Title: Dark Horse
Feedback address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Date in Calendar: 18 June 2014
Pairing: Nikita Mears/Amanda Collins
Word Count: ~3200 words
Summary: It wasn't really a serious question - Nikita wasn't even going to see actual daylight for several more months yet much less trek out somewhere for dinner - but Amanda just arched an eyebrow. "Michael didn't tell you? We're going out for dinner tonight."
Advertisement: Part of the FSAC:DD14
Note: First, a happy birthday to Tigerkid14 - here's the fic I promised you! :D
Second, this is my take on an iconic sequence from the La Femme Nikita franchise that Nikita only borrowed a small (if equally iconic) segment from.
Also, just fyi, I'm picturing Nikita's gun as something like a Ruger LCP or Ruger LC9, though this fic would predate them both...
I knew you were,
you were gonna come to me.
And here you are,
but you better choose carefully -
‘cause I, I’m capable of anything,
of anything, and everything...
Make me your Aphrodite...
Make me your one and only...
But don’t make me your enemy,
your enemy, your enemy...
Katy Perry, Dark Horse
"I want to use Nikita for Pale Fire," Michael said, turning away from the screen they were using for mission prep to face the others in the room with him. "I know it isn't standard operating procedure, but…"
Percy, seated at the head of the conference table, waited for the punchline. When one wasn't forthcoming, he leaned back in his chair, looking between Michael and Amanda. "I know Nikita is some kind of pet project for the two of you, but isn't this a little premature? She's not even halfway through her training yet."
Amanda eyed Michael with an openly speculative look, blue eyes boring into him until he could no longer hide his annoyance at her scrutiny. Seeming satisfied with whatever conclusion she had reached by that point, she turned to Percy. "It may not be as premature as you think. Nikita is already outperforming many of her more experienced peers."
Michael immediately jumped in on the heels of Amanda's assessment - though that probably said more about his determination to include his star trainee than it did about his respect for Amanda's opinion. "We're not going to find many recruits with Nikita's raw potential. Training simulations can only show us so much - Pale Fire is as good a test mission as any, and we need the manpower."
Percy looked between Amanda and Michael again - they so rarely agreed without argument that he'd be foolish not to at least consider the request. "And if she performs well?"
Michael glanced over at Amanda, who just smirked at him a little - clearly, this was yet another area of contention between them. Despite that, Amanda answered for them both. "There's still… some debate over the most appropriate course for Nikita's training. Having hard data from an actual mission may help with that."
When Amanda held out her tablet, Percy took it from her and glanced over what she'd pulled up - Nikita's training scores, which had apparently not been exaggerated. He had his own uses for that kind of talent - but only if it held up under fire, and only if it could be properly controlled.
"You both have a valid point," he conceded after a moment, "but let's start with something smaller. Something a little more local."
Amanda smiled as if she'd been waiting the whole time for him to say that. "I have just the thing…"
Nikita hurried into Amanda's office, hoping Amanda wouldn't be too irritated by her tardiness. The other woman had been in a very strange mood when they'd crossed paths earlier, and the note demanding Nikita's presence for dinner had been just as strangely worded.
"Amanda? I'm sorry I'm late! Training ran over - they were teaching us this awesome-" Nikita fell silent, skidding to a halt as she realized that the room was both empty and not set up for the meal she'd been summoned to.
It wouldn't be the first time Amanda had been called away and had to cancel - they had dinner together in Amanda's office several times a week, so it was bound to happen on occasion - but Amanda always let her know well beforehand. She definitely didn't send over new clothes and jewelry just in time for Nikita to get ready for a non-existent visit…
Nikita relaxed as she heard the familiar clicking of Amanda's heels out in the hallway. It was entirely possible that dinner was just running late - and at very least, Amanda wouldn't know that she'd been running late too. Maybe they'd even have time to continue their current game of Go...
Amanda just smiled approvingly as she took in the burgundy dress and gold and garnet jewelry she'd sent to Nikita earlier. "You look lovely, dear. I knew those would suit you."
