Feb. 22nd, 2017
"Napoleon, Mr. Waverly wants you in his office. Now."
Illya thought Lisa Rogers had an off-putting manner about her. He wondered if she was carrying a load of resentment at being confined to Headquarters in spite of being qualified as a Section II after her stint at Survival School.
"Lisa, you look especially pretty… today." Illya knew she didn't like him very much, perhaps one of Napoleon's ploys would garner some good will.
"So do you Illya. Now, Napoleon needs to hustle."
Rude. The woman was rude.
Why then did Illya feel compelled to bridge the gap?
Finally, he had to ask. “What is it that has you so upset?”
“It is February?” Illya let his unhappiness show.
“We’re in the upper Mid-west.”
“Milwaukee is considered as such.”
“And February is the middle of winter?”
Napoleon smiled knowing what the problem was. “Milwaukee is having a heatwave. What’s a matter too hot for you?” He teased.
“In Russia, winter is winter, not 65 degrees.” With that Illya slammed the bathroom door turning on a cold shower.
Theirs was a unique relationship; reading each other with no words needed.
Now, be silent or die.To call out meant death from above...avalanche.Illya was stuck on a lonely part of the ski slope, his ankle broken.
Would Solo sense his predicament?
Kuryakin heard something.“Napoleon?”
“Illya!” Dancer called.“He said you were in trouble and broke his leg looking for you.”
Tying their skis as makeshift sled; April dragged Illya back. He was taken to hospital, placed in the same room as Solo.
“Thanks for the rescue Napoleon.”
“I had a feeling.”
“One word my friend...sympatico.”
“Gentlemen, be seated,” he said as he approached his chair. “What the deuce?” he exclaimed to see Morris sitting there looking up at him.
Illya moved swiftly to Waverly’s seat and gathered Morris to him. “Sorry, Sir. He must have followed us.” He was surprised when Waverly took Morris and sat him on his lap.
“I don’t fault the animal for wanting to be in good company,” Waverly replied as he stroked Morris’ head, eliciting a loud contented purr. “Morris and I await your mission report.”
Mark frowned. “That nosey-parker?”
“So, what's the dirt?” April asked.
“No dirt. Pure as driven snow.”
“You look nervous.”
“Do I? Damn.”
“Must be one juicy story.”
Lulu Parsons swept into their office. “UNCLE Oracle here, kids. ‘All the news that's fit to mimeograph.’” She chuckled at her own motto. “So Mark, sources say you took Paulette to The Canterbury Tales last night…using Napoleon’s tickets.”
“Sadly, he was struck with a sudden indisposition. I'm only glad I was able to help.”
“A regular johnny on the spot.” She licked her pencil end. “I'm also doing an exposé on rising expenses in Section II. I see that you recently requisitioned additional ptomaine pills. Any comment?”
Mark leapt to his feet. “Miss Parsons, if you print that, I'll have you for libel.”
Lulu’s pencil danced across the steno pad. “‘Slate vehemently denied a connection between the two incidents, threatening this reporter will civil action.’ Perfect. My readers will eat it up. Toddle-loo, kids.” She exited happily.
He collapsed into the chair and hid his face in his hands. “I'm dead.”
“Don't worry, darling.” She patted his hair. “She’ll run a lovely obituary.”
He then went to the kitchen and prepared a glass of tea. Usually, Illya made do with the kettle but, as he was going to relax properly, he used his samovar.
With glass in hand, he sank onto the sofa.
Beep beep, beep beep, beep beep.