Code 20-A

May. 6th, 2017 04:37 pm
yumyumpm: Napoleon and Illya (Man from UNCLE)
 

Code 20-A 

By YumYumPM

Originally written 2005

 revised

We first hear of Code 20-A in the Brain Killer Affair

Alexander Waverly is once again down only this time it goes one step further - he's missing.

11:17pm

 

Illya Kuryakin was reclining in his partner’s chair, his feet propped atop the desk, reading a new ‘technical journal’.  The type of ‘journal’ that contained the centerfold that unfolded with the staple in the middle of the picture.  It was a secret pleasure for him and evidently for Napoleon as well since he kept the magazine locked away in a drawer.  Suddenly the sound of a klaxon blared throughout the building. It could only mean one thing - Alexander Waverly, head of the U.N.C.L.E. North America, was down.  He was on his feet in an instant; hurriedly he tossed the magazine back into the drawer and as an afterthought relocked it.

Grabbing his jacket, he rushed out of the office, working his arms into the sleeves as he passed other agents, guns drawn, as they too raced toward Waverly’s office.  Getting there he pushed his way though to the front of the crowd finding Mr. Waverly’s right hand girl, Lisa Rogers, standing there looking dazed.

“What happened?” he demanded.

 She came out of her trance long enough to point toward the office.  “He’s not - there.”

Illya entered the familiar office, coming to a stop midway into the room paused and did a one-hundred and eighty degree circle.  His eyes scanned the room, first the communication console behind the circular desk, then the picture window, on to the couch against the wall, and finding everything in place.  Lisa was correct, Waverly wasn’t there.  Napoleon Solo as number 1, section 2 should have been notified right away.  Since he wasn’t available that left Illya in charge.  Turning back to the anxious faces in the hallway he started barking orders.  “Contact Mr. Solo, Code 20-A.” 

 “You,” Illya ordered, pointing to someone in the hall. “Seal off this floor.  Get George Dennel up here to go over the room.”  Then turning to Lisa Rogers he asked, “When was the last time you saw him?”

 

11:25pm

 

Napoleon Solo was embracing an extremely attractive woman; their kisses had long since passed the steamy stage.  She had just pulled back breathlessly and rose from the sofa to purr, “Darling, I’ll be right back.”

When she reached her bedroom door, she turned, looked over her shoulder and sensually ran a wet tongue over her lips while she fluttered her eyelashes.  “After I get into something more comfortable.”  Her look promised much. 

Napoleon smiled in anticipation, then his communicator started to chirp.  Patting his pocket, he pulled the pen out.  He moved away from the sofa to find a more private place to take his ‘call’. 

“Solo,” he answered, his eyes still on the bedroom door, his smile still firmly in place.

A feminine voice carried over the airway saying briskly, “Code 20-A.  ETA?”

Solo’s smile quickly turned to a frown as he checked his watch and made a quick calculation.  

“11:45,” he responded tersely before closing the channel.  He put his pen away just as his date for the evening reentered the room dressed, or in this case barely dressed, in a rather seductive negligee. With a sigh of disappointment and a final kiss, Solo made his excuses and left.

 

11:44pm

 

By the time he reached headquarters his mindset was all business, he’d put his date and his plans for her a thing of the past from the minute he reached his car.  He entered through the agents’ entrance and was greeted by the receptionist who fastened his badge to his tuxedo.   She tilted her head to one side and informed him, “Mr. Kuryakin is waiting for you in Mr. Waverly’s office.”

Giving her a parting smile along with a sly wink, Napoleon moved on through the sliding doors into the main maze of corridors that encompass the U.N.C.L.E.  He made his way to Waverly’s office slipping through the stream of people that were rushing this way and that, a somewhat unusual occurrence for that time of night.  Entering Waverly’s office he stopped to see his partner, sitting in Waverly’s chair, his shirtsleeves rolled up, going through a pile of folders, scattered across Mr. Waverly’s desk.

The swishing of the door opening caused Illya to glance up as his partner entered into the room.  A sly smile lit his face and without a word he pulled out his handkerchief to pass it to U.N.C.L.E.’s CEA (Chief Enforcement Agent) pointing to a lipstick spot on his face.

A bemused Napoleon wet the cloth and wiped the spot indicated.  The lipstick print explained the mischievous glint that had been in Illya’s eyes.   Giving a ‘what did you expect’ shrug, Napoleon asked, “What happened?”

Illya leaned back in Waverly’s chair and sighed. “We are not sure.  Sara left him in his office, alone, at around seven o’clock; Lisa took over shortly thereafter.  When Lisa entered with Mr. Waverly’s usual nine o’clock tea he was…. gone.” 

Napoleon’s eyebrows drew up in disbelief. 

Illya shrugged in response.  “We’ve checked all the entrances and have gone over all the tapes.  There is no sign of him leaving. Not this office or the building.”

“That’s impossible,” stated Napoleon firmly.

“Impossible or no, that is what happened.” 

George Dennel, who had been quietly examining the room, came over.  “I’ve gone over the entire room.  It’s clean as the proverbial whistle.  I plan to return to my department and check out the records there and see if I can come up with anything else.  See you guys later.”

“So, we’re ruling out kidnapping?” Napoleon turned back to his partner.

“We have not ruled out anything.  I’ve been going over his files,” Illya said as he waved to the folders that covered the round table.  “There is nothing here that could…” his Russian accent growing more pronounced signaling his frustration.  He sent a sly glance toward his partner before suggesting. “Why don’t you go change, unless you prefer to impress the secretaries with that tux?”

Napoleon glanced down at his tuxedo. Somehow during the activities of the evening it had lost its pristine look and several buttons were in the wrong holes.  He started to correct that situation, but stopped when he decided Illya was right.  Nodding, he set out toward his office, glad that he kept a change of clothing there. 

The first thing he did was to sit his desk and take out the special key he kept hidden, unlocking one of the drawers.  He couldn’t help but notice right away that something was wrong; his magazine which he usually kept face up was now lying upside down.  His eyes became mere slits and he uttered just one word, “Illya.” Who else would enter his office and invade the privacy of a locked drawer. The corner of his mouth twitched, it seemed you can’t trust anyone.  He started to relock the drawer then thought better of it, since Illya had already managed to get into the drawer there no longer seemed a point to it.

Freshly dressed, Napoleon reentered Waverly’s office just as Illya smoothly rose to switch places.  Sitting down he glanced sideways at the Russian and muttered, “You could buy your own copy, you know?”

Illya looked at him, blinked as he wondered what Napoleon was talking about.  Once he realized, a small slightly embarrassed smile lit his face.  He considered playing innocent, but decided there was no need and shrugged.  His frugal ways were well known, besides it was more fun getting into places that were supposed to be off limits.

Napoleon shook his head, letting that matter slide.  He looked over the information that Illya had organized for him and continued, “So what brings you here at this time of night?”

“There was nothing better to do and my air-conditioning is out…again,” Illya grumbled

“You‘re always welcome to use my spare room.  I even have color TV,” Napoleon offered.

Illya smiled his thanks as he shook his head negatively.

Napoleon shrugged.  “It’s your loss,” he said as he continued to sort through all the reports Illya had gathered.  Finally leaning back he stated, “You’re right.  We have a visual as well as a written record of him entering this morning at eight o’clock.  Not to mention a complete list of everyone he saw from that time on.”

Illya interrupted, “They are all being questioned to see if there was anything said, no matter how small, that could be of any help.” 

Napoleon nodded his approval.  “Sara is positive that he was here when she left at seven, but Lisa can not verify that he was here when she arrived.” 

Illya shrugged.  “She had no reason to enter the office until nine.” 

“Soooo, he most probably disappeared sometime between seven and nine.”  His eyes squinted he looked around the room.  “The question is how?” 

Illya grunted his agreement.

