Just Like That
Napoleon Solo sighed and flipped through the magazine with a sense of time having come to a standstill. What was it about doctor's offices and boring out-of-date magazines? He swore that all magazines came to medical offices to die, a sort of periodical graveyard.
He tossed the one he'd been thumbing through aside and reached for another one. If it wasn't for the fact that Illya was having his eyes dilated, he'd have excused himself half an hour ago, gone for a cup of coffee and not come back. However his partner wouldn't be able to see well enough to safely drive back home and he'd be damned if Illya would wrap himself around a tree on his watch. So he sat and waited.
He opened the magazine to the table of contents and skimmed the articles. One caught his eye and he reread the title to make sure he hadn't misread it. Grinning, he quickly found the page and started to scan the article. Then he went back to read it slowly, mulling over first this word, then that.
"Napoleon, I'm ready." Napoleon looked up, startled that twenty minutes had passed so quickly.
"Everything okay?" He smiled at his reflection in Illya's aviator glasses. He'd forgotten that Illya had once flown... hell, he himself had once flown aircraft. That life seemed so long ago.
"I need a new prescription, but I could have told him that before he dilated my eyes."
"Was that what was causing your headaches?"
"That and the price of lettuce, the cost of heating oil, and not enough hours in the day." Illya brushed his hair back from his forehead. "Anyone who thinks you can get rich or it's fun running a restaurant needs a solid kick in the..."
"Mayor Richards, how nice to see you." Napoleon interrupted Illya's diatribe easily as he shook hands with the man. Illya still didn't shmooze well, even after all his time in the public eye, but he could play nice if he wanted to.
He got Illya going and then excused himself. It took a few minutes, but he sweet talked the receptionist into making a copy of the article for him. Once she realized what she was copying, her cheeks turned a pretty pink and Napoleon kicked up his flirting with her. He'd only been here a few months, but he was already establishing himself as the town flirt.
After a few moments of small talk, they walked to Napoleon's car. Illya had wanted to take the truck, but Napoleon refused to drive it. If he downshifted wrong, the whole thing could fall apart. Hell, rust and sheer tenacity was all that was holding the vehicle together to begin with. He'd tried to convince Illya to let him buy a new one, but the Russian held firm. He didn't take charity, no matter how nicely it was presented.
Illya was strangely quiet and, for a moment, Napoleon wondered if the man had dropped off. It seemed to him that Illya had two modes these days: working and unconscious. He'd had the crazy idea that he'd seen Illya hard at work back in the day, but it was nothing compared to what he and his redheaded business partner did now on a daily basis.
"You okay?" Napoleon kept his voice down in case Illya was dozing.
"Hmm? Just trying to get my day restructured until I can see properly again and trying to get my mind wrapped around another bill. Thankfully the doctor has a payment plan."
"Illya, I'd be happy to..."
"We've already had this discussion a dozen times, Napoleon. Thank you, but no." He rubbed his eyes underneath the glasses and sighed. "It's going to be hours before I can get my contacts back in."
"I keep meaning to ask, when did you start wearing contacts?"
"About eight years ago. I was doing so much reading that I was wearing my glasses more and more, but wearing glasses in the kitchen was a distraction. Matt knew someone who knew someone. It seemed the way to go."
Illya's left hand was tapping out a staccato beat on his thigh and Napoleon reached over and trapped the hand. Almost instantly, Illya shook him off.
"Not safe, not even here, Napoleon." Illya flashed him a half smile and returned to the view out of the window.
"I was... ah, reading something back in the waiting room. Something interesting."
"Memorize the moment; it won't last."
"Seriously, it was an issue of the New England Journal of Medicine."
"You were bored."
"And I now know your secret. And Dick Clark's."
"It says that the more sex a man has, the younger he looks."
"If that were indeed the case, you would look about five."
"I'm serious, Illya. They had the medical data to prove it."
"Did you happen to note which issue that was?"
"I did. And better than that, I made a copy for you."
"Not that I can read it."
"I'll read it to you when we get home. This might require some testing."
"I shudder to ask." But Illya was already engaged back into the conversation and looking more alert than he had when they'd left the doctor's office.
"According to this article, the more climaxes a man has, the younger he'll appear and the more health benefits he'll have."
"Less stress, less heart disease, less likelihood of prostate cancer, lower blood pressure, a boosted immune system, and a few extra years tacked on the end. Just for having three or four orgasms."
"A day? It's amazing any of the test subjects were able to move, much less talk."
"You do all right."
"I'm Russian." Illya smiled and Napoleon felt a happy tingling in his toes. "Enduring is my life."
Napoleon chanced it and reached out again to squeeze Illya's thigh through his jeans. "Yes, all those moans and groans sound exactly like suffering to me. And it's a week, not a day." This time the hand wasn't batted away.
"So what is this testing of which you speak?"
"We go see Dr. Seyfried, have the usual blood work done and then go back a month later and see if anything has improved."
"There has to be a control group for it to be proper."
"Matt and Rocky?"
"They're twenty years younger than we are. Of course, they are going to rate better."
"They keep to a rate of no more than three orgasms a week."
"As many as the traffic will allow."
"You'll have to get them drunk to get them to agree to that. And what would be their motivation for agreeing to such terms?"
"At the end of the month, I will spring for a weekend getaway for them—at the spa of their choice."
"And what do I get out of it?"
Napoleon looked around and spotted a small side road, one of many that peppered the area. He slowed and pulled the car over. Illya looked at their surroundings and then back to Napoleon.
"Wha-?" he got out before Napoleon kissed him. Parked as they were, it would take a concentrated effort to see inside the car and Napoleon took full advantage of it. "Oh, that..."
"Will that be proper incentive, Amante?"
"For the moment." Illya arched as Napoleon settled a hand on his groin and squeezed, not too hard, but enough to make Illya groan. "Not here..."
"No one can see."
"It's a small town, Napoleon, everyone can see."
With a sigh, Napoleon resumed his spot behind the wheel and carefully backed the car back out onto the main highway. Not that he had to be so worried about cars, the road was still deserted... until he saw the bicyclist pedaling up, signaling madly.
He stopped and rolled down his window. "Can I help you?"
"I saw you turn on that road and I wanted to warn you that there's a tree down about a hundred yards in."
"Thanks; I'm new here and still get turned around."
The bicyclist leaned down and waved. "Hey, Chef, how's the restaurant?"
