The Alexander Waverly Affair
The honor guard sent the first volley skyward with a resounding crack that broke the silence of the beautifully manicured cemetery. Napoleon Solo noticed the startled reaction from the "civilians" gathered to say farewell to their uncle, brother, or friend. In the spy business, this was known as "showing their tell," and made it easy to distinguish the professionals from the general public. He also noticed that his partner, Illya Kuryakin, remained at attention at his side, unfazed as the riflemen brought their M14 rifles up for another volley, and another, to complete their salute.
Solo's keen eye roved over the crowd of mourners, automatically categorizing them as he went. The U.N.C.L.E. contingent was easy to sort out, and the ex-military types all invariably wore dark tailored suits, mimicking the uniforms they had worn for so long. The so-called "civilians" leaned toward lighter colors and materials, still dark enough to be deemed appropriate for a funeral, yet similar to their everyday work clothes. Solo thought if he had been Thrush, and up to no good, it would be like shooting fish in a barrel to pick out his targets. He shook the dark thought away, understanding at the same time that a lifetime in U.N.C.L.E. service had formed his thought processes in a peculiar way. He was what he'd been made to be—an agent.
Glancing at his fair-haired Russian, he wondered if the same thoughts were percolating in his head. Knowing Illya as he did, he mused he'd be estimating how many in the crowd were Thrush, and how long it would take for them both to pull their weapons if need be. Solo watched the honor guard reverently remove the flag from the teakwood coffin and present it to the grieving wife. His heart went out to Mrs. Waverly, and a wave of grief rolled across him, taking him by surprise. Waverly's death had been sudden, painless, and not unexpected, but the finality of it was hard to ignore here in this setting. He bowed his head, reining in his emotions. Illya stepped an inch closer to him, giving Solo his unspoken support, as always. No one in attendance would have noticed the subtle gesture, but to Napoleon it was as if Illya had shouted to the world, "This man is my friend, and I stand by him."
Napoleon glanced at his partner, but Illya remained stolidly at attention, eyes on the ceremony. A tiny smile pulled at the edges of Solo's lips, but he remained silent and still. All right, my friend. I won't call you on it, he thought.
The rest of the afternoon went by in a blur. Solo remembered giving Mrs. Waverly and Maude his condolences, the subtle check-ins from his various security details, and an unremarkable lunch that he didn't remember eating, mainly because Illya ate both their platefuls. Solo'd not had an appetite anyway. The afternoon had a surreal quality to it, and he was glad to be on his way home at the earliest opportunity. Illya accompanied him, the wily Russian knowing enough to keep a close eye on Solo.
Napoleon sighed as he let Illya into his apartment, engaged the security system and locked the rest of the world away as well. Kuryakin went immediately to the bar, pouring them both an ample libation—Scotch, single-malt, Waverly's favorite brand. They raised their glasses in a silent salute to their fallen comrade and leader, and drank. Illya grimaced, the taste of whiskey not to his palate. He went to Solo's freezer, and took out the bottle of vodka he knew was always there. Solo refilled his Scotch, and Illya joined him on the couch. Both men kicked off their shoes, and sat heavily, glad to be off their feet and off duty at last.
Neither man spoke, content to mull over their thoughts and the day as well. Solo thought about building a fire, but decided it was too much effort. He took a long pull from the aromatic whiskey, savoring the burn as it slid down his throat. Illya tossed his drink back in one swallow and poured another.
"We should eat something if we're going to drink like fish," Solo commented.
"Hmmpf. I drink like a Russian."
"And Russians drink like fish. Fishes. Whatever," Solo replied, smiling. He finished his second drink, set the glass down and went to his kitchen, pulling out foodstuffs from the cabinet and the refrigerator. Illya decided to make himself useful as well, and kindled a fire in the grate. By the time it caught Solo had set the coffee table with soup and sandwiches. At least his appetite was back. He pulled the table closer so they could eat sitting on the couch enjoying the ambiance of the fire and the company.
"I've always loved this fireplace. Aunt Amy used to complain about the mess and the maintenance, but I love a good fire. My father rarely allowed one growing up—he thought it was an extravagance. So when he was away on business, Mother and I always built a great roaring one, just to feel like we were getting away with something." Solo smiled at the memory of his mother sharing their secret.
