Torture (Flash Fiction)

Copyright ©2003 Vicky Loebel
This is a work of fanfiction, intended to be shared freely with all who enjoy. No revenue has been generated from this story and no fee may be charged for it. All material not belonging to the Man From U.N.C.L.E. franchise is copyright Vicky Loebel. Please respect the hard work of authors everywhere and include this copyright notice in any distribution.

Napoleon Solo raised heavy fingers to his brow and wiped at cold sweat. His arms were shaking. He had just enough time for a flash of dread before being slammed sideways by a blow that left his head reeling and his stomach somewhere on the ground.

He yearned for that ground, would have loved to press his cheek against it and find a moment of peace, but the straps pulled him back, kept him upright in his seat without mercy.

This was supposed to have been a day off. How had things gone so wrong?

Far away, he saw a pair of treacherous blue eyes watching him. The lips moved “–Napoleon!–” but he couldn’t hear over the roaring in his ears. “Napoleon!”  Then the face faded into the distance as well.

“Illya.” Half prayer, half curse. The Russian should be the one pounded senseless right now. He’d been in line for this torture—had walked forward to meet his fate without so much as a backwards glance. In that instant Napoleon’s heart had gone out to him. He’d vowed to find a way—some lucky break—that would set them both free.

Then his partner had done a quick shuffle and Napoleon found himself dragged through in Illya’s place. He’d stared back in disbelief as restraints were tightened around him and waited with a bitter taste in his mouth for the misery he was bound to survive.

Illya. His stomach lurched and he closed his eyes again. He would survive and he would pay his partner back for this betrayal. That thought saw him through. He clutched it as he felt himself slammed again and again. Each time it was harder to lift his hand and push back his tormentor.  Each time harder to face the flashing lights and the darkness around him. His strength was fading fast.

It was no use. He was going to die. He closed his eyes while the world spun, jerked, and clutched at his bonds in a hopeless attempt to ward off another bruise. The blow came, painful against his ribs.

And then it stopped. He’d made it, but wasn’t sure he cared. The straps fell away and he staggered drunkenly to his feet, clinging to thoughts of escape.

Illya. Blue eyes were waiting  in the darkness, watching with concern. But not concern for a suffering partner—no. Kuryakin was watching in fear for his life. Napoleon’s cold anger revived him. He smoothed his hair back with his fingers, pinned his eyes on Illya, and strode forward with a purpose. Let the man try to melt away this time. Just let him try.

But he’d forgotten the tormentor, still holding his arm, who pulled him up short with a jerk.

“Again!” Junie Waverly demanded.

“I want to ride the roller coaster again!”