I do not own these characters.
I have loved Napoleon now for nearly five years, not that I would ever tell him that. He is the greatest person I have ever known for unlike everyone else he gave me a chance. He kept an open mind, was willing to work with me despite my background. I really appreciated that and devoted myself to making him never regret that choice. I am not too sure when my respect and friendship turned to love but when I realized it did there was little I could do. I am not normally given to emotional displays so when I figured it out I hid my love and sublimated it into something else. I transformed that love into loyalty and have dedicated myself to his happiness and safety.
It doesn't even bother me when he goes off with his many women for I live with the knowledge that he is alive to do it. I wish I could tell Napoleon but one of his little quirks is he doesn't understand how one man can love another when they are not related or just friends. Sometimes on missions we have come across couples of men holding hands and doing other things. At these times I glance over and see the look of disgust and bewilderment on his face and am glad I have never told him. If he ever looked at me that way I am not sure what I would do. So I just love him from afar and live off the joy of being in his presence and what tokens of affection he does give me. I pretend to be annoyed when he touches me or plays with my hair or slaps me on the back but I love it. It is the closes I will ever get to love.
Oh other people say to move on, find someone else who will return my love but I can't do that. Once I realized I had given my heart away I would have to ask to have it returned. But since the one that now owned it didn't know it, I couldn't. He would find out about all my feelings then I would be bereft of the one thing that makes my life worth living. So I bury my feelings and never let on how I really feel.
It is all I have, so it comes as no surprise that I am exceedingly nervous about a new truth serum that Thrush is about to give me. I don't know what they are going to be asking me and I would rather keep this part of my life private but the person asking the questions I'm told is known to ask all sorts of odd questions. I am sitting in a chair with my arms tied securely behind me, my ankles tied to the legs and of all things they blindfolded me. I feel the prick of the needle in me and involuntary tense up and begin to scramble my mind of all things important.
"Now Mr. Kuryakin just give this a few minutes and we will soon become fast friends." The woman said and I could hear her smile and it makes me shudder inside, outside nothing changes. She was right, in just a few minutes, I began to feel dizzy and I knew that once again, if I got out of here that I would have one hell of a headache. I can hear her voice but I am not too concerned about my predicament any more. I am floating on a cloud and enjoying it.
"Now don't you feel better Mr. Kuryakin?"
"Yes." I answer simply.
"Good now I am going to ask you some simple questions and I want you to answer them as clearly as you can. Do you understand, be polite."
"Good boy. Now what was your purpose in coming here?"
I think about it for a few minutes and thank goodness training and conditioning are still in place. I answer with "To confirm rumors of a new front for Thrush." It was true and both of us knew it so no harm in it.
"Very well. Did you confirm those rumors."
"What? What do you mean?"
"Never had a chance. Was hit on head and woke up here." I could hear her turn and talk to one of her guards and could tell she wasn't happy. But again what I said was true I had just unpacked my bags and went to get something to eat. I had turned the corner and next thing I know I wake up in the chair.
"Very well Mr. Kuryakin I believe you. So I will ask you something else."
I tense up again hoping she wouldn't get into anything too personal.
"What is your relationship with Mr. Solo?"
Now I am confused and I can feel the drug winding its way and it is beginning to burn. But the drug forces me to respond.
"He's my partner." That was obvious I thought.
"Is he anything more?" her voice was gentle and soothing.
"Ah my best friend?" again obvious.
"Anything else? Is he anything else to you?"
I could see where this was going and I could only think on the fact that Napoleon was at home recuperating from a dislocated shoulder. If he knew my real feelings I don't think I could catch him, he would be running to fast.
"Do you wish there could be?"
I hold on as long as I can but the drug pulls the truth from me. "Yes."
"I thought so." I could hear the satisfaction in her voice and resolve to let nothing else out. Even if they killed me they wouldn't learn anything more.
"What do you want from you partner? What would you like for him to give you?"
