Counter Attack

Illya hung outside in the sun wishing for a drink of water. He knew that he was being used as bait for Napoleon who was out there but hoped his partner won't try one of his half-baked rescues. The lab and the machine had to be destroyed, and nothing could stop that from happening.

Napoleon hid behind a group of trees where he could see Illya. The knowledge that he couldn't do anything at the moment was eating at him. As he attempted to come up with a plan, he heard Fabray call out over the PA system.

"Mr. Solo, I am sure you can hear me. Either you can give yourself up, or I will have Dr. Kuryakin punished for his actions and your escape." Only the sound of birds and insects could be heard in the silence following the announcement.

"Come on now. I know you can hear me. Surrender or he will suffer. I will not kill him as I still need him, but I can make his life miserable. Your choice, I will give you one hour to think over the alternatives Mr. Solo."

If he gave himself up, no doubt they would kill him and the mission would be lost. He would do anything to save Illya from the damage Fabray would inflict on him, even give himself up if he could. That would not eliminate the lab and machine. He knew that the threat it represented could not be permitted to exist, even at the cost of both of their lives.

Suddenly, he smiled. The frontal approached had helped him before, and he hoped it would once again. He put on the Thrush uniform that he had taken from one of the dead guards earlier.

Once dressed, he grabbed something the backpack and worked his way down to the side of the lab. Leaving all but one thing there, he stood up straight and walked to where Illya was hanging. "I'm to make sure the prisoner is still living," he laughed, "Fabray doesn't want a dead scientist." He told the guards.

While checking each wrist for a pulse, he dribbled a few drops of rope dissolvent. He said as he picked up Illya's face, "Don't see anything special about him. Just another UNCLE agent. I don't see why Fabray just doesn't kill him."

Illya's eyes having been closed; open, he whispered, "Remember Napoleon, next time this could be you."

"Just give him some water, and leave him hanging there." He noticed the guard start to object, "Fabray isn't going to get anything from him, if he's dead. Unless you want to take responsibility for his death, do it."

The guard took a bottle of water toward Illya. As he went to pour it in his mouth, Napoleon hit him in the kidneys with the rifle causing him to drop the water. Illya pulled the ropes apart, "You could have waited for him to give me the drink first," Illya complained as he looked at the unconscious guard and wet ground.

"Next time, I will just let you hang there," Napoleon shot back. The two tied the guard in Illya's place and head toward the building with Illya grabbing a bottle of water on the way.

They head toward the lab while planting explosives along the path that had been retrieved from the backpack. As they entered the lab, they saw Fabray holding the device. "Stay right there and place the machine on the shelf carefully," Illya directed him, gun pointed at his chest.

Instead of replacing the device, Fabray turned the machine toward them. "I read over your work, and it's ready for use."

"Don't flip that switch, I sabotage it. You will blow yourself and everyone else up," Illya informed him.

"Do you think I am a fool, Dr. Kuryakin? Go ahead; turn your gun on me."

Fabray seemed insane. "You'll not win this time. Dr. Kuryakin, Mr. Solo."

"Is revenge worth your death?" Illya asked. "Fabray, your people made a mistake in their calculations. If you turn on that machine, it will explode in ten minutes and there is no stopping it once it is on."

Fabray took one last look at Illya, "No I don't believe you would do that. You are too much of a scientist to purposely destroy a great work." He then pressed the on button on the machine.

"Get out," Illya yelled, "Everyone get out of here." He then hit the alarm button, then turned pushing Napoleon in front of him.

They reached the escape hatch and climbed. At the top, they encounter mass confusion. People were running everywhere. Napoleon and Illya headed toward the cliff and the passageway. They reached the area just as the first explosion sounded. Soon it was followed by one blast after another.

Looking back, the men could see that the lab and surrounding buildings had been turned into rubble.

Suddenly agents were dropping out the sky. Napoleon reinforcement had arrived by parachute. As they rounded up the researchers and guards, the two agents examined the remains of the lab. Nothing was left of the machine or Fabray.

