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JAG/La Femme Nikita

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Title: Just Between Friends 

Author/pseudonym: Tinnean 

Fandom: La Femme Nikita/JAG 

Pairing: Exx (the female half of the torture twins)/Clark Palmer 

Rating: PG-13 

Disclaimer: LFN characters belong to Fireworks and WB. Clark Palmer belongs to himself. Belisario may think he owns the DSD agent, but then, it’s his skin. Stoner is an original character belonging to Gail. 

Status: new/complete 


Series/Sequel: no 

Summary: Section One calls in a favor from the DSD, and Clark Palmer is selected as punishment for a mission fumbled. But is it a punishment? 

Warnings: m/f 

Notes: This takes place before Operations brings Wye in to work with Exx. To learn of Palmer’s first meeting with Clayton Webb, read Gail’s story, Getting His Hands Dirty,, which is an excellent introduction to this pair. You can read about how Clark and Michael met in April in Paris and We Only See What We Want to See, on this site. This is for Gail, in thanks for all she’s done, and it’s: 

Just Between Friends

Clark Palmer stood unobtrusively, mingling with those waiting for their
loved ones to disembark from the sleek jet that had landed moments before. He was good at unobtrusive, one of the best. That was his job.

Sourly he reflected that the time might soon be approaching when he had no choice but to cut his ties to the DSD and begin to freelance. If he read the signs correctly, the Federal government would be disbanding the spy agency soon, anyway. It was too prone to doing things its own way, with not following the company line, to be allowed to continue in this time of political correctness.

‘Political correctness.’ He snorted. Now that was a term for the new millennia. And what a load of horseshit that was, too. As if being on the side of the angels paid off. In these inflated times, that and a buck fifty would buy you a cup of mediocre coffee.

Not for the first time he regretted this assignment. The DSD needed him to fulfill a request from an antiterrorist organization with which they occasionally had dealings.

His name would never have come up for it if he hadn't screwed up in London.

He shook his head in disgust. Being partnered with Clayton Webb had proved very different from working with someone DSD-trained.

Much to his amazement, Palmer found that he… liked Webb too much to use the death of David Stoner, Webb’s mentor, to lure the CIA spook to his organization.

Palmer could still have turned down this job. It would have cost his next promotion, and possibly two pay raises, but he would have done it. The only reason he hadn’t was due solely to the intervention of an operative he had met the year before, when they had both been at loose ends in Paris. The chance acquaintance ripened to unexpected friendship.

He had received a coded message asking that he get in touch with the level 5 cold op at the secured link.

“Quoi?” the lightly accented voice had asked flatly.

“Cher homme, c’est moi.”

“Clark! Comment ca va?”

“Bien, mon ami, et tu?” The pleasantries concluded, he cut right to the chase. “What can I do for you, Michael?”

The senior operative had explained the situation. “Strictly entre nous, cher homme. Section has made a mess that needs cleaning.”

“Like with that Fanning woman? Another rich woman with an abusive husband?”

The cold op refused to deny or verify. “If you agree to handle this…”

“Section will be in my debt?”

“*I* will be in your debt, mon ami.” Palmer could almost hear the purr in Michael’s voice, and reluctantly he agreed to accept the assignment. Once he had disconnected the call, he got in touch with Springer, who was pleased his senior agent had seen reason. 

He watched as the woman emerged from the gate, her carry-on case dragged behind her like a reluctant puppy, and wondered why the most covert antiterrorist organization on the planet cared two figs about her.

She was slender to the point of delicacy, and her expression reflected worldly ennui. The agent curled his lip in distaste. He had no use for skinny women, and the kind who worked at it like a job, and then wound up in a rich man’s bed left him cold.

He let his mind drift, determining how he would make contact with her, and then counting up the days he’d have to spend in her company, grimly ticking off the hours. Small women really weren’t his cup of tea. Palmer much preferred someone who could take what he would give, not a pocket-sized babydoll who would need to be coddled.

His wandering attention was suddenly brought back to the petite woman when
she came to an abrupt halt as a strange man approached her. Palmer cursed
himself for letting his thoughts stray and pushed away from the pillar he
had been lounging against.

The man was reaching for the woman's arm, and she stepped back with a snarl. "No one was supposed to meet me!" she snapped at him.

He grinned, revealing a gap between his front teeth. "Looks like the orders were changed, sweetpea! You're coming with me now!" Again he tried to get his fingers around her wrist, and this time Palmer saw her eyes.

An icy blue, they were framed by thick black eyeglasses, and it seemed to him her vanity would preclude anything that drew away from the piquant quality of her looks.

But the expression in her eyes distracted him from that line of thought. For the flash of an instant, he read alarm.

And then it was gone. "You will release me, and you will step away from me, or you will be dead!" The order and the vow were stated in a voice that had become flat and

Palmer had been in the spy game for longer than he liked to acknowledge, and he knew better than to question the look she had erased from those vivid, blue eyes.

The other man refused to take her seriously, and Palmer stepped forward, ready to seize the moment. This would be the perfect opportunity, innocuous and logical, to handle the meeting. He would ride to the rescue, like the proverbial white knight.

Before he could reach her, however, the woman proved she was more than capable of rescuing herself.

She had given her assailant fair warning. Now she would carry out her threat.

