Prompt: An oldie but a good, Illya and Napoleon are handcuffed together and have to cooperate to escape.
When Waverly had said that he thought Napoleon and Illya
should get closer, Napoleon thought, this surely wasn’t what he’d meant.
Because the two of them were currently chained,
back-to-back, to a rather heavy bomb casing, and sitting in a medium-sized boat
that was slowly but surely sinking into the black water around it.
Dupond, the rather short Frenchman who had put them in this
predicament, was currently skipping away on a high-powered speed boat, toward a huge shape that sat low on the water, silhouetted by the rising moon.
Napoleon had pulled out his lockpick as soon as Dupond had finished
his dramatic exit monologue and sped away, and was currently working on the
padlock that held them fast to the small and imposing black box sitting on the
deck of the boat.
It was taking a little bit longer than he’d hoped.
“Hurry up, Cowboy,” Illya growled. He could feel the man’s
bass timbre where their backs were pressed against each other.
“You know,” Napoleon said through gritted teeth, “I feel as
if you just don’t appreciate how difficult this really is.”
They were racing against time. The boat was sinking, yes,
but the two of them were also currently strapped to a not insignificant amount of
explosive power… and the timer was ticking.
Most of Dupond’s explosives stockpile had been destroyed a
week ago, when Gaby had infiltrated his warehouses in North Africa. But of
course, for a person with Dupond’s particular skill set, it wasn’t hard to whip
up a small but effective explosive with just enough power to blow two grown men
to bits if they were sitting right on top of it.
Which, of course, they were.
“Yes, I know, would you please
shut up!” He snapped. Just a little bit more…
There was a small click,
and Napoleon sighed in relief. The chain fell off of their wrists, and the two
of them stood up.
But Napoleon didn’t even have time to gloat before Illya was
wrapping his arms around Napoleon’s waist.
“What,” Napoleon said, just as Illya lifted him bodily off
the deck and threw them both into the air.
The bomb exploded behind them, hot enough that Napoleon was
sure his hair was at least a little bit singed. The force of the explosion
propelled them forward, and they collided with the water hard enough to knock
the breath out of both of them.
Napoleon spluttered, struggling to keep himself above the
water; his left hand was caught on something. Illya appeared to be struggling
as well. He pulled whatever it was out of the water.
They both froze.
“Oh,” Napoleon said.
Illya nodded. “I had forgotten about that.”
Before they had both been chained to the bomb, Dupond’s
thugs had handcuffed them together. It was understandable. If there was one
thing they had learned on this mission, it was that Dupond was a very thorough
As though on cue, the sound of yelling echoed across the
water. Napoleon and Illya both looked around, past the inferno that was their
boat. Far in the distance, they could see the speedboat that contained said
Frenchman swinging around in a wide arc.
It was coming back towards them.
They both looked at each other.
“Time to go,” Illya said.
The both tried to start swimming at the same time, but ended
up choking on water, each one struggling for control.
“You are going to drown us! Just follow my lead!” Illya
coughed, sending water into Napoleon’s face.
“You don’t exactly have a perfect track record when it comes
to swimming, you know,” Napoleon shot back, wiping his eyes and pulling on the
“Stop!” Illya thundered. “We do not have time for this! We
have to match our swimming if we want to finish this mission! Stop being so stubborn!”
Napoleon was silent for a moment. Finally, he nodded. “Let’s
It took a few tries, but they eventually settled into a
fast-paced freestyle stroke, headed for the dock, which was blessedly close.
Dupond had only kicked the vessel out far enough to be over deep water, deep
enough for drowning. It meant that they were making steady headway and would
get there soon; but the speedboat was throttling toward them at full speed, and
they didn’t have much of a buffer between them and mission failure.
By the time they were coming up under the dock, Napoleon
desperately wanted to look over his shoulder to check the distance, but he kept
his eyes in front of him.
