Opening his eyes, Napoleon squinted at his watch and was surprised to see it was almost nine in the morning. Sitting himself up, and biting back a gasp caused by his injury, he looked across at Illya's bed. It was empty.

Very carefully, so as not to pull the stitches in the front of his left shoulder, Napoleon pushed the covers aside and got out of bed. He decided against showering simply because of the logistics involved; not that dressing was all that easy. In the end he decided to leave off his tie and go casual for the day. It was as he was dressing that he noticed Illya's note, saying he'd gone to breakfast, laid on his pillow.

Entering the restaurant, it took Napoleon a few seconds to locate his partner, who had tucked himself into a discreet corner. As he made his way over, Solo passed a sumptuous looking breakfast buffet and wondered how much of it Illya had gotten through. Surprisingly though, the Russian had only a black coffee in front of him.

"Not hungry, Toarisch?"

"Good morning, Napoleon," Illya replied, ignoring the question.

"Why did you let me sleep so late?" Solo asked.

"As I am constantly being told in medical, sleep is the best thing in the first few days of an injury," Kuryakin told him. "We don't need to leave until noon."

Napoleon frowned. Illya's tone of voice was quite monotone, and his demeanour was more reserved than usual.

"What's wrong," he asked. "You seem somewhat flat this morning?"


"Down? Depressed? Unhappy? And please don't say 'nothing'."

Illya looked Napoleon directly in the eye. He considered trying to brush him off, but Solo knew him too well, and would keep badgering him until he got a satisfactory answer.

"I am to blame or your injury," he confessed.

"Oh really?" Solo said, folding his arms and leaning back in his chair. "I'm sure the guy who stabbed me was tall and dark haired."

"Had I been where I was supposed to be, he wouldn't have had a chance to stab you."

"Are you kidding me? If I remember correctly, you were waylaid by an unexpected guard. What is really going on?"

Illya sighed. "Am I getting too slow?" he asked. "I'm thirty-four now, which admittedly is still fairly young, but I don't have the reaction speed I had when I was twenty."

"Who does?" Solo retorted. "Are you seriously worried about this?"

"I have to say I am."

Napoleon fell silent while he contemplated Illya's dilemma. As far as he was concerned, his partner was at his peak, but if Illya didn't believe it then it would affect his performance.

"I have a suggestion," he stated finally. "Though I'm not sure how you much you'll like it."

"I'm listening."

"How would you feel about a two week refresher on Survival Island?" Napoleon suggested. "I know you and Jules Cutter aren't exactly best buddies, but it will give you the chance to hone your abilities."

"Cutter still hates my presence in U.N.C.L.E.," Illya replied. "But, I can use his prejudice as an incentive. Could you arrange it for as soon as possible?"

"No sooner said than done, Tovarisch."

Illya's demeanour immediately changed. He seemed much brighter and happier.

"I don't know about you, my friend, but I am ravenous."

Napoleon smiled as he watched Illya make his way to the buffet and pile his plate high.