More Difficult Than a Leopard to Change His SpotsThis is a featured page

By Jkkitty

Will one thoughtless action by Napoleon Solo destroy the relationship he has developed with Josephina Kuryakin?" Illya Kuryakin opened the hotel door. “Napoleon. Waverly wants us on a plane in a….”

However, he stopped speaking as he saw his partner in bed with the waitress from the coffee shop downstairs. Napoleon sat up quickly, covering himself and the woman staring at his partner.


“Don’t bother. Just get our suitcases and meet me downstairs in the car.”

Illya said closing the door. Getting their luggage together after saying good-bye to his bed companion, he became angry with himself. Oh, he could blame what he did on being overtired, drinking too much or even the fact that he hadn’t seen Jo in three months, but none of the excuses rang true. He had been horny, and she was willing.

Double-checking the room, Napoleon went to meet his partner. Illya was in the car, but refused to look at him when he entered it.

“Illya, I don’t know what to say.”

Pulling out from the structure, he received no answer. He could feel the anger radiating from the Russian.

At the airport, other than giving their names for check-in, the silence continued. Once they were seated, Illya closed his eyes still ignoring his partner. Napoleon sat in the aisle row where the flight attendants attempted to get his attention, but he took no notice of their attempts. He knew it was no use to try to explain what had happened to his partner, and was unsure how he would explain it to Jo.

He knew that Illya wouldn’t say anything, but until he talked to Jo, he wouldn’t be able to straighten this mess out with his partner. He realized if an assignment presented itself, Illya would do all needed to protect him, but their friendship was on very rocky ground right now. At least he had a week to decide how to explain this to Jo, as she wasn’t due back from her assignment until then.


As they walked down the ramp, the men heard their names called.

“Hi there. I finished up early, and Waverly asked if I would mind picking you up,” Jo explained excitedly. “I figured I could see you two before he debriefed you.”

She noticed that neither man was smiling or speaking.

“I thought your assignment went well. What is wrong?”

“Nothing,” Illya said heading toward the car.

Napoleon and Jo followed him. “Napoleon?”

“Later,” was all he said.

Jo walked before them to the car but neither said anything before Illya slid in the back, Napoleon in the front. On the ride from the airport, Jo explained what she had accomplished on her assignment. A word or two was all she received from either man. As they neared the tailor shop,

Illya said, “Drop me off in the front, will you? I will see you later Jo.”

She dropped him off and waited for Napoleon to get out. When he didn’t, she drove to the garage. Turning off the motor she said.

“Okay, are you going to tell me what was going on between you two? Who did what to whom?”

Napoleon turned to her, taking her hands in his.

“It’s my fault, and I didn’t do anything to him, it was you who I hurt.”

“Napoleon, I do not understand. I was not even there. How could you do something to me?”

Napoleon took a deep breath, “He found me in the hotel room with a woman.”

“I know you have to be with women at times for the assignment; I have told you that I am okay with that.”

Jo hoped this was what he was talking about but feared that it was something else. He knew he could lie, and she would accept it, but couldn’t do it to her.

“Jo, it was the waitress from the hotel coffee shop. She was willing, and I took her up on her offer.”

He waited for her to explode, yell or slap him. Instead, she turned toward the door without a word. “Jo?”

“I cannot talk to you now perhaps later.” And with that, she was through the security door.


Napoleon entered the building, accepted his badge without acknowledging the secretary who was smiling with him. In the corridor, he didn’t see or hear the others he passed. Going into his office, he saw his partner looking up at him, a concerned look on this face.

“Napoleon, are you okay?”

Although angry about what he had done, Illya knew his partner was suffering.

“I told her. She didn’t become angry, slap me or even try to shoot me. She just walked away.”

He placed his head in his hands. “God what have I done?”

“Give her time. She loves you and will talk to you after she has had time to think.”

“What if she decides to break it off? Or transfer?”

“What happened to the optimist who is my partner? Remember I am the pessimistic one in this relationship. I wrote up the rest of the report, check it over and then sign it. Waverly wants the debriefing in an hour. I’ll I will meet you there.”

Nodding in agreement, Illya left his partner staring at his hands giving him time to compose himself.


After checking her office and computer lab, Illya headed toward the cafeteria. He found his sister sitting in a booth in the far back corner. A cup of tea was cooling before her, but she seemed to be ignoring it.

“Can I have a seat, or is this only for people who are trying to figure out their next move?”

Jo looked up at him, and gave his a half smile, “Be my guest. But I am not particularly good company right now.”

“Either is my partner. You do know that he has kept his word up to now, do you not?”

“I do not know for sure, but I do think he would be honest enough with me to tell me. It just hurts, and I need a little time to think it out. Maybe I shouldn’t expect it of him; he is a man of passion and has needs that I cannot be there to always fill.”

“You love one another—you can work this out.”

“For someone who was so angry with his partner just a little while ago, you seemed to have gotten over it quickly.”

Illya gave her a half smile, “He is my partner; you are my sister. I worry about both of you. He was honest when I was not sure he would tell you. He is a man of honor.”

Jo’s communicator beeped, “Kuryakin here.”

“Jo, Waverly has given us the go ahead. Meet you at the garage.”

“Be there is five, April. I guess I will have to wait to talk to him; April and I am going to get some information from a Thrush lab in Kearny, NJ. then destroy it. I will see you later.”

Illya watched his sister leave noticing that she seemed to leave her troubles behind. He hoped the two most important people in his life would resolve this issue.


After their debriefing, Napoleon walked the halls of UNCLE. He didn’t seem to have the desire to work at his desk, or work on the summary Waverly was waiting for. Jo had left without saying goodbye, something they never did when both were in New York.

