Isn't it just so exciting that our favorite casts started filming already this week? 2 more months to go before the epic-ness continues! So excited!
Okay, first off, I just want to say THANK YOU SO MUCH for those who took the time to read and those who reviewed my other fic, Distance. And also those who wished me luck (hopefully I pass)! Thank you! BIG HUG! KISS KISS!
And then, if I can disturb your time for a bit, I just want to point out a few random yet interesting things.
1. For those who read Distance, remember the description of the target? It was at 2,430 meters. I forgot to mention that, that's actually a fact. That's the farthest successful sniper shot in military records. I heard it on a documentary showing on TV while I was writing the fic.
2. I was looking into the Romanov history earlier (it was accidental). And I found this little tidbit of info that I just had to share because I don't know if it was just coincidental or the writers really made it that way… Well, we know the name Nikita is Russian, right? Nikita, in Russian history, was the brother of the wife of tsar Ivan IV Vasilyevich/Ivan the Terrible (okay, so he's a guy but whatever). Nikita's children changed their last name to Romanov in honor of their grandfather. And then one of Nikita's grandsons became the first Romanov tsar. His name? Michael. And then fast forward to the last Romanov tsar, Nicholas II, did you know the name of his wife? Alexandra.
I know that was just so random. Haha. (Sorry if my Author's Note is SO LONG.)
SO! About this fic: This wasn't really, shall we say, what I had in mind? I didn't plan to write this one as I had other ideas in mind but along the way of writing those fics, I kinda lost focus on it. So I decided to write something else for a distraction and this is the product of that.
It's not really that much of a fluffy Mikita fic. It's sort of just a drabble so it might get kind of pointless (but that's just me). But I will make it up in other fics!
And finally, this fic is loosely based on episode 1x19, where nearing the end, Nikita said something along the lines, "Oh, I like windows."
Aaand, read on, my loves!
Nikita was never usually this excited. But today, she had every reason to be.
She was moving out.
She was going back into the city.
She was no longer a recruit hidden underground, away from civilization.
She's an agent now. She'd get to feel what it was like to be a normal, free person again.
No more gray walls, just lights and color.
No more recruit training shirts and sweatpants, just regular clothes.
No more bland, routine, genetically-modified food, but a variety at her fingertips.
No more deadly young criminals around her, but people of every walks of life.
No more –
A swift knock on her door pulled her out of her musings.
"Who is it?" she asked, already knowing who it was. As she approached the door, she tugged on the crisp, white button-down shirt she was wearing as a smile was also forming on her lips.
"Escort service," Michael said lightly, as the door opened to reveal him.
"You ready?" he asked her, stepping aside to make way for his ex-recruit.
Nikita strode out of her room and into the hallway. Turning around, she placed her hand on the doorknob and gave the room she considered as her refuge for the past year, a last once-over.
A couple of posters on the walls, the black-and-white pillows she have held onto for countless nights, the cassette player, the stacks of CDs on the table, a TV, books, magazines… though available in the city, these objects were her reminders and her rewards of what she has done, what she has become.
This was it. No more going back.
A sense of nostalgia swept through her. Though she was excited to go out into the city, the outside world could present certain temptations towards her. This place, her room, provided a sense of security that she had never felt in a long time. And now she was leaving it, literally and metaphorically, to start a new chapter of her life.
Out of the corner of her eye, she saw and realized something else. This wasn't the only thing she was leaving.
That was one downside to that. In exchange for her freedom, she'll see less and less of Michael. She had to admit, she'd grown rather close to her mentor over the past year. He'd been there for her whenever she needed someone to rant to, take out her frustration, be her living punching bag… She was going to miss all those late nights when they'd spar till they couldn't stand anymore, all the flirty banter and him breathing down her neck during exercises, the run-ins in the hallway, the meetings in her room…
But there were other people out there, she tried to reason feebly with herself. Other fish in the sea. Other people that could help her not miss him so much.
She chuckled softly. How could she ever kid herself with that argument?
There's no other. She's going to miss him because she loved him. Period.