Illya and Napoleon took one of the first boats to the aircraft carrier out beyond the reef leaving the rescue team to clean up the island. After a basic checkup on the ship, they were placed on the jet to New York where medical waited for them.

Back to New York

Waverly met Illya and Napoleon in medical. Both men were to spend the night, Illya for dehydration; Napoleon to reevaluate his kidney. "Gentlemen, nice job." Both men were surprised for the complement. "I believe you have something for me, Mr. Kuryakin."

Illya removed the journal from the side table, "Sir," he slowly began. "This is too dangerous to be in existence. If it ever falls into the wrong hands." He left the thought unspoken.

"Mr. Kuryakin, I understand the danger, you speak of and agree. This," he held up the notebook, "Will be placed in a safe place until the world is ready for it. Get some rest gentlemen. I will see you in the morning before you go home for the day."

Illya and Napoleon stopped in to see Jo before talking to Waverly the next morning. Napoleon looked at her and smiled, "Glad I have your permission to date her, Illya."

"I would not tell her that, or the bruises we have now will be nothing to what she will give us. Let's keep it our little secret."

Napoleon grinned and nodded, "I hear she has a very bad temper when angry."

Illya agreed, "You have not seen nothing yet."

The doctor was just beginning to wean Jo from the drugs used in placing her in a coma. "Gentlemen. It will take most of today to bring her out of the coma. You may have a quick visit and then I am going to ask you to wait until tomorrow to come back. I want her as quiet as possible as she becomes conscious."

After they gave their report to Waverly, they returned to their own apartment. Later that afternoon they heard from the doctor that Jo was coming around. After eating supper together, each was left with their own through but would have been surprised to find them along the same line.

Napoleon wondered how many times Illya would be able to destroy inventions that could improve the human race if in the hands of the right people or destroy it in the wrong hands.

Illya wondered the same thing. This last device could stop fighting if it was completed but in the wrong hands could subjugate all humanity. Why did he often have to make that choice?

After a restless night, the men returned to headquarters. Illya to the lab so that Napoleon could have some private time with Jo.

"Hi there," Napoleon said smiling at her.

"Napoleon," she responded worried, "Are you two okay?"

"Yes, little black, blue, and sore but okay. Illya will come see you in a little while."

"I see. As long as you're fine, I have something that I wanted to talk to you about."

"Oh," he said taking her hand and went to kiss it but she pulled it away.

"Did you know Napoleon that when I was in a coma, I could hear what people were saying." Jo said innocently.

"I had read someplace that doctors thought it was possible."

"Correct. It really strange what people will talk about when they think you are not listening."

Something was alerting Napoleon to the fact that he was about to pay for something he might have said while she was out, "Is there something you heard that upset you?"

"How could you? Asking Illya for permission to take me out. I do not need my brother to screen my dates for me," she yelled at him.

"Now wait a minute. We were drunk and were talking about Russian customs. He asked what my intentions were, and then told me the custom in your country. So I asked for his permission as a joke."

"What right does he have to ask your intentions? Who do you two think you are? He has no business giving you permission to take me out. I am my own person. He is not my guardian or you my protector. Now get out of here," she picked up a vase of flowers and threw them at him. "Get out," she yelled.

The doctor came in and saw how upset she was. "You need to leave, right now. Miss Kuryakin, calm down. You could be relapse. Mr. Solo, you much leave now."

Napoleon turned to go and was hit in the back with a box of candy. He felt miserable and crestfallen. He loved her so much, but now she wouldn't even talk to him.

Illya ran into him as he headed for her door. "I won't Tovarisch, she is very angry and the doctor is concerned that she might have a relapse," Napoleon warned.

"Why?"

"She overheard our discussion about dating customs in your country. Especially me asking you for permission to date her."

Illya turned and walked away with Napoleon, "My friend," he said, "We are in trouble."

Jo refused to see them again before she left the hospital arranging for Mark to take her home.

