Genre: Man from UNCLE - slash
Prompt: Since we're just ending our Yorkshire holiday, I'd love something set around Whitby Abbey (I took the photo a few days ago while my youngest was trying to send me insane), preferably Illya centric, sweet or angsty, slash, any rating.
I hope that you will enjoy this little Halloween Treat. Thanks for playing and also my thanks to sparky955 for her beta help
“Oh, my head.” Napoleon retreated to the shadows cast by the abbey’s wall and closed his eyes.
“It’s your own fault.” Illya looked up from the guide book he was reading on the Whitby Abbey. “It says here that the abbey was founded in 657AD by Oswiu of Northumbria.”
“Wonderful.” Napoleon massaged the bridge of his nose. “How was I supposed to know she was married?”
“By the wedding ring on her finger.” Illya sheltered behind a column to get out of the wind.
“You wear a wedding ring and you aren’t married.”
“That’s completely different.” Illya looked around to get his bearings. “According to this, it says that there’s a large treasure buried somewhere on the grounds and no one has ever been able to find it. One All Hallow’s Eve, a girl and her father went looking for it. While she was digging, she was tapped on the shoulder. Assuming it was her father, she asked him what he wanted as she kept digging. There was no answer, just another tap. Again she asked and again, there was no answer. The third time, she turned around, ready to yell at him and was confronted by a towering headless specter.”
“I’m assuming she didn’t stay to ask him if he’d seen it.”
Illya grinned. “No, I assume not as it says that it’s still hidden.”
“It doesn’t surprise me that this place comes with spooks. I mean, look at Whitby.” He shielded his eyes and looked out to sea. “This is where the Demeter washed up.”
“Didn’t you ever read Dracula in school?”
“No, I was a quantum physics major. Most of what I read had to do with mathematical equations and science.”
“You must have knocked the girls over with that when you took them out on a date.”
“I didn’t date much in college.”
“I can see why. The Demeter was transporting Count Dracula from his country to England and shipwrecked here. Whitby figured into the story after that.”
“Are there any other ghost stories attached to this place?”
“Lady Hilda is said to haunt the upper most windows and there’s a ghost carriage driven by a headless man and pulled by headless horses--”
“Bet they get lost easily.”
“You shouldn’t scoff at this, Napoleon. Lady Hilda was the first abbess here and a documented historic figure.”
“I didn’t think you believed in ghost, Illya.”
“You should.” Napoleon pulled his camera from around his neck and walked away, obviously intent upon some shots.
“And why’s that? I prefer the concrete and absolute.”
“Says the man who believes in Baba Yaga.”
“That is a case of national pride.
“Your lips are moving, but all I hear is blah, blah, blah.”
Illya snorted and walked a short distance to take a photo of the ruins from the inside. Once hundreds of loyal followers gathered here. Now it was just grass, wind, and the occasional tourist. They were seemingly the only ones left at the site at the moment, the cold October wind sending the less hardy scurrying for the warmth of a fire and tankard of ale.
Illya walked to one of the window frames and looked out to the ocean. The wind was stirring up white caps and there was a promise of precipitation in the air. As chilly as it was, it could easily be snow. Once the sun set, the temperatures would drop fast.
“Napoleon, we should think about heading back,” he shouted over his shoulder as he snapped a photo. “Napoleon?”
He turned back and glanced around. His gut twisted, but he immediately squashed the sense of unease. THRUSH had no idea they were here. They weren’t even on assignment and their trip to Whitby had been a spur of the moment decision.
“Help me!” He heard the cry, Napoleon’s voice, and yet, not.
“Napoleon?” He started to run in its direction, tripping over clumps of grass as he did. He slammed to a stop at the sight of Napoleon, cowering against a stone wall of the ruins.
“Napoleon what are you playing at?” He reached out and grabbed his partner’s shoulder, jumping at the scream that followed.
“No! Don’t hurt me!” It was Napoleon’s face, tear stained and so wracked with sorrow that it made him stumble back a step. “Please don’t. Please, God, don’t let them do this.”
“Napol--” Illya stopped them because he knew now it wasn’t Napoleon he faced, but someone else. He might talk a good game, but he was also Russian and knew there was more things to life than just hard and cold facts. He deliberately softened his voice. “Who are you?”
“Please hide me. Don’t let them.”
“I won’t. You are safe with me.”
“Sir Geoffrey?” Napoleon’s voice was gentle and full of hope.
“Yes, it’s Sir Geoffrey. Who are you?”
“Do you not recognize your Constance de Beverley?” Napoleon patted his suit jacket modestly. “I suppose this is the first time you’ve seen in in something other than my nun’s robes. Have you come to take me away?”
“Take you away?”
“Oh, you must, you must.” Napoleon, nee Constance, looked around furtively. “I’ve heard them talk. I’ve heard them plot. They are saying I must be punished.” Illya nearly jumped out of his skin as Napoleon raced to embrace him.
He caught himself at the last moment and welcomed his partner, so familiar and yet not, into his arms. “Punish you, why?”
“Our love. Our forbidden love. I have broken my vows to Our Lord.”