She turned then to grab the pair of coats sitting nearby, and completely missed Nikita's shy but happy smile. By the time she turned back to Nikita, holding out one of the coats, the only thing on Nikita's face was mild confusion. "Are we going somewhere?"
It wasn't really a serious question - Nikita wasn't even going to see actual daylight for several more months yet much less trek out somewhere for dinner - but Amanda just arched an eyebrow. "Michael didn't tell you? We're going out for dinner tonight."
When Nikita continued to look perplexed, Amanda smiled and shook her head a little. "Consider it a reward for good behavior - your latest test scores came back yesterday evening, and you're even further ahead of the other recruits."
Pleased, Nikita grinned back and even dared a joke. "You sure it's safe to take me out in public?"
Amanda rolled her eyes again, but her smile widened just a little. Nikita had been a wild, half-feral thing when they'd first brought her to Division, attacking anyone and everyone - including Amanda herself at one point - until Amanda had helped her get herself back under control.
'Tamed her' was the expression that most often came to mind, though something about that phrase unsettled Nikita in a way she was never quite ready to examine. Shoving the thought aside, just like always, Nikita let Amanda help her into one of the coats, forcing herself to focus instead on enjoying the small taste of freedom she'd earned.
It wasn't exactly a very hard thing to do. Amanda had gone so far as to commandeer a limo and driver from Division's vehicle fleet, and Nikita spent most of the drive into the city poking around the cabin of the car like a curious toddler - which was a pretty apt description of Nikita's emotional response to her first time in a limousine.
Amanda just sat back and let Nikita explore, sipping at a glass of red wine while she and Nikita made small talk. She smiled indulgently when Nikita opened the limo's sunroof and somehow managed to pull herself up enough to watch the city lights roll by as the wind whipped through her face and hair, and even shared Nikita's laughter when Nikita tumbled back into the cabin after an unexpected stop.
A flare of excitement shot through Nikita as they pulled up to the restaurant, and just as quickly turned to a flare of nervousness once they passed through the restaurant's doors. She'd only been teasing with her earlier quip about taking her out in public - her manners were impeccable enough now to meet even Amanda's exacting standards - but she'd never been anywhere this upscale before in her life.
Amanda, seeming to sense Nikita's trepidation, turned suddenly solicitous, taking and squeezing Nikita's hand as they were shown to their table. Nikita's nervousness changed back to excitement as she read the menu and actually recognized most of what was on it - though, of course, she deferred to Amanda's greater wisdom and let her choose the wine.
Much to her surprise, Amanda skipped by the red wine Nikita would have expected her to choose, instead selecting an expensive champagne. Nikita had only been offered a small taste of it before - during Amanda's wine-tasting sessions - and even the single glass Amanda was allowing her with dinner seemed a little daunting.
It was delicious, though, as was the entire meal. Amanda opted out of dessert afterward, but Nikita was not about to do the same - not with the various things she'd seen on the dessert menu. Fortunately, despite months of being denied sweets, she managed to contain her enthusiasm enough to mind her manners.
Well, except for the rather indecent noise that she made after taking her first bite of her dessert - but that was completely involuntarily on her part, not to mention totally justifiable, and Amanda just wrinkled her nose and joked about regretting passing on dessert.
It was the most perfect couple of hours Nikita could remember ever having - the runners up, of course, being other hours spent sitting with Amanda - and it only got better from there. Amanda signaled the waiter, who brought over not the check Nikita expected, but a present perfectly wrapped in red and gold paper that matched Nikita's outfit.
It had been a long time since anyone had given her a gift for no reason - even Amanda's constant gifts of clothes and jewelry and makeup, much as Nikita appreciated them, were meant to be part of her arsenal when she graduated to full agent - and Nikita felt oddly giddy and lightheaded as she stared at the gift. She felt even more so after she finally opened it.
