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Walking on the Wild Side

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Napoleon Solo looked down at the slip of paper he had been given. He looked up at the numbers stenciled in glass over the door; his eyes squinting in the darkness. They matched. His brows came together in puzzlement as he pushed open the double doors.

Music assaulted his ears and his eyes required no adjustment to the lighting or lack of. The room was crowded and as he wove his way across the dimly lit room to a table in the back he noticed that a nearly naked man was in the process of stalking off a raised stage that ran down the center of the room even as another took his place.

“Let’s hear it for Blonnn-deee,” an announcer shouted into the microphone.

Shrieking whistles and cat calls greeted 'Blondie's' arrival on stage. Ankle boots, the leather polished so that they shone in the light, black leather pants – much too tight - white billowy shirt, matching black leather jacket slung over his shoulder. With blond hair draped casually over his forehead, he strutted down the runway as if he owned it.

Having not seen his partner in months, Napoleon’s jaw almost dropped as he realized that the dancer gyrated erotically down the runway was none other then that self-same partner, Illya Kuryakin. He knew the exact moment that Illya spotted him, the pause so slight as to be barely discernible.

Napoleon barely caught the jacket slung at him as his partner closed his blue eyes and his thick mane of hair was tossed around as he moved to the beat.

“Not bad is he?” a passing waiter shouted in Napoleon’s ear as he pushed him to sit down. “Don’t block the view.”

He did his best not to gape as his partner’s moves took on an even more sensual aspect as each piece of clothing came away. This was a side of Illya that Napoleon had never seen before. It was obvious that Illya was popular here, and even more obvious that he was relishing the attention.

Napoleon could not look away. His mind whirled as he tried to take it all in and come up with a sane conclusion as to why Illya was stripping in a bar, and why the hell was he not only watching but enjoying the show? Somehow he maintained a neutral expression as others around him hooted and whistled their approval. Illya traipsed down the lit walkway, slowly and seductively, removing one piece of clothing at a time to the beat of the music, revealing pale skin that glowed golden in the spotlight.

By the time Illya made it back to where he’d started, he was only clad in a skimpy g-string that bulged noticeably, just barely containing his assets. He’d always been slender, but dressed as he was now, Napoleon could see a well-defined physique that led down to his slim waist. He turned his back to strike a pose, his butt two muscular globes center stage, before going off, never once looking back.

Napoleon took a deep breath, grateful for the jacket that Illya had thrown at him that covered his lower extremity. Something he would puzzle out at a later time. Once he was back in control of his body, he casually made his way through the crowd to the stage door. He glanced over his shoulder as his hand turned the knob. Assured no one was watching, he slipped through the doorway and basically ran smack dab into a wall of muscle. He looked up, up, and up at the giant man frowning down at him, his arms crossed over his massive chest. The man had to be well over six and a half feet tall, his bald head shone under the overhead light and he sported an earring in one ear.

“It’s okay, Bruno. He’s a friend.”

Napoleon looked around the huge body blocking his view. He was pleased to see that Illya was draped in a white robe.

“Ya sure?” Bruno looked doubtful.

Illya nodded, looking none too pleased. “Why are you here?”

“Our U.N.C.L.E. Alex sent me.” Napoleon handed over the leather jacket, unsure of the answer to that question himself. At least that's whom he assumed had sent him. He’d returned from one mission only to be handed a folded sheet of paper and sent on his way. He hadn’t even been aware that Illya was in the vicinity until he’d walked into the place.

The arched brow showed Illya’s disbelief.

“Look. Can we go somewhere a little more private and talk?” Napoleon looked around nervously. “And eat.” Food was always a way to get to the Russian when all else failed.

Napoleon had no choice but to follow as Illya led the way to a nearby restaurant. They walked in silence. Illya seemed tense, Napoleon confused. Once they were seated the waiter was immediately there to take their order.

Napoleon had lots of questions, but wasn’t sure where to start. Just when he was at the point of asking what the fuck this assignment was all about, a set of arms encircled his partner possessively and tilted his chin up to kiss him thoroughly.

