If It Wasn't for the Nights

by Spikesgirl58




Illya Kuryakin wasn't quite sure whether he was having a heart attack or if it was just the pain of his heart breaking. Napoleon and a woman... after all Illya had sacrificed... this was too much. Fight or flight, he could feel the intimacy of the door knob in his hand, hear Napoleon's strangled groan, and taste the salt of his own tears. He wanted to scream for them to stop, he wanted to attack and pound the woman into nothing, but instead he... "Please, don't," Illya implored the woman. "Leave." And she'd just laughed.

"Illya? Illya!"

Illya opened his eyes and stared up into the concerned face of his recently reunited lover. Napoleon's hair was sleep rumpled and stuck out at interesting angles. The small lamp on Napoleon's nightstand was on and backlit him.

Illya brought up a hand to run it over his face, wiping away the sweat and tears. Napoleon caught the hand and brought it to his mouth, kissing the palm gently, his eyes never leaving Illya's face. He set the hand back onto Illya's still heaving chest.

He knows, Illya thought, feeling his heart start to ease back down from its crescendo. He knows I'm scared and weak and insecure. No matter how I try to hide it during the day, it always finds me at night. He knows and he's going to leave. Illya watched Napoleon's jaw move and shut his eyes. I was a fool to think it was going to be different from the way it was.

"I'm so sorry, Illya."

The words were whispered in his ear and Napoleon's forehead was resting against his head. Illya could feel the breath against his neck and he braced himself. Well, it was good while it lasted, and I still have the restaurant and Matt, Illya thought. He could hear the crickets outside raising a ruckus in their nightly chorus, could feel the sheets damp against his skin. He was so hot he felt as if his skin would either erupt into flames or crack and peel away.

Still he waited for Napoleon's goodbye, at least this time he would hear the words and know their relationship was over.

"I'm so sorry I hurt you. What can I do to convince you that I'm not leaving?" Napoleon kissed the sweat-limp hair gently.

"It's okay," Illya started, then he stopped and twisted away from Napoleon. "What?" He stared at Napoleon, unsure of his intent.

"She was nothing to me and I'm never going to forgive myself for what happened and for the pain I caused both of us—"

"We don't have to go into this right now," Illya interrupted. He just wanted the lights to be off so he could close his eyes against those hopeful brown eyes and the concern wrinkled brow. With the lights off, he could possibly coerce himself back into a fitful doze until day break.

"Amante, we most certainly do have to. We have been waltzing around this elephant for two months now and if we don't put this to bed, in a manner of speaking, it is going to rip us apart."

"Can't we both just leave it alone, Napoleon? I really need to sleep."

"There's nothing I'd like better, but it's tearing you up. Do you know you've awoken me with nightmares nearly every night for the last three weeks?" Napoleon sat up and readjusted his pillows. He leaned back against the headboard, signaling that the light was going to stay on for as long as it took.

"I didn't know, I'm sorry." It didn't surprise him though; with Napoleon's return, along came all the old insecurities and fears. Just what he needed to retrigger his nightmares. "Can't you just turn the lights off?"

"You don't usually wake up."

"Why did you wake me up this time?" Illya got his feet over the edge of the bed and sat up. The curtains were open, trying to encourage a breeze out of the still night air. The sun was starting to stain the night sky and distant horizon a faint purple. Soft purple, like a zinfandel grape. His mind immediately dropped into its safe zone. As long as he thought about the food, the cooking, he couldn't be hurt. Think about the food, only about the food, it's safe, it won't hurt you.

"If I can put an end to this, Illya, I want to, but I don't know what to do. Help me help you. You are still as close lipped and stubborn as you've always been."

"Like anything is likely to change that," Illya muttered, hoping it sounded cockier than it felt. He could hear Napoleon move and he stood. There are over five thousands types of wine grapes alone. While many wine grapes are very palatable, not all grapes make a decent wine. Illya thought about his wine professor, back at the academy. He was funny, he was knowledgeable and he'd taken an instant liking to Illya, possibly because they were close to the same age. Somehow Peter knew he was more serious than many of the other younger students in the class. He challenged Illya and Illya, in true Kuryakin fashion, answered back. By the end of the semester, Illya had practically wrung him dry of information and had drunk him under the table on a number of occasions. He'd not thought about Peter in months...

"Earth to Illya." Fingers snapped in front of his face and he immediately reacted, knocking the hands away and dropping into a defensive stance. "What's gotten into you?"

"Don't sneak up on me like that, Napoleon. Old habits die hard." Illya relaxed his stance and walked into the bathroom. He didn't shut the door until the last second. He was used to living byhimself and kept forgetting that he wasn't alone now.

