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Subject: Chapter 17: ‘Mirror, Mirror’

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Date Posted: 23:57:57 12/12/01 Wed
In reply to: Sanlin 's message, "Welcome everyone :-D and a repost of "It's Absurd"" on 18:05:34 12/01/01 Sat

Michael, lying back with Nikita snuggled protectively against his chest, stroked her hair, sensing the growing tension in her.

She kissed his fingers, holding them captive against her mouth. “What now?”

“We could be called into Section at any time.” Silently, he willed away the anxiety and burgeoning tightness in his chest this announcement caused, struggling to keep his limbs from tensing and flexing around Nikita like bars of steel. He wanted to hold her to his heart and never let her go again. Never send her back to the darkness that was, too often, their lot in Section.

“Until then?” she ended her question on a kiss, turning to him and feathering her hungry, seeking lips against his. Sweetness mixed with desperation as he opened to her and their tongues met and mingled over the knowledge he would be lost to her, again, when they left this place.

“You’re mine, ‘Kita… and I’m yours.” Whether it was a moment or a lifetime, he would spend it in her arms.

She relaxed into his embrace and they spent a few minutes in gentle exploration, memorizing every sweet curve and secret place to keep them through the coming coldness and emptiness of their sterile servitude.

“Get ready.” Michael rained feather-light kisses on Nikita’s face and brow. “I’ll straighten up, here. We’ll meet, downstairs, for… breakfast.”

The way Michael’s accent caressed the last word sent pleasant shivers, hot fingers of sensual longing, up and down Nikita's spine. She would never get enough of him. No matter how many times they were together, she would always crave more of him. Sometimes, she wished things could stay exactly like they were when they made love: Michael and her, just melting together, joining their bodies and souls forever.

“Mmmmm… Always profiling.” Nikita scratched her nails along Michael’s chest possessively, trailing them down towards his navel where he intercepted her hand and captured it in his own. He rubbed his rough, callused pads over her sensitive palm and knuckles, his fingers dancing and twining with her own.

She laughed, loving the way he touched her; at turns playful, sensual, and wild. She nipped and nibbled her way free of his grasp as he gave her tummy a parting sensual lick and rained butterfly kisses along every proffered inch of her departing exposed skin. “I won’t be long,” she promised.

Nikita was still giggling as she walked to the bathroom. She opened the door and turned on the light.

Outside, Michael had already begun stripping the sheets from the bed when he heard Nikita scream his name. He crossed the room in a heartbeat and was in Cold Op mode by the time the reverberations of her panicked cry were fading in his ears.

Not knowing what to expect, Michael swept into the bathroom in a diving crouch, prepared to defend his love, his reason for living, against anything…

Nikita was alone in the room but very pale, staring directly into the bathroom mirror. Her lips were moving and he could barely make out what she was saying over and over. “It isn’t me… It isn’t me…”

“’Kita?” he questioned cautiously, still searching for what had caused the blood to drain from her face, leaving her pale and trembling.

“Michael!” Suddenly, she seemed aware of his presence again, and turned to bury her face against his chest.

“Shhhh, my Love… Shhhh…” He held her, stroking her tense, quivering form. Her skin was ice cold. Hairs bristled along her forearms and stood upright on the back of her neck. He could see gooseflesh raised along the entire length of her arms. “What happened?”

Her voice was muffled, he was holding her so close to his heart but he heard her words and could feel her heartbeat pounding against the cage of her chest. “The mirror… When I turned on the light, I saw two reflections, side by side. Both me… and not me.”

Michael gazed into the mirror. It showed his reflection and Nikita’s, but nothing out of the ordinary. “There’s nothing, now. What did you see?”

Shivering in his embrace, she pulled back, staring into his concerned, storm-colored eyes. Her own cerulean blue ones were quickly filling with tears and still wide open from shock. “Two faces, both like mine, but distorted. The one on the left was fading into the background, swallowed by darkness… and she looked so terribly afraid, Michael… like she was drowning, or dying.”

Michael considered this information calmly and carefully. “And the other?”

Nikita shuddered. “That one was directly in front of me, staring right at me… God, her eyes, Michael… It was like they were cut from blocks of ice; cold and cunning. She was smiling, like she’d won.”

“Won?” His voice sounded thoughtful, intrigued.

“It was the way she smiled… like she’d pushed the other me into the darkness, and there was no one to stop her, now.” Nikita looked at Michael, desperately hoping she was making some kind of sense to him.

Michael drew Nikita back into his protective embrace, stroking her hair and rubbing soothing circles into her tensed neck and shoulders. “Could it be from our last conversation? Knowing we could be called back in anytime? Perhaps you were still half-asleep and your mind fashioned a phantom from your fears?”

“No, Michael.” Nikita’s voice was adamant. “It was there, real as life. And now I feel like something’s terribly wrong. As if I don’t figure out some puzzle or secret soon, I’ll be those women… The person I am will be lost to the darkness and there’ll only be that smiling thing left… a soulless, obedient shell, serving the machine in Section. I feel like I’m losing myself, Michael, and I don’t know why.”

“Shhhh… We’ll figure it out. If Section’s involved, or anyone else, we’ll find out what’s wrong.” He held her strongly, promising, “I won’t let anything happen to you. No one’s going to take you from me.”

Even though Michael was holding her, it felt like he was slipping farther and farther away from her. Everything seemed to be crumbling, falling away into the darkness. She grasped Michael, holding onto him tightly, as if he might suddenly pass right through her fingers, as ethereal and formless as smoke. Fighting to hold back her sudden urge to burst into tears, and barely quelling the silent scream building at the back of her throat, she thought, ‘Oh, Michael… Even if you can protect me… Who’s going to stop them from taking you, from me?’

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Subject Author Date
Chapter 18: ‘Curiouser and Curiouser’Sanlin00:03:30 12/13/01 Thu
    In reply is the very well known song that this point in the story always makes me think of... ;-D (r)Sanlin00:07:28 12/13/01 Thu

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