Word Count: Approx. 1100
A bit belated, but I managed to get it finished before the big day. Merry Christmas, All!
Napoleon Solo’s smile of anticipation faded with each passing story as the cargo elevator slowly approached its destination. Pine needles littered the floor and clung to the soles of his freshly-shined shoes, their woodsy fragrance increasingly accented by notes of popcorn and beer. Lips screwed into a grimace, Napoleon rolled his shoulders, girding himself for what lay ahead. When the ancient lift shuddered to a halt, he pulled the gate aside and stepped into the loft.
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The lights were still on in the little grocery story, and Napoleon snapped his fingers, pleased at his luck. He opened the door, and a little brass bell, not unlike the one at Del Floria's tinkled its welcome.
Nodding his greeting to the older man behind the counter, he spoke to the man.
"You're Not closing yet are you? " Solo asked just to be polite, hoping the answer wouldn't be yes.
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"I saw a small grocer that was still open when we passed, just a block away. Most places do stay open until five, so maybe I might just get lucky. It's worth a shot."
"Shot? Do not say that word my friend, you do not wish to bring any problems down on us." Illya was being his usual fatalistic self.
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It felt like snow. Illya Kuryakin was always good at predicting that; for a moment he shivered from the chill in the air as he hopped up the stairs to the door of the darkened brownstone. Identical to the other such buildings that lined this quiet city street, this one served a different purpose.
A paper sack was tucked under his arm as he inserted a key into the lock, and stepping inside; he cautiously drew his gun from its holster.
Minutes later he emerged, having ensured all was secure, and holding a small penlight, he flashed twice as a signal before returning it to his pocket.
Two figures emerged the black sedan parked across the street; a man and a woman, and quickly they crossed to the house and entered it.
The curtains drawn, Kuryakin turned on a lamp, finally shedding light on their surroundings.
"This is better than the last safe house we stayed in," he said, making a beeline for the kitchen.
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As we began with a narrative, I have decided to conclude in the same way. Not entirely in rhyme this time ;)
After the fireworks and smoke, nothing was left for the UNCLE agents but to call in on their newly retrieved communicators and then wait. Rob did make his way back to Sir Thomas Beane's Estate, so the message was sent twice that reinforcements were needed. In spite of searching through the rubble, only a few survivors were found and, curiously, no sign of Her Ladyship nor the always slippery Ecks and Wye. If they had escaped the explosion then it would be up to Interpol or MI5 to track them down. For now, UNCLE's job was finished here.
The London office was quick to respond, and to the amazement of both Solo and Kuryakin, among those whose arrival they welcomed was the Old Man himself, in full tweed. Napoleon's wound was not as serious as he had first imagined. As it happened the bullet hit leather first, thanks to his shoulder holster not having been removed. The impact was remarkably like that of wearing a protective vest, eliciting thanksgiving for favors small and large.
Illya was, to Napoleon's amazement, completely intact. His naked torso did not reveal the previous wounds he had witnessed, and the energy with which his Russian partner had worked while extricating them both from within the courtyard defied the nearly dead man he had left in the care of Rob Stewart. Whether it was the magic of Christmas or the mystery of Scotland, he knew not. But once again Napoleon Solo marveled at how well they had made out on something that previously was viewed as nothing short of a tragic ending.
Alexander Waverly was in London awaiting the results of this affair, having flown in with his wife and children for what he called a serendipitous journey back to England, for the purpose of enjoying Christmas as a true English family should. Of course, Constance Waverly knew it was subterfuge, but went along willingly for the sake of the eventual good times they would have in her former homeland. The allure of an English Christmas did much to soften her attitude towards UNCLE business in the middle of her favorite holiday.
Happily for the Waverly clan, this mission was concluded before the Great Day. By the time the site was examined and all participants, those that survived, were rounded up for a later date with interrogations, the bells of London churches were ringing in the faithful for Midnight services. Illya and Napoleon had rooms at the Savoy, an unprecedented expression of largesse from Waverly. He summoned all of his kind regard for the two men he routinely sent into the worst possible situations, although his wife Constance did have some say in it; a detail of which the two recipients of the luxurious suite were aware.
Napoleon did make mention to Mr. Waverly concerning Rob Stewart, without whose help the victory would never have happened. Since the young man was left with no relations after the death of his mother (something he bore with unusual grace and no ill will towards those whose actions had most certainly caused it), he was invited to join the growing group of guests who would dine with the Waverlys on Christmas Day. Rob was only too happy to accept the invitation, his fascination with the two men he had met during this most unusual escapade (not to mention the extraordinary visitations of the Scottish Wildcat and the Kelpie), made him wonder if he too might work for the U.N.C.L.E. someday.