Thinking fast, Illya stroked Napoleon’s hair. “How could that be? He is all knowing and seeing and He has sent you to me and me to you.”
Napoleon buried his face in Illya’s chest and sobbed. “Tis true, tis true, but even now, I hear them.” Napoleon pulled away, terror widening his eyes. “Run! Save yourself!”
“I won’t leave you.”
“You must or you will be killed, too. Please it would be too much for me to bear.” Napoleon fell back a step. “They are here! Run!”
Napoleon pushed Illya away and Illya tumbled over a hunk of rubble. He fell, twisting to roll at the last minute, his abrupt stop knocking the wind from him.
Napoleon shrieked and took off at a dead run, disappearing into the shadows for the ruins.
For a moment, Illya’s vision blurred, as if he was looking through a veil of water. He tried to call out, but he had nothing to work with. Gasping, he finally managed to pull in the air his lungs cried out for and, gasping, managed to crawl to his knees, desperate to follow after Napoleon. He dragged his arm over his eyes to help clear his vision. Just then he saw something falling towards him and twisted away. The chunk of masonry dug into the ground as it landed.
Illya didn’t have time to contemplate the events. He struggled to his feet and stood swaying for a moment. “Napoleon,” he called weakly,
The sun darted behind a cloud and the air grew cold and biting. Glancing up at the sky, he figured he had thirty minutes tops before the storm him. He started in the direction that he’d seen Napoleon take, each step helping him regain his strength and determination. “Napoleon, where are you!” he shouted, but the wind whipped his words from him. Then he paused. “Constance, answer me. Where are you?”
“Here! Oh, here!”
Illya followed the call and found Napoleon, facing a stone wall, hands slapping the rock. “Help me. Someone, help me. I’m behind the wall. They bricked me up behind the wall. Help me!”
“Turn around, you silly girl,” Illya said gently and Napoleon spun.
“Geoffrey?” There was a gasp and then Napoleon was in his arms, kissing and embracing him. “You came. You saved me. I’m finally free.”
“I did.” Illya returned the kiss and then something changed, shifting slightly and Illya pulled away to look into his partner’s hazel eyes.
“Not that I’m complaining, but is there something going on that I should know about?” It was Napoleon’s voice, strong and edged with humor.
“It would take too long to explain. We need to leave now to outrun the storm.”
“But you will explain?”
“I will.” Illya gave Napoleon a push. “Now run!”
They’d beaten the storm with minutes to spare. The wind battered the windows of the small inn and the innkeeper added another log to the fire burning in the hearth. “You gents made it back just in time. Storms like this sweep men out to sea. Twas a night like this that wrecked the ship carrying the Abbey’s bells. They say if the wind blows just right, you can hear them ringing.”
“That would be a feat.” Napoleon sipped his whiskey, a smile on his lips as the liquor warmed his stomach, although he still shivered.
“Still cold?” Illya was working on his second tankard of local ale.
“Yeah, I can’t seem to get warmed up.” Napoleon drew closer to the fire. He dropped his voice to a mere whisper. “Possessed, you say?”
“Do you have another possible explanation, given the circumstances?”
A young barmaid placed a tray on the table between them. Napoleon smiled at her, automatically flirting with her. She blushed and busied herself with the tray, uncovering and setting plates before them.
“Excuse me, do you know much about the Abbey,” Illya asked,
“I do, sir.”
“Can you tell me about Constance de Beverley?” Napoleon asked.
“Oh, that’s such a sad story. She was a nun who met a terrible fate within its walls. It's said that Constance broke her vows after falling in love with a young knight. She was severely punished by being walled up alive, and her pitiful screams can still be heard or so they say. She died waiting for him to save her. What she didn’t know is that the young knight had been ambushed and killed within the Abbey. He was on his way to rescue her and she never knew.” The barmaid sighed. “She died thinking he’d abandoned her. Poor thing.” She held the tray to her chest. “Such a sad story.” Then she smiled. “Enjoy your supper.”
“Okay, that was weird.” Napoleon finished his shot and held up his glass for a refill.
“That name. It just popped into my head.”
“That was what you called yourself this afternoon. I have a feeling that, scoundrel that you are, you helped to free that young lady.” Illya reached for the malt vinegar.
“We did, you mean. If I was her, then you must have been Geoffrey, the slain knight. Except you managed to avoid their murder attempt.”
“If you will. I prefer to think that I was just lucky. They do warn of falling bits of masonry in the guidebook.” Illya cut one of his fries in half and was preparing to pop it into his mouth when he met Napoleon’s eyes. “What?”
“I was just thinking about what a good kisser you are.”
“Thanks.” Illya smirked and proceeded to eat his fry.
“And I’m still sort of chilly.”
Illya’s eyes widened at that admission. “Napoleon, surely you aren’t suggesting… aren’t you?”
Napoleon’s expression grew soft and coy. “Would you mind? Geoffrey?”
Illya mulled it over, looked up at the ceiling as the wind howled and shook the small inn and shook his head slowly. “I don’t think that I would, Constance…” And just for an instance, it was as if the wind paused and sighed… but that would just have been silly.