A/N: I have no idea if this is a 'dead' forum or not but I wrote this today and decided to post it. 'Time to be heroes' is hands down my favorite episode of S4 - after 'Into the Looking Glass', of course! I'm not fond of the second half of S4 & S5 - I know that there isn't a 'happy ending' for our couple in Section- but this is as close as I could come. Written from Nikita's POV. Enjoy!
The sound of gas being pumped into the room made my heart rate accelerate.
"Operations passed on the deal."
Michael's whispered words caused my eyes to flutter shut. How many times over the years had we cheated death, together and on our own? Was this really going to be it? Was this really going to be the one time we couldn't shoot our way out – or back up wouldn't arrive at the eleventh hour and save us? I swallowed. At least Michael's with me – and even though he's never actually said the words, I know he loves me.
I felt his hand reaching out for mine and I slowly entwined our hands together. "I love you, Michael," I whispered, still not looking him in the eye, though I could feel his loving gaze on me.
I shook my head. "Don't. I know there are no happy endings in Section. I'm just glad we're together if this is-" I broke off, clearing my throat.
My eyes flew to his in shock. "What?"
He squeezed my hand. "We're going to find a way out of this – and I can't live without you, not anymore. Marry me, 'Kita."
I swallowed, seeing the depth of his love for me in his eyes. "I – I think the gas is starting to affect your brain-"
"No, Cherie – I'm serious."
"Michael – this is crazy! Section will never allow us to-"
"Section doesn't need to know."
I rolled my eyes. "Section will find out. How did you keep your marriage from Simone-"
"Section allowed Simone and me to marry."
"Oh." That is SO a discussion we are revisiting later. "Anyway, it doesn't matter because sooner or later they would find out and the fallout would be huge."
His lips quirked. "That's not a refusal."
I sighed. "Michael, you know I want to-"
Gunfire erupted in the warehouse and I whipped my head around, trying to see out the narrow window. "You don't think-"
Michael shook his head as the door to our holding room was yanked open and Darwin stood there, clutching a semi-automatic, a slight smile on his face.
"Don't look so surprised."
Ten hours later, I was soaking away the aches of the past twenty four hours in my own tub at home. I was surprised that Operations had kept my loft considering the fact that no one had known for sure how long we would be at the Farm. But then, he knew more than we did, as usual. He knew that our assignment was really only going to last a few weeks – but was he really willing to sacrifice Michael's life as well as mine? I drew the washcloth across my skin, wincing at the rough texture, noticing the bruises that marred my ivory flesh. Michael might be the one with the gunshot wound to his temple, but I definitely had the most bruises – except for the Farm team. The washcloth fell to the floor by the tub as I thought of the bright, young Neal who was dead now. He and Clare had come into Section together – and now she was alone. I shook my head. No, Clare wasn't alone. She had her team, and hopefully the girl would lean on them.
I just want to go home. I'm scared.
Clare's words the night Michael and I caught up with her at the South Portal still haunted me. How many times had I voiced those very same words to Michael my first two years in Section? I had pleaded with him over and over – told him I wasn't a killer.
The moment I believe that, Nikita, you're cancelled.
Hearing a slight noise from the bedroom, I tensed and reached for my gun as the bathroom door swung open. "It's me, Ni-ki-ta."
I engaged the safety and slumped back in the perfumed water. "You're late."
"It couldn't be avoided."
My lips curved into a Cheshire cat grin. "I'm sure – paperwork?"
He shook his head. "I needed to pick something up for you."
"What is it?"
I pouted. "Don't you want to join me?"
He leaned over and pulled the plug, watched with heated eyes as the water began to run down the drain. "Later."
I stood, letting the water run down my body, glad for the decision to put my hair up. "Hand me my robe?"
He turned away from me, muttering something under his breath in French that I didn't quite catch. My understanding of the language had improved leaps and bounds since becoming his private pupil, but some of the phrases he used still eluded me.
"What was that?" I asked with a smile, as I stepped from the tub, taking the robe and wrapping it around my still dripping form.
"Merde," he swore softly, pulling me flush against him. "You could cause a priest to renounce his vows, 'Kita."
