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Come to Blows

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Illya pulls Napoleon aside fiercely, one of those throat-crushing hands fisted in his lapel. Armani imported wool blend crumples and folds under his fingers, and Napoleon cringes internally, working hard to keep the reaction and all of its nuance from reaching the planes of his face. “Remember where you are,” Illya hisses under his breath, eyes flashing. “And what you are doing.”

They’re at the seediest dive bar in all of Tijuana, and Napoleon knows exactly what he’s doing.

It might differ slightly from Illya’s account of what they’re doing, however. Their assignment is to gather local intel on a group of Colombian fascists that U.N.C.L.E has reason to believe are enjoying a “vacation” of sorts in Mexico. They were last seen making a drug deal at this bar with a certain gangster by the name of Saynez Osario, who, among other things, is wanted for smuggling Colombian cocaine through Tijuana. Illya and Napoleon are currently posing as a pair of clueless traveling businessmen looking to get high in all the wrong places.

Napoleon has perhaps been selling his cluelessness a little too convincingly, however. It shouldn’t matter; the bar patrons are suspicious and tightlipped, and supposedly no one here has even heard of Saynez Osario. As far as Napoleon is concerned, their covers are already blown, and Osario has already been tipped off. They might as well have a little fun while they’re here.

Napoleon decides to hustle a game of pool. He is, after all, very good at pool and very good at lying, and every grizzled caballero in this bar already thinks he’s an idiot and wants to take his money, so it seems like the best use of his resources. Plus, it will inevitably fluster Illya, turn that blue ice hardened around his pupil into the hottest kind of fire, and Napoleon lives for such things these days. He wants to have fun, and nothing is more fun than getting under Illya Kuryakin’s skin.

Illya is not having fun. He’s pacing around the pool table with his hands jammed wrist deep in his pockets, shoulders hunched while he stomps behind Napoleon like a giant walking mountain of indigence. Only moments ago, he scolded him like a child, remember where you are. As if Napoleon could possibly forget where they were, a dive bar in a dive city in a dive country, a hole in the wall with its suffocating reek of tequila vomit, horse piss, tobacco spit. The smell in this bar alone is abominable; Napoleon’s suit will surely have to be professionally dry cleaned after this, lest it smell like cigar and spilled liquor for the rest of its life.

To escape the smell, he covers his nose and mouth with a silk handkerchief he had neatly quartered and tucked into his breast pocket. The robin’s egg blue color of it looks positively decadent in the low, greasy light of the bar, and the patrons are scowling at it, a symbol of his wealth, his ignorance, his difference. It, like the rest of Napoleon, is scandalously out of place, and that is exactly what he wants.

Illya can’t stand it. As soon as he sees Napoleon whip out the handkerchief and cover his lips with unnecessary flourish while chatting to his opponents about the new product he’s sure to be selling next quarter, a flush heats up Illya’s cheeks, and something small and organic twitches at his temple. Napoleon catches it out of the corner of his eye and feels his stomach gather like fingers into a fist. This is what he wants. Only more. More and more, until something breaks.

Napoleon knows exactly what he’s doing. He’s trying to get Illya to start a fight. Whether it be with him or the old timers he’s shooting pool with in their ten-gallon hats and handlebar mustaches, he doesn’t care. As long as there’s blood on Illya’s knuckles at some point, he will consider it a job well done.

It has been several months since their first mission together in Rome, and since then, Napoleon has been increasingly aware that the amount of time he spends studying Illya and the attention to detail present in such studies are well beyond any amount that could be classified as professional curiosity or even garden-variety attraction. He’s nearing the realm of other, more troublesome things: fascination, obsession, infatuation. He has already grappled with the certainty that it’s a very bad idea to indulge such feelings; he’s already decided that he doesn’t care. It’s too late, he’s in neck deep, and all a man can do when buried in the sand is entertain himself while he waits for the tide to come drown him.

There has been one intriguing revelation that Napoleon's studies have awarded him, however, and that is the implication that although it would be a very dangerous thing to pursue, getting Illya under him might not be entirely impossible. Constant, close examination of Illya’s behavior has led Napoleon to create a hypothesis of sorts: Illya, perhaps subconsciously, constructs elaborate scenarios to get his hands on the skin of men and the hands of men on his own skin.

It might be a reach. Napoleon has entertained that possibility; he’s not a fool, and he has been known to see things he wanted to see in regards to men, rather than things that were truly there. But Illya does have a consistent pattern. It happens like a chemical reaction. His fingers begin to twitch, and his eyes harden to a fierce glassiness. Sometimes blood will flush the cut of his cheekbones, other times it will spill all the way down to his jaw, onto the tight cords of his neck. Then, before Napoleon even has time to imagine what that heat would feel like beneath his fingers, Illya is upending a table or smashing a window. He’s landing an inhuman right jab straight into some (usually) deserving man’s jaw, splitting lips under his knuckles until he feels the spray of blood.

He gets his palms all over whoever he’s fighting and grapples, flips them over like it’s easy, like they’re made from straw; he tears through flesh like it’s paper. It’s positively primeval, and every single time, Napoleon is left wondering why this particular fight came to blows, why Illya must crush every man with his huge, cruel hands. Why he cannot simply walk away.

Napoleon thinks that it’s because somewhere, hidden deep beneath the layers of snow and denial and confusion and KGB training, Illya wants to touch men. He wants to be touched by them. Fighting is simply the only way he knows how to do it.

Testing this theory has rapidly become Napoleon’s most loved hobby. Whether or not the results are conclusive, the act itself is intrinsically motivating. Napoleon is deeply moved by watching Illya fight; the raw power of his body sickens him, makes his stomach tight and hot, forces him to remember the few times his flesh has been bruised to ruin beneath those terrible, glorious fists.

Napoleon has intentionally lost two games of pool and is the appropriate amount of fake-drunk that he can start to gamble with his opponents and they won’t think him more than a fool. “Come on, boys,” he pretends to slur, leaning against the pock-marked edge of the table, weight half-balanced on his cue. He can feel Illya’s eyes burning holes into his back in warning and shivers under the wonderful smolder of them. “I need some money to buy myself and my friend here a motel room tonight. Please.”

The tallest of the four men he’s been playing with all night, a sun-browned old man with an indiscernible mark over his right eyebrow, a tattoo or a birthmark or a scar or a smudge of blood, sneers at him. “You can always sleep in the stable,” he says in Spanish. His friends chortle, clapping him on the back. “Lie on the straw with the horses.”

