Best Friends Forever

Written By: Solo's Girl

Robert 1950's

Chapter 1
"Through Thick and Thicker"

The car pulled up and stopped in front of the apartment building. Arthur helped his wife out of the car. She was still crying. The woman looked at her husband and turned sharply. She ran into the building and up to their apartment. He opened the back door of the car.

Napoleon nearly fell out of the car. His father picked him up. Eight years old he was really too big to carry but he had cried himself to sleep and was out like a light. Arthur draped the child over his shoulder, closed the car door and went into the building.

He laid his son on the bed and pulled a blanket over him. Napoleon rolled on his side and began to cry again. The elder man brushed his hand against his child’s thick black hair. He felt Napoleon pull away.

"I’m sorry, Napoleon," Arthur said, "But your mother couldn’t take care of you and Victoria. She will be alright. The doctors will take good care her…..Napoleon…."

The child covered his head and continued to cry. Once again he cried himself to sleep.

The next morning, Arthur left for the Embassy. His wife was still in bed as was young Napoleon. He kissed them both and left for work. It was afternoon before Louise was able to get up and she went in to check on her son. Napoleon was running a slight temperature. His mother fixed him a bowl of chicken noodle soup, the boy’s favorite and brought it to his room. He only took a few spoonfuls then laid back in his bed. His mother gently brushed his hair back from his face.

She heard him sigh and watched him slid back under the blanket. There was a tap at the door.

"Yes?" Louise said, setting the steaming bowl of soup on the nightstand.

The nurse opened the door and looked around the edge cautiously. She felt so sorry for Napoleon.

"Excuse me mame," the nurse said, "But Miss Margaret is here to see Napoleon. Does he feel like having a visitor?"

Louise looked at her son. He wasn’t feeling well. Maybe not. She started to answer when the girl stepped into the room.

Margaret, or Maggie as Napoleon called her, was his best friend since the age of two. They had gone thru mumps, measles, and tonsillitis together. They fathers where both diplomatic liaisons, and had recently been assigned to the same place.

She was a sweet loving child, eight years old as well. Her thick black hair was usually pulled back in a pony tail, and she had the most beautiful dark brown eyes anyone had ever seen. Many times at Embassy functions they were mistaken for twins. And really didn’t seem to mind.

She could see Napoleon’s tear streaked cheeks and swollen red eyes. She knew what had happened and wanted to be with her friend to make him feel better.

"Hi Napoleon," she said softly, "I brought you a present."

She pulled the wrapped box out from behind her back. Napoleon made a heavy sigh and looked at her. Louise got up and walked to the door.

"Not too long dear," his mother said, "Napoleon isn’t feeling well today."

The girl nodded her head and waited for Louise Solo to leave the room. Once the door closed the girl ran to the bed and climbed up next to her friend. She dropped the box in the floor and put her arms around him. Napoleon began to cry again. Maggie gently stoked the side of his face.

She knew how much Victoria meant to him. And now she was gone, ripped from his life and dropped in a special needs home. Maggie held her friend.

"Please don’t cry Naps," she said laying her face to his hair, "Don’t cry.."

Napoleon sniffed a few times and rubbed his pajama sleeve over his eyes. He loved the fact that she called him Naps or occasionally Nappy, a name one of the nurses had given him as well.

The woman had come in once while the boy was playing with his sister. Trying to get her to smile, he slipped one of her clean diapers over his head like a turban and started dancing around the room. The baby loved it, but when he stopped he saw the nurse watching him.

"Your quite entertaining, "Nappy"," she said in her thick cockney accent, taking the diaper from his head.

It became her pet name for the boy. A secret between the two of them.

"She’s gone Maggie," he said sniffling, "They just threw her away. I’m never going to speak to my father again….ever..He was never home or around Victoria that much, so what did he care?"

The girl wasn’t sure what to say, but she knew that just to have someone to hold was important. She took a few sniffs of the air and looked over at the bowl on the nightstand.

"Chicken noodle soup! Can I have some?"

Napoleon nodded. He laughed as he watch her slurp the noodle, sending flips of broth on herself and him. She took the end of one particularly long noodle in her mouth.

