I do not own Nikita. All rights to original owners, actors, and writers.

Duh.

Set in season one. Alex is out of Division training, Michael and Nikita are together, and Birkhoff is still a reluctant member of Team Evil.


Alex was quite sick of hearing about Michael. And talking about Michael. And watching out for Michael. She had a general Michael-resentment. However, this was one of the worst kinds of resentments to have when working for Nikita.

"Why did Michael agree to this mission?" Nikita asked urgently, practically bouncing.

Alex sighed, flopping her head onto the back rest of the chair she was in. Her sigh echoed through the building, bouncing off the faraway walls and seeming to take ages to deflect back to her ears. Nikita's house was so big.

"I don't know. I can't read minds. Ask him when he gets here."

"He couldn't have agreed to do it so easily," Nikita mused, pacing the floor. Her heels made resounding clicks through the house, ricocheting through the air and quadrupling the amount of clicks that could be heard. "The mission involves killing children. He wouldn't agree to that."

"Of course not," Alex scoffed. "You know, your constant worry about Michael used to be cute, but now it just bugs me."

"This is serious, Alex," she snapped, going into authority-figure mode, which Alex resented. "If Michael goes bad, he knows all our secrets. He could very easily expose us."

"So, you'll trust Michael to make out with you and play your emotions on a regular basis, but you won't trust him to not kill children?"

Nikita sighed, seeing Alex's point. But she wouldn't admit it. It was excruciating for her to admit to the notion that she might be wrong. "Will you be going on this mission with him?" she asked instead.

"That's the plan."

"Keep an eye on him, will you?" she requested.

"You're asking me, the little girl, formerly homeless and escaped victim of child traffickers, to keep an eye on the competent adult male with large gun?"

"Yes," Nikita nodded unashamedly.

"You're so obsessed," I point out. "And with Michael, of all people."

"I'm sorry, are there any other Division workers worth obsessing over?" Nikita challenged.

"Well, there's Birkhoff," she replied much too quickly.

"Nerd?" Nikita scrunched her eyebrows.

"Or . . . you know . . . other people," she stammered, pretending to be fascinated with the arm of the chair. "Some of the recruits are nice enough."

"You're not hanging out with Nerd, are you?"

"Why would I?" Alex evaded. "He's, you know, nerdy."

"That tends to run among nerds."

Alex chuckled, perhaps a little too loudly.

"I trust you, Alex," Nikita said. "Don't betray that."

"I wouldn't want to."

"Then don't," Nikita stressed, walking up to her with her hands on her hips. "You can fall in love with civilians, but being in love with someone in Division is too risky."

"That's rich, coming from the president of the Michael fan club," Alex spat, a little too much spite coming out with the phrase.

"That's different," she defended pathetically.

"And you were okay with Thom, weren't you?" she prodded.

"I didn't know you were involved with Thom until he was dying in front of you. I figured a corpse wasn't exactly a threat to us."

Alex winced at the touchy subject. The subject wasn't touchy because she still loved Thom. Like Nikita said, he was a corpse now. But the fact that she'd killed him, that was a memory she'd like to suppress.

"So you didn't approve of Thom?"

"No, Alex, I didn't," Nikita said. "And why are you all tooth-and-nail about this? Are you in love Birkhoff or not?"

"No," Alex stated matter-of-factly. And it wasn't a lie. "In love" was too far a stretch. She was merely slightly infatuated with Birkhoff and preferred the times they were together to the times they weren't.

Nikita eyed her suspiciously. Her jaw clenched in the effort to keep a smug face on.

"Alright," Nikita finally said, but she still sounded skeptical. "But I'm only believing because I know you have Nathan."

"Yeah, about that . . ."

"What is it now?" Nikita sighed.

"Don't let this change your opinion about the Birkhoff thing, but Nathan and I are sort of over."

"What?" she gasped.

Alex cocked her head. "I didn't know you liked him that much."

"I don't. He's a meddlesome tool who swings a bat like a girl," she explained, "but he knows about you. And now he has a reason to tell."

"What's he gonna do? Tell the police there's a government assassin on the loose? Division can cover that up no problem." She used hands gestures, chopping the air to stress her point.

"Didn't you teach him how to fight and protect himself?"

"Yeah."

"He could use that against you," Nikita pointed out.

"I taught him everything he knows," Alex reminded her. "I can take care of myself." And, just to revert the conversation back to the sickly topic it was originally intended to be, she added, "And so can Michael."

Meanwhile, at Division, Birkhoff was speaking with Michael himself. Birkhoff was at his computer, as customary, with Michael watching stoically over his shoulder, radiating a strange mix and power and annoyance.

"Check this out, my friend," Birkhoff told him with what sounded like mock enthusiasm, the tone he usually exhibited.

"What is it?" Michael asked, seeming unhopeful.

"I've got a reading on the one and only . . . wait for it . . . wait for it . . . let the suspense wash over you . . . Nikita," he announced. He started gesturing at indistinguishable symbols on the computer screen that only made sense to him. "She made a phone call to her CIA pal, Ryan Fletcher, with a disguised voice. I was able to intercept that call and found that the voice was much too animated to not be staged. So I traced that call and, low and behold, it was made at the Whitfield mansion, which is likely to be Niki's hideout, which I believe you were at mere weeks ago."

"What's your point?" Michael asked tensely.

"I'm pretty sure that's Niki's hideout," he told him, "and you came back from that place seemingly empty-handed. So," he swiveled around in his chair to face Michael smugly, "I'm under the terrible impression that you fell for some Nikita charm once again. That, or you got to her house when she was out to lunch."

Michael stiffened, crossing his arms even tighter. "That's quite a theory, Birkhoff."

"You know it's true."

"You don't know anything," Michael spat, turning to stomp off.

"Look, if you and Niki are BFFs again, I'm not judging," he called after him. "She was, and apparently is, a hot chick."

"Shut up," Michael called over his shoulder.

"BFFs with benefits, perhaps?" he continued. "Absolutely understandable."

"Oh, yeah?" Michael turned on him. "What about you and Alex?"

Birkhoff's face fell. "What about Alex?" His eyes shifted around the room, hoping none of the other computer agents were eavesdropping.

Michael's face softened, too. The comment was meant to be a petty jab, but Birkhoff's reaction was too quick, too caught off-guard.

"Never mind," Michael said quietly, deciding not to push the matter. He turned again to exit the computer room, glancing back at Division's computer whiz a few times.

Birkhoff watched him leave nervously, frustrated with himself. "Well played, Birkhoff," he muttered to himself. "Way to play it cool."