by Nix
(crimsonquills AT gmail DOT com)

Napoleon struggled to keep his eyes on his paperwork. If he looked up he'd just start laughing again, and laughing could get him killed right now. But the very nature of the paperwork--their mission report--reminded him of why he wasn't supposed to look up, and a traitorous snicker escaped.

"It's not that funny," Illya said, disgruntled.

Looking up automatically, Napoleon broke down into chuckles. Again. His partner's glare motivated him into choking them off again. "Illya," he said, "if you could just see yourself..."

"I have seen myself, thank you," Illya snapped. He ran a hand through his thick, hair. "I should have left you on the bottom of that pool."

"That's a little extreme," Napoleon protested. He emerged from behind his desk and went to perch on the corner of Illya's instead. Reaching out, he caught a hank of unevenly stained hair and gave it a playful little tug. "It's not my fault THRUSH was a little overenthusiastic in chlorinating that pool."

Illya jerked his head back out of reach and scowled. "It is not chlorine that turns hair green," he said irritably. "It's trace amounts of copper reacting with chemicals remaining on the hair. Over chlorinating is only an indirect cause."

"You," Napoleon said, lips twitching, "are splitting hairs."

If looks could kill, Napoleon would have dropped dead. Illya's eyes flickered away from his partner for a moment, apparently taking in Napoleon's desk. "And you," Illya said, with a sudden smile, "have a report to complete. I have finished mine." He snapped the folder on his desk shut and stood.

Napoleon watched as Illya shrugged into his suit jacket. "But we always get together after a mission," he said weakly.

"Not this time." Illya's voice was heavy with mock sweetness. "I'm sure you will manage to amuse yourself." He turned and stalked out of the office.

When the doors had hissed shut, Napoleon sat frozen for a moment...and then broke down into helpless laughter. Illya's glares lost much of their effectiveness when delivered from beneath bright green, streaky locks. His ruffled feathers would settle down eventually.

In the meantime, Napoleon headed down to imaging. He needed to print a couple of pictures off the UNCLE security cameras before it occurred to Illya to erase the relevant film.