Ashleigh Anpilova


Illya has a cold and is miserable. He asks Napoleon to prove that he loves him.

An established relationship story.

Written: May 2005. Word count: 856.





"Bless you."


"Thank you." Illya sounded weary and Napoleon wasn't surprised. It was the same exchange they'd had at least thirty times since getting out of bed two hours ago - not that Napoleon was counting.


Illya blew his nose, and dropped the tissue into the already over-flowing trashcan. He looked far from his best; even Napoleon, who thought his lover looked gorgeous under any and all circumstances, had to admit that. His ultra-pale skin accentuated the redness of his nose, making

the young man easily rival Rudolph.


It was a horrid spring cold, one that had been doing the rounds of U.N.C.L.E. Headquarters for the past four weeks. No one had escaped, even Napoleon who normally never succumbed to

colds, had spent three miserable days suffering with one. However, he had been fortunate; some people had been hit more than once. It had caused so much disruption to the usual work schedule, that there were even rumors - unsubstantiated ones - that THRUSH were somehow responsible.


However Illya, whose penchant for catching colds seemed to almost rival his penchant for being captured, was now on his fourth round, and it was fast wearing him down. In fact Alexander Waverly had pulled his top team from fieldwork only yesterday, claiming that Napoleon had reports to catch up on, and Illya's presence was needed in the labs. Illya, currently doing the said paperwork, was still waiting for his ‘presence to be needed.' The fact that Illya hadn't complained about either the change of duty or the paperwork was not a good sign.


"Bless you," Napoleon said, anticipating the sneeze as he saw the large hand grope across the desk toward the rapidly depleting box of tissues. This time Illya merely glanced at him and offered a half-nod in response.


"Illya," Napoleon said after several moments when the only sounds were those of Illya blowing his nose and sniffing. A blond eyebrow vanished into the overlong bangs. "Don't you think you ought to . . . " Napoleon trailed off as the red rimmed blue eyes narrowed. He waited, expecting an outburst. However, Illya merely sighed and blew his nose again.


"Napoleon," his voice sounded gravelly. "Do you not think, that if I believed for one moment the doctor could help me, that I would have seen him by now?"


Napoleon paused before answering. Illya and medics didn't exactly mesh naturally together, despite the amount of time the Russian spent in their company. However, even Illya wasn't this much of a masochist. In the end he settled for a shrug. "Sorry," he said. "It's just that . . ." Again he trailed off.


The artic blue eyes softened and Illya even managed a quarter smile. "I know," he said, once more groping for a tissue.


The next half hour passed in the same kind of silence as before, with only four words being spoken, albeit several times each. Napoleon was bent over his desk, adding his own comments to the report Illya had dutifully written, when the sound of his lover's voice made him glance up sharply.


"Pasha, you do love me, do you not?" Illya's tone was plaintive; there was no other word for it.


Napoleon blinked. They didn't hide their relationship, how could they when they lived together with Mr. Waverly's blessing? But they didn't normally engage in this level of intimate exchanges within U.N.C.L.E.'s buildings. Nonetheless, the pitiful tone, together with the pathetic look on Illya's face moved him to answer. "Of course I do, Lusha," he said softly, slipping into using his most gentle version of his partner's given name.


"Prove it," Illya said, his tone still honey-sweet, as he batted absurdly long eyelashes and pouted gently.


The effect was ruined somewhat by the shiny nose, running eyes, and unhealthy pallor, but still Napoleon's body began to react. However, they were in HQ, albeit in their own office that did not

have security cameras; he could always lock the door.


Napoleon felt his mouth begin to dry out and his palms become damp. "How?" he said, trying to ignore that fact that his voice had risen by nearly an octave. To his surprise he discovered that he too had risen, crossed the room, and was now perched on Illya's own desk, with one hand on his lover's shoulder, the other caressing a fine wrist.


Illya looked up at him from under his bangs and eyelashes. He smiled his I-know-exactly-how-to-get-my-own-way smile, and held out the hand Napoleon wasn't holding. "Lend me your handkerchief."


Napoleon froze and stared down at Illya, groaning silently. Illya had successfully used up their entire joint supply of cotton hankies, leaving Napoleon with only his best, expensive, handmade, linen ones - the most expensive of which he had grabbed that day. They were not handkerchiefs to be used, they were merely for display.


However, this was Illya, his best friend, partner, and lover; the person to whom Napoleon could deny nothing. He dug into his pocket and extracted the heavy, cream square and held it out. "Bless you," he said, just in time, and squeezed the black clad shoulder gently.



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