Green Eyed Monster
Call and Response Slash/Fic
As a rule, I'm not a jealous man. I've known my share of jealous men, but happily I have yet to be bitten by the green eyed monster. I place it right up there with having avoided the holy state of matrimony. It's a fine thing, but for someone else, not Napoleon Solo.
Some folks say it's over confidence and certainly confidence is not something that I lack. In this line of work, you can't afford to be anything less than absolutely sure of yourself. The minute that flags, you might as well throw yourself into the path of a bullet, you are that sure of being dead.
I think that a combination of the two has always been the reason that I am so popular with the women I date. They want a man who is an alpha male, who will take charge, makes the decisions, and be the wearer of the pants in the relationship. They want all that and a protector, all wrapped up in a good looking package—and that's not even talking about sex. That's another thing entirely.
Which is what makes my situation sort of ironic, for you see, the person who has captured my heart is also a confident and capable alpha male. Me, Napoleon Solo, the great seducer of women, brought to his knees by a scrawny, almost always rumpled and never compromising blond. Of course, he doesn't know that and I intend to keep it that way. Illya must never know, for that truly would be the end of our partnership, so I spurn my heart's desire for the sake of saving it. Any time spent with Illya is better than having him discover my dirty little secret and race home like some sort of vestal virgin.
Not that he's a virgin... at least I don't think he is. I know he dates and he's too... well... self satisfied, at times to not have had the pleasure the night before. For the most part though, he just moves through the world, paying attention to those things that need attention paid them, and ignoring everything else.
Like the hordes of women who would gladly go to his bed... like his partner who wouldn't mind a turn or two himself.
However, it isn't meant to be, so I continue on my path of seducing any woman who is willing, as well as a few who aren't at first. I hide behind my confidence and my easy smile. That's always worked for me... until it didn't.
We were working in the lab. THRUSH had developed this odd bit of mind controlling grass—not marijuana, actual grass. Nice, but a little hard to control. Anyhow, we were sort of just hanging around and I was watching Illya watch the scientists and he happened to glance up and smile, this warm, unassuming smile and I grinned back.
That's when I realized he wasn't smiling at me. Frank Delgrade had entered and was standing just to my left. The dark haired man had transferred in from another office, London, I think. He was on fire, rising through the ranks nearly as quickly as I had. He was sharp as a tack, fast on his feet and an instant favorite.
"Just came to return that book you loaned me." He was talking to Illya, not me. "When you weren't in your office, the secretary told me you were down here. It really was a fascinating read."
"You didn't have to make a trip just to tell me that," Illya gently chastised him, but I could tell he was pleased. He glanced over at me as if to say, See, some people think what I read is interesting. You never borrowed a book from me. That part was true. Our reading choices were miles apart.
Frank rested a hand on Illya's arm. "I was wondering if I could take you up on that other..." He glanced over at me and smiled, a little nastily I thought, me being his boss and all. He turned Illya slightly away from me to speak to him quietly.
Suddenly, I felt the need to get out of the room, like I was some gas soaked rag and the room a giant match. I mumbled something, but no one was paying the least bit of attention to me.
Once in the corridor, I regained a bit of my faculties and shook my head slowly. What was I thinking? Illya was my partner, we shared everything, except sex, and I'd have willingly done that as well. So he loaned someone a book? Big deal.
I walked back to our shared office and glanced over at Illya's desk. It was stacked with folders and paperwork, just as mine was, but in the middle of it all sat a package. I was instantly concerned until I read the card.
Thanks for the loan. I remember you said that you missed Chipmunk Crisps...
"Chipmunk Crisps. What the hell are Chipmunk Crisps?"
"They are salt and vinegar flavored potato chips." Illya's familiar voice made me spin. I recognized that look in his eyes. He was not happy. "And if you want to crawl all over someone's desk, I would suggest your own."
"Sorry, I just needed to be... sure." It sounded lame, even to me. He made a noise, a sort of snort. I glanced at my watch. It was nearly quitting time. "Let me make it up to you. How about dinner? My treat."
Usually my perpetually hungry partner jumps at this sort of offer, but instead I saw him frown and slowly shake his head.
