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Dirty guy Picfic 10/22
Ever wondered what happened after our intrepid pair and Salty drove off at the end of the 'Ultimate Computer' affair?  Here's what I came up with ....

Dirty guy


‘Filthy’ didn’t really come anywhere close to describing how he felt, Illya decided, as they spun away from the Governor’s mansion, now engulfed in the kind of fiery inferno that would leave little evidence of its colonial elegance behind for anyone sifting through.  He could feel whatever it was that was creeping all over him in turn being crept all over by another, more bloodthirsty species, in fact he felt alive with unwanted members of the insect world who enjoyed the taste of blood.
He glanced in the mirror.  Napoleon had not been deterred either by his partner’s parodying of his usual chat up line or Salty’s shocked response.  Despite her incessant arguments, he appeared to be winning her over with his unique brand of boyish charm once again, Illya thought somewhat glumly.  Somehow he even looked, annoyingly, quite presentable.  In the gloom of the evening his suit, like its owner, despite surviving a dip in the river and a few bouts of fighting still looked reasonably respectable; it seemed that nothing could tarnish the aura of attraction that seemed to surround his partner.
Illya glanced down at his feet; the pale skin, or what was not covered in grime and mud, just visible as he stamped on the brake and swerved to avoid an enormous pot hole in the half made road they were following.  He didn’t need to look in the mirror again to check his own appearance in comparison.  Nearly three weeks of semi-starvation, hard labour and minimal access to washing facilities had left their mark.  He scratched his head unconsciously at the thought, immediately aware of the coarse, oily feel of his hair. 
He felt a tap on his shoulder and slowed down slightly.  He could sense that Napoleon had leaned forward towards him, but only slightly; he rightly guessed that his present aroma was not one the American particularly enjoyed. 
‘I think we should split up.  As you said, they’ll be a lot of our THRUSH friends lurking thereabouts, and I don’t particularly want them to come across us as a merry threesome.’  Illya slowed a little more and turned slightly, enough to notice the wrinkle of Napoleon’s nose as he moved.
‘I’ll take you into the nearest town and no doubt you can get Feodor to pick you up and take you to the airport at St Luis’ he replied tersely, the sound of the engine beginning to concern the part of his brain which knew about car engines.  ‘I’ll find my own way there, no doubt’ he added darkly, forcing back images of hot showers, soap and large plates of enchiladas from his weary mind, at least for the moment.
‘Sounds like a plan’ Napoleon said, immediately leaning back and repositioning himself next to Salty.

The jeep bucked and spluttered its way through the back streets of the town where Illya had been assaulted and forcibly removed from what felt like a very long time ago.  Before he had been unceremoniously clubbed to the ground on that occasion he had noticed a small hotel in the square facing the offices of the Guardia Civil, who, although not entirely trustworthy, would probably be more occupied with rounding up the THRUSH men than looking for at least two respectable looking tourists and one slightly less respectable escaped convict. He signalled to Napoleon and swerved to a halt outside the place, a relic from some colonial past that had seen better days some years before.
Despite his initial, rather generous thoughts about the Guardia Civil, he had forgotten that in Chacua, memories were long but communication was poor.  Before anything could be agreed between them, let alone anything be exchanged like money, clothes or even the time of a rendezvous, the blast of a whistle burst through the other, more attractive noises of the street.
Hey!  Gringo!  Venga aqui! Obviously someone hadn’t thought to tell the Guardia Civil that the escaped prisoner was supposed to be allowed to escape. Illya shrugged.  Somehow the thought of being tangled up with the machinery of this South American state once again just didn’t appeal. Napoleon could deal with it. He let the cigarette butt he had been chewing for the last week fall from his mouth and ran rapidly away from the hotel, encouraged in his speed by a few random bullets zinging off nearby walls.

