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Friday the Thirteenth

Chapter Text

      180

 

 

"Don't do that!" Napoleon said as his partner ducked beneath a ladder.

"Why it is just a ladder, there is nothing resting upon it; so no danger of anything falling on me?" Illya answered, a bit confused by his friends warning.

"You don't know what day it is?"

"Of course I do. I checked my calendar. It is Friday."

"Yeah, but the date Illya."

"It is the thirteenth...oh yes that is the date you Americans are so concerned with."

"Illya, it's only the most unlucky day of the year." Solo chided him.

"Napoleon how can a day be unlucky?"

"Bad things just tend to happen on Friday the thirtheen that's all"

There was a loud crash and the two looked back, seeing that the ladder that the Russian had just walked under had fallen.

"See what I mean?" Napoleon said.

"I would take it as being lucky, my friend as I was not under it when it fell." Illya smiled, "so what are the other things that one is supposed to avoid on this unfortunte date?"

"Black cats are bad...you shouldn't let one cross your path."

"Oh so when I stopped to pet Mrs. Manetti's cat 'Midnight" this morning I was supposed to have bad luck?"

"Yup, the worst kind."

"Well after I finished petting the cat, I found a twenty dollar bill laying beside the curb."

"And nothing happened?"

"Well the awning above my head fell down on one side and hit..."

"Ah ha! See so something bad did happen to you! See!"

"You did not let me finish Napoleon. Had I not been bent over petting the cat I would have been hit in the head by it."

"Oh" He said as they sat to drink their coffee at a table in the commissary.

"So what else must I avoid?" Illya was chuckling at this point.

"What ever you do, don't break a mirror!"

"That I can understand, broken glass can be very dangerous thing."

"No, a broken mirror brings seven years bad luck!"

The Russian sighed as he was tiring of this very unscientific discussion about silly supestitions.

"Look just remember to knock on wood, keep your fingers crossed, sleep facing south,walk in the rain, avoid cracks in the sidewalk, keep an acorn in you pocket, and if you see a penny on the ground don't touch it unless it's heads up and you will avoid bad luck."

Napoleon proceeded to throw a handful of salt over his left shoulder as they got up from the table, when Illya's new shoes slipped on it, sending him flying feet first; falling to the floor. He sat there, red-faced with embarrassment, glaring at his partner.

"See...what'd I tell you? Friday the Thirteenth!" Solo warned him.

 

Chapter Text

Illya Kuryakin limped to the table in the commissary, joining his partner there.

So tovarisch, here it is seven months to the day and it's Friday the 13th again. Anything happen that I should know about?" Solo grinned.

"Please you are not going to start in with that again?" Illya rolled his eyes. He knew his parnter was trying to bait him about his limp, but he wasn't going to fall for it "As I recall you, the one who did everything under the cloud of this superstition, was the one who was injured last year."

"That had nothing to do with Friday the 13th. I was wearing new shoes and slipped on the salt!" Napoleon protested, rubbing his butt absentmindedly, thinking of the indignity he had suffered that day.

"Ha! Had you not thrown a handful of salt over your shoulder to counter your superstitious beliefs, then you never would have fallen on your zhopa." Illya lorded it over him.

"Honestly Napoleon an intelligent man such as yourself? Find a penny, pick it up, black cats crossing your path, breaking a mirror is a surefire way to doom yourself, knock on wood, cross your fingers, opening an umbrella indoors, throwing salt over your shoulder, making a wish on a wishbone...bozhe moi, it is all nonsense."

So did Mrs. Manetti's black cat cross your path today?" Napoleon asked.

"Yes she did."

"And did anything happen?"

Illya stood slowly, looking intently at his partner, then sighed. He had been deftly maneuvered into telling the story of what happened had happened to cause his limp.

"Yes as a matter of fact, I twisted my ankle when I stepped off the curb. But that was just a clumsy accident and not because of a black cat crossing my path."

"That's one." Napoleon laughed. "Remember, bad luck comes in threes."

"Napoleon!"

"Well has anything else unpleasant happened to you since that?"

Kuryakin leaned forward, putting his hands and full his weight on the table, then suddenly it gave way and collapsed under him, sending him falling on his face."

Napoleon leaped up just in time so the flying table missed him, but was unable to grab his partner before he went down. He leaned forward, pulling the embarrassed Russian to his feet.

"Is that two?"

Illya clicked his tongue in annoyance, then looked at his watch." We have a briefing in five minutes, I suggest we go now." He said curtly, ignoring the staring eyes, and muffled tittering that surrounded him.

Napoleon followed after him, passing through the pneumatic doors as they opened silently. Illya took one step out into the corridor, then his foot slipped out from under him, sent him flying up into the air and landing right down on his backside."

"Mr. Kuryakin! Oh my gosh, are you okay?"Asked Bernie from housekeeping. "I was bringing the caution sign...I just waxed these floors. I'm so sorry."

"Noooo,"Illya groaned, "I am fine. It is alright, accidents happen."

Napoleon gave his partner a hand, pulling him up from the floor as he looked a little pale and was holding his lower back.

"Napoleon?" He whispered." Do you still have your rabbit's foot?"

 

Chapter Text

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...

 

Chapter Text

A bemused bartender at the local watering hole favored by U.N.C.L.E. agents, listened in on a conversation he was not surprised to be hearing. Spies were a superstitious lot in general, but there were some die hards who brushed the unexplained all off as nonsense.

He poured another Ballantine from the tap for the Brit, sliding it across the bar to him.

The man reached for his wallet, but was waved off, with a double tap of the barman's knuckle on the top of the bar, signalling the drink was on the house.

"I just wanna sit back and listen to this here discussion, if yez don't mind?"

"Not at all, no secrets here. Thanks mate, cheers," Mark Slate replied, raising his drink with a nod.

"I can't believe you ponces believe in this Friday the 13th palaver," Mark Slate countered, after taking a large gulp of beer from his pilsner glass.

"I had said it once myself that it was preposterous Mark, but the odds against the things that happened to me on that one single day were astronomical." Illya said, downing his shot of vodka.

"I tried warning you Illya," Napoleon added,"but you wouldn't believe me until you started getting jinxed."

"True, but you have made a believer of me."

"Jinxed Napoleon? Please that's a load of rot if I ever heard it." Mark snorted, and raised his glass again. "Here's to good luck mates, just to ease your minds a bit."

"Thanks Mark, but that doesn't negate the fact that it's Friday the 13th again. It can occur as many as three times in a year and I plan to be prepared." Napoleon grinned, holding up and assortment of talismans- a rabbit's foot, a shaker of salt, and a twisted Italian Cornetto horn made of silver...all to ward off bad luck.

Illya proudly displayed his own collection, a small Russian-made horse shoe with tiny bells hanging from it, a bauble called an Omamori that was a traditional Japanese charm inscribed with words of luck. He then pulled a penny from his pocket that he'd found laying heads up on the sidewalk, repeating the rhyme. "See a penny and pick it up, and all the day you will have good luck." He placed it on the bar next to his newly filled shot glass, then knocked three times on the bar top.

"Remember Mark, bad luck comes in threes. Has anything happened to you today that would fit in that category?" Napoleon asked cautiously.

"I don't believe in your superstitious nonsense. As far as I'm concerned, you blokes can keep all your trinkets." He retorted, then downed the rest of his drink.

A chair suddenly came flying past Marks head, missing him by a hairs breath, while Napoleon and Illya ducked for cover. A bar fight had broken out with bodies, fists and furniture hurtling in every direction.

"Time to make a hasty retreat," Illya barked, but as he took one step from the bar his nose was met with a fist, sending him reeling backwards.

A large man stepped up and grabbed Napoleon by his lapels. "What are you looking at Mr. Fancypants?"

"Now just hold on a minute, I'm an innocent bystander," he said, holding on tightly to his good luck charms.

"Yeah right!" Came the reply as he was hoisted in the air and tossed across the room.

After watching his fellow agents go down for the count, Mark decided to make himself scarce...it was only a bar fight and those two could take care of themselves. Besides, Mr. Waverly would not appreciate three of his top agents being involved in such an seedy altercation when off duty.

Mark slipped from his stool and walked from the bar amidst the free for all as if he'd become invisible. No one attempted to grab him, or took a swing at him either for that matter.

He safely exited the bar with a sigh of relief, seating himself on a bench outside on the sidewalk to wait for the others.

Several minutes later the battered and bruised team of Solo and Kuryakin emerged.

"How the hell did you get out of there without so much as a scratch?" Napoleon coughed, wiping blood away from his split lip. "And don't say you were lucky." He perused his torn suit jacket, wondering if it could be put on an expense report even though the damage occurred technically on his own time.

Illya dropped onto the bench beside Slate, lowering his head as he applied pressure to a bloody nose, and wiped it with his handkerchief. "I think it is broken," he bemoaned unhappily.

"So you still don't believe in Friday the 13th Mark?" Napoleon stared at him.

"Pure coincidence mate, as your Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, "Shallow men believe in luck or in circumstance. Strong men believe in cause and effect." Now why don't we toodle off to headquarters and get you two up to medical and have you tended to?"

Napoleon was not sure if he should be insulted by that quote, and thought for a second that it sounded like something Illya would have said, before he became a believer.

