Into Each Life Some Peeps! Must Fall
It would be so much easier if I could just stay asleep. Yet even as Illya Kuryakin was thinking this, he was already starting to work his way back to consciousness. Little twinges and cramps blossomed into full blown aches and pains as his body slowly woke.
He rolled to one side, hissing at the stiffness in his joints. Even thought his bed was far more comfortable than the squalid cell he'd been rescued from a few days earlier, he still didn't have to be happy about it.
Gritting his teeth, he reached for the bedside lamp, knocking over a bottle of pain pills as he located the lamp and struggled with the switch.
Just this is enough of a challenge today. Or at least that was his thought before he saw the row of bright yellow something or others perched on his nightstand. What the hell?
That meant someone had been in here and Illya slid his hand beneath his pillow, ignoring the pain as the gauze around his wrist caught on fabric and pulled at his still-healing flesh. Instead of his gun, his hand closed around something else, something foreign.
Withdrawing his hand, he opened it and studied the plastic egg that lay in the palm of his hand. It rattled as it rolled and he twisted it open carefully. A colorful array of jelly beans spilled out and down onto his sheet-covered lap.
He gathered up the jellybeans and somehow got them back into the egg. He set that beside the row of shocking yellow whatever-they-were and tossed the sheets back. A missed jelly bean clattered to the floor and Illya winced as he twisted involuntarily towards the noise. He got his robe and tied it loosely. Sticking a hand in one pocket, he sighed. This time he pulled out a foil wrapped rabbit and set it alongside the other treats.
Slowly he got his legs over the side of the bed and found his slippers... inside were several foil wrapped little eggs. Illya sighed again, long and low, and set them alongside his other discoveries. Carefully he got to his feet and took a cautious step forward. His legs felt rubbery and frequently chose to disobey his commands.
Still it was good to be home and not in Medical. The stay had been mercifully brief this time. Napoleon swore that he would watch over his recuperating partner with vigilance and stoic reserve, something that had made Illya laugh. It was probably that laugh that had convinced the doctor to discharge Illya.
"Napoleon," he muttered. Only his partner could have such a bizarre sense of humor as this. And it was also, he hoped, only his partner who could have accomplished such a thing without Illya waking up during the exchange.
Illya shuffled into the living room. Napoleon was stretched out on the couch, the Sunday paper spread around him. There were coffee and bagels on the battered coffee table and Illya's stomach gave a funny jump. Gradually his appetite was coming back. The slick sound of his slippers against the tile floor in the hallway made Napoleon look around and he sat up happily.
"Well, the sleeping giant awakes." Napoleon was up and walking to him. "How are you feeling?"
"How do I look like I feel after waking up to discover a candy store in bed with me? What if I had needed my gun?" Illya tried to sound stern, but it was hard when dressed in pajamas two sizes too big for him. They had fit just fine before he'd left on this mission, now they sagged on him. Only a resolute hand on the waistband and his robe's tie kept the pants from dropping to his knees.
"That's quite the look you got going for yourself, partner." Napoleon gestured to the couch as he wrapped an arm around Illya's waist. "Come and sit down before you fall down."
"What are those yellow things?" Normally, Illya would protest being helped, but he was... distracted, yes that was it, distracted. It felt good to have the extra hand, although he was loathe to admit it.
"Those, my friend, are the answer to anything that ails you. They are the mighty Peeps!"
"The what?" Illya let Napoleon ease him down and drape a quilt over his lap.
"Peeps! Basically, they're sticky, marshmallowy, sugary... things that loosely resemble baby chickens." Napoleon handed him one and Illya sniffed it suspiciously. "I didn't hide any medication in it if that's what you are worried about. Just taste it."
Illya popped it in his mouth and chewed, his eyes growing wide. "Ohmfguf."
"Great, aren't they?" Napoleon poured coffee into a second cup and handed it to him. Illya managed to get his mouthful swallowed and took a gulp of coffee to wash it down. "For the record, Peeps! are meant to be nibbled."
"If I've lost anything in that," Illya mumbled, as his tongue made a frantic inventory of his teeth. Everything seemed in place and the fear of having swallowed one of his caps or the explosive beneath them subsided.
Napoleon chuckled and began to spread a bagel with cream cheese. "Eat this and stop complaining. You would have killed for those a week ago."
He was probably right, Illya thought as he accepted the bagel one-handedly. He took a breath and bit into it, happy that the nausea has leaving him alone this time. Probably still trying to contend with whatever he'd just eaten. As he chewed, he noticed that there was an ornately decorated basket on the dinette table. "What's that?"
Napoleon bounced up to his feet and retrieved it, obviously delighted Illya had seen it at last. "This, my friend, is a bona fide Easter basket. I thought you could use one this year."
"Easter basket?" He knew of the tradition, but had never paid it much mind. Setting aside the half eaten bagel, he lifted up an intricately decorated sugar egg. "What's this?"
"You look in it—there's a little scene."
Illya did as instructed. "There are two rabbit inside... being very... affectionate." He set it down and shook his head. "I thank you, Napoleon, for this and everything else, but I still don't understand."
"Less than a week ago, UNCLE declared you dead and yet here you are walking and talking."
"Does that remind you of something? Something to do with today? Anything?"
"Sunday, you mean? No, not in particular."
"Illya..." Napoleon scolded, then he stopped and smiled gently. "You really don't know, do you?" At his partner's slow headshake, Napoleon grinned again, picking up one of the neon yellow bits of candy. "It doesn't matter. Let's just say that I, for one, believe in miracles now." He pulled the beak off and munched it happily.
"Wait, I thought you said they were Peeps," Illya muttered, still digging through the basket. "I'm thoroughly confused."
"And I am delighted just having you here, confused or otherwise." And Napoleon sat very close to him and Illya was very thankful.
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