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Stride for Stride

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Nikita stood in the darkened Perch, having moved away from her computer screen to absently observe the movements of operatives below; Section was relatively quiet in the early hours of the morning. She leaned against the glass, the dark circles under her eyes evident in the pallor of her face. Her fingers, for the millionth time since that day, moved to touch the object that hung around her neck: the symbol of her new, unwanted position. The command key felt cold to her touch; she shivered and again fought the urge to rip it off. Closing her eyes, she tried to relax, and allowed her thoughts to drift.

Stride for stride. Completely synchronized, they moved down the corridor. Each faced straight ahead, not a glance to show that either was aware of the other alongside. The strong, steady pace never faltered as they turned the corner, bodies moving as if powered by a single nervous system. She knew, without looking, that he was assessing the surroundings, comparing them to the given profile. She did the same, noting any possible anomalies. As hostiles approached, they seamlessly pivoted as necessary and eliminated them, concentration never wavering. Separating when she moved to point and he advanced to set the charge, they again joined stride as they moved towards egress, verbal communication unnecessary.

Nikita's reverie was cut short by an audible signal from her computer. Assessing the new intel, she quickly walked down to Systems and then updated the operatives on Comm. Reluctant to return to her new office, she walked through the corridors of Section, slowing by an empty exercise room. She stood by the door, thoughts again wandering.

Blow for blow. She smoothly altered her stance to allow his kick to pass her by without harm, and then countered with a blow from her left hand, which he deflected easily. Evenly matched, their eyes remained locked on each other, sensing oncoming strikes through minute movements in their peripheral vision. He pressed forward with a series of kicks and blows which made contact, but with little impact as she moved backward while blocking their intended targets. They circled each other, breathing heavily from the exertion. She twisted sideways, lashing out quickly. Smoothly, he caught his balance and parried again. The gleam in his eye and a nearly imperceptible movement at the corner of his mouth indicated his appreciation of her skill. She, in turn, flashed a smile as she dropped and rolled away from his next advance, kicking out in an effort to bring him to the ground while she regained her feet.

Brought back to the present reality by the sounds of movement from down the hall, Nikita continued on to her quarters. She had not yet taken the time to move to the larger accommodations that were now available to her; the fact was that she preferred the familiarity of the stark room. She palmed the access panel and entered. Her eyes automatically turned to the spot in the room where she had sensed him that day, the day she had uttered the words she had been waiting so long to say: I lied. She stared at the wall where he'd been, as if staring might make him reappear.

Breath for breath. Their eyes closed, his fingers gently, insistently caressed her, nails lightly abrading the skin. Their bodies were mere inches apart as her hands smoothly drew his shirt over his head, pulling him deliberately closer in the process. His lips traced a path along her neck, causing her to shiver under his touch. More clothes were shed, deliberately and unhurriedly. An intake of air, a muffled moan and their bodies merged, lips and limbs locked in the sweet struggle. She pulled him further into her as he thrust, and again, as his hand stroked the peak of her breast and was then replaced by the warm friction of his tongue. Sighing his name, she arched towards him, and slid her hands up the strong muscles of his shoulders and into his wavy hair. He interlaced the fingers of one hand with hers, pressing it to the bed, and grasped her hip and buttock with another, pulling them ever closer in mutual enjoyment.

Walking further into the room, Nikita shook her head, unable to stand the dichotomy of then and now. She roughly washed her face, unconsciously trying to erase the fatigue so evident upon it, and lay down on the spartan bed, still fully clothed. The command key, ever present, lay heavily on her chest. Nikita sighed.

At last, she slept.