In spirit of the holidays, I offer this fic. Haha. It's actually inspired by a line from the show and a song I heard on the radio. You'll get to know what those are when you continue reading. Anyway, this fic is a very long one-shot. So, I'll apologize in advance if it gets a bit boring sometime somewhere.
Oh, and to those who read my other fic, One, please don't kill me. I will update! I actually had the whole thing ready around last month but then a virus hit my computer and destroyed everything. Excuses, I know. But I really am so sorry for the delay. I have to write the whole thing again. Huhuhu.
And lastly, I would just like to dedicate this piece to all my faithful readers, and especially my MiPi family. You guys know who you are. Steph, Laysa, Glis, Pauline, Ash, Kat, Grey, and the others that I may not have the chance to get to know that well yet. Haha. And special mention to Sheem, who has been texting me and encouraging to finish and publish this fic already. Haha. Love you people!
Okay, so here we go. Hope you'll like it!
But I still have one wish to make,
A special one, for you.
She wasn't thinking clearly.
This is insane, reckless, and downright crazy, a voice inside her head told her. Dangerous, even.
But when has that ever stopped her?
She was going through with this.
Besides, she had a promise to keep.
Pulling her black parka closer to her small frame, she continued to trudge through the snow-sodden path. The only thing that seemed to constantly gnaw on her mind was the fact that she could have been in Barbados or some tropical island right now soaking in the sun. But here she was in New York City, foolishly facing the cold and biting winter air.
And in the eve of Christmas, no less.
Nikita shook her head, her long dark hair whipping her face. She reminded herself again that a vacation under the sun will always be there. And that she was still doing this, and that she needed this.
Well, she needed him was the more likely answer.
But a part of her was still in denial of that. A very small part of her. But that part was the more rational side of her at the moment. The one that questioned her trust, decision-making, and self-preservation instincts.
Except, the past few months have been hard on her. Not to mention a whirlwind of emotions mostly directed at her self: anger, depression, guilt, paranoia, loneliness. It's a miracle that she hadn't spiraled out of control yet. Or done something rashly impulsive.
Well, until now that is. But it was bound to happen.
They say that distance makes the heart grow fonder. They also forgot to mention that it also makes a person go nuts to the point of suicidal.
Then again, it might be because of the harsh weather that all her rationality flew out the window.
But, ever since this crazy thought entered her head, she had wished and waited for a sign that would reinforce her feeling that she was doing the right thing. No such sign ever presented itself to her still, but that didn't dampen her strong spirit. Nothing was going to stop her from doing what she wants.
If God or Buddha or any other Supreme Being hated her so much that she isn't going to be given a heads-up even if she was gonna walk right into Death's lap, then so be it.
The wind slightly picked up as she rounded the corner. There were lesser people on this side of the street but she noticed that they all seemed to wear the same expression as the others: harried, yet cheerful and excited to get home. The spirit of Christmas getting the best of them. Tugging on the ends of her bonnet, she heard the sounds of choirs singing and people succumbing to the merriment of the holidays. She continued walking but a brief smirk passed as her envy for those people flared, wishing she could spend the night as normally as they did.
Passing by an old electronics store, something on the display window caught Nikita's eye. She stopped and stepped closer. Pressing her gloved fingers on the glass for a moment, she then turned and continued her way down the street. A sort of lilt incorporated in her steps now as a small smile crept to her lips.
She finally saw her sign.
"It's for you."
"Not really. But you showing up in my room and suddenly handing out gifts, a person's gonna ask, 'why?'"
Michael rolled his eyes while closing the door of the recruit's room. He explained, holding out the box to her, "Here at Division, when a recruit exhibits impressive work during exercises, a sort of reward is given for the effort."
Nikita eyed the box suspiciously from where she was sitting across the room, making no move to get it. She narrowed her eyes at her mentor and asked, "Does it always come wrapped and ribboned?"
"No. I took the liberty in doing that. It doubles as a gift from me to you." He admitted, rather sheepishly. Realizing how strange that may have sounded, he quickly added, "As your handler, I mean."
"It's not my birthday," Nikita thought out loud as she stood up to get the gift. Settling her self on the bed with the box in her hands, she looked up at Michael, "Or at least, I don't think so. You people really should put calendars in here."
"Not a chance. Division rules." He reminded her, sitting on the chair Nikita had vacated just seconds ago. "And as for your birthday, I'm not allowed to say."
"Anyway," Michael said, leaning back against the metal chair, gazing at the recruit, "I thought that you should get something not only for what you did today, but also for your great improvement ever since you came here."
So basically, it was a gift for her? Nikita wanted to smile. She couldn't help it. She found the whole thing sweet. No one ever did something like that for her. An act of kindness has always been rare in her life. It was something foreign. These past few weeks though, she's been shown kindness more than she had ever received her whole life. And it mostly came from the person sitting across from her.