"Look," she said thru clenched teeth, "I’m a momma bird…" She swung her head towards Napoleon. "Take it little bird."

She giggled. Napoleon tried to catch the noodle in his teeth. After it hit his face a couple of times he finally had it and sucked it straight down in one gulp.

"Actually momma birds eat it and then regurgitate," he said smiling at her.

"What does "regurgitate" mean?"

"It means to throw-up."

"Yeecch, that’s nasty," she said giving him a light push, "Like when you threw up on me at Coney Island. Gross!!"

The two young friends pushed each other playfully a few times.

"Almost forgot," she said reaching down beside the bed, "I brought this for you."

Napoleon looked at the box. Then he looked at his friend.

"Thank you, Mags," he said giving her a gentle peck on the cheek.

She crinkled her face at the kiss and gave him another shove. They opened the box together.

It was nearly an hour before Louise went back to check on her son. She saw the nurse standing at the partially opened door a smile on her face. Louise looked in.

Napoleon was sound asleep. His new Jr. G-man badge pinned on his pajamas, the pistol clutch in one hand the other around Maggie’s shoulder. She was lying on top of the covers, her face resting close to his. She too was asleep, the box of disguises and "official" papers, balanced precariously on her lap.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

June 1943

Washington DC

Napoleon sat on the small tufted chair in the embassy. His suit neat and spotless, hair, well as good as it ever got now. He made a heavy sigh as he looked around at all of the people in attendance. At thirteen, he was the only young person there. The next closest to his age was thirty-five. His parents didn’t seem to notice their son’s extreme boredom as they continued to talk to other dignitaries.

The young man shifted, then stood up and made his way out of the large hall. He shoved his hands in his trouser pockets and walked down the long, red carpeted hallway and out onto the patio. He sat down on the edge of the fountain, reaching down and giving his reflection in the water a hard swat.

"Fishing for coins from the fountain?" a voice behind him said, "They must have cut your allowance again."

Napoleon smile. He turned to see Maggie standing a few feet away. She and her parents had just arrived.

It had been nearly three years since they had seen each other. He stood up as she ran towards him. They hugged one another tightly. She stood back and looked at him. He had gotten so much taller in that time. She reached up bushed the small wisp of hair back from his forehead.

Napoleon looked at her. His eyes couldn’t believe this was the same gawky little girl he use to wrestle and climb trees with. Thirteen years old had done wonders for her and she was becoming quite a charming young lady. He offered her a seat on the fountain ledge. She looked at him.

"Come on," she said, "Where is that big Nappy smile I always love?"

Napoleon pressed his lips together tightly and shook his head. She gave his arm a squeeze.


Napoleon finally gave in and smiled, revealing more wiring then a radio. But instead of hearing her laughter, Napoleon felt her hand gently touch the side of his face.

"I got mine off last year," she said, giving him a big toothy grin, "You’re still the most handsome boy I know, Naps."

Napoleon looked at her. The moonlight was shimmering on her black hair, the gentleness of her hand against his cheek. They found themselves drawing near each other. And before either of them realized, their lips met in a first kiss to be remembered forever.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

July 1946

"What do you think?" Napoleon said.

He gave the accelerator of the motorcycle a few turns revving the engine. Black smoke billowed out of the exhaust pipe and the engine click a few times as if it were about to shut off.

"I think you’re an idiot," Maggie said, her hands on her hips, "Whatever possessed you to buy that hunk of junk, Naps?"

Solo looked down at the motorcycle. It wasn’t junk to him. He loved it. On it, he had the same thrill as he got when riding a horse. Biggest difference being the bike wouldn’t starve to death if you didn’t put gas in it every day. His hand gently gave the section of seat behind him a pat.

"Come on," he said, "It’ll be fun."

"No way are you getting me on that thing," she said.

Napoleon gave her a strange smile and lowered one eyebrow.

"That seems to be your favorite expression anymore," he said.

Maggie gave him a hurt look. She loved him dearly, but as a friend.

