Napoleon woke up at the sound of his partner shouting. Startled out of a sound sleep, he reached beneath his pillow to retrieve his gun, stopping as his eyes landed on Illya, who was sitting bolt upright in his bed.
"Illya? Are you all right?"
The blond didn't answer. Illya merely assumed a familiar position, knees up, ankles crossed, and buried his face behind large hands.
Napoleon started to turn on the bedside lamp, but Illya stopped him.
"Please. Do not turn on the lights…please."
There had been some tense moments during their previous affair, and now this one was dragging out longer than anticipated. Napoleon hadn't figured on his stoic partner letting it wear him down, however. Illya was almost immune to the stress of their job. Or, so it seemed.
"Illya…'' Softly, almost as though he were coaxing a reticent child.
Napoleon gave him time to initiate a dialogue about this. Nightmares were a fact of life; of their lives. But, there were nightmares, and then…there were Nightmares.
When the Russian didn't speak, Napoleon decided to venture in a little deeper.
"Is this a new dream?"
Illya raised his head at that. A shaft of moonlight caught the blond, and, nearly naked except for his underwear, Illya was all pale skin; the slight build of the man did little to undo the image of something slightly ethereal.
In that moment Napoleon wondered at the complex man who was Illya Kuryakin. Sometimes still the image of a much younger man, a boy even, and yet his finely honed skills made him a dangerous agent.
UNCLE doled out righteous causes for them both, and with the idealism of crusaders, wars were fought and battles won. Napoleon had learned to be a soldier in Korea, fighting an enemy he couldn't always see in a country not his own. But, what had been Illya's training ground? There were some things he still didn't know about his friend and partner.
Illya ran his hands through blond hair that was so admired by the women at headquarters. The thought of those women being envious of him now, in the room with the nearly naked Russian, made Napoleon smile just a little. Those women didn't know what went on behind the façade. Most of them could never truly reconcile what their heroes did to keep UNCLE on top of the game it so aptly played.
"I'm sorry I woke you, Napoleon. It was just… just a dream."
Illya looked over at his friend in the next bed, blond eyebrows raised in that questioning expression so familiar to the American. The effect always tore at his soul a little.
Napoleon took a deep breath, the lingering aroma of dinner mixed with the hotel soap would make an interesting sensory memory.
"I'm here for you, tovarisch. Anytime you need to talk about it."
Illya nodded. Perhaps someday he would share the images that still haunted his sleep and dictated his destiny. Napoleon would listen and commiserate, then drink with him until they both forgot the misery that had prompted the drinking to begin with.
"Thank you, Napoleon."
Solo feigned ignorance while understanding completely.
"For what? I haven't done anything."
Illya smiled, his eyes a pale aquamarine in the glimmer of light. The promise of a smile that seldom materialized was the reward for Napoleon's concern.
"Just… thank you. You are a very good friend. Now, I suggest we both try and get some sleep."
Lying down in their beds, the two men let sleep overtake them. When the dreams came, each man was resolute in keeping the bad ones at bay, willing himself into peace for at least this one night.