For MLaw, who wanted a story with Illya and a fuzzy bunny for her LJ Easter Egg.
The first time Illya Kuryakin saw an Easter display at Macy's Department Store in New York City, he thought the entire world had gone quite mad.
Mannequins portraying little girls wore white organdy aprons over yellow and pink dresses, every element perfect, down to their white patent leather shoes and lacy, cuffed socks. They walked through a fantasy forest filled with bright foliage and colorful flowers, even a small deer could be seen peeking at the children.
Not even in Paris had Illya seen anything quite like this scene. At least a dozen rabbits of varying sizes and colors, each of them holding a basket filled with colored plastic eggs, dotted the fake terrain. Surely no one thought this reflected reality.
Back home there would have been decorated eggs hidden in cupboards and dressers drawers, secreted away by babushkas and seen only on the rarest of occasions. He had only vague memories of it, and admitted a certain amount of fascination with this American version of the holiday he had known as Valykden.
The Russian felt a little stirring in his soul as he surveyed the window with the happy looking children and adoring (he imagined) parents looking on in equally beautiful clothing. Was this then the American Dream of which he had heard?
Up in one of the pretend trees Illya noticed a strange looking bird. Why did they put it in there, he wondered? It seemed out of place in the otherwise perfect enactment of the fantasy.
Something else caught his eye as he stood there; something moved, causing Illya to jump away from the glass. He knew none of this was real, so why…?
A little rabbit hopped from one of the larger baskets and tripped slightly over his hind feet, causing him to roll over onto his back; he craned his neck to look at the blond man who was watching him.
There was no one else at the window just now, it was early morning and the store wasn't even open yet. Illya was transfixed by the little rabbit, and waited for it to move again. He was certain it had actually moved, only now it just lay still on his back.
Illya looked around to make certain no one was observing this, then pecked on the glass to get the little rabbit's attention. Still nothing, but he was absolutely certain that the rabbit had moved, had jumped out of the basket and …
"You're out of your mind, Illya Nickovetch. It probably just fell out…"
Just then the little rabbit rolled over, almost like that rabbit in Bambi… what was his name…?
Illya went to see Disney cartoons sometimes, in the theater.
He caught himself before he said it again. He was incredibly glad that Napoleon wasn't around to see this. He must be in need of sleep, but then the little rabbit hopped up to the glass and stared straight into Illya's eyes.
"I do not believe this. Who are you, little rabbit?"
The little rabbit just sat there, mesmerized by the blue eyes that returned his own stare. Illya kneeled down so that his face was level with the little rabbit, and the two of them simply looked at each other until they had seen all that there was to see.
And then Illya laughed in his sleep.
Napoleon woke up at the sound. They had been stuck in this THRUSH cell for three days, and Illya's last bath had been in a muddy hole in the ground, compliments of two goons who had held him down until it looked as though he may not come up breathing.
Thankfully the Russian was tougher than most people gave him credit for; at least the first time around. Now, watching him sleep, Napoleon was reminded that mud can sour, and Stinky was living up to the moniker given him by his friend and partner.
Napoleon could just make out a smile on Illya's face, a surprising expression considering where they were. Laugher again, then Illya let out a snort as he uttered this line in heavily accented English:
"You can call me a flower if you want to, I don't mind."
Then it was Napoleon's turn to laugh. Tough guys with soft spots… Illya had gone back to see Bambi… again.