A tingling warning sense went through Napoleon, but he was careful to keep his face neutral and not show his shock.

“Who do we have here, Illyuska Darling?” The guy’s tone held a bit of possessiveness that didn’t sit well with Napoleon.

Illyushka? Napoleon did his best to control his outrage. That this - person - could be so intimate in a way that he himself had never been allowed.

Jared barely spared a glance at Napoleon before turning his green eyes to Illya. There seemed a sort of possessiveness about the guy that didn’t sit right with Napoleon. Perhaps it was something about the dark brown hair, the sharpness of the green eyes, and muscular body that irritated him.

“Jared, this is Napoleon Solo, my … cousin. Napoleon, Jared Brown.”

“Kissing Cousins?" Jared sneered. "You never told me you had a cousin. You led me to believe you were alone in the world.”

Napoleon did not like accusation in the man’s tone.

“What’s the big deal? It never came up? Besides disowned does not mean alone.”

Napoleon raised an eyebrow non-confrontational. He was deeply puzzled and doing his best not to show it. Illya was avoiding eye contact. What the hell was going on here? Certainly Illya’s actions had to be part of some bizarre assignment. Just then the waitress came by their table and Napoleon’s attention went to her. Napoleon gave her his best smile, the one that was full of innocence, as she placed a dish in front of him and received a kick in the shin from across the table.

“Think about where you are,” Illya hissed.

It was then that he noticed the smirk on the waitresses face. Evidently there was more to this restaurant then met the eye.

“Just how long are you in town for?” Jared asked. His eyes narrowed until they were just slits of dark green in the dim light.

“Depends,” Napoleon said honestly. It depended on just what was going on. Napoleon wanted to frown but he didn’t dare. What if this Jared was one of the bad guys and Illya’s assignment was to get close to him? A little bit above and beyond the call of duty in Napoleon’s opinion. He really needed to talk with Illya. “Would it be possible to stay at your place?”

“Why my place?” Illya scowled.

“Umm, I’m a little short of cash at the moment.”

Illya rolled his eyes. “Why am I not surprised.”

“You know me too well?” Napoleon suggested.

“He is not staying at our place! He can get a room somewhere else.’ Jared took one look at Illya’s determined face. “And just where am I supposed to sleep?”

“It’s not going to be for very long,” Illya tried his best to placate him much to Napoleon's disappointment.

Jared put on a hurt puppy dog face. And Illya almost reconsidered. “You do have your own place,” he said pointedly.

Napoleon tried not to feel triumphant about the final results, but he couldn’t help it.

After an indecently long kiss, that Napoleon was sure Illya had initiated on purpose just to get back at him; they went and picked up Napoleon's luggage before heading to Illya’s place to crash.

They took a cable car from Market Street to an older area of the town. Soon arriving at a row of Victorian houses that were little by little being reclaimed to their former glory. It was much reminiscent of the brownstone's back in New York though the style was quite different. And like the brownstone, Illya's apartment was a three story walk up.

Once Illya opened the door, though, there the resemblance ended. Illya's former apartment had two long window, but the curtains that covered them were dark and heavy and overhead lighting was minimal. This apartment was one large room, open and airy.

"You can take the bed. I'll take the couch. The bathroom's through there." Illya nodded in the appropriate direction.

Napoleon looked at the sofa. Illya was a little shorter than he, but even he would end up hanging over the edge if Napoleon was to hazard any guess. "We've shared beds before."

Illya glowered at him and pushed aside the small table before tossing some cushions on the floor and pulling out the sofa bed. Then opening a closet, he retrieved a blanket and pillow to toss on the sofa.

If it wasn't for the fact that Napoleon had not slept for several days or if he'd been less tired, he would have argued the point. As it was he opened his suitcase and used the facilities, before flopping on the bed and falling into a troubled sleep.

Perhaps his first thought that Illya was on assignment and needed his help was erroneous. From the looks of it Illya was in some sort of trouble, but not the kind that Napoleon first suspected. Unfortunately it had been made abundantly clear, that no explanation would be forth coming.