But she had kept it to herself most of the times. She only showed what needed to be seen: attraction. Enough that would let him know that someone lusted for him, but not enough that would get him (or her, for that matter) into trouble in Amanda-land. Just a healthy amount that she enjoyed exploiting.
Her emotions have had her tiptoe along a thin line many times. As a recruit, this was dangerous as it could have meant instant cancellation for her. And she knew better than to challenge the powers above. But then again, she also relished it to no end when Michael had to go in and save her. Showing that behind that stoic mask, he actually did care for her in some way other than just a recruit. A way that stirred some emotion in him that awaited reciprocity.
That's why she had always kept her emotions intact. She realized that there maybe hope for them just yet. She just had to wait for the perfect time.
"Always," Nikita smiled, closing the door.
"You know," Nikita said, turning around to face the person on the back seat, "I didn't expect you to join us, Nerd."
"And miss you going to your new apartment?" Birkhoff said, taking a bite out of a red licorice stick, "No way."
"I thought you didn't like recruits." Nikita teased. It was a common understanding that the Division's head IT always had a short temper towards young recruits. But it seemed that he took a liking to her the moment she stood up to him on her first day of Logistics class. Nikita didn't allow herself to be intimidated and affected by the mean and condescending jabs Seymour Birkhoff sent her way. It also helped that he found her hot. Yet, their friendship has grown since then.
"Consider yourself an exception, babe."
"Aww," Nikita said, placing a hand on her chest, "warm fuzzy feeling."
"Plus," Birkhoff said, leaning forward to come between the front seats, "if ever I need someone to play Halo with, say, in the middle of the night, I'll know whose place to go to."
"Okay," Nikita chuckled. She had to admit though, at first, she wanted this car ride to her new apartment just something between her and Michael. And she felt a bit down-casted the moment she saw Birkhoff waiting for them at the parking lot. But now she realized that she wouldn't have wanted it any other way. She wanted her two closest friends to be there in her new experience, "warm fuzzy feeling gone."
"Just keeping it real, babe." Birkhoff said before leaning back on his seat, munching on the candy.
Nikita gave Divisions resident techie a quick glance before facing forward and leaned against her own seat. She threw another glance at Michael, who was driving, before asking, "So where is this place?"
"We're almost there," Michael told her, keeping his eyes on the road. They were approaching this quaint neighborhood that, although made up mostly of high-rise buildings, was astonishingly bustle-free and clean to be a part of New York. "You're apartment is 20 minutes away from Division."
"And 5 minutes away from Michael's," Birkhoff piped in.
"Really?" Nikita said at the same time Michael exclaimed, "Birkhoff!"
"What?" Birkhoff said defensively, "I'm just stating a fact."
Nikita gave Michael a questioning look. He ignored it at first, but after a minute or so, he could still feel his protégé's eyes on him so he sighed and said, "Fine. Yes, it is. I thought, being in a new surrounding can be overwhelming, you might want someone you know nearby. You know, in case you needed help with something."
"Like pulling down your pants," Birkhoff muttered softly from the back seat.
Both people in the front seats pretended not to hear the comment. Nikita looked at the window and bit the insides of her cheeks to control herself from laughing at the remark. She decided not to glance at her mentor to check his reaction as it might break down her self-control. A few moments later, they were pulling up into an underground parking lot.
As they got out of the car, Michael called out to his ex-pupil and threw the car keys at her.
Catching it with ease, Nikita's eyes widened. She looked at the black Kia Sportage they had just used and then back to her former mentor. "This is mine? Whoa."
"Trust me," Michael smiled, "you're gonna have to save your 'whoa' for later."
Birkhoff let out a low whistle.
"Sweet digs," he mused. Staring at Nikita's back as she stormed around her new apartment in amazement like a kid unleashed in a candy store. He approached Michael, who was leaning against the kitchen counter and watching the whole scene in amusement, and clamped a hand on his shoulder, "You've really outdone yourself this time, Mikey."
"I don't know what you're talking about." Michael replied offhandedly.
