Boats Afloat Affair
Napoleon Solo, CEA of Northwest UNCLE stood in the doorway of his bedroom, watching the lump of blankets on his bed. The rich aroma of tea with strawberry jam had the desired effect.
First one arm then the other appeared from under the covers uncovering followed by a pale strawberry head. He loved watching Josephina Nichovia Kuryakin, his lover and fellow agent wake up in the morning.
"You are not being fair Napoleon," she complained as she stretched out, feeling the warmth of the other side of the bed.
"I hoped to sleep much later you know."
They hadn't had a chance to be together for over a month until last night. They had dined, danced, and then return to his apartment to spend the rest of the night together.
"We have a meeting of Section Two this morning at ten," he reminded her. "Illya will be here with some donuts, get up." He set down her cup of tea and leaned over to kiss her. Unexpectedly she grabbed his neck pulling him into bed with her.
"I could make it worth your while if you cancel the meeting," she whispered seductively into his ear.
Pulling himself up, he brushed out the wrinkles she had caused in his suit. "Waverly wouldn't appreciate it. Now up."
She grabbed the sheet and wrapped it around herself. "You Mr. Solo are a slave driver and have no romance in your soul," she accused as she headed for the shower.
"What about last night?" he teased her.
"Must be old age catching up with you then," she answered ducking into the bathroom before he could answer her.
Napoleon answered the coded knock at the door from his partner.
"It is bad enough that I am expected to accept the two of you sleeping together, now I am to bring her clean clothes in the morning," Illya Nichovetch Kuryakin, his partner complained as he entered the apartment.
He headed to the bedroom setting the clothes on top of it bed. Napoleon smiled, though Illya still had a problem at times with his partner's and Jo's "understanding"; he would support both of them in their love for each other.
As they walked into the kitchen Napoleon explained, "She was late getting up." He pointed to the teapot on the table inviting his partner to help himself.
Jo heard the two men talking in the kitchen as she began dressing. How she loved the two of them. Illya her brother whom she thought she had lost in childhood, and Napoleon, her man who was truly in love with her something she had never believed she would be able to have.
Entering the kitchen, she gave her brother a small kiss on the cheek. "Thank you for the clothes. I really did not think my dress from last night would be appropriate UNCLE attire."
Then she went around the table and gave Napoleon a more passionate embrace.
"For what?" he asked in confusion
"Everything," she said with a smirk.
As they were eating, the toast and sausage and egg casserole Napoleon had fixed while waiting for Jo to wake up, Napoleon's communicator beeped. Giving it a 'what now' look, he opened it, "Solo."
"Mr. Solo how quickly can you get here?" Waverly said.
Looking at his watch, "About twenty minutes sir."
"Good, come right to my office. Will you be coming in with Miss and Mr. Kuryakin?"
"Actually, I'm having breakfast with them right now."
"Have them report also," with that Waverly clicked off.
The three agents quickly downed the rest of their tea and eggs, placed the dishes in the sink and grabbed a donut, and were out the door heading for Headquarter within minutes.
The four people sitting around Waverly's table included the three Section Two agents Napoleon, Illya, Josephina, as well as Gloria Jonsinberg, a Section 8 scientist. They were waiting for their superior Alexander Waverly to complete his pipe lighting ritual.
The agents, who knew nothing would be said until this procedure was completed, sat patiently waiting. But Gloria who had never witnessed it was getting impatient. She was a scientist who was very uncomfortable being in the same room as the field agents even though she had worked with Mr. Kuryakin at times.
After the pipe was lit, Waverly studied at the group before him regarding each one as their assignment would be essential to the safety of the world. However most of the responsibility for it success or failure would rest with his two top agents.
