Title: Move, Countermove

Author: Janine

Fandom: Nikita

Pairing: Nikita/Alex established relationship, Michael

Rating: PG

Disclaimer: I don't own them.

Summary: Alex has been released from Division after her session with Amanda and Nikita's gone to pick her up and take her home. However, when they return to the loft they find a new danger lurking. AU version of 1x17 "Covenants"

xxx

Alex's lips found Nikita's the moment the door to the loft clicked shut. Her hands grasped at the thick material of Nikita's jacket as they kissed, holding Nikita tightly against her. Nikita grunted softly as her back connected with the closed door. She tensed up for a moment as Alex pushed her harder against the door, but she soon forced her body to relax. She leaned against the door, accepting Alex's weight and the force of her kisses as she softly drew her hand up from Alex's waist until she was cupping the younger woman's cheek.

Nikita's thumb swiped across Alex's silken cheek and eventually Alex began to slow down. Her kisses became gentler though no less desperate, and when the need for air finally caused Alex to pull away from Nikita's lips entirely, Nikita reached out for her and drew Alex back into her body, hugging her tightly as Alex gasped and trembled in her arms.

As she caught her breath, Alex's arms tightened around Nikita's waist and she nuzzled into the warmth of Nikita's neck, burrowing into pale warmth of her skin, wetting it with the tears escaping her eyes.

"I've got you," Nikita whispered, pressing her lips to the top of Alex's head.

Alex released a small, choked sound upon hearing Nikita's voice and flexed her arms around Nikita more tightly.

They stood like that, wrapped up in each other, Nikita murmuring softly to Alex as the girl clung to her until Alex's sniffles began fade and her hold on Nikita began to loosen. When Alex finally worked a hand between them to wipe at her eyes and then took a step back, Nikita reached out for her and took Alex's face gently between her hands.

"It'll be okay. I've got you. I've always got you," Nikita swore softly, her eyes dark and intense as she stared directly into Alex's.

Alex breathed in and out shakily and weakly nodded her head.

"I'll always protect you," Nikita promised, continuing to hold Alex's eyes with her own until she saw the panic and fear that had gripped Alex begin to leave her startlingly blue eyes.

Alex closed her eyes and took a deep breath, concentrating on the feel of Nikita's hands on her and in the surety of Nikita's voice to center herself.

When her eyes opened again, her body was no longer trembling and she met Nikita's eyes unflinchingly.

"I know," Alex breathed out reaching up to cover one of Nikita's hands with her own. "I know. I'm sorry. I just …" Alex closed her eyes again and shook her head, embarrassed by the display of weakness she had just put on.

"Had to let it out," Nikita finished for her gently, her tone full of understanding.

Nikita had been in Amanda's clutches before. She knew how emotionally draining and stressful sessions with the Inquisitor could be. Alex had had to be impenetrable for days. She hadn't been able to let her guard down, to take a breath, to show even the smallest crack in her armor. That took a toll on a person, and it didn't surprise Nikita in the slightest that as soon as Alex felt relatively safe that she'd let go.

"That's good," Nikita continued, reaching out for Alex so that she could lift her head up. "That's healthy," she went on when Alex met her eyes again.

"So you don't think I'm pathetically girly?" Alex asked softly as a faint blush tinted her cheeks.

"Oh, you're very girly," Nikita purred, a smile spreading across her lips as she ran her hands over the sides of her breasts and down to her shapely hips before she allowed her hands to slip behind to cup Alex's perfectly rounded ass. "But there's nothing pathetic about you," Nikita breathed out, her tone now serious as she held Alex against her. "You're so strong, Alex. You're so good. You amaze me."

Alex's eyes began to well with tears again and she lowered them in embarrassment, but a happy smile touched her lips before she could hide her face and Nikita's heart seized upon seeing it. There were few things in the world as beautiful as Alex's smile and Nikita couldn't help but lean forward and touch her lips to Alex's at the sight of it.

Alex sighed softly into the contact and pushed closer to Nikita again, returning the kiss with enthusiasm.

This kiss was slower than the ones they had exchanged upon first entering the loft, but it was no less passionate and Nikita felt her body beginning to respond to Alex's closeness. She had been carrying around a lot of worry and tension over the past few days. Her mind had been constantly on Alex – when she hadn't been arranging Alex's extraction she had been running increasing dangerous scenarios through her mind for how to get into Division and get Alex out if she hadn't been released within forty-eight hours of being taken in – so it was cathartic for her to have Alex safe in her arms again, to be able to touch her and kiss her, and Nikita felt the need for release – both emotional and physical – building within her.

Still joined at the lips, Nikita began to lead Alex into the main room of the loft. She was becoming increasingly desperate for Alex, but she didn't want to pin the girl against a wall and have her by snaking her hand under the layers of Alex's clothes. She wanted to being lying down with Alex. She wanted their naked flesh pressed against each other. She wanted to be able to worship every inch of Alex's body until Alex was trembling helplessly in her arms again, only this time from pleasure instead of fear.