Birkhoff chortled, "Oh right, the Big Boss just happens to give our little Niki one of Division's best apartments in Manhattan out of the goodness of his heart."
This was one conversation that Michael did not want to take part in. Especially with someone as nosy as Birkhoff. He was one of the 3 people (apart from him) who knew what lengths he had to go through for Nikita to get this apartment, "I'm sure Percy has his reasons."
Birkhoff rolled his eyes as he looked around the spacious apartment, or rather, penthouse. The first thing one would see a few feet away from the door was this large L-shaped wardrobe that took out half of the east wall. It had frosted glass doors that stored numerous high-end clothes and shoes that any shopaholic could have just died for. The contemporary kitchen filled up the other half. To the left from the door was the bathroom that was pristine and just gleamed from cleanliness. The north and west wall were made, from floor to ceiling, of self-tinting bulletproof glass. A flat screen TV and a gray leather sofa and loveseat were situated in the middle of the loft overlooking the Upper New York Bay and the Statue of Liberty on one side and the bustling metropolis in the other. At the end of the west wall, separated by an ornately designed dividing screen, was this queen-sized bed with red silk sheets. Too much and too expensive for a person who was going to be gone most of the time, if what he heard of Percy's plans were correct.
The techie crossed his arms against his chest as he let out a snort. "Yeah, and not one of them is to get into her pants."
Michael was about to retaliate at that comment but it was also at that moment Nikita chose to interrupt, looking all wide-eyed and giddy, "Into whose pants are you talking about?"
"It's nothing, Nikita." Michael quickly interrupted, throwing a dangerous look towards Birkhoff, "so, how do you like your new apartment?"
Nikita was grinning wildly as she said, "It's amazing!" She quickly paused, reassessing how she might have just sounded like a naïve little girl to them, and then said more calmly, "I mean, excellent upgrade from the recruit cots back at Division."
"Of course it is." Birkhoff said in a low voice, "Considering Percy had a hissy fit before releasing it."
"Birkhoff, shut it!" Michael commanded simultaneously as Nikita asked, "What?"
Birkhoff, enjoying the little banter, stepped away from the counter to where they were standing and plopped himself on the sofa. He laughed, "Dude, Mikey, for once in your life, cut the act."
Feeling exasperated, Michael sighed as he sat down on the love seat. He did not like where this conversation was going. He wanted to keep this whole thing a secret from Nikita. Why did he even agree to let Birkhoff accompany them, he didn't know. He knew the guy had a big mouth and his protégé was just one who loved to dig into people's secrets. Like a milder version of Amanda. Younger, more beautiful version…
Okay, he had to stop right there.
"Someone care to explain what's going on?" Nikita questioned, taking the other side of the sofa. She took the seat farthest from Michael and placing Birkhoff in between them. She had to be away from her mentor if she wanted to know what the hell was going on.
Michael started, "It's nothing, Nik–"
"When I said 'someone'," Nikita threw Michael a dark look, "I actually meant Nerd."
Birkhoff laughed. He looked at Michael and said, smugly, "See? Still me over you, Mikey. Accept it."
Recognizing that he wasn't going anywhere with the argument, he closed his eyes, pinching his nose bridge with his thumb and forefinger as if the conversation was giving him a headache and sighed, "Fine."
Smirking, Nikita brought up her long legs and tucked them under her. She turned towards Birkhoff and said, "So what's this about Percy having a fit?"
Clearly enjoying the attention of the new agent, Birkhoff explained, "Oh you know, because he's having these budget cuts right now so he doesn't want to spend on things anymore than he should and then someone insisted that this place be, and I quote," he paused and then when he spoke, he did his best imitation of Michael's gravelly voice, "'given to Nikita. She deserves it.'"
Nikita turned her attention towards her mentor, ignoring the pained expression he had on his face, and asked, "I deserve it? How? I just barely graduated."
"Exactly Percy's words." Birkhoff informed them.
Meeting his ex-pupil's soft brown eyes, Michael told her, "Because, for instance, the judgment and action you've done on Operation Sapphire Needle not only saved the mission from near failure, but also minimized collateral damage. A making of an excellent agent. Even Amanda thought so too."
