Napoleon watched the fireworks outside his window. Columbus Day and the city of New York was celebrating. He looked back toward the dining room table smiling at the rose set perfectly within a silk napkin.
He was waiting for his date. Seldom did he invite anyone to his apartment but she was a fellow enforcement agent, and he was breaking his own rule. She was on loan from their Brazilian office, and they had worked together on the last assignment. There was something unique about her, and he found himself drawn to her.
She had been undercover in Thrush for six months, and when she had obtained the information she was sent in for, Napoleon helped get her out and destroyed the operation. Only one man had escaped, and they were still looking for Lodge who promised to get even.
Illya, who was on desk duty for the week while recovering from a gunshot wound, had teased him earlier that day as he hurried through the paperwork.
"Who is she Napoleon? I do not know when I have seen you so excited about a date in a long time. You are even doing reports without being asked or ordered to."
Napoleon had just grinned, finished signing his name to the last report and hurried home to set up his apartment. Ordering dinner from his favorite restaurant, setting the table to perfection, and placing romance music on the record player, he turned once more to watch the fireworks. She was late, but when he had left headquarters she was still finishing her report.
As it became later, he started to worry then laughed at himself. Napoleon Solo worried about a woman breaking a date with him, it just didn't happen.
The food had cooled, and the fireworks had ended when he heard the soft knock. Hurrying to the door, he peeked through the eyehole to see his partner standing there. He opened the door smiling.
"Sorry partner, I have plans for tonight, and although I enjoy spending time with you, they don't include you."
A sad looked passed over Illya's face. "May I come in; I need to speak to you."
Napoleon wasn't used to his partner showing his sadness so clearly, so open the door further figuring he could talk to him until his date arrived.
Once they sat down, he encouraged the Russian to tell him what is wrong and ensured him that they could talk until she arrived.
"Napoleon, she is not coming," Illya began carefully.
"Don't tell me Waverly sent her out on assignment right away. We were promised a night off," he said annoyed. Just once, he honestly wanted things to go as planned.
"Waverly did not send her on assignment."
"Well what then?"
"As she left the building she was gunned down by Lodge. We were able to take him out but not until after she was hit. I am sorry, but she did not make it."
Napoleon sat in silence for a while only barely aware that Illya remained by his side. Then he slowly began to speak.
"When we were hiding in the building waiting for backup, I asked her why she became an agent. She told me that she looked at our fight as a war not just a conflict. Good vs. evil and that people gave up their lives willingly to achieve these goals. Her hope was that she would die knowing that she had helped in defeating the evil a little."
Illya placed his hand on his partner's shoulder. "Then I believe she achieved her wish. Can I do anything for you my friend?"
Napoleon could smell the food knowing his partner would be hungry.
"Share dinner with me?" He offered not wanting to face the night alone just yet.
During supper, he explained his attraction for the Brazilian woman.
"Her eyes were what first came to my attention. They drew me in with their deep hazel color that changed with her emotions. They twinkled when excited and coolness when angry. She understood where I was coming from and accepted what I could offer her." Then he returned to the silence for the rest of the meal.
The food went down with a struggle, but both men eat, drank, and once Napoleon fell asleep on the couch, Illya covered him.
Softly he whispered in Ukrainian to his friend the words his grandmother had spoken to him at the loss of someone who mattered to him.
Mozhe buty m'yakiy̆ zemli dlya neï (May the earth be soft for her),
Nekhay̆ pam'yatʹ pro neï bude svitlo ztsilytʹ tebe (Let the memory of her light heal you),
I tsarstvo ïy̆ nebesne (and God rest her soul).
With that, he reset the locks and left Napoleon hopefully to dream of the eyes he was sure to miss.