"Excuse me, Dr. Kuryakin. Could I speak with you a moment?" A hesitant voice came from the doorway to the Green Lab.
Illya looked up from the computer green-bar sheets that detailed the results from the experiments that THRUSH had been conducting a month before. He still tired before the end of the workday but he'd been back in the lab for three days and felt more focused. Finally. He found the information from the lab fascinating and it took him a minute to come back to the worried face of the blond woman hovering in the doorway.
"Miss ... Chandler?" His memory caught up with her face.
"Yes, Sir. I wondered if I could speak with you?" She took two steps into the lab, clutching a cardboard box under one arm.
"Please come in and have a seat." Illya gestured to the chair beside his desk. "I am glad to take a break from reading these reports."
"Thank you. I appreciate it." She sat down with the box in her lap. "I need your advice and perhaps your scientific expertise."
"You may have both." Illya had a soft spot for the quiet attorney who had come to work for UNCLE three months before. She hadn't even noticed Napoleon's flirtatious airs and was a steady worker who took each case personally.
"Some children I know were playing near Central Park." Her eyes dropped to the box in her lap. "While they were hiding from the youngster who was 'it', they saw two men open a man hole cover and lower a box into the hole, jiggle it and draw it up. Empty."
"Did they find out what had been in the box?" Illya removed his glasses and laid them on his desk.
Her jaw went tight. "Yes. There were two black rats. These are city kids and they know that rats are a fact of life in that neighborhood. So being the curious little boys that they are, they found the rats and caught them." She set the box on his desk. "I thought perhaps you could tell me why they were dumped so secretly."
Illya blinked and removed the lid of the cardboard box. Sure enough, there were two black rats. His thoughts flashed back to the lab where he'd been shot. The rats they'd found there had also been black and just as sleek. Could these be part of those experiments? After all these weeks?
"Well, let's take a look." He stood, put his glasses back on and brought the box to the lab table. Pulling on a pair of latex gloves, he removed one of the rats and laid it out on a clean mat. Ruffling the fur, he spotted a flea and quickly upended a petri dish over it when it jumped off.
Miss Chandler shuddered and stepped back. "I appreciate you looking into this for me. I have a conference right now. Could I stop by tomorrow morning and find out what you've discovered?"
Illya nodded absentmindedly, intrigued by several sores he found under the fur. "Perhaps a little later. I'll want to make some cultures and they'll take time to mature."
"Thank you, Mr. Kuryakin." And her heels tapped their way out of the lab.
Illya worked for an hour, dissecting and preparing slides of paper-thin tissues. Even the flea got his own slide. Labeling each one, he slid the rest of the remains into the lab refrigerator and prepared to write up his notes. A cough from the doorway brought his head up to see Napoleon lounging there.
"Well, Illyusha, how are you feeling?"
"Come in, Pasha. I've got some notes to finish up." He went back to writing. "And I'm feeling fine. A little tired maybe but I've an intriguing project and it has infused new life into me."
"Hey, I'm the only one who gets to 'infuse' you, love." Napoleon sat on one hip on the edge of the desk and Illya caught a brief glimpse of his pout.
Hiding his smile, he kept on writing. "Of course you are, Pasha but there's just something about these rats that's intriguing."
"Rats? You're comparing me to rats, Illya?"
He looked up and could no longer keep his grin hidden. "No, you did that, Pasha. I just said my experiments were interesting."
The pout was back and completely irresistible. "Illya, I am deeply hurt." He sighed theatrically. "But there is something incredibly sexy about those hideous glasses of yours and I'm willing to forgive you if you'll wear them tonight in bed."
Illya laughed out loud and put down his pen. "Just for you, Napasha, I will wear them. Now, give me just a few more minutes and I shall be ready to go home."
Napoleon sighed again before standing and heading out of the lab. "Ten minutes, Illya. I'll be waiting at the checkpoint."
Illya smiled and finished his working notes. Taking off his lab coat and hanging it over the back of his chair, he remembered to unclip his communicator and put it in his breast pocket along with the glasses that so intrigued his partner. Tidying away the paperwork, he locked his desk and posted a notice on the refrigerator -- warning others to leave the dead rats alone.
And he still had two minutes left to walk down to the checkpoint. Napoleon was waiting for him with an exaggerated look at his watch and a quip about the early bird. But Illya simply smiled and went through the door first. That brought a squawk of 'how dare you go first when I was ahead of you' by the right-on-his-heels lover. It was an old joke that stayed fresh even after five years.
Almost six, Illya reminded himself. Perhaps they could do something special for the anniversary of their partnership he mused. Napoleon was driving and he sat back to watch his partner maneuver through the heavy traffic, grousing all the way about the other drivers and their idiot cars. He let the familiar dialog pass on by while he listened to the rich tones of the voice that he loved above all others.