"Not tonight, Napoleon. I already have plans."
"Oh, anyone I know?" I waggled my eyebrows and I swear Illya blushed.
Then the door swished open and Frank stuck his head in. "You about ready to go?"
"I am." Illya picked up the box and the book and was out the door before I could say a word, leaving me behind in his dust.
This was wrong! I felt betrayed, I felt hurt. I felt... oh my God, I felt jealous. My face was hot and I realized my fists were clenched. So what if Illya was going to dinner with a fellow agent. So what if that agent was younger and European? And pretty good looking?
I sank into my chair and took a deep calming breath. "Christ, Solo, you've got it bad and that ain't good." For a long time I just sat there, slowly working my way through the alphabet of my conquests. By the time I got to 'H,' my mood had improved slightly. By the time I got to 'M,' I was my usual confident self again. Even so, I went all the way to the end, just to be sure.
Then I got up and left. There was nothing here to keep me any longer and a good night's sleep would help.
It didn't. I tossed and turned and came in the next morning, feeling full of sawdust and about as cheerful as a dried up mud puddle.
Illya, on the other hand came in whistling, his step jaunty.
Of course, why shouldn't he be happy? He had a good night. I could tell that just by how he carried himself. A man can always tell, you see, when another man had... well, you know. It's just something we can't hide, not that we usually try to. Again, that old alpha male thing.
"Do you mind?" I snapped and immediately wanted to slap myself. It wasn't Illya's fault that I'd had a bad night.
"Sorry, I didn't mean to offend." If anyone else had said that, it would sound cocky, but not Illya. He was sorry and he hadn't meant to purposefully annoy me.
"No, my fault really. I'm just in a bad mood." I held up a handful of folders. "Annual review time."
He smiled and held out a hand to me. "Let's get started then."
By lunch, I was back in a good, albeit groggy mood.
"You up for some lunch?" Illya asked, tossing a folder onto the precariously balanced pile.
"More than." At that moment, the phone rang and I picked it up. "Solo."
The next thing I knew I was on a plane, a solo mission to Amsterdam.
It should have been a milk run, but they never are. The simple assignments are always the ones that go bad and usually at the worst time and in the worst possible way. I remember picking the lock of my cell door with a bobby pin I'd lifted from an obliging local beauty and wondering when Illya was going to show up. He didn't. I remember faking my way out of a beating and wondering when Illya would be along to blow the place sky high and rescue me. He never showed. In the end, it was just me, only me—Solo solo.
I watched the satrap go up with a soul-satisfying blast and felt the plans, scratchy against my skin. A complete success, so why wasn't I happy about it?
As I got closer to New York, the low ache in my gut got worse. It started as a misgiving, grew to anxiety and finally to all out anger. I was risking my life for the world while Illya was being seduced quite literally right out from under my nose. Delgrade had had weeks to move in and establish the relationship with Illya that I hadn't.
And I now knew I wasn't going to take it. This wasn't happening on my watch! Not without me doing something about it.
The ride from the airport to headquarters dragged on forever, but at last I was pushing my way through the familiar door of Del Floria's and saw his familiar wave as I walked back to the dressing room.
It felt like heaven to see those ugly gray walls and shiny white floor. I thought about the sewer I'd crawled through, the night I spent in a ditch, counting the minutes until sunrise would bring the feeling back into my fingers.
Each step made the clenching inside my stomach that much more intense, each step bringing me closer to my office.
I walked in and Illya looked up, his glasses on the tip of his nose, his eyes smeared with a lack of sleep.
It was funny, it took him a minute to recognize me and then he started to stand, but I was already there and wrapping my hands around his head and planting the mother of all kisses on him. I didn't stop until I was ready, even though I could feel his hands on my arms, fingers digging into my forearms.
I finally pulled back and looked him straight in the eye. "There!"
Illya's mouth moved for a moment, as if I'd sucked all his ability to talk out of him, so I exploited that moment with another kiss. This time I am pleased to admit Illya wasn't quite the passive passenger. What can I say, two alpha males, each one vying for a chance to take control.
"Tell me he makes you feel like that," I whispered.
