The recognizable characters appearing in this story are copyright. This story is written for entertainment purposes only. No challenge to the copyright holders is intended, neither should any be inferred.

I Would Wait

"Nikita, look at me."

She shook her head, face pressed against his chest and arms tight around him. In the distance, another explosion ripped through the chemical plant. The ground trembled, and beside them, a single oak leaf fell, silent in its descent to the forest floor.

He tipped her head back with two hands, and his thumb brushed away one shining teardrop that cut a track through the smudge of dirt on her cheek. Section had taken away his ability to cry, had almost taken away his ability to feel. Damned if he would let them get that far with her. "We haven't much time before egress."

She took a deep breath, squaring her shoulders to compose herself. "Do you love her? Elena?"

Now he looked away. "I obey orders. Section orchestrated the marriage. The blood tie."

"I know all that." Her voice was hard, no trace of tears now. "But you have grown to love her. And I know you love your son."

"Yes." His voice was husky. "With whatever feelings they haven't completely obliterated."

She drew herself up, nodded. "I'm glad, Michael. It's only right that you love them." But her lip trembled.

He pulled her close again, arms closing around her protectively. But he couldn't protect her from the pain he caused. "If I could choose my life, Nikita—"

"You can't." She drew back, but took his hand. "How long will it go on?"

He shook his head. "It's been years. I can't know."

She met his eyes, one hand reaching out to brush over his cheek. "Michael, I would wait for you."

He reached up and caught her fingers, pulling them away with a shake of his head. "No, Nikita. Don't wait."

Her eyes widened, filling with tears afresh. "Micheal, how can you say that? After all we've been through?"

His heart felt as though she'd squeezed it in a vise. "I don't want you to spend your life waiting for some imaginary future that may never be. I want you to live now. To find what happiness you can."

She shook her head. "There is no happiness without you, Michael."

He gave a bitter laugh, but she pressed on.

"Even if it's just a few years together at the end of our lives—once we figure out how to be free of the Section forever—I would wait."

He bowed his head. "Don't Nikita. The Section is my life. I know no other. I'll not ruin yours on an impossible hope." His earpiece beeped once, and he squeezed her shoulders, then pushed her back from him. "Go, Nikita! Don't wait for me."

She shook her head once more, but scrambled away as the whine of an engine sounded in the distance. "I love you, Michael!"

He nodded, gaze fixed on her wild blue eyes. "I know. But go, and don't come back. Promise me. Promise me you'll try to be happy."

She stood frozen for too long, but at last she nodded. The approaching vehicle would be there any minute. "Goodbye, Michael." And then she was out of sight.

"Goodbye, Nikita." The words caught in his throat, but he couldn't cry. He pulled a field knife from his belt and cut a shallow slash below his eye, letting the moisture drip down his cheek. "Don't wait."

A/N: An alternate parting scene for Michael and Nikita, based on the series. Reviews are appreciated.