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A Miscalculation

They both thought it wouldn't make much of a difference. That things would be rocky for a little while, but soon enough, the waters would calm.

Could it be that they miscalculated?

It's been over a month, and Section still isn't the same since Nikita's cancellation. After careful thinking, Madeline had thought it better to let the young girl go. She had always struggled with the ways of Section, but soon her soul and morale was suffering too much to be of use. She was getting suicidal. Section just helped her along a bit.

But the friends she had made didn't think so light of it. In fact, they were still taking it down right hard. Birkoff, who'd been rough of Nikita when she was in training, was often caught with his glasses off and a tissue nearby. Walter was angry, full of grief. So much so, that Madeline thought it best to give Michael some down time, just in case Walter took one of his guns and decided to aim it at the level five operative.

Michael needed the downtime anyway. Though he may be the top op, he seemed like he couldn't quite collect his mind anymore. He seemed...lost. Helpless. Hopeless. He was in enough pain to make him careless. To make him tear himself up inside.

Madeline had carefully balanced the effects that the cancellation would have on Michael. But he was surpassing even her expectations. Not greatly, but enough to be surprising, or at least cause attention. She only hoped that his home life wasn't suffering too much. That he wasn't quite that careless.

Watching as Michael, who had just come back the day before, walk across the room while carefully avoiding Walter, she wondered if they shouldn't have given him off a few more weeks.

This might be Section, strict and cruel, but he was no use to them while he wasn't getting any sleep from his grief. And since he was their top op, he couldn't be cancelled so easily as his material had.

His material. It was long ago when it was first brought to Operation's attention of the growing affections between Michael and Nikita. It might not be full blown love that showered every corner of Section (Nikita would have been cancelled long ago if so) but she had effected Michael deeply. He was a silent man, never allowing anyone to see what was going on inside. But lately, it was obvious. He laid it all out on the table for display. It was as if Nikita had acted like the glue that kept him together for the last three years. And now that she was gone, he was falling apart. He didn't even seem to mind that everyone knew. Did he notice that he hadn't been on any missions since he had fallen in to his alternate universe?

He had been the discussion of many long talks between Madeline and Operations. The twin powers that had decided the fate of the unique recruit. They'd both agree that Michael was worth giving the off time to recuperate. And that he would, in time, regain his composure. What they disagreed on, was when. Obviously, it was taking longer than expected, which, if must be admitted, they were both quite surprised and worried about. When Simone had died, they watched him like a hawk. He had pulled in to himself, became cold and hard. He had become a better operative for it.

But his reaction now was the opposite. Enough so that those twin powers were starting to question they're own choices.

Many recruits were cancelled or put in to abeyance and suicide missions each day. None of them make this much fuss, especially not after more than a month later. It was cause for doubt about the situation.

Could it be, that Madeline had underestimated? That Operations had reacted too hasty? With their perfect reputations, could it be that they made a mistake?

Madeline looked down from the perch, her gaze snagging upon Michael again. Operations followed her trail of sight. The man of focus looked beaten down and worn in a way that he never had in all his years here.

When he walked out of sight, the observers turned to each other with a look of question and resolve. Perhaps they've made a mistake in their decision. To make up for the lapse of error, they'd have to find a way to rectify the situation or continue suffering the consequences

A miscalculation was not acceptable in such a place as this. Even if it was made by the ones in charge of it.