As he walked past the communication center, he heard Jo’s voice.

“Let Waverly know April has the information, and I just blew the lab, but they have managed to pin us down.”

Shots could be heard and then there was an explosion.

Derʹmo.” Came over the communicator.

“Josephina!” Napoleon yelled into the microphone he had grabbed from the tech.

“I am okay, just shaken up some, going to turn on my tracer in case, but I think April’s still out there. Hiding the communicator in my boot for now.”

There was silence for a moment before another voice came across the channel.

“Stand up slowly, Kuryakin. Hands on your head.”

The male voice was tight with anger. “Where is your partner and my information?”

“What partner? What information?” Jo answered.

SLAP, Napoleon's hold on the microphone tightened, but he remained silent not to give the location of her communicator away.

“Don’t play games with me. Where are they?”

“Don’t know what you are talking about?”


“Search her,” the voice demanded. They heard the communicator being pulled from her boot.


“Real cute Kuryakin, destroy that thing,” the voice shouted in anger. “

Mr. Solo, I believe you were supposed to be finish up my report.” Waverly said as he walked into communication.

“Sir, Miss Kuryakin and Miss Dancer are in trouble. I’ll I’d like to go help them out.”

“Don’t you feel your agents are capable of taking care of a simple assignment, or perhaps you feel they are incompetent?” Waverly suggested. “No sir, it’s just…”

“Then I suggest you allow them to get on with their assignment, and you complete yours. If they need help they’ll ask,” Waverly said.

Napoleon walked past his boss, extremely unhappy but knew he wouldn’t win points by arguing.

“Let me know if Dancer or Kuryakin requests help,” Waverly said following his CEA out.


Later that evening Napoleon and Illya were finishing the report for Waverly when Mark Slate entered their office walking with the aide of crutches.

“I thought for sure you gents would be heading toward Medical. Waverly had ordered April and Jo there before they were debriefed.”

“How is Jo…they? Why Medical right away?” Napoleon asked with concern in his voice.

“April was hit by a flying rock from the lab and has a concussion. Jo is bruised but okay from what I heard,” Mark reported.

Illya stood to go but noticed his partner still sitting. “Napoleon?”

“I’m not sure she’ll want to see me, but let me know how she’s doing okay.”

As Illya joined Mark, he looked back over his shoulder.

“She would, but I will let keep you informed.”


As the two agents entered the Medical department, they heard the two women arguing with the doctor.

“I do not need to spend the night. It is bruises not anything serious,” Jo’s voice raised in defiance.

“And a small bump doesn’t require a night here,” April joined in.

“The two of you need to be observed by someone tonight to make sure there is nothing more serious,” the Doctor insisted.

“April, luv. You can spend the night at my place,” Mark spoke up.

“And you can stay with me,” Illya offered.

Jo looked around but seemed to be not able to find whom she was searching for. As the two women walked out of medical towards Waverly’s office, Illya whispered to Jo,

“He is not sure you want to see him, so he sent me.”

“I need to debrief now. Do you know where he will be later?”

“In our office, I will see you are there.”


After their meeting with Waverly, Jo headed towards the men’s office. As she entered the room, Illya picked up his jacket saying, “I’ll be in the lab finishing up these files.”

“Oh Jo, your face is multi-colored again.” Napoleon moaned as he came over by her touching her.

Moving out of his reach, she sat in her brother’s chair.

“Jo, I know you are angry about what I did. I don’t know how to tell you how sorry I am. I hurt you so much.”


“Broke my promise.”

“Sure did.”

“Didn’t take your feelings into consideration.”

“Sure did not.”

“Was so stupid.”


“You know you could give me a break here.”

“Napoleon, I love you but you are doing such a nice job of being angry with yourself, I do not have too. Maybe I demanded too much of you.”

“No, my love.”

“Why not continue our discussion at an expensive restaurant, where I will have the most expensive meal I can?”

Napoleon face lit up, “Okay. I’ll pick you up at home in an hour,” Jo stood and gave him a small kiss before leaving.

As soon as she left the room, he called Illya’s lab.

“Hey partner can you finish up the last few files?”

“Why would I do that?” “

Jo has agreed to go out with me tonight and resume our conversation. How about it?”

“Okay, anything to advance true love.”

“Glad you think that way, because I also need to borrow about fifty dollars.”

Illya chuckled, “Stop here on the way out, and I will loan you the money.”

Napoleon grabbed his jacket and smiled as he went through the halls, toward hoping tonight that would make things right again.


Dinner was at Twenty-one club, and Jo did order the most expensive items on the menu. Napoleon played with his food, waiting for her to finish eating. Like her brother, nothing serious would be discussed when she was dining.


The question brought Napoleon up short. He had thought about what had happened and how he felt afterwards. But why?

"I could give you a lot of reasons but to be honest, I don't have any other excuse than at the moment it was what I wanted, and she was willing to give it to me."

"Do you want to break our agreement? Have your freedom? It is a number of years before you are forty after all."

"NO!" Napoleon shouted then realized others were looking at him.

Lowering his voice, he spoke softly to her. "Jo, I don't want to change our relationship. You're the one I want and love. It was a stupid judgment call. I can't even call it a mistake, as I knew what I was doing."

Jo didn't answer right away, she thought about how she felt. She loved him and honestly could forgive him this time, but what about the next time?

"There won't be a next time, if that's what you are wondering," he seemed to have read her mind.

"Well if it does happen again, I will cut off a certain body part that you value as immensely indispensable."

"You wouldn't, would you?" He asked sheepishly.

"Try me," she smiled tasting a bit of her dessert.

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