AN: This chapter is a little shorter than the last one, but I think it's a pretty dynamite chapter with a lot going forward. No "action", but more character development. Hope you all enjoy! Happy Holidays :)
"Yes?" A shadowy figured answered the phone. "I see. And he escaped? That's excellent. Goodbye, Kasim."
Amanda slide her phone shut and allowed herself a small smile. Everything is going according to plan.
She fixed a stray strand of hair, and made her way into Percy's office.
Thom was busy installing an invisible program on Division's server that would allow him to see what they searched, and would flag him every time Michael's name came up. He could log onto any computer, and, like the shell program, have full access to the files without anyone being any wiser.
Once he'd finally heard back from Michael, and been assured that he was okay, Thom felt relieved, and resumed his espionage duties within Division. Had he not been so preoccupied with the news of Michael's safe return, he would have noticed that he failed to slip into the server room undetected.
"Thom!" Alex whispered loudly to him. He stopped in his tracks and turned to her. He'd been caught red-handed sneaking out of Birkhoff's server room. He glanced around the hall, and luckily there was no one else in sight.
"What were you doing in there?" She asked him, crossing her arms. Thom was momentarily stunned. He nodded at her, and pulled her aside in the hallway.
"Look, don't you ever wonder why we're here? Why they brought us here?" He asked her.
"I think you know why we're here, Thom." She seemed unconvinced.
"No, not that. I mean, why me? What made them decide that I'm not just a waste of space? That I'm not just some kid beyond saving? Don't you ever wonder?" His eyes searched hers.
"Well, yeah. But I don't go breaking into Birkhoff's computers to find out why! Are you trying to get yourself cancelled?"
"It was stupid, I admit. But, Alex, I just had to know. You can understand that, right?" She nodded. He felt a sudden rush of relief course through him. I don't like lying to her. I wish I could tell her the truth.
"It was stupid, Thom. I told you, I don't want anything to happen to you. Don't you dare pull another reckless stunt like this again. Promise?"
"I promise," he lied to her. She smiled at him and sent him off. She watched as he made his way back to his room. I wonder what he's really up to... There's something different about him. I know it. I wish he would talk to me about it….
Michael sat at his desk, staring aimlessly into space. He'd been back from Uzbekistan for less than 12 hours, and it still hadn't sunk in. Percy's betrayal had quadrupled. Michael just couldn't believe that he had been so blind to it all for so long. He felt foolish.
I should have listened to Nikita all those years ago, when she told me that something wasn't right. If I'd only listened to her, then Danielle would still be alive today… How ironic it is that I was the one to convince her that there was good in Division. Sigh.
Michael was lost in his thoughts when he heard footsteps. He ducked down, grabbed his gun, and rolled over to the south wall of his loft. His gun was trained on the doorway, and his eyes were fixed.
"Michael…?" It was Nikita's voice, soft and unsure. Michael immediately relaxed. She entered the loft and her eyes landed on Michael. He looked so tired and sad, and it broke her heart. They walked towards each other, as if in a trance, not saying anything, eyes locked with one another. They stopped a foot away from each other, and Michael broke the silence.
"You were right." He said to her, so soft that it was barely audible.
"About what?" Nikita was confused.
"About Division. About Percy. All along, you knew, Nikita. You knew Percy was up to no good. And I didn't listen."
"No. It's all my fault. If I had just listened to you five years ago," his voice caught in his throat. He closed the gap between them and grabbed her hand, "Things could have been different."
"Michael, no. It's not your fault. It's mine. I should have come with you when you asked me. I don't know why I stayed. I think about that night almost every day. I was afraid, and I didn't know what I wanted. I'm sorry." A tear began to fall from her face, and Michael reached up to gently wipe it away.
"Well, do you know what you want now?" He asked her. She looked up into his eyes, and nodded. She leaned in and softly kissed him. He didn't even have time to respond before she pulled away, but she was still well within range of his lips. He leaned in to kiss her again, but she backed away slightly. He stopped and looked at her puzzledly.
