Title: The Little Things In Life
Author's Note: I know where my boundaries are, so I'm not going to deal with the whole 'Percy has a nuclear bomb' thing, I know that if I tried, I'd screw it up. So instead, I'm just going to write fluff and comedy, and write along with the story as the episodes air.
Rating: Still T, but here's a warning for some language.
'So,' Sean calls out, gaining the attention of the rest of the group as he walks into the living room, 'what's on the agenda today?' He smirks, rubbing his hands together.
Nikita rises from her seat and gives him her usual concerned, motherly glance. 'Nothing. You are going to take your rest.'
Sean frowns, but softens when he feels Alex's hand on his shoulder. 'She's right. We can't have you dodging bullets when you're still wincing like an old grandma walking the stairs with every step you take.'
Sean opens his mouth to protest, but then sees Nikita and Alex exchanging looks, and realizes that he must accept his defeat. 'Fine.'
Nikita smiles in amusement as Alex gently forces Sean to sit down and slumps down next to him, the young man and the lady basically attached to the hip. 'I'm going to do some shopping with Michael and Birkhoff, and Ryan has a meeting with Kendrick. I trust you guys will be able to handle spending a day alone?'
'Absolutely not.' The two jokingly reply in unison and Nikita just rolls her eyes.
Michael stands up from his chair. 'I'm going to put on some decent clothes.' Nikita nods and Michael disappears into their bedroom.
'So, what time will you be back?' Alex questions.
'It could be late. I'm very picky when I shop.' Nikita's comment earns her a laugh from Sean's side. 'Don't wait up.'
The three fall silent, and Nikita takes the opportunity to scrutinize Sean and Alex. Alex's hip is still directly attached to Sean's, her hand resting on his thigh. She occasionally glances sideways at him, and when he looks back, they have a second of eye contact before Alex breaks it again by looking the other direction.
Sean clears his throat. 'Hey, Nikita, if you're going out anyway, mind if you pick up some real milk?' Sean asks, and is rewarded with a nasty glare from Nikita, and a fist to the arm from Alex. 'What? It can be biological.'
'We're not doing that kind of shopping. Since our other house got blown up, along with every piece of equipment we owned,' she combines the words with a heavy sigh, 'we're going out to buy weapons and ammo.' Nikita hears Michael re-enter the living room. He's dressed in dark garments, and is showing off his best – albeit slightly exaggerated – stern look.
'Bodyguard enough for you?'
'What are you guys playing now?' Alex asks, already entertained by Michael.
Before Michael can answer, Birkhoff speaks up. 'I'm a rich-ass owner of a telephone company in Germany. I recently got threatened for my billions of Eu-ros,' he pronounces the word with his best German accent for some comic relief, 'so I hired two of the finest American bodyguards: Batman and Wonder Woman right here.'
'I'm guessing we won't be doing much of the talking...' Nikita laughs, noting the proud (and somewhat smug) grimace on Birkhoff's face. She glances down at her watch. 'We should go. I arranged him to be there at 5, and I just hate to be late.'
Getting a burst of energy at her announcement, he shoots up and rubs his hands together. 'Alright- shotgun!' Birkhoff exclaims, shaking up both Nikita and Michael. The two share a look that can only mean one thing, and Nikita winks one last time at Sean and Alex before they leave the apartment.
Sean and Alex spend the rest of the day watching television. Occasionally, Alex looks down at Sean's side with worry in her eyes, and he'll place a hand on her wrist, telepathically telling her that everything will be okay.
'Movie?' Sean suddenly asks, after a while of aimlessly going through the many channels.
'Sure. Does Ryan have something here?'
'I have something. I think you'll like it.' Sean fails to hold back a groan when he rises from the couch, and Alex immediately stands up with him, grabbing a hold of his muscular arm.
'Don't push yourself, Sean.'
'I can function, Alex.' He bites back, and inwardly curses at his agitation. 'Thanks.' He gently starts to slide his arm from Alex's grip and she reluctantly lets go. He sighs as he stumbles his way into his room, and Alex hears the sound of him rummaging around.