Fortunately the town was blessed with a maze of narrow, crooked streets, the doors and windows of the many houses crowded together to form this illogical town plan, now barred and shuttered from the approaching morning sun.  Even for a man with a sense of direction it was easy to lose any sense of distance or bearing in a place like this.  Despite keeping up a constant pace over what felt like miles of constricted, winding back alleys, Illya still could not shake off the guards, the heavy pounding of their feet and the interminable whistles.  Eventually, just as his legs seemed to be failing him, he burst quite suddenly onto a wider avenue, the sun streaming through the alleys which led onto it to highlight a small and extremely closed looking row of shops.
This was not an ideal street to be on, he realised.  Within a few minutes the guards would be upon him, and there was nowhere to hide.  He slowed to a dejected stagger and began to drag himself along the road, glancing hopefully at the darkened entrances for any faint chance of protection from his pursuers.
The first couple of shops were very clearly closed, a kind of newsagent and bookshop barred by an internal iron door with a large ‘cerrado’ sign affixed, and then a small clothes shop similarly shuttered, the contents of whose window Illya, for the first time in his life, found himself greatly desiring.  He passed on.  Two more shops completed the row; first, a small grocery store which, his heart leaping, he noticed was in the process of opening.
As he dragged himself towards the opening door a diminutive woman dressed entirely in black emerged, holding a thick broom easily equalling her height.  Before he was able to make another faltering step forward she emitted an ear-splitting scream, delivering a powerful blow into Illya’s midriff with the brush.
‘¡Socorro!  ¡Policia!
Temporarily winded, Illya staggered backwards onto the street.  It was bad enough being attacked by men; to be attacked by a tiny old woman with a broom was the last straw.  He turned in desperation to the last window, the sound of whistles and heavy feet drawing ever nearer.
It was not immediately noticeable what this shop was selling, if anything.  It seemed in the middle of being re-modelled, the old, painted sign now surrounded by a frame of new wood, upon which he imagined a new sign would be placed.  He could just make out the first few letters, ‘PEL…’, then the last two, ‘IA’.  Before his befuddled mind could work out the missing letters, a woman’s head and arms plunged through the curtains which covered the whole of the window.
She was obviously alerted to something by her neighbour’s screaming, which now thankfully had subsided into a volley of rapid Spanish directed towards Illya. He caught the words ‘filthy’ ‘smelly’ and ‘criminal’ as well as some other choice adjectives which were highly unflattering before his gaze was entirely riveted onto the woman in the window.
It was hard to choose what to look at, the woman, or what she was holding.  She was exceptionally striking, dark skin and tight, black curly hair surrounding her exquisite face with its full lips and deep dark eyes.  She had a broad piece of red silk tied round her head in a style reminiscent of African women, and she certainly was of African heritage, of that he was sure.  However, it was hard not to be drawn to the equally arresting implement in her hand.
It was a razor, her hand gripping it expertly, the smooth blade lying in her palm as she held him in her gaze, like some kind of inert, but dangerous creature under her control.  For a moment time seemed to pause as their eyes met.  Then, just as suddenly as she had appeared through the curtain she was in front of him.
Dentro’ she said in subterranean, melodious tones which brooked no opposition, even if there was a choice.  He managed to somehow propel himself inwards before the door shut behind him and he found himself alone.  He sunk to the floor, too tired to be aware of the room beyond the fact that it was a room and he was inside it.  His remaining conscious sense told him that there were raised voices, several of them, outside, and then, quite soon afterwards, there was silence, excepting the dry scraping of the door as it opened and closed behind him again.
However hideous he might appear, she seemed to be entirely unfazed by it.  Her face was suddenly close, the exotic, spicy smell of her effacing all other, more unpleasant ones emanating from him. He felt her arm supporting him and a glass pressed to his mouth.
Coco’ she said by way of explanation, as the liquid coursed down his throat.  For an instant, Salty suddenly appeared in Illya’s brain; Salty with her uncontrollable talking, her energy and vivacity, and now this woman, exotic and monosyllabic.  The contrast was hard to take in, especially for a man hardly able to speak or move.
Summoning his last reserves of energy he stood up, his throat now responding to the coconut drink. 
‘I need to …’.  She cut him off, her hand across his lips.
‘You need upstairs’ she said, suddenly speaking English, or a kind of English with her dusky Hispanic tones.  ‘Clemencia see to all things.’
Clemencia.  If he had been able to, he would have laughed at the irony of her name.  Mercy.  Images of nuns with winged habits flapped round his increasingly addled mind.  He stumbled slightly as she edged him forward and through an open doorway fringed with flapping narrow plastic strands in red and white towards narrow stairs.  The wisdom of trusting her seemed secondary to achieving the feat of actually hauling himself up the staircase but in his mind the words ‘shower, eat, sleep’ had now replaced any other thoughts.  Frowning with concentration, he forced himself upwards.

