A special thanks to yelizaveta52 who offer her suggestions, time and talent to beta this for me.
April watched Jo move papers from one pile to another, sigh and move them again.
"It's only two more days. Take the time off and enjoy it." She told the Russian.
"I need to get things done." Jo countered pointing to the computer printouts.
"Jo you're the boss. Delegate. You're getting married in two days."
"And my life is about to change. Yes, I have heard that before. What if I cannot accept those changes? I am bored just doing paperwork."
"Why you are is so nervous? You're doing great. Let's see, you have reorganized the computer department, upgraded our system, and now working on more security methods. Computers are here to stay and you're in a front row seat for it. Look I've got to get back to my office and find someone to pick up a scientist coming in today. I can't believe all the work that comes with being the CEA. How Napoleon ever did it, I don't know."
"He had Illya, you have Mark let him help you. Where is this scientist you need to be picked up?" Jo brightened. Three months of being out of the field and still she had an itch to challenge her skills.
"Oh no you don't Napoleon would kill me."
"Is Thrush after him?"
"No they aren't. They don't even know about him yet."
"Then I could do you the favor of running out and getting him. I would be back before anyone even knows."
"And when Napoleon finds out?"
"We do not need to tell him, do we?" Jo's smile was so innocent that usually no one could say no to it.
"He's going to send me to Antarctica if he finds out."
"I will take any blame. Come on April. It's not dangerous, but I could use the small thrill. It would get me back in the field for a few hours. Besides, I am still qualified."
April looked at her friend and felt for her. She knew she would feel the same way.
"Just don't get into any trouble? He's coming into the bus depot at one. Come to my office and pick up his picture. And Jo, if I go to Antarctica, you're going with me."
"What do you two think you were doing? You're not Section Two anymore, Josephina and April you know better. The gunfight at the railroad fields could have gotten you and the scientist killed." Napoleon was livid.
The simple pick up turned out to be an ambush that ending in a gun battle at the empty rail yard. Luckily Jo and the scientist were able to get back without injury but that was the only thing that had gone right.
Illya came in from his office to the yelling. The changes to the administration of UNCLE North-East had occurred when Napoleon and Illya had taken over the Section One position. Each had an office-sitting room off the side of the main conference room.
"What is causing the earthquake in here?" He asked.
"Your sister and our new CEA thought it would be a wonderful idea for someone no longer in Section Two to pick up an important scientist that led to a shootout."
"Oh so the problem is that April allowed someone to carry out the duties outside their Section."
"Simply put yes. Sections have functions for a reason, and those duties should be adhered too." Napoleon glared that the women.
"Yes, I see. For example, we would not want someone from Section One, going out on a Section Two op without their security." Illya returned giving Napoleon a glare with a small smirk on this face.
"You know darn well I can still take care of myself. I needed to see the operation site myself," Napoleon shot back at his partner forgetting the women were in the room.
He had left his security behind the week before when he became involved in a firefight while checking out the site. It was only the fast arrival of backup that prevented any death including his own.
"Oh I see what's good for the drake isn't good for the duck." Jo shot back at him.
"It's what good for the goose is good for the gander." Napoleon corrected her. "And the point is you disregarded the protocol. You are both receiving a verbal reprimand."
"Well if you have nothing else you want to scream at me about I will go back to my small gray office and play with my papers. Hopefully the paper cuts will not be too dangerous for you." Jo voice was dripping with sarcasm as April put her hand on Jo's arm to prevent her from saying anything else.
"Miss Kuryakin, I am tired of your insubordination," Napoleon yelled slamming his fist on the table. Jo was one of the only people who could make him lose his temper.
Silence followed the statement. No one spoke for a few seconds before Jo looked directly into Napoleon's eyes.
"I apologize Mr. Solo. If I may be excused, sir?" Jo bit off each word with pain coloring her voice.
Waving his hand, both women left the office leaving Napoleon to drop himself in a chair waiting for the comment from Illya he knew was coming.
Instead Illya sat next to him, placing a hand on his arm, "What is it, tovarisch?"
"What if she were killed? I couldn't handle that after all this time." Napoleon offered as an explanation.
"We all know that although we are out of the field it still could happen. There might be a time when only she can do what must be done on the outside. What then? She is still field qualified as we are."
"This was unnecessary and before you say it so was my involvement last week. I guess it's not as easy to give up being Section Two as we thought it would be."
"Napoleon, we have lived on the edge of life for so long it will take a while before we can just accept where we are now. There will be time we are called to go out and risk our lives again, but we need not rush it. It is only two days to the wedding, make peace with each other and then accept what each of you are."
"When did you become such a smart Russian?" Napoleon asked returning to the banter they had shared as partners.
"I have always been a smart Russian; you just forget it at times. Go on, talk to Jo."
