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Not The Russian Way

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The music is playing softly from his record player and his hips sway gently in time with it as he occasionally stirs the risotto he’s cooking. The music isn’t quite to his tastes but it’s palatable and is more for the benefit of his guests anyway.

The risotto won’t be done for a while so after giving it one final stir he allows himself a moment to be caught up in the sounds and scents filling his kitchen. His eyes drift shut and he dances slowly, not imagining any partner in particular, just allowing himself to experience the moment.

“You look ridiculous.”

A smile curls at his lips at the sound of the now all too familiar voice and he keeps his eyes closed, gives one final dramatic twirl before opening them.

Illya is leaning in the doorway of the kitchen, an amused look in his eyes and what might almost be a smile on his lips. Napoleon can’t be sure. He’s never actually seen it happen.

“You’re early. How very Russian of you. And do I want to know how you got into my apartment?”

Illya shrugs. “You need better security. I can make some suggestions.”

Of course he can.

Napoleon takes a deep breath, determined not to let a grumpy Russian ruin his good mood. Instead he sways over to where Illya is standing and holds out his hand. “You, tovarishch, look like you need to relax. Dance with me.”

Illya stares at Napoleon’s hand as though it’s a live bomb which is about to detonate.

“Why is everyone so determined I should dance?” He finally asks.

“Well, you know what they say, all work and no play makes Illya a dull boy.”

When Illya still doesn’t take his hand Napoleon waltzes back over to his record player and turns up the volume. Illya is still standing rigid in the doorway when Napoleon sways back to him.

“Mr. Kuryakin would you do me the honour of a dance this evening?” He finishes the question with a dramatic bow which makes Illya snort. It’s become something of a personal challenge to try and make Illya laugh, or at least smile. He’s getting close he can tell.

“You wish me to dance with you while you’re wearing that?”

Napoleon glances down at the apron he’s wearing over his shirt and pants.

“A precautionary measure, my friend. It’s quite clean I assure you. I can take it off if you like.”

Illya considers for a moment and then shakes his head. “No, it suits you.”

“I actually can’t tell if you’re joking or not.”

“I never joke about clothes.”

Napoleon stares at Illya for a moment. He really isn’t like anyone Napoleon has ever met before. His physique aside, Illya is so somber and serious all the time it’s no wonder Napoleon wants nothing more than to make him smile.

Deciding to grab the metaphorical bull by the horns he takes Illya by the hands and pulls him into his arms. He’s done asking, and knows full well that Illya could break free quite easily if he wanted to.

Illya’s eyes are dark in the low lights of Napoleon’s apartment, his lips slightly parted as he gazes down at Napoleon. It’s clear from the way his body reacts to Napoleon’s that he has no intention of breaking free.

He lets Napoleon put a hand on his waist and take his hand with the other. He tries to move Illya in time to the music but the Russian’s movements are stiff and awkward.

“Relax,” Napoleon says softly. “I promise it won’t kill you to enjoy yourself once in a while.”

Illya is staring at him now, a curious expression on his face.

“Do you not find it strange dancing with a man?” Illya finally asks. “I am taller than you.”

Napoleon shrugs. “I’ll dance with anyone so long as they’re willing.”

That causes Illya to huff out what might have almost been a laugh.

“What about you?” Napoleon asks curiously as he feels Illya start to relax a little in his arms. “Am I your first?”

He prides himself on the shade of scarlet Illya’s face turns. They may be partners now, even edging close to being friends, but he’s pretty sure they will never stop teasing each other.

“In Russia, if you are caught like this with another man, you are ended with a bullet to the head. If you are lucky.”

Napoleon doesn’t know what to say to that. What they’re doing isn’t exactly legal in America either but he’s pretty sure no one would kill them for it. Waverly in particular seems the pragmatic sort who doesn’t overly care about the private lives of his agents so long as they can get the job done and don’t leave themselves vulnerable to blackmail.

