Looking for Heaven, for the devil in me. Well what the hell, I'm gonna let it happen to me.
Since Nikita is the most senior agent assigned to the Zoman mission, she is the one who is given the order, directly from Percy no less.
"We finally have the advantage, NIkita." He says to her, a zealous happiness reflecting openly in his body language. It chills her to her core. "You'll have the surprise you need to take him out."
"We need to keep it from Alex." She says immediately and as business-like as possible. "She's nervous enough about the mission, finding out that Michael knows about the hit will just distract her."
"You're in charge of the details," Percy says with a dismissive wave. "I have complete faith in your abilities. You'll get him this time."
She plans it by herself, and though she knows it could be easier if she involved Birkhoff, it's too dangerous as it is, and the more people who know about this, and Alex, and everything, the more precarious the situation becomes. As she promised Alex, she is there with the support team on the ground that day, and the support team is sworn to complete secrecy about their secondary mission: Find Michael, disable Michael, detain Michael, Do Not Kill Michael. She makes it clear that she is the one who will have that honour.
No one questions her on it.
After that it's a lot harder to plan in detail. If she could get in contact with Michael, to warn him somehow, she would. But they decided it would be too risky to communicate, even with Birkhoff's help, so she has no way of getting a reliable message through to him. She'll just have to trust in Michael's survival skills, and she's always been good at thinking on the fly.
Hopefully she won't get them all killed.
The Zoman estate sprawls out each way for miles and is crawling with all sorts of heavily-armed security, but Michael slips easily past it all, finding a great little hiding spot on the roof where he can stay until the real action begins later. He watches as Alex totters around the party, ostensibly as one of the assistance helping to keep the wedding party in line, and he easily picks out the Division operatives who're spread out amongst the catering staff. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to see why they've picked this man for assassination. His arms-dealing business is extremely profitable, and would create an invaluable source of cash-flow for Percy and Division if it were led by someone more amenable to Division's world-view.
But it doesn't really matter right now, he's not looking to prevent this mission from taking place- He'll do it himself so Alex doesn't have to. He's killed before, for good reasons and not so good reasons. Another death on his conscience won't make that much of a difference. But putting Alex in this position was never part of his plan. She won't kill anyone if he has anything to do with it.
Michael checks his watch, it's almost 5:30, and it's time for him to move. He stands carefully and lightly makes his way across the roof until he reaches the balcony of the master bedroom. If all is going to plan downstairs, Alex will be guiding the man upstairs where she'll take him out with a syringe full of poison. He grasps the edge of the roof and rolls over the edge, dangling above the balcony for a few seconds before dropping down and slipping quickly into the room. They're not here yet, but that's fine. He goes and stands behind the door where he can easily disable anyone who comes into the room.
He doesn't have to wait long. Alex steps into the room wearing the fluffy electric blue number that he's sure Amanda picked out and her bluetooth headset and leads Zoman.
The older man is dressed in an expensive black suit, and asks immediately to see his daughter. Alex begins to make her excuses, and Michael makes his move. He steps up behind the man and wraps a strong arm around his neck, placing forceful pressure onto the blood vessel in the man's neck for one, two, three seconds then he is out like a light. Alex quickly shuts the door and disables her comm.
"What are you doing here?" She hisses, and gestures to the unconscious man on the ground. "I told you I could do this."
Michael doesn't have time to argue the point with her. "You might be able to, but I don't want you doing that." He says bluntly and holds his palm flat out. "Give me the poison."
She glares at him for a second, but dutifully reaches a hand into the folds of her dress and pulls out the syringe. He snatches it and pops the cap off, squirting the tiniest bit of the clear liquid from the tip before leaning down to shove the thing into the man's neck and end it all right here and now.
But of course it doesn't go like that. The door opens and someone whispers "Alex," and Thom, one of the other recruits steps inside. Michael reacts instinctively, whipping up to pull Alex into a choke-hold well before Thom has a chance to pull his gun.
"Drop the weapon." Michael demands, and tightens his grip around Alex's throat. "Or I kill her."