“With that prize stallion of yours?”Napoleon quips, fairly certain the innuendo will go over everyone’s head, save for Illya’s. Sure enough, he can feel Illya’s body loom behind him, tense and gathered up like a spring, ready to ricochet off the ceiling, he’s pulled so goddamned tight. Napoleon would shoot a reassuring wink at him over his shoulder if he wasn’t being scrutinized by four pairs of eyes, all peering judgmentally at him and his robin’s egg blue kerchief from beneath the brims of their hats.

“Get out of here,” one of the men crows, waving his hand dismissively in the air. “You lost, we took your money, it’s over.” His ring, a turquoise stone deep in silver moorings, glints under the flickering neon signs.

Illya hooks his fingers into the ditch of Napoleon’s elbow and tries to steer him away from the table. Napoleon pulls away, having none of that. He wants his money back; he wants a fight. “What if...what if I win it back? Another game, boys?” he says, a little desperately. Acting the part of the hopeless gambler comes quite naturally to him, as he has authentically been there some years ago, without the mask. He plays this younger version of himself, all wide unfocused eyes and pathetic stumbles. It’s easy.

“With what? No more games, Hollywood. You’ll lose, and you have no more money.”

In a flash, Napoleon whips around so he’s facing Illya, and in one fluid motion, reaches behind him and slips his wallet from his back pocket. It’s fast, effortless, and Illya should have seen it coming. Instead, his eyes flash in stunned outrage, mouth forming a white, flat line before Napoleon turns back to the men. He smiles a charming smile, throwing the cash from the wallet out onto the table. “I have this. If you boys win, you get it all and keep your winnings from the last games. If not, my friend and I take back everything.”

Like clockwork, they all laugh at him, punching one another on the shoulder and exchanging glances. “Okay,” the tall one says, chalking his cue. “You have a deal.”

Napoleon stands up straight and flashes a brilliant grin at Illya, who looks so transparently miserable it’s almost adorable, definitely comical. His jaw is clenched so tight it’s flickering, and his fingers are drumming anxiously against his leg, which is always a good sign that some terrific loss of control is imminent. Napoleon winks and prepares to play his finest game of pool.

It goes spectacularly. Much to the entire bar’s shock and horror, he leans over the edge of the table and sends a ball spinning into the corner pocket with a stunning bank shot. They attribute it to dumb luck, until it becomes increasingly clear as the game progresses that Napoleon has duped them. The shock quickly devolves into anger, and all the while, Napoleon can feel Illya behind him, can feel his heat and fury building like a storm, all his rage draining to his hands, a tremor rattling those long fingers against the plane of his thigh.

Napoleon isn’t sure yet who Illya is going to fight. Of course, in his heart of hearts he hopes with a self-destructive streak of longing that it will be him. The raw, pitiful truth is that Napoleon is so desperate for Illya’s touch that he’ll take it even like this, in strikes and blows. He loves Illya’s weight and temper on top of him, he loves the terrible thrill of not being able to breath under so much incredible solidity. They’ve sparred enough times by now that he can trust that no matter how mad Illya is, he won’t really hurt him. At least, that’s what he hopes.

The game ends, Napoleon wins by a long shot, and the caballeros are less than pleased. One pushes his beer bottle over so it smashes to bits on the ground, sending foam spraying as he storms up to scream in Napoleon’s face. “You are a liar; you cheated,” he roars. It’s the truth, so Napoleon merely shrugs, pocketing his winnings and holding his kerchief over his nose so he does not have to smell the man’s sour boozy breath.

“No hard feelings, boys?” he says, smiling, teeth a white sickle moon in the darkness of the bar.

Very suddenly, that sickle moon is coated in blood. The punch comes fast, and not from Illya. Napoleon knows the way Illya’s fist feels against him, and this is someone else, someone wearing a turquoise and silver ring under which Napoleon’s lip splits upon impact. He sprawls out on the floor, ears ringing as he spits a thick, coppery mouthful of pink-tinted saliva onto floor, which is slick with spilled beer. The first thing he thinks is that it’s a damn shame he’s kneeling somewhere so filthy in his Armani. The second is that, undoubtedly, Illya has swooped into his rescue. He always does when Napoleon gets himself decked, always rides in like a white knight, most likely looking for any excuse to touch, be touched.

Struggling to stand, Napoleon heaves himself up using the edge of the pool table, head pounding and jaw feeling somewhat misaligned. He blinks the haze of static from his eyes and is thrilled to see Illya laying absolute waste to the four men at the bar. He slams into them, all expert holds and grunting takedowns and an unrelenting rain of fists. He makes it look like a dance, like art. It’s terrifying. He’s terrifying.

A lick of combined horror and hunger twine and rear in Napoleon’s chest as he watches. He knows very well that he could be on the receiving end of Illya’s animal fury, and still, even as he witnesses the destructive force in action, a part of him craves it.

If he’s honest with himself, he can find no real reason to believe Illya wouldn’t actually hurt him if he ever found out about what Napoleon was trying to do, what he truly wanted from him.

There had been moments in the past when the air was drawn so tight and electric between them that Napoleon felt like the obsession, fascination, infatuation couldn’t be one-sided. He had considered kissing Illya in these moments, cupping his smooth-shaven, flushed-pink face between his palms and crushing their mouths together, licking deep into him. Just to see. Just because he deserved it. However, it was a very real possibility that even if Illya wanted that on some level, he still might try and kill Napoleon, which stopped him in those moments. It was a gamble, and Napoleon might be a very good gambler, but he knows dangerous odds when he sees them.

After a few more seconds of glazed-over staring, Napoleon takes a deep breath and shoulders his way into the fight to pull Ilya out before he kills someone. The bulk of him is rage-hot and maddening as he grips his shoulder, but he manages to get close enough to Illya’s ear to yell into it, to remind him of who he is. “Peril, Peril,” he growls, lips intentionally ghosting against the sweat-damp, fire-hot scrape of Illya’s cheek. “Jesus Christ, Peril, it was one punch, get yourself together.”

He unexpectedly doubles over again, struck in the lower back before another blow comes barreling down into his shoulder. There will be bruises there tomorrow, perhaps even broken skin, and Napoleon is distantly irritated that it will be from an old Mexican cowboy and not from Illya. He winces, peeling himself up off the floor once again. Illya towers over him, shaking fists held high like a snake ready to strike, even though everyone is on the floor, twitching, if not knocked out.

“Both of you,” the bartender bellows, blazing in with an empty tequila bottle held over his head like it’s a weapon. Napoleon grimaces, realizing what he’s been hit with. “Leave now, or you spend the night in La Mesa,” he snarls. “Now.”

