Illya sat on the floor, his back against the wall. He glanced up at the barred window. The light that had crawled across the floor with the passing hours was almost gone now. He pulled his coat closed, and shivered slightly. It was getting cold, and Napoleon still hadn't returned.
They'd been sent out to investigate the rumors of a THRUSH satrapy somewhere in the forest surrounding Peabody, Massachusetts. The country road they had taken had ended and, with the thickening fog creeping in, both had felt it safer to go the rest of the way on foot. Walking down an overgrown trail, they suddenly found themselves surrounded by four heavily armed men; the THRUSH agents they had been sent to find had found them. They'd half-pushed, half dragged him and his partner to a cinder block building. Once inside, they had thrown Illya into this cell, while taking Napoleon…well, he didn't know where they had taken Napoleon.
It was odd. All the way over the men had kept demanding to know how they had gotten there. The road wasn't that far away; surely they could have found their way to in on their own.
Illya got up and walked over to the window. He grabbed hold of the bars and pulled himself up, trying to see beyond the grassy area that circled the building. The fog had reached the building and hid most of their surrounding area, but he knew that a thick forest was just out of sight. He wasn't sure, but he thought the road was somewhere off to the right, maybe half a mile away. He hoped he was right. If they managed to escape from here, it would be good to be going in the right direction.
He dropped down as he heard the the sound of the door's bolt being pulled. The door opened only far enough for Napoleon to be thrown into the cell. He skidded across the room, slamming against the far wall. Illya ran over and knelt next to his friend.
"Are you all right?" he asked, as he patted Napoleon down, searching for any injury.
Napoleon sat up and ran his hand through his hair. "I'm fine. A little less well for wear, but still in one piece." He yelped when one of Illya's hands touched his ribs. "Well, maybe in a couple of pieces."
"How many ribs?"
"Just a couple. I think."
Illya shook his head as he help his friend to his feet.
Napoleon looked around. "Great accommodations."
"Yes, at least four stars." Illya frowned. "What happened to your coat?"
Napoleon grimaced. "It did not fare as well as I did. Which is unfortunate, considering how cold it is in here," he added, as he gingerly wrapped his arms around himself.
"What did they want to know?"
"That's the strangest part. All they kept asking me was how to get out of here."
"Shouldn't they have already known that? After all, they found their way in."
"You would have thought so, wouldn't you?" Napoleon blew on his hands. "They were almost in a panic, as if getting out of here was the only thing on their mind. As if my being an UNCLE agent was incidental."
"Was it just the four of them?"
"As far as I can tell, but there must have been quite a few more people here at one time. This building," Napoleon made a circling motion, "is cover for the rest of it. Downstairs, there's an entire office complex…plus a nice interrogation room. Everyone else must have already left, leaving the four men to close up shop."
"But for some reason they've forgotten the way out? How is that possible? And if they can't figure it out, how are we going to?"
"We can worry about that once we're out of here."
"And how are we going to do that?"
Napoleon shrugged and then winced. "They'll probably be coming for you soon. We'll make a break for it then."
They didn't have long to wait. There was the sound of footsteps, and then the bolt being drawn. "Speak of the devil. Let's sit down. I'll pretend to be worse off than I am."
Illya nodded and sat on the floor. Napoleon sat next to him. He took his friend into his arms.
The door opened and two of their captors walked in. One of them pointed at Illya. "Your turn."
"There's something wrong with my partner. He's losing consciousness."
The two men approached. "He looks okay to me," one of them remarked.
"I tell you he's not well," Illya said, as Napoleon let out a convincing groan.
"He'll be fine. Besides, he's not going anywhere," the second man responded as both made a grab for Illya.
Instead of pulling Illya up, the two men found themselves down on the floor. Knocked unconscious, they sprawled on the concrete while they were searched, but no weapons were found.
Illya shook his head. "This is very strange. Why wouldn't they be armed?"
"I don't know, but I'm not counting on their friends not being. Come on," Napoleon grabbed Illya's arm as he led him from the room. "Let's get the hell out of here."
"Where the hell are we?" Napoleon asked, as he took in their surroundings. "I thought you said the car was in this direction."
"I could have sworn that it was. I made sure to watch in what direction they took us. The road should have been to the right. And we've stayed to the right." Illya looked back. "But wherever we are, we need to keep moving. I can hear them coming."
Napoleon took a deep breath and nodded. "There are lots of little towns around here. We're bound to run into one of them."
They started running again, though it was more of a jog. They were both coming to the end of their endurance. Their breathing was ragged, their legs felt like rubber. Napoleon tripped, and went down on his hands and knees.
Illya grabbed his arm and pulled him up. "Come on, we need to keep moving."
Napoleon was on one knee when he stopped. He peered into the mist. "What's that over there?"
Illya looked over. There seemed to be a bridge just a little ahead. They rushed over but hesitated as they reached the structure.
"I know," Napoleon looked behind them, "but it's the first evidence of civilization we've seen. Besides, maybe they won't feel like following us onto it."
"Would you, if you didn't have to?" Napoleon asked.