"And have Mr. Waverly find out?" Illya interrupted, giving Mark the stink eye. "I think not. Napoleon do you have any vodka at your place?"

"In the freezer and enough to ward off anything and lots of ice too. Coming Mark?"

"No thanks guv, I think I'll take my chances at another bar. I feel like being out and about tonight."

As Illya and Napoleon hobbled off, Mark Slate reached into his jacket pocket, pulling out the four-leaf clover he'd found growing through a crack in the sidewalk outside of headquarters that morning. He gave it a little kiss, and popped it back into his breast pocket as he went off in search of another drinking establishment.

He snickered, knowing that he'd pulled one over on his fellow agents and with a little luck, they wouldn't find out.

 

Chapter Text

He walked nervously through the grey corridors of UNCLE's San Diego headquarters; his eyes darting back and forth looking for anything that might jump out at him or fall or slip.

George Dennell was a high strung, emotional wreck at the moment, as it was Friday the 13th. He never left his home on that date for fear of what retributions fate would send his way. No talisman or charm would do, no, not for George Dennell.

Why Alexander Waverly had to send him to California to present a new training program he'd developed for keeping agents reports more simplified was beyond him.

"Couldn't have been for the 12th or the 14th...it had to be today," he grumbled.

"Aaaah," he let out a startled shriek as someone came up behind him, tapping him on the shoulder and taking him completely off guard.

"Why George darling, fancy meeting you here," said April Dancer, "I thought you never left New York."

She wrapped her arm around his as they continued to walk.

George found himself completely tongue tied. "Wow, ugh gee April...I um."

"Relax will you, it's not like I'm going to bite your head off. It's just me, silly goose." She smiled at him charmingly and that melted away his insecurity. "So what are you doing here so far from home?"

"Ugh, Mr. Waverly sent me here to present a seminar on the new filing system for field reports. No more triplicate...they're going to be scanned into our computer database. It'll mean a lot less paper and once file 40 is loaded onto the mainframe computer, that will mean a lot of hard copy paper to be shredded...shredded, oh God isn't that an awful word?"

"Shredded? I suppose that depends on what's being cut up into tiny little pieces." April grinned.

"Oh no, don't use that phrase, 'cut up." He cringed. "It makes me too nervous."

"George, why are you so jumpy dear, what's wrong?"

"Don't you know what day it is?"

"Why it's Friday of ...OH, now I know what you're fussing about. It's Friday the 13th. Tsk, George I would have thought an intelligent man such as yourself wouldn't be drawn into that superstitious nonsense." She innocently batted her eyelashes at him.

"April, how could you not believe in it? I mean so many bad things happened to people on this day. and all because they're too careless to..."

"George, you name me anything significant that happened on a Friday the 13th!" April challenged him.

"Well the Knights Templar were arrested on a Friday the 13th and imprisoned by King Philip in 1307 to name one.

"That's an awfully long time ago." April snickered.

"Hey I'm just getting started..."

In 1521 the Aztec empire fell to Cortez on a Friday the 13th.

April covered her mouth, trying not to laugh out loud, knowing that Cortez didn't conquer them all in one day.

"In 1932 the largest brush fire in all of Australia scorched over 5 million acres on.."

"Yes I know George on Friday the 13th," April repeated.

"The Nazis kicked off the blitz on Friday the 13th, starting 76 straight days of bad luck for the British."

"George, I think you're mistaken there, as my memory serves me correctly, the blitz began September 7th and ended on May 16th."

"Oh, ooookay, maybe I was thinking of September 13th 1940, when German bombs hit Buckingham Palace, destroying the palace's chapel. Well here's another one...On May 13, 1960, at Cape Canaveral, it was the first launch of a Delta rocket to send the Echo satellite into space. The first stage of the multistage rocket worked fine and it took off of the launch pad, but trouble developed with the second stage of the rocket and the satellite never reached the intended orbit and Echo only orbited the Earth for a few months. Now how's that for bad luck?"

"Sorry, you still haven't convinced me." April ducked as a maintenance man swung around the corner with a ladder balanced on his shoulder nearly missing hitting her in the head.

"Those are mere happenstance, and not proof of bad luck,' she said, not batting an eye.

The door to Research and Development suddenly opened and something came flying out into the corridor; April reached out and snatched it just before the object hit her in the face. She looked down to see it was a cricket ball.

"Oh sorry miss," A lab tech came running to her. "We were just experimenting with a solvent to make a ball travel faster. You weren't hurt were you."

"Not in the least, " she smiled, handing him back his experiment.

The tech accepted it, turning away from her, and just as instantly as he'd appeared...he slipped on the floor landing on his bum."

"See now if that isn't bad luck, I don't know what is," George insisted.

"Excuse me," the embarrassed tech said. " I must have

gotten some of the solvent on my shoes." He hiked himself up, heading back to the lab.

"See, a reasonable explanation, just a careless accident." April smiled, "No such thing as bad luck," she said, hiding her crossed fingers behind her back.

"That's the operative word George, 'careless.' Did you know that there's actually a disorder for people who really believe in the power of Friday the 13th? It's called 'friggatriskaidekaphobia,' April shrugged her shoulders, amused she was able to pronounce the word. "Things happen to people everyday, and most often accidents happen because of carelessness. Just because it's Friday the 13th doesn't mean that bad things are predestined to happen to us."

"How can you believe that, I mean look and Napoleon and Illya; now those two have learned their lessons about the 13th, after all the spills and falls and injuries they've gone through."

"Those things happen to them...us every day dear. You really shouldn't take them out of context. We have dangerous jobs and things are bound to happen in and out of the field."

"Hey I even heard a rumor that your partner carries a four leaf clover for good luck," George snickered.

"Tsk. Yes Mark does and I know Illya and Napoleon carry a pocket full of trinkets on Friday the 13th...for all the good it does them. Think about it George, those charms to ward off evil, wouldn't they be just as potent on any other day of the year? Yet still we have bad things happen to us all the time?"

George stared at her as they kept walking together, not looking where he was going, and slammed right into a wall.

"Ow! See April I told you, bad luck today."

"There there." She patted him on the back. "Darling, that was pure carelessness, as I said. You just weren't looking where you were going. Now let's hurry, you're going to be late for your seminar.

George didn't see April crossing her fingers behind her back.

 

Chapter Text

"Oh bother, another broken mirror? This shan't do at all."

"Having problems with your latest endeavor Mr. Partridge?" Napoleon Solo smiled."You know a broken mirror brings seven years bad luck don't you?"

"Yes," Illya Kuryakin chimed in," Imagine if all those mirrors were broken? We would most likely never see you again as you would have to permanently sequester yourself for protection."

G. Emory Partridge was standing in front of a sphere made completely of small square-shaped mirrors; he walked around it, his hands just above its surface, practically caressing it without touching it.

Napoleon and Illya seated in chairs and were tied down, facing each other next to the object.

"Kind of reminds me of a ballroom glitter ball," Solo whispered, "So what makes it so unique? You can find them pretty much in any dance hall now days."

"This my dear fellow is most indubitably not a 'glitter ball." Partridge uttered his words with a distinct tone of disdain. "It is a part of a laser system that I'll be using to amplify light. It will allow me to bend it and target the laser in any direction I choose without having to move it."

"That is impossible, you could only fire using...line of sight. No such thing could exist; iit contradicts the laws of physica." Illya blurted out.

"Oh Mr. Kuryakin you are such a narrow minded little man. To you if it does not exist, then it is impossible."

"You Partridge are a…" Illya mumbled.

"What? Unable to come up with one of your oh so predictable and pithy barbs my Soviet subordinent?"

"None that are worth wasting his breath on," Solo countered.

Emory leaned into Solo's face, turning his back to Kuryakin. "And for that my good fellow you have just earned the distiction of being my first target. You and your Russian cohort have ruined my plans for the last time."

Illya lashed out with his foot, catching Partridge off guard as he connected with the man's derrier, sending him toppling over Napoleon and careening into the glittering ball of mirrors. It shattered into smithereens, and there in the pile of shards, G. Emory Partridge lay cut and bloodied. He lifted his head, intending to say something, but in mid-thought, he drifted into unconsciousness.

Solo lay topped over and wiggled his chair closer to the carnage, grabbing a piece of mirror and used it to cut through his bindings.

Minutes later he was free, pulling himself up, and quickly untied his parnter.

"Nice move tovarisch," he smiled, giving Illya a hand up from the chair.

"Better him than us my friend…we have had enough experience on Friday the 13th to know that bad luck is real. This date was not exactly an auspicious occasion for him to have tried to launch his latest endeavor."

"You've got that right parther mine," Napoleon smiled, "Between that and the Solo luck we did good today."

"What do you mean Solo luck...and 'we?' Illya looked somewhat annoyed.

Napoleon withdrew a pink rabbit's foot from his suit pocket. "Well I suppose this might have helped?" He smiled sheepishly.

"Yes and who gave it to you, may I remind you?" Illya flashed him a look.

"Let's call for a cleanup team and get out of here before anything else happens." Solo eyeballed Partridge to make sure he was still out cold.

"Not to worry, I have this." The Russian pulled a four-leave clover from his pocket, waving it front of the American. "Mark Slate loaned this to me." Illya said, clicking his tongue as he shook his head,"There were at least...two hundred mirrors if not more; so that makes a minimum of fourteen hundred years bad luck for Mr. Partridge..."