"Who...? Jeremy?" He leaned over, reaching across Napoleon's chest to offer his hand. "Sorry, my eyes are dilated. Taste is fine; how are things at the paper?"
"Not bad. Wish circulation was up, but short of splashing a scandal across the front page, I got nothing. You two take it easy."
Napoleon watched him pedal away. "A scandal?"
"And that's how easy it is. If he'd been one minute sooner or later, we'd be reading about our relationship on the front page of The Enterprise. Jackson is smaller than you think, in more than one way. Let's go home, Napoleon."
"Once or twice? A week?" Matt's drunken slur had all but vanished from his voice and even Rocky, almost asleep a moment earlier, was blinking his way awake. "Again, share with me the motivation for such a proposta assurda?"
"I told him you wouldn't go for it." Illya was toying with Napoleon's hair. He was wearing it longer these days as was the fashion and Illya seemed fascinated with it. They were sitting on the floor in front of the fireplace. The cats had long since given up on getting any attention from them and had abandoned them for the couch.
Illya was leaning back against the couch, Napoleon's head resting on a thigh. Matt was propped up by an armchair, with Rocky nestled between his legs, sprawled out towards the fire.
"A weekend getaway, anywhere you want."
"Anywhere?" Rocky's attention was rapt now.
"Name it—all expenses paid."
"Careful, Mr. S, Matt has expensive tastes." Rocky advised, pausing to sip his wine. "I have the credit cards bills to prove it." He offered the glass to Matt.
"Cara, you wound me." Matt drained the last of the wine and tried his best to look hurt.
"I didn't say you weren't worth it," Rocky murmured, reaching up to pull Matt down for a kiss.
"You need a different control group, Napoleon. They will never make it. Get up and help me get dessert."
Sighing, Napoleon got to his feet and waited for Illya to lead the way to the kitchen. He'd been watching and smelling Illya poaching pears all afternoon. Four had been set aside while the rest had been stored for the next evening's dessert of the night offering.
Illya carefully mirrored four small plates with the poaching liquid, now boiled down into thick and shiny syrup, and slid a pear onto each one. Over each piece of fruit he drizzled dark chocolate sauce which he had cut with a little port.
Napoleon watched him, still fascinated with this reinvented aspect of Illya. He'd changed so much since leaving New York and then there were moments when he hadn't changed at all. It was as if he'd just assumed one more role as befitting his role as an UNCLE agent.
"Would you turn the coffee on, Napoleon?"
"Oh, sure." He walked to the coffee maker and found the 'on' switch. It just amazed him that they had a machine that would do this automatically these days. Technology was coming out with more inventions all the time.
He turned back and Illya was watching him with an air of amusement. "Are you all right?"
"Just remembering the old days... how things have changed..." Then Illya was pushing him backwards, against the wall, kissing him. Napoleon could taste chocolate and the wine from dinner as Illya's tongue slid between unresisting lips. Napoleon got a handful of blond hair and pulled back. "Some things more than others..." and returned to the kiss, closing his eyes in contentment.
"See, I told you." Matt's voice filtered in to him and Napoleon opened his eyes to see a bemused redhead watching them.
"And they were complaining about us." Rocky reached down to pick up the plates. "You older guys will have to learn how to pace yourselves."
"Don't teach your grandmother how to suck eggs." Illya pulled out of Napoleon's embrace and returned to the coffee pot. "You were still in grade school when I was first teaching Napoleon everything he needed to know."
"I beg your pardon?" Napoleon took a tray of cups and saucers. He trailed after them, back to the fire place. Matt completed the parade carrying silverware and napkins.
After they settled and coffee was passed around, Matt asked. "So what are the other conditions to this craziness of yours?" He cut into the pear and frowned, then took a bite. "You stuffed this with chocolate?"
"Same stuff that I used for the sauce. Took me awhile to introduce it at the right moment so it wouldn't melt and ooze out."
Matt set the plate aside and got up on his knees to kiss Illya, who smiled at him. Napoleon immediately felt a surge of jealousy and talked very firmly to it, tapping it back in its place.
"Yeah, me, too, Mr. S." Rocky's voice was soft, just enough for him to hear.
"Didn't know it showed."
"It doesn't... too much." Rocky sipped the coffee carefully. "It takes a bit of getting used to."
"What does?" Matt settled back down by Rocky's side.
"The two of you going at it as if you've forgotten that you are no longer a couple."
"I don't belong to you, cara." Matt's voice was gentle, but firm. "And I don't belong to him either. It took me a long time to realize, but I belong to me." Matt stood and walked into the kitchen, with Rocky close on his heels.
Napoleon kept his attention focused upon the pear, feeling suddenly awkward. There was a touch to his arm and he flicked up his eyes to meet Illya's.
"Are you okay?"
"I didn't mean for this to cause a situation, Illya."
"You didn't. Rocky and Matt have been having this discussion for a long time. Rocky has yet to come to terms with my relationship with Matt. I keep forgetting they've only been together a short time."
"And what exactly is your relationship with Matt?"
"He's my friend and my business partner, nothing more. He hasn't been for a long time." Illya looked to the kitchen door. "Rocky needs to come to realize that."
"He's... ah, not the only one."
"Surely not you as well?"
"Just a little. I know that you have a past with him and I'm okay with that, it's just... hard."
"Then I shall endeavor to remember that in the future. Why didn't you say something sooner if it truly bothered you?"
"I didn't want you to think I was being petty... or possessive." Napoleon stopped and smiled slightly. "Besides, you never reach for Matt, he always reaches for you. You just... oblige."
"Then I shall attempt to be less obliging in the future." Illya sighed and got to his feet. "And now I will go play moderator, referee or whatever else they need for me to be. I've forgetten what it is like to be young and insecure."
Suddenly abandoned, Napoleon reached behind his head and felt something velvety soft. Almost instantly, there was a vibration that he could both hear and feel. A moment later, it moved and Napoleon abruptly had a lap full of cat. Moutard's purrs increased as he began to knead Napoleon's thigh.
"That's the life, eh, cat?" He petted the fur gently. "No worries, no cares——"
"No testicles..." Illya added as he came back in and sat back down. Moutard immediately abandoned Napoleon's lap for Illya's. "Someone played you one helluva a trick, didn't they, old Tom? Not that it stops you from trying."
"Everything okay in there?"
"Yes. They will be back in after they finish groping each other." Illya picked up his abandoned plate and began to eat again. "And for the record, they accept your little offer, although I don't know how you're going to prove anything."
"I'll make appointments for all four of us tomorrow."
