One line means negative and two lines mean that the test is positive…
Nikita looked over at the innocent looking stick sitting on her bathroom sink and hoped that the answer she was going to receive would be negative. Nikita got up and left the bathroom and started wandering around her apartment in hopes that her fear would be unfounded but deep down she knew that it wasn’t. She looked down at her watch as it began to beep to signal the end of her wait. Slowly she ascended her stairs and walked to the bathroom. With shaking hands Nikita picked up the innocent looking stick, no longer was it an innocent item to her for there blaring back at her was two definable lines. She was pregnant.
The pregnancy test clattered to the floor as Nikita dropped it and stared at herself in the mirror a mask of horror on her face. ‘Oh God! What am I going to do?’ Nikita thought. Suddenly Michael’s familiar knock sounded on her front door. Nikita jumped at the unexpected noise and hurriedly began to clear away the evidence of the pregnancy test.
“Nikita” Michael’s voice sounded from the other side of the door.
“Coming” Nikita said calmly as she took one last look to make sure that he wouldn’t notice any signs of the recent development in her life.
Nikita descended down the stairs just as she hit the bottom step she heard the distinct click of the lock slipping back. Moments later Michael was standing in the open doorway.
“What were you doing?” He asks as the door swings closed and he begins his normal circuit through her apartment.
Nikita watches him as he walks through her kitchen, passes by her dining area and finishes his walk by reaching the middle of her living room. All the while his eyes searching for anything out of the ordinary or any guests. She always wondered if he was just obsessive compulsive or if he really cared enough to make sure she was safe.
“What were you doing?” comes filtering through her musings and she realizes that she never answered his question.
He stood in front of her expectantly, his blue-green eyes searching her eyes trying to find the answer in the depths of her blue orbs.
“Nothing” She forces herself to smile kindly and to keep her secret out of her eyes. “Why are you here?” Nikita wonders out loud.
Michael’s gaze slipped away from Nikita. “I came to see how you were doing. I know that Jurgen meant a lot to you.”
Michael’s heart felt like it was in a vice grip just thinking of how close Nikita and Jurgen had gotten. To have that man take his own life to save all of them showed how much honor the man really had. Admittedly it was also to save himself from being cancelled when they got back to Section, but Michael also knew that Nikita blamed him when it came to the other man’s downfall. Michael admitted to himself that he had taken a demented pleasure in Jurgen’s downfall because he was jealous of the relationship that the man had forged with Nikita. Michael had secretly hoped that once Nikita had seen what Jurgen was doing and how he had earned his so called freedom in Section that she would see how Jurgen was not someone to trust, but as usual leave it to Nikita to still find the good in Jurgen and to still respect him as a good man.
“Michael” Nikita’s voice felt like a physical slap. His eyes jerked back to her face and he waited patiently for Nikita to demand that he leave. “I know that you were happy when Jurgen lost his control over Section. I just don’t understand why now? Why come here today? Just leave please.” Nikita shook her head, turned and pulled open her French doors and walked out of the apartment leaving Michael to stare after her.
He didn’t really know why he picked today to come to see her. He knew that he should be at home with Elena and Adam right now, spending time with his wife and child, but he was here trying to repair things with Nikita. He knew that if Operations and Madeline knew where he was and what he was doing that they would try to cancel Nikita again. None of them could afford for the Vachek mission to be jeopardized but here he was anyway trying to make the love of his life know that he was here for her still.
Slowly Michael walked to the French doors and looked out to see Nikita sitting in a wooden lounger crying silently. He rushed over and tried to envelop her into a hug but she resisted, but he refused to let go and after a few half-hearted attempts to break free Nikita finally relaxed in his embrace. They sat together, Nikita crying and Michael comforting, for half an hour and then Nikita broke free from the embrace. Michael didn’t resist her breaking the embrace, he stared at her silently, waiting for her to explain.
“I’m okay Michael. Jurgen was a good man, but I also know that he chose his path and he chose the way he died. It was hard to lose a friend, but I know how the Section works and know that Jurgen picked the best way for him.” Nikita gave Michael a watery smile and got up to walk back into her apartment. “He did what he had to do. Just as we have to do what we do to survive.”
Michael watched her retreat back into her apartment and he trailed after her. Nikita went to the cabinet, grabbed a glass and filled it with water. She brought the glass to her lips and took a sip. “Michael, I’m fine why don’t you go on. There is nothing you can do here for me.”
“Nikita, I’m here if you need to talk.” Michael said as he started towards her door. “Please just let me know if you need anything.” He whispered as he turned the doorknob.
After Michael left Nikita sat down in her living room to try and sort out what she was going to do about her pregnancy. She had to make some very hard decision before this baby was born.
