A Sticky SituationThis is a featured page

By Jkkitty

Napoleon Solo and Illya Kuryakin walked down the beach, barefoot with the wild wind whipping up the sand covering their sticky skin.

"Why does Thrush always take away our clothing and shoes?" Illya complained as he tried to hold up the pair of ill-fitting stolen pants he was now wearing. These were the first words he had spoken since their escape and the explosion.

"That's because they know you too well, tovarisch. If they leave you anything, you blow up their sites."

"Okay that is why they take my things, but why do they take yours?"

Brushing off the insects landing on his fruity smelling body, "Because they know I'm your partner, and where I go you follow."

Watching that they weren't being followed, they continued along the beach in silence again.

"You do know this is entirely your fault," Illya accused as he began to itch from the mixture of things covering him.


"And how do you figure that?"

"Do you remember your suggestion? 'Come on. We'll take a small vacation on a typical island, just sand, water, and solitude.' After a week of begging me, I finally say yes, and now I am dressed like this and plaster in who knows what."

"I planned to have a nicely decorated Christmas tree with presents under it, and to swim in the ocean along a tropical beach with just you for company with no women or Thrush agents around to distract us. I'm not the one who insisted we check out the smokestack you spotted."

"It is our job."

"Not on vacation." That ended all conversation as they headed toward their shelter.



They arrived at their lodge and while Illya took a shower, Napoleon called for a cleanup team to fly in and go over the factory they had destroyed. When it was his turn, Napoleon took a long shower thinking about what had happened.

"Are you planning to write the report?"

Solo asked still upset that their vacation had been interrupted as he came out of the bathroom to see his partner lying on his bed.

"Do I not always write them?" Kuryakin shot back.

They stared at each other in a standoff when suddenly Napoleon broke out into laughter.

"You did look so funny, you know. Chocolate sauce from head to toe and pants three sizes too big for you."

"And you were any better? Covered in strawberry syrup and a sugar sack covering your waist, you were not a fashion statement."

Although still unhappy, a small smile started to break on his face.

"I do have to give Thrush points for originality this time," Napoleon said through his laughter.

"How do we write this one up? They are never going to believe we encountered a satrap while vacationing on a private island."

Now both were laughing uncontrollably. "Well tovarisch, let's start at the beginning and work on it together. Maybe we still can savage some of our Christmas holiday if we get this done."

….

A week earlier: Illya landed the plane on the small island they had been given use of as a Christmas present by Napoleon's Aunt Amy. As they were coming in, most of the island was covered in coconut, banana and palm trees. The shoreline, which was a contrast with its clear blue water and snow-white sand, looked very inviting.

"So is most of the island uninhabited?" Illya asked as they left the plane.

"The place is very isolated. My aunt's late husband owned a major portion of it and built a small lodge before he died. There's a small town located at the southern tip of the island with just a few locals who have their supplies flown in."

Illya enjoyed the idea of the solitude that they would have after the last couple of months of constant assignments.

"My aunt said she had the placed stocked for us including a decorated Christmas palm tree. Just think the sea, you, and me. No Thrush to bother us…"

"Or women to distract you." The Russian teased.

Ignoring the remark, Napoleon continued, "Even Waverly promised not to call unless the world was coming to an end."

"I do not know my friend this all seems too good to be true. Something is bound to happen to interfere with our vacation."

"Always the pessimist," Napoleon said in frustration. "For once can you forget about it? No one except Waverly and Aunt Amy even knows we're here. We have plenty of food, drink, and solitude. Let's enjoy it?"

….

The first two days were heavenly. Illya went scuba diving and snorkeling along the coral reef, watching the colorful sea life dart in and out of the sea grass. While Napoleon swam in the salty surf and after emerging from it, he lay down, letting the heat of the sun baked sand work it wonders on his sore muscles. They ate when they felt like it, slept in late and in general did nothing. On the third day, they decided to explore the rest of the island

"Can never be too careful," Illya said after placing his special in his waistband.

Frowning Napoleon followed suit to avoid a lecture from his partner. After a few hours, the Russian stopped.

"I thought you said there were no other buildings on this section of the island."

"My aunt has never allowed it, why?"

Kuryakin pointed to the wooded area in front of them. "I believe that is a smoke stack sticking out of those palm trees."

As they headed toward the stack, they noticed some building. Heading toward the mysterious buildings surrounded by a fence, they watched a man exit the gate. Solo suddenly pulled his partner down into the thick undergrowth.

"Ouch! Do you need to damage me as well? Thrush does enough of it."

"That's Helado." Napoleon whispered recognizing the man exiting the compound.

They had encountered the man a few years prior and had sent him to prison for his involvement in yet another of Thrush's schemes. They planned to add a chemical to the food chain that would make people compliant to taking orders but had been thwarted before it had been implemented. Helado had a wicked sense of humor and liked to humiliate his prisoners. During the affair both Napoleon and Illya had been recipients of his particular brand of humor.


