Truth of the Matter
Napoleon Solo watched as Miss Bemont walk from the room. It hadn't taken long for him to decide that she was one nasty THRUSH. He still didn't know much about her, but that could wait. What they had to do now was escape and try to head her off before she could intercept that plane. Unless...
He glanced over to his left at his partner. Illya's head dipped as he continued to fight the truth serum. It seemed to be taking a bigger toll on him than it had Napoleon. Then and again, Napoleon hadn't had to fight the effects. He truly didn't know what was going on.
"Illya, can you hear me?" Napoleon didn't bother to try to hide his conversation. The THRUSH operative was at the top of the stairs and not the least bit interested in them at the moment.
"Yes," Illya mumbled, frowning, his eyes still closed.
"Were you telling the truth about Merlin?"
"Yes." A pause. "It is too good, too accurate...almost discovered." Napoleon stopped in his examination of the room to study his partner. "Almost discovered what, Illya?"
If Napoleon had thought Illya was struggling with the effects of the truth serum before, it was nothing compared to the battle he watched his partner go through now. Illya fought against his restraints, uselessly twisting and yanking, his face covered with a fine sheen of sweat. Napoleon almost hated himself for what he was thinking of doing. Still, when would he likely have this chance again?
Despite their years together, there were certain parts of Illya that he kept so shut off, so tucked away that not even the strongest drink could bring them out. No amount of coercing, joking or digging could make Illya talk when he chose not to. But a truth serum? How could Napoleon resist?
"What, Illya? What did they almost discover?"
Napoleon glanced up at the guard. He was busy smoking and chatting with another operative. "What secret, Illya? You can tell me. It'll be safe."
"Nothing's safe...mustn't let Napoleon know..."
"What secret, Mr. Kuryakin?" Napoleon decided to try for an end run. Perhaps it wasn't the truth Illya was fighting as much as it was the examiner.
"My feelings." Illya's head bobbed one last time and then drooped. Napoleon sighed and leaned his head back. That was it. When Illya woke, he'd be his close-mouth self. Still, even his briefest of answers had given Napoleon something to chew on. What feelings would Illya be so reluctant to betray to his partner?
Napoleon had to think about that. Fortunately, for the moment, he had adequate time. The innocent was mumbling something about her mother, but Napoleon shut his mind to her words and instead concentrated about those of his partner.
My secret, my feelings. Napoleon's mind was a whirl of activity. Nothing made sense, unless...unless. Napoleon shifted his attention back to Illya. He'd sagged completely, held in place only by the straps now. Illya has feelings...for me? Napoleon had to grin at the thought. Oh my, now this could be an adventure as well as a surprise, albeit a pleasant one.
Napoleon knew more about his partner than anyone else, of that he was certain. Since they'd initially been partnered, they'd been through the wringer more than once. He'd seen Illya in just about every type of situation, save one. In the course of romantic pursuit, Illya was strangely closeted. Napoleon grinned at the word choice. Talk about a Freudian slip. He knew Illya took women to bed, they'd even shared on occasion, but it never seemed Illya participated with the same wild enthusiasm that Napoleon did. It was almost as if the Russian was doing it because it was expected of him, not because he particularly enjoyed it.
For some reason, the women never seemed to notice, but Napoleon did and while he was reluctant to let this be known outside his own consciousness, Napoleon rather envied those women. Truth be known, and thankfully it wasn't, he'd watched his partner with interested eyes from just about the moment they had been introduced. There was something about how the man moved, even the way he smelled that piqued Napoleon's interest and not in the casual sense.
Illya groaned and Napoleon smiled. Must be coming out of it
A moment later, Illya muttered in Russian. Napoleon didn't need a translator to recognize one of his favorite words, no matter the language nor to guess at the second if Illya felt anything like he did waking up. 'Shit, my head,' sounded just about the right translation.
"Welcome back to the waking world, partner mine." He made his voice twice as cheery as it needed to be just to annoy Illya. It worked and the scathing look he garnered in return made Napoleon smile even more.
"I talked, didn't I?" The question had a resigned tone to it.
"Not that you could help it, but yes. If it's any consolation, you put up a helluva fight."
"I'm sure Mr. Waverly will take that into considering before busting me down to janitor. Have you had any luck?"
