CHARACTER DISCLAIMER:
Xena and all related characters from Xena: Warrior Princess are the property of Renaissance Pictures, StudiosUSA, Universal, et. al. Nikita and all related characters from the La Femme Nikita TV show are properties of Warner Brothers and USA Network. This story is for fun and not profit.

More Disclaimers: This story contains scenes of consensual sex between females. If you are under the age of consent (if you are a Minor), hit the back button on your browser before your parents catch you reading this. If you find it offensive, hit the "back" button on your browser now and go no further. If this is illegal where you live· move.

A few last Disclaimers (Really, we promise): There may be scenes of violence. After all, these are Xena and Nikita we are writing about. Kicking butt is what they do. There are also spoilers for a lot of episodes, ranging from episode one to around the midseason Season 3. Oh, and for the purposes of this story (and perhaps any sequels) Xena is immortal (though not in the sense of the Highlander universe) and Gabrielle is nowhere to be seen except in Xena's thoughts.

 

Captured

©2002 -Written by Complyx and Vertigo-

Prologue

The dark club was crowded. Techno music pulsated out of large speakers placed strategically around the room, causing it to vibrate. You didn't just hear the music, you felt it. The dance floor was packed as gyrating bodies created an almost bizarre human collage. Silk and leather were the predominant themes for the night.

A few feet from the dance floor a man was sitting at the bar. He was surveying the room with almost a predatory efficiency, his gaze masked behind a faade of indifference. His search slowed as the person he was looking for appeared. Casually, he turned back to the bar and spoke in a smooth, low voice. "Target acquired. Navy Armani suit. Heading toward the back room."

The voice in his earpiece replied, "Hold position." The man in the navy suit continued to make his way through the crowd unaware of a pair of blue eyes watching him.

The owner of the blue eyes put her hand to her ear. "Target spotted. Awaiting direction."

The voice in her earpiece replied, "Subdue the target."

"Affirmative." The leather clad blonde replied as she headed towards the target. She caught up with to him with a few strides of her long legs. Taking advantage of the crowded surroundings she bumped into him. "Ooh. Sorry." She explained as he turned to her. 'It's so crowded in here." She made sure their eyes met and flashed him her most charming smile. "I don't suppose you know somewhere a little less busy?" Her eyes narrowed and her pupils enlarged suggesting exactly what the man in navy had come to the club for.

Blondes were his weakness. His gaze moved up and down her athletic frame looking her over before returning to the blonde's eyes. "What did you have in mind?"

"Somewhere private." She smiled at him suggestively, then leaned towards him. "Some place where we can· talk."

He smiled knowingly and quickly looked around. "Come with me." He took her hand and led her towards the back of the club.

They exited the main room into a short hallway and down a few steps. He stopped before a door and gestured for the blonde to enter. She did and he followed, closing the door behind them. The blonde looked around surveying the cheesy dŽcor. Silk sheets on the bed, champagne glasses· No wonder this guy was an easy target.

He put his hands on her shoulders and started to whisper in her ear. He was rewarded for his effort by a having his foot stomped on and a quick kick to the head before everything went black.

The blonde relieved the unconscious man of his weapons and spoke, "Target subdued."

Seconds later, the man from the bar entered the back room and slung the target over his shoulder. "Do you have everything?" He asked the blonde.

"Yes Michael. He had the codes on him."

Michael went up the short flight of stairs and out the alley door. He had made it halfway down the alley when the blonde emerged from the building.

A masked figure waited, bathed in darkness, at the other end of the alley. As soon as the blonde had emerged, the masked figure blew a dart at her.

The blonde's hand shot to her neck and pulled out a small dart. She sniffed it and looked around, unable to find the owner of the dart. A few steps towards the Michael and the van, the blonde started to feel the effects of the dart as her vision blurred. She stopped and shook her head.

Waiting for that sign, the masked figure started up a motorcycle and began speeding down the alley towards the blonde.

Michael had just made it to the van when he heard the motorcycle. Unceremoniously dumping the target in the van, he turned around to locate the intruder. Pulling a gun from the waistband of his trousers he aimed it at the motorcyclist heading down the alley.

The motorcyclist slowed upon reaching the blonde. Pulling the woman, who was now in no condition to resist, onto the motorcycle, the cyclist gunned the engine and headed towards Michael and the end of the alley.

Michael tracked the cyclist with the barrel of his gun and fired several times. Bullets ricocheted off the cycle punctuating the darkness of the alley with bright sparks. The rider sped up and Michael was forced to jump out of the motorcycle's path as the kidnapper made his escape with Nikita.

Michael spoke as he dusted himself off and returned to the van. "Mission compromised. Nikita has been captured by an unknown hostile. Returning to base with the target."

The voice in his earpiece replied, "Acknowledged."

The cyclist steered the motorcycle down an isolated wooded path leading up to a moderate size cabin. The bike slowed as it approached the cabin, finally stopping in front of a shed next to the cabin. The masked rider dismounted the motorcycle, carefully placing the unconscious blonde on the ground before rolling the vehicle into the shed and covering it with camouflage netting.

After securing the shed, the cyclist looked around. Seeing nothing out of the ordinary, a gloved hand reached up and removed the mask. Black hair cascaded down and a mythically beautiful woman with the most startlingly blue eyes was revealed.