 

1:50am

 

Napoleon rubbed his face with his hands.  They had been at this for hours and were still no closer to an answer.  He’d gotten back into town late and immediately changed for his date that night, so that explained why he was tired.  His partner had to be tired as well, though you wouldn’t know it to look at him.  “Why don’t you get some rest?” he offered, taking a sip of coffee that one of the secretaries had so kindly provided them with. 

Illya looked up from the papers he had been going over.  “I am no more tired than you are, my friend.  This is more important.  When we have located Mr. Waverly then I will rest.” 

Napoleon sighed and shook his head; there was no arguing with the adamant Russian.  That led his thought to a topic that had been at the back of his mind for some time, yet never asked about.  “Illya?”   

His partner looked up again.   

“Why is it you never speak in your native tongue?”  He himself sometimes called Illya ‘tovarish’, but with Illya it was always ‘my friend’. 

Illya looked at him amused. “You are getting punchy; perhaps you are the one that should rest.”

Napoleon smiled back.  “You could be right.  But seriously, why don’t you?” 

Illya set the papers he’d been studying down and considered.  

“Napoleon, not everyone...,” how could he phrase this.  “My accent alone gives many people…what is the word…cause for concern.  Much less my actually speaking…”

Napoleon looked shocked. “Aw, come on, this is a free country.” 

“Only to some,” Illya said softly, looking down. “Could we please change the subject?” 

Napoleon nodded but made a mental note to find out which people had ‘cause for concern’.

Illya got up and started pacing the office; the question had bothered him and he didn’t like thinking about it.  Then he had an idea.  He looked from one wall to another.  “Napoleon?  Where are the blue prints of this office?” 

Napoleon sorted through all the papers spread on the desk and finally pulled one free.  The two men stood over it and studied the dimensions.  Then Illya mentally went over the dimensions of the actual room.  There was a shortage, but where?

 

3:57am

 

They had gone over every inch of the room and were on the last wall.  Napoleon was running his hands down a certain section, when he felt rather than heard a click.  He moved back just in time to miss being hit in the nose by a section of wall, as it swung open. 

The two agents came and stood side-by-side and stared - at another wall.  This one had a large, and rather ugly, painting on it.  Napoleon sighed.   “Well, it’s no Picasso.” 

Illya gave him a look of amusement as he ran his fingers over the picture, a large bowl of fruit.  The pear in the picture looked out of place and as Illya’s fingers touched it, he found a depression and the frame slowly swung open. 

Both agents backed away before moving forward again.  What they found was a doorway with a voice-activated lock.  Napoleon looked at the Russian.  “I’d heard rumors that there was a fifth entrance.”

Illya nodded.  “Evidently it’s not a rumor any longer.” 

“So, now what?”  Napoleon asked. 

“Usually people use something easy to remember, something familiar to them, such as a birthday or anniversary,” Illya suggested. 

Napoleon went back to the desk and thumbed a button. “Lisa, we’re going to need a few dates.  Mr. Waverly’s birth date, his anniversary…”

“The date he started with U.N.C.L.E,” Illya threw in.

“Any dates you can think of that Mr. Waverly might use,” Napoleon finished. 

Lisa returned shortly with four pages of dates.  Her eyes went wide when she saw the opened wall. 

“You never saw that,” Illya said, his eyes going over the pages in his hands. 

She just nodded as she backed out of the room.

 

5:30am

 

They had gone over half of the dates when Napoleon suggested it might be programmed to Waverly’s voice.  They had passed this thought on to George and he had confirmed that that might be the case. 

Illya who had entertained friends with his uncanny imitation of Mr. Waverly started over again.  Nothing.  Illya was about to suggest using explosives when Napoleon suggested facetiously, “Why don’t you try Open Sesame?” 

Illya gave him a look that clearly suggested what he could do with that idea.  Then he considered that he had nothing to lose and cleared his throat. “Open Sesame,”  he said in a perfect imitation of Alexander Waverly.  Much to their surprise the door opened leading into a tunnel.

 

6:43am.

 

The agents, after much deliberation and with flashlights in hand, had decided to follow the tunnel.  Their lights flashed against the dark, damp wall along the way until they reached the end of the tunnel and found another doorway.  Unlike the other doorway, this one had just an ordinary handle.  They opened it to find themselves inside a subway station.  Looking back at the door, the sign hanging on it said ‘Broom Closet’. 

As people kept rushing around them Napoleon stated the obvious, “Okay, what do we have…a secret wall with a secret door and a secret tunnel.”

“That leads to a subway station,” Illya finished. 

Napoleon ran his hand through his hair and looked around.  He spotted a large sign that said ‘Waverly’s Way’.  “You don’t suppose?” he asked looking at Illya. 

Illya shrugged as they went over to the sign.  They regarded it far a few minutes, and then Illya pushed on sending it swinging inward.  The two agents looked at each other before cautiously entering yet another tunnel.  When they arrived at the end finding just an opening, no door, and exiting they found to their surprise a limousine waiting for them. 

“Mr. Waverly sends his regards,” the chauffeur said. 

With great reluctance they entered the limo and were whisked away to Mr. Waverly’s home.  The chauffeur doffed his hat to them as he let them out before returning to the driver’s seat and driving away.  The two agents approached the front door and knocked.  An English butler opened it and promptly led the way to the dining room where Mr. and Mrs. Waverly were seated eating breakfast.  Two additional places had been set and Mr. Waverly motioned for his agents to take their places.  The two agents looked at each other and silently sat down where he had indicated while the butler brought out plates of egg, bacon, toast, and coffee as well as juice.  Mr. Waverly looked at them with disapproval as they started to attack their plates.  Checking his pocket watch he sternly stated, “Gentlemen, it is now eight o’clock.  I had expected you here at least half an hour earlier.  Perhaps next time you will do better.”

 

The End.

yumyumpm: Napoleon and Illya (Man from UNCLE)
 Bring on the Clowns

By YumYum
(once upon a time there was a script written concerning a circus and clowns as an episode.  This was my take on it.)

Published in Collected by YumYum Zine

 

Napoleon was leaning against the wall next to the water cooler engaging the latest addition to the secretarial staff in conversation.  “I thought dinner, a little dancing, and then….who knows.”

 

The young lady in question, a petite red head responded by looking pointedly over his right shoulder.

 

“I am sorry to interrupt, Napoleon, but our appearance has been requested by Mr. Waverly.”   The soft Russian voice did not sound sorry at all.

 

With a growl of frustration, and an apologetic glance at the young lady, Napoleon fell into step with his partner heading toward their superior’s office.

 

“Another assignment?”  Napoleon questioned.  “We just got back from the last one.”

 

Illya spared an uncertain glance to his partner. “I am not sure.  The request was rather strangely worded.”

 

By that time they had reached Alexander Waverly’s door and walked in. 

 

Waverly looked up from the pile of papers in front of him. “Come in.  Come in.  Have a seat, gentlemen,” his tone jovial.

 

Napoleon and Illya exchanged shocked looks at each other before sitting in their usual chairs at the round conference table.

 

“It has been brought to my attention that the two of you have been rather overworked,” Waverly commenced solemnly, though there was a slight twinkle in his eyes.

 

“No more than usual, sir,” Napoleon said smoothly.

 

“Be that as it may, gentlemen.  The medical section assessment suggested that a little time away is in order.”

 

“Just how little time away…,sir?”  Illya queried.  Something about this did not feel right.

 

“Eight weeks,” Waverly answered.

 

“Eight weeks!”  Napoleon exclaimed in surprise, even when they were wounded they were never out of commission that long.

 

“Just enough time to go back to school.”  Waverly sent a file turning toward the two men.

 

The two agents exchanged startled gazes.  Illya was the first to pick up the file and open it.  “Clown College!”  He looked at his boss, his mouth open in shock the folder hanging loosely in his hands.

 

“Here, let me see that,” Napoleon said sharply as he grabbed the folder from Illya’s limp fingers.

 

Waverly leaned back in his chair, patting the tobacco he’d filled his pipe with into place. “I don’t want to hear any objections from either of you.  Medical has made its decision, and I stand by it.  Everything you will need is in that folder.  Now off with you.  That’s an order.”

