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Russian Wolf

Chapter Text

The first time Napoleon sees the Russian's dæmon, it is from the back of a moving car, as Gaby swings them wildly around a corner and Napoleon sees the hulking figure of the Russian, a massive shadow looming at his side.

"What is that, a bear?" he asks Gaby.

"A wolf, I think." she replies, changing gear.

He exchanges a glance with his fox dæmon, Nalini.

-

The second time he sees the wolf dæmon, it has its jaws around Nalini's neck.

"I know what he said," Napoleon gritted out. "What does it mean? And would you please, drop her?" He added, turning to look at the wolf. He met its lamplike eyes as its jaws parted, dropping Nalini to the floor of the green restroom.

-

"In my country," Illya said in his thick accent, lifting a hand to point at Nalini, who was sitting on the table, "We have those tamed as pets."

Nalini bared her small, sharp white teeth at him.

Napoleon then went on to make a crude remark about the Russian's mother, who promptly flipped the table over and stormed off.

Nalini glared reproachfully at Napoleon from where she lay in a heap amongst the cutlery. "You should try to get along with him. You'll be working with him for God knows how long."

"He just makes it so hard."

-

"What exactly did you do to him?"

"At KGB, we call it 'the kiss'"

Napoleon's eyebrows raised in amusement. Nalini sniffed at the man's dæmon, currently lying, zoned-out at his feet.

"We wouldn't have found that without my father's watch."

-

"I hate water." Nalini grumbled as the cab of the truck filled with the reservoir.

"We have to rescue them."

"Well, I won't be able to drag the wolf through the water. You'll have to grab him."

Napoleon looked at his dæmon in surprise. "I can't touch him." It was taboo, to touch someone else's dæmon.

"You'll have to. To save him."

Napoleon sighed. "Deep breath." He said as he rolled down the window, opening the door once the water pressure was the same inside and outside.

He swam for the Russian, grabbing both the man and the wolf by the scruffs of their necks. He felt Nalini close behind.

"Keep quiet." He muttered to the Russian as he tilted back his chin to keep his face above the water. Kuryakin stared at him, undoubtedly feeling the curious sensation passing through Solo, from holding his dæmon. Napoleon let go of the wolf, and Kuryakin grabbed it, dragging the massive creature with him as he swam towards the edge of the reservoir.

"Thank you." Illya said quietly, as they paused, catching their breath as water dripped puddled around their feet.

"Not at all. Don't think anything of it."

"What's your name?" Nalini said suddenly, startling all three of them.

The wolf turned his head to look at her, his yellow eyes widening. "Cyrilla." He said, with a Russian accent. Napoleon didn't know why he was surprised that the wolf had an accent.

Nalini stepped forward and reached her nose up towards Cyrilla.

The wolf stared at the smaller dæmon for a long moment, then lowered his great head and touched his nose to Nalini's.

Napoleon's eyes met Illya's, and he felt a faint warmth in his chest.

-

"He doesn't sound like he needs your help." Bayanai, Gaby's goldfinch dæmon, said.

Illya flushed, hastily turning off the wireless receiver.

Gaby laughed, high and happy. Illya was sure she'd been drinking. "Do you want to dance again?"

"No, thank you."

"You enjoyed it last time." She coaxed, and Bayanai flew down to land on Cyrilla's head.

"Don't you want to play, doggie?" The finch asked.

Gaby went very still, watching as the wolf slowly opened his yellow eyes.

"Yan.." She warned her bird, just as Cyrilla suddenly leaped to his feet, huge teeth snapping at the small frame of the dæmon.

"Hey!" She clutched Yan to her chest, but Illya smiled, a little. "He does not mean it."

"I am wolf." Cyrilla said flatly.

-

"I thought I found all of your trackers." Napoleon said, dabbing at the blood coming from his nose. He gasped faintly as Illya, unbuckling Nalini from the torture device, brushed his dæmon with the tips of his fingers. "Sorry." Illya said, glancing at the dæmon. She pulled herself out of the wire cage. "Thank you." she said, pressing her face to Cyrilla's side. The wolf dæmon looked at her sadly.

As they were buckling Rudi into the chair, his cat dæmon pinned down by the neck by Cyrilla, Illya tested the pedal, sending an electric current through the chair. Napoleon jumped back, pulling his hands away from Rudi. "Do you mind?" He said, meeting Illya's wide eyes. The Russian looked devastated at what he'd done. Napoleon glanced back to see Cyrilla touch his nose to Nalini's, as she'd collapsed with the sudden jolt of electricity.

-

"Almost forgot." Napoleon said, turning to face Illya, dropping the gun as he did so. "Got something for you."

Nalini trotted up to Illya. He crouched down, taking what she offered in her mouth. His father's watch.

He looked up at Solo as he fastened the watch onto his wrist.

"You know what my mission is?"

-

"It's uncommon, isn't it? To be a man with a male dæmon." Napoleon and Illya were slumped in chairs in a hotel room in Istanbul, whisky unevenly divided between their glasses, waiting the evening out before they thought it late enough to sleep.

"Yes. Is uncommon." Illya said flatly, not looking up from his glass.

"They mistrust us," Cyrilla said from where he lay on the carpet beside Illya's chair, "In Russia. Many think men with male dæmon are.. " The wolf trailed off, letting his head thud to the floor.

"Homosexual." Napoleon said, causing Illya to look at him in surprise. Napoleon shrugged, and Nalini said, "It is the same here. People don't like things that are different."

Illya shrugged, taking a sip of his drink.

"Are you?" Nalini asked suddenly.

"Am I what?" the Russian replied.

"You know."

Napoleon held his breath.

Cyrilla let out a low growl, and Illya got to his feet, walking out of the room, followed by the wolf, and into their shared bedroom.

"Nalini..." Napoleon said slowly, standing up.

"I'm sorry." the fox dæmon muttered. "I suppose he's not drunk enough."

Napoleon peered into the bedroom. Illya was sitting on his bed.

"Peril." Napoleon said, sitting down on his own bed. "I just want you to know.. that whatever you.. are. It's okay. I'm not exactly the model American citizen myself." Nalini was hiding behind his back.

"Unfortunately, Cowboy, I am not American citizen at all."

"Illya,-"

"I am not speaking more of this." Illya said, lying down with his back to Napoleon. "Goodnight."