The man sitting at the edge of the garden was pensive, lost in thought amidst the serene surroundings. Sitting on a rock that left him slightly off balance, he held a slender rod in one hand while his chin rested in the other. All the while he was drawing in the sand, swirling patterns that told a story to no one save himself.

Napoleon Solo kept drawing in the sand, wondering at the series of events that had brought him here. The mission had been completed successfully with only minimal damage to his body.

Illya had fared a little worse. It seemed as though Illya always caught the worst on their missions together. It wasn't as though Solo didn't dive in and brave the dangers, sometime with even more abandon than his logical Russian partner.

Some people said it was luck… Solo's luck. Napoleon didn't feel lucky today. He felt… sort of numb. Drawing circles in the sand made him numb, which was perhaps an improvement on feeling depressed. Knowing that Illya lay in surgery once again had plunged Solo into a type of abyss, where emotions were magnified and fear became a perverted light.

As Napoleon continued his musings in the sand, the melancholy began to slowly dissolve into something almost peaceful. Thinking in this manner, contemplative and uncomplicated, he sorted things out and created individual compartments for each concern.

Illya would survive and be back on the job; there was no uncertainty there. Survival was an absolute for them, contrary to other views.

Together, the two of them had overturned another enemy stronghold, making the world a little bit safer once again. Success, not quite absolute but definitely an odds on favorite.

Life was better when lived for a higher calling. Napoleon knew that he could live no other life than the one he had chosen. At least today, and for as long as he knew without a doubt that it was the right thing for him to do.

The risk was worth the outcome. Illya believed it, and so did he.

Still drawing circles in the garden's sandy canvas, Napoleon was only mildly startled when his communicator warbled its familiar jingle.

"Solo here… '

A long sigh punctuated the stillness on his side of the conversation.

"Yes, thank you. I'm downstairs in the garden, but I'll be there by the time he arrives in his room. Solo out."

Napoleon looked more attentively at his creation in the sand. It was the world; over and over again the strange skeletal globe that defined him seemed to be represented in the pattern of his drawings.

"Everything is part of the whole. Nothing is missing, nothing is broken that can't be fixed. You and me, tovarisch, drawing lines in the sand and daring the bad guys to cross them."

The man with the dark hair had made his peace with destiny. Now it was time to see to the other man, the one who helped to make it possible.