Disclaimer & Notices

Copyright: I don't own any of the normal Hero characters, but there are a couple here that I do own. The plot line is also all mine.

Violence: It certainly has violence in it.

Sexual Content: There is sexually explicit material in here. It is also femslash so move along if you don't like it.

Summary: Niki Sanders has returned home to Las Vegas after her horrifying experience in New York City. She tries to carry on a normal life again and move past her husband's death. But any solace is short lived when Niki meets the famous Doctor Toni Kevin, who is notable for her psychological cures. Niki develops an interest in Toni, but Jessica isn't too keen on the psychologist. Suddenly, everything becomes skewed when Micah is kidnapped, and it seems like the good doctor has all the answers.

Started: October 28, 2007

Ended:

Series: One Shot

The Urge to Merge

by Red Hope

Chapter 1

Niki Sanders flicker her high beams down once she noticed the cars pulled off to the side of the road. She also slowed down and stole a quick glance at the two cars parked on the shoulder. As she passed, she watched a violent scene of a man squarely punching a woman in the face. Niki turned her head away, and her eyes fluttered.

Niki kept driving though. She made it around a sharp bend, but the image of the stranger getting beaten flashed before her eyes. It gave her a bad taste in her mouth, and she felt an old, bitter anger arise in her that was something she often resisted.

"Go back," whispered Niki's own voice, yet she never moved her lips.

Niki swallowed and disregarded the ghostly words. Although she began to drive slower because she couldn't help but think about that woman's danger.

"You know what it's like," the voice encouraged. "Don't let it happen when we can do something about it."

Niki pulled off onto the side of the road. She had a frantic heartbeat as she struggled with herself. She peered up into the rear view mirror and stared at the direction she'd driven. She briefly closed her eyes then opened them again. There in the backseat, she saw herself sitting quite confidently.

"Come on, Niki." Jessica gradually arched her eyebrow. "If you wait any longer, she may be dead."

Niki felt the panic set in deeper. She slammed her foot onto the gas pedal and spun the wheel. In seconds, she had her car turned around on the lonely road, and she sped down the road.

"Jessica," Niki called.

"Right here," came back Jessica's voice despite she couldn't be seen.

"I... I think this is more your department than mine," Niki softly admitted. She noted the cars on the opposite shoulder so she pulled onto her shoulder.

"Park the car, and I'll take it from here," Jessica promised.

Niki had put her hand on the parking gear and shifted it out of drive. As soon as she'd done so, she suddenly felt an out of body experience, and she could no longer move despite her body was in motion. She felt as if she was watching television now.

Jessica Sanders tossed open the car door, and her long legs lifted her from the car. She briefly heard a woman's painful cry, which fueled her deeper rage. She suddenly broke into a run and crossed the road instantly. She lept over the first car's hood, yet she slammed her right hand onto the hood, and managed to turn herself to the right. She'd made all the right calculations and nailed a guy in his chest with her feet.

The man flew back a few feet and hit the ground hard. He groaned but confusingly peered up at what'd hit him so hard.

Jessica glanced down at the woman that was huddled on the ground and against the black car. She could barely make out the woman's features in the late evening. She turned her head back to the attacker, and she noticed he was getting to his feet.

The man was on his wobble feet, yet he reached behind to his back. He was going for a gun.

Jessica knew what he was after, and she moved fast. She rushed him, grabbed his wrist, and yanked his arm up to the sky. A gunshot rang out.

"Who the Hell are you?"

Jessica was smug, but she grabbed the man by the throat. She started to squeeze, but she leaned over the small man. "Your worst nightmare." She tightened her hold and whispered, "Let go of the gun, and I might make this painless as possible for you."

The man bared his teeth and shut his eyes. He then felt his feet lifted off the ground, and he dangled. Soon the pain increased in his right wrist so he screamed and released the gun.

Jessica now easily lifted the man into both her hands. She hefted him over her head then gave him a hard throw. She watched him fly before he hit the gravel, rustic ground. She then knelt and picked up the gun.

