The Fifth Season Affair
Mr. Waverly looked very pleased.
"So, Mr. Kuryakin, when you catch him, the first thing you'll look for is the formula. You are the only person who can recognize and memorize it. That's why I am sending you; all the rest can then be done by our Cologne office. Mr. Solo will be—what do you call it?—watching your back. You will brief him on the, ah, circumstances in Germany at this time of the year."
"But, sir, I have been to Germany before. Only last October did we—"
"Yes, Mr. Solo, I know. Still, Mr. Kuryakin will be able to explain to you a lot of things you are not familiar with." And cryptically he added, "And for once I will not have to worry about your expense report."
The flight was uneventful. Illya slept through most of it. Napoleon half-heartedly flirted with the stewardess, but he was really trying to figure out what Mr. Waverly had meant when he had mentioned the special circumstances in Germany.
It was early Monday morning when they landed in Cologne. Illya was quite refreshed from sleeping on the plane, but Napoleon looked a little crumpled. They booked a room in a hotel near the airport. When they had made sure there were no listening devices, Illya said, "You get some rest now. I will go shopping for some props that are vital for our mission."
"Yes, you do that," Napoleon replied. "I bet you know exactly what we need."
Illya shot him a scathing look but left without another word.
Napoleon took a shower, then, feeling a lot better, lay down to sleep. It was about two hours until Illya returned, carrying several bulky shopping bags. To Napoleon's questioning look he only said, "Go back to sleep, Napoleon. I'll be with you in fifteen minutes." Then he went into the bathroom, taking all his bags with him.
"You'd better lock up!" Napoleon said to the closed bathroom door. "Or else I might come in to find out what you're doing in there."
"Curiosity killed the cat, Napoleon!" Illya's muffled voice came back.
It would be futile to ask Illya what he was up to right now, Napoleon knew, so he just reclined and went back to a comfortable doze. About half an hour later, the bathroom door opened and Illya came out. Napoleon's eyes widened and his jaw nearly dropped to the floor. He could not believe what he was seeing. There stood Illya in a shiny blue mini dress, long silver-colored gloves, black fishnet stockings and rather high-heeled black boots that went over his knees. To top it all off, he wore a metallic-looking blue wig, overlong black eyelashes that shaded his blue eyes and silver lipstick.
For once Napoleon was at a loss for words. All he could do was stare at this mysterious...being in front of him, trying to regain his composure.
It was still Illya—and it wasn't. It was still a man—and it wasn't. But what was most fascinating about this silver-blue creature was it—he? she?—looked extremely sexy.
"I take it you are stunned with admiration," Illya speculated.
"Well I wouldn't want you to go out alone after dark in this outfit," Napoleon managed to answer. "Is there a chance you'll explain to me what this is all about?"
"Have you ever heard of the fifth season, Napoleon? That is what they call it over here. The carnival season in February is a big event in Germany and we're right in the middle of it. All along the Rhine River, from Cologne down to the Swiss border, ninety percent of the population go completely nuts during these few days. The other ten percent flee the area and nobody misses them. It is all about dressing up in costumes just like this, drinking a lot and being happy. There is a religious background, too, but whether that is important to them, I'm not so sure."
"And would you care to tell me what we have to do with all this?" Napoleon inquired. "Of course. According to our information, Dr. Schmidt, who we are looking for, is a member of one of the carnival clubs in Cologne. Today is Monday before Lent—Rose Monday, as it is called in this country—and there will be a huge parade. And Dr. Schmidt will be on one of the floats. All we have to do is spot him and, well, take him. And in order to be inconspicuous, I bought us some costumes."
Napoleon did not look convinced at all. "You intend to be inconspicuous in that!"
"Just trust me, Napoleon. And now it is time to get you dressed as well."
"I'm sorry but that was all they had left in your size."
Napoleon was fuming at the prospect of wearing a genuine Bavarian dirndl dress, complete with apron and knee-long laced underpants. The red pigtail wig did nothing to comfort him either. But Illya was adamant about it and he was in charge of this mission. So he put on the offending garments and held still while Illya applied large amounts of rouge and lipstick. He also got a pair of those long black eyelashes.