Napoleon woke up to sunlight shining in his face and an empty apartment, the sofa having been returned to its original condition. Not having anything better to do, he decided to take the time to do a little snooping. Any thought that he had that this was some sort of assignment flew out the window when he found Illya's prized jazz collection under the bed. This move was permanent.

Napoleon was dressed by the time Illya walked in with a bag and two cups of coffee.

Illya passed over one of the cups. "I trust you slept well?" he asked calmly.

Napoleon waved the question away. "Want to tell me what the hell is going on here?"

Illya couldn't seem to look him in the eye. "I would have thought it was obvious."

"Come on, Illya. Look, we've been partner's for over four years, I think I would have picked up something if you were...you know. Something had to have happened."

Illya shifted restlessly from one foot to the other, his eyes on the floor. Then he sank onto the sofa, his elbows resting on his knees as he distractedly ran his fingers through his hair.

"I don't know what happened. It was a relatively simple assignment. One better suited for you that is true. I was told to do whatever it took to charm information from a Marion Felspar. What nobody told me or even knew was that Marion was not of woman." Illya's blue eyes rose asking for understanding. "My homeland takes very dim views of men who like men. It is not spoken of...that is why I didn't know. I wasn't aware. I was so surprised that I...forgot to get the information." The last was a mere whisper.

Now Napoleon was puzzled. "So you're in San Francisco stripping because you didn't get any information?"

Illya shook his head, no, his hair flying from side to side. "No. I didn't understand...that I could...feel..." the words petered out.

"You've had sex with women. I know that. Was he that good?"

Illya shrugged.

Napoleon shook his head. "I still don't understand."

"When I reported back," Illya drew in a deep breath. "Mr. Waverly was very angry. I thought he was going to have a coronary. He demanded my gun, my communicator, my badge and told me to get out."

"Just like that?"

Illya nodded. "He said I was an abomination."

None of it made any sense. Napoleon Solo sat slowly trying to get his thoughts in order. Personally he had no objections to how anyone lived their lives as long as it didn't actively hurt anyone else. What had been their reason for sending him here? Did they think that he would condemn Illya as well?

"Why San Francisco?" That was a puzzling question. True the city was more accepting of gays, but...

"When I got to my apartment, there were people packing everything up. There was a plain white envelope with a plane ticket. When I when to the bank, my account was frozen. I had nothing but the cash in my pocket, the clothes on my back, and my box of records." Illya was incensed.

Napoleon blinked. Illya had nothing? Somehow he had managed to find a job, a guy, and an apartment. "Just how long ago did this happen?" he wondered out loud.

"Six months ago," Illya responded.

Six months, half a year. Their partnership had been in a void and Napoleon hadn't even noticed. Why didn't he ask? But hadn't he, every time he checked in with headquarters. When he had been in town, Illya had been out and vice versa. Now the question was - what was he going to do?

The warbling of his communicator broke through his thoughts. Sending Illya a silent apology, he answered the pen, moving away for more privacy. The message was short and clear. Mr. Waverly wanted to see him in New York right away. He put his communicator way and stood in deep thought. Waverly had to know where he was, didn't he? They could triangulate his position, couldn't they? Did he even care anymore?

Straightening his shoulders, he came to a decision.

"I cannot talk about this now," Illya said. " I have to go to work."

Napoleon looked at his watch. It was just going on noon.

"My day job," Illya explained. "I work in a library and I do not wish to be late." He gulped down the last of his food, grabbed his jacket, then stopped at the door. "If that call was what I think it was I shall probably not see you again." He sounded accepting of that fact. "Just lock the door on your way out."

That irritated Napoleon. He had many acquaintances, but few friends were rare, especially in their business. "Don't count on it," he muttered as the door closed.