Thom doesn't lower the gun. "Michael is here." he says into his comm, and Michael shoves Alex forward the few feet to the doorway. She has no balance in her stiletto heels and crashes into Thom who barely catches her, and Michael uses the opportunity to launch himself back out onto the balcony. This time he vaults over the edge and catches the branch of a nearby tree to shimmy himself down.
A branch next to his head explodes in a flurry of sap and wood chips, and he instinctively flinches away from the volley of bullets that is pointed at him.
Fuck. He thinks to himself and curls up as small as he can near the base of the tree, and waits for a break in the gunfire, for when whoever it is will reload, and then he will just have to make a run for it.
When it comes, he bolts, sprinting as hard and as fast as he's ever done, as though his life depends on it. His destination is the small pool house behind the back steps, he'll be cornered but he'll be away from the main house and he can hopefully draw the operatives away from the crowds and minimise any collateral damage.
It is then that he becomes aware of someone following closely behind him- he hears the panting of breath, the steady thump of someone running, and whizz!- a bullet flies past his ear. He glances back for a second only and sees Alex in hot pursuit about twenty feet behind him. That's something at least.
He ducks into the pool house and a couple of seconds later Alex slips inside as well. "They must've known you'd be here." She chokes out immediately, and Michael nods, knowing they probably only have a few minutes to form some sort of plan before the rest of Division will be on him.
"They must've found the shell program." Michael says and runs a hand through his hair. He needs to put that aside for now and think. How are they going to get out of this, should he take Alex with him? Is she compromised? Shit.
Suddenly there is a loud scuffle just outside the hut, a man grunts, and there is a loud gunshot that reverberates through the room. Both Alex and Michael train their guns on the door, resolutely ready for whatever comes, but both are equally surprised by the voice that calls through.
"Don't shoot me." Nikita says, "I'm coming in."
Michael immediately lowers his gun and immediately opens the door to let the other woman in. Alex, however, keeps her gun raised and the confusion about the situation is writ clear across her face. It only intensifies with Michael pulls Nikita into a tight embrace, and Nikita doesn't resist in the slightest.
"We have about two minutes," Nikita says, ignoring the gun pointed at her, addressing Michael solely. "They have evidence against Alex, Michael, she can't stay in Division."
Alex sputters, "What?" and it is only then that her pointed gun wavers, it drifts a little to one side.
"They know about the shell program, someone has made an accusation about you to me." Nikita says bluntly. "You're not safe there anymore. It's only a matter of time before they connect the dots."
Michael nods, "She can come with me then, we'll overpower you and get out.
"There is a Division surveillance truck about 2 miles through the forest to the west." Nikita points in the right direction. "Only manned by one at the moment. The tracker is underneath the passenger seat."
"Right." Michael nods, and checks the ammo in his gun, and that he still has his spare clips. "Come on Alex, let's go." He says.
But Alex doesn't move. Instead she points the gun at Nikita. "I'm not going. I'm staying in." She says fiercely, and Michael steps between them and holds up his hands.
"No, Alex. This isn't the time-"
"There is another way." Alex insists. "We frame Jaden for it all. I have leverage against her."
Nikita shakes her head, "It won't be enough, they won't believe it of her."
"I am not just going to step aside like this, I knew what I was getting into when I got myself recruited. I don't need either of you sheltering me any longer." Alex says fiercely, gesticulating her point with the barrel of her gun.
Michael wants to scream in frustration, they don't have time to argue with the teen about this, they are all about to be cornered. He is this close to whacking her over the head with something heavy and blunt just so he can carry the girl out of here (it wouldn't be the first time he knocked her unconscious, after all) but to his surprise, Nikita nods. "Fine," She says, "There is one other option. We give them something more important than Alex."
Michael snaps his head around to look at her.
"We give them me." She says. "Pin it all on me. The shell program, all the sabotaged missions, everything. Alex, you can be the hero who catches me just as I've let him go."
"No." Michael says, and it takes almost everything he has not to scream at them both for how dumb they're being, making these reckless decisions with no regard to their safety. "Nikki, they'll kill you."
