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Calendar On the Wall

Michael sat in the straight back chair, staring blankly at the wall. In the same position he'd been in since this morning, when he had helped Adam cross out yesterday's date on the calender before running off to the school bus.

He hadn't realized it yesterday. Or any of the days before. But it hit him hard today.

It was Nikita's birthday. Her first, since he had left. Her first since becoming Operations of covert Section One. Her first, all alone.

He'd always been wrestling with his guilt that constantly plagued him. Ever since he left, the tearing sensation never faded. But now, on this day, it flamed up full force.

He should be with her. He should be helping her to celebrate another successful year that has gone by, and looking forward to the fruitful year ahead. He should be putting the candles on the cake to sing softly to her just before she blew them out. He should have her in his arms, sitting by a warm fire with red wine and sliced cake. She should be laughing and happy.

But he wasn't there. He was here. While she was lonely in her private perch, with no friendly faces to celebrate the day of her birth. To tell her how glad they were that she was born. That she was alive. That she was in their life.

He had to rely on Walter to give, at least a portion, of what Nikita should have. He was her last friend in that merciless place. Everyone else had found their way to a tragic fate. Or left her for another life. Too far away to let her know that they still thought about her through every day, through the sleepless nights. That the love was still there, strong as ever.

Michael had become a firm believer in the saying 'absence makes the heart grow fonder'. Certainly, as he pined away in his hard chair, staring at the small square on the calender, he couldn't get any fonder of the woman he had wanted to live the rest of his life with. The woman he had offered his life to before those words became meaningless as the days wore on and fate saw it to separate them.

He was lifeless now. Hope had bled out of him long ago. Cherished memories were his refuge, where he'd bury himself and try his hardest to get lost in when Adam wasn't near.

His eyes flicked to the phone. What he wouldn't give to call Nikita once more. To whisper Josephine, just to hear her say 'yep' in her normal drudged tone. To hear the voice he missed. The voice he heard play like a soundtrack in his mind as he laid in bed at night, staring at the plain white ceiling.

It was Nikita's birthday. And he hoped that she could still feel him as much as he could feel her always.