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Third Wheel

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Napoleon Solo leaned casually against the stone wall. His hands were in the pockets of his slacks; the top two buttons on his dress shirt were unbuttoned. He looked for all the world like a man without a care in the world.

If you weren’t looking at him through a set of thick iron bars.

In the corner, his partners were having a deep conversation. Illya on the inside with him, Gaby in the hallway outside their cell. Illya’s voice reached him only in a dull rumble, so he couldn’t make out their words, but with their body language – Illya making sharp, emphatic hand gestures, Gaby tapping her foot and lifting her chin - he could deduce they were arguing. Nothing new there.

Solo rolled his eyes and looked away but was drawn back immediately by Gaby’s sharp refusal.

“No!” He watched as she stepped back from the bars. Illya, as if by instinct, moved closer to them. “That’s not happening, Illya.”

“It is the safest option!” he growled, hunching forward, one of his meaty hands gripping the bars.

“Damn the safest option!” she hissed, looking around before leaning back in and lowering her voice. “I’m not leaving you here.”

“You are impossible!” he stepped back then, and Gaby stepped closer. “You do not listen to reason.”

“Only you would think this was reasonable,” she countered.

She reached through the bars and grabbed him by his ubiquitous turtleneck - it was navy so he must have been in a hopeful mood that morning – and yanked him forward. He jerked his head up, barely missed acquiring a concussion as the rest of him made forceful contact with the bars.

“I’m leaving now because otherwise, they will get suspicious,” she said, holding him there. “But I will be back for you. So, don’t do anything stupid, like die, and waste my time.” The firm words were destabilized by the tremor in her voice.

“Gaby.” It was said low, so Solo didn’t actually hear it but he’d had a good deal of practice reading lips. Gaby stood up on her tips toes, her eyes daring the man to contradict her, and then they were kissing.

Solo cleared his throat, loudly, but continued to be ignored for several more moments. Though the kissing had ceased, there was now the hushed, hurried conversation of lovers about to be parted.

Originally, he had been in camp ‘just fuck already and get it over with’ where his partners had been concerned. Only they hadn’t really done the ‘over with part’ and now he was a perpetual third wheel.

“I might never get another chance to say this,” he interjected in a clear casual tone. “Because I am soon to be tortured and killed. So, I would like to go on record as saying, ‘you two are utterly disgusting.’”

“Shut up, Napoleon,” Gaby said, looking at him sharply. “I’m coming back for you too.”

Solo blinked as her dark eyes fixed on him, then he forced himself to relax back into the stone wall with a nod. “Well, as long as we understand each other.”