"Illya. Illya, where are you?"

Napoleon was fairly certain he wasn't alone, or hoped not. He and Illya had been thrown in here by the Thrush guards hours or perhaps days ago. He wasn't hurt, but he remembered that Illya had borne the brunt of the inquisition. It happened that way more often than not, he mused. The smaller man was like a magnet for abuse.

The place they were in was dank and dark. Something about it made Napoleon more uneasy than usual; that and the fact that he couldn't actually confirm that his partner was here with him caused a slight shiver to run up his spine.

A moan caught his attention and he peered in the direction of the distressing sound.

"Illya? What's wrong with …"

He couldn't finish that sentence. A light was beginning to spread around the Russian, but it was something resembling the green jell-o that so often accompanied them in their visits to Medical. There was no shape to it, although a type of orderliness emanated from within. It glowed green, but with something akin to intelligence that Napoleon sensed more than understood.

"Who… what are you?"

Maybe it speaks English. Napoleon thought it was worth a try.

'I do. I speak whatever you wish to speak.'

That caused Napoleon to step forward, to try and see into the gelatinous thing that seemed to be reading his mind.

Illya lay perfectly still. Napoleon couldn't tell whether this green entity was the cause of his partner's condition, or was trying to help him. He didn't think it was Thrush. If not, how did it get here?

The presence spoke to him, but it seemed to come from a place not within this room.

'I am a friend, I assure you. Your own kind have placed you here, and done some damage to this one. He might not have survived without my intervention.'

This was too weird. Nothing they had encountered previously had prepared Napoleon for something this otherworldly.

"Are you… where are you from? And why are you in here with us?"

A ripple ran through the green presence, and as it did Illya became alert and started to move. Something compelled him to remain lying down, however; something unseen within the green light. Again, it answered Solo without sound.

'He needs to rest until the process of healing is completed. I have done what I can to repair the body.'

"Thank you.'

Napoleon was grateful, but he still wanted answers.

"You haven't told me what you are. How is it that you've come to be here with us?"

A light seemed to swim through the mass of green, as though in answer. In Napoleon's mind he was aware of words forming.

'I am a part of a larger whole. A displaced fraction of endless galaxies that are joined together in an infinite stretch of time and space. I am light to your darkness. Life to what was intended to be death. Today, I am your savior, if that helps you to understand.'

It didn't help. Napoleon needed Illya to translate this type of thing, and he remained unconscious within the haze of green light that was illuminating the dungeon in which they were imprisoned.

It wasn't exactly displeasure, but somehow Napoleon imagined that the green light gas creature had rolled its eyes (if he had any), exactly as Illya would have when confronted by his partner's lack of comprehension.

'You are not expected to understand. This has happened before, and will happen again. The variations on the situation at hand are limitless, and every time you will be saved from destruction. If not for the infinite nature of the Universe, how else would you continue to survive? You needn't comprehend fully, only accept that this moment will happen again and without fail, the Universe will be.'

''Will Illya understand? Will he live?"

Napoleon nodded to his partner, hoping that this being, whatever it might be, really was there to help them.

The agent sensed the communication. It was becoming familiar now, almost, but not quite, familiar.

'He is almost ready. His life force was intended for destruction by those who placed you here. I am his part of the Universe; that which is reserved for him alone. And because you two are almost a single being, I will save you as well. Because you are a part of him, I become a part of you.'

The force of that statement cut through Napoleon's soul. He and Illya were almost like one person: two halves of a whole; yin and yang. How often had their thoughts been one, or their actions in need of no explanation? They did their jobs with little verbal communication, they were so tightly bound by something… something that defied logic or explanation.

Who was this creature and how did it know them?

Patiently and without emotion, the reply came.

'I told you, I am the Universe. And because you have called on me I am here. What appears without reason is reason enough. If you understood fully, then all things would be for naught. You must continue to live by the faith you have been afforded. Without it, you cease to explore and excel. Without the faith you have in each other and something larger than yourselves, you will falter in your quest for justice. Because you preserve the balance, you yourselves will continue to be...

Now,this one is ready and your way has been made clear.

Before he could blink, Napoleon was lying on the sand beyond the cliffs upon which their prison stood. Illya was sitting up, looking out into a moonlit night that washed over the waves beyond.

"Illya? Are you… you were…"

The blond shook his head, and turned to his friend with a look of understanding and a subdued grin.

"I do not know how, Napoleon, only that it happened. I was aware of the presence of that … being. I don't even know how to begin to explain."

Napoleon sat up. He felt rested and not at all concerned about what had occurred.

"It called itself the Universe. Your part of the Universe, and that I got a free ride on your ticket because…"

"Yes, our connection. I could hear all of it. We are, you know, of one soul. If I can believe in anything, my friend, I can believe that."

The two sat for a few minutes, contemplating the extraordinary experience with the green presence that called itself the Universe. They couldn't help but wonder about the nature of things, of infinite possibilities and powers outside of themselves.

As one, they rose up and began their journey, once again, for home.