"Don't think we'll be hearing much from him again chum."

"One could only hope," Kuryakin sighed.

 

Chapter Text

Alexander Waverly was a realist for the most part, not given to the frivolities of superstitions in general; except when it came to the infamous date of Friday the 13th, it was on that day he hung a small donkey's horseshoe over his entryways, in both headquarters and at home...though his wife Estelle always poo-pooed his actions, year after year.

He carried in his tweed jacket pocket a worn rabbit's foot keychain though he would never dare admit to any of his personnel of his buying into the beliefs held about the date, except perhaps his assistant Miss Rogers.

The woman had proven time and again how invaluable to him and had become his sounding board on many topics, including his unwarranted irrationality regarding Friday the 13th.

The doors to his conference room opened and in walked Lisa Rogers with his pot of tea they shared together before tackling the the events of the day.

"Good morning Mr. Waverly," she smiled." Your morning tea...darjeeling; I thought it would be the best choice, given the date."

She'd selected it as it had a nice calming effect on him, this particular brew, and Miss Rogers being a connoisseur of teas always had a sixth sense when a difficult day faced him.

"Thank you my dear, you are most efficient," he smiled as she poured for both of them.

Lisa glanced above the entrance to the conference room, not seeing her bosses traditional good luck charm mounted there.

"Sir your donkey shoe, why isn't it on the wall?"

"Ah, astute of you to notice. I have had a change of heart about that, no more donkey shoe."

"But Mr. Waverly, does that mean you're no longer concerned about Friday the 13th?"

"Perish the thought, that date will forever be etched in my heart."

"You never told my why sir?" Lisa sat down in the chair beside him, sipping her tea.

"Hmmm, yes," he paused to light his pipe; a sign to Rogers that Mr. Waverly was becoming introspective.

"When I was a young lad, I was rather sickly. I was forced to stay indoors and would watch the other children at play. Since my family was well- off my parents gave me all sorts of amusements to keep me occupied. I never forgot that, nor was I ever spoilt by them."

"As I became older I outgrew my illness and was able to join the other children at play, but being rather thin and unaccustomed to play, per se, I became the object of some bullies on Friday the 13th. Terribly upsetting day. The would return to torment me every time the date would reoccur. It was a difficult childhood to say the least but with a little luck I became strong and moved on in life.

"I've never let anyone know that I believed in such a superstitious thing as luck. My agents all have their own quasi-irrational notions, though they think I don't know about them."

Lisa smiled, pouring him another cup of darjeeling." Even Illya...I mean Mr. Kuryakyn has been drawn into being a bit superstitious. He borrowed a four-leaf clover from Mark Slate from what I understand. There seems to be a greater sense of nervousness today around headquarters, and I suppose with T.H.R.U.S.H.'s latest threat at world domination this morning, anyone might have the jitters heading out on assignment today."

"And just for that reason I am suspending operations for today in U.N.C.L.E. Northwest. I want my people going out into the field with the utmost confidence and not worried that their best won't be good enough because of Friday the 13th."

"I'll let the Section heads know immediately sir."

"Yes thank you my dear and for the tea and conversation as well. Now if you don't mind would you get someone from maintenance to hang this above the inside entryway to Del Floria's?

He handed her a full-sized horseshoe, cocking his bushy eyebrows with a wry smile.

"Just because I don't want my people reading into Friday the 13th doesn't make me stop believing in it, "he laughed. "A big shoe for a big job. I realized my little donkey shoe was just not enough...oh and by the way it is a shoe belonging to the great 'Man O' War. So it carries with it a lot of luck."

"Man O' War sir? I'm not familiar with that name." Lisa lifted the tray, ready to remove the tea pot, as well as the empty cups and saucers.

"Ah my dear, he was one of the greatest...no perhaps the greatest racehorse of all time. His winning brought quite a bit of luck to my father and helped begin the road back recovery to our family fortune after World War I. My father was visiting the States on a business venture and placed a rather fortuitous bet."

"Luck comes in many forms doesn't it Mr. Waverly?" Lisa smiled.

"Indeed it does Miss Rogers, indeed it does. You may send in Mr. Solo if he has managed to show up on time."

"Yes sir, it's our lucky day. He arrived early and is waiting outside."

"See the horseshoe is working already," Alexander Waverly smiled in return.

 

Chapter Text

A coffee klatch, if you could call it that, of the four highest ranking Section II agents gathered at farthest table located in the back of the Commissary in U.N.C.L.E. headquarters in New York City.

They each had their empty breakfast plates in front of them, and were finishing off their coffee and tea before heading to their respective offices. There they'd stay put unless they absolutely had to leave.

None of them had assignments, so it was a good day to sequester themselves and work on backlogged reports and sundry paperwork. It was also the safest thing to do as Alexander Waverly would not have appreciated any and all of them calling out sick.

"Well are we ready to take the walk?" Napoleon Solo asked.

"I'm game if your are darling," April Dancer chimed in.

"Everyone have their weapons ready?" Mark Slate asked.

"I do," Illya Kuryakin reached into his pocket, withdrawing a handful of small objects, laying them on the tabletop. One of them stood out from the others, and that was a bright pink, and slightly worn rabbit's foot.

April giggled."Really Illya, pink?"

"Hey nothing wrong with that," Solo protested. He too reached into his suit pocket, producing an identical rabbit's foot, though in better condition than Illya's, along with an array of charms, a small vial of table salt and a blue-eyed glass charm to ward off the 'Malocchio' a Mediterranean superstition known as the 'evil eye.'

"All right April, I've shown you mine, now you show me yours," Napoleon snickered, the double entendre not lost on him.

"Get your mind out of the bedroom darling," she smiled.

"Hey, you're the one who brought up a bedroom not me. Now let's go Dancer, show us what you've got."

April reached to her wrist, removing her charm bracelet and putting it on the table. It was loaded with onyx, cat's eye, a blue eye charm (that she'd gotten from Solo as a gift) a guardian angel charm, just to name a few.

"There, satisfied?"

"That's my girl, armed to the teeth," Napoleon grinned.

"Mark?"

Slate hesitated.

"Come on Mark, fess up," Napoleon jibed.

"All right all right. Don't get your knickers in a twist. I don't have much compared to the three of you but what I have has served me well."

Mark reached into the breast pocket of his suit and withdrew a piece of folded up white tissue. He laid it on the table and carefully opened it to reveal a dried four-leaf clover.

"Okay then, are we ready?" Napoleon stood.

The others nodded and followed suit.

Solo reached first for the salt shaker in the middle of the table, and taking a pinch in his hand, he tossed it over his left shoulder. Each of them took their turn with the ritual and gathered up their bits and bobs, ready to run the gamut, so to speak.

"Let's go mates, it's now or never," Slate somberly said.

The walked, single file through the door of the Commissary, with Solo leading. They followed him around a ladder, and heard it crash as the passed it; the member of maintenance unhurt as he fell to the floor.

A warning sign blocked their path, stating a wet floor lay ahead. Napoleon forged on, walking tiptoe along the wall, placing his hand against it for balance.

When they were safe, they turned the corner to find the elevator was out of order.

"The stairs," Illya pointed, taking over the lead of their determined group.

As they reached their destination the door to the stairwell suddenly and without warning opened, slamming into Kuryakin's face. He staggered backwards to the arms of his partner who caught him, keeping him from falling to the floor.

"Oh Jeeze Illya, I'm so sorry. I didn't see you," George Dennell blurted out. I was trying to get to my office before something bad happened. I even brought this with me."

Kuryakin grabbed his handkerchief from his pocket as his nose had begun to bleed. He flashed one of those 'if looks could kill' stares at Dennell, but said nothing.

He dug down into his briefcase, pulling out a rather large horseshoe. It slipped from his hand, dropping right on Napoleon's foot with a loud thud.

"Awwww, crap!" Napoleon barked. "I think you broke my toe! Oh man!"

"Oh my God Napoleon I'm so so sorry." George picked up the horseshoe, fumbling with it, and it fell again... hitting Mark Slate in the shin.

"You bloody ponce! What's wrong with you?" Mark hobbled in a circle, limping in pain and reaching for his gun.

"Mark I didn't mean it, I'm sorry. Please don't kill me?"

"Enough!" April said. She bent down, retrieving the horseshoe and dropped it back into Dennell's briefcase.

"George, I think you need to just leave darling."

"Right yes," he cleared his throat, raising his index finger in preparation to say something else, but the glares of the Section II agents stopped him.

They headed up the stairwell without further incident and finally to their offices.

"I think we need to rename Friday the 13th to George Dennell Day," Illya remarked before waving his farewell and disappearing into the office he shared with Solo who immediately followed the Russian inside.

April and Mark headed into their office, and like Solo and Kuryakin, locked the doors behind them; not planning to come out until after midnight...

 

Chapter Text

It was just after sunrise when the gunfire began again. Solo and Kuryakin were pinned down in a rocky outcrop, surrounded by a group of THRUSH mooks.

 “You realize the date do you not?” Illya said as he got off a shot; ducking behind the large boulder as a bullet ricocheted off its surface.

 “I do, but I think if it was unlucky for us today then we would have already been killed.”

 “Perhaps it is just because they are poor shots and nothing more?”