But she stopped herself when that smile started to form on her lips. Ever since Michael knocked some sense into her in that talk they had a few weeks after she was brought in to Division, Nikita changed and began to feel something she had never felt in her whole life: trust in others. She didn't know why but with Michael, she was starting to feel safe. That somehow, he'll protect her.
And in the process, along with that trust, she also began to develop other feelings.
But that's also why she was stopping herself from smiling. She had to control her emotions. She reminded herself that she just might be deluding herself. That this just might be a one-sided thing, a stupid crush on the hot teacher. She didn't know Michael enough yet to know how he felt about her aside from the recruit-mentor relationship. And she couldn't risk herself to be vulnerable.
But she knew there was a spark. She just didn't know if he felt it too.
Though him giving her a gift out of the blue does raise some questions. And lift a girl's hope.
"Oh really? Like what?" Nikita asked, that infamous dark glint in her eyes present, "Not kicking and spitting on others anymore?"
"Well," Michael replied, toying with an old tennis ball in his hand. A slight smirk on his lips knowing that his student must have stolen the ball from another unsuspecting recruit. The woman had the fastest pair of hands he'd ever seen. "One of many things."
A moment of silence ensued as both were lost in their own thoughts. After a few seconds, Nikita raised the box from her lap and shook it lightly. It didn't give much rattle but it was lighter than she expected. Her eyebrows knitted as she replaced the box and asked, "What is this anyway?"
Nikita did what she was told. Her curiosity getting the best of her. Tearing off the gold ribbon and metallic red wrapper gingerly, she opened the box. A shiny circular gadget was nestled comfortably inside.
Her eyebrow shot up. "A CD player?"
Michael shrugged lightly. An amused and somewhat proud gleam in his eye.
"Nice." Nikita smirked. She looked up to her mentor and told him, "Though I don't have anything to play in it."
"I know. That's why I also got you this," Michael took out a CD from his jacket pocket, and waved it in front of his recruit. He tossed it onto her bed and informed her, "Not my personal choice of music but it was the only one available in the storage room."
Nikita took both objects from her bed and went over to her bedside table to try out her gifts. Reading the case, she said, "The Carpenters. Hmm… Don't know who they are, but better than nothing, right?" Glancing out of the corner of her eye, she noticed that Michael had made his way to her door and was about to leave. No doubt to give her some privacy. Her expression softened as she told him, "And thank you, Michael."
"No problem." He replied, a small yet gentle smile on his lips. She may not be showing much but he knew that she was happy. And he felt good, knowing that he did something nice for her. She was still a work in progress but she was getting there. "And Merry Christmas, Nikita."
Nikita visibly stiffened. A frown crossed her face as she blinked a few times. She was silent for a few seconds.
But it was enough to get Michael a bit worried that he might have said the wrong thing. He was about to ask about it and apologize when Nikita turned to face him with a smile on her lips. Not that arrogant smile she always seemed to wear on her face, or that mocking smile she used in training, or that insolent smile whenever someone told her to do something she didn't want to. No. It was the first, genuine smile he had ever seen that broke through her walls and lighted up her whole beautiful face.
Sincerely, she admitted, "No one has said that to me in a long time."
She was here.
Standing across the street, Nikita looked up. The modern yet sophisticated-looking apartment building could've rivaled those in Park Avenue. The windows on the 3rd floor were dark, indicating that the owner was not in yet. She was a bit saddened by that, but she brushed it off.
Her plan was to sneak into Suite 3B, leave the package and get out. Simple as that.
She should have known nothing is as simple as it seems. Not for her.
She was about to cross the street when warning bells went off in her head. Honed instincts made her look to the left. And it was a good thing she did. Or else… it would've been the most perfect deer-caught-in-the-headlights moment.
Backtracking and darting for the shadows provided by a nearby tree, Nikita tried her best to remain inconspicuous and prayed that no one saw her. Her heart beat rapidly in her chest, making it ring in her ears. Throwing an annoyed glance at the night sky, she uttered an inaudible curse to whatever god was up there. That of all the tricks they could have played, they just had to choose this one.
Couldn't she ever catch a break?
Peeking from behind the tree, she watched silently as a black town car pulled up in front of the building she was about to break into. It ran idle there, no doubt the passengers still going over some top secret information or whatnot. Looking around, she raised an amused eyebrow as the car didn't even seem out of place in this neighborhood.
She saw a car door open so she strained her ears trying to hear any of the voices. But to no avail. The falling snow muffled any sound that could've floated normally on a clear night. So she contented herself to watch in the dark, counting as the seconds went by.