Napoleon was becoming a man and of late had begun to exhibit certain traits that would be both an asset and a detriment to his character. His body was well formed, muscular arms, firm chin, and broad chest. And he had been excessively blessed with other "features" that the women would go crazy for.

Maggie had become a woman. Her body shapely and soft, looking more like a woman in her early twenties rather than a girl of sixteen. Her thick black hair lay in waves around her face. Her dark chocolate eyes looked sadly at him and her mouth drew to a tiny pout.

Even now, he and Maggie shared a bed from time to time, but nothing more than playful touching had ever passed between them. They were generally always clothed in one form or fashion and it was simply part of their nature, and had been since they were children. It was comforting to have strong arms wrapped around you, or to feel the soft gentleness of slender fingers threading thru your hair as you woke.

They loved each other. But they weren’t lovers. Their friendship was strong enough to resist that temptation. But the temptation was still there. They looked at each other for a moment.

"I’ll see you later," Napoleon said.


Solo gave the accelerator another turn and the bike roared. He took off, the bikes rear-end fishtailing slightly, leaving black tread marks on the driveway. She stood and watched as he took off up the road.

Maggie was sitting on the front porch of the house. She could hear the roar of the motorcycle several blocks over. There was a tremendous squeal of tires, the blowing of a car horn and the sounds of scraping metal from a few blocks away.

She felt her heart leap into her throat. The girl jumped from the porch and took off running in the direction of the crash. She glanced up into the blue sky.

"Please god, don’t let it be Napoleon," she said as she ran.

By now several people had begun to gather around the accident. She could hear someone saying that the car had run through the stop sign and slammed into him. Him!? Please not her him. She pushed through the crowd. Maggie’s eyes widened in terror.

The motor cycle lay in about eight different pieces, all scattered across the road. She saw the car, the windshield smashed, the dented hood and grill, all covered in blood. Then she saw him.

There was a low humming sound in the air. He couldn't quite figure out where it came from. Napoleon slowly opened his eyes. His head was pounding; his eyes were out of focus. He felt wet but it wasn't raining. He tried to move but nothing happened. The young man coughed. It made his head hurt and his chest hurt even more. There was a strange salty taste in his mouth. The young man ran his tongue inside his mouth and discovered something jagged poking thru the inside skin of his cheek.

He was confused. Napoleon tried to figure out what had happened. He tried to raise his arm. Finally he managed to get his hand to his throbbing forehead. In the dim street lamp light he saw that it was covered in blood, the flesh hanging on in shreds.

One elderly man from the neighborhood was trying to help him. Maggie ran to him and fell to her knees.

The man yelled asking if anyone had called an ambulance.

Someone replied yes it was on the way.

Another bystander came running up with a blanket to cover the poor young man. Maggie reached down and gently touched her friends face. He was staring blankly across the road, his head resting in a pool of warm blood. His white shirt was now red. She started to cover him with the blanket when she noticed the sleeve of his jacket was badly torn.

When she looked at it, her stomach turned as she saw his arm barley connected to his body. Bones, muscles, tendons all exposed to the evening air. As she leaned closer she could hear a deep raspy sound coming from his throat. Her fingers carefully pushed back his blood matted hair.

"It’s going to be alright Naps," she said trying desperately not to cry, "Help is coming…You’re going to be alright…You have to be alright.."

She leaned over and tenderly kissed his forehead. Maggie carefully laid her face to his.

"I love you Napoleon Solo," she whispered in his ear.

Maggie rode in the ambulance to the hospital. Her mother had notified Napoleon’s parents who where in Greece. His mother took the first flight out and headed back to the states and her son. When her father returned home and found out what happened, he immediately went to the hospital.

Maggie sat between her parents. She clutched at her father’s coat sobbing. Her mother sitting next to her gently stoking her head and back. One of the emergency doctors came out.

"Are you Napoleon’s parents?" he asked, his tone solemn.

Mr. Richardson grabbed his daughter.

"His parents are on a diplomatic assignment in Greece. We are his legal guardians for emergency purposes." he said.

"I’ll need you to sign these release papers then."

The doctor handed him a clipboard with the medical information on Napoleon. He quickly looked them over then signed the bottom. He handed the board back to the doctor.