End Chapter One
Michael sat at his desk staring unseeingly out into the common area of Section. He should have never brought Nikita back, he had been so selfish, all he wanted was for her to be near him again. He had missed her terribly, he could barely function those six months that she was gone, but knowing that she was alive should have been enough for him. He made a big mess out of all of this, he knew that he had given her false hope, but in truth he had also given himself false hope. His hope that she would understand and they could be discreet was stretching the bounds of what he knew Nikita was like. He knew that she was impatient, rebellious and exuberant; he thought that if he told her to be patient that she would understand that he was trying his best to work on a plan to get them through her retraining and the suspicion that they were under.
Suddenly his mind of flooded of images of Nikita from the night they shared, her scent seemed to waft through out his small office making it feel smaller and uncomfortable. His hands itched to touch her again, he was dying to taste her again and to become one whole with her again. He always wondered what it would be like to be with her and now that he had all he wanted was to do it again. Nikita was the other half of him, being this distant from her emotionally was killing him, overcoming this new barrier that she had erected with Jurgen’s help was becoming unbearable. He needed to formulate a plan to win her back, but this time he had to make sure that she understood that this was for him and not for Section.
He had just begun to construct a plan to try to win his place back into Nikita’s good graces when his phone began to ring.
“My office now.” Madeline’s voice intoned quietly.
“Of course.” Michael flipped his phone shut. He shut his computer down, stood up and began to button his jacket when his door came crashing open. Michael blinked, his surprise not showing on his face.
“Michael I need to talk to you.” Nikita rushed out.
“Now.” Nikita’s eyes flashed a brilliant blue, her jaw set to let him know that she was not going to budge.
Michael stared at her stubborn form before gliding easily to her left and around her. “Madeline is expecting me. We will talk later.”
Michael knew that his brush off was not helping the situation between him and Nikita but he couldn’t afford for Madeline and Operations to find a reason to try and cancel Nikita again, not so soon to her coming back.
Nikita stared hard at Michael’s retreating back. ‘Just great this is not the way I need to do this. I can’t start something in the middle of Section.
Standing silently in Michael’s office, Nikita tried to figure out what to do. Finally she reached into her purse and found a pen and paper. She scribbled down a note for him, she slipped it between the desk and his panel for his security scrambler making sure to leave a slight corner hanging out for him to see but not too obvious for others. Nikita then left Michael’s office quietly, she waved to Birkhoff as she passed by Comm and as she passed Munitions she gave Walter a flirtatious smile.
Meanwhile Michael entered Madeline’s office with apprehension building inside him. What could Madeline want with him now. Nikita had been given a few weeks off because of Jurgen’s death so he knew that she hadn’t done anything to cause Operations to be mad at her. Things were going pretty well with his mission marriage and Adam was growing to be a happy and healthy little boy.
“Michael, I would like to talk to you about Nikita.” Madeline said with her Mona Lisa smile in place.
Michael wanted to roll his eyes and say what else is new but he knew to keep his mouth shut and listen to what the powers that be in Section had to say.
“I am worried about how Nikita is doing. She hasn’t been back in Section very long and already she has had to deal with her lover being killed.” Madeline watched Michael carefully for any reaction to her wording. She knew that Nikita and Jurgen had not been lovers, but she wanted to see how much this would affect Michael.
Michael didn’t move, he also knew that Nikita and Jurgen had never consummated their relationship, he had made sure that they couldn’t take that step. The phone calls and his showing up at her apartment were always timed to interfere, he didn’t know if Nikita had figured it out, but he was pretty sure that she had. This fact didn’t bother Michael in the least, he somewhat hoped that Nikita understood the lengths that he went to and that she might one day appreciate what he had done.
Madeline waited patiently for Michael to make some movement to let her know what he was thinking, but he stood still in front of her waiting for her to go on.
“Michael, I want you to keep a close eye on Nikita. We have given her the next couple weeks off and I want you to shadow her. Do whatever it takes to make sure that when her leave is up that she is here on time and ready to perform her duties to the best of her abilities.” Madeline turned to her computer and began typing, effectively dismissing Michael from her office.
“Of course” Michael said quietly, he then took a step back and turned to walk out the door.
“Oh and Michael, make sure that whatever is bothering the two of you has been resolved by that time also.” Michael paused mid-stride then continued on his way out the door.
‘Great how can this get any worse’ Michael thought as he trudged slowly back to his office.
End of Chapter Two
The cool night air washed over her as she stood patiently waiting. The wind lifted the strands of her hair making it dance around and the moon made it glow brilliantly in the night. To people who passed by she looked like an angel glowing to guide them on their way home. Nikita was so lost in her own thoughts that she didn’t notice the dark shadow that approached her, she never heard the soft footfalls signaling an intruder into her own little world, nor did she hear him whisper her name twice. She felt the heat radiating off his body before she registered him standing behind her.