The last sentence was a lie but Michael added it to save what little dignity he will be left with after this conversation.
"Still," Birkhoff commented, dismissively, "Percy could've found an apartment near the meat packing district for all he cared as long as he got to save on some kizzash. But no, someone was persistent. And in the end," he turned his attention towards Nikita, "we're all here so I guess you know what happened to that."
Comprehension dawned visibly on Nikita's face and then she smiled. She couldn't help it. She found it sweet. No one has ever done anything or gone through such lengths just for her. And no matter how much Michael would deny it, she knew it came from somewhere inside him. And that was enough for her to know.
"You know, if you don't like it, Nikita, just say so," Michael offered, smirking, "because certain arrangements can always be made. I'm sure Percy would be happy to rescind this offer."
The ex-recruit let out a small laugh, "No way! I love it here already." She gazed out of the window and she had to admit, the view from the 50th floor was just magnificent. If Michael really did pick this place for her, she owed him big time. For one thing, the huge windows were a great improvement from the window-less Division. She never realized how much she missed windows till now.
After a few moments, she returned her gaze to Michael, her expression soft as she said, "And would you kindly tell Percy, 'thank you'."
He responded to the gentle look of hers. Just seeing her joy and happiness was all he ever wanted in this. He knew Nikita had been through a lot of things in her life, some things have been deprived from her, and he wanted to show her that there was some good in their world. His small token of appreciation of the great things she has done for him. He told her, warmly, "I'm sure he knows."
He held her brown-eyed gaze a little bit longer. She would never know how much meeting her has changed him. Ever since Elizabeth and Haley passed away, he thought that his sole purpose in life was to find Kasim and get revenge for his family. After that was done, he had nothing to live for anymore. Nikita changed that for him. She helped him realize that there was more to this world than just revenge and suffering. She was the prime example that no matter what life threw, there was always something better after everything.
As time passed, no matter how much he prevented himself, he fell in love again. Something, he had thought impossible after the death of his family. But with Nikita's addicting jovial and fearless attitude, not to mention her arresting beauty inside and out, it was just inevitable. Time and the concrete walls of Division were the only witnesses of how their mentor-pupil-relationship grew into something forbidden.
But Division wouldn't allow it. Percy, Birkhoff, and especially Amanda, already had suspicions of his feelings. They warned him about the dangers of an agent falling in love with a recruit. So he had his hands tied behind his back. He could not do anything nor act on how he felt. That's why he always settled for protecting her, going out of his way to look out for her, and doing what he could do to give her the best. Because that was all he could ever do under the eagle eye of Amanda and Percy.
That was also one reason why he reveled on those late nights when they'd do their additional sparring matches. It gave him an excuse to be close to her. Their bodies would touch and no one could say anything about it. But their sparring matches weren't always what they seemed to be. Sometimes, when they'd both let their emotions for each other consume them, it would turn into a dance. A tango between the predator and prey, the hunter and hunted, but neither of them knew who played which. Because for them, it didn't matter.
Because for them, each other was enough.
Even in a wide area, a simple eye contact could spark emotions of tumultuous proportions. No one believed more than they did that the eyes were the windows to the soul. Because the connection they had with each other was strong enough that they could see the real person, the real emotions, the real thoughts just by looking into each other's eyes.
And what they saw was enough to have them cancelled.
"Uhh… I think I should leave," Birkhoff said, after a few minutes of silence. Standing up, he broke the gaze between the other Division agents. He commented (rather uncomfortably) before he left to explore the other parts of the loft, "I can sense some sexual tension brewing. Don't want to get caught in the crossfire."
Nikita watched as Birkhoff trudged his way into the kitchen and yanked open some drawers. Michael cleared his throat, bringing his ex-student's attention back to him. "Moving on," he said as he took out a small black bag and placed it on his lap, "This is your ID packet. It contains all information of your civilian life. Remember it, Nikita. It may be a lie but you have to live the lie –"
"Until the lie becomes your life. I know," Nikita continued. She occupied the seat Birkhoff just vacated, bringing her closer to her mentor. She smiled briefly at him, "Amanda all but hammered that to my head."