"I see your point." Illya took a tentative step onto the bridge. The wood creaked beneath his foot. Throwing caution to the wind, he walked out onto the structure. It swayed beneath him, even more as his partner followed him onto it.
They moved cautiously, but as quickly as they felt was safe. The fog had thickened even more, and the only sound was the sluggish water moving under them. The thought of falling into that water kept them going.
Where did this lead to? Illya felt that they had been on the bridge forever, that they would never come to its end. But just as the thought occurred, they finally did. Illya stopped so suddenly that Napoleon plowed into him.
"What the hell is that?" Napoleon said in a whisper.
"I would say that it's a castle."
Napoleon punched him in the arm. "Very funny, but what's a castle doing in Massachusetts?"
"There are many of your wealthy who feel that, if they are going to have the money of the aristocracy of the Middle Ages, that they might as well live like them, too."
Napoleon shuddered. "Yeah, but that doesn't look like something I'd want to live in."
"Nor I, but it's our only change of escape. Come," Illya scanned the skies. "It looks like rain. If for no other reasons, I'd prefer to stay dry."
Napoleon gave it another look before following Illya up the road to the castle.
"Shall we knock?" Illya asked as they stood in front of the gatehouse.
Napoleon smiled and gave the gate a push. It silently opened. "Apparently, the guards are on their break."
The inner courtyard was large; the walk up to the castle door looked to be as long as the pathway from the bridge. There was a small house off to the left, but it was on the other side of a low wall, and there didn't seem to be a way down to it.
After exploring the courtyard, they ended up at the castle door; it opened as easily as the one to the gatehouse had. It should have been dark inside, but enough light filtered in from the windows so that a dim glow illuminated the interior.
They gave each other a look before walking inside. The entryway was huge, a circular space with doorways leading out in three directions. But there was no furniture, and dust lay at least an inch thick on the floor.
"Guess no one's home," Napoleon said.
"It looks like it, but I think it best that we keep on our guard. I thought I saw another structure, something like a tower, off to the right when we came up the pathway. It was further down, so it might be a way out of here. I'll check it out."
"Shouldn't we both check it out?"
"No, someone should stay here in case our friends show up."
Napoleon grimaced. "What am I supposed to do? Throw insults?"
"I see your point. Perhaps you should explore one of the other rooms. Just don't go far."
"Yes, Mother." Napoleon touched Illya on the shoulder. "Be careful. I don't like the feel of this place."
Illya nodded, and then walked through the doorway along the right wall.
Napoleon walked into one of the room off to the side. He couldn't help but shiver, the place gave him the creeps. He felt as if he'd walked into a horror movie. The lighting in this room was even worse than in the entry, and any noise echoed ominously.
What is it you wish?"
Napoleon spun around. Where had that come from? "Who's there?" He moved to the center of the room, slowly turning in place. "Illya?"
What is it you wish?
What did he wish? About what? Unbidden, his most fervent wish rose to the surface of his mind. He shook his head, as if do dislodge the thought. "Show yourself!" he shouted as he backed up against a wall.
He heard footsteps off to his right. He sighed in relief. It was Illya. "What happened? Couldn't you find a way out?"
Illya didn't answer, only walked slowly toward him.
"Illya?" Napoleon's eyes narrowed as his partner approached him. "What's wrong?"
Illya shook his head and smiled. When he stood in front of Napoleon, he stopped and grabbed him by his shirt. He shoved him against the wall.
"Hey!" Napoleon managed to get out before his mouth was being plundered by Illya's. Illya's tongue pushed in deep, exploring Napoleon's mouth. Napoleon could hear the sound of Illya's belt being undone. The next thing Napoleon knew, his hand was grabbed and shoved inside of Illya's trousers.
Hot, thick and hot and wanting. That's what Napoleon thought the cock in his hand felt like. Illya's hand covered his and together they pumped Illya's organ. Illya used his other hand to push one side of Napoleon's shirt down, baring his shoulder. He lowered his head and began sucking at the exposed skin.
Illya shoved his body against his partner's twice, three times, and then came, his come covering Napoleon's hand. At the same time, Napoleon felt Illya bite his shoulder, hard. He cried out, his breath coming in ragged gasps.
It was odd, Napoleon thought, how weak he felt, how he was unable to push Illya away. He heard his zipper being undone and his pants and underwear shoved down. Then his partner was kneeling in front of him. He took Napoleon's cock into his mouth.
Napoleon groaned. Anything else seemed beyond him. He could only hang onto Illya
shoulders as his partner sucked him off.
How long had he wanted this? He didn't know, maybe from the first moment he'd laid eyes on Illya. What he did know is that what he was feeling was better than anything he had ever imagined. He looked down, in awe of seeing his cock in Illya's mouth, in seeing Illya's cheeks hollow with each long suck of Napoleon's cock. He didn't know how much more he could take. His cock swelled; he was almost there. And then he felt Illya's finger push up into his rectum and he came with a shout.
Illya continued to suck, until Napoleon thought he would be sucked dry. Eventually, it became too much, and he gently pushed Illya away. He slid down the wall until he was sitting on the floor, the concrete cold on his ass.
