Illya sat next to his partner, hand on his shoulder, to let him know he was there. Napoleon was twisting and turning in the throes of a nightmare.
The last assignment had almost been successful but at the last minute although bullets had done minimum damage and Napoleon now laid in medical unconscious. It was the infectious bacteria that tipped them that was racing though Napoleon body. His temperature was over 102, and doctors were unable to bring it down.
Feeling helpless, the most Illya could do was hope his friend knew he was there. Talking softly about the good times they had shared, he tried to make a difference. He replaced the warm rag once more with a fresh one trying to make Napoleon more comfortable.
Napoleon had been in a long dark tunnel as the explosion went off. Rocks fell all around him. burying him. Illya had been on the other side of the building and this time he knew that the Russian wouldn’t make it even though he heard his partner’s voice calling out to him. As he felt the last breath leave his body, he suddenly found himself in the middle of the ocean.
Unsure how he gotten there, he felt the cold water pulling him down. No one and nothing was around him. Dying in water had always been a fear and now it was going to happen. The coldness had actually made him numb and soon he felt his last breath escaping. He was descending into the darkness.
The darkness was replaced by a car tumbled down the hill in which he was being thrown from side to side. He saw Illya ejected from the car before it slammed into the rocks. A voice was calling his name. He recognized it as Illya’s so knew his friend and partner had survived. Smiling he was sure that this was the end as the blood poured out of his wounds, but Illya was safe.
Out of the blackness, he had found himself now waiting for the Thrush agent to reach Waverly’s office. He was standing behind the glass, gun drawn, ready to do his job and to fulfill his responsibility by keeping Waverly safe. The man came through the door aiming and firing. The bullets hit the glass that was protecting him. Instead of stopping the bullets, he felt each one slam into his chest as the glass shattered. Pain traveled across his body from each strike.
He was drifting and battling the pain trying to follow the voice he heard calling to him. The voice was his lifeline back to the world he knew. This time he was determine that the outcome would be different, he wanted to live and return to protect his partner’s back.
Then he felt the rocks being moved off him until he could see a head of blond hair above him and he could breathe again. A familiar hand grabbed his shirt pulling him toward the surface out of the blackness of the ocean and into the air. The voice was getting closer and clearer while blue eyes reassured him as he was removed from the car. Finally, the glass was holding, and behind the shooter was his partner protecting him.
Illya saw Napoleon began to relax; he skin under his hand began to cool, his fever broken. He continued to talk about things they were planning to do.
“And I won the bet this time, you own me dinner and I am holding you to it,” Illya’s voice was no longer a shadow but loud and clear.
“I think I won the bet,” Napoleon managed to whisper.
Illya glanced at his partner and noticed brown eyes looking back at him. nbsp;
“So you decided to come back to the land of the living to argue with me,” Illya allowed the concern he had been feeling to lessen. “And what makes you think you won the bet?”
“Senior agent by two years. I knew you would be here. Thank you.” Napoleon said as he fell back into an easy sleep.
“Always partner. When you are well enough, we will celebrate my friend.” Illya made sure the blankets covering his partner were straightened before leaning back in the chair and allowing his body to be claimed by sleep.