"We could pretend that we don't see him. After all, we are on vacation," Solo wishfully suggested.

"It is tempting, but Mr. Waverly would not be amused," Illya sighed knowing that his partner wasn't seriously but once more their vacation was interrupted.

"This is your fault, always being so pessimistic. Well then I guess we've no choice but to find out what Thrush is doing on my Aunt's island."

The agents drew their weapons and headed toward the fence. They moved quietly through the palm trees, watching each step to ensure they didn't step on any sort of hidden trip wire that would set off an alarm. Focusing on the ground, they miss an alarm sensor located above them on the building wall. As they rounded the side of the fence, they slipped down a sudden drop that appeared as the trees line ended, with Illya landing on top of his partner.

"You may be smaller and thinner, but you weigh a ton when you land on me that way. Would you please get off me?"

As they maneuvered on the ground, a familiar voice from above said. "Mr. Solo and Mr. Kuryakin, it's so nice to see you again. I think you should drop your guns before you attempt to stand."

"How did you get out of prison Helado? I thought you were sentenced to life," Napoleon said annoyed that they had been caught so easily.

"My good looks and charms, of course. Now, don't do anything stupid gentlemen, I would enjoy hurting you for the trouble you caused me last year. Climb out, hands up if you don't mind."

He grinned sardonically as he used his gun to indicate where he wanted them to go. They stood, hands up and were surrounded immediately by a Thrush patrol. Hands bound behind their backs, they were taken into the main building and after a call to Thrush Central, Helado returned looking extremely unhappy.

"What do you want to do with them boss? We really don't have cells to keep them in?" One of the guards asked.

He thought for a few seconds then answered with a smirk. "Bring them along. Thrush central said we may not kill or question them until their interrogator arrives, just detain them."

He headed toward the second building with agents being forced to trail him behind him.

Napoleon whispered, "I don't like that smile."

"It is not very encouraging." Illya replied in a hushed voice.

"He may have orders not to kill us, but I have a feeling, we are not going to like what he has in mind for us."

The door opened to reveal a number of large metal vats that stood about twelve feet high. Above them were cranes while on the ground large enclosed buckets.

"Strip down to your skivvies gentlemen." He smirked.

A poke in the back from the barrow of the guard's rifle hurried them along. As soon as they were undressed, each man hands were retied and hung from the hooks on the cranes.

"Thrush Central has decided you aren't to be interrogated by me. They actually said to keep you on ice, and if nothing else I believe in following their orders."

The motors of the cranes whirred as they were raised. While dangling over the vats, looking down Napoleon began to laugh. Illya followed his eyes and saw what was below him, swearing in Russian, he glared at his partner.

"You find this funny?"

"Well you keep telling me how much you love ice cream. I believe you are about to get your fill."

Below them, the vats were half filled with soft vanilla ice cream. Slowly they were lowered into the freezing cold confection until it was up to their necks.

"Just in case you wonder how we create our flavors, I'll be happy to give you a demonstration," the Thrush leader laughed.

From above two large buckets settled over the agents. As the bottom of the kettles open, chocolate syrup poured over Illya, while strawberry sauce flowed over Napoleon. Once the contents were emptied, the vats began to spin quickly, sending the agents swinging violently against the sides.

…..

When the spinning stopped and the ringing cleared from Illya's head, he called to for his partner. "Are you okay?"

"I'm feeling well mixed and one of my shoulder has been dislocated," Napoleon answered.

"You?"

"I have a headache again, but with Thrush what do you expect."

"Gentlemen if you will please stay with me. We wouldn't want to continue the demonstration while you're not paying attention."

Helado was on a platform above them directing the men operating the cranes.

"I thought Thrush said not to interrogate us," Solo complained.

"Oh, I'm not trying to get information. I'm just having some fun."

"Are we allowed to ask what you are doing here? I mean ice cream doesn't seem to be a very diabolical weapon." Kuryakin asked.

"Of course. We've refined our formula that you two interrupted last year and now it's ready to ship mixed in the ice cream to every major cities in America. Once people taste our ice cream, we'll have them under control. The rest of the US will quickly follow suit."

Illya rolled his eyes and spoke up so that Napoleon could hear him, "Another ridiculous world domination plot. Really your organization is becoming redundant."

Anger flared in the Thrush chieftain's eyes, and he indicated that the crane operator should lower Illya farther into the mixture. When he was pulled out to his neck once more, he began coughing trying to clear his throat.

"Illya?" His partner called out in concern.

"I am fine, but I think I have lost my desire for ice cream."

"Now gentlemen," calling the agents attention back to him.

"After we add flavoring, we add the other ingredients and being the Christmas season…."

With that, another kettle moved above their heads. This time crushed peppermint sticks, nuts and chips of multicolored jimmies landed on and around them. Soon the container was spinning again crashing them into the sides of the vats. The spinning stopped suddenly causing dizziness from the mixing process.

"And for the final touch," Helado smiles as cherries rained down on the UNCLE agents.

