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Who Bottoms?

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Who Bottoms?
By YumYum

"I don't believe it. You and Illya!" April exclaimed over her coffee cup.

Slate dropped his head, heaving a mental sigh. He and April had met for their usual morning coffee and he had not meant to let that slip.

"Just when did you two...?" April asked, leaning forward, her chin resting on an open palm.

"Remember the affair ... what did Waverly name it? Ah yes, the Galatea Affair." Mark asked. At April's nod he continued. "Well, when Napoleon ended up the Baroness...I ended up with Illya."

"Is he any good?" April's eyes sparkled wickedly as she took another sip of her coffee.

"Very." Mark smiled wistfully as he mentally replayed last night's activities.

"I'm jealous." April set down her cup and continued, mostly to herself. "That would explain a lot though." Then as Mark's eyebrows canted upward questioningly, she added, "Illya doesn't date a lot."

"And just how do you know that?"

April leaned close and said conspiratorially, "I'm a spy, darling."

The two partners continued to drink their coffee, each one thinking their own thoughts.

"Who bottoms?" April's question broke through Mark's daydream.

"I do." Mark blushed, a tad embarrassed.

April took it all in stride. "Odd. I would have thought..."

"He does when he's with Napoleon." Mark clamped his mouth tightly shut; he should most definitely never have said that. Had April put something in his coffee?

April perked up. "Illya and Napoleon! Of course that makes more sense. I can't see Napoleon bottoming." Napoleon was Chief Enforcement Agent after all.

Mark smirked. "Oh Napoleon does his share of bottoming."

"I don't believe it!" Napoleon Solo give up control of anything? Well anything was possible.

"It's true, luv. If Napoleon rescues Illya, Illya bottoms. If Illya rescues Napoleon, Napoleon bottoms," Mark said in answer to April's look of disbelief. "Why do you think their missions so often end up so successfully, April luv?"

April nodded thoughtfully. "Tell me, Mark, does Napoleon know Illya's plowing your field so to speak?"

"Good lord, I hope not. You won't tell him, I hope."

"Of course not and lose the best partner I could have. It's time to go, Mark," April said as she looked at her watch before gathering up her purse to leave. "You will pay, won't you?"

Mark reluctantly pulled his wallet out. He had a feeling he'd be paying for this morning for a long time.



Napoleon stormed into Mark and April's shared office, startling both agents, grabbed the back of Slate's jacket, and forcefully pulled him from the room. April, surprised by the unexpected attack, ran to keep up with them, pausing as they entered the Men's room.

Napoleon opened a stall door; thrust Mark roughly into it, then brought his livid face inches from the startled Brits. "What the hell have you been doing with my partner?" Napoleon snarled.

Illya, his appearance a bit bedraggled, appeared as April, uncertain as to whether to enter the bathroom or not, stood at the door. He gently pushed her aside and entered the bathroom. "Napoleon, stop! It's not his fault."

Napoleon's eyes burned into the young Englishman's before he hurled him out of the stall and stood there his fists clenching and unclenching.

"Mark, leave," Illya requested quietly. His eyes remained focused on the American's back as Mark, with amazing speed, slipped out the bathroom door.

"Why? Just tell me why?" Napoleon demanded, his back still to his partner, anger evident in every word.

"Why? Why do you feel the need to bury yourself in every woman that passes your way?" Illya asked reasonably. "You have no more a claim on me then I do you. You weren't available, Mark was."

Napoleon worked hard to control the hurt he felt from showing as he slowly turned around. Illya was right as always.

"Why didn't you call me?" Napoleon asked.

Illya looked away. "It is not in me to beg. Besides would you have come?"

Napoleon walked up to Illya, taking his face between his hands and looking deep into the troubled azure eyes. "If you need"

A shy smile lit the Russian's face.

"Promise me never again," Napoleon demanded.

Illya considered. Mark had been good - very, very good. He was no Napoleon, but then who was. Illya had enjoyed taking charge in his and Mark's encounter. No matter who was bottoming, Napoleon always managed to keep control and who knew when Illya might need to be domineering again. "Perhaps," he replied, hedging his bets.

Napoleon pulled him into a warm embrace, satisfied for now. After a moment the two men exited the Men's room, surprised to find several fellow agents blocked from entering by April, Mark being nowhere in the vicinity.

With a look of gratitude toward her, Napoleon pushed Illya ahead of him down the hall toward their office as he called over his shoulder ordering his fellow agents to carry on.