Illya shook his head. "Americans. Every home in Russia has a fireplace. It is a necessity, not an indulgence. We keep the woodpile high and the fire higher. I was surprised that so many newer homes here have none. The old farmhouses have them, to be sure, but they are necessary there, too. Your farmers, I understand better. The city dwellers are a mystery."
"How so?" Solo asked. Illya rarely opened up about his past, and he always encouraged any information he could get.
Illya leaned back against the couch and loosened his tie. "They leave their rural roots, move to the big city, and then what do they do on the first day they have off? They head to Central Park to 'commune with nature.' They moan about the dearth of green spaces and plant micro-gardens. Pah. They should stop complaining or move back to the farm."
Solo grunted. "That's a bit harsh, don't you think?" He set his empty plate on the table and leaned back as well. "People want what they don't have. It's human nature."
"'Human Nature' has been used as an excuse for far too many things for far too many years." Kuryakin filled his glass and tossed the frigid liquor back.
Solo frowned at his gloomy partner. "You're very Russian tonight."
"It's been a day for being Russian."
"That it has, my friend—that it has," Napoleon agreed. They sat on the couch watching the fire and enjoying the quiet and the company.
Solo jerked his head up, annoyed he'd fallen asleep. Illya snored softly beside him, no doubt the sound waking him. The fire had burned down to glowing embers, and the window overlooking the street was dark, streetlights the only thing glowing. He rubbed his neck, stiff from the couch, and nudged his partner.
"Illya, wake up." Kuryakin stirred, sat up and looked blearily at Solo. Napoleon took the glass from Illya's nerveless hand, and tidied up from their libations. "It's late. You might as well stay here tonight." He took the dishes to the kitchen, ran water and left them for the morning. He took a pillow and blanket from the hall closet and dropped them onto the couch. "Your kit is in the bathroom. Want some jammies?" He grinned at his friend.
Illya scowled, stood, wobbled a bit, and headed for the bathroom. Solo placed the grate in front of the fire, tossed the throw pillows on the floor and made up the couch. Illya returned, sat heavily and took off his tie. "I think something crawled in my mouth and died."
"Yeah, about a fifth of vodka," Solo replied. "Need anything before I turn in?"
"Just keep me on your donor list for a new liver, okay?"
Solo laughed. "You've got it, partner. Although, I am currently using it."
"Duly noted." He turned on his side and went immediately to sleep. Solo always wondered how he did it. He shook out the blanket and placed it over the Russian.
He watched the red glow from the fireplace for a minute more, sighed over the events of the day and headed for his bedroom.
Napoleon came awake for the second time that evening and listened, his training overriding his need for sleep. Nothing seemed amiss, yet he was unable to relax back into sleep. He mulled over the funeral, the death of his mentor, the inevitable changes of the spy business. The more he tried to sleep, the more restless he became. He threw back the covers and padded quietly to the bathroom, splashing cool water on his face, knowing it was useless to try and sleep anymore. He looked in the mirror, noting the haggard face staring at him in return, bloodshot eyes and five o'clock shadow reminding him of the years gone and the journey lived.
He went back to his bedroom and sat on the bed. He wondered if Waverly'd felt like this; wondering if he had done any good in the grand scheme of things. Was it worth it all in the end? Solo couldn't ask him now, he could only do what he thought was right for him and his life. The longer he sat and mulled, the more he was sure of his decision.
Napoleon stood, and like his namesake, charged the field of battle.
Illya lay sleeping on his back, one arm draped over his eyes, blanket puddled around his feet. The fire still glowed faintly, giving the shock of blond hair red highlights. He slept soundly, as comfortable here as at home.
Napoleon merely watched, taking advantage of the time to really look at his partner. The years melted from the Russian when he slept, the lines of his face smoothing out and the troubles of the day left behind. Solo'd always thought of Illya as a very pretty man, though he would never say so out loud. He preferred his teeth in his mouth.
He knew he was taking a chance tonight, with his teeth and the rest of him, but he couldn't go on as usual anymore. Waverly's death had sealed his fate, and he'd be damned if he'd let another day go by without living it to the fullest. He took a deep breath and jumped into the briar patch known as Illya Kuryakin.