267 seconds later, and a bit more stiff from the cold, Nikita's heart raced even more.
There he was.
As roguishly handsome as ever, dressed in a black tux, Michael stepped out of the car. But seeing the weary expression on his face, Nikita's heart gave a tug. It's been 4 months since she last saw him. She never really realized how much she missed him until then.
She watched him nod and say something to the other passenger sitting inside the car – none other than Percy. It was dangerous staying there but a sudden need to hear Michael's voice overpowered her other thoughts. She missed hearing that rough, sexy voice of his.
Who was she fooling? She missed him. Everything of him.
When the car drove off into the night, Nikita saw this opportunity to call out to him. As reckless and dangerous as it may be, given that they were now on opposite sides. Her, trying to take down the organization she had just left. And him, a loyal soldier to the same organization that is now hell-bent towards finding and bringing her back.
But that chance was lost and her voice seemed to fizzle in her throat when she saw Michael glance around his surroundings and seemingly stopped at her direction.
Like he knew she was there.
Rooted in her spot, she held her breath. A part of her wished he'd come over to check, so that he'll know she's here for him. But another part of her wanted him to shrug off the feeling and just go up to his apartment. Because she was suddenly nervous. She didn't know what she'd do or what she'd say when he was up close.
For the first time in her life, she was being a coward.
Shame and guilt washed over her when Michael finally turned around and walked up the steps of the building. Her heart felt heavy as she could've sworn that she saw disappointment cross his face.
It was at that moment that Nikita realized that no matter what happened between them, she didn't have to be afraid. Not of Michael. Never.
And that Daniel would always have a place in her heart, just like it is for him with Elizabeth and Haley.
But her and Michael, they were something else. They have something else.
Something special. Just like it had always been.
"I can take care of myself, Michael. You don't have to babysit me."
"Right," he scoffed, handing her a mug before sitting on the other end of the couch. "You couldn't even drive. And I had to carry you from your car to your apartment because you couldn't walk, remember?"
Nikita smirked while murmuring, "How'd you know I wasn't faking it?"
He threw her an annoyed glance before taking a sip of wine from his glass.
"And why, for God's sake," Nikita complained, her dark eyes narrowing at her ex-mentor, "am I drinking almond milk and you're drinking wine?"
"It's a '65 Burnello."
"I know. Because I bought it, and that's mine." Nikita informed him, feigning sulkiness.
"Well, too bad." Michael chuckled, offering her a sideward glance, "You know alcohol and medications don't mix. And I'm not the one on painkillers because I'm not the one who got shot in the leg and shoulder."
"That guy was just lucky."
Michael couldn't help but smirk and roll his eyes.
After a few minutes of silence and flipping through some TV channels, Nikita felt a bit restless. Being cooped up in her apartment watching Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer and almost half her body in bandages was not how she pictured her first Christmas as an agent would be.
But giving Michael an appreciative glance, she was glad that at least she got some parts of her picture right.
"Someone's popular with the neighbors."
Nikita looked at her handler quizzically. He pointed at the small Christmas tree to his side that was overflowing with wrapped gifts. It was also at that moment Nikita noticed an odd silhouette in the pocket of Michael's jacket.
Having an inkling of what it was, her heart swelled and she smiled.
Setting her mug of steaming almond milk on the coffee table, Nikita shifted her weight on her good leg. She then rolled over to kneel on the couch and crawl dangerously close to Michael. He was too surprised at her abrupt movement that he wasn't able to prepare his self at the sudden invasion of personal space.
"Well, what can I say?" she whispered. With her good hand, she plucked the wine glass from Michael's hand and set it on the table next to her mug. Then, placing that hand on the arm of the sofa, she had him trapped. Her face was close enough that her breath ghosted his cheek, "People can't resist my charm."
"They, uhh…" Michael swallowed hard, mesmerized by the woman mere inches from him. His throat suddenly dry, his mind coming to a halt, his gaze shifted to her lips that were looming threateningly close, "… sure can't."
Nikita prided herself in being the only one who could make Michael fluster. Though it also helped that they had this connection in between them. A bond that was so strong. And lust for each other that was evident even with just a glance. She smiled slyly, "I know."
But the thing about playing the seduction card on someone you were attracted to, it can always backfire.
So just as Michael was being spellbound into Nikita, she was too. Her heart was beating fiercely in her chest that she was certain he could it. She chewed on her lower lip nervously; suddenly unsure of what she was doing. Or what she was going to do, a second later.
Because all that was running in their heads was each other. And their dangerous proximity.
They've been here before. A game of will they or won't they.