"I have a sneaking suspicion that you're secretly working for the doctor..."
"That's what I like most about you, that suspicious nature."
"Well, the truth be known..." He met Illya halfway for a kiss, reaching up to tangle his fingers in the blond hair. "There are a few other things of equal or greater value."
Neither of them heard the other couple leave.
Illya walked out of the bathroom, a towel wrapped around his hips, drying his hair with a second one. Then he stopped dead. There was an ice bucket with champagne sitting on one nightstand, a covered tray on the other and Napoleon stretched out on the bed wearing nothing but his ratty blue robe and a grin.
"And so it starts?" Illya let the towel drape around his neck and brought a hand up to finger-comb his hair.
"So it would seem." Napoleon patted the bed beside him. "We have a little wine from the field." He gestured to the ice bucket and then leaned over to uncover the tray and reveal a dozen oysters. "A gift from the sea." He undid the knot to his robe tie with one hand. "And me."
"Subtle, Napoleon, very subtle." Illya sat and poured a glass of champagne and passed it over. He poured a second for himself and tasted it. "You're like a bull in a china shop."
"Points for trying?"
"Points for being so obvious a child could see what you're trying to do." Napoleon arched an eyebrow. "We go to the doctor's and suddenly you're serving me oysters, no doubt followed by shrimp, then a nice spinach salad and liver—all iron rich foods."
"So the doctor happened to mention to me that your iron count was down a little—it's not a problem."
"It is for me, Napoleon. I've been taking care of myself for a long time."
"Then let me help." Napoleon offered him an oyster and after a moment, Illya took it and sucked it into his mouth. He chewed for a moment, eyes shut, and then swallowed. "You can't tell me that wasn't tastier than an iron tablet."
"Perhaps, but still I —"
"Illya, you take care of a lot of people, let me pamper you a little. It's not a sign of weakness, you know..." Napoleon helped himself to an oyster, sighing happily. "I could eat these by the boat load."
"Like you need any help." Illya sampled the champagne and then reached for the bottle to study the label. "This is very good."
"And local." Napoleon touched his glass to Illya's and sipped. "Never overlook what's right under your nose, partner. It took me a long time to realize that."
Illya slid a hand up Napoleon's thigh. "Not exactly under my nose."
"I should mention to you that according to that article, the build up to the orgasm should last at least twelve minutes and no longer than fourteen." Napoleon closed his eyes in pleasure as Illya's hand traveled back down, leaving goose bumps in its wake.
"Thirteen minutes then?" There was a hint at the corner of Illya's mouth. "I can do that." He stopped to help himself to another oyster. "When properly motivated, that is."
"And pray tell, in what guise would this motivation come ?" Napoleon's eyes were open again and studying him.
"Possibly some food, some wine —" He chewed and swallowed his mouthful, then smiled. "Some temptation."
Napoleon stretched and arched. "Temptation like this?"
"That's a start." And then neither of them said anything faintly intelligible for the next thirteen minutes.
Napoleon had to agree that it was a very nice start. He was careful that first week, making sure that whatever was offered for breakfast had a high iron count and he made sure there was a spinach salad and seafood waiting for Illya for lunch. Dinner was out of his control, but as much as he could, Napoleon was doing his part.
And Illya was doing his. For the first time in a long period, Illya had energy to burn and he was willing to expend it upon Napoleon. The joke at headquarters had always been that Napoleon was like a jack rabbit, but now he was hard pressed to keep up with the Russian.
Matt and Rocky, on the other hand... they were having problems. Napoleon had slipped into the kitchen, waiting for a suitable moment to approach his lover. He had ordered a couple of cases of the champagne and wanted to organize a tasting for the staff. It would be Illya's call and Illya looked to be having his hands full getting some orders filled.
So, Napoleon kept out of the way and just watched. Again, it fascinated him, this new aspect to his partner's life and yet Illya moved as if he'd been born to do this, working the various pans on his stove with a practiced air. All the time, he kept up a regular exchange of barked orders between himself and his staff.
"I need the fish re-plated." Rocky, scowling, set the plate down on the table. Napoleon had never seen Rocky scowl like that and it seemed odd to have the waiter not singing some snatch from an ABBA song. Instead, there was a level of tension in the kitchen that Napoleon had never felt before.
Matt looked at it and then back at the waiter. "Perché (Why?)"
"The customer wanted the risotto, not the rice."
"That is risotto, Cara." Matt pushed the plate back to him.
"No, that's rice." Rocky pushed the plate away.
"Sei un cuoco ora (You're a chef now)?"
"If need be. I know the difference between rice and risotto."
"Are you implying that I don't?" Matt's voice was getting quieter and quieter. He took a step forward as did Rocky and abruptly Illya was between them.
"Take it out of the kitchen."
"But, Cara —"
"Chef, I —"
"Leave voluntarily or I shall toss you both out on your ears. Take fifteen and figure this out, but not in here." Illya pointed to the kitchen staff entrance. After a moment, Rocky stormed out.
"Take care of it, Matt," Illya muttered, sotto voce. "I don't care how, just fix this. Leave it at the door or don't come back in."
"What are you saying?"
"Exactly what you're hearing. I don't want either of you here if you can't think with anything except your dick. Do you understand me?"
"After all... everything..." Matt trailed off, his emerald eyes snapping at Illya as he followed Rocky out.
Illya sighed and walked over to the pass-through window. "Roxanne, Rocky had to take fifteen, will you see that his tables are covered?"
"Absolutely, Chef." The woman hurried away and Illya rested his back against the cool tile wall. He glanced over at Napoleon and shook his head slowly.
"They don't get this straightened out and this little experiment of yours is out the window, my friend. I don't mind what happens beyond those doors, but in here, I won't have anything interfering with the restaurant or my staff."
"I didn't think it would be so much of an effort."
"Don't you remember what it was like when we first got together? We were at each other night and day."
"As opposed to now?" Henry murmured, carrying a stock pot past them.
"You just shot your next raise in the foot, my friend," Illya said, trying to hide a smile.
"Slaves get raises?"
Illya snorted and reached for the plate. "Napoleon, do you feel like Red Snapper in a brandy sauce tonight? Otherwise, I'm throwing this away."
"You make it sound so good—eat this or it's garbage." He held out a hand and took the plate.
He headed to the small kitchen office to eat. It took a minute to clear a space on the desk, but he managed, uncovering a half empty bottle of water in the process. Not his usual libation for dinner, but any port in a storm. Napoleon settled into the chair and began to eat. He was about half finished when Illya walked in and shut the door behind him.