Napoleon staggers to his feet and holds his hands up, backing away slowly, Illya not far behind him. They’re both panting hard, stumbling and off balance, and much to Napoleon’s displeasure, disheveled and dirty from squabbling on the floor.

The door of the bar swings shut, and Napoleon gratefully sucks in the balmy Tijuana night, filling his lungs with air that’s at least slightly less poisonous than that which he has been breathing for the last hour or so. With his hands braced on his parted knees, he inhales raggedly, trying to catch his breath as he drips blood from his split lip onto the ground between his feet.

“You are such liability,” Illya yells at him, bending in half so he can look Napoleon in the eye with that terrible flashing gaze, fire in his pupils, melting the blue. He’s flushed and heaving, and his knuckles are raw, a glint of blood and lymph making them shine in the moonlight. Napoleon stares. He drinks him in, such an impossible, perfect, dangerous thing to behold. “We should have left as soon as we knew Osario was not coming. Do you not take missions seriously? Do you not care if you get hurt?”

“Peril,” Napoleon breathes, spitting into the dirt. “It is not my fault you decided to put those men in the ground. Learn a little self-control, and then you can talk to me about liability.”

“Outrageous,” Illya grumbles, grabbing Napoleon’s shoulders and steering him away. “We need to move. I’m not convinced we are not spending night in La Mesa.”

Napoleon smiles smugly to himself, pleased that Illya’s thumb is digging into his tequila bottle bruise. It is perhaps not his finest nor proudest moment, but here under the silver half-moon, under Illya’s palms, Napoleon thinks it may be at least one of his more complacent moments.

---

Gaby scolds them at the hotel, barking so fiercely over the phone that Napoleon has to hold it a good six inches away from his ear to prevent any serious damage. “You two,” she snaps, “Are such children. I can’t do anything sometimes but put you in a time out.”

Both of us?” Napoleon implores. “I said Peril got in a fight; I simply talked our way out of it and stopped him before someone died at the mercy of his Soviet rage. You should be thanking me, Miss Teller.”

“He’s lying,” Illya calls from the bathroom, where he’s locked up doing God knows what.

“Yes, but what did you do to make him fight, hmm? I know you, you are a little boy, always pushing buttons. You are both off the assignment,” she sighs. Napoleon can practically hear her mashing her thumb into the crease between her brows, can very nearly make out the muted click of her rolling her eyes. “I will talk to Waverly in the morning; he can deal with you.”

Napoleon widens his eyes, not yet used to the ease with which Gaby has begun to order him around and handle messes as they come up, as they always do. He’s about to congratulate her on her impressive transformation into a world-class agent when she hangs up on him abruptly. “We’re in trouble with Gaby,” he shouts to Illya. “Because of you.”

Illya slams out of the bathroom, and Napoleon braces himself for a new round of potential impact. He’s a little disappointed when it doesn’t happen. Illya just stares at him with an expression of perfect skepticism, and says, “Because of you, Cowboy.”

Napoleon’s gaze flickers down to the scrubbed-raw skin of Illya’s knuckles. Skin he badly wants to sweep his tongue over, skin he imagines to be faintly metallic, copper-sweet in his mouth. He smiles, delighted to be spending the night with Illya in their shared hotel room, locked up like two naughty dogs, like school children in a time out. He wonders what other trouble they can get into, if Illya has had his fix of fighting, or if he’s just getting started. “In all fairness, it was neither of us who threw the first punch. If Waverly asks, we did not start a fight. But in exchange for finishing a fight, Peril, I...”

“This is your fault,” Illya says, interrupting. “You did not have to play pool.”

“You didn’t have to pound four men into oblivion,” Napoleon reminds him, choosing his words very carefully. His lip, which had begun to scab, reopens as he speaks, a bloom of fresh blood rising to the surface. He thoughtlessly licks it away, and Illya looks like he’s going to kill him. “I got punched once, and you practically burnt the bar to the ground,” he adds. “Do you think I don’t know how to take a punch?”

“Yes, I think so,” Illya snaps, crossing his arms. “You fell down.”

This is true. Napoleon recalls the knees of his Armani sliding across the beer-slicked floor, the hot splash of blood in his mouth, the static behind his eyelids. It hadn’t been his best punch, he admits that. “Still. You’ve got to learn to get it under control, Peril, you can’t unleash all of Russia on four rickety Mexicans in a bar just because they give us some trouble. It would be beneficial if you learned to pick your battles. Unless you like fighting, of course. Then, by all means, pound away.”

Illya says nothing, and that seems like a small triumph of sorts. He just glares at Napoleon, left cheek faintly pink and swollen from a wayward elbow, perhaps.

Napoleon takes a deep breath and continues. “As I was saying, in exchange for finishing a fight and therefore endangering my reputation with the locals, I think you owe me something.”

A terrifying glint flashes across Illya’s eyes. A lick of fury, of madness, and Napoleon thinks that he might actually hit him after all, but instead, Illya takes a grudging but deliberate step closer. “And what might that me?” he grinds out, words short and clipped and biting.

Napoleon’s heart speeds up, and he’s gambling, he knows it, but he can’t stop. What if he wins, what if this is it, his lucky break, his best hand? “Our bartender friend managed to get a few good blows in with that bottle of his. I suspect they broke the skin, but I’d rather not clean them myself and risk further aggravating the injuries,” he says evenly, nonchalantly, as if this is nothing at all to ask of Illya. “So, I would greatly appreciate it if you would play nurse and tend to my wounds.”

Illya’s mouth twitches. “Is that all?” he spits out.

It was going to be, but now that Illya is asking, Napoleon’s mind races to think of something else, anything else. “I’m quite sore,” he comes up with, well aware that it sounds absurd. They are always sore; it’s in the job description when one’s job involves jumping out of buildings and driving at breakneck speeds and fighting fascists. Illya stares at him, eyes unreadable. “I could use a massage.”

Illya snorts, sounding more amused than outraged at the suggestion. “A massage? Why don’t you go to spa then? I will clean your wounds, but I do not know how to massage.”

Napoleon shrugs, satisfied with whatever part of the deal Illya is willing to fulfill, confident that there might be wiggle room for more if he thinks fast. “It’s simple, I’ll teach you,” he says, beginning to unbutton his woefully wrinkled dress shirt. His gaze flickers down to Illya’s wide palms, the soft curl of his fingers as they hang limp at his sides. “With hands like that, it shouldn’t be very difficult.”

