"It"

Shay Sheridan


"How do you get it to do that?" Illya asked, reloading his gun.

"'It' to do what?" Napoleon responded absently, his eyes locked on the entrance to the warehouse, his hands busy cutting away the ropes binding his feet.

"It. That bit, your hair." Illya slammed the Special back together, peered around the corner, and turned an appraising glance on his partner. "You know, that bit in front. The lock." He gestured with the hand not holding the gun.

"What about it?" Napoleon asked, grunting as the rope gave way. He closed the knife and stuck it in his pocket. "Give me a hand up."

Illya complied, looping a strong arm under Napoleon's to help the injured agent to stand. "Can you remain upright?"

"I never have a problem staying erect," Napoleon answered with a smirk.

"Yes, well no doubt the secretarial pool will be relieved to hear that," Illya murmured. "Can you walk?"

"Of course." Napoleon stretched out his shoulders, feeling them unkink. He tested his feet -- a little tingly, but functional. He'd have a serious charley horse tomorrow, he reckoned, but he'd had worse before. He ran his hand through his hair.

Illya stared at him. "See? That's what I was talking about."

"What?"

"Your hair. That bit in front. How does it know to do that?"

"I have no idea what you're talking about."

Illya sighed in frustration. "You've been strung up upside down for an hour, with the sprinkler system pouring down on you."

"You don't have to tell me. This suit is ruined."

"Exactly!" Illya said, making a gesture that clearly stated the same thing. "Your suit is ruined, your face is dirty, you've lost a shoe, and yet that little piece of hair continues to fall back into place perfectly. It's not normal. It's uncanny. It's. . .possibly some sort of other-worldly influence, no?"

"No. Don't go all gypsy on me." Footsteps fell in the distance. "Are we or are we not getting out of here?"

"In a minute. First tell me how you do that."

Napoleon recognized the tone. Stubborn-unto-death Kuryakin, unless he missed his guess. "You're being ridiculous."

"Am I?" Illya bristled.

"Yes. I think we should go, Illya."

Illya set his jaw. "Fine. First tell me the secret. I want to know. I must know."

Napoleon sighed and shook his head. Illya still stared at him, intense blue eyes fixed on the American's forelock. "You've lost it, you know. You are absolutely, certifiably nuts, tovarishch."

"Tell me."

"What's with you? You're the one with the hair everyone wants to touch."

"Not everyone. There are people who want to touch your hair, Napoleon."

Napoleon narrowed his eyes. "It's just hair. It's not like, well, it's not yellow silk like someone's I know." He stopped. Jesus. Where did that come from? "Why this sudden obsession?"

"Not so sudden," Illya said, but his belligerent tone was gone and his eyes dropped away. "Anyway, you're right. We should go. THRUSH may come back at any time." He took one last look around the corner. "Looks clear for the moment. Come on." His hand curled around Napoleon's biceps.

"Okay. On three."

Illya nodded. "One--"

"Two," Napoleon said.

Illya opened his mouth, then closed it again. Suddenly Napoleon felt Illya's hand release his arm, and for the briefest of moments fingers carded through the lock of dark hair that fell over his forehead. And then the hand was on his arm again, as if it had never left.

"Three," Illya said, smiling, and they ran.


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