He used the toilet, flushed, and washed his hands and face, relishing the lukewarm water against his overheated skin. To have a moment to collect himself was good. He looked at his reflection and ran a hand through his hair, frowning. When had he gotten so old? A constant lack of sleep gave him a lazy look, something the unwary took to mean he was either slow or naïve. It frequently worked in his favor.

Yawning, he stretched and ran a hand over his bare stomach. He was awake... well, as awake as he ever got these days and if he started now, he'd be able to smoke those tenderloins while the day was still relatively cool. He wanted to do a smoked pulled pork amuse bouche and this would be as good a time as any. He just needed to summon up the energy to shower and shave... maybe he'd make coffee first. Caffeine and a sugar hit would help.

He walked out of the bathroom, intent on grabbing a pair of running shorts and stopped at the sight of Napoleon sitting on the edge of the bed, arms crossed a look of sheer determination on his face. Illya had seen that look many times as an agent. At first, he'd feared it, unsure of what it meant. Later, he came to rely upon it, knowing that nothing would stop Napoleon when he got that look. Now, he just wanted to ignore it. Illya took a step towards his dresser and suddenly found his way blocked.

"You're not going to let this go, are you?" The resignation in his voice made him wince. It seemed odd that his partner, the man he'd trusted beyond anyone else, was responsible for it.

"No, not until we've talked this through."

"What's to talk through, Napoleon? I found you with a woman, I left, end of story."

"That's not the way Matt tells it."

"What right do you have going to Matt about me?" Illya demanded.

"Illya... it's been years, I needed to find out about the man you've become. In so many ways, you're a stranger to me."

"A stranger? You live in my house and sleep in my bed. What do you think I am, Napoleon, some kind of sex deprived charity case?" Wow, where did that come from? Illya thought the second the words left his mouth.

"What? Where did that come from?"

Okay, so it caught Napoleon off guard as well. He pushed Napoleon aside—or tried to. The man didn't budge. "Please, Napoleon, don't push me or..."

Napoleon grabbed his arm. "Or what? You'll fall asleep on me? Zone out like you do a dozen times a day when we're together?"

"I'm still an agent, Napoleon, and I'm still very dangerous. Let go." He let his voice become very calm and very soft. If Napoleon was one of his employees, he'd be running for cover.

"You've never been deprogrammed, have you?"

"What part of still an agent are you having trouble with?"

"You need to go back, Illya."

"No, thank you. I've had my fill of people in my head."

And in my heart.

"But..."

"Napoleon... I've tried being patient... I've tried being firm, now I am begging. Just let it go."

"No."

"What do you want from me?"

"The truth."

Not likely, Illya retreated a step and glanced over at the door. He normally didn't like cooking in the nude. Too many things could happen, but he was just going to put coffee on. Strong, hot coffee, that would help... they're not really beans, you know. They are fruit seeds. There are twenty five major kinds of beans and several thousand variations. They need to be roasted before being used... Kaldi, the goat herder, noticed that his goats were especially spirited after eating certain fruit and thus began the legend of coffee. It was thought...

In a sudden motion, Illya felt himself grabbed and thrown. He reacted instinctively, twisting to roll on the ground, but he ended up on a soft surface... the bed. It made sense as there was more bed than floor space in the small bedroom. He started to struggle, pausing only when he heard Napoleon's voice.

"Stop!"

He had been trained to respond to that voice of command and he stilled, aware that he was naked, flat on his back with Napoleon's knee on his chest. Another time, another place, he would have used it as an opportunity for some sex play, but not now.

"You will listen to me and you will stay focused on me," Napoleon demanded. Illya's eyes promised neither. "Illya, I love you, I always have. What happened was a horrible mistake, one that I will never make again. What can I say, what can I do to prove that to you?"

"You can't, Napoleon. This is me, this is what I've become." Illya lifted his head up and saw the clock. Almost four. "This is what you made me."

Napoleon moved away from him, but Illya didn't move. It felt so good to just lie here, even though there was a clock ticking in his head, telling him he needed to move. Time was money and there was never enough of either in his life at the moment to make his path easy.

"I'm sorry," Napoleon started, pausing as Illya touched his hand.

"I'm not. It wasn't easy; I hated you for what you did to me, but instead of letting the hate become destructive, I harnessed it. I couldn't stop the dreams, so I used them to my advantage. I learned how to make do with hardly any sleep; it gave me an edge over the other students. I used the anger to help me prove I didn't need anyone else's help to succeed. It didn't make me stop wanting what I'd had with you, but in time, I forgave you by realizing you'd given me a life I would have never had outside of UNCLE."