"Maybe. Maybe not. But if it means that one of you kills Percy down the line, well... so be it."
Alex nods, and it is a reverent nod, almost a promise in the form of a simple gesture. "Go, Michael." Alex commands. "We can do this. I can help get her out when we're there. Nikita, there is a way out of Division, a crawlspace in a vent on the recruit level. It leads to a silo you climb up to get out."
He glares at them both, feeling mutinous at the way they ganged up on him so fast, frustrated that they have him cornered, that they've decided how everything will go already, and most of all he feels dread, that he's sending one or both of them to their deaths. He doesn't think he'll be able to live with that on his conscience.
But it's their decision, and he knows them both well enough to know that now they've made their minds up, he won't be able to change it that easily. At least not with the time he has today.
So he does the one thing he can do. He grabs Nikita by the shoulders and pulls her into a rough kiss, not caring that Alex is there standing behind them and their time is almost up. He focuses all his energy on the kiss, the way his lips smash together with hers, the rough clash of teeth, but also the sweet taste of her breath and the way she kisses him back just as passionately. He feeds everything he can into the kiss, his frustration, his passion, his love, his regrets, everything. It's been so long since they did this, and he doesn't have the time to tell her everything he wants and needs to tell her. Most of all he doesn't want this to be their last time together. But saying all that would take too long; the kiss will have to get the message across instead.
They pull apart, reluctantly, and Michael whispers to her fiercely: "Don't. Die. Don't let them get you too. Please. Don't die."
She nods obediently, and then says quietly, gripping his hand tightly in her own. "I don't want to be safe, remember Michael?" She says and he lets her go. I want this to end he finishes for himself.
He ducks out the door without looking back, but hears the distinct sound of Alex using the butt of her gun to hit Nikita in the jaw.
All he can do now is pray and get himself to that surveillance truck before anyone has a chance to catch him, lest it all come crashing down about their ears.
Nikita wakes up in chains, and she knows that their deception must've worked.
She is suspended by the arms from the ceiling, with the tips of her toes barely touching the ground, but not enough to take her weight. She blinks her eyes to make them work properly, and recognises Amanda's torture chamber almost instantly. From the pain in her shoulders she can tell she's been suspended here for ten minutes at least. She's still in her clothes from earlier, black pants, sensible runners, and a tailored blazer over the top of a plain black singlet. Factoring in travel time, she's probably been out for an hour, two at the most.
Amanda herself is standing in front of her, with a curious expression on her face.
"Hi Amanda." Nikita says, suppressing a groan as she tries to stretch her limbs a little.
"You know, Nikita," Amanda begins lightly. "When they told me they'd caught the mole, I knew it was you."
"Is that so?" Nikita replies, and she shrugs her head to the side. "Well... Good job catching me. Oh. Wait, you didn't."
Amanda doesn't seem affected by Nikita's careless reply. "Yes," She says, with a vindictive smile on her face. "A recruit had that honour. Bit of an underwhelming finale for you though, Nikita, being caught by someone who can barely shoot straight."
"She got lucky, and you got played. Doesn't matter how you spin it, really." Nikita says. "We'll both know the truth."
Amanda arcs a single eyebrow, but turns her back on Nikita, to her tray of menacing tools of torture, hands hovering over a hammer, some pliers, a thick metal chain, but the heavy iron door at the far end of the room opens before the woman has a chance to choose, and Percy and the young recruit Alex walk into the room.
"I thought we should give Alex the opportunity to really grasp exactly what she's done for us here today," Percy says to Amanda, who nods and steps aside.
"Congratulations, Alex. You took down Nikita." Percy says, "A cancerous blight that will be purged from our system."
"She's not so tough." Alex says lightly, and Nikita doesn't bother to hold back the laugh that bubbles up from within.
"Oh honey. You have no idea what you've done, do you?" She says condescendingly. "Well, take your fifteen minutes of fame and run with them as fast as you can. They won't do you any good in the real world. You'll get eaten alive."
Alex doesn't drop her gaze. "You've always underestimated me." She says, and Nikita rolls her eyes.
"Fine. Twenty minutes of fame. But it still won't help you." Michael at least passed one useful bit of code to his protege before putting her on the inside. She'll only have to tolerate fifteen to twenty minutes of Percy and Amanda's interrogation before Alex can organise some sort of distraction. That gives her fifteen or so minutes to figure out how she'll get out of these chains, then she just has to get to the crawlspace that leads to the silo and she'll be free.
"At least I'm not the one hanging in chains right now."
Or maybe she won't have to- Alex doesn't drop her gaze, but Nikita won't bank on it.
Nikita spits at the girl. She misses, for the most part, but she takes great pleasure in seeing a little globule of spittle darken the fabric of Amanda's skirt. At least she got someone.
"That will be all for now, Alex." Percy says, eyes darkening, and Amanda selects the cattle prod from her tray of menacing things, and both take a step forward once Alex has shut the door behind her.
"Do you want the honours or shall I?" Amanda asks Percy, holding out the prod to the man.
"Oh no, be my guest." Percy says, and Amanda wastes no more time. She thrusts the prod into Nikita's side and it burns and sends a sharp, violent, painful shock right through her body. Nikita gasps a little, but does her best to hold it together. Either way it'll be over soon, and mind-over-matter is a skill that Amanda of all people taught her. It seems fitting that she use that to her advantage right now.
"So when did he turn you then?" Percy asks. "How long has it been?"
She grits her teeth and forces air through her nose to keep calm. "Not long enough, Percy." She says, and braces herself for Amanda's inevitable shock, but it doesn't come as predicted.
Percy seems to concede that point easily enough. Division's pragmatism stems from him, after all. "You're a lot better actress than I gave you credit for."
"Why thank you, Percy." She shoots a sarcastic grin in his direction. "Since we're in a sharing mood, I should probably mention that you should get a better video editor to photoshop your lies. The devil is in the details, Amanda taught me that. Perhaps she can give you some tips."
Neither of them seems to see the humour. Nikita doesn't really mind, she shifts a little in her chains, attempting to relieve a little of the pressure from her wrists, but the small hint of relief she gets is snatched away when Amanda buries the prongs of the prod next to her belly button and the charge vibrates painfully through her again, and she arches her back involuntarily and cries out in pain.
"I don't think she really grasps the gravity of the situation," Amanda says conversationally, holding the end of the prod close to her face so she can pick at the peeling paint on the side, before letting it drop back at her side.
Nikita rolls her eyes and pants a little. "You're going to kill me and you're going to take your time. What more is there to grasp?"
"She still hasn't answered my question." Percy notes, and Amanda replaces the prod on her tray, and selects a clean looking syringe and a tiny vial of a clearish liquid. Nikita can't be sure, but it's most likely sodium thiopental, the fabled 'truth serum'. It doesn't so much compel you to tell the truth, but reduce your brain's capacity to filter things, so often keeping the truth a secret becomes a lot more difficult. She's never been under its influence before, so if that's what it is she'll have a hard time fighting it.
Of course, it could just be poison. She is making some pretty wild assumptions here.
Amanda prepares the needle with the quick precision of someone who does it often, and Nikita does not waste her energy struggling away from the point when Amanda injects the liquid into her neck. Instead, she focuses on trying to remain as clear-headed as possible, knowing that it will not take long to effect her, whatever the effect will be, and that her only way of really fighting it off is to divert her energy elsewhere.
Sure enough, within a few seconds her eyes become harder to focus, and the strangest taste of garlic fills her mouth. She blinks hard against the sensation and heliotropic spots appear in her vision, but it is the overwhelming feeling of relaxation that is most pressing. It isn't quite sleepiness, but instead she feels almost giddy with resignation, that whatever comes will come, and she no longer has to stop it. She sags a little into her restraints, but thankfully the pain in her wrists remains, along with the jittery feeling the shocks sent through her. It is something, at least, to focus on, and to use to keep coherency.