Chapter 1

Nikita awoke to find herself lying on a large bed, stripped down to her underwear: a white tank top and panties. Her hands were bound with rope, secure but not too tight. Her ankles were enclosed in metal cuffs linked together by a thin wire long enough to allow her to pace, but not enough to run. Slowly, the haze from whatever drug the kidnapper used last night cleared. Where am I? Who did this? What do they want? The blonde rolled out of bed and started to investigate her surroundings. The bedroom door was locked, as were the windows. The view from the window was no help in telling the woman where she was, all she could see was a wooded area with a light dusting of snow on the ground. Aside from the bed, the room held no furniture. The adjoining bathroom was stocked with nothing but one roll of toilet paper. The only other item in the room was a wall-mounted clock. Hmm· seems like someone thought of everything. Looks like I'm going to have to play wait and see.

As if on cue, the door opened and her captor entered the room.

"Why am I here?" Nikita asked the tall brunette. "What do you want from me?"

"I want nothing from you but your time."

"Who are you?"

"I knew that question would come sooner or later. My name is Xena." She motioned for the blonde to sit on the bed. "You are here because you are different than most Section operatives. You think for yourself and seem to have a conscience. Those are qualities I need."

Nikita's eyes narrowed in suspicion. "I won't give you any information on Section. You might as well kill me now."

"I won't kill you. I won't harm you unless you make me. And, I don't need any Section information ?I'm well aware of their activities."

"Then why me?"

Xena moved towards the bed, away from the now open bedroom door. "I told you. You have a conscience. Adrian saw that in you when she recruited you to go up against Section, and so do I."

"How do you know about Adrian? Did you work for her?"

"I knew of Adrian. A brave woman· but foolish. Her actions were desperate, she thought she needed to act when she did. On the other hand, I have all the time in the world." Sadness tinged the brunette's voice.

"I still don't understand what you want with me." Nikita prompted Xena.

"All in good time. First, we have breakfast and I'll tell you a story." With that the mysterious woman left the room locking the door behind her.

Nikita was left to ponder her situation. Is she a terrorist? Does she intend to brainwash me? Why is she doing this? How could she know about Adrian?

About a half-hour later the bedroom door opened and Xena entered carrying a tray full of food and placed it on the bed. "Make yourself comfortable. This may take a while." She sat down on the bed across from Nikita and helped herself to one of the pastries on the tray.

The blonde eyed her captor suspiciously and took a banana from the tray. "What is going to take a while ?breakfast· or brainwashing me?"

"No. My explanation of why you're here. A story of sorts ?a true story."

"You think a story is going to convince me to join you?"

"I think this story will convince you of my motives. It's up to you what happens from there on. Sit back, eat your breakfast and listen. Oh, don't worry ?the food is not drugged."

Nikita cautiously peeled the banana and took a bite. Tasting no chemicals and feeling no ill effects, she relaxed and leaned back against the headboard.

"I won't lie to you and I won't trick you. If you're going to believe me, there needs to be a degree of trust between us."

"Trust?"

"Yes. However, now you need to listen." Xena leaned back against the post of the canopy bed facing her captive as she began her tale.

"I used to be an operative. For seven years I worked for Section One. I was recruited because of my· ability to get things done. Infiltration, manipulation, strategy ?they were but a few of my skills. Skills that Section took an interest in. I was kidnapped and given a choice. At the time I saw my position in Section as the best way to work for the greater good. After a few years I realized that Section's methods were coming precariously close to a personal agenda. There were better ways to accomplish what their goals. That was when I started planning my death. I acted in a manner that would assure me Abeyance status. Finally, I was sent out on a mission and I died in the eyes of Section. This was shortly before Section recruited you. Since my "death", I've kept tabs on Section ?their activities, everything. I believe Operations has started to move according to his own agenda. I know you were sympathetic to Adrian, even if you did betray her. I also know that you took a stand against Operations and Madeline during that situation. I think we can help each other." The dark woman said as she ended her story.

"How?"

"I need someone on the inside, someone to be there when I need them - an ally. I have information, I'm just waiting for the right time· waiting for Operations to dig a hole deep enough to bury himself in. I need someone to be my eyes and ears - someone to help tell me when it's the 'right time' to move. I think you are that person, Nikita. Information can only give me part of the picture, only someone in Section can complete that picture. I know what and how - I am asking you to tell me when· So, I guess I am asking you for information after all." Xena confessed.

"What do I get?"

"A life. You get to live, Nikita. Not just exist within Section ?but actually live."

"Even if I were to believe you· to trust you. A life outside of Section is not possible."

"It is possible."

"I've been there, done that· it didn't work."

"Ah, but it could. With the proper maneuvering and Operations out of the way, you could have a life."

"And just how would you· we, accomplish that?"

"Do you honestly expect me to reveal everything?"

"No."

"I will tell you a few things. This ought to convince you I am who I say I am, and that I do know what's occurring in Section."

"Go ahead." Nikita nodded towards the brunette. "Convince me."