Michael handed her the bag, "I'm serious Nikita."
"Of course you are… Hmm," she opened the packet and took out its contents. She read out loud, "Nikita Pope... Model?" She threw her mentor an incredulous look, "Are you kidding me?"
"It's your cover." Michael shrugged lightly.
"What's wrong with that?"
"Nothing. It's just so –"
"Would you rather it be Bishop?" Michael said before he could stop himself. Realizing what he just did, he wanted to smack his head with his hand. He shouldn't have said that. It was a slip-up. It was a good thing that Nikita or Birkhoff didn't know much about him. Bishop was his last name. He could've just landed himself into a compromising position if someone knew better. It was a close call.
Nikita rolled her eyes. She said softly, "Nevermind…" After putting back all her fake identification papers back into its bag, she called out to Birkhoff who just closed the door to the refrigerator, "Hey, Nerd, what's in the fridge? I'm starving."
"Nothing." Birkhoff called out, "You have to buy your food on your own. Budget cuts."
"Great." Nikita said faintly. All the drama in her life was making her hungry. She couldn't believe it, Division gives her this amazing apartment, but it had no food. She had to shop for it. Talk about cheapskate.
"By the way," Michael said, holding up a small rectangular designer monogrammed pouch, "here is your credit card. You have a $30,000 monthly allowance, any–"
"Oh, and some powers that be also insisted that you be the last to be included before Percy slashed the agents' allowance to 20k. Again, budget cuts." Birkhoff interjected from the armoire near the doorway.
Michael rolled his eyes as he stood up. He brushed off some imaginary lint from his well-cut navy suit while saying, "Anyway, as I was saying, any purchases above $50,000 have to be cleared with Logistics."
"Okay, got it. So what's next?" Nikita said, following suit, she also stood up.
"Nothing." Michael looked at his favorite ex-recruit. He then made his way to where Birkhoff was. It was time for them to leave so Nikita could settle in to her apartment, "We'll just call you when you're needed back in Division."
Following behind his heels, Nikita asked, "And what do I do in the mean time?"
Michael stopped and turned around to face her, he could tell that she was getting anxious and confused about what was next. All new agents had the same feelings and he told her the same thing he told all of them, "That's your business. Read a book, shop, have a cup of coffee, explore the city…"
"So if I wanted to, say, book a flight to Monte Carlo right now, I could?"
Michael smirked. He waved the pouch in front of Nikita, "Probably not one of the brightest ideas."
She stared up at her mentor with a playful yet innocent expression, "That's it?"
"That's it." He told her, "Until Division calls for you, you're a free woman."
"Okay…" She said thoughtfully. She stared at the small object with a solemn expression before snatching it from her ex-mentor's hands and ran to the door. Her joyful laughter rang out in the whole loft, "Well, this free woman wants to grab something to eat right now. Wanna come? My treat!"
Michael chuckled. The woman had one serious sense of reflexes. But he had to control himself, set a professional barrier, so instead of saying what he wanted, he told her, "I think I'll pass."
But it was also the same moment Birkhoff exclaimed, "Yes! There is a god!"
Nikita eyed Birkhoff appreciatively and said, teasingly, "Guess it'll just be me and Nerd." She then turned her attention back to Michael and said, "You sure? It's not everyday I go on treating people to free lunch, you know."
Michael had to smile at that. And for once, he decided to forego the rules and enjoy himself, "Fine. I'm in."
Nikita held out the door for the two other Division agents. When Michael passed her, she whispered, "Knew you couldn't stay away."
He couldn't help but smile at her over his shoulder.
Was it icky/bad/so-so/good/great? There's a link down there that says Review This Chapter.
Click it and let me know what you think! Reviews are always welcomed!
OH OH OH! One last thing! Don't forget to VOTE for NIKITA, SHANE WEST, MAGGIE Q or LYNDSY in the Teen's Choice Awards! They deserve our love!