You chase me like a shadow

Title: A Shadow and a Ghost

Contact: MEGDENTON@prodigy.net

Series: LFN

Disclaimer: If they were mine, Nikita wouldn't do such weird things with her hair. I don't own any of the gang.

Summary: Just a little snippet inspired by the great Trisha Yearwood's beautiful song. It's post 4th season. I decided to quit griping about Nikita and crawl into her head for a short piece. I want out now.

You chase me like a shadow

And you haunt me like a ghost

And I hate you some, and I love you some

But I miss you most---Trisha Yearwood, On A Bus To St. Cloud

I still look for Michael. A year after making my own escape, I was headed cross-country on a battered bus when I saw him standing there on the road, halfway between Paris and Nantes. He was dressed in black, reddish hair glinting in the sun as he looked at a panel, pretty mouth drawn into a disapproving line. A few months later I spotted him in the States, at Grand Central, wearing chocolate brown like the day we escaped to the farmhouse. In Minneapolis, he appeared at a supermarket, crying tears of blood beside the tangerines.

Years ago, I sent him from my life, determined that he would walk in freedom. I bid him goodbye beneath the trees, both of us bathed in the light that never penetrated into the bowels of Section, where we'd met, and struggled, and sacrificed so much for the greater good. I told him I'd never loved him, re-breaking his battered heart, which was fragile, like a bone that cracks easily after too many fractures. I did it for both of us, but also for Adam and Elena, who loved him, too. I did it for Walter, who hadn't walked in freedom for 35 years, and for Seymour Birkoff, who never had a chance. I found the strength because Michael was my greatest love, the one I'll remember on my dying day, when the rest of the world falls away and faces swim up from the depths of memory.

In a church in downtown New Orleans,

I got down on my knees and prayed,

And I wept in the arms of Jesus

For the choice you made-

Trisha Yearwood, On A Bus To St. Cloud

I ask forgiveness of Michael, wherever he may be. For years, I worked as a center mole, devising ways to protect us both from being buried in the rubble of Operations' toppling regime. There was a purge, and Madeline made the terrible decision to end by her own hand. We all have the choice to end our Section lives before they begin, but something within us cries out against it. Rene Dion would have followed that path in the bloody hour between lives. Section chose us because we were beautiful, but also because we were strong, too strong, to not finish the course. The cause was just, and we feared the darkness of death, when an operative must look upon the face of his creator and say forgive me, Father, for I have sinned.

Devoid of Madeline's strategies and Michael's brilliance, Operations slipped into darkness. He was removed in yet another purge, taking many operatives with him as he tumbled from grace. I barely survived that revolution. Only one thing kept my shoulder to the wind: the knowledge that somewhere on this earth, Michael Samuelle still lived. Eventually, I found my way to freedom, with his words as my guiding star.

There would be another day.

So here I am, a gypsy again, like the Section years have been stripped away, restoring me to the wandering girl I once was. I haunt bus stations, waiting for the next one to rumble through and carry me a little farther on this endless journey of mine. Chugging along interstates and country roads, a flash of black will catch my eye and I'll poke my head out the bus window, looking for Michael, but the ghosts prove as elusive as the man. He once told me that all we ever have is our dreams. I dream of turning the corner someday to find him waiting for me, as devastatingly handsome as I remember. The operative Michael was the best there ever was, and I'm sure he knows where I am. Our steps will always be entwined. He was my Lancelot, my dark side redeemed, my brother-in-arms. We never got to the island of Rhodes. I'll make my way there soon.

Looking for Michael, as always.

FINIS