“You call that supper? There is not enough of that fish for a cat much less the two of us.” Illya called out waking Napoleon who had fallen asleep on the dock a fishing pole in hand.
They had managed to get a weekend off and Illya suggested they go up to Aunt Amy’s cabin for some quiet and rest. Napoleon looked at his partner who stood there in shorts, a tee shirt and flip flops looking younger than he truly was. Actually he looked more like a beach bum than an UNCLE agent.
“I was just getting started,” the American said sitting up blinking because of the sun in his eyes.
“You have been sleeping for at least three hours and getting sunburn. I am starving and that is all you have to offer.” A twinkle in his eyes, he pointed at the small fish sitting by his partner’s feet.
The last assignment had been especially hard on Napoleon and Illya knew that his partner was suffering emotionally as well as physically. The idea of this get away had been his to help his partner heal.
The innocent who had died was only 16 and just beginning life. Napoleon had taken a few bullets trying to protect her when she had wandered into his stakeout. One of the bullets had knocked him unconscious. When he woke his vision was blurred, but he could see the Smithe, his target, laying dead and the girl dying next to him. His assignment was completed, but an innocent had been shot. He had dragged himself to the girl holding pressure to stop the bleeding while calling for help, but she hadn’t made it.
“Do you wish to talk about it?” Illya offered.
Napoleon shook his head asking himself, ‘What did he need? Could he continue in this life? Death surrounded him and those who came close to him.’
He looked at the small fish at Illya’s feet. Another death he was responsible for, the thought flittered through his mind.
“You could not have prevented her death. She was in the wrong place at the wrong time, my friend.”
“She was so young, just looking to have some fun. She stumbled on my stakeout and died because of it.”
“She is like that little fish there, a victim of circumstance. There was nothing you could do. We know innocents die at times.”
“Only 16, life was just beginning for her. Was her life really worth stopping Smithe at this time?” Napoleon said misery coloring his voice.
“How many people was Smithe responsible for killing with his drug already and how many more would he have killed if you had not stopped him? Was her life worth stopping him, no? But can we really answer that question? You did what was needed to be done. Smithe is dead and his formula destroyed. ” Illya offered in way of helping his partner see the reality of the situation.
Napoleon sat quietly for a few minutes before his face broke into a slight smile. He felt the weight lifting just a little.
“If we’re to have supper we’ll need to catch some fish. You wouldn’t even be able to use that fish as a toothpick and with your appetite it would fill a finger.”
Picking up the pole, the two sat together. Just the closeness of his friend and partner began the healing process that Napoleon needed.