It began when Napoleon was first brought into the CIA. He had to undergo rigorous training to be a spy, and he learned how to assume a fake identity, to handle a gun and other spy gear, and he also had to learn how to seduce and bed a mark, regardless of their gender.
Back then they had him practice on fellow agents. Women were straightforward, and to Napoleon, not that different from the encounters that he would have with a friendly stranger at the bar (if you ignore the fact that they were being watched through a two way mirror), but his sessions with men were more... complicated.
The CIA had strict requirements of its agents, and it was a given that such perversions of being sexually attracted to men could immediately cause an agent to be stripped of their title. So on one hand, Napoleon had to have intercourse with his fellow male colleagues for "training purposes", but unlike his sessions with women, he had to do so in such a way that the CIA would not think that he was a homosexual pervert.
When he was loaned out to U.N.C.L.E., he surely didn't expect a repeat of that experience, but apparently, Sanders had strict requirements for agents even if they were loaned out, and these requirements even extended to their partners, even if they had nothing to do with the CIA.
Waverly greeted Napoleon and Illya with an apologetic look as they stepped into this office, back at U.N.C.L.E. headquarters.
"Ah, I'm terribly sorry about asking to meet the both of you on such short notice, but apparently Solo, your handler back at the CIA has been requesting, that you go through another round of training, this time with your new partner - Illya."
At the mention of his name, Illya's eyes widened. "What has CIA training got to do with me?"
"Anyone paired up with Napoleon has to go through this with him, I'm afraid. The agents from CIA were very insistent on it.
And Solo, I know that you don't like having to go through this, and believe me when I say that I wish you didn't have to do this. "
If it were just himself, Napoleon would have shouldered the task without complaint. This was something that he got used to. He knew the ins and outs of the procedure and he knew what he had to do to appear acceptable to the CIA people that was supervising him throughout the task.
But this was different, he had to do this with Illya, who had still not caught on as to what type of "training" would have to take place.
And of course that's when Illya spoke up.
"What kind of American training is this? Surely it can't be harder than KGB."
Waverly frowned, pausing to consider the men already waiting in the next room, who are probably growing more impatient by the minute, and decides that it would be unwise to inform the Russian about the exact nature of the task itself.
"Actually, since the gentlemen from the CIA are already waiting for the two of you, why don't you go in and ask them? Again, apologies that you have to do this at all, but I'll be doing my best to reduce the number of sessions that the CIA has demanded of you two."
Sure enough, two men in suits were already waiting for them in the other room.
One of them stood up to shake Napoleon's hand..
"You must be Solo. I'm Robert, I believe we've not met before. Of course, Sanders won't be here to oversee you, as this is meant to be a standard training and as of now there are a lot of other things that require his attention. This is my partner, Scott."
"You have already been through this training once, Solo. So it's nothing that you've not seen before. We felt that we needed to conduct this exercise to ensure that your partner also has the requisite skillsets in seduction missions, in case there are targets who have different sorts of tastes."
"In fact, maybe you could show your Russian friend a few tricks about how it is supposed to go, since you seem to have gotten quite a lot of experience in the field."
As they continue talking to Solo, two things become increasingly clear to Illya: One, that they treat Solo with as much respect that Sanders does, that is not say, not very much. Underneath their words in their briefing are jabs at Solo's sexual habits during missions, and they could not care less about the stellar results that he and Illya produced as a team at U.N.C.L.E. Two, by extension they show Illya just as little respect, talking about him as if he weren't even in the room.
Then one of them makes a joke about 'sleeping with the enemy', and that's what breaks Solo out of his calm and cool facade.
"Now Robert, explain this to me again. The whole reason we are here is because I have been assigned a new partner and you want to ensure that his skillset is up to par, but then you talk about him as if he is still the enemy. So which one is it? I suggest that you either treat my partner with the amount of respect that he deserves, or there shall be no need for this exercise."
That gets them to shut up for a moment, sputtering in indignation.
"Excuse me for a moment, we won't be long."
Solo promptly leads Illya out the door to conduct a quick briefing of his own.
"Cowboy, am I hearing this right? They want to watch us -- fuck?"
Napoleon had to suppress a roll of his eyes, as if Illya just said that the sky was blue that day.
"Yes, Peril. And they take a lot of perverse pleasure in doing so. Seems like schadenfreude isn't just for the Nazis."
"This is inefficient. A waste of time."
"You could say that again."
"I have gone through similar training with KGB before. But only with women."
"And what if your mark was a man?"
"That's what the women are for. If the target still shows no sign of interest then he's probably a пидора́с."
"A homosexual. Then we have good reason to blackmail him. Is more efficient than seduction."
Napoleon concedes the point, and it's not like he was particularly in agreement with the CIA's way of doing things anyway.
"This is no hardship to me, Cowboy. Even though KGB training was only with women, I did not say that it was easy. This will be like walk in park."
"Alright then." Napoleon says dubiously, surprised at Illya's sudden co-operativeness, and together they go back into the room to receive their instructions for the first "exercise".