The beautifully carved and decorated wooden case held a small gun and the magazine to go with it. Even as she hurriedly closed the case and looked around, Nikita couldn't help grinning like an idiot - the gun was one of the prototype 9mm Rugers she'd been coveting since using it on the Division firing range during class. "How did you…?"
Amanda, of course, wasn't any more inclined than usual to give up her secrets, though she was definitely pleased at the reception of her gift. "An agent's first personal weapon is a rite of passage - I wanted yours to be special. It'll have to stay locked away until you graduate, of course, but I don't see that being a problem - maybe I'll even get you another as a graduation gift so that you have a matched set."
The only proper response to that was for Nikita to squeal happily and practically hurl herself at Amanda, pulling her into a hug. Amanda, startled, tensed for a heartbeat or two, then relaxed into the hug for a long moment before pulling away.
For a moment, Nikita thought she'd overstepped her bounds, but Amanda was still smiling, and even reached out to brush a stray lock of hair away from Nikita's face. Maybe it was the champagne, or the sugar, or the giddiness of tasting a little freedom again - or even just the sudden resurgence of all the confusing things Amanda made her feel - but that touch shredded the last of Nikita's impulse control.
When Amanda moved to put some distance back between them, Nikita moved with her, pulling her back in for a kiss. Somehow, that kiss was everything all the romance novel cliches said it should be - fireworks, vertigo, the earth simultaneously stopping in its tracks and spinning completely out of control.
The feel of Amanda whispering in her ear sent a shiver down Nikita's spine that caused her to completely miss the words themselves - until they finally registered and she jerked away in confusion. "What?"
Amanda's expression was unreadable, her voice perfectly controlled and even despite the kiss just seconds earlier. "This restaurant launders money. The owner keeps a tablet with all of his business records in a safe in the back - I want you to go get it."
Nikita, thoughts still in freefall after the abrupt switch in tone and topic, couldn't even respond - not that that seemed to bother Amanda, who continued talking as she slid from the booth and got to her feet. "The magazine is loaded, but only use the gun if you have to. The Ladies' Room has a window just big enough for you to fit through that leads into an alley - the limousine will be waiting at the end of it."
"You have five minutes," Amanda finished, and Nikita could only nod mutely - the same way she nodded mutely in response to Amanda's request that she wait until Amanda was out of the restaurant before starting the mission.
The few seconds it took Amanda to leave felt like an eternity, every heartbeat pushing Nikita that much deeper into the emotional storm closing in around her. She'd heard the rumors, heard the stories about Amanda, but had never had cause to believe any of it - until tonight. Amanda had been playing her… using her...
That final flare of hurt and anger jolted her into the eye of the storm, rage giving way to a cold, numb sort of focus and clarity. Taking the Ruger from its case, she slid the magazine into position and started walking toward the manager's office.
Four and a half minutes later, she was limping down the alley barefoot, gun in one hand and tablet in the other. Getting the tablet had been simple enough - getting back out again, on the other hand, had turned into a total clusterfuck.
Of course the restaurant had security, and of course they'd shown up just as she discovered the window meant to be her escape route was completely bricked over. They weren't even very good security, not that it had helped her any - they'd decided to open fire instead of dealing with her in any of the numerous other ways that might actually have led to them getting the tablet back.
She'd lost her shoes in the running firefight that ensued, which was about the only part of things she was okay with - the heels had only been slowing her down as she fled to the kitchen in hopes of finding a back door. There was no back door, bizarrely enough - just a garbage chute she been forced to dive down when a stray bullet set off some kind of mini-explosion.
Amanda, already back in the limo, opened the door for Nikita as she approached - Nikita ignored the hand she offered and climbed in under her own power. When Amanda held out a hand for the tablet, though, Nikita threw it at her - it narrowly missed the other woman's head, but only because it hadn't really been meant to connect in the first place.
Nikita sat rigid in her seat, arms folded across her chest, and waited until Amanda had signalled the driver to go. "The window - you knew it was bricked over."
Amanda didn't even try to lie. "This was a test, Nikita. We needed to be sure you could improvise out in the field."