Napoleon stood before Jo's office trying to determine how to approach her. As the door slid open, he was met by her standing on the other side of it. Before he could say anything, she pulled him in her office as the door slid close attacking his lips.
After a few minutes they separated and he smiled down at her.
"I'm sorry," they said together.
"I am sorry Napoleon. I know that I should not have gone, but I miss it." Jo put her arms around him while laying her head on his chest.
"Do you want to postpone the wedding?" He asked dreading the answer.
"No!" she almost shouted. "No," she repeated quieter.
"I think we have pre-wedding jitters. It is a big change for both of us, but there'll still be times when our Section Two training will be called into use," Napoleon kissed her gently then moving away.
"You do realize this is not the proper place to do this, don't you?" Napoleon kissed her on the nose. "After all I'm the leader of a world-wide agency and you're in-charge of an international computer lab. Not good for the troops to see us like this."
"Well we only have two days to the wedding then everyone will understand," she said hands roaming his body.
Pushing himself away, he smiled straightening out his clothes. "I need to get back to saving the world. I love you Josephina."
"And I you. We will work it out, moya lyubovʹ."
"What is the problem?" Illya asked as he saw the look of frustration in his partner's eyes.
"I can't tie this darn bow tie."
Napoleon's answered throwing it on top of his tux jacket. The wedding was only an hour away and he was nervous. He had waited for this day and now that it was here his concerns for what type of life they could have as members of UNCLE and as a married couple kept flickering through his mind.
"You have perfectly tied your tie so many times before what is the trouble?"
"My fingers are all thumbs today."
"What is it partner? Why the nerves?"
"I love her Illya and have waited for years but….."
"Commitment?' Illya offered.
"That's it. I want this so much."
"Napoleon you have made a commitment to UNCLE for years. This commitment between you and Jo was made years ago with everything but the ceremony."
"True but that was with my body and heart. This is with my soul."
"Let me tie that for you."
Napoleon looked at his best friend and partner. "The ring?" He started searching his pockets.
"I have it. Let's go before you give me an ulcer."
With that, Napoleon walked out the door to join his future wife.
"Jo sit down. You're going to wear a hole in the carpet." April stepped in front of her leading her to a chair. "What is wrong?"
"It a few minutes I will be Mrs. Josephina Solo. No longer me but Napoleon's wife. What if I can't be the wife he wants? I have always been on my own."
"I worry that I will not be able to change for him?"
"He doesn't want someone else, he wants the woman he has known for years. He knows who you are and what you believe in. The two of you are perfect together. Now put on your veil. Your future husband is waiting."
Jo smiles at her friend, "Thank you. I needed to hear that."
"Now let's go before you give me an ulcer."
With that, Josephina walked out the door to join her future husband.
The church was filled with friends, co-workers and acquaintances. Toward the back was General Skobelev** with Angelique*** next to him. Jo had insisted they be invited to the wedding. Security, Illya and Napoleon weren't happy but understood her reasoning. The General had raised Jo after finding her in the orphanage, and she and Angelique had been involved in various caseson the same she actually like the woman. If he admitted it, Napoleon also had a soft spot in his heart for the blonde Thrush agent.
Mrs. Waverly had been escorted down the aisle on Jo's side as her husband was giving Jo away and would be joining her.
Aunt Amy was the last to be escorted down the aisle and sitting in the front pew on Napoleon's side while a few of his distance cousins sat behind her.
As the music started Napoleon turned toward the back of the church. Gloria led the way with April following both dressed in sapphire blue gowns. When they reached the front of the church Gloria**** joining Mark while April joined Illya as Maid of Honor and best man the music changed.
The start of the wedding march brought tears not only from Jo but from many who were in attendance. Waverly was honored to have been asked to escort Jo down the aisle to the man she had loved since the first time she saw him.
Now Napoleon watched her come toward him. She was a vision of beauty to him. His everything, friend, lover, and family. He had waited for years for this day to come and many times believed that it wouldn't happen. In a few minutes she would be his until the end of their lives.
Jo kept her eyes on the man standing in front of the church waiting for her. It had taken years to get to this point but now that waiting was coming to the end. He was one of the most handsome men she had seen when she first met him. That hadn't changed as they had aged. Soon he would be hers forever.
As they reached the front, Waverly bent over to give Jo a kiss and whispered, "He'll need you by his side now. Good luck to both of you." He then placed her hand into the hand of the man who was to be her husband.
Their words of promise and love rang out through the church until the priest finally pronounced them husband and wife. As they kissed and turned to meet those there to see this day come to be, hoots, whistles, and cries of 'finally' could be heard above the clapping.
Walking down the aisle, everyone there hope for the best in the future of the two joined today after giving so much to the world.
"" The Mole in the Yard Affair
*** A Promise Kept Affair
**** Boats Afloat Affair
Part One. The Ring of Love http://archiveofourown.org/works/4523835