Oi, this damn movie...I'm a sucker for 60s spy swag, like sign me the hell up! I'm all about this life! First fic in this fandom so I'm still playing around with character voices/actions so if it's a bit wonky I apologize! There's some pretty filthy Albanian cursing thrown in here toward the middle and I'll be sure to include the translations at the bottom if you care to take a peak. I'm using a phrase dictionary so if anything is wrong please feel free to (politely!) correct me! =p Hope you guys enjoy it!

A/N: I own nothing =/


"Hit me."

"What?"

"You heard me. I said hit me."

Illya balks silently at the order and shakes his head. "You are out of your mind."

"No, I'm not," Napoleon counters smoothly, his expression carefully neutral. "But you're about two seconds away from taking a swing at a high-ranking dignitary from Istanbul and I can guarantee that if you do that we will end up in a Turkish prison."

Illya seethes silently and says nothing.

Napoleon isn't exactly sure what was said that would make his Russian partner want to rip the Turkish dignitary's throat out but it didn't matter. He could see the reaction, and more importantly the fallout, coming from all the way across the room. He was well aware of Illya's anger management issues which was why he always kept a particularly close eye on him when they were forced into large social settings like this. One wrong word or move would cause him to see red and then all bets were off. Usually Gaby was able to talk him down or at least get through to him but there were other times, like right now, where even her Illya-whisperer skills weren't enough. That's where Napoleon came in.

He'd been clear across the room when it happened, making small talk with a beautiful Italian socialite named Sophia. They were supposed to be gathering information on rumors of renewed civil unrest between the Turkish and Greek Cypriots and had gained an invitation to a gala event held by the Independent political party. Illya had been posing as a visiting Athenian bureaucrat who was accompanied by his lovely wife, Gaby. It was their job to mix and mingle with the other civil servants and politicians and try to gather information along the way. Napoleon had been left to his own devices which suited him just fine; he preferred working alone anyway.

He was only half-heartedly engaged in Sophia's story about her recent trip to Paris when he heard the sound of glass shattering across the room. He knew before he ever looked over that it was Illya. Sure enough, the taller man was standing motionless and seething in the middle of a small crowd of people. There's a small pile of glass on the floor from what used to be a wine glass but whether it was dropped or thrown remained to be seen. Napoleon could tell by the hard set of Illya's jaw and the way Gaby was clenching his hand tightly between her smaller two that something rather violent was about to occur. He excused himself from Sophia with a charming smile and tender kiss to the back of her hand before sweeping across the room toward his partners.

The group of people surrounding them, mostly men who had had more than enough to drink, were laughing and joking among themselves while an attendant busied himself sweeping up the shattered wine glass. Gaby was trying her best to smile and remain engaged in the conversation while keeping both hands locked firmly around her husband's in a desperate attempt to keep him from doing whatever it was she thought he was about to do. She caught Napoleon's eye as he approached and let go of Illya's hand a split second before the other agent caught him by the elbow and pulled him away from the crowd.

One of the men called out to them and attempted to follow after but Gaby, God bless her, got in the way and 'accidentally' spilled her wine glass all over the front of his suit. She apologized profusely and grabbed a napkin, planting herself in front of him and dabbing at the wine stains in a flutter of repentant motion while both Napoleon and Illya disappeared into the crowd.

Napoleon didn't release his hold on the other man's arm until they were in an empty hallway outside of the main room. Illya tried to push past him and get back into the room but Napoleon realized that was a remarkably bad idea considering his Russian friend looked like he was ready to pummel the Turkish dignitary the second he got his hands on him. He kept himself between Illya and the door and came up with a temporary solution.

"Hit me," he says again, watching as a microscopic amount of the anger recedes from Illya's eyes and is instead replaced with confusion.

"I am not going to hit you," the Russian insists, his accent becoming thicker as he struggles to speak past the rage still simmering inside.

"And I'm not letting you back in that room until you get a hold of yourself," Napoleon challenges, squaring his shoulders and locking eyes with the taller man. "Either hit me and get some of that aggression out or wait out here until you calm down. Those are your options."

Illya glares at him and doesn't move. He still didn't completely understand his cocky American partner and the arrogant way he did things but this was something else entirely. Napoleon was asking him to hit him, demanding it even, and it threw him off guard. He wasn't sure if this was some kind of ploy on the American's part but he didn't understand it.

"Move," he growls, stepping forward and getting right up in Napoleon's personal space.

"No," Napoleon shoots back, tilting his head up just slightly so he can glare at the other man. It wasn't that he wanted to get hit (he knew from personal experience that getting punched by Illya was similar to being struck by a runaway freight train) but there was no other way for him to express his anger that didn't involve breaking some very expensive furniture or getting them all thrown in prison by the end of the night. Gaby was wonderful at talking Illya down most of the time but right now it was too dangerous. Not that he thought for one second Illya would ever hurt her but he also knew that when it came to blind rage, Illya's was second to none.