Napoleon and Illya reached up simultaneously and grabbed the
edge of the dock, pulling themselves up and falling awkwardly as they tried to
stand in opposite directions.
Illya grunted in frustration. Napoleon agreed. This was
starting to wear on his nerves.
“Can you get these things off, please!” Illya ordered, eyes
flicking over to the speedboat, which was still hurtling towards them. Napoleon
had just been reaching for his pick. But there was a problem.
“Ah,” he said, patting his sleeves, his pockets, his belt-
He’d lost the pick.
Illya’s eyes flicked to Napoleon, then back to the speedboat.
“Cowboy,” he said warningly.
“I know, I know, I, uh…” He ran his right hand through his
hair, under his collar, even smoothed his tongue along his teeth, searching for
the pick and simultaneously praying that he had a second one hidden somewhere.
“I appear to have lost the pick.”
Illya’s eyes snapped back to him, and his glare was scorching.
“What? You lost it? How could you lose it?!”
“Well, I don’t know, Peril, a boat blew up behind me and I kind of lost
tracks of things,” he bit back, patting down his trousers.
Illya let out a disgusted snort, eyes flicking back to the
boat while Napoleon continued to search himself. Calculating.
“We do not have time for this.” He stated.
“For gods sake, if you’d just give me a moment-“
But before Napoleon could finish his sentence, his left
wrist was swallowed up by Illya’s massive right hand, and his arm was almost
jerked out of its socket as Illya started running.
It took a few strides to right his balance, but eventually
the two of them were sprinting into the shadows of a warehouse. Napoleon had to
move his legs almost twice as fast as Illya; the Russian’s strides ate up
distance like it was nothing.
Suddenly, in the middle of stacked wooden boxes, Illya came to
an abrupt halt, jerking Napoleon’s arm again.
“Do you think you could be a little bit gentler, Peril? Not all of us are made of Iron,” He huffed as he
bent over, trying to catch his breath.
“Sorry,” Illya said shortly. “Where is our car?”
“West,” Napoleon said, gesturing to the left with their
joined hands. “Small white sport.”
Illya nodded. “The alarm hasn’t gone off yet,” He said gruffly.
“We have to move quickly.”
“Right,” Napoleon said, and straightened up. “Shall we?”
The two took off running. There was an incline in every
direction in front of them. The entire complex was on a slope toward the docks,
where the land turned into sand which turned into sea, and every way out
besides that was uphill from their current location.
In short, running was a bitch; even Illya was struggling,
and the man could move like a freight train.
“Time,” The Russian heaved. His own watch was currently wrapped around Gaby’s wrist, a habit they had gotten into whenever one went on mission without the other.
Napoleon checked his watch.
“Seven minutes, forty three seconds,” He responded.
“How close are we?”
Napoleon tugged his handcuffed hand, slowing Illya down. “Very
close,” He huffed, coming to a stop beside a tall chain link fence that ran the
distance between the warehouses to their right and left. “I believe… It’s just
on the other side of this fence.”
They considered the obstacle. “You wouldn’t happen to have
that laser with you, would you?” Napoleon joked, and Illya smirked.
“We could go around,” the Russian suggested.
The sound of yelling suddenly echoed off the walls around
them. They turned around. At the end of the workway, two darkly clad guards
were shouting at them. One of them ran off, and the other drew his gun and aimed,
shouting orders at them.
“No time,” Napoleon said. “Up.”
Illya grunted, and the two men threw themselves against the
fence, clambering up and over the top, handcuffed arms moving in sync.
“Jump,” Illya said, and they did, both landing hard on the
other side. Gunshots echoed, and the two men ducked around the corner quickly.
“Car?” Illya demanded.
“There,” Napoleon pointed across the wide main drag, at a
squat vehicle that fit Waverly’s description. They quickly moved across, aware
of distant yelling and the sound of feet hitting asphalt. Napoleon tried the
door; it squeaked open at his touch.