Illya stopped after two steps, "I'll be with you in a moment," he told his partner. He turned, 'who said you couldn't have your cake and eat it too', he silently mouthed, flashing a wicked smile at the stunned April, before turning and continuing on his way down the hall.



Earlier, Napoleon whistled as he wandered into his office, not in the least surprised to find Illya already there.

"Have an enjoyable time last night?" Illya asked, not looking up from his report.

"Ohhhh, yes. It was very invigorating," Napoleon said as he sat down.

Illya smirked. Invigorating - an interesting choice of words.

Napoleon glance up, noting the satisfied smile on Illya's face and alarm bells went off in his head. "So how was your evening?" he asked, not sure if he wanted to know the answer.

Illya thought about it for a moment before replying. "Invigorating."

The alarm bells were going full tilt. Napoleon cleared his throat to ask casually, "Just how invigorating?"

"Really, Napoleon. Just....invigorating. Can we drop the subject?" Illya answered.

Napoleon felt a tightness in his chest, though he wasn't sure why. Something was wrong. Illya wasn't looking him in the eye.

George Dennel walked into the room just then. "Hi, Napoleon. Here's the report on the latest....blah..blah..blah." Napoleon wasn't really listening; his eyes were on Illya who was studiously ignoring him. Dennel finally turned to leave. "By the way, Illya. Did you and Mark have a good time last night?"

Napoleon's eyes widened. Illya's face turned red, then his expression turned placid. "Yes, thank you," he answered politely. Illya sent a quick glance Napoleon's way and turned pale at the fury he saw directed at him.

Dennel left the room never knowing the havoc he left behind.

Illya and....Mark? Perhaps he had heard wrong. But one look at Illya's face confirmed it. The Russian could hide things from others, but not from him. Napoleon went livid, the pen in his hand snapped as he kept his eyes on his partner. He threw the pen aside and got up from his desk. He wasn't thinking, just reacting, as he headed for the door.

"Napoleon, no!" Illya said as he got between Napoleon and the door.

Napoleon didn't stop, brushing the Russian to one side hard enough that he fell over his chair onto the floor. Outside the door, Napoleon quickly set the lock, making sure he could not be followed. Then he set out briskly down the hall.

He and Illya were partners and friends and after stressful missions they were even lovers. Yes he was selfish. There was no way on God's green earth that he was going to share what he felt was rightfully his. He worked hard keeping that sorry bastard alive, for him and him alone.

As the door to Mark and April's office slid open, his only thought was that Mark was going to rue the day he'd been born.



Napoleon, leaving Illya behind, started for their office. He hadn't gone far when he changed his mind. Needing to get away, to think over his actions, he roamed U.N.C.L.E. headquarters until he found the deepest, darkest spot he could find, a dimly lit circular metal stairway so remote he doubted if anyone remembered it was there anymore.

One bulb at the top of the stairway lit the passage as he stopped halfway down and sat running his fingers through his hair wondering what had possessed him. He should never have lost it like that, especially here at U.N.C.L.E. headquarters. He had no right to make demands of Illya, no right at all. Illya was right, he had no claim to him and the thought was slowly eating away at him.

He remembered Illya's response to his demand. Perhaps. As Illya would put it 'a word that stuck edgewise in one's throat to strangle one' and it ate at his gut. He folded his arms across his knees and rested his head upon them. Here in this dark, dank stairwell he admitted to himself what the problem was. The fear of losing his partner. If Illya was finding pleasure with someone else, how soon would it be before he didn't need him anymore at all? Perhaps it was already too late; he may have already lost his friend and partner.

The more he thought about it, the more he realized his actions had been motivated by jealousy. It was not a sensation that he was used to feeling. No one had ever managed to get close enough to him to evoke the emotion. It had reared its ugly head and refused to be brushed away.

He clamped his lips tightly together as he felt his eyes prickle. He was an U.N.C.L.E. agent and agents did not cry. Hell, he hadn't cried at the death of his parents nor his wife's all those many years ago.

Napoleon raised his head as footsteps sounded on the narrow metal steps, stopping behind and above him. Napoleon didn't have to turn to know to whom they belonged to. Who else would have the tenacity to come looking for him, and the ability to find him? He could hear the rustle of cloth as Illya sat down, one foot resting on the step at his side. "I'm sorry," Napoleon croaked in a low voice.

"You should be," Illya stated calmly.

