A cold night, wounded, and a stain glass window. Thanks to Spikegirl58 for Beta'ing this so quickly
He couldn’t walk any further; his legs were heavy with exhaustion. The bullets that had entered his body had done their damage. He fell for what he knew would be the last time as he was out of energy.
Giving a little laugh, he knew that Napoleon would be angry with him. Illya had told his partner that this was a milk run and nothing could happen so he shouldn't worry. But it proved to be a trap by the KGB to capture him and find out what he knew about the United States push to evict them from America. He chuckled before coughing uncontrollably. It was actually Napoleon who had been in on the planning as the CIA didn’t trust him. Only he could have both CIA and KBG distrust him so.
The KGB had interrogated him for days both physically and mentally before he was able to escape. He had almost made it to the border when they had caught up to him and he was shot. Still able to get away he now laid dying in the dark, cold, snow-covered field close to an old church.
Although he tried to keep his eyes open, they were drooping with fatigue and the darkness of the night encouraging him to sleep.
He mumbled, “Do not be angry, my friend. I should have listened to you and had you watch my back. But I am glad you are not here to die with me. Even you would laugh at the irony that I, who do not believe in God, should die at his threshold.”
“Well, Illya Nichovetch, we finally meet,” the vision before him said.
“You are not real,” Illya stated weakly.
“I am real, my unbelieving Russian. Is your loss of faith preventing you from believing in miracles?”
“I am just imaging this. The loss of blood is making me visualize and hear things that are not there.”
“You are wrong, my son. You called God’s name, and I came to answer your call of faith.”
“I did not call for God and profess no faith. Go away I wish to die in peace.”
“If you so ready to give up your human life, isn’t your salvation worth thinking about?”
“There is no salvation, just life and death.”
“You do not believe you can achieve salvation?”
“If there is a God and salvation, I have turned my back on him so he should not be concerned about me.”
“He who is careless about prayer is careless about his salvation; he who quits prayer renounces his salvation.” The saint quoted from the book.
“You are suggesting that I pray and all will be well. There is only my gun and my partner that could make my situation better, neither are here.”
“Will you not try or are you afraid that perhaps you are wrong and that prayer would help in this situation?”
“I am not afraid of something that is not real.”
“Then it should not matter. I challenge you to pray for help from your partner.”
“If I do as you ask, will you leave me die in silence?”
The image laughed, “You are a stubborn one, Illya Nichovetch but yes, if you pray with conviction I will leave you be.”
Illya thought back to what his babushka had taught him. And as he slowly said a prayer, he slipped into unconsciousness.
Napoleon had entered Russia undetected when he had received word his partner had escaped and was on the run. After following Kuryakin’s and his pursuers’ trail, he had arrived at the ambush point in time to take out the men firing at Illya, but not before the Russian had been hit and had taken off again. Since then Solo had been following the trail of blood Illya was leaving. Napoleon knew that if he didn’t catch up to his partner soon, it would be too late.
There in the dark, he saw the small church. Someone was standing in the doorway motioning him to come in. However when he reached the door, no one was there. As he opened the door, he saw a flash of blond hair lying on a pew. Hurrying toward it, he began to make out his partner.
As he reached the pew, Illya opened his eyes. “You are here?”
Setting his gun down Napoleon began to check over his partner. “Where would you expect me to be? I told you that you needed me to watch your back.”
“Did you see him?”
“Him who?” Napoleon asked standing quickly after picking up his gun once more.
“Ignatius Brianchaninov. He was outside with me. Did you bring me in here?”
“I found you in here alone, my friend.”
“Did the church lights lead you to me?”
“There were no lights in the church, although I thought someone was beckoning me to come in. I think the loss of blood has made you see things.”
“But I saw the lights and talked to Ignatius,”
“No one else is here.”
“Are you in danger from others following my trail?” Fear for Napoleon’s safety now became foremost in his thoughts.
“They’re not following you any longer. I’ve taken care of it permanently. We are only a few miles from the border where our agents are waiting for us. Do you think you can make it with my help?”
Rising with Napoleon‘s help and Illya leaning heavily on him, they left the church heading to the border and safety.
Illya looked back once and saw the saint standing in the doorway waving goodbye.
“When we get home, I think I would like to go to church with you and your aunt next time you go.”
Napoleon glanced at his partner, bleeding, weak, yet somehow he seemed at peace within himself. “You’re always welcome, but what made you decide this.”
“Just a small prayer and a stain glass window.”
Knowing he wouldn’t get any more from his partner, Napoleon took a stronger hold on Illya and headed toward the border.