"Luck? Why do you ask?"
"With the restraints? So we can...leave?" Illya's eyes narrowed. "What did you think I meant?"
Napoleon happened to glance over at the girl and Illya shook his head. "Don't you stop even for a minute, Napoleon?"
"Against my very nature. Who is she?"
"Mimi Doolittle, the magician's assistant. She'd only been there one night, but I imagine THRSH thought she might have known more than she let on."
"Thankfully, no. She's blonde and dumb, just the way you like them."
"Knock it off you two!" The THRUSH guard has decided to put in an appearance. The innocent was also conscious again and looking around, fearfully, at her surroundings, then over at them. Napoleon gave her his best 'Don't Worry' smile. Her responding smile was weak as watered down brandy...
"Didn't you have the basic training?" Illya snapped and Mimi looked close to tears.
"Don't you understand, I don't know how."
Illya's voice dropped, velvet and seductive. "Inexperience is not inability, young lady, and you can do anything you believe you can do." With a shock, Napoleon realized where his partner was headed. He already leaned in closer, his eyes half shut. And Napoleon couldn't take his eyes off Illya's lips, as they moved already in a half tease of a kiss.
With surge of jealousy, Napoleon decided that no one else was going there, not on his watch. He spun Mimi and clamped one on her. Illya's eyes sparked, his Alpha dog flared, but it quickly was shuttered back again. He knew his place when it came to women and Napoleon.
It seemed easier to stuff Mimi onto a taxi with the promise that neither man intended to keep and sent her on her way than to argue with her. "Well, that ended as well as it could have." Napoleon started to wander down the sidewalk, heading back to his apartment, knowing without looking that his partner would be in attendance.
"What do you mean?" Illya's voice was weary, a testament to the toll the night had taken upon him.
"Well, we have a top THRUSH out of the picture, another in captivity and yet one more foray into world domination scuttled by yours truly. We didn't get the neat toy in the Cracker Jack box, but neither did they."
"Excuse me, Cracker Jack?"
Napoleon grinned at Illya's confusion. It was getting more and more rare to stump him these days. Not like when he'd first arrived in America. Napoleon had had a field day with him then. "It's caramel popcorn, nutty snack thing. Big at baseball games. Every box comes with a surprise in it."
"Oh." They walked for a block in silence. "Perhaps it's just as well anyway. A machine like Merlin's, it could be a dangerous thing. A man's mind shouldn't be so easily read."
"Was it really that good?" At Illya's puzzled look, Napoleon stopped. "What?"
"I just had the strangest sensation that we've already had this conversation."
"Not to my knowledge, unless I nodded off at some point," Napoleon lied smoothly, easily. Illya's nod seemed less than convinced and Napoleon resumed walking. "So do you have plans for tonight?"
"Drown my sorrows with a suitable amount of alcohol and think up a really good reason why Waverly shouldn't shove me on the first plane back home tomorrow."
"It wasn't your fault, Illya. Even I couldn't have resisted it."
"That is what you call a back handed compliment, if I'm not mistaken."
"I didn't mean it that way though. I'd have loved to have gotten my hands on a vial of that stuff to have our boys analyze it. It seems a lot better than whatever we're using."
"Simply because it worked on me?"
"Exactly." Napoleon clapped him on the shoulder. "You, my friend, are one hard nut to crack and if you went, so would anyone else."
It wasn't until Napoleon had plied him with a second drink that he felt comfortable enough to take the next step. Illya sprawled out in an armchair, taking up an enormous amount of realty for someone so compact.
"So, are you going?" Napoleon asked, settling his drink down on a coaster. He watched puzzled blue eyes struggle with the question before surrendering.
"Going where, Napoleon?"
"To Mimi's on Saturday night."
"No, Napoleon, she is yours." The resignation in Illya's voice was apparent as he waved his glass towards his partner. "They are always yours." He drained the vodka in one gulp. Russian didn't savor vodka, they drank it mainly for three reasons, according to what Illya said: to get drunk, to get warm or to get happy. Napoleon couldn't help but wonder which one was Illya's excuse this time.
"I'd be willing to pass if you're interested." Napoleon moved a bit closer.