He draws Illya closer to him. “Good thing we’re not in Russia then, hm? And there’s no one here to catch us.”

Illya’s face is so close to his now. It would be easy to just lean up and…

“Well, I see you’ve started the fun without me.”

At the sound of the new voice Illya jerks back so violently he almost stumbles but when Napoleon reaches out to steady him he retreats further away until his back hits the wall.

If Gaby is startled by Illya’s reaction she doesn’t show it. Instead she moves over to him and runs a comforting hand down his arm, murmuring something in Russian that’s too low for Napoleon to make out.

“You couldn’t wait for me to arrive?” Gaby asks over her shoulder. “Didn’t Illya tell you I love to dance?”

Illya makes a strangled noise in the back of his throat and Napoleon takes a tentative step towards them, the need to offer comfort overriding anything else.

“You okay, Peril?” He asks, laying a gentle hand on Illya’s arm.

Illya nods silently but relaxes a little when Gaby leans up and presses a kiss to his cheek.

“Sorry,” Illya says to neither of them specifically.

“It’s all right,” Gaby replies. “You didn’t do anything wrong.”

Illya’s eyes flit up to Napoleon’s for a second and he flushes red again. “But you...he…”

“I’m not blind, Illyusha. Napoleon is a very handsome man, as well as being a decent spy. I can see that you want him and I don’t blame you.”

She grins at Napoleon. “Don’t let it go to your head.”

Napoleon grins back and holds up his hands in surrender.

Illya still looks confused and Napoleon has to admit he’s sort of getting to that point himself, having no idea where Gaby is going with this.

“I’m a big girl,” she says to Illya. “And I know how to share. Kiss him, if you want to.”

Illya’s eyes widen as Gaby steps to one side and sweeps her arm in Napoleon’s direction.

“Are you sure you’re okay with this?” Napoleon asks. He may be willing to sleep with just about anyone regardless of gender but he’s not the sort to steal someone away. Well, not often anyway.

“I said I know how to share. I’m not giving him to you as a gift.”

Illya is looking at him curiously now, waiting to see what he’ll do. Well, Napoleon has never abided by the whole three is a crowd thing and if Gaby is okay with it then he’s definitely not going to say no.

He leans forward, slowly, tentatively, making sure Illya knows he doesn’t have to do anything he doesn’t want to do.

He sees Illya make his decision, resolution blazing in his eyes before he closes the distance between them and covers Napoleon’s mouth with his own.

It’s not the best kiss Napoleon has ever had but there’s no doubting the passion behind it. Illya kisses as though it might be his last, his whole body trembling with desire and raw need.

When they finally pull away Illya is panting slightly, his eyes dark with lust and in that moment Napoleon knows that this kiss won’t be their last.

“There,” Gaby says pressing a kiss to Illya’s cheek. “That’s better isn’t it? We’re all on the same page now. Dinner?”

Napoleon glances down at his watch. “A few more minutes until it’s ready.”

“Good. Then we have time for a dance.”

She takes Napoleon’s hand in one of hers, and takes Illya’s with the other, tugging them both into the middle of the kitchen.

“That’s a nice look for you by the way,” she says gesturing at Napoleon’s apron.

He shrugs. “This happens to be a very expensive suit. Shall we?”

He starts moving in time to the music and Gaby joins him, the two of them side by side as they sway. A moment later Napoleon feels a heavy weight on his shoulder as Illya wraps an arm around him, the other curled around Gaby’s waist. He’s making a genuine attempt to dance this time and although still slightly awkward he looks more relaxed than Napoleon has ever seen him before.

“Back with us?”

Illya looks down at Gaby, then down at him. “Yes. I think now we are all on same page like Gaby says.”

And then the miraculous happens. Illya Kuryakin smiles. A genuine, happy smile that causes something deep in Napoleon’s chest to warm.

Despite everything the three of them have been through already this, right here, is where the true adventure begins. And Napoleon can hardly wait.