Genre: Man from UNCLE
Word Count: 1111
For threecee Illya Kuryakin carefully read and re-read his assignment. It wasn’t that language he didn’t understand, but there was so much to America’s culture that was still a mystery. Of course, he’d lived through their Christmas and even the 4th of July celebrations.
I hope you enjoy your bit of Halloween fun and my thanks to sparky955 for her beta.
His new partner was busy flirting with the stewardess, who seemed both flattered and a bit annoyed with the attention. She hurried down the narrow aisle towards first class, Napoleon leaning out into it slightly, Illya knew, to get a better view of her--
Illya blinked hard at that thought and scolded himself. Napoleon was the senior partner of them and he was the man in charge.
Still, Illya had questions and this seemed as good a time as ever.
“Excuse me, sir,” he started and Napoleon turned back to him, his eyes crinkled at the edges.
“Illya, I told you to call me Napoleon.”
Illya managed not to cringe at the mispronunciation of his name. Everyone here seemed determined to mangle it.
“Napoleon,” he tried again, although the word felt awkward in his mouth.
“Yes, partner, what can I do for you?” Napoleon shifted so that he was facing Illya more. His Russian partner was still very much a perplexity to him and many of his fellow agents. His youthful appearance belied a deadly killer. Napoleon has seen that man unleashed and was appreciative that an agent so capable had his back.
“I am having some…” he paused, searching for the right word. “Some issues? With the assignment.”
“Okay, let me hear your issues and I’ll see what I can do.”
“What is Hall-ow-een, please?”
“It’s pronounced Halloween and it’s a holiday that harkens back to Celtic roots. I think it started as Samhain.”
“Salmon? The fish? You have a holiday for fish?”
“Samhain.” Napoleon smiled, but didn’t laugh. He wasn’t sure he’d not have the same problems if he’d been plucked up and plunked into a strange country. “It started a long time ago when folks would light bonfires and wear costume to drive evil spirits away. The church has tried to control it and make it their own, just as they did many other pagan festivals and practices. Now it’s basically a time to carve up pumpkins into Jack-o-lanterns and for kids to go around demanding candy. That help?”
“Not really.” Illya looked at his assignment sheet again. “And this place we are going? There will be children there as well.”
“That place is all about children. Don’t you have amusement parks in the USSR?”
“Yes, of course, but why was everyone congratulated me for this assignment?”
“Because everyone wants to go, but can’t.”
“Well, it’s in California and that’s a long ways away, for one thing. Then there’s the matter of security. It’s a big open place with lots of distractions.”
“Which is why we are Mr. Waverly’s bodyguards.” Illya knew that they had been assigned to keep their employer protected. Other agents had been given the task of keeping his wife and grandchildren protected.
“Exactly. We need to be able to blend in and move easily through the crowd.”
“And that’s why we need disguises?” Illya thought of his case of makeup in his suitcase. He’d have to see the lay of the land before settling upon a suitable disguise.
“Yup! See? You understand more than you realize.” Napoleon settled back and grinned. Dinner was headed in their direction. It was not that he was particularly hungry, but it did give him ample time to engage the stewardess again.
Illya smiled, but felt no more comfortable. He focused upon the tray before him. There was a generous portion of meat and potato upon the tray, plus vegetable, a salad and roll. The dessert was intriguing and he resisted starting with that.
“So what are you going to dress up as?” Napoleon asked as the stewardess moved away.
“I have not yet decided.”
“Better make it good. Mr. Waverly will insist.”
That thought stayed with Illya through the rest of the plane ride and their disembarkation. He set it aside until they have Mr. Waverly and his family safely tucked away in their hotel room. He was unpacking his shaving kit when the perfect idea hit him. He could hardly wait.
The next morning he secreted himself in their bathroom to begin with his transformation and when he finished, he scarcely recognized himself. He’d out done all of his previous outfits. This was perfect.
He came out of the bathroom and looked around the room he was sharing with Napoleon. The American agent was nowhere in view, so Illya started to dress.
A moment later Napoleon walked in and took in the sight at once, then he covered his eyes. “I’m sorry, Ma’am, I thought this was my room.”
Illya smiled. “Napoleon, it’s me.”
“Illya?” Napoleon dropped his hand and approached him. He made a full circuit around his partner. “What are you playing at? Who are you supposed to be?”
“Baba Yaga, of course.”
“Baba Yaga, an evil witch who hides in the forest and eats children.”
“Illya, you are supposed to scare the kids, not traumatize them.”
Just then there was a knock on the connecting door and Napoleon opened it. There was a clown standing there.
“My word, Mr. Solo, you’d best get changed. We’re due at the park in an hour.”
“I was just about to, sir, but we have a small problem.” He pointed surreptiously at his partner.
“Who? Mr. Kuryakin?”
“That won’t do. That won’t do at all. Martha, we need you!”
“I warned you,” Napoleon murmured. He was handsomely decked out as Zorro and many young mothers had already stopped to take photographs of him with their small children. Napoleon played the swashbuckler to the hilt.
Illya, on the other hand, was fairly ignored, not that he minded. If word got out of this back home, his friends would never let him hear the end of it. Thankfully, though, it was very hard to tell just who he was behind the floppy ears and big black nose. “I feel like an idiot.”
“This is the day for it. Let go, Illya and embrace your inner child.”
“My inner child would be much happier sitting in a class room learning quantum physics as opposed to being here.”
Napoleon laughed and patted his partner’s head “It’ll be okay.”
“You’re not the one dressed up like a giant dog.”
“True, but at least you will fit in here. Look!” Napoleon pointed to the front gate of the park. “There’s Donald and Mickey and who do I see behind him but Pluto?”
“What’s a Pluto?”
Napoleon pointed. “His dog, of course. I’m sure the two of you will be the best of friends.” Pluto waved joyfully to him and Illya wanted to crawl away. Napoleon laughed at the expression on Illya’s face. “Welcome to Disneyland, Illya! The Kingdom awaits.”