 “Maybe. I don’t know about you but I’m getting a little tired of this situation. What say we just go for like Bonnie and Clyde or Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid?”

 “Napoleon may I remind you that none of them survived their last escape, so they were not good examples to choose.”

 Solo canted his head to one side, thinking for a second.

 “All right, how about Captain Kirk and Mr. Spock?”

 “Television characters are the best you can come up with?”

 “Well you didn’t like my first choices.”

 “That is because they are dead," Illya deadpanned his answer.

 “So what don’t you like about Kirk and Spock chum?”

 “Did I say I did not like them?”

 “Well no, but…”

 “So I suppose I must be Spock," Illya canted his head in a Spock-like manner.

 “Well you would look cute with pointy ears,” Solo grinned.

 “I would have preferred you said it was because of my flawless logic.”

 “Well that too.” Illya reached into his pocket, pulling out his hot pink rabbit’s foot along with a collection of other amulets.”

 “So do you think we no longer need these?”

 “Whoa, wait a minute tovarisch, let’s not push our luck,”Napoleon protested.

 “Well if I am under the umbrella of the Solo luck at this point, then I think all will be fine. I say to hell with Friday the 13th.”

 Napoleon studied his partner for a moment,finally agreeing with him wholeheartedly. “Live long and prosper tovarisch,” he smiled.

 “Peace and long life moy brat,” Illya replied, though neither of them used the Vulcan hand gesture.

 They each had their Specials as well as another pair of pistols; cocked and ready they stepped out of their hiding place...guns blazing from both hands.

 Within minutes the Thrushies had all been dispatched and the two U.N.C.L.E. agents walked amongst the dead and unconscious, doing a head count to be sure they’d gotten them all between the sleep darts and live rounds they had.

 Illya,reaching his hand into his jacket pocket, pulled out his rabbit’s foot. Somehow it had been hit by a bullet, but must deflected the shot and saved the Russian from being wounded.

 He held it up for Napoleon to see.

 “I do not think I am willing to give my charms up after all.”

 “Looks like you need a new rabbit’s foot partner mine,” the American took it from Illya’s hand, dangling the remnants of it in the air.

 “No thank you, I think this one will do nicely,” Kuryakin snatched it back, shoving it in his breast pocket.

 

 

Chapter Text

It was here again, the infamous day that every UNCLE agent dreaded...Friday the 13th.

Solo had convinced his ever skeptical partner that ill luck was real, and that bad things happened to people on this particular date. After several eye opening events Kuryakin took to carrying various good luck charms, just as did Napoleon.

April Dancer as well as her British parnter were covered as well; she having a number of charms to ward off the bad luck on her bracelet, that along with several explosive ones.

Mark though initially denying it all in reality kept a four-leaf clover on his person, and it worked quite well for him, or so he claimed.

Other Section II agents copped onto this good luck charm thing, and were in such a dither as to what worked and what didn't. The research department had their hands full, to say the least, seeking out different bringers of luck around the world.

The matter was finally settled when the Old Man delayed the start of assignments on that infamous day, just to make sure his people had their minds on the jobs and not on how to ward off the evil eye, or some such.

Now the rumor that the fearless field agents had their weakness, their Kryptonite so to speak, inspiring some of the other personnel at headquarters to look for a rabbit's foot, specifically a hot pink one ...the same that Napoleon carried.

Illya cautioned one of the secretaries when she asked him about getting one.

"I have been told that the only lucky rabbit foot is the left hind foot, and then only if it was captured in a cemetery."

"You have got to be kidding me? You know for someone who's just a little superstitious, why do you have a black cat?"

"Ownership of a black cat has nothing to do with being superstitious. If one merely avoids having a black cat cross one's path on Friday the 13th, it is immaterial...wait."

"What's the matter Illya?"

"I think I need some salt."

"Why?"

"Because my cat Nina did cross my path this morning." He disappeared in a flash, heading for the Commissary to grab one of the salt shakers there.

Napoleon was walking down the corridor when his partner passed him in a hurry.

"Illya, where's the fire?"

"No fire, black cat...need salt!"

Solo stopped dead in his tracks, suddenly realizing what day it was.

"Hey wait for me!" He dashed after his partner, heading into the Commissary as well.

As soon as he made it inside, he found Illya, waiting in line right behind April Dancer, Mark Slate, George Dennell, Lisa Rogers and at the head of the line was Mr. Waverly himself.

Seated at all the tables were a number of Section II agents, along with a good number of ladies employeed by U.N.C.L.E.

"Why the long line?" He asked.

"It seems there's a run on salt today darling," April said. They ran out just as it was Mr. Waverly's turn."

"Right mate, and nobody wants to leave until they get their pinch of salt," Mark chimed in.

"It would seem," Mr. Waverly turned to face his people," that a superstition has shut us down...as it were. Not even T.H.R.U.S.H. has been able to accomplish that," he actually chuckled. Since there were no assignments today, it really didn't matter, but he wasn't about to say anything in that regard.

Just then Cookie, the head of the Commissary stepped out of the kitchen with a jumbo container of Morton Salt in his hands.

"Catastrophe averted! Come and get it!"

Waverly stepped forward, receiving a bit of salt into the palm of his hand.

"Remember sir, toss it over the left shoulder," Illya caution.

"Young man I am well aware which...now may I ask you why it is done in such a way? I have never been quite clear on that as it was Mr. Solo who informed me of this salt thing, as I recall."

"Sorry, I do not know. I have simply done it as per Napoleon's instructions.''

"Does anyone know?" Waverly called out?

The silence surprised him. "Well," he harumphed." If my people are going to be superstitious, I expect you to at least know the why's and wherefores. We should look into this matter."

"Beg pardon sir," Slate raised his hand," but my mum once told me that it was thanks to Judas Iscariot…. salt is associated with treachery and lies. If you spill salt, a pinch thrown over your left shoulder is supposed to blind the devil waiting there."

"Do mean to say that unless one spills the salt, then tossing some over the shoulder is meaningless?" Illya asked.

"Apparently so," Mark shrugged. "That's why I carry my lucky four-leaf clover...can't go wrong with that guv." He pulled it out of his breast pocket for everyone to see.

From the looks he was getting; he realized he'd just made a mistake and quickly stuck the clover back in his pocket and dashed out the Commissary doors; most of the women who'd been there, running after him.

April jingled her charm bracelet, strung with all sorts of amulets. "I guess this is good enough."

Illya was giving Napoleon the stink eye about the salt shaker faux pas."You were the one who started all this." He suddenly remembered he had his well-worn rabbit's foot in his trouser pocket.

Solo held up his own hot pink rabbit's foot and smiled. "Oops...I guess we're covered though tovarisch as long as we have these."

Waverly smiled, saying nothing as he walked past his agents. A little superstitious balderdash never really hurt anyone, It gave his people a diversion if for just a day from the stress of their work. As he stepped outside the door, he pulled a small donkey shoe from his pocket, holding the prongs up so the luck wouldn't run out…at least that's what they believed here in the states. At home in the U.K. it was the other way around, the ends had to be down so that witches aren't tempted to enter your house.

Waverly chuckled...witches in headquarters; that was the least of his worries.

 

Chapter Text

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.

"Illya?"

"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."

"Your dream?"

"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."

 

Chapter Text

“You know what day it is?” Kuryakin asked as he saw the sunrise through the small barred window to their cell.

 “You’ve got to be kidding me, it’s Friday the 13th?” Napoleon groaned. “They took my rabbit’s foot.”

“Mine as well,” Illya snickered, figuring that was typical of his luck anyway and it was usually bad whether it was Friday the 13th or not.

Napoleon rose from his bunk and began to pace.

“What are you doing?”

“I’m thinking.”

“Napoleon, we have already checked our cell and there is no way for us to escape. They took our lock picks, the explosives in the heels of our shoes…”Kuryakin sighed, “Why should I go on listing things; they took it all.”

“Not everything,” Napoleon flashed a broad smile as he tapped a finger to his right temple.

“What are you thinking?” Illya sat up on his bunk, as Solo now had his full attention.

 Their heads both turned as they heard the sounds of approaching footsteps.

 “Just go with it tovarisch,” Solo whispered. “You’ll get what I’m doing.”

A man wearing a blue THRUSH jumpsuit appeared in front of the barred door holding two tin plates. It was Otto, their regular guard and he wasn’t the brightest bulb on the string.

 “Breakfast time meine Freunde. Let’s see there’s Bircher Muesli and then more Bircher Muesli. Same as yesterday, and probably the same tomorrow until it is decided what is to be done with you. Looks like there could be some raisins in it today, but then again they might not be, if you get my drift.”

“Say Otto, I have something for you,” Napoleon announced

“How could you have something for me, you got nothing because we took it all away from you.”

“I have this.” Napoleon spoke rapid Italian, using every ethnic gesture he knew. This Included putting the side of his index finger between his teeth...the actual meaning was Italian sign language for ‘I’m going to kill you,” but he was betting that Otto didn’t know any of the gestures, nor did he speak Italian.

“Ti faccio un coso così,” Napoleon snarled. Literally it  translated to,’I'll make yours this big.’ This is where the insults started drifting below the belt and he cupped his crotch. It was obvious to which part of Otto’s anatomy he was referring.