'Oh, I meant to ask you something.' Sean's voice slices through the door that is slightly ajar and she responds by saying 'hm' as loud as possible.
'What's this?' Sean emerges from the room, a CD clutched in his hand.
Alex casually shrugs. 'How would I know?'
Sean just wordlessly hands her the CD, and she nearly chokes on her own saliva when she reads the words written on the cover of the CD. 'For Alex.' Her mind races back to when she received the CD, it was a collection of rock music that she honestly didn't quite care for, though at the moment, it was the only kind of music she had and she appreciated the sentiment behind it. 'Thom.' His handwriting was simple and clean, and it brought back bittersweet memories of the boy who was the first to make her feel 'comfortable' within the Division walls.
Sean slips his hands into his pockets. 'I had it for a while, I didn't want to give it to you while you had so much on your mind. I'm sorry.'
'It's…okay.' Alex mutters absent-mindedly. She tightens the grip on the CD, then bends over to place it on the coffee table. 'It's in the past now.'
Sean nods and watches her in silence, as she struggles to keep her emotions in check. He read about Thom in her file, a few months ago. Apparently, Thom found out that Alex was Nikita's mole, and was torn between his loyalty to Division and his affection for Alex. He wound up dead in Alex's arms.
Alex does her best to wave off any remaining emotions in her face and sniffles back the last tiny tears. 'You got the movie?'
'Oh, yeah.' Sean rushes back into the room and appears a few seconds later. He holds up the front cover of the DVD with a smirk on his face, and Alex can hardly stop herself from bursting out in laughter. 'I was raised with two sisters, there was no way to avoid me taking over a few of their interests.' Sean defends himself, as he opens the cover and slides the 27 Dresses DVD into the player. 'I also have Band of Brothers.'
'Just sit down.' Alex grins, taking the remote from his hands. 'You don't have to try to be so masculine around me.'
Alex is not very informed with today's pop culture, and neither is Sean, but at least he knows more about it than her. Sometimes, she presses the 'pause' button and he'll tell her what he knows about Katherine Heigl, and what movies James Marsden was in. Sometimes, they forget about the movie and their topic of conversation slips into something else like: what's the best way to dramatically ask someone for forgiveness à la Hollywood. Sean tells her about all the chick flicks his sisters made him watch when he was younger and Alex laughs at the stories of hopelessly in love men who end up doing extravagant things in order to win back the heart of the woman they love. Sometimes, he'll remember a movie where the tables are turned and the woman has to be the one to win back the man.
'Katherine Heigl definitely nails it here- crash a party and take over the mic and the spotlight, make everyone wonder: 'who the hell is this crazy lady and where's security when you need it?' and make a long speech about this guy in the crowd. The feeling of embarrassment will take him over because the spotlight is now on him too, so he'll forgive her by kissing her, but secretly, he'll think: why of all places, would you do that here?'
Alex chuckles and comfortably leans into Sean's chest, careful not to lean on his wound. 'So if I did that, you'd do what you just said?'
Sean nods. His arm is around her and his hand is calmly rubbing her shoulder. 'I would kiss you, definitely. But I would kind of hate you for putting me in the center of attention like that.'
They share more laughs as the movie comes to a end and they end up talking through the entire credits. They talk about Sean's family, about his sisters – they avoid talking about his mother – and about how they always took him out shopping for clothes and he hated it. It did give him an instinct for buying someone the best gifts, and when they get to the topic 'gifts' Sean is suddenly reminded of something. He leaves Alex sitting there in confusion when he races to his room and comes back, holding a small package in his hand.
'I have something for you.' Alex looks at him – and then it – quizzically. It's wrapped in dark purple gift paper, and Sean had tied a simple bow around it. 'Open it.'
Alex takes it from his hands and pulls on one end of the ribbon, it slides off the gift easily. Her hands carefully rip the gift paper apart, until she pulls out a CD.
