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After Three Years

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Three years. It has been three years today since I last saw him. Nikita stood, pondering this as she looked out the darkened window of the perch. It was hard to believe that she had had no contact with the love of her life for three years. What was harder to believe was that he had ever left her in the first place.

“Operations?”

“What do you want, Quinn?” Nikita asked of her second in command without turning around.

“We have a situation.”

“Take care of it. I’m busy,” Nikita replied, now struggling to keep the tears out of her voice.

“It’s Jason again. If you really want me to take care of it, I’ll simply have him put on the next abeyance mission,” Quinn said, nastily. She had never quite forgiven Nikita for kidnapping her years earlier. Quinn also hadn’t approved of Nikita becoming Operations simply because her father had died, but the Agency had abided by Mr. Jones’s last wishes. Nikita now had complete control of Section One and had since her father’s death.

“Just send him in,” Nikita said, bluntly. She knew Jason had been breaking into Paul’s old Tower Room. This was, of course, the room that Paul and Madeline had occupied many nights during their time at Section 1. It had been empty since Madeline’s death. Nikita didn’t need it. Not with Michael gone. Truthfully, Nikita didn’t care that Jason was using the Tower. However, she knew that she had to put up a tough front, or Section One would be out of her control before she could blink. Nikita returned to her musings over Michael. It wasn’t as though he couldn’t have at least contacted me. I haven’t heard anything from him in three years. Not a word. He could have sent a message, but he chose not to. Does that mean that he doesn’t love me? Nikita felt tears prickling in her eyes again, and she tried to quash them.

“Operations?” The title was spoken teasingly, with much disdain.

“Come in.” Nikita still did not turn around. “You broke into the Tower again. I informed you of the consequences if you had done so again. Are you prepared to face them?”

“Come on Nikita. You won’t cancel me,” Jason grinned at her back.

Nikita turned swiftly to face him. “Don’t test me.” Jason’s eyes widened at her threat. “I believe a short amount of time in the White Room might cure you of this habit.” Jason went pale.

“Nikita? Why are you doing this? I’m your friend!” He was clearly shocked. Nikita pushed a button and two operatives walked into the room. “I THOUGHT I WAS YOUR FRIEND!” Jason shouted as they pulled him out of the room. Nikita turned back to the window. It hurt. She didn’t want Jason to be tortured, but what choice did she have? She had to show backbone.

She had to be strong or she wouldn’t survive in Section. Michael had kept her strong before and now….Now, Nikita had no one. Oh god, Michael, can’t you see that I can’t do this without you anymore? I need you Michael. I need you so much. Nikita sank to the floor, sobbing into her hands.

Adam lay at his feet, clearly dead. There was a figure running toward him. Nikita. A gun shot rang out through the night. The figure fell, blood spattering everything around her. She was dying and there was nothing he could do. He couldn’t get to her. She was in pain and he couldn’t hold her.

“NO!” Michael Samuelle sat straight up in bed. His body was covered in cold perspiration. Adam and Nikita…dead. Michael stood, pulling a gun out from under his bed. He walked slowly into Adam’s room, gun drawn. The child lay safe in his bed. Michael breathed a sigh of relief. He walked back to his own room and returned the gun to its hiding place. Michael sat on his bed and put his face in his hands. He hadn’t had nightmares like this since his first years at Section. They had started up again when he’d met Simone, but had discontinued after her capture. He had believed her dead. Then he’d met Nikita. He had tried so hard for so long not to let himself fall for her.

But he hadn’t succeeded.

The nightmares went away when he’d believed her dead and hadn’t returned when he’d found her alive once more. They hadn’t haunted him again until the night he left Section One. And they hadn’t left him since. Three years. He had wanted to contact her, but was never sure that he could secure a safe line. His priority was protecting Adam. He couldn’t count the number of times he had picked up a phone and started dialing her old number. He always stopped. He knew that they were always watching him. It only bothered him when he actually saw them hiding behind a tree or sitting in a dark colored van. Then, Michael would pack up his and Adam’s belongings and they would be gone by nightfall. It was a continuing cycle that had worked so far. The only flaw in his system was Nikita. He had told her that there would be a time when Adam wouldn’t need him anymore, but he hadn’t believed that and neither had she.

“Daddy?” As small voice came from the doorway.

“What’s wrong, Adam?” Michael asked, looking up at his son.

“I had the dream again. With the man and they shot him. And that woman at the Train Station, the blond one.”

“Come on, son,” Michael said, holding his arms open. The little boy ran to his father and hugged him. Michael set him on the bed and rubbed one hand up and down his back until the child fell asleep again. He hoped that one day, Adam would forget everything with Section and the Collective. Unfortunately, with the recurring nightmares that Adam continued to have, that day did not seem to be coming anytime soon. Nikita. She would know what to do with him. She loves children. She would figure out how to make him forget. I need her. Michael closed his eyes and fell asleep again, dreaming of Nikita.

“Hey there.”

“Hey, sugar! I wasn’t expecting you to come down and see me today,” Walter said, turning and smiling at Nikita.

