Tried in Wars and Battles

Fandom: The Man from U.N.C.L.E.

Pairing: Napoleon Solo/Illya Kuryakin

Category: gen

Rating: G

Word Count:
835

Summary: Mission end, and begin again…

Table/Prompt: Weather Table Prompt: Fog

 

“I think this is what they call fun.”

“Fun? well, perhaps you might think so.”

“You don’t find it so?”

“I do, but they are tired. We’ve been here a long time now.”

“Tell me you haven’t enjoyed this ride.”

“I have, and do. But they are fragile things, transient.”

“But their spirits are stronger than that, fiercer.”

“Yes, or we wouldn’t be have come to them.”

“So we need to bring them through this, we owe them, don’t you agree?”

“I do, but they might like a rest.”

“Not yet, I think. That one, he has much yet to contribute, and yours, he is skilled with matters that are still important in this time.”

“You may have convinced me.”

“I always do.”

“They are going to have to adjust, again.”

“We can help them with that as well. Again.”

“And you, you will miss the explosions.”

“I have other facets, you are aware, as does he.”

“Yes, of course. Does this mean you want to create something besides destruction?”

“It is an option, isn’t it.”

“For us both. And them. What is this life of theirs to us, their century is but a moment for us. Let us give them another moment.”

“We are decided then, Gil.”

“We are, Enk.”

“We need to get them out of here in that case, that last destruction I planned will be arriving soon.” Both entities turned their attention to the crumpled forms below them.

***

Neither Illya nor Napoleon knew exactly how they came to be on the hillside outside the THRUSH stronghold. All either of them could remember was the ceiling crashing in on them when a mistimed charge went off. There were vague memories of running and helping one another over rubble, then nothing until they woke to the crackling of distant fire, the fog of smoke encroaching and the cool under the shadow of the trees that covered the hillside.

“Do you…”

“No. You?”

Illya shook his head.

“Best we not ask and just hightail it out of here before reinforcements from the wrong side arrive. Can you walk?”

“I think so.”

Neither noticed, in the smoke, the rips and bloodstains on their clothes that belied the ease with which they rose and walked away.

***

Napoleon leaned around the doorway of Illya’s lab, checking to make sure nothing looked in danger of blowing up or boiling over, then slid to lean against the doorway. “Do you have time for lunch?”

Illya glanced up over the black rims of his glasses, then let himself smile slightly. He shrugged out of his lab coat and traded it for his suit jacket. “How are you settling into the big office?”

“As well as you are settling in at the labs.” Napoleon was silent for a moment. “I miss having a partner.”

“You mean you miss having me to do paperwork.” Illya said as the elevator door shut.

“Well, it is true that Mr. Waverly won’t do it.”

Illya grinned.

“Do you miss…”

“You?”

“The action.”

The elevator passed several floors, the two of them alone in the elevator car and silent.

“I ask because there is an opening in Security; Clive is retiring and wants to get someone up to speed before he leaves. Mr. Waverly, ah, wondered if you would consider a change in focus.”

The two of them stood, shoulder to shoulder and backs against the wall of the elevator car just as they had countless times in the past, so familiar, so right.

“And you, Napoleon, do you have an opinion on who you want to be your Security Chief when you take over the top position of our organization?”

“Who could watch my back better than the man who has had the job all these years?” Napoleon gave his old partner his most charming smile, but his eyes still held a question. “I know you said you wanted to just have a lab, that Alexander promised you could…”

Illya stopped his friend with a hand on his arm, “Napoleon, I think I’d like to explore the opportunities I might find in Security.”

“You mean you prefer to actually blow things up rather than theorize about better ways to blow things up.”

“That, too.” Illya pretended not to see the relief and anticipation in Napoleon’s eyes.

They both turned when the elevator opened, stepping out and starting down the corridor, in step and sync as if there had never been even a pause in their partnership.

***

“You knew he’d choose it.”

“I know something of following. I never regretted it, you must know by now.”

“And I have not been sorry that you dragged me from the afterlife, Gil, you have even made immortality an adventure.”

“One that is not yet done. I think we should stick with these two, just to be sure they adjust, of course.”

“Oh yes, surely we owe them. And we have the time.”

“All the time under the sun and stars, Enk, all we could ask.”

***

“When two go together each will protect himself and shield his companion, and if they fall they leave an enduring name.” ~Gilgamesh
“I am oppressed by idleness.” ~Enkidu
~Epic of Gilgamesh

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