“You know,” he said, “you’d think that for two of the best
spies in the world, they’d be able to spare something a little more… stylish.”
Illya huffed. “Just get in, Cowboy.”
Napoleon did as he was asked, clambering in through the
drivers seat and over the stick, his handcuffed arm stretched awkwardly behind
him. He flopped over, hunkering down in the passenger seat and frantically
searching the glove compartment for the keys as Illya tried to squeeze his bulk
into the driver’s side. Napoleon stuck the keys in the ignition and turned; the
engine sputtered to life, and both of the men gave a sigh of relief. At least
something was going right.
But the sound of a bullet shattering through their rear window was
enough to bring both of them back to the razor’s edge, and then Illya was
gunning the engine, turning the car into the narrow alley between two
warehouses. They screeched back out onto the wide main road for a moment and
saw that the main gate was closing. But that was fine; they had a different
There were more gunshots, raining down from the guard towers
that winged the North entrance. Napoleon spun the wheel to the left,
downshifting as they squealed into another alley, heading toward the west gate.
“Time?” he asked again, looking over his shoulder to see if
they were being followed yet. They were clear, but sirens had begun to wail and
lights were coming up over the entire complex.
“Three minutes,” Napoleon replied, retrieving a communicator
from the glove compartment and hurriedly tuning in to the designated signal. His
other hand was gripping the steering wheel, side by side with Illya’s.
“Waverly,” He spoke directly into the radio. “Come in,
Napoleon could only hear static for a moment before a
familiar British voice came over the line. “Yes, hello, chaps, I’m here. How is
everything going? You’re coming up on extraction in a couple of minutes.”
“Yes, we know,” Napoleon said, turning around as a small,
dark sport car pulled out in the alleyway in front of them. Illya cursed,
flinging the steering wheel left onto one of the main drags and then right
again, into another narrow workway. The other vehicle wasn’t far behind.
Gunshots rang off the warehouse walls on either side of their car.
“Everything all right, you two?” Waverly’s voiced came back
in, concerned. “The entire Dupond Complex is coming on. I can hear the sirens
“Yes, well, we encountered a bit of trouble,” Napoleon
ground out. “We were actually going to wrap the mission up early when-“
Another round of fire rained onto the back of their car. Napoleon
ducked as the familiar sound of a shot tire exploded off the walls around them,
and both Napoleon and Illya cursed loudly.
“Are those gunshots?” Waverly’s voice was barely audible
over the scraping of metal on asphalt – their back left tire had been blown
off, and the entire car was listing.
“That would be part of the trouble,” Napoleon said briskly.
“Listen, Waverly, is there any way we could hold off on the extraction plan for
another minute or two?”
There was a moment of silence over the line; then:
“Well, I’m sorry, Solo, but I’m afraid the explosives can’t
be reset now. I told you they were on a timer, not remote; we’re too far to
reach them at this point. You have another minute and a half to get to the
checkpoint, else I’m afraid you’ll be stuck.”
Napoleon looked up. He could see the west gate from where
they were; it was swarming with black-suited guards.
“Steer for me,” Illya said.
“Steer for me!” The Russian replied, pulling their spare
handgun from the lining of the passenger’s side seat. He put his fist through
the cracked driver’s window, and then twisted, leveraging his entire torso out.
Napoleon gripped the wheel tightly with the hand holding the radio, his other
jerked out of the car roughly by the Russian, who was gripping the window frame
to stabilize himself.
“Chaps? What’s going on?”
“Not now!” Napoleon yelled, trying desperately to keep his
eyes above the dashboard as he stretched awkwardly across the car, attempting
to keep from flattening Illya against the wall of a warehouse.
Illya fired a round of shots across the windshield and front
tires of the vehicle behind them, quickly retreating back into the car to avoid
another spray of bullets.