"No, she's a bit too innocent for my tastes. If she is to fall, let it be by someone else's hand." Illya tipped his head back, eyes closed. "Someone with a bit more skill and a lot more interest."
Hesitantly, Napoleon reached out, touching his shoulder. "Or is it something else, Illya?"
The head bobbed up, first to look at the hand, then Napoleon's face. "I don't understand."
And Napoleon couldn't help it; he leaned in to those lips that had been holding him transfixed for hours now. Hell, who was he kidding? For years.
The reaction from Illya was instantaneous. There was a split second of surrender and then an explosion of movement as Illya burst from the chair, putting distance between them.
Illya choked out a Russian expletive, wiping his mouth with the back of his hand. Napoleon knew that one, bastard, from previous language exchanges. "You son of a bitch!" Oh Lord, switching to English was a bad sign. Illya never swore in English, unless he was very, very angry.
"What?" Napoleon worked up to his best 'who me?' look of innocence.
"You...you...bastard! You questioned me under the truth serum, didn't you? That's why the Merlin question was so familiar. Did you have fun, Napoleon? Was your pusillanimous and lurid sense of fun fulfilled? You bastard, I trusted you!" The man was literally shaking with fury and Napoleon abruptly realized that he'd placed himself in a very dangerous situation. No matter what else you labeled him, when you came down to the brass tacks, Illya was an assassin, efficient, ruthless and extremely competent. True, Napoleon had similar training, but Illya's came at the hands of the Russian government, not exactly followers of Hoyle.
Illya stalked up to him and suddenly, Napoleon realized he was against the wall, literally. Trapped with no place to go and the look in Illya's eyes was murderous. Even now, he'd pulled back a clenched fist and Napoleon closed his eyes, bracing himself for the impact of flesh against bone. If he was really lucky, Illya would stop at one punch.
The wall vibrated beside his head and the sound a crack of bone, a muffled chunk, and a cry of pure anger assailed his senses simultaneously. When Napoleon dared to open his eyes, he discovered a sizable hole beside his left ear and that he was alone, the door to his apartment left open in Illya's wake.
"This is another fine mess you've gotten me into, Solo." He spoke aloud as if trying to reassure himself that it was all real as he examined the hole in the plaster. Illya's anger, his sense of betrayal, but more than that, the incredible feeling of those lips against his and the infinitesimal moment of...relief? There was no way Napoleon was stopping now. He'd taken that first step and their partnership now hung in the balance.
Napoleon let himself into Illya's apartment. He'd reckoned that the Russian would retreat into familiar territory. Sure enough, Illya sat on the corner of his sofa bed, his right hand submerged in a bucket. Ice, Napoleon guessed.
"Did I perhaps not make my intentions clear earlier? My left hand is still undamaged."
Napoleon held his arms up in the classic surrender position. "We need to talk."
"About what, Napoleon? What could possibly be left to say between us? I shall go to Waverly tomorrow and request reassignment."
"What? No, you can't."
"That's where you are wrong, Napoleon. I very much can. Do you think Waverly was unaware of my little predisposition?"
"I know you can, but you're making a mistake."
"I'm making a mistake? I would venture the mistake has already occurred." Illya slumped back against the cushions, his voice resigned. "Please leave. I hurt and no longer wish to pursue this."
"Then tough, because you're going to hear what I have to say." Napoleon took a few more steps into the apartment.
"Then talk and go." Illya waved him on.
"Did you ever once stop to think that maybe Waverly put us together for a reason?'
"I had assumed it wasn't a knee jerk reaction on his part."
"And that maybe it was his way of keeping control of the situation?"
"I never gave him cause to doubt that I couldn't handle my...puerile tendencies. After all, I've had years of experience in concealing it."
"Where do you get these words?" Napoleon asked, daring to come a bit closer. "Not you, me."
"You're making no sense." Illya sat up and pulled his hand from the bucket, it was beet red from the cold. He flexed it, checking it for damage or getting ready to inflict more on it, Napoleon wasn't sure which.
"He's using you to keep me out of trouble."
"And we've seen how successful that has been. Napoleon, you fuck anything with a skirt."
"You're a scientist, Illya. Haven't you ever heard of a stop-gap?"
