Written for today’s short affair prompt at Section VII.
Summary: In which Napoleon’s captor tries to convince him that he’s been abandoned. Napoleon knows better.
Cross-posted to AO3.
Napoleon weakly exhaled as the sweat coursed down his face. He kept his eyes closed; looking up at the harsh, orange heating lamps that THRUSH was using on him as one of their many unpleasant questioning devices was more than he could take. As it was, every inch of him felt as though he was burning; heat exhaustion had already sunk in, and it was only a matter of time before his conditioned worsened.
“You can make things easier for yourself, Solo, and just talk,” his interrogator snapped at him.
Napoleon ignored the THRUSH man; he still had one hope left—his partner who was, he hoped, inside the facility and working on a way to free him.
The interrogator sighed in frustration.
“Solo, I am a man of my word; if you tell me what I wish to know, you will be free to go. That other U.N.C.L.E. agent accepted my offer.”
Napoleon’s eyes snapped open.
“Wh-what…?” he gasped, between breaths.
“I had questioned that other U.N.C.L.E. agent on the premises—a blond fellow, Eastern European, by the sound of his accent. I told him that I had no quarrel with him and only needed you for questioning—and that, if he left you with me, I would not harm him. He agreed, and I let him go; I expect he is back in the nearest town by now.”
Napoleon glared at the interrogator.
“You’re lying,” he insisted, through gritted teeth.
“Oh, I see, were you banking on that fellow to free you?” the interrogator asked, in what sounded like sympathy. “That is not to be; he has chosen to save his own skin.”
“I understand your shock and frustration, Solo; betrayal is always a bitter pill to swallow. But if you cooperate with me, I will let you go, and you will be free to seek your vengeance on that traitor--”
Napoleon’s voice echoed in the room; he shut his eyes again, this time, trying to remain calm.
“Your help isn’t coming, Solo; that’s all there is to it,” the interrogator said. “Now do talk before the heat makes you ill!”
The heating lamps were lowered even closer to him; Napoleon exhaled in discomfort, keeping his mind focused on one thing—
He hasn’t left. He hasn’t abandoned me. Illya is still here. He’s still here.
The searing heat was beginning to get too much; he was already feeling extremely lightheaded, and his thoughts began to get all jumbled.
“Last chance, Solo,” the interrogator said. “Either you talk now, or I am not responsible for what happens--”
There was the sound of a gunshot, and the interrogator collapsed, tranquilized. Napoleon tried to focus, and he managed a weak smile as he discerned a blond figure working the control panel. A moment later, the heating lamps shut off and raised, and the blond now stood over him, gently bring a cool hand to his face.
“Napoleon!” he whispered, urgently, as he undid his restraints.
“…I knew it…” the American murmured, smugly, not moving despite being freed.
“Oh, Napoleon…” Illya whispered. The concern in his voice was unmistakable, and Napoleon soon found his head being raised, gently, and a canteen of water put to his lips.
Napoleon greedily drank the water, not even realizing until that moment just how thirsty he had been.
Illya now helped him sit up and soon wrapped a sheet around him.
“I have your clothes; they were left just outside the room, but there isn’t time for you to put them on now. They are sure to send reinforcements; we must leave before they get here. Can you walk?”
“I think so…” Napoleon began, trying to stand. His knees buckled under him, but Illya caught him before he fell. “No, actually…”
“I will carry you,” Illya insisted, and he moved to transfer Napoleon across his shoulders.
But Napoleon saw the flash of pain across Illya’s face as he did so, and something in his brain clicked.
“Your arms are hurting,” he observed.
“It is nothing,” Illya insisted.
“They had you chained from the ceiling, didn’t they?” Napoleon deduced. A wave of anger surged through him now; it wasn’t enough for them to have restrained Illya in such a painful manner—they had to try to make it seem as though he had abandoned him, too?
Napoleon cursed under his breath, glad that he hadn’t bought the lies for even a moment.
“I shall be fine, Napoleon,” Illya insisted. “And now I must get you to Medical to ensure that you will be, as well.”
“I know I will be,” Napoleon said, firmly. “Illya… thank you.”
Illya knew there was more to those words than just gratitude for the rescue; the Russian gave a nod, and the two of them left the satrap together, to rest and prepare to fight again another day.