Illya's smile was the last thing he saw before he was pulled down into darkness.
"Did you find anything?"
Illya shook his head in disgust. "If there's another way out of here, I couldn't find it."
"You know what's odd? The THRUSH agents haven't followed us. They've had plenty of time to catch up."
"You would have seen them if they'd gone through the entryway, wouldn't you?"
Napoleon felt himself blush. There was no way that he was going to tell Illya that he'd fallen asleep. "Maybe they're waiting outside. Why go through the trouble of searching for us in here if they can block the only way out?"
"We can't stay here forever, but without guns we don't stand a chance against them."
"Well, I don't know about you, but I'd be willing to take my chances outside," Napoleon said. No matter how great his dream, the place still gave him the creeps.
They both stared up at the stairs as the sound of shots rang our, followed by screams of such terror it made the hairs on Napoleon's neck stand up.
"That's it, we're out of here."
They ran outside. To the east, the first glow of morning was peeking over the tree line. They hurried out through the gatehouse and down the path to the bridge. They quickly started across.
Was it just his imagination, Napoleon wondered, or did the bridge seem less substantial? His eyes widened in horror. It was as if the light was making the bridge fade away. "Run faster!" he shouted as he quickened his own pace.
He was nearing the end of his endurance by the time they'd crossed the bridge. Illya had beaten him across and was doubled over, his hands on his knees, his breath echoing Napoleon's.
Napoleon didn't care if a dozen THRUSH agents showed up. Anything would be better than staying in the castle would have been. He glanced over and his breath caught in his throat.
"What?" Illya's head was down as he tried to get his breath back.
Illya straightened. He followed Napoleon's nod toward the bridge.
Except there was no bridge.
"I don't understand."
"I don't either," Napoleon said as he turned Illya away from the water's edge. "I just want to get the hell out of here."
They headed back to where they thought the THRUSH satrapy was. When they found the building it was deserted. They did a quick search downstairs and located their guns, after which they left the building and took the path to the right. As Illya had thought, they found the car where they had left it, sitting at the end of the road. They got in, Illya taking the driver's seat. He turned it around and took the country road back to the main highway.
The traffic was light, though they did have to wait for the few cars to pass. Illya looked both ways. It was easy to see, the sun having completely rose. He frowned and touched his partner's shirt. "You're bleeding."
"What?" Napoleon looked over at his shoulder. Blood stained his shirt. In the shape of a bite.
A look of dawning understanding lit Illya's face. "I thought I was dreaming."
3 Days Later
They owed this little respite to Mr. Waverly, who had giving them a week off. Granted, by the time they reported to him they had looked a bit ragged around the edges. Illya had pulled out onto the highway and raced away as if the hounds of hell were chasing them. Even with the knowledge of being together singing through their veins, they couldn't help but glancing back every few minutes, wanting to make sure that they had left the castle far behind. They hadn't even stopped to sleep. They took turns driving, not stopping until they had reached New York and reported to Waverly.
Not that sleep had been the first thing on their mind. Theirs had been a frantic coming together before, exhausted, sleep had pulled them under. But that had been three days ago, and they had since made up for lost time.
Who would have ever thought that they would end up here? Illya hadn't. He'd fervently wished it, dreamed of it, but that that dream would come in the middle of a nightmare was an ironic twist that Illya had not seen coming.
"What are you thinking?" Napoleon asked.
"How much I am enjoying this." He turned his head to look up at Napoleon. "And how much time we have wasted."
Napoleon nodded in agreement, and then took a sip of brandy before placing his glass on the table. "That placed scared the hell out of me, but I'm glad we went in. But I do wonder what happened to the THRUSH agents. Was it them, the screams we heard?"
"I wouldn't be surprised. Who knows what they would have wished for. And what happens if what you wish for contradicts what someone else wishes for? We were very lucky that we both wished for the same thing."
"But why there? I looked into it. I couldn't find anything about a castle, much less the bridge."
"I'm not surprised." Illya sat up and finished off his drink. He turned to Napoleon. "Don't you know what other town is around there?"
"No. I'm almost afraid to ask."
Illya looked into the fire. He wasn't sure if he should be afraid to tell his partner or not. But a secret shared was a burdened halved, and, besides, he could never keep anything away from Napoleon. "Salem. Salem, Massachusetts is about two miles away. And, as close as I can tell, the castle sat about halfway between it and the THRUSH base. Running the way we were, we could have easily reached it."
"Maybe, but there's no such things as witches."
"Perhaps not, but the souls of those men and women put to death couldn't have rested easily."
"Are you telling me you believe in ghosts?" Napoleon asked.
Illya shrugged. "Perhaps not ghosts in the ordinary sense of the word. And the castle could well have been sidhe."
Napoleon only raised his eyebrows in question.
"A sidhe is an Otherworld dwelling, a way for the spirits to move from one world to the other. And given what day it was, surely it would be foolish to discount what we saw."
"Samhain, when the walls of the world grow thin and the dead can walk among us." Illya grinned at the look of confusion on Napoleon's face. "Halloween."