I brushed some of his cinnamon locks back as I breathed huskily, "Is that an exact translation?"
"Close enough-" he muttered before he crushed his lips to mine.
When Michael swept me up bridal style and carried me out of the bathroom, heading for our bed, I thought that we were done with talking for awhile.
Apparently my lover had other ideas.
It took me a few moments to realize that he was no longer with me, in my arms, above me on the bed. My eyes flew open to see him sitting back on his heels, studying me with a thoughtful expression. I sat up with a start and then jumped again at the sight of a gaily wrapped package next to me.
"Michael! What the hell-"
My heart was racing as old fears were brought to the surface. Granted it looked nothing like the package that he had given me so long ago at the restaurant during the Van Vactor mission but since that was the one and only time he had given me a present, where else was my mind supposed to go? I bit my lip and willed myself not to cry.
"Nikita?" Michael's voice was soft and his accent thick as he slipped next to me on the bed. "What is it?"
"I – we don't do this, Michael. Give each other gifts. The last time you gave me a present-" my eyes fluttered shut.
I heard his exhale and felt his hand as it cupped my right cheek. "It's not a gun."
My eyes flew open to glare at him. "That's not the point-"
He sighed, deeper this time. "I can't undo our past – and you're right, there are no happy endings in Section. But I want you to know that I want to live every day that I have left with you."
My eyes filled and the tears spilled out, running over his thumb. "I want that too."
He inclined his head towards me. "Was that a yes?"
I gasped. "You tricked me – you didn't ask me-"
He leaned forward and kissed my forehead. "Marry me, Ni-ki-ta."
Wrapping my arms around his neck, I pulled his lips down to mine. "Yes."
He kept the kiss short, pulling away to ask, "Now will you open the box?"
I laughed as I reached out and pulled the present into our laps. He played with the ribbon keeping my hair up as I unwrapped the paper and lifted the lid, watching my face as I gasped at the contents.
"I hope you like it – I know your size – but every dress is-"
My lips on his cut off the flow of his words. "It's beautiful, Michael! I just hope I get a chance to wear it." I stared down at the white dress; it was simple and understated – with long lacy sleeves and knee length – it was perfect. It would hide under mission gear easily and at the same time make me feel like a bride. "Do you want me to try it on for you?"
He shook his head as he pulled the ribbon and my hair cascaded down around my shoulders. "No, that would be bad luck."
I laughed. "Do we believe in that?"
His eyes were serious. "Let's not tempt the fates, 'Kita."
"Hm, perhaps you're right." I set the box with the dress still inside on the floor. "How shall I ever thank you for such a perfect gift?"
Michael's face remained impassive but his eyes were glowing. "I'm sure you'll think of something." His fingers trailed down to the knot keeping my robe closed.
"Hey Sugar, how was Cairo?"
"Well, at least you got out of the snow. I'm afraid these ol' bones of mine are going to freeze in place and one morning I'm not going to be able to get out of bed in the morning."
I smiled. "You're not that old yet, Walter. Is this your way of telling me that you haven't been getting any action lately?"
He grimaced. "That's right. Hey, I don't suppose you and Michael have hit a rough patch and you'd consider warming-"
"Walter, do you have my supplies ready?" Michael's voice came from over my left shoulder and I bit my lip to keep from laughing aloud at the expression on Walter's face.
"Yeah, yeah, two shakes, Michael. I just gotta grab-" he muttered as he disappeared into the back.
I pivoted on a boot heel to lock eyes with my lover and secret fiancé. I hadn't seen him in over a month, since the night I'd accepted his proposal and we'd made love until the sun rose. Section had called both of us in but sent us on separate missions – something that hadn't happened for quite some time.
Almost like they know.
"Hey," I whispered.
"Hi – just back from Cairo?"
"Eighty percent – there are still a few members out there in the wind but we brought back Green, which was the objective."
"Where are you headed?"
My eyebrows shot up. "I didn't think we had any cells active-"
"We don't – it's a rescue mission. One of our own went down and we lost contact."