Napoleon's thoughts drift back to Gaby and he spares a glance at the door. She was a good agent and more than capable of handling herself but leaving her alone in a room filled with numerous potential threats was not an ideal situation. Not only that, he knew Illya harbored a soft spot for his feisty little "chop shop girl" and if he thought she was in danger for even a second he would tear the whole room apart. Which is where Napoleon gets the idea for what to do next.

"You know, the sooner we get this over with, the sooner you can get back in there to Gaby," Napoleon tells him, gauging his reaction carefully.

Just as he expected, a muscle goes tight in the Russian's jaw and his blue eyes flicker over to the door.

"Probably not a good idea to leave her in there by herself for much longer," Napoleon continues, knowing full well the kind of hell he's getting himself into and trudging forward anyway. "The way those men in there were eyeing her was a little disconcerting. Like a bunch of wolves dressed in tuxedos."

Illya growls, literally growls, low in his throat and moves toward the door again. Napoleon steps in his way.

"I mean, why wouldn't they, right? She's gorgeous. And the way she looks in that dress tonight, I'd be surprised if someone hasn't already tried to-"

The blow comes hard and fast, slamming into him like a tank, and even though Napoleon had been prepared for the impact, he still staggers from the intensity of it. He catches himself against the wall, one hand bracing itself against the door and the other coming up to cradle his aching jaw. It's not broken (which is both fortunate and a surprise) but it's going to leave a rather impressive bruise and hurt like hell tomorrow.

Illya's hands are clenched in tight fists at his sides and his eyes are dark and conflicted. He still looks angry but it's not nearly as intense as before. More than anything, he looks guilty. "I'm sorry," he mutters quietly, his voice still a little tight as he speaks.

"It's fine," Napoleon assures him, spitting out a glob of blood in the nearest potted plant. He swipes a hand over his mouth, frowning when a wet, bloody streak stains the dark fabric of his sleeve. "I had it coming." He chances a glance back up at the other agent and straightens slowly. "Feel better, now? If I let you back in there can you promise not to punch a Turkish dignitary?"

Illya doesn't answer right away but he nods stiffly. "Yes."

"Good," Napoleon says with a slight nod of his own, sucking out another mouthful of blood and spitting it in the same potted plant.

"Are you going to let me back in the room now?"

"Yes."

"Good."

Napoleon steps to the side and pushes the door open, allowing Illya to step past him and back into the crowded room. The Russian agent pauses just briefly, glancing back at the American with an apologetic look. His jaw is already start to swell, discoloration creeping along his jawline and bleeding into the lower part of his cheek. It's going to leave a massive bruise and they both know it.

Napoleon just rolls his eyes and nods toward the room. "It's fine, really."

It's all the acceptance Illya seems to need. He nods once and steps back inside, making his way back to Gaby to save her from the clump of tuxedoed men he'd left her in. Napoleon watches as he approaches them, excuses his absence, and continues speaking with them as if nothing had ever been amiss. Gaby looks back over her shoulder and catches his eye through the door, frowning just slightly at his somewhat more disheveled appearance. He shakes his head and makes a small gesture to not worry. Catching on quickly, she turns back to the conversation around them, her small hands linked around Illya's arm tightly just in case he starts to get angry again.

Napoleon sighs and lets the door swing closed, leaving him alone in the hallway. He winces and touches his jaw again, tongue running along his teeth carefully make sure none of them had been knocked loose. Finding everything in tact but with a raw, bloody gash on the inside of his mouth from the impact, Napoleon turns and makes his way in the direction of the nearest restroom. It wouldn't do to return to the party looking like this.

OOOOO

The next time it happens is over a month later in Kosovo. They'd been trailing an Albanian extremist who had plans to bomb the capital and had finally managed to capture him just outside of the city. Waverly had given them directions to the extraction point and instructed them to wait there until he arrived. More importantly, he stressed that their captive was to remain alive and relatively unharmed for further interrogation. It should have been an easy enough order to acquiesce if it weren't for the fact that the Albanian was doing absolutely everything in his power to make Illya want to beat him to death.

The man was tied up and bound to a pole in the center of the room, mostly immobile save for his mouth which has been running nonstop since they arrived. He was glaring and foaming like a rabid dog, spitting out as many filthy and depraved curses as he could. It was shocking and somewhat impressive and he'd been at it for over half an hour now. They'd tried gagging him but it had little effect; the man just kept cursing at them through the gag.

"I must say, I have never heard so many different ways to say 'fuck you' in Albanian before," Napoleon remarks as he gives the cursing man a measured look. He knows a passable amount of Albanian, enough to get him by, but he's definitely familiar enough with the expletives to get a pretty clear indication of what the man is spewing so venomously.

