This last chapter called for something special, and the song There's A Place was instantly playing in my head. You can find it on You Tube, and it is, of course, by the Beatles. We all need to find a Place...

~~~~~:

There's a place,

Where I can go,

When I feel low,

When I feel blue.

And it's my mind,

And there's no time when I'm alone.

I think of you,

And things you do,

Go 'round my head,

The things you said,

Like "I love only you."

In my mind there's no sorrow,

Don't you know that it's so.

There'll be no sad tomorrow,

Don't you know that it's so.

~~~~~:

Illya woke up slowly, felt the tightness around his chest where bandages were holding his ribs together. His arms felt as though they had been used to span the Brooklyn Bridge.

In spite of the aches and pains that he recognized as part of the punishment he had received at the hands of Nathan Roberts, it was eerily comforting to know he was back in UNCLE Medical. Some things never changed, and his ability to know where he was now made him feel a little less vulnerable.

His thoughts went quickly to Marion and Nicolette. Were they safe?

Movement in the corner of the room caught Illya's attention, and he turned his head to see an image from the past. There sat Napoleon, like so many times before, sleeping in a chair and waiting for the injured to come back to life.

Things couldn't be too bad if Napoleon were here.

As if on cue, Napoleon was awake, his attention instantly riveted to Illya.

"Hey tovarisch, how are you feeling?"

Illya had to smile, and surprisingly it didn't hurt. It was the one spot on his body, he figured, that hadn't been damaged in the brutality of the past few hours. Or was it days ago? He would need to ask.

"I seem to have survived, and you as well.'

He paused, wanting to ask the question and hoping for a promising reply.

"Marion and Nicolette, are they all right?"

Napoleon nodded, rising to walk across to Illya's bed where he sat on the edge, rubbing the back of his neck in an effort to remove the kink that developed while he slept.

"They're both fine. In fact, they're here. They've been waiting to see you. Marion hasn't changed, she wouldn't leave here without seeing to it that you were going to live."

Napoleon's smile warmed Illya while the knowledge that Marion and his daughter were here made his heart feel lighter than it had in weeks.

Napoleon asked wordlessly if the women could come into the room, to which Illya smiled and replied 'yes'. The agent walked to the door and stuck his head out, and catching Marion's eye, he gestured with his fingers for her to come in.

Illya was attempting to sit up, scowling against the pain in his ribs as he did so. While he was in this process, Marion and Nicolette came through the door into his room. Marion walked to the bed and took control, helping to ease Illya up into a sitting position, cooing and comforting as only she had ever been able. Illya was transported back in time, and suddenly the sun was shining in on them as they lay in bed, wrapped in each other's arms and a love that he had truly only known once in his life.

"Thank you. I… I think this should do it."

Nicolette was standing next to Napoleon, her eyes so like Illya's that everyone present realized that some things could never be hidden; the truth would always out, as some would put it.

Marion motioned for her daughter to come to her side, her knowing smile not lost on the bed-ridden Russian.

"Here my darling, I believe Mr. Kuryakin is glad to see us. We certainly owe him our gratitude for… well, we just do."

Illya was lost in this new situation. What should he do now, how would it all fit into his life? How would Marion…?"

Nicolette spoke up, her fascination with this man now fully in bloom as she considered the probability of things.

"I'm so glad that you're … are you okay?"

Illya laughed, just a small laugh but suffused with a joy unknown thus far in his life.

"I am, Nicolette. Thank you for asking, and for being here. Both of you…'

He looked up at Marion, real gratitude on his face that she recognized for what it held.

"We're just so glad that you survived, Illya. Really, you still can't seem to stay out of trouble."

Marion's smile was like a light going on in the room. Napoleon watched this exchange with the utmost interest. Illya was rarely reduced to this type of meekness, was not generally outflanked by a woman's charm.

Nicolette stepped a little closer to Illya, putting out her hand to cover his.

"I'm so glad we met the other day, and I'm really just so, so glad to be here, Mr. Kuryakin."

Illya's heart skipped a beat, he would later say when telling this story.

"Please, call me Illya."

Nicolette smiled, determined to not let the moment pass…

"May I simply call you Dad?"

~~~~~:

There's a place,

Where I can go,

When I feel low,

When I feel blue.

And it's my mind,

And there's no time when I'm alone.

There's a place...

** There's A Place by Lennon/McCartney