The Bleak Midwinter Affair

by Atheneparthenos

Author notes—Thanks to Periwinkle for a last-minute canon question. MfU does not belong to me. This was a Down the Chimney Secret Santa for gilda_elise.

Napoleon had to admit that it was all his fault.

The hotel in the small Colorado town that their latest affair had taken them to was perfectly adequate, and would have been quite bearable for as long a stay as the approaching blizzard demanded. But: "There is no way I am spending Christmas Day in the middle of nowhere when I promised to have dinner with Aunt Amy!" said Napoleon.

And that was that.

So in spite of Illya's misgivings, the weather forecast on the radio, as well as some tough talking from the local sheriff, they drove their car out of town towards Aspen, fifty miles away, where they were booked on the last flight to New York on Christmas Eve the following night.

They had travelled about thirty miles through the mountains when the blizzard finally caught them. The white-out was almost instantaneous; and although Illya used all his skills to try and keep them on the road, a sharp bend combined with an icy patch caught him by surprise. They slid off the road, skidded down the mountainside, and ended up ploughing into a snow bank.

Both men were battered and bruised, and Illya had a nasty cut on his forehead from bashing into the steering wheel, but after checking each other over that seemed to be the worst of it. Napoleon pulled out his communicator.

"Open Channel D."

There was nothing but the hissing sound of static. He exchanged glances with Illya and tried again; but no matter which channel they tried, it was useless.

They managed to restart the engine, but found that they were completely snowed in, with no way of getting back to the road. It was obvious that they couldn't try walking anywhere while the blizzard was still raging: they had no real idea where they were apart from a compass bearing, they could hardly see anything, and they were too far from civilization to risk the cold.

So they were trapped.

The first day wasn't too bad. After all, Napoleon thought, the blizzard would surely die down overnight, and they were fit and healthy enough that, once they'd found the road, a twenty-mile hike through the snow, while taxing, wouldn't be impossible. Illya, somewhat wiser in the ways of blizzards, shook his head in disagreement, but didn't push the point.

Besides, since the car had been hired locally from an agency that knew the Colorado winters well, it had come with a survival kit. Dragging it out from behind the back seat, they found several litres of water, a stack of candles, a whole box of fruit and nut bars (about a year old), two huge bars of chocolate (a month out of date), two sleeping bags and several thick rugs.

The radio, when they tried it, gave out the same static as the communicators; but Illya had brought a book in his luggage, and when Napoleon investigated the glove box he gave a cry of triumph as his fingers found a small, dog-eared pack of playing cards at the back.

Since they couldn't keep the engine on all the time for fear of using up all the fuel, the jeep increasingly got colder as the hours wore on. Both men bundled up in the rugs, saving the sleeping bags for night when the temperature would plummet.

After some discussion they decided on poker; but Napoleon's gift for bluffing, usually an equal match for his partner's bland expression, failed him completely. He couldn't seem to keep his mind on the game: in spite of his belief that the blizzard would be over by the following morning, he was anxious that they would be stuck there, and feeling guilty for insisting they go on in spite of Illya's better judgment. Still, they kept playing to pass the time, lighting a single candle for light and warmth as the grey afternoon light began to fail. However, at nine o'clock, when he finally lost four million dollars in imaginary bets to his partner's pair of twos, Napoleon called it a night.

They folded down the front seats and bundled themselves up in their sleeping bags, eating a fruit and nut bar each. The blizzard was still howling outside, but, sealed off from the snow and hunger satisfied, they felt able to relax. Illya's ability to sleep under any circumstances soon kicked in, but Napoleon's worries kept him awake, and he watched as the flickering light from the stub of the candle between them played over Illya's hair and turned his skin golden. Not that he'd ever admit it aloud, but he rather liked looking at his partner and, when he knew Illya wouldn't catch him at it, took every opportunity he could just to gaze and admire.

Finally, feeling his eyelids lower in spite of himself, he pinched out the guttering candle and went to sleep.

