Bang A Boom-A-Rang
He was hot, he was miserable and he'd had it right up to here! He didn't tolerate the heat well and Napoleon knew it. And he knew Illya wasn't sleeping at night, yet he had the audacity to actually demand sex this morning. Well, not actually demand it, but he wouldn't take no for an immediate answer. It had led to a knock-down, drag-out fight, one of their first since getting back together.
It had left Illya feeling queasy and, if possible, even worse than before he'd started. Napoleon had stormed out and driven away, his wheels spraying gravel.
And all because of this goddamn heat! Illya slammed the box onto the shelf and realized a split second too late that it had glass in it. A moment later, he watched a small spot grow on the base of the box.
Cursing silently, he reached for the box cutter and sliced opened the top. With any luck, he hadn't broken all the jars of olives. Napoleon had a special passion for this particular brand. The knife jerked and nicked his finger. Just what he needed.
He inspected it, wiped it on his pants and continued. The first jar was okay as was the second. He placed them carefully aside and reached it again without looking. Pain laced up his arm and this time he didn't keep quiet.
"Дерьмо!" He yanked out his hand and grabbed a towel to wrap around his lacerated hand. This was the last thing he needed.
He headed for the nearest sink, dodging the various crates and boxes that littered the storeroom floor. Both Henry and Rand glanced up from their prep and immediately, Rand set his knife aside and joined Illya at the sink.
"Let me see."
"I'm fine!" Illya snapped, and winced as he eased the pink tinged towel away.
"Sure you are, Chef, and I'm the King of England."
"Your Majesty," Henry bowed low and then handed over the first aid kit. It wasn't unusual for someone to get cut or burned in the kitchen, although it wasn't usually Illya.
Rand turned on the water and guided Illya's hand to it. "Looks pretty deep, Chef, you might need stitches."
"I'll be fine... ai!" He bit his lip as Rand applied a little pressure.
"No, you got glass buried in there from the looks of it. Better have Napoleon take you to the doc's."
"He's gone wine tasting, although how anyone could drink wine in this heat is beyond me." Illya got his hand away and tried to inspect the cut. He could see a bit of something sparkly in it. "Get me some forceps."
"No way." Rand turned. "Hey, MATTHEW! You fiddle with that you could make it worse than it is."
"Not Matt. I can dig it out—it's just a small piece of glass."
"And that's just a tendon to the left of it. You really want to lose the use of your thumb for the sake of being brave?"
"Someone bellow?" Rocky came trotting in, running a hand through his sweat-lank hair. "Matt is up a ladder... oh, hell's bells, you really want to see Matt pass out? This would have done it. I'll get my car keys." He ran from the kitchen.
"Matt can't handle the sight of blood," Illya explained as he swapped out a clean towel and dropped the other in the trash. "He's gotten beaten up one too many times."
"Didn't know that." Rand wrapped the towel as tightly as Illya could bear and pointed to the door. "Go!"
Whatever secret plans Illya harbored about sneaking off into the house were waylaid by Rocky standing there beside his car with the passenger door open. "Your chariot awaits."
"I'm really fine, Rocky."
"Then let's have some fun and waste the nice doctor's time. There's nothing I enjoy more making fun of the posters in the waiting room."
"You just like those magazines," Illya muttered, climbing in, well aware that he was being watched by Rand and Henry.
"I do—how else will I find if we had won the Korean War or not." Rocky slammed the door and climbed in on his side. "Next stop, the Land of All Things Out of Date and Time."
Illya sat quietly in the waiting room, feeling his hand throb in time with his heart. Perhaps this had been his punishment for flying off the handle at Napoleon. He was just so hot. The doctor's office, as with many of the buildings in Jackson were still not air conditioned. They only got really hot a few days of the year, but when they did, it was miserable. He felt a trickle of sweat run down his temple and he batted it away and finished filling out the information sheet.
If he could just get some sleep. Illya glanced over at Rocky who was thumbing through a magazine and shaking his head. "Hey, Chef, did you know Nixon resigned?"
"It'll come to a blow to Mr. Reagan, I'm sure," Illya muttered, wincing as he shifted in the hard leather chair. He wasn't sure what hurt more, his head or his hand.
"You done with that?" Rocky nodded to the clipboard.
"Yes, as much as I intend to fill it out."
Rocky took it from him, stood up and walked over to give it to the woman working the desk. He said something, she pointed to a door and Rocky nodded politely to her.
"Be back in five, Chef, don't go bolting on me."
"How could I? You have the car keys."
A minute ago, Illya would have paid to have been left alone, now he just wanted the company. Anything to keep from running through the fight again and again in his head. The longer he thought about the fight that morning, the worse he felt. He made a decision. His heart hurt far worse than his hand or his head.
