Ashleigh Anpilova


Illya muses on the things of which he is proud.

An established relationship story.

Written: March 2007. Word count: 700.



According to my partner, there are many things of which I should be justifiably proud.


My, what in Napoleon's opinion was harsh, Russian upbringing. I, however, do not view it as he does. What was, was; there was nothing I could do about it. I could not change the circumstances. I was born in Russia; orphaned at a very young age; caught the eye of a General with the KGB. What was, was.


My academic achievements: a Masters Degree from the Sorbonne; a Doctorate from Cambridge University. Yes, of those I do confess to being a little proud. One day, when Napoleon reaches forty and is forced to retire from the field, I shall move into U.N.C.L.E.'s labs, where I will be better placed to use my academic qualifications.


Being a Russian in America at the height of the Cold War. I admit it was not always easy. More than a few people saw me as a deviant, a traitor, a spy - which I was, just not in the way they thought. However, thanks to Napoleon, I survived. I was his partner, his friend, and later his lover; things of which I am very proud. His reputation preceded him, and whilst I had always believed that I would be a good partner to him, that I would suit him in that respect, I was not certain that we would become friends. I never let the idea of being his lover become a conscious consideration.


My homosexuality. I know this might be considered a strange thing of which to be proud. After all, to many it is wrong, evil, disgusting; many view people who prefer to be involved romantically and sexually with others of their own sex, as deviants. However, when I realized my true nature, which was some years before I left Russia, I decided that I would rather abstain from all intimacy, rather than live a lie. And indeed, I did that very thing. Napoleon, the man for whom intimacy is as vital as breathing, was amazed when I confessed this; it is he who says that I should be proud of my decision. Any maybe he is correct. It does take more energy, more self-confidence to be different; it is much easier to simply conform to what is 'normal'.


My professional skills and expertise. Some of these, I am a little proud of, others, less so. However, it is many of the 'less so' ones that have saved lives; even saved the world. It is many of those that both Napoleon and I call on in our daily lives. I am not proud of the fact that I can kill and maim, not even when by doing so I save the life of an innocent. It is just something I do. Something I have to do. Something that, like my upbringing, there is nothing I can do to change it. Unless I leave U.N.C.L.E. of course; leave U.N.C.L.E., and leave Napoleon. And as that is not something I choose to do, I have learnt to live with the less savory side of my abilities.


However, all of these things pale into insignificance when I consider the thing of which I am most proud. The fact that I, Illya Nickovetch Kuryakin, a man, has achieved what no woman has managed to achieve: Napoleon's fidelity. It took several years, but finally, following his return from a winter holiday with one of his many beautiful conquests, he decided that he had played the field enough. He made the decision to offer me commitment, and I made the decision to accept his offer.


Of course, it does not stop him from looking, from flirting, from being the man I know and love; from being Napoleon Solo. It does not, naturally, stop him from taking an attractive young lady out for dinner and dancing, should the particular affair in which we are involved necessitate him to do so. However, looking, flirting, dinner and dancing, is all that it is. It is to me he returns; me who has heart and his love. And knowing this, knowing what I have accomplished, what I have, does indeed make me proud; justifiable, in my opinion, proud.



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