To Tell The Truth
Illya stirred in his sleep and slowly started to wake. That in itself was odd. Usually he was instantly alert—UNCLE training had a way of making that happen. He became aware of an arm draped casually over his waist, the rise and fall of a chest against his back that was rocking him gently and the feeling of warm breath ruffling through his hair. The combination was enough to lull him into a near stupor. He didn't want to wake more fully, for it didn't take a rocket scientist, or even a Doctor of Quantum Mechanics, to know that it was Napoleon holding him. Contentment, security, and the sense of completion settled in beside him.
The previous day's memories started trickling back to him in bits and pieces and Illya smiled as he nestled back against Napoleon and remembered.
"Napoleon, are you a habitual liar?"
"I prefer to think of it as occupational. Why do you ask?" Napoleon glanced over at his partner, delighted to have a chance to not be doing paperwork. He would very much like to have a magic receptacle that would handle all of this and let him move on to more pleasant tasks, like qualifying down on the gun range or flirting with a secretary or five.
"I was looking at a report from the psych department and they are putting forward the theory that Section Two agents have become so conditioned to lying, we are incapable of telling the truth."
"No, I don't give that any credence. I lie when the job demands it—"
"What if you make two dates for the same evening?"
"As I said, when the job demands it."
"You consider dating part of your job?" Intrigued, Illya set down the pencil he'd been toying with and gave Napoleon his rapt attention.
"Not really, but I don't pursue it as avidly as you do."
"If I weren't working, then I'd be able to have a normal life and I wouldn't double book. Because I am always working, I tend to lose track of time and make the occasional mistake. Hence, it's part of the job."
"Fuzzy logic then?"
Napoleon laughed. "It's my life."
After a moment, Illya asked quietly, "Do you lie to me?"
"I will answer that by posing the same question to you." For a moment their eyes met and each man knew the uncomfortable truth. In an attempt to lighten the mood, Napoleon slapped his hands together, causing his partner to jump slightly at the noise. "I have an idea."
"The concept is a frightening one." Illya regained his composure and studied Napoleon. "What is it?"
"For twenty-four hours, we only tell the truth."
"Too risky. If either of us gets called into the field, that might compromise our mission..."
"Then to each other. Twenty-four hours of nothing but the truth."
"Could your ego take it?" One corner of Illya's mouth lifted in a small smirk, almost a smile, but not quite.
"Why do I suddenly feel like Damocles and why do I see a sword above my head?"
"I'm serious, Illya. Think of it as a team-building exercise of trust."
"And the consequence when one of us loses?"
"You mean when you lose. I have no intention of losing."
"Pointless to argue since a deal has yet to be struck. What are the consequences of failing?"
"Ah... okay, one of us has to stand up in the middle of the Canteen and sing something appropriate."
"I'm not sure the ceiling tiles could bear your singing, my friend."
"Cluck, cluck, cluck. What do you say—do we have a deal?" Napoleon held out his hand and after a moment, Illya took it and shook it firmly.
"All right, a deal. Did you take care of those of those R-14 forms?" It was a well-known fact that Napoleon hated filling out the long and complicated paperwork.
Why, of course..." Napoleon paused and sighed."... I didn't. I put them in the bottom of your in box, hoping you'd just do them without realizing what they were. Come on, Illya, you're not even trying."
"Hmm, obviously, I will have to wait until you are off guard." Illya dug through his in box and pulled out the form, thrusting them back to Napoleon. "Your forms, sir."
"Thanks for nothing." Napoleon took them with a grimace. "And truer words were never spoken." He pushed them into his in box. "So what did you do last night?"
"I spent a quiet evening with Sylvia."
"And who is Sylvia, may I inquire?" Napoleon returned to lean against Illya's desk.
Illya appeared to consider his answer before saying, "She's a French ex -pat who lives down the hall from me."
"That's where the story ends for you."
"Struck out, huh?" Napoleon seemed delighted at the thought.
"No. Unlike you, I prefer to play some of my cards closer to my chest." Illya put his glasses on and returned to a sheet of paper. "Did you blow up the car before losing the microdot to THRUSH or afterwards?"
"You blew up that car, Illya, not me."
"I thought we agreed..."
The bantering went on throughout the morning and into the afternoon, both men trying to back the other into a boldfaced lie.
Napoleon stopped and stared at the phone. "Is that thing broken?"
"Not that I'm aware of?"
"It hasn't rung all afternoon."
"Don't tell me The Great New York Lover is strapped for a date tonight?" Illya could see conflict in Napoleon's eyes. His partner's natural instinct was to defend his reputation and Illya knew it.
"I don't, but that's not what's bothering me. It's just that I usually get to this point in the paperwork and Mr. Waverly calls." Napoleon gestured to a stack of papers. "Look at this. I'm nearly finished and not one phone call."
"Nearly finished? What about all of those?" Illya indicated a haphazardly stacked pile of paper and file folders.
"Filing and/or being sent down to the typing pool."
"If you learned to type, you could take care of it yourself."
"Not really a motivating thought, partner. " Napoleon stretched his arms over his head and yawned. "There is nothing I hate quite as much as deskwork, but that's nothing new."
"What happens when they pull you from the field?"
"I will simply delegate it to everyone else." Napoleon stood and took his jacket from off the back of his chair. "What about you? Big plans tonight? You and Sylvia, maybe? So tell me more about this new woman in your life."
"Not that I know of and no, thank you. What I do with Sylvia is between the two of us."
"Party pooper. Want to go get a drink?"