Solo’s hands were then held out at waist level, several inches apart. His thumbs were stuck out and his index fingers used to indicate either side of the gap between them. The literal meaning of this gesture was, "I'll kick you so hard your buttocks will end up this far apart."

The last thing Napoleon did was flash ‘the horns.’

The middle and ring fingers were clenched while the thumb, index and little fingers were extended. 

Often this was a superstitious gesture... the devil’s horns were said to drive away curses or bad luck. Inevitably they were also an insult. Not in this case as Solo was hoping that Otto was a superstitious man and had no clue to their meaning. The looked rather threatening, and Napoleon hoped that would work well enough.

“What the hell was that all about Solo?” Otto demanded.

Illya chose to speak up, having guessed what Napoleon was doing. His voice was low and monotone, making it seem all the more ominous. His blue eyes gave that threatening Kuryakin stare.

“He has just put a very powerful Italian curse upon you and given today is Friday the 13th that doubles its power. You do know that this is a very unlucky day, do you not? Thanks to this curse, you will be dead by the end of the day, so you should make your peace while you can.”

The UNCLE agents watched as Otto’s face lost all its color.

“A curse? Heilige Scheiße! You put a curse on me? Why me? I have not caused you any pain.”

“Well you’re the only one we’ve had contact with since we were thrown in here, so the curse goes to you,” Napoleon flashed another smile, this one feral and quite frightening.

“Hey I am just doing my job, this is not my fault.” Otto began to pace back and forth, unaware that he was still holding the tin plates.

“That’s true, this isn’t your fault is it? Well there’s a way to have the curse removed,” Napoleon spoke softly now. “Come here and I’ll whisper it to you.”

“Really? Danke, danke schoen!  That is really decent of you Mr. Solo. If there is anyone to curse it is the big boss, Herr Zum.”

Napoleon pressed himself against the bars, waiting for Otto to come closer.

When the guard finally did, leaning his ear close to the American, Napoleon grabbed him, and slammed the man’s head against the bars, knocking him out cold. He held on tight to Otto, not letting him fall. Illya was there in a flash, grabbing the keys to their cell door from the guard’s belt and once he had them, Solo let the Otto drop with a thud.

They opened the door, gaining their freedom in silence.

Napoleon confiscated Otto’s handgun, but Illya rifled the man’s pockets and pulled out a couple of hot pink rabbit’s foot charms.

“How did you know he had them?” Napoleon asked as Illya tossed his rabbit’s foot to him.

“When they dumped our belongings I spotted our friend here pocketing them.”

“Shame he didn’t steal one of our communicators,” Napoleon said.

Otto was locked in the cell and the UNCLE agents took off, escaping from the building and out to the streets.

They instantly recognized where they were and headed a few blocks over to where their car was still parked. They drove straight to their hotel on the other side of the city.

Heading up to their room; they retrieved a backup communicator and apprised Waverly of the situation as well as the location of the THRUSH satrapy.  A team was quickly dispatched by the Old Man to clear out the bird’s nest.

Solo and Kuryakin were ordered to stay put and let the team from the Berlin office take care of the situation.

“So a good Friday the 13th after all enh, tovarisch?” Napoleon emerged from the bathroom after taking a hot soothing shower.

“It will be good when we order in room service,” the Russian nodded. “I am quite hungry. You did leave me some hot water I hope?”

“Sounds like a plan,” Napoleon refrained from making a comment on his partner’s perpetual state of hunger. Instead he grinned. He was hungry too.

There was no discussion of Solo’s escape plan as it had worked and that was all that mattered. Room service was ordered.  Schnitzel, bockwurst, bratwurst and a whole lot more would be on its way up to their room, along with some fine German beer.

Kuryakin stripped off his tattered suit and climbed into the shower, looking forward to the hot water trickling down his sore body. He turned the water on full.

“Napoleon!” He shouted. There was no hot water. Illya charged out of the bathroom wrapped only in a towel.

“You did that on purpose!”

“Moi? I’m innocent. Remember tovarisch, it’s Friday the 13th and a bad luck happens.”

“Bad luck my zhopa.” Illya slammed the door after himself after retreating back into the bathroom.

Eventually the hot water returned, and Illya reemerged clean and dressed in a thick grey turtleneck sweater and black pants.

The food had arrived, making him forget about the hot water being used up by his partner.

Food could always soothe the savage Kuryakin, even on Friday the 13th...

.

 

Translations:

Heilige Scheiße!: holy shit!

meine Freunde- my friends

Bircher Muesli :a mixture of cereals (especially rolled oats), dried fruit, and nuts, typically eaten with milk at breakfast.

Danke, danke schoen- thank you, thank you very much!

Chapter Text

 



 



 

Fog enveloped him as he walked along a vacant London street. It was late and no one was out and about, at least no one in their right might. He could barely see in front of himself, and the only thing heard was that of his footfalls.

There must have been sand or ground glass on the sidewalk as with each step there was a slight crunching sound Nervousness filled him, and as a black cat darted past his feet, he was momentarily startled.

Not good, a black cat crossing one’s path on Friday the 13th; that made Napoleon reach into the pocket of his black trench coat and latch onto a tattered pink rabbit’s foot, given to him courtesy of his Russian partner. He pulled up his collar against the dampness and adjusted his black seaman’s cap.

Illya, after becoming a believer in the mishaps that could befall one on this inauspicious day, borrowed Solo’s original rabbit’s foot, and consequently lost it.  It was replaced with the only color Kuryakin could find, that being an unfortunate shade of hot pink...dyed presumably for a woman’s use.  Illya got one for himself as well, the same color, and now after several years of use, his was as equally decrepit as Solo’s.

The unexpected warbling of Napoleon’s communicator made him start again, but before answering he chastised himself for being so edgy.  Taking a deep breath, he assembled the device and stepped closer to a brick wall, just out of the light of a nearby street lamp.

Better to stay hidden in the shadows in this pea soup of a fog, as one never knew who might come at him out of nowhere.

“Solo here,” he kept his voice low.

“Where are you Napoleon?” It was Illya.

“Good question, the fog’s so thick that I can’t really see much of anything.  Are yo u at Dirty Dicks?”

“Precisely where you told me to meet you, Bishopgate, opposite Liverpool Street Station. Could you have picked a rougher place to rendezvous; it has dead cats, cobwebs and sawdust for decor.”

“It bothers you? I thought it would remind you of your apartment,” Napoleon chuckled. He received no response to his little joke. “Well, yes that’s the place. I’m having a bit of trouble finding my way there... the fog’s gotten really bad. It’s making me a bit jumpy.”

“Not surprising,” Illya said,”the fog here in England can become so thick one could cut it with a knife.”

“Don’t say knife,” Napoleon muttered.

“Are you really that nervous?”

“Hey it’s Friday the 13th, remember?”

“No I have not forgotten,” the Russian reached into his pocket, fondling his rabbit’s foot.

“Tovarisch, leave your communicator open, I’m going to use the homing function to find you.”

“Clever. Hopefully I will see you in a matter of minutes, ”Illya approved.  

Solo walked along, staying closer to the street lamps this time as he continued along the sidewalk.  The signal from his communicator quickened, telling him he was almost there.

Like a beacon in the night, the red neon signs indicating Dirty Dick’s lit up the darkness.

He’d finally found the pub, though oddly, some of the fog had disappeared directly in front of the place. It was as if a mysterious hand had cleared the way; that thought made him feel even more uneasy.

The outer walls of the pub were made of darkly stained wood, and the architecture dated, as the place was pretty old.

It was a small public house, with low ceilings with cobwebs dangling from the black rafters. A pewter bar, battered and dirty was floating with spilled beer. There were ancient looking bottles of wine and spirits with yellowed labels on the shelves behind the bar, all covered with dust and more cobwebs. Most likely they were well past their prime, with the wine having turned into vinegar. He guessed they were there for decorative purposes as the rest of the shelves were lined with rows modern liquor bottles.

Though he’d heard of their existence, he couldn’t help but stare at the dead cats hanging as decorations on chicken wire on a wall and from the ceiling They’d apparently been there for ages, from the days of the celebrated ‘Dustbin Bar’ at Dirty Dick’s Old Port Wine & Spirit House.*

 

 

Along with the mummified remains of the cats were assorted items like an old fashioned boot, a pair of pewter mugs, several axe handles, and what looked like a spittoon, just to name a few of the bits and bobs that had accumulated there over the years. Though there were stories that many of these belongs to the original owner of Dirty Dick’s dating back to the late 1800’s.

There were plenty of people in the place, some old, some young and quite a few seedy looking locals. The barman was neatly dressed in a white shirt, black bow tie and a straw hat set squarely on his head.

It seemed there’d been an attempt to modernize the place with metal bar stools with red padded seats, these were permanently attached to the floor; he supposed to prevent being thrown if a fight developed.

Napoleon suddenly realized there was no sign of his partner among the patrons  and glancing down at the sawdust covered floor, he spotted a worn pink rabbit’s foot laying there in front of the bar. That instantly put Solo on red alert.

He ducked out of sight, and pulled his communicator.

“Channel F- Illya are you all right? Please be all right?”

“I am perfectly fine, but it seems you are quite on edge,” Kuryakin watched his partner practically jump out of his skin as he walked up behind him.