When he woke up the following morning, it was to the most astounding discomfort he had ever experienced. Shivering violently and curled up in a ball, his body was permeated by the most incredible cold and stiffness, and he had to grit his teeth to hold back a yell as he tried to stretch out his freezing hands and feet. The blackness was total, and when he reached to flick on the overhead light, he saw that all the windows were completely covered with snow, blocking out whatever daylight might be outside. The sudden light woke Illya, whose instant jerk of reaction made him groan in pain. Napoleon reached over his partner to turn on the engine to try to get some heat in the car. He turned the key in the ignition and the engine coughed, spluttered and died. Napoleon's heart sank.

"The snow's b-blocking the t-tailpipe," Illya stuttered. Napoleon turned to look at him, uncomprehending. "The engine won't work if the t-tailpipe is blocked. You have to unb-block the t-tailpipe."

Napoleon, shivering harder than ever, looked at his partner. Illya was wrapped tightly in a ball wrestling his own shivers, equally as hard as Napoleon's. His teeth chattered furiously, and his blue eyes looked...frightened, which took Napoleon aback. Illya, frightened? Impossible. But still...

Napoleon realised he needed to get them warm as quickly as possible, but his brain seemed just as numbed by the cold as his feet. The engine...the tailpipe. He had to get out and unblock the tailpipe. Finally understanding what he had to do, he nodded at Illya and, agony in every movement, got himself out of the sleeping bag, which he laid over his partner. Tying the flaps of his hat over his face, he tugged his boots on, although he couldn't quite make his fingers work to tie the laces. Pulling on his gloves, he flexed his fingers, nodded at Illya, and opened the door.

Wind. Snow. Cold. Dark. The blizzard raged around him, and as Napoleon shut the door behind him the sense of isolation was almost complete. The car was completely buried in snow, just one white lump in a range of similar mounds. The sun had not yet risen, although through the snow he thought he could see some lightness in one direction. Napoleon brushed off some snow from the roof of the car, revealing its bright red paint. That colour snapped his mind to attention, and he began to work furiously, battling against the pain and stiffness to clear the car of snow, digging a channel all round and using his fingers to ensure the tailpipe was clear. Fearing that the snow would cover them again, he retrieved a crimson tie from his luggage, which he tied around the car aerial in the vague hope that someone might eventually see them. Finally, unable to fight his shudders any longer, he dived back into the car, pulled the door closed and curled back into a ball.

Illya had recovered enough from his own shivering fit that he was able to turn on the engine and brush the snow off his partner. He pulled off Napoleon's jacket and began to rub his muscles vigorously, ignoring Napoleon's protest at the roughness. Eventually, the heat from the engine began to kick in, and after rubbing each other down hard, they managed to stop shivering.

"I should have known better than to let myself get caught in a blizzard," Illya said blackly, leaning back with a sigh.

"No Illya, it's entirely my fault. I should have known better than to ignore a Russian when it comes to snow," replied Napoleon, trying to lighten the mood.

Illya flicked his eyes over towards his partner with a hard expression. "The cold is your enemy, Napoleon. If you don't respect it, it will kill you, and Mother Nature is one woman even you cannot charm."

Napoleon had no answer to that.

After about half an hour, Illya reached out and turned the engine off.

"Hey!" exclaimed Napoleon, and went to turn the key again, but Illya blocked his hand.

"We only have a small amount of fuel left, Napoleon; we cannot waste it. What if we are still here tomorrow morning?"


"Blizzards like this can last for days. Even if this one stops now, the roads will be several feet deep in snow and it will take days to clear them. We can only hope that the communication channels will be clearer once the snow stops, so we can get UNCLE to send a helicopter. No, we must use what fuel we have wisely, or we will be in severe trouble later."