Illya shoves aforementioned hands in his pockets, as if he’s suddenly self-conscious now that they’re a topic of discussion. He protests and grumbles; he pouts and rolls his eyes and drags his feet, but miraculously, he also rummages through his duffel bag to find the rudimentary first aid he keeps in case of emergency. “Take off your shirt,” he orders, carefully setting a bottle of alcohol onto the coffee table and uncapping it. He lines up some gauze and cotton balls beside it, a small hospital for Napoleon’s small injuries.

“Alcohol? Really? You don’t have some iodine or peroxide or something less barbaric?”

Illya glares. “Alcohol is best.”

“For drinking, certainly, but not for pouring into open wounds,” Napoleon quips, shrugging out of his shirt, wincing at the drag of cotton over his contusions. “ I know you try and make everything as unpleasant as possible in Russia, but there are other alternatives. You could learn a thing or two from me.”

“Oh, I’m sure,” Illya grumbles, dumping too much alcohol onto a cotton ball and cruelly swabbing it over Napoleon’s still bleeding lip. He smells the sharp, heady fumes of it before he feels the sting, registers Ilya’s hands on his mouth before he resisters what they’re doing there. But as soon as the burn blinds him, he flinches away, eying Illya with a scandalized glare. For the first time since they left the bar, Illya manages a small, satisfied smile. “Oops,” he says.

“You have an appalling bedside manner, Peril,” Napoleon replies calmly, wiping his mouth on the back of his hand. Then he reclines and rolls over on the couch, revealing the whole of his bruised back to Illya, so much skin to touch. He scrunches his eyes shut, anticipating the horrible sting of alcohol in his wounds, willing to suffer through it if it comes alongside the dig of Illya’s fingers.

He waits, but it does not come.

“I am sorry,” Illya says, after a moment, voice surprisingly quiet. Napoleon’s eyes fly open, and a line cuts through his brow. The trembling, uncertain tone was not at all what he was expecting from Illya, and it makes his heart speed up, makes him wonder a whole series of things he should not be wondering about. Perhaps since Illya works so hard to invent contrived scenarios to get his hands on men, he’s subconsciously grateful for a situation that falls willingly into his lap. Napoleon is happy to provide him with such an opportunity.

His breath catches as Illya lays a warm hand on his ribcage to steady himself before carefully, carefully dabbing a cotton ball over the abrasion on Napoleon’s shoulder. “Does it hurt?” he asks, fingers so insanely, infuriatingly gentle it makes Napoleon ache.

“Not too bad,” Napoleon hisses, teeth grit against the sting. “This tenderness, Illya. I didn’t know you had it in you.”

“I am not being tender,” Illya mumbles, and although Napoleon is not looking at him, he can imagine the sudden, glorious flush springing to his cheeks. Still, he does not dig his nails into the bruise or lose any of his gentleness; he doesn’t try and make it hurt, even though Napoleon is giving him a reason to. The idea of those murdering hands touching his skin like Illya is afraid his fingertips might burn makes Napoleon’s dick twitch against his thigh, makes him want to roll over and lick the blood still seeping from Illya’s knuckles and clean him as he’s being cleaned. All the while, Illya’s hands tremble over him. Across the raw expanse of his skin, down to the wound on his lower back, and it seems remarkable, really, that this is happening. Napoleon is afraid to breathe, to move, lest he change Illya’s mind.

Napoleon feels drunk, so dizzy and suddenly overwhelmed that his face sinks down into the couch cushion, where it stays for the duration of Ilya’s thorough dressing of his injuries. Finally, Illya sits back and screws the cap back onto the alcohol. “You are clean,” he says evenly.

“I don’t know about that,” Napoleon chides, breathless as he sits up, head spinning. “But at least I won’t be catching any infections from the floor of a Tijuana bar. Now,” he says, quite ready to push his luck. “My back, if you will. Most of the tightness is centered between my shoulder blades, but honestly, anywhere you can get an elbow in is going to loosen something up,” he explains.

He feels Illya tighten behind him and risks a glance at his face, which is predictably stony and unreadable. “I told you,” he says curtly. “I do not know massage.”

“And here’s a chance to learn,” Napoleon offers, gesturing impatiently in the air in front of him. “Think of all the women you can woo with such a skill, Peril. You certainly need some tricks up your sleeve; your charm isn’t going to get you any….” He cuts himself off, stunned to silence by the sensation of Illya’s broad, hot palms alighting awkwardly on either side of his neck, like he’s preparing to choke him in the gentlest, slowest of manners. He swallows, cock thickening against the seam of his ruined Armani suit pants.

Illya digs his thumbs in, one long, deep drag from the topmost knob of Napoleon’s spine down between his scapulae. Napoleon melts a little bit. “Feel good?” he asks, voice slightly mocking as Napoleon shivers under him.

“Acceptable,” Napoleon sighs, as Illya inexpertly kneads him, squeezing and digging into his flesh with an unguarded bone-deepness, careful to avoid the recently sterilized wound spanning the curve of Napoleon’s left shoulder. It hurts, and not in an entirely good way, but that doesn’t stop his erection from straining painfully against his pants, which he really needs to get out of sooner rather than later. “Ah,” Napoleon winces. “Have you ever touched another human being in your entire life without the intention of debilitating them?” he asks through his teeth.

Illya stops, grip slackening. “How do you know it’s not my intention?”

Napoleon’s blood freezes over, and he’s suddenly simultaneously disappointed and grateful that he can’t see Illya’s face right now. Recovering quickly, he reminds him, “This is payment, not punishment, Peril.”

Illya says nothing and resumes rubbing Napoleon’s shoulders, taking the feedback to heart palming him more gently, too gently. It’s like he’s just touching Napoleon’s skin, tracing idle patterns into his back with little direction or pressure, and Napoleon’s not entirely sure he can endure such a thing without whining through his teeth, jerking his hips messily and fruitlessly into the empty air. He’s rapidly nearing embarrassing behavior, so to save himself, he wrenches out from under Illya’s hands.

“Jesus Christ,” he says in exasperation, standing and unbuckling his belt, with trembling hands, just a mindless action to alleviate some pressure, to hide the fact that his hands are trembling at all. “You’re like a school girl braiding her bosom buddy’s hair,” he scolds, tugging his belt from its loops and dropping it onto the couch. He steals a glance at Illya, who much to his delight, looks positively stricken, eyes too wide and too blue, and Napoleon turns away abruptly, not wanting to fall into something he can’t swim out of just yet.

“Bosom buddy?” Illya asks, skeptically.