"Operations gave you such an easy assignment?" My suspicions were humming. "Why?"
"Here's the rest of your gear, Michael." Walter dropped a duffel bag on the table. "Do you need anything, Sugar?"
"Do I need-" my eyes flicked to Michael in surprise. "No, I'm sure Michael thought of everything."
Walter nodded. "Go get our man."
Michael shouldered the bag and turned to walk to his office, leaving me to follow. I knew by now not to speak until he had punched in the security code disabling the listening devices in the room.
I slouched into the only other chair in the room. "Ok, Michael, what's up?"
"I told you – it's a simple rescue mission – no back up."
I frowned and then stretched. "Do I have time to shower and change?"
Michael glanced at the time. "If you hurry."
I groaned and headed for the door.
"There is one thing you need to know-"
Here it comes. "What is it?"
"Since we're alone, I thought we might take a small detour." Out of view of the cameras and windows, he tapped the ring finger of his left hand.
"Are you serious?"
He nodded. "Unless you've changed your mind?"
I grinned. "You wish."
I couldn't believe it when we landed in Crete.
"How are you going to explain this to Operations?"
The side of Michael's mouth quirked. "I told him that we needed to start where Snyder's intel mission ended to be sure he wasn't compromised."
I shook my head barely restraining my laughter. "I'm glad you're on my side."
As it turned out, one of Snyder's contacts had been a priest. After talking to the man for a few minutes, Michael was convinced that the man was innocent and before I knew it, the two of us were standing before him, reciting our vows, with two giggling altar boys as witnesses. The father pronounced his blessing and Michael gave me one of the sweetest, purest kisses of our relationship. Even so, I felt weak kneed as I came out into the sunshine of the Greek isles, clinging to his arm.
"Are you cold, 'Kita?"
"No – I just can't believe it, Michael – we actually got married!" I shouted, and then covered my mouth, looking around for Section operatives.
"It's all right, we're alone here," he soothed me.
I sighed as settled into his side. "We have a flight to catch, don't we?"
He nodded. "I'm sorry – I wish-"
I covered his mouth with my hand. "No – no apologies. You are my husband. Whatever the section makes us do from now on, they can't take this away from us."
He drew me to him, kissing the top of my head. "I don't deserve you."
I gripped his face in my hands. "Neither one of us is an angel. But you most definitely do deserve me, Michael Samuelle. Without you, I would have died in Section-"
"Without me, you wouldn't be a killer-"
I shook my head. "Without you, I'd be cancelled."
He hung his head. "Look at what I made you."
I jerked his head up until his eyes locked with mine. "I make my own choices – and the first time I ever pulled the trigger was to save your life-"
"Yes, you are! I love you – and I'm not ever going to stop, especially now that we're married."
He lifted a hand and caressed my left eyebrow. "I love you, Ni-ki-ta."
I shivered. "I know."
"Actions speak louder than words – but it is nice to hear them."
Michael's lips quirked into a slight smile as his watch beeped.
"Time to go?"
I leaned in and gave his lips a quick smack. "All right – back to work. But, Michael?"
"I do expect an actual honeymoon one of these days."
"How was Australia, Sugar?"
I smiled. "Hot."
Walter peered at me before taking the gear off the table. "You seem different."
I was instantly wary. "Different? How?"
"I don't know – happy?"
I wiped the smile from my face. "Well, I don't know how that could be since I've been on back to back mission for the last five weeks."
"Maybe it's because the last one was with Michael, alone." Walter leered at me.
"Get your mind out of the gutter, Walter. We were hardly alone with Berkhoff and Operations in our ear all the time," I snapped as I turned away only to slam into Michael's chest.
His hands came up to steady me and I stepped back, fighting off the heady smell of his aftershave. "What!" I barked and watched as his eyebrows rose the smallest half inch.
"Operations wants to see us in Committee."
Oh God, he knows. I felt the bottom drop out of my stomach as my eyes flew to the perch to see Operations and Madeline watching us. "Why?" I whispered.
Michael shook his head. "Berkhoff says George is here-"
My eyes flew back to his. "From oversight? God, Michael do they-"
His eyes flashed in his impassive face and I bit my tongue. "When's the meeting?"