Once again, Napoleon was silenced. Both men huddled in their blankets, wrapped in their own thoughts. Looking over at his partner, Napoleon's sense of guilt returned full force. Their lives were often at risk from their jobs, but the danger was for a purpose, and both men accepted it with their eyes open. It wasn't right that Illya's life should be in danger because of his own misjudgment when they were off the clock, so to speak. He watched as Illya reached over and fished out his book from his luggage. He had known for a long time that Illya was the most important person in his life. He enjoyed watching him, touching him, being in his company. Feeling Illya's muscles under his hands and Illya's own hands on him as they had warmed themselves had been quite pleasurable once the cold had been driven away.

Napoleon knew that his feelings for his partner went beyond the platonic. But he had never been attracted to a man before, and no idea how to get rid of these homosexual feelings once he recognised what they were. So as Illya showed no sign of being discontented with how their partnership worked, and being quite used to wooing women to fulfil his physical needs, Napoleon just carried on in his usual way, hoping that things would somehow work out.

"Do I have something on my face?" snapped Illya.

"Uh, what?" said Napoleon, suddenly aware that he had been gazing at his partner. "No, I, um, I was just wondering what you were reading." Phew, he thought, good save.

Illya's mouth twitched. "Some short stories by the author Roald Dahl. They're rather clever—and really quite wicked."


"Yes. This one I'm reading now is about a man who is so sure that another man cannot guess what wine they are drinking that he bets him the hand of his daughter in marriage."

"Does he win?"

"I don't know, I'm only a couple of pages in."

"Why don't you read it to me? At least it will help to pass the time."

They spent the rest of the day taking turns to read stories to one another. Reading aloud made the going slower than usual, but both Napoleon and Illya were capable readers and they became caught up in the strange and bizarre tales. Napoleon went outside once more to attend to personal business, not exactly easy to do while in the car; and while he was there he cleared the windows again. The car cooled rapidly during the day, but they lit another candle during the afternoon. It gave out a surprising amount of heat, as well as light to compensate for the windows, which were once more covered in snow. As the evening drew in, the sound of the wind outside finally died down. They tried the radio and communicator again, but again, neither of them worked.

When Napoleon finished the last story in the book Illya sighed, shivered, and began to pull on his hat and boots. Seeing that he was going to clear the car from snow again, Napoleon retrieved the water bottles they had reused for hygienic purposes so that they could be disposed of outside. As Illya opened the door, the cold air swept through the car, freezing them both to the bone; but at least the blizzard had stopped.

Napoleon watched as Illya used his arms to sweep the car free from snow. He ducked down behind the car for a few minutes to unblock the tailpipe and attend to the call of nature, then hurried back inside. He was only outside for ten minutes or so, but even so his teeth were chattering and he was shaking fiercely. Napoleon started the engine again as Illya pulled off his soaked woollen mittens, then turned to catch his partner's red, cold hands in his own warm ones and blew on them as he chafed them roughly.

Illya hissed as the blood started to return to his fingers. "It has been years since I was last snowed in," he remarked.

Napoleon looked up from huffing on Illya's hands. "When was that?" he asked, intrigued. Illya so rarely talked about his past.

"When I was in the Navy, on a survival training course. Our camp was in Siberia, and winter came in early that year. We had to sleep three to a bed in order to keep warm for a week before the road out was cleared."

"That must have been challenging," Napoleon commented.

"Both my bed mates snored," Illya grinned, causing his partner to chuckle in amusement. "But that wasn't the worst of it." The smile vanished. "Two of the trainees died in the initial snowstorm while out patrolling the camp. We found them the following morning, completely frozen. One of them, Alexei, was a good friend." Napoleon laid a hand on his partner's shoulder and squeezed, not knowing what to say.

Illya cleared his throat and changed the subject. "I am sorry that you will not be at home with your Aunt Amy tomorrow," he began.

"Yes, Aunt Amy will be disappointed, but there is nothing that can be done about it. Even if we'd reached Aspen, the blizzard would have caused too many delays. But what about you? Surely you had plans for the holidays. You turned down my invitation to join us for Christmas dinner."