She's so sure of herself· Was I ever like that? Xena readjusted herself against the bedpost. Sure I was· a long time ago· with Gabrielle by my side. How times have changed. What would she think of me now? She looked over at the blonde waiting for her to begin, "Remember Ivan Chernov and the cloning technology?"

A flicker of recognition showed out of the captive's blue eyes.

"Ah. I see you do." The dark woman continued, "That young girl you saw· the one that looked like you at that age. That was not a coincidence. Section is cloning operatives. Can you imagine what they could do with an endless supply of personnel, bred strictly for service to Section?" She let the implications sink in.

"Playing God·?" Nikita uttered before she could stop herself. "You could just be making this up. Putting together what I know to form a scenario to suit your purpose. You'll have to do better than that."

Xena smiled. "Ok. Karl Peruze."

"What about Karl Peruze?" The blonde replied, spitting out the name with thinly veiled contempt.

"How did you feel about Section brainwashing you into caring for Karl? I can't imagine you appreciated being manipulated like that. Being made to fall in love with a man you despised."

"Section did what was necessary to complete the mission." Nikita tried to justify the actions that still made her blood boil. "We took down murderers, terrorists."

"But was that the only way to take them down?" Xena asked the question that Nikita had asked herself ever since the incident with the Peruze brothers. "Was Section justified in messing with your mind just to accomplish the mission? Surely there were other ways, are other ways."

"Maybe. But who is to say which ways are the best?"

"You've seen it with your own eyes Nikita· how Operations manipulates and connives for his own agenda. So far, the results have been in favor of the greater good· but how long until that is no longer Section's agenda? How long until Section is merely Operation's tool?"

They sat there in silence for a few minutes while Xena's words sank in. Finally, Nikita broke the quiet. "Why do you expect me to trust you?"

"I don't expect you to trust me. I can only hope that you listen to your instincts and they tell you to trust me." Xena gathered up the breakfast tray and started to walk towards the door before turning back to the blonde with one last comment. "Listen to your heart Nikita." With that, the brunette turned and left, locking the door behind her.

The blonde leaned back against the headboard and let out a long sigh. This Xena is either sincere, or a nutcase with a grudge and a lot of intel. Why should I trust her? Why do I want to trust her? Stretching her arms and testing the bonds at her wrists Nikita got up off the bed. She started to pace as best she could with the ankle cuffs and connecting wire constraining her movement. What are my options·? Go along with her plan? Resist? She was so lost in her thoughts that she didn't hear the door open and Xena enter the room again.

"So, what's the verdict? Or do I need to do some further convincing?" The brunette asked, startling Nikita out of her contemplation.

The blonde turned to face Xena, for the first time seeing her captor while they were both standing. The brunette presented an imposing figure. She wore black leather pants and a blue silk shirt· a striking color that matched the dark woman's eyes. She stood about the same height at Nikita, hands behind her back waiting for an answer. Hmm· I bet I could take her if an opening presented itself· she doesn't look all that tough. I'll definitely have to keep alert. "No verdict...yet." She moved closer towards Xena. "If I'm to trust you, I need something more than stories and promises." Holding up her bound wrists she delivered her first request. "How about untying these?"

Give and take. I suppose it will take a bit of give and take to win her over· Might as well try the positive approach. "You won't try to escape?" Xena asked while her gaze looked for any sign of deception in the young blonde.

"No. I trust you· and you trust me. Isn't that the foundation of this game we're playing?"

"Yes and no. Trust is integral, but this is no game. This is life and death, living and existing." Xena grabbed Nikita's bound wrists with her right hand, pulling the woman close to her. "Do you trust me?"

"No. I don't." She replied to Xena before whispering something she thought her captor couldn't hear. "Not yet."

With one fluid movement the brunette released her captive and the ropes fell to the floor. "And now?" Xena asked in a low tone.

"Better." Nikita backed away from her captive a few steps and rubbed the circulation back into her hands and wrists. "Still, all I've heard is some mission intel and innuendo on Section's motives. How do I know your motives are any better? I still know nothing about you·"

"Me? You want to know about me?" The blonde's question had taken her by surprise. What do I tell her? That I'm immortal and have seen more of evil than she could imagine. That I can predict what will happen to Section if Operations is left unchecked - because I know first hand what happens when someone gets that much power.

"Why are you doing this?" Nikita gestured to herself and the room around her. "Persuading me rather than torturing me? Why not just try brainwashing me or something simpler?"

Xena closed and locked the bedroom door before moving to the bed to lean on the bedpost. "I'm not torturing you because I don't need information ?I have my own sources for that. As for brainwashing· it's effective ?but I want you to act of your own free will ?because you know it's right." She motioned for the blonde to sit on the bed. "I could use force· and will if you make me. I need an ally· a partner. If I can't get that with discussion, I guess I'll have to use more·" Xena held in her words a few seconds before letting them slide from her mouth, "creative· methods to alter your way of thinking."

Nikita moved towards the bed but stood there, hands defiantly on her hips. Hmm· creative methods. A shiver ran down her spine. That could mean a variety of things. "What's in it for you? Why help me? What do you get?"

