The Changings of Past BeliefsThis is a featured page

By Jkkitty

Chapter 1

The nightmare
Napoleon Solo, UNCLE's CEA, sat up quickly, gun in his hand, as he heard screams of "Nyet" coming from the other room. It took him a moment to realize that his guest was having the same nightmare for the third night in a row. He went into the guest bedroom and looked at this friend, partner, and tovarisch, Illya Nickovetch Kuryakin.

After coming in late from a three-week mission, tired and in need of mutual release, they had consumed almost a bottle of liquor each, Scotch for Napoleon and Vodka for Illya, before they had stumbled each into a bedroom: Napoleon into his, and Illya into the guest room.

Above the blankets, there was only a messy crop of pale blond hair; the short, slightly built but well-muscled body under the blankets hid a mysterious but dangerous man who held his past and fears within himself.

Suddenly a voice cried out, " Zhozefina , sestritsa , vy vsegda budete zhitʹ v moyeĭ dushe i serdtse. Nikto nikogda ne prinimayut moyu lyubovʹ k tebe v storonu i sognutʹ , chtoby ya ih pozhelaniya (Josephina, little sister, you will always live in my soul and heart. No one will ever take my love for you away and bend me to their wishes)."

Napoleon hesitated before deciding that Illya ought to be woken up from the nightmare that continued to haunt him. No one with a sense of self-survival would wake a sleeping agent by touching them. The result could be broken arm or worse, so he called his fiend's name a few times.

Finally, Illya opened one ice blue eye and gave Napoleon a stare meant to freeze others into silence. "You had better have an excellent reason for waking me, or I will use you for combat practice."

"Another nightmare, partner of mine," Solo offered as an excuse.

"Don't you have anything better to do than go prying into my sleeping life and eavesdropping on my dreams? It is just a bad dream. No harm, and private, let me go back to sleep," he stated firmly.

Although Illya often gave the impression that to reveal anything that bothered him was an admission weakness, Napoleon pressed on.

Over the last few years, they had developed a comfortable friendship, accepting each other's strengths and weakness, the best along with the worst. They guarded each other's secrets, insecurities, and lives.

"Look, I know you think that I am prying into your nightmare, but I am concerned. Now, are you going to tell me what it is about or do I harass you until you do?"

"Dream," Illya corrected.

Napoleon hated to do it but could only think of one way to get his friend to share his pain. In reality, the nightmare could give them away on an assignment if it was not controlled.

"Okay, dream, but if we are out on assignment and you fall asleep at an inopportune time, this dream could bring unwanted attention. Share it with me, and let me help you."

Illya's eyes lost the deep icy glare, which was replaced with grief and sadness. "The dreams will be over in a few days for this year. Let it drop."

"I am trying to help not pry. And what do you mean for this year? How long has this been going on?"

With a voice as cold as steel, and a deep blue glare that could freeze even on the hottest day, "In less than a week, the dream will stop, my sleep will return to normal, and you will be safe. Happy?" he hissed.

Napoleon couldn't decide if he should push Illya to discuss his nightmare, or let this pass. "Tovarisch. Confide in me, Trust me, please?"

"Fine," Illya found that in the past with a little bit of information Napoleon would consent to back down and leave him be, "It is just my memories of the day I could not save my family and little sister from being murdered by the Nazis. Now leave it be!"

"But you were what, nine?"

"And she was seven, I was her bolʹshoĭ brat (older brother), enough said, I do not wish to speak of it again." The finality of the statement let Napoleon know nothing else would be said.

"I am here for you, torarisch if you need me." He waited for a few minutes, then returned to his room when his friend closed his eyes while turning away.
The new agent
In the morning, a note from Illya stated he was walking to work and would meet him in their office before their appointment with Waverly. Just another way of letting Napoleon know that the conversation from last night would not be discussed again.

Later, at his desk in their shared office, the CEA was looking over an agent's file that was waiting for him when he arrived. He and Illya would be working with this agent on an assignment that the 'Old Man' had worked hard to get.

She was a new Section 2 female agent, and the second agent from the Glavnoye Razvedyvatel' noye Upravlenie (GRU).

"Interesting girl; wonder who she is," Napoleon said to Illya. A harrumph was the blond agent's only response. "Maybe you will know her?" Again a harrumph.

"Okay, I know you are irritated about me pushing you last night, but could you at least express a little interest in who we are going to work with," he demanded in exasperation.

"I am not upset, but trying to complete the last four case reports that appeared suddenly on my desk since last night. I would like to get them done before a new assignment. Besides whomever it is, Waverly will fill us in."

"Don't you want to know if she is someone you know?"

"Really Napoleon, there are millions in Russia, and thousands in the GRU; I have been here for the last 3 years—who knows. Besides, soon we will meet her for ourselves. Excuse me now, I am trying to complete these reports," Illya's eyes now turned a steel blue which left no room for discussion.

"Listen to this," Solo pushed on as if he'd not heard the Russian's retort, "Fourth highest score ever at Cutter's school, remained to teach a class on self-defense and attack strategies with the use of knives and then she did a number of refresher classes for some other offices in Europe. She speaks 10 languages including various dialects, excels in self-defense, karate, judo, and explosives.

