|solo (soloing) wrote in valarlogs,|
@ 2020-07-25 13:33:00
|Entry tags:||!complete, gaby teller, napoleon solo|
WHO: Napoleon Solo & Gaby Teller
WHERE: Gaby's home
WHEN: a little while after this conversation
WHAT: Gaby and Napoleon finally talk about the dreams and where Gaby's are leading.
WARNINGS: PG-ish? Warnings for discussion of torture, mild betrayal, nazis and all around shitty people.
The hospital hadn’t exactly been enjoyable.
Not just the tests and the associated discomfort that came with a hospital visit, but the general sense of everything surrounding it. The dreams, the torture, Rudy. The lingering awareness that he had ended up in that position because of Gaby. Partly because of him and Illya, of course, largely because of their handlers and the opinion that Gaby was just a tool to be used in their own schemes. He definitely couldn’t place the blame on Gaby’s shoulders, and he didn’t.
He’d worried, for a blind second during one of the many scans, if it would affect things. But she’d still been the first one he’d wanted to text, or call, but texting was easier since she wouldn’t be able to hear any uncomfortable shakes in his voice. And her offer of staying with her while he recovered wasn’t something he’d accepted out of necessity. He’d been relieved when she’d made the suggestion.
So he knew it wasn’t affecting him.
It hadn’t changed how much he trusted her, hadn’t changed his comfort around her, hadn’t changed the constant and low buzz of attraction either.
But that didn’t mean he shouldn’t bring it up with her, before she got there in the dreams, before she learned herself and catapulted down the blame alley without him.
He just had no idea how to bring it up.
Gaby had noticed over the last couple of days that Napoleon had been looking at her in a way that was peculiar. She was unsure what it meant, there was something else behind the look that was out of the ordinary and she couldn’t help but wonder if there was something happening that he didn’t want to tell her. Sometimes he looked like he was going to say something but changed his mind.
Having gently nudged Lily off the counter (much to her chagrin and Nora’s delight as she play-bowed to the cat with her tail wagging excitedly), she moved over to the couch where she’d left Napoleon sitting and handed him the coffee and sandwich. Tucking her feet under herself, she tried not to linger on the dreams she’d been having: talking to her British handler about what was going to happen next gave her a really uneasy feeling.
“How’re you feeling?” she asked, as Mindy trailed over to join them, sitting at Napoleon’s feet with her chin resting on his knee and her tail thumping against the table leg.
The little things felt bigger right then; coffee that appeared whenever he looked up, constant food, check ins, the dogs cuddling whenever he was drifting off on the couch, even Lily just appearing by his arm sometimes to nudge at him. It wasn’t that he minded the isolation of his own home, but it was nice there, with the business in Gaby’s home.
“Okay,” he was doing his best not to downplay things for Gaby, trying not to pretend that everything was fine and that he wasn’t having those odd moments of struggling. He didn’t want to lie to Gaby. “Easier with all this company.” His hand dropped to Mindy’s head, fingers scratching at her ears.
Sleep was awkward, he was fine having a nap on the couch, fine when he could hear things and just doze off. It was at night it got a little less peaceful, and Napoleon startled awake more often through the night than getting proper REM sleep. “How’re you holding up?” Because he knew that she wasn’t just fine either.
At the encouragement, Mindy attempted to jump up onto the couch beside Napoleon, positioning herself firmly between her two favourite humans and flopping onto her back, tongue lolling out and stomach exposed to the air, glancing between Napoleon and Gaby both as much as she could to indicate that her stomach was available for all the rubs from all the hands. She snapped her teeth playfully and her tail wagged between her legs even as she stretched her paws above her head.
“I’m glad you aren’t alone,” she admitted softly, shifting to tuck her foot underneath herself as she rubbed at Mindy’s lower stomach. Nora was still trying to play with Lily, and behind them they could hear Lily’s unimpressed meowing as Nora huffed at her. “I think I would have felt more worried if you had decided not to stay with me.”
It was a concern. She couldn’t help but think about the phone call in her dreams to Waverly. How that was a set up for something. She couldn’t help but think what happened to Napoleon had been her fault.
“I am alright,” she added after a moment, purposefully letting her hand knock against his when he reached down to placate the attention-seeking staffie on the couch. “Concerned that your dreams may repeat themselves.” It meant she didn’t sleep much. She didn’t sleep much anyway: insomnia had been a friend of hers for many years and with the dreams it seemed to just be getting worse. At least she was awake in case something happened in the night.
If anything, the dogs were a welcome distraction. They just wanted attention, they didn’t skirt carefully around anything, they still pushed into Napoleon’s space, sought out his hand, even when it was shaking, licking at his fingers if he spaced off. Whining for attention if he stopped petting them.
It was a reminder that he had to focus elsewhere, otherwise he’d just get lost again, in all those thoughts and those pictures. “I’m glad too,” He’d been surprised that instinct hadn’t fought with his decision, that he hadn’t been tempted to plead off and stay by himself, hole away in his home to rebuild the armour. Hide away. “And not just because of doctors orders.”
