You Can't Hurry Love
It wasn't smart to stand in front of a window. Illya knew that. In his line of work, presenting yourself as a target was nothing new, but he shouldn't be doing it on his own time. And yet here he stood, watching the rain trickle down the panes of glass like tears down a child's cheeks.
He hated when he got like this. Usually he could offset it by spending some extra time in the gym or by finding a willing companion and taking her or him to bed—these days it was all pretty much the same to him. He went through the motions, but even the act of climaxing had lost its appeal. It had devolved to a point where he got as much pleasure from his hand as he did a bed companion.
He hated feeling this dead. Perhaps it was the isolation of being in a new country, but he'd not felt this way in England or France. He'd experienced the same cold, stiffly polite attitude there, but not as extreme. He was here to do a job, nothing more, nothing less. He was no longer a man, but just a vehicle, unmoving, uncaring, apparently unaware of the whispers, the barbed comments, the snide remarks. Not true, he heard each one, felt the subtle stiletto of insinuation slip in between his ribs and slit his heart.
Illya had thought UNCLE would be different and it was... a little. They needed him, needed a man of his special talents. He got along well enough with his partner, but Napoleon was a man who needed no one else in his life. He happily moved through it, success finding him effortlessly where others had to struggle for it. Women surrounded him, caught up in his magnetism. He never had to worry about his bed growing cold or his nights being empty. Napoleon Solo was a lucky man, rich in friends, rich in lovers, rich in success, while men like Illya clawed and fought for every inch they gained.
He took one last swig from a bottle of the water the Americans called vodka and, dropping it into a trash can, considered his options. It was too late and too wet to prowl the street, looking for some hapless mugger to lay low. His mood was too bleak for a jazz club, his need too raw for a prostitute. Instead, he reached for another bottle of vodka. Maybe this one would do the trick. At least it was Polish.
He'd just twisted off the cap when he heard the knock on his door. He frowned and set the bottle carefully on the coffee table. The studio was small and he crossed the floor quickly, pulling his weapon from his holster. He clicked the safety off, moved the lever from live ammunition to sleeper bullets and waited.
The knock sounded again, it was more tentative and Illya wondered if it was someone mistaking his door for another, someone who society actually acknowledged as human.
He recognized the voice, of course. It was Solo, but what was he doing here? As far as he knew, his partner didn't even know what street he lived on, much less which building.
The knock again, with "Illya, are you there?"
Illya hesitated even now. He didn't know Napoleon away from work. They'd tossed a few drinks back a couple of times, but that had been the extent of their socializing.
The knock was more tentative this time. "Illya... please..."
That jarred him from his apathy and he hurriedly opened the door. Napoleon practically fell into his arms.
"Oh, thank God, you are here! I figured I had another three minutes before they found me again."
His partner was soaking wet and looked as if he'd run into a tree. Illya helped him to the couch. It wasn't a particularly comfortable one, but it had come with the apartment and that was enough.
"Napoleon, what happened?"
"My date's husband came home."
"You date married women?" Illya was stunned. He knew Napoleon was a bit of a scoundrel, but he'd not pegged him as a marriage destroyer.
"Not intentionally. I got the distinct impression it was a game they played."
"I do not understand... you... they... you were playing a game?" Illya racked his mind for some American custom he'd overlooked. He sat down beside Napoleon and studied him.
Napoleon leaned back in the couch and touched the corner of his mouth tentatively. "A figure of speech, partner. Some married couples, after awhile, need a bit of zing added back to their relationship. The wife goes out, picks up a guy, lets herself be seduced, takes the guy back home and while in the clutch, the husband bursts in, defends the wife's honor and throws the hapless bum out. They go off to have incredible sex and the guy is left wondering what the hell happened."
Illya sighed. "Even had if I not already drank a bottle of vodka, there is a very good chance I still wouldn't have understood that."
"I was set up so the husband could feel manly. He's not feeling so manly at the moment, which is why he rounded up his friends and caught me as I was about to walk into my apartment building. I couldn't go home, so." He made a gesture with his hands. "Sorry, but you were the only one I could think of."
Illya handed over the bottle and waited for Napoleon to take a drink. The American gasped, choked and sputtered. Illya hid his grin and reclaimed the bottle and took a swig. It hit his stomach with a pleasant heat. "It's good, yes?"
"It's paint thinner!" Napoleon was still gasping.
"I have whiskey and scotch, if you prefer."
"Yes, thank you."
"Together? I do not understand you Americans."
"Just the scotch would be fine."
Illya rose and went into his kitchen. He didn't keep much there, just a few non perishable items, so it didn't take any effort to find the liquor. He grabbed a glass on his way out, remembering that Americans didn't like to drink from a bottle, except their beer, which was the only alcoholic thing he preferred to drink from a glass. Strange habits here.
"I am curious. My apartment is across town from yours. Why didn't you just go to a friend's house? Surely one of them lives closer to you than I do."
Napoleon made a rude noise as he poured the scotch into the glass. "What friends?"
Illya stared at him and Napoleon held up the glass in a salute. "Nostrovia."
"Nostrovia." Illya lifted the bottle and drank again. "I thought..."
"You thought wrong. Welcome to my world. Just me and thee." Napoleon gestured widely and the scotch slopped over onto his hand.