Solo was a natural born leader who would be willing to take sole responsibility for the failure of a mission if that were to happen and not let his team suffer the blame. Illya Kuryakin was a brilliant scientist in his own right who would be able to assist. These four agents would be accountable for stopping the import of nuclear parts into the hands of unstable nations
"Ladies and gentlemen, in front of you there is a folder with information about a nuclear smuggling ring operating out of for the Rivera involving a number of members of the so called jet-set. Although there are scientists and others who are involved with this smuggling, many of the people concerned are unaware that their boats are being used to transport the illegal bomb parts. Your assignment will be to find these weapons, verify there authenticity, and put a stop to the transport of these parts to their ultimate destinations
"But sir.' Gloria found her voice to speak. "Why do you need me? I'm a scientist, not an agent. I mean, you can't expect me to kill anyone can you?" She glanced at the other three sitting there. Section Two agents had a reputation for being ruthless and dangerous.
She had been only at UNCLE New York for the last three months, where her experiences with Section Two involved two agents who she had overheard making insensitive remarks about other sections.
She believed that she knew about the agents from others who envied the adventure and continent-hopping done by this section; to her they were like children who never grew up.
Even when working with Kuryakin in the lab, she had witnessed the results of his dangerous side when he returned from an assignment. Usually he only spent time in the lab when he had been hurt on assignment. The bruises, casts, and stitches showed that he had fought his way through another situation. If he was the survivor and looked like that, she knew the other person had to have been hurt worst or was dead.
She had also saw how rude and bad-mannered he was at times. She felt he wouldn't listen to others when they suggested something; instead he felt his way was always right. Then there was his gun, even in the lab he constantly wore it. She had a fear of guns and him wearing his always frightened her. Why couldn't he just stay with the other agents and stay out of the lab area?
As far as she was concerned, these people were barbaric and only those in the field of science were truly civilized. The offer of a perfectly stocked lab was the only thing that had convinced her to join UNCLE in the first place while her request for a transfer to New York was motivated by the promise of better equipment and greater challenges.
"It is my hope," Waverly continued. "Miss Jonsinberg that we'll need to kill no one. We require your expertise so that UNCLE can identify what is being transported and what pieces are missing. You'll be under the protection at all times by the other agents here."
"Our information indicates that both those who willingly and unwillingly are involved in this trafficking are married couples actively involved in the jet set community. Mr. Kuryakin and Miss Jonsinberg, as both of you have knowledge nuclear weapons, you'll be established as well-known married scientists vacationing in a villa there. Your thorough knowledge of what parts are needed to create a nuclear bomb, Miss Jonsinberg will serve to help us understand how far Thrush is in their plans."
Turning toward Napoleon and Jo, he continued "Mr. Solo and Miss Kuryakin you'll be friends coming for a holiday on board your sailing yacht which we have rented for you. While there Miss Kuryakin you will be responsible for keeping the Thrush chief, Mr. Schmidt, occupied while Mr. Solo and Kuryakin are searching his house for records of their transaction and hopefully parts he has stored there."
"Really sir, do we really need this masquerade. I'd rather not," Gloria continued to protest her part in the mission.
The three agents attempted not to smile at the complaint. They knew that once Waverly had decided on something, nothing would change his mind.
"Miss Jonsinberg, I understand your concerns, but my agents operate with the utmost professionalism at all times."
The Kuryakins glanced warily at Solo while Waverly continued, "We need your skills to examine these parts; the established pattern is that Thrush only operates with married couples."
"But married to him? I mean he's Section Two after all."
"Enough," Waverly spoke sharply, "Of course you won't truly be married, Miss Jonsinberg. Your services as his wife are needed in this operation; you're a member of UNCLE aren't you?"
"Yes sir, but..."
"Mr. Kuryakin and Miss Jonsinberg, tomorrow you'll arrive in Saint-Tropez, France where you'll find a villa has been reserved for you. Then in a few days, Mr. Solo and Miss Kuryakin will sail in for a short visit. In the time before they arrive, you must make contact with the people involved encouraging their interest in your skills."
"Once they've made contact with you, you'll mention your friends who'll be coming in by sea. As this is their manner of transporting their parts, we'll offer them the two of you as bait. If they take the bait, we should be able to put a stop to this trafficking."
"And if they don't sir?" Solo asked.
"Then Mr. Solo, you'll need to come up with another idea won't you. Make your plans and get this done before we face the possibility of a nuclear threat. Dismissed."