"How can I fix this?"

"What makes you think I want you to fix anything? Napoleon, this is what I am now. I needed that fire that you gave me. Do you know how many chefs who started cooking at my age have a four-star restaurant within their first three years of opening?" He paused for Napoleon's head shake. "Me, and it's because of what we had, what we did, and the paths we took. I know that now. I can't change any of that, nor do I intend to try." He closed his eyes and sighed. "And yes I dream about that night, but it has nothing to do with you or with me. It just is. You need to accept that just as I have."

"Then how can I make this better?"

"By being here when I come to bed, by being here when I wake up." Napoleon's lips were soft against his skin. "By keeping me from being my own worst enemy... love me..." It was getting harder to think and he could no longer hear the clock in his head.

"Love you..."




Illya was dreaming again. He'd walked into the room and Napoleon was there. The woman glanced over and smiled. There was something very feral about it and Illya reacted, not as a lover spurned, but as an agent. He coolly took out his Walter and shot her. The blast of the gun blew her away from Napoleon and the man crumpled to his knees.

"Illya..." he murmured, as if only half aware of his surroundings.

"What were you doing?" He tipped Napoleon's head back, studying the eyes. They were glazed, as if he was drugged. "Did she give you something?"

"Need to give you something..." Napoleon reached for Illya and slumped in his arms.

Illya got to his feet, grunting, and managed to haul Napoleon up to his. It took more than a few minutes to get the agent to the bed. Illya knew he should call housekeeping and report the body, but he was too concerned about Napoleon.

"What happened?" Napoleon was starting to come out of the fog and Illya glanced back at the living room.

"You tell me."

"I was making love to you."

"No, try again."

"You were making love to me?"

"Third strike and you're out," Illya warned. "Who is the woman, Napoleon?"

"What woman? There's only you."

Illya suddenly became aware that he was naked, but he dismissed it as one would in a dream. Instead he felt Napoleon's hand, Napoleon's mouth on him. It didn't matter who Napoleon had been with; there had been so many false starts for them both. All that mattered is that they were here, together now.

He could feel his climax building up steam, shooting through his veins, his nerves, then up and through him, fiery hot and soul numbingly sweet. He arched up off the bed and moaned. All the while, Napoleon loved him, calmed him, and lulled him back into a comfortable cocoon of sated happiness.




Illya opened his eyes and knew something was wrong... he was late. He sat up, or at least tried to. There was an arm across his chest, pinning him down. He started to struggle against it, stopping only when he heard Napoleon.

"Where do you think you're going?" Napoleon didn't move his arm. Instead he added a leg to the mix.

Illya blinked, trying to remember. He felt as if he'd just had the mother of all wet dreams, yet a quick check revealed no cooling semen on his stomach or the sheets.

"I'm late," Illya explained as he resumed squirming, trying to get out from beneath Napoleon's limbs.

"It's Monday."

"Oh..." With all the drama that morning, Illya had completely forgotten what day of the week it was. For a long time, it didn't matter. Suddenly now it did, but old habits were hard to break... but that wasn't the only thing hard. Napoleon's erection prodded him.

"If you are going to waste so much energy, I can think of other ways to expend it." Napoleon rocked against Illya's hip. Illya was so sated he was having trouble focusing. It was weird, this feeling of having had a climax and yet, there was no sign, other than his less-than-perfect memory of the dream.

"Nice, but if you want anything more than a casual roll, I am going to need to get up and at least brush my teeth."

"All right, then I'll come with you." Napoleon nipped Illya's earlobe. "Then you can come with me."

Illya groaned. "It's still far too early for such puns."

"Early? It's two in the afternoon, Amante."

"What?" Now Illya did sit up. He'd been asleep nearly ten hours? He grabbed the clock and squinted at it. "Why did you let me sleep so long?"

Napoleon grabbed him and pulled him backward, so that he landed against Napoleon's chest. "Let you? What makes you think I could wake you up?" His hands were moving, trailing lightly over Illya's skin, pausing every now and then to trace a random pattern.

"Napoleon, stop, I need to..."

"Relax. You need to relax, my love... there's no racing clock here, not now."

A thumb wandered dangerously close to Illya's pubic hair and his breath caught. It was hard to not bolt from bed and try to play catch up, but it felt so good just to lean back. Napoleon's cheek was rough against his neck and when Napoleon kissed it, Illya tilted his head forward. Rarely was he submissive in their lovemaking now, but maybe this time he'd cut Napoleon a break.

One of Napoleon's fingertips drifted down to wind its way though Illya's pubic hair and rest against the base of his penis. He wasn't hard, not yet, well not entirely. It seemed to be having as much trouble waking up as he was.