A lethal blade appeared in her hand. She did not slash at him, as someone inexperienced with the use of knives might. With a swift motion, the blade drove into the man’s gut and sliced upward. Just as rapidly, it withdrew to vanish up her sleeve.

He relinquished his grip on her and staggered back a step, clutching at his abdomen, shock written on his face. The hand he pulled away was covered in blood, and he stared down at it stupidly.

The woman did not linger to observe the outcome of her action. She gave her hand a vigorous shake, scattering droplets of blood, then wrapped her fingers around the handle of her case and walked away without a backward glance.

Clark Palmer watched dispassionately as the operative staggered back and then collapsed, surrounded by more blood than most people realized the human body held. There were horrified screams, and shouts of, “Someone dial 9-1-1!” But he knew all the paramedics in the world would be useless. The man was dead even as he hit the ground.

He let a silent whistle escape his parted lips, and then frowned. Palmer hated being wrong. Whoever this woman was, whatever she was, she was no rich man’s plaything. He would have to readjust his thinking, and find her before she left the airport.


Exx was quite annoyed, with Section as well as herself. It had been almost a year since the encounter with Henri, the former head of Interrogation at Section One, and she still found herself avoiding casual physical contact with any man.

She had just been recruited by Madeline into that department, and Henri had thought it would be amusing to coerce the petite blonde into having sex with him. “I’ll see you’re promoted quite rapidly!”

He had been stunned when she proved impossible to coerce.

“I’ll be promoted rapidly in any event,” she had told him. “I am the best.”

Henri had resorted to rohypnol. She had suffered a small amount of physical damage, having been, perhaps surprisingly, a virgin at the time of the attack.

He received a reprimand from Operations for using unauthorized drugs, and Exx…Exx would no longer have the option of bearing her own young: Section had had her neutered.

When Madeline realized such drastic measures had not been necessary, she was extremely apologetic, and promised the younger woman a month’s downtime in recompense.

Exx’s leave had to be postponed when the head of Interrogation choked to death on a ham sandwich in the commissary. Christopher, the martinet who ran Dietary was exceedingly upset by the incident, and the inquiry that followed.

If Henri hadn’t died in full view of half of One, suspicion still wouldn’t have fallen on Exx. Everyone agreed that the woman was made of ice: she had dismissed the attack by her superior and its aftermath as inconsequential. As it was, she had been observing a sim with Birkoff, and was nowhere near the commissary at the time of the tragic …accident.

Her reputation at the place she had been before her arrival in Section had precluded that she ever carry weapons. After the assault, however, she intended to never be unarmed again. The new head of Interrogation went to Walter, the senior munitions operative, and requested a device that could be strapped to her forearm and would slide a slim blade into her grasp for easy access. 
As a result, an operative was already dead.


It seemed someone else might also be vying for a one-way ticket to hell. This man had his large fist securely wrapped around her upper arm. She whipped her head around to glare at him.

And was tangled in the hot appreciation reflected in his hazel eyes. No one had ever looked at her that way before.

"Before you use your deadly little knife on me, my dear, let me introduce myself. My name is Palmer, and I have been sent by a mutual acquaintance to see that your stay in this little town is enjoyable."

The lines tightened around her mouth, drawing his attention to surprisingly lush lips. “Clark Palmer?”

It was his turn to grow tense. He wasn't sure how he felt about her familiarity with his name, but he was relieved when she relaxed infinitesimally. She was not going to attempt that he got up close and personal with her wicked friend.

"And who might this ‘mutual acquaintance’ be?" she drawled, intrigued by warmth of his hand that seeped through the prissy black suit she wore like armor.

He leaned close to her ear and whispered a name. His breath sent shivers down her spine.

"Vraiment? Why would Michael ask you to do this for me?"

Why, indeed? That was something he would like to know himself. He thought the cold op’s tastes ran to statuesque blondes and tall brunets. "He’s a Frenchman,” he offered with a shrug that would have done Michael proud. “Perhaps he thinks it a waste for a woman such as yourself to be unloved.” The look she gave him was disbelieving, and he smiled in spite of himself. “You're not very trusting, are you, p’tite?"

"I know of you, M. Palmer, and I know something of the organization for which you work. I would be a fool to trust either, n’est-ce pas?"

"A wise woman. But I can make you feel very good, cherie. Tell me your name, p’tite," he murmured softly as he took her hand and raised it to his lips. His tongue teased the webbing between her fingers, and she shivered. The timber of his words seemed to envelope her.

Nonplussed by the unfamiliar sensation, she lowered her lashes to shield the desire in her eyes. "You may call me anything you wish, as long as it isn’t ‘sweetpea’.”

His eyes sparked with amusement, and he matched her formal tone. “Yes, that is rather abominable. Your name?” he pressed.

She smiled reluctantly. “Elizabeth, m’sieur." It was not the name she used in Section, but it was as good as any other.

How was it that he had never heard of her before?

“Well, ma demoiselle Elizabeth,” he deliberately broke the word in two, “could I interest you in a an aperitif? Or perhaps dinner?”

“That sounds acceptable. I am a trifle…hungry.” Exx slid her fingers around his upper arm, enjoying the feel of his warm, solid flesh through the material of his suit jacket. She allowed him to lead her toward the exit of the terