It was a cold night, too cold for the month of April. Solo thought as he walked with a small flashlight in his hand as he carefully tread among the tombstones in Calvary Cemetery, out in Queens. It was in the oldest section, with graves dating back to the early 1800's.
The headstones and markers all stood at varying heights, some darkened with age, others perfectly white. There were a number of Grecian style statues that loomed like ghostly guardians atop a number of graves all in a row with their arms raised in supplication to some unseen entity.
Leaves crackled and crunched beneath Napoleon's feet as an owl hooted somewhere in the distance. As a cold blast of wind hit him, he shrugged his wool coat, pulling up the collar for all the good it did.
This was not exactly the sort of place he wanted to be on Friday the 13th; he reached into his coat pocket, fingering his fluorescent pink rabbit's foot; Illya gave it to him to replace the one the Russian had nicked.
Napoleon wasn't quite sure how much good that little charm would do him here. All he needed was a black cat to cross his path and…
"Mi-owwwwww-hissssss!" That's exactly what happened as one darted out from behind a headstone yowling and hissing at him before it disappeared into the night.
"Great," Napoleon mumbled. "Well at least there's no ladders."
He spoke too soon as there was an aluminum folding ladder spanning the very path down which he had to tread. The simplest solution would be to move it, and that he did.
Napoleon lifted it with ease, setting it to rest above a nearby grave.
He leaned forward, reading the marker; he was going to apologize to whomever was interred there but what he saw made his heart pound.
"Here lies the body of Napoleon Solo, who died this day in the year of our Lord…" The date was blank.
"What the hell?" He took a step backward with a gasp, but teetering he lost his balance and and went down, right into an open grave.
Solo felt dirt hit him in the face as he began to sputter, his arms waving as the tried to swat it away. The loamy smell of it sickened him.
"Napoleon!" Illya yelled. "Stop it!''
Solo felt his wrists being grabbed as his eyes finally opened.
"Last time I looked. What the devil is wrong with you? You were having a rather animated dream, that is very much unlike you my friend," Illya finally released his partner's wrists, and rubbed his jaw right where Napoleon had slugged him.
"I guess I was having a nightmare," Solo pulled himself up in the sofa bed he was sharing with the Russian. They were set up in a local safe house, keeping a witness there before handing him over to testify in a case against a local corrupt politician.
"That was obvious. You were mumbling about black cats and ladders. Tell me, are you worried about the rendezvous we have in Calvary cemetery tonight?"
"Well it is Friday the 13th Illya, or did you forget?"
"No I did not." Kuryakin reached over into the pocket of his suit jacket he'd left draped across the back of a chair. "I borrowed this from Mark just for you."
Illya held up a four leaf clover sealed in a bit of acrylic. "He had it encased to preserve it. "And if you look in the side pocket of your suitcase you will find a small donkey's horseshoe."
"Wow, all that for me tovarisch? I feel badly especially since I hit you at..."he looked at his watch,"three in the morning."
"You can make it up to me for now by sleeping soundly so you do not hit me again, well that and perhaps buying me a steak at Delmonico's when this assignment is all over.
"Let me try sleeping on it," Napoleon mumbled as he gathered his pillow and punched it a few times.
If he didn't know better he might have sworn Illya had put some gypsy hex on him, making him hit the Russian just so he could wrangle a dinner out of it. Then again Illya did have those good luck charms for him?Still one never knew with his wily Soviet partner. Napoleon rolled over with a sigh, looking at Kuryakin.
"I think we need to change the location of the handover, just to be on the safe side."
"Maybe, or perhaps some gut instinct tovarisch."
Illya resisted rolling his eyes. "You are serious?"
"Absolutely. I'll make the call once the sun comes up...umm, would you mind waking me if you're up first, and you usually are."
Illya nodded," We have an early flight tomorrow, and I am very much looking forward to sleeping in my own bed, and not sharing a hotel bed with you."Illya practically growled thinking of Accounting and their cost saving measures with agents in the field." Now please go back to sleep Napoleon and try not to hit me again, otherwise you will owe me several steak dinners when we get back from St. Louis."