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Another inspiring manip from Open_Channel_D and my interpretation of it:

When no Words are Needed

It had been a rough four days, chasing the latest THRUSH villain through the rain forest. Finally, we were home, clean, and rested. There were always so many interruptions at headquarters, we had taken to meeting at each others’ apartments to do our reports. After all, we both had a typewriter, and the rest came from our memories.

We were sitting on my sofa, discussing how Illya had, once again, rescued me from a particularly perilous situation that involved tigers and a very deep pit. Illya looked directly into my eyes and he leaned toward me. Thinking he needed physical reassurance, I wrapped my arm around him.

His face clouded over and he queried softly, “What if I lost you?”

Being the suave, intelligent man I am, I answered, “Huh?”

The bright blue gaze seemed to reach directly into my very soul, and I couldn’t have looked away had my life depended on it.

I pressed my hand against his warm back and, to my astonishment, he came to me. However, instead of his head moving to my shoulder in a comradely hug, his face tilted to allow his lips to meet mine. It wasn’t an artful kiss, or even particularly passionate; there were no fireworks, but it was perfect because it was Illya.

“Napoleon…” he began, and I laid a finger on his trembling lips.

“This is a time,” I whispered into his delectable ear, “when no words are needed.”
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Been a while, cousins. RL has been beating me up, but it will never get me! Hope you like my latest offering.

Title: The "Where There's Smoke, There's Fire" Affair
Rating: R (I tried, but the NC17 stuff just wouldn't be written. Maybe next time.
Warnings: None

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Current Location: My green flowered couch
Current Mood: busy
Current Music: Los Lonely Boys - Little Senorita

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Image courtesy of the amazing SvetlanaCat



He touched me on the shoulder, just to make a point, as he has done hundreds of times. He is always touching me, but this time our eyes locked and I saw the hunger. I recognized it from the daily reflection in my bathroom mirror. It was odd, though, to see it reflected in honey brown instead of arctic blue.

“Illya,” he breathed with a throb in his voice.

All resistance crumbled and I leaned forward a fraction of an inch. It was enough.
I had never surrendered to anything or anyone before. It was just as I had imagined.

Current Mood: rushed rushed

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I owe Open_Channel_D a huge apology! I suppose I assume that every time I see a gorgeous manip it must be Svetlana's, but I was wrong this time. Thank you, D, for the beauty and inspiration. I would love to see much more.

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Svetlana's Gorgeous Picture:


My Offering (drabble):


“We’ll find a way out, Illya.”
“But what if we don’t? What if I never get to…?”
Large, gentle hands smoothed down Napoleon’s belly and cupped his genitals.
“I’ve waited so long,” Napoleon moaned as his partner placed a soft kiss at the back of his neck and opened the fly of his prefectly pressed trousers.
Those hands became busy, stroking and squeezing, both men’s breathing becoming labored, until they cried out simultaneously.
When Napoleon regained his faculties, he leaned back and claimed his partner’s lips.
“You came too?” He wondered allowed.
“I have always followed your lead, Napoleon.”
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This is in response to thisSvetlanaCat's breath-stealing manip that she posted on 8/3. Here it is:


One Second

We were supposed to meet on the beach. He was to parachute into the Atlantic from the rescue plane and scuba to the Carolina shore. I’ve been waiting on this deserted beach at Cape Hatteras for six hours with no weapon, no communicator, and, worst of all, no idea where my partner is.

There are so many things that could have delayed him: the plane was late, the plane was shot down byTHRUSH, his chute failed, a shark…

Wait, what’s that? It looks like a dolphin but oh, thank God, it’s Illya! He’s barely moving and his mouthpiece is dangling, so I run into the waves to grab him by the arm and drag him onto the sand, removing his mask and rubber hood almost in the same motion. Sure enough, the guage on the oxygen tank reads zero, but I can see that he is breathing. Dear Lord, I’ve nearly lost him again.

Suffused by momentary relief, and overwhelmed with despair for the next time, I pull him to his feet and hold him close to me – cold rubber, sea water, wet sand, and all.

If only I could tell him.

Then, he lifts his golden head and I am staring into blue deeper than any ocean; and, at the bottom of those depths, I see a heart wide open and full of love. Never have I known him to be so unguarded, his angelic face filled with yearning and tenderness. This is the Illya that haunts my dreams and sparks my fantasies, and I am helpless to break this spell. I know it is madness, but if I were a moth, I would sing joyously as I burned in his white-hot flame.

One second later, my eyes slide closed as I kiss him. He is still trembiling from exhaustion. I, too, am trembling, but from something much stronger. His lips are warm on my windswept mouth; his tongue even warmer. The saltiness of his skin only serves to accentuate his sweetness, and I am lost.

“How far is that beach house?” he whispers wantonly, and I kiss him again.

Hope you like it. More fics are forthcoming, I'm just having a spot of trouble with the research.
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Once again, Svetlana has managed to pull this little drabble out of me:

Make a Wish

I knew Napoleon thought I was dead; and I would have been, but for the belief that he would never give up searching. When he finally found me, I was in shock from cold and starvation. He took me in his arms, and the way his those honey-colored eyes gazed into mine was the stuff of illicit dreams.

“Illya…” His voice was rough, his breathing labored. “…make a wish,” he said simply.

Habit almost rendered me silent; until I considered that I had very nearly missed this chance forever.

“Kiss me,” I whispered through my parched throat—and he did.

by posting this heart-wrenching manip:

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Mr. Solo, I Presume

It was strange, really. U.N.C.L.E. was a private organization, having no ties with the U.S. government or the military; and, yet, Napoleon had been invited to speak at the NCIS annual conference, in Washington D.C. In the old days, he would have suspected a THRUSH plot. Oh, he would have gone – most likely at Alexander Waverly’s insistence - but not without his explosive toys and his trusted partner by his side.

Damn! Ever since he had accidentally come across Illya in Central Park eight – no, nine – months ago, now; thoughts of the slight, blond Russian had been invading his life on a regular basis. God knows, he had tried to submerge the memories, the feelings; but everything he did, saw, and felt reminded him of what he lost – what he never had.

The intercom on his desk buzzed, and Mitzi reminded him that his plane was to leave in an hour. Maybe this was what he needed: some time away from these familiar halls that he and his partner had walked down, side by side, hundreds of times; to be able to look out a window and not be confronted with the deli where they used to eat lunch; to not have to recall what an outstanding pair of operatives he and his partner were, each time he sent these amazing young agents on a mission – an ‘affair’, as he and Illya used to title the reports. Maybe.


The first class leather seat was comfortable, the champagne was perfectly chilled, and the baked trout was delicious; but Napoleon couldn’t seem to shake the feeling that he was hurtling toward something that would alter his life forever. It was odd, because his life hadn’t truly changed since he left the army and joined U.N.C.L.E; except for a rise in status from junior agent, to senior agent, to CEA, and now Number One, Section One. He still worked for the same company; still lived in the same penthouse apartment in the same town; and still had meaningless physical encounters with beautiful women with whom he had absolutely nothing in common, and didn’t miss once they were gone. Nothing had changed, that is, except for the addition – and deletion – of one stubborn, garrulous, infuriating, intelligent, sexy, wonderful Russian. Damn!


The moment Napoleon stepped onto the concourse at Ronald Reagan National Airport, he saw two people making a beeline for him. His body tensed when his long-developed ‘fight or flight’ reflex instinctively kicked in, but then he realized that NCIS must have sent someone to meet him. Sure enough, the handsome, dark haired young man with the ear-to-ear smile; and the beautiful, exotic looking, young woman flashed their identification cards as they approached. The two seemed to jostle for position, and then the young man stepped forward and stuck out his right hand.

“Mr. Solo, I am Special Agent Anthony DiNozzo,” he announced. “Welcome to Washington.”

As Napoleon was shaking the proffered hand; a smaller but, oddly, more masculine-appearing hand was shoved forward. “Special Agent Ziva David, at your service, Mr. Solo.”

Napoleon took David’s hand in his, raised it to his lips, and kissed it. Ziva responded with a barely-there smile, which reminded him so much of… Damn!

“Your luggage has been retrieved and is being loaded into the car,” Ziva continued as she retrieved her hand. “If you will be kind enough to follow us?”

“Thank you,” Napoleon responded with a slight bow and his most charming smile. David’s smile broadened and DiNozzo flashed her a caustic look.


David expertly pulled the gold, late model SUV into the heavy traffic on Aviation Circle and headed toward Quantico. Once they crossed the Beltway, traffic became lighter and they made good time. Other than DiNozzo’s occasional snide remark about Ziva’s driving, the thirty-nine minute trip was passed in relative silence.