"Relax and just feel," Napoleon whispered and that didn't seem like such an unreasonable demand. Illya's eyes drifted shut again as he focused upon the sensations thrumming through him, sensations that Napoleon caused simply by holding him. It would be so easy to just let go, trust him, and love him as deeply as he had. At the same time he was terrified of ever giving anyone that much control over him again. But perhaps, just this once...




The thrashing woke Napoleon, just as it had nearly every night for almost a month. When he started sleeping with Illya again, it had been the man's stillness that bothered him. Some nights, Illya never moved a muscle. He would climb into bed, settle into one position and stay just like that. At first, Napoleon was not concerned; Illya had always been a better sleeper than he was. Sleep was a precious commodity for agents and they were trained to sleep whenever the opportunity presented itself. Illya excelled at it, falling asleep at the drop of a hat in any situation. Napoleon struggled to get to sleep and stay that way.

Now their roles were reversed. Napoleon, free from the burdens of UNCLE and happily reunited with his lover, slept deeply, easily while Illya struggled for a few hours every night. They would go to bed, usually have a bout or two of sex and Napoleon would drop off like a baby. Eight hours later, he would wake refreshed and renewed. Illya's side of the bed was empty and cold—a testament that he'd been up, frequently hours before, working, always working. The man had become a bona fide workaholic.

Slowly, during the last few months, Napoleon had gotten used to the rhythm. He didn't like it, but accepted it for what it was—Illya. He remembered those long lazy mornings when they'd stay in bed, a brief respite from the grind of being agents, using the time to rediscover each other. They would read, doze, make love, and never leave the bed except for trips to the bathroom or the kitchen.

Now Napoleon could count the times he'd actually gotten Illya to sleep past seven on the fingers of one hand. He could still coax the man into bed some afternoons, but only for sex, not for sleep. Napoleon missed those days.

Illya was thrashing and Napoleon sat up. He'd already learned not to get too close to Illya when he was having whatever nightmare he was having. Instead he closed his eyes and waited.

First there was the moan, a deep gut tearing sound. It had terrified Napoleon the first time he'd heard it. He was half way to calling 911 when he realized it was the onset of a nightmare.

"Пожалуйста." Please, in Russian. It always struck Napoleon funny that Illya spoke English during the day, but seemed to dream in his native tongue.

"Не делать." Don't, that one was easy.

"Отпуск." Leave...this is the one that puzzled Napoleon. At first he thought Illya was dreaming about the night he'd come home and found Napoleon entrapped in the charms of some strange woman. He still wasn't sure how any of that had happened, but it was water under the bridge. The fact of the matter was that Napoleon didn't leave, Illya did. He'd looked at Napoleon with an expression of such pain, betrayal, and humiliation, a look Napoleon never wanted to see on his lover's face again. It had been a look that tormented him for years, driving him to leave UNCLE and set his course on finding his erstwhile lover.

In the blue light of the bedroom, he watched the tears trickle from Illya's eyes. Okay, this is stopping now, he thought and clicked on the bedside light. His body blocked most of the light from the Russian, who was lying stock still again.

"Illya? Illya!"

Illya's eyes shot open, and then he blinked painfully in the light. He brought up a hand—it bothered Napoleon that it wasn't as steady as it normally was—and ran it over his face, wiping away the sweat and tears.

Napoleon reached out, catching the hand before it could retreat, and kissed the palm gently, tasting the salt. For some reason, the palms of Illya's hands had become an erogenous zone for Napoleon. He let the hand return to Illya's chest and he shut his eyes.

During the day, you wouldn't find anyone more confident, more sure of himself than Illya. In the kitchen, he was respected for his hard work and sacrifice. During the night, he was reduced to an insecure and betrayed lover, unsure of himself and of the world around him. All because Napoleon couldn't say no. If anyone should suffer, it shouldn't be Illya and they needed to put this thing to rest once and for all. He slid closer to rest his forehead against Illya's head. The hair was wet with sweat and smelled of the shampoo he habitually used.

"I'm so sorry, Illya." He could feel Illya stiffen as if afraid of what he was about to say next. Illya seemed to be worried that Napoleon would be announcing the date for his intended departure. "I'm so sorry I hurt you. What can I do to convince you that I'm not leaving?" Napoleon kissed Illya's head tenderly, the way a mother would to calm a frightened child, but he wasn't exactly a frightened child.

"It's okay..." Illya pulled away from him, as if suddenly confused. "What?"