“Turn around,” Napoleon says, making a neat circle in the air with his index finger to demonstrate, “and lose the sweater.” Illya stares, silent and completely unmoving, eyes frozen on Napoleon with something that might be anger. Napoleon can’t be sure, but he’s at least very aware that the threat of violence hasn’t been entirely erased from this situation, no matter how sweetly Illya tended to his bruises. He still has the hands of a killer, even if they ghosted across his skin like feathers, like wind. Napoleon takes a deep breath, closes his eyes, and repeats: “Take off your sweater, Peril. Your shoulders can’t feel great either, after your fun at the bar. Let me help.”

Illya very, very grudgingly fiddles with the hem. “You can’t do it over my clothes?”

“I could, but it wouldn’t be very helpful. Come on. You aren’t shy, are you?”

Illya very well might be shy, because he doesn’t have a proper retort. He only turns away, red-cheeked and hunched and entirely too huge for this room to contain, and struggles out of his black wool turtleneck. Napoleon sighs deeply, staring with glittering eyes at the perfect, golden expanse of his back, all that rippling muscle moving over the muted curve of his ribcage. “Have a seat,” he says, pulling a wicker stool from the bedside desk and setting it between the couch and the coffee table, before sinking down onto the couch.

The wicker seat whines as Illya settles on top of it. “I am not sore.”

“I strongly doubt that. You’re probably always sore and don’t even notice it, because you’re a machine, and machines don’t feel pain. Relax, Peril,” he says, mouth almost watering as he flexes his fingers and admires Illya’s strong, lithe back. He feels light-headed, stunned that it’s well after midnight, and he somehow managed to sweet-talk Illya out of his sweater and beneath his hands, all under the ridiculous pretense of exchanging massages. It’s almost as if Illya is seeking ridiculous pretenses to cover his deep-seated desires. Napoleon smiles to himself and begins to knead up the hot, hard length of muscle framing Illya’s spine.

Illya spasms a little under his hands, twitching as he kneads over knots, ribbons pulled taut under his skin. “Not sore, my ass,” Napoleon mumbles. “Good?”

“Hmm,” Illya says, noncommittally, although his head has dropped to his chest, lolling a little bit as Napoleon digs into him. “Not bad.”

Not bad at all, Napoleon thinks, stomach flipping at every single clench and flicker of muscle beneath his palms, every involuntary movement. He absorbs iit all, wanting to memorize the heat and smoothness of Illya’s skin in case this never happens again.

Time seems to alter, becoming slow and languid like honey as Napoleon gets lost in the process of unlocking Illya’s muscle and fascia like a puzzle. He touches him and touches him, rubbing deep and hungry into the divots of his body, pushing him, pulling him, shaping him. Napoleon is thinking that he could probably do just this for the rest of his life and be satisfied when he makes the grave mistake of peering over Illya’s shoulder into his lap.

He’s sitting with his thighs splayed wide in his well-fitting pinstripe trousers, the crotch of which are drawn tight over the bulge of his unmistakably hard cock. Napoleon sees it, the line of it thick and hot as it strains against slate grey fabric, and his mouth goes dry.

Part of him wants to say something, to call Illya out for all but proving his hypothesis. But the larger, more sensible part of him knows that if he brings it up, Illya will likely put an end to whatever is happening between them, electric and unspoken. Napoleon imagines him fiercely denying the accusation, standing and stomping away to the bathroom, locking the door behind him, and refusing to speak to Napoleon for three days until he gets over his tantrum. Then, perhaps more realistically, Napoleon imagines Illya turning on him and decking him right in the face. His busted lip throbs in anticipation, but he decides that it’s ultimately better for his overall well-being if he chooses not to say anything at all about Illya’s sizable problem.

Doing something about it, however, is not entirely out of the question. Napoleon has danced around this same issue with enough silent, self-respecting men to know that they’re far more likely to play with him if he doesn’t talk about the game first. He suspects Illya is the same breed, the don’t ask, don’t tell variety. He stares down between those powerful thighs, practically drooling down onto Illya’s shoulders as he quietly contemplates his options.

“You stopped,” Illya breathes, tongue flitting out to wet his lower lip. Napoleon watches the display, horrified, cock throbbing as he makes a final, if not rash, decision.

“Sorry,” he murmurs, leaning closer so that his bare chest very nearly brushes against Illya’s back, which he drags his palms down in a slow, deliberate stroke. “I was distracted.” Then he sucks in a breath and holds it as he very, very carefully inches his right hand down Illya’s ribcage, all the way to his thigh, where he rests it so very gently, almost as if he weren’t touching him at all. He leaves it there, waiting for Illya to stop him, to say something.

He says nothing, so Napoleon keeps going.

Terrified, he inches his fingers gingerly across Illya’s hard quadriceps, touch creeping onto the seam, the inside of his bicep brushing Illya’s skin as the touch draws him closer. Still, nothing. Teeth grit and heart pounding so hard he’s sure Illya must be able to feel its frantic thud against his shoulder, Napoleon drags his hand up the inner plane of Illya’s thigh, moving so slowly, so maddeningly slowly, giving Illya plenty of time to grab him, stop him, break his fingers if he wants to.

By some fracture in the fabric of the universe, Illya does not grab him, stop him, break his fingers. He sits very, very still as Napoleon touches him with exploratory newness, breath coming out sharp and ragged before it catches. Napoleon inches ever closer to his cock, already feeling the heat of him through his pants, raw and real and scalding. He swallows thickly as his fingers nudge up against the bulge of him, and Illya stops breathing altogether.

Napoleon is too afraid to look at the span of his palm moving to cup Illya’s cock through his pants. It’s too much, hazy and surreal, so he buries his face in Illya’s neck instead, breathing him in like that might save him from going up in flame, like it might make this life-ending thing somehow less lethal, if he doesn’t look. He can feel Illya hot and aching through his slacks; he can feel his heartbeat in the shaft of his cock, this terrible, intimate thing.

He just keeps his hand there for a moment, the weight of it heavy and still so Illya will have to thrust into him if he wants pressure, friction. There they stay, Illya shaking against Napoleon, whose elbow is pressed against the vast power of his thigh, detecting a tremor like a bear-trap poised to snap shut, capable of shattering the bone in his arm. It’s dangerous, all of it, but he doesn’t care; he can’t care, not with Illya’s salty-hot skin stubble rough against his lips, not with Illya’s cock twitching in his palm as his hips stutter forward to meet him, a chaotic, involuntary jerk. Napoleon lets out a stilted breath as Illya pushes into him, and finally he rubs the heel of his hand over the hard, hot shape of his cock.