The attacker groaned in pain and rested on his side. He tried to sit up, but the pain was too great.

Jessica sashayed up with the gun in her right hand. She knelt down in front of him then pressed the gun's barrel against his temple. She darkly loomed over him and growled, "Shooting you would be too kind. I rather return the favor you showed her."

"Jessica, let him go," Niki tried.

Jessica ignored the remark and instead trailed the barrel down his temple to his cheek.

"Please don't," the man begged. "I didn't mean to-"

"To beat the shit out of her?" Jessica snapped. "You made that apparent." She grabbed him by the throat again. She then slowly started to stand and lifted him up too.

The woman worked through some of her haze. She was bloody, and her black blouse was stained. She forced her aching body to lift her. Yet she had to lean against the car for support. She gasped for air, but she focused her vision on the scene of her savior holding up her attacker in the air. She needed to stop anybody from dying.

"Don't do this, Jessica," Niki pleaded.

"So he can do it again?" Jessica hotly fought.

The man swallowed and frantically wondered who the woman was talking to now. He couldn't see anybody besides the woman he'd attacked. He knew she hadn't spoken either.

"No because we don't need another death on our hands," Niki argued.

Jessica growled and lifted the man higher up, and she repointed the gun at his forehead. "It'll be on mine." She cocked the gun.

"It'll be on ours," Niki sadly reminded. "Please."

"She's... right," the female stranger informed. She'd managed to cover the small distance and hoped to stop any deaths.

Jessica sharply turned her head, and she was clearly stunned. She wasn't sure whether the woman's ability to walk surprised her more or the fact that Jessica was sure the woman had heard Niki too.

"He's not worth it," the woman argued, "and it's not his fault. Trust me." She licked her cracked, bloody lips. "Just let... him go." She was breathing heavy and starting to weaken.

Jessica felt her fire fade out. She gave a brief extra squeeze, then she released the man. She stared down at him and watched him curl into a ball like a frightened kitten. He was quite the opposite compared to how Jessica and Niki saw him earlier.

"Thank you," the woman murmured, but she lost her strength. She began to collapse to the ground.

Jessica acted hastily and caught the woman in her long arms. She adjusted the unconscious load and straightened up better. She glanced back at the fearful man huddled on the ground. She huffed and walked back to the cars.

"We have to get her help," Niki informed. She watched Jessica peer down at woman in their arms, and Niki could tell it wasn't too bad. There was just a lot of blood.

"No hospitals," Jessica coldly stated. She crossed the road then dropped the gun by her car's wheel. She managed the rear door open, and she carefully rested the small woman down in the backseat. She hastily inspected the woman's injuries and decided they weren't too bad. There was just a lot of blood spread out from the lacerations over her face. Jessica carefully pushed the woman's black blouse up and carefully inspected her ribcage.

"I didn't think you could be that gentle," Niki commented.

"There's a lot you don't know about me," Jessica gruffly replied. She pulled the shirt back down once she was satisfied that nothing was wrong. She straightened up from the car and closed the door quietly. She scooped up the gun. She clearly looked over the weapon but decided to rid of it instead.

Jessica Sanders held the gun with both hands, and she grounded her teeth. She slowly started to bend the gun in half, then she wiped it clean of her prints. Finally she threw it with all her strength over the hood of the car. She lost sight of it in the darkness.

Jessica hopped back in the running car. She buckled up then drove off quickly. She carefully watched the few passing cars on her way back home. Occasionally she glanced in the rear mirror and visually checked on the woman. On her third check, she actually saw Niki there.

Niki was squeezed in the small opening left by the petite woman. She had the woman's head in her lap and was inspecting the wounds.

Jessica swallowed, but she focused back on her driving. "How is she?"

Niki peered up at the mirror and briefly held eye contact with Jessica. "It's not too bad." She lowered her gaze again. "You know, she heard me."

Jessica didn't respond, but she was thinking about it.

"How is that possible?" Niki murmured.