"You're sick!" Nikita spat back at her. "You don't want a person - you want a machine! I can't do that!"
Amanda tilted her head slightly, searching Nikita's face for who knew what. "You just did."
The storm that Nikita had been holding off finally broke, and she lunged across the cabin at Amanda with a battlecry that would have made her combat instructors proud. Even with that cry to warn her, though, Amanda wasn't fast enough - Nikita had her hands around Amanda's throat before Amanda could fend her off.
Amanda weighed a little more, and had somewhat better leverage, but Nikita had better combat training and was still pumped full of adrenaline - Amanda's struggling only served to trap her under Nikita, with no way to get herself free. It was a Catch 22 - the harder Amanda fought, the quicker her air would run out, but not fighting at all wasn't an option either.
Finally, as the edges of her vision turned black, Amanda's sense of self-preservation won out and she just started begging. "Nikita, please…"
The words, uttered with the last of Amanda's remaining oxygen, weren't even very loud, but something about them rang out like gunfire - and ricocheted just as dangerously. Nikita, eyes wide, let go of Amanda as whatever it was struck home, and Amanda noisily sucked in a lungful of air while rubbing at her throat.
That was all she had time for, though, before Nikita was on her again, one hand catching and pinning her wrists while the other thrust itself between her legs. Nikita didn't seem particularly displeased to find that Amanda was already aroused - and apparently willing, as she shifted to allow Nikita better access instead of resisting or refusing.
Nikita wasn't particularly gentle as she slid two fingers inside Amanda and started thrusting - pushing harder and faster than Amanda's body was ready for yet with no real foreplay to speak of - but Amanda met her thrust for thrust, accepting the pain alongside the pleasure. Amanda's orgasm hit equally hard and fast, stealing her breath away so that she couldn't even cry out.
Pausing only to catch her breath, Amanda pulled Nikita in for a kiss - and bit Nikita's bottom lip hard enough to draw blood. Two could play that game, and she'd been playing it much longer than Nikita had - she returned the pain and the pleasure with interest, until Nikita was biting down on an already bloody lip to keep from screaming.
Before either of them could say or do anything else, though, the limo gave a sudden lurch and an almost subliminal hum filled the air. They barely had time to make themselves presentable again before they reached the bay the limo was kept in - it might have been ridiculously funny, under other circumstances.
As it was, there was only a tense, charged silence - underscored by that annoying, incessant hum - as they waited for the driver to let them out.
Michael and two of his agents were waiting for them when they stepped out of the car - or, rather, waiting for Nikita, as they needed the tablet and her mission report. Amanda, watching them praise Nikita on her successful mission, wondered for a moment what Nikita was going to say during her debrief, and had to clamp down on a peal of near-hysterical laughter.
They'd probably all know soon enough, anyway - it was going to be extremely difficult to hide or explain away the bruises on her neck tomorrow...
Almost as if sensing this, Nikita turned away from her fan club to look dead at Amanda, one corner of her mouth twitching in a barely concealed smirk. A moment later, after murmuring something to Michael, she hurried over to throw her arms around Amanda.
To everyone else, it looked like a simple hug between mentor and student. They couldn't see the anger lingering in Nikita's eyes, though, or hear what she whispered into Amanda's ear.
"You will never," Nikita whispered with all the finality of a vow, "ever get to fuck me again."
Amanda tensed as if she'd been slapped - those words hurt, though there was no time to assess why - but Nikita's body blocked the others from seeing it. By the time the two women parted a moment later, they both had their game faces on again and no one suspected anything at all out of the ordinary - not that they'd dare do much about it if they did.
Nikita, laughing and flirting as she clung to Michael's arm, paused to look back at Amanda one last time before stepping into the bay's lift. Amanda had to fight to maintain her smile as their eyes met, and she saw only triumph rather than anger or regret.
Nikita didn't realize it yet, but her promise was a lie - she would be back, probably sooner rather than later. She'd had her first taste of real power - and she'd liked it...