"Well, since I'm habitually broke this close to payday..." Napoleon hunched his shoulders. "I guess that would be you."
"Well, it's refreshing to hear that truth for a change." Illya rose and winced at a pull in his back.
"You okay?" Napoleon waited for the denial, knowing Illya hated to admit any sort of weakness, real or perceived.
Instead, the blond offered Napoleon a small smile. "Back is a little sore. It must be getting ready to rain. It's never been quite the same since getting tossed over that cliff."
They ended up back at Napoleon's place. Taxis were at a premium once the rain hit and it was closer of the two.
By the time they got to Napoleon's apartment, both men were soaked to the bone.
"I thought the doorman was going to refuse you admittance," Illya joked as Napoleon got his door unlocked and the alarm turned off. "Either that or tell us to take the freight elevator."
"Donald takes his job very seriously, but even he knows who pays his salary around here." Napoleon flipped on the lights. "Get out of those wet clothes. I'll grab some towels."
"Who?" Illya asked as he peeled off his jacket and dropped it to the floor. His pants followed next.
"UNCLE." Napoleon glared at the pile as he offered a towel and a terry cloth robe. "Do you mind?"
"No." Illya got his tie and shirt off and pulled on the robe before using the towel on his hair. "Really? Your doorman is UNCLE?" His voice was muffled beneath the towel.
"Old retired Section Three agent, although we aren't supposed to know it. I came across it one day going through some files I was shredding."
Napoleon collected Illya's discarded clothes and carried them to the bathroom. He draped them over the shower rod and then quickly stripped out of his own wet suit. He hung it more carefully, telling himself it was because his suit cost three times what Illya had paid for his and was more delicate. He pulled on his old blue robe and tied the belt. Napoleon smiled at its terry cloth hug and sighed.
By the time he made it back into the living room, Illya had a fire going and was sitting cross-legged in front of it. Napoleon smiled at the image and walked over to his wet bar. He poured some whiskey for both of them and carried the glasses back to the fireplace.
"Nice." Napoleon handed Illya a glass and sat beside him. The fire played against Illya's hair, still mussed from its toweling, and his face, giving the man a ruddy glow. Napoleon caught himself reaching out to smooth the hair into place. He wasn't quite sure Illya was ready for that truth about him.
"I think I envy you this more than any of your other capitalistic frivolities."
"You like fire?"
"I like the instant heat it provides. It takes forever for the radiators in my apartment to heat up."
"You should move some place decent."
"Most of the time I don't mind. It's just, like now, when this would have been a hardship. Besides, how could I move and abandon Sylvia?"
"I suppose." Napoleon sipped his drink, eyes closing as the alcohol started a small fire in his stomach. "What do you want for dinner?"
"It's your call. As long as there's plenty and it's from a restaurant you have an account with, anything is fine."
"So, that's how it's going to play out, is it?"
"I paid for drinks."
"You are usually a bit coyer than this."
"I am still within the twenty-four hour requisite of truth telling. Oh, and get something for dessert as well."
Napoleon let his head roll against the back of the couch. The fire had started to burn low and the rain continued to beat against the glass of his patio door. The music, something jazzy, played soft and sad on the stereo.
Beside him, Illya looked more asleep than awake, his eyes only barely open. Napoleon reached out and brushed his hand against Illya's hair, smiling at the sensation. Illya's eyes opened slightly and he looked questioningly over at Napoleon.
"You want to go to bed?" Napoleon murmured. The double intent of his words didn't hit him until they were well out of his mouth.
"With you?" Illya's eyes opened a bit more. "Are we still in the 'nothing but the truth' state?"
"We are." Even though Napoleon feared the answer, it needed to be said and it needed to be the truth, whether it was what he wanted or not.
A smile appeared on Illya's lips and continued to warm his entire face. "Very much."
Napoleon knew Illya was awake and, for a moment, he did his best to feign sleep. He was an agent, he'd been trained by the best, but as Illya pressed back against him and sighed, all thoughts of sleep fled from Napoleon's mind.
"Good morning," he murmured, kissing the impossibly soft skin at the nape of Illya's neck.
"Technically, I suppose it is morning," Illya replied, obviously in no hurry to leave their cozy cocoon. He bent his head slightly, encouragingly as Illya guided Napoleon's hand down to his penis, hard and expectant. Napoleon needed nothing more by way of an invitation.
"So, tell me something, Mr. Kuryakin." Napoleon's hand started moving up and down and Illya sighed.
"Yes, Mr. Solo?"
"What will Sylvia say when you tell her you are moving in here to live with me?"
"Very little as she is only five months old and not capable of words quite yet. What makes you think I want to move in here with you?"
"Because, partner mine, I want something more with you than just an occasional roll in the hay." Napoleon's mouth nibbled Illya's neck and Illya shivered. "Make no mistake, this is nice, but having you closer at hand means you'd be..." He squeezed and smiled at Illya's grunt. "Closer at hand."
"Why not? I'm hoping you'll see things my way, but if not, then I shall wait until the inevitability of our relationship becomes the obvious to you. How many more reasons do you need?"
"Perhaps one more." Illya's hips moved encouragingly.
"All right." Napoleon slid his penis between Illya's upper thighs and started to count as he thrust. "One, because we can do this." His free hand found one of Illya's nipples and he squeezed. "Two ,because we can do this." Napoleon increased his grip on Illya's penis and angled himself up a bit more, rubbing against Illya's perineum. "Three, because we can do this."
It was to Illya's credit that he lasted all the way to ten.
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