“Yeah,” Nikita replied softly.

“Alright, what’s wrong? Do I have to go and beat some guy off my number one girl?” Walter asked, teasingly.

“No. Do you know what day it is, Walter?” Nikita asked.

“It’s the first of August. Why? Oh, yeah,” Walter said, remembering. This was the three-year anniversary of the day Michael left. He saw Nikita’s eyes swimming with tears. “Hey, come on, Sugar.” Walter pulled out a handkerchief and offered it to her. Nikita accepted it and wiped hastily at her eyes, glad that they were far back into munitions and that no one was able to see her cry.

“I’m sorry, Walter. I just kind of needed someone to talk to and you got lucky.” She gave him a watery sort of half-smile and reached for her sunglasses. “I’ll see you tomorrow. I’m taking the rest of the day off.”

“Alright, I’ll see you, Sugar.” Walter watched her walk away. She was so strong. He had been planning to chew her out about Jason the moment he saw her, but he didn’t have the heart. He knew she was hurting. Walter sighed and turned back to his work.

“Daddy! Guess What?!” Michael stooped to hug his son as the young boy came running out of his Elementary School on Thursday afternoon.

“What?”

“Nathan asked me to stay over at his house for the whole weekend. Can I go, Daddy, Please?”

“We’ll see,” Michael replied, somewhat guardedly.

“Daddy, please?”

“I said, ‘we’ll see‘, Adam.” His tone made it clear that the subject was closed for the moment being.

“Yes sir,” Adam replied, looking disappointed. Michael kissed his son on the forehead and stood. The little boy grabbed his father’s hand and they began the walk home together. Michael was silent, pondering his answer to Adam’s request. I could do a background check on the child’s parents. If I knew he was safe with them, I wouldn’t worry so much. Then, an idea occurred to him. His nightmares about Nikita had been more and more horrifying and vivid lately. He took that as a sign that she was not doing as well as he wished she would be. If he could know that Adam was safe for the weekend, maybe he could take the chance to see her. He knew it would be dangerous, but this could be the only chance he had for quite some time. After all, it was the first chance he’d gotten in three years…

Nikita walked into her apartment Friday afternoon. It was the same apartment she’d had when she was simply a Section operative. The Agency had offered her better and nicer quarters, but Nikita had preferred her own place. She liked her life outside of Section One to stay as normal as it possibly could. Nikita had insisted that all of the electronic devices be removed from her quarters. The Agency had only complied when she had held a gun to her head, threatening to fire it. The threat had not been entirely empty. Nikita had to admit that there were days when she would rather die than continue to run Section One. Those days were hard and almost always ended with almost sleepless nights when she dreamed only of Michael. The phone rang and Nikita went to answer it.

“Hello?”

“Josephine.”

Nikita dropped the phone. She would have known that voice anywhere. Michael her brain screamed at her. There was a knock at the door. Nikita drew her gun and turned to answer it. Michael stood behind the door. Nikita acted on instinct, grabbing him roughly and shoving him against the wall.

“Who are you?” she shouted. It couldn’t really be him. That was simply too much to even hope for.

Michael didn’t respond immediately. He had to admit that he hadn’t expected her to react in such a hostile way. Michael was still pondering his next move when Nikita’ elbow collided painfully with his side. Michael closed his eyes briefly in pain before doing a quick switching maneuver so that Nikita was now pinned against the wall and facing him. He saw that her eyes were laced with a combination of fear, confusion, elation, and unshed tears. She was trembling. Michael looked into her eyes and slowly brought one hand up to caress her cheek. Nikita closed her eyes as his hand caressed the side of her face. Michael slowly bent his head and kissed her lips softly. Nikita opened her eyes as he pulled back.

“Michael?” she all but whispered. He nodded and Nikita fainted dead away. Michael caught her and carried her over to the couch. He allowed himself the smallest of “Michael smiles”, barely turning the corners of his lips up. He had wanted to surprise her and, judging by the fact that she had fainted into his arms after attacking him, he had succeeded. Michael lay Nikita on the couch and went to her bathroom to retrieve a small vial of smelling salts she had once kept in the medicine cabinet. Luckily, they were still there. He brought the vial out and held it under her nose. Nikita pulled a face and opened her eyes. They filled with tears again as she looked into his familiar, deep, soulful brown eyes.

“Is it really you?” she asked cautiously.

“Yes.” Nikita wrapped her arms around his neck, pulling him close to her. Michael kissed her again, this time more deeply. In that one kiss, they both released three years worth of pent-up passion, desire, and love. Michael broke the kiss after several passionate, enjoyable moments. He pulled Nikita into a sitting position, but she steadfastly refused to remove her arms from around his neck. Instead, she buried her face into his chest.

“Why?” she asked. “Why did you wait until now to come back? Jesus, Michael, it’s been three goddamn years.” Nikita was clearly hurt and angry.

