My pockets full of stones

Usual disclaimers apply - I own nothing, although its not for lack of wishing.

AN: Just a short one shot on what Nikita and Michael might be thinking about their return to Division post season two.

Nikita

Being here was weird, not creepy weird because everything was so familiar just weird. She constantly had the feeling that the world around her was just that bit off-kilter. She found herself startling at small noises, body tensed, mind looking for the problem. When she walked into the recruit training room she'd been overcome by a wave of nostalgia, an unexpected feeling of warmth, comfort, of homecoming. She hadn't returned to Amanda's office though –she wasn't sure she wanted to, which probably meant she needed to.

She was going to stay, she was choosing to walk back in here each day and make it her own. To acknowledge that this was wrong, that what had been done here was wrong and to work to make all those wrongs right. She should have felt overwhelmed at the size of the task; she certainly had when she and Michael had been holding a black box. She didn't though.

Michael

He stood in operations and felt the familiar pull, that feeling of being watched, of being responsible, being the one in charge. Ryan wanted him to oversee retraining of Division personnel, to once more help shape these people into agents who could aid their country. It was a comfortable role, he knew he was good at it, he liked it even -that feeling of contributing to something bigger than you, being part of a something that was helping people. He'd missed that in the last year.

The problem was he hadn't expected to be here. In his wildest dreams –the ones where he killed Percy, usually with his bare hands, and then lived on an idyllic beach with Nikita and Max (it was a dream) this had never even been an option. Returning to Division, revisiting the scene of the crime- although which crime he wasn't too sure – it was surreal.

He headed back to the silo, to check on the repair work, and the dismantling of Percy's cell. He'd been there twice already today, but he just kept circling back. Standing there he'd look at the mess of cracked tiles and glass fragments still littering the cell floor. In his mind's eye he could still picture Percy laying there. They'd dissolved the body in acid – it had seemed a fitting end – no funeral, no mourners, no granite headstone to mark his passing. Just the same quiet disappearance that Percy himself had overseen countless times.

The thoughts in his head kept running, pictures, voices, moments he couldn't let go of, or that wouldn't let go of him. When he'd left here the first time, he thought he'd left that all behind him, walking-hell running- to a better place, a better life, to Nikita. Now though he was back, they were back and it was all changed. It was all the same and all those things he'd left were here, waiting for him.

Nikita saw this as her birthplace – her home, the place she'd grown up and become the women he loved. For him though it was purgatory, it was the place he'd fallen to his lowest. Where he'd abandoned nearly all thought of honour, justice, friendship and love in a vain attempt to ease the pain of losing Elizabeth and Haley. In his search for vengeance, for revenge, he'd walled himself off from his former self, blocking out the voice of his conscience. Each time he'd ignored that voice in favour of doing what was demanded of him. Each time he'd turned a blind eye to Percy's games. Each time he had taken a young recruit and promised them they would have a chance to contribute , to build a better life, it had been another stone in that wall. Every death he'd justified as necessary. Every lie he'd told to hide an op, all of it, everything, was another stone in the wall between the truth of what Division was becoming and the life he'd once had. Finally he'd been so walled off he'd been living in complete denial of what Division was doing. Of what he was doing, of what his life had really become.

Nikita had been the one to first show him that – somehow she'd seen through that wall to the man he used to be. With her he could open up, stop shutting the world out and just for a moment remember what it was to laugh, to smile, to learn to love someone again. Then of course he'd realised what she was doing, how simply having her in his life was undermining all the effort he had made to armour himself against the world. She threatened everything he'd sacrificed in his battle for revenge. So he pushed her away, sent her away. Without explaining, without showing her even for a moment how much it hurt.

He wasn't sure even now what he had thought would come of it. He had justified it to himself as protecting her. He hadn't considered her pain, her loss, too wrapped up in his own selfishness, his own pain, too busy living the lie. And then there had been Daniel. After she was gone he'd tortured himself by watching Amanda's surveillance footage. Daniel and Nikita in bed, Daniel and Nikita in each other's arms, Daniel and Nikita in love, he'd watched it all -that one time. Once was all he needed, to understand, to forgive, to realise that the blame was mostly his. Once was all he could take. He'd gone out then and gotten plastered, so stinking drunk that he hadn't even been able to remember his own name – but he'd still known hers. Birkhoff had found him three days later in a bar in downtown somewhere and taken him home, sobered him up. He'd gone back to work the next day and they'd never spoken of it again. It just became another stone in the wall that surrounded his heart.

Looking down from above on Percy's cell the glass shattered the light out across the walls. It was such a white, clean almost clinical prison for a man with such a dark twisted mind. Percy had taunted Nikita with Daniel's death, with what Michael knew about it. He knew, and she knew it had been another attempt by Percy to cause trouble, to make their lives miserable and to play his stupid little mind games. The problem was sometimes those games worked. Percy would take that tiny element of doubt and feed it to you and then sit back and watch as your own insecurities, your own doubts nourished it until it took on a life of its own. He trusted Nikita, he believed in their love, their life together, but she never talked about Daniel. Not with him.

Living here, working here meant facing all that he'd done wrong in a way he hadn't done before. It meant more than just carrying those wrongs with him. He would be living with his actions, living with the person he had allowed himself to become. Confronting that person every day and trying to change him, make him better. He wasn't sure he could do that – he wasn't sure he wanted to do that.

Right now all he knew was that he wanted to be with Nikita – to build a life together with her. That was the decision he'd made when he'd left Division, it was the decision he'd made again when he returned from London. After Brandt he had come to the realisation that he had to take the time he had with Nikita now – they'd wasted far too long already on opposite sides of the fight and he refused to waste any more Life without Nikita was not a choice he was prepared to make again. Not a thought he planned to contemplate, which left him back here – in Division – learning to breathe. He was choosing to stay, now he just had to learn to live with all his choices