"Everything back to normal?"
"There is, once again, peace in the kitchen. What wonders a blow job will accomplish." Napoleon caught his wrist and tugged, but Illya resisted. "Not now, Napoleon. I'm hot, sweaty, and I smell like..." Illya broke off to sniff the sleeve of his chef's jacket. "... something I can't quite put my finger on."
"Responsibility?" Napoleon pulled again and this time Illya acquiesced. He landed with a grunt from Napoleon. "You weigh a ton, Amante."
"It's all the iron rich food you're feeding me."
Napoleon brought up a hand to massage the back of Illya's neck. "The risotto is very good."
"I know... uh, right there."
"And it looks nothing like rice."
"So why did Rocky...?"
"Think about it, Napoleon, and put yourself in their shoes. You're young, horny, and desperate for some action. You can't just ask the boss for fifteen minutes for a quickie, but if you were to, say, get into a heated debate with your lover, knowing that your boss would make you leave to cool down, what would you do?"
Napoleon grinned and offered Illya the bottle of water. "I'd pick a fight. But how did you know?"
"I've worked with Matt almost as long as I worked with you. Rocky, it's been almost five years. The first thing they teach you in spy school is to be able to read your opponent."
"And all those threats?"
"Simply perpetuating an image, my friend. As with the rest of Jackson, even in here, we are being constantly observed. They do not know who I was and I intend to keep it that way..." Illya sighed and got back to his feet. "Just as I am perpetuating something else now." He leaned over and kissed Napoleon. "Thank you for your cooperation."
"All I did was sit here."
"That was enough, my friend..." Illya planted a slightly dopey smile on his face, one he frequently wore after their lovemaking, and wandered out of the office.
For a moment, Napoleon puzzled and then he started to chuckle. "You, Amante, are one tricky bastard." He finished his fish and leaned back in the chair. One thing he had to say about his Russian partner. The man had more tricks up his sleeve than Harry Blackstone.
Two weeks and they were starting to establish a pattern. One of them would make an advance in the morning, which usually ended very satisfactorily. Often, it would continue into the shower and Napoleon would be waiting for Illya when he came home from the restaurant. Just as he was tonight, but he could tell something was wrong at the sound of his lover's tread up the stairs.
Illya entered the bedroom and Napoleon grimaced. Illya looked ready to drop in his traces. "Want to talk about it?"
"Prom night or Fall Harvest or something... we were packed with teenagers. Trying to deal with them and not lose a star in the process, very difficult. Next year, I will trim the menu to mac and cheese and hamburgers..."
"It was worse for Celeste and Stella as the young men tried to convince them they were of legal age." Illya sat on the edge of the bed and pulled off his shoes. "A couple of them got quite irate at the refusal, threatening us with legal action because their fathers are so and so."
"What did you do?"
"Simple, I called their fathers, explained the situation and asked for their suggestions. I fully expect the front of the restaurant to be completely trashed tomorrow."
"Eggs, old vegetables, toilet paper, and so forth."
"Over a drink?"
"Over my impugning their manhood. Somehow, my refusal to serve them meant they were less manly in the eyes of their dates. Strangely enough, in June the same young men will be at my door, begging for summer employment. I guess they think being older means we have no memory." Slowly he unbuttoned his chef jacket and Napoleon reached out to turn Illya's arm over.
"That's a helluva burn, my friend."
"We were all over each other in the kitchen tonight and Rand bumped me." He regarded the burn and sighed. "But what's one more scar between friends?"
"One more scar; let me go get something for it." Napoleon didn't wait for Illya's refusal. He merely walked to the bathroom and returned a moment later with the first aid kit. "Why didn't you dress this earlier?" He popped open the top and Illya rummaged inside for a moment.
"I did twice. It felt better with the bandage off." Illya found a tube of burn cream and opened it with a resigned air. He smeared the cream on, one corner of his mouth twitching, then held the limb out to Napoleon. Carefully, he placed a gauze pad over the ointment and taped it in place.
"All fixed up."
"I should have done that after I showered," Illya muttered and yawned.
"I think you just need to go to sleep and shower in the morning."
"It'll throw your count off."
"That may be, but I'd rather have you actually be part of the process. I fear you'd nod off halfway through tonight. I'd have to wake you up for your climax."
"I've never been that tired." Illya wiggled out of his baggy chef pants and tossed them in the general direction of the clothes hamper along with his tee shirt and socks. With a groan he got to his feet and picked up the first aid kit, heading toward the bathroom.
Napoleon waited, but he didn't hear the shower and decided that Illya had at last conceded to his exhaustion that night. After a few more minutes, Illya stumbled out and crawled into bed.
It was starting to cool down at night, even though the days were still warm. Napoleon waited for Illya to find a good position and then slid closer to him. Illya's skin was almost clammy and Napoleon started to panic, but then realized Illya must have done a wipe down with a damp cloth.
"You okay?" He waited for the nod before moving closer, settling an arm over Illya's waist. He left his spot just long enough to click the bedside lamp off and returned. He loved making small talk now, usually bent on teasing his lover into some carnal tussling, but Napoleon knew Illya would benefit more from some sleep and, the truth be known to no one but himself, he could take a break from lovemaking as well. Even Napoleon Solo had his limits.
Instead he lay quietly, feeling Illya slip from wakefulness to sleep. He listened as Illya's breathing slowed and his body relaxed, sagging back against Napoleon. There was a sudden bump on the bed and he realized one of the cats had arrived. A second later, something warm nestled into the small of his back and started to vibrate. Thus ensconced, Napoleon truly slept well.
He was sitting, the fingers of one hand tangled in his hair as he struggled to make heads or tails out of the books. It was midmorning and there was still no sign of life from upstairs. Napoleon had let Illya sleep this morning, especially since a suggestive movement or two on his part had brought no indication of reciprocity on the part of his lover.
There was a fast tap on the door and Rocky entered. "Hey, Mr. S, how are you today?"
"Well—more importantly, how's the restaurant?"
"It's fine, looks like someone intended to do something, but the new security lights scared them off. I'm glad you talked Chef into installing them. "
"After that last break-in attempt, it seemed the sensible thing to do." Napoleon closed the ledger, his mind racing back to that particular argument with Illya. "Doesn't mean Chef went down without a fight." Napoleon pushed a tray with coffee and the trappings towards the waiter. "Something to drink?"