The NCIS office was much more modern than U.N.C.L.E. ‘But, of course, they have government funding’, Napoleon thought, a bit enviously. They stopped behind a cluttered desk, at which sat a man with a Starbuck’s cup in one hand and a telephone receiver in the other. Although he could only see the back of the man’s head, recognition dawned in Napoleon’s mind. Where had he seen this person before? Just then, the man finished his call and turned to see who was behind him.

“Gibbs,” he announced with a smile and an extended hand.

“Jethro,” Napoleon muttered, slack jawed and staring.

“Pardon me?” Gibbs inquired and dropped his hand.

“Oh, n…nothing. It’s a pleasure to meet you.” The Solo sangfroid was expediently recovered. “I would like you to know how honored I am.”

“Um, really?” Gibbs was, obviously, nonplussed, but Napoleon wasn’t quite sure why.

Had Jethro, uh, Gibbs seen him in Central Park that day? Had Gibbs noticed a certain look as Napoleon gazed longingly at Illya? More than one suspicion rankled at Napoleon; but as he opened his mouth to ask the first of a multitude of questions, he felt a light, almost tentative, touch on his right shoulder, and a voice spoke softly into his ear.

“Mr. Solo, I presume?”

Once again, the idea that this was all an evil subterfuge flashed through Napoleon’s mind, along with a pang of fear that someone had managed to sneak so close to him without his knowledge. He spun on his heel to confront the person and, for the second time in less than a few minutes, was aghast.

“Illya,” Napoleon whispered, as he struggled with the decision of whether to hug him or punch him. The smile that lit Illya’s face made up his mind for him, and he threw his arms around the man he had loved for more than half his life, holding him close enough to bury his nose in the baby-soft hair. A high pitched squeal pierced his eardrums, and he remembered where he was. He opened his eyes, wondering when he had closed them; and saw a young woman with black pigtails, and bright red lipstick that stood out starkly against her somber-colored clothing, jumping up and down and grinning with delight. He glanced around and saw answering smiles on David and DiNozzo’s faces, although Gibbs still looked utterly lost.

Illya grabbed Napoleon’s hand and pulled him away from the group. Out of the corner of his eye, Napoleon saw the black-haired girl push Gibbs back into his chair as David, DiNozzo, and a chubby-faced fellow with brown hair surrounded him, all speaking at once.

“We can talk in here,” Illya explained, voice still soft, stepping through a set of glass doors that automatically closed behind them.

Napoleon repeated the one word that was whirling around in the complete vacuum that was now his brain. “Illya.”

“It’s Ducky, actually,” Illya responded, and Napoleon noticed a marked change in the once familiar accent. “Well, Donald Mallard, but my friends call me Ducky. You are still my friend?” It wasn’t exactly a question.

“Illya, Ducky, a rose by any other name…” Napoleon misquoted, feeling the heat rise from his neck and up into his hairline. He couldn’t remember when he had been so flummoxed, or so full of joy.

“I have many things to tell you, Napoleon.”

“I have only one thing to tell you, Illya…Ducky. I’ll never get used to that,” he chuckled.

“One thing, Napoleon?” The mischief, glinting in the grayish-blue eye below the lifted eyebrow, whisked Napoleon back to the day he first met the enticing Russian. A wave of tenderness washed over him, causing him to grasp the lab table behind him to keep his knees from buckling.

“Yes, Dushka Moy, just one. I am, and have been for a very long time, in love with you.” Napoleon began the statement in a strong voice, but it tapered off to a whisper. The softening of Illya’s face and the arms that reached out to him, however, assured him that his words were heard loudly and clearly.


In the next room, Tony, Ziva, Abby, and Tim had finally calmed Gibbs down enough to explain to him what they had done – and why. They exhaled in unison when they saw the smile of affection in his eyes that belied the scowl on his face. With a stern, “Don’t ever do anything like that again,” they were gruffly dismissed. Abby sauntered back to her lab, but was brought up short just a few steps from the glass doors. Tears were flowing down her face as she turned silently away to spread the news, among her co-conspirators, about the two men kissing, passionately, beside the spectrometer.
Thank you to the lovely Svetlana for the use of her beautiful manip.

Current Location: United States, Colorado, Littleton
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Buckets of gratitude to Svetlanacat for her succession of marvellous composite pictures that are a constant source of joy and inspiration. (She writes lovely drabbles, too!) She was also responsible for my brand new, beautiful user pic.

