Title: The Finer Things in Life

Author: Janine

Fandom: Nikita

Pairing: Alex/Nikita

Rating: PG-13

Disclaimer: I don't own them.

Summary: For once Nikita has fallen asleep before Alex, giving the young woman a rare opportunity to observe her savoir in slumber.


The loft was dark except for the table lamp burning on the large antique desk in the middle of the room. Alex had been seated behind the desk for hours poring over print and online newspaper articles looking for a pattern, looking for Divisions fingerprints in the daily news. Nikita assured her that it was there, but Alex struggled to try and find something that tied the various articles together other than the general wickedness of man. Nikita had told her to pack it in, get a goodnight's sleep and pick things up in the morning, but Alex hadn't been quite ready to retreat when Nikita had crawled into bed.

She wanted to find the pattern. She wanted to have something to show Nikita in the morning. But, as the night wore on, Alex began to fall victim to exhaustion and found her eyes straying from the monitor in front of her over to the bed where Nikita lay. It wasn't often that she got to see Nikita in slumber. Nikita was early to rise and usually by the time Alex greeted the day Nikita had been up and about for at least an hour, often more. Nikita was always beautiful, but she was stunning when she was relaxed, and watching her then was almost enough to make Alex wish she was a morning person so that she could see Nikita that way more often.

"I can feel you watching me," Nikita breathed out lazily, her lips curving up just the tiniest bit as she stretched her lithe limbs.

Alex breathed in sharply and a surge of adrenaline shot through her. She thought Nikita was asleep and the sudden sound of her voice had scared the shit out of her. She was determined not to let Nikita know that however, and took a moment to compose herself before responding.

"There's nothing else to watch," Alex responded calmly, though she bit down on her bottom lip anxiously a second later when Nikita shifted on the bed and then stretched her limbs, laying every elegant line of her body bare to Alex's watchful gaze. "You won't get a TV," Alex continued, silently cursing the rough edge that had entered her voice.

"So you're bored, is that it?" Nikita asked, turning her heads towards Alex's voice before she slowly allowed her eyes to flutter open, "Because I could find something to entertain you."

Alex grinned at her, and then shook her head ruefully before averting her gaze.

"I could think of something to entertain me too," Alex murmured, biting her lower lip again as images of exactly how she'd like Nikita to entertain her flashed through her mind.

Her words were greeted by silence and after a few minutes of conspicuous quiet Alex sighed deeply and lifted her eyes to find Nikita watching her steadily, her arms crossed over her chest as she leaned against the beds metal headboard.

"You've been through a lot in the past few weeks," Nikita began calmly when Alex's eyes finally met hers. "I've put you through a lot in the past few weeks," she sighed, cutting her eyes away from Alex's to gaze out the large window to her left. "We're in an unusually intense situation and ..."

"Don't," Alex interjected firmly, her eyes focused on the side of Nikita's as she spoke. "Don't psychoanalyze away my feelings. If you're not interested just say so. I can take it. I've been a big girl for a long time. You keeping your panties on won't break me."

"Okay," Nikita breathed out, a faint smile touching her lips as she turned to observe Alex once again. "I'm sorry," she continued, facing Alex head on as she spoke so that the girl could clearly see her expression. "I can't promise not to try and psychoanalyze you again, but I'll try to be more subtle about it."

Alex's gaze remained impassive for a number of seconds, but as the slight upturn of Nikita's lips grew and grew until she was genuinely smiling at Alex, the younger woman felt her resolve weaken and a smile flashed across her lips as well before she averted her face.

"It's not a good idea, Alex," Nikita said gently a moment later, her words making the smile that was tugging at Alex's lips instantly evaporate. "It'll complicate things and we've already got a Herculean task ahead of us."

"Sex doesn't have to complicate things," Alex responded whipping her head up to pin Nikita with flashing blue eyes. "The act is one thing and the emotion that sometimes goes along with it something completely different. I learned how to separate the two long ago."

"We live together," Nikita replied sighing, "and we're going to be working together for a long time. You can't avoid my calls or stop going to that coffee shop with the funky wallpaper so that we won't bump into each other. Your life and my life are tangled together for the foreseeable future. We can't disassociate from each other."

"That's not what I want. That's not what I meant," Alex said, fighting the urge to roll her eyes at Nikita's melodramatic response. "I'm just saying you don't have to put roses on my pillow every morning. I don't expect you to take me out on picnics every day. I ..."

"I thought you liked the picnic," Nikita interjected, an adorable crease forming between her eyebrows as she dropped her gaze down to her legs. They'd had strawberries and champagne and ice-cream, and when Alex had smiled that afternoon it had reached her eyes.