 

The two men got up out of their seats, each in a state of shock.  Napoleon turned back to ask one last question.  “What if something important comes up?”

 

“If we need you, we’ll call you.”  Waverly dismissed them abruptly.

 

Once outside Napoleon, who had the folder still in his hand, turned to Illya. “This is madness.”

 

Illya nodded his head in agreement.

 
 

So that was how twenty-four hours later the two agents found themselves in Venice, Florida, outside of Tampa, attending the Ringling Brothers Clown College, along with twenty-eight other participants. 

 

Sitting together at the back of the tent, the two agents listened as Kenneth Field informed every one of what to expect.  “You will learn make up, juggling, and the fine art of falling down.”   Someone at the front giggled.

 

Napoleon leaned over to mutter in Illya’s ear.  “I already know how to fall down.”

 

Illya snickered, earning him a sharp look from a nearby young lady.

 

“You will design a character that is especially you.  Make up, clothing, the works.  You will work out a routine and at the end of eight weeks you will be full-fledged clowns,” Fields announced.

 

A hand was raised from the front row.  “Mr. Fields, just how many different types of clowns are there?”

 

“That’s a very good question.  If you will refer to your folders there is a list, a rundown of the types, with makeup and costume suggestions for each.  As a brief rundown, however, there are four different types of clowns – the Whiteface, the August, the Tramp/Hobo, and the Character.  The Whiteface clown is broken down into three categories.  There is your classic European whitefaced clown, commonly called the Pierott clown.  He or she is considered an elegant clown, artistic, colorful, bright, and cheerful.  Its performance is highly artistic and skillful, but with a comedic or dramatic flair.”

 

Napoleon leaned close to Illya and whispered, “That could be you except for the bright and cheerful.”

 

“Then there is the straight whiteface clown.  This clown is much like the European clown, only more so.  In any skit he is the one in charge, setting up the routine, throwing rather than taking the pie, slap, or kick.”

 

“That would appear to be the one for you,” Illya whispered back to Napoleon with a smirk.  It earned him a snarl from Napoleon and a glare from the person seated in front of them.

 

“The last is the Grotesque Whiteface, a more traditional clown.  He is more comical than the straight whiteface, but a bit more reserved than the Auguste.  The Auguste is the most comical of clowns.  He/she is impish, gregarious, and thrives on slapstick.  Actions are usually big, clumsy, and awkward.  He is usually the brunt of the joke, though he can also be the instigator.”

 

“I take it back, Napoleon.  That one sounds more like you,” Illya whispered, careful not to earn another glare.

 

“Then there is the Tramp or Hobo.  This classic clown was epitomized by Emmett Kelly, and Otto Griebling.  He is usually a forlorn and downtrodden character who has nothing and knows he will never have anything.  Red Skelton’s portrayal of the character Freddie the Freeloader is a good example.”

 

Napoleon grew thoughtful.  There were times when that description could describe his partner.

 

“Lastly we come to the Character clown.  Usually an identifiable character or occupation.  A fireman, doctor, nurse, cowboy, the list goes on and on.   Charlie Chaplin would be considered the epitome of a character clown.  When working up your clown’s character – try to remember originality is important.  It takes practice, hard work, and determination to be a good clown.”

 

“Sounds a lot like preparation for being a spy,” Napoleon muttered aside.

 

“Without further ado, let’s go to the next phase.  Developing your character.  Follow me,” Kenneth Fields finished off, leading the way to another area.

 

Napoleon and Illya got up with the rest of the students and followed Kenneth into another tent.  This one was filled with makeup tables, wigs, and clothing.  Handing each student a drawing pad, he encouraged them to look around and decide just how they wanted their character to look.  “When you have decided how you want your character to look, I’ll turn you over to our makeup artist, who will teach you everything you need to know about the types of makeup and how to apply it.”

 

“Mr. Fields, how long do we have to decide on a character?” someone asked.

 

“Oh, I think you all should have something ready by the end of the week,” Fields replied.

 

Checking out the costumes, Napoleon remarked to his partner, “You could probably show them a thing or two.”

 

After looking around, Illya found himself a quiet corner, opened his pad, and started sketching.  Napoleon, totally frustrated, came up behind him and looked over his shoulder.  With a few strokes, Illya had managed to convey a unique and original character.  The face was of course white, with black lids and lips and a small tear in one corner.  The clothing was simple and typically Illya-basic black.  “I didn’t know you could draw,” Napoleon said with amazement.

 

“There is a lot about me you do not know,” Illya replied absently as he put a few final touches to his drawing.

 

“Could you do one for me?  I was never very good at that sort of thing,” Napoleon asked.

 

“Sure.  What did you have in mind?”

 

With a sigh Napoleon said, “If I knew that I wouldn’t have asked you to do it for me.”

 

“It’s never stopped you before,” Illya said with a smirk, folding the paper for a fresh sheet.  In a few strokes he created yet another character, white face and bald.

 

“Il – lya!”  Napoleon growled.

 

With a chuckle Illya turned the sheet to start again.

 

A pixie like girl came close and addressed Napoleon.  “Excuse me…but I couldn’t help but wonder.  I don’t want to offend you or anything.  But you don’t seem the type to be here.  You just don’t look like clown material.”

 

Without looking up from his drawing, Illya answered for him.  “Napoleon will go anywhere, if there is a chance to meet girls.”  Napoleon nudged him with his elbow.  “Actually he is here humoring me.”  He tuned his pad around to display the character he’d created for Napoleon.  The whiteface was simply done; the head topped with a top hat, and the body in a rather shabby looking tuxedo.

 

Napoleon grinned his approval.

 

“That’s really good!” exclaimed the girl.  “What do you plan to call him?” she turned to ask Napoleon.

 

Napoleon in turn, turned to Illya.

 

“Code names are your area of expertise,” Illya responded.

 

By the end of the second week, they had graduated to doing makeup.

 

The makeup lady had started her lecture with, “There are several different types of makeup.  There is water-based, Halloween, cream-based, and greasepaint.   The choice of most clowns is greasepaint.  Greasepaint is impervious to all but the heaviest of soakings, holds to your face and retains its color well.”  Groans could be heard from various people in the class. 

 

“If you will refer to your information sheets, you will find a few helpful tips.  One.  Apply makeup only thick enough to cover your skin.  If you apply it too heavily it can flake off.  Two.  Powder your makeup with baby powder or talc.  This helps set it and prevents it from running.  Do not use powder with cornstarch, unless you want a yellow face.”  This statement was greeted with laughter.  “Three.  Do not apply colored makeup to your upper lip.  This should be left white or flesh to provide some definition between your nose and mouth from far away.  Okay now let’s get to it.”

 

Illya, of course, was enlisted by the teacher to help once his knowledge of makeup became evident.  He was currently working on applying makeup to Napoleon’s face.

 

“You’re really getting into this, aren’t you?”  Napoleon asked, his eyes closed while Illya worked on him.  “Maybe Waverly was right.  Maybe we did need to get away.”

 

“Napoleon, will you please keep quiet.  I can’t do this properly with your mouth moving.”

 

By the end of the third week, their routine was in the process of being worked out.  Each group was to show what routine they had worked out so far in front of the rest of the students.  Illya was dressed all in black, wearing it like a second skin.  The wig atop his head was also black.  Napoleon had on a dusty old tuxedo and top hat.  He sported glasses and a handlebar mustache. The only thing was…their act – it wasn’t funny.  Napoleon could do the rolling and the tumbling, but he couldn’t do funny – at least not intentionally.

 

“Come on, Napoleon,” Illya hissed. “You’ve got to do better than that.”

 

“I know,” Napoleon moaned.  “It’s just that I find it inhibiting to perform in front of a crowd.”

 

“Since when?”  Illya asked wickedly.  This earned him a slap in the back of the head by his partner.  Suddenly there was laughter.  The two men didn’t notice.

 

“Just what is that supposed to mean?”  Napoleon asked sharply, advancing menacingly on his partner.

