swings like a pendulum backward and forward between pain and boredom
Napoleon Solo was doing his best. He worked hard at his craft and at honing his
skill. He should be able to feign
interest for at least half an hour.
He flicked a fast look at his watch and kept from
sighing. Eventually Thompson was going
to run out of things to say... eventually.
Even Waverly looked about ready
to nod off.
Out of the corner of his eyes, he could see Illya struggling
to stay awake. Of course, he did have an
excuse, having gotten in late the night before.
The last time Napoleon had seen his partner, he was wandering through
the canteen carrying a box of some sugary kids' cereal and studying the Danish
in a fashion that Napoleon deemed was lurid and lascivious.
Napoleon returned his attention to Thompson who had started
a long and detailed explanation of just why Research needed less funding and
Development needed more. Then something
bit his ear and he brought a hand to cup it with a startled motion. Instantly everyone at the table looked at him
and Napoleon rubbed his ear.
"You okay, Solo?" Gaskill looked damned glad to have something
else to focus on.
"Never better..." Napoleon glanced around and frowned. "I swear something bit me."
"In here? A damn fly
can't get past our security," Santine, the head of Section Three boasted.
"Could we get back to the agenda, gentlemen?" Waverly asked, reaching into his jacket
pocket for his tobacco. "We all have
other places to be."
All attention reverted back to Thompson, who cleared his
throat and picked up where he left off.
He turned back to the flip chart and again Napoleon felt a sharp whack
as something hit him. This time he
wasn't as startled and shot a glance in his partner's direction. Illya was repressing a smirk and a flash of
something shot through Napoleon's mind.
It took him a moment to remember; Illya was digging through
the box... Quisp?
Something like that and it was advertising a little rocket
launcher. Napoleon felt around with his
shoe and something rolled beneath his foot.
There was no way he could lean over and pick it up, but it confirmed his
Napoleon refocused his attention on Illya, who blinked sleepily
back at him.
"Wouldn't you agree, Solo?"
Thompson was saying, thinking he'd caught the agent off guard.
"I think that Research and Development are already adequate
funded. We are all facing cut backs, Mr.
Thompson, and I don't think that R&D should be permitted to run wild while
the rest of us have to tighten our belts."
Thompson flushed and sputtered. Napoleon knew that as he went, so did the
other section heads. After all, he was
the Section One Number One in training.
Again, something smacked the back of his neck and Napoleon
spun. Illya had a wholly innocent
expression on his face. "I move that we
adjourn for the week."
"Seconded," Gaskill sang out. He was already to his feet.
The others filed out, save Waverly and Solo's partner. Slowly Illya got to his feet and stretched.
"I'm glad you found something to keep yourself entertained,"
Napoleon snapped at him. He bent to
retrieve the small plastic rockets.
"These damned things hurt."
Illya took one and tested the tip. "Yes, I imagine they would."
"Then why were you shooting them at me... friend?"
"I wasn't," Illya protested.
"I could barely keep my eyes open."
"Illya, I know it was you, don't deny it. I should take you down to the gym and knock
"You could try, but you wouldn't get very far."
The two exited the room arguing and Waverly watched them go
suppressing a grin. He dropped the
little rocket launcher he'd retrieved from the trash this morning into his
jacket pocket. It had been careless of
Mr. Kuryakin to let that little treasure escape his notice. But it had made for a more interesting
meeting. And he knew Kuryakin would
never out him to his partner.
He bent and picked up the four little blue rockets he'd
launched at his head of Section Two.
Napoleon had absconded with the fifth one. Oh well, there was still enough to make the
board reviews go faster this afternoon.
Tucking away his pipe and tobacco, Waverly slowly left the
room, softly whistling Bewitched,
Bothered, and Bewildered to himself.