They were called into Waverly office for a briefing about a new assignment. As he gave them instructions for their preparation, he noticed that both agents were unusually quiet. "Gentlemen is there a problem?"

"No, sir," they responded together. Waverly didn't believe that agents should have commitments and Napoleon certainly wasn't in the mood for a lecture right then.

"Gentlemen. I am a little older than you are and would like to share a little wisdom. There are times when you must keep some things from women. Some women are very independent and don't like anyone taking that away from then. Perhaps asking her permission instead of her brother's would help. Flowers, candy, and dinner might also help. Now back to the assignment."

Both agents stared at him. Why did they every doubt the 'old man' knew everything that was going on around him, they didn't know. Although not giving direct permission, they understood he knew about the relationship and for now was overlooking it.

Before leaving medical, Jo needed to undergo her mandatory psych evaluation. All Section 2 agents hated the intrusion into their innermost thoughts and fears, but Waverly was clamping down on agents who didn't follow the standing order.

Jo began the session by walking around the room ignoring the doctor. Finally, he said, "I get the point Miss Kuryakin. You don't want to be here but have to be. I'll make you a deal. If we talk about the shooting and you can convince me that you are okay, I'll sign off. If you don't I will schedule another 5 sessions and inform Waverly that I won't sign off until they're completed. Up to you."

He then sat back and watched her think it through. She took a deep breath and began to talk. After an hour, she actually felt better. Being shot or tortured in the line of duty was expected, but not on a trolley where there were innocents. The doctor said nothing allowing her to address and face her own concerns. By the end of the hour, she had drawn her own conclusions and accepted them.

With a smile and shake of his hand; Jo began to leave, "Miss Kuryakin," he called out. She froze, did she say something that made him unsure about her, "You need to give your release to medical," he said with a smile.

She tilted her head and returned the smile giving him a small kiss on the cheek, "You are not like some of the other that I have had to talk to. New style?"

"No just feel most people know their problems; just need to get it in the open. Good luck Miss Kuryakin." He had helped another Section 2 agent who wouldn't be quite so hard to evaluation the next time.

Jo left the office smiling to see Mark waiting for her to return her to her apartment after her visit to the shrink.

Later that evening, Napoleon Solo suave and always sure of himself, stood outside Jo's door with a box of chocolate and flowers shaking. Would she throw him out, not want to see him?

His knock was answered by Jo.

"What took you so long?" she asked him.

He was taken back, "I thought…"

"That is the problem with you, you think too much. Come in."

He reached out for her and pulled him toward him.

"Oh, and what are your intentions Mr. Solo," Jo asked as she pushing away from him.

"I was afraid that I would never get to hold you again. I love you Jo, but am committed to UNLCE. I can't offer you marriage and children right now. I need you and want you but…." he left his sentence unfinished.

Jo held his face in her hands, "I love and want you also, my love. But like you, I am committed to UNCLE at this time."

The two lovers held one another silently. "You know there will be times when we must have sex for an assignment," Jo began, "But when I am with you, it is love not sex."

"I feel the same way, but there have been so many women."

"I cannot expect you to stop living as you have. We will be lonely at times and have needs. Napoleon we can have our time together, but unless we are willing to give up field work, we must live one day at a time."

Jo placed her head on his chest. Holding one another for a while, they both knew it was the truth. One day at a time was all that they could promise one another for now.

Remembering Waverly advice, "Josephina Nichovia Kuryakin, may I have the honor of dating you?"

Jo broke out in a laugh, "Yes, Napoleon you have my permission, as it seems you already have permission from the head of my family. Just one warning, next time you are two are drunk find another subject besides me to talk about."

After a quick kiss, Napoleon asked "Scout's honor," holding up the three fingers of the scout promise, "Dinner Jo?"

"Actually I was thinking more like breakfast. After all the doctor did say I need to get as much rest as possible."

Holding out her hand, he grabbed it. "Don't want to make the doc mad," he said while turning off the lights.