Genre: Man from UNCLE
Word Count - 1004
Prompt: An eagle soared above the trees unaware of the two desperate agents running below.
pactnmmt, I am so sorry that I missed this first time around. I hope this was worth the wait. My thanks to sparky955 for her speedy beta.
An eagle soared above the trees unaware of the two desperate agents running below. It caught an air current and glided up higher, equally unaware of the group of men pursuing the first.
It was only Illya’s quick reflexes that kept him from barreling out and over the precipice. He snaked an arm around Napoleon’s waist even as he was reversed his course.
The action sent them both backwards with an unguarded shout of surprise and sent a cascade of rocks which started an avalanche that ended in the river far below.
At the noise of their pursuers, both men scrambled for the cover of some nearby brush.
The THRUSH agents came out of the woods with the same burst of energy, but the lead agent wasn’t as quick on the money as Illya had been. He went over the edge with a similar scream of surprise and terror. His fellow agents didn’t bother to try and help him as he followed the path the rocks had blazed.
Dead or unconscious, the man hit the river and it carried his battered body away as the agents watched.
“Idiot! I warned him. I told him to slow down,” one of the THRUSH agents muttered. “He was so anxious to prove himself and get that promotion.”
“You’re right, Harry.” His partner took the moment to adjust his jumpsuit. “A few bucks and more responsibility isn’t worth it. At the end of the day, I want to be one of the lucky schmucks still breathing.”
“Mr. Victor, do you think the UNCLE agents went over?” Merriman was just out of training and still very green.
Harry nodded. “Yup, they wouldn’t have had the strength or the reaction time to stop, not after what we did to them. That’s what the scream was. Let’s go see if we can get downstream and recover their bodies so that we at least have that to show for our efforts.”
“The boss will be pretty angry that we lost them.” Merriman holstered his weapon and looked around. “Should we search the area, just in case?”
Their leader spoke, “Yeah, well, it’s Wilson’s fault that they got away to begin with and I’m not willing to waste any more time on those two other than fishing their corpses out of the river.”
“Really? I didn’t think--” Merriman looked in the direction of the UNCLE agents, but didn’t see them, thanks to the shadows overhead. He wiped his brow and turned back to his boss.
“It’s always the dead agent’s fault. Didn’t they teach you that at THRUSH Central?”
Now Merriman shifted uncomfortably and ran a hand through his sweat-dampened hair. “I thought they were kidding.”
“THRUSH does not have a sense of humor or a forgiving nature. Whenever possible, always blame the dead guy. Come on, let’s go.”
For a long time, the two UNCLE agents laid quietly on the pine needles, neither man quite ready to move. Instead they stayed side by side, shoulders touching.
“And that’s what separates us from THRUSH,” Napoleon murmured finally.
“What? Our boyish enthusiasm and ability to think quickly in the face of danger?” Illya closed his eyes and concentrated upon slowing his still-racing heart.
Napoleon rolled his head to one side to study his partner’s profile. “Our compassion and loyalty. If you’d gone over the side, I’d have been to the bottom of that cliff before you hit the water. And you’d have done the same thing.”
“I hate breaking in new partners,” Illya joked, then he sobered when he weighed the seriousness of Napoleon’s statement. “Of course, I would. It’s what partners do.”
“No.” Napoleon took Illya’s hand firmly in his. “It’s what friends do. It’s what brothers do. Being partners has nothing to do with it.” With a reassuring squeeze he released the hand and sat up.
Illya smiled at that and nodded. “Out of the mouth of babes.” He rolled over onto his stomach and rested his chin on his crossed arms. “I’m still not sure that this isn’t all a dream and we are still in that cell.”
Napoleon jabbed him in the side and Illya grunted. “That feel like a dream?”
“More like one of my nightmares. Are you ready to move?”
“Not really. Give them time to put some real distances between us.” Napoleon took a deep breath, smiling at the warm scent of pine needles. He pointed to an eagle as it soared, dipping and rising on the wind. “Oh, to be an eagle. I would love to be able to just drift away on the breeze.”
“With the freedom of an eagle as she flies,” Illya quoted a song he’d heard and sighed.
Napoleon was surprised. “I didn’t know you were a fan of Kris Kristofferson.”
“Am I?” Illya sat up and stretched one of his shoulders, wincing at its tightness. “I just heard it in a store the other day.”
“That line comes from one of his songs, Lovin’ Her Was Easier.” Napoleon was taking inventory of his own aches and pains. “I prefer the ABBA song instead. It’s amazing what you hear when you slow down a bit.”
“You listen to ABBA? Now I know I’m delirious.” Illya stood and offered a hand up to Napoleon. “Us, slowing down? Never. Now, I believe Mr. Waverly is waiting for us and the microdot.”
“You mean after all of that, you still have it? Where?”
Again, Illya grinned. “That would be telling.”
Above the eagle dropped suddenly from its orbit, hit the water with tremendous force and emerged with a wiggling fish. It struggled for a moment to regain altitude, then flew away, ready to return home to its nest.
Illya punched Napoleon lightly in the shoulder. “He’s got the right idea. Let’s go.”
With that, men and bird parted ways.
And I dream I'm an eagle
And I dream I can spread my wings
Flying high, high, I'm a bird in the sky
I'm an eagle that rides on the breeze
Eagle by ABBA