"Oh this is the good stuff, Amanda." She says, a little more slowly than she wanted, but at least her mouth still works. "Thanks."
Amanda turns away and Percy steps forward.
"How long have you been working with Michael?" Percy asks again, insistent and forceful.
Nikita forces herself to look at him. "A few months, since I tracked him down in Uzbekistan." She says. "Then you will know the truth and truth will set you free, Percy. You build a house of lies and it's bound to come toppling down around you like a house of cards."
Apparently sodium thiopental makes her speak in idioms and mixed metaphors. That's something to remember for next time. Next time, heh. Yeah, Nikita, stay positive. That's the spirit.
"What have you told him about Division?" asks Percy.
"The truth." Nikita says, and bites down on her tongue to keep from spilling any more. She takes a deep breath in through the nose, and lets it out slowly, pushing the urge to speak down while she focuses on the distracting pain in her arms. "My arms hurt," She says, when she finally has to let something out. It is a relief it's such a mundane revelation.
The answer doesn't seem to impress Percy much, who turns to Amanda. "I'll leave you two alone. I trust you can get everything we need out of her then get rid of her."
"Of course." Amanda says with a deferential nod, and Percy leaves the two of them alone.
"Girl-talk time then?" Nikita asks, and then she smiles, "Neato."
"You can try to hold out as long as you like Nikita, but it won't work forever and eventually you'll tell me what I need to know." Amanda says, casually, then leans forward a little, bridging the gap between them til they are only a few feet apart. "And the sooner I know what I need to know, the sooner all this can be over for you. We can save you from the long, drawn out process that this could be and make this easy. Maybe even pain free."
It all sounds very convincing, and if Nikita hadn't worked so closely with the woman for so many years and seen her manipulations up close and worked on others, she may have even believed it.
"I don't want to see you hurt any more," Amanda says, and it is like the straw that breaks the camel's back. And in her unrestrained, almost carefree state, Nikita laughs.
"You don't want to see me get hurt, you don't want to see me suffer?" She says between mighty chuckles. "That's rich, Amanda. Sadist isn't a strong enough word for what you are."
Amanda doesn't seem phased by the skepticism. "Believe what you want to believe, but of the two of us I am the loyal one and you are the traitor."
"Traitor to what? A system that has done nothing but manipulate and hurt me? This is just as much a survival thing as it is a revenge thing."
"So it is about revenge with you then, is it? Revenge over Daniel, I suppose."
"You killed the man I loved."
"Really? Are you sure that was love? Because as far as I can see, everything you've done for us, and against us, has been all about Michael."
Nikita narrows her eyes a little. "And what would you know about love, Amanda?" She asks, "You weren't made that way."
Amanda inches forward again, but an enormous explosion rocks the room and knocks Amanda off her feet. Nikita feels a shift in her shackles and looks up. The concrete around the fixtures has cracked, and she knows this is her opportunity. She twists her hands to grasp the chain, and then with a grunt she tenses and lifts her legs and jerks as hard as she can. Sure enough, the concrete gives way, and she drops to the ground, chains crashing against the floor with a deafening clang.
She scrambles to her feet and pulls the chains with her. They are heavy, and her arms are tired, but she has enough adrenaline coursing through her now for none of it to matter- She has a chance to be free, it's enough. She twists her wrists and twirls the chains into her fists and while Amanda has done the smart thing and run from the room as quick as her heels let her, the two guards that charge her way don't stand much of a chance.
She twirls in a circle, dragging the chains with her until they whip around and catch the first guard across the side of the head and he drops to the floor like a stone. The second guard dodges the first attack, but she is lighter and more nimble, and though he throws a solid punch she easily ducks it and knees him in the groin, and when he cowers over to protect the sensitive area from any further abuse, she brings the heavy chains down hard, knocking him out too.
Nikita doesn't stop to check if they're alright. One of them will have keys to the manacles around her wrist, and sure enough she finds them buried deep in the pocket of the first guard. Within a few short moments she's free, and knows she only has a few moments to get out of this place alive and to Alex's crawl space and freedom.