At the stroke of midnight Napoleon found himself a seat and ordered a drink. Tiny white lights sparkled along the runway and it was almost time for 'Blondie's' appearance. The lights were lowered until only one spotlight shown on the stage and everyone's attention was drawn to it. A slender figure, head down, dressed to the nines wearing a tux with top hat and tails. One hand held his top hat in place and a silver top cane in the other at his side.

The outfit was different from the night before and so was the music. The head came up and the rhythmic moves started. One well placed kick, sent the cane spinning as his hat went flying. Catching the cane in one hand, he ripped off his pull away shirt with the other, all while moving his feet to the up beat tune playing in the background.

Napoleon found himself slapping the table top and whistling loudly along with the rest of the patrons.

By the time Illya made it back to where he started, all he was wearing was his top-coat, black tie, and black g-string.

Illya came out of the dressing room counting the cash he'd collected for his evening's work. He didn't seem surprised to find Napoleon standing at the doorway. "I would have thought you were on your way back to New York."

"About that," Napoleon rubbed his fore head, the loud noise in the background was giving him a headache. "Could we go some place quieter to talk."

Illya merely shrugged.

Napoleon wished that Illya had chosen some other place, especially when they had no soon begun sliding into the bench seats and ready to order when Illya was pulled back and engulfed by a huge hug, a muttered, "Baby." and a disgustingly passionate kiss.

Napoleon made a face, not because he was disgusted by seeing two men kissing, more that he didn't care much for the man doing the kissing. If he had ever tried to do that he would have found himself on his ass faster than you could say...uncle.

"So, you're still here," Jared stated coldly when he finally pulled away from Illya.

"Sorry to disappoint you," Napoleon smiled innocently.

Seeing a grown man pout was enough to make Napoleon want to gag. He had many a question, none of which he could ask without the green-eyed man around. He drummed his fingers on the table top. "Won't you join us?" Napoleon asked, knowing there was no way he could stop him.

Jared had a surprised look on his face. Illya not so much.

Napoleon didn't speak throughout the entire meal. He wasn't able to eat much either as Jared continued to make out with Illya and he found it nauseating.

As the meal progressed Napoleon couldn't help yawning.

"Are we boring you," Jared inquired politely.

"No. no, not at all" Napoleon denied, just before his head dropped to the table.

"Napoleon!" Illya jumped up.

"Must not be able to hold his liquor," Jared said lightly as he remained seated and sipped at his own drink.

"That I very much doubt," Illya replied dryly. In spite of Jared's attempts to talk him out of it, he signaled for some of the waiters to help him cart Napoleon out and flagged down a taxi. Once inside he looked at Napoleon and shook his head. "Oh, Napoleon."

Napoleon opened one eye then sat up and ran his hand through his hair and straightened his tie. "I thought he'd never shut up." He waved one hand majestically. "You know where to go, James."

"Yes, sir," the driver responded, his eyes on the rearview mirror.

Illya crossed his arms over his chest, his eyes narrowed. Napoleon had obviously had this whole thing planned. Then he noticed they were not heading for his apartment. "Where are we going?" he asked suspiciously

A sad smile crossed Napoleon's face. "We have much to talk about, my friend, and I would rather do it someplace completely private."

Illya noticed that they were being driven to a ritzy section of San Francisco. When the car finally pulled up it was to a very familiar house. He could tell Illya was a tad annoyed at what was going on. "Are you crazy? Isn't this Ward Baldwin's residence?"

While Napoleon tried to think of a way to answer that Illya shook his head. "I have things to do. I'll see you tomorrow?"

Napoleon could only manage a nod, letting the driver know it was okay, then watched as the cab drove away. Tall and respectable, the three story Victorian stood on a corner. Napoleon adjusted his jacket and pulled on his sleeves before making his way up the stone steps to the door. One of the huge double front doors opened. A tall man, who reminded Napoleon of Lurch from the Adam's Family answered the door. "Mr. Solo. If you'll come this way I have papers ready for you to sign."

He was led to the Victorian sitting room with it's overstuffed and leather furniture and high bookshelves. On a table was several sheets of legal papers and the man, an attorney, went carefully over them with Napoleon. Napoleon signed on the dotted line and the lawyer pulled out a notary seal making everything legal.

Once the lawyer was gone, Napoleon considered his options. In spite of recent events, Illya was still his partner, the one man on whom he could rely on. He got out his communicator and contacted New York. Napoleon simply explained that he needed personal time to deal with a family matter and Waverly was surprisingly agreeable. Once that conversation was finished he asked to speak to one of the few people he was sure he could count on for help.

"Hello, Mandy," he kept his voice pleasant. "I need a favor."

"What, Napoleon Solo. Not another fake assignment I hope?" Mandy sounded a bit miffed. "Some Portuguese weather forecast, perhaps?"

Napoleon laughed. "Nothing like that. I just need a little information."

He could hear her talking to someone in the background for a second then she was back on the channel. "You want me to connect you to research and files?"

"I'd really rather not do that. It's ... ah ... a personal matter."

"Personal ... hmmm." He could almost see her rolling her eyes. "Whose address is it you want? Is she prettier than me?"

"It's not like that, Mandy," Napoleon assured her. "I'd just like you to check out a Jared Brown, based in San Francisco on the Q.T. for me."

Mandy was quiet for a second. "Okay," she said doubtfully. "When will you need the information?"

"As soon as you can get it."

He could hear the sound of scribbling over the line. "Jared Brown, San Francisco," she muttered, turned her attention back to her microphone. "Might take me awhile. You'll owe me dinner, Napoleon Solo."

"Thanks, Mandy. You're a doll."

With that accomplished he turned to doing an inventory of his new home. The clock was just striking mid-night when Napoleon's communicator bleeped. "Solo here."

"Napoleon! It's Mandy."

He sat up straight and tightened the sash on his robe. Mandy sounded distressed. "What's up, Mandy. Where you able to get anything."

"Oh, yes. I got something, but you're not going to like it."

"He's a member of Thrush?"

"No. It's worse. Much worse." Mandy then proceed to tell him just how bad.

"Thanks, Mandy. Let's keep this just between the two of us, okay?"

"Okay," Mandy said grudgingly. "But, Napoleon? Be careful?"

"I'll do my best." Napoleon sat there for some time as he contemplated the information Mandy had garnered. This was Ward Baldwin's city and as much as Napoleon didn't want to do it, he knew he needed the man's advice and he didn't have time to waste. Even if the man was a retired Thrush agent.

***

"No," Illya said firmly. "I refuse."

"Illya!" Jared ordered sharply.

And much to Illya's chagrin, he automatically dropped to his knees, his arms behind his back and his eyes lowered. What would Napoleon think if he ever saw him like this. To his everlasting shame he had managed upon his arrival in San Francisco to meet the one man who having discerned Illya's newness to his sexuality had taken it upon himself to train him. Napoleon would never recognize his formerly self-assured, confident partner for the stressed out man he'd been upon his arrival. Though when you think about it, he really shouldn't be surprised. Napoleon always led and he followed.

In point of fact, Illya's world as he knew it had come crumbling down around him. He supposed he'd always known that things would end at some point, but he thought death - his - would do it.

"That's my good boy. Now get dress and don't forget the collar I bought you." Jared never doubted that he would get his way. He was very excited to have received an invitation to an exclusive gathering and there was no way he was going to miss it, even if he had to tie and chain Illya and drag him over there.

Jared handed over the keys to his car to the valet, then picked up the leash attached to his blond captive. This was his first invitation to a TNG Munch-the next generation. Most munches were casual attire but this one was the leather version of black tie. For the occasion he'd had Illya dressed in a black leather jumpsuit, unzipped down to his navel so as to show off the collar he was wearing. The word was out that there would be a lot of new toys and connections to be made. This was going to be some hardcore stuff and he was so looking forward to this.

"Remember to address me as Master," Jared muttered.

Illya glared at him and got his chain jerked in retaliation.

"Behave or I'll have to spank you," Jared hissed and snapped his whip. "Turn your ass so red you won't be able to sit down for a week."