It's been just a little over a year ever since they've met, and yet neither one has taken that first step to what they've always known was inevitable. They knew their feelings for each other have grown over the past year and now ran deeper than just that of an ex-student-ex-mentor, or that of an agent-handler. It even ran deeper than friends. They just didn't know how to make of it yet.
And it scared them.
Nikita saw Michael's green eyes darken into emeralds just before he cleared his throat and looked away, breaking the tension in the air. She gave a modest giggle at their vulnerability to be easily sidetracked just by being close to each other.
Near misses have become a regular in their complicated relationship.
With a mischievous glitter in her eye, she swiped the object from Michael's pocket before she crawled back to her side of the couch. She waved the rectangular box in her hand and grinned victoriously, "Well, what do we have here?"
Michael broke into a sheepish grin as he realized that he could never seem to keep anything from Nikita.
"Don't you spoil me a bit too much, Michael?" she asked teasingly, shaking the box.
Staring at the TV to avoid making eye contact, he told her, nonchalantly, "What are you talking about? I treat all my agents the same."
"Yeah, right," she laughed.
Leaning her back on the arm of the couch, she pulled up her good leg and poked Michael's thigh with her wool-socked toes. "Hell no."
Michael turned and focused his attention on the injured agent, an amused glint in his eyes, "So you wouldn't mind if I left and checked with the others?"
"Are any of them injured?"
"So no need." Nikita grinned, "Besides, if you leave, I won't give you your present."
Michael raised his eyebrows at her, "Oh, so you got me something?"
"Shut up," she said in mock annoyance. Pulling herself up again, she reached over to the Christmas tree that was on the other side of Michael, "You didn't honestly think I didn't get you anything, did you?"
"I wasn't," he said, his voice straining a bit at the sudden closeness of her body to his again, "thinking really."
She gave Michael an amused look over her shoulder before tossing her gift onto his lap. Returning to her original position, she happily watched as her ex-mentor held his present in his hand with a rather happy expression.
Working her way through the ribbon and wrapper, Nikita heard Michael admit about what he gave her, "I saw you eyeing it last week and since you needed one anyway…"
Opening the lid on the box and seeing her gift, Nikita was stunned into silence for a few seconds before bursting into a fit of laughter.
"What?" Michael asked, clearly confused. There wasn't anything wrong with his gift, was there? Then again, he wasn't even sure if he bought the right gift. For a woman, that is.
He'd been out of that loop for so long that he didn't know anymore.
Covering her mouth with her hands to control her giggling, she managed to say in between laughs, "Open yours."
Doing what he was told, Michael opened his own gift. Seeing what was inside, he couldn't help but let out a chuckle too.
Shaking his head, he mused, "No wonder why Trevor had this weird smile when I bought that saying it was for you."
They got each other the same thing: a military-grade, tactical hunting knife. Double-edged, reinforced black blade and fire-resistant handle.
Taking out her own knife, noticing it was slightly smaller and lighter than the one she gave Michael, Nikita said, with a grin on her lips, "I think he just made us buy a his-and-her's knife set."
Michael shrugged lightly. "Maybe they're lucky charms."
Nikita laughed. She seemed to be doing a lot of that tonight. Maybe it was the spirit of the season getting to her, or maybe she was just too high on painkillers, or maybe it was just the company… Whatever it was, she didn't care. To her, she was having the time of her life right now.
And she didn't want to think that it was just by pure chance that she and Michael got each other the same thing. She liked to think that it was a sign that some higher power was giving them, like a blessing of sorts. She giggled like a little kid at her sudden giddiness.
Taking her mug from the table, she raised it up for a toast, "Well, lucky or not, it tells us one thing."
"And what is that?" Michael asked, smirking as he got and lifted his wine glass to her's.
"That," their glasses clinking, "we are the most in-sync gift-givers in the world. We rock."
Closing the door behind him, Michael went straight to his bedroom.
Tossing his dinner jacket to a nearby chair, he plopped face down onto his bed.
Exhaling deeply, he closed his eyes. He was so goddamned exhausted.
The gala he accompanied Percy to was far too crowded to be a simple get-together of friends. He spotted more than half of the US Congress, diplomats, foreign dignitaries, and some of the most illustrious people in the country. He didn't even bother to understand what they were doing there instead of being with their families celebrating Christmas.
His heart gave a squeeze.
Haley would have been 12 by now. Christmas had always been her favorite holiday. Watching her face light up when he got her that doll she had been pining for, was what he always tried to remember of his little girl. He sometimes wondered what he would have gotten her this year, if that chance was not taken away.
And Elizabeth… His Lizzie. Would they have been having the time of their lives in Hawaii right now? Enjoying the holidays in the sun, the surf, and the sand? Would they be making up for the time lost while being deployed in Yemen?
He didn't know. And it hurt him so much.