“Jesus Illya, don’t do that!” Napoleon hissed. “I found this on the floor and thought something had happened to you. You’d never willingly part your rabbit’s foot on Friday the 13th. Where were you?”

“The loo, and that is not mine.” Illya produced his own rabbit’s foot from his jacket pocket.” I suggest you leave it on the bar as whoever lost their luck will surely be back looking for it.”

He could see his partner was very much out of sorts.

“Napoleon why are you so nervous? This is out of character for you. Why would you want to meet in such a place as this?”

“Because we can catch the train right across the street, and I thought a few pints might be relaxing.”

“Relaxing you, you mean.” Kuryakin was in no way ready to let his partner know that he too was feeling uncomfortable, given the date. Illya waved for the barman, ordering another pint for himself and Solo. “Two pints of bitters please.”

“Right mate. The same strong?”

“Aye,” Illya replied. “Now, returning to the topic of your nervousness Napoleon.”

“Ah, yes. Well, given the day and date as well as the fog, I was feeling a bit on edge. Now that I’ve found you, I can put an end to my worries.”

No sooner did Napoleon utter those words, something happened. A bar stool flew through the air in front of them, followed by a bottle smashing to bits against the wall just behind them.

An all out bar brawl was commencing, with fists flying along with tables and chairs.

“Let’s get the hell out of here!” Napoleon yelled.

They ducked a few punches as well as some objects, and threw a few punches themselves until they finally made it out the door to the street.

“I think we best wait for the train at the railway station,” Illya suggested.

“Good idea tovarisch.”

They crossed the street in the fog and managed to arrive just as the train rumbled into the station. After boarding Napoleon finally seemed more at ease.

“So much for that relaxing drink,” Kuryakin said.

“Ahhhh, you speak too soon,” Solo drew a leather bound flask from his inside breast pocket. “Care for some?”

“Scotch?”

“What else?”

“Why not?” Illya shrugged, accepting a capful while Napoleon took a swig from the flask.

“That’s much better. I think we’ll actually get through Friday the 13th unscathed this year,” Napoleon smiled.

Illya slowly turned his head, looking his partner directly in the eye.

“You speak too soon my friend; there could always an enemy agent be on board as well, or there could even be a train derailment.”

Napoleon moaned. “Thanks a lot! Always the pessimist!”

“You are welcome,” Kuryakin smirked.

Both men remained silent, each with a hand in his jacket pocket, each hanging on tightly to their hot pink rabbit’s foot just in case.

 

* Dirty Dick was the nickname of Nathaniel Bentley, a local 19th century ironmonger who preserved the unused wedding breakfast left over when his fiancé died on the eve of their marriage and spent the rest of his life in squalor. When Bentley died the landlord of the pub bought the contents of his shop and house - including what remained of the wedding breakfast - as well as the bodies of Bentley's dead cats, and displayed them there at the pub.

This gave Charles Dickens the idea for the post-nuptial fate of Miss Havisham in Great Expectations

 

 

Chapter Text

April Dancer over the years had found herself drawn into this Friday the 13th superstition by Napoleon, though she didn’t really hold much stock in the whole business.  

She laughed when she saw UNCLE’s top agent carrying around an assortment of so-called talismans- a hot pink rabbit’s foot, a shaker of salt, and a twisted Italian Cornetto horn made of silver...all to ward off bad luck on this ominous date.

April tried to convince him there was a disorder for people who believed in the power of Friday the 13th, something called friggatriskaidekaphobia’, but it did no good at all.

People believed what they wanted to believe, for whatever reason and for a man as strong willed as Solo there would never be anything that could convince him otherwise.

A lot of field agents were superstitious in general; in their line of work luck was something they all counted on, one way or another.

April fended off his pleas to protect herself, but it wasn’t until she found out that Illya, the ever pragmatic Soviet agent, had fallen for this whole bit of gullible nonsense as well. That it made her think there might just be something to all this superstitious nonsense after all. There had to be in order to convince Kuryakin the scientist and logical thinker to believe in it.

Once she saw his collection of charms he carried for luck, which consisted of a small Russian-made horse shoe with tiny bells hanging from it, a bauble called an Omamori which was a traditional Japanese charm inscribed with words of luck, a penny he once found laying heads up on the sidewalk, as well as his own rabbit’s foot... she knew this had gotten serious.

Even her own partner had a four leafed clover that he kept tucked in his pocket on this day. She’d even heard rumors, though she never saw it herself, that Alexander Waverly would put up a horseshoe over the doors to his conference room.

Now that was beyond serious.

Dancer, dressed in a bright yellow mini dress with matching vinyl boots, walked with a spring in her step along the grey corridors of headquarters. Her auburn hair bounced as she wondered what she should have as a good luck charm. She didn’t want exactly the same things the others used, but what to get?

Her head was in the clouds and she just missed a falling ladder, as someone from maintenance had backed into it.

After rounding the corner, heading to the Commissary she dodged a bucket of soapy water that had tipped over while the floor was being mopped; it sent one of the secretaries flying feet first up into the air and landing hard on her keister.

Dancer stopped short at the cafeteria doors, a light bulb going on over her head with an idea as to what to get for her charm.  

She snapped her fingers as she stopped short; the doors suddenly malfunctioned, opening and closing quickly. One step farther and she would have been caught in them; still she paid little attention to them as her mind focused on what she needed.

April spun on her heels and decided to head out to find what she wanted at a local jeweler.

A half hour later, she finally made it to the Commissary, where she found all the others eating their lunch.

“April luv, where’ve you been?”Mark called to her as he waved her over to the table.

“Oh I had a little Friday the 13th shopping to do.”

She immediately noticed all their charms and good luck pieces placed carefully on the table.

“For what, may I ask?” Napoleon pulled a chair out for her like a gentleman, helping her to be seated.

She held out her wrist, jangling her loaded charm bracelet.

“Behold my new good luck charms!” Added to her already large collection was a white enamelled disc dangling from her bracelet with the images of every possible good luck talisman...a four leaf clover, a rabbit’s foot, a wishbone, a rainbow leading to a pot of gold, the number 7, an elephant with its trunk turned upwards, a shooting star and a ladybug. In the middle of the charm was inscribed the words ‘Good Luck’ with the U in luck shaped like a tiny horse shoe.

 

This accompanied a blue eye charm called a malocchio, to ward off the evil eye ( she’d gotten it from Solo as a gift) and a guardian angel charm from Mark, just to name a few.

Of course she had other charms of a more UNCLE-like nature, such as a pineapple charm that was explosive,(a more practical gift from Illya), charms made of various stones that would melt when in contact with certain metals and an eiffel tower charm that was a lock pick.


“Well you’ve got yourself covered from every angle and dare I say, stylishly,” Napoleon grinned.

“Oh I’m not done boys.” She pointed out another charm made of gold but with a wooden center, inscribed ‘Touch Wood,’ and then she pointed to her pinky then removed a piece of jewelry and set it on the table.

 

It was was a gold ring with a diamond encrusted horseshoe.

 

“Well boys, what do you think?”

“I think we’re sticking with you today April,” Napoleon said.

“Cheers!” Mark added.

“Da!” Kuryakin agreed. Up until that moment he’d been silent. “I must compliment you on your creativity April, and your good luck charms are very practical and take up little space...unlike ours.”

“Leave it to a woman to figure these things out, darling.” She winked.

 

Chapter Text

day the 13th- Chapter 15


Illya Kuryakin being ever the scientist as well as an UNCLE agent extraordinaire, began thinking over this Friday the13th thing.

Once Napoleon had convinced him of the reality of it he’d let himself become nothing more than reactive, rather than being proactive with it.

Carrying around things like rabbit’s feet, four leaf clovers,  his own a small Russian-made horse shoe with tiny bells hanging from it, an Omamori which was a traditional Japanese charm inscribed with words of luck, a penny he once found laying heads up on the sidewalk…it all became a bit cumbersome.

April solved the problem for herself after having installed a number of lucky charms on her gold charm bracelet. That however was something he Napoleon or Mark had as an option.

That got the clever Russian thinking. There had to be a way to consolidate the luck charms the men stuffed in their pockets everytime this odd Friday the 13th rolled around.

He disappeared down into the belly of headquarters where the labs were located and started to work, days before the thirteenth arrived.

Napoleon called him via communicator asking where he’d been, and Illya told him just to be patient, and that he would reveal what he was designing to solve their problem.

“What problem?” Solo asked.

“You will see, now leave me be. I have work to do.”

Illya finally showed up the morning of Friday the 13th, meeting everyone in the Commissary; it was their custom to do so on this date sitting a the table in the back corner of the dining area.

As he sat down Illya tossed his lucky charms on the table and asked everyone, except April to put their charms on the table as well.

The Old man had even gotten into the spirit of the thing and tried to avoid sending anyone into the field on this somewhat ominous day. UNCLE agents were a superstitious lot, but he was rather taken aback when he found his ever pragmatic Russian was even in on the possibility of this day simply being bad luck.  Not that UNCLE came to a standstill on the thirteenth, as there were agents who didn’t believe in it at all.

Even Mister Waverly had his lucky horseshoe hanging above the door to his conference room...

 

“What gives mate?” Mark asked Illya. “What have you got there?”

“I have a solution to us feeling the need to carry all these cumbersome charms with us.”

