Napoleon Solo was not an overly sensitive man, his emotional make up tended to place him outside the realm of overt displays of real feelings. He was an expert at portraying emotional depth, but as was true for most men in his profession, to possess more than was necessary could prove fatal.

Solo had been in love, of course. Twice, if anyone was counting. Napoleon fell into lust on a regular basis, much to the chagrin of his more stoic partner, the libelously labeled Ice Prince. Napoleon had never actually heard anyone call Illya by that chilly moniker, but there were a few wounded hearts that certainly believed it to be accurate.

Perhaps the thing that affected Solo the most was a lack of trust from those in whom he placed his confidence. Clara, love number two, had victimized him with her inability to accept that he could love her and still do his job. Faith. That was what she had lacked when considering Napoleon Solo. She had no faith in him as a man.

A man of his word whose word was not trusted.

Napoleon never made a promise he didn't intend to keep. Anyone who knew the man could vouch for his integrity, even if he would sleep with the enemy on occasion. Illya Kuryakin could never have accepted Solo's partnership or, perhaps more importantly, his friendship, had he not been confident that the man was good for his word.

So why then, in his most private moments, did Napoleon sometimes doubt himself? How was it that the veneer could so easily be shattered by the mere presence of a memory, or the face of an innocent whose life had tragically ended?

In the darkness of his silent apartment, deep in the night, Napoleon sometimes wondered if he were capable of all that he was expected to assume in the coming years. The old man was an impenetrable force spanning decades, a fount of wisdom for which few could find an equal. How was he, Napoleon Solo, supposed to rise to that level in just a matter of a few years?

The question nagged at him at the most dreary moments, after a failed mission or in the wake of a lover's spat. Those didn't often occur, but the specter of failure would inevitably follow when the door closed behind him and Solo realized that he would be sleeping alone.

Alone. That's how it would be when, and if, he assumed the position that Waverly seemed intent on bestowing. Napoleon Solo: Number One, Section One.

Is that really what would satisfy the uncertainty?

Could Solo really succeed?

Or, would he have to view himself in a shattered reflection of failure?

There was no easy path to this journey's end. Somehow, Napoleon didn't think the answer was yet within view.