"Of course." Illya sighed, sliding his hand back into the ice again. "It's a temporary fix to keep some other less desired reaction from occurring..." He stopped abruptly and studied his partner. "Exactly what are you saying, Napoleon?"
"That maybe Waverly partnered you with me to keep me reined in. Because when you get down to it, we really are two of a kind."
"What game are you playing at, Napoleon?" Illya stood to face him. "You will not convince me for a moment that you're anything other than heterosexual."
"I can prove it."
Illya's eyes narrowed and Napoleon could practically hear the gears whirring from where he stood.
"I very much doubt that, but for the sake of argument—how?"
Napoleon knew his accent was bad, but Illya's eyes widened and Napoleon knew he'd gotten his intent of 'Fuck me' across as he ground it out in Russian.
"You're not serious."
"I am, more than at any other time in my life." Napoleon closed the gap between them, thinking that while this wasn't all that much different than many of the other games he'd played in his sexual career, the stakes were much higher. This time he wasn't pretending. "Trust me."
"No, you violated that trust and it won't be given again easily."
"Then let me start re-earning it. I'm sorry, Illya, I didn't mean to...yes, I did. But I had to know. I'd kept everything quiet for so long, hid everything so careful and then to suddenly have everything I want laid out before me like some crazed kind of buffet, I couldn't stop. Not once I started." He was practically nose-to-nose with Illya now.
"Liar." But Illya held his ground and didn't retreat.
"Not anymore," Napoleon murmured, lifting a hand to Illya's cheek, feeling the rough burr of Illya's whiskers against his palm, a reminder than that this wasn't one of his little female conquests. This was his partner. He dipped in to brush his lips against Illya's, his tongue flicking at that bottom lip in a desperate plea for entrance. Napoleon smiled as his request was granted and he kissed Illya a second time. Harder, with more urgency and Illya allowed him full access. Napoleon's tongue roamed that mouth, exploring every spot it could reach, becoming familiar with a new taste while Illya's was on a similar journey.
Napoleon was used to his women melting against him, soft and willing, but there was nothing soft or willing about the body in his arms, just the opposite in fact. Illya was not submissive by any means. Their tongues fought, each trying to gain an edge of superiority over the other. Illya was strong, aggressive and Napoleon noted with a pleased surge to his groin, getting harder by the minute.
Abruptly, Illya pulled back, his breath coming swifter. "If you're playing me, Solo, as your God as my witness, I will kill you." He came back in for another kiss, his mouth bruising Napoleon's.
Napoleon entangled his fingers into that blond hair he'd admired from a distance for so long and pulled Illya's head back. "You and what army?" He moved to Illya's neck, biting, licking, sucking every bit of flesh he encountered, marking his trail brazenly as he nimbly undid Illya's shirt buttons.
Napoleon let his fingers brush the dark blond chest hair as his mouth slid to one nipple. He sucked it in, and then held the nub firmly between his teeth as his tongue flicked at it. One hand wandered over to the other nipple and began rolling it between calloused fingers.
Illya's groan vibrated Napoleon's teeth and he smiled around his mouthful. Then, suddenly he was pushed away and Illya held him at arm's length. He looked delighted disheveled, his lips swollen and colored, his breath coming in barely controlled pants. Napoleon lifted his chin up a wordless challenge and Illya grabbed two handfuls of material, puling Napoleon back for another searing kiss.
Napoleon abruptly realized his shirt was gone, but before he could think to say anything, he was flat on his back on the sofa bed and Illya was astride him, trapping him firmly between well muscled thighs. "You were speaking of my needing an army."
"Well, perhaps I spoke hastily." He thrust up, grinding his pelvis into Illya's ass and the Russian smiled, arching his head back in pleasure.
"And I think we still have too many articles of clothing between us."
"Agreed. A truce? Long enough to get our clothes off?" Illya was already moving, obviously determined not to let Napoleon get one up on him. Napoleon didn't bother to get up, just peeled his pants off and kicked them free.
He flexed penis beckoningly at Illya and for a moment, Napoleon wasn't exactly sure what was going to happen. Then Illya's mouth was on him and he didn't care. He didn't care about anything except the warmth and wetness that surrounding his dick, moving up and down at a deliberate pace designing to make Napoleon crazy out of his mind. It was his partner doing this to him and he didn't care who knew it as he gave his pleasure a voice.