Jessica still held her silence, yet her eyes were a sharp gray. They were typically bluer whenever Niki was in control but that wasn't the case now. She glanced back in the mirror again and only saw Niki's face, which was peaceful and eyes closed. Jessica had a faint ache in her chest.

After another fifteen minutes, Jessica finally pulled into the driveway of her home. She parked the car, flicked off the headlights, and shut off the car. She got out then went to the back of the car. She carefully pulled the petite, raven-haired beauty out of the car. She shifted the stranger in arms then kicked the door shut.

Jessica easily carried the woman to the front door, entered, and was greeted by her son.

"Hi, Mom." Micah peered around the television and became wide eye. "Holy shit, who is that, Mom?"

"Watch your language," Jessica warned. She mentally groaned at herself because she often cussed. She set her thought aside and hurried to her bedroom. "Can you get my bedroom door, Micah?"

Micah slid off the sofa then rushed ahead of his mother. He opened the door nice and wide then flipped the over head light switch. He was awestruck and watched how his mom easily carry the woman to the made bed.

Jessica carefully lowered the injured woman, but she turned her head to Micah. "Can you get me some wet clothes from the bathroom?"

Micah snapped to and nodded. He rushed off.

Jessica gazed back at the unconscious woman on her bed. She softly sighed and whispered, "This is more you than me, Niki." She turned her head to the left and stared at the long, high mirror that was apart of her closet. She observed how Niki was seated in the same place as she but studied the stranger.

Jessica turned back to the woman then slowly she started to let go of her dominant control. She felt herself fade into the background of the body she'd possessed earlier. Now she was the one watching a seeming television episode.

Niki blinked a few times now that she back in control of her body. She smiled at seeing her son coming back with the wet washclothes plus a towel. "Thanks, cutie." She placed a quick kiss to his temple. "Can you also get me some of that ointment and any bandages we have?"

"Sure thing, Mom." Micah went off on his mission again.

Niki now focused on her task to get the wounds cleaned as best as possible. She started by wiping the blood away. As she went along, she was able to fully take in the woman's striking features. She'd never seen such ridge cheek bones or full lips. Then the woman's midnight hair reflected the light in certain spots.

With her freehand, Niki picked up the tiny but aged pendent hooked to the woman's black necklace. She leaned over closer and after inspection, she realized it was a black tree that had connecting branches to its roots. Then a Celtic border in green encircled the tree. But upon careful inspection, Niki noticed a small, red symbol etched into the tree's trunk. She'd never seen such a symbol, but she figured it had something to do with the Celts.

Niki lowered the charm then continued her task to clean the blood away. Her son dropped off the supplies, and she asked him to wait out in the living room for her and close the door too. Once it was shut, Niki unbutton the woman's top and proceeded to clean the blood on her upper chest. She didn't see any bruising on her ribs, which was a good sign.

It took Niki a solid forty-five minutes to clean and treat the wounds. She had to use a few butterfly bandages to keep some open wounds closed. She had the woman's clothes completely removed by the end, and she pulled away the sheets on the opposite side of the bed. Niki picked up the small woman and felt the stark weight. She wondered how Jessica so easily managed to carry this woman earlier.

Niki carefully tucked the woman under the cool sheets then settled the blanket and comforter over her. She left her room then ducked into the laundry room with the woman's clothes. She got them into the washer and started the normal cycle.

Micah looked at his mother when she silently approached her. He scooted down on the couch to make room.

Niki sunk into the sofa and spread out her long legs. She dropped her head back and covered her forehead with her right hand.

Micah slightly grinned but watched his television program.

Niki sighed then lifted her head up. She focused on the television and asked, "What is this, Micah?"

Micah shrugged and replied, "It's the Discovery Channel... its about these Ghostbusters."

"Ghostbusters?" Niki skeptically argued.

"Yeah... you know. People have ghost problems in their house so they hire these ghostbusters to detect them and get rid of them." Micah grabbed the remote and turned it up a bit. "It's really cool."

Niki slightly grinned and teased, "You're going to have nightmares tonight."