I remain silent, I can feel the drug wanting to push the truth out of me but I hold firm. My stubborn Russian pride can hold out a lot longer then most people know, except for Napoleon.
"Give him another dose and make it a double." I feel another prick and the burning intensifies.
"Now Mr. Kuryakin you will answer me and quickly. We don't have much time left." She lifts my chin up with her finger. "What do you want from your partner?"
I fight but it is no use the drug makes me answer. "Love."
"Love? What kind of love?"
"Happily ever after."
"Ah I see. Very useful to know, but unfortunately we have to be going now." I hear her heels click against the concrete floor. "Mr. Solo very informational. Thrush will be in touch." Then the door slams shut.
Me, I snap my head up at the name. I can't see anything but I know he is there, I can feel him. I hear the movement of ropes and then feet coming towards me. I would know those steps if I were in front of the gates of hell. A hand comes up and removes my blindfold. I blink my eyes and look up into the face of the man I love most. What I see there confirms my worst fears, he knows and he is disgusted by me.
I know what he is asking and I have no answer for him. No quick answer and I can see that I have lost him. Never again will we be partners.
But he releases me and we make our escape out of the warehouse we were staying in and make it to his car. Once inside he stops for a moment and I know he is looking at me. I can feel the burning still inside me.
"Illya I want you to answer me. How long? How long have you loved me? How long have you wanted me?"
I don't have any choice. I am conditioned to obey Napoleon and I want him to know now cause it doesn't matter any more.
"Five years." I hang my head so I don't have to make eye contact.
"Five years huh? Illya look at me." I force my head up and look into his eyes. Just as I expect I see confusion and denial. Denial of the love I have for him and denial of our partnership. With one look I could tell that my life with Napoleon in it was over. "I'm sorry Illya but I don't feel the same way."
"I know Napoleon, I understand and accept what ever you wish to do."
"Good lets get home and we can talk to Waverly about what we can do."
I simply nod; I'm too numb on the inside to pay attention to what is going on. My only link to any kind of love was slipping through my fingers and it was impossible for me to stop it. It was a long drive back.
We made it back to NYHQ and walked through the doors to reception. The attendant hands over our badges but I am too depressed and dispirited to really notice. The drug isn't helping any but the two-hour drive back home helped some, must not last very long but it did indeed leave me with a terrific headache.
"Come on Illya lets go talk to Mr. Waverly."
"Yes Napoleon." I simply follow as he leads me to the room that will most probably end my career.
It didn't take us long to get to the inner office. Waverly's secretary admits us and Waverly gives us permission to sit.
"Well Mr. Solo, it looks like you found Mr. Kuryakin."
"Did you learn anything?"
"Yes Sir." He doesn't continue so I glance up and see him scowling down at the table.
"Well don't keep me waiting what did you learn?" he said sharply.
"I actually learned some personal information."
"Sir I would like to request a new partner?"
"WHAT? WHY EVER FOR?" His eyebrows rose until they disappeared into his hairline.
"I have found out some personal information about Mr. Kuryakin that makes it impossible to work with him anymore."
"Blast it man! Get to the point!" It is truly scary to see Mr. Waverly angry and Napoleon had just made him.
"Because he has revealed he has feelings for me in a most unprofessional and even personal capacity. Ones that make it impossible for me to trust him for fear those feelings would endanger us on a mission."
"Very serious charge Mr. Solo and what feeling would that be."
"Love? There is nothing wrong with love?"
"Normally no but when it is man to man and not the love of friendship or family it is something not to be trusted."
Well there it was worse then I thought. I knew he would never wish to work with me anymore but I didn't think he wouldn't be able to trust me anymore. I could feel my heart breaking and only one thing prevented me from bolting then and there. I needed to hear Waverly's opinion. If he agreed I had no career left, for I didn't want to work here, if Napoleon wasn't going to be persuaded to reconsider.