She is a clever one ?trying to figure me out. "What do I get?" The brunette echoed back to her captive. "I get to help good triumph over evil. I get to help make the world a better place." The dark woman raised an eyebrow watching the blonde's reaction. "Is that what you want to hear?" So many questions· what do I have to do to convince her? Xena sighed in frustration as she turned to face Nikita across the bed. Gracefully brushing her hair back out of her face with her hand, she continued to answer the questions posed. "I do what I do because I have no choice. I can't stand by and watch the people in power gradually destroy the world. And, I have no ambition to 'take over the world'· I have, as some would say, been there and done that. It was not a pretty sight ?from any perspective."

Nikita looked into her captor's eyes to find pain, regret and, to her surprise ?vulnerability. This may be my chance. She tilted her head slightly and softened her facial expression before slowly moving to sit on the bed ?closer to the brunette. Her ploy had the intended effect and Xena sat down on bed opposite the blonde, one leg bent in front of her, the other still braced on the ground. In a split second, Nikita lunged for the brunette.

Xena felt the move before she saw it. Her eyes turned cold and she countered Nikita's move, effectively pinning her face down on the bed. Powerful arms held the blonde's wrists above her head while she straddled her captive. Leaning over, she spoke into her ear. "Not a smart move. Definitely not an action that inspires me to trust you."

"I suppose not." Came the muffled reply. Nikita shivered as the lips brushed her ear.

Xena grinned at the response. "Turn over." She commanded gently.

Slightly flushed, she reluctantly turned over on her back. Xena still held her wrists and now straddled her waist. The breathing in her ear caused her nipples to harden. Noting this, a dark eyebrow lifted.

"I'm glad to see you have no problem with 'creativity'." She smirked, "Hold onto the headboard and don't let go, unless you'd like me to tie you there."

Nikita held on with a white knuckled grip. Xena crouched between the naked legs, and slowly dragged her hands down the body before her. Nikita, taken aback at her own responsiveness, let out a shaky sigh. Forcing herself to look into her captor's eyes, she gasped at the hunger there. "What are you going to do with me?" she finally challenged.

Xena grinned suggestively, intense blue eyes travelling the lovely body before her. "You know Nikita..." She answered huskily while running her fingers through the soft blonde hair, "...as far as you know· this might be your last time to experience pleasure." Suddenly she grabbed a handful and pulled the blonde's head back. Nikita inhaled sharply, her lower lip trembling in both fear and anticipation. "Might I suggest you try my method of persuasion." Blue eyes stared into Nikita's. "I know you don't want to fight me... do you." It was a statement.

Nikita let go of the headboard and slipped her fingers into Xena's leather waistband. Pulling herself up into a sitting position, she looked directly into the eyes of her captor. "Maybe I do." She added.

Xena grasped the wrists tugging on her pants tightly. She could feel the rapid pulse beneath her fingers. Noting the hitch in her breath, the poorly hidden desire in her eyes, Xena's gaze traveled the length of her prisoner. She could see the blonde's heartbeat. She could feel the rise and fall of her stomach against her crotch.

Nikita felt the heat radiating off the body too close to hers, the warm breath on her face. She let her eyes scan the woman's form. The trembling arms, the hooded eyes. Xena's control barely in check· as was her own. She dropped her head onto the strong shoulder, feeling the cool silk on her hot face. All thoughts of resisting faded into the background. Nikita had to fight to control her breathing. She pulled back slowly to once again look into her captor's deep blue eyes, almost regretting it when an audible swallow showed her need. Nikita tried to move her hands down, but Xena's grip became almost painful. "If this is my last chance Xena..." Nikita tried again to move her hands "...can I trust you to make it worthwhile?" Once she let go of the waistband, her wrists were released and a thumb trailed across her lips in reply. A growl rumbled through Xena's chest as she drew her thumb between the lips into warmth.

"Go ahead Nikita..." she leaned in and whispered, "...touch me."

Nikita brought her hands up a broad back and slid them over muscular shoulders, then up and down over Xena's breasts. Feeling the stiff nipples poking into her palms, the blonde groaned prompting a steamy mouth to cover her own, sucking her lips with need. Nikita shuddered and with another, louder, groan backed Xena against the bedpost, parting her lips and pulling her in hard for more. The captor took charge again and pushed the blonde down on the mattress, straddling her once again. Their tongues battling fiercely.

There was no time for caressing - four hands begin groping wildly. Nikita fought for control and abruptly flipped a startled Xena over. Dropping to her hands and knees, she crawled up, forcing Xena onto her back. Blonde hair covered the face beneath her as she took another desperate kiss.

Xena's body hummed with arousal. She reached down and pulled off Nikita's panties while a hungry mouth made a meal of her throat. Nikita tore open Xena's shirt, presenting perfect breasts for her next course. Xena arched her back and gasped at the feel of sharp teeth ravishing her nipples. She pulled Nikita's top up and off so suddenly and forcefully, the blonde fell backwards. Xena quickly pulled up Nikita's legs to straddle her face. The length of the blonde's body was leaning against the headboard on her elbows. Xena dove her face and fingers into the soaking wet heat with no pretense.

