A Mile Wide
“Well, that vacation was a bust,” Napoleon sighed as they walked through UNCLE’s grey corridors, his hands in his pockets.
“It wasn’t so bad,” Illya remarked as he strode easily beside his partner. “Rome, ex-girlfriends, gypsies, secret police, getting shot at, daring water escapes... everything one could want in a vacation.”
“There could have been a few more girls,” Napoleon said wistfully.
“You seemed to have your hands full with the one that was there.”
Napoleon shrugged, “Not for me.” He didn’t seem too broken up by it, just matter of fact.
They went into their office, each to their own desks and started sorting through the paperwork there.
“I owe you another vacation,” Napoleon said, even as he made pencil notations on a form.
Illya’s mouth curved up. “Not necessary. However, I won’t say no if you insist. I will, however, require something a little more... interesting.”
“Interesting.” Napoleon paused and tapped the pencil against his teeth. “Well now, I do know this little place in the Netherlands...”
“What the Dickens’ is going on here!?” roared Mr. Waverly as he stomped into the jail cell, hat in hand.
Napoleon and Illya looked up from the little chessboard they’d set on the stool between their cots. “Ah, the cavalry has arrived.”
“I am not the cavalry, Mr. Solo, and am in fact of a good mind to let the two of you rot in here.” Mr. Waverly glared at them. “I am not accustomed to being summoned from very important duties to come and bail out my agents from jail!”
“Don’t mind him, Sir,” Illya put down the knight he was holding. “He got hit on the head a few times and isn’t his best.”
Waverly transferred the glare to him. “You’re not at your best either, right now, Mr. Kuryakin, and the company you choose to keep is the least of it. What was that about a public bar being blown up? I’m to believe that was Mr. Solo’s doing?”
Illya shifted uncomfortably while Napoleon shot a triumphant gleam at him.
“And you, Mr. Solo... do you have to get in trouble everywhere you go?”
“In my defense, Sir,” Napoleon cleared his throat, “They threw the first punch.”
The guard behind Mr. Waverly put in with a thread of amusement in his voice. “That, at least, is true from all accounts we’ve heard.”
Waverly sighed. “Can’t you at least check to see if they’ve got a husband or boyfriend first?”
“Or both, in this case,” Illya muttered. He reached his hand up to his bruised and blackened eye and then winced and lowered it again.
“Seeing as these were personal vacations, UNCLE will not be reimbursing you for the cost of those suits, at least.”
Napoleon and Illya both glanced down at their torn and ruined clothes, then looked at each other with a shrug and repressed grins.
“And you’ll have to pay me back for the jail money. This is not going in UNCLE’s expense accounts, even temporarily.”
“Yes, Sir,” the two agents replied meekly.
“And your next vacation, you’re both going to Antarctica!”
“Only you, Napoleon,” Illya sighed as he poled himself through the snow, “could get us kicked out of a research station in Antarctica.”
“I think the phrase, “get out”, referred to the laboratory and not the whole station,” Napoleon slid along next to his friend in the particular gait of the cross-country skiers. “It’s not my fault! I thought she would be bored, stuck out here with nobody to flirt with.”
“The laboratory is the whole station. And the aloneness is why some people come out here to study in the first place.”
“I don’t think you helped any when you kept making suggestions on how to make their research more exciting with a few explosions.”
Illya shrugged. “It would make the excavation happen that much quicker.”
“Is there anything to see out here besides white stuff?” Napoleon squinted, raising his goggles briefly before putting them back on again.
Illya glided to a stop, Napoleon reacting to the motion and stopping beside him.
“Not that you mention it...” Illya raised his binoculars. “I think I might see a bird.”
Napoleon pulled out his own, lowering the goggles again for a better view. “Oh ho... a certain small brown one, at that. Wonder what it’s doing all the way out here?”
“Let’s go see.” Illya traded a feral grin with Napoleon.
Then they both dug their poles into the snow and headed out to see. This vacation was looking up, finally.