“So what is it?” Napoleon smiled.

“Et voila!” Illya place a small silver disc the size of a half dollar on the table.

“So what is it?” April asked. She picked it up and squinted at it. There was something written on it but she couldn’t for the life of her read it.

Illya produced a magnifying glass and handed it to her.

Once getting a good look at it, she burst out laughing.

Mark leaned over as April held it in place for him to see. He too squinted and immediately began laughing as well.

“What?” Napoleon asked.”What’s so funny?”

“Here goose,” she handed him the magnifier.

Napoleon looked carefully and once his eyes adjusted, he let out a loud belly laugh.

“You approve then?” Illya asked.

“Well we’ll see if it works darling,” April said. “I think I’ll stick with my collection. Lucky or not, I like how my bracelet jingles, and I love my diamond horseshoe ring.”

Illya nodded. “We will see today. Now the writing is on the reverse, on the obverse side you will see engraved the image of a horseshoe, and there is a tiny four-leaved clover inlaid in the metal, and sealed. Napoleon, I have added the blue eye charm to the back of yours to ward off the malocchio.”

“What’s malocchio?”Mark asked.

“It’s the evil eye,” Napoleon gravely nodded.

“What’s so funny?” George Dennell came up to the table.

“Illya just invented a new lucky charm guv,” Slate grinned. He handed the disc to George who looked at it and read it aloud.

“If you can not read this without magnification, then you are the luckiest person in the world.”

He didn’t use the magnifying glass.

They all burst out laughing even louder.

“What?” George said, “I don’t get it.”

“Here,” Illya tossed him a few of his old charms.” You just might need these.”

“Huh?” Dennell’s eyes went wide...

 

 

Chapter Text

It was Friday the 13th, though that had no meaning to the likes of George Dennell.

After greeting Napoleon, Illya, Mark and April while they were sitting at the back table in the Commissary, they made him an offer. One that he thought was highly unusual.

He knew field agents were a superstitious lot, but this took the cake.

They offered him of all the lucky charms as Illya had apparently created some sort of lucky coin that incorporated symbols to ward off the ill-luck of this particular day.

George couldn't refuse; not that he believed in them, but he just didn't want to offend the others. These agents were his heroes and for them to even consider giving him their trinkets was sort of an honor.

He stuffed the collection into the pockets of his suit jacket with his thanks, and set off back to his office with his mug of black coffee in hand.

"Wait up George, darling," Dancer called after him. "I'll walk with you."

"Gee, sure April. Say do you believe in all that mumbo jumbo they were talking about with their lucky charms?"

She held up her wrist, letting her bracelet filled with charms jingle. "I have my own collection. Honestly it's not that they might really bring luck, but I figure an agent can use as much luck as they can get, real or imaginary."

"So you're saying it's more psychological, mind over matter sort of stuff?"

She smiled at him before turning town the corridor towards the elevator. "Maybe, maybe not. I think I'd rather not take a chance and tempt fate. See you later darling, I have some paperwork to do. No one's on assignment in the field today, even Mister Waverly has his superstitions Friday the 13th.

"That's true, though I find it odd that a man of Mister Waverly's experience would concern himself with the concept of luck, good or bad."

George reached into one of his pockets and pulled out a hot pink rabbit's foot, which promptly slipped through his fingers and fell to the floor.

At the exact moment George bent over to pick it up someone from maintenance carrying a step ladder on his shoulder swung round the corner. If Dennell had been standing he would have been clocked right in the head.

However, he was so focused on picking up the rabbit's foot that he didn't even notice his near mishap.

He continued on his way, burying his nose in a folder that had been tucked under his arm. George was oblivious to a section of the corridor that had just been mopped, and though someone in front of him slipped and fell, he managed to walk right past without a misstep.

As he walked towards the pneumatic doors to the Personnel Office of which George was now the department head, they delayed opening. Finally they whooshed apart, but he never noticed as he was still reading the file.

Dennell had been promoted after he was involved in exposing the THRUSH mole in the Waverly Ring Affair.

Carla Drosten was the guilty party, though it took him a long time to get over that. She was someone he trusted implicitly, but not anymore.

"No siree," George said aloud. "I need to stay alert, though I may not be a field agent, I've got the eyes and ears of one now...lesson learned. "Just call me George 'the fox' Dennell."

He walked past several desks where his assistants were were usually seated, though they were out to lunch., One of them must have plugged in a fan as the room was a bit warm.

The cord stretched across on the floor where Dennell was walking and of course he tripped over it.

He staggered, trying to keep himself from falling but missed grabbing the edge of one of the desks and instead his hand latched onto a potted fern.

George went flying, somehow landing in his own chair and at the same time the planter came to rest on top of his desk.

Without batting an eye, he tossed the rabbit's foot and the other lucky charms in his pocket into the trash bin.

"Who needs this nonsense," he mumbled. He set the folder he'd brought with him aside and picked up another.

It was time to review potential field agents; he still envied them, people like Solo, Kuryakin, Slate and Dancer who faced danger at every turn.'

Even though they didn't always come away unscathed, they did their job and did it well… and so would George Dennell. After all, what dangers did he have to face here at headquarters?

Chapter Text

Alexander Waverly was a man not to be trifled with; everyone in headquarters knew that except one person.

Her name was Gladys Wentworth; she was a temporary fill in for Lisa Rogers who was off on a well earned long weekend off.

Of anyone who worked at headquarters, it was Lisa who was at the Old Man’s beck and call, and never hesitated to put in late hours if he needed her.

She wasn’t just his assistant, she was a fully trained agent quite capable of operating in the field. In many ways she was like a bodyguard to Waverly, as well as his sometimes confidant.

He’d call her to his conference room to have her just listen, and often she’d anticipate his summons and have a pot of tea and a listening ear ready for him

Waverly referred her his right hand on many’s the occasion.

Now Gladys, like Lisa, had graduated Survival School, but opted to work in the Intelligence Section. Her personnel file indicated she was thorough and well organized. Still her training made her ready should the need arise for her to go out into the field, just like Rogers, protect Mister Waverly if necessary.

Still there was something about the woman that just didn’t seem quite right. Many of the other female employees at headquarters didn’t care for her, then again she tended to make herself scarce.  

There were whispers about her being a Jonah, though that was once a nautical reference it was now extended to a person who carried a jinx, one who would bring bad luck to any enterprise.

Why they called her that was odd as few people had contact with her, except for those who worked with her in her Section. They were closed mouth when questioned about Wentworth, though some let it slip that she was highly superstitious...that was about it.

Then again there were those who said odd things about Illya Kuryakin, but it was put off to quirks in his personality.

There were only a few female field operatives with the Command at present; the U.N.C.L.E. was somehow behind the times when it was compared with the opposition’s male to female ratio of agents. So Glady’s training made her an obvious choice to fill Lisa’s job as assistant to the Old Man; he selected her himself and that was final.

No one dared to say anything to him about the woman being a jinx...

It was Friday the 13th when Gladys arrived at Lisa’s desk. Of course it had been cleaned off, leaving little for the woman to do but see to it that people came and went into the conference room in an orderly fashion.  

At the moment she had her compact in her hand and was powdering her nose.

“Hello there,” Napoleon Solo.” He smiled at her as he sauntered up to the desk and introduced himself. “I take it you’re Lisa’s replacement for the next few days.”

“That would be me Mister Solo. Is Mister Waverly expecting you?”

“No, not exactly, but I do need to speak to him, Miss Wentworth.” He made sure he knew her name, though he’d never met her before.

“And it’s regarding?”

“Excuse me?” Napoleon wasn’t expecting that sort of question and hesitated answering. “It’s personal.”

“Well you’ll have to make an appointment; Mister Waverly is a very busy man.”

Of course Napoleon found that a bit off putting.

“You do know who you’re speaking to, don’t you?”

“You just introduced yourself, so of course.”

“I mean my position Miss Wentworth.”

“Oh, I know you’re the Chief Enforcement Agent, if that’s what you’re referring to?”

“Yes I’m CEA and the senior operative, and I do need to speak to Mister Waverly. It’s part of my job.”

“And what is this personal business you referred to?”

Napoleon, though maintaining a smile, spoke through gritted teeth. “It’s classified, and well above your paygrade.”

“I think not Mister Solo as I am part of the Intelligence Section and have top security clearance. Now I do have a twelve o’clock opening...wait, Mister Waverly will be having lunch at his club. Oh darn, I shouldn’t have said that.”

“Miss Wentworth, it is my business to know the comings and goings of our boss.”

“I can squeeze you in at 11 a.m.”

Napoleon realized there was no getting around it. “Fine, put me down for 11 a.m.”

“And it’s regarding?”

“It’s class…” He saw her tapping her bright red fingernails on the desktop.

“Would you please stop doing that Miss Wentworth?”

She did so immediately, but gave him a cold stare, somewhat reminiscent of Illya’s blue-eyed gaze, though her eyes were green.

He figured he’d turn on the charm, “Has anyone ever told you that you have the most gorgeous eyes?”

“Not going to work Mister Solo. Now what is your appointment regarding?”

“Fine! I need to discuss the ummm, Recollectors Affair.” In reality he needed to speak to the Old Man about his expense account request. Accounting was rejecting it... again.

“Really? Wasn’t that over a year ago Mister Solo?”