"Yes, Mr Waverley had already invited me to his celebrations and I thought it best to accept that. Still, he will understand why I cannot be there. And besides, even though I am not religious, the 25th of December is not the important holiday for Russians." He thought for a second. "Napoleon, if we are in New York on the 6th of January, would you and your Aunt join me for a Russian Christmas celebration? There is a restaurant I know that will be serving up a full Christmas Eve meal, with kutya and baked cod and parsley potatoes and fruit and nuts and bobal'ki. It would be my pleasure to share this with you.

Napoleon smiled, delighted. "It would be my pleasure to be there. And I think Aunt Amy would enjoy it too, although I don't know whether she will be available. But if she is, we would both be very happy to come."

They turned to preparing for the night ahead. As before, Napoleon laid down both the front seats, but before he could get any further Illya stopped him with a hand on his arm.

"Napoleon—the cold will be much worse tomorrow than it was this morning. I think we should huddle up together to share body heat."

"You're right," agreed Napoleon, who had no wish to wake up so stiff and cold again if he could help it. "How shall we manage it? There isn't much room in here."

"If you put the front seats all the way down, I think there will be room for us on top of them and the back seat if we block the gap between the front ones somehow."

"Yes, that would work. I think we should also keep a candle and matches to hand so we can get at least a bit warmer in the morning before going out to unblock the tailpipe."

They had laid out their sleeping bags open on top of each other, with a rug on top and extra rugs to cover their heads and feet. Just as Napoleon was going to move under the covers, Illya stopped him again.

"Ah, if this is going to be effective, we need as much skin contact as possible," he said, pulling his sweater over his head. Napoleon turned away, thankful that Illya couldn't see him at that moment.

"Yes, of course," he said, and turned the engine off before copying his partner and removing his clothes. He stuffed their clothes around them to provide as much insulation as possible and hurried under the covers before he lost any more of his body heat to the rapidly cooling air.

It felt odd to be so intimate with Illya, and probably rather too good for Napoleon's peace of mind. They'd shared beds before, but always while clothed. Illya's skin felt smooth and warm, and Napoleon was very careful where he put his hands as they awkwardly shifted around around each other. They eventually settled down with Illya's back pressed up against the back seat, holding Napoleon, who had his back to his partner. Feeling Illya so close made his body react in all sorts of inappropriate ways, and he didn't want to see what Illya's reaction to any inconvenient revelations might be. Eventually though, he felt comfortable enough to relax into his partner's arms. The strength in Illya's embrace; his scent, which permeated the warm air underneath the sleeping bags; and the feel of his breath gently whispering at his ear soon sent him off to sleep.

As they expected, the temperature plummeted again overnight, and Napoleon woke up wrapped around his partner. They'd obviously shifted several times as they slept, for now Illya was lying curled up in a ball, with Napoleon pressed tightly against his back. His feet were cold, and he couldn't feel his toes, which he knew should be more than slightly disturbing; but at the moment this wasn't the worst of his problems. He was hard, and his cock was rammed right up against his partner's rear. The heat between the two men had generated sweat between their bodies, and the slow, slick slide as their breathing moved their torsos together caused jolts of pleasure to flash from his nipples down his spine.

This was not good. Illya was still asleep for the moment, but if he woke up to find his partner rubbing his erection into him, there'd be hell to pay. Napoleon couldn't think. If he moved, his partner would wake; but he couldn't stay where he was. There was no room in the car to hide anything. If they'd been in a hotel room he'd have simply got up and run for a cold shower, but that obviously wasn't an option here.

Or was it? Napoleon could feel the door handle digging into his shoulder. Moving his head slightly, he could see a clear blue sky still tinged with an early morning sunrise through the car windows. Obviously the blizzard was past. Perhaps...

No. He was a fool even to consider it. The temperature outside had to be well below freezing. And besides, it was exceedingly pleasant just to lie as he was, with his arms around his partner, whom he loved.

Illya chose that moment to stir out of his own sleep, and Napoleon finally panicked. He reached behind him, pulled open the door, and rolled out to land face first in the freezing cold, wet snow with a yell.