Ever since they've gone, he'd been so alone. Holidays passing year after year without him noticing anymore.
But that changed recently.
Ever since Nikita came into the picture, he began to feel the holidays again. Starting with that first Christmas when she was a recruit. That was a turning point for him. He just wanted to give her something for her efforts that day but decided to make it a bit more special by simply wrapping it. He'd seen people like her, broken, deprived, and untrusting, and he just wanted to reach out. Give her a sense of belongingness. That smile on her face when he greeted her was something he would never forget. And what he got in return was more than he could ever bargain for:
She slowly saved him.
And he began to enjoy Christmas again. Because it was starting to become something special again.
He didn't want to admit it, but he was actually looking forward to this year's holiday at first. Probably too much. But then she had to go rogue. He felt betrayed. It left him devastated. It made him angry. It frustrated him that he needed her so much.
The past few months without her had been a blur. It was driving him to a point that he was probably hallucinating. He sometimes thought he'd saw her, but with a blink of an eye, he'd see that the person didn't resemble her one bit. He knew he should get a grip. He had been trying to. But there just some times that he'd slip through the cracks. Just like tonight, when he thought he saw her standing by the tree just outside his apartment building, a sliver of excitement shot through him.
Then his hopes were dashed as he remembered that so many things had changed in the past year.
And that he was alone once more.
Relegated to being Percy's chaperone again. For whatever that's worth. Mingling with politicians and society's bigwigs have never been his thing. He never had the patience for it. Unlike her.
He sighed, feeling more forlorn than ever.
She should have been here. She promised.
"I still can't believe Percy's letting us stay 'til tomorrow in the Hamptons even though the mission's over."
"He said it's compensation for doing an excellent job at being his date at the Governor's Ball last week." He told her, pressing the button for the elevator. "You're lucky. He's usually quite stingy regarding those things. And compliments."
Nikita rounded, stepping in front of Michael. A sly grin on her lips, "Do I detect a hint of jealousy from you, Michael?"
"What? No," Michael said rather unconvincingly, earning a raised an eyebrow from her. "No."
"So you're not jealous he took me instead you?"
"Please, Nikita." Michael scoffed. "I've been Percy's chaperone one too many times. Choosing you instead of me is a welcomed change."
Nikita leaned against the granite elevator frame and gazed at her partner with amusement. She clucked her tongue and teased, "I still think you're jealous. Percy's been picking me instead of you for a lot of things these past few months, don'tcha think?"
"What I think," Michael said, trying his best not to smile, "is that you've drank too much wine for tonight."
"Looks like you're not his favorite anymore." She chimed, in a sing-song voice.
"Whatever you say." He finally smiled, rolling his eyes.
Still waiting for the elevator to come down from the 9th floor, he sighed, thinking back to they fun time they just had.
After finishing their mission early and Percy giving them the 'go' signal, they went out for a walk by the beach since it was still a bit early into the afternoon. With sand in their hair and smiles on their faces, they then went around town for some window shopping – Nikita was adamant that there would be no buying when she noticed that Michael was eyeing a diamond-and-onyx bracelet just a little too closely. When the sun was starting to set, they went back to their hotel to change as some time in the afternoon, Michael had made a dinner reservation for them in one of the upscale restaurants in the area.
He should have known it was a bad idea when Nikita suggested that they go to the restaurant separately.
He was already seated for a few minutes when she arrived. He had to admit, he was actually quite surprised at her dress at first, but not for any reason other than that he was just not used to seeing her so… covered up. Though it still stopped mid-thigh, all black and sophisticatedly elegant, the top was simple. Almost staid and conservative-looking even because of the high neck. But when she turned around as the maitre'd took off her gold cardigan, Michael realized that he may have just passed judgment on the dress a little too early. And that he had to close his mouth.
The back of her dress was completely low-cut that he was sure if it had gone down just half-an-inch lower, she'd be exposing more than what was appropriate.
Catching his awestruck expression, Nikita gave a triumphant smile. No doubt satisfied that she got the effect of the dress she wanted. The highlight of that moment was when she sauntered over to him, ignoring the mesmerized look of other men in the room, and asked innocently, "Too much?"
And just like that, he didn't know what he had gotten himself into for the night.
Not to mention that he couldn't seem to take his eyes off of her. Though he doubted any other man, despite the age, could too.
But aside from that, they had a wonderful dinner. Delicious food and vintage wine. They were full of laughs, stories, teasing, innocent touches and meaningful glances… People couldn't help but admire them as the poster children of the well-dressed and privileged.
It was definitely one of the best Christmas dinners he'd had in a very long time.
"Are you sure you can't come with me to St. Petersburg next week?" Nikita suddenly asked, stepping closer to Michael and pulling him out of his reverie. "I'd hate to spend a Russian winter alone with no Division watching."