It took his a minute to realize the woman had called his name. He'd not been called Mr. Kuryakin in a long time. He started to get to his feet, then shut his eyes at the pounding. Instantly Rocky's arm was around his waist. Illya hadn't even realized that younger man had returned.
"Think you stood up a little too fast there, Chef." He draped Illya's good arm around his neck. "What say I give you a hand here?"
"I just haven't eaten anything lately. I'm fine."
"Sure you are, Chef. I was just saying that to Matt. 'Isn't Chef fine,' I said. He agreed, but I think for different reasons."
Rocky helped Illya into the exam room and into a chair, then settled himself beside him as the doctor entered.
Doctor Hancock had practiced in Jackson for much of his forty years and grinned at the sight. "Well, hello, young man, how are your parents?"
"They are doing okay, Doc. Last I heard they were tripping the Light Fantastic in Tulsa. That motor home was the best thing they ever bought."
"Did they get it local?"
"Excuse me, I hate to interrupt, but I'm bleeding all over your floor." Illya tapped the doctor on the knee.
"Oh, yes, hello." The doctor studied Illya for a minute before shaking his head. "Are you new in town?"
"Been here about five years or so..." Illya made a face as the doctor started to unwrap the towel.
"Hmm, ain't seen you before."
"I do my best to avoid doctors at all cost." Illya practically came out of his seat and nearly yanked his hand free of the doctor's grasp.
"Looks like you got something buried in there pretty good. I think we're going to administer a local." Hancock nodded to himself. "Make it easier on both of us."
"No, I'm fine, just tell me first."
"Okay, I'm telling you. I'm administering a local and I'll have young Rocky sit on you to hold you down if I have to."
Illya sighed, the clock in his head ticking. He needed to get the rest of the delivery put away before they started in on prep this afternoon. He still had a dozen roulades to make, racks of lamb to trim and fish to fillet, none of which was going to be easy with one hand in a plastic bag. "Just get on with it and let me go."
"Heck, and I was looking forward to sitting on you, Chef." Rocky grinned at him and Illya just glared.
"Chef? You that fella that's turned the town on its ear?"
"That's the rumor." Illya watched him prepare the hypo and sighed. "I'm really okay without that."
"Then you shall be splendid with it." Hancock took his hand. "Now you might feel a bit of a sting..." He inserted the needle and continued. "So, tell me, young Rocky, did they buy or lease?" He shifted the position of the hypo slightly.
"Both, leasing with an option to buy." Illya could feel Rocky watching him as he willed his body to stay still even as it felt as if a knife was skimming through parts of him. Then suddenly the pain started easing up and he let himself relax.
"How long has it been since you've had a tetanus shot?"
"A few years, but there was no metal involved." He vaguely remembered having to go through an exam before going to work in a professional kitchen, testing for TB and the like. How long ago had that been? The years just skipped by now.
"Let's hedge our bets, shall we?' He rolled up the sleeve of Illya's tee shirt and began to swab the area. "Any allergies?"
"Just to penicillin. It makes me itch." The last tetanus shot he'd gotten had made his arm ache for a day afterwards. At least it was the same arm.
Hancock jabbed, injected, and withdrew the needle all in one motion. "You look a little flushed. How are you handling the heat?"
"Badly and he almost passed out in the waiting room," Rocky answered before Illya could get his mouth open. Illya suddenly realized with a bit of a shock that he was starting to feel very relaxed. It was getting harder and harder to fight off sleep. It wasn't normal... He rousted himself. "Wait...what did you give me?" He could feel himself slumping in the chair. Not right at all.
"Relax, Mr. Kuryakin, it's just a little something to let you get a little sleep..."
"I didn't... I didn't need the local?"
"Think of it as double dipping." The doctor was starting to fade from view and Illya began to fight the drug in earnest. He'd been given some of THRUSH's finest over the years. If he could manage those...
"So how do they say it handles?" Hancock's voice was getting harder to hear.
"Like a dream. Sleeps six without a fight and Dad loves to be able to have a restroom whenever Mom needs it. Of course Mom..."
"But, Illya..." Rocky sounded a bit like Napoleon. "Surely you know this is your duty."
"Duty?" Illya got a flashback of the morning's argument, but it was as if he was hovering above the bed. He could see Napoleon, in his usual morning disarray, attempting to touch him as Illya batted his hand away.
"Have and hold, that sort of thing." Napoleon had caught one hand in a tight, no nonsense grip. "I want you."
"I don't want you, not now. I'm hot and itchy and tired."
"Take a shower."
"Then let's do it in the shower."
"What part of I don't want to are you having a problem with? Do I even look vaguely interested?"
"I can fix that."
