Napoleon Solo was not a man given to complaining about the small stuff in life. Serendipity could be substituted for his name, for he lived life in that manner; he believed in seizing the moment and making it count, because you never knew when it might be your last. Not that he subscribed to a fatalistic view, and he normally felt as though he held his future in his own very capable hands, regardless of those who sometimes muddied his path with meanness and dastardly deeds. Still, life was good to him and he was an appreciative recipient of all that it wanted to deliver to his door.

Today he didn't feel much like being grateful. Today his arm was damaged from having it twisted and poked, and his head hurt, his clothes were dirty and a perfectly good suit had been ruined by some imbecilic Thrush agent whose sole purpose in life seemed to be to be endlessly annoying, or possibly kill him. What he wanted to do at this moment was to beat the hell out of the guy, maybe shoot him for good measure and then walk out of this place. Unfortunately, it didn't seem likely, nor was he going to get much encouragement from his usually helpful partner, because he was lying in the corner of this dump with at least three needle punctures in his arm and a fat lip. Actually, there was probably more wrong with him than that, but right now he was really concentrating on how bad he felt; and that was pretty bad.

Some days, it seemed as though they were just playing their parts in a bad movie, over and over again. Get an assignment, go out with confirmed zeal to beat the bad guys before they blew up the universe. First though, stop off at the OK Corral and get shot up, beat up and put in a cell before a surge of ingenuity and adrenaline thrust you into a brilliant escape plan to turn the tables on those same baddies who tried to do you in.

At the moment, he felt inclined to neither the brilliance nor the flow of adrenaline necessary to succeed at table turning. Maybe if they smiled and acted pleasant no one would bother them for a while and their chances would improve. 'Right Solo, like that's gonna happen'. Nice thought, though.

Okay, let's think about this for a minute, because they really did need to get out of here. There actually was a lab in this building that needed blowing up, and Illya should start thinking about clearing his head and getting over the fact that he's been brutalized for the past two days. C'mon, it's not like they were new at this. Just shake it off and get on with it.

"Illya, hey…wake up!" He didn't want to be subtle, his partner was napping and he needed to get his little Russian butt out of the corner and come up fighting.

"Illya!" He leaned over and shook the blond, demanding that he rouse himself out of his stupor. Enough is enough, and he could sleep later, probably for days after they checked into medical. Right now, they needed to get something going and blow this joint…literally.

"What? Stop it, Napoleon", the growl was distinctly the sound of his partner being irritated. That's good. Let's both get irritated and take it out on somebody else.

"Get up. We need to get out of here, and you need to wake up". Well, he didn't exactly shoot up from his position with lightening like speed, but he did move. That was a start.

"Can you stand up? We need to move, before they come back and check on us, or worse, take you out again and use you for a pincushion. What do you say?" The blue eyes peered out at him suspiciously from behind too long blond bangs, the overgrowth a result of his disguise for the mission. Oh, the mission…yeah, the part where Illya was a hip guy from an eastern bloc country who wanted to make a deal for a new and improved version of happiness in the form of a deadly new Thrush drug. It would be flooding the streets in the guise of a vamped up form of heroin unless they cut it off now; this was the source and the lab had the entire operation, including formulas, right here within reach.

Somehow, his partner's cover had been blown. It's not like Illya didn't know how to impersonate someone on drugs; he had experience, although not something he'd submitted to voluntarily. Still, they didn't quite buy him in the role, and when someone pegged him as an UNCLE agent from a past encounter…BAM. The whole thing was lost, and inexplicably they both ended up in here.

"Alright, I'm up now. I assume you have a plan." Illya was such a smart ass sometimes.

"Well, actually…I do have something still left for a small explosion…just one." He felt the Russian glare at him, a coolness beginning to penetrate the room; and it was already cold.

"One"… more of the icy glare...

"By any chance could you have used it earlier, before we were manhandled by that guard?" He had to think about that for a few seconds before answering. Illya would probably be a little put out if told he had only just realized it was still on him.

"Well, actually"…

"You said that already". More glaring.

"I was so out of it, I for…forgot about it". Truth. He had been punched out a few times as well. Illya was so self- centered at times.

What he still possessed was a bit of plastique that was camouflaged as an appendectomy scar, not in the usual area of inspection and big enough to put a hole where they needed one.

"Self igniting?" He nodded to his now grinning partner, glad for the change in temperature. He pulled at his trousers and brought up the thin strip of explosive, placed it securely inside and over the top of the door lock. They both backed into the same corner in which Illya had been lounging previously, waiting for the explosion. It took a few seconds and then it was whiffing, cracking and Boom! He only momentarily wondered if that thing could have gone off while…never mind. Just take the good parts.

They flew out of the cell not bothering to look back, headed down the hallway with their eyes alert for lingering personnel. They saw none, not even a guard whose gun they could liberate. No matter now as Illya led the charge to the lab he had recently visited. He hadn't been so drugged that he would neglect to get his bearings and make note of the pathway in and out of the place. There was always the probability that he'd need to return under his own power and purpose.

"There's DeWenter. He won't give up his lab without a fight". Looking through the glass inset of the door, Illya recognized the doctor who had been tormenting him with his bothersome drugs. Thankfully, UNCLE's anti-drug treatments had stood the test pretty well, leaving the agent mostly unfazed by what had been intended to rip him apart mentally. Now, back in this place, he made a quick survey of what he perceived could be of use to them. He would blow the place apart with the doctor's inventory, and that's what he intended. Whether or not DeWenter survived was of little consequence to him at present.

"On three…one, two, three" They burst into the room as though fully armed, taking out two guards with a series of swift punches and various gyrations that netted physical dominance over the shocked Thrush men. Dr. DeWenter was so stunned that his reflexes weren't quick enough to get out the door before Illya downed him with a balletic tackle, much to his delight. The man was a menace and he meant to put him out of business…permanently.

As soon as the guards and DeWenter were completely subdued, the battered pair of UNCLE agents hauled them out into the hallways, trussed up and no where to go. Napoleon ignored damaged arm while Illya set about combining chemicals and incendiaries, found a Bunsen burner for ignition and threw it all together before tearing out the door and down the corridor to safety. He started counting as he ran, fairly confident of the time allotted for escape.

"We better be away from here NOW!" With that the lab initiated a series of explosions that would rip through the entire compound, chasing Illya and Napoleon out into the great outdoors, neither of them overly concerned at that point with the welfare of their former tormentors and captors.

They both stumbled into a rolling, sitting posture when they had nothing left physically. Napoleon's injured arm suffered some more abuse, but compared to being out of that place, he figured he could put up with it. Soon enough there would be sirens and personnel to take care of the rubble. For now, it was good to be out of Thrush's hands, alive and not too damaged for all their trouble.

"That was brilliant, if I do say so myself" Illya was on the verge of unsuppressed glee at the sight of his impromptu fireworks display. Napoleon was grateful for the quirkiness of his partner's brilliance, and was very willing to give him his due for this one as it lit up the sky.

"Yes, brilliant in more ways than one, tovarisch".

Funny, he reflected, how you can be miserable for days and grovel in waves of self pity and then, in a matter of minutes, all is well with the world. Serendipity and one smart Russian. Life was still good.