Perhaps tonight Napoleon would read to him before they made love. He could feel the smile rise and curve his lips upward. Or better yet, perhaps he would just read his lover's body with fingers and tongue while that voice moaned beneath him.
"Illya, what are you thinking about? You haven't heard a word I've said for the last five minutes."
He can even put a pout into his words. Illya chuckled and sent his lover a flirtatious look from under his lashes. "Perhaps I shall tell you later, Pasha. Or maybe I'll just show you?"
Napoleon groaned and moved the car sharply to the right into a dingy alley. "Do not tease me, Illyusha when I'm driving. It makes me do crazy things." They drove through the narrow space, dodging ash cans on the right and left. "Not to mention what it does to my body. The neighbors will see my bulging crotch and think I'm some kind of sex pervert."
Illya dared to reach over and stroke the promising bulge at his lover's groin. He suddenly realized that he'd never made love in a car before. "How very un-American my conduct has been, Napoleon." Deftly, he unzipped the dark brown trousers and slid his hand into the small opening. "Isn't it a tradition for lovers to ... I believe it's called 'make out' in the car?"
"Illya!" Napoleon practically stood on the brake while he turned wild eyes to his lover. "What are you doing?"
"Goodness, Pasha, how quickly you forget." Illya smiled sweetly and dove down to the tempting cock peeking out of the white cotton boxers. Napoleon's flesh swelled in his mouth and he sucked strongly before delicately cat-licking around the flared crown. Moans were his only answer while he took the enlarging organ deep.
Napoleon's hands carded tremulously through his hair and Illya felt himself purr at the feeling of control that gave him. He'd finally succeeded in surprising his more worldly lover. Humming around the salty flesh, he sucked again. Napoleon swelled larger and he felt the hips try to thrust up but the steering wheel was in the way. It was awkward and clandestine and ...
A warning hand tugged on his hair but he just sucked harder, drinking down Napoleon's climax like his favorite plum wine. Slowly, he mouthed up the shrunken shaft, giving it a final lick before sitting up to face his lover with a grin.
"So, Napoleon, how is my ... spontaneity coming?" He lovingly tucked the limp organ back inside.
His only answer was a long arm drawing him into a fervent kiss that threatened to suck his tongue right out of his mouth. Moments of serious tongue fucking commenced and he could feel himself harden painfully. But when their lips gentled, he told his body to wait just a little bit longer.
"Inspired, Illyusha. That's what I think of your spontaneity." Napoleon rested his forehead against Illya's. "And one of these days, I'll introduce you to the joys of 'making out in the back seat'. It's one of those old American customs you really should experience at least once in your life before our backs get so creaky, we can't manage it."
"I look forward to it, Napoleon. But perhaps we could choose a ... prettier setting?" Illya gazed at the towering walls of grimy brick that rose around them.
Napoleon zipped himself up gingerly and put the car into motion again. "I will never be able to drive through this alley again without getting hard. Oh, Illyusha, the things you get me into. And I promise you a much prettier setting."
"Then I am content, Pasha." Illya rested his head against the seat rest as they approached the side street that was a short cut to the brownstone.
"Tired?" Napoleon risked a quick look at him before merging them back into the somewhat sparse traffic. "How about a nice dinner, a hot bath and a massage?"
"Wonderful. You take good care of me, Pasha." Illya smiled at him and watched the slow smile blossom on his lover's face.
"No better care than you take of me, Illyusha. I can also take care of that ... swelling when we get home." A sly glance made him laugh.
"Dr. Solo ... one of your very best roles." Illya teased him while keeping an eye out for a parking space. "There, Pasha, there's one three cars down."
"Got it." Napoleon concentrated on beating out a Peugeot that had delusions of parking.
Leaving the car, they debated what to have for dinner while they climbed the front steps. But Mark was there with April and they ended up going to the Italian restaurant on the corner. The conversation was good and Illya found himself holding up his end of the talk with more ease than ever before. Musing on his relaxation with them, he realized that he counted them among his friends, a group that was slowly growing.
They sat in the living room and continued to talk about the lull
in THRUSH activities. April was hopeful that it would be an ongoing
process. Mark just shook his head and bet her that within the month
they'd be busy again. She stuck out her tongue at him, making them
all laugh. Eventually, April stretched and talked Mark into walking
her home, saying good night to Illya and Napoleon.
Once alone, Illya eyed his lover teasingly. "I believe I was promised a hot bath and a massage. But perhaps you're too tired?"
"Never too tired for you, love." Napoleon stood and held out his hand. "Let's go to bed and ... explore the possibilities."
Illya sighed contentedly and let himself be pulled off the sofa and up the stairs. "This experimental bent of yours is intriguing. What else do you have in mind?"
"That's for me to know and for you to find out." The smug reply came over a shoulder. And Illya laughed, preparing himself for a tender evening of love.
End part one