"Well," a familiar voice said causing Nikita to tear her lips away from Alex's. "I guess I don't have to wonder how you turned my agent," Michael continued, lifting a dark eyebrow when Nikita's eyes finally locked on him.

Alex gasped softly when her eyes found Michael seated in a chair in the middle of the loft. Her gaze quickly moved from his face to the powerful gun cradled in his hands however, and she automatically took a startled step back.

Nikita used Alex's step backward to move in front of the girl, blocking Michael's line of fire, all while keeping her eyes firmly on Michael. She was as surprised as Alex to see him there, possibly more so since she knew the lengths she had gone to setting up the safe house, but she knew that she couldn't let it show. Her life and Alex's depended on her reaming calm and in control.

"Michael," Nikita drawled with a forced casualness. "Make yourself at home."

"I think I will," Michael returned as he fixed his eyes on what was visible of Alex behind the shield of Nikita's body. "Alex certainly has."

Alex tensed behind Nikita and Nikita didn't need to turn around to know that the girl's eyes were flashing with anger. Alex was ninety percent fight response which was one of the things Nikita loved most about her. Despite that, Nikita placed a restraining hand on her stomach. There was a good chance that the situation they found themselves could end up with blood being spilled, but before things came to that Nikita needed to try and manipulate the situation so that the odds were more in their favor.

"This isn't her fault," Nikita said calmly, her eyes still trained on Michael.

"Of course it isn't," Michael replied, his scratchy voice dripping sarcasm as he eyes Nikita. "After all, how could anyone resist your charms?"

"It's not like that," Alex protested immediately from behind Nikita, unable to stand even the insinuation that Nikita had somehow taken advantage of her.

"Then what is it like?" Michael asked curiously, tilting his head slightly to the side as he observed the two of them.

"How did you get here?" Nikita asked ignoring his question and the insulting insinuation he had just made. He was trying to rile her up, but she wouldn't give him a greater advantage by losing her cool.

A small smile touched Michael's lips.

"It seems Alex has Nikita on the mind all the time," he said looking behind Nikita to Alex once again. "She mentioned Whitmore while Amanda was playing with her."

Alex breathed in sharply and her eyes squeezed shut for a moment in despair.

"I'm so sorry," she whispered to Nikita. "I …"

"It's okay," Nikita interjected softly. "It wasn't your fault. No one can control their subconscious."

"She's right you know," Michael said, drawing Alex's gaze over to him. "It's her fault," he continued meeting Nikita's gaze once more. "You never knew when to leave well enough alone. You were out, Nikita. You were free, just like you wanted. But you couldn't stay away, could you? You couldn't back down and now the noose is hanging around Alex's neck too." He paused for effect, and then added, "Amanda has recommended termination."

Instinctively, Alex reached out for and took hold of the hand Nikita had resting on her stomach, squeezing it as a jolt of fear tore through her. She'd done her best once the drugs had left her system, but there had been a look in Amanda's eyes during their last session that had set off every alarm in her body. She'd been convinced Amanda knew something, but then she'd been released back out into the world and she'd hoped that she had just been being paranoid. But her instincts had been right. She hadn't fooled Amanda at all.

"Percy would have to find her to terminate her," Nikita said squeezing Alex hand back though she didn't allow herself to look away from Michael. "I've already made arrangements to get Alex out of the country…"

"You have?" Alex asked; surprise and hurt warring for dominance in her tone.

Nikita's muscles tensed but she didn't respond to Alex or turn to face her. It had always been her plan to disappear Alex if the situation became too dangerous, but she had never shared this with Alex because she knew that Alex would hav been absolutely against it. As much as Nikita thrived on conflict she had never enjoyed fighting with Alex and had wanted to avoid a lengthy argument. Now that Alex knew, Nikita realized that her silence on the matter had only delayed the fight, but she would deal with that once she had taken care of Michael.

"Let her go," Nikita said to Michael, consciously gentling her tone. "We both know she's suffered more than enough for one lifetime. Obviously, some part of you cares or Alex wouldn't have been released again. You clearly knew where to find me. You didn't need her to lead you to me, but you still let Percy release her. Let her go once more, Michael," Nikita pleaded. "Let her go and I'll walk into Division with you if that's what you want."

"Nikita! No," Alex exclaimed grabbing her arm forcefully. "No," she repeated tugging on Nikita's arm.

Nikita kept her gaze focused on Michael.

"Three days ago you broke protocol, you went rogue to protect your agent. What was the point of that, what was the point of protecting her if now you're just going to hand her over to Percy and let him put a bullet in her brain? Let her go and I'm yours."

"Nikita!" Alex hissed.

Nikita's eyes fluttered blinking back the tears that were beginning to pool in her eyes, but she resisted Alex as she pulled on her arm and kept her eyes focused on Michael, determined not to look away even as the tears in her eyes began to make him blur.

Michael watched her silently, his face unreadable.

