Genre: mild slashiness
Word Count: 2027
Warnings: language, prejudice
alynwa gave me this prompt, wondering how their little family would deal with the fact that Napoleon and Illya were a bit more than just working partners. My thanks to her and to sparky955 for her beta.
Napoleon Solo knew it was going to be a good day even before opening his eyes. There was a pleasantly cool breeze blowing in from the bedroom window. It was sweet scented and promised a glorious day.
Opening his eyes, Napoleon realized he’d beaten the alarm clock. He still had another half hour to sleep. It was tempting to wallow in a sleepy hazy, but he was neither sleepy nor inclined to wallow. He simply felt too good today.
He tossed back the covers and swung his legs over the edge of the bed. He felt so good this morning. The sad reality of his days as an agent had left a lasting impression on his joints and most mornings were a crawl towards the shower and aspirin bottle. However, not today and that in itself was reason to celebrate.
There was a mumble from the other side of his bed and Napoleon grinned. He wondered just how much of this had to do with the lump hidden beneath the blanket and pillow. Impulsively, he leaned over and planted a kiss on the sleep-rumpled hair. Then he got up, found his pajama bottoms and robe and pulled them on.
Wandering out into the small attic apartment he shared with his partner, he negotiated the obstacle course of toys and clothes to the kitchen. Starting the coffee was as simple as turning on the stove. He always prepped it the night before, just in case. While it percolated, he shaved and cleaned up a bit. He’d take a shower a bit later.
Back in the kitchen, he popped off the top of the percolator and put it in the sink. While the kids had wanted to get them a coffee maker, Napoleon still preferred to make coffee the way his parents had. In fact, the pot had been theirs and now he was carrying on the tradition.
He inhaled the coffee’s aroma and looked around the apartment, trying to decide if he wanted to make breakfast first or pick up toys. The toys won. He grabbed a plastic laundry basket and quickly filled it. He set it by the stairs, knowing that the contents would soon, once again, be spread over their living room floor.
Turning on the radio, he adjusted the volume and hummed along as he began making breakfast. A noise from his bedroom made him smile and he paused to fill a second mug with steaming coffee.
“Good morning,” he said as Illya stumbled passed him.
“That’s your story.”
Napoleon grinned. It used to be that it was Illya who rolled out of bed and hit the ground running. Not so much these days thanks to the years and the toll his various injuries had caused. “Why don’t you take a bath?”
“You mean, just me and a dozen submarines and forty seven unicorns?” Their tub seemed to be a collection spot for bath toys.
“I’ll move them, if you’d like.” Napoleon pushed the cup towards him.
“Can’t anyhow. I’ve got an early meeting with the head of Section Two. He seems to think that any time after ten is the middle of the afternoon.” Illya yawned so widely that his jaw cracked. “Were we ever that young?”
“Once upon a time, I suppose we were. Scrambled, fried or boiled?”
“Scrambled and you are in a good mood.” Illya took a long drink of coffee, his eyes closed in ecstasy.
“I am. I have decided to give myself a day off.” Napoleon cracked the eggs carefully into a bowl and whisked them.
“That’s great. My boss is such a slave driver I never get anytime off.”
“I could talk to him if you want.” Napoleon grinned. “I happen to know his weakness for blonds. Maybe you could take the afternoon off.”
Illya drained the cup and nodded. “I’ve heard of that weakness. I’ll have to see what I can do about exploiting that weakness a bit more.”
“Isn’t it glorious what a little privacy and a good deadbolt can do?”
“Finally, to have one that even Irina can’t pick.” Illya gave Napoleon a kiss and headed for the bathroom. Napoleon and Illya had been very careful to keep their private life private from their children and grandchildren, although it had been close a couple of times.
They ate and read the paper, the scene of domesticity and Napoleon found himself wishing these times lasted forever, but too soon there was a beep from Illya’s communicator. Napoleon’s car had arrived.
“Why don’t you and Leon take it in this morning?” Napoleon closed the paper.
“Providing he’s awake.” Illya slipped his jacket on.
“He has four children under ten. He’s awake, if not happy about it.”
“I feel for him.” Illya patted his pockets, removing a Barbie head, some marbles and a wadded up tissue. “I wonder what THRUSH would think these days if they emptied my pockets.”
“They would think you’ve gone around the bend. We’re lucky in that we’ve never had to deal with fussy babies or dirty diapers, just fussy Section Ones.”
Napoleon was raking the leaves in the back yard when his oldest grandson came out. He was carrying a phone book under his arm and a cookie in his hand. Napoleon grinned. He’d had the best day and was ready to spend time with the boy. “Good afternoon, Alex. How was school?”
“Hi, Grampy! School was icky, but recess was good. Timmy Mahoney barfed on the teeter totter.”
“Hmm, you have a far different definite of good than I, my boy.”
Alex sat and began to page through the directory, frowning. “Grampy, how do you spell exterminator?”
Napoleon paused and took off his gloves. “Well, how do you think?”
“I though with an X, but it’s being sneaky.” He held out half of his cookie to his paternal grandfather and looked instantly relieved when Napoleon declined it.
“Why do you need to know how to spell exterminator?”
“Well, I wanted my friend Kevin to come over, but his Dad said he couldn’t.”
“He said we got faggots and he didn’t want Kevin to catch anything.”