"What is he saying?" Gaby asks, crossing her arms over her chest and watching him from across the room.

Napoleon smirks a bit and shakes his head. "Trust me, you really don't want to know."

"Kurve," the man spits at her and Gaby raises an eyebrow silently.

"Now that wasn't very nice," Napoleon scolds, turning a disapproving frown at the bound man.

"Flattering, I'm sure," Gaby mumbles back, her eyes narrowing slightly at their captive.

"He needs to shut his mouth," Illya mutters darkly, his icy gaze locked on the man. He hadn't said much the entire time they're been here, choosing instead to keep his distance across the room. He understood a passable amount of Albanian as well and he wasn't all that happy with the insults the man was throwing at him and his partners. "He is wasting oxygen."

"Te qifsha," the man snarls back in response.

Illya says nothing but his jaw clenches just slightly at the insult.

"He'll wear himself out eventually," Napoleon assures him, checking his watch once more. He was maintaining a calm disposition but in reality he was beginning to get irritated with their foul-mouthed prisoner.

"Robqir," the man growls and Napoleon spares him a withering glance.

Illya has apparently had enough of this and takes a few measured, threatening steps toward the man. "Shut. Your. Mouth," he growls dangerously, each word coming out loud and harsh like the pop of a gun.

"Ta qifsha sojin," the man fires back in response, his expression bitter with rage. "Mut muti! U mbytsh në gjakun tënd!"

Illya's hand twitches at his side and Napoleon sees the movement just a split second before the Russian agent punches their captive hard enough to break his nose.

"Peril!" he snaps, striding across the room just as the other man clenches his fist and prepares to swing again. "That's enough!"

Their prisoner grimaces, bright, slick blood streaming from his nose and dripping onto the front of his shirt. He bares his teeth for a second before spitting a glob of blood onto Illya's shirt. "Ta qifsha nënën!"

The Russian agent glares and is more than ready to take another swing but Napoleon intercepts it, deflecting his fist and knocking the taller man off balance. "I said that's enough!" the American snaps again, placing himself between their captive and his partner.

Illya growls low in his throat and surges forward, intent on knocking the other man out of the way and going back for the kill. Napoleon blocks him again, shoving back forcefully and keeping him away.

"Waverly wants him alive," Napoleon growls, trying to break through his partner's rage and get him to see reason.

"He will be alive with a broken jaw," Illya snarls back, his blue eyes locked on the bound Albanian in front of him.

"Not an option," Napoleon mutters, struggling to keep the two of them separated as best he can. Their captive is still taunting him, spewing out the filthiest insults he can come up with and each one just succeeds in making Illya more enraged. It's taking every bit of Napoleon's focus to keep his partner from ripping the other man limb from limb; seriously, it was like trying to hold back a grizzly bear. "We need him to talk! He can't do that if you knock out all his teeth!"

"I am willing to test this theory," Illya fumes, trying to shove past him once again.

Their prisoner responds by firing off another insult that just sends the Russian agent further into a rage. It's quickly becoming apparent that peaceful negotiations were no longer in the cards so Napoleon decides to stack the deck in his favor a bit. He braces himself for how much this is going to hurt and punches Illya in the face as hard as he can.

The Russian staggers back in surprise, an expression that lasts all of three seconds before it dissolves back into murderous rage. He lunges at Napoleon, swinging wide and missing as the shorter man sidesteps the attack easily. Napoleon responds by throwing another punch, catching Illya in the side and knocking him further back away from their captive.

Illya glares at him, dark and dangerous, and lunges at him again. Once again, Napoleon is able to dodge the majority of it but he does take one or two hits before he's completely out of the way. He retaliates with another barrage of punches all his own, hitting the other agent in the stomach, chest, and shoulder. He's not trying to hurt him but he's definitely not going easy on him either. He needs to keep him away from their prisoner and if he has to use himself as the distraction then so be it.

He doesn't move quite fast enough to avoid the next blow and it leaves him off balance with his ears ringing. Illya shoves past him and makes his way back to the Albanian but Napoleon turns and catches him around the waist, tackling him to the floor. They both land heavily on the unforgiving concrete and Napoleon uses his weight to pin the other man to the ground as much as he can.

"Enough!" the American agent orders, catching his partner's wrists and slamming them into the ground.

"Oh dear," a new voice laments from across the room. "And here I was thinking you two had worked past the whole 'trying to kill each other' thing."

Both agents look up to see Waverly and a small squad of other armed agents step into the building. The armed agents pay no mind to the other two and simply walk across the room to apprehend the Albanian prisoner. He curses at them with the same furious intensity as he had the others but a well-aimed tranquilizer dart catches him in the upper chest and he slumps bonelessly in their grip. The building is suddenly ten times quieter than it had been only moments before and the agents drag their unconscious captive out to a waiting helicopter.

