DISCLAIMER: They are not mine, I'm just rubbing them together to see what happens. The story however, is mine...
AUTHOR'S NOTE: This is an experimental idea that I wanted to explore. Just a short thing, an interlude between other ideas in other fandoms. Variety is good, after all. This is for Pandora007.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
FEEDBACK: To nerocorvo[at]gmail.com
On The Other Side
By The Raven
Alex stretched languidly and glanced around while the computer booted to life from hibernation. It had been a long day and she was tired and not a little sore either. She was unsure that she would ever get used to her daily routines, but at least they no longer gave her nightmares, which made for a nice change of pace.
Idly Alex wondered what the weather was like outside, it had been so long since she had been out that the very concept of weather was becoming a little vague for her, but no matter. Right now what mattered was that the screen was finally booted up and that she would be able to connect in a few moments. She had been waiting for this moment for days it seemed, the chance of privacy and the few moments of free time to actually get online and talk.
"You there?" Alex queried from the messenger application that popped up on her command and with her authorisation.
No answer. Damn it.
Alex estimated that she had only a little while before someone came looking for her, so she really hoped that her query would be answered sooner rather than later. Glancing around, she noted that she was still alone so that was good.
"Here." Her query was answered. Good.
"What do you need?" Alex frowned at the question slightly.
What did she need?
"Just wanted to talk." She typed in, feeling inane suddenly.
She had gone through extensive, demanding training in order to be able to handle what she was going through now so this request seemed a bit soft.
Alex closed her eyes briefly, letting her mind delve back in time to before she had been incased in this institution, with its violence, intrigue and fluorescent lighting.
"Do you think I can get candles here?" Alex typed into the computer before she could stop herself. "What?" Came the immediate reply.
"I miss natural light." Alex extrapolated helplessly.
"Focus, Alex." The screen told her blithely and Alex felt a surge of frustration at her handler, friend and coconspirator. "Am I not allowed even a few minutes of downtime, ever?" Alex poked angrily at the keyboard and then glanced around the computer lab.
No one around.
"At least you get to hear my voice." Alex entered, more gently into the inert, cold machine.
It was true, she knew that most of the time Nikita used the text to speech application and had the computer read out the encrypted instant messages while wandering around the spacious, well lit space that made up the headquarters where Alex had spent a year or more training and getting to know her benefactor.
The word was a name, a noun, a verb, and an adjective in this place.
For Alex though, it represented something that she could barely quantify.
"I miss you." Alex typed out on the screen and hovered her fingers over the keyboard as she hesitated.
How would Nikita react to that?
Alex could remember more than once waking up from a nightmare that she had once used heroin to suppress and Nikita had been there, holding her and helping her fight the nightmares and the darkness. She closed her eyes, remembering stubbornly the feel of Nikita's naked skin against her own; it was blissful and the memory steeled her resolve to get the hell out of this place and back to Nikita, alive.
There had been more to them than mere friendship, or mentorship, much more.
It had always remained unspoken though, hidden just barely below the surface, except once, just once. Alex closed her eyes again as she remembered, somehow needing to refill herself with the knowledge that a real, live human being was pulling for her on the outside of this madness.
"I hate fluorescent lighting." Alex sent instead, not wanting to worry Nikita, or make it harder for the other woman to deal with the situation.
Whatever was going on between them was real.
It was more real than the space that was around her right now.
The holder of her heart.
"I hate fluorescent lighting." Nikita heard the slightly disjointed voice of Alex say as she paced around her inner sanctuary. "I miss you." Came the almost forlorn addition a few heartbeats later, as if Alex had been reluctant to send them, which tore at Nikita's heart.
Looking out of the tall windows at the sunny vista of the day, Nikita could not blame the younger woman for the statement. Division was a prison, only it was worse. There was no escape from Division, there was no release date.
There was only death.
Until now that is. Nikita turned back to the computer where Alex was still waiting for her to say something but what did Alex want her to say? Obviously this was a situation of loneliness and low morale and Nikita could not dismiss it.
Not that she would anyway, but Alex needed to remain on the alert and needed to keep her head in the game. Division would give no quarter and if Alex made a mistake or was caught, the consequences and the price that would be exacted would just be too high.
"I hate it as well." Nikita offered after a few long moments had passed.
The cursor on the screen did not move, making her wonder if Alex had left without warning as was often the case. It's not like Alex could control who was wandering around at any given moment, or what was going on that demanded attention.
She missed Alex as well and part of her wondered when all was said and done and if they survived this, if things would ever work out between them. Alex would be deeply changed by time spent at Division, but fundamentally, hopefully, Alex would remain the same. Nikita sometimes hated herself for having thrust Alex into the situation that the younger woman was now in, but in retrospect, they would have nothing were it not for the time they had spent training and being together.
And Alex would probably be dead by now.
Raising her hand, Nikita brushed her fingers across the screen and closed her eyes for a moment, trying to remember what Alex felt like, tasted like, sounded like, who the other woman had been and who they were together. It was a fleeting memory that she grabbed and held onto with both hands and Nikita felt the angry bile of frustration rise in her throat as she fought with her self control.
"I miss you too." She finally said, hoping that Alex was there.
Nikita balled her fist, hoping against hope that she had not been too late.
Was Alex still there? Please be there still, darling. Nikita shocked herself with that line of thought but brushed her reaction aside. Now was not the time to dwell, now was the time when she needed Alex to still be online.
Why had she hesitated, they were just words and Alex had needed to hear them.
"I have got to go, mom and dad want me." Alex finally said after a moment. "Light a candle tonight for me and I will try to dream about it." Alex concluded and then Nikita saw the connection log off.
Nikita closed the computer and turned to look out of the windows again, absorbing the sunlight and letting her mind wander as she remembered just a little while ago when Alex had still been here, with her. When they had been together.
It was almost too much to think about and Nikita closed her eyes against the memories, but the sunlight burned through her eyelids and reminded her that no matter what, Alex was part of her and she was part of Alex.
For now, and for always.
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