The black car swerved and hit the warehouse to their left,
smoke billowing from its hood. Illya kept the pistol in his left hand, the one
attached to Napoleon settling back solidly on the wheel. They were almost there.
“Waverly, we’ve almost reached the gate. Where’s that assist
you promised us?”
“On the way, Solo.”
Even as he said it, Napoleon saw red flashing lights start
spinning on top of the gate. He could hear the guards exploding into confusion
as the giant gates started to crank open.
They hurtled along the alleyway, finally breaking free into
the open area in front of the gate. Napoleon could see more vehicles speeding
towards them from both sides, but it was too late; they were closing in on the exit,
which the guards were still scrambling to try and get closed.
Finally, the black silhouettes gave up on trying to reverse
the motion of the gate and turned around, aiming their firearms straight at the
Napoleon and Illya both ducked down as a hail of bullets
rained down on them, their car being assaulted from all sides as they bowled
through the guards, past the barriers, through the gate…
And onto the bridge.
“We’ve got twenty seconds,” Napoleon responded. He wriggled
up, chancing a glace behind them.
A fleet of security vehicles were chasing them, slowly
Napoleon looked down off the bridge.
The Dupond warehouse complex was situated on a piece of land
separated from the mainland by a relatively narrow gap; it wasn’t an island,
per say. But it wasn’t connected, either.
There was a rather
deep chasm that split the end of the peninsula off from the rest of it, wide
and tall enough to be uncrossable, except by bridge.
Ocean water swirled at the bottom of the chasm, beating
mercilessly against the rocks. Though there were safety guards on both sides of
the bridge, any sort of car crash could easily send someone tumbling to their
deaths. Fortunately for them, the bridge was wide, and the only traffic was currently
hurtling along behind them.
them, the entire thing was rigged to explode in about ten seconds.
“Peril,” He said warningly as he wriggled up.
“I’m driving as fast
as I can, Cowboy,” The Russian shot back, pushing himself up as their
pursuers fell behind and their firing abated in favor of driving faster.
“Five seconds,” Napoleon said, a bit of nervousness creeping
into his throat. They were cutting it close. Too close. Illya’s hand twitched
next to his, a sign of the man’s own nervousness.
“Three,” He counted. “Two. One…”
…nothing. They were still racing toward the end of the
bridge, and both of them looked at each other in confusion, wondering-
A sudden blast rocked them both. The first charges had gone
off, those closest to the Dupond Complex. Napoleon whipped around, just in time
to see that section of the bridge collapse in a cloud of rubble and fire. The
next section followed, and then the next. They were so close, so close-
They flew off the bridge, propelled by the last charge going
off; the wooden barrier in front of them splintered from the force of it, and
the guard tower crumbled. Illya desperately tried to get control of the car,
but the small vehicle had had enough; the blast threw it off balance, and they
screeched to the right, rolling over twice before finally grinding to a halt on
the hard dirt below them.
Napoleon coughed and groaned; they were upside down. Dust
filled his nostrils, and he head was pressed against the roof of the car at an
He sighed. At least they weren’t currently sinking to the
bottom of that chasm, blown to hell with the rest of that bridge.
“Not bad, eh, Peril?” He joked tiredly, pulling on their
Illya’s hand was strangely limp. Napoleon looked over. The
Russian’s eyes were closed. Blood was dripping from his forehead. Napoleon
He reached over and took the Russian’s pulse. Still beating.
With his other hand, he patted around for the radio. Finding
it, he pulled it up to his mouth, turning himself over so that he was kneeling
on the roof. “Waverly. Come in Waverly,” He said, as he pulled Illya down and
laid him on his back. The man’s eyes were flickering, but he had clearly been
knocked out hard. “Waverly, come in.”
“Solo! Glad to hear your voice. I must say, I was a little
concerned at how close you were cutting it. How is Kuryakin?”
“Well, actually, that’s what I’m calling about,” He replied.