"Thanks. Has he always been like this, so reluctant to let anyone do stuff for him?"
"I think he's gotten more... resolved as he's gone on."
"What was Chef like when he was younger?" Rocky poured himself some coffee and then topped off Napoleon's before settling down into an armchair.
"Basically the same; driven, focused, ready to go easier on anyone other than himself. Why?"
"It's just..." Rocky sipped his coffee and then sighed, looking out into the distance. "Matt and I have very little in common besides the food industry, but you and Chef, you're complete opposites—you don't even have that connectionand yet, when someone sees the two of you together, it's as if you were made for one another."
"I chalk it up to black magic." Napoleon drank some coffee. "My advice is make sure there's something in the relationship besides just the sex. Because, no matter how hard you try, one day the sex isn't going to be enough to keep you together. Illya's my best friend, has been for years. It doesn't mean we're the same, because, as you noted, we aren't." He sighed and began to toy with his spoon. "Illya is the only man I've had a serious relationship with and one of the few people who didn't try to change me. A woman, you meet, there's a spark, your relationship progresses and she tells you that you're everything she's ever wanted in a partner and then suddenly, there are subtle little hints. 'Dear, why don't you wear this or that' or 'Dear, why don't you try this hair style just to be different?' and the next thing you know she has recreated you. Illya never tried to change anything about me."
"Nothing, chief?" Ricky sipped at the coffee.
"No, if there were any changes, they were from my end wanting to make our relationship better. Illya never asked me to be anything I wasn't."
"And thereby hangs the tale," Illya muttered coming down the stairs wearing nothing by sweatpants and a sleepy expression.
"Sorry, Amante, did we wake you up?"
"No, that would be my bladder's job." Illya lifted a hand in a half-hearted salute to Rocky. "Did the restaurant survive last night?" He kissed the top of Napoleon's head and sank down on to the couch.
"It's fine, Chef, how's your arm?"
"Not as fine, but it'll hold up." Illya accepted Napoleon's cup and drained it. "What's our count for tonight?"
"Not bad, forty, twenty one, and thirty five. That's pretty good for a Saturday with a homecoming game in town."
There was another knock and Matt appeared. "I wondered where I'd lost you to." He came in and waved. "Morning, Cara, the kitchen wants to know what the specials are for tonight?"
"What is the temperature going to get down to?"
"Fifty or thereabouts." Matt settled onto the arm of Rocky's chair.
"A harvest root soup, " Illya broke off to yawn and stretch, then resumed. "What are the Argonauts' colors, please?"
"Um, green and gold," Rocky answered after a moment.
"Couldn't be red and gold... Jerk Halibut with a mango/beet slaw. Filet with an enriched brown sauce and Baked Apples with pistachio ice cream and butter cookies with the school logo on it. Let Roxanne work her magic to dress those up. Make sure she mentions that anyone in the first seating will make kick off."
"I'll get everyone started prepping. How much marrow do you want for the brown sauce?"
"About half a pound should suffice. If we don't have enough on hand, Sam should have some. He usually stockpiles it for me."
"You want the jerk mild bordering on hot or hot bordering on mild?"
"Mild, I think, with the customer's option to heat it up. We can always spice it up; it's much harder to spice it down."
"Is it wrong to be ready for dinner and it not even be noon yet?" Napoleon asked as his stomach grumbled.
Illya chuckled and stood. "I'll see what I can do to tide you over until then. Are you two staying?"
"Let me give the day crew their tasks and then I'll be back to help prep," Matt stood and squeezed Rocky's shoulder. "Stay out of trouble, Cara..."
"Me? Trouble? Wouldn't dream of it."
Lunch was casual, but Napoleon could tell that his three dining companions' minds were elsewhere. Illya was very quiet, abruptly coming back to the conversation as if he'd been asleep. Rocky's leg bounced practically nonstop and Matt kept chattering on about a variety of nonsense topics.
"So, we've made it to the half way point," Napoleon said. "How are you two holding up?"
"Out would be a better term and barely." Rocky finished his wine and sat back, leg still moving. "How can people only have sex twice a week?"
"Some people only have sex twice a month... or less."
"Cara, such horror stories do not belong at the table, eh?" Matt laughed a bit too loud and Napoleon could see the anxiety in his eyes. He hadn't thought about this aspect of this little experiment and wondered if it had been a mistake to approach a younger couple.
Rocky stood and began to clear, as if sitting still a minute longer would make him come out of his skin.
"You can leave that —" Illya started to say, but Rocky cut him off as Matt also rose.
"Now, Chef, you know the rules, you cook, we clear." Between the two of them, the table top was void of dirty dishes in a matter of a few seconds and the two carried them into the kitchen. Napoleon looked over at his partner.
"Looks like the only thing left to take from the table is you, my friend. What's going on today?"
"Beside the insanity of homecoming? We are going to be running like chickens with their heads cut off... which never made sense to me."
"Cutting off their heads. It's easier to snap their necks. And the running aspect is a mystery."
"You've never seen a chicken just afterwards?" Napoleon stood and offered a hand up to Illya, who ignored it.
"I confess no. Why?"
"Believe me, you have not lived until you've had a headless chicken chase you up a flight of stairs. How they always knew where we were was a mystery..." The distant look was back in Illya's eyes. "Illya, what's wrong?"
Illya looked over at him and shook his head. "Something is coming; I don't know what, but you know that little niggling feeling you used to get just before heading into a set up you knew was rigged?"
"Ah... not anymore I don't." Napoleon stood and slid in his chair before adding quietly. "Deprogrammed, remember?"
"No, I didn't, then you'll have to take my word for it." Illya ran a hand through his hair and looked over at the window. "Something is coming and I don't know what it is."
That comment stayed with Napoleon for the rest of the afternoon, even as they made love and napped, even as he watched Illya shower and change for work, even as he stretched out on their bed and studied the ceiling.
It had been a long time since he actually thought about his deprogramming. In fact, he remembered very little about it. He recalled walking into a room, lying down on a cot, and suddenly becoming aware of sitting in Waverly's office. The man had shaken his hand and expresing his disappointment in Napoleon's choice of leaving UNCLE.
Napoleon could still remember UNCLE and THRUSH, but only in the most general of senses. The travel, the women, the danger, all those were imprinted upon his consciousness, everything else was like gray blobs of vagueness. He knew that in a fight the old instincts were probably still there, but he didn't immediately think of physical resolution as an agreeable choice of action these days.