The word caught Napoleon between the eyes and he grabbed for the stair rail. He staggered to sit on a stair. Alarmed, Alex was on his feet and in the house, reappearing a moment later with his mother.
“Dad, are you okay?” Lisle was by Napoleon’s side. “Alex, go run and get a glass of water.”
Napoleon studied his daughter-in-law’s face. “I’m sorry.”
Napoleon’s hand trembled slightly as he took the glass and swallowed.
“Where is everyone?” Illya walked out on the porch just then and immediately took Lisle’s place. “What happened?”
“I don’t know. He just keeps saying he’s sorry.” Lisle turned to her son. “Alex, what happened?”
“He was helping me find an exterminator.”
“Why do you need one of those?”
“Kevin’s dad said we had faggots.”
“Oh my god…” Lisle’s hand went over his mouth and she looked between man and boy. “He didn’t mean… Dad, he doesn’t know…”
Alex was starting to look more than a little nervous. “What don’t I know?”
“It’s not your fault, Alexander,” Illya said, quietly. “It’s ours. Go change out of your school clothes.”
“I never get to have any fun.” The boy reluctantly left the porch while Illya helped Napoleon to a chair.
“And I was having such a good day,” Napoleon mumbled. “Lisle, I never, we never…”
“Are you apologizing for that git? Don’t apologize, never apologize!” Lisle stormed around the backyard. “I can’t believe it! How?! Arrgghh!” She made clenching motions with her hands.
Illya went to his daughter, catching her by the shoulders. “Calm down, Lisle. It’s okay.”
“It’s not okay. It’s none of anybody’s business.”
“If you yell much louder, it’s going to be everyone’s business.” Illya looked pointed at the fence.
“What? Oh…” She took a deep breath.
“That’s better. Let’s go into the house and discuss this calmly and quietly.”
“Fine.” She marched into the house, obviously still not happy.
“Illya, what did we do?” Napoleon asked quietly as his partner approached him.
“We had the misfortune to not follow the pack, as it were.” Illya looked around. “Let’s go in. I’m feeling strangely exposed out here.”
Leon poked his head around the corner of the hallway and sighed. “I wondered where everyone was. It if wasn’t for the slalom course of toys, I’d have thought I was in the wrong… what’s going on, guys?” He looked from his father to his wife to his father-in-law and then back to his dad. “I feel like I missed the memo.”
“Sit down, Leon. We need to talk.” Napoleon struggled to keep his voice steady.
“Never would have gotten that from the general demeanor.”
“Sit down!” Lisle barked and Leon dropped into the closest chair.
“Sitting. You’re scary like your dad when you yell.”
“Excellent.” Illya studied the back of his hands. “We need to talk about our living arrangements.”
“Why?” Then Leon grinned. “Lisle, you’re not pregnant! No wait we’d have had to have had sex for that.”
“Today Alex came home and said that one of his friends was forbidden to visit because we had faggots.”
Leon made a face. “I hate that word.”
“As do we, but if the shoe fits…” His father trailed off.
“What? You aren’t… that.”
Illya rolled his eyes. “Yes, Leon, we are.”
“No, you are two people who deeply care for each other. Your care has turned into love. So what?” Leon was on his feet now, looking so much like a younger version of himself that Napoleon had to smile despite the seriousness of the situation.
“Well, perhaps to you it is nothing, but to others, those who have different morals and values, it is something very much. As much as we love living here and being a part of your lives and that of the grandchildren, we have to ask, are you all right with it? And your kids, exposing them to it.”
“Dad.” Lisle moved to Napoleon’s side. “What are you exposing them to? Love, trust, honor, commitment? I know a few houses along this street that could do with more of that. You two have fought tremendous odds. You survived and you found love. What the bloody hell is wrong with that?”
Napoleon glanced over at his partner, “She really is your daughter, right down to the mouth.”
“My best feature or so I’m told.” Illya smiled slightly.
“What you two do in the privacy of your own place is no one business but yours. And if exposing our kids to two people who genuinely love and cherish each other is a bad thing, then I say, bring it on.” Leon now joined them. “When I was growing up, all I wanted was for the people around me to be happy… well, that and a pony, but you know how that goes.” He hugged his father, then his wife, hesitantly only a moment before hugging Illya. “Okay, that’s just weird.”
“Yeah,” Illya agreed, running a hand through his hair. “I think it’s an oil/vinegar thing between Sections.”
Lisle took her father’s hand, then Napoleon’s and put them together. “The point is you are always welcomed here. Don’t leave.”
“We don’t want you to go either, Grampy.” Alex came out from behind the couch, followed by Irina, whose cheeks were stained. She raced to her grandfather and hugged him.
“Don’t leave. We love you.” Irina then let go of Napoleon and grabbed Illya, clinging to his legs.
Napoleon smiled. “We won’t. We’ll stay. We love you, too.”
“Because we’re a family and a family sticks together,” Alex proclaimed.
“Yes, we are.” Illya smoothed her hair and looked to his daughter. “But people will talk.”
She jutted out her jaw. “People will always talk. At least we’ll give them plenty to say.”
Alex added, “And I don’t care about that stupid old Kevin anyhow. He always smells like mayonnaise.”
Napoleon hugged his grandson, then ruffled his hair and he knew it was going not to be a good day. It was going to be a good life.