For the first time in three years April, Mark, Napoleon, Illya, Andre and Jo who were still on desk duty were going to be in house on Easter.
They had agreed to take day watch for other agents in different sections who had families with whom they could celebrate.
The Saturday morning before Easter, the agents were enjoying breakfast together before starting their shifts.
"Did you receive anything weird today?" Napoleon asked the gathered agents.
Each of the agents stated that they had received an invitation to Easter dinner in the conference room for the next day. The invitations only had their names, time, and place on them.
"What do you think this is all about?" April asked looking over all the other invitations, "And in UNCLE's conference room.
"Well luv, we have duty and it seems like we have had dinner plans made for us. Maybe, Mr. Waverly," Mark suggested.
"Not Waverly", Napoleon chimed in, "Just came from his office and he has one also. No ideas as to who is responsible, but I would like to know how it got onto his desk without anyone knowing it."
"As a matter of fact, all the invitations were on our desks this morning. Someone has been very busy and very good to get into our offices without notice," Illya added, “We are all spies, aren't we. I think we should be able to find out what is going on."
"What do you think Jo," Mark asked.
Jo shrugging her shoulders and went back to breakfast.
It was decided that each agent would do a little spying in the environment most familiar to themselves, and meet after work to see what they were able to find out.
"How is it going?" Waverly asked his agent.
"Good, just as we excepted. They are trying to find out what it is all about. Again let me thank you for allowing this to go on."
"Well, they have worked hard this year, and it is infrequent that they are able to celebrate a holiday together. Your idea is wonderful, besides it will keep them from coming up with something that will cause trouble. Section 2 agents who have nothing to do can be problematic. See you tomorrow", Waverly added as he dismissed the agent who had designed the dinner.
Illya started with the kitchen, where he had many friends, and received no information other than they were told to reserve seven seats for dinner tomorrow. No matter how nicely he tried, no further information was forthcoming.
Jo said she would check out communications to see if they had any idea where the invitation came from, but had no luck.
Napoleon talked to the secretaries, if anyone knew what was happening behind the scenes it would be them. However, no matter how much of his charm he used, no one had any information for him.
April went to security and looked over the logs but no answers were found.
Mark and Andre check with other agents but no one had an answer.
After work, the agents met in the cafeteria and were disappointed to find out that no one was able to find out anything. "Some spies we are," complained Napoleon. The agents agreed that they would meet tomorrow for the supper that they were invited to.
The next day, the agents showed up at the dining room for dinner as invited. Each sat at the place assigned to them. As the dinner began each was surprised in turn. Besides salads and a variety of breads, each agent was served their country's traditional dinner starting with soup.
Mr. Waverly's Scottish meal included leek and potatoes soup, leg of lamb, Turnip Purry, and Caledonia Cream for dessert.
Before Mark was set a typical English dinner consisting of chestnut soup, roast leg of lamb with mint sauce, Jersey Royal Potatoes and chocolate mousse for dessert.
Andre Spanish meal included Gazpacho (cold vegetable soup), roast lamb, Potatoes a la Importancia, and Catalan Cream for dessert.
Napoleon, although American, his Canadian French background produced a meal including split pea soup, Tourtière (Meat Pie) and for dessert Butter Tarts.
April, who grew up in Northeastern American had a dinner that included clam chowder, Bake Ham, roast potatoes with sea salt, and strawberry millefeuille.
Although Illya and Jo were both Russian, their meal differed.
Illya, as everyone knew loved to eat and had Ukha (warm watery fish dish), smoked fish on black bread, beet salad, cucumber and egg salad, Kurnik (a savory chicken pie), boiled potatoes, and Pashka (a Russian Easter Cheesecake).
Jo, on the other hand, had Lapsha (noodle soup), Borshch with beef and pork finishing with Honey-marinated pears. *
After the meal was done, champagne -Mr. Waverly contribution- was served, Napoleon raised to offer a toast, "A special dinner among special friends, thank you Mr. Waverly."
"No, No, Mr. Solo. This was not my idea. My dear," he offered his toast to Jo.
The agents all looked at Jo who was blushing. "I wished to thank you all for what you have given me since I have joined here. I have learned about friendship, partnership, and caring. Thank you all, and may we all be together next Easter" she explained and offered the toast.
Napoleon lifted his glass once more, "I fine Robert Smith Surtees' toast very appropriate for those in our business:
To your good health, old friends,
may you live for a thousand years,
and I am there to count them.
“To us,” he offered the toast.
Each agent in turn raised his or her glass in agreement.
April in English: To good friends and long lives
Then each agent in his or her native language repeated the toast.
Mr. Waverly in Scottish: Tae guid friends an' lang life.
Andre in Spanish: Para buenos amigos y una larga vida.
Jo in Russian: Хорошим друзьям и длинной жизни.
Napoleon in French: Pour de bons amis et une longue vie.
Illya in Ukrainain: Для хороших друзів і довге життя.
Finally Mark in British English: To smashing mates and long lives**
As the evening wrapped up, each agent reviewed his or her successes and failures during the last year. Although each had lost things, but all had also gained things. Friendship, partnership and caring really did sum up their successes.
Happy Easter to all. As we think of this new beginning, may we all remember that true friendship is a gift we can all give one another. Jkkitty