A few moments later Nikita was forced to look away from Michael for the first time since he had spoken when Alex dropped her hand and then moved to stand in front of her, placing herself between Nikita and Michael. Immediately Nikita reached out for her and after a brief struggle she was able to wrestle Alex behind her again. In doing so she had turned her back to Michael making her vulnerable, but since it was already done she took a moment to cup Alex's face and whisper, "Please, trust me."

Alex started to protest, but Nikita cut her off with an urgent, "Please, Alex. I need you to trust me."

Everything about Alex from the tenseness of her body to the panic in her eyes told Nikita that the last thing she wanted to do was go along with what Nikita had been proposing to Michael, but she nodded her head in agreement anyway. Nikita had asked for her trust and there was no way that after all they had been through Alex wouldn't give it to her.

"You're right, you know," Nikita said, voice strong and firm once more as she turned back to Michael. "This is my fault. I see that now. I should have appreciated the opportunity I was given and disappeared. I choose not to. I choose to bring the fight to you, and that was my mistake. It was my mistake, Michael. Don't make Alex pay for it. Let her go. Please. Just let her go. You have me now."

Michael smiled ruefully at that.

"Do I?" he asked. "Did I ever?" he continued looking between Nikita and Alex.

He'd always felt a connection with Nikita, even if he hadn't allowed them to act on it physically when she was still under his command at Division. And Nikita's feelings for him had been clear. She had never been quite as vulnerable, never quite as soft with anyone else at Division as she had been with him.

Nikita had been a ruthless killing machine, but her training hadn't managed to eradicate all feeling from her, and those that remained had been focused on him. But even though she had let herself feel for him, he had never seen her quite like she was presently.

Nikita had liked him, and for a while she had even trusted him, but he could see that her feelings for Alex ran far deeper. The devotion he was seeing now was something he had never seen from her in the past. Nikita had the strongest instinct for self-preservation that he had ever seen and now she was offering herself up like a sacrificial lamb for Alex. She was trying so hard to be strong, to seem fearless as she gazed at him, but the fact that he could see her trying gave away everything she was trying to hide.

"This selfless streak is new, Nikita. You must care about her a lot," he finally said, narrowing his gaze thoughtfully. "No, you must love her a lot," he corrected softly.

"I do," Nikita said simply.

It was the second time in as many days that someone had commented on the lengths she was willing to go to for Alex. She didn't deny her feelings to Gustav and she wouldn't deny them to Michael either. It would be a waste of breath. Both men knew her, and her actions had spoken loudly enough to both of them.

"Tell me what I have to do to keep her safe."

"Nikita," Michael said softly, almost sadly. "You would have to go back in time and never have met her to do that."

Nikita was silent for a moment after he spoke, but after a few seconds staring at his impassive face her mask of aloofness slipped and a look of exasperation and annoyance came over her face.

"Michael!" Nikita exclaimed irritably.

"Nikita," he parroted back in a similar tone, and despite herself and the situation Nikita smiled.

"Be reasonable," Nikita said more calmly. "There must be something you want. There must be something I can do for you to make it worth your while to let Alex go. Everything's set up for her extraction. She's smarter than I am, she'll stay disappeared. Tell me how I can make us square, and I'll do it. Whatever it is, I'll do it."

The sincerity in Nikita's voice unnerved Michael even more than the desperation in her eyes, and he looked past her to Alex who had been silent for so long.

Alex held Nikita's hand tightly in her own, so tightly her knuckles were practically translucent and her eyes were shimmering with tears that she was just barely holding back. She looked so young, and small and scared. He remembered carrying her into Division days ago, how light she had been, how vulnerable, and the protective instincts that had gotten him into so much trouble during his years at Division flared up inside of him again.

Nikita had said that Alex had suffered more than enough for one lifetime and he found it hard to disagree with her as he stared at Alex. He had read Amanda's profile of the girl. He knew about the sex-trafficking and the forced drug dependency. Most of the recruits Division took were criminals. They were bad people who had done bad things who were being given a rare and special opportunity to make something out of their wasted lives. It wasn't hard for him to reconcile forcing them to risk their lives in order to help others given how much damage they had done in their pasts. But with Alex it was hard not to see a victim being further victimized. It was hard not to agree with Nikita that Alex deserved a chance at life.

And then there was the fact that he could use Nikita's help to consider.

"You cost me Kasim once," Michael said finally, drawing his gaze back to Nikita. "You're going to help me kill him now. When his blood is cold, Alex is free. I give you my word."

Nikita's shoulders sagged with relief.

"Deal," she breathed out quickly, her voice rough with emotion. "He's a dead man walking, but not for long. I give you my word. "

Michael rose from the chair he had been seated in, rising to his full height.

"When it comes to computers I'm not Birkhoff," Michael said steadily, still cradling the gun in his arms as he stared at Nikita. "But I know enough. If I somehow don't end up walking out of this loft or the mission with Kasim goes awry, a file with the information I collected linking Alex to you will find its way to Percy, and if that happens there is nothing in this world that can save her. Do we understand each other?"

"Perfectly," Nikita responded.

"Good," Michael said before turning to rest the gun he had been holding on the empty chair behind him. "Then let's get started."

The End