Solo circled the couch, ending up at Illya's feet, and knelt on the floor next to him. He listened to him breathe, and then gently placed his hand on the top of one foot. Illya stirred, sniffed, and went back to sleep. Napoleon merely massaged the foot gently, not wanting to shock Illya into wakefulness, or provoke the agent's reflexes unduly.
He slid his hand up to the calf, his warm skin cupping the firm muscle on the back of Illya's leg. He sat next to him, his other hand brought into play on the other leg. He slid Illya's socks off, watching his partner's eyelids flutter at the sensation. He stopped his massage, waiting for Illya to wake and catch up.
Illya stirred, raised his head and looked blearily at Solo. "Napoleon? What's wrong?"
Solo's brain whirled. He could make an excuse, saying he'd heard something, or wanted to check on the fire, or basically any excuse he needed to bring things back to status quo between them. Coward, his inner voice scolded. No, he decided. I don't want status quo. I want Illya.
"Shh...nothing's wrong, Illya. I'm finally trying to make something right." He spoke softly, letting the quiet and the night speak for him. He ran his hands across Illya's knees, sliding underneath to the ticklish area there. Illya hissed, but that was the only sound from him. He blinked at Solo, shook his head to clear it and watched his partner with a quizzical expression on his face. He didn't move, or kick, or in any other manner deter Solo from his travels. Solo took that as tacit permission and became bolder.
He rubbed the soft skin behind Illya's knees, his thumb rubbing against the ridges of tendons at the edges. He pushed the bony knees together and made room for himself on the couch, splay-legged over Illya's extremities, watching carefully for any sign that Illya was opposed to the new direction they were headed. His partner sighed and closed his eyes, trying to calm his breathing. Sweat formed on his upper lip, and Solo itched to lick it off. But he stayed where he was, allowing Illya to participate in his own seduction. Illya's tongue snaked out and ran across his top lip, and he sighed deeply, letting his head fall back on the pillow.
Napoleon was glad Illya didn't see the broad smile that broke across his features at that surrender. He merely slid his warm hands across the strongly muscled thighs, massaging and gently kneading the pliant body under him. He stopped advancing, letting Illya tell him what was allowed.
Illya opened his blue eyes, almost black in the dark and eclipsed by his desire. He said nothing, merely looked at Solo. Napoleon received all the permission he needed in that look. All the trust, the affection and the affirmation telegraphed through that gaze, and Solo's heart read it in a second, beating harder and faster as it did so.
Solo did smile, then, and Illya matched it, giving him an almost shy, what do we do next look. Napoleon took off his pajama top, letting it fall on the carpet. He began at the bottom of Illya's dress shirt, pulling on the hem and working the first button loose. With each button, Solo let his hands play across the goose-bumped skin of Illya's belly. When he uncovered his navel, he allowed his finger to swirl around and then sweep inside, tickling and rubbing, making Illya work at staying still. He stopped just short of squirming, but groaned out loud at the intrusive touches.
Once at Illya's neck, Solo pulled the thin material apart, trapping Kuryakin's arms at his sides with the bunched fabric. Illya did strain forward at that, wanting to touch Solo, somewhere, anywhere. Solo flexed his powerful shoulder muscles, pushing Illya back down. He was impatient as well, wanting to taste and feel and explore the pale flesh beneath him.
After a moment of sheer sybaritic demurral, Napoleon dipped down and swept his lips across Illya's Adam's apple, licking to one side and up to the tip of one ear. He sucked the lobe into his mouth, hearing the gasp of Illya's response and bit gently on the succulent skin. Illya turned into the questing lips and whispered, "Napoleon..."
Solo shook his head once and silenced Illya by taking his bottom lip between his teeth and suckling. Illya stilled, his body going bow tight under Solo's onslaught. Napoleon continued to kiss the full mouth, encouraging Illya to join in by slipping the tip of his tongue into his lush wet mouth. Illya opened his mouth and allowed the intrusion, bathing the invader in his own saliva and suckling on the length, intimating things to come. Solo groaned then, imagining Illya's sweet mouth wrapped around him, and kept from rubbing against Illya like a tomcat in heat by the barest margin. He tasted vodka and toothpaste, and Illya.