Napoleon sat back on the chair and sighed deeply.  A heavy blanket of despair mixed with resignation had smothered his initial, more positive mood as he looked at his watch for what felt like the twentieth time that day.  He ran his fingers round the back of his collar and felt the sticky sweat on his neck and under his arms begin to take on some of the odour of his partner.
He wasn’t surprised at the invitation to spend some time in the offices of the Guardia Civil, particularly when Illya had made the decision, before he could stop him, to run rather than stay behind to sort things out.  He could see the logic of his actions; it was soon obvious that in the eyes of the Civil Guardsmen, his partner was still an escaped convict and therefore a target until someone told them otherwise. 
He had been patient at first, explaining, in what he considered to be very good Spanish who he was, who Illya was, and who the police needed to contact to confirm that information.  If he didn’t know before, he now knew why the word ‘mañana’ was so popular in these parts. Nothing, except perhaps the need to visit the local Cantina for a beer, seemed to command the least urgency about it.  His identification card was passed round and commented on; great interest was shown in his communication device, but after a lot of shoulder shrugging and moustache tugging, lunchtime was declared and a vague promise of something happening given possibly for later in the day.  He had been allowed to contact New York, the officers gathered round the communicator like children with a new toy, but now, he was condemned to sit it out in this sweaty rat trap waiting for Feodor to come and rescue them all at some undefined time in the future.
With no way of contacting Illya himself he was condemned to play a waiting game, hoping that the message would get through to the Russian’s pursuers before they found their prey. He ran his hands down his suit, attempting to smooth the wrinkles out.   Across the road lay a hotel room with at least the chance of a hot shower and the remote possibility of getting a clean shirt and his suit pressed into something with a passing likeness to acceptable.  He drummed his fingers on the table and thought of Illya again.  He was pretty confident the Russian had gone to ground somewhere.  A slight smile came to his lips as he caught a brief glimpse of himself in the dusty mirror behind the Sergeant’s desk.  However appalling he looked now, he was confident his partner outdid that by the power of ten.
‘You, there, clean up.  I prepare bath for you.’  Despite the coconut, Illya was now working on some kind of battery reserve which only allowed him to obey commands without question.  He glanced round.  She had flung the shutters open and a soft sunny light had filled the room, a view of endless, pan-tiled roofs stretching across the town in front of him.  He gazed at the shower and the bath, the shower wedged into the corner, while the bath, a wonderfully old fashioned looking high sided piece of furniture, stood proudly in the centre of the room, the plumbing rising up from the floorboards by its side.
A bath and a shower; she seemed to be able to read his mind.
‘You too dirty for bath.  Strip now.’  He realised that they could have spoken Spanish together quite easily but strangely he preferred her English phrases, clear and brutally to the point. The first of his three wishes seemed to be on the verge of being fulfilled.
She turned and began to run the bath, an immediate and powerful surge of steamy water hitting its enamelled sides.  Illya shrugged and began to strip off his clothes, not caring now whether she had turned back or not.  He could feel the rawness on his shoulders from over-exposure to the sun, the burns temporarily blackened by his general state of filthiness. 
There was a large bar of soap in the shower and a large sponge.  Paradise.  As the water hit him he heard the plastic curtain swish back.  He flinched, a weary readiness that she might want something from him flooding over him.  He turned, forcing an annoyed look onto his tired face.
‘No hair wash.  I do’ she said, her eyes not moving from his. He looked down and smiled.
When he emerged the bath was ready.  She was standing looking out of the window, the slight wind rippling the long silky dress that he now noticed matched her headdress perfectly.
‘In.’ He could have predicted it, but now it was becoming a kind of pleasurable game.  The water was slightly translucent, with some kind of herbal smelling additive he imagined.  He put aside his normal distrust of anything he wasn’t sure about and climbed in. 
She came up to the bath, a large jug in her hand.  Illya momentarily wondered where the razor had gone to before his breath was taken away by a sudden gush of water over his head.  Her fingers seemed to bore into his skull but the sensation was not unpleasant and soon became almost enjoyable.  After some time of washing and rinsing, accompanied by a kind of deep rhythmic humming from her throat, she smoothed some kind of cream onto his hair before expertly winding the towel round his head into a similar headdress to her own.  No doubt Napoleon would have found the comparison amusing he thought to himself. 
As she turned away again his partner came to mind.  No doubt he would have arranged matters with the police by now and be sinking into his routine with Salty.    He reasoned with himself that keeping hidden for the rest of the day made sense and he did need a rest.. desperately.
