Three Months Later

Illya was at Napoleon's apartment for dinner. Afterwards, they were seated out on the balcony enjoying the evening breeze and watching the sky darken as the sun went down and the city lights came up. He noticed his partner was staring out into the evening. "Napoleon, what are you thinking about so seriously?"

"I was thinking about Darla Jenkins. I wish things could have turned out differently for Darla. She was an UNCLE employee for six years. She wasn't a bad person; she just made horribly bad decisions."

"It is what it is, Napoleon. You will only drive yourself insane going down that path. Accept what has happened."

"My fatalistic Russian, you have never wondered about the road not taken?"

"No and doubly no when it is not my path. On a positive note, after Lisa Rogers discovered how many staff considered the counselors UNCLE employs as only for Section IIs, she developed an in – service training program for the support staff that stresses using the services UNCLE offers for all its employees, like counseling, when problems arise that are difficult to handle."

Napoleon grunted noncommittally. "Darla Jenkins will live on as a cautionary tale. I guess some good came out of this tragedy." He did not seem totally convinced of that, however. "Matt has proven himself to be an effective leader and successor to Slater Gray. His speech at Gray's memorial service brought tears to quite a few eyes, mine included."

"I have to admit, Napoleon, that surprised me."

The brunet shrugged. "He was a fellow agent; his loss affects us all."

They sat quietly for a few minutes more. Illya stood and stretched, "Moy droog, I am going home." He headed to the front door with Napoleon following. As he put his hand on the door knob, Napoleon decided to ask him a question.



"Do you think I could do what Mr. Waverly did? Send an Innocent to Tartarus?"

Illya turned to lean against the front door and look affectionately at his partner. "Is that what this is all about; thinking of Darla Jenkins as an Innocent? She was not, Napoleon. She stopped being an Innocent when she involved herself in The Game. She knew what she was doing and what could happen when she handed Logan Crane information. She knew what she was doing when she killed Slater Gray. Yes, she made mistakes but, her biggest one was not trusting the organization to help her when it would have made a difference. And to answer your question: No, Napoleon. I believe you would not send an Innocent to Tartarus. When you become Number One, Section I, you will do what is right, just like Mr. Waverly did then and does now. You are my partner; you are incapable of doing anything less." Illya smiled and squeezed Napoleon's shoulder. "Good night, moy brat."

"Good night, Illya."