 

Illya backed away slowly. “Oh just that I’ve heard…”

 

“And what have you heard,” Napoleon demanded to know, his eyes flashing angrily.

 

“Ah, well…”  Illya said as he retreated further. “It was all over the office.”

 

“What was all over the office?”  Napoleon roared.

 

Illya turned and ran, his eyes alight with mischief.

 

Laughter resounded throughout the tent, but neither man noticed. 

 

Illya hid behind the center post that held up the tent, peeking around with a wicked smile, unaware that he was unintentionally making his partner angrier.  Napoleon rounded on him ready to do damage.  They circled each other until Illya found a ladder leading up to a platform and climbed it briskly.  Napoleon with his large shoes followed slower.  Illya backed away. “Now, Napoleon, do not do anything you will regret.”  He wasn’t really worried.  After all there were witnesses, what could Solo do?

 

“What makes you think I’m going to regret it?”  Napoleon growled.

 

Illya had reached the end of the platform.  There was only one thing to do.  He did a back flip and landing gracefully on the ground.

 

Napoleon rushed to the edge, frightened by what he might find – a smashed body below.

 

Illya looked up at him grinning.

 

Tremendous applause broke out, as well as stomping of feet and catcalls.  The two agents froze in astonishment.  Mr. Fields, still chuckling, came up to them.  “I think you have finally got it.”

 

 

They were in the process of removing their makeup when a familiar beeping sounded.  Napoleon looked around, found a quiet out of the way spot and opened his pen.   “Solo here.”

 

“Ah, Mr. Solo,” Waverly’s voice echoed.  “Sorry to interrupt you…but we have something rather urgent that has come up.”

 

Illya had edged close so he too could hear what was said.  “And what would that be,” he muttered.

 

Waverly responded almost as if he had heard the remark.  “You both are to catch the next flight for France.  Your tickets should be waiting for you at the counter.”

 

“Yes, sir.  What are we to do when we get there?”  Napoleon asked.

 

“You will be met by the manager of the Cirque du Soleil.  He’ll brief you.  Report in when you arrive.  Waverly out.”  The channel went dead.

 

“He did say Cirque du Soleil?”  Illya asked.

 

Napoleon stared at his communicator; obviously there was more to their clown lessons then met the eye.  “Ahum, the old fox!”

 

 

The end.

 

 

 

 

 

yumyumpm: Napoleon and Illya (Man from UNCLE)
 

Blood Brothers

by:  YumYumPM

originally written 2004

revised

Act 1

 

The two agents were in Illya’s office; Illya was getting a backlog of paperwork out of the way, while Napoleon stood nearby looking through a folder.

 

“Napoleon?  I do not feel well.”

 

Napoleon glanced up to see his partner, his face pale, suddenly collapse.  Rushing over to check on his friend, he was relieved to find a pulse, and quickly went to the phone to contact UNCLE’s medical section.  In a matter of minutes a pair of orderlies arrived with a gurney.  One of them observed Napoleon’s worried face and offered, “It’s probably just the flu, a lot of that is going around.”

 

Napoleon, much relieved, decided to help Illya finish up his paperwork figuring that if he had the flu it would be a while before he would be able to do it himself.  He didn’t get much accomplished as he had trouble concentrating and kept glancing at the phone hoping medical would call with an update on Illya’s condition.  After waiting several hours and not hearing anything, he decided to go the medical section and get some answers.  Mr. Waverly, looking worried, was standing at the door in consultation with one of the doctors.

 

As Napoleon got closer to them he asked anxiously, “Is Illya all right?” 

 

He couldn’t help but notice the glance the two men exchanged.   Mr. Waverly nodded to the doctor, who turned to Napoleon and, taking a deep breath, replied, “I’m afraid it’s bad news.”  He paused.  “Mr. Kuryakin appears to be dying.”

 

Napoleon, his face pale with shock, whispered, “You must be mistaken?”

 

Mr. Waverly responded gravely, “I’m afraid not, Mr. Solo.”

 

“We’ve run dozens of test so far.  I’m afraid there is no doubt,” The doctor added.

 

“I don’t understand.  What….?” 

 

“We don’t know.  We’re continuing to run tests.”

 

 “Can I see him?” he asked, not knowing which way to turn.

 

“Yes, he’s conscious now,” the doctor said.

 

Looking back at the doctor, Napoleon asked quietly, “Does he know?”  But it was Mr. Waverly who shook his head before turning and walking away.

 

Napoleon entered the room to find his partner sitting up in bed, his face thunderous, looking better than he had.  Illya looked up at his entrance and smiled, relieved to see him.  Noticing the expression on Napoleon’s face, he frowned and asked, “What’s wrong, Napoleon?”

 

Never having been able to deceive his Russian partner, Napoleon took a deep breath, reached over and took Illya’s hand in his and told him. Illya closed his eyes having trouble taking it all in.  Napoleon, his mind churning, was having a hard time as well.  A nurse entered the room and administered a sedative, while Napoleon stood by.  He stayed until Illya fell asleep, clinging to his hand in support.

 

The next day he headed for the medical section first thing on arrival.  Catching a nurse as she was leaving Illya’s room, he asked, “How is he?”  The nurse shook her head sadly before continuing down the hall.

 

Taking a deep breath and steeling himself, Napoleon entered the room to find Illya, sitting up in bed wearing blue pajamas that matched his eyes, glance up and take one look at Napoleons face before saying, “You look worse than I feel.”

 

“Hi,” Napoleon said weakly, with a drawn smile.  He wanted to ask Illya how he was feeling but the words stuck in his throat.

 

“Who died?”  Illya quipped.

 

Napoleon turned away, not wanting Illya to see him this close to tears.

 

Illya sighed. He had intended the joke to relieve the situation. “I’m sorry, Napoleon.”

 

Napoleon turned back to him in surprise. “You’re sorry?  I’m the one who should be sorry.” Closing his eyes in pain, he continued, his voice was full of the distress he felt.

“Last night I couldn’t sleep, all I could think about is what am I going to do if...”

 

Illya reached out and put his hand on Napoleon’s arm to pull him closer. “Napoleon, I have a favor of you to ask.”

 

Napoleon nodded, waiting for him to continue.

 

“I want to go home,” Illya said earnestly.

 

“Illya, I don’t think they’ll let…” Napoleon started to say.

 

Reading Napoleon’s mind, something they had been able to do for years, he shook his head and continued, “Not to my apartment, Napoleon, to Russia.  If…” he looked away and closed his eyes for a minute, before turning back to plead, “If…I am going to die, I would wish to see my homeland again.  Please?”

 

Looking into those eyes, Napoleon swallowed hard. “I’ll see what I can do,” he promised.

 

“Thank you. That is all I can ask for.” Illya’s hand squeezed the arm he was holding as Napoleon reached over to cover it with his own. 

 

Act 2

 

It hadn’t been easy, Napoleon had to fight long and hard but he finally got permission as well as a special plane to take Illya home.  The only concession was that a nurse had to accompany them.  Them, he thought, for he wasn’t about to let Illya go without him.

 

They were at the airport waiting to board the special plane when he spotted her.  He glanced at his partner sitting in a wheelchair, another concession.  Clasping him on the shoulder he murmured, “I’ll be back.”

 

 Illya glanced up at him and then over at her and reluctantly nodded.

 

“Hello, Angelique,” he said as he came up behind her, his hands in his pockets.

 

Turning to look at him she gave him a seductive smile. “Hello, darling.”

 

“What brings you here?” he asked not smiling back.

 

Pulling her fur stole closer around her she replied, “I heard the sad news, darling, and even though your little Russian friend and I don’t get along …” Her voice caught. “I know how much he means to you.”

 

He looked away unable to meet her eyes.

 

“Do you know what…?” she ventured softly.

 

He only shook his head.

 

“If it makes you feel any better, I can assure you that THURSH has nothing to do with this,” she stated gently.

 

He finally looked at her. “It doesn’t,” he said tonelessly before walking away.