"You know I can't," he told her softly, leaning slightly back. Trying to calm the current of electricity that shot down his spine at her closeness. "And it's supposed to be your first overseas solo mission."
Looking up at him with dark, mischievous eyes, she said, changing into that seductive voice of hers as she ran a hand down his arm distractingly, "And I can't persuade you otherwise even if I'll change into something nice in our room tonight?"
"Even if…" he trailed off and chuckled, his eyes roving over her. Putting his hands on her hips, he pulled her roughly closer, catching her off-guard, and whispered into her ear, "You know what, why don't you hold on to that thought and we'll see."
Nikita could barely hide her grin. She actually secretly loved it when Michael gets all dominant and physical with her. It was just another side to him that no one else ever sees. And she just found it so incredibly damn sexy. Smirking, just as the elevator pinged its arrival at the ground floor, she whispered back, "Such a tease."
Planting a kiss on Michael's cheek, Nikita pulled back from his grasp to take his hand into hers and towed him into the waiting elevator, throwing a lascivious glance over her shoulder as she did so. Eyes gleaming with exhilaration and pent-up emotions, they tried to ignore the spark that went through their bodies at that, and the tension that filled the suddenly-too-small space.
"Well, isn't this interesting."
"What is?" Michael asked, looking back to her after pressing the button that would take them to their penthouse suite on the 15th floor.
With her free hand, Nikita pointed to the ceiling. Looking up, he couldn't help but smirk at the clichéd decoration: a sprig of white-berried mistletoe hung delicately over their heads.
Looking down to her, he feigned indifference when he asked, "So?"
"So," Nikita said, grasping the collar of his black tux and pulled him closer, "basically, you're now obliged to kiss me."
Hearts racing, eyes smoldering and lips tingling, he leaned closer that their noses were touching and whispered huskily, "What if I don't want to?"
"Then you're such a liar," Nikita leered, reaching around him to press all the buttons in the elevator to give them more time. Smirking, she neared her lips until it was lightly brushing against his and then breathed, "You know you want to."
"And you're such a tease."
And with that, Michael closed the gap between them.
It was slow at first. Gentle, sweet, tender... But it was never meant to be that way.
With Michael and Nikita, it was supposed to be rough, intense, and passionately raw.
Staggering back until they hit a wall of the elevator, their bodies molded perfectly against each other.
Pushing and pulling, giving and taking, needing and wanting…
Bodies pressing, lips melting, tongues entwining, hands exploring…
Nikita grasped fistfuls of Michael's hair and moaned into him as he slipped his hands and ran them along her bare back, sending zapping shocks that she could feel all the way to the tips of her toes.
Tugging her gold cardigan off her shoulder, he trailed kisses on the exposed flesh. His stubble scratching her wonderfully supple skin. He could hear and feel her ragged breath caressing his neck, making his heart race. Her nails digging into his arms as he marked her on the hollow just below her ear.
Guiding him back to her bruised lips, Nikita pulled him closer to her, so close that the buttons of his tux would leave marks on her skin any moment. They held on to each other like they did no other.
Fire seemed to flare and burn everywhere their lips amorously kissed, or their hands sensually touched. It was a powerful thing. Love and lust entangled dangerously yet so naturally between them, binding them.
Because this moment, it was who they were, Michael and Nikita. The way it should have been, should always be.
Or, that is, until the elevator opened at the 10th floor and an elderly couple walked in.
To say they were surprised at the lewd scene they have just interrupted would be an understatement.
Michael and Nikita pulled apart faster than they could've withdrawn a gun. And they had the decency to blush and look mortified. Nikita smiled wryly as she picked up her 6-inch gold shoes that had come off some time between the kisses earlier. They hastily straightened whatever askew piece of clothing they could under the displeased eye of the older woman, while the other man gave Michael a sort of wrinkly smile of approval.
Honestly, they just couldn't wait to get out of there.
So as the elevator pinged their arrival on the 15th floor, they stumbled out. Michael chuckled as he wrapped an arm around Nikita's shoulder while she looked back at the older couple and sent an apologetic smile their way. They heard the older man mention something like, "ah, young love" just before the elevator doors close.
When they were finally alone again just outside their door, Nikita dropped her shoes to pull Michael to her and kiss him squarely on the lips.
Pulling back after a few moments, she smiled and remarked, "Ever notice how our Christmas just seems to gets better every year?"
"Then I can't wait for next year." Michael grinned, pushing a lock of hair out of Nikita's face.
Tiptoeing, she planted another lingering kiss, and then said against his lips, "If we're not on a mission next year, we are spending Christmas at your place."
"It's a date."