"I did," Alex replied immediately, a charmed smile touching her lips in the face of Nikita's confusion even though she had decided that she was mad at Nikita and was going to give her a hard time so that they would both have a bad night. "I really did. It was great," Alex added, feeling her face heat up as a blush spread up her neck and across her cheeks at the memory. "I just meant that ... I don't know," Alex sighed running an agitated hand through her hair. "You said yourself that our lives are already completely entangled. I guess I just don't understand why being even closer would be this huge disaster."

"If I'm going to protect you I need to remain objective," Nikita breathed out, struggling to keep her expression neutral as her stomach clenched and her heart began to painfully thump in her chest. "I can't constantly be worrying about you and remain effective."

"You already worry about me constantly," Alex murmured. "You already care about me."

Nikita was stoic but she wasn't without emotion and once Alex stopped trying to fight her at every turn she had seen how caring Nikita could be. She felt Nikita's concern and affection for her every time Nikita brushed a strand of dark hair behind her ears, or wordlessly straddled her hips after a training session and worked her fingers over Alex's sore muscles until Alex felt so relaxed she was convinced she would fall asleep. She felt it when she could feel Nikita's eyes on her in the night when Nikita thought she was sleeping and in the way Nikita's smile grew when hers did.

"For years I took any drug I could get my hands onto try and dull my mind, to stop myself from feeling ... anything. The past few months with you are the first time I can remember since I was thirteen years old that my mind is clear and sharp. This is the first time in years that I'm feeling something I want to remember," Alex said, her hand running anxiously over her thigh as she spoke, though despite her nerves her voice remained steady.

Nikita breathed out audibly, her eyelashes fluttering quickly before her eyes closed and she sucked in a deep breath.

Alex was right. She did already care about her. She did already worry about her. She had been living and breathing Alex for months, and had had the girl on her mind for years. She had been emotionally invested in Alex since before they had officially met. She already loved Alex in a way which meant that adding a romantic element to their relationship would not compromise her operational effectiveness anymore than her feelings for Alex already did.

She wasn't resisting Alex because she was afraid for the mission. She was resisting her because she was afraid for her heart. Daniel's death was still a raw wound gaping in her chest, and Nikita wasn't sure that she could survive being responsible for another lover's death.

"Please," Alex whispered.

She held herself perfectly still for a moment and then she moved over to sit on the edge of the bed, close to, but not actually touching Nikita.

"Please," she repeated softly, placing her hand on Nikita's thigh as she looked up, finally chancing a look at Nikita only to be greeted by her, admittedly beautiful, profile.

She had given Nikita an opportunity to deny the desire she sometimes saw in Nikita's eyes when the other woman looked at her, and Nikita hadn't taken advantage of it, she hadn't denied anything. Nikita wanted her, there was just something holding her back, something that had nothing to do with operational effectiveness.

Nikita finally looked over at her, and Alex's breath caught at the longing she saw in Nikita's eyes as the spy gazed at her, but far too soon Nikita released a soft sigh and with a sad, almost ashamed look on her face averted her gaze once more.

It seemed to Alex as if Nikita's mind was at war with her body, and the thought made an idea spark in her mind.

"You're not taking advantage of me," Alex breathed out, keeping her hand on Nikita's thigh, maintaining contact even as she shifted and then moved onto the mattress until she was kneeling beside Nikita on the bed. "I want this. I want you," Alex said, slowly shifting her hand further up Nikita's smooth thigh until the backs of her fingers were brushing against the edge of the shorts Nikita was wearing. "For once these feelings feel right," Alex whispered, her voice cracking a little as she gazed over at Nikita with increasingly wet eyes. "They feel beautiful," she sighed closing her eyes momentarily as she breathed in deeply. "I need you to show me it can be beautiful."

"Alex," Nikita exhaled breathily as she lifted her hand to cup the younger woman's cheek, her thumb gently smoothing across Alex's skin as she did, wiping away the tear that escaped from Alex's eye as she spoke.

Alex leaned into Nikita's touch and closed her eyes, luxuriating in the feel of Nikita's hand on her.

"Please," Alex murmured again, lifting her hand to take Nikita's into her own so that she could place a kiss to the palm of her hand.

Alex made a convincing argument and the truth was that Nikita wanted to be convinced. She knew that her fingers sometimes lingered too long on Alex's skin when she brushed strands of hair behind her ears, or when she stroked Alex's arm to get her attention. She didn't check up on Alex when she was asleep, she gazed at her. When Alex suffered through nightmares Nikita knew she had to leave Alex be, that Alex had to work through what was haunting her on her own, but she longed to slip into her bed beside her and hold her and kiss her until she calmed and slept peacefully again. She wanted to hug Alex, and kiss Alex, and make love to her, and she had wanted these things for a while. But she held herself back.

