As the two agents pulled up in the circular drive, Napoleon was looking towards the garden party that filled the lawn of the stately Long Island home. More than a home, it wreaked of old money. His partner could smell it too, and it rankled his Soviet soul. The American could sense the discomfort in his partner in this foreign environment.
"That's a pretty expensive party I'd say".
Illya didn't hesitate with his reply. There was no doubting the heat in his voice or the intent of his statement.
"Suddenly I feel very Russian".
Napoleon had to smile. It was so like his friend to take a literal stance on things; his dislike of the surroundings was visceral, as ingrained in his psyche as his love of vodka.
"That's just your proletariat blood".
Illya bristled at the comment. He felt indignant, and, although loath to admit it, humiliated by his sense of inadequacy among people so comfortable with their idleness, and their wealth.
"Well, there's no difference between those people and me".
Napoleon Solo wasn't a rich man, nor did he have that in his background in spite of having been comfortable, if not spoiled. His friend and partner, though, was unaccustomed to such gratuitous displays of money and largesse. It was the very thing that repelled his sensitivities, fueled his disapproval of these kinds of people.
"That depends on whether you're speaking physically, financially or psychologically".
Truth be told, Illya was nothing like those people. He was smart and talented, cunning and ruthless in ways well beyond the strategies that had made the wealth enjoyed by these socialites. Theirs was an existence fueled by inane gestures that only served to swell the egos on which they were so securely staked. Money wasn't the reward for them; it was the tool with which they carved their names in history books and social registers.
"And what makes you so superior? You don't rate exactly yourself with Dunn and Bradstreet".
He spat that out with an uncontrolled sharpness that he hadn't intended. Illya knew he could never have infiltrated this group and portrayed himself with a conviction that he was one of them. Even now he could feel his countenance failing him; he wasn't a good enough actor to play his own enemy…not yet.
Napoleon however fit the part perfectly. It wasn't his fault that he could slide seamlessly into this soirée. Still, it galled him slightly to know he would never be chosen because of his lack of skill among this so-call 'high society'.
"Yes, but I have that elegant air of decadence".
Yes, Napoleon, you do have that air. You have the look and the personality; you have all that you need to be one of them. And I, amidst my convictions and indoctrinations, have not. And so I will sit with the car while you go and work your magic. But, when the revolution comes, perhaps I will return here and remember…