The Greatest Revenge
Disclaimer: Not my characters, just my words.
Author's Note: Spoilers for the finale. The title is a play on a saying in the Talmud: "Live well. It is the greatest revenge."
Before you embark on a journey of revenge, dig two graves.
When Nikita gets in the car, and feels Michael's arms around her, for a fleeting moment she thinks it will be all right, that they can fix this, that he's alive and she's alive and life is hope.
Then she thinks of Alex and thinks that life, life is also fear.
Michael doesn't say much at first, driving intently to take them far away from her former loft and any clues Division might have to their whereabouts. She watches the road ahead, not really seeing it.
There is much she has to tell Michael, and from the marks on his wrist and his general dishevelled state, she can tell Michael has a few things to tell himself. But it feels too much effort to even begin, and her body is starting to remind her it isn't just emotional hurts she's been given today.
She wants to sleep, wrap herself in sheets and Michael and just close her eyes. But she knows that is merely putting the pain off, not removing it. Still, just for tonight...
She closes her eyes briefly, opening them to see Michael looking at her. His face is almost controlled, but she knows him so well, and his eyes never lie. She leans against his shoulder a little blindly, feeling his hand stroke her knee.
Without a word, he pulls over. She has time to notice a garage door open in front of them before they're inside it, and darkness is covering them.
"We will be safe here for a little while," Michael says, his cheek brushing the top of her head. "It will take Percy weeks to look through all the Division resources I have access to and I suspect Birkhoff will not be very helpful."
"Birkhoff always had a soft spot for you," she says, blinking a little as the lights come on. It's a very barren and clean garage, a few lockers against the wall.
"And you," Michael counters, but his tone is serious. "I would have been trapped inside Division if not for him."
"Remind me to thank him next time I have to grab him for something," she says, getting out of the car as Michael does. "What happened, Michael?"
"Percy knew," he says, unable to keep a certain barb out of his voice. "About you and me. Has since after London. He set us up, using Dana to test me and make you take the bait for Sparrow."
She nods, taking in the implications of all that. "We underestimated him"
"He underestimated you. And Alex."
"And you," she says, but he merely shakes his head.
"I didn't kill him," he says. "Even when I believed you dead. Just like he predicted I couldn't."
"Michael," she says, embracing him, ignoring the pain it brings to her already hurting ribs. "He underestimates you because he thinks you can only defeat him doing it his way. You are better than his way."
He exhales slowly, clinging a little to her. She rubs her hands across his back, feeling the tension still in him.
"I thought you were dead," he says forcefully, kissing her with just a hint of desperation. She thinks how she would react to the same news about him, and kisses him back with equal fervour. He is alive. Michael is alive and here and that can be the most important thing just now.
(There will be so many important things to worry about later, after all.)
He lifts her up, placing her on the hood of the car as she locks her arms around his neck. His hands are busy wandering up the curve of her legs, her hips, pausing at her side as she can't help but tense a little.
"You're hurt," he says, pulling back a little to look her in the face,
She doesn't deny it, knowing he will insist and discover for himself in any case. "Cracked ribs."
He unzips her top, and his fingers are soft as he traces the line of her ribs. It still hurts slightly, and he narrows his eyes slightly as he reads her face.
She takes his hand, lifting it up to kiss the bruise around his wrist. He nods slightly as he takes her point – that she isn't the only one hurt – and his kiss against her temple is brief and hot.
"There should be a MediKit in one of these containers," he says. "There's a shower and some money we can grab upstairs. I brought a few things from Division as well. Rations, change of clothes, some weapons. Percy's black box, decrypted."
"All a girl could want," she says lightly.
He doesn't quite smile, but he does give her a look that is as good as. As he moves to open the trunk, and then the various lockers, she eases out of the rest of her clothes. There is more than one bruise, she notes, but the physical injuries still seem fairly superficial.