"Good at interrogation techniques and better at surviving them herself. Does need some help with personal interactions—must be a Russian thing," Napoleon stated glancing at his partner trying to get a rise from Illya, but the comments only earned him raised eyebrows.

"She has a PhD in Computer Science. Says here she can make them sing. Finally, it says she has a Photographic Memory. Of course, that is just an overview; sounds like you doesn't she—are all Russian this versatile?" Napoleon asked, earning him another raised eyebrow from his partner who went back to the reports, "All and only 24 years old—isn't that two years younger than you?"

"Please, I am trying to finish up your reports. Go away".

Before having an opportunity to respond, his phone rang. "Waverly would like to see you now," Lisa Rogers, the boss' secretary, informed the CEA.

"Illya and I are on our way."

"No Napoleon, he just wants to see you first," she clarified.

As he walked out of their office, he told his partner, "Give you a call when he's ready for you." He smiled at the Russian as he left the office.

Walking toward Waverly's office, Napoleon gave each woman he passed a once over and his most charming smile, which he hoped made them feel unique. Although known as a lady's man, most of the women of UNCLE looked forward to his attentions.

He ran into two of his favorite agents, Mark Slate and April Dancer. April was the first woman in Section 2 and her flamboyant partner an English transplant. After his own partner, he trusted them completely with his back.

"How about dinner at the Serra Mediterranean Bistro tonight? I'm buying. That way you can meet the new female agent."

Napoleon teased, "Illya will handle the Russian introduction to New York." Mark raised an eyebrow, "Mark and I'll make sure that she know that she's very welcome."

"You men, just don't trip over your tongues," April scowled, "Remember she has been taught to protect herself against the likes of you two." The two men grinned at her taunt.

"Sounds like a fun time before we leave for assignment tonight. Beside with the amazing amount of food Illya eats," Mark grinned, "A buffet will cost you less".

"See you guys there at 6:30, and you're right. I may be able to come through this dinner with my wallet intact."
"We'll see you then, mate," Mark tossed over his shoulder as April and he walked away.

Napoleon waved to Lisa as he examined himself in Waverly's outer office mirror before entering his boss' office. What he saw was a medium height man, brown eyes, dark hair with a slight lock of hair that continuously fell over his right eye, and a determined chin.

He had on his usual expensive suit, free from wrinkles and carefully tailored. This would compare to his partner who usually looked as if he had slept in his clothes. He straightened his French cuff links, even if they were explosive, and bushed his hair back into place with a flip of his hand. With a smile at Lisa, he entered the office.

Waverly was on the phone, so he took his usual place and glanced around the room. At the only window in UNCLE, which overlooked the UN building, he spotted a woman with her back to him.

She was 5'4", 34-22-34, petite, dressed in black slacks and turtleneck, covered by a ruby red suit jacket, and finished with low black boots.

Her hair hung loose down her back to her waist. The hair was the lightest strawberry blond he had ever seen; it was almost white. He couldn't wait until she turned so he could examine the rest of her.

"Oh Mr. Solo. I would like you to meet our new agent. Mr. Napoleon Solo this is Captain Lieutenant Josephina Nichovia Kuryakin of the Soviet Air Force and GRU."

As she turned, Napoleon looked at this woman who appeared not older than 18. He was surprised to see it could be his partner's twin, the same face, body shape, eyes, and mannerisms. Napoleon noticed that she wore her gun as the men did under her jacket and that by it position she was left-handed.

The eyes—they were Illya's large blue eyes, hiding a multitude of secrets, and terrors within the icy water of their color. What he saw kept his eyes glued to her: her beauty, unassuming but stunning with a figure that won't quit. The necklace she was holding onto quickly disappeared under her top.

"Jo, please Mr. Solo", walking to the agent chair with the quietness and swiftness of a cat and offering her hand. "Only the government refers to me by my military rank, and only when I am in a lab does anyone refer to me as Doctor."

"Welcome to UNCLE, Jo; call me Napoleon."

"Ah, I would like you and your partner to acquaint Miss Kuryakin with the site and her apartment. Briefing for your assignment will begin at 0900 tomorrow. Any questions?"

Both agents replied, "No Sir," and were on their way out the door when Waverly called to Solo to wait a moment.

"Mr. Solo, this may be a touchy situation. In addition, as I believe you know your partner best, I'll let you make this introduction. Neither knows that the other survived their childhood in Russia. The Communists hoped to destroy their family by keeping the two apart, now that has changed."

"My agreement with their government gives them freedom to work within UNCLE without interference. I have done my best to prevent either of them from being able to be recalled to the Soviet Union, as the legal department has made sure all loopholes are covered. I hope you can see to it, that they have some time to renew their family ties."

Napoleon gave a small smile; yes, his boss again gave him one of those assignments, which Waverly felt would build his character for when he took over Waverly's chair. "Yes sir, I'll attempt my best." He then left to face the Kuryakins' reunion.

Continue to Chapter 2

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