“I do not want to go to Medical.”
“But, Illya, if you just—”
“No. Nyet. Non. I can say it in many other languages, as well, Napoleon.”
Napoleon looked to the sky and shrugged for a moment before looking back at his partner, who sat defiantly on the bed in their hotel room.
“Alright, fine,” Napoleon sighed. “No Medical. But you really should have those whip wounds looked at.”
“Fine, be my guest,” Illya said, removing his shirt and turning around so that Napoleon could see the marks on his back.
“That isn’t what I…” Napoleon trailed off. “Oh, nevermind.”
“Well, you said you wanted them looked at,” Illya said.
“I was thinking more along the lines of someone who is actually medically trained,” Napoleon countered. “I’m not exactly Clara Barton here.”
“And that is why I am trusting you with merely assessing these wounds, and not open-heart surgery,” Illya deadpanned.
“Fine. As long as you’re going to act like this, I might as well clean up those wounds a bit more.”
Illya harrumphed, but didn’t resist as Napoleon first cleaned off the wounds with a wet cloth, and then applied antiseptic to them, followed by a medicinal lotion. Illya didn’t flinch; the only thing that betrayed his discomfort was the changes in his breathing rate as Napoleon worked.
“Doesn’t sting too much, I hope?” he asked.
“It is fine,” Illya insisted.
“Hmm, if you say so,” Napoleon returned, in a tone of voice that stated he believed none of it. He proceeded to bandage up the wounds next. “I’ll keep checking on those from time to time, but if they’re not healing to my satisfaction, you’re going to Medical, or at least some professional doctor.”
“I suppose I shall have to go along with that,” Illya conceded.
“You bet you will.”
“But that’s all I shall do,” Illya said. He turned to look at Napoleon, prompting the American to pause and look at him. “I wish to make that clear.”
“What else would I do?” he queried. “Medical is usually the end of it, barring any psychological torture…” He trailed off again. “…Ah.”
“I do not wish to discuss it with any of the staff,” Illya insisted. “All I wish is to put it behind me.”
“As long as you’re sure you’ll be alright.”
“Da, I will be,” Illya promised. He paused. “I suppose you have a right to know, however.”
“Not really,” Napoleon said. “What happened between you and THRUSH is your business, but I won’t say no.”
Illya sighed, lying on his stomach on the bed now.
“There isn’t really much to it,” he said, after a moment. “She had a complex, that THRUSH woman.”
“I gathered that from how she called herself ‘Mother Fear,’” Napoleon intoned.
“She tried the psychological torture first,” Illya recalled. “Trying to evoke the mother image, as it were. Of course, being a lone war child, I wasn’t quite as affected by her narrative as she had hoped.”
“And that’s when she switched to physical torture?” Napoleon asked.
“That was when,” Illya agreed. “But, I would rather not discuss with the staff that the reason why I was unaffected by her mother complex attempt was because I was orphaned in the war. There is no need for them to know that and try to delve further into my psyche.”
“But you will be alright?” Napoleon asked.
“I am already improving,” Illya assured him.
Napoleon nodded back.
“Is there anything else I can do for you while you recuperate?” he asked.
“Da, get me food—and plenty of it.” Illya paused again. “And your company would be much appreciated.”
“You’ve got it—all of it,” Napoleon promised.
He made the call to room service and reclined beside Illya, making himself comfortable—and ensuring that Illya was, as well.