Till my body is dust

Title: Cast Away Stones

Contact: Starbaby/MEGDENTON@prodigy.net

Series: La Femme Nikita

Date: 4-22-01

Disclaimer: Don't sue me, please.

Summary: A post-season 5 vignette. Angst? Gods, yes. Feedback is a damn fine thing.

Cast Away Stones

By Starbaby

The church is silent at mid day.

I am grateful for the solitude, and for the body of Jesus suspended high above the altar; the sad, triumphant eyes tell of a sacrifice far greater than my own. I am grateful for the lives of the saints, depicted in stained glass, and for the rows of polished pews where I can sit and dream and remember. I remember the missions, and I remember a man. We were here, together, just before the great upheaval that catapulted me into power. I brought him in from the cold. I was unruly, like a summer storm, but he was lightning in a bottle.

The only warmth I ever knew.

I sit far from the altar, for I am not a creature of light. I turned my back on God's commandments years ago, when I first killed. I did it for Michael, even then. We were teacher and pupil in those days, and he was still a company man. Michael was dangerous and cruel; they called him the Angel of Death, and for good reason. Yet I was drawn to him…why, I can't say. Maybe it was something in the eyes. In the end, I chose life and Michael over merciful death and a pauper's grave. That brutal road would take me from Section to freedom and back again, from the glittering ballrooms of the Continent to the neat front lawns of Dingman's Hollow. It led me to Lyon, and Paris, and the train station where we said goodbye.

We said goodbye.

I came here on that day, ten years ago, after Michael and Adam rumbled out of my life, a noisy exit for a man whose step was never heard. I sat in the polished pews and pondered the circular path that always brought me back to Section, despite all my leavings, escapes, and rebellions. I didn't want to lead men, judge them, or rule from the perch, all alone but for a terrible responsibility and the restless ghost of Madeline. But, in the end, because he saved me so many times, I set Michael free. All his sacrifices scrolled before my mind's eye, and there was no decision to make: Michael crashing through a high window…giving me my freedom for six flying months…standing in Adrian's sun-washed living room, telling me to run from Section's retribution…forcing medication down my throat while I spit and snarled and insulted his manhood…pressing his hand against mine through a wall of glass. I set him free, because it wasn't Michael who sowed the seeds of our end. It was I, with my long deception, and with my devastating lie in the forest glade.

Freedom for Michael. Redemption for me.

How sad and beautiful life is.

I never expected to find love in a place like Section, but there it was, like a rose in the ashes. I remember the missions, and I remember the man, asking me to come with him to the land of minivans and PTA meetings. I remember his words, and in their light, I am loved and forgiven. I am strong enough to continue the business of Section, of making it a kinder place than it was in the days when Michael prowled Van Access and I fomented revolution in the halls.

I am drawn to the altar, and the candles. I light them for the living, and the dead, for my friends and for my enemies. I light candles for Paul Wolfe, a man torn between love of country and lust for power, and for Mr. Jones, who gave me this life, whatever it is. I light candles for Seymour Birkoff, the most tragic of us all, and for his brother, Jason; For Davenport, Adrian, and Walter; they are all gone now; for Helmut Volker, a scarlet pimpernel of a man, and Elena, who was truly innocent. I light candles for the soul of my mother, and for the restless ghost of Madeline, for Marco O'Brien, for Adam, and for Michael Samuelle, a truly beautiful man.

I remember the missions, and I remember the man, walking away with Adam's hand in his. He walked away into the alien land of freedom, leaving me with the quiet assurance that, in time, he'd come again. Perhaps. Kneeling before the altar, I remember my own wise words…

We live and die with the choices we make…

How sad and beautiful love is.

FINIS