The Look of Love—the Seduction of Napoleon Solo Act III
Napoleon Solo walked down the hallway, whistling and feeling his step lighten just a little as he drew closer to his office. It wasn't that the weather outside was especially pleasant—just the opposite. The wind whipped and the rain alternated between droves and torrents. It was cold and miserable, but Napoleon refused to let the weather dictate his mood this day.
Likewise, he refused to get upset just because he'd been splashed by a careless taxi driver and then ignored by the receptionist, who was still in a pique about their spectacularly horrible date. No, Napoleon wouldn't even be shaken from his mood by the stacks of files and paperwork that awaited him.
For today, Illya was back from vacation. Napoleon had returned from a solo mission to discover his partner had put in for and received two weeks of vacation and promptly dropped out of sight. Certainly Waverly knew where the Russian was holed up, but the Old Man wasn't talking. Napoleon had wheeled, dealed, and even pleaded with the Powers That Be and come away empty handed.
Napoleon was somewhat stunned that Illya would vanish like that without a word to him. He was even more stunned at the hole left in his life by the man's temporary absence. It wasn't like they lived in each other's pocket, but Napoleon had found himself seeking out his partner's time more and more these days. Whether it was for meals, a drink or even just kibitzing after work, Napoleon just enjoyed the time spent together. He'd been led to believe Illya did too...well, at least, until now. Now he wasn't quite sure what to believe.
He walked into the office he shared with his partner and, sure enough, the man's jacket was draped over the back of his chair, papers had been shuffled, but the blond was nowhere in sight.
Probably headed for the cafeteria, Napoleon decided and he turned on his heel. He could use a fresh cup of coffee himself.
But no Illya. Nor had he reported to Waverly or any of the other Sections heads. Napoleon had even tried the labs, but to no avail. It wasn't until he walked past the gym that Napoleon grinned and stopped just short of slapping himself in the head. After two weeks of taking it easy, of course the Russian would head for the gym. It was a chance to beat muscles back into shape and shake off the vacation lethargy.
Napoleon let the doors slide aside for him and surveyed the large room. There were a dozen or so agents working with weights, boxing, polishing their martial art moves, running, or pursuing a dozen other activities, but Napoleon couldn't pick out the familiar form of Illya among them. Vaguely annoyed, he walked over to the log book and flipped it around.
"You looking for Kuryakin?" Brian Docket, one of the assistant trainers, asked as Napoleon ran a finger down the list.
Napoleon flicked his eyes up to him for a moment and then back down to the book. "Yes, I am Brian. Have you seen him?"
"Broke a couple of my guys on the mats and then just left for the showers. What is it about vacations that make you agents so frigging aggressive when you get back?"
Napoleon grinned. "I have no idea. Thanks for the lead, Brian."
Sure enough, Napoleon heard a shower running when he entered. Finally, he's tracked down the elusive agent. He hadn't made CEO on good looks alone, Napoleon Solo was nothing if not persistent.
He glanced around the door frame into the showers, spotting Illya easily. All the other stalls were empty and he was standing under a needle fine spray, rolling his shoulders and working his head side-to-side. Napoleon used the moment to let his attention slide down the man's trim body. He had always loved watching the muscles and sinews work in that compact frame, although he'd not admit it under pain of torture.
Then he stopped and his mouth gaped. There were bruises all over Illya's body, some obviously newer than others. The ones that troubled Napoleon the most were the ones on Illya's hips, four evenly spaced dots, on each side, one opposite that, almost as if someone had delivered a crushing grip to the skin there.
Napoleon thought for a moment and frowned, unconsciously splaying the fingers of one hand and setting them on his hips in a similar pattern. Illya happened to glance over at the moment and grinned. "Hello, Napoleon, fancy running into you here." he ducked under the spray for a moment and reached for soap. "You're looking well."
"I'd say likewise, but it looks like someone went at you with a ball peen hammer."
Unselfconsciously, Illya glanced down and ran a hand over his stomach. "You know what they say about working hard and playing hard. Paying the piper is not always pleasant, but necessary."
Napoleon was thankful that Illya didn't know exactly how well that applied to him lately, especially the hard part. Lately Napoleon's thoughts were drifting more and more down a path that, while not completely untraveled, had been rarely visited prior to now.
"Obviously. So your playmate got a name?" Napoleon tried to keep his tone neutral, but inside he was seething. How dare someone take such liberties with his partner? Worse, how dare Illya for permitting them to when he wouldn't even let Napoleon kiss him...again.
"Things just got a little out of hand." Illya turned back to the spray and Napoleon's frown deepened. There were other marks, marks that he knew, from personal experience, usually only came from one thing.
Napoleon couldn't help himself. He wanted to think that his partner had been ambushed in an alley, forced into something unwilling. But the thought of Illya seeking out someone else made him crazy. He'd been sending messages to Illya for months now, but receiving conflicting information back. It seemed at times the Russian was very interested and at others in nothing more than a working relationship.
Napoleon had started to increase his dating, but more times than not, they ended with a bit of kissing and casual groping before parting ways. Napoleon Solo was developing a serious taste for something more Russian in nature. The thought of someone else doing the tasting made him more than a little annoyed.
"Napoleon, is there something wrong?" Illya's voice broke him from his thoughts. His partner was standing beside him, towel wrapped low around his hips. "You looked a million miles away."
"Have you been to Medical?"
"What for?" Illya's hand brushed across a mark on his chest. "These?"
"Were you raped?" Napoleon kept his voice low. Even though there was no one else in the locker room, he didn't want to take the chance of being overheard.
"Excuse me?" Illya's voice dropped to match Napoleon's. "What?"
"Those marks—you can only get them a couple of ways. Were you raped or was it consensual?"
"And what concern is that of yours? I know you're my partner, but what I do in my private time off is my business."
"Wrong. You're an enforcement agent, I'm your CEO. You have no private time. And you haven't answered my question."
"Nor do I intend to, Napoleon," Illya said firmly, heading for his locker. "I'm sorry, but that's my business, not yours."
We'll see about that. Napoleon thought, turning on his heel and walking quickly from the room.
Had he paused and turned back, he would have seen the smile on Illya's lips. Instead, Napoleon headed for the nearest phone and made a quick call.
Overheard, Illya heard the loudspeaker crackle to life, asking that he report to Medical. He rapidly dressed and, begrudgingly, headed off to do battle with Medical. Still, he went with a smile; everything was working out perfectly, all according to plan. Now he'd just be lucky if Napoleon didn't kill him when he found out. Yet, it wasn't his fault that Napoleon forgot how easily Illya bruised and his propensity for deep tissue massages....
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