Unlike the emotional, she thinks and remembers the look on Alex's face. That one might not heal at all. And Alex, Alex with the most dangerous goal of all. Revenge. A reason to live, she told Alex once. She was wrong. A reason to exist, yes. Not a reason to live.
Michael's hands are warm as they come to rest on her hips, and she leans back against him.
"She knows," she tells him. "Alex found out I killed her father. She didn't kill me to save herself, but she wouldn't come with me. I'm afraid, Michael."
"For her life?"
"For what she's living for." She exhales, feeling strangely old. "She wants revenge."
"She's not the only one," he says darkly, and she knows he's thinking of Percy.
"No," she says, turning to look at him. "That's just part of it. You want to make things right. You took the black box for a reason. You didn't kill Percy for a reason."
"Look who's talking," he says softly. "Nikita the righteous."
"Look who dropped everything and and came with me." She pauses, studying his face. "I'm sorry. I know Division was a home to you for a long time."
"Built on a lie," he says, voice a little raw. "You're true."
She kisses him, willing it to be true. She knows she has a lot to make up for still – and more added to it tonight, with Alex and Ryan – but she will make make it right again. They will. Michael and her. She lost him for such a long time, but he is here now. She must remember that, not just think of the loss of Alex.
Michael tilts his head slightly as her lips brush against his, just a little restrained. She knows he really wants to push her against a wall and ravish her, maybe even carry her into the shower until all that is on her skin is water and his touch and she feels something akin to clean.
Or maybe that's just what she wants – and goes for.
Skin, she doesn't quite think and more feels. The water is hot drumming against her skin, and Michael's hands are warm stroking the same, and the heat in his skin seems to to cling to hers, or maybe it's the other way around.
Skin. Easy to bruise and yet so much pleasure in someone else's. Much like life.
She digs her fingers slightly into Michael's s skin as he thrusts, his mouth so warm against the skin of her left breast. One hand is supporting her like a second spine, the other tracing the curve of her skin across bones.
When he lifts his head and kisses her a little sloppily, his lips sliding across her lips before settling, she closes her eyes and tries not to think at all, merely feel alive.
After shower and sex combined (multitasking was always something Amanda taught the value of, after all), they dry off, walk back to the car and survey the clothes Michael has brought.
Jeans seem strangely domestic, Nikita finds, like they are just a normal couple, going on a drive somewhere. Not former government assassins carrying a box full of secrets and a trunk full of spy gear.
She still puts them on, as he does.
"Where are we going?" she asks him, enjoying the sight of him in only jeans.
"Out of the city for a while," he says, clearly enjoying the sight of her stretching to pull on a top.
"Out of sight, but not out of Percy's mind."
"Good," he says darkly, pulling on a sweater. "We will be back to remind him as well."
"We will," she agrees, walking up to him. He pauses, looking at her seriously.
"It won't be easy," he points out, touching her face gently. "Percy thinks you're my weakness and you mine. He will use it."
"Percy would think that," she says. "Same as Amanda would. What do youthink?"
"I think I need you," he says, his breath warm as it caresses her lips. A heartbeat, and he kisses her, achingly soft.
Desire and need both, she thinks faintly. That was always the problem for them. It wasn't just one or the other. Desire can be fought. Need can be substituted by something else. But both together? Doom.
It's also what might save them.
Revenge isn't something to live for. It's something to kill for, fight for, stay alive for. Revenge. What she wants, what Michael wants, what Alex wants.
It's just not all she and Michael wants.
Alex remains to be seen.
When Michael takes her hand as he steers the car into the darkness of the horizon and the future, Nikita lets herself think for a fleeting moment that maybe this won't be all right, that they can never right all the wrongs, that Alex will kill herself one way or another to get what she wants, that Daniel is dead and Michael's family is dead and fear is life.
Then she thinks of Michael and thinks that hope, hope is life. For all Percy tried to change it, she is alive. Michael is alive. Alex is alive. Still life.
Maybe that's the greatest revenge of all.