She takes a few deep breaths, and uses the time to refocus and plan her escape route. Then she picks up the cattle prod and runs out the front door.
Her way to the elevator is unimpeded, but that doesn't surprise her much. The level she's on doesn't usually have many extraneous personnel hanging about, and she imagines that Amanda has already made her escape to the floors above. Nikita needs to get three floors up before she reaches the recruit level where Alex's escape route is. She gets into the elevator and presses the button for the top level and punches in her security code, knowing that Percy and co will see her in here and will probably stop the elevator before she has a chance to get to the surface, and sure enough, the elevator comes to a grinding halt on the exact level she'd been aiming for.
The doors open, and everyone in the room turns to stare, recruits, guards, and at the far end of the room behind their tinted glass, Percy, Amanda, and all the rest of the central control unit. Clearly the recruits don't know how to react, most of them stare at her wide eyed, but there are a cocky few (they most volatile, the ones most prone to overreacting) step towards her.
She doesn't waste any time, but she doesn't pull her punches either. These children are dangerous, she trained them that way. But she is worse and she isn't going to take pity on them. She uses the cattle prod on the first two, leaving them disabled and twitching on the ground, and she tries for the third but he dodges her and snaps it out of her hands. Nikita responds by hitting him sharply in the face with the palm of her hand, crushing the cartilage in his nose, following it with a swift elbow to the solar plexus.
Other recruits have their try at her, but she takes them all out one-by-one, and soon enough a few guards make it into the fray, with their automatic weapons, but because she is surrounded by the recruits, the guards don't fire at her.
She takes the two out and acquires herself a gun, spraying the tinted glass of the control room with bullets, one even gets the fuse box for the room, and she takes the opportunity. She springs from the ground and vaults up the stairs and into one of the recruit corridors, and runs head-long into Birkhoff.
"Nikki." He says, and shoves two things into her hands. One is oddly heavy for its size, the other feels familiar. "Take this and go."
She looks down. She's holding one of his signal jammers in her left hand- it'll block her tracker long enough for her to get it out. In her right hand is one of the Black Boxes, and there is a yellow post-it affixed to one side.
She opens her mouth to ask, but stops her before she has a chance. "Decrypted just for you. Now knock me out or something, and go."
There are not enough words to describe her gratitude, to declare everything she feels for this wonderful man, this kind man, this best of friends in the tiny amount of time they've been given. So she presses a swift kiss to his cheek, says "Thank you." with as much feeling as she can pack into those two short little words, and punches him hard in the gut.
He doubles over in pain, but she knows he will appreciate being able to avoid another trip to the dentist. She leaves him there in the corridor, but safely tucks his gifts into her jacket pocket.
He hears nothing from anyone for hours. Nothing from Alex, nothing from Birkhoff.
Nothing from Nikita.
He stalks a nervous path from one end of the loft to the other, and runs his hands through his hair so frequently that it's a miracle he doesn't end up with a bald patch.
Then he gets a message through the shell program. N escaped. Don't use this program ever again - B.
He breathes a little easier. Then he deletes the Shell program completely from his system. He'll do a proper wipe of the hard-drive later.
An hour or so later, he gets a call.
"Come get me?" Nikita says, and he's out the door and heading towards his car before she even has a chance to tell him where to go. He thinks that this lightness in his chest is the closest he's come to a religious experience.
The first thing she says to him, when he picks her up from the truck stop is: "London." and then she leans across and gives him a hug.
He frowns taking her in: she looks tired, her eyes are bloodshot and oddly dilated. There are dark bruises blooming across the side of her face and near her collar bone. He's sure there are more he can't see, but they don't seem to be bothering her. In fact, she smiles.
"Rio De Janeiro." She says, and gives him a kiss to the cheek that lingers.
"Are these where...?" He begins, not daring to hope that she could've wheedled that information out of someone before she left, but she nods.
He puts the car into gear, and she slips a hand to his thigh as he pulls out onto the main road. "Melbourne." She says, and she tilts her head to the side; a little smile pokes at the corner of his lips.
