Nikki (nakeisha) wrote,
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Alphabet Meme. Napoleon/Illya. (The Man From U.N.C.L.E.)

TITLE: Optimistic Until The End
AUTHOR: Ashleigh Anpilova
FANDOM: The Man From U.N.C.L.E.
PAIRING: Napoleon Solo/Illya Kuryakin
GENRE: Slash
SUB-GENRE: Established Relationship
SUMMARY: Napoleon regains consciousness to discover Illya is missing. Despite his injuries Napoleon decides he must find and rescue Illya. However, even as he tries to stand up he realizes he can't be certain Illya was by his side.
RATING: PG
WORD COUNT: 3,565
AUTHOR'S NOTE: Written for gilda_elise: N - Napoleon injured
DISCLAIMER: I don't own these characters, nor am I making any money from them. I merely borrow them from time to time.



Napoleon groaned as he opened his eyes. The light above him wasn't particularly bright; however for some reason it seemed to shine down on him so violently that he instantly closed his eyes and groaned again. After a moment or two of simply lying on his back cataloging which part of his body hurt, although it would be easier to say which part didn't hurt, he slowly opened his eyes again. He squinted and blinked several times until his eyes felt able to cope with the brilliant light that was above him.

"Illya?" he murmured. There was no reply. Slowly, trying to ignore the pain in his neck as well as in his head, he turned his head to his left. Illya wasn't there. He gritted his teeth and once more trying to ignore the pain, slowly turned his head to his right. Again, Illya wasn't there.

He lay for a moment or two longer until he carefully began to try to sit up. A violently sharp pain in his left arm had him crying aloud and he clutched it with his right hand and supported it. He was fairly certain his arm was broken in at least one place; cradling it beneath the elbow with his right hand and holding it as closely to his body as he could, he somehow managed to sit upright.

Out of the corner of his eyes he saw walls to his left and to his right, thus he assumed there was one behind him as well. He began to slowly shift backwards, moving labouredly and hissing at the jolts of pain which shook his body, until he finally felt something solid behind him. He rested against it and adjusted the grip he had on his arm.

Now that he was supported, some of the insidious pain that coursed through his beaten body began to fade just a little. His mouth was dry and he could taste blood; he swallowed several times to try to relieve the dryness and to get rid of the taste of blood. He felt something trickle down his cheek and after carefully putting his broken arm into his lap, he gently put his fingers on his head and felt what he assumed to be blood oozing from a cut. He moved his fingers further over his scalp until he encountered a fairly ragged, but to his relief, not very deep, gash.

Head wounds should always be dealt with - a good, solid principle, but not something he could achieve at that moment. Thus, he held his hand in front of his eyes and counted the number of fingers and concentrated to see if his vision was blurred. He could successfully see that he held up three fingers and they were quite clear. He told himself that that was something at least.

The effort of sitting up and moving backwards had taken its toll on him and his shirt was damp with sweat and he was breathing far more heavily than he would after a hard fought fight. He was fairly certain there wasn't a part of his body that didn't hurt, even if the pain was beginning, at least for the most part, to recede somewhat. He felt as if he had been kicked and thumped and repeatedly thrown against the walls or onto the ground. Which when he thought about it was exactly what had happened.

Why hadn't he listened to Illya who had been the one to say that Angelique had been setting them up? Why had he been so certain that Angelique had actually been telling the truth? Why had he believed her words, the look she had given him, the way she had flirted with him? Why had he chosen to listen to the woman who was his enemy, who had tried more than once to kill him and Illya, rather than to Illya who was his partner, his friend and the man whom he loved?

He knew exactly why. It was because when it came to women he believed, to a level of cockiness, that he understood them, could predict what they would do and say, far more than Illya did. Part of him stood by that belief; he did know women better than Illya did. However, it was possible that Illya knew Angelique better than he did - or maybe it was just that Illya never, not for a second, trusted her.

Illya. Where was he? What had they done to him? Had they hurt him? Killed him? Was he even now being tortured? Of course Illya would never tell anything, not to stop physical pain, but even he couldn't withstand some of the drugs that might be being used on him.