"I don't want it fixed. I was perfectly fine without you here."
"Perfectly fine, that miserable existence you called a life?"
Illya realized all talking had stopped and he'd been blanketed in something wonderfully cool. It was heavenly; it was like taking a nap on the floor of the walk in. He'd been tempted a time or two during that past week, but he knew if he did an inspector was bound to show up. The coolness was so nice and... well.. cool.
This was so nice; he didn't want to let go. He just wanted to hold on to it. As long as he didn't let go, he didn't have to wonder if Napoleon would be home tonight or if this was the end of Napoleon's rope. He couldn't blame him. He certainly didn't give Napoleon any reason to stay. But to go back to his old way of life, coming home to an empty house night after night... He could feel the tears start to trickle from his eyes; it served him right for throwing away the only good thing that had ever happened to him.
"Hey, none of that now..." Illya felt the whisper of a kiss on his temple and he managed to work his eyes open. Napoleon was stretched out beside him on their bed, a gentle look on his face. "Sedatives always mess with you, partner. I used to love watching you come out of them in Medical. It was one of the few times I knew you were actually human."
"I thought you'd left... I'm sorry," Illya managed to get out, then swallowed almost convulsively. Instantly there was a straw at his lips and he sucked deeply. "I didn't mean... I was just so tired."
"Shh, I was just giving you a bad time this morning and it got out of hand." Napoleon set the water aside. "I'd forgotten how short your fuse is at times." He kissed his forehead again. "I'm sorry as well. I should have remembered what the heat does to you and not pushed like that. How do you feel?"
"Strangely cool. What is... did the weather break?"
"Outside that window it is a balmy 95. In here, it's 75." Napoleon gestured to the window at the air conditioning unit. "If I'd had a clue the weather was going to be like this, I would have bought one of those months ago. It had just been sort of hot, not really horrific."
"Welcome to the Foothills in August." Illya tried to sit up and winced, then frowned down at his gauze covered hand. "All I did was cut myself." He held the hand up for inspection.
"Well, maybe he has stock in a bandage factory." Napoleon offered him the glass again. "Rocky tells me you got a dozen stitches hidden away in there."
"Just what I needed on top of everything else." He swung his legs over the side of the bed and was immediately confronted by Napoleon.
"Where are you going?"
"The restaurant to cook. Matt's off tonight."
"It's about one o'clock in the morning, my friend. They stopped serving hours ago."
"What kind of sedative did that doctor give me?"
"Well, I think it was a combination of several factors." Napoleon applied gentle backward pressure. "Right now, you just need to get some more sleep."
"I'm not tired." He did his best to suppress the yawn, but he didn't resist the force of Napoleon's hand.
"And tell me another one, my friend."
"I love you..."
"Okay, now that I will believe, even though I know it's a dodge."
"Seriously, I need to get up." Illya looked towards the bathroom.
"Oh, forgot they pumped a couple units of fluid into you. I imagine you feel like bursting."
"Close enough." It was the first time Illya realized that was a wad of gauze taped to the inside of his elbow. He really was still out of it.
"Could you use a hand?"
"I have no intention of standing..." He managed to get his feet on the floor this time, but failed to thwart gravity. "... Unaided. Please?"
At least he felt a bit more human after he'd had the chance to brush his teeth and run a damp cloth over himself. The coolness of the air in the bedroom brought goose pimples to his skin and he smiled. He couldn't think of a better gift.
"Thank you," he murmured to the ever-present Napoleon who smiled.
"You're welcome. Let's get you back into bed unless you want something to eat. I can go make you something. "
"No, just sleep." He let Napoleon guide him in the general direction of the bed. "I should properly thank you for this, but I..."
"I prefer a two fisted lover to be honest. Give yourself a week."
"That wasn't what you said this morning."
"No and there's a strong possibility that we both said some stuff this morning that we both regret and didn't mean." Napoleon let Illya get into bed himself. "You didn't tell me how you cut yourself."
"I got a shipment in of those olives you liked, but had a... mishap with the box."
"I have seen some of those mishaps. Were there any survivors?" Napoleon pulled the sheets up and walked around to his side of the bed.
"At least two jars, possibly more." Illya was already blinking sleepily.
"Then we shall hope for the best." Napoleon resettled himself and snapped off the lights. "Illya, you do realize that there's more to our relationship than just sex, don't you?" He waited for Illya to turn his head in his direction and then kissed him.
"Admittedly it does seem to be our primary focus at times. But, yes, I do."
"Good. Then let me know when you're up to it. I won't bother you until then."
And Illya made damned sure Napoleon knew exactly how he felt a few nights later, with every ounce of his being, all the passion in his soul and the air conditioner cranked up to full.
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