"But... at work... everyone knows you, everyone likes you."
"Everyone tolerates me, Illya. There's a difference. I'm head of Section Two. Anyone who wants to get ahead sucks up to me, women like the power of the position."
"At least the women at work, they don't see me as much as they see the position I hold. It's intoxicating to them. The end result is the same." Napoleon drained his glass.
"You need to get undressed."
"Excuse me? Mr. Kuryakin, I am not a cheap drunk! You can't just ply me with alcohol and have your way with me!"
Illya ducked his head, partially to hide his smile, just in case Napoleon wasn't joking.
"Forgive me, you misunderstand. Your clothes are wet; they will dry faster off rather than on you."
"Oh, there I go again with wishful thinking..." Napoleon drained the glass and, grunting, got to his feet. Illya stood as well and walked to the small closet. After a moment, he found the terry cloth robe and pulled it out. Then he ducked into the bathroom and grabbed a clean towel.
By the time he returned to the couch, Napoleon was down to his undershirt and briefs. He pulled the robe on and draped the towel around his neck. "You keep it cold in here."
"I do?" Illya dropped back to the sofa. "I never notice."
"With vodka for blood, who would?" Napoleon poured himself another drink and shivered. Illya felt his partner studying him and he finally looked over, his head tilted questioningly.
"We're not that much different, you and I."
"Excuse me? There is nothing about us that is even vaguely the same." It had to be the alcohol talking as Illya would never have considered questioning a superior back home. At least in America, they didn't shoot you for saying things like that... thankfully.
"That's the thing, Illya. You see, but you don't see. You think Americans are shallow, stuck on first impressions and impulsive decisions."
"Aren't you?" That would have definitely gotten him shot in Moscow. General Zhamakulov would have done the honors himself.
"So are you. You walk into a room and you think we all automatically judge you because you're different. You don't see the people who would love to approach you, but are terrified because you keep everyone at arm's length. You're lonely, but you refuse to let anyone connect with you, lest they see through your ruse. They see a deadly, totally capable man when all you want is for someone to pat you on the shoulder, call you friend and really, truly mean it."
"You don't know me..."
"I was talking about me, Illya, not you..." He drank from his glass and sighed.
"Oh..." That stopped his argument cold... Napoleon was still watching him, closely. "Perhaps then you do," he started slowly. "You are.... lonely? But all the women..."
Napoleon set the glass down very carefully. "Yes, all the women... it fooled you too, huh? Maybe I'm a better spy than I thought."
Again, it had to be the alcohol that slowed his reflexes. Otherwise he would have been aware of his partner moving, suddenly pressing against him, lips meeting his in a very much less than professional manner. It had to be the vodka that made him open his mouth and meet that tongue enthusiastically and made him wrap his arms around the slender waist. And it was definitely the alcohol talking when he sighed happily.
Napoleon pulled back just a bit, his eyes half shuttered. "You are all right with this?"
"You will have me shot in the morning?"
"Of course not."
"Then I am more than all right with this." Illya moved to meet him this time, the kiss still tentative, but hungry. He pushed and Napoleon went easily to the couch, his legs spreading as automatically as Illya settled between them. Groin to groin , belly to belly, they sampled each other's mouths, lips, and tongues.
He felt Napoleon's tongue move along his jaw, wet against his whiskers. He wished Napoleon hadn't shaved so that he could feel the same roughness. Perhaps in the morning... it shocked him to think he was already planning to wake up with the man. Perhaps Napoleon had ideas of his own, so Illya began to systematically purge any free will Napoleon might exert. Illya hadn't felt this type of connection in a very long time and he was determined not to immediately lose it as he had so many times in the past.
He tilted his head to one side to give Napoleon access to his neck, gritting his teeth as the man latched onto the tender skin as a hungry babe would a nipple... hmm, now there was a thought.
He slipped a hand into the robe, found the hem of Napoleon's tee shirt and slipped beneath it, traveling up the trembling stomach to the very solid chest, and unerringly found a nipple. He pinched it and Napoleon bit harder. That was... pleasant, so he rolled it between calloused finger tips and Napoleon's hand dropped to cup Illya's ass and pressed upward against him.
It seemed bad manners not to return the gesture and they soon established a rhythm. Then Napoleon's head flew back and he groaned, his fingers digging into the fabric of Illya's pants, trapping him. Belatedly, Illya realized Napoleon was climaxing and just that thought alone was enough to send him over the same edge, his mouth open in a noiseless cry.
Warm and sticky, he relaxed down against Napoleon.
"That's the first time I've come in my pants since I was a kid and realized the difference between boys and girls," Napoleon murmured in to his ear.
"There's a difference?"
"Oh, my, yes..." Napoleon brought a hand up to tangle in Illya's hair and pulled his head back. He smiled sleepily. "Boys are much nicer and much more dangerous in bed."
Napoleon touched Illya's throat. "You have a helluva hickey there, my friend."
"So do you."
Napoleon's hand went to neck and he frowned. "I do?"
"Well, not yet..." Illya dropped his mouth and Napoleon started to chuckle, even as Illya started to mark him.
"Louis, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship."
"Excuse me?" Illya pulled back, his lips slightly swollen.
"Just shut up and kiss me, Illya." And Illya always followed a direct order.
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