I swallowed. No time to go to his office, or another level of Section to speculate what the meeting was about, or to come up with a plan of attack. Nodding, I fell into step with Michael, lifting my chin and tucking my emotions far below the surface. That was one good thing that had come from my being altered. I could still emotionally disengage from most things – until it came to Michael. I could and never would be able to disengage from him: my mentor, my lover, my husband.
When we entered the large area known as 'Committee', George was the only one waiting for us. I knew that Michael wouldn't let the surprise show on his face and I refused to let him down by showing the fear I was feeling show on mine. We moved forward as one to greet him.
"Sit down, both of you. This isn't an inquisition."
Michael waited for me to take a seat first and then sat on my right, close but leaving a little space between us. George was silent for a few minutes, his gaze flicking back and forth between the two of us, and I knew he was doing some kind of evaluation, especially of me since this was the first time he'd laid eyes on me.
"I know you were expecting a meeting with Operations, but I actually called this meeting."
"To what end?" Michael spoke softly, and I remained silent, letting him take the lead.
"In part, to meet Nikita. The three of you have spoken of her so often over the years that I wanted to meet her myself."
"I hope that you will form your own opinion of me," I spoke for the first time. "And not relay on the opinions of others."
George frowned at me. "I never relay on the opinions of others, Nikita – I've been watching the two of you for years."
"To what end?" I repeated Michael's earlier question.
"Primarily because Operations and Madeline seem so threatened by the two of you."
I shrugged. "I wouldn't know anything about that."
"Of course not. I'm here to thank you both personally for the excellent job you did with the Farm team – I know it's never easy being the role of the Trojan horse and the fact that you both were captured and nearly killed-" George cleared his throat. "Anyway, it was an all around success."
"Except for the loss of Neal."
Michael squeezed my thigh but I ignored him. "Neal, an operative of the Farm team who died in the attack – oh, but of course, you neglected to mention the fact that you were going to cancel the entire team anyway-"
"Nikita, shut up."
"No, Michael, I won't. He's here to thank us – so I'm going to tell him what I think."
"You just did."
I pursed my lips together and fell silent at Michael's soft rebuke.
George actually smiled at me. "You remind me of someone I knew long ago – and loved dearly, Nikita. So for that, I will forget your words just now and tell you and Michael what else I came to say."
Operations strode into Committee. "Are you sure you're making the right decision, George? You're just seen firsthand how insubordinate Nikita can be."
"This comes straight from Mr. Jones, Paul, and you know we all answer to him."
"You're taking two of my top operatives and I have no say! How the hell am I supposed to-"
"Talk to Mr. Jones."
Operations exhaled a smoke ring and left, slamming an outer door on the way.
"I'm one of his top operatives?" I whispered softly.
"George?" Michael prompted.
"Mr. Jones is transferring the two of you to the Farm to train new recruits for all the Sections."
"For how long?"
"That's the last of it."
"I can't believe you're not going to back at Section One in a couple of weeks-"
I smiled sadly. "Me either."
"It's going to be really strange without you or Michael-" he cleared his throat uncomfortably.
"Hey, none of that." I came around the desk and hugged him tight. "We'll visit."
Berkhoff looked at me in disbelief.
"Ok, video conference?"
He nodded. "Take care."
Michael found me unpacking our personal belongings half an hour later.
"How are you?"
He came into the room and wrapped his arms around me, kissing the side of my neck.
"Remember when I told you we were going to be stuck here forever and you said it wouldn't be so bad?"
I looked around our Spartan quarters and sighed. "Well, here we are. Welcome home, husband."
Michael spun me in his arms. "I love you, 'Kita."
His lips had barely touched mine before there was a terrific crash from down the hall.
"Oh, I knew you were a biter!"
I pushed Michael away. "Come on, let's go break up the kids."
"Yours or mine?" he teased, punching in the code for the door.
"Ours, Michael. We're married – we share now," I laughed and pulled him down the hall.
A/N: Consider this an alternate ending to the series ;) If anyone's out there - Reviews are LOVE!