It was just one of those days, one of those lousy, stinking, rotten down to the core days. Everyone had them, but that was of little comfort to Leon Provol. Possibly it was because it made him look more human, more like his fellow agents. Possibly because it put a ding in his armor that he didn't have the desire or the time to polish out. Or possibly because it reminded him of the stories his mother had told him about his father.
"Am I clear, agent?" The Director's voice suddenly cut though the wash of self pity and Leon stopped just short of saluting.
"Yes, sir, it won't happen again."
"See that it doesn't or as God as my witness, I will have you doing nothing but dossier checks for the next twelve years!"
"Yes, sir." Leon had no doubt the man would do just that. He didn't like this new Director one little bit, but they hadn't asked for his approval or even his opinion.
"Get out of my sight before I change my mind." The Director slapped a folder down on his desk. "And send your incompetent partner in here."
Thankful, Leon walked rapidly from the office and stopped just outside to catch his breath.
"Well, he sounded in a good mood." His partner looked over at him from a straight back chair. "I shudder to think of what he's going to say to me."
"Looks like you're going to find out. He wants you in there."
"Is it too late to catch the plane back to Bulgaria?"
"Yup, go in there and take it like a man."
"That would be a first for me... me being a girl and all."
Leon chuckled, in spite of himself. "Good luck. You know where I'll be if you can still walk after the tongue lashing."
He greeted people on the way back to his office, easily engaging in small talk along the way. What else would be expected of the son of Napoleon Solo? His mother had told him story after story of the UNCLE agent's supposed antics. It wasn't until later, after he'd been working for the agency for awhile, that he was able to garner enough security clearance to access those files himself and realized his mother had known only half the tales, half the incredible and wild things his father had done.
Thus occupied, his mind happily thrummed away at the mental images as he walked into his office. He'd taken about five steps when he came to a screeching halt.
There were two men in his office. One was sitting at his desk, feet propped up on it, going through memos, wadding them up and aiming for a nearby trashcan. He was either a very good shot or hadn't been at it long. Considering his hatred for paperwork, Leon settled on the former, since the stack was diminished by half. The other man was at the bookcase, examining personal mementos and poking through his books.
"What the hell are you doing here?" Leon managed to sputter out after a moment.
"Ah, Illya said you wanted to talk to me." Napoleon Solo set down the photo he'd been studying. "So talk."
"How did you get in here?" Leon stared from his father to the blond Russian at his desk.
"Illya, do you want to answer that? I'm embarrassed to think my son would even have to ask such a thing."
"Perhaps he thinks you are old and feeble, my friend." Illya wadded up yet another memo, this one marked 'highly personal and confidential' and tossed it easily into the waste basket. "Youth seldom wants to acknowledge that we have both the skill and the treachery to make our way in the world."
"But I ditched your bug."
"Yes, yes, you did," Napoleon said, as he wandered back to the desk and hefted himself up onto it. "And you would have led us on a merry chase, except I have an incredibly anal partner." He flashed a smile over at Illya, whose hand had stayed mid-toss. "I mean that in a good way, of course." The hand continued. "He always sets two bugs if given the opportunity."
"So you found me." Leon moved to his desk, crossed his arms and glared. "Do you mind?" After a moment, Illya dropped his feet and stood. "Now what?" He hazarded a glance towards the security camera.
"You tell me." Napoleon was still looking around the office. "You were the one looking for me, not the other way around. So here I am."
"Big as life and twice as..." Illya let the sentence run out at his partner's glare.
"I just wanted to know."
"If it was really real."
"According to my mother, you were a fucking legend."
"Ooo, were." Illya clutched his chest. "That's got to hurt."
"Keep it up, Kuryakin. I'm still your boss, you know. She told me you were dead."
"Likewise; guess she didn't want to think of what might happen if she got us together," Leon muttered, sliding his hand carefully under the desk for the security button.
"Are you looking for this?" Illya pulled the dissembled button from a jacket pocket. "Your agency is really suffering from an appalling lack of professionalism. I would have put a non-tampering device on this first." He shook his head. "I don't know, Napoleon; of course, it's still your call, but sadly below our usual standard."
"He's a Solo. That should be enough of a legacy."
"Good thing Cutter's dead or he'd vapor lock."
"What are you two going on about?" Leon had just about had enough. His father stood and reached into his jacket, a smooth and nonthreatening motion, but that didn't keep Leon from moving his hand a bit closer to the pistol in his drawer. Instead of a weapon, however, Napoleon pulled out a card and placed it down on Leon's desk.
"When you're ready to run with the Big Dogs, let us know..."
"We need to leave now, Napoleon." Illya started to walk to the door.
"Think about it, Leon." And then they were gone.
Leon dropped his gaze to study the gold card with the word UNCLE printed across the front of it. He picked it up and the door opened again. He half expected it to be his father and was surprised to see his partner there.
"Down, but never for the full count," his partner announced proudly and then hooked a thumb over her shoulder. "Who were those guys?"
"Legends, fucking legends..."
As they walked causally down the hall, Napoleon pulled up short as they came face-to-face with the Director.
"It's his call now." Illya glanced over his shoulder back the way they'd come.
"All you can do is ask I suppose. If he's not smart enough to realize what an opportunity this would be for him, it's his mistake." He patted Napoleon on the shoulder. "He's a good boy, Napoleon, you should be proud."
"I am," Napoleon said with a nod. "So, we still on for Friday night?"
"Sounds good to me. Red or white?"
"Illya, you're cooking, red or white?"
"Both. I hate limiting my range." They started to move and again the Director's voice stopped them.
"Mind if I bring a guest?"
Napoleon glanced over at his partner and grinned. "More the merrier I always say..."