"Mom," Micah complained and sighed.

Niki patted her son's knee, but she watched the show a bit. She sensed Micah's curious eyes that would go to her, to the TV, and back to her. She turned her head to Micah and answered his unasked question. "I don't know her name, where she's from, or anything else."

Micah giggled and shook his head at how his mother understood him so well. He became more serious after a beat. "What happened to her?"

Niki shrugged and simply replied, "I think she was attacked." She refused to go into details and let Micah hear the entire story.

"Will she be okay?"

Niki stretched out her hand and clutched her son's knee. "Yeah... I think so." She patted his knee then let go. She looked back at the television and complained, "Isn't there anything else better on?"

Micah had a wide grin, and he took the remote. He handed it to his mother and let her pick something. "It's kinda boring anyway."

Niki started channel flipping but asked, "You don't believe in ghosts?"

"Nah," Micah waved off. "They're not real."

The mother softly laughed, but she finally settled on a channel. She set the remote down, and she was pleasantly surprised when Micah snuggled up to her. She stretched out her arm and encircled his waist after his head came to her thigh. She fondly studied him for a few seconds, then she looked up at the television again.

Micah watched the TV with his mother for awhile, but he was feeling sleepy pretty early. He'd done his schoolwork earlier, had dinner, and only started to watch TV just before his mom came home. He now slowly started to fall asleep.

Niki glanced down at her son. She let him stay like that for another half an hour before she shifted then picked him up. She stood up with the precious bundle in her arms and easily carried him to his room.

Micah woke up, but he was clearly groggy. He helped get ready for bed then was tucked into bed for the night. He received a kiss on the forehead, and he whispered loving words to his mother. Quickly he faded back into his dreamscape.

Niki disappeared out of the dim room. She closed the door but left a crack in it. She went back to television and turned the volume down some. She briefly went to the laundry room and took care of the stranger's clothes. She then plopped back into the sofa and flipped through a few channels again. She defocused from the show and wondered what she should do about the woman in her bed.

Niki decided she'd just sleep on her couch tonight. It would be easier that way. With that decided, she leaned forward and untied her black boots. She kicked them off then settled onto the sofa. Her long legs easily ate away at the open space of the sofa, and she turned on her side.

The gargle from the television faded into the backdrop while Niki thought about the nameless woman. She couldn't imagine why that man was attacking her. And she wast still baffled how the stranger had heard her speaking to Jessica. It was impossible and utterly ridiculous.

But perhaps the woman had telepathy? But it didn't quite make sense to Niki because the woman didn't seem to require any focusing to use telepathy. The stranger had acted as if Niki and Jessica had been two people, side by side, in a heated argument. Niki set aside her thoughts and decided she'd know more once the woman woke up.

Finally Niki faded into her restless dreams. She couldn't completely get comfortable on the couch. She turned much of the time while the nightmares bothered her tonight. She'd dreamt that Jessica had taken complete control of her body, became utterly violent, and went on a rampage that ended in Micah's death. She shot up straight from the sofa, and she was covered in sweat from the nightmare.

Niki caught her breath first. She climbed out of the sofa then padded to the bathroom near her bedroom. She closed the door quietly then went to the sink. She partially feared seeing Jessica there, but it was her own reflection.

Niki turned on the water then splashed the cool water against her heated skin. She then soaped up her hands and cleaned away the earlier sweat. She briefly let the water just drip off her clean face then she reached for the towel. She dried her face then pulled the towel away. Her reflection mirrored right back at her without any change.

"Do you really think I'd do that to Micah?" Jessica softly asked.

Niki noticed her eyes were ash gray in the mirror when they normally were not. She set the towel on the side of the sink and stared at her now changed reflection. She could tell it was Jessica because of the gray eyes, the stoic look, and the arrogance that was never Niki's.

"I protect him... and I protect you." Jessica folded her arms in the mirror then she seemed to lean against the side of the edge of the mirror. "I've been protecting you for a long time."