"We have one of the best, no make that the best neurological surgeons in the world with him right now. But it’s going to be several hours before we will know anything. There is a beautiful solarium at the end of the hallway if you want to wait there. Cafeteria on level two and if you feel the need, a chapel on the ground floor."

The doctor turned and walked away. The family got up and headed down the hallway. It was going to be a long night.

Out of the hospital windows they could see the fourth of July fireworks bursting in the air.

The chief surgeon and the specialist stood next to the boy checking his injuries. The Chief surgeon shook his head.

"It’s hopeless Quinton," he said, "There is just too much nerve damage. We may be able to save the leg but not the arm."

"I’ve seen way too many amputations during the war," the specialist said, "We have the facilities here that we never had in the field. We are going to try at least."

Hours later……

Napoleon was taken to the intensive care ward. Broken ribs, the entire left side of his body encased in plaster. His jaw had been reset and had been wired shut. Cuts, bruises, lacerations covered what was visible of his face and body. He had been heavily sedated. Tubes and wires of all sizes and colors ran from his damaged body to the machines keeping him alive.

A week passed.

Maggie walked into the room to find Louise Solo talking with the doctor. They never noticed her coming in. She walked over and gently took Napoleon’s hand, her other fingers brushed softly across the bandage around his head.

"We won’t be sure until he wakes up," the man said, "Until then all we can do is watch and wait. There was extensive head trauma, not to mention the broken bones. He’s going to need physical therapy to regain the strength and flexibility in his limbs. But as far as any possible brain d……"

"He’s going to be alright, you hear," Maggie suddenly burst out, "He’s going to be alright…"

They turned and looked at her.

"You threw away his sister, now you want to do the same to him don’t you?" Maggie began to cry. "I won’t let you..If he has to come and stay with us…..I won’t let you send him to that awful place.."

She looked at her friend. She felt his fingers tighten around hers, weak but still it was movement. Maggie looked at her hand then back at Napoleon’s face. A tear fell down his cheek.

"He’s there!" she cried looking at the doctor, "He’s in there…look…He’s crying.."

She held his hand to her face and gave it a sweet kiss.


Collage had started. And Napoleon was allowed special permission to have his class work brought to the hospital so he wouldn’t miss anything. The doctor gave the young man a lot of credit for having the strength of character to want to still pursue his college studies under his current conditions.

It would still be several months before Napoleon was up on his feet and getting about again. Months of Physical therapy lay ahead. But he had school and Maggie to push him along. The specialist was checking the young man’s pulse and heart rate. Then he wrote everything down on the chart.

Napoleon’s jaw was killing him and it was difficult to pronounce certain words. He nodded towards the doctor’s jacket.

"Wanted…to ask…you," Solo said thru clenched teeth, "What does…the Q stand…for?"

The doctor looked down at his name plate. He smiled.

"Quinton," he replied, "Why? You going to name your first born after me because I saved your life?"

He saw the young man try to smile and Maggie blushed.

"You’re going to have to work on those jaw muscles. It’s going to be stiff and painful for a while. But you don’t want to spend the rest of your life talking like someone in a gangster movie."

Maggie giggled. Napoleon looked over at her. The young woman hitched her shoulders in a classic Cagney move and gave him a playful wink.

The doctor walked around the bed and began to check his arm. A few sharp jabs and Solo’s fingers twitched at the pain. The man carefully lifted the arm up and Napoleon made a small wince.

"Circulation is good. Nerves appear to be fully functional. I would say, young man, you’re arm is going to be just fine. You just need to work the stiffness out and don’t lift anything heavy for awhile"

Napoleon looked at Maggie. He bit down on his lip to try not to say anything smart assed. She saw the look and gave his right shoulder a light slap. He laughed.

"Will you at least let this one heal completely before you break the other one?" the doctor said with a slight smile, "Follow ups will be with your regular doctor…..Stay off of motorcycles Mr. Solo….I never want to see you again! Understood?"

Napoleon extended his hand to the doctor and gave it a good shake.

"Yes sir," he said, "And thank you, Doctor Martz."

Best Friends Forever Chapter 2