"Well gentlemen, I've work to do, so I will leave you to cool your heels." Helado said roared with laughter at his own joke.

….

He and his men abandoned the agents embedded in the ice cream. Soon the mixture started to become even colder.
"You don't think he's going to freeze us to death in this stuff do you?" Napoleon called out.

"Thrush will not be happy if he does, but I do think he intends to make it as uncomfortable as possible. We need to get out of here."

"That, my friend, is an understatement if I ever heard one."

Napoleon could hear movement in his partner's vat and hisses of pain becoming louder as his partner tried to pull himself up as the minutes stretched on.

"Are you okay?" He finally called out to Illya.

"I am fine. The density of this mixture covering me is making it difficult for me to pull myself up."

Solo knew that if either of them were to make it out, his partner would have to be the one to get them free of the vats. He knew his dislocated shoulder would prevent him from trying to pull himself up. Besides, Illya's gymnastics training would work in his favor helping him to escape. After fifteen minutes and some Russian expletives, Illya managed to lift himself and got his legs around the ropes he was dangling from. Slowly he pulled himself up, until he was hanging upside down over the container. He was then able to free his bound hands from the hook and shimmy up the chain attached to the crane, slipping frequently from the ice cream covering him. Once out, he moved to the crane controlling the hook from which his partner was hanging and hit the switch, raising Solo safely out of the vat.

The American bit his lip as his shoulder screamed in pain. The Russian took a moment to relocate his partner's shoulder.

"Ready, one, two, three." Napoleon stifled a moan, then rubbed his shoulder.

"Ideas?" He asked.

"Obviously, we need to destroy this plant before the ice cream is shipped out."

There was a noise as the door opened and an unsuspecting guard walked in them. Illya stepped from behind the vat and with one chop knocked him out. Removing the uniform quickly, he used the shirt to clean some of the ice cream off and tossed it to his partner, then proceeded to put on the pants, that were obviously too big for him.

"How come you get the clothes?" Napoleon asked.

"I took him out, therefore they are mine."

"They'd fit me better," Napoleon hedged.

"Not a chance," Illya grinned. "And what am I supposed to wear?"

"The strawberry syrup covers you nicely," he answered heading towards the control panel's wires.

"Smart aleck Russian."

He replied grabbing an empty cloth sugar sack to wrap around his waist before following Illya to the control panel. Illya began rearranging the wires, replacing red with blue and purple with red. He seemed to know what he was doing as he switched on the machines. Hurrying out the doors, the rearranged wires sent all the machinery into overdrive.

As the machines exploded, the agents were sent flying onto the beach below the building and a wall of ice cream and syrups cascading down on them. Sitting up and checking themselves out, Illya noticed Napoleon's hair was spared throughout the entire mess, his on the other hand was sticking up in spikes.

Napoleon took one look at him and began laughing, "You look like some sort of space alien from a cheap B movie."

Illya stood, brushing his face off and unsuccessfully trying to shake some of the sand out of his hair.

"You are not the soul of beauty yourself," he said as he stomped off in annoyance to the lodge, ignoring the American.

"Sorry," Napoleon said walking after him. …..

Rereading the report, they signed and dropped it on the table. "Do you think Waverly will believe us?"

"Well, it the facts so we can only hope. Feel like a snack, tovarisch."

"What do we have?"

Napoleon looked though the freezer, and with a grin he called out, "Chocolate and strawberry ice cream. Aunt Amy knows how much you enjoy it."

He tried to hand Illya a container of chocolate ice cream and a spoon.

"Thank you but I think I will pass. I hope Helado rots in prison. I cannot believe our team found him unconscious but alive when most of the rest of the operatives were died or gone."

"Well, hopefully we'll not be meeting him again." Napoleon said heading back to the kitchen.

"With our luck, I would not count on it." "Let's see what else we have. There is also the mixings for some ice cream drinks including Grasshoppers, Brandy Alexander, Jamaican Banana …."

"Stop it right now, Napoleon or you will suffer the consequences."

"How about a Kiev Sundae?"

Illya stood, chasing his partner into the bathroom.

When he heard the lock click, he threatened. "You need to come out sometime."

"Remember we came here for sun, sea, and solitude." Napoleon reminded him.

"I will give you solitude. A nice long break in the hospital."

After a few minutes of silence, Napoleon came out of the bathroom to find Illya sitting in the living room eating snacks.

"Join me?" He said offering him a plate of sausage and cheese. Peace had once more been restored.

Joining him, he noticed the empty ice cream container and raised his eyebrows questioningly.

"There was no need to waste it," Illya explained

Sitting across from him, Napoleon laughed as he lifted his a glass of eggnog he had poured for them.

Raising it, he offered a toast. "Merry Christmas, my friend."

Illya raised his in response. "And you."

They ate in silence, enjoying the quiet and each other's company. Thrush had been stopped and not even having been covered in sand and ice cream would prevent them from appreciating the solitude of the island for the rest of their vacation.


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