Disclaimer:

This is femslash, so anyone who is offended by this should leave…now. And swearing. There's some swearing (c'mon, it's Jessica). Spoilers for up to episode 11-'Fallout'. I remember watching the 1st season of Heroes and thinking 'Man, it would be so cool if someone did a fic about Niki and Jessica…' For a long time, this was but a vain hope…

And then I read Fembuck's 'Chained Melody'.

It answered my prayers. If you like this (or didn't and just like the idea of the pairing) go check it out. Seriously.

This is my first time writing this kind of short one-shot fic, so sorry if it's crap. I'm trying to improve and reviews help me get better (you don't want to be responsible for me polluting the internet with more crap, do you?), so let me know what you think.

Love Comes Before A Fall

I smile, safely hidden in the shadowy foliage from the bright sunshine.

I've chosen the perfect vantage point; from here I can observe anything that happens without being noticed. Nothing can hide from me. My hands are steady, and my breath barely disturbs the leaves surrounding me. To an outside observer, I probably look perfectly calm -except for the malicious smirk I'm wearing…or should that be Niki? Technically it is her body; I'm just…borrowing it. So to speak.

Somehow, the thought pains me. I'll never have my own body. I'm a prisoner, just as much as Niki is right now. I wonder if she realises the irony.

'Don't do this!' Begs a voice in the back of my mind.

Speak of the devil.

I was wondering when she was going to start bitching at me.

"Make me." I whisper back, my smirk getting wider as I adjust my grip and brace myself for pulling the trigger. I know she can't. There's only one person running this show and that's me. It aggravates me that for a few hours, a few blissful hours, she agreed with me and there was complete harmony between us. The way things are meant to be. She was willing for me to do whatever necessary to get our son back, even help me do it. But something changed. Maybe it was buying the rifle. Maybe she remembered some 'happy family' (that -of course- doesn't include me) and realised she'd far rather have that than what I have to offer.

D.L. Dhorkins (the childishness of this nickname never fails to amuse me for some reason) does not deserve my angel, the one I've been protecting since forever. I think I've always been with Niki, hidden away in the shadowy recesses of her mind, waiting for the right moment to step forward and rescue her like one of those noble knights in a fairytale she read as a kid. Except I'm hardly a knight. Or noble for that matter. But despite my 'shortcomings' (Niki does not appreciate half of what I do for her), D.L. is not right for Niki. He's an idiot of the first order and, frankly, if I have to put up with one more round of mediocre sex (using it in the loosest sense of the word here, it still remains a mystery to me why Niki enjoys him so much), I'll kill myself. Which, of course, would be stupidly impractical because…

I swallow around the sudden lump forming in my throat.

'…it would kill Niki too.' I accidentally think aloud.

'What do you think this will do to me, Jessica…?' Niki says tiredly, a hint of tears behind her words that no one but me would probably catch. I know every single nuance of expression and inflection of tone she has, probably better than she knows herself.

"This is to protect you Niki," I tell her patiently, although I feel my resolve falter for a brief moment. She can be so hard-headed. This guy is so much more trouble than he's worth. Why can't she see that? This is for her. It's all for her. "We'll all be safer with D.L. dead." My thoughts switch to Micah. I hope this doesn't fuck him up. He's a sweet kid, for a…well, a kid actually. Pretty smart too. And I know he didn't get that from D.L.'s side of the family.

'Jessie…' My heart swells slightly, as it always does when she uses that pet-name. I don't think she knows how much I like hearing her call me that and the underlying affection it implies, otherwise she wouldn't use it. Or maybe she does. Niki has a truly kind and gentle soul, even towards a cold-hearted killer like me. 'Please. I'm begging you.' Her tone is desperate, telling me she doesn't really expect to win this argument. She knows me too well. 'I'll do anything.'

"…Anything?" I can't keep my usual tone of amused indifference this time, as my mind immediately switches to the one thing I want from her, but she'll never give me freely. But using this situation to blackmail it out of her disgusts even me.

I'm not a monster.

Well, not to Niki anyway, despite what she thinks. The thought hurts if I dwell on it for too long. Why can't she see I care about her? Is it so hard to believe?

I love her…more than she'll ever know (just how much would probably send her into therapy for the rest of her life)…and I can't hurt her like that. I don't want to hurt her like that. Ever. I won't be like the rest of the men in her life, taking whatever they want and leaving her to pick up the pieces.

So I ignore the dull throbbing emanating from my groin at the lewd -but distressingly vivid- fantasies suddenly racing around my mind's eye and grit my teeth as I refocus yet again.

Only Niki can do this to me, I swear to God.

'Jessie-' Niki tries again, but I deafen my ears to her pleas.

I've already decided that I'm going to do this. And once I've made up my mind, I'm unmovable, implacable; a force of nature, like a thunder storm, or maybe a tsunami. I almost feel sorry for anyone who tries to get in my way.

Almost.

A tall black guy darts around the side of the squat building I'm watching, a small kid with curly hair holding his hand, looking upset and worried.

Micah.

'Oh God Jessica NO!' I dimly hear Niki scream inside me, gathering her fight again for round…what is it now? Four? Five?

Whatever. It's not like she can stop me. I wonder when she'll accept that.

I move the infrared dot of the rifle over his head.

A clean shot. It's better than he deserves. My finger tightens on the trigger, my whole world narrowing down to this moment, this next bullet which is going to rid me of the biggest headache in my life. I'm completely calm and focused. The rifle is merely an extension of my body and I am not going to miss.

'I'll never forgive you for this Jessica…'

The terrible finality in her tone scares me more than all the death threats in the world and manages to jar me out of the Zen-like state I've fallen into. She's never sounded like that before. I flinch and my shot goes wide, hitting the wife-beating-kid-snatching bastard in the arm instead. Blood blossoms and I can see his face contort in a mask of pain. Well, that's something at least.

Immediately I readjust and fire at his head.

Something strange happens too quickly to process. The bullet passes through his skull as though it's made of air.

Fuckfuckfuck.

I know I'm going to regret this. I shouldn't have listened to her, shouldn't have let myself waver like that.

In the background, Niki's sobbing in relief. 'Thank you…' She whispers. I can feel the relief and gratitude rolling off her in almost tangible waves, sending a shiver down my spine. I'll never tell her, but it feels really nice. I can't help but wonder what it would feel like if she loved me back…but no, that way lays madness. Best not to dwell on it. Unsurprisingly, she gets over this pretty quickly and starts to shout at me. "You could have hit Micah! Goddamnit Jessica, 'the hell is wrong with you?!" Her relief transforms into anger; exactly the same as a mom hugging her kid after he's just avoided being hit by a car, then tearing into him for running out into the road in the first place, once she's sure he's okay. I was expecting it.

Outwardly, I grunt and ignore her, while silently cursing the fact she has that much power over me, even though I'm the one supposedly in control of her body.

I think it'll always be this way.

I may be physically stronger, faster, tougher and more ruthless, but in spirit, in her heart, -where it really matters- Niki beats me hands down.

It's one of the things I love about her.