'I don't know what kind of music you like, so I hope I did okay.' Sean says with a sheepish grin on his face. 'I made it a while ago, not long after I found Thom's CD for you. I actually let Birkhoff burn it onto a CD. I think he went a bit overboard with the design, though.' He refers to the slick cover that neatly listed all the artists and songs. 'I wanted to wait for the right time to give it to you.' He pauses before he admits, 'Actually, to be honest, there was also a chance I'd never give it to you.'
'Sean,' Alex breathes out, not knowing what to say to this. She's overcome with a feeling that she can only describe as emotional turbulence and she gestures him to sit down next to him. He does, and she immediately wraps her arms around him. She feels his hands envelop around her waist, pulling her closer to him. 'Thank you.' She relaxes in his grip until they hear the sound of a door clicking open, and the ensemble of Nikita, Michael and Birkhoff walk in the room. She's quick to break apart from him before any of them notices.
'I'm pretty sure I said 'shotgun' when we left.' Birkhoff pouts, as he awkwardly tries to carry three submachine guns.
Sean resists the urge to laugh at him, and gets up from his seat. 'You should be careful with those things, nerd, you wouldn't want to shoot anyone around here!' he exclaims and quickly takes over a MP5SD from Birkhoff's hands.
'Well…I highly doubt that at the moment.' Birkhoff shoots both Michael and Nikita a nasty glare.
Nikita just laughs light-heartedly and gives her friend a pat on the back. 'Oh, shut up, Birkhoff. I know you love us.' She's carrying a hard case suitcase, and opens it after placing it on the dining table. Alex is quick to take a peek over her shoulder, and whistles at the sight of a couple of shiny Beretta revolvers and P99's.
'You're going to love what I got, Alex, but first, you might want to take a bucket for your drool.' Michael joked, and every single person in the room stood around him as they appreciated the sight of the semi-automatic sniper rifle.
'Wow, good job guys.' Sean complimented them, and Nikita smirked.
'And what have you guys done with your day?'
Sean and Alex gave each other a quick look before Alex shrugged and answered. 'Oh, we just watched a movie.' She glanced over her shoulder and noted that they still left it on the menu.
'27 Dresses?' Michael grins, 'Didn't think you had it in you, Sean.'
The boy just shrugs his shoulders in innocence. 'I am a man of many surprises.'
The rest of the day ticks by. Birkhoff soon finds himself seated behind his laptop, while Michael and Nikita go over their current possessions and the best way to use them. Ryan is the last one to arrive back at the safe house, and he debriefs them all on his meeting with Kendrick. Sean later insists that everyone is hungry and he goes out for pizza, and the men end up watching football at the end of the evening.
They all go to bed late at night, and Birkhoff jokes that Sean will probably wake up at 4pm tomorrow. They all laugh, and think to themselves that this is probably true.
Alex is glad that Ryan's safe house is big enough for each of them to have their own rooms, she doesn't know if she could handle sleeping in the same room with Sean. She couldn't share a room with Nikita, because she would obviously prefer sleeping with her boyfriend. Alex can't help but take one last look at herself in the mirror – in case Sean happens to knock on her door, wait, she stops herself from thinking that before the thought is even properly formed in her head – and slips into bed, fighting back the urge to groan in satisfaction as she relaxes into the comfortable mattress. Her eyes travel across the room; it's not very well furnished, but a feeling of ease hangs in the air due its simplicity.
She notices a CD-player on a small cabinet in the corner of the room. Her mind briefly wonders if it'll be worth it to get out of bed now, but the battle is soon won by her interest in the CD that Sean had given her earlier.
So she slides out of bed again, moving towards the cabinet. She reminds herself that everyone else is asleep, so instead of turning it on and leaving it in the corner of the room, she decides that it's probably a better idea to bring it closer to her bed.
On the other side of the door, Sean is busy collecting the dirty dishes from the coffee table, ready to go to bed himself, when he swears he hears the faint plucking of guitar strings coming from Alex's room. He puts the dishes back down and moves to her door, bringing his ear closer to it.
"I don't mind spending every day…out on your corner in the pouring rain. Look for the girl with the broken smile…ask her if she wants to stay awhile."
