Summary: Michael and Nikita remember the night they spent together and reflect on their current situation. Time: picks up right at the end of Mandatory Refusal. Rating: PG...nothing graphic, but things are hinted at.
Michael had been sitting at his desk and staring at his computer for half an hour. He had wanted tofinish up a few things before he left Section for the night. But as he stared at the screen in front of him, his thoughts drifted back to another time, a time when the only words he cared to see on the screen were Nikita’s. During those long months when he thought she might not have made it, he had wished for only one thing: the chance to finally tell her all the things he never let himself say ...all the thoughts and feelings that had been raging inside of him since almost the very beginning. “Nikita, if you only knew...” he had thought more than once. He had sworn to himself, one dark and lonely night, that if he ever saw her again, he would let her know, once and for all how much she meant to him, no matter what the cost. And then, finally, after six months of sheer agony, he had gotten his chance.
One night. It was all they had spent together, but it had changed everything for both of them. So many thoughts and emotions had overwhelmed him that night, so many that he couldn’t even begin to express them in words. The initial relief that she was alive was replaced briefly with anger that she hadn’t let him know, and then he remembered his promise...he knew he had to say something to her now or he would never get the chance again. In that moment of passion the only thing he could manage to say was the one thought that kept repeating itself over and over in his mind: “I thought I’d lost you”. Then neither of them could control the fire that had been burning inside of them for years. He couldn’t fight what had happened that night...it defied rational thought. They hadn’t spoken much, but they said more without words in that one night than either of them had ever thought possible. Michael knew then that he could not let her go...he could not lose her twice, the way he had lost Simone. He would protect her at all costs, even if it meant his life in exchange for hers.
So he brought her back. And once she was back, logic began to take over once more. At first it had been nearly impossible to see each her outside of the missions, and he was wary of being seen with her too much, for fear that their secret would be discovered. Then, once the immediate threat had passed, there was a distance between them once more, and it was easier to dismiss that night , and to deny his feelings once more. He began to question whether he should try to have any sort of relationship with her at all. He knew Nikita would never understand...but if she only knew the number of times he had wanted to just give in to the emotions and desires that threatened them both...
He would have continued fighting this inner battle all night, as he had many other nights, if there had not been a knock at the door just then. “Michael, I’d like to have a word with you...”
“One night!” thought Nikita in exasperation. “It’s only one night, for heaven’s sake! Why won’t he allow himself even that?” She hadn’t asked for much, because she was finally beginning to realize the way things worked with Michael. He only allowed people to glimpse the “true” Michael for a brief moment, then shut everybody out once more. But she had only taken him up on his previous offer for dinner...what harm could there possibly have been in that? And furthermore, how can a man change his mind so often and so quickly? It seemed to her that Michael never knew what he wanted, and just when she thought he had finally made a decision concerning the two of them...
Nikita thought back to that night, the night she had made her decision, one that would seal her fate once and for all. She remembered it so clearly. She had kept his PDA, unable to sever the last tie between them, even though she knew it would eventually be the thing that led the Section to her. She had thought about answering him several times, but she hadn’t been sure of what she wanted until that night in Lyons. One look into his eyes, those eyes that haunted her in her dreams, and she knew she had to do it. So she gave him her answer: three little letters...”Yes”...the answer to so many unspoken questions between them. She did it knowing that she might have ensured her own death, and at the same time she no longer cared, as long as she could see him one more time. And of course she had been ready for him when he showed up. She had held the gun on him, even after she saw it was just him and not a team sent to finish her off. She had no intention of shooting, but in that moment she was unable to move. She had glimpsed a fire in his eyes that she had never known to exist, and she dared him without words to make the next move. He had, and those words “I thought I’d lost you” cut to the bottom of her soul... “So you really do care” she had thought, but instead of speaking these words aloud she decided to challenge him further. “You never had me.” The challenge was there, if he decided to take it. And he had. Nikita had never experienced such untamed passion in all her life. This was the Michael she always knew had existed beneath that cold, calm exterior. He took her breath away that night, leaving her unable to think clearly about anything else but her desire to be with him. She knew in some part of her mind that this could never last, but she brushed that thought aside and gave herself over to him. One night, and the cost had been her freedom. But it had been her choice, not one made for her by Section. “I made my decision Michael,” she thought, “now why can’t you?”As if in answer, there was a knock at the door. She turned slowly, knowing instantly that it could only be one person. She opened the door and smiled. “Michael...???” she let the question remain unspoken, waiting for him to say something. He didn’t speak, but stepped inside, closing the door gently behind him. He looked at her for a moment and then said, softly, “I thought maybe we could have that dinner after all...”
Operations sat alone in his office, leaning back in his chair and thinking. He wondered if he was finally losing it, and whether he had done the right thing. But they deserved the night off for once, “And besides,” he thought with a hint of a smile, “what harm is one night?”