Illya drew in a deep breath. He was not a masochist, but then why did this sound so ... good. Never had he been so grateful then now for the mask that obstructed his vision and covered half his face. Jared dragged him up a set of stone stairs and rang the bell.

He heard the squeaking sound of a door opening and then the sexiest female voice announcing. "Welcome." then the snap of a whip. "Won't you please come in."

"Allow me to show you around." The sexy voice could barely be discerned over the voices of a crowd.

Illya had never been to a gathering of this sort before, and certainly not bound and blind as he was now. Yet strangely he wasn't afraid. As they weaved through the crowed his other senses kicked in. He could hear whips being slashed. Moans of pain and gratification. Sounds of laughter. Wicked laughter. There were smells of sweat, perfume, and blood. He could tell that Jared was getting into to this from his heavy breathing.

"Something to drink?" the sexy voice paused in her tutoring to ask.

Illya heard the clink of glasses and knew Jared had taken one. He hoped Jared wouldn't drink too many. He'd learned to his regret that Jared was a mean drunk.

"Nothing for him," Jared informed the beautiful Dominatrix. He pulled Illya close and spoke into his ear. "He hasn't been a good boy."

The dark haired beauty laughed and a shiver went down Illya's back. "I have just the room for you," she purred.

Illya found himself pulled along, down stairs to a part of the house that felt eerily familiar. He was sure he'd been in similar circumstances over the years. The steps were narrow and the walls by the feel of them were made of stone. The air smelt damp. It all brought to mind one word - dungeon. Everything considering he really shouldn't be surprised.

He almost slipped, but was jerked up by his collar. He could hear a key turning in a lock and the squeak of a door opening.

"Yes," Jared hissed. "This will do nicely."

Illya wasn't sure what 'this' was. Soon his arms were taken by hands that he knew were not Jared's and he was drawn forward, his jumpsuit pulled down baring his upper body, his wrist bands unlocked and stretched to the max then bound to a wooden frame. The same was done to his feet, the muscles of his thighs spread apart. The t-shirt that he'd worn to go with the black leather pants was ripped from his body. Then his head was pushed forward strapped against padding.

"Would you prefer him gagged?"

"No, I want to hear him scream," the cruel reply was whispered in Illya's ear. Jared's voice possessed the tone of a madman.

The loud cracking sound of whips lashing close to him, voices cheering as the whip just barely missed his bare back.

Illya began to struggle, but it was far too late. What had he done. He felt all alone. It was almost as if he were split in two. The confident agent replaced by someone he didn't know.

Suddenly everything went silent and Illya feared he'd lost his hearing.

"Who's he?" he heard Jared ask.

"I'm your worse nightmare," a voice answered with deadly calm, then firmly ordered. "Let him loose."

Four pairs of hands tackled the straps that held Illya in place. Illya pulled off his mask and got his first look at the medieval monstrosity that he'd been strapped to. The walls were made of stone just as he'd thought. He re-zipped his jumpsuit and he rubbed his wrist as he slowly turned around, not sure what he expected to see.

He froze in place. Both men were masked and squared off like two alpha males, each dressed similarly - yet not. Jared, while the more muscular of the two, his outfit did not fit him half as well as the other's did. Illya's nostrils flared as he took in the black leather pants that fitted the other man like a second skin, his boots, unlike Jared's bike boots, came up to the knee and were spit polished. Jared's harness looked sleazy next to the other's thick, fine leather one.

Jared's green eyes flashed as he snapped his whip, trying his best to intimidate the other guy. A shame it didn't work. The other man merely smiled and turned his head toward Illya. Illya almost passed out when he recognized the warm brown eyes inside the mask. Napoleon!

Napoleon's head turned back to Jared, his eyes hard. Just then Jared did the unthinkable. He dropped to his knees much to Illya's surprise.

"Angel, my sweets, are you up for another pet?" Napoleon asked.