They were ready to go. Napoleon took a quick look in the mirror and immediately wished he hadn't. He looked absolutely ridiculous with his red wig, red cheeks and bright red lips, not to mention his clothing.
The lobby was deserted as it was getting close to 11.00 am and the parade was going to start at exactly 11 minutes past 11. Obviously all the hotel residents had gone to see it, a fact for which Napoleon was more than grateful. He really wasn't looking forward to being seen in this silly disguise. Illya, on the other hand, didn't seem to be bothered about appearing in public as a transsexual Barbarella.
Illya hailed one of the taxi cabs that were waiting opposite the hotel. Napoleon half-expected to be denied transportation as soon as the driver got a closer look at them, but then he saw that the man was dressed like a Venetian gondolier. Shaking his head, he got in.
The closer they got to the town centre, the more people they saw, all dressed in colourful costumes. And when they emerged near the cathedral, there were thousands. It was just like Illya had said. Everybody seemed to have gone mad. People were singing and swaying and drinking while waiting for the parade.
Napoleon was kind of relieved to find out that there were not only clowns with red noses and sailors with striped t-shirts but quite a number of male Bavarian girls like himself. "But you're the prettiest of them all!" Illya, following his gaze, reassured him. And, strangely, Napoleon took a little pride in that statement.
To Napoleon's amazement, there were even male nuns. When they passed a group of seven or eight of them he apparently examined them with a little too much interest, because he was suddenly grabbed by two of the "sisters," kissed on the mouth and then offered a glass of champagne.
"Oh, ah, thank you very much but it's too early in the day," he managed to stammer before turning back to his partner, who could hardly bite back his grin.
"I am sorry, Napoleon. Maybe I should have warned you," Illya said. "It is also a custom that during carnival you may kiss whomever you want without them feeling offended." Napoleon contemplated this piece of information. "Is that so?" he said thoughtfully, glancing at Illya's silver lips.
His partner looked at him warily from under heavy eyelashes, then turned his head towards the music that could now be heard from a distance. "Ah, Napoleon, I think the parade is coming!"
This carnival isn't over by any means, my little Russian beauty, thought Napoleon. I can wait!
The parade was indeed coming their way now. There were marching bands followed by colorful floats, dance groups, more floats, more bands. The one that was passing by at the moment consisted of about thirty-five people, all dressed in blue costumes, wearing blue wigs not unlike Illya's.
Napoleon nudged his friend, pointed them out to him and, his lips close to Illya's ear, said loudly, "Shouldn't you be marching with your family there, playing the French horn?"
His partner sounded rather indignant when he replied, "How many times have I told you it's the English horn? And I don't usually play songs about the water of the Rhine River being wine and me being a fish in it!"
"No, it would seem you'd prefer the Volga River filled with vodka," Napoleon deadpanned.
Many of the floats dealt with political issues Napoleon knew next to nothing about. He gathered, though, that people in this country felt taxes were too high, because he saw several paper mach figures depicting the Minister of Finance doing nasty things to their "subjects." One was actually stripping others naked. It was fascinating all the same.
The people on the floats were constantly throwing small objects at the spectators. Napoleon couldn't see what they were. Then one of them hit him on the head and, when he looked down, there was a candy bar lying on the ground. His partner looked at him disapprovingly and shouted above the noise, "Actually, Napoleon, you're supposed to catch those. Maybe you could try to do that next time? I could use a little snack."
Before Napoleon could answer, a cannon fired confetti at them, immersing them in a swirling multi-colored snowstorm. Napoleon was beginning to doubt that his partner would be able to spot Dr. Schmidt in this organized chaos.
But some fifteen minutes later, after Illya had happily munched away at three candy bars Napoleon had caught for him, his friend suddenly nudged him and pointed at the next float coming along. "There he is!"
It was easy to climb the few steps onto the platform as the parade was moving very slowly.
There were about twenty men and women up there, but nobody seemed to notice the agents. They were all busy drinking, waving and throwing sweets. Illya approached Dr. Schmidt from behind and produced a pair of handcuffs from his left boot. Then they led the surprised and thus unresisting scientist down the steps and away from the parade into a somewhat quiet side street.
Illya rolled his left glove down a few inches and took out his communicator. Then he called the Cologne U.N.C.L.E. office and asked to be picked up.