"I see." I looked up through my eyelashes and could see him leaning back and considering then coming to a decision. "Very well. If you feel you can no longer work with Mr. Kuryakin I will reassign you a new partner. Mr. Solo you are dismissed. Mr. Kuryakin go down to medical have yourself checked out then report here tomorrow for reassignment."
I nod even as I rise and head for the door. I have no intention of going to medical, just home to think about what I am going to do. With one last glance at my former partner I leave the room.
I made it back to my apartment some how and go straight to the freezer and open a bottle of Stoli, I don't bother with a glass, no point in it. Taking a healthy swallow I wipe my mouth with the back of my hand and look around. This apartment is no longer home. I have many books and records and papers and pieces of artwork and I care for none of it. I stand and go to my bedroom. Crawling under the bed moving it forward at the same time I start working a hidden compartment out of it. Pulling the box out of the hidden crevice I climb on top of the bed. I open the box and look at all the things that really have meaning for me. All given to me by Napoleon or discarded by him but still precious to me for they are of him. I look and see the gold watch he had given me, it didn't do anything but tell time so I very rarely wore it. I couldn't stand to lose it and I told him so every time he asked about it. He understood and found it very amusing. Most precious to me is a picture of him and only him but it is mounted in a mirror, when I looked in the mirror my face was next to Napoleon like we were a couple. When I saw my reflection all the secret dreams I had had came crashing down around me. I knew I would never be the same and didn't want to be. I took another drink and decided what to do. I left my bed for a moment, went to my desk for some paper and a pen. I settled down and began to write.
Napoleon opened the door to his former partners apartment cursing he had to come over here in the first place. He didn't like queers, they were not natural. To find that his partner was one only made him angry for being made a fool. He had been called to find where Illya had gone since he hadn't checked in as ordered and Waverly wouldn't let anyone else into Illya's apartment.
Scanning the front room quickly and the kitchen he found all in order along with the bathroom and the small office Illya kept. Finally he made it to his ex-partners bedroom and noticed it had not been slept in. He looked around and immediately spotted the envelope lying next to a photo of him and Illya. He saw the letter was addressed to him so he took it back into the living room and sat on the couch. He slit the envelope with his penknife and opened the letter taking out the sheet of paper.
I am more sorry then I can ever tell you that you learned of my secret. I never meant for you to know how I truly felt about you. I would have been happy to have lived the rest of my life in your shadow cause it would have been yours. But as with everything else in my life it was not to be. I didn't mean to fall in love with you but it happened. You were the first person in my life that treated me like a person worthy of friendship. That had never happened before to me and I was captivated. I swore to live up to that feeling of friendship you gave me. As time went on and I found that you actually enjoyed just being with me as a person I couldn't help feeling closer to you. When I found I had actually grown to love you I kept quiet. I knew your feelings about men relationships and I never wanted you to feel uncomfortable in my presence. So I decided to love you from afar. I would be loyal to you, back you up when you needed it, take you down when you needed that as well. I would be faithful to you and only you. I decided the only hope I had to STAY BY you was to make sure anything and everything that would make you happy would be yours.
You are probably wondering about the few dates I had when I was your partner. Well that was for the few times when I knew I was close to telling you how I really felt and it was the only way I could think of to prevent it and keep my heart from showing. Don't worry I still stayed loyal for I never went to bed with them just dinner, movie and a good night kiss. I couldn't do anything more for you were the only one for me.
Napoleon please think back on our time together and remember the fun and joy we had. Every moment was precious to me and helped me deal with my longing for you. I will let you know that I was never happiest then when you included me in your plans for the evening. I lived for those moments because it made me feel that someone actually enjoyed my company and didn't want to use me for their own advancement.
But all good things must come to an end. I had hoped this moment would never come. That you would never know, that I could have died knowing that I was your partner in all the ways open to me. But that didn't happen and now I am going to do you one last favor. One last act of love cause my love for you means more then anything else I have. I know you never want to see me again and there is only one way to guarantee it. If I moved away someone may find me and I can't live knowing that you know I love you truly and don't want to have anything to do with me. So I go to relive my memories one last time before doing you the favor of never having to take care of me again.