Napoleon waits until they're completely out of the room before he pushes himself off of Illya and stands slowly. He's sore and his movements are a bit halted from the blows he'd sustained earlier but hides it well enough. Illya follows his example and stands as well, dusting his hands off on his slacks and meeting Waverly's gaze.

The older man regards the two of them carefully, his expression unreadable. "I do hope," he begins after a moment, his eyes drifting from Napoleon first and then over to Illya. "That this will not become a habit between the two of you. I expect you to work together, not try to kill one another at the slightest provocation."

He doesn't wait for a response, turning his back to them and striding back across the room to the exit. He pauses briefly to say something to Gaby before turning away again and continuing outside. Gaby, for her part, turns and fixes them both with a look that's equal parts 'nice going, boys' and 'are you freaking kidding me?!'

Illya says nothing in response to that and swipes a hand across his face irritably. He shoots Napoleon with an annoyed look and steps away. "Bythec," he mutters as he walks away from the other man.

"Trap," Napoleon retorts at the other agent's back as he keeps walking.

OOOOO

The mission had been a complete shit storm from the very beginning, there was no denying it. They didn't have enough intel, they didn't have enough time, and they certainly didn't have enough backup. Being tasked with swooping in to rescue a kidnapped scientist was fine and all but it was always helpful when your team had bigger guns than the other team. Something they didn't have and something that proved to be their downfall.

The rescue had to be fast and flawless, the first part of which was easy enough to accomplish. Rush in, grab their MIA scientist, and get out. The plan fell through when it came down to the 'flawless' part of it. Their intel, what little they had, said nothing about the armed militia waiting for them just outside compound or the fact that they had been preparing for just such a rescue attempt for weeks. Illya and Napoleon had tried to hold them off as well as they could while Gaby grabbed the scientist and dragged him to the getaway car but it just wasn't enough. They had a tail from the time they pulled away until they time the back tires were shot out.

The car had flipped into a ditch and their scientist was killed instantly. In all the rush and confusion, he hadn't taken the time to put his seatbelt on and had subsequently been thrown out of the car when it flipped (and subsequently landed on him). There wasn't much left of him to retrieve by the time Illya and Napoleon got there.

It was bad enough that their scientist had been killed but to make matters worse, Gaby had been injured as well. She had had the foresight to put her seatbelt on before pulling away so she was spared major injury but hadn't walked away unscathed either. A few scrapes and bruises and a twisted knee were the worst of her injuries but she was fortunate it hadn't been worse.

They reached the car moments after it flipped and Napoleon had confirmed that their scientist was indeed dead. There was a startled squeak from Gaby as Illya literally ripped the door off its hinges and scooped her out of the car. The pop and ping of bullets bouncing off the metal frame of the car echoed all around them as they fled, disappearing into the night with their mission an utter failure.

Napoleon wasn't taking it all that hard. Sure, he was disappointed in the outcome and upset with the fact that Gaby had gotten hurt but it could have been worse. A lot worse. Illya...not so much.

The Russian agent had disappeared the second they arrived back at the hotel and he had deposited Gaby onto the plushest bed in the room. Her knee was wrapped and her face and arms dotted with butterfly bandages and even though she insisted she was fine to walk on her own, Illya refused and carried her back to their room. She would be on crutches for a few weeks and her knee would be wrapped longer than that but there was no permanent damage which was a blessing in and of itself. In reality, it was a miracle she hadn't been more injured in the crash.

Napoleon walks into the room to find Gaby still bundled in the middle of the bed, her knee propped on a pillow and a book in her lap. She looks up when he approaches and gives a small, disapproving frown to the ice pack in his hand. "Honestly, I'm not crippled. It's a sprain, that's all."

"I just want to make sure you're comfortable," Napoleon tells her, offering the ice pack as a sign of peace. Gaby eyes him for a second longer before accepting his terms and taking the ice pack. Her knee is a little sore and if he went through the trouble of getting it for her she might as well use it…

"Where's Peril?" Napoleon asks, sitting on the edge of the bed carefully, mindful of her knee and the swelling.

Gaby frowns slightly and shakes her head. "Not sure. He grumbled something about 'letting off steam' and then left."

Napoleon thinks for a moment and then nods slowly. He knows exactly where Illya is. "I'll go get him," he tells her, reaching over to fluff the pillow beneath her knee just a little. "Try to get some rest. I'll bring him back once we're done."

Gaby frowns in confusion and quirks an eyebrow. "Done? Done with what."

"Nothing, Ms. Teller," Napoleon says over his shoulder as he steps out of the room. "Nothing at all."