Illya's eyes shifted from Napoleon to the vision with the sultry laugh that answered him. It was the first time he'd actually seen her - Sexy Voice. Now he had a name to go with it. She was dressed pretty much the way he'd imagined just from hearing her voice. She had long dark hair that flowed down the back of her skin tight leather outfit with its leather corset, and was wearing six inch stiletto heels.

Her eyes were a pale green and looked a little ... crazy? She stuck her tongue out as she ran her fingers up the back of Jared's head, through his hair before grabbing a chunk and pulling his head back to look into his face. Then those eyes went to Napoleon and lowered modestly. "Thank you, Master," she purred.

Master? What the hell? were Illya's thoughts as his brows drew up into his hairline.

Napoleon walked over and unbuckled the collar around Illya's neck.

Illya watched as Napoleon turned and walked away. His eyes automatically went to the leather clad ass. He swallowed his moan of want, then he did what he'd always did, he followed. They went up the stone stairs, through a hallway to the main floor of the house.

Napoleon clapped his hands getting everyone's attention. "Okay, folks, let's wrap it up."

All movement stopped for a moment and then everyone started removing masks, wrist bands, and dropping whips. In no time at all everyone had all the strange equipment packed up and out the door. Angel winked as she went out the door, a handcuffed and gagged Jared, more or less dragged behind her.

Napoleon pulled off the mask he'd been wearing and ruffled his hair as he led Illya into the study.

"Sit," Napoleon ordered as he fixed them both something to drink.

Illya looked around the room, mostly to get his eyes off of Napoleon's bare chest and recognized it. "Isn't this Baldwin's study?"

"It was." Napoleon confirmed. "It's now mine." He settled into one of Baldwin's leather armchairs, draping one leg over the arm and waited for the shock he knew would be written on Illya's face to show up and just as quickly hidden.

"So you want to tell me how you ended up with all this?" Illya asked, waving his arm around.

"Funny you should ask," Napoleon said, rubbing his jaw. "I've never mentioned my Aunt Amy have I?"

Illya shook his head, his mind shifting through the facts that he knew of Napoleon's family. "No, I don't believe you ever have."

"Aunt Amy, is my mother's much younger sibling. She's actually only a few years older then I and is the product of one of my Grandmere's briefly lived marriages. A real free spirit, she was raised by her father and we rarely saw one another. I'm not really sure how she came to be acquainted with the Baldwin's, they probably contribute to some of the same charities. I know for a fact that she's a card carrying patron of the arts. When the old man decided it was time to return to England he sold it to her and she in turn passed it on to me. Said she wanted to make sure I always had a roof over my head. Amy's filthy rich, by the way."

"And how long have you known this?" Illya's eyes had glazed over during the explanation.

"Actually I only just found out when I picked up my mail on the way to the airport to come here and at the time I wondered why I would need a home on the west coast. Now I know." He raised his hand in a toast. "Mi casa, su casa."

"Napoleon, it is very," He paused as he thought of what word he wanted to use. " - generous, but I am a grown man "

"I realize that. However, I am not one to look a gift horse in the mouth. It's almost serendipitous."

Illya shook his head, on the point of refusing.

"I can't leave the house empty. You'd be doing me a huge favor." He decided to sweeten the deal. "No rent."

"Mr. Waverly will not like it."

Fuck Waverly, was Napoleon's thought. He bit his tongue, however and didn't voice it. As a rule Napoleon was one who thought fast on his feet. Unfortunately the truth was that facts he's acquired over the last few days had thrown him for a loop and that was because it was personal and not professional. Over the past few years things had changed for Napoleon. During the course of their partnership he'd found himself caring for his partner, not to mention dating less and not too concerned about it. He also noticed that Waverly was becoming more manipulative in his agents lives.

Illya could not understand why Napoleon was being so insistent about this and decided to change the subject.

"I didn't know you were into the scene?" Illya asked, finally giving himself permission to actually look at Napoleon.

Napoleon looked down at himself. Gesturing with a wave of his hand at his lack of clothing. "Oh, you mean this get-up ?"