The sudden ringing of his cellphone pulled Michael out of his recollection.
He sighed exasperatedly as he took out his phone from his pocket, wondering what Percy or anyone from Division could want from him now.
"S'Michael." He said, his voice muffled by him lying face down on the mattress.
There was no answer on the other end.
Still no answer.
Pulling his phone away and turning his head to the side to look at the screen, he was surprised to see the words Restricted Number being displayed. A second later, he rolled over and sat up, slightly alarmed yet excited. Only one thing coming to mind:
"Nikita?" he asked cautiously, but barely masking the anticipation in his voice.
3 seconds passed and nothing. He couldn't help but feel a bit dismayed. Cursing his hopes for rising so fast and being so eager. He let out the breath he didn't know he held when he waited for the answer.
"Michael." A voice on the other end said, just as he was about to close his phone.
His heart picked up. Was he dreaming?
Standing up, he walked over to the window overlooking the street. His gaze zeroed in on the tree directly across his building. The instinctive feeling he had earlier that she was there returned and was stronger than ever. Maybe he wasn't delusional after all.
He was absolutely sure she was there.
His voice was soft and sincere when he asked, "Why aren't you here?"
There was a sharp intake of breath on the other end. But no answer. A few seconds later, Nikita stepped out into a pool of light provided by one of the nearby street lamps. She looked up to him and gave a rather rueful smile.
Crossing an arm across his chest, he said, almost admonishingly, "Did it ever occur to you that what you're doing is dangerous?"
"Please," she scoffed mildly. A brief smirk crossed his lips that he was able to get her talking. "What're you gonna do, rat me out to Division?"
"Percy could've seen you earlier."
"He could've… Are we really going to talk about this?"
"You're the one who brought it up."
Michael chuckled. They haven't seen each other for 4 months and here they were, bickering as always. And talking normally as if the time apart were nothing. "Just like old times, huh?"
"Just like old times." He saw her smile and glance up at the skies then back to him.
Even with the distance between them, eye contact was all they needed. Their bond had always been so strong that they could feel the connection with just one look. So many things have happened between them that has caused so much strain and hurt. But they've also been through and established a whole lot more to let those things tarnish what they had… still have.
And though they miss each other so much, and would want nothing more than to find solace in each other's arms, but if they had to maintain physical distance just to keep the other safe, they would do it with no questions asked. It was an understanding they've always had.
Nikita walked over to the lamp post and leaned against it. Gazing back to him, there was a small smile tugging on her lips as she said, "Remember that Christmas when you stayed at my place and took care of me because I couldn't walk?"
A matching smile graced his lips too. Of course, he remembers. "Because you were shot in the leg and arm, yeah."
"I was faking it."
Michael snorted a laugh. "I know."
He saw her eyebrows knit and her mouth conform into a smirk, "You knew I could walk?"
"Nikita," he said, in a rather patronizing tone, "you're the strongest person I've ever met. And I don't think a through-and-through in your leg would ever stop you from walking... Or beating someone."
She giggled lightly, "Shut up."
In a more serious tone, Michael added, "That's why, whatever it is, I always know you'll get through."
Nikita gazed at him gratefully. After a few seconds of silence, she said softly, "Thank you."
"Everything." She shrugged, lightly. Stepping away from the lamp post, she walked closer to the street to get a clearer view. "For being there. Believing… Even when I thought I couldn't anymore."
Michael wanted to tell her she was wrong. That he was the one who should be thanking her.
"Nikita–" he started.
But she interrupted him with a sad smile. "I have to go."
He sighed. Here they finally were at the crossroad. After everything they've been through, was he willing to let her go? It pained him but he knew she couldn't stay, not after what happened. If only things were different, he'd be there with her to join her. But in this reality, it wasn't and he was bound to Division.
He knew she understood, the same way he understood why she has to go.
"I know," he admitted. Running a hand through his hair, he exhaled. "And I'm sorry."
For everything. For Daniel. For staying. For letting you go.
He heard her take a deep breath. Her voice was a bit strained when she said, "I know."
Nikita turned to leave and Michael had this sudden impulse to not let things end the way it just did. He called her name.
She looked up at him.
"I –," he stopped short. What was he going to say? There were so many things he wanted to tell her just then. Some things that he should have told her a long time ago. But he just didn't know where to start. The beginning was always a good place but he didn't even know where that point was.
"Yes?" Nikita encouraged, her head cocked to the side in an adorable way.
In the end, Michael just settled on saying, "Merry Christmas."
The expression and smile that graced her lips was the one he saw in her recruit room 3 years ago. It was that honest and genuine smile he knew that would be embedded in his memory, and what he would always go back to when thinking of her.