Sure enough, he finds Illya in the recreation room of the hotel, doing his dead level best to obliterate the punching bag hanging from the ceiling. The Russian agent has his back to him, his white undershirt soaked through with sweat and his knuckles bloody from punching the bag as hard as he is. He doesn't even notice when Napoleon enters the room.

Napoleon watches him carefully, never taking his eyes off the other man as he carefully divests himself of his jacket and tie. He's left in a white button down, taking time to roll up the sleeves and kick off his shoes before he approaches the other man.

"You know, it doesn't seem very sportsman like to throw all the punches when your opponent can't hit back," he says, walking across the room slowly until he's right behind Illya.

The Russian stops his furious blows against the bag but doesn't turn to face him. "What do you want, Cowboy?" he asks after a second, his voice slightly breathy from exertion.

"I came to find you," Napoleon says simply, taking another step forward so he's standing on the mat with Illya. "Gaby's upstairs resting. I got her some ice for her knee; the swelling should go down by tomorrow."

Illya says nothing to this and turns his attention back to the bag, throwing a few more heavy punches to the solid weight. Napoleon notices the way his knuckles leave little blurry smears of blood against the outer fabric after each blow but says nothing about it.

"So are you down here 'letting off steam' because the mission failed or because Gaby got hurt?" Napoleon asks and there's a sudden tension in Illya shoulder's that hadn't been there before. The blows come to a stop and he reaches out to grab the bag, his back still turned to the other man.

"It should never have happened," he mumbles quietly, shaking his head just a bit for emphasis.

Napoleon nods in acceptance and takes another step forward. "It shouldn't have, but it did. Always a risk you run into with missions like this. The question now is how do we move past it?"

Illya turns to face him slowly and it's the moment Napoleon has been waiting for ever since he arrived. He doesn't give him time to answer before he throws a punch at the Russian agent.

Illya dodges it easily (Napoleon had expected as much) and takes a step back, regarding the other man with barely masked surprise. "What are you doing?" he asks, his voice tinged with suspicion and the barest hint of anger.

"Helping you let off steam," Napoleon tells him, both fists still up in a fighting stance. "It's much easier to do when your opponent fights back."

Illya eyes him critically for a moment as if gauging whether or not to engage in his partner's weirdness. Napoleon doesn't give him much of a choice, however, and lunges forward again, throwing another punch that manages to clip Illya in the jaw.

The Russian staggers back slightly, reaching up to rub his jaw in surprise. He smirks humorlessly and looks back at his partner. "All right, Cowboy. Have it your way."

The next punch comes hard and fast, one of Illya's signature moves, and Napoleon barely has time to block it before the next one comes. He goes from being on the offensive to the defensive in a matter of seconds and yeah, this is kind of what he knew he'd be getting himself into but still, damn.

He dodges and ducks, blocks and deflects as much as he can but Illya is angry and it's hard to keep the upper hand in this situation. He only manages to get in a handful of punches next to Illya's dozens and he knows Gaby won't be the only one who's bruised and sore in the morning.

The definitive blow comes about two and half minutes later and surprisingly it's not from Illya. The Russian swings toward him and loses his balance for just a split second and that's all it takes. Napoleone uses it to his advantage and rides him to the ground, pinning him to the mat and bracing his legs on either side of Illya's chest. He grabs Illya's wrists and pins them to the floor as well, adding to the pressure by digging his elbows into the mat beneath him.

"Feel better now?" he asks, his voice more breathless and winded than he would have liked.

Illya struggles against him briefly before sagging back against the mat and breathing hard. He lets his arms go limp under his partner's grip and rests his head against the mat. "Surprisingly, yes."

Napoleon just nods but he doesn't let him up yet. "It wasn't your fault, you know?" he says after a minute, sitting back on his heels and taking some of the pressure off Illya's torso. "Probably would have happened regardless. Besides," he says, reaching down and patting his hand in the center of Illya's broad chest. "Gaby's a lot tougher than she looks."

Illya smirks slightly and nods, twisting his hips just slightly and knocking Napoleon off of him like he weighs nothing at all. He sighs and rolls to his knees, swiping a hand over his sweaty face and then reaching down to offer Napoleon a hand up. The American agent takes it and stands with a slight wince. Upon Illya's critical look, he waves him off with a shake of his head.

"Go check on Gaby," he says instead, nodding in the direction of the door. "I need to make a call to Waverly."

Illya hesitates for a brief second before nodding slightly and walking toward the door. He pauses, looking back over his shoulder at Napoleon, before turning and disappearing out of the room.

Napoleon waits for the door to close before he slumps forward and braces his hands against his knees. Sparring with Illya always left him a little more winded than he would have expected and tonight was no exception. Hell, tonight was a damn free for all.