“God,” Napoleon murmurs, voice rumbling against the thunder of Illya’s pulse. He covers the whole of him with his hand, kneading and squeezing gently, thumbing over the trembling iron line of him. Illya gasps, and it sounds so unrefined, so torn that Napoleon’s heart clenches furiously. “God, Peril,” he mumbles, the fabric under his hand getting damp with precum as he shifts it over Illya.

Illya is panting as he moves his hips in clumsy circles, grinding desperately into Napoleon, fists white knuckled on the edge of his stool as if to keep himself restrained. He wants it so bad, that much is obvious. Still, Napoleon doesn’t totally trust that he won’t come to his senses and think better of it. After all, just because Illya wants it doesn’t mean he wants to want it; it’s still a risk, a gamble. Napoleon wants more, but he’ll take this. He’ll rub Illya through his slacks until he comes; he’ll hold his palm wide and warm so Illya can fuck himself into it. Whatever he needs, whatever it takes. Or at least he thinks he can settle for that and be satisfied, until he makes the grave mistake of hooking his chin over Illya’s shoulder so he can see him, see his legs spread so wide and trembling, see him leaking through his pants as he bucks and shudders.

Napoleon’s mouth actually waters. Illya is so huge and so split and so wanting, such a marvelous picture of desire, the best goddamned thing Napoleon has ever seen, and in that moment his mind is consumed with blind, reckless static. He can’t remember why he should settle for less than everything; he can’t remember why he’s being cautious, why he’s afraid. To hell with it, he thinks brokenly, heart thudding in his chest too fast and erratic, his own cock too hard to reason with. He doesn’t care if he ends up bloody; he doesn’t care if this all becomes too much and Illya suddenly changes his mind, breaks his neck. Illya spread out like this is worth it, no matter the stakes.

Very carefully, Napoleon inches his other arm around Illya’s waist, fingers dragging through the sweat-damp trail of hair beneath his navel and coming to rest on the buckle of his belt. Then, he slowly eases the leather from the loops in his pants, tugging until the buckle clinks open and he can get to the button, which he undoes with clumsy fingers. Illya lets him, his abdominals shivering in a fine layer of perspiration, his stomach heaving in time with labored breaths.

Napoleon watches his hands moving as if they are not his own. They fiddle with Illya’s zipper then ease open his fly so he can push a trembling palm beneath his waistband, gentle and agonizingly slow. Finally,with his breath caught in his throat, Napoleon’s fingers nudge against scalding skin.

His first thought is that Illya is so hard and so soft, all at once. Like raw silk drawn tight over iron, skin so crepe-paper delicate that Napoleon chokes as he feels it, eyes sliding shut as his thumb pushes through the slickness beading at the slit of Illya’s cock.

Illya is frozen under him, trembling like something much weaker than a killer, weaker than even a man. Napoleon presses his chest up against the bulk of him and slowly, carefully pulls his cock out of his pants and makes himself look.

His mouth goes dry. Illya is thick and uncircumcised, so heavy and hot in Napoleon’s hand as he makes a fist around the perfect length of him and pulls the foreskin back over the head, admiring the wet flash of red, imagining what that burning skin would feel like under his tongue. He can’t stop staring as he touches him, jaw cutting into the tense muscle of Illya’s shoulder as he watches his own hand move and palm over him. Time passes in slow motion, and Napoleon counts each of Illya’s deep, shuddering breaths.

After a loaded moment of simply feeling the weight of his cock in his hand, Napoleon experimentally pumps his fist up and down the length of him, mesmerized by the perfect shift of soft over hard, the pulsing heat of Illya’s flesh under his fingers. He’s done this before, to himself of course and to a handful of other men, but he can’t ever remember it feeling so good, so terrifying. He feels like he’s holding Illya’s still-beating heart in his hand, all blood and thunder and slickness.

He moves his palm down to cup Illya’s sac, drawing his fingers up the vein on the underside. Just indulging himself, touching for his own enjoyment, drowning in the raw, wild heat of Illya’s body, and it feels like everything; it feels like the world. All of eternity whittled down to this single moment, and it shouldn’t be real, Illya should not feel so soft, so hard, he should not be trembling against Napoleon like this. It’s not what Napoleon expected when he pushed Illya to fight earlier, it was not how he imagined this night would end up.

Illya’s cock jerks in his loose fist, a bead of precum pooling at the slit, and it’s too much to bear, so Napoleon shuts his eyes, turns his head, and opens his mouth against the cords drawn tight and flickering in Illya’s throat.

Something shatters, and everything changes.

Illya wrenches up off the stool and away from Napoleon, leaving him stunned and empty-handed and immediately prepared to defend himself from attack. But Illya moves too quickly for him to make out his expression, upon him in seconds with a double-fisted grip biting into his shoulders and throwing him backward lengthwise onto the couch. His skull thumps against the arm of it, and he’s quite, quite sure that he’s going to die, that the hot smear of his open mouth over Illya’s pulse did them both in, and they’re not going to survive this or what is to come.

Napoleon screws his eyes shut and falls limp under Illya, hands held up in surrender as he braces himself for impact, for a fist to come crushing down into his already split lip, his jaw. He waits and he waits. Nothing hits him yet, just waves and waves of Illya’s breath, sweet and warm and huffing out in wild gusts onto his lips as he bears down over him, blocking out all the light in the room with the wide breadth of his shoulders. Napoleon sucks in his exhalations, dizzy with want, flinching as Illya thumbs fiercely and painfully over the wound on his lower lip, reopening it. Blood spring to the corner of his mouth, and his eyes flicker open reflexively.

Napoleon has just enough time to make out Illya’s pupils blown wide and dark and terrifying before Illya kisses him. So hard and fierce and deep that he’s still not entirely sure it isn’t the first blow of a new fight. Illya crushes their lips together and steals Napoleon’s breath, grabbing his chin and forcing his jaw open so he can lick into the searing heat of his mouth, choke him silent on his tongue.

Static explodes behind his eyes, whiting him out as he reaches helplessly for Illya, dragging nails up his back and making fists in his hair. They grapple on the couch, all teeth and breath, and Illya touches Napoleon desperately, mauls across his bare chest and shoulders and down the outside of his thigh, rough desperate touch like he doesn’t know where to start, what he wants first.

They fall apart to suck in air, Napoleon inhaling frantically as Illya mouths up his neck, across the stubble of his jaw. Then he pulls away, staring at the blood on Napoleon’s teeth, blood he wrought to the surface with bruising kisses. Napoleon licks it away, reaches for Illya and tries to drag him back because he’s moving, he’s going somewhere, pulling away from him and he can’t do that now, when they made it this far. “No,” he murmurs, digging his thumbs into Illya’s shoulders. “No, no, no, come back.”