I will beg one indulgence from you if I may. I know I haven't earned it but I would ask it in memory of the five years we have spent together. Please burn this letter. Please try and forget about me. Please get on with your life and never think of me again. I don't want to be a constant source of pain, which my memory will bring. I just needed to write this to get my feelings on paper one time and commit to what will make you happiest.
Goodbye Napoleon I am sorry I hurt you by falling in love with the one person I knew would never want it.
Love and yours forever
Napoleon was in shock. He never knew his feelings went this deep. But he could read the meaning in the letter quite clearly. His partner was going to kill himself just so that Napoleon could be happy. For a moment Napoleon was grateful but only for an instant. A man he trusted with his life, with his honor, and his hope for humanity was about to kill himself. Illya meant so much to him. He had come to depend on everything the Russian was willing to give him and he never wondered why Illya didn't complain more. He didn't complain cause he knew any attention Napoleon gave him was the greatest moment in the young mans life. Now those times were gone and done in by the man he wanted most but knew he would never have.
Napoleon looked at the letter again and for the first time noticed the stains on the paper. Looking closer he saw they were tearstains. That did it, he finally was able to put into motion the steps necessary to find and stop his partner.
"Open channel D."
"Channel D open, what have you found Mr. Solo?" the cool crisp tones of his superior floated through the air.
"A note from Illya Sir. A final note." Napoleon could hear the old man raise and eyebrow.
"Really and what does it say?"
"No time for that now. Put out an APB on Illya and make it fast. He is to be sleep darted on sight. In no circumstance is he allowed to pull his gun. I want him put to sleep as soon as he is found!"
"Mr. Solo! What the devil is going on? You know how the sleep darts affect his systems. You better have a real good reason to have me order such action!"
"I do sir. Illya, in a mistaken attempt to make me happy, is planning on killing himself."
"WHAT? Hold on Mr. Solo." Napoleon could hear orders being given and alerts sounding. "Very well Mr. Solo all is in progress. I have someone trying to trace the boy right now. Find him Mr. Solo, that's an order!" The line went dead.
Napoleon rushed down to the foyer and asked the doorman if he had seen Illya. The doorman, startled, answered that Illya had asked him to call a cab and gave him the Cab Company. Napoleon ran out of the building barking out orders.
Illya sat down in the middle of the clearing and looked up at the stars. He sighed in pleasure and pain at this final night he had. His life had been good till now. And all that mattered was that it would be better for Napoleon if he wasn't around. He looked at the stars in the sky and rejoiced in the peace they had and he would soon. He looked around him at this meadow that had so much meaning for him. It was the meadow that Napoleon had told him that he was his best friend and trusted above all else. But he had betrayed that trust and it was time to bring it to an end. In his right hand he held his Walter with silencer already screwed on. In his left was the picture of Napoleon in the mirror. It made his heart ache to know this was the closest he would ever be to Napoleon again. Glancing once more into the sky he contemplated what his final act on life would be.
Napoleon gritted his teeth even as he urged the helicopter to fly faster. The cab driver had told him that he had dropped the younger agent off at a bus stop and given him a big tip. The bus station attendant had told him he had bought a ticket for a place deep in the mountains and it would be a normal 6-hour trip. Napoleon had recognized the location and playing a hunch called for a helicopter to take him up to a meadow he dimly remembered.
Napoleon snapped out of his trance to listen to the pilot. "What."
"Sir we should be there in under five minutes. What are your orders?"
"Keep an eye out for a man dressed in black and with a mop of bright blond hair."
"Very good sir."
Napoleon turned to the other men in the chopper. "If any of you see him bring it to my attention but if you have the opportunity to shoot him, do it. I don't want him to have a chance at firing back. Make sure you are loaded with nothing but sleep darts." The men again check their rifles and prepared to shoot one of their own.