"Again, who?" Blue eyes blinked with confusion and I could feel my anger trickling away.
He swallowed and slowly shook his head. "No idea. I just got in from Argentina this morning. Start one little coup and they tend to lose their sense of humor."
I let him go and he took a step back. "That's where you were?"
"Took me forever to get out of the country and I swear I walked the entire length of Chile."
"It's shorter if you go the other way." I suggested. Suddenly I wasn't so sure I'd not made a big mistake. "Illya... I..."
He took his glasses off and tucked them away. "I was going to suggest going out to dinner, but I am thinking in might be a much better choice." He grinned and that was that. I knew my stake was set and no one was taking anything from me, not without a fight. As I said before, I'm not a jealous man.
This was written in response by GeorgiaMagnolia—
Something had been bothering my partner for weeks and it was making me crazy. If he didn't soon figure out how to talk about whatever it was, I was thinking of taking some action. Any action at all to keep him from the brooding watchfulness and the hovering and being constantly underfoot. He even followed me to the labs, which is not normally a place he felt in his element. By the time Delgrade found us there, I was ready to manufacture a mission just to give Napoleon a target for whatever his issue was.
I had offered to give Delgrade some help brushing up on his Japanese. He told me it was for a transfer he was hoping to get, I think it was to flirt with the new transfer in Accounting. Either way, it was certainly someone he was hoping to get to before Napoleon. My partner had yet to meet the new accountant, but then he hadn't needed to defend the expenditure for a new suit to anyone in that department lately. I was certain that as soon as he had a chance to meet the new and admittedly lovely Mika, he would be looking for a reason to grace Accounting with his presence, new suit or not.
It was obvious that Napoleon was unhappy that I had plans that night, but equally obvious, at least to me, that he still hadn't found a way around whatever it was that was creating this antsy restlessness in him. If I didn't know better, I would think he had finally found a woman he couldn't talk into his bed. I thought for just a moment about asking him along on the outing that Delgrade had planned, I was showing him around to a few jazz clubs. But the whole point was that we were taking Mika and her friend out and about and there was no way I was setting Napoleon loose on Delgrade's first overture to his possible love. So Napoleon would just have to find his own entertainment, not usually a problem for him. Perhaps the next day would bring some resolution for him.
Of course it didn't. We were sent to opposite ends of the planet to save the innocent and defend truth and right and I ended up days later dragging into our office barely awake. I wanted to finish my report and go home for a well deserved rest. Days I spent walking in hostile terrain, both biologically hostile and filled with enemy agents, waiting for my smooth talking partner to show up in a jeep or come dropping in from a plane and land in front of me by parachute, still impeccably dressed without a hair out of place. A few times I even hallucinated that it happened, but it didn't. I got myself out of South America and back to New York to find that Napoleon was only just expected back from his own mission. I could only hope that he had resolved whatever his problem was and would return to me the confident partner I was used to working with. Maybe if we had a quiet dinner out he would finally tell me what was troubling him so much.
I was just getting to the part in my report where the first hallucination had occurred, remembering my conviction that Napoleon was approaching me from the river in a tuxedo and asking me why I wasn't ready for dinner. I decided not to include this in my report and only typed that there were some curious side-effects from the latest THRUSH knock-out gas when Napoleon actually did walk through the door of our office. He was haggard and bedraggled and less than his usual polished perfection and I was never so glad to see him. I'd already had time to glance at his preliminary report from the field, relayed by communicator and typed up, waiting on his desk. His had not been the easy retrieval it was designed to be, but then, they rarely are.
I couldn't think of a thing to say, in fact I wondered if my sudden relief at seeing him whole and returned to me was some lingering effect of my own run in with THRUSH and their chemicals. I started to stand and Napoleon was across the room and I was so shocked at his next move that I didn't even react. But when he did it again, I kissed him back with every bit of the joy I felt and decided it wasn't lack of sleep or residual drug effects. No, this was just what was supposed to be, and maybe the resolution of his recent restless silence. I could feel the grin on my face growing as my partner relaxed at last, and I was suddenly looking forward to the next few days off, perhaps with my partner underfoot.