Out of the Rain
Illya shivered as he pushed his way into the phone booth. Outside the storm seemed to take exception to his seeking shelter and increased its fury. Rain and wind pounded the glass walls of the booth.
He fumbled some coins from his pocket, squinting in the low light to find what he needed. He slipped a dime into the slot and quickly dialed a number, barely able to wait for the dial to return to its start position before dialing the next one.
The ringing started on the other end, a dead cold sound.
"Come on, Napoleon!" Illya muttered, his heart hurting more with each hollow ring, his head pounding with each thud. "Pick up the line! Please pick up the line."
The report had come in just as they were starting to congratulate themselves on a successful mission. Theirs had been a two-part strike and it had gone like clockwork. Illya, as one team leader, had felt a small thrill of accomplishment in having taken down their targets without loss or injury to any of his men.
"Can't believe that went as well as it did." Hickman had been his right hand man and Illya knew he'd made a good choice. He'd worked with Hickman before and knew the younger man was competent as well as eager.
"This will look good on your record," Illya murmured, just so Hickman could hear. Both of their communicators sounded at that moment and Hickman got his open first.
"Channel F open."
"This is Brouleigh." There was spasmodic coughing. "Agent down, repeat, agent down. Send help."
"Agent Brouleigh, what is your position?" Illya demanded over Hickman's shoulder. "Agent Brouleigh, report!" He patted Hickman on the shoulder. "Keep him on the line, Jim. Who is the lead for the second assault force?"
"Wasn't it Napoleon?" one of the other agents asked. Illya couldn't even remember his name at the moment.
"It better damn well not be."
There had been a fight, a big one, back at HQ that afternoon when Napoleon had announced he was leading that section of the mission. Illya had argued that his skills were needed to run the dual ventures from there and that it would be better if another agent was given the opportunity to lead the group. Not surprisingly Napoleon disagreed, saying that as CEA it was his job, not Illya's, to decide who was best suited for a mission. Illya disagreed louder until Waverly had stepped in and sent Napoleon to the showers.
"Mr. Kuryakin, I fear you are slightly out of line with this matter." Waverly's voice was quiet, but firm. "Mr. Solo is well within his right to lead the second team if he sees fit."
"I beg to differ, sir. Napoleon's greatest strength is strategy and we need him to be here, pulling the strings in order for the timing to work. I don't trust it to a less talented agent." Illya didn't tell Waverly of the reoccurring nightmare that had shaken Illya from his sleep not once but twice the night before, of Napoleon being cut down in cross fire as he tried to reach a fallen agent.
"I agree. Why don't you take the time to prepare your team and let me work on Mr. Solo?"
Waverly's words calmed Illya's concerns and he assembled and briefed his team. He didn't see Napoleon the rest of the day and that was fine with him. Illya hated that they'd knocked heads, but Illya had woken that morning with a sense of doom in his heart. For some reason, he felt Napoleon was in danger and that didn't sit well with the Russian.
When Napoleon refused to listen to reason, Illya had stopped just short of decking him. There were times when Napoleon could be difficult and inflexible. Illya didn't feel justified telling his partner that he had a gut feeling. Nor could he tell Napoleon about his real feelings, his caring, or his love.
Illya had broached the subject before, but Napoleon reacted badly, saying that partners couldn't be lovers and continue to function. Love impaired decision making and inevitably made one partner a target. Napoleon's opinion was absolutely cut and dried about the subject. Then he had asked if Illya had detected something between any of the senior agents, because if he had, Napoleon wanted to monitor the situation. At that point, Illya had changed subjects and the moment passed.
Illya left with his team and that was that... until it wasn't. He looked over at Hickman. The man's face was drawn and gray.
"What happened, Jim?"
"Um, the team leader—Brouleigh got hit and the lead got caught in the crossfire trying to reach him."
"The lead, that's all he said before passing out." The agent's eyes widened as he realized who the leader very likely was. "You don't think... it couldn't be Napoleon, could it?"
Illya's communicator was out. "Open Channel D. Napoleon, are you there?" He tried for ten minutes before admitting defeat and stuffing the instrument back into his pocket.
"Why wouldn't he answer?" Hickman asked. "Unless he... is busy."
"I don't know." Illya looked around, grasping for straws. "Maybe the building..." Illya ignored the fact that they already been in communication with HQ. He got to his feet and moved past the clean-up squad.
The long-promised storm had finally hit and within a moment Illya had gone from concerned UNCLE agent to soaked UNCLE agent.