"Well Napoleon I am sorry for all I have done to you. I hope this makes it up to you just a bit. You mean the world to me and this is my way of returning it to you." Holding up the mirror he looked at his reflection one more time. Then he raised the gun to his head.
"Sir I see him."
Napoleon didn't hesitate he shouted. "SHOOT. SHOOT YOU FOOL." The man fired but it was too late. Napoleon heard another shot even as his man fired.
"NOOOOOOOOOOO." Screamed Napoleon even as the helicopter was landing. When there was still nearly 6 feet to go Napoleon jumped and ran to the figure in the middle of the field. There he collapsed to his knees and cried, he was too late.
Napoleon supervised the clean up crew as they proceeded to survey the meadow to find if he had left anything else. One man put a blanket over Illya so they would not have to see the body. Napoleon stood numb looking down at the man that had sacrificed everything just so that Napoleon could live a life the man thought he deserved. Napoleon now knew that he was wrong and that he didn't want to live a life that didn't have his partner in it.
Yes he was disgusted with men who loved men but his ideas had always been based on men who minced their steps and spoke with lisps and were into wild orgies, drugs and other less pleasant things. Illya was different. He didn't do any of those things; he based his happiness on Napoleons happiness. Napoleon remembered nights shared when one or the other was laid up in pain or sickness resulting in their job. How Illya was always there to comfort him and provide him support no matter how bad he himself was hurt.
And how had he repaid Illya? He repaid him with scorn, hostility and a request for a new partner. He had never deserved Illya. He looked down in the grass, at his feet was the mirror with Napoleons picture in it. He was startled to see his own face reflected back at him but realized the significance of the frame and his heart broke again. That Illya felt this was the only way they could ever be a couple was saddening and there was nothing he could do.
Just then his communicator sounded.
"Well Mr. Solo?" there was a wealth of questions in that tone.
"He's gone sir. We were too late."
There was a sigh on the other end. "Very well Mr. Solo come back here and we will discuss this in more detail."
"Yes Sir." Napoleon put his communicator away. He looked down at the growing stain of blood at the head of the sheet not really seeing it. He watched as the stain grew larger until...
"Rogers, McDaniels get over here now!" Bellowed Solo.
"Get on the horn with HQ tell them to be ready with the antidote for Illya." Napoleon bent down even as he was folding the sheet back. Feeling for a pulse again it was there, weak, but steady. "Illya's alive but he is going to need help. He is sensitive to the sleep darts like you wouldn't believe."
The men jumped to obey.
Noise; dim at first but growing louder. His head hurt and Illya thought to himself that this is what it feels like to be dead.
"Illya wake up. Come on partner don't do this."
Illya didn't understand the words but the tone he did. He forced his eyes open to look into the concerned gaze of his partner. Illya groaned as he realized he wasn't dead.
"Napoleon why?" his voice was barely above a croak and he cringed at the sound.
"I can't let you go partner mine."
"I'm not your partner. Remember you asked for another partner."
"Illya about that..." Napoleon trailed off as he saw the green color coming to Illya's face. He grabbed a basin and helped Illya as he lost his dinner, lunch, breakfast and dinner again. When finally finish he weakly leaned back in the bed.
"I am sorry Napoleon."
"Don't be, I expected it. I'm sorry Illya but I ordered that you be shot on sight with sleep darts. Looks like you got hit with three and that's why I thought you were dead at first. You barely made it." Napoleon hung his head in memory of the near disaster.
"But Napoleon I wanted to die, why didn't you let me?"
"Because I couldn't. I couldn't let you go through with it."
"Napoleon please don't do this to me. Just because you stopped me one way doesn't mean you will be able to stop me another way."
"How do you mean?"
For answer Illya simply closed his eyes and a look of concentration came over his face. At first Napoleon didn't understand what he was doing until he heard the heart monitor start to slow.