Illya stares at him, kind of broken looking with his hair rucked up in back and his mouth so swollen from kissing. “Cowboy,” he says very quietly, shrugging out from under Napoleon’s grip and pinning his wrists above his head, mortifyingly easy. “Stop trying to fight.”

“I’m not,” Napoleon snaps indignantly, though he’s not even sure he knows what Illya is accusing him of; his mind is hazy, and he’s so hard it hurts.

Illya does not clarify, he simply heaves himself up off of Napoleon and sinks to his knees on the floor below him, parting his knees with broad, gentle hands. Napoleon’s head falls back and his breath hitches in his throat around a strangled, “Oh, God.”

It all happens very fast. Illya unbuttons his pants and tugs them down over his thighs, just enough that Napoleon’s cock springs free, making him groan and twist his hands mindlessly into the couch cushions. Then, before he has time to wonder or anticipate or even brace himself for the wave of stimulation, Illya closes his fist around the base of his cock and swallows the rest, moaning as his tongue sweeps hungrily over the crown.

Fuck, Illya,” Napoleon grinds out, thighs spasming as Illya sucks him deep with his cheeks hollowed, palming up to his obliques, across his ribs in great, reedy handfuls. His mouth is searing and so, so wet. It’s impossible for Napoleon to keep from fucking up into the slick heat of it, using the soft plush ring of his lips as his hips stutter and jerk reflexively. Napoleon grits his teeth, realizing with a sudden clarity that he might have been very, very wrong about Illya Kuryakin.

Illya rakes his nails down the outsides of Napoleon’s thighs as he sucks, moaning and lashing his tongue and drooling as he chokes himself. Napoleon cranes his neck up off the couch so he can see for himself, see the way Illya’s head is bent, see the way his mouth is split open obscenely to accommodate his length. His heart breaks as the haze over his vision clears enough for him to really see. Illya looks absolutely lost to this, a crease through his brow and his lashes fluttering against the wild flush of his cheeks as he fucks his own throat open on Napoleon.

There is nothing coy or performative about the Illya way is sucking him off; there’s no hesitation, no uncertainty, no shame. He’s sucking him as if the mere pleasure of holding Napoleon’s cock in his mouth is enough, is everything, all he’s ever wanted and all he’s been fighting for, every time he raises a fist to fight. Napoleon is stunned, and he can’t stop looking.

His abdominals flicker as he raises himself up on his elbows for a better view, the heat and nervy pleasure of it all making him weak, shaky. He manages to reach for Illya with one hand, carding his fingers messily through the sweat-dark ruin of his hair to push him back down his cock, groaning at the way his length disappears into Illya’s mouth, rending him apart, fucking his lips open and raw at the corners. “You wanted this,” he murmurs to himself as much as Illya, razing his nails across his skull. “All along.”

Illya can’t hear him; he’s too full, too wrecked. He closes one of those huge, crushing hands over Napoleon’s wrist, keeping his fingers tangled into his hair, and for reasons Napoleon cannot name, this is the image that pushes him over the edge and spilling into Illya’s mouth: his broad, rough hand clenching so tight to hold him in place.

He comes hard and fast, groaning as he empties himself into Illya’s mouth, vision giving way to an explosion of heat, static. Illya holds onto his hips all the while, gagging as Napoleon spasms and jerks gracelessly under him, eyes streaming, nose dripping. Napoleon collapses, and Illya stays where he is, lips so soft and wet and bruised against the inside of his thigh where he presses kiss after kiss, labored breath trapped there against his skin. “Peril,” Napoleon finally says, sounding more than a little wrung out. “Come here. Please.”

Illya presses one more lingering kiss to the spent, twitching underside of Napoleon’s cock before he shuffles forward on his knees. There are fierce spots of color staining his cheeks and his eyes are still full to the brim with pupil, and Napoleon wishes badly that he could press this thumb into that blackness, lick the stain off like ink. “Have you ever done that before?” he asks.

Illya drops his head, lips all over Napoleon’s ribs, the shallow valley between his pectorals, teeth and tongue and prayer. “No,” he says then, breath ghosting against Napoleon’s heartbeat. “Only thought of it.” He sounds so hoarse, and when Napoleon grabs him by the hair to force his mouth up to kiss him, his lips taste so raw, so used. It’s the best thing Napoleon has ever felt, just one terrible revelation after another, and he feels like he’s shattering under the tide of them all.

“Jesus,” he says as they break apart. “I didn’t think you had, but it was so fucking good, I doubted myself. Thought I’d been wrong about you, that I’d somehow missed all the practice you were getting on your knees in alleyways or something. My God, Peril, your mouth,” he hisses, kissing him deep again, tongue flicking over his teeth hungrily.

Illya shakes his head, scoffing, pulling away to grumble, “It is not so hard.”

Napoleon shrugs, palming up Illya’s shoulder over marks he left with his nails, raised and pink and tender. “But you wanted it, you wanted it so bad,” he breathes, watching Illya flush down to his sternum, lips twitching with something raw, vulnerable. “Here,” Napoleon orders, reaching for Illya’s belt loops. His pants are still mostly on, loose and riding low on his hips until Napoleon struggles to pull them down, eyes wide and stricken as more skin is revealed. “Want you to straddle my face, here on the couch, and fuck my mouth,” he tells him, dragging Illya up until one knee digs into the cushion beside his head. “You can go hard, as hard as you want.”

Illya makes a small, cut-off sound of anguish at that, thumbing over Napoleon’s busted lip with one hand, palming his dripping cock with the other. “And this?” he says, gently smoothing over the wound.

“I don’t care,” Napoleon pleads. He rubs his hands over the firm planes of muscle framing Illya’s spine, tugging him closer. “Just fuck me.”

That’s all Illya needs. He shifts forward and hooks his thumb into the corner of Napoleon’s mouth, holding him open and groaning, low and involuntary and deep in his throat. The head of his cock nudges up against Napoleon’s lower lip, resting on the slick pout of it for a moment before Napoleon cranes his head up off the couch to swallow him whole.

Illya curses in Russian, something dark and and indistinguishable as he withdraws before pushing himself back in again, eyes locked hard on Napoleon’s, the muscles of his ass flexing and spasming under Napoleon’s splayed palms as he thrusts. Their held gaze is too electric, too hot and painful a thing to withstand so Napoleon shuts his eyes against the infernal brightness, instead pulling Illya closer and encouraging him to lose himself in the slick wet suction of his throat.