He liked her company, so more of it wasn’t a burden, regardless of the reason why. Although repeat dreams were a worry, he’d dreamed of Victoria a time or two since, although he couldn’t pinpoint if those were dreams circling or if they were his own brand of nightmare. He’d done a lot for his cover in the past, sleeping with the mark hadn’t been a problem before, and it hadn’t really been a problem with Victoria, even knowing she was a deplorable human being. It kept their cover, at the time.
“I um, how far along, are you, in the dreams?” As her fingers knocked into his, Napoleon lifted to catch her hand, laying his palm over hers, but still stroking Mindy as she demanded. “What was your last one?”
Gaby thought about the dreams, the last ones she’d had. She wondered how far behind Napoleon she was in that sense since he hadn’t been tortured that she knew of yet. In fact, they were all still together, even if he was in the room above them with Victoria. She pressed her lips together and looked at their joined hands.
“You and Illya had gone looking for information and rushed back.” She had also been on the phone to Waverly, setting up the moment where she would tell her uncle that Illya was a Russian and Napoleon was an American, all part of the plan to get her closer to the bomb so she could help diffuse it, despite not having that knowledge. At least she’d be able to convince her father not to help them any further.
Glancing up at Napoleon, her lips twitched up into a smile that was humourless. “Illya was worried about you, as you saw Victoria in the reception. But when he used the bugs to listen to you, he- well, you were hardly in much distress.”
The phone call weighed on her mind: what was the point, when would it happen? Why was she supposed to sell out the men who had done nothing but take care of her the whole time since they’d met?
“I- I also had a phone call, while you were both gone.”
Until recently his night with Victoria was slightly amusing, it wasn’t the first time he’d slept with a woman to keep his cover, indeed he was fine with sleeping with most marks if the job called for it. As much as bed partners tended to be bystanders on a job rather than actual marks, but Victoria couldn’t find out about him and Illya not technically being where they were meant to be.
Even with her being a Nazi, it was a role, one Napoleon played well. “Yes well, I’m nothing if not dedicated to the job.” It didn’t surprise him that Illya had found some way to bug the hotel room even after Napoleon had found many of his little transmitters.
Her mention of a phone call had him frowning a little. “From who?” Possibly Rudy, although they’d already set up a private lunch for the following day, maybe he wanted to call his niece again. Not that Napoleon thought Rudy was capable of human emotion at this point. The sadistic shit was clearly a sociopath, those in his life were undoubtedly just pawns.
And if Napoleon had to use subterfuge to keep the man out of Gaby’s life here, he would.
Gaby frowned a little in response to Napoleon’s frown. She was confused by the way that information in her dreams was relayed to her. She’d found out only during her most recent dream that she was working with the British, though it had clearly been happening since before she had met Napoleon and Illya. It felt wrong to keep it a secret, especially here in the real world.
“From an English man named Waverly, he’s British Intelligence. Meeting up with Rudy for lunch was his idea…”
And she was supposed to let slip that Illya was watching them, and that Napoleon was working with the Americans. She was supposed to give her friends away, but at least - according to Waverly - they’d have more than enough time to get away before anything happened to them.
Napoleon’s most recent dream had her doubting those words.
It was a little bit like puzzle pieces clicking into place. British Intelligence would explain the double cross, it would explain Gaby opting to leave herself with no exit strategy out of a den of Nazi’s. He hadn’t known her long, although the spark between her and Illya was becoming evident, Napoleon could tell she most certainly wouldn’t align herself with Nazi sympathisers, never mind straight out Nazi supporters.
It also meant that British Intelligence was prepared to leave an untrained agent in the midst of those people without backup, just to screw over Napoleon and Illya.
“Well that explains a few things.” It settled some of that irritation in his gut, honestly. Knowing that his ability to read people, in this world or the dreams, wasn’t that off base, and Gaby hadn’t been using them to reach her father and damn the consequences. “The next few dreams might be… uncomfortable, but certainly not in the same manner as it was for me.” As sadistic as Rudy was, it didn’t seem like his interest was anywhere but on torturing Napoleon, so that meant Gaby was relatively safe while with the Vinciguera’s.
“It does?” Gaby asked, tipping her head and then looking down at their still-joined hands. She squeezed his fingers and rubbed her thumb over Mindy’s belly. Her back paws kicked happily and she huffed, snapping her teeth at Napoleon impatiently for attention. She chewed the inside of her lip and glanced up at him again. “Uncomfortable how?”
She shook her head. “I’m still a little unclear on how I got involved with British Intelligence in the first place. Rudy’s working with Victoria, isn’t he.” She was smart enough, at least, to have worked that bit out.
Mindy clearly didn’t like that he was distracted when she was right there, he purposely brought his free hand to stroke under her chin, drawing his nails lightly to scratch her neck. “He is,” it was easier to explain Rudy working for Victoria, although he was still weighing the notion on telling her that it was Rudy that actually performed the whole torture thing. It wasn’t even like they were looking for information, after all. Rudy just did it for the sheer enjoyment of causing pain and fear. “You working for British Intelligence certainly explains why you’d give Illya and I up, at least.”