 

When he arrived back at Illya’s wheelchair, his partner looked up. “What did the she-devil want?”

 

Napoleon started pushing the wheelchair out the door to the waiting plane.  “She said she loved you and was just using me as an excuse to make you jealous.”

 

That brought a smirk to Illya’s face and by the time they got to the plane, he was laughing out loud and didn’t stop till they were safely strapped in the plane.  He looked over to his friend and smiled.  “Thank you.  I haven’t felt much like laughing lately.”

 

Napoleon smiled back as he remarked, “You’re welcome.”

 

An hour into the flight, the nurse insisted that Illya be moved into the private bedroom at the back of the plane, with Napoleon’s help, she made sure her patient was situated on the large bed and made comfortable while she handed him his pills to help him get to sleep.

 

“You should let him get some rest now,” the nurse said sternly to Napoleon, as he paused at the door to look back at his friend.

 

“I will in a minute,” he remarked absently as he leaned against the door and watched his partner slowly close his eyes in sleep.

 

“Napoleon?” 

 

He jerked awake suddenly; evidently he’d gone to sleep leaning against the door, looked at his partner who was barely awake.

 

“What?” he asked softly.

 

“It must be very uncomfortable sleeping standing up. This bed is very large,” Illya replied, scooting over to make room.

 

Napoleon considered and relented, he didn’t really want to leave Illya alone, so he went to the bed to remove his shoes and lie back.  As he turned to his side, his back to his partner, he felt Illya’s hand grab the back of his jacket and smiled before letting sleep claim him.

 

“Really!  This is most unacceptable.”

 

Napoleon jolted to wakefulness, and it was a minute before he could place his surroundings as he watched the nurses retreating back before turning to his partner.

 

Illya was also awake. “I don’t think she quite knows what to make of us, Napoleon,” he said with a smirk.

 

“Who cares,” Napoleon answered as he got out of the bed, his clothing rumpled and his hair awry, and rubbed the sleep out of eyes.  He looked down at his partner before going to the private bath and showering.  With fresh clothes and a good meal, he was more than ready to spend the rest of the flight entertaining his friend.

 

Act 3

 

On their arrival at the Moscow airport, they were met be none other then the American Ambassador and given diplomatic immunity.  “Alexander insisted I see to it that you are well taken care of.  You and your party, of course, will be staying at the embassy.”  This surprised the two agents, as they had not been aware of the arrangement beforehand. Escorting them to the waiting limousine, the ambassador engaged in small talk till they arrived at the embassy.  After being shown through security, the two men were shown to their rooms, which were connected by a private bath, and left to rest from their long trip.

 

The next morning over breakfast a list was made of places that Illya wished to visit and detailed plans made.  Train schedules were consulted and a timetable set and the following day they started out, the nurse bringing up the rear with her medical bag full of pills.  It was a wonderful change to actually enjoy seeing a country without being shot at and they took it slowly so as not to tire Illya out.

 

Four days later they were back at the embassy when a call came through for Napoleon. 

 

“Hello, darling.”

 

“Angelique!” he said in surprise.  “To what do I owe the pleasure of this call?”

 

“I have some information for you, concerning your little friend,” she purred. “Could you both meet me outside the Moscow museum today at two?”

 

Napoleon debated, it would be worth it to find out whatever information she might have.  “Sure.”

 

“Ciao, Bella, till then,” she purred yet again as she rang off. 

 

Illya who had been listening to Napoleon’s side of the conversation asked, “What does she want?”   His voice dripped with sarcasm and not a little suspicion.

 

“I don’t know,” Napoleon said, looking thoughtful.

 

“Do you trust her?”  Illya asked.

 

“Yes.  I think I do,” Napoleon said with a smile, causing Illya to shake his head.

 

 

Angelique had been very busy since she had last seen Napoleon.  With all the contacts at her disposal, she had worked hard to find a link to Illya’s illness for him.  THRUSH was not part of whatever the problem was, she was sure.  She had managed to obtain a copy of Kuryakin’s medical report, how and why would never be known, and had several THRUSH scientists look it over for any clues.  She had even seduced a young computer wiz to do a search for anything even remotely similar and had finally hit pay dirt.  This was not THRUSH, this was something personal.  Then she had contacted Napoleon.

 

Angelique was waiting for them when they arrived and after greeting Napoleon with a passionate kiss. After which she gave Illya, seated in his wheelchair, a brief smile while merely glancing at the nurse who accompanied them.  “Darling, I want to take both of you to see a friend of mine,” she said as she linked her arm through Napoleon’s.

 

“What if I say no?”  Napoleon asked.

 

“Then I would say you will live to regret it.”  Her eyes were somber.

 

The two men exchanged looks and Illya nodded.  Whatever Angelique wanted had piqued his curiosity.  With a look of delight, Angelique ushered them to an awaiting car.  They were very surprised when they pulled up at the German Embassy, and Angelique rushed up the stairways to greet an elderly man wearing the usual white coat of a doctor.  “Darlings, I would like you to meet Dr. Schmidt, an old and dear friend of mine.”

 

Napoleon was amused. “Hello, Dr. Schmidt?  I take it that’s not your real name.” His mind was totally on taking in his surroundings and searching for any possible ambush.

 

“That is correct,” the doctor replied with a faint smile and a small bow, he led them into the building. Turning to Kuryakin, he asked politely, “Vould it be possible for me to hav a sample of your blood?”

 

Illya looked distinctly nervous and the nurse was all but indignant.  Napoleon felt called to ask, “Is that really necessary?”

 

Angelique pulled him aside. “Napoleon, this is important.”  Her eyes told of the magnitude of the request.

 

Napoleon looked back at his partner and nodded, letting him know that he should comply.  Illya in turn looked at the doctor and held out his arm.  The doctor went to work rolling up Illya’s sleeve in preparation for taking his sample while the nurse looked on glaring.

 

After Dr. Schmidt left with his sample Angelique showed them to a fashionably furnished room and offered drinks to everyone.   Napoleon and Illya accepted theirs, but the nurse refused receiving a shrug from Angelique who merely said, “Suit yourself.”

 

An hour later the doctor returned and pulled Angelique aside. “It is positive.” 

 

Angelique nodded and turned to the nurse.  “Could I see the pills you have been giving Mr. Kuryakin?” she demanded, her voice hard.

 

The nurse looked resentful.  “And if I refuse?”

 

Napoleon who was beginning to get the drift ordered, “Do it.”

 

The nurse with an insolent air opened her bag as if to get out the pills and pulled a gun. 

 

“Why?” demanded Napoleon.

 

“I will tell you nothing,” the nurse said, her voice hard, and her eyes blazed as she turned the gun toward Illya and prepared to fire.

 

Angelique quickly grabbed her trying to subdue her and they were soon rolling on the floor.  Napoleon started to go to her aid, but Illya held him back.

 

“I am sure Angelique would not appreciate your interference.” 

 

Soon Angelique got the upper hand and pulling back her fist managed to knock the nurse out.

 

“Nice right hook you have there,” Napoleon said impressed.

 

Angelique gracefully got up, straightening her clothes and patted her hair back into place.   “I think you will find this all goes back to something in your friend’s distant past,” she said glancing over at Illya.  “If I were you I would get him back to New York as soon as possible.”

 

“How can I ever thank you?”  Napoleon said gratefully as he nodded his agreement.

 

Looking at him with sultry eyes she answered, “I’ll think of something, darling.  Now I must leave.”  She turned and gave the doctor a peck on the cheek before giving Napoleon another passionate kiss, while Illya looked on rolling his eyes.  She turned to walk away, then did an about face and going over to the wheelchair, pulled Illya’s face up for an equally ardent kiss.  The stunned look on his face was worth it she thought as she left.

 

Act 4

 

Three weeks later Napoleon entered Illya’s office to what seemed like déjà vu.

 

Illya was once again in the midst of paperwork, having fully recovered from the subtle poison that had been slowly killing him.  Angelique had been right; it had been retaliation for something he’d done before joining UNCLE.  He hadn’t told Napoleon anything about it and wasn’t planning to.  The past was the past and he refused to dredge it up.