As Jo turned to leave the office, Waverly called her back for a word, "Miss Kuryakin you'll be able to handle this assignment won't you. I understand you were released by medical and on the last assignment in Russia you did well. However, you'll need to put yourself in a sexual situation with this assignment."
Jo knew he was questioning whether or not she had recovered from the brutality and rape a few months before, "Yes, sir, I did pass both the medical and psychological exams before the last assignment."
"Miss Kuryakin I'm well aware that my agents can do well on your psychological exams and how many of you have told the psychologist just what they want to hear. I want to hear from you that you are over the incident."
"I cannot say that I will never think of it again, but sir you have my word that I believe I can handle it," Jo was surprised that he was concern for her.
"I guess that all I can ask for," and with a wave he dismissed her with no other comment.
As the other three were leaving the office, Gloria looked over at Illya.
"And Mr. Kuryakin I expect you to remember that I won't put up with any hanky-panky," as she walked away toward her office.
Illya looked after her disappearing back, "What is hanky-panky?"
Napoleon tried to keep from laughing, "You know tovarisch, you really need to learn American slang. It means she expects you to be a perfect gentleman."
"What else would she expect? I believe she has the two of us mixed up," he accused his partner who until recently went after everything in a skirt; only a growing attachment for Jo had decreased the tendency somewhat.
"I'll have my own hands full," he said suggestively at Jo who had walked up to them at the end of the conversation, hearing just part of it.
"At least I hope I will. After all Waverly did give us permission to live as husband and wife. This could be fun." Napoleon said.
"Remember our agreement or in your very words, 'Work is work-play is play'. I believe an assignment comes up under the heading of work," she smirked at him.
While they walked down the hall toward Napoleon and Illya's office, Jo noticed that Napoleon glanced at every woman they passed.
When they arrived at their office, Solo spoke out in frustration.
"Josephina Nichovia you can't really mean that? I meant this is an opportunity to spend time together with the 'old man's" blessing." He wasn't sure if she was serious or not.
Jo said, "You would always ask one of the many women your eyes scrutinized on the way here."
"Now Jo, old habits die hard. Illya help out a pal," he said trying to get his partner's support.
"Do not include me your argument. You two will do whatever you want no matter what my input is. I will have enough problems with Gloria. She has always stayed as far away from me as possible and for that matter almost everyone else, which could lead to problems during this assignment. Besides, why would she think I would want to have this hanky-panky?" He sat down with his head in hands, dejected at that thought.
"Because dear brother, you are a desirable, handsome, intelligent man who does not get his nose out of a book often enough when not being shot at. Most women would love to play hanky-panky with you."
He growled at both of them, "Neither of you are helping. Now please let me be, I am going to get something to eat!"
"Thinking with your stomach isn't going to make this go away, tovarisch. But if you want company, we can come with you," Napoleon offered.
"No thank you I will take a good book with me, so that I can hide my nose in it. What time will we meet?" Napoleon gave him the time, and he left mumbling to himself in Russian, obviously still annoyed.
"Now, you and I have to work out our part of this assignment." Napoleon said to Jo, "We might even need a little practice." He pulled her into his arms and kissed her. "Maybe even have a number of run through?"
"Practice? I thought you knew what you were doing Napoleon Solo. Maybe I need to rethink this relationship," she teased, turning away from him to hide her snicker.
"Josephina Nichovia" he said in all seriousness." It would be sort of like practice, almost like a warm up for the day we are together...being man and wife that is."
That changed her train of thought instantly. Marriage was the goal they were hoping for.
"That is not fair," she said kissing him quickly, "Even if I do like the picture you are painting.
The group spent the next day cramming for the assignment and by the time they were done they each knew where every port and inlet was located along the France coast-where the jet set was known to hang out.
The major players in the smuggling operation had been identified, and the information added to their preparations, along with the identities of the people who made this area of the Mediterranean their summer home.
Both Illya and Jo were uncomfortable with the bright colors and patterns that they would be expected to wear, but accepted Section Eight suggestions when gathering clothes to fit their roles in the assignment.
Finally, Illya and Gloria by plane left for their part of the mission while Jo and Napoleon landed in a different part of France to take a yacht to Saint-Tropez.