"She was nothing to me and I'm never going to forgive myself for what happened and for the pain I caused both of us—"

"We don't have to go into this right now." Illya cut him off, just as he always did whenever Napoleon tried to get him to talk about that night. This time he was determined not to let that happen, no matter the consequences.

"Amante, we most certainly do have to. We have been waltzing around this elephant for two months now and if we don't put this to bed, in a manner of speaking, it is going to rip us apart."

When Illya answered, his voice was so weary, it nearly destroyed Napoleon's resolve. "Can't we both just leave it alone, Napoleon? I really need to sleep."

"There's nothing I'd like better, but it's tearing you up." Illya was refusing to look at him. A bad sign indeed. "Do you know you've awoken me with nightmares nearly every night for the last three weeks?"

"I didn't know, I'm sorry. Can't you just turn the lights off?"

"You don't usually wake up."

"Why did you wake me up this time?"

Illya sat up and Napoleon felt any advantage he might have in this conversation starting to slip away. Illya would now force himself to get up and resume working, more dead on his feet than alive, anything to avoid talking about them and what had happened.

And Illya was gone. Into the zone, Matt called it. Whenever things got too bad or too personal, Illya would shift away. His eyes would get this distant look and he would be gone, oblivious to all conversation or action around him. The first time, it had surprised him, now Napoleon was almost used to the avoidance tactic. Sometimes just talking was enough to bring Illya's attention back around.

"If I can put an end to this, Illya, I want to, but I don't know what to do. Help me help you." Illya blinked and Napoleon knew he'd come back from whatever little side trip he'd been on. "You are still as close lipped and stubborn as you've always been."

"Like anything is likely to change that." Illya stood and then was gone again, back into whatever daydream he was deluding himself with. Annoyed, Napoleon got up, walked over to him, and snapped his fingers, just an inch from Illya's nose.

"Earth to Illya." Napoleon had forgotten how quickly Illya could react when surprised. The days when they needed those reaction times were gone, but Illya suddenly looked every inch the deadly UNCLE agent. "What's gotten into you?"

"Don't sneak up on me like that, Napoleon. Old habits die hard." Illya relaxed and walked away, escaping into the bathroom, shutting the door behind him. Napoleon didn't get up to see if Illya had locked it. It would break his heart too much if he had—another barrier Illya was throwing up between them.

Slowly Napoleon let the fear in his gut get pushed to one side by the anger. If Illya wanted out, then he'd hear it from Illya's lips. Napoleon didn't want to leave, but he would be damned if he was going to let Illya drown in a well of self pity.

Napoleon watched Illya open the bathroom door and start for the dresser. Three steps put him directly into Illya's path.

"You're not going to let this go, are you?" It was all Napoleon could do to stop from wincing at the resignation in Illya's voice. He'd never heard that, not once, when they were agents. Illya would have died before he demonstrated any weakness to the enemy. So what exactly did that make Napoleon?

"No, not until we'ver talked this through."

"What's to talk through, Napoleon? I found you with a woman, I left, end of story."

Napoleon closed his eyes against the raw pain in Illya's voice. If he'd never answered the door that night, if he'd never let her come in, if he'd pushed her out the moment the thought had crept into his mind. If, if, if...

One quiet day, after he'd been here for awhile, Napoleon had sought Matt out. He'd been hoping to find out some information about Illya's path after he and Illya had parted, in an attempt to become more acquainted with the new Illya. He hadn't meant to get into their sex life, but the conversation had drifted there anyway.

That was when Matt had mentioned the nightmares and the fights they'd led to in Matt's attempt to get Illya to open up. "That's not the way Matt tells it."

Illya's eyes blazed at him and Napoleon realized he might have just caused the end of Illya's relationship with his business partner.

"What right do you have going to Matt about me?" No, Illya was placing the blame square on Napoleon's shoulders. Good, that's how it should be.

"Illya... it's been years, I needed to find out about the man you've become," Napoleon tried to explain, keeping his voice even and calm. "In so many ways, you're a stranger to me now." Because you won't let me in anymore.

"A stranger? You live in my house and sleep in my bed. What do you think I am, Napoleon, some kind of sex deprived charity case?"

Napoleon blinked and frowned. "What? Where did that come from?" He'd never made any indication that he considered Illya any less his equal in any aspect of his life. But perhaps Illya saw himself that way... because he couldn't refuse Napoleon? Or wouldn't?

"Please, Napoleon, don't push me or..." Illya started to push past him and Napoleon grabbed him.

"Or what? You'll fall asleep on me? Zone out like you do a dozen times a day when we're together?"

Time froze then and the look Illya gave him was patented Kuryakin.

"I'm still an agent, Napoleon, and I'm still very dangerous. Let go."