“Michael, why do you insist on sneaking up on me?” exasperated she turned around to look into the solemn green eyes.
“I said your name.” Michael stated with a slight shrug of his wide shoulders. “You needed to talk to me?”
“I need to know where we stand. I know you have told me to be patient and also to get over it, but I need to know are we mentor-student or friends?”
“I don’t know.” came the monotone reply.
“I would like to say that we can at least try to be friends. These last two months have been very difficult on everyone. I just need to know where we are in our relationship.” Nikita said as she went over in her mind how she was going to tell him that she was pregnant. It wouldn’t be easy and she needed his help to make herself disappear.
“Is this all you wanted?” Michael said as he turned to leave. “We are friends Nikita.”
“Michael please wait I need to tell you something else.” Nikita didn’t notice the note of apprehension in her voice, but Michael didn’t miss it. He turned to face her, afraid to hear what was causing her anxiety. Had Operations or Madeline made a threat? Was she worried about her place in Section? Or was this about Jurgen?
“I don’t know how to tell you this….”
“I um, Well I needed to tell you.”
Michael could have sworn that a meteor in all of its burning glory had slammed straight into him. The shock of Nikita’s admission nearly tore his heart out of his body. Had he completely missed the relationship that her and Jurgen had, how could they have gotten the time alone long enough to make this happen. He had them under constant surveillance, but apparently he had missed at least one time because here stood the love of his life telling him that she was pregnant with another man’s child.
It never dawned on Nikita to let Michael know this was his child. She thought he would automatically assume the baby was his. She didn’t realize her relationship with Jurgen had began making the rounds at Section and everyone assumed the two of them had slept together. She was looking to the father of her child wanting help and never knowing she needed to cement the fact this was to be his child too.
“Michael I don’t know what to do. I don’t want to raise the baby in Section, please I need your help.” Her eyes filled with tears and she launched herself into Michael’s still form.
Michael’s heart screamed in pain as he slowly wrapped his arms around Nikita. He couldn’t believe that he had been so blind, he remembered back to Madeline’s comment about Nikita and Jurgen and his arrogance just a few hours ago as to that particular subject.
“I’ll help you Nikita.” Michael whispered into her hair. The smell of her brought back the now painful memories of their night together and he wished fervently that this baby was his and not Jurgen’s, but he knew that if this child had been his then Nikita would have come to him sooner and demanded his help.
The two of them stood wrapped in each others arms listening their soft breathing. Both of them trying to figure out where to go next, but neither able to voice their own fears. Michael had to protect Nikita and the baby, it didn’t matter to him that the baby wasn’t his this little being was still apart of Nikita and he would protect him or her just for that fact. Nikita was thrilled that Michael had agreed to help her, but he still hadn’t said anything about the fact that they two of them were about to become parents. She wondered if this brought back painful memories of the little boy him and Simone had together. As the hour got later the temperature began to drop; Michael was the first to notice the air getting chiller and realized he needed to get Nikita inside. It wasn’t good for her or the baby in this weather, she couldn’t afford to get sick.
“Nikita, you need to get inside.” Michael said tenderly as he extracted himself from her arms.
“Will you go with me?” Nikita catechized
“I will walk you home.” Michael replied.
“Then where are you going?”
“I have to go to Section to start figuring out a plan to help you.” Michael stated as they started walking towards her apartment.
Nikita wrapped her arms around Michael’s right arm and rested her head upon his shoulder. “Thank you Michael, for everything that you have done for me.”
Michael looked down at the top of Nikita’s head, he smiled slightly and reveled in the feel of having her show affection to him again. He knew that he was really going to miss her when she had to leave, but this time he was going to know she was alive and where she was at, he would make sure of it.
End of Chapter Three
Birkhoff looked anxiously up to the Perch as he typed in his password. Michael had come to his room twenty minutes ago and asked for his help in compiling some files. Michael didn’t explain what he needed the files for but Birkhoff just knew in the pit of his stomach that whatever Michael needed them for could cost both of them a swift trip to the White Room and probably cancellation. There was only one person that Michael would risk that type of retribution for and that was Nikita, and if this was suppose to help her then Birkhoff was going to take that chance also. Nikita was the one saving grace in this forsaken place, but Birkhoff knew that she didn’t belong in Section, heck everyone knew that Nikita didn’t belong in Section.