“I had to wait until it was safe to leave Adam. I couldn’t have brought him back here. There are still so many memories he won’t let go of. He’s staying the weekend with a friend from his school.” Nikita nodded. Her anger and hesitance evaporated instantly. His words had registered immediately with her brain. He wasn’t back to stay. He would only be with her for the weekend, if he would even consent to stay that long. “You had people watching me. Why?” His question surprised her. Of course he would have known they were there. Why else would he have moved around every couple of months?

“I wanted to make sure you were at least alive. You obviously didn’t have any reason to contact me and tell me so.” Her voice was full of a bitterness she had not expected, but Michael immediately understood.

“I couldn’t have been certain that I had a secure line. I wanted to contact you, but I had to do what was safest for Adam.” Michael paused as she pulled back to look him in the eye. “I may be in love with you, Nikita, but you are still Section and that means that I can’t necessarily trust you.” Nikita pulled away completely, furious at his insinuation.

“I would never give up your location to anyone. Never,” Nikita said in a very dangerous tone. Michael did not respond. “You don’t trust me. Is that it? For eight months, Michael, I had no idea if you were even alive. I trusted you to contact me, and I didn’t hear a word from you. What other choice did I have? You obviously had no interest in keeping me informed. I put operatives on you so that I could keep an eye on you and they could lend you a hand if you got into trouble. I had people tailing you because I didn’t want to see you and Adam hurt. Don’t you dare tell me that you can’t trust me. I have never been anything but honest with you unless I was playing with my own life. Or with yours. Don’t try to tell me that you couldn’t call me and tell me that you were still alive because you couldn’t trust me.” She stood up and walked to the door, then opened it. “Get out.” Nikita reached into her pocket and pulled out her sunglasses to hide her tears as Michael walked over to her. He stopped next to her and removed the dark glasses from her eyes. There were teardrops falling freely onto her cheeks. He bent his head and carefully kissed each teardrop off of her cheeks and then kissed each of her eyelids.

“I apologize. I should not have insinuated that you would betray me. Please let me stay.” Nikita nodded and Michael closed the door. Nikita was crying feely again, and Michael pulled her into his arms. She put her head on his shoulder. Nikita looked up at him after a few moments and Michael brought his lips to hers again. He kissed her slowly and deeply. Nikita let out a moan as Michael’s tongue stroked hers and coaxed it into his mouth. He sucked on it for several moments before minutes before pulling away. With as meaningful look into Nikita’s eyes, Michael picked her up in his arms and carried her into the bedroom. Slowly, they stripped each other out of their clothes. They both took their time, savoring each other’s bodies and remembering old pleasures. They rediscovered each other’s bodies as they began to make love for the first time in three years. Afterwards, Nikita fell asleep in Michael’s arms, exhausted from their passionate round of lovemaking. He watched her sleep for several moments before allowing himself to succumb to dreamland as well.

Nikita awoke in Michael’s arms the next morning. It was the first time she had ever done so. Certainly, she and Michael had shared a bed before and they had made love on numerous occasions, but when Nikita awoke in the mornings, Michael would always have already left the bed. It was such a wonderful feeling to wake up to his warmth and strength encircling her. Nikita sighed into his neck.

“Good morning,” Michael said as he felt her stir.

“Morning.” Nikita replied, sleepily.

“Do you have to go in to Section?”

“Mm-mm. I told Quinn that she had command for the weekend.”

“That’s good. We need to talk.”

“Can’t we at least get some breakfast first, Michael?” Nikita asked, playfully.

“If that’s what you would prefer.”

“Great. What are you making for us?” Michael gave her a light squeeze before getting up.

“I’ll see what you have.” Nikita nodded and lay back for a few moments. It was strange that he was suddenly here. Strange, but wonderful all the same. Nikita sighed happily. It was going to be a wonderful weekend!

She walked into the kitchen and could hear something sizzling in the frying pan.

“Michael what are you making?” she called into the kitchen. There was no reply. “Michael?”

Nikita walked hurriedly in the kitchen. What she saw made her blood run cold.

Michael lay spread eagle on the ground. Blood was seeping from a wound to his head. “Michael! NO!” Nikita screamed.

And Nikita Samuelle woke up in her bed, screaming.

Her husband of nearly twelve years, Michael, was shaking her, trying to rouse from her nightmare. “’Kita? Nikita, was is it? Wake up, ‘Kita. Come on,” he said. Nikita fought to wake up.

“Michael! No, Michael! Please, oh, gods, no! Michael?” she sat up suddenly. “Oh, my god, Michael! She threw her arms around his neck and sobbed freely into it.

“Shhh. It’s alright ‘Kita. It’s ok. I’m right here,” he said, holding her and rocking her back and forth. Michael continued to speak to his wife in a soothing mixture of both French and English until her sobs had subsided and she lay, trembling in his arms. “Dites-moi au sujet de votre cauchemar, mon amour,” he said at last.

Nikita looked at him, clearly confused. “I don’t speak French, Michael,” she reminded him.

Michael smiled to himself. He often spoke in French to her, sometimes accidentally, and sometimes simply because he knew it drove her mad to know what he was saying to her. “Tell me about your nightmare, my love,” he repeated in English.

“It was the strangest dream I’ve ever had. You and I were in this horrible place called Section One….”