"If you call killing people protecting then-"

"I do what I have to do... to keep us safe," Jessica fought. "I do what you can't do."

Niki shook her head, but her reflection didn't do the same. "It's wrong... and you know it too." She locked eyes with her stoic image.

"And that's why I do it," Jessica hotly argued. "So you don't have to live with it."

"But I do," Niki rasped. "I am starting to realize I'm just as responsible."

"No you're not." Jessica's tone was softer than earlier. She dropped her arms and faced Niki in the mirror. "I made the choices."

"And I made the choice to let you," Niki coldly reminded. She stepped back and sunk down onto the tub's edge. She bowed her head. "I have to live with your choices." She swallowed and peered up at Jessica. "How is that protecting me?" She got up and walked away without another word. She turned off the bathroom light and went back to the television.

Niki laid back down, but she really couldn't sleep. She grabbed the blanket off the back of her sofa and pulled it over her body. She tried to watch the television, but she really wasn't into it.

"You're right," Jessica sadly whispered, then she faded away from any consciousness that Niki claimed.

Niki never replied, and she never heard from Jessica the rest of the night. She started to feel her eyes heavy, and she dozed off finally just a few hours before dawn. This time her dreams were hardly memorable.

An hour after dawn, Niki woke up to her internal alarm clock. She first checked on the stranger, who was still asleep and hadn't moved during the night. She closed the door quietly then checked on Micah. She had to get him ready for school. She readied him then hurried him to the door. She walked Micah outside and too the bus stop. She stayed with him until the bus came and took him off to school.

Niki entered her house again, but she heard the movements from her room. She told herself to be careful about entering so she wouldn't startle the woman. She first knocked then pushed the door open.

The petite woman was seated so that her back was to the door. She twisted her head around and spotted the tall, blond bombshell that entered. She recognized her from last night despite her memory was somewhat fuzzy.

"Hi," Niki carefully started, "I'm Niki Sanders." She stopped beside the opposite corner of the bed. She rested her hand on the edge of the bed. She then realized the woman's slight predicament without any clothes. "I'm sorry. I have your clothes in the drier. Let me get them."

Before the stranger could get a word out, Niki was gone. She lowered her head and sighed deeply. She kept the blankets over her body, but her eyes trailed over to the nightstand next to her. She noted her wallet and cell phone there. She picked up her wallet and was surprised that nothing was amiss or shifted. She realized just how lucky she was to be picked up by this tall stranger.

Niki returned with the folded jeans, black blouse, and other articles in her hands. She set them on the bed next to the woman. "How do you feel?"

The woman cleared her throat and spoke for the first time. "I have a slight headache... body ache too." She then grinned and mentioned, "But happy to be alive."

Niki grinned back, but she saddened some. "You just had some bad cuts and bruising around your face and shoulders. You should be fine after a few days."

The woman nodded then she glanced at her clothes in silent hint.

Niki understood and back stepped once. "I'll be right outside in the living room."

"Thank you."

Niki nodded then left the room. She closed the door behind herself so that the stranger had some privacy.

The woman achingly slid out of the high bed. She then proceeded to get dressed into her fresh clothes. She was surprised by her hostess's manners, but she appreciated them too. She ran her fingers through her dark hair after getting everything on but her shoes. She scanned around the room until she found them, then she slipped her feet in and got her shoes laced.

Afterward, she collected her wallet and cell phone from the night stand. She slipped the wallet into her right back pocket then the cell phone went into her left front pocket. She left the bedroom and spotted the tall blond seated in front of a television.

Niki switched off the television then stood up. She easily towered over the petite woman that came toe to toe with her.

"Thank you for your help last night," the stranger insisted, and she had a smile too. She then held up her hand. "I'm Toni... Toni Kevin."

Niki took the woman's small hand, but she found it to be a strong shake. "Niki Sanders," she introduced again She let go then directed the sofa next to her. "Sit down, please."