She was good. “New information has come to light.” 

He leaned on the desk, looking her straight in the eye, unfortunately he brushed against her compact now sitting there on the desktop and knocked it to the floor, and in the process the mirror broke into several pieces.

“Really? That’s surprising as a member of the Intelligence Division, I haven’t heard a word.”

“My information is from a private source.”

“Angelique La Chien? I know about you and she. Really Mister Solo, how can you even look at yourself in the mirror...sleeping with the enemy? By the way, speaking of mirrors, that’s seven years bad luck for you and you owe me a new compact.”

Napoleon took out his hot pink rabbit’s foot from his pocket and dangled it in front of her.

“That’s not going to help you.”

“Miss Wentworth, as far as Miss La Chien is concerned, you’re overstepping. Please keep such comments to yourself.”

“Napoleon are you not done yet?” Illya walked up behind him.

“Get in line if you need to speak to Mister Waverly. We have Atilla the Hun taking Lisa’s place.”

“Napoleon, I would hardly call a lovely woman such an insulting name. Miss Wentworth is quite an intelligent and capable person and she is someone with whom I would not recommend locking horns.”

“So I’ve discovered. I’ll be back at eleven sharp.” Napoleon turned on his heel and walked away, obviously in a snit.

“Miss Wentworth, I am here for my appointment with Mister Waverly.”

“Regarding?”

“An expense report.”

“Shouldn’t you be speaking with Accounting?”

“I did and I am getting nowhere with them. It is odd that I had a clothing expense rejected, as I rarely put in for them. I wonder if they are getting mine mixed up with my partner’s.”

“That is strange Illya.” She looked at her wristwatch before flicking the intercom switch.

“Mister Waverly sir, Mister Kuryakin is here for his appointment.”

“Very good Miss Wentworth. Could you bring in a pot of tea, make it that lovely Georgian tea would you please?”

“Yes sir,” there was hesitation in her voice as she flicked the intercom switch closed.

“Tea from Georgia? A southern tea?”

“No Miss Wentworth, Georgia as in Soviet Union. I believe Miss Rogers has it labelled as ‘the brooms.’  If you could also bring along with the sugar and cream, a bit of raspberry jam.”

“Jam? Would he want biscuits too?”

Illya gave her a shy smile. “The jam is for me. Russians sweeten their tea with it.  By asking for the Georgian tea, it is my presumption that Mister Waverly would like to have a longer discussion with me beyond the expense report topic. By the way, may I have your broken compact? I would like to do something with the mirror.”

“Sure,” she handed it to him as she was just going to toss it in the trash can. Be careful that the bad luck from it doesn’t rub off on you.”

Like Napoleon, Kuryakin held up his hot pink rabbit’s foot.

“Was the Five and Dime running a sale on them? She chuckled.

Illya didn’t quite get her quip and responded ‘no’ in all seriousness. 

“And thank you for that information. You can go in now.”

Napoleon went to the Commissary to get himself a cup of coffee but as soon as he walked inside, he slipped and went flying, landing hard on his back.

Someone had spilled coffee and Cookie was just coming over to mop it up.

“Sorry. You okay Napoleon?” He grabbed Solo’s hand, giving him a lift up.

He wasn’t. As Napoleon tried to straighten up, he felt a sharp pain in his upper back, and moaned.

Cookie grabbed a chair for the injured agent to sit down.

“Maybe you should go to Medical and have them check you out?”

“That’s a good idea,” Napoleon slowly rose, leaving as soon as the pneumatic doors opened; he walked into the hallway, hunched over like Quasimodo.

Cookie called after him to tell him the back of his suit jacket had a coffee stain on it, but the doors closed too quickly.

As Napoleon turned the corner he ran smack into a ladder as someone from maintenance had just used it to replace a lighting fixture.

That resulted in a sizeable lump on his forehead, and he wrenched his back further as he recoiled.

“Sorry Mister Solo. You need to be more careful,” the maintenance man said. “Maybe you should go up to Medical and have them check out that lump?”

“Teddy, I’m on my way there now.”

“Well feel better Mister Solo.” 

“Where are all the beautiful ladies around here when I need some tender loving care?” Napoleon mumbled to himself.

He finally made it to the Medical Suite and was diagnosed with a sprained back and a good lump on his head.

“Bed rest Mister Solo, and take these muscle relaxers,” Doctor Greene said. “They’ll make you drowsy so don’t drive please. I’ll notify Mister Waverly that you are temporarily out of the field.”

“Peachy.” It suddenly dawned on him that perhaps he was experiencing some bad luck after all because of the broken mirror. He, along with most of the other field agents had their own superstitions and idiosyncrasies, including Illya.  They all carried their good luck charms to ward off the negativity of Friday the 13th, but apparently they weren’t working.

It was then his communicator called to him.

“Solo here.”

“Napoleon are you all right?” It was Illya.

“How did you know?”

“Know what?”

“That I fell and sprained my back in the Commissary, thankfully no one was there to see it except Cookie...wait, did he tell you?”

“No one told me anything. It is the mirror Napoleon. I was there when you broke it. We need to unjinx you.”

“Unjinx?How the hell do you do that?”

“I have the broken compact and will come get you.”

“Please tell me it’s not some convoluted superstition about...oh never mind. When are you coming to get me? I’m going home as I have a sprained back.”

“Perhaps you should stay in guest quarters tonight as the solution to your bad luck will require your presence.”

Napoleon huffed. “What exactly will it entail, and please don’t tell me some voodoo priestess?”

“There are two options, first is to take all the pieces of the mirror and grind them down to dust and scatter it in the wind. The second method will require you to take a single piece of the mirror, large enough to reflect but not big or sharp enough to be dangerous to yourself or anything else. You must wait until the next full moon, which, as luck would have it, is occurring tonight. So some of your Solo luck must be intact.”

“And what do I do with said mirror shard?”

“You must use the piece of mirror to reflect the full moon while you gaze into it, as it nullifies the bad luck. You then bury the piece of mirror.”

“That’s it huh?” Napoleon chuckled.” Sorry tovarisch, but it sounds like you made it up.”

Illya’s lower lip protruded as he frowned. “It is old gypsy lore. Now do you want my help or not?” Of course she was lying, but the power of suggestion was a powerful tool.

Napoleon stood, and somehow his knee gave way and he nearly fell had he not not grabbed the bed rail in time.

“So tonight we will go to the roof of headquarters, and perform the ritual,” Illya said.

“All right,” Napoleon shrugged. “Why not?”

 

At the height of the full moon, Illya helped his partner up the short flight of stairs to the entrance leading to the roof of headquarters. Not many people made a habit of going there except Kuryakin, usually when he needed to clear his mind while having a cigarette.

There was a small bucket filled with dirt along with several dozen cigarette butts sitting beside a milk crate.  That was about as much comfort as the Russian would permit himself.

The sky was a little cloudy, and it took a few minutes before the moon finally revealed itself with a bright halo surrounding it.

“That means it’s going to rain, “ Napoleon said.

“It is merely light bending or refracting as it passes through ice crystals from high-level cirrus clouds,” Illya said, hesitating.” And yes I suppose it could mean rain.”

Napoleon smiled, knowing his partner was humoring him. 

“Quickly, use the mirror before the clouds cover it again,” Illya said.

Solo caught the reflection of the moon in the mirror shard, and stared into it.

“Okay now what’s next?”

“Here, bury it in this,” Illya held up the bucket.”

“You mean I have to dig in that with my hand?”

“I cannot do it for you, now hurry before the moonlight disappears.”

Napoleon scrunched up his face in disgust as he dug a small hole, placed the piece of mirror in it and quickly covered it up.

“That should do it,” Illya said. “I will dispose of the contents of the bucket in the morning.”

“This better work.”Napoleon looked at his hand, thinking he was going to need a manicure.

The returned downstairs and no sooner did they step into the grey corridors of headquarters, Napoleon found himself inundated by several ladies from the secretarial pool.

“Poor Napoleon, we heard about your accident. Is there anything I can do,”Jessica purred.” A massage maybe?”

“I can help, Glenna offered. “Me too,” Dawn said.”

“Ladies, ladies. Thank you so much,” Napoleon grinned.”I’m staying up in guest quarters tonight. How about you all join me for some late night supper and we can discuss everything in private.”

Illya smiled, standing behind his partner Nothing like the power of suggestion. “I will leave you to your recuperation my friend. Good night. Ladies, be gentle with him.”

Kuryakin headed to the office he shared with Solo and there waiting for him was Gladys Wentworth.  She was dressed in a skimpy black negligee, over it a fur coat.

“Why hello Gladys,” he swallowed hard.”I was not expecting company.”

“I just wanted to thank you for the kind things you said about me this afternoon. Everyone thinks I’m a jinx, but I’m not really. I’m just superstitious like most of you agents are. I keep to myself, so a lot of untrue things are said about me. Thanks for seeing past all that.”

“I have experienced such things myself, so I can sympathize with you.”

“Good,” she smiled, while pressing a button on Solo’s desk, locking the office doors.

“That’s an awfully comfortable looking sofa you have there.”

“Why yes it is,” Illya smiled. He took his hot pink rabbit's foot from his pocket and looked at it for a second before tossing it on his desk.  

This was definitely not a case of bad luck...