He surfaces to the murmur of a woman's voice rising and failing steadily, like the sound of waves against a beach. Waves… her words don't make sense, and then they do
…much time for a honeymoon, and not much money either, and everything on the Cape was so expensive. But we had ice-cream every day—mint chip and rum raisin—and we had each other and we had a little bungalow right on the beach and at night we could hear the ocean
Illya's eyes flutter open and Joan stops herself short. His gaze flicks to her, searches the room, rests back on her. She can read his calculations as he makes them: Napoleon is not here and she, Napoleon's wife, is. He licks his lips as though to speak and she, catching the flash of panic that he's too strung-out to effectively conceal, takes pity on him.
"Just a broken leg. He's in another room. He asked to be placed with you, but he's being briefed on things the likes of you and I don't have the security clearance to hear about."
He shoots her a look that's confused and a little affronted. You and I are not alike, it says, and she has to smile as she stands, helps him to take a sip of water. Something dawns on him mid-swallow and he chokes a little, gasps, "Napoleon, he's Section One now, yes?" She nods. "A field promotion?" She nods again and he lets out a long, slow sigh.
She can tell he doesn't want her there. Men are very much like babies in many respects, but they usually don't like other people to see them cry. Still, she has a duty to discharge.
"As promised," the little jar clicks softly against the formica tray table. It takes him a moment to focus on it, then he groans and squeezes his eyes shut.
"Please take that away, I'm nauseated enough as it is."
"Suit yourself," she sweeps the caviar back into her purse. Eyes still closed, he sinks deeper into the pillow. Once his breathing deepens, she eases out of her chair.
"Why did you tell me all that?"
What she had taken for sleep had obviously been a prolonged mustering of strength; his voice is clearer now, and growing louder with each word.
"I don't want to know. I don't want to know about your honeymoon and I already knew his favorite ice-cream flavor, and I don't want to know about your 'little bungalow,' and I don't want to know about how the ocean sounded when he fucked you and I don't want to know how much you love each other."
She looks down, meets his glare with a gentle smile. "I thought so." He lies flat, panting. "As a psychoanalyst, it's nice to know I haven't lost my touch. As his wife, I hope you don't think I'm going to roll over and get out of your way."
"No." He stares resolutely past her to the ceiling.
"And you're just going to have to take it on faith that I don't want him sliced in half any more than you do."
"He's going to be awfully confused if we stand on either side of the street calling his name, like two fools trying to claim the same lost puppy."
"I wouldn't worry overmuch on his account. Napoleon has a knack for getting what he wants."
"Illya, honey," she comes forward, rests a hand against his cheek, "you and I both know Napoleon well enough to know that he has no idea what he really wants." She kisses his forehead, squeezes his right arm, and never looks back.