Illya Kuryakin was Russian, and therefore not unfamiliar with tales of mysterious creatures and magical transformations. He had certainly heard of Kelpies, and the tales surrounding the Scottish Wildcats. He had no other explanation for how his body had been saved from the tortured, bleeding mass of flesh he had been before the encounter with Rob. He wouldn't question any of it, for to do so was to discredit the healing, and the culture of Scotland. He wasn't always a man of faith, but wisdom dictated that he not scoff at it either. As for Napoleon, his heart was happy, which is to say that his optimism was intact and the Spirit of Christmas within him was shining bright as the lights on the Waverly's Christmas tree.
The meal was delicious, a traditional British feast of Beef Roast and Yorkshire Pudding, roasted parsnips and potatoes, and for dessert a beautiful array of sweets. Illya was as close to heaven as could be with the elaborate spread, while Napoleon basked in the warmth of the day. Adding to his pleasure was the unexpected arrival of his Aunt Amy, whose Christmas plans often revolved around her favorite nephew and his handsome friend. She had decided to fly to London as soon as Constance Waverly informed her of the situation and probable Christmas Day events. Both women set their hearts and hopes on a good outcome, and were richly rewarded as they sat at table among their favorite men.
Alexander Waverly looked around the great table, not unlike the one in his office. The large dining room in his London Home afforded room for this one, which seated twelve people. His people.
Constance was there as were their two grown children and families. That made seven. Completing the assembly were Amy Trudeau, Napoleon, Illya, Rob Stewart and of course Alexander.
Twelve. Like the Twelve Days of Christmas, the twelves months of the year, twelve hours of day and twelve hours of night. This was a complete circle, and one for which every soul was grateful. In spite of tragedy or loss, the spirit of the day remained joyful and full of gratitude for just being together on Christmas.
And so it was, at the end of the evening as each one left for various destinations...They each sauntered down to a warm, spritely cabbie
And away they all drove past the famous old Abbey
But each of them hailed as their cars pulled from sight
HAPPY CHRISTMAS TO ALL, AND TO ALL A GOOD NIGHT!
My version of Aunt Amy is slightly altered from what is usually written. You can find her story HERE
Napoleon hefted Illya over his shoulder with a grunt. As light as Kuryakin was, right now he was dead weight.
Rob led the way, carrying his torch and after some twists and turns they exited the tunnel somewhere outside of the castle, not far from Loch Awe.
“Now what?” Rob asked.
“I’m thinking.” Napoleon carefully lowered Illya to a bit of grass beside the water’s edge.
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A/N: Apologies, as my chapter is too long so it's being posted in two parts.
Napoleon made his way along the secret tunnel, but his instincts told him something was off. Ecks was being too helpful. If he was supposedly here to dismantle THRUSH’s plans...who the heck was he working for?
Solo just wasn't comfortable not knowing who paid them to do this. They were guns for hire and he wondered if offered the right price, would they switch sides, as was often the case with mercenary types.
IN PROGRESS HERE IN section7mfu
If you haven't checked it out, then you've been missing some great
It's a fabulous adventure taking place in Scotland, just before
the Christmas holidays. There's vivid imagery, mystery, and myths,
along with danger and angst. We've got Napoleon and Illya facing
old foes, and a delisciously evil villainess, as well as some intriguing
Here's the chapters so far:
Chapter 1. by
Chapter 2. by
Chapter 3. by
Chapter 4 by
Chapter 5 by
Chapter 6 by
Chapter 8 by
Chapter 9 by lucky_ladybug.
Chapter 10 by mrua7
-posting in two parts because it's a long one! Part 1, Part 2
Tomorrow chapter 11 the conclusion by Glennagirl
The story is fantastic with great writing, a chilling mood and imagery. Every chapter has been fantastic, building to an eventual cresendo. Only two chapters left...will Napoleon and Illya survive to save the day?
The Christmas Round Robin: 'T'was the UNCLE Round Robin,'continues here on Section VII.
The story is fantastic with great writing, a chilling mood and imagery. We now have a wonderful villainess and the angst level has just been ramped up! We now know what she and THRUSH are up to and it ain't good at all. The boys are in trouble too (of course as where would a story be without some angst?
The twelve days of Christmas project.
Each day we'll be posting the UNCLE Christmas tree and we'd like
all the cousins to share a memory of Christmas' past as a comment,
and leave as a present under the tree.
There's nothing like our treasured memories, they're gifts
that will be with us always!
Let us smile with yours!
This is DAY 4 of the 12 days of Christmas!
It was Scottish lore, he remembered. Highland Tigers have the power to bless or to curse. When one came upon such a cat, food must be offered. If the cat believed you were deserving of its favors, the food was accepted and a blessing was given. The green-eyed young man was pleased as he watched the animal carry the hare off into the brush.
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( Meow )