Nikita cried out at the sudden but welcome invasion, grabbing the bedposts as she fell to the bed. Xena whipped her tongue furiously across the sensitive flesh. "Oh God!" Nikita screamed. "YES" A particularly talented tongue twist forced her upright and she grabbed two fistfuls of damp black hair. "Please... don't stop..." She whimpered, rubbing herself faster and harder on the relentless mouth above her. With a final deep moan she began to shudder and shake with each wave of pleasure. Xena held on to Nikita's hips, keeping her in place to prolong the ecstasy. Just when her spent body started to collapse, she felt the hands on her hips tighten and a hot musky mouth climbed up to cover her own.

The kiss strongly conveyed Xena's obvious need for release. Nikita was still reeling from her own climax and slightly embarrassed at her wanton display. Looking up at Xena's face, it was apparent that the woman felt no such embarrassment.

Xena rolled over and placed Nikita on top, so she straddled her stomach. Stopping a minute when she felt the wetness on her skin. Reaching around, she opened her pants and pulled them as well as her panties, as far down as her arms would let her. She leaned herself on her elbows, propped up her knees and captured a still hard nipple in her mouth.

Nikita let her head fall back and she half sighed, half moaned. She leaned back to steady herself and shivered at the contact of Xena's thighs on her back. She could smell the arousal and reached behind to touch the silky wetness. Xena moaned into the breast and raised her hips, lifting the body on top of her. In doing so, Nikita slid over her stomach gasping with arousal. Xena moved her hips in time with her mouth, needing to feel those fingers inside.

"Inside me Nikita... please" she practically begged, lifting them both high off the bed.

Nikita turned her body slightly and watched as her fingers entered Xena. Hearing the thankful moan, she started to move them in and out. She felt her body being dragged back and forth harder. Each time her fingers disappeared, Xena groaned. Inspired, she brought her other hand down and touched the hard bit of flesh. This caused a loud "YES" from the woman under her. Fascinated, she watched her fingers drive deeply in the hot wetness.

Xena felt the blonde's sex rocking on her stomach, leaving a sticky trail wherever it went. She grabbed her hips and pulled her faster across her skin. The feel of slick skin and coarse hair on her sensitive stomach, along with the hands working her center, was almost too much to handle. "More." Xena grunted, "Harder."

Unable to tear her eyes away from her own hands, Nikita watched as she added another finger and put more pressure onto Xena's clit. The body beneath her was bucking harder, adding more pleasure to her own needy sex. She was on the edge and quickly going over. The sight and sounds driving her to move her hands faster. She felt Xena grab her shoulders and the tingles of nails digging in. With a loud gasp, Nikita came, jerking erratically and flooding the body beneath her with her essence.

"GODS..." Xena sat up, grabbed Nikita's shoulders, and bit into her neck, growling her release. They shook in their embrace until Xena fell back down sated, bringing Nikita down too in a final kiss.

Chapter 2

Unreadable blue eyes stared at a monitor, their owner contemplating the peacefully sleeping blonde captured on the live feed. What am I doing? Xena's inner debate began as she leaned back and pulled up Nikita's profile on a second screen. What was that? Persuasion? Release? Her finger slid over the touchpad and her captive's dossier slowly scrolled up the screen. Who have I become? By the gods, I wish Gabrielle were still with me· How many times have I strayed from the path we walked? The more time passes, the harder it gets. The world is so much more complicated, the line between good and evil harder to define - if I can define it at all. When did there get to be so many shades of gray?

The dark woman drew her thoughts back to the matter at hand. Where do I go from here? Do I talk to her, get her to trust me now that she's a little more open to· my point of view? Can I do this to her - put her in this position?

The figure on the surveillance monitor began to stir. Not much time now· better make a decision. Strong fingers quickly entered a keyboard command and the second screen went dark.

Nikita rolled over, stretching out her arm to find nothing. She opened her eyes and slowly sat up. What did I just do? A smirk formed on her face at the memory of Xena's creativity. It was quickly replaced by a somber look as she contemplated the repercussions of their encounter.

She sighed to herself as questions and doubts ran through her mind. What was I thinking? How could I let my feelings take over like that? What does she expect from me now? Loyalty? Compassion? Sympathy? Collaboration? I guess I'll just have to play it by ear· after all, I'm not even sure what I'm feeling·

Her personal crisis pushed into the back of her mind, the Section operative once again started to think about her chances of escape. Her wrists were still untied and her arms free. Her leg restraints were also nowhere to be seen. I don't remember those coming off· I wonder if she· The blonde's train of thought was interrupted by her kidnapper's entrance.

"I see you're awake." Xena commented as she crossed over to the bed and sat down next to her captive.

"Yeah." Nikita answered softly.

"You're probably wondering where we go from here."

"Is this where I confess my undying devotion to you and we go over plans to take down Section?"

"No." The brunette took a breath before continuing. "This is where I apologize for my 'creativity' earlier today." She hesitated for a few seconds that seemed like an eternity to her. "It was wrong· I didn't· I don't want to use you·"

"Why apologize? I am just a tool in your plan, aren't I?" She looked into her captor's eyes. "Why bother apologizing for a good fuck?"

"I'm not apologizing for the fuck· which was quite good actually. Although, it was not exactly the best way to inspire your trust in me." Xena confessed to Nikita. "It's just that I thought I had moved beyond doing whatever needed to be done in order to get my way. Fucking you was not part of the plan."

"How do I know that this isn't part of a mind game to make me sympathize with you?"