"You told me once, a long time ago, that you couldn't be with me, until your family was avenged." She said to him gently, and he looked down. She cupped his cheek with her hand.
"We've only just got back from Uzbekistan. You probably haven't had time to process everything that's happened. I don't want to rush you, Michael. You're worth the wait."
He smiled at her, and she couldn't remember the last time she saw Michael genuinely smile, and it made her smile back at him.
"No," he whispered. "I'm tired of waiting. We've waited enough."
He grabbed her and kissed her, gently at first, but then the need grew greater and the two of them were sharing a kiss more passionate than they'd ever experienced before. Finally, they broke for air. He ran his fingers through his hair, and looked at Nikita.
"What about Division?" He asked her.
"Oh, were you still planning on taking them down?" She teased. He gave her a look that said it all, and she laughed.
"Nikita, I'm serious."
"Yes, I know. Very serious Michael, always so serious." She teased him again. This time, he grabbed her and twirled her down onto his sofa. He had her pinned underneath him in a very serious position, and he asked her again.
"Yes, Michael?" she answered in a playfully mocking tone.
"What are we going to do?"
"Hmm, I'm sure we'll think of something." She wriggled underneath him, causing his jeans to seemingly light on fire with the friction she created. He looked at her dangerously. She giggled at him.
"I think the solution is staring us right in the face," she murmured into his ear.
"Oh? Enlighten me then." He said as he nipped her neck.
"I'll be your inside man. Double agent Nikita reporting for duty."
Michael suddenly remembered Thom, and stopped kissing Nikita.
"Nikita, I have to tell you something." She saw the look in his eyes, and he had her full attention. They repositioned themselves from vertical to horizontal on the couch.
"I already have someone on the inside," he started to say, but then stopped. Have I said too much? What if I've endangered Thom?
Nikita sensed his hesitation.
"Michael, if you still don't trust me…" she sounded a little hurt, but tried to hide it.
"I do trust you. Look, I planted a mole on the inside. He's been feeding me intel. That's how I've been able to get the jump on you so many times." He stopped talking and looked confused suddenly as Nikita started to smile. Why is she smiling? Did I say something funny?
Michael had casually imagined having this conversation with Nikita maybe a dozen or so times. He thought he'd imagined every possible reaction she'd have. He was sure he could anticipate what she'd say. However, what she actually did say surprised him entirely.
"So, the student finally becomes the master." Nikita grinned.
Michael had never been so confused in his life. He waited for her to explain.
"It's Thom. I know it is! Right, Michael?"
He was flabbergasted. His usual stoic expression changed to one of utter surprise and Nikita read it like a book, and grinned and him.
"Nikita… How did you… Does Percy….?" He couldn't even get out a full sentence. His brain was working in overdrive. Is Thom in danger? How did she know it was him?
She could see he the wheels spinning in his head, so she decided to quell his fears.
"Don't worry, Michael. He's perfectly safe. Nobody knows. Just me." He looked at her quizzically.
"How? How did you know?"
"Would you believe… women's intuition?" She asked him with a smile. He gave her a look that said are you serious? You really expect me to believe that?
"I'm serious, Michael! I just had a feeling about him. And I was watching him one day, and he did your signature takedown when he was sparring with another recruit. Don't laugh, but it actually gave me goosebumps, and made me think of you." He looked at her closely. Is she...?
"Are you blushing?" Michael was elated. He didn't think he'd ever seen Nikita blush before.
"Shut up!" She punched him playfully in the arm. He grabbed her hand and kissed it.
"So, what now?" He asked her. Slowly, she slid off the couch and stood up. The Division agent grabbed the rogue agent's hand, pulled him up off the couch, and led him over to the bed. She took off her tank top, and then slid his shirt off, before pushing him gently onto the mattress. Positioning herself on top of him, she straddled him ever so delicately, and whispered in his ear, "I've wanted this for a long time, Michael." He reached behind to caress her back, and undo her bra clasp, before whispering back, "Me too."
As his jeans and her leggings fell together in a tangled heap onto the floor, their bodies fell tangled together onto the bed.