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Hold Your Own

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Illya was on his way the moment he received a request for help from Napoleon. He knew that Napoleon was vulnerable; his left arm, in a sling after an escape gone awry, was practically useless to him until it healed. THRUSH knew this all too well, however; they were determined to get Napoleon out of their way, and this was their best chance at doing it, when he was alone and injured.

Illya cursed the circumstances that had led to Napoleon being alone; separate missions had started the problem, and Napoleon quickly had realized that he was in over his head. But with Illya tied up on his mission, there was no one else as properly coordinated with Napoleon to offer the assistance he needed in a timely manner. Illya could only hear everything unfold over channel D in his absence.

Napoleon had been captured—but he had managed to get himself out of the predicament, albeit not without injury to his arm. THRUSH were acting more like scavengers, eager to finish him off.

Illya finally was able to make his way to his partner, hoping that he could reach him in time.

What he saw upon his arrival awed him. Napoleon was outnumbered, one against four, with only one functional arm, and yet, he was holding his own—throwing punches fueled by adrenaline and downing one of the assailants without even looking directly at him, just by administering a well-aimed back kick.

Illya snapped himself out of the reverie and, with three tranquilizer darts, brought the remaining three THRUSHies down. Napoleon breathed a sigh of relief, and looked to Illya with a smile.

“Thanks, Tovarisch. I knew I could count on you.”

“That well may be, but I do believe you would have emerged victorious from this encounter even without my assistance. That being said… I am pleased to have been able to assist you. What is the situation with your arm?”

“I was hoping you could tell me,” Napoleon said. “I had to make the sling myself and hope that it wasn’t broken. Making the sling was hard enough—trying to make a splint would’ve been impossible.”

“Let me see,” Illya said.

Napoleon didn’t flinch as Illya gently removed his arm from the sling to examine it; the only sign that he was in any pain at all was the sudden tension of the arm beneath Illya’s fingers as he worked.

Illya exhaled after a few moments and looked back up at him.

“Sprained wrist,” he diagnosed. “Not broken.”

Napoleon exhaled in relief; so he would only be out of commission a shorter amount of time than he’d expected.

He’d take it.

Illya was now calling for more backup to bring in the knocked-out THRUSHies; he would let the other agents handle them. He would focus his attentions on getting his partner back into commission—a promise unspoken, and one that Napoleon understood without needing to hear it spoken.

Even if he could have taken out the other THRUSHies on his own, he was pleased not to have to.