Napoleon felt a little uneasy again at the thought of fellow agents seeing him in his dirndl dress but then a car arrived and a vampire and another male nun got out. They introduced themselves as U.N.C.L.E. agents Michael Heinrich and Frank Hoffmann. Napoleon actually knew Frank, the nun, from his last mission in Germany but understandably hadn't recognized him at first sight.
"Say," Frank said admiringly. "You've got great costumes!"
When they reached Cologne's rather small U.N.C.L.E. office, agents Kuryakin and Heinrich disappeared to search and question Dr. Schmidt. Napoleon and Frank went to the cafeteria and talked about their joint assignment several months ago. It felt quite relaxing to talk to someone who was wearing a disguise nearly as silly as his own, so Napoleon thought it safe to ask Frank about this carnival thing.
Hoffmann explained as best as he could but basically didn't come up with anything Illya hadn't said before.
Then all of a sudden the German agent said, "Hey, Napoleon, the best way to explore the Cologne carnival is to take part in it. I have two tickets for a carnival dance tonight. I can't go because, once this formula is found, Michael and I will have to take it to Berlin. Headquarters there is anxiously waiting for it. Why don't you and your partner go? I bet you'll like it. Or do you have to leave early in the morning?"
"No, our flight doesn't leave until tomorrow evening," Napoleon answered. "But I really wouldn't want to deprive you of your pleasure."
"You aren't," Frank assured him. "As I said, I can't go and everybody else I asked already has other plans for tonight. A word of warning, though: it is called The Pink Dance and is organized by the large gay and lesbian community in Cologne. I hope you don't mind that. A lot of straight people attend it, too."
"Ah, no, of course not," Napoleon answered. "Thank you very much for your generous offer."
The formula was later found in Dr. Schmidt's house just out of Cologne and identified by Illya. The rest would be done by the German U.N.C.L.E. office. That meant Napoleon and Illya had the evening and the next day off. At first Illya had been reluctant about going to the dance, but after Napoleon had pointed out how very nice it was of their colleague to let them have his tickets and promised to buy dinner beforehand, he finally agreed.
The name of the dance was fitting indeed. From the glittering garlands adorning the ballroom walls to the costumes of many of the visitors, the whole place was an orgy of pink.
They had a nice little table not too close to the dance floor. Napoleon had persuaded Illya to have champagne instead of his usual vodka, and they had just started their second bottle.
After a look at the happy crowd around him and spotting several more of his kind, Napoleon had finally made his peace with his costume. He had even found out that there were quite a number of comely girls who didn't mind dancing with a Bavarian maid at all.
As usual, Illya refused to dance but he seemed to be having fun just the same, listening to the music and drinking champagne. Napoleon couldn't help thinking that his friend also seemed to be enjoying the admiring—and desiring—looks he received from girls and boys alike.
Napoleon was waltzing with a blonde mermaid when he saw out of the corner of his eye that Illya was not sitting at the table anymore. He frowned but then realized that his partner had probably just gone to the bathroom. On crossing the dance floor, however, he noticed Illya standing near the exit, surrounded by three rather handsome, dark-haired young men who were apparently chatting him up.
His eyes narrowed. He didn't like this at all. And when one of those pretty boys actually laid his hand loosely on Illya's shoulder, Napoleon felt himself starting to seethe. Of course he wasn't jealous or anything like that. He just didn't like anybody else to touch his partner. He would have to do something about this annoying situation. Fortunately the music stopped at that moment. Napoleon hardly took the time to thank the mermaid for the dance and more or less rushed her back to her table. Then, as nonchalantly as possible, he sauntered back to where his friend was standing and gave the three suitors a disparaging look.
"You will excuse us," he said and turned towards Illya. "You know what? I just happened to remember that custom you told me about!" With that he pulled his unsuspecting partner close and kissed him on the mouth. Now that should take care of the problem!
It did indeed. The pretty boys muttered excuses and retreated to the bar.
Illya looked at Napoleon with a barely perceptible smile. "Interesting that you would remember that just now, isn't it?" he said.
"Well," Napoleon answered innocently, "my memory decided to pick this moment. Did I interrupt anything?"