His eyes well up and he can hardly breathe, but it has never felt so fucking incredible to be choked like this, to be filled, split open, fractured. He makes his mouth soft and slack as Illya hammers into him, steady thrusts quickly devolving into a messy, broken rhythm as he nears climax. Napoleon can tell he’s close by the way he’s twitching against his tongue, by the lewd red flush from his cheeks and down his throat where it gives way to a hectic dapple of pink on his sternum, pulled tight over his clavicles, his rabbiting pulse.

He feels Illya while he fucks him. Rubs his hands over the hard curve of his ass and down to his hamstrings, then back up to the concavity of his back, spine curled and lithe as he bends. He digs his fingers into his sacrum, his ribs, deep into the cleft of his ass where he’s damp and twitching and perfect. Napoleon feels sick with bliss, lost in the feeling of being used and broken open for Illya to fill up. When Illya comes, teeth sunk deep into his own shoulder perhaps to muffle the sound, Napoleon cries out for him, moan muffled around the thickness of his cock, perforated to just wordless, strangled noise.

He melts over Napoleon, holding himself up on shaking arms so he doesn’t crush him totally, although his abdominals are pressed into his face, still flickering with aftershocks.

Napoleon swallows, licks his lips, and wishes he could swallow some more. “Well,” he says after a while, wincing at the ache in his jaw. “That was certainly not the outcome I expected when I endeavored to teach you massage.”

Illya makes a sound. “Oh really? Am I supposed to believe that?”

Napoleon coughs, throat stinging as he clears it. “I won’t say my intentions were of an entirely innocent nature, but I wasn’t planning on getting my throat fucked tonight, no,” he explains, smiling into Illya’s hot, sweat-sticky skin. “Not that I’m complaining,” he adds hastily.

Finally, with some swaying and blinking, Illya sits up. “I do not think you’re complaining.” He peels away from Napoleon’s bare skin, detaching himself from all the places that had adhered before collapsing stiffly onto the carpet beside the couch, where he lies on his back, peering up at Napoleon with a warm, terrible fondness “You look very happy.”

Napoleon is, to put it mildly, ecstatic. He rolls over, grinning smugly. “I always look this way when I get what I want.”

“And what was that? A massage?” Illya asks, the blue of his eyes sparkling. It’s a remarkable thing to see, that small warm flame reflected in his pupil, complacent and amused and so entirely unafraid. Napoleon cocks his head curiously to get a better look at Illya, all the smooth, relaxed planes of muscle in his face, the loose curl of his hand where it rests over his chest, moving along with the gentle rise and fall. He does not look like a man who feels the need to construct elaborate scenarios to disguise his hunger to touch. He looks like a man who simply satisfied that hunger, took what he wanted without pretense, performance, fear. Napoleon is a little stunned, realizing with an uncomfortable twist in his gut that between the two of them, Illya might not have been the one who was too paralyzed to move, who needed an act to get himself there.

He reaches down and thumbs over Illya’s scrubbed knuckles, where scabs are already beginning to form. “No, not a massage. Not only a massage, Peril. The massage was merely a means to a much superior end,” Napoleon explains. Illya shuts his eyes, and actually grins. “What are you smiling at?” Napoleon snaps.

“You,” Illya says simply.

“Me?”

“Yes, you, Cowboy,” he murmurs, stretching out long and languid, a thin sheen of sweat glistening invitingly on his chest. Napoleon wants to lick it off, he wants to ruin Illya, wipe all the smugness and self-satisfaction from him with his own tongue. “You think you’re clever,” Illya says. “If you wanted this, you could have had it, though. Anytime. Instead you play pool. Get in bar fight.”

Napoleon’s mouth falls open. “You got in the fight!”

Illya shrugs, his shoulder shifting against the carpet. “You have the broken lip, not me. You didn’t need to get broken lip for me to touch you, if that was what you wanted,” he explains.

Napoleon stares, bewildered. “I must admit,” he says after a moment, voice more gentle than he wants it to be. “I underestimated you.”

Illya stares back, the corner of his mouth quirked up as he reaches for Napoleon, fingers brushing softly over the swollen, newly-torn lip in question. It’s stinging and tender from being fucked open, so Napoleon winces under Illya’s touch. “I should be sorry for this,” Illya mumbles, hissing as Napoleon sucks his finger into his mouth, tongue scraping against the drag of callous. “But I like to see you like this for me. From me.”

“Jesus Christ,” Napoleon says, letting Illya’s fingers slide from his mouth in a slick of spit, suddenly outraged that he’s not on top of Illya in this moment, that their bodies are separated by the stretch of space between the ground and the couch. “You’re too much.”

“Oh?” Illya asks. “Are you going to run, then? Make me hit you instead?” He raises his eyebrows, and Napoleon feels like he’s falling apart.

“No,” he says, chewing on the inside of his lip. “Not unless you want to hit me.” All this time, he had been wondering about the way Illya fights, when he perhaps should have been wondering about why he enjoyed it so much. He shakes his head, feeling quite blind.

“I would rather kiss you tonight,” Illya says evenly. “But I can arrange to hit you if you like that better.”

“No,” Napoleon says, gut curling in on itself, overwhelmed to a pain-sick desire at the unbelievable ease with which Illya Kuryakin is saying such terrible things. “Kisses are much preferred, following Tijuana bar fights, at least. But your massage was quite useless in alleviating the pain, I’m afraid.” Limbs still all liquid and tremorous from coming so hard, Napoleon clumsily lowers himself so his arms are bracketed on either side of Illya’s head, knees splayed over his lap. He looks beautiful under him, painted in gold and shadow and perspiration, and Napoleon sighs before dipping down and catching his mouth in a kiss that tastes like blood.

Illya palms up his back and pulls him close, lips spread and wet and soft as he kisses back, deep and slow. In all the times Napoleon ever imagined kissing Illya, he never thought it would be like this, shared exhalations and Illya’s breath so sweet in his lungs. Napoleon shakes his head, thinking of all the times he prepared for a fist, a fight, bruises and blood and splintered ribs.

He’s ashamed, truly, for missing the mark so completely. But as Illya shifts down the carpet to bite his chest, tongue sweeping over the sting, eyes flickering softly and secretly beneath the lids as Napoleon watches him, moved, he’s not just ashamed. Mostly, he’s very, very relieved. Nothing is more fun than getting under Illya Kuryakin’s skin, certainly, unless he considers the thrill of Illya getting under his.