"Napoleon! Get the hell back in here!" Illya's furious voice emerged from the car, and he looked up to see his partner's tousled head appear at the door.

He pushed himself up from the snow—his problem was well and truly solved—and climbed back into the car, feeling wide awake now and rather foolish.

"Chyort! What on earth was all that about?" Illya grumbled, pulling a blanket around him and reaching for the candle and matches.

"Well, feeling somewhat stiff and couldn't get up past you any other way," he said, only to feel himself blushing as he realised what he'd just said.

Illya looked up and smiled wickedly. "'Feeling somewhat stiff?'"

Napoleon pulled his dignity around him as much as he could as he started to pull on his clothes. "Yes, I was actually. My feet were outside the blankets for some time last night and my toes appear to be somewhat worse for wear," he elaborated. And indeed, looking down at them, they had turned white and waxy with cold.

Illya's attention was immediately diverted. "We must get them warmed up again as quickly as possible. Walking when your feet are frostbitten is not at all pleasant."

"You know this from experience?"

"Yes, from the training camp in Siberia. Fortunately, your toes don't look too bad. But I will be clearing out the tailpipe this morning." He put the candle down in one of the wells, propped Napoleon's feet so that they were close to the heat, pulled on his gloves and boots, and went out.

Napoleon sat and thought about Illya's reaction to his stupid behaviour this morning. Judging from his earlier comment, it was too much to hope that he hadn't noticed Napoleon's previous condition, but it didn't seem as though he was offended. Napoleon wondered if that could possibly mean anything; but decided that no, Illya had probably woken up with his own fair share of morning erections, and didn't think any more of it.

Now that the blizzard had finally cleared away, it was the first chance they'd had to see more than just a few metres around them. Their car had been caught in a drift up against a little rise in the mountainside. Fortunately, the slope wasn't too steep, otherwise the car might have been unstable. As it was, it would have been easy to get back up to the road...if they could see where it was.

The whole place was a winter wonderland. All the mountains and valleys as far as the eye could see were covered in a thick blanket of snow, the whiteness occasionally broken by crags and forests. The sky was a pure, clear blue, with not a cloud anywhere in sight. Seeing Illya suddenly look up, he followed his partner's line of sight to see a bird of prey circling up above. He suddenly remembered that it was Christmas Day. In the bleak midwinter, indeed.

Illya got back into the car, and turned on the engine. As before, Napoleon helped him brush snow off his clothes and hair, and they settled back down with blankets wrapped around them, waiting for the car to warm up. Napoleon eventually moved his feet away from the candle and replaced his socks, as the heat was becoming too intense. Illya casually flicked on the radio, not really expecting anything, and turned to his partner in surprise when music began to emerge from between the bursts of static.

Napoleon quickly pulled out his communicator. "Open Channel D".

A burst of static emerged, then "...Solo...are you?....hear me?....can't..."

Napoleon spoke loudly, "We're trapped in the snow in Colorado. Can you hear me?"

But once more only static emerged from the pen. He sighed despondently, and replaced the communicator in his pocket.

"We should start to think about how we're going to get out of here," he began.

"I agree," said Illya. "I think I might be able to improve the signal from the communicator if I can get it connected to the radio. Perhaps I can fashion a homing device for UNCLE to find us."

"You don't think we should try and make our own way back to civilisation?"

"No, not yet. We have food, water and some warmth here, and it is still a long way to the nearest village. Besides, your feet should not be exposed to any further cold, and we don't know if the weather will change again."

"Well, it was my decision that got us here in the first place. I think I'll take your advice this time," Napoleon assented. "Will it take you long to connect the communicator with the radio?"

"If I had the correct tools, no. As it is, with the ones in the trunk, I believe it should take about an hour. I will have to open up the lid when we have finished with the engine."

Napoleon nodded, and fell silent. Five minutes later he switched the engine off again, and Illya slipped outside into the snow once more.

