Nothing would ever top this. In all of the many exploits, dangers and disguises that had defined the agent's life as a member of UNCLE, there would never be another moment such as this. He would see to it, for never again would he allow anyone to persuade him, Illya Kuryakin of the necessity to don such a ridiculous outfit…no, make that non outfit…as he was now wearing.
Needless to say, Napoleon could not have pulled it off. He couldn't look like an escaped member from the cast of Hair no matter what he did to try and transform himself. Classic and conservative was a genetic thing for him. The Russian, on the other hand, had been the first choice of everyone with a vote: Mr. Waverly and Napoleon. Illya himself had been denied a say in the matter, and he had hung his head in abject dismay when informed of his costume for the mission. So, here he stood, attempting to convey an air of a cool and detached artiste, sporting nothing more than a loin cloth constructed of leather and feathers, supposedly inspired by some exotic American Indian tribe, but primarily the vision of a costume designer on drugs he reasoned. Oh, and the boots; large furry boots, nearly knee high and so bulky that it was a challenge to walk without constantly creating static electricity when the fake fibers rubbed together. He wore some beads around his neck, also hinged with feathers, and one earring signifying him as single and heterosexual. That opened up the floodgates in this posh new establishment called The Atomic Tangerine. Women were all over him, touching him suggestively, reaching beneath the sparse feathers that so ineffectively guarded his most prized assets. His partner would most assuredly pay for this one.
The object of the mission was to locate and secure a microdot that contained information regarding a complex formula for a new type of nerve gas. Reported initially to be airborne, they now had information that it might also be water soluble, making it a double threat to world security. The location for retrieving the microdot had been chosen by the contact, who had also described the costume to be worn by the UNCLE agent assigned to the mission. It was impossible to discern whether the request was a self gratifying act by an overtly sexual person, or an attempt to have some fun at his expense. He had decided to take it very personally.
Now, out on the dance floor in his ridiculous garb, the blond felt as though the night would never end. Professionalism aside, this was very uncomfortable. A few people at headquarters had been witness to the finished product, and he knew that the gossip machine would be in full force by now. There was a decidedly lopsided statistic on who always ended up in this type of situation; 'Oh yes, that would me'. Grumbling to himself as he attempted to dance among the other heathens did not assuage his indignation.
"Hello you sexy thing. I think your plumage is groovy". That was the code phrase…who had said it.
"They always told me I was the cock of the walk" He was looking at her now, and she in return had a very pleased expression on her face.
"I thought this outfit up as a gag, but you are looking seriously fine in those feathers. I might just have to take you home". He had a sudden inclination to take her up on that offer, especially if it would get him out of here.
"Is that what it will require in order to obtain what you have for me?" She considered that, then wrapped her arms round his waist, slid them down below the feathers where she deftly removed the microdot from her hand onto his left cheek, pinching him in the process. That would leave a mark…she hoped.
"Ouch, did you have to do that?" Never, never again would he yield to something as ridiculous as this…
"Hey lover, you're playing a part. Enjoy it". With that, she brought her hands up and grabbed his hair, pulling his face down to meet hers and locked him into a kiss that took away his breath as well as Napoleons', who was watching from the upper level. The Russian met her kiss with an equal amount of intensity and led her in a rhythmic dance that belied his normally shy demeanor. She swayed with him, matching his body as they moved without any space between them. The effect was primitive and erotic, thanks to the lack of clothing and their exotic appearances. She was almost as tall as he, her hair a mass of brown curls that hung nearly to her waist; her outfit, like his, was a spare amount of feathers placed artistically in the most important places. As the music died, they still clung to one another while they exited the dance floor. He was sweating from the exertion and the lack of circulating air in the big room downstairs. They both fell into a half moon shaped booth where a waitress brought drinks before they had a chance to request them. Napoleon was at his partner's side within a minute, anxious to meet the woman who had managed to remove all of Illya's aversion to public displays. Quite an accomplishment by any standards.
"Say you two, that was quite a performance. I think it's safe to say your cover is intact". He had to smile, they looked like two characters out of a bad B movie. As Illya regained his sense of self, he was shocked at his behavior but no less smitten by the beautiful girl sitting next to him.
"Don't ever ask me to do something like this again. I shall never look at a bird in quite the same way". He shoved his hair off of his forehead and back into a sweaty blond mess. The girl was also perspiring, yet managing to look as seductive as ever.
"Do you have something to tell us? I believe you are to confirm a code name for us before we take our leave". Napoleon was back to business, never considering that his partner might be leaving with the girl, although it's what he would have done.
"Oh, yeah…my code name is Royal Purple". She had a guilty smile on her face, and both men wondered what the meaning of it could be in order to elicit her Mona Lisa expression.
"I picked it because of how I deliver my materials…you'll know in the morning". She winked at the blond before kissing him again, nodded at his brown eyed friend and then she was off and gone into the crowd. They couldn't see where she exited the club.
"What do you think she means, I'll know tomorrow?" Illya now had something to look forward to; that and getting out of this stupid outfit.
"Oh, I don't' know, but you be sure and let me know my friend".
It didn't take Illya long to figure out the code name. When he awoke the next morning he had a sore spot on his backside where the microdot had been placed. When he got out of the shower, it was confirmed. As he turned around to look in the mirror, he saw her calling card: there was a big purple bruise to remind him of who he had danced with while dressed in nothing but some feathers.
"Royal Purple indeed" he snorted. This time the injuries would not receive the normal show and tell. When Napoleon asked what the catch was to the girl's code name, his partner just smiled and said with his most British affectation, Royalty has its privileges.