Reluctantly, he left Illya's mouth and travelled south for more exploration. He used his tongue to mark the trail, nipping and biting, leaving red marks across the white skin as he went. Illya's chest was heaving as he tried to suck more air into his overcharged system. Napoleon licked the sweat from him as he went, savoring the salty flavor of his lover. He dipped his wet tongue into Illya's navel, and trapped his hips under his hands as Illya bucked under him. He felt the bulge of Illya's arousal under him and slowly dragged his upper chest across it. His nipples contracted as he felt Illya jerk in the confines of his jockeys.
He was nose to groin with Illya now, smelling the hot musk of arousal and the essence that was pure distilled Illya. Helpless to do anything else, Solo tugged down the trousers and mouthed the white cotton of Illya's shorts until he found the hard length of him and suckled the tip into his mouth. His saliva coated the material as he mouthed lower, rolling the soft testicles with the tip of his tongue, making Illya twitch and shudder beneath him. Napoleon wanted this first time to be savored and he tried to linger, but his own need rose higher with each passing second.
He yanked again and skimmed the pants the rest of the way off, leaving Illya at his mercy. The white briefs were tented and wet from Solo's mouth and his work was rewarded by the hard outline of Illya's erection. Solo glanced upward and saw Illya with his arm flung across his eyes, as if to block out the sight of what his body was feeling.
Determined to break through Illya's defenses, Solo slowly pulled the briefs down an inch at a time, watching first the uncircumcised tip peek out, and then the rest of his hard shaft was revealed to his hungry eyes. He pulled the shorts away and lay halfway across Kuryakin's body, aching to feel him in his watering mouth.
One last look at Illya had him slavering with need. His lover watched him, blue eyes bright with lust and anticipation. Solo gave him a lopsided grin and then bent to take the hard flesh in his willing mouth.
Illya arched as if hit by lightning. "Govno!" he whimpered, bucking up into the warmth of Solo's assault. That put him in exactly the position Solo wanted—helpless and needy. He licked and sucked greedily, wanting to imprint the smell and the feel of Illya into his senses, the tangy taste of his emission egging him on. He pulled the foreskin back and forth over Illya's slit, hearing him whimper and moan each time. His saliva ran out the corners of his mouth and coated Illya's testicles. Solo let go of his prize with a soft pop and then tongued and mouthed the soft sac beneath.
Illya was murmuring in broken Russian, babbling so that Solo couldn't translate. He needn't have anyway; he knew exactly what he was feeling. His own erection was hard and weeping, and he hoped he could hold off a bit longer. Plunging down again, he deep-throated Illya, and a second later felt the blunt fingers of his partner grasping his thick hair, directing the up and down motion of his head. Solo smiled against his mouthful, loving the possessive feel of his lover's hands on him. He played with the furred pouch while he sucked, faster now, wanting to taste Illya in his mouth. He was ready to blow himself, so he used one final trick. He placed his finger in his mouth alongside Illya's cock, and coated it in saliva. Holding just the tip of Illya's erection in his lips, he felt under the sac and circled the tight pucker once, twice, and then plunged the whole digit in as deeply as he could.
Illya bucked hard, yelled his name and buried himself in the greedy sucking maelstrom that was Solo's mouth. Napoleon felt the balls tighten in his grasp, and then the head swelled and erupted down his throat. He pulled back a bit, wanting to taste every drop. Strong pulses emptied into him, and he swallowed and sucked, draining Illya. Never in his life had he dreamed of hearing the intimate sounds coming from his partner. Illya whimpered and groaned as his testicles writhed and emptied into his lover's mouth, the spasms dying down and finally ending.
Napoleon held the organ in his mouth, keeping it warm and safe as Illya came down from his high. Illya's hands petted Solo's hair, gently soothing where he had pulled in his orgasmic state. After a few moments, Solo crawled up to Illya's chest, shamelessly rubbing himself along his hot skin on the way. He fed at Illya's mouth again, sharing the taste of his lover's semen with him as they tongued and sucked each other's wetness. Solo stropped his erection against Illya's hip bone, needy beyond words. Illya continued to kiss him as he snaked his hand between them and grasped Napoleon's cock, milking and squeezing and urging him with his lips and tongue to let it happen. Now it was Napoleon who whimpered, feeling his impending orgasm building.