He sighs and glances down at his shirt, frowning at the few speckles of blood that dotted the front of the white fabric. He wasn't sure if it was his or Illya's; either way it would be hell getting the stain out. Shit, this was one of his favorite shirts too…

OOOOO

"Get out of my way," Illya growls dangerously, his eyes dark and murderous.

Napoleon stands in front of the door, staunchly blocking him and refusing to move. "You know I can't do that, Illya."

The Russian agent growls a bitter curse low in his throat and takes a menacing step forward. "Do not make me go through you, Solo."

Wow, back to Solo now. No Cowboy, no nicknames, all business. Napoleon stands his ground. "I'm not letting you out of this room, Peril."

The punch that flies toward his head is not unexpected but the sheer, unparalleled rage in his eyes is. Napoleon dodges the blow but manages to keep himself in front of the door. "Illya, listen to me! I know you want justice, I understand that! But if you go after Veselov right now you will blow our cover sky high and three months of work will be for nothing!"

"He betrayed my father," Illya snarls murderously, his eyes flickering toward the door. "He took advantage of my mother. I will not rest until I have ripped his traitorous tongue from his mouth!"

"I understand that," Napoleon insists, keeping himself firmly planted between the door and his enraged Russian partner. "Believe me, I do. And if you will hold off just a few more days until our mission is over then I will personally help you track him down. But if you attack him now, in the middle of this hotel filled with every Russian бандит this side of Siberia, then I guarantee your revenge will be bloody and short-lived. They will kill you the minute they get their hands on you."

"They must catch me first," Illya tells him bluntly, his voice flat and dull. "Now get out of my way."

Napoleon sighs in defeat, realizing bargaining simply wasn't going to work in this situation. Illya wanted blood and he wouldn't stop until he had it. Too bad it would more than likely be his own by the end of the night. "I'm not moving. You're going to have to get past me if you want to get to him."

Illya lets out an enraged growl and dives at him, fists flying furiously in all directions. Napoleon is ready and dodges many of the blows, returning several of his own. He keeps himself blocking the door, knowing that if Illya gets past him then it's all over. He's not sure where Gaby is but he hopes she stays out of the room until this is over; he doesn't want her to get caught in the middle of this.

"So this is your plan, huh?" Napoleon asks, dodging another punch and reacting with one of his own, catching Illya in the side. "You're just going to rush in there and take him down with brute force? You really think that's going to work with a man like Veselov?"

"You know nothing about what I plan to do to him!" Illya snaps back, his eyes locked onto Napoleon like he's sizing up a potential obstacle rather than his partner. They're not friends anymore, not partners or associates or fellow agents. Right now Napoleon is nothing more than an obstacle he has to get through.

Napoleon comes to this cold realization within a matter of seconds and settles into the resolve silently. All bets were off now and they both knew it. If Illya got out of this room, he was more than likely going to get himself and everyone else killed. If Napoleon tried to keep him inside, Illya was more than likely going to kill him to get past him. It was a lose-lose situation but that's where they were. Napoleon grits his teeth and comes to a conclusion in that moment.

"So this is it, huh? Everything we've worked for, everything we've done, you're going to blow it all to get to Veselov?" Napoleon asks, a small, humorless smile creeping across his face. "You're pathetic, Illya. I thought you were better than this but I was wrong. You're nothing but an out of control child."

It's a low blow and he knows it, he can see it in the look of angry betrayal in his partner's eyes. But it's necessary for the end game. Just as he's done before, Napoleon is willing to take the blows to keep Illya from losing it on someone else. Not that the other person didn't deserve it, hell, most of the time they more than had it coming, but Napoleon was nothing if not a good soldier and a good agent and the mission was everything. He couldn't let Illya do something that was certain to get him killed, not if he had anything to say about it. So pulling a few low punches was necessary in the end.

"You know nothing about control, Solo," the Russian agent growls, lunging at him again and catching the shorter man in the ribs with a tightly closed fist.

Napoleon grunts in pain from the blow but stands his ground in front of the door. "I know more than you do," he shoots back, blocking another punch and returning one of his own. "I know you have an amazing lack of it and that it's gotten you into trouble more than once. I know that you can't control your temper or your emotions and that it will probably get you killed one day which is exactly what I'm trying to prevent right now."

"I have more control that you know," Illya warns dangerously.

"Funny, it doesn't seem that way," Napoleon says and he knows exactly where this conversation is going to go before he even gets there. It's going to get dark and dirty and low, lower than probably anything he's done in years, but it's necessary. Napoleon braces himself for what's about to come next and dives right in. "Ironic, really, that your father's lack of control is what brings us to this moment in the first place."