 

Illya looked up to find his partner looking at him speculatively.   “What now?”

 

“How would you feel about coming home with me?”  Seeing the look on Illya’s face he corrected himself.  “Not my apartment…where I grew up.  I got to see something of your past and wanted to show you something of mine.”

 

Illya considered it for a while before nodding with a smile.  “It would be my pleasure.”

 

Two days later they arrived at Napoleon’s hometown.  Over the course of the next few days they visited where Napoleon used to live, schools he went to, and even where he had played little league. They were now standing in front of a statue with park benches all around.  Napoleon said proudly, “And this is where I stole my first kiss.”

 

Illya snickered and said dryly, “I see they put up a statue in honor of the event.”

 

Napoleon looked at him, contemplating his next action.  He then stepped closer, and giving in to something he’d wanted to do for a long time, kissed him. 

 

Illya pulled back, his eyes troubled. “Napoleon, we can not do this.” And with a sigh continued, “You are too much like Lays Potato chips to me.”

 

Napoleon looked at him confused.

 

“You know, can not eat just one?” Illya’s eyes mirrored his amusement.

 

Napoleon found it comical that his friend would come up with a food related analogy, but he backed up a respectable distance understanding what his friend was trying to say.

 

“Besides, I owe Angelique, and she would probably kill me,” Illya said, his eyes asking for understanding.

 

“You’re probably right,” Napoleon said a little sadly to the man he thought of as more than a brother, before coming up with an alternative.  “How does blood brother sound?”

 

Illya perked up noticeably.  “You know I’ve always wondered…”

 

Napoleon smiled and pulled out his penknife.  Opening it, he ran it lightly across his palm, slicing it open, then taking the hand Illya held out repeated the process and clasped their hands together formally sealing the pact.

 

“Blood brothers,” Illya said softly with a radiant smile.

 

Napoleon looked at him and smiled back. Then with a slight frown of apprehension he asked, “You do know I’m not Indian, right?”

 

The End.

 

 

 

yumyumpm: Napoleon and Illya (Man from UNCLE)
 

The Because I Miss You Affair

YumYumPM

Originally written for Kuryakin Files 23

revised

 

Napoleon Solo was whistling as he descended down the stairs to Del Floria’s Tailor Shop.  Two weeks away from grey steel corridors had a way of rejuvenating a man. Winking as he tossed a salute to the man behind the counter and entered the dressing cubicle, turning the hanger that took him into UNCLE headquarters.

 

“How was your vacation, Napoleon?”  The dark-haired beauty at the receptionist desk smiled as she leaned forward to ask conspiratorially.

 

“Absolutely wonderful, my dear,” the suave agent replied as he took her hand to bestow a kiss on it.  Two weeks in the Bahamas had left the agent well rested and tan. Wine, women, beaches, women, restaurants, women - what more could a man ask for?

 

“Is Illya in yet?” Napoleon asked.  One of the perks was being able to gloat about the fun he had while his partner had to work.

 

“Mr. Waverly asked to see you as soon as you got here,” she said as she took her hand back.  She hoped he didn’t notice that she hadn’t answered his question. 

 

“Can it possibly wait till I get a cup of coffee?” Napoleon asked with a frown as he leaning over for her to fasten his badge to his jacket.

 

“I’m afraid not,” she apologized, her hand lingering just a moment longer than was necessary on his lapel before handing him a stack of messages that had accumulated while he was gone.

 

Solo gave her a roguish smile before he entered the main corridor heading straight for the elevator that would take him to Mr. Waverly’s office.  He absentmindedly read his messages.  Jessica, Amanda, Monique, Susan.  Putting them away in a pocket, he stopped at the door to straighten his tie before continuing into the office and headed for his usual chair.  He assumed that his partner would already be waiting for him and he’d have a chance to regal him with how much he’d enjoyed his time away for the steel walled world they worked in.

 

He was somewhat surprised to find his partner not only not there, but another man seated in Illya’s usual chair.  He glanced at the man, noting that he was tall and thin, and his hair cut in a crew cut so short you couldn’t tell what color it actually was in stark contrast to Illya’s own long blond locks.

 

Napoleon was halfway seated when Alexander Waverly announced with an absentminded wave of his hand toward the other man seated at the round table. “Mr. Solo, I would like you to meet your new partner, Jack Standish.”  .

 

“New partner?  What’s the matter with my old one?”  Caught by surprised, Napoleon poised just above the seat of his chair.

 

“I’m sorry to say Mr. Kuryakin is no longer with us,” Waverly’s reply was blunt and he was avoiding eye contact.

 

“Ah, I’m sorry, sir.  Perhaps I didn’t hear you correctly,” Napoleon was beginning to develop a sense of alarm “You can’t possibly mean…?”

 

“No, No nothing like that.”  Waverly waved his pipe contritely, finally making eye contact.  “Mr. Kuryakin was recalled by his government.”

 

“When?” Napoleon was feeling as if he’d been pole axed.  Recalled?  There was no sign of any such action taking place when he left.  In point of fact they’d never actually discussed what would happen should his government recall Illya; indeed Napoleon had assumed after all this time that it would never happen. The two men had worked together a long time and to suddenly come back to find Illya gone was mind-boggling.

 

Waverly at least had the good grace to look uncomfortable.  “Three days ago.”

 

“And you let him go?”  Napoleon asked with a certain amount of outrage.  After all, Illya wasn’t just any agent, he was one of the best UNCLE had.  His knowledge of languages alone made him a valuable asset, not to mention his abilities in the lab and his remarkable talent with disguises.  Plus he was a darn good pick-pocket.

 

“We had no choice,” Mr. Waverly stated firmly his tone leaving no doubt that the subject was closed.  He had no intention of discussing this especially in front of another agent.   The orders had arrived and stated in no uncertain terms that one Illya Nickovetch Kuryakin was to return to the Soviet Union without delay.  “That will be enough about Mr. Kuryakin. You and Mr. Standish have an assignment.”  He then proceeded to outline the assignment as Napoleon tried to reign in his emotions.  However, he had difficulty concentrating on what his superior was saying. He was also having trouble understanding the reason why his partner and best friend had been recalled not to mention why nobody had thought enough to notify him of the fact.  Wasn’t he Chief Enforcement Agent after all?

 

“That will be all, gentlemen,” Mr. Waverly finished as he closed the folder, sending it around to stop in front of his chief enforcement agent.  He watched with concern as Solo picked up the folder and both agents got up to leave.  Damnable business this, he thought.  He hoped the feelers he had sent out to find what was behind the recall would turn up something soon.  He’d always felt that agents who worked as closely as those two did should not be friends.  He shook his head with disapproval before turning back to other matters.

 

Jack Standish followed his new partner out of the room.  He’d been watching Solo and was rather surprised that he had shown such concern about Kuryakin’s recall.  He’d heard the Russian was good, but he was smugly confident that soon Solo would see the he was a far better partner than the Russian had ever been and forget all about Kuryakin. Standish looked to the senior agent and said with faked sympathy. “Sorry to hear about Kuryakin, Solo, but I’m sure you’ll find me an excellent replacement.”

 

With a look of thinly disguised disgust Napoleon headed for his office with the unfortunate Standish in tow.  It was bad enough that Illya was gone, but this guy seemed to have a high opinion of himself.  It didn’t help matters that he stood four inches taller than Solo and had the irritating misfortune to talk through his nose.  Had he cared to check, Napoleon would have learned that Standish had just transferred in from the west coast and was highly experienced.  Not that it would have mattered.

 

Solo kept walking as Standish started to enter Kuryakin’s office.  He stopped surprised to find a work crew in the process of cleaning it out.

 

“Hold on here,” Solo ordered as he saw what was happening.  “Just what do you think you’re doing?”

 

The two workmen looked at each other before turning toward Standish to take their cue from him.  