**Oh my GOD he is willing himself to death.** Napoleon jumped up and did the only thing he could think of. He pressed his lips to his partners and put all the emotion he had for his partner into it. Slowly he heard the heart machine go from slow to rapid and Illya's breathing start to increase. Also his lips which had been stiff began to mold themselves to his own and unknowingly part in invitation. Napoleon deepened the kiss delving into Illya's mouth as his tongue explored the hidden depts. Finally Napoleon had to back away for the simple need of breathing. Both took great gasping breathes and looked at each other. Napoleon expectantly and Illya puzzled and with guarded hope.
"I got your letter."
"I'm sorry, but I had to do it."
"I know and I am glad you did. I almost didn't make it."
"Cause I have been a fool. So great a fool that I was blind to the love that was offered to me. That I almost lost it before I had a chance to enjoy the greatest thing to come into my life."
"Napoleon, I don't know what to say."
"Just promise me that you will never do this again. I never want you to take your own life because you think it will make me happy. It won't and I'm afraid that if you do that it won't be long before I follow you. So promise me that you will never do something like this again."
Illya looked at him with eyes shinning and one of the happiest smiles on his face that Napoleon had seen. "I promise Napoleon never again." Then because he couldn't help it he had to ask. "Does this mean that you still want me for your partner?"
"Does this mean... Oh lord Illya... Yes I want you for my partner and I want you for everything else. You're mine as I am yours and we belong to no one else. I promise." He stood again and pull Illya into a tight hug trying to convey how much Illya meant to him. Next thing he knew Illya was quietly crying into his shoulder and holding onto Napoleon with the same fierceness. As they were holding each other there was a discreet knock on the door to the recovery room. Slowly they pulled apart but Napoleon moved to see the door and keep a hand on his partner's shoulder.
"Come in." Called Napoleon.
In walked Waverly alone and wearing a face the pair could not seem to place. He came and stood on the other side of Illya's bed and just looked at the young agent. He looked so long that Illya began to squirm and looked to Napoleon for reassurance, who squeezed his shoulder.
Finally Napoleon spoke up. "Sir?"
Waverly looked up at him then looked at both before sighing. Then he turned, took the other chair and sat down. "Sit Mr. Solo, I have some information to give both of you and it is hard to find a start." He waited until Napoleon sat next to Illya never letting go of the younger mans hand.
"Mr... Napoleon, Illya I believe that I owe you both an apology." Both agents looked at each other, if they weren't surprised by the use of their first names. They were surprised at the second half of that statement.
"Sir?" they said in unison.
"Illya you most especially. I didn't realize the extent of your feelings for Napoleon or what you were willing to do to make him happy. Just to let you know I set up your capture and interrogation. Along with sending Napoleon along to rescue you when the time was right. I knew about his dislike but I had hoped that his respect, devotion and friendship would counter that. I guess it didn't, to begin with." He ducked his head sheepishly for a moment. "I knew you had been pining away for your partner but you would never do anything about it. I felt that it was time and frankly Napoleon you were driving me nuts with all your womanizing. I knew that you, Napoleon, were just looking for the right person to settle down with and Illya would give you the stability you needed. But in typical fashion you both go out of your way to show your dedication and stubbornness." Now Waverly raised his voice in nothing but pure exasperation, "Why do you do this to me? Your worse then children!"
He stood and smiled fondly at the pair. "You are both on leave for the next three weeks. Take the time to rest and recover. Mr. Kuryakin you will stay nearby until the doctor clears you and all the side effects of the drugs have run their course. Should take about three days I am sorry to say. After that I expect you to get to know each other better and be ready to take the next mission." With that he left the room to the new couple.
Illya rejoiced to hear him call him that. "I love you."
"I love you too. I always will."
"I'm going to be sick." Then before Napoleon could move Illya threw up over the edge of the bed hitting Napoleons, 300-dollar, custom-made, hand tooled, leather loafers, dead on.