He’d wondered, when Victoria taunted him about Gaby’s loyalties. She never seemed overly loyal to the father who’d left her, he’d had to convince her to come with him, and he had been sure that wasn’t an act. The idea of getting over the wall was what really seemed to spur Gaby to agree.
“You’re going to tell them I’m not who they think, and I’m going to be with Victoria when you do.” His fingers paused as he regarded Gaby, ready to offer whatever comfort he could with the information.
Gaby’s hand went still and she shook her head. “I’m so sorry, Napoleon,” she said, sincerely, with sorrow on her face “I feel like giving the two of you up is counterproductive to whatever it was that you were trying to achieve in the first place,” she says. “Though I know everyone is looking for my father.”
And she was about to see him in the dreams again, she thought. Hope wasn’t truly the right word to describe how she felt. Things were too fraught for her to feel hopeful.
“I’m remarkably glad Victoria isn’t here, the same way we are,” she admitted, brows furrowed slightly. “I just- I’m sorry.”
In the long run, it didn’t make sense screwing each other over in this mission; there was a nuclear warhead at stake, it was serious as a heart attack. Not that he’d voice that right now. But the fact was that given the time of the events, who obtained the film with the details was more important to their assorted agencies. Even the British it seemed.
“It’s not your fault,” and Napoleon genuinely meant that, “Not only because you can’t control the dreams, but even then, it’s not like you knew what would happen.” They were trying to save the world, and bad things happened to spies all the time. He was rather glad it’d happened to him and not Gaby, that was for sure.
If Victoria was here, like them, well, she’d probably be one of those alt-Right nuts, and then he’d feel much less sad about potentially setting her up for something, that was if she hadn’t already broken a million laws. She didn’t seem the type to not be entirely herself and utterly deplorable. No, the taunting, the thrill she seemed to get leaving him to Rudy? Napoleon couldn’t really see her being anything other than awful.
“My best guess is that it doesn’t matter to the British or the Americans or the Russians who gets hurt in the process, provided they get your father and his work.” Which was worrying, all things considered, but still. “I have orders to kill Illya if he gets in my way, I’m fairly certain Illya has orders to just kill me when it’s all over.” Sad, but true.
Gaby winced at the thought that when their dreams were over, it was possible they were going to have ended up losing each other anyway. She wondered - she couldn’t help it - how Illya must have felt, if he was still having the dreams, or if they’d stopped since he left OC. She wondered if he would have been angry at her, she was surprised that Napoleon wasn’t. She was sure that if it had been the other way around, even if there was an explanation, she would have been angry at him.
“That doesn’t mean I have to be happy about my part in this. In you getting electrocuted.” She still didn’t know much about the 1950s, or 1960s, history was too boring to have ever kept her attention at school when she could have been doing more practical things, but she knew that torture was not a common practise. Perhaps that was naivety talking.
She squeezed his fingers again. “Eat. Mindy can wait for ten minutes while you do that, at least. You’re technically still recovering.”
He could understand a struggle with the information she had, truthfully, he’d taken a bit of time to process things himself. Knowing now that Gaby was working for another agency, that she was technically following her own set of orders, well it lessened the blow a little.
She didn’t think so little of him and Illya that she’d sell them out, it wasn’t about her loyalties to them, it was about the British Intelligence and their decision that Illya and Napoleon could fend for themselves -usually true, they did okay at the docks, but surely no one had calculated for a serial sadist with a taste for torture.
“I’m not sure Mindy feels the same as you.” But still, he picked up his sandwich again, even as he left his other hand with Gaby’s fingers tangled up. Hopefully, she’d see, in the dreams, that she had nothing to be sorry for, provided he survived the torture of course.
Gaby chuckled, tapping Mindy’s back legs with her other hand. The dog huffed dramatically and kicked her legs as she rolled over, waiting to see what it was that Gaby wanted and whined when she pointed to the floor. Mindy huffed, glancing at Napoleon like he might save her before she all but rolled off the couch and onto the floor, sitting with her tail thumping and eyeballing her (second) favourite human as he ate.
“Mindy could do with learning to give you a little space,” she said, not letting go of his hand even though the dog had left them. Behind them, Nora could be heard play yipping at Lily, who had perched herself high enough that she could whack Nora if she tried to play too close.
She glanced over, and then at Napoleon. “Lily’s settled in well.” They both had. Having Napoleon in her space felt good.
Napoleon knew he’d make it up to Mindy, she was prone to wanting all the attention ever, and he certainly didn’t mind it most of the time. “I’m not too fussed,” space wasn’t a big issue, really. It was probably why staying with Gaby felt better than the prospect of being at home, just him and Lily.
Lily might’ve warmed up to him, but she certainly wasn’t a lapcat. Being left to his own devices for too long probably wasn’t the best idea in the long run either.
“I think she is working out that she has someone she can actively torment with very little effort.” It was part of Lily’s charm, of course. “I’m afraid Nora might develop a complex if this keeps up.”
Gaby laughed softly. “I think Nora can handle it,” she said quietly, feeling a warm rush of affection as Mindy just wriggled between his feet to rest her chin on the cushion between his knees.
“But that is a problem for tomorrow.”