He had to find him and rescue him. He tried to stand up and failed. The only thing he succeeded in doing was banging his head against the wall, jolting his arm to such an extent that he cried out as the pain shot through his body, and hurting his ass as he slumped back down onto it.

Okay, he would just have to sit there for another few minutes and then he'd try again. He told himself that the next time he tried, he would succeed. He would get to his feet; he would get to his feet, get out of the concrete bunker and find Illya and rescue him. It was simple. He could do it; he would do it; he had to do it. He was confident he would get out of his current predicament and rescue his partner.

For a moment he allowed himself to think of Illya of what they meant to one another, of how different they were from one another. They were night and day in many ways; they were opposites and yet they complemented one another. Illya countered Napoleon's cheerful optimism with his own brand of cynical pessimism. Where Napoleon was gregarious, Illya was aloof; where Napoleon was warm and friendly, Illya was cold and anti-social. Napoleon trusted the people with whom they worked; Illya trusted two people: Napoleon and Alexander Waverly.

If it hadn't been for his cheerful, trusting optimism, he wouldn't be sitting here now in considerable pain, with a broken arm and a missing partner. Before he could go and find his missing partner, he knew he had to find some way to secure his arm, because he couldn't cradle it all the time; he would need his right hand.

Suddenly an idea came to him. It was something he should have thought of before and the fact that it was only now coming to him told him he was quite possibly suffering from a degree of concussion after all. Even as he told himself it wouldn't be there, he once again put his arm into his lap and reached into his jacket pocket to see if he had his pen. Of course his hand came up empty.

Just as he was about to consider attempting to stand up again, a memory came to him. At least he thought it was a memory, but given the fact he now had to blink twice each time to clear his eyes, he half wondered if it was his mind playing tricks on him. He closed his eyes, rested his head against the wall as a scene played itself out in his mind.

"If you will not listen to me, then you can go alone."

"Come on, Illya, you don't mean that." Napoleon put his hand on Illya's shoulder.

Illya shook it off and stalked away from him. "Yes, Napoleon, I do."

Napoleon blinked. "You'd stay here and let me -" He fell silent.

"Let you what? After all, my friend, you are the one who believes the lovely Angelique, are you not?" The pure hatred in Illya's voice as he'd said 'lovely' made Napoleon shiver just a little. "So you go along, pick up the - whatever it is Angelique swore will be there and return. I shall wait here for you." Illya turned his back on Napoleon and pointedly picked up a book.

Napoleon stared at the rigid black covered back. "Partners back one another up," he said.

"Partners do not choose to trust the enemy more than their own partner."

"I don't."

Illya sighed and turned back around. "Yes, Napoleon, you do. Or at least that it how it appears to me, given you prefer to believe Angelique's word that you will simply walk in, collect the package and walk out again, rather than my conviction that it is a trap."

Napoleon stared at Illya. Surely his partner didn't believe what he was saying, did he? No, of course he didn't - Except . . . A small voice in his mind murmured that one thing you would rely on was that Illya believed what he said.

He took a step towards Illya who had once more turned his back on him and put his hand on his shoulder. "U.N.C.L.E. needs the package, Illya, you know we do. It has to be kept out of the hands of those who would abuse its contents."

"I am quite aware of that, Napoleon." Illya turned around under Napoleon's hand and stared up at him. "I am not saying we should not get the package; I am merely saying we should not get it the way Angelique wants us to get it."

"But if she's being honest -"

"If?" Illya said softly. "I thought you believed in her implicitly."

Suddenly Napoleon wasn't certain if he did or if he didn't. He just knew that it was a chance he was going to take. If she was telling the truth or even partly telling the truth, then the package would be theirs in a matter of hours with the minimum of trouble and without hours of planning. He decided it was worth the risk.

"I'm going," he said. "You can wait here." He turned and began to walk towards the door.

"Napoleon, wait. I -"

The scene stopped playing in Napoleon's head. Had Illya let him walk into the trap alone? Had he simply remained at U.N.C.L.E.'s headquarters, waiting for Napoleon to return or had he gone with Napoleon?

