Actions

Work Header

Vitality

Work Text:

For such a big man, Illya Kuryakin wasn't often completely still. At least not anywhere that Napoleon got the opportunity to see it, or to admire the very substantial nature of him that now sprawled naked in Napoleon's bed. Lying on his stomach, the discarded sheets just covering his legs across muscular thighs, the Russian was a thing of beauty though he'd doubtless hate to hear himself ever described that way.

Not that he was flawless, that wasn't the point, and would also have been a practical impossibility in their shared line of work. They both had scars, large and small, and Illya was no exception to that rule. For once, though, Napoleon had been able to persuade him to have sex in the middle of the day - a piece of persuasion of which he was particularly proud - and there was enough light coming through the pulled-down blinds to see more than he usually was allowed.

Rolling onto his side, Napoleon moved across the bed till he was lying parallel with Illya's side but not touching. That mark there, a messy blur of scar tissue low on Illya's side, was undoubtledly an exit wound - he'd seen, on more than one occasion, the corresponding roughly star-shaped mark where the bullet had entered. Those marks were distinctive, to anyone who did what they did, or anyone who'd ever been involved in a war. He rested the tips of his fingers lightly on the mark, an unspoken request for permission to explore; Illya said nothing, but he also didn't tense on the contact, and Napoleon took that as agreement to the plan.

That through-and-through had been a lucky shot, though Illya probably hadn't thought so at the time - a couple of inches higher and it would have clipped a lung, a little further into the torso and there were all sorts of organs it could have hit. He wouldn't ask how it had happened, that was the rule they'd established between themselves the very first time around. There were to be no questions about the past, no enquiries about past relationships (positive or otherwise) and definitely no asking about what had happened to leave a visible mark.

That didn't stop Napoleon's imagination from working, of course, and he was certain the reverse was also true of Illya. There would have been substantial bloodloss, Napoleon knew, just from the size of the scar and its location. Had Illya been alone, forced to find shelter like an injured wolf, or had he at least had people on whom he could rely for help? He probably knew the answer to that, and it would have been some combination of the two. Illya had survived, though, and that was the most important thing to remember, to keep on remembering despite evidence to other people's efforts to change that fact.

There were other marks on Illya's back, ones that weren't so easily explained by injuries in the line of duty, though it was still a possibility. There, at the base of his spine, were a collection of circular marks that could only be cigarette burns. Those could, of course, have been evidence of some kind of torture - Napoleon knew for himself just how excruciating that kind of pain could be, regardless of the size of the mark it left behind, if handled by someone who knew what they were doing. A master of the craft, like Gaby's late and unmourned Uncle Rudi had been; if only he was an isolated expert in the art of causing pain.

He suspected something darker where these particular marks were concerned, the thought enough to dry his mouth and make him want to move on, hastily. He didn't brush his fingertips across these scars, the way he'd done with the bullet wound, somehow it didn't seem right. He wasn't sure what was different, they were both signs that Illya had survived, that he had gone through those experiences and become the man Napoleon wanted in his bed, but there was something more private about them.

Maybe, one day, Illya would tell him of his own accord - he could take inventory of what had happened to him, telling the tale of every scar - and maybe one day pigs would fly.

"Are you asleep, Peril?" Napoleon asked, pressing himself a little closer and letting his leg curl over, knee pressing Illya's legs down into the bed a little. His response was a grunt, which was pretty much what he'd expected, and for now he'd be happy with that. He rested his head on Illya's shoulderblade, felt the thrum of his hearbeat, low and steady. Illya was warm beneath him, alive, and that was enough for now, for both of them.