Sunny skies, birds chirping merrily in the freshly sprouted trees and…
"Something got you there, partner?"
Illya Kuryakin removed his face from the formidable wad of tissues he had used to stop his head from plunging into his desk with that sneeze. His oversized hands held at least six or seven of the gauzy white wonders, all of them a stark contrast to his very red nose.
"I seem to hab allergic ri-di-dis."
Napoleon smiled, and was proud of himself for not laughing outright at his partner's difficulties. He felt sorry for him. He did.
"Allergic Rhinitis… gee Illya. That sounds just awful. Perhaps you need to go down to Medical and let them give you a pill. There's no point in being so miserable if they have something to help you."
Bloodshot blue eyes were too weary to roll, and Illya felt as though his head might literally fall off his body. Allergies. Of all the stupid things to cause him grief.
"For once I am quite willig to do dat."
Oh, the wad of tissues went back to the red nose as Illya blew, sneezing again to punctuate the situation. Yes, Medical would do nicely.
Illya thought the corridors of UNCLE were a bit like his Russian soul. The stark grey, smooth and cool reflected his own steely demeanor. The throbbing of its inner workings like his own steady heartbeat. He must tell Napoleon what he had discovered about the soul of UNCLE, how it mirrored his own. He must tell him now.
Sarah was at her desk outside of Mr. Waverly's office, the guardian of The Guardian's lair.
"Mr. Kuryakin, Mr. Waverly is in conference with Mr. Solo at present. You'll need to… Mr…. Illya!"
The door obeyed the Russian as he approached it, the object bowing to the demands of flesh and blood.
"Mr. Kuryakin… what on earth? What is wrong with him, Mr. Solo?"
Illya stood in the doorway, his arms crossed as he looked from first one man then to the other. Napoleon's mouth wouldn't oblige him immediately, a sense of dread suddenly overcoming him.
"Sir, he has been to Medical to get, well, medicated. I would guess he's having a reaction of some sort."
Illya couldn't speak. He just stood there with a silly smile on his face, his arms crossed over his chest and feet apart. Napoleon had the most uneasy feeling about this, and was not completely surprised when Illya squatted and began doing a vigorous Kazatska, his legs kicking out as he rose repeatedly from the squat only to bounce and repeat the motion.
Mr. Waverly found himself equally unable to speak. The sight of this slight young man, so recently received here in New York, obviously under the influence of something disagreeable… well, it was exactly that.
"Stop him, Mr. Solo, and take him immediately back down to Medical. We can't have our Section II agents dancing all over Headquarters, most inappropriate. Most, most inappropriate."
Napoleon was walking towards the blond, prepared to wrestle with him in order to get him out of the Old Man's office. He didn't need to go that route, however, because as he approached the younger man Illya suddenly stopped his routine and collapsed in a heap, right there on the floor in Mr. Waverly's office. By that time Sarah had been summoned and was entering through the swishing doorway just as Illya fell in front of her.
It was a strangled sort of almost scream, but the lovely brunette gathered her wits and lent them to Napoleon as they both endeavored to lift the now rubber legged Russian up from his spot.
"He's heavy for such a little guy."
Sarah, like most others, often forgot that muscle weighs more than fat, of which the little guy had none, although he was loaded with the former.
Napoleon nodded his agreement, all the while wrestling with arms that were unwilling to be gathered into a portable position. Mr. Waverly had called for some Section III assistance, as well as a gurney from Medical. What utter nonsense this was turning into; Waverly wondered why no one had known about this kind of reaction to whatever Mr. Kuryakin had been given.
The walls in Medical were a slightly lighter shade of grey than the endless corridors that wandered beyond its healing borders. To Illya Kuryakin, the differences were lost as he lay buried beneath the unalterable conviction that he had made a fool of himself, even though he wasn't able to say exactly how.
A headache was all that remained of the medication he had been given by the intern on duty a few hours earlier. An Intern. Illya was considering a Machiavellian inspired act of retribution that could be perpetrated upon the buffoon, but as his senses continued to regain clarity, he rejected revenge. Considering his own behavior, it would most likely be unwise to provoke Mr. Waverly any further.
"Say, tovarisch, how're you feeling? I bet your head hurts."
Napoleon noticed that Illya could roll his eyes again. That was encouraging.
"Napoleon, tell me I didn't lose my job over this allergy medication fiasco. Don't tell me what happened, only that I am still employed, and still Section II."
Illya's hair was standing straight up and away from his scalp. He had sweated out the offending tonic, and seemed to be rid of the allergy symptoms as well. Perhaps the medicine had worked after all.
"You know, in spite of that aberrant behavior of yours in Mr. Waverly's office, you aren't sporting a nose like Rudolph anymore. That's good, right?"
"Rudolph? What does that petty thief have to do with all of this?"
Napoleon's turn to roll his eyes. Working with Russians had its toll.
"No, not that Rudolph. The reindeer, you remember."
Napoleon then launched into a rather afflicted rendition of Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer, prompting Illya to stifle the sound by placing his hands over his ears in an attempt to keep the noise out and the pain at bay.
"Oh, Napoleon… please stop. My head is still not well."
Feigned offense was only partly effective, as Illya turned over and away from his tone challenged friend, once more in search of sleep.
Sarah knocked and entered, her arrival a pleasant diversion for Napoleon now that his afflicted friend was out again.
"You know, Napoleon, I'm slightly suspicious of you concerning this little episode."
More feigned offense from the man who had mastered the affectation. He wondered…
"Illya is practically immune to your little pranks that you like to pull on the first of April. You wouldn't…?"
Napoleon did a double take at that.
"What? Are you serious, Sarah? It all went down in Mr. Waverly's office. Surely you don't think I would do that to Illya, not in there."
The young woman tilted her head, her gaze directed at the innocent looking face in front of her.
"Well… I suppose not. But, had it happened anywhere else…"
"Thank you Sarah my sweet. I appreciate that. Now, how about dinner tonight, just you and me…"
As the two walked out of Illya's room, Napoleon was not at all certain that his sleeping partner wouldn't somehow figure it out.