"You don't."

"I still don't understand why you're telling me all this." The blonde stated.

"It all comes back to trust Nikita. I need your trust· and I don't see any other way to earn that other than being honest with you. I haven't lied to you and I'm not about to start." Xena paused, trying to think of what to say next. "I can see that this won't be easy. I leave it up to you· I've tried convincing you with information. Ask me what you want to know and I'll try my best to answer. No limits."

No limits· "Okay· how did you survive your 'death' by Section?"

Straight to the point· I knew this was coming sooner or later. I don't know how I'm going to tell her the truth. Part of me still doesn't believe it after all these years· "My death·" Xena paused, "was quite effective because I really did die."

"You can't be dead if you're sitting here trying to earn my trust." Nikita countered the beginning of her captor's confession.

"We're all dead one way or another. Some people die physically, some die emotionally, you've seen it in Section· Operatives that are just that - tools of Section, nothing more. Sometimes when people die, they can live again."

"That's all well and good, but what does that have to do with your 'death'?" The blonde resumed her inquiry.

"Alright. Short version or long version?"

"Short version· for now."

"I'm immortal. I died. I came back." Xena stated concisely.

Nikita looked at the brunette incredulously. "You're kidding, right? Immortal? It's not possible."

"I assure you, it is very possible. Not believable - but definitely possible. I can attest to that. Why would I make up a story like that?"

The captive considered the question posed to her. There is no reason that she would make up a story like that· not unless she's delusional. It's certainly not something that would make me want to join her. It couldn't possibly be true. "Let's elaborate on the short version. Explain to me how you 'died' and were 'reborn'."

"I was shot - mortally wounded on a mission and died on the way back to Section· massive blood loss and internal injuries. Madeline was standing over me as I 'died'. I had planned to 'die' on a mission and had become enough of a thorn in Operation's side that when I did; it would be more welcomed to them than anything else." Xena hesitated to continue, knowing how ridiculous the next part of her explanation would seem to the young woman sitting next to her. She stood and crossed the room to turn and lean against the wall, one foot propped up against the wall behind her as she continued. "I wasn't so much 'reborn' as I regenerated, or healed. When I am injured my body heals itself, no matter how serious or beyond hope the injury may seem. Depending on the severity of the injury, it may take a while for me to heal. I wish I had a better explanation to this part, but after centuries of trying to figure out why and how this happened· I have no answers - nothing but theories and scenarios."

"So you· regenerated. Right. Did you just 'wake up' in the morgue, or did you claw yourself out of a shallow grave?"

"Neither. I came to in the crematorium and substituted another body with mine while the room was unoccupied. I was still weak, but managed to escape from within the Section through the air ducts. A combination of my lowered body temperature from not being completely healed and the fact that I was dead as far as section was concerned allowed me to maneuver the ducts virtually undetected." Xena chuckled wryly, "Although, I'm sure Birkoff was busy for days trying to find the big rat that I must have looked like to their sensors."

Nikita considered the bizarre explanation. "I can't say that I believe what you've told me. What now, do you keep answering my questions until I give up or you get tired of me?"

The brunette caught Nikita's eyes from across the room, trying to read there what her captive's body language didn't tell her· how far could she trust her perspective ally? "Well, my explanation will probably take some time to digest. How about we get a little air? Can I trust that you won't try to escape while we're outside? I'd really hate to have to restrain you." It was both a warning and a threat.

"You won't need to restrain me." The response wasn't a promise, but it was a step in the right direction.

"Alright. I'll be back with suitable clothing· wouldn't want you to catch your death out in the cold." In one sleek move, Xena pushed her weight off the wall and strode out the door.

Chapter 3

The hard ground crunched under their feet as they made their way in silence along a secluded mountain path. A light dusting of snow covered the ground and gave the nature around them a pristine feeling, almost a world away from the harsh metal realm of Section headquarters.

Neither one had said much since leaving the cabin. Xena was still dressed in her leather pants and silk shirt, but with an additional black leather jacket and a pair of rugged boots walked slightly behind and off to the side of her charge.

Nikita was similarly attired in hiking boots, black ski pants, white silk turtleneck and black jacket was well aware of her chaperone's proximity. "What now?" The blonde queried when they came to a point on the path overlooking a small lake.

"That's up to you. I'm sure you still have unanswered questions for me and about me. You could ask those if you'd like."

"Why are you being so nice to me? Why bother trying to earn my trust when you could easily brainwash me or use some other technique to get me to your side? It would be so much simpler for you."

Xena looked out over the lake, her eyes taking in the vista before her but mind experiencing memories of the past. "A long time ago, someone taught me the how to trust again. She also taught me that kindness and understanding often go a lot further than brute force and manipulation."

"She sounds like quite a person for her lessons to have stayed with you, even after being in Section."

"She was." Sadness tinged the brunette's voice. "But, that was another lifetime."

Nikita turned to face her captor, intrigued by the other woman's apparent honesty, but still not willing to accept her completely at her word. "Do you want to talk about her?"

"Not especially." Came the quiet reply.