 

“Mr. Waverly ordered Kuryakin’s things removed.  This is now my office,” Standish said matter-of-factly.

 

“I don’t give a damn what Waverly ordered,” Napoleon countered angrily.  “Nobody clears this office but me.” 

 

The workmen shrugged.  It made no difference to them who cleared the space out just so long as it was cleared. 

 

Napoleon hesitated before entering the room.  He was still having difficulty accepting the fact Illya was gone, and once he entered it would make the fact final.

 

“Would you like some help?”  Standish offered.

 

Napoleon looked at him in surprise, having already forgotten he was there.  “No….no, I’d rather do this alone.”  He waited for the men to leave before moving to the desk to empty it of any personal items that might have been left behind.  As he sat down his eye caught sight of an envelope addressed to him in his partner’s familiar handwriting.  He was hesitant to open it.  Picking up a letter opener he slit the envelope and slowly removed the letter within.

 

Napoleon,

 

I’m truly sorry not to have had a chance to say goodbye, but it is undoubtedly for the best.

You know that I’ve enjoyed our years working together and how much I value our friendship.

 

Farewell my friend,

Illya N. Kuryakin

 

Napoleon crumpled the letter in his hand more than a little angry with his partner.  “Damn you, Illya,” he muttered.  “How could you let them do this to you…to us.” He’d only been away for two weeks and look what happened; Illya obviously couldn’t be trusted on his own. Appreciation for the way the Russian agent’s devious mind worked made working with anyone else unacceptable. 

 

Since they’d never discussed this possibility, somehow Napoleon had the idea that he’d never see his partner again, at least not alive. The suddenness of the summons would have been disquieting at anytime, but why now?   He considered all the possible reasons that his partner might be recalled for, but nothing serious came to mind.  For some reason this reminded him of the time his friend had been left to die on an island during The Concrete Overcoat Affair if not for a last minute rescue on his part and his chest tightened.  A last minute rescue!   It was minutes before he was aware of a knock at the door.

 

Mandy Stevenson paused outside the doorway before knocking.  She looked in to see Napoleon sitting, looking so alone and lost that her heart went out to him.  “Hi, Napoleon,” she said softly as she entered the room.  “I’m really sorry about Illya.” 

 

Napoleon cleared his throat.  “Thanks, Mandy.”  Geez, everyone knows but me.  Great.

 

“I thought you might want to see this...” she continued sympathetically as she hesitantly passed him a folder containing a copy of Illya’s recall orders.  Even though she worked in translations, she knew enough about their partnership to know that Napoleon would want whatever information there was on this.  Besides hadn’t Napoleon gone out of his way to let her have her own little bit of adventure?  He hadn’t had to do that.

 

Without saying a word Napoleon took it and just sat there staring at the folder.  “If there is anything I can do?”  she asked timidly before preparing to leave.

 

“Mandy,” he called to her causing her to turn back.  “Does anyone have any idea what’s behind this?”  He went through the folder as he spoke.

 

Mandy shook her head.  “It came as a complete surprise.  I don’t think even Illya was expecting it.  One minute he was here.”  She waved her hand around the office.  “Then poof he was gone.”

 

“Why didn’t anyone get in touch with me?”  Napoleon asked angrily.

 

Mandy bit her lip before replying, “Illya asked us not to.  He said he didn’t want to spoil your vacation.”

 

Napoleon leaned back in astonishment. Not spoil his vacation?  He was the chief enforcement agent.  Hadn’t Illya even realized what coming back to this could possibly….no of course not?  Shaking his head, he gave Mandy a rueful smile.  “Thanks,” he said.

 

He was sitting there reading its contents when Standish returned.  “Might I have my desk now?” the agent asked peevishly as he stood in front of the desk.

 

Napoleon pulled himself together and got out of the chair.  “Sure.  It’s all yours.”  He left the room holding two folders in one hand and the crumpled letter in the other.

 

“Solo, don’t you think we should discuss the mission?” Standish called after him.

 

Stopping and turning to face the man who could never replace Illya, he snapped, “Not now.”  And finished with thinking, not ever.  When he made it to his own office he took a deep breath and again opened the folder with Illya’s orders in it.  Coming to terms with this was harder than he expected.  He glanced down at the crumbled piece of paper he still held and carefully flattened it. 

 

He stared at the folder for several minutes before putting the letter carefully away in his desk drawer.  He opened the second folder that held the briefing that he should have been listening to while in Waverly’s office.  As he read the contents, his attitude took a turn for the better, and a slow smile passed over his face.  He reopened the folder with Illya’s travel orders in it and couldn’t help but notice that his new assignment would take him fairly close to the location where Illya had been ordered to when recalled. 

 

Standish arrived at Solo’s office twenty minutes later, having picked up their plane tickets.  “We leave in two hours, are you ready?”

 

Napoleon gave him a huge smile as he got up from behind his desk.  “I’ll be right with you; I just have a few little things to take care of.”  Had Standish any sense he would have been scared.

 

 

Napoleon pulled up the collar of his dark trench coat as he stepped off the train at Vilnius in Lithuania.  Turning right he headed through the Old Town, painfully aware of its dilapidated condition.  Burned out windows, crumbling shutters, and cracked plaster cried out for millions of dollars’ worth of restoration.  Mandy had been as good as her word and he had no trouble at all in finding the building where Illya was presently located.  He had ducked through archways and into courtyards before finally making his way to the former KGB prison.  He wasn’t sure what he had expected, but this wasn’t it.  The fact that it was now a museum was slightly ironic, as well as the fact that Illya was now in charge of it.

 

Upon entering the building he went to the receptionist, a rather mousy young woman, and asked in halting Russian, “Vi gavaritye pa angliski?”  He had never bothered to learn more than rudimentary Russian, seeing as when he had Illya for a partner he hadn’t needed to.

 

Da.  How may I help you?”  she asked in stilted English.

 

Before he could answer that, a blond-haired man dressed in a rather stiff uniform stepped out of the office behind her.  He wasn’t paying any attention as he dropped the folder he was carrying on her desk and turned away.

 

Napoleon stood there rocking back and forth on his heels and toes.  “Hi there.”

 

Illya stopped dead in his tracks and turned around at the sound of the familiar voice, his face split into a grin.  “Napoleon!  Come in, come in,” he said as he ushered Napoleon into his office. 

 

Napoleon looked around, taking in the bare walls and the 40-watt light bulb that hung down from the ceiling.  He appeared completely fascinated by the light and turned to cast a questioning eye at the slight blond.

 

Illya looked at him with amusement.  Being under scrutiny was a way of life here.  “You get used to it after a while,” he said with a shrug.  “I’m surprised to see you here.”

 

“Not nearly as surprised as I was when I got back from vacation and found you were gone,” Solo replied, his voice held some of the bitterness he was feeling. “You realize of course that I’d been thinking the worst and here I find you some sort of desk jockey.”

 

“You didn’t know?”  Illya waved him toward a chair.

 

Napoleon took off his jacket and sat down in an uncomfortable chair before continuing sarcastically, “Evidently no one felt it was important enough to inform me.  I found out when I was introduced to my new partner.”

 

Illya cocked an eyebrow at him.  “So soon?” he murmured.  “Where is he, or is it a she?”

 

“He is back at the hotel in Helsinki suffering from a severe hangover,” Napoleon replied rather smugly.  “He evidently hasn’t had experience drinking Vodka. So how is life treating you, Tovarish?”

 

“Not bad,” Illya said shortly.  “Why have you come here, Napoleon?”

 

“Well, I happened to be in the neighborhood and thought I’d buy you lunch.”

 

Once they were outside in the cold air, both men pulled their coats tighter around them as they set off down the road.  “Where are we going?”  Napoleon asked.

 

Illya gave the American a sideways glance.  “I thought we might go up to Castle Hill.  There is a tower with a magnificent view of beautiful Vilnius.”

 

Napoleon snickered.  “Just what I always wanted to see.”

