Word count: 1118
Prompts: Minion and Moscow
The four men sat in a sedan, only the tip of its hood highlighted by the streetlight. It buzzed and flickered on and off as if trying to signal someone in an indecisive way.
“I don’t like it.” That was apparent by Napoleon’s tone, not to mention his glare. “I’m the senior agent here and I should be going in.”
“And Delno Vickrey knows you on sight. The last thing I want to do tonight is have to rescue you from his clutches… again.” Illya Kuryakin was putting the finishing touches on his disguise. “Hopefully, he never got a good look at me.”
“Even if he did, it’s unlikely he would know you now.” Napoleon caught sight of his partner in the rearview mirror. The moustache and hooked nose were enough to disguise Illya’s face, but the addition of the color contact lenses was the final stroke. Napoleon found it a little sad that the blue eyes he was so accustomed to now hid behind brown lenses.
“With any luck, we will be in and out in a heartbeat.” Lean was working on his own makeup. “How do I look?”
His partner half turned and made a face. “Like a Bowery drag queen. You could back off on the eye shadow.” Sprat tossed his handkerchief from the front seat.
“You’re just jealous that you don’t have such marvelous eyes in such a marvelous face. Is that marvelous?” Lean’s voice had gone up an octave and he fluffed the wig he was wearing. He picked the handkerchief and stuffed it down his bodice. “I shall indeed carry your colors into battle, m’lord.”
“I think Jack is right,” Napoleon said, making a face. “You are a bit over-done. It’s like you are inviting everyone to stare at you.”
“Where better to hide than in plain sight?” Lean pulled on a pair of elbow high gloves.
“So let me get this right. You are a man pretending to be a woman.” Napoleon pointed to Lean, who nodded. “And you are a woman pretending to be a man.”
“That’s the game plan,” Illya admitted, giving the ascot he wore a tug. “I feel like I’m being smothered.”
“It’s got to be high to hide your Adam’s apple. And whatever you do, try to keep your hands out of sight. No one would believe a woman would have your hands.”
Illya pulled on the kid gloves and sighed. “And I thought New York was confusing.” He pulled the onyx stick pin closer to his mouth. “Are you ready?”
Napoleon turned back around and opened the glove compartment. “Go ahead.”
“Testing, one, two, three.” Illya spoke softly.
“The ascot pin is working fine and I’m getting a good signal from both your trackers.”
Kevin shook his head. “Out of all the gin joints in the city, you two have to pick a drag club to investigate.” He pursed his lips. “Ready, dear?”
“As ready as I’m likely to be. With any luck, I won’t be fingered by any of Vickrey’s minions. I left a couple of them well bruised.”
Lean gave Illya the once over. “Hang with me, baby, and I’ll show you the moon.”
Napoleon snorted. “You hang with him and you’ll be counting ceiling squares,” he muttered and then paused. “I just said that out loud, didn’t I?” All three men nodded slowly. “What I meant is that trouble follows him and you’re just as likely to end up unconscious on the floor as not.”
“Sure you did,” Sprat said, grinning. “If we lose contact with you two, we’ll come running with guns blazing.
“Good luck or should I say, break a leg?”
“In these heels, the latter is probably likely.” Lean opened the car door and got out, pulling his fur wrap closed.
Napoleon watched the two disappeared into Down the Rabbit hole and chewed on his bottom lip.
“You’re expecting trouble?”
“With Illya, always. It follows him around like a lost puppy.”
“Is that good or bad?”
“Usually good, but not always. Vickrey is trouble. THRUSH already knows we’re in town.”
“Not necessarily. That car bomb was most likely left for us. As I said earlier, we’ve been busting heads and taking names as of late. It could just be a coincidence that you were with us.”
“I hope so. As much as I want to see Vickrey on a slab, I’m not really sanguine about bumping in to him again. Once a lifetime is enough.”
“He’s that bad?”
“He’s trying to get into THRUSH’s elite. He wants a position high up in their ranks and feels that delivering my head on a platter would be a suitable bribe. The problem is I’m still rather attached to it.”
Speak gently! Love doth whisper low
The vows that true hearts bind;
And gently Friendship’s accents flow;
Affection’s voice is kind.
Napoleon looked over at Sprat, frowning. “I beg your pardon?”
“That’s another poem from Alice’s Adventures through the Looking Glass. For some reason, it just popped into my head. You’ve been partners with Illya for a long time?”
“Yes, why do you ask?”
“And you are more than just partners.”
“I don’t know what you mean.” Napoleon fussed over the instrument panel, avoiding Sprat’s eyes.
“I have a nose, Napoleon.” Sprat tapped it, just to make sure Napoleon knew what he meant. “I know what I smelled when we entered your room. You’d gone nose blind to it.”
“So much for keeping it quiet.”
“So, your boss doesn’t know?”
“We didn’t know until this afternoon. We haven’t had a chance to broach the subject yet. However, we’re not the first.”
“Not in the least. I can think of a least a half dozen partners just like you.”
“I have…” Napoleon trailed off as he sat up, pulling the binoculars that hung around his neck up for a better look. “What the hell…?”
“That man getting ready to go into the club.”
Sprat brought up his own pair. “The tall one or the shorter one?”
“The tall one. I’m not sure, but I could have sworn I’ve seen him before.”
“Illya’s apartment. He's a friend from Moscow… or Leningrad or somewhere Russian.”
“Are you sure?”
“Not really.” The memory of Grigory sprawled out on the couch, his legs splayed and Illya between them made Napoleon’s cheeks burn. “It’s dark and the lighting isn’t great.”
“Should we warn them?”
“It’s unlikely that even if it is him he’d recognize Illya. I hope.”
There was a sharp rap at the driver side window and Sprat’s eyes widened. “We got company”
Napoleon looked at the man standing outside his door, brandishing a badge. “Marvelous.”