Napoleon rolled over onto his side and petted one of the two cats curled up in the warm spot his partner had left. "What does he mean, something is coming, Purr-box?" Buerre Noir simply yawned and purred louder.
He rose, dressed and headed over to the restaurant. It was still early, but apparently homecoming fever had hit Jackson big time. Cars of happy teenagers roared by, the occupants of each yelling and promising victory to anyone who would listen. Napoleon chuckled at the memory that stirred. He could well remember those times, the adrenaline of the game, the joy of winning, the bitter taste of defeat. Both were often washed away with beer and the kisses of an obliging young lady.
How could that be nearly thirty years ago? he thought as he entered the kitchen. It was running as smoothly as it did any other day. Matt and Illya were going straight out, shouting back and forth over the fan and the clatter of metal against metal. Napoleon caught Illya's eye and nodded as he headed out to the dining room.
It always slightly startled him; the difference between the two rooms. In here, the pace was slower, unrushed, the waiters' movements polished and precise. The music was soft to encourage conversation, the lighting was low to enhance everyone's dining companion; nothing was left to chance or randomness in the dining room. The atmosphere, just like the food on the plate, was carefully controlled.
Napoleon settled into his table and began his second favorite pastime—people watching. There was a buzz of anxiety that permeated the atmosphere even in here.
"What's going on, Celeste?" he asked the young woman as she set down a coaster and his usual scotch.
"Homecoming always sets Jackson on its ear." She glanced over her shoulder at the now empty bar. "Usually we are packed on a Saturday night, but almost everyone is at the game, even people who hate football."
"That's why the second seating is so low?"
"Tourists, folks passing through, won't be any locals in here."
"Then the third...?"
"Either the team is so far ahead, they know a victory is guaranteed or so far behind defeat is inevitable, so they come to celebrate or drown their misery. Either way, Chef will be late tonight."
Napoleon stretched and had to agree that Celeste was right. Illya was very late tonight. He'd given up at the restaurant and returned back to the house around ten, when the restaurant was suddenly filled to capacity. The home team had pulled off a last second field goal and won with just a two point spread.
He could still hear the sound of diehard revelers outside as people spilled out of the restaurant and into the usually sleepy streets of Jackson.
It was after midnight and still no Illya. Something stirred, something long buried, and he pulled on a dark sweater over his shirt and slipped into his shoes.
He walked from the small house, noting that the lights were finally starting to go out as other businesses tossed out the last partiers. This was certainly the event to end events here.
Napoleon walked around back to the kitchen door and heard a crack, he started to turn and something hit him. Instinct or a half-remembered impulse, he didn't know which, but he dropped to the ground, feigning unconsciousness.
"Who'd you hit?'
"That guy from New York. He sure went down like a rock."
"City boy, they aren't tough like us. Todd, Marcus, get him out of here."
Napoleon kept his body limp, making the two young men struggle with dragging him off the path and onto a patch of yellowed and sun burnt grass. The chaff tickled his nose, but he kept from sneezing.
"That blond bastard is mine. My old man was on my ass all day today. Cindy wouldn't even take my calls today—said I embarrassed her last night. Bastard!"
Napoleon wasn't quite sure of his next course of action. Nearly all of the lights in the kitchen went out and Henry emerged with Rocky and Matt.
"Sure am glad tomorrow is Sunday. My feet are killing me tonight." Henry lit a cigarette and took a long drag. "Chef, are you coming?"
Napoleon chanced a look and thought himself alone. Apparently the young men had panicked at the sight of three other adversaries and taken off. He tried to get to his hands and knees and suddenly felt something crammed into his mouth and the too familiar feel of a gun muzzle resting against his temple. There was a stabbing pain as a bony knee dug into a kidney.
"You make a sound and you are a dead man," a voice whispered in his ear. Of course a gunshot would alert everyone, but Napoleon was also pretty sure that from this position, he had no advantage. It would end badly for him in any event.
"You take off; I've got about five more minutes here." Illya replied form inside.
"We can wait," Rocky offered.
"Go, it's late!"
The men walked off and Napoleon weighed his options. He started to shift and the muzzle pressed into the tender skin of his temple. If he could get the cloth out of his mouth, he could probably talk these young men out of making a mistake.
The last light went out and Illya stepped out the door. He locked it, took a step off the stoop and was confronted by a group of four young men.
The young man on Napoleon's back shifted off and let Napoleon get to his feet. He moved slowly, still very much aware of the shotgun pointed in his direction and pulled the cloth from his mouth.
"We're going to have a talk, you and me."
"Very well, tell your friends to go home."
"I need witnesses. I want to prove that I kicked your skinny faggot ass, old man."
Illya started to say something and saw Napoleon. His eyes flashed and he frowned. "Napoleon, I see you're in attendance as well, with an escort."
"An escort with a 12 gauge shotgun," Napoleon said, matter-of-factly.
"You have made a number of mistakes here tonight, Mr. Walton."
"Screw you, I don't make mistakes."
"Do you know who I am? Who I really am?"
"Yeah, you're a little old faggot cook from San Francisco who thinks he owns this town."
Illya began to laugh. He laughed until he doubled over and slapped a hand against his knee.
"Stop laughing at me. I said, stop it!" Walton took a step closer and Illya straightened, a look of sheer hell on his face. The boy took a step back.
"Сделайте Вы хотите сказать им, которые я, Наполеон (Do you want to tell them who I am, Napoleon)?"
"Если Вы хотели бы, товарищ (If you'd like, comrade)."
"What are you saying? Marcus, what is he saying?"
"I dunno, man, it sounds like Russian or something."
"Very good," Illya answered. "Did you ever even think about my name? Or why I might be in the back hills in this little community, away from the prying eyes of the KGB? They look badly upon one of their own going rogue."
"That wasn't your fault, Illya," Napoleon muttered. "Anyone can accidentally shoot someone... twelve times. Shouldn't have tried to stop you, but it was his wife you were fucking at the time. Pity you had to kill her too..." He glanced over at the young man guarding him and reached out to push the gun away from his head and towards the ground. "Still, if you guys want to take him on... it's your funeral."
"Our... funeral?" the one Walton called Todd stammered .
Illya held up his hands, wiggling his fingers. "Not only can I slice and dice with these, they are licensed weapons in five countries. I hit you and I will be charged with assault with a deadly weapon. Much like the one you had on my partner there... oh, did I say, partner? My mistake... my friend."