Napoleon would have laughed, but his eyes were burning and a tear threatening to escape.

A hand lightly stroked the back of his head, down his neck to rest on his back, and a small sigh escaped. "Napoleon, you are my partner. Not my keeper."

The simple touch sent shivers down Napoleon's spine and he remained silent waiting for the denouncement he knew was coming.

"Mark will undoubtedly be staying out of your way for some time. You should not have scared him like that," Illya chastised lightly.

Napoleon's rage had been such that if Illya had not stopped him he would have done serious damage to the Brit and that scared him.

"You will apologize to him, will you not?"

Napoleon nodded not trusting his voice.

"Ah, Napoleon, what am I to do with you?" Illya's voice was light with a tinge of amusement. It was the straw that broke the camels back and try as he might to stop it, a sob escaped Napoleon's throat.

"Napoleon?" Illya asked. His palm reaching to turn his partner's face toward him met with wetness. Shocked he let out a sigh and rested his head against Napoleon's back. "I'm sorry. I didn't know," he said softly.

With an intake of breath, Napoleon replied, his voice equally low. "Neither did I."

Illya kissed the top of the dark head, patted Napoleon on the back and got up. "When you have composed yourself we will talk, yes?"

Napoleon nodded, listening as Illya turned and slowly walked back up the stairs. Away.



Illya never got that chance to talk with Napoleon. Mr. Waverly requested that he meet an incoming agent at the airport and escort him back to headquarters. An assignment he had gladly undertaken, as he was not looking forward to their talk. It was late afternoon when he returned.

He was apprehensive as he entered their office, only to find that Napoleon was not there. Sitting at his desk, he activated the intercom system. "Connie, has Mr. Solo left for the day."

The sound of rustling paper came over the speaker. "No. According to the records he's still here."

"Thank you, Connie," Illya said, cutting off the connection. He drummed his fingers on his desk top. Where could Napoleon be? He left the office intent on checking the most obvious place. The commissary yielded no results, however. No one had seen Napoleon.

His next stop was April and Mark's office. As he entered Mark pushed back his chair in alarm moving to the far side of the room. "Don't come near me, Mate."

Illya stood at the doorway, his mouth ajar. This was not the reaction he had expected.

"Just stay away from me." Mark made shooing motions, much to April's amusement.

Illya waved it aside. "He wouldn't have harmed you."

"You didn't see the look on his face. The bloke could have very well killed me," Mark accused. "All because of you."

"Mark, you're over-reacting," April informed Mark, laughter in her voice.

"I bloody well am not," Mark said indignantly.

"I take that to mean you haven't seen Napoleon. He was supposed to stop by and apologize."

"No I haven't." There was anger in Mark's voice. "I can face any number of Thrush agents, but not him. He had me so blasted scared I almost wet me pants."

Illya was skeptical, Mark didn't scare easily. Thinking this some sort of put on, Illya left.
If it wasn't a put on, something was seriously wrong. Napoleon had plenty of time to make peace with Mark.

Deciding to start at the last place he had seen Napoleon, Illya headed toward the stairwell. Opening the door he called out, "Napoleon." His eyes followed the ray of light to the bottom, where crumpled on the floor lay his partner. "Napoleon!" he called again as he rushed down the stairs, his foot slipping on one of the steps. Only by catching the railing did he escape from falling headlong down the circular stair.

Illya's heart was pounding when he reached the bottom. The body was so still. He checked Napoleon for a pulse, relieved to find one even though it was faint before pulling out his communicator. "Agent down, stairwell E1."

Time seemed to slow, as he shakily sat on the bottom step waiting for the arrival of the medical team. After what seemed like ages the top door opened. Help had arrived. "Careful one of the steps is slippery." He stood up and called out as several men started down the winding stairs.

Dr. Bender pushed past the two men moving carefully down the stairs, his men following awkwardly with a stretcher. At the bottom he knelt beside Napoleon's body. "What happened?"

"I don't know...I think he must have slipped," Illya postulated.

"How long has he been here?" Bender asked pulling out his stethoscope.

"I do not know that either." Illya was gripping the railing tightly.

The two orderlies set down the stretcher; waiting on the doctor's okay to load it.

Dr. Bender slowly took shook his head.

Illya felt as if his world had collapsed. Sliding down to sit on the lowest step, he whispered. "No."


The funeral was held two days later and such a turnout as ever there was. Several THRUSH agents including Angelique and Serena were in attendance. Toward the end Angelique stopped over to where Illya was standing at the back of the crowd. "Darling, I know we never got along, but I wish you to know I am truly sorry."