Illya nodded and unconsciously licked his lips. Napoleon looked positively sinful with his leather covered leg slung over the arm opening up his more than abundantly packed crotch.

Napoleon scratched the back of his ear. "Well there's a funny story about that."

"I'm sure there is," Illya agreed as he crossed his arms over his chest, trying his best to ignore the longing he found himself feeling.

Looking at his nails, Napoleon confessed. "I sort of had Mandy ... run a background check on Gerald." He rushed through the last part.

"What!" Anger flashed in Illya's eyes. How dare Napoleon!

"I needed to know what I was up against."

"Why would you even care?"

"Illya, I will always care." Napoleon's brown eyes pleaded.

Illya sighed, was his friend so unaware of how close he was to melting, then he sneered. "So this was nothing more than an elaborate charade? However did you manage all this?"

Napoleon squirmed and looked decidedly uncomfortable. Learning that Jared was deeply into BDSM was disturbing. Knowing that that was the key to getting rid of the man and realizing he knew virtually nothing about it had caused a frantic search for information. Not wanting to bring U.N.C.L.E. into it, he did the next best thing and brought in THRUSH or at least Ward Baldwin, who had been glad to detail what he knew. His laughter at the fact that Napoleon needed such information still rang in Napoleon's ears. "Does it matter? It worked."

Illya could see that there was more to this than met the eye. He could demand to know more, should probably demand more, but what would be the point? Napoleon would soon be going back to New York and Illya would once again be alone.

Illya lowered his eyes. He almost jumped when he felt Napoleon up close and personal.

"You know, I've been thinking," Napoleon whispered in Illya's ear.

"You can have fun like that, I hear."

Napoleon scowled at his friend. "This could be a blessing in disguise. Soon I'll be forced to retire from the field and I am not looking forward to doing paperwork full time."

"What did you have in mind?"

"How does Solo and Kuryakin Detectives sound?" He moved his hand palm outward across in front of him.

"Not nearly as good as Kuryakin and Solo."

Napoleon shook his head and laughed. He moved to the liquor cabinet and mixed them both another drink. He certainly was going to need it. He also needed to be sure that there were no misunderstandings - either on his part or Illya's. Once Illya had his drink in his hand Napoleon started. "First off let's get one thing perfectly straight, pardon the pun. You are a homosexual, correct?"

Illya cringed. "I thought that was pretty much evident."

Napoleon nodded. "Big deal. You are still the same man who has backed me up on assignment after assignment. Hell, we've even shared rooms. Not once did either of us feel threatened by the other. I am not going to treat you any different just because you've decided you're ... gay and I have no idea where you got the crazy idea that I would."

Illya ducked his head and sighed. "Everyone else seemed to make such a big deal out of it. I just assumed you would be the same."

"Okay, like I said I don't have any problems with that. Secondly why couldn't you get a better job then stripping? You have a masters in quantum mechanics and speak at least ten languages."

Illya sighed. "I tried. Evidently I've been blacklisted."

"Damn, I know Waverly's been acting a little strange ever since Kingsley tried to take over the world, but when did he become homophobic?"

"The subject never came up to my knowledge. Maybe he has always been that way." Illya sighed. ""You did say you were sent here. Why?"

Napoleon pursed his lips. "I thought I was. Now I'm not so sure. I came in from my last assignment. Made my report and was on my way out when I was handed an envelope with an address and plane ticket. "

"Didn't you think that was odd though?"

Napoleon shrugged as he settled more comfortably in the deep leather chair. "We've been sent on assignments before with as little information. I just assumed that it was a new assignment from Waverly. Doesn't matter. Whoever did it, did us both a favor."

Illya sat on the arm of Napoleon's chair, one arm draped over the back. "Why, Napoleon, if I didn't know any better, I'd say you were planning on taking a walk on the wild side."

Napoleon put down his drink and reached over to slowly unzip Illya's jumpsuit revealing bare skin. Lifting his head, he smiled and his eyes crinkled with amusement. "Sounds like a plan to me."