Creative Accounting

by Nix
(crimsonquills AT gmail DOT com)

Napoleon held the shot glass between thumb and middle finger and pointed at Illya with his unoccupied index finger. "And why are we stuck here?" he asked, articulating carefully.

Illya was frowning. As usual. "Because the car broke down."

"And the car broke down because?" Napoleon prompted, still holding the full shot glass. His hand was steady, despite the slow way he blinked at his partner.

"Because it was a poorly manufactured vehicle," Illya answered, scowl deepening.

"And we were driving a poorly manufactured vehicle because?"

"Because your car is too flashy," Illya said derisively.

Napoleon was undeterred by his companion's bad humor. "And we couldn't drive a flashy vehicle because?"

"Because we do not want to draw attention to ourselves."

"And we don't want to draw attention to ourselves because?"

"Napoleon!" Illya snapped, exasperated.

"Because," Napoleon prompted insistently.

Illya sighed. "Because we are on a mission."

"Exactly!" Napoleon tossed the contents of the shot glass back in one swallow and slammed the glass back onto the table. "So the drinks are a work expense which we can claim."

"The glass of wine and the whiskey, perhaps," Illya grumbled.

"You're only grumpy because we've been doing this for an hour and you haven't drunk me under the table yet," Napoleon said smugly.

Defiantly, Illya tossed back the contents of two vodka shots in quick succession and glared at Napoleon, who just chuckled and lined up his next shot.