Illya's tone was chilling and Napoleon suddenly had an epiphany. "You've never been deprogrammed, have you?"

"What part of still an agent are you having trouble with?"

"You need to go back, Illya," Napoleon started. This explained everything—the jumpiness, the lack of trust, all the subtle programming that UNCLE slipped into your head as a matter of course. No wonder Illya was acting as if he was being split in two.

"No, thank you. I've had my fill of people in my head." The weariness had returned to Illya's voice.

"But..."

"Napoleon... I've tried being patient... I've tried being firm, now I am begging. Just let it go."

"No." For the first time in a long time, he felt on firmer ground.

"What do you want from me?" God, he sounds so tired, so resigned.

"The truth." Napoleon made his request gently, but firmly.

He watched Illya look to the door—fight or flight. There was a day when Illya would have grinned and happily waded in, fists flailing. Not any more, Napoleon thought. He's feeling all used up, only he doesn't realize it. He's hiding behind those feelings and thinking they mean something else. Napoleon realized Illya had slipped back into his zone mode and took advantage of his partner's distraction.

Napoleon moved suddenly, grabbed Illya and flung him towards the bed. Granted he wasn't in as good of shape as he had been back in the day, but he had the element of surprise and sheer weight on his side. Illya landed on the mattress with a grunt and Napoleon followed.

He put one knee on Illya's chest and pressed down. Illya had gone into battle mode and Napoleon knew he had three or four seconds at the outside to disarm him.

"Stop!" He used his best memory of what his CEA voice had sounded like. When he was sure Illya was back with him, he continued, "You will listen to me and you will stay focused on me." He eased back slightly as he felt Illya's chest struggling against his weight. "Illya, I love you, I always have. What happened was a horrible mistake, one that I will never make again. What can I say, what can I do to prove that to you?"

He wanted Illya to rage, to burst into tears. Instead, Illya looked over at the clock and then back at him, nothing but calm acceptance in his eyes.

"You can't, Napoleon. This is me, this is what I've become. This is what you made me."

Napoleon sat back now, away from him, feeling numb. "I'm sorry—" he started, then Illya caught his hand.

"I'm not. It wasn't easy; I hated you for what you did to me, but instead of letting the hate become destructive, I harnessed it. I couldn't stop the dreams, so I used them to my advantage. I learned how to make do with hardly any sleep; it gave me an edge over the other students. I used the anger to help me prove I didn't need anyone else's help to succeed. It didn't make me stop wanting what I'd had with you, but in time, I forgave you by realizing you'd given me a life I would have never had outside of UNCLE."

"How can I fix this?"

"What makes you think I want you to fix anything? Napoleon, this is what I am now. I needed that fire that you gave me. Do you know how many chefs who started cooking at my age have a four-star restaurant within their first three years of opening?"

Napoleon didn't know and he shook his head slowly.

"Me, and it's because of what we had, what we did, and the paths we took. I know that now. I can't change any of that, nor do I intend to try." He closed his eyes and sighed. "And yes I dream about that night, but it has nothing to do with you or with me. It just is. You need to accept that just as I have."

"Then how can I make this better?" He couldn't believe it, but Illya was starting to relax, starting to drift. He leaned close and kissed Illya's forehead, then his rapidly drooping eyelids.

"By being here when I come to bed, by being here when I wake up." Illya's breathing was starting to slow now. "By keeping me from being my own worst enemy... love me..."

"Love you..." Napoleon kissed Illya's temple and realized the man was gone, sound asleep. "You crazy Russian, I love you so much. And while this isn't saying much for my style, at least you're asleep." He found the sheet and started to pull it up over them. Outside, the world was starting to wake up and Napoleon merely smiled. He got up carefully and closed the window and the shade. Returning to the bed, he nestled down beside Illya, happy as Illya shifted towards him, seeking him out in sleep. Now if only being awake was as easy...

It was so nice just to spend the day in bed. Napoleon had truly thought these days were gone. He'd gotten up a couple of times, going down to the kitchen to feed the cats, lest they wake up Illya with their demands, and to bring a tray full of cheese, fruits and crackers back to bed. He also stopped in the bathroom to brush his teeth and relieve his bladder.

Never once did Illya stir. He could well be a statue or dead, save for the gentle rise and fall of his chest. Napoleon read until the sleepies started to get to him as well. He had a full belly and an arm full of Kuryakin, what else did he need?

He was very nearly asleep when he felt Illya start to thrash again. This time instead of pulling away, he nestled closer to Illya, murmuring soft endearments in his ear. He drew his hand along Illya's stomach, tracing around his navel. Napoleon kissed the nape of Illya's neck and moved to his shoulder, nibbling gently, licking, smiling as Illya's breathing started to hitch.