Operations and Madeline had been furious to find out that Nikita had made it out of the suicide mission alive. The speculation around Section had been that Michael had let her go of course this was only speculation and no one could prove it, but Birkhoff had a new respect for the older operative. The heir apparent had fallen out of favor with the higher ups but that didn’t lessen the fear that he put into everyone when he walked through the halls. Even suggesting that he had gone against the powers that be in such a blatant act of defiance had earned him more respect by most of the operatives. Every operative in Section had given Michael a wide berth when they found out that Nikita had been put on a suicide mission and he had given the order to blow the building while she was still inside. There had been times of brazen disrespect and rebellion on missions that Michael led in the first couple months that Nikita had been presumed dead, but then it became obvious that no matter what the operatives did they could not make Michael feel anymore guilty than he already did. About a month before Nikita’s return the other agents began to sympathize with him, they all knew that there had been a genuine regard for the life that apparently got cut short by the evil duo that ran this hell they all lived in. When Nikita was found to be alive all the operatives had secretly rejoiced to have their shining light back.
Birkhoff shook his head to get his rampant thoughts back under control.
“I need to stop thinking and start working.“
Birkhoff tapped on his keyboard with swift sure strokes and slowly began to amass all the information that Michael had requested. It wasn’t too difficult to get through all the security measures that Operations and Madeline had on their systems. He was still the best hacker in all of Section and that is why Michael had come to him. Finally the Directory and Gemstone files were amassed all on shadow disks for Michael and to take extra precaution Birkhoff had enlisted Walter to gene code the disk when he was done. As he was backing out of Operations private files a recently added file came to his attention and with mild curiosity he opened the unfamiliar file.
As the information began flooding the screen Birkhoff’s eyes widen in amazement and then his mouth dropped open in horror. Quickly he composed himself and added the file to the accumulated disks. He then typed a quick note to Michael to let him know that he had added another file to the collection and that it was of utmost importance that he look at it as soon as possible. Birkhoff knew that Michael would find this new information disconcerting, but he would also know what to do with it. Slowly Birkhoff backed out of the files and erased any signs of his presence. Then he got up from his work station and ambled over to the Munitions area. Walter was bent over working on one of his pet projects when Birkhoff arrived, he inclined his head slightly to acknowledge the young computer whizzes presence. Birkhoff stood behind Walter and slightly to the left so that no one would notice what he was about to do, he looked quickly over his shoulder to ensure no one was looking as he brought his left hand up onto the work bench. Silently the shadow disks were deposited on the work bench and the young operative melted into the shadows as he disappeared out of the area. He trudged back towards his quarters; he had another hour before he had to be on duty and he was hoping to get some time to try out his new video game. A part of him just wanted to forget what he had seen on those secret files, but he knew that he wouldn’t be able to get the information off his brain any time soon. He shook his head and hoped that Michael would be able to take the information and correct what was so obviously a mistake on Operations part. Birkhoff didn’t think that Operations and Madeline could be that cruel, could they? The heavy thoughts stayed with Birkhoff as he entered his code into his door panel and sat down at his computer to boot up his new game.
After a few minutes Walter laid his soldering iron down next to the disks and as he moved his hand away they disappeared into his palm. He continued to work for a few more minutes so that he didn’t bring undue attention to himself or Birkhoff’s visit. He took the shadow disks into the back of his work station and used Michael’s DNA to gene code them. He then dropped them into Michael’s equipment bag, which Michael should be picking up in about two hours when his next mission goes out.
Like Birkhoff, Walter wasn’t exactly sure what Michael was doing, but he knew that Nikita had to be involved. Michael had come to him in his usual calm façade but underneath his cool mask Walter could see the inner turmoil. The sorrow, regret and worry were etched deeply in the younger man’s eyes and he only got that look when Nikita was entangled in some kind of mess. The three men had protected her many times, more than she probably realized, and more than she could ever imagine. As a recruit, Nikita had been a handful and the three men had worked overtime to protect her from Operations. As a new operative the three of them had endeavored to keep her on the straight and narrow according to Section rules and regulations, they were able to keep her mostly in line except for some rare occurrences, but they could never get her to listen when it came to acceptable collateral.
Walter was yanked forcefully from his musings when he saw movement on his left. He looked up quickly to notice an anxious Nikita rush into the main area. Walter watched as she rushed down a hallway close to Michael’s office, by the time she hit the end she was almost to a dead run. Alarmed Walter was headed out of his little haven when he saw Michael come rushing out of his office. He caught the younger man’s attention and his worry was put to rest when Michael gave him a look to let him know that he was on his way to take care of his Sugar. Walter retreated slowly back to his stool keeping alert to see if anyone else had noticed the strange scene that had just played out. The few people that were in the vicinity were to busy getting ready for the upcoming mission to notice, his eyes flitted up to the Perch and he thanked God that Operations nor Madeline were present. He looked back towards the hallway that Nikita and Michael had disappeared down. He really hoped that Michael could help Nikita because whatever was bothering her might have some deadly ramifications.
End of Chapter 4