His head was now throbbing, thus Napoleon closed his eyes and tried to picture what had happened when he had reached the bunker and walked into the trap. Had Illya been by his side? Had Illya fought along side of him? Or had he been alone? Surely Illya wouldn't have abandoned him to his fate? Surely, given how certain Illya had been that Angelique had been lying, he wouldn't have left Napoleon to walk into a trap on his own? He would have gone with him - wouldn't he?

Yes, of course he would. Napoleon squeezed his eyes more tightly shut and tried to remember the fight. It had been one of the hardest, most bloody, most brutal, most frightening fights he had ever been in. He was sure, as he fought two men at once, he could remember seeing a flash of blond hair, a slim blond man dressed in head to foot in black, fighting by his side. But was the memory just one of many? Was it in fact from one or more of their past battles and not the most recent one?

And then in a moment of suddenly startling clarity, Napoleon saw another scene flash in front of him: Illya being hit from behind, crying out as he crashed down onto the floor. And then Napoleon was being held by three men as he struggled to try to get to Illya, before Illya was dragged from the bunker. And finally, as he was slammed against wall with his arm twisted behind him he heard and felt the break as he too fell to the ground, there was Angelique standing over him, advising him to listen to his partner more. Finally, with the rest of the men behind her, she had walked out of the bunker.

Why had they left Napoleon alive? He was injured, be was fairly badly injured, but he wasn't fatally injured; he wasn't even close to being fatally injured, so why had they simply left him? They must have known he would have regained consciousness, managed to get to his feet and escape. They must have known, well certainly Angelique would have known, that his first thought, his first action, would be to plan how to rescue Illya.

Illya who belonged to him. Illya his partner. Illya his best friend. Illya his sometime conscience. Illya the man he loved. Illya his lover. Illya the man he shared his life and bed with. Illya. Why had he listened to Angelique and not to Illya? Why had he trusted her over his partner? Why -

Another memory flashed through his rapidly clearing mind. Another image, this time of Angelique pouring champagne for both of them and of him taking a swallow before putting the glass down and leaving her to return to Illya's side where they had -

He groaned as he realized why he had been quite so certain, so insistent that Angelique had been telling the truth, why he had (as Illya had said) trusted her more than he had trusted his partner. He wasn't concussed after all, the head wound really was superficial; he put his fingers to his scalp and found the wound was quite dry. He had been drugged; he had been giving something to make him believe Angelique and not Illya.

Illya. It was now imperative he escape and find Illya and rescue him. He would find a way to support his arm; he could strap it against his body with his belt and his tie and he'd get out of the bunker, find Illya and rescue him. The how he would do that thing he would figure out as he went along. All he knew was that he could do it; he would do it. It wasn't cheerful optimism that made him so certain; it was belief, belief in himself and in his love for Illya.

He still didn't know why they had left him alive, but alive he was and alive he would stay. He would stay alive and he would find and rescue Illya. Of course a little back-up would be good, but that wasn't about to happen any time soon, was it?

He managed to get his belt and tie off and somehow managed to fix them together in such a way whereby he could strap his broken arm against his body. Doing so caused him to cry out more than once from the insidious pain in his arm. He was damp all over from the effort; sweat slipped into his eyes, but still he carried on. More than once he truly feared he wouldn't be able to stand the pain, he couldn't stand the pain. All he really wanted to do was to sink back down onto the ground, once more cradle his arm with his other hand and wait for someone to find and rescue him.

However, that wouldn't save Illya and that wasn't what he would do. He would win this battle; he may have lost the other one, but they would have another opportunity to get the package, but this was one he would win. He was confident.

Bit by bit he managed to get his arm strapped against his body. His head wound had started to bleed again, but he wiped it with his handkerchief and ignored it as using his right hand he pushed himself to his haunches. Once he was crouched on his heels he pressed his back against the wall and slowly, laboriously, painfully, inch by inch he worked his way up the wall until he was standing. His bottom lip was bleeding from where he'd bit it to stop himself from crying aloud in pain and he spat the blood out.

Using the walls to support him he made his way around them towards the opening of the bunker. Now he was on his feet and moving the aches and pains in other parts of his body that had begun to lessen flared up and every step was agony. But he kept going; he kept putting one foot in front of the other. As he made his way out of the bunker and up the hillside he had but one thought: find Illya; rescue Illya. He could do it; he knew he could do it; he had to do it. He would do it.