Sean makes no attempt to resist the small smile that starts to play around the corner of his lips, as he visualizes how Alex's must be listening to the song. Maybe she's seated on the bed…perhaps with her arms clutching her knees to her chest. 'I want to make you feel beautiful.' The thought settles in his mind, and pushes it far away to the back of his brain. He feels his hand lean on her door, and slide down as he reluctantly strolls back to the center of the room.
Little does he know that Alex is crying on her side of the door. Warm tears are sliding down her cheek and she's clutching her pillow as if her life depends on it. 'Maybe it's time for another shot.' His words echo away in her head, along with every wasted and wrecked year of her life. From when she was a little girl who saw her father get murdered to when she was sold as a sex slave and forever scarred and eventually to the horrendous things she did for Division. Bits and pieces of her life flash before her eyes and none of these are making her feel good about herself.
Any form of relationship or intimacy never sat well with Alex, or Alexandra Udinov, and for a moment she wonders why it was so easy for her to jump into one with Nathan. She decides that it must be because she was longing for something real, and she was too young and reckless to realize that Nathan had to be the most unreal thing that she desired in her life at that moment.
Her mind shouts at her to stop crying, but her bottom lip begins to waver, and she curses in a whisper. 'God damn it, Sean.' She grabs a firm hold of her pillow and chucks it against the wall across the room. It only makes a silent thud as gravity pulls it back down to the floor. '…I've always secretly wished it to be with a guy like Sean.' Now it's Michael's turn to invade her mind, and she thinks back to when he basically crashed her place to interrupt her time alone with Nathan.
Her hands rise to her face, and rub the remaining tears away. Sean's gift to her rises many questions inside of her, and she reminds herself that she agreed to go on a date with him. But she has no idea if things will be different with him. All she knows is that the mere thought of her past life as a prostitute makes her feel filthy, used and unworthy of a love as deep as he might offer her.
Her bed is no longer a comfort and she shuts off the CD player, along with her train of thought. Without even considering her actions, she steps out of bed, determination now the only thing in her facial features. She flings the door open – it only barely doesn't crash against the wall – and forces herself to moderate the frustration in her eyes.
Sean swings his body around in surprise, the surprise in his eyes quickly fading to the tender eyes that feel so familiar to Alex. 'Alex.' He speaks clearly, ever so serious. 'You can't sleep?'
'No.' Alex takes a few steps closer to him, and he swallows. She likes it when she can make him nervous, she thinks. But that's beyond the point she wants to make right now. 'Thank you.' She's not entirely sure how much she's thankful for his gift, or if she's just thankful that he cares about her. Because he does, and she believes him. She just doesn't believe that she's worth the amount of attachment he has for her.
'It's not a problem-'
Every fiber in her being tells her not to, but she puts a hand in the back of his neck and pulls him closer for a kiss. His eyes flicker wide open and shut in surprise, but soon he kisses her back with the same intensity that she's offering him. His hands rest on her shoulders, and sometimes move to her face to tuck a bit of hair behind her ear. Her heart is beating uncontrollably and she struggles to focus on her knees so that she won't fall to the floor altogether. She's never felt this way before, and it is scaring her. But at the same time, it feels safe and it's making her want more.
She's the first to pull away and she smiles to see him gasp for oxygen. 'I'm sure you'll understand it when I tell you that I really want to take it slow.' She speaks in monotone and she's used to it. Her hands that are still on his neck, feel the slight scruff as they slide away from him.
Sean clears his throat a few times and then nods firmly, like a private would nod at his lieutenant. 'I understand.'
Author's Note: I try to be as in character as possible, but I'm only human – and girly – so excuse me when I falter here and there to a more cheesy and fluffy side of Sean. I also want to take the time to thank every single one of you for taking the time to leave me a nice message for this story and also for 'Wanted'. I know there are typos in there that I have accidentally made, and I thank you for putting up with them. You know the drill on this one too, please review! I don't know when they next update will be, by the way. Usually when I get back from work, I feel like an old lady and pretty much immediately go to bed. But let's just say you can expect an update around the next episode, and if I feel like it, before it.