Living Memory
“Hi. I’ll have a dog with just ketchup and onions.” Napoleon Solo smiled at the hot dog vendor as the young man handed over his lunch. Since taking over Alexander Waverly’s position as Chief of U.N.C.L.E., New York, it was a rare occasion for him to see the sun, and he was taking full advantage. It was July, and Central Park was filled with people; also enjoying the mild, sunny day. Napoleon found an empty corner on a park bench, where he sat down and began unwrapping his treasure. A hot dog was a guilty pleasure these days, and he was looking forward to that first delicious bite.

Even though he couldn’t see them, he knew he was being watched by, at least, a dozen pairs of eyes. He couldn’t say he had gotten used to always being surrounded, if surreptitiously, by U.N.C.L.E. security; but he had accepted it. ‘Funny’, he thought to himself with a smile, ‘I used to be told, on a regular basis, that I was expendable. Now, every year, millions of dollars are spent to keep me alive’.

His musings were interrupted by – what? Did someone make a threatening move? Had he heard a gunshot or a scream? Had he seen the flash of a knife? No, it was something more inerrant; something he had learned, long ago, not to ignore. Although he hadn’t experienced it in years, it was still unrecognizable; that zing across his nerves that told him something out of the ordinary had occurred.

Forgetting his food, he began to unobtrusively scan the surrounding area. Children were crawling on the Alice in Wonderland sculpture, young people were picnicking on the ground, and senior citizens were dozing or talking in pairs on the benches; but nothing looked suspicious. Not knowing whether or not he was a sitting duck, he decided that the best course of action was to be on the move, so he stood and began to walk; paying no attention to the pigeon that immediately attacked the abandoned hot dog.

Napoleon’s years of operative training took over, and he slipped easily into the old role of the urbane man-about-the-city that he had always hidden behind. Each person he passed was immediately charmed by his infectious smile and sparkling brown eyes, but they had no idea that every one of them was suspect in Napoleon’s mind.

There hadn’t been many people in Napoleon’s adult life that he trusted. His army sergeant, Alexander Waverly, April Dancer, and…

He was brought up short. There, just a few yards to the right, staring up at the statue of King Jagiello*, stood a figure that seemed familiar, somehow. The stature, the stance, the tilt of the head; all stirred a ghost of a memory that lingered at the very edge of his mind, but refused to fully form. The brown trousers; nondescript trench coat; and khaki-colored, broad-brimmed hat should have set off alarm klaxons in Napoleon’s head. Everything about the guy, from a visual standpoint, shouted ‘DANGER’. However, as Napoleon observed the man, recollected feelings of safety, comfort, and joy washed over him. This was no enemy, either past or present; but who…

At that instant, the stranger turned his head to watch a squirrel scurry by, and smiled softly at the furry creature’s antics. The floppy hat and wire-rimmed glasses had no hope of hiding the exquisite eyes, now more steel gray than cerulean; the silken hair, gone a darker blond; or that full, pouty lower lip that had been the instigator of Napoleon’s most interesting – and arousing – dreams for years, before he had buried that part of him under work and responsibility. Now, unexpectedly, it had resurfaced.

“Illya,” Napoleon whispered hoarsely, surprised to feel a scalding drop of a tear trace a line from his left eye to the corner of his mouth. He brushed it away ruthlessly, while desperately trying to figure out what one says to the person who has, unwittingly, held one’s soul for the past thirty-some years. Terrified that Illya would walk out of his life again if he hesitated much longer, Napoleon decided to rely upon the bond they had once shared as partners to bridge the gap of time, and took a step toward the, still beautiful, desire of his heart.

He was abruptly intersected by a tall, thin, rather good looking gentleman; who looked to be about fifteen years younger than himself. “Jethro,” Illya exclaimed, as the man approached him and laid a proprietary hand on his arm, causing Napoleon to cease his forward motion.

Napoleon used every spy trick he had ever learned to make himself inconspicuous, as he watched the two heads lean infuriatingly close to each other, and the stranger whisper something into Illya’s ear. Illya smiled and nodded in a cursory manner, but he watched ‘Jethro’ walk away with hunger in his eyes.

There was now no doubt in Napoleon’s mind that he needed to grab the Russian by the horns, so to speak; so he moved once again, like a heat-seeking missile, toward the beloved body. After what seemed like an eternity, and a split second, he was a mere step from his objective. He spared a moment to bask in the close proximity, and then raised his hand to touch the oh-so-familiar shoulder that, countless times, had supported him when he was unable to support himself.