She told herself that she held back because a romantic relationship with Alex was a bad idea. She told herself she held back because it would compromise the mission, or because Alex was too young. But in the face of all that Alex had said to her that night, Nikita knew that her inaction had been the result of fear; fear of failing Alex again, fear of hurting her, fear of loving her only to only to lose her, fear of being on her own again and the mad, desperate acts that might follow. That knowledge shamed Nikita, but also galvanized her. She had sworn long ago that she would never again let her life be ruled by fear and she meant to keep that vow.

"Okay," Nikita rasped, struggling to keep her eyes on Alex as the girl's lips warmed her palm.

Alex's eyes fluttered open as Nikita's soft, silken voice washed over her and shimmering blue orbs lifted to meet Nikita's warm, vulnerable cinnamon gaze. She wanted Nikita and she was fighting for her, but she had been so beat up by life, she had been pushed down and spent so much time with her face in the dirt that she hadn't really allowed herself to believe that she would get Nikita.

"Okay," Nikita said again, keeping her eyes focused on Alex even as she freed her hand from Alex's now loose grip so that she could cup the girl's cheek once more.

They regarded each other silently for a moment, tension building between them until Alex was actually faint of breath from the waiting. The anticipation was almost painful and Alex wasn't sure how much more of it she could take, but before she could do something desperate, Nikita leaned forward and gently brought their lips together, kissing Alex softly until Alex's hands clutched at the material of her tank top and tugged, trying to draw Nikita closer to her.

When they pulled apart many moments later, breathing hard as they tried to capture their breath, Alex was shaking faintly.

Nikita took Alex's face into her hands and locked eyes with the young woman. "We don't have to do this. You don't have to do this," Nikita said softly, though her voice shook with conviction.

"That's not," Alex began blinking, mortified when she felt a tear escape from the corner of her eye a second later. "I want this," she said, clutching at the material of Nikita's tank-top as she stared into her eyes. "I just ..." she dropped her eyes for a moment trying to find the courage to keep talking. "I never knew it could feel so good to be kissed."

Nikita's eyes closed and her head dipped as she breathed in deeply, trying to control the sudden wave of emotion that washed over her in the wake of Alex's words.

"I'm so sorry," Nikita finally breathed out, blinking against the tears forming in her own eyes as she looked back up at Alex. "I thought I was helping you. I thought I was saving you. I never would have left you with them if I'd known that ..." she trailed off as she remembered Alex as she had been in that crack den months before.

"You saved my life," Alex interjected before Nikita could chastise herself more. "Twice," she murmured knowing that they way she had been going before Nikita found her the second time that she probably wouldn't have made it to her twenty-first birthday. "Some bad things happened, but I'm alive, and every day I'm happier and happier about that. You can't control everything, Nikita. What happened after you rescued me from that fire isn't your fault."

"I'm still sorry," Nikita breathed out, stroking Alex's cheeks lovingly.

"I know," Alex said softly as she leaned her face into the warmth of Nikita's hand. "Now, why don't you show me some of the finer things in life?" she continued, meeting Nikita's gaze boldly before she once again took hold of Nikita's hand and held it while she placed a kiss to the older woman's palm.

Nikita's lips curved up as Alex kissed her hand, they twitched a moment after that, and then a second later Nikita was smiling at her. Alex returned her smile, and then, unable to wait any longer, Alex brought their lips together again, kissing Nikita soundly.

Nikita's hands slipped down Alex's torso to take hold of her waist as they kissed, and when their lips parted so that Alex could draw a breath, Nikita flipped Alex over and slipped on top of her covering Alex's body with her own.

"If at any point you want me to stop, just say so," Nikita breathed out shakily as she stared down at Alex, tension radiating through her body as she made herself keep her hands still.

Alex blinked against the tears once again forming in her eyes. She was moved by Nikita's concern for her even though she knew that there was no cause for it. She knew that Nikita would never do anything to make her uncomfortable. She trusted Nikita completely. She would not want her to stop, but she knew she had to acknowledge the statement for Nikita's peace of mind.

Not trusting herself to speak just then, Alex simply nodded her head.

It was enough and above her Nikita's body relaxed and her hand began to trail up Alex's thigh. Nikita leaned down and brought their lips together in a deep, searing kiss as her hand roamed over the firm muscles and soft skin, mapping the contours of Alex's body.

"Anything you want," Nikita breathed out hotly against Alex's neck as she kissed the warm, tantalizing skin there, "Anything. Just tell me," she continued as her hand slipped beneath Alex's t-shirt and began to trail its way up her quivering abdomen.

Alex moaned her agreement as Nikita's hand covered her breast. Nikita's teeth nipped lightly at her flesh in response and she rolled her hips into Alex which drew another moan from the younger woman.

"Keep doing that," Alex sighed, arching her chest into Nikita's hand as the older woman teased her through the material of her bra.

Nikita smiled against the column of Alex's throat and then kissed it tenderly.

If Alex wanted the finer things in life then she would show them to her.

The End