The blonde closed the few paces between them. Unfortunately, the last step she took was too close to the edge of the overlook and the ground gave away under her weight. More by reflex honed over time than anything else, Xena dove after Nikita. Both of them tumbled down the rocky slope, Xena managing to wrap herself around the younger woman's body before they slammed into a tree.

Chapter 4

Various sensations flooded her consciousness. Cold. Stiffness. Pain. A body covering mine. Nikita opened her eyes and miraculously the world was not spinning as it had been minutes before. Xena's limp form lay partly covering the blonde and partly wedged between a large tree and Nikita.

Carefully she managed to work her way from underneath the still unconscious brunette. Now in a position to assess the situation, Nikita checked Xena's vital signs only to find nothing· no heartbeat· no breathing· nothing. There were obvious signs of the fall down the hill· scratches marred the smooth skin of her captor, seemingly minor now that the life had left her body.

"Shit!" She didn't deserve this for trying to help me. "Who am I kidding· she kidnapped me. Lunging after me was in her best interest - I certainly wouldn't have served her purpose dead."

What do I do now? Leave? Escape? Take her body back to the cabin? Nikita looked down at the serene expression on Xena's face. Maybe my eyes are playing tricks on me· but I could have sworn that her face was more scratched up·

Suddenly the lifeless body before her gasped and pale blue eyes fluttered open. The blonde could barely make out the weak voice that spoke, "What happened?"

As soon as the words registered, reality hit the Section operative and she quickly scooted back several feet from the woman who had been dead seconds ago. "You were· dead." Nikita answered cautiously, still not sure if this were part of some hallucination caused by the fall, or if Xena actually had been dead and come back to life - just like her explanation. No. It couldn't be.

"Well. That explains your reaction." The brunette deadpanned. "Not to be one to say 'I told you so.' but·" Suddenly she coughed and was thrown into a series of coughing fits that wracked her upper body. "Sorry, I'm a little incapacitated· it seems like I'm going to need time to heal before we can get back to the cabin· my back appears to be broken and I can't feel my legs."

The blonde continued to slowly move away from her injured captor. Her training told her to escape while she could. Her sense of logic told her that this couldn't be happening· that people don't die and "come back". Her conscience told her not to run, but to help the woman that had risked her life to save her from ending up smashed into a large immovable object at the bottom of a hill. Too many motivations ran through her head as she watched the scratches slowly heal on Xena's face before her very eyes. I have to get out of here!

Xena did the only thing she could do until she healed - she watched her captive edge away from her as emotions played about on the blonde's face. She knew what the outcome would be· Nikita would run. The deep blue eyes that stared at her in shock told her that only to be confirmed by the simple utterance, "I'm sorry." Then she was left in the woods to recover· alone.

She ran until she could run no more. The pain and stiffness from the fall were mere accents to the fire in her chest and the burning in her legs from running away. How long have I been running? It seemed like only seconds ago she watched Xena come back to life, but judging by the position of the sun it had been at least a couple hours.

Bent over, hands on her knees Nikita drew in breaths of cool air and let her Section physical training kick in. As her heart resumed it's normal rhythm and the burning in her lungs quelled, she reviewed her options. Okay· I'm alone in woods - not even sure where these woods are. I could be anywhere. I can try and find help· find my way back to Section. Or· She looked back in the direction she had come. I could go back for Xena. "No. If she really is immortal, then she'll be fine." Not that I completely believe she's immortal· but what I saw back there· Once again, motivations danced about the blonde's mind. Survival. Compassion. Trust.

Nikta stood tall and stretched, shaking out a little more of the muscle stiffness. Then she took a deep breath and steeled herself for the rest of her journey. It was going to be a long night·

Chapter 5

The sun was beginning to set as Xena finally began to get feeling back in her legs· unfortunately, it was more pins and needles than anything else. Looks like I'll be spending the night here· I won't be in a condition to walk back to the cabin until tomorrow morning.

"Oh well· at least I tried with Nikita." It was more a statement of self-reassurance than defeat. I should have known that she wasn't ready for the truth about me. I wonder if she's going to notify section of my existence· "Nah. Doing that would lead Maddy and Ops to put her under more scrutiny. It would be in her best interest to keep this meeting to herself· or, if anyone· she'd tell Michael." I'm going to need to take precautions against that. He can be quite resourceful· I'm going to need to relocate and notify my moles in Section.

There was little Xena could do except try to keep warm. Her arms had healed quickly, flesh wounds were the only damage that had needed to regenerate. The use of her lower body was another matter· internal injuries had healed themselves first· only then did her vertebrae and spinal cord begin knitting back together. Even after centuries of dying and coming back to life in a manner of situations, Xena was still amazed at how her body worked. Different parts healed quicker than others did, and it was never at the same rate or because of the same reason. The only similarity was that she always lived.

With nothing better to do, the brunette closed her eyes and slept. She was in no danger of freezing to death, so at least she could conserve a little of her body's energy and regenerate a little faster if she went to sleep.

She awoke to the faint smell of smoke. Her heart started to beat faster in a momentary panic. Not a fire, please tell me that there isn't a forest fire now. Her back nearly healed, she jerked upright to scan the area for the origin of the smoke.

A soft hand brushed her face and stroked her cheek. "Calm down. I'm just putting out the fire from last night."