He kept his hand moving, resting upon Illya's genitals, cupping them. Illya might still be asleep, but his penis stirred as Napoleon's fingers trailed across it. It began to harden as he took it, stroking it with a long, easy motion, just the way Illya liked it.

Illya was beginning to move, but it wasn't a mindless thrashing. His hips were rocking in time with Napoleon's hand.

He increased his grip, moving his fingers the way a guitar player would over frets. He paused to massage the tip, spreading the slick moisture over the smooth skin of Illya's glans. Carefully, he rubbed the slit, then began to tap it spastically. He was rewarded by a moan. It was nothing like the one that had woken him so many hours previously.

Illya's chest was heaving now, his mouth open and his head tipped back. Napoleon was torn. He could really have used another hand at the moment, but to do it would mean to sit up and he'd lose his full body contact.

"Love you, Illya," he whispered into his lover 's ear. "Love you so much." He sat up and bent down to take Illya's dick into his mouth. That proved the last straw for Illya and he bucked up and climaxed.

Napoleon gagged, then swallowed convulsively, pressing Illya's hips down so that he wouldn't choke. He waited until he was sure Illya was finished and then resumed his previous draping position over Illya's body. What amazed him was that Illya never even woke up.

His own erection was a bit disappointed that it hadn't had a chance to play but Napoleon merely smiled. "Patience, my friend, patience." He reached across Illya and grabbed his glass of water. A couple of swallows and he was good. And just in time. Illya was just starting to wake up.

Illya came awake all at once and immediately tried to work his way free of Napoleon's arm.

"Where do you think you're going?" He settled a leg over Illya, effectively pinning him to the mattress. He could tell Illya was confused, knowing something had happened, but not quite sure what.

"I'm late." Illya very nearly worked his way free, but then Napoleon whispered in his ear.

"It's Monday." Monday, Illya's day off, a day supposedly free from the restaurant, although Illya would be as likely to spend the day in the kitchen, perfecting this recipe or that.

"Oh..."

Napoleon bumped Illya's hip with his erection. He was more than ready to get his share of some loving action. "If you are going to waste so much energy, I can think of other ways to expend it."

"Nice, but if you want anything more than a casual roll, I am going to need to get up and at least brush my teeth."

"All right, then I'll come with you." Napoleon nipped Illya's earlobe. "Then you can come with me."

Illya groaned. "It's still far too early for such puns."

"Early? It's two in the afternoon, Amante."

"What?" Illya tossed Napoleon off him and sat up. "Why did you let me sleep so long?"

Napoleon grabbed him and pulled him backward, so that he landed against Napoleon's chest. "Let you? What makes you think I could wake you up?" God knows I tried to, he thought, letting his hands follow the same path that they had just minutes earlier.

"Napoleon, stop, I need to..." Illya was putting up a verbal fight, but Napoleon could already feel him starting to respond, although the man's dick was still far from hard. Napoleon's own penis was trapped beneath Illya's hip and while not crazy about it, was at least enjoying the friction.

"Relax. You need to relax, my love... there's no racing clock here, not now." He was using his most beguiling tones, coaxing and seducing. He'd had a lot of experience calming nervous bed partners and he was determined to make sure Illya didn't leave this bed until he was ready for him to. "Relax and just feel me."




Feeling Napoleon wasn't the problem, Illya decided. It felt as if he was lying back against a baseball bat. He also still had an odd feeling that something had happened while he was asleep.

"Napoleon, really, I need to get up." Napoleon's arms tightened.

"Why?"

"First, I've got to use the bathroom, second, I would really like to brush my teeth and third, I'm starving. None of those things, uncorrected, are going to lead to the spectacular sex you are implying." He glanced over his shoulder. "If I promise to come right back?"

The conflict in Napoleon's eyes lasted all of three seconds. "You promise?" Napoleon relaxed his grip and Illya shifted forward enough to bend down and deposit a kiss on the tip of Napoleon's penis.

"My word is my pledge." He smiled at his lover's groan and quickly rolled off the bed. Almost instantly two cats were entwining themselves about his ankles.

"They've been fed," Napoleon muttered, reaching back to fluff up the pillows.

"They disagree with you." Illya walked into the bathroom, but this time he left the door open. He didn't miss Napoleon's smile. He did what he needed to do, then brushed his teeth, while purposefully ignoring his reflection, and walked back to bed.

He had seen the trays of food sitting on the bedside table and now took a moment to gather up a handful of cheese and fruit before resettling beside his partner.