SOME TIME LATER

Napoleon groaned as he opened his eyes. The light above him wasn't particularly bright; however for some reason it seemed to shine down on him so violently that he instantly closed his eyes and groaned again. After a moment or two of simply lying on his back cataloging which part of his body hurt, although it would be easier to say which part didn't hurt, he slowly opened his eyes again. He squinted and blinked several times until his eyes felt able to cope with the brilliant light that was above him.

"Illya?" he murmured.

"He's here, Napoleon. And he's - Well, he'll be all right."

Napoleon turned his head to the right and saw Mark leaning against the wall. "Mark?"

"Yes, it's me."

"Where am I?"

"In the hospital."

Napoleon considered that. What was he doing in the hospital? How did he get there? And where was Illya?"

"Illya?" he said again.

Mark moved nearer to the bed and gently rested a hand on Napoleon's right shoulder. "He's here, Napoleon. He's on your other side."

Slowly Napoleon turned his head to the left and saw another bed. He blinked several times in an attempt to focus and finally his gaze came to rest on a blond head resting on a hospital white pillow. He let his gaze move down a little from the hair and saw that Illya's face was almost as white as the pillow. Well the parts that weren't covered with grazes and bruises were. He let his gaze move further and saw that Illya had an array of tubes going into his body and various machines attached to him.

He looked away from his partner and down at himself and saw that he too had tubes going into his body and several machines attached to him. "What happened, Mark?" he asked, once again looking up at Mark.

"Ah. That's what we're hoping you'll tell us, Napoleon."

"Me?"

Mark nodded. "Yes. All I know is that Waverly received some half-garbled message from you and he sent several of us, including me, to some run-down, deserted, down town hotel where we found Illya, you and several dead or unconscious Thrush goons. What happened, Napoleon?" Mark sat down carefully, making sure he didn't jolt Napoleon, on the edge of Napoleon's bed.

Napoleon was grateful for the fact he no longer had to stare up quite so far. He thought for a moment, but he couldn't remember. "I don't know, Mark. Angelique was involved in some way."

"Of course she was. You know, Napoleon, that woman is highly dangerous. I'm surprised Illya still lets you get near to her, given how possessive he can be with what he considers to be his. Mind you," he added before Napoleon could comment, "you're just as bad. Are you sure you can't remember what happened?"

Napoleon frowned and closed his eyes and tried to remember what had happened once he'd got out of the bunker and up the hillside. Vague flashes of memory came into his mind, but they raced out again so quickly, he could hardly work them out.

Angelique. Her apartment. His gun against her head, the trigger half pulled. Her cowering on the ground. Them in her car; she was driving. A hotel; run-down, deserted, down town. Illya strapped to a table; bleeding, crying out in pain. He -

And that was when all the vague flashes of memory fled. Try as he might he could not remember, not even a small amount, what had happened once he had found Illya. The only thing he could remember was the mantra he had played over and over and over in his mind as he - As he did whatever it was he had done: find Illya; rescue Illya; find Illya; rescue Illya. Well he'd found Illya and he guessed he must have rescued him - just as he'd known he would - because otherwise Illya wouldn't be lying in the bed next to him.

He had found Illya. He had rescued Illya. His partner was safe. His friend was safe. His lover was safe. He had found Illya. He had rescued Illya.

"Tired," he murmured, as his eyelids closed.

"Sleep then, Napoleon. It's the best way of healing."

"Illya?"

"Waverly's assigned me here until you're fully conscious. He'll be safe. I won't let anything happen to him. Sleep, Napoleon. You've done your part."

Napoleon didn't fight the overwhelming tiredness which swept through him. He guessed part of it must be from the anesthetic from when they had set his arm, because he suddenly realized the insidious pain in his arm had gone, leaving just a dull ache. As he once again sank into oblivion his final thought was that he had found Illya. He had rescued Illya. Illya was safe.
Tags: fandom: the man from u.n.c.l.e., fanfic: stories, pairing (slash): napoleon/illya
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