His partner snorted softly. "You could have asked beforehand, couldn't you? One might think you were jealous."
"Of course not!" Napoleon said hastily. "I'm sorry. Let's go back to the table and I'll make up for it by getting you another glass of champagne."
"Come to think of it, you could," Illya said thoughtfully. "But I don't think a glass of champagne will be enough."
It was hot in the ballroom, Napoleon thought. And it was getting hotter by the minute. He hadn't paid attention before, but now he saw lots of couples around him kissing and smooching and, to be honest, he wanted to do the same.
They had reached their table. Napoleon sat down and poured two more glasses of champagne, all the while watching Illya who had remained standing. His partner's lips were inviting, the silver lipstick having disappeared somewhere through dinner, leaving red, pouting lips. But he couldn't really...could he?
The decision was taken away from him. Illya suddenly straddled him and made himself comfortable in his lap.
And then those lips came closer and closer. Napoleon raised his head in anticipation. The first touch was electric. Illya's lips were so soft and yet so demanding. And when his tongue entered Napoleon's mouth, he couldn't help but moan loudly,
He hadn't expected Illya to be so good at kissing but didn't mind at all. Illya's tongue was stroking his own and his friend was making little noises of pleasure. Napoleon felt himself getting very hard. And he could feel the same thing happening to Illya.
They were so close to each other and so hot and sweaty. Napoleon thought he was going to come immediately. And, judging from Illya's panting, it was mutual. He managed to pull back and whisper, "Let's go back to the hotel!"
The ride in the taxi was a challenge, to say the least. They were both painfully hard and couldn't wait to get to their hotel room.
When the door closed behind them, they looked at each other, kind of embarrassed. But then Napoleon started to peel off his Bavarian identity. First he removed the red wig, tossing it into a corner of the room, revealing sweaty dark hair. Then he stepped out of the silly dress.
Soon he was standing there naked, the thick black lashes being the only item left of his disguise.
Illya watched Napoleon undressing, seemingly indifferent apart from his increased breathing rate. And now he came closer.
Napoleon suddenly felt a little uneasy. He retreated to the bed, trying to get away from his determined friend.
Illya obviously sensed Napoleon's apprehension because he stopped just short of the bed. "Napoleon, are you afraid of me?" he inquired in a husky voice.
Napoleon found that he couldn't speak. He just shook his head.
Illya gripped the seam of his dress and pulled it over his head to reveal that he was wearing nothing underneath except his erection and the garters. Napoleon was panting as he watched. Then Illya licked two fingers of his right hand and brought them down on his penis to moisten it. He stroked up and down once.
Napoleon closed his eyes. He didn't have time to open them again before Illya was on top of him, straddling his hips, boots and fishnet stockings still on.
It was so erotic. He knew he had wanted this since he had first seen Illya in his costume in the morning.
When his friend, his new lover, bent down to kiss him again, their erections touched. It felt like liquid fire spreading through his whole body, a feeling he had never experienced before. Napoleon had to concentrate really hard this time not to come at once.
Illya sat up again and wrapped his strong hands around both their cocks, squeezing them gently once then holding still. Napoleon knew there was no more fighting it now. He looked up pleadingly.
Illya watched him with heavy-lidded eyes, lips parted, sweat dripping down his face from under the blue wig. He was breathing rapidly. And then those luscious lips formed the word, "Hold."
Napoleon gave a strangled moan, but Illya was merciless. He smiled down on his lover and whispered breathlessly, "Not yet. Hold it just a little longer."
"Yes, you can, Napoleon."
He let out a desperate sob and finally Illya seemed to take pity on him. He squeezed their cocks again and started to move his hands up and down in a steady rhythm.
Napoleon was so incredibly aroused that it only took seconds until he cried out and came. And came. And came.
He felt Illya's body going rigid, he heard a wild cry not unlike his own and then his lover's semen was splashing all over them, too.
Illya collapsed on top of him and then rolled off, still panting.
When they could breathe normally again, Napoleon sighed deeply and contentedly. "I wish it could be fifth season all the time," he said.
Illya smiled at him. "It can be. If you want it to." He looked at Napoleon expectantly.
Napoleon just pulled him close and started kissing him tenderly and thoroughly.
It was all the answer Illya needed.