Seven Views of Napoleon
Seven drabbles written to answer prompts:
Napoleon had forgotten his sunglasses again. It always surprised Illya how a man of the sea, a sailor, like his partner, could forget something so vital, but he had.
He turned to remark to the American about poor memories when his eyes were caught by Napoleon's face. The man was squinting, causing lines to appear around his eyes.
It also caused Illya's breath to catch in his throat. His partner looked so appealing with his eyes crinkled like that. It wasn't the Napoleon he was used to seeing. But it was one that he would like to see more often.
As the partners walked through the mall, they heard a song blaring. Illya recognized it as "Who Are You?" by the Who.
As they strode along the refrain stuck in Illya's head. Who was he indeed? He wasn't sure he knew anymore as over the years he had taken on so many roles and disguises. He suspected that somewhere he had lost touch with his self.
He knew he was a Russian, communist, agent, and scientist, but those were just labels.
Then Napoleon made a comment and Illya realized the answer had been there all along. He was Napoleon's lover.
The combination of his Slavic soul and the deprivations and sorrows of his youth had convinced him that there was no "happily ever after." His loving family life had ended when he was much too young. Lovers had left with harsh words. To live was to be unhappy.
He had shut off his emotions, turned off his heart, refused to feel, become the Ice Prince.
But Napoleon believed in happiness. And Napoleon loved him. Whenever Illya felt Napoleon's arms around him, his voice whispering words of love, Illya knew it was only a matter of time before he melted.
He always walked on Napoleon's right shoulder. When they strode though the hallways, he was always behind and to the right of his partner.
Except when they were in bed.
For all the jokes at Headquarters about the two agents being lovers, no one really believed it. But the line about them being "joined at the hips" was truer than the rest of the staff knew.
For while he might walk in Napoleon's wake, in bed they were joined and equal. Equal as partners, equal in love, equal in happiness.
And that was where it mattered to him. With Napoleon.
FRIENDS IN HIGH PLACES
When Illya arrived in New York he was met with an attitude of hostility from some of his fellow agents who felt strongly "Better Dead than Red." He had expected it—after all this wasn't his first Western posting—and was prepared to be isolated in a sea of camaraderie.
Then he was partnered with Napoleon. His partner (and boss) had the ability to see past prejudice. And, once the CEA accepted Illya, other agents did or found themselves working in the boondocks.
Illya loved Napoleon for that. And, as it happened, Napoleon quickly learned to love Illya.
He never should have told Napoleon of his feelings. Words had flown by him; harsh words, causing him to fly from the room. All his dreams had fallen apart as Napoleon yelled hurtful, horrible things.
Illya took refuge in the safety of a corner table in a dimly lit bar. He sat there unaware of time passing until a familiar shape sat down across from him.
"I'm sorry," Napoleon said softly. "It wasn't you. It was suddenly realizing how much I loved you too. It scared me. Come home with me now?" And he held out his hand to Illya
I sit at the table as Napoleon dances with the pretty brunette. She's putting out all sorts of signals to him and I know she wants him to spend the night with her.
But that's not where he'll stay.
Oh, he's having fun no doubt. He loves being charming. It boosts his ego.
But not enough to make him stay with her.
At the end of the night he'll return to our hotel room with me. He may enjoy the game, the flirting, but what he needs is
And tonight we will show how much we love each other.