THE COLLECTION, VOL. 8:
HAUNTED NIGHTS



From a distance Kuryakin stared at the other agent -- his partner, his friend -- still unconscious, but stable enough that when help came, he would be alive.

Illya closed his eyes, facing the wind.  Fatigued beyond thought, he could feel the cold poison seeping into his body.  He was tired.

So tired.

Of it all.  Of fighting.  Of guns and weapons and bombs and war.  Of coworkers and friends and family injured and dying.  Tired of U.N.C.L.E. and Waverly and demands and assignments and surveillance and arrests.  So tired of living.

It would be so easy to do nothing and wait for the end to come.  To fall into its arms and close his eyes.

His hand tightened on the hunting knife still clutched in his right hand, and he raised it, his eyes following its blade to the very tip, then dropping to look at his left wrist.  At the veins pulsing beneath the sweat-dampened skin.  His right hand shook with fatigue and he knew he had only to relax and gravity would take care of the rest, pulling him closer to the end.

He took a breath.  Waiting.  Listening for a signal.

But the world around him, everything around him, was fighting to survive.






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