Illya kissed his forehead and whispered, breaking the silence. "Come for me, dushka, come now." He worked his hand faster, pulling the head through his fist and circling the eye. Solo tensed, then hugged Illya close as his body erupted, spilling his hot seed onto Illya's belly, pulsing in waves of pearly ribbons. He collapsed onto Illya, then, his delayed orgasm wreaking him, making him boneless with release. His emission pooled between their sweaty bodies, creating an organic glue that bound them together. They lay together, calming slowly, catching their breaths as their bodies climbed down from the brink. Illya sighed deeply, stroking Solo's hair gently as he felt Napoleon's heart beating against his.
"Not that I'm complaining, mind you..." Illya started. He felt Solo's laugh against his chest.
"You'd better not."
"Perish the thought," he added. He cleared his throat and said, "But, ah..."
"What brought this on?" Solo finished for him.
"Exactly." Illya settled more comfortably on the sofa, keeping Napoleon snug against him.
"Today. The funeral. Life and death."
Illya shook his head. "Now who's being very Russian?"
Solo smiled against Illya's neck. "Just goes to show how much we're alike. Why we'll work together so well."
"We already work together so well."
Napoleon wearily raised his head and waggled his eyebrows at his lover. "I meant how we'll WORK together so well..." His head dropped back down. "Take just now, for example."
"I'd agree in about a dozen languages, if I had the strength," Illya added.
"If you had the strength, I'd doubt my abilities as a lover."
Illya snorted. "Now that's something I never thought I'd hear from Napoleon Solo—based on what I've heard from the rumor mill at work, anyway."
Solo rose up on an elbow, pricked enough to ask, "And just what have you heard from the rumor mill?"
The Russian smiled. "Suffice it to say that the ladies have not been disappointed. Any more details would only serve to inflate your already bloated ego."
Napoleon frowned, but let the remark pass. "And just how have you been privy to the details, anyway?"
Illya folded his arms under his head and smirked at his partner. "Napoleon. I am a spy."
"Snoop, you mean," Solo said.
"Why, Napoleon, I never snoop," Illya said haughtily. "I merely placed a discreet listening device near the secretarial water cooler."
Solo laughed despite himself. "You bugged the bubbler?" He smacked Illya on his chest with the flat of his hand. "Now, why didn't I think of that?"
Scowling, Illya rubbed at the red mark and said, "Because you are much too...American...to do so."
"And, pray tell, what did these other Americans have to say about the great Illya Kuryakin and his sexual prowess?" Solo trailed his fingertip across the drying semen on Illya's stomach and watched the muscles twitch under his hand.
Illya's expression changed; he seemed melancholy for a beat and then replied, "Oh, nothing earth-shaking. Certainly nothing worth repeating." He turned away and watched the glow of the fire.
Napoleon cupped Illya's cheek with one hand and pulled his gaze back to him. "Tell me."
Illya laced his fingers through the hand that touched him, and sighed. "There seemed to be three camps. One: I was married. Two: I was gay. Three: I was castrated by the KGB, and that's why they allowed me to come here."
Solo was stunned by the revelation and how callous the women had been. He said nothing but gripped Illya's hand tighter.
"It's all right, Napoleon. We both know I have been married, and I would classify myself, if pressed, as bi-sexual, not gay." Illya took their clasped hands and ran them down his chest, across his abs, and between his legs, cupping his sac and encouraging Solo to explore once again. "And, as I've demonstrated just now, I am not castrated." He wrapped strong arms around Napoleon's back, pulling him closer, kissing along the side of his neck, along his jawline.
Solo hefted the soft globes in his hand and felt the weight of them on his palm. "The castrati's loss is definitely my gain." He sought Illya's mouth and kissed him tenderly, suckling at the wetness there and stoking their reawakening arousal.
Illya spoke softly against his cheek when they broke for air. "Besides, I've only cared about the opinions of two men. We buried one of them today. The other is in my arms tonight."
The dying embers popped once, and the soft glow covered the twining bodies as they discovered each other anew.