The look on Illya's face is indescribable. As is the furious bellow that comes out of him a second later. Napoleon doesn't have time to dodge or duck or deflect; he doesn't even have time to think. A large, heavy, closed fist catches him in the temple and the world goes black instantly.

OOOOO

He wakes up to something cold and damp pressed against his forehead. He flinches and tries to pull away but there's a quiet hum of disapproval above him that stills his movement. He tries to open his eyes but he's met with a blur of fabric that he eventually recognizes as a hand towel. There's a small, warm hand pressed over his eyes, holding the towel in place and creating a rather odd disparity between warm and cold. He concentrates for a second, trying to think back to how he may have ended up in this position, but his thoughts are hazy and fuddled. All he knows is that the warm hands above him smell very faintly like sunflower perfume and he recognizes that scent anywhere.

"It's always nice to wake up in the arms of a beautiful woman," he mumbles beneath the hand towel, his voice coming out groggy and distant in his ears.

There's a small huff above him that could be mistaken for a laugh, exasperated though it may be. "I'm sure you have plenty of experience with that."

Napoleon hums quietly in response. "If I had my way about it, we'd be in a bed."

"Keep talking like that and you'll end up on the floor," the voice above him warns.

"You have very nice skin."

They go quiet for a moment and Napoleon tries to work out what happened again. His head hurts like hell and he can feel the sting of swelling along his hairline. He knows something happened to land him here, stretched out on couch with Gaby pressing a wet towel to his head. He's just not sure what happened before he-

He sucks in a breath and starts to sit up. "Illya-"

"Shh," Gaby tells him, catching him with one arm across his chest to prevent him from going any further. "He's fine. He left just a few minutes ago."

"He's going to kill Veselov," Napoleon tells her, struggling to sit up again.

"No, he's not," Gaby insists, pushing down with her arm to keep Napoleon mostly pinned. "I heard the two of you fighting earlier and put in a call to Waverly. Veselov was called away for an 'emergency conference' by his advisors about twenty minutes ago. He's traveling back to Moscow as we speak."

Napoleon sighs and slumps back against the couch. "Ms. Teller, you are a miracle worker."

Gaby shakes her head slightly and peels the towel away from Napoleon's head, frowning just slightly at the bloody stain discoloring the fabric. "I don't know about that," she tells him, peering at the shallow gash at the other agent's hairline critically. "Illya is not one to give up so easily. He will go after him."

Napoleon nods (which hurts) and clenches his teeth a little when Gaby prods at the gash lightly. "I know he will. And I'm more than happy to help him with that but I couldn't let him do it here. It would have ruined everything."

Gaby nods a little and removes her arm from Napoleon's chest, allowing him the freedom to move again. "I know that," she allows with a small shrug. "And I think he does, too. Now at least," she adds after a second's contemplation. "He was angry though and anger usually clouds his judgement. I don't think he would intentionally jeopardize the mission."

"Neither do I," Napoleon agrees, sitting up slowly with a wince. He brings his hand up to his head and feels the swollen gash at his hairline, frowning when his fingers come away slightly tacky. Head wounds always bleed heavily, regardless of the severity, but it still bothers him that it's been at least twenty minutes and the bleeding hasn't completely stopped.

"You should get that checked," Gaby suggests, standing slowly and wadding the damp, bloodied towel in her hands before dropping it in a nearby hamper. "You could have a concussion."

Napoleon just shakes his head, ignoring the brief, sweeping wave of dizziness. "I'll be fine. Believe me, I've had worse." He glances to the door before looking back at Gaby. "Where did he go?"

Gaby shrugs one shoulder and shakes her head. "I'm not sure. He left right after I walked in."

Napoleon frowns in defeat. If Illya had still been angry when he left then there was no telling where he might go or what he might do. He wasn't exactly known for rational thinking when it came to dealing with his anger issues and it could land him or someone else in a heap of unnecessary trouble. "Okay, you stay here in case he comes back. I'm going to go out and see if I can-"

The door swings open quietly and suddenly the man in question is standing in the threshold. He steps into the room quietly, a plastic bag filled with ice loosely clenched in one hand. He glances between Gaby and Napoleon somewhat sheepishly, looking uncomfortable and fidgety.

He takes another step into the room, closer to where Napoleon is still sitting. The anger is gone from his expression, replaced by something that looks remarkably similar to guilt and shame. He opens his mouth to say something, closes it, and slumps uncomfortably. Finally, he turns to Gaby imploringly. "Could you give us a moment, please?" he asks quietly.

Gaby hesitates for a split second before nodding slightly and stepping toward the door. She glances back at them, her eyes darting between the two agents like she's not sure she should leave them alone together. But ultimately she does, stepping out into the hall and closing the door quietly behind her.