"Grapes?" He offered him a small clump and Napoleon shook his head. "Apple?" Illya tried again and again Napoleon shook his head slowly. One corner of Illya's mouth curled up. "Banana?"

"Thought you'd never ask." Napoleon lunged forward, taking Illya by surprise as he headed for Illya's mouth instead of his groin.

Illya eased back on the bed and Napoleon followed in his wake, their lips never releasing the other's. Illya sucked Napoleon's tongue into his mouth as Illya's fingers entwined themselves in Napoleon's hair. Then he pulled back. "I thought as much."

"What?" Napoleon looked mystified.

"You gave me a blow job, didn't you?"

"Uh huh, and you didn't even have the decency to wake up... ingrate." They resumed kissing, tongues twisting against each other.

"I can taste me," Illya murmured, retreating, then attacking again.

"Illya, I hate to put too fine a point on this, but I could really use..." Napoleon rocked his hips plaintively.

"A little reciprocation?" It was true that Napoleon's dick looked like it was crying, the preseminal fluid gathered at the tip glistening in the late afternoon sun like forlorn tears. "I imagine I could manage something."

"Now?"

"No playing...?"

"Play later; now, please." Napoleon's voice cracked with desperation and Illya smiled slyly.

"All right." He repositioned himself until he was a fraction away from the glans, then dipped just the tip of his tongue down to probe the slit. Napoleon groaned in response, fingers clutching at the sheets, and Illya relented, just enough to suck just the tip into his mouth. One hand he planted on Napoleon's abdomen, to keep him still, while the fingers of the other hand combed through the wiry pubic hair, to find and fondle the hard testicles. He rolled them and squeezed them tenderly.

He took a bit more of Napoleon's cock, rocking back and forth, sucking , rolling his tongue on it.

"Christ, Illya, I can't..."

Illya let the penis fall free from his mouth, blowing over the saliva coated skin. "We have come to a firm decision then?"

"Who... what decision?"

Illya rubbed his lips over the shaft, kissing the skin, sucking it gently. "That this is mine and mine alone. " He licked his way to the other side and left a similar mark.

"You're killing me..." Napoleon groaned. "But, yes, it's yours. All of me is yours, to do with as you will. Just... finish me... please?"

Illya chuckled and sucked two of his own fingers into his mouth, letting his tongue taste himself. That was very nearly the end for Napoleon and Illya knew it. Smiling, he exchanged fingers for Napoleon's penis, sucking it deep into his mouth, until it literally stabbed the back of his throat.

He began to move his mouth encouragingly as his fingers twisted and pinched Napoleon's balls a moment before one flinger slid down to rub along the perineum. Napoleon sprawled his legs wide, encouragingly, and moaned happily as a thick finger pushed into his body.

Napoleon pushed down, grinding himself against the finger. He gasped and arched as a second finger was added, then Illya started to hum.

That was enough. Napoleon grabbed Illya's head and held him still as he ejaculated into that hot moist paradise.

Illya gave Napoleon a brief second, swallowing convulsively to keep from choking. Napoleon's grip loosened and Illya pulled back, gasping for breath.

He didn't stop to think now, but groped for the tube of KY Jelly that was never far from reach. He squeezed some into his hand and went to work on his dick. Greased up, he squirted more onto his fingers and again probed Napoleon's anus.

Waiting for a brief nod from Napoleon to signal his readiness, Illya positioned himself and pushed in. There was momentary resistance and then Illya slid in with a sigh. He stilled until he got another brief nod and began to thrust. He didn't need much, just a half dozen strokes before the tightness in his balls signaled the start of his own climax. Two more and he held still, buried as deep in Napoleon as he could imagine, his mouth open in a silent groan, fingers clenching Napoleon's hips so hard that bruises were a given.

He slipped out and flopped down beside his lover, again wearing a sated, half asleep look.

"Still want to get out of bed?" Napoleon asked.

"Maybe after I've caught my breath," Illya murmured, instead reaching for the platter of fruit. "Still interested in that banana?"

"I'll pass for right now."

"I should go and get something to clean up." Illya poked through the remnants of cheese.

"I'll wash the sheets tomorrow."

"And make something real for us to eat."

"Eat the cheese and shut up, Kuryakin." Napoleon settled back against the pillows and draped an arm across Illya's abdomen. "This time I ain't letting go."

The solid weight holding him close, the happy sighs Napoleon kept making, gave Illya the feeling that his nightmares had just been given a one way ticket to somewhere else. Even though Illya would argue it later, deny it, refuse to admit it to anyone else, this was the moment he truly and absolutely fell in love with Napoleon again. And that was all right with him.




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