Napoleon felt Illya's hands working on him, massaging his thighs, squeezing his ass and then he felt a finger brush against that one spot and he frowned. It was going to be slow going now. But the finger that slid into him was wonderful slick and soft. A second finger joined the first and all the while Illya's mouth kept working him, just enough suction, just enough tongue action to make Napoleon thrash and groan in response.
A third finger slid in and Napoleon couldn't do anything but arch his back, clamp Illya's head in place and come. Napoleon's eyes rolled back and for the first time in many years, he felt as if he might actually pass out. White spots danced in front of his eyes as blood rushed in his ears.
Gradually his breathing quieted as Illya crawled up his body, slick with sweat, his own erection digging painfully into Napoleon's belly. His eyes never left Napoleon's as he leaned down for a kiss, letting Napoleon taste himself.
Obligingly, Napoleon pulled his knees up and Illya squatted back on to his heels. "Are you sure?"
Illya adjusted Napoleon slightly and paused to add additional lube to his penis, his teeth gritted. Obviously, he was very close to the edge. He positioned himself and pushed in.
Napoleon hissed at the pain/pressure as his body fought the intruder and Illya immediately stopped.
"Too much?" He started to pull out, but Napoleon clamped his legs around him, holding him in place.
"Just give me a minute, okay? It's been awhile." Napoleon didn't even want to think of the self control it took for Illya to remain still.
After a tense moment, Napoleon's body relaxed and he moved encouragingly. Illya thrust in slowly, giving Napoleon time to adjust to him inch by inch until his pelvic bone rested against Napoleon's balls.
"Fuck, Illya," Napoleon ground out as the tip of Illya penis brushed against his prostate.
"It wasn't an observation, it was an order!" Napoleon didn't have to tell him twice. Illya wrapped his hand around Napoleon's now very erect penis and began matching strokes.
And then, as if the climax of moments ago had never occurred, Napoleon felt himself throbbing and he cried out to God. He was vaguely aware of Illya still moving. Two more, maybe three and Illya pushed forward, stopped and arched his head back, moaning. Napoleon squeezed him encouragingly with his internal muscles and Illya shuddered before collapsing upon him, panting and spent.
They lay there quietly for a moment, Napoleon finger combing Illya's hair off his brow until he couldn't stand the silence any longer.
"So am I forgiven?"
"Of course not. It will take more than a single screw for you to regain my trust, Napoleon, but I do accept your initial apology."
"That's a start then." Napoleon stretched out his legs and winced as Illya settled down alongside him. "Your mattress is horrible."
"Then tomorrow night, we will use yours. For the time being," Illya wiggled until Napoleon lay half-sprawled over him. "Use me."
"How's your hand?"
"It hurts, but I'll live." He lifted it to examine the bruising. "If need be, I'll have the doctor cast it tomorrow."
Napoleon raised the hand to his mouth, kissing the bruised knuckles lightly. He then obligingly nestled down, smiling as his fingers played with Illya's hair. "You have lovely hair, do you know that?" Illya grunted, but remained otherwise silent. "Do you know what the best part about making love to another man is?"
"Aside from the obvious, one is assuming?" His eyes were shut and he looked like a man intent upon sleeping.
"Yes, aside from that?"
"Since it unlikely that I am going to be allowed to sleep until we have exhausted this line of questions, no, Napoleon, what is it?"
"That you don't have to ask inane questions. Was it good for you too? The evidence is usually right at hand, so to speak." Napoleon transferred some of his semen to his hand, lowering it as he spoke to cradle Illya's genitals gently.
"So to speak," Illya agreed with a smile, rocking up against Napoleon's hand. "Our poor Miss Doolittle will be extremely disappointed though."
"How do you mean?"
"Come this time tomorrow night, I suspect neither of us will be likely to be able to stand, much less be up to playing house."
"But think of it—a free home cooked meal." Napoleon began a soft massage of Illya's balls.
"I think we should order in."
"When?" Napoleon's fingers worked over Illya's now straining penis and the eyes that regarded him were half shut with thinly guised lust.
"Quite possibly for the rest of our lives." And Napoleon, as he moved in for a kiss, decided that he could live with that.