What would Illya do when he felt the touch? Illya, the lethal U.N.C.L.E. agent, would have whirled on the ball of his foot and, at the least, broken the arm that was attached to the offending hand before he had time to realize what he was doing. Who knew about this Illya, though? Who was he, really? Who had wandered into, and out of, his life in the past thirty years? Who was this Jethro, who had access to Illya’s carefully guarded personal space, and just what did he mean to Illya? All these questions, and a multitude of others, careened through Napoleon’s mind in the blink of an eye, and his hand dropped listlessly to his side. Illya knew where he was, and would have contacted him if he had wanted remain a part of his life. Would it be fair, now, to force open the door that Illya had tightly closed?

For a moment, he entertained the selfish idea of grabbing Illya, whirling him around, and taking one sweet kiss for himself; one that would have to last him for the rest of his life. Instead, he inched a smidgen closer, taking his bottom lip between his teeth to keep himself in check, and inhaled the, never quite forgotten, scent of his tovarisch - his dushka - his lyubov.

Illya turned at the sound of someone’s whistle, and in the process his shoulder brushed against Napoleon’s arm. His lips curled up in another smile and he hurried away without bothering to see who he had bumped into; something the Illya of Napoleon’s bygone days would know could be a fatal error. It seemed that, now that the floodgates were open, all Napoleon could think about was the past. What was that saying? Old spies never die, they just live on memories?

*The sculpture was chosen for the 1939 World's Fair in New York. Later that year, the Nazis invaded Poland, preventing the sculpture's return to its homeland. In 1945, it was placed in Central Park by the Polish government as a symbol of the proud and courageous Polish people.

Current Location: the office
Current Mood: sleepy sleepy
Current Music: sounds of the work day

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August in New York was practically unbearable. Ten o’clock at night and it was still sweltering, even though Napoleon was wearing his lightest-weight suit. No matter; he had to relieve Illya, who had been holed up in Jeffrey’s Hook lighthouse for the past twelve hours, watching a tug boat that was reported to be a floating THRUSH satrap.

He walked along the footpath toward the Hudson River, pondering about his partner and how differently he had been acting lately: generous, cooperative, agreeable, and even a bit touchy-feely. It almost seemed that Illya was… flirting with him!

Before he knew it, he had reached the tall, red concrete structure. The effects of the bright lights of Manhattan caused a few tense minutes, as he waited for his eyes to adjust to the lighthouse’s gloomy interior. At the sight of the familiar form huddled in front of the only window, which was halfway up the spiral staircase, a wave of tenderness swept over Napoleon, leaving him weak-kneed and wondering. If only he could be confident that the recent changes in his friend meant… He literally shook that thought away, with a toss of his handsome head, and started up the iron steps.

Illya was sitting cross-legged on the floor, head propped on his arms, which were folded on the wide window sill. His lack of reaction at Napoleon’s approach was not a great concern; but that, coupled with the fact that Illya was completely naked, caused Napoleon to fly up the last few steps and to his partner’s side, heart in his throat.

“Tovarisch,” he knelt and murmured softly into the golden silk that was Illya’s hair.

There was no movement in the smaller body for several heartbeats. Finally, Illya turned and stood with cat-like grace; pulling Napoleon up with him, and against him. Moonlight glittered in Illya’s eyes and glinted off his hair, illuminating the smallest hint of a blush staining the fair cheeks.

The moment was so immensely surreal that Napoleon decided he may as well allow himself to fall the rest of the way down the rabbit hole. His eyes slid closed as he eliminated the scant distance between them, pressing his lips to the sweet mouth of the only man he had ever loved – ever wanted. At first contact, Illya tried to pull away, feeling vulnerable in his unclothed state; but Napoleon was determined to taste his partner. His tongue dancing against Illya’s lips caused them to soften and open; and when their tongues met for the first time, it was bliss. They kissed for a long time that seemed like seconds, before they pulled apart to breathe. Neither could be certain when their arms had twined around each other possessively, but no one made a move to break the hold.

“You have far too many clothes on, Napoleon,” Illya announced softly, punctuating each few words with a tender kiss.

Napoleon smiled that irresistible smile that reached to his chocolate mousse eyes and made them smolder. Still holding his gorgeous Russian proprietarily in his embrace, he replied, “Speaking of which, not that I’m complaining in the least, but why don’t you have any clothes on?”

“Because,” Illya crooned, “it is August in New York.”

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