Illya saw Napoleon sitting quietly in the room.
“What are you doing?” He began then saw Napoleon was petting a Shih-tzu on his lap. “Where did that come from?”
“I found him whining and needing comfort next to the victim.”
Illya watched his partner. This man could kill when needed, be as hard as nail, unforgiving for those who crossed him, but also had a heart that broke at the strangest times.
“What will you do with him?”
“My friend’s son has been looking for a dog.” Napoleon patted the dog absent mindedly once more, a faraway look in his eyes.
The two Russians, no Ukrainians, brother and sister stood together looking at the new, granite tombstones that had replaced the rotting wood ones only months before by friends who they trusted.
They had been on separate assignments that they finished in the same city, Wausau, only about 400 miles from Kiev. Standing there by the tombstones was something they both had talked about and dreamt about but the political climate being what it was made it seem impossible.
In addition, the government had placed a price on both of their lives, which almost made it impossible for them to achieve the dream. However, their partners with the "old man's" okay had offered to watch their back as they fulfilled their dream.
This was where their family laid. Under the two small tombstones were a brother and sister who never saw their second birthday. The largest one was for a papa who had died and was buried on a battlefield many miles from home. Finally, the last two. One for their mama and one for their grandmother.
The girl laid her pale strawberry blonde head on her brother's shoulder. He laid his pale blonde head on top of her head. "Their memory has always been my strength," the girl whispered.
"Their memory was the only thing that kept me sane at times," the boy admitted whispering back.
These two brave women had taught them love, compassionate, and sacrifice. They also taught them to fight and protect those who could not protect themselves. This last lesson was the bases of their devotion to UNCLE.
Praying the prayers taught to her by her mama and grandmother as a child, she spoke to the two of them. She still believed as she was taught. The communist never took that from her, but she felt sad that her brother claimed that he no longer believed.
Then quietly and getting a little louder, she heard him speaking the words from his childhood with her. Tears wet both of their cheeks. It had been a long time since either had cried for what they lived through. Tears for the loss that they shared, and the lives that they had been forced to live.
Their specials reminded them of their commitment to UNCLE, they killed when necessary. How would these two gentle but strong women feel about their children and grandchildren's' careers, the girl wondered.
As if reading her mind, the boy answered, "As long as we are doing it to protect the innocent of the world, they would approve." The girl nodded in agreement. "Do you know what day it is?" he asked her.
The girl shook her head no. In the last week she had been a prisoner of those they fought against and wasn't sure what day of the week it was much less the date.
"It's Mother's Day," he informed her. "A perfect day to visit them." pointing at their family.
A horn honked calling their attention to their partners waiting in the car. "Jo, Illya we got company coming," Napoleon yelled, "We better run."
Touching the tombstones lightly and saying good-bye to those who went before them for what they hoped wasn't the last time before they, themselves were laid beside the rest of their family.
The two, no longer a mere boy and girl, but well trained agents ran toward the car. As the car pulled away, they put their heads together one last time and thanked the partners who had watched their backs.
"That's what partners do," Andreas stated as a fact.
"True we cover each other backs," Illya said, "But you allowed us to remember those who truly loved us. We can never really thank you for that."
"Tovarisch, your happiness is enough thanks. Now hang on, the ride is going to get rough." With this Napoleon began to dodge the KGB's car on their tail. Guns drawn in defense, it was back to the reality that they all now live.
Happy Mother's Day to all our mothers and grandmothers who have helped to shape the lives of their children. JKKITTY
Whose hand is it?