Toni nodded and took a seat with the young woman. She touched her aching forehead for a second, but she quickly pulled her hand away. "I don't quite recall everything from last night." She sighed and peered up at curious blue eyes. "I do remember you being there. You stopped him."

Niki shook her head and asked, "Who was he?"

Toni sighed and combed her hair back again. She softly replied, "His name is Philip Cutterman." She hesitated but met Niki's curious gaze. "He's a patient of mine."

Niki did a doubletake and questioned, "A patient?"

Toni nodded once. "Yes." She reached for her wallet and extracted it. She opened it and pulled out a business card, which she held out to Niki. "I'm a psychologist."

Niki had just read that information on the card. She visibly tensed at the thought of a shrink being so close to her with her troubles. She handed back the card and tried to stay calm so she wouldn't show anything. "Why was he attacking you?"

Toni had put her wallet away. She shifted on the sofa. "It's complicated really." She sighed then tried to properly constructed her next words without telling too much either. "He has... certain troubles, and he really relies on me to help him through it. I've been away because of personal problems." She paused then quietly finished, "I suppose he couldn't handle the time apart and decided to seek me out."

"If he needed your help then why would he attack you?"

"Well, that's apart of his problem really. He has... urges that he can't control completely." Toni didn't want to dig into it, but she softly added, "I'm really the only person that understands his problems. I try my best to help him." She then leaned back into the sofa. "You can't save everybody though."

"No," Niki murmured, "you can't." She relaxed against the sofa too. She absorbed the new information she had about the former stranger.

Toni had a perplexed look on her face. She turned to Niki and asked, "How did you manage to stop him?" She shook her head and mentioned, "For some reason, I keep thinking you fought with him. You held him up in the air." She shook her head in complete confusion.

"He had a gun," Niki quickly explained, "and I took it from him. I just used that to scare him a bit, and he backed off."

Toni nodded and accepted the explanation. She really had no full recollection for some reason.

"Do you need to get home?" Niki offered. "I can't imagine if your car is or isn't still there."

The psychologist thought about it. She pulled out her cell phone and pushed a side button. After it lit up, she noticed there were a few missed calls. She slipped her phone back into its home then met Niki's gaze. "I think I may need a ride."

Niki silently agreed so she and Toni gathered themselves and got into the car. Niki followed Toni's directions once they were on the road and deeper into Las Vegas. Toni pointed out her house, and she felt relieved to see it. She only could imagine where her car was located because her and Niki hadn't seen it on the road.

Niki pulled into the driveway. She was impressed by the size of the house, and she knew this suburban area of Las Vegas was a wealthy sector. She glanced at Toni, who unbuckled herself.

Toni smiled at her savior. "Thank you again for everything, Niki."

"It wasn't much," Niki argued. She felt like it wasn't since Jessica had taken care of everything.

"No," Toni argued, "it was a lot." She reached back to her pocket and pulled out a more worn business card. This was the only one that had her cell phone written on the back of it. "Please give me a call sometime soon." She held out the card. "I'd like to repay you for what you did."

Niki waved her hand and refused to take the car. "It's okay."

"No." Toni pushed the card into the younger woman's hand. "Please." She watched long fingers finally take the card. "I'd at least like to take you to dinner so I can thank you."

Niki lost her fight. She smiled and nodded. "I'll call next week."

"Thank you." Toni gave a final smile, then she climbed out of the seat. She started to close the door, but Niki's voice stopped her.

"You might want to report... your charming patient to the police."

Toni held the partially closed door. "I know." She had a concerned look. "I think it's out of my hands now."

"I think so too." Niki hesitated but added, "Let me give you my number... in case something comes up."

Toni Kevin was mildly shocked, but she pulled out her cell phone. "Go ahead."

Niki reported her ten digit number then explained, "That's my cell phone too."

"Great." The psychologist saved the number under Niki's full name. "Thank you again, Niki. I'll talk to you soon."

"See you." Niki watched the petite yet striking woman close the door and head to her house. She set her black car in reverse and returned home. Her entire rid consisted of thinking about the mysterious Toni Kevin.

To be continued.