For a brief moment, neither of them move. Illya remains rooted to the floor, shifting his weight from one foot the other uncomfortably, and Napoleon remains sitting. For all his insistence and assurances, he's actually not sure he can stand right now. He's still a little dizzy and his head is throbbing miserably. Sitting is probably the best course of action.

He does shift across the couch slowly as a silent invitation for Illya to sit as well. The Russian agent hesitates for a second more before giving in and accepting the invitation. He sits down the on the very edge of the couch, his back ramrod straight and muscles stiff. Even sitting he looks uncomfortable.

Napoleon can't stand the silence any longer so he clears his throat quietly. "I owe you an apology," he begins and Illya turns to look at him so quickly it's a wonder his neck doesn't snap. "I shouldn't have said what I did about your father. That was uncalled for."

Illya is silent for a second or so longer, his expression unreadable. Finally, he sighs heavily and shakes his head. "No, you were right; I was not in control of myself. I should not have reacted the way I did."

Napoleon smirks just slightly and shakes his head. "We'll agree to be at equal fault then."

Illya mirrors his expression and nods. "Whatever you say, Cowboy."

It's a minor improvement; at least they're back to nicknames now. Illya crunches the ice bag in his hand absently before remembering he has it and holding it out to Napoleon. "For your head," he says by way of explanation.

The American agent accepts it with a slight smile, biting back the wince that accompanies pressing the icy plastic against his skin. Illya watches him quietly, his eyes locked onto the bruised gash at the other agent's hairline. "I'm sorry," he says after a second, looking down at his hands accusingly.

Napoleon just waves him off. "It's fine. I deserved it, anyway."

The Russian agent shakes his head fervently at the dismissal. "It's not fine," he insists, still glaring at his own hands. "I don't like hitting you."

"What a coincidence," the other man counters smoothly. "I don't like getting hit." Upon Illya's withering glare, Napoleon holds the hand not holding the ice bag up in surrender. "You're right, sorry. Bad joke."

He lowers his arm and sinks back against the couch. "Fact is, we're going to have to find a more productive way for you to express your anger. Preferably one that does not involve punching me in the face."

"You could start ducking," Illya offers simply and Napoleon is so taken aback by the dry joke that he almost gapes at him. Almost.

"Hilarious, Peril. Really," the American agent mutters in response, cringing slightly as an icy trickle of water slips down the side of his face and catches at his collar. He figures it's time to abandon the bag of ice (considering it's melting all over him and the couch) and shifts forward to drop it on the table.

That's his plan at least; in reality it doesn't work out as gracefully as he would have hoped. He does shift but it's a little too far forward and that, combined with the lingering dizziness, causes him to sway to the side a bit and fling and arm out awkwardly to catch himself from falling.

Said hand ends up smacking Illya in the chest and the Russian agent frowns in a mixture of confusion and concern, catching the offending arm in an effort to steady its owner. "Cowboy?" he asks, his voice tinged slightly with alarm.

Napoleon manages to steady himself and shakes his head. It does nothing to help with the dizziness but it serves the purpose of dismissing his partner's concern. "Not to worry, Comrade. Just moved too fast, that's all."

Illya doesn't seem convinced but he decides not to press the issue. Once he's certain the other agent isn't about to topple off the couch, he releases his arm and watches as he straightens himself carefully.

"Perhaps you're right," Illya allows after a second's contemplation. "A positive outlet may be more beneficial to our line of...work," he says, gesturing around the room vaguely with the word 'work.' "I'm not sure where to begin, though."

"I'm sure we'll figure something out," Napoleon assures him, slumping back against the back of couch once more. "Waverly probably has an entire book filled with 'positive outlets for aggression.' Probably makes for better agents and the like."

The Russian agent nods and leans back against the couch as well. "You're probably right. Besides," he says, elbowing Napoleon in the ribs lightly. "I don't have to knock you unconscious to prove I'm the better agent."

Napoleon smirks faintly and rolls his eyes. "Damn decent of you, Peril."

They sit in companionable silence for a few seconds longer before Napoleon tries to move again. "We should probably go find Gaby so she doesn't think we've killed each other."

"Wouldn't want that," Illya comments, carefully pulling Napoleon to his feet and turning him in the direction of the door. He stays close behind him in case the other agent starts to fall and follows him across the room. Napoleon glances back over his shoulder at the other man but Illya just nods him toward the door. "Right behind you. Lead the way, Cowboy."


Thanks for reading guys! :D

List of Albanian Insults:

Kurve- bitch, whore
Te qifsha- fuck you
Robqir- fuck your family
Ta qifsha sojin- fuck your kind
Mut muti!- shit of shit (insulting to one's father)
U mbytsh në gjakun tënd!- May you drown in your own blood
Ta qifsha nënën!- I'll fuck your mother
Bythec- little brat
Trap- Jerk