Always on my Mind
"What would it take for you to forget me?"
Napoleon had been so engrossed in his book, at first he wasn't even sure he'd heard anything. It was one of those few moments, a rare chance to stop. They were stretched out, side by side on the double bed. True, it was lumpy and dipped in the middle. True, the sheets were threadbare, the blankets almost see through. None of that mattered to Napoleon Solo. The bed could have been made of the finest feathers, the sheets woven from the finest linen or silk—they would have felt the same.
The luxury of the moment was that he, no, they could just stop for a moment and pretend to be like everyone else. They could have a lazy and quiet afternoon with nothing better to do than read a much anticipated book or just doze.
He didn't know if it was Sunday or Wednesday or Friday; to him it didn't matter: day, week, month, they all blurred. He rarely remembered days, he remembered moments—moments just like this.
For Illya to suddenly ask such a bizarre question jarred him from his bubble of contentment and he let his book fall to his side.
"What would it take for you to forget me?"
"Why would you even ask me that?"
Illya pulled his glasses off and tapped the magazine he was reading. "This article says there are predominately four reasons for forgetfulness." He pulled his glasses back on. "First are organic reasons, a disease or some sort of trauma to the brain. Next is trace decay, in short you just run out of space for anything new until you get rid of something old. This is really close to the Interference theory, which boils down to you have two things and you can only remember one of them."
"Out with the old, in with the new."
"Basically and the final one says that you will only remember something new if you constantly are forced to draw upon it until it becomes engrained knowledge."
"Cramming." A smile found Napoleon's lips.
"I beg your pardon?"
"Cramming, sitting up the night before a test and memorizing stuff. You have a pretty good chance of remembering it for the test, but can't recall any of it the next day."
"Why would you do that... cramming? Why not just study and do the work?"
"Some of us had other things to do at college besides just studying."
"And how you remain a world power is still a mystery to me." Illya sighed. "So I was wondering what would it take for you to forget me?"
"We're assuming THUSH's tender ministrations aside?"
"And UNCLE's. We are no better than they are when it comes to manipulating minds and memories."
Napoleon rolled over onto his side to study Illya's profile. "You are serious about this?"
"Well, assuming that I don't develop some disease that leaves me no choice, nothing could make me forget you."
"What if I was recalled back to the USSR? It could happen."
"Not likely, not after all this time. You are too corrupted for them now. Even if you went back, how could I forget you, Pooseycat?"
Illya smirked at the nickname. "There are, however, times I think you have already forgotten my name."
"Illya Nichovetch Kuryakin, just because I choose others, it doesn't mean I've forgotten it. Using a nickname, it just seems... I don't know, more personal. As if I'm telling the world, this man is so much my friend that I have the privilege of calling him something special, something that only I can use." Napoleon chuckled. "I guess it's my way of—"
"Marking me? Is that why my leg feels wet suddenly?"
Napoleon laughed, the concern he felt a moment earlier gone. He reached out and drew a finger down the side of Illya's face. "I've never been with anyone else that I have trusted like you, Illya. I know how you look." He traced his finger across an eyebrow, down Illya's nose, circling his mouth, smiling as Illya's mouth opened slightly. "I know how you smell, how you taste, how you feel, think, love. You have no secrets from me, partner, or I from you."
"Do I know you?"
Napoleon's smile was lazy now. "I'm sorry?"
"Who are you?" Blues eyes studied him, the dilation of the pupils belying Illya's professed ignorance.
"Your partner, your friend." Napoleon braced himself up on his elbow to kiss Illya's mouth. "Your lover."
"Hmm, having a bit of trouble remembering that part." Illya's eyes crinkled at the corners. "Show me?"
"With pleasure." Napoleon kissed him. "With enthusiasm." A deep kiss this time. "With my heart and soul." There are just some things you never forget.