After applying something wonderfully soothing to his sunburn, Clemencia walked to the door.  Rather needlessly she murmured ‘stay’ before disappearing downstairs.  Illya lay back, the height of the bath and the towel round his head perfect for relaxing.  He forced himself not to close his eyes at least to do so only periodically.  In a short time she was back, a small plate in her hand.
‘You eat. More later.’  He sat up slightly.  The second of his wishes, a delightful assortment of tapas, lay on the plate.  Clemencia picked up a delicate piece of tortilla and waited for him to open his mouth. 
He had felt her pour in more hot water but that had served only to weld his eyes together more.  It was only the thwack of leather that had forced them apart.  She had placed a chair behind his head and then slowly removed the towel, keeping it in position on the edge of the bath as she gently placed hands either side of his head and pulled it back.  He allowed her to comb his hair back from his face, before, with even strokes she covered his face in thick, cool soapy foam.  The sight of the razor evoked an instant response, his hands coming out of the water and gripping the sides of the bath, his body suddenly tense and hard.
‘It okay.  I no hurt you, amigo.’ He twisted his face, looking up into hers.  The word had not escaped him.  He had no idea why this woman should do this for him and only demand friendship, but for whatever reason, he felt profound gratitude.  He lay his head back as she brought the razor up his chin with a practised touch.
The evening glow pervaded the room, making the walls and the bedclothes even a rosy colour. The third wish had been granted; he had slept, a long deep sleep through the day until with some innate knowledge, she had called ‘amigo’ several times from the door of the room.
‘Illya. It’s Illya’ he had murmured as she nodded towards the clothes arranged on the chair near the window. 
The suit, elegantly cut from a kind of silk and linen mix in a deep blue, and the shirt, an equally fine cotton garment, lay waiting for him, together with other, necessary clothing. Clemencia nodded towards the next house. 
‘Maria, she get them… for Illya’ she said almost coyly now, the syllables of his name rolling round deeply in her throat.  He sat up and nodded. 
‘Thank you Clemencia.  I am … grateful.’  She nodded and withdrew, leaving him to dress alone.
The plane’s engines emitted an unexpected roar before returning to their usual waiting mode, eliciting a slight interruption in Salty’s chattering at Napoleon’s side.  Luckily she seemed to have locked onto Feodor as the object of her attention and was regaling him with a verbal list of what she hoped to achieve in Chacua now that the present regime had been toppled.  Napoleon gazed across the tarmac, the evening dusk now making it more difficult to locate any approaching vehicle except by its noise.  He had been assured that Kuryakin was safe; apparently some distant relative of the chief of police had taken him in for the day.  Solo imagined the scenario and wondered what he could get out of it; however knowing his partner as he did, the Russian would probably want to sleep most of the way home regardless of his appearance.
The subject of appearance made him look down.  There had been no time to even enter the hotel room, never mind shower or change into something less terrible than the suit he had on now.  Feodor had insisted they leave immediately and Salty had been more than happy to comply.  He had grabbed something which called itself an enchilada at a stall near the airport, and had to content himself with the remote possibility that the food on the aircraft might be palatable.
He squinted into the distance and caught sight of something at the same time as Feodor signalled to the steward at the top of the steps.  It was a police car, rather worse for wear, but moving along rapidly at least.  It screeched to a halt near to the small plane, a police officer immediately jumping out and giving Feodor a warm shake of the hand before nodding to Napoleon.  Napoleon could see two figures in the back, but the gloom made it difficult to ascertain who was who.  After a few moments the doors opened.
Napoleon’s lips tightened to a thin line and he stared hard at the two figures standing companionably by the car.  Kuryakin, almost unrecognisable from the filthy wretch who had run from him only that morning, leaned over towards an extraordinarily beautiful woman who, in one graceful action, stroked his chin and lightly kissed him.  As she remained standing there he walked rapidly towards them, acknowledging Feodor and Salty then giving Napoleon a long, slow glance up and down before running lightly up the stairs of the plane.
Illya paused at the top step and turned round.  The police car carrying Clemencia had already left, not waiting.  He could see Feodor slowly extracting himself from Salty’s grasp while Napoleon remained at the bottom of the steps, his neck slightly tilted and his face set in an astonished, slightly peevish stare.
‘I thought there was some dirty guy coming on board’ the steward said, looking at Illya and then down at the three figures below them.
‘He’s following’ Illya replied.

Nice! A little bit of revenge for our Illya.

Exactly. I consider he deserved a little luck after innumerable 'dirty guy' missions. Thanks so much for reading.


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