He got the tools out of the trunk, and moved round to the front of the car, where Napoleon had obligingly popped the lid. When the lid was raised it blocked his view of what Illya was doing, but he could hear the sounds of his partner busily working away. An hour went by, and Illya was still intent on his work under the lid, with no obvious signs of success and the occasional Russian curse penetrating through the glass. After ninety minutes, Napoleon began to worry. The cursing was becoming more frequent, and Illya seemed to be slowing down. However, after an hour and forty five minutes, the lid suddenly slammed down, making Napoleon jump; and Illya led a wire up to the top of the antenna and tied it there with Napoleon's tie. Finally, he staggered around to the door and slumped in, shivering furiously.

Napoleon once more got him out of his cold, wet outer gear and started breathing on his frozen hands to warm them up, but when he went to switch on the engine, Illya said "No!" very loudly.

"Why, partner, what's the matter? Is the tailpipe blocked again?"

"N-no, the b-battery is c-connected with the c-communicator," Illya said, still shivering.

"So you got it working, then? I was getting worried that you couldn't do it."

Illya huddled up deep in another blanket. "Yes, but we can no longer use the engine to heat us up. I couldn't make a steady voice connection, but I have managed to boost the homing device. We know that they are looking for us, and this should lead them to our location."

"Good work, partner. It looked like it was harder than you thought."

"Yes, the tools were completely wrong for the job and I had to use my bare hands on occasion. Then I had to disconnect the headlights in order to get wires to attach to the aerial, which took even longer. You weren't the only one who was worried. But it's working now".

"Good." They lapsed into silence again.

Napoleon looked out over the wild winter scene surrounding them and sighed. He should have been with his Aunt Amy, enjoying the snap of a log fire and a turkey dinner. Instead, he was stuck in a freezing cold car in the middle of nowhere, and dinner would be yet another energy bar and a lump of chocolate. He let out a huff of ironic laughter.

"What is funny, Napoleon?"

"I'm just thinking that this must be the worst Christmas Day I've spent in a long time. I'm just thankful I'm not alone out here and that you're with me."

"What do you usually do for Christmas, Napoleon?"

"For a long time, I've just been spending it with Aunt Amy whenever I could. But when I was young, there would be a large family meal, and a Christmas tree, and presents. When Nonna was alive, she would insist on the whole family going to Midnight Mass the night before, even though she was the only really religious one. But after she died, somehow we just didn't go any more." He sighed again. "Then of course, Santa Claus would have brought lots of presents overnight for all the children to open, and we would always get up early on Christmas Day to enjoy them. What did you do in Russia?"

"Religious celebration is not permitted openly in the Soviet Union, although I do remember one year when my mother told me the story of the Nativity in private. We had no carols or tree. But at New Year, Ded Moroz and Snyegurochka would come to give the children presents. It was not a huge festival of the kind that you have over here, and so it has never been as important for me as it is for you."

The car had slowly cooled down during the day, and Illya once more began to shiver. Napoleon relit the candle they had started that morning, but it soon became obvious that the blanket and candle weren't enough. They wrapped their sleeping bags around them as well, which helped for a little while; but finally, when Napoleon began to shiver as well, Illya snapped.

"Napoleon, we cannot afford to suffer from hypothermia simply because of a little embarrassment. We need to huddle up together again."

Napoleon shook his head in dismay. "All right. All right, Illya. I'll be there in a minute. Just hang on while I get my clothes off." Keeping the blanket wrapped firmly around him, he began to shuck his boots and trousers off. He didn't strip completely this time, keeping his socks and underwear on. Out of the corner of his eye he could see his partner doing the same. When they were both ready, Illya opened up his blanket and Napoleon moved into his arms. They pulled the sleeping bags and rugs around them, shifting around until they were both comfortable.

Once again, Napoleon made sure that he was on the inside of the 'spoons', which was a good thing too as it had only taken an instant from feeling Illya's skin next to his for his body to react. It was a subtle form of torture to be so close to his partner, pulled in to his chest and abdomen and bound by his arms, and yet to be totally unable to respond to the stimulation. This was his partner—the man he was closest to in the whole universe, to whom he owed his life so many times and loved so dearly—yet he was still a man, and Napoleon had had no experience of making love to a man.

