No Such Thing

Title: No Such Thing

Author: Rebelcat

Gen or Slash: Reader's choice!

Rating: PG

Warning: Viscera

Beta: I owe everything to EH, who has been inexorably sucking me into this fandom with her DVDs. That's my hand you see disappearing into the quicksand.

Feedback: Yes, please!

No Such Thing

Myths which are believed in tend to become true.
George Orwell

“Yes sir, the Thrush Satrap has been... eliminated,” said Napoleon. The warehouse scaffolding swayed alarmingly under his weight as he finished removing his left shoe. He folded his sock and put it neatly in his jacket pocket. Below, he could see Illya finishing off the last of the white coated doctors.

“Completely destroyed,” said Napoleon, crossing his fingers. With luck, and a few pounds of plastic explosive, his words would be true. Illya had dragged his victim into a corner. Napoleon hoped he hadn’t just seen one of the older corpses twitch.

“Moaning? Sir, I have no idea what you’re talking about. It must be something on your end of the connection.” Napoleon closed his communicator and peered over the edge of the scaffolding again. Damn. That body over by the operating table was definitely moving. Its eyes had opened and its jaw was slowly beginning to flex.

Time was running out. Illya had been mobile within half an hour of infection, and much more than mobile an hour after that.

“Illya, over here, my homicidal little friend,” called Napoleon, sweetly.

Illya’s head snapped up. Napoleon winced to see the state he was in. True, his partner wasn’t the most fastidious of men when it came to personal grooming, but Napoleon was sure even he’d object to having grey matter stuck in his teeth.

Gripping his Special a little tighter, Napoleon took a deep breath and cautiously extended his bare foot over the edge of the walkway. He wiggled his toes. “Doesn’t this look tastier than that nasty old Thrush? Wouldn’t you rather – Yikes!”

Illya’s teeth snapped shut, a bare inch short of taking off Napoleon’s big toe. He fired reflexively, a sleep dart burying itself right between Illya’s eyes. “Good God, you’re fast!”

The sound Illya made put the hair up on the back of Napoleon’s neck. He was sure he saw lust in those randomly rolling eyes, and it was not the nice kind of lust, either. Napoleon fired again, this time hitting Illya’s neck.

A viral super-soldier serum - that was what the mad scientist had said. Illya had been destined to be the first recruit in an army of soldiers who never slept, never felt injury, and never questioned orders. Well, Napoleon acknowledged, they got that last part right. Illya certainly wasn’t questioning orders. He wasn’t hearing them, either.

“Zombies are supposed to be slow,” Napoleon informed Illya, firing a third time. “Haven’t you seen the movies?”

Illya was beginning to look like a human pincushion. He’d taken a tranquilizer dose large enough to kill a man twice his weight, but was showing no signs of slowing down. Napoleon checked his clip. Three left.

Illya abruptly launched himself straight up into the air, his fingertips latching onto the edge of the scaffolding. It swung precipitously, and Napoleon fell forward, slamming into the railing and only just managing to hang onto his Special. He fired straight down, and then stamped on Illya’s fingers with his right foot – the one that still had a shoe.

“I’m sorry, my friend,” said Napoleon as Illya’s body hit the floor below. “I regret this, I really do.” He pulled the trigger. “But I can’t allow you to eat me. You’d feel terrible afterward.”

Illya staggered to his feet... and then staggered again.

Napoleon hung over the railing and fired his last round, praying his luck would hold out just one more time.

Illya fell over with a thud.

Fortunately, thought Napoleon as he retrieved his shoe, Thrush never created a disease without an antidote.

Now all he had to do was get to the freezer on the other side of the warehouse. Which meant getting past the bodies that were beginning to drag themselves sluggishly across the floor toward him. Napoleon nodded to himself. Finally, a reason for all those endless hours spent on obstacle courses in Survival School. He’d have to send Jules a thank you note.


The first thing Illya said was, “Why am I in a straitjacket?”

Napoleon leaned on his elbows in the long grass, contentedly watching the warehouse burn. The flames were bright against the night sky.

“Because I chose not to become a snack for a Russian zombie.” Napoleon never thought he’d be grateful that Satraps were always stocked with a wide selection of restraints. He wondered if it was discretion that kept Illya from mentioning the ropes and shackles, or if he hadn’t yet regained feeling in his limbs.

“Zombie?” Illya frowned, puzzled.

“Affectionate as my feelings toward you might be,” said Napoleon, “I really do prefer to maintain a certain distance in our relationship. My intestines, for example, should stay in my gut, and not end up in yours.”

He glanced at Illya. He’d managed to comb most of the viscera out of his partner’s hair, but a good shampoo and cut might still be in order.

“Release me,” said Illya.



“Not yet,” said Napoleon. “Relax. Enjoy the view.” He waved a hand at the burning building. “Isn’t that a lovely sight?”

Illya was silent. Napoleon could almost hear his mind working, turning things over and considering the implications.

Finally, he said, “There are no such creatures as zombies, Napoleon.”

Napoleon smiled. “Not any more!”