Xena's senses continued to awaken and she looked around. Nikita had fashioned a makeshift campsite including a fire and a few blankets, one of which was now covering the immortal. She must have found the way back to the cabin. Puzzled blue eyes took in the blonde kneeling down at her side.

Nikita answered the unspoken question in her former captive's eyes. "Yes, I stayed." Seeing even more confusion generated by her answer she continued, "Trust goes both ways, doesn't it? I don't intend to let down my end of our trust."

Xena took in the blonde's explanation and looked into her eyes. "Thank you."

A small chuckle escaped. "For what?"

"For staying with me· and for confirming that you're the person I've been looking for." The brunette took the opportunity to pull herself up to a sitting position and test out the relative strength of her body.

"How are you feeling now? You were out cold all night· I almost thought you were dead when I came back to find you. For a second I thought I imagined the whole 'immortal' thing."

Xena stretched slowly. "It looks like I'm a little weak, but everything seems to be working. We should probably start back to the cabin soon."

"Right. I'll just pack up our supplies and then we can get going." Nikita looked Xena over once before standing. I've seen it with my own eyes and I still can't believe it. The blonde started packing up the camp utensils and blankets.

Minutes later, they were slowly making their way along the trail back to the cabin. The brunette spoke first, "You must still have some questions for me. We have a while until we reach the cabin· might as well ask me now."

The hard ground crunched as they walked. The sound of their footsteps the only indicator of life in the woods. After a few minutes Nikita asked a question.

"What's it like? Being dead and coming back to life·"

Xena stared ahead as she considered the question. "It's hard to explain· When I'm dead, it's almost like I'm asleep but there are no dreams, nothing until I wake up." Her voice changed, the tone became more analytical· more removed· like she was explaining something about someone else. "When I wake up· it's the physical equivalent of having someone wake you up by pulling back your eyelids and shining a light in your eyes. Imagine that feeling in every part of your body· it's not pleasant, but it fades quickly enough. After that, what you feel depends on the severity of damage to your body that caused you to die in the first place. I still feel the pain· except I always know I'm going to live and just have to ride out the experience."

They walked in silence for a while. Xena wondering if her answer was too much for her companion.

Nikita simply let the brunette's words sink in before asking any further questions.

The walk back to the cabin went by quickly with both women lost in their own thoughts.

Chapter 6

Captor and captive entered the rustic wood structure; each relieved to be out of the cold. Nikita followed Xena into the cabin's main room and sat down on the couch while the brunette started a fire.

"So, what now?"

Crouched by the fireplace, Xena glanced back at the young woman. "Now·" She turned back to the fireplace and let out a small sigh knowing that the hardest part of her plan with Nikita was ahead of them. "You go back to Section and watch and wait. I'll find you and contact you periodically. I'm not going to rush this and make a move towards Operations until the timing is right. I don't know if that will be a month or a year· we'll just have to keep in contact." Once the fire was established she stood up and walked over to the couch where she took a seat on the end opposite Nikita.

"You have a plan to get me back into Section?"

"Yes. As far as they know you've been kidnapped. They're only guessing who kidnapped you and why." A chuckle escaped the immortal's mouth. "Operations and Madeline are probably grasping at straws. Michael, on the other hand· should be getting close soon. You'll probably have to go back either tonight or tomorrow at the latest. Michael will be the key to getting you back to Section. Michael will find you, you'll give him the cover story we work up and he'll make sure that Operations has little to be suspicious about your kidnap and return."

"Why are you so sure Michael will protect me?"

Xena moved closer to Nikita. "You mean a lot to him. You'd have to be blind not to see it." She searched the blonde's eyes for a reaction.

"I don't know what he feels anymore. If his feelings are really his or if they are part of some game Section is playing with us."

"Section is hard on people. You learn not to give away too much. If you do, you become an individual and therefore dangerous to Section. I'm sure that Michael does what he needs to do to survive· as do you." The immortal wanted to say more, but held back partly because she felt protective of her new ally and also for reasons she could neither explain or acknowledge.

"Perhaps." Nikita replied.

"Enough about that now· you will need to remember to keep alert to Section's atmosphere. I may know the facts, but it's your role to tell me when we can make our move."

"And you'll be contacting me periodically?"

"Yes."

"How will I contact you?"

"You won't be able to. I'm sorry - I wish I could let you contact me, but it's too risky· for both of us." Xena hoped the blonde would understand.

Nikita looked into her captor's eyes looking for a sign of deceit. "Trust, right?" It was a leap of faith, but one she felt compelled to take.

The brunette smiled at the answer. "Right. And now· it's time to go back to Section."

Chapter 7

The armed team of figures clothed entirely in black closed in on the remote cabin from all sides. The leader spoke quietly into a small communicator. "Any sign of hostiles?" The voice in his ear responded quickly, "The area is clear."

The leader made his way to the front door of the structure and signaled his team members to approach. Seconds later the team entered the cabin.

The leader was the one to find Nikita. She was bound to the bed and drugged. He carefully untied her bonds and cradled her head as he tried to wake her, his soft voice calling her out of her induced slumber. "Nikita can you hear me?"

Her eyes cracked open and her voice slurred, "Michael?"

©1999/2000 Vertigo and Complx

The End ?