"Cat's out of the bag now, comrade." Napoleon adopted a thick Russian accent and Illya smiled at him. "What will our superiors say?" Effortlessly, he relieved the gawking Todd of the shotgun.
"Probably give us another medal. I have shot men as they stood before me and watched the life go out of their eyes as I choked them. I have murdered men, women, and children in cold blood and listened to their death rattles. But I have not killed in a long time; I think I have missed it."
"You're just all talk, old man." Walton suddenly threw a punch and Illya caught the fist with a hand that enveloped the other and began to squeeze. With a cry, Walton dropped to his knees.
"Correction, forty eight is not old. I am in my prime, as you can tell from the pain you are currently experiencing, I am far from weak, and I am a chef." Illya applied more pressure and Napoleon was fairly sure he could hear a bone snap. "And as to my choice of bed partners, I think that's rather my own business, is it not?"
"Sure, man whatever you say." Todd was already backing away from the group.
"I told you this was a bad idea, man." Marcus dropped the bat and ran, as did the others, leaving Walton to his fate.
"Your father dined with me this evening. It will be a pleasure to hear what he has to say." Illya tossed a ring of keys to Napoleon. "If you would do the honors, my friend, call the police and ask them for an escort for this unfortunate young man." Illya abruptly let go and Walton immediately buried his hand under his armpit.
"You crushed my hand, you bastard."
"Be glad that is all I crushed. The only thing that saved you was Napoleon's well being. If you'd hurt him, you would be too dead to be having this conversation with me."
"I'll tell them everything. The Enterprise will have a field day with you!"
"Why? Because I'm a good storyteller? Because you are a gullible fool? Because I had to learn to protect myself from sniveling little cowards like you? I'm sure The Enterprise will have adequate space to regale the good citizens of Jackson with my abilities, providing there's any room left after they finish with you." Illya smiled again. "A very eventful night indeed. Remember what has happened tonight and tell your friends. I am not a man to be trifled with."
Napoleon rinsed the toothpaste from his mouth and set his toothbrush aside. He wiped his mouth on a towel and hung it carefully on its rack. That accomplished, he shut off the light and headed for the bed.
Illya was already there, sprawled out on his side of the bed, his face buried in his pillow. He looked up as Napoleon sat down and pulled off his slippers. He tucked his feet under the sheet and settled back with a sigh.
"So that's what homecoming is all about here... that was some party."
Illya rolled onto his side and studied Napoleon. "I would have killed him, Napoleon, quickly and without remorse, if he'd hurt you."
"You're still an agent in many ways, Illya. You've never had that switch turned off."
"Had it been 'turned off,' the outcome of tonight might have been very different." He shook his head slowly. "Until they learn that I am a force to be reckoned with and to leave me alone, this discussion is at an end." He continued to study Napoleon. "Do you remember what we used to do at the end of a successful mission?"
After a moment, Napoleon shook his head. "Not really. We'd celebrate?"
"Providing one or both of us wasn't in Medical, we would frequently go out for a drink, then dinner, then I'd watch you dance away in the arms of some woman who caught your eye, knowing that you would be off having sex with her before the moon reached its peak."
"Not afterwards though."
"No, not afterwards... not usually, but there were times... you'd come home and I could still smell the perfume clinging to you, even as you made love to me."
"I don't... I didn't..." Napoleon's brow furrowed as he thought furiously. The UNCLE mind doctors were good, but their techniques weren't always a hundred percent. "I wouldn't now," he finished. "There's no one but you now, amante."
Napoleon's lips curled into a smile. "It would be my honor." He pushed Illya over onto his back. "Stay just like that and keep your hands there." He patted Illya's closest hand as it rested on the sheets. Then he brushed some of Illya's hair back from his face, studying him, and let his fingers lightly trace the features he knew so well and yet always wanted to know better. Napoleon rested his fingers on Illya's lips. "Do you know what the worst part of making love to you is?"
"That one particular line?"
Napoleon laughed. "Perhaps, but no, the worst thing about making love to you is having to wait for the next opportunity. You're like a drug of the most addicting kind." Napoleon moved closer until his lips were following the path blazed by his fingers, placing light feather-like kisses on Illya's temple, his eye lids, his nose, finally coming to his mouth. Napoleon's tongue traced Illya's lips and they parted willingly, hungrily, ready for him.
Still. Napoleon kept his touch light, just the tip of his tongue stroking over moist supple flesh, determined to keep the pace as slow as he could for as long as he could. It wasn't often that Illya was willing to lie back and give him full rein. He moved to Illya's chin and down his neck, his tongue leaving a trail that his breath dried. Napoleon knew if he began to nip or suck at the sandpaper-rough stubble Illya would kick up the heat and demand more. So, instead, only his fingertip, only just the smallest bit of his tongue touched skin.
Illya's voice was starting to tremble, just the faintest amount. Someone else wouldn't have heard it, but Napoleon did. He continued to move, letting his fingers find their way through the coarse chest hair to first one nipple, then the other. Delicately, Napoleon tongued each to a hard nub, letting his attention linger here for a few moments.
His fingers moved from Illya's chest to his stomach, drawing a lazy circle around Illya's navel until Napoleon's mouth arrived. He dipped his tongue in and around Illya's navel as his hands slid sideways, skirting the one spot he knew Illya was desperate to have him caress.
True to form, Napoleon's mouth followed his fingers, not his lust, and he kissed his way down one of Illya's legs, pausing to give a long silvered scar extra attention. He couldn't remember the exact details of how Illya had received it, but he knew it hadn't been a pleasant or pain free recovery.
"Shh, no talking... busy." He'd reached one of Illya's feet and now delighted in tickling them gently....
"And I don't believe that for a moment." Napoleon swapped feet and hazarded a glance up. Illya's penis was straining skyward, suffused with blood and dripping with preseminal fluid. Even that didn't make him speed his movements. He made sure the opposite foot got equal attention. Insinuating himself between Illya's legs, he began the long trip up the other leg until he reached Illya's groin. "What do we have here?" He poised himself directly over Illya's penis and smiled as it throbbed a welcome to him.
"Breathe on me and I'm going to go off like a skyrocket." Illya's voice was rough and Napoleon smiled.
"Well, we can't have that, can we?" He rested his head on the soft skin where hip joined thigh and sighed happily. "I love that I can bring you so close to orgasm and not even touch you here." He settled a finger at the base of Illya's penis and pressed. At the same time, he used the moment to back away from the edge of his own cliff. As delightful as it would be to tumble over, he had more in mind for tonight. "Better?"