He looked around and spotted the phone booth and dashed into it as shelter from the storm and a way to get some privacy.
"Open Channel H. Martha, are you there?"
"Right here, Illya. Hey, congratulations on a successful mission! It's all over HQ."
"Thanks. Martha, has Napoleon checked in tonight?"
"No, he headed out right after you did, heading up some team. I haven't heard much of anything else except that we lost a couple of guys tonight."
"No names yet. Medical hasn't released them. Oh, and Waverly wants to meet with you the minute you hit HQ. Something big is up, I think"
"Okay, let me know when you hear something. Kuryakin out."
He tried Napoleon's communicator, but there was again no answer. Then, for some odd reason, he found himself reaching for the phone receiver and making that call.
He was ready to hang up when a familiar voice answered, "Solo."
"Napoleon?" Illya didn't bother to hide the quiver in his voice. He half expected Napoleon to hang up considering what they'd gone through earlier and that would have been okay. As long as Illya knew he was alive, there would be time to mend those fences.
"Illya? Are you okay? You sound odd."
"Where were you?"
"In the shower, cleaning up. What's wrong?"
"Lost a senior agent... I thought..." Illya took a breath and made a decision. "Just stay right there, Napoleon, don't move. Promise me that you will stay right there."
"All right, but you can explain to Angie why I'm late tonight... Illya?"
Illya had already taken off, dashing from the booth and heading for a nearby car. "I have an emergency. I need to commandeer this."
The agent inside, a junior, didn't hesitate but immediately climbed out into the rain. Illya took off with a squeal of tires and a swerve of the back end of the car. It was imperative that he get to Napoleon before he lost his resolve.
Napoleon opened the door, still dressed in only his robe and a towel around his neck.
"Illya... what the hell is going...?"
Illya cut him off with a fiery kiss, pinning the man against the wall. He poured everything he had into that kiss, his desperation, his determination, everything. Eventually, though, he had to pull back, had to give himself and his partner a chance to drag deep breathes into grateful lungs.
Napoleon looked stunned, confused, but no longer angry. "Illya, don't take this the wrong way, but what the hell... wait, senior agent, you thought I'd been killed, didn't you?"
"Why didn't you answer your communicator?"
"Agent Cafflin, oaf that he is, stepped on it. I swear when I get my hands on Waverly, I'm going to..." Napoleon's face grew dark. "Or was that your doing?"
"No, I had nothing to do with that. I wanted you in the map room."
Napoleon's eye drifted down to where Illya's erection had tented the fabric of his pants. "I think you want me somewhere, but not necessarily the map room."
"Napoleon... I'm sorry. I don't mean... well, I did mean. I know your stand on this. This won't affect our partnership."
"It already has, Illya, or did you not just plant the mother-of-all-kisses on me?"
Embarrassed, Illya broke the gaze he'd been maintaining and turned his head to look away. "It was unprofessional."
"It was, but I'm not complaining." Napoleon turned Illya's head back. "When we had that little discussion, I thought we were speaking theoretically, not personally." He studied Illya until he shifted nervously. "Now I may have grabbed the wrong set of horns."
"You did." It would be easy to retreat now, to put on a brave face and tell Napoleon it was a mistake. Illya Kuryakin wasn't built that way. He never surrendered and he never retreated. "However, it is my issue, not yours. I will speak with Waverly in the morning."
"To request reassignment, of course, as you have already indicated—-"
Napoleon's mouth stopped his next words and Illya took as freely as he'd given a moment earlier. When the dark-haired man pulled back, his penis had shoved aside the blue terrycloth robe fabric and was eagerly peeking out. Illya glanced down and smirked.
"You talk too much, Illya," Napoleon murmured.
"I've been told the opposite."
"You talk too much when other forms of communication are more appropriate." Napoleon brushed the damp hair off Illya's forehead. "I think we need to get you out of those wet clothes and into a warm bed before you catch your death of cold." He kissed Illya again and then a third time.
"What will Angie say?" Illya managed between kisses.
"Who cares?" Napoleon caught Illya's head in his hands and held it still for another kiss. "I learned a long time ago that you should never mistake like for love."
"And this would be?"
"At the moment lust, but I'm think there's some long-term love in our future."
"You ask too many questions, Illya." This kiss was much more insistent and Illya decided that Napoleon was right. Perhaps now he did have one too many questions and he had a feeling that if he just waited until tomorrow, all his questions would have one mutual answer.