 

Illya’s eyes crinkled with amusement as the two men continued their walk and, as they arrived at the top of the tower, Illya inquired somewhat hesitantly, “Should I ask again why you are here?”

 

“Probably not.  In all truthfulness I’m not quite sure myself.”  Napoleon stared intently at the blond Russian. “How are you….really?”

 

“Bored,” Illya said with a shrug as he turned away to take in the view below.

 

“Okay, who did you piss off to get sent here?” Napoleon asked wryly as he wondered how Illya could be so acceptant of this.  There were many things he’d missed about his partner; his caustic wit, his strange sense of humor, his intelligence…his wallet.   He even missed the bantering and the bickering, and the feeling of being able to count on him in a pinch.

 

“I wish I knew,” Illya replied with a brittle laugh.  “Will you be able to stay long?”

 

Napoleon shook his head.  “No, I need to head back soon and collect what’s-his-name.”

 

“What’s-his-name?  Hardly professional of you not to remember,” Illya stated as he let out a chuckle.

 

“He’s not very memorable though he seems to think he is.”

 

Despite the coldness of the weather, the two men walked slowly back down toward the train station.  They stopped at a tavern to eat and talked for quite a while of inconsequential matters before going their separate ways - Illya back to his boring office job and Napoleon to catch a train.

 

mfu

 

One month later Solo had managed to through three more partners.  No one seemed able to live up to Solo’s standard of excellence.  Waverly had finally given in and now Napoleon was truly a solo agent.  But, that was no reason to cut his senior agent any slack.

 

“It’s absolutely imperative that we get those plans back, Mr. Solo,” Alexander Waverly ordered in his usual brusque way.

 

Napoleon leaned forward in his chair and considered his options before playing his ace. “I’ll need Illya.”  He’d gone over all the information they had and found several instances where Illya’s expertise could prove invaluable. 

 

The old man sighed heavily.  They’d had this conversation before. “You know perfectly well, Mr. Solo, that Mr. Kuryakin is unavailable.”

 

“Yes.”  Solo nodded his agreement.  “However, I can’t do this without him.” This was not strictly true, it wasn’t that he couldn’t do this alone, but why bother.  Working with the Russian he’d gotten used to not having to second-guess him.  Illya knew exactly how he thought and acted accordingly, no explanations were ever necessary.  Their mission successes were a testimony to that.

 

Waverly had never liked being cornered and he scowled as he said abruptly, “I’ll see what I can do.”

 

Solo, with great difficulty, kept the smile of victory off of his face.

 

Twenty-four hours later Napoleon Solo was standing by watching as passengers disembarked at Kennedy airport.  He relaxed visibly when he spotted a certain blond-haired Russian dressed in black walking toward him.  As Illya stopped in front of him, Napoleon said matter-of-factly, “It took you long enough.”

 

“It’s good to see you too.  Now can someone please tell me why I am here?”  Illya demanded sternly, though the corners of his mouth threatened to curl up in a smile.

 

“Not now.  We have another plane to catch and I have everything we’ll need right here,” Napoleon responded as he tapped the inside pocket of his jacket.  “Shall we?”

 

“Shouldn’t I be debriefed?  I can’t see my returning as if nothing’s happened.”

 

“Sorry, there’s no time.  Waverly said this was imperative, and you know what that means.”

 

“He wants it done yesterday.”  Ever the pragmatist Illya simply shrugged and again picked up his suitcase to follow his partner.  His eyebrows went up as he noted their destination.  However, Napoleon still refused to fill him in.  Every time Illya would go to broach the subject, Napoleon would bring a finger to his lips as he smiled and shook his head.

 

They arrived at their destination and checked into their room.  Once the bellhop left, the two men worked with their usual efficiency checking out the room for listening devices and any other surprises that might be in store for them.  This is what Napoleon had been missing, someone who knew how he thought, someone dependable that he could trust to watch his back.

 

“Some things never change,” Illya remarked as he unpacked his suitcase upon one of the two double beds in the room.

 

“The budget, my dear Kuryakin, you must always remember the budget,” Napoleon said sardonically as he went over to the bar to fix them each a drink.

 

“Ah,” Kuryakin nodded with understanding.  “Can I now know why I was sent for?”  Illya asked as he took his drink.

 

“All in good time, my friend.  All in good time.  How much were you told?”  Napoleon asked as he settled in the one comfortable chair in the room and put his feet up on the nearby table.

 

Illya went over to the window and looked down to the beach below. The view was enticing and he couldn’t help but wish that they were here for something other than an assignment. “Merely that some important plans are missing.   Ah, the beautiful Cayman Islands,” he muttered wistfully as he paused before continuing.  “This would seem to be an unusual place to find them.”

 

Napoleon cleared his throat. “I suppose it would be…if they were actually missing.”

 

Illya narrowed his eyes and turned his scathing gaze on him.  “And just what does that mean?”

 

“It means, my friend,” Napoleon said as he finished his drink. “That we will enjoy ourselves for…oh say, seventy-two hours, before we produce the plans, saving the world yet again,”  he finished as he got up to refresh his drink.

 

Illya turned his head, following Napoleon with his gaze.  “Do we know where the plans are?”

 

Napoleon saluted Illya with his glass.  “Actually, we do.”

 

Illya pondered that before asking. “We do?  How do we know this? 

 

“We know because I’ve already found them.”

 

“You what!  You can’t be serious,” Illya said in shocked surprise.  Then as he thought about it further. “Then why did you need me?”

 

Staring down into his drink, Napoleon considered his reply.  “I didn’t ‘need’ you.  It was just the only way I could think of to get you back.  I figured we could enjoy ourselves and then after a few days I’ll return them.”

 

Illya shook his head with annoyance. “Then what?  They’ll only send me back, you know.”

 

“Well, I have a couple of other operations in the works that will definitely require your special skills,” Napoleon said serenely as he sipped his drink.

 

Illya looked at him with disbelief.  “For what purpose?  Besides…someone will surely catch on and then where will you be?”

 

“I guess I’ll just cross that bridge when I get to it.”  Napoleon shrugged, then leaned back in his chair, his feet propped up on the coffee table looking unconcerned. “By then it will have accomplished its purpose.”

 

“Which is?”

 

“To buy you time.”

 

“To do what?”

 

Napoleon dropped the bombshell. “To become an American, British, or Canadian citizen.  Whichever you prefer.” 

 

There was shocked silence for a time.  Illya looked at his partner as if he was crazy.  He would in all probability never be allowed to enter Russia again. “Do you realize what you are asking?”

 

Napoleon looked at his friend before saying softly, “I think I do.  But it’s the only way.  It wouldn’t change who you are.  Nothing could do that.”

 

“I might never be allowed to go back,” Illya said.  There was always the possibility they might shoot him on sight.  Defectors were discouraged rather harshly.

 

“No…at least not legally,” Napoleon couldn’t resist adding with a slight smile pulling at the corner of his mouth. “Can you honestly say you want to go back…to a desk?”

 

Illya’s shoulders slumped in defeat.  He should have known better than to argue with Napoleon.  Freedom, freedom to go where he wanted, to do what he wanted, to work once again with his partner.  He glanced at the dark-haired American before quietly replying.  “No.”  Taking the time to think this over and get used to the idea he brought up, “This could take years.”

 

“Not if we get Mr. Waverly to pull strings.”  Napoleon appeared to have it all planned out.

 

“And why would he do that?”  Illya wanted to know.

 

“Illya, I’m surprised.  You’re a very important agent; a lot of effort on my part has gone into training you.  Thanks to me you are now the best, after me of course.”  Napoleon positively radiated confidence.

 

“Napoleon, you know perfectly well I was already trained when you got me,” Illya stated letting the humor of the situation show in his eyes.

 

The smile on Napoleon’s face said that it would all be worth it.  Illya looked intently into his partner’s eyes.  “Tell me, Napoleon.  Why did you go to all this trouble?”

 

Looking back into the questioning blue eyes Napoleon said with complete sincerity.  “Because I missed you.”

 

The End.

 

 

 

 

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