“I’m afraid Peril’s out cold. Our transportation is totaled, and I’m currently
hand cuffed to a 200-some-odd pound paperweight.”
Illya groaned as though in indignation.
“What I’m saying is, we could really use some help getting
out of here.”
“Oh! Quite,” Waverly replied. “We’ll be there in just a
moment. Just keep an eye on Kuryakin. And watch out for more of Dupond’s men.
The other bridges have been destroyed, but that’s not to say there aren’t any
of his cronies on the mainland.”
“Right. Thanks, Waverly. Solo out.”
The radio fizzled to quiet, and Napoleon let it fall with a
heavy sigh. His shoulder hurt quite badly; actually, his entire body was
currently complaining rather ardently, especially his head.
Ignoring this, Napoleon reached over his head to open his
door, scooting backwards out of the vehicle and pulling Illya along after him.
Once out, he arranged the Russian so that he was laying down next to Solo. It
felt rather odd to be pulling the massive man’s arm around. Like he was a
Napoleon visually checked Illya and then himself for wounds.
Other than more than a few deep cuts and bruises, and Illya’s substantial head
wound, they seemed to be alright. They would survive, at least.
Illya was just starting to stir when the sound of a deep,
growling engine met Napoleon’s ears. He sighed in relief.
“Cowboy…” Illya muttered, eyes flickering open, then
screwing shut in pain.
“Hey, Peril,” Napoleon said brightly. “The car’ll be here in
a minute, but I think I could have a little bit of trouble getting off the
ground. Think you could… lend me a hand?”
Illya lifted his head off the ground slightly, eyes wide in
disbelief. “I hate you,” he stated, and Napoleon smirked smugly to himself as
the Russian let his head drop back onto the ground.
Illya gingerly removed the compress from his forehead and poked
his cut; his fingers came away bloody.
“Hey!” Gaby reached over and smacked his hand. “No touching!
Now put the compress back on and stop messing with it.”
Napoleon snorted with amusement. Illya shot a glare his way,
but only got a wink in return.
“This would not have happened if you hadn’t gotten us
handcuffed together,” He grumbled. Napoleon looked insulted.
“That was not my
fault,” the man insisted. “I got us caught,
which I do apologize for, but it was not my
fault that we got handcuffed, and neither can I be blamed for dropping the
pick. The boat exploded. Anyone could have done it.”
Illya looked like he wanted to argue, but he was cut off by
“What?” She said, looking from Illya’s sullen face to
Napoleon’s innocent expression. “You were handcuffed?”
“For the entire escape,” Napoleon clarified, nodding.
“And you didn’t pick the lock?”
“Like I said, the boat exploded and I lost it,” He
reiterated, taking another swig of the scotch that Waverly had graciously
offered the three of them as soon as they’d gotten Napoleon and Illya into the
“…Well, what happened to the second pick?” Gaby asked,
leaning forward; she was warm and dry, in black stealth getup that was the same
as the boys’, but Illya and Napoleon were still damp, towels wrapped around
both of them. Waverly was sitting in the front, in his usual suit, conferring
with the person driving the vehicle; they were being taken to a countryside safe
house, to debrief after their mission. It was a long drive.
“There was no second pick,” Napoleon stated, “I checked
“But I saw you put one in your shoe before you two went out!”
Gaby insisted. Now, both she and Illya were staring at him. He opened his mouth
to deny it, but then shut it. Surely she couldn’t be right.
He quickly pulled his right shoe off, checking it for any
He did the same with his left shoe, running his hands along
it, turning it upside down –
A small, silvery flash fell out of the sole and plinked onto
…his second pick.
Napoleon looked up. Illya was looking at him like he was
seriously regretting not just snapping Napoleon’s wrist to get it out of the
handcuffs, and Gaby was sitting back, clearly amused.
“Un-fucking-believable, Solo,” She said, and then burst out
laughing as she restrained Illya from launching himself across the car and
straight for Solo’s throat.