It isn't until they've booked a room at a dodgy looking motel that she slips her hand in his and tells him the next place: "Kuala Lumpur."
"We're going to be very well travelled. " He notes, unable to keep the grin from his face. This is more than he ever could've asked for. When she'd taken the hit for Alex he'd assumed that was the last they'd ever see of each other.
"Prague." She says simply, once he's unlocked the door.
He drops his duffel bag on the only bed and turns to her. "So we know where they all are? All the black boxes?"
"What? No." Nikita says, and her face is so shocked, and so genuine that Michael starts backtracking in his mind, tracing the assumption back, stammering a quick apology.
But then Nikita's face splits into the widest grin he's ever seen. "These are the places you're taking me on holiday. I deserve it." And she pulls a black box from her back pocket. "Fully decrypted. Courtesy of Birkhoff." She says, and flips the box over to reveal a post-it stuck to the side, written in Birkhoff's chicken-scratch scrawl: London, Rio, Kuala Lumpur, Melbourne, NJ, Prague.
There is one last thing to do.
"This is the last time I'll hurt you," Michael says, promise gleaming in his eyes, light glinting off the scalpel in his hand.
"I trust you." She says and leans back into the pillows. He is as fast as he said, and it doesn't hurt as much as she expects it to. Maybe that's a sign that she's become desensitised, after all the abuse she's been through the past few years. Or maybe it's just a sign that Michael is a better surgeon than he thinks.
She hears a little tinkle of metal hitting glass, and knows it's almost over. He just has to patch her up, and then her connection to Division will be gone forever.
"This'll sting a little," He warns, setting down the scalpel and picking up the little tube of medical glue and a wad of gauze.
If anything, the sharp stinging pain is worse than the surgery, but it's still nothing she can't handle, and before she knows it he's efficiently taping a small bandage back over the wound and cleaning up everything he used.
Nikita reaches out and slips her hand underneath the hem of his shirt, her fingers finding his scar easily. He collects the scalpel and other utensils together in the towel that he'd slipped a little underneath her to protect the bedsheets from the blood, and tosses the soaked gauze pads and the little bloody silver tracker into the rubbish.
"We'll match." She says with a small smile, and he covers her hand with his own.
He arches an eyebrow and looks down at her. "We could just get matching tattoos, like any normal couple."
She laughs, and it is a joyful, soft laugh. She twists her wrist and hooks her fingers into the waistband of his pants and tugs him sharply forward. He over-balances and she twists out from under him, using his momentum to flip them over. He doesn't resist, and she straddles his hips and leans over him. "Normal couple?" She asks.
"Well, as normal as we want to be." Michael and leans up, sliding a hand around the back of her neck, pulling her gently closer.
"I don't want to be normal." She says quietly, and presses herself further against him. She whispers into his ear: "I just want you."
Then she kisses him, and it is such a relief, and such an amazing feeling, to know that she is free and here, and that no matter what happens now, he'll be here, and she'll be with him. She's spent so many years feeling lost, and directionless, but now she knows the way, and it is a path she'll walk with Michael. Together they will find the black boxes, and they will destroy them. Together they will take down Division. Together they will right the wrongs and bring justice to those who deserve it.
Together they can bring down Division, with Alex and Birkhoff on their side.
Authors Note: Annnd we're done :) I couldn't've done this without the encouragement and beta skills of my two ladies J & R, and thank you so much to everyone who's read along! onelonemockingjay, pickapart, heywilma, sokiew, Wootar16, stardustshop, nikita4everr, Miami Blackheart, ayesha-s, ArtElf, Jossiegirl, Tigerlily02, tizahrae and meee18.
A significant amount of credit should go to the 90s action soundtracks, Placebo and Florence + the Machine that helped me get into the right mood to write all this. I do have a few other plot bunnies hopping around, but I'm about to start a prac placement that'll go for the next 7 weeks and I don't think I'll have a lot of time for recreational writing. We'll see how it goes! I do like to procrastiwrite.