of the struggle animating the ends of the sweater, but all he could see was the lovely back in front of him, sleek white skin over hard broad muscle, divided by the slash of the holster, and his hands rose and settled at Illya's waist, then slid up and under, questing till they found the hard little irritated buds, just as he had imagined them, and he rode his hips forward, just a bit, against Illya's tight behind.
"Na-po-le-on," Illya's slow cry was protesting, and Napoleon flushed guiltily at the fatigue and frustration in his voice before the rush receded in the realization that he could combine all goals in one action.
"Here, love," he said, "don't worry about it. I'll help you. With all of it." He reached up and with a deft movement untangled the recalcitrant sleeve from the watchband, pulling the entire baggy sweater off Illya at one fell swoop.
"You do not understand, Napoleon," Illya was mumbling, the words coming out like pebbles rolling in the river, and Napoleon laid a gentle finger on his lips. "Don't worry, lyubov, I have it figured out. It's the perfect solution."
He pushed Illya's arms down so they fell to his sides and then he attacked the belt buckle, rapidly undoing it and pushing all the clutter of briefs, pants, socks and shoes off as he urged Illya to take one more step sidewise and kneel on the bed. Illya's fingers were already working at the holster's buckle with little success, and Napoleon pushed his hands away. "Just hold on to the headboard, Illya, and let me take care of everything," he said again, and slid both their guns out and under their pillows.
As Illya knelt, nearly falling forward on his face till his hands gripped the headboard and stopped his descent, Napoleon stripped off his trousers and socks and shoes, slid his hand into the night drawer and uncapped the lube. Squeezing himself a palmful, he rubbed his hands together briefly, warming it a little, then slid one hand over his cock and one hand between Illya's legs.
Illya simply groaned under the caress and let his head hang, eyes still stubbornly open. Napoleon rubbed his fingers in a long slow stroke from Illya's balls past the smooth skin of his perineum to the tight pucker of his asshole and back to his balls in an unhurried rhythm, over and over again, until he felt his partner's thighs slacken slightly against his hand, saw the blue eyes droop and felt the muscles of that wonderful gluteus relax. Napoleon fitted himself more closely between Illya's legs, and started fisting his own cock slowly as he let the thumb of his other hand trail over Illya's hole again, circling, pressing, finally dipping in, still circling, still pressing, gently but inexorably. He was rewarded by the long "Uuuunnh" drawn from Illya as his thumb dipped deeper, pressed deeper, and his fingers still traveled the length of the perineum, nudged up behind the swelling balls, and retreated.
He felt Illya try to shift backward and sway. "Too tired...," Illya stuttered and Napoleon shushed him.
"Not you, lyubov, I'll do the moving here. Let me do the work, don't worry about it. Just keep your hands there and let me take care of the rest." Even as he spoke, he drew his thumb out and shifted a little further forward, sitting back on his heels, so that Illya's bottom almost rested on his lap and bent knees, and brought up his cock, nudging it home, pushing little by little till the head was safely in, then sliding home into the glorious heat of Illya's body in one smooth shove. He stopped and checked; Illya's eyes were completely closed now, but his head had come up and his mouth was open and Napoleon was filled with the fierce joy of taking his lover, at the prospect of bringing him to glory and ecstasy through his efforts and body.
Napoleon drew out a little, then pushed in again, looking for a rhythm, and as he settled into one, reached up and caught hold of the holster with one hand where it ran across Illya's back. He used it to move Illya into the rhythm of Napoleon's thrusting, pulling Illya back toward him, then rocking back and pushing away on the holster to draw him away. It was awkward at first, as Illya's uncoordinated attempts at motion interfered with the to and fro of Napoleon's cock in his channel. Then Illya relaxed into the movement, allowed Napoleon to move him, and Napoleon's heart swelled again with gratitude and lust: Illya had given over control of his enjoyment to Napoleon and Napoleon was going to see to it that his lover was well and truly fucked, ridden hard enough to let him sleep for a week.
He leaned harder into his thrusting now, feeling the tightness of Illya surround him, shifting a little on his heels so the he angled forward more, feeling the glide over the little bump that was making his partner shiver every time he got it right. He put more power into the ride forward while pulling on the holster with a powerful hand, drawing Illya hard onto his jutting cock, rocking sharply backward and pushing at the holster and the muscled back with the flat of the other hand. Illya was letting himself be pulled and pushed, Napoleon could see the knuckles on the hands on the headboard turning white as they gripped hard and released, gripped hard and released. Illya's breath was coming in hard grunts now, pushed from him every time Napoleon rocked forward, and sobbed back in every time Napoleon drew back.
Napoleon shifted one hand forward without losing his rhythm and trailed it over Illya's chest till it found the left nipple, drawn up hard and tight, surrounded by little bumps, and he pinched it just as he rode forward over the little internal bump again. Illya gasped and shook like a seal coming out of water, and again when Napoleon found the right nipple, pinching it in turn.
Napoleon felt his balls ripple and start to draw up under the influence of those shivers and he bent his back to the home stretch, driving fast and strong. Sliding his hand down Illya's front, he found the lonely, dripping cock and wrapped his slippery fingers round it, then started to pump it firmly in counterpoint to his own now frenetic pace. He felt Illya's body stiffen, felt himself sink ever deeper into the tight flex and clasp of Illya's ass, and rode his partner like a stallion at high season, feeling the electricity gather, sparking at the base of his skull, behind his eyes, slide down his spine like a high-tension wire, storm gathering in his gut, until he yanked the holster tight, caught Illya close to him, pierced to his core on Napoleon's lap, and exploded forever and ever, feeling Illya's walls massage every bit of ejaculate from his cock, shooting deep, deep inside. He was still fisting Illya, still hugging Illya to him and he could almost feel the tingle that shocked his partner's limbs rigid as Illya went off like a bottle of champagne, threads of come spewing from his cock in a high stringy arc.
Illya slumped back in boneless unconsciousness, head lolling onto Napoleon's shoulder, held erect against by Napoleon's chest by Napoleon's tight grip on the holster. Napoleon milked him more slowly until Illya was quite soft again, then released the holster and wrapped both arms around Illya as well, keeping him gathered close in his utter relaxation, feeling the fast heartbeat slow to its regular thump under his hands. For a long time, he simply sat holding his partner, giving himself up to the reassurance of that slow, regular breath.
Some time later, he realized he was starting to nod off, and was letting Illya down onto the mattress, when he remembered the holster. Fuzzily he undid the buckle and slipped it off, Illya's arms dangling like lead as he tried to manipulate them. Dropping it over the side of the bed, he reluctantly let Illya slide off his lap, and he rolled him onto his side, dragging the pillow into place.
Napoleon got up and did the little things he needed to do: took off his own shirt and holster, cleaned them both up, brushed his teeth, hung up Illya's holster, turned the lights out. Then he gratefully got back into bed and curved himself around his blissfully unconscious partner. By morning, Illya would be sleeping sprawled on his own half of the bed again, one hand stretched out toward Napoleon as always, but for now, he could have all of his partner, surrounding him with all the care he could, the way Illya did for him, the way they would always do for each other, whatever was needed, whenever it was needed.
For hadn't they always run well together in harness?