Illya's head moved once in a fast nod and Napoleon pulled his hand slowly away, letting his fingertips drag over sensitive skin. "I'm okay... better..."
"Roll over for me, partner. As much as I love watching your face when you come, you'll last longer this way." Napoleon squatted back on his heels and waited until Illya complied. He grabbed a couple of pillows and stroked Illya's ass gently. "Rise up for me."
He stuffed the pillows underneath Illya and began to kiss his way down Illya's back, even as his fingers were squeezing and kneading Illya's ass. Napoleon let just the tips of his thumbs occasionally brush against Illya's anus, listening to the resulting gasp with a happy smirk. He paused just long enough to snatch up a bottle of lube from the nightstand and deposit a dollop in the small of Illya's back.
Illya gasped and arched as the cool gel hit overheated skin. Again Napoleon grinned and dipped first one thumb and then the other into the slick ointment and went back to teasing Illya. He slid just the tip of one thumb in and then eased it out, only to be replaced by the other, gradually shifting to both thumbs.
Illya moaned and pressed back, sighing as thumbs were replaced by something bigger and longer. "Oh God."
"You don't believe in God, Illya." Napoleon spread Illya's cheeks so he could watch himself disappear into Illya's body.
"If I did..." he trailed off as Napoleon's cock found his prostate and gave it nudge. "Вы убиваете меня ( You're killing me)."
"Но что способ пойти, да (But what a way to go, yes)?" Napoleon drew all the way out and then eased back in, still slow and measured.
"Да, о Бог, да (Yes, oh God, yes)."
Napoleon laughed and continued the movement, repeating it over and over until he couldn't help but pick up the pace, pick up the ferocity of the thrusts until he was ramming into Illya. The only sounds in the room were the slick sound their bodies made coming together and their intermingled gasps and moans of pleasure.
Napoleon sat back on his heels, dragging Illya backwards with him, burying himself as deeply as he could into Illya's body. Napoleon's hand found Illya's dick and began to pump it even as Illya continued moving, lifting and slamming himself down until, trembling, he gasped out Napoleon's name and pressed down.
Napoleon's hand grew sticky and warm with semen and he whispered into Illya's ear. "On your knees, my love. It's my turn."
Almost in a daze, Illya tipped forward and Napoleon began a very focused effort on his own pleasure. It didn't take much, just a few more thrusts and he climaxed, his fingers digging into Illya's hips. "Oh.... yes..." He sighed happily and stilled, permitting Illya to support both of their weights until it got too much and he eased them both back onto the bed.
"So, feeling loved?" Napoleon whispered a few minutes later, after their hearts had settled, after their breathing had calmed. "Did I prove my point?"
"Very succinctly, thank you." Illya's voice was slow, still slightly thick.
That was what Napoleon had been going for. He wiped his hand off on the edge of his discarded robe and snapped off the light. As he turned back, he was startled that Illya was there and suddenly kissing him soundly.
"What was that for?"
"Proving to me that I'm loved."
"Was there ever a doubt?" The slight sadness of Illya's responding smile made Napoleon feel a little funny in the pit of his stomach. Tangling his fingers in Illya's hair, he began a renewed effort to wipe that sadness, that memory, that regret away until, at dawn, they were both too exhausted and too well loved to stay awake any longer. When at last there was nothing but contentment and peace in the blue eyes of his lover, then Napoleon let them both sleep, satisfied that at least for now that demon had been put to rest.
Napoleon walked into the living room and glanced around. Seeing no one, he took a moment to hang up his jacket and then stick his head into the kitchen. Illya looked up from his task of shucking corn.
"Hi, honey, I'm home. What's for dinner?"
"I would tread lightly, my friend. I'm very dexterous with these corn cobs. And it's corn chowder." Illya returned to his task.
"Mmm, sounds good. It's nippy out." Napoleon came up behind him and settled a cool cheek against the side of Illya's face. "We can eat by the fireplace and then I can take you and..." he whispered something into Illya's ear and Illya sighed.
"Sounds like a plan to me. There's mail for you on the table."
Napoleon released his lover and walked over to the small maple table. "Hey, we got something from the doctor's office."
"Probably another bill."
"There's my little ray of sunshine. Did Rocky and Matt get back?"
"Barely. They staggered in about an hour ago."
"Making up for lost time?" Napoleon tore open the letter and scanned the top sheet of paper.
"That's one way of putting it. Matt said it would be a week before he could sit down and he looked very pleased while saying it." Illya stuffed the last corn cob into a sack and set the garbage aside. He scraped the corn into a pot and stirred it. "Now that just has to simmer for about half an hour and we will be set."
"Well, according to the doctor, our cholesterol is down seven points, and we have the blood pressure and heart rates of men half our age. Must have been all that good loving."
"Or it could have something to do with the fact that you've had me on a low cholesterol, low sodium, high iron diet for the past month because of my anemia. And you've been eating the same. On the other hand, Matt and Rocky continued upon their usual youthful disregard of calories and fat content." Illya rolled a loaf of still warm bread out of its pan and placed it on a cutting board.
"It could be, but I prefer to think I've proven my theory." Napoleon tossed the letter onto the table top. He went to Illya, spun him and kissed him deeply. Illya smiled, returning the kiss with matched enthusiasm.
"And that is for?"
"Being my friend, being my lover, keeping me young and safe and wanted."
"You know what I think?"
"Dinner can wait... but I don't think I can. How long will it take you to start the fire?"
"You took care of that about twenty years ago, my friend, the first time you smiled at me."
"Then let's... rekindle?" Illya kissed him as his hands were working the hem of Napoleon's shirt loose from his pants. "Reignite?" They moved to the button and zipper of Napoleon's slacks.
"In the kitchen?"
"No, but the couch is just a few steps away..."
"Too far." Napoleon bit off a groan as Illya's fingers found warm, hardening flesh, fingers that had inflicted so much pain and yet were equally skilled at pleasure.
Illya took a step back until they were just outside the kitchen door. Napoleon didn't understand why they couldn't have sex in the kitchen, but he didn't care. He'd follow Illya to the ends of the earth and beyond, just to feel the man, warm and safe, in his arms, hear him gasping out his name, writhing as they made love, seeing the love in Illya's eyes. He felt Illya's hands on him, tasted Illya's skin, heard the increasing tempo of his breathing and Napoleon knew. Medical studies were all fine and dandy, but the real fun is in the proving and he planned to prove this for a very long time.
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