He snorted softly. No doubt, if he tried, Illya would have no hesitation in castrating him. He winced at the thought.

"Would you settle down and keep still?", his partner grumbled.

"I—er—Illya, I'd like to give you a Christmas present," he said.

Illya chuckled. "What do we have in here that we can possibly give as presents?"

"Well—" Napoleon reached out and fished around in his clothing, "Since we are brothers in arms, I'd like you to have my army knife. It's been with me ever since Korea, and saved my life more than once, just as you have, tovarisch."

"Oh," said Illya, taken aback. He made no move to accept it.

"What's the matter with it?" asked Napoleon, feeling somewhat put out.

"Nothing—it's a wonderful thought and I thank you—but I have nothing to give you in return."

"You don't need to give me anything, moi droog. Having you here is all the gift I need."

"No, Napoleon, you don't understand. For Russians, the gift of a blade is unlucky—it can only be accepted as a trade or else you sever the friendship, and that is the last thing I want to do."

"I see," said Napoleon, who suddenly looked downhearted. He moved to put the knife back into his clothing.

"Wait!" Illya said suddenly, fiddling with something under the blanket. "Take this in exchange." And he held out the ring on his finger.

"Illya!" exclaimed Napoleon. "I can't take your wedding ring from you!"

"Please, Napoleon. It was my father's ring, not mine. I was never married and I don't expect I ever will be. But just as your knife means something important to you, I want you to have something that is important to me. And as it is gold, it will serve as a trade instead of money."

"In that case, Illya, I accept and thank you."

They exchanged gifts, and Illya watched as Napoleon fitted the ring onto his pinky finger with an enigmatic smile on his face. They settled back down as before, and wrapped the blankets and sleeping bags around them. But something felt different now—there was an extra lump at the small of his back that was prodding into him. He moved backwards slightly and wriggled his hips to try and push it away, and he heard Illya let out a gasp behind him.


Was that..?

He turned again to face his partner, who was looking at him with a strange expression of defiance and...was that arousal? He felt his jaw drop in disbelief, and his own penis, which had deflated slightly, jerked to full attention again.

"Feeling somewhat stiff?" he asked, beginning to smile.

"Somewhat," said Illya, who reached out and pulled Napoleon into the hottest kiss he had ever received. The two men grappled with each other, mouthing each other's skin, wrestling with the last few pieces of clothing and clutching at their muscles. At last, Illya pinned Napoleon down against the back seat and straddled him. "Are you sure about this, Napoleon?" he asked seriously.

"More sure than I've ever been in my whole life," Napoleon responded, and pulled Illya back down on top of him.

The next morning, they both woke up suddenly when a loud bang came from above them. Looking up, they saw Mark and April waving cheerily at them through the windows.

Napoleon groaned "We're never going to live this one down, are we Illya?"

Illya looked at him sharply. "Are you ashamed of what happened last night, then?" he snapped.

"No! No, not at all. It was wonderful, amazing, fantastic—and if you agree, I intend to drag us back to my apartment for more of the same as soon as we get back to New York." Illya grinned, and he knew he'd said the right thing. "It's just that I'd rather Mark and April hadn't caught us nude in bed together. The news will spread like wildfire, and I know how much you hate being gossiped about."

"Well, if it can't be avoided, we'll just have to deal with it when it happens. But we should get moving if we want to catch that helicopter I can hear." They quickly pulled on their clothes, and made sure all their luggage was packed before leaving.

Just as Illya went to open the car door for the last time, Napoleon caught his shoulder and pulled him round to face him.

"Look Illya—I just want to say I love you, and that this has been the best Christmas present I could have dreamed of."

Illya's smile blazed across his face, and his blue eyes shone with joy. "I love you too Napoleon." He pulled his partner into a brief but devastating kiss. "Now, let's get that helicopter. I want to get back to your apartment as quickly as possible."


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