Illya ignored her, as if she wasn't there. In fact he ignored everyone, leaving once the coffin was set into the ground.

Once back on the job, as number two, section two he was now in charge of section two and Illya threw himself into his work, causing more then one person to remark on his coldness. He avoided interaction with people as much as he could, refusing ever so politely, to work with anyone closely. At home he drank one glass of vodka before throwing the rest of the bottle down the sink, never to buy another. One thing he refused to do was drink himself into oblivion.

Waverly seemed to realize that Illya needed time to adjust and left him to his own resources, not insisting upon matching him up with someone else.

The one time Mark had approached to offer his sympathy, the Russian had coldly insisted he leave, and so Mark was left feeling that he had not only lost Napoleon as a superior, but Illya as a friend as well.

Gradually thing settled down into a routine and Napoleon was no longer thought of or mentioned by the others who worked at U.N.C.L.E.


"I never thought I would live to see you give up."

Illya opened one bloodshot eye to view through open bars his partner, dressed as he had been on that last day. Every bone and muscle in his body hurt and he was ready to welcome death. Knowing he was hallucinating he said through lips that were cracked and split. "You're dead."

"Am I?" the apparition asked.

Illya slowly sat up from the place where he had so carelessly been thrown to lean against the hard wall. "Yes, damn it." He glared at the hallucination.

"Those documents you carry are important," the ghostly form stated. "You have to get out of here and get them back to U.N.C.L.E."

Illya laughed, his laughter quickly changing to a groan as he clutched his broken ribs. "Just how would you suggest I do that?"

The vision gave a smile, so reminiscent of Solo's that Illya's heart skipped a beat. Then it crouched down and stared intently at the lock. A click could be heard and as the ghost of Napoleon Solo backed away the door slowly swung open. "Come on, Illya. I know you can do this. I have faith in you."

Having no choice, Illya pulled himself up and dragged himself toward the open cell door. Each step more difficult than the one before. The only thing that kept him from falling was the knowledge that his friend was with him, speaking encouragement the entire way.

Somehow he made it back to headquarters, ignoring the startled look of his associates as he brought the documents to Waverly's office and plopped them down upon his desk. "Here they are, sir."

Waverly looked up shocked by the sight of his chief agent standing before him, battered and bruised, his clothing torn. "Good gracious, man. Get yourself over to medical immediately," he ordered even as he flicked the switch on his console to inform them to expect the Russian agent. Unfortunately before he could do anything Kuryakin had collapsed on his floor.


Illya felt himself rise from his physical body. Napoleon was waiting, his hand outstretched, to pull him to his feet. He looked down at his former body, battered and broken, then down surprised to find his clothing once again intact.

Napoleon pulled him close, holding him as crowds of people converged over his lifeless body. When the emergency medical personnel showed up to revive him, Kuryakin panicked and turned to Napoleon demanding, "Stop them!" not sure of what if anything Napoleon could do to accomplish it, but trusting in his partner.

Napoleon looked at him intently. "Are you sure?"

"Yes," Illya stated firmly as he watched in horror as they cut away his shirt, hooking him up, readying his body for the electrical paddles that even now were charging.

Napoleon closed his eyes, concentrating and the room went dark. He pulled Illya into a fierce embrace and whispered into his ear, "Close your eyes."

Illya obeyed, not knowing what would happen, but knowing he wanted this as he had never wanted anything before. He could feel his clothing dissolve from his body, then Napoleon was on him, in him. He was much taken aback that he could feel these sensations that he had thought never to feel again. You are never so aware of what you have lost until it is gone.

Then just as unexpectedly he was inside Napoleon and Napoleon was keening in ecstasy. Suddenly they were clothed again and still clinging to each other. Illya opened his eyes, his body was gone. The chief medical officer was offering his condolences to Waverly. "I'm sorry, sir, there was nothing that could be done."

Napoleon stepped away, giving Illya space to come to terms with everything. The only thing Illya could think of was that he had never felt so content. He might be dead but he was not alone. A brilliant smile lit his face as he asked, "Well what happens now?"

An answering smile lit Napoleon's face and he shrugged, "I'm not sure. I don't think we were good enough to merit heaven nor bad enough to be confined to hell. Perhaps we are destined to roam the earth."

Illya thought about it before uttering these final lines, "I can live with that."