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Friday the Thirteenth

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Napoleon stepped through his office door with a sense of dread. It was Friday the 13th and based on past experience, things might not go well for him. He was on light duty with a sprained right wrist and sighed thinking of his partner.

The last two times the 13th fell on a Friday he had a string of bad luck as did Illya and that being the case, it tickled away at him like an annoying itch that just wouldn't go away.

The first problem was that Illya was away on an assignment with April Dancer. That fact made him concerned for his friend as he wasn't there to cover his back. Not that Aprill wasn't capable of doing it but still was of no comfort to the CEA. He pulled his communicator deciding to check on the pair. "Channel D-Kuryakin."

"Kuryakin here." The familiar voice answered sleepily. That didn't sound right.

"Illya, is everything alright with you...and April," he added, as if she were almost an afterthought.

"Yes we are fine, why?"

"It's Friday the 13th, that's why."

"Maybe where you are, but where we are it is not as we have seemed to it for the most part crossing the International date line. Here it it 6:57 a.m. and it is Saturday the 14th. Is that all you had to contact me about? I am quite tired and need to go back to sleep if you do not mind."

"Oh sorry, I didn't pay attention to the time. You sure you're okay chum?"

"Yawn... we are fine, now may I go back to sleep? We have a long day of meetings ahead of us."

Napoleon sighed, not feeling right. "Give me a call later just to let me know you've had no problems."

"If you insist. Kuryakin Out." The communicator went to static as Illya closed the transmission, leaving his partner still with that uneasy feeling hanging over him like a dark pall.

Napoleon looked at his wristwatch taking note that is was almost 7 p.m. and thinking it was going to be a long night. He was scheduled to do a double shift and wouldn't get out of headquarters until two in the morning.

It was time to hit the commissary for some dinner. So far all things had been quiet, no imminent threats from T.H.R.U.S.H. raving mad scientists or ne'r do wells, so that was a good thing. And he'd not experienced any bad luck...maybe this was going to be a uneventful day after all?

He took the elevator to the commissary level, holding off stepping out to just make sure the coast was clear, and he looked left and right before exiting to the corridor. That's when he saw it, the scene moving as if it were in slow motion.

Gina, the new girl from communications, slipped on something unseen. Her arms air planing backwards as she tried to regain her balance, but the effort was fruitless as she went flying. It was then as if a switch was flicked, with everything returning to normal speed and Napoleon dove forwards, catching her in his arms before she hit the floor.

"Oh my!" She said breathlessly,"Thank you for saving me from an embarrassing moment! The world would have gotten quite a view if I'd fallen."

"Really?" He flirted," Aren't you wearing any underthings?"

"Napoleon Solo!" She giggled, then whispered in his ear, "That's for me to know and you to find out."

"Your place or mine?"

"Mine of course dear." She gave him a quick peck on the cheek. "Bring Thai food and that wonderful wine we had last time."

"Will do." He smiled, thinking this was going to be a good Friday the 13th after all.

Suddenly there was a howl from around the corner, sending the senior agent dashing towards it.

Mark Slate was face down on the floor, his ankle caught in a pneumatic door that had closed on him as he'd been walking out.. "Bloody stupid door! Damn, I think me ankle's broken!"

"Take it easy Mark," Napoleon said as he helped pry the door open, pulling the downed agent gingerly up to his feet.

"Put some weight on it...go slow."

Mark hissed as he lowered his foot to the floor, realizing it wasn't as painful as he thought it would be. "Guess it's not broken. Thanks guv, I think if the pressure from the door was on it longer, it might have done more damage."

"No problem, glad I was here to help. I suggest you get to medical and have Dr. Schneider check it out just in case. Do you want me to go with you?"

"No thanks, I can manage on my own, thanks again mate," the Brit said as he limped away, heading toward the elevator.

Napoleon shrugged. "Suit yourself. Just be careful, it's Friday the 13th you know."

A page came over the intercom, a breathy voice that he recognized as Marlene...platinum blonde and built. He paused for a moment, closing his eyes with a smile, remembering their last evening together.

"Napoleon Solo please report to Mr. Waverly's conference room immediately."

That put a spring in his step as he walked down the antiseptic grey corridors. Along the way he witnessed and assisted with two more trips and a stack of files that went flying. He cringed as one of the ladies dropped her gold compact, smashing the small mirror, hoping she really wouldn't have seven years bad luck.

He passed a maintenance worker replacing an emergency bulb in the ceiling, the ladder went flying out from under the man and Solo grabbed it just in time to keep him from falling off it.

Napoleon stopped for a split second, shaking his head as he reached into his suit pocket, grabbing hold of the pink rabbit's foot his partner had given him. Illya had borrowed his old good luck charm when he had his run of bad luck the previous Friday the 13th. Though Napoleon suspected that fact that it was pink was intended to be some sort of joke on Illya's part. Regardless, he nervously rubbed the furry thing between his fingers.

The doors to the conference room opened silently, and as he sauntered inside, Alexander Waverly called him to be seated.

"Mr. Solo, it has come to my attention there has been a series of mishaps occurring around headquarters. At present I have Security doing a sweep along with R & D checking to see if there has been some sort of infiltration within the building... a gas or drug of some sorts perhaps causing this melee."

"Sir, maybe it's just coincidence, it is after all Friday the 13th. Perhaps some of the staff are just nervous about the connotations of the day and by being so are actually causing themselves to have accidents at a subconscious level. At least that's one of Mr. Kuryakin's theories." Not that he agreed with what his partner thought on the subject, but it sounded a little better than spouting superstitious mumbo jumbo to the Old Man.

"Friday the 13th...balderdash, nonsense. pure superstition. I want you to oversee this investigation and report the findings by days end. Now dismissed."

Napoleon nodded his acceptance, leaving the office a bit incredulous, but it was an order he had to follow. At least it wasn't a complicated one.

Alexander Waverly waited until the doors closed, then opened a side cabinet, pulling out a small horseshoe and laying it on the conference table in front of him, as he lit his briar pipe taking a few strong puffs on it, watching the smoke circle up and around his head...