Closing her phone, Nikita walked over to the tree she hid behind earlier. Michael curiously watched as she took out a thin package from the pocket of her parka, waved it at him, and placed it at the base of the tree trunk. It was wrapped in green paper and tied with a red ribbon. A gift. Nikita then gazed back at him and gave a rather cheeky grin. Parting with a small wave of her hand, she turned around and walked into the shadows, disappearing into the night like the excellent spy she was trained to be.
A few moments after Nikita left, Michael rushed down his apartment to get the package. Silently praying that no other person passed or had any ideas of stealing it because he was sure as hell he wouldn't think twice about shooting someone tonight. But luckily, his gift was still there and he was able to bring it back to his apartment.
Sitting on his bed, he opened the small envelope that was attached on top. There was a short note scribbled in Nikita's handwriting.
I think you'll like this. Keep it safe, I want it back.
'Til next time.
Merry Christmas, Michael.
P.S. Play #11.
A smirk tugged on his lips as his curiosity piqued. Tearing the wrapping paper and seeing the gift, Michael couldn't help but let out a small laugh. Whether it was that of gratitude or incredulity, he didn't know. Maybe it was a mixture of both.
In his hands was a The Carpenters CD. The exact one, judging from the battered and worn casing, he gave her that first Christmas when she was a recruit. He couldn't help but wonder and be amazed at how she managed to sneak it out of Division.
But then again, it was Nikita.
Opening the case and taking out the CD (which was surprisingly in immaculate condition), Michael walked over to his player. Following the instruction Nikita gave him, he skipped songs 1-10 and proceeded to #11. He then went back to his bed and listened to the song.
Merry Christmas, Darling
We're apart, that's true
But I can dream
And in my dream
I'm Christmasing with you
Nikita concentrated on the puffs of white smoke every time she exhaled. It calmed her down. She was so lightheaded, it barely registered to her where her feet were taking her.
There was a warmth and a tugging in her heart as she saw Michael earlier. She didn't know seeing him again would affect her so much. In the time they've been apart, it slipped from her mind the effect he held on her.
But she knew better to keep distance, even if it took all her strength to do so. She wanted nothing more than to spend the night away with him just like it had been for the past 3 years. But it was complicated. They still had to talk and deal with a whole lot of things before making another step.
Though seeing him again tonight, it was a reminder of why she was doing this. It strengthened her conviction as to why she will come back when the time was right.
She was reminded that she had someone to live for.
Logs on the fire
Fill me with desire
To see you and to say
That I wish you a Merry Christmas
Happy New Year too
There was a wry smile on Michael's lips.
He got the message Nikita wanted to let him to know from the song. It was amusingly yet poignantly apt for the two of them.
But a part of him was still a bit bothered that she risked her self just to do this. She could've sent the gift through the mail or through some random person. She didn't have to do it herself. He wouldn't know what he'd do if she would've been placed in danger because of him.
Nevertheless, he had to admit, seeing Nikita again tonight brought some relief. At least he knew she was alright. Well, for her situation anyway. It settled a nagging feeling in his mind that something bad might have happened to her. Though he knew she could take care of her self, he just couldn't let go of the protective streak he had when it came to her.
Some things just never change.
I've just one wish on this Christmas Eve,
I wish I were with you
Memories from their past Christmases passed through his mind, and he couldn't help but let out a sigh.
He was going to miss those times. He was going to miss her.
He didn't know when she'll be back. Or if she'll be back (but judging from her note, she will). But a small part of him wished she wouldn't return anymore. That she should realize that she was free and just go on with her life. Because next time, they'll probably be on different sides and be pointing guns at each other. He didn't know if he could do that and pull the trigger.
Well, they'll just have to deal with that when the time comes.
He brushed off that thought so as not to dampen his slightly happier mood.
Nikita may not have stayed for the night as much as he might have wanted, but at least he got to see her.
And that was enough of a Christmas wish for him.
I wish I were with you.
And that's it!
Let me know what you think of this fic in the Reviews! I swear, I love reading them. And it might be after a few days before I reply, but I do try to get back to everyone. Your reviews are always appreciated! :]
The song, in case you're wondering, was Merry Christmas Darling by The Carpenters. And yeah, that's an old song. Like, 1984 or something according to the CD my parents have. I wasn't even born yet! Haha!
So anyway... Jan. 6 seems so far away, no? And the way they left things in that last ep was just… argh. So excited to see what happens next! I'm sure all of you are experiencing Nikita withdrawals too, like I am! AHH!
Oh well… Happy Holidays everyone! Keep safe!
P.S. I seem to have made a mistake above in my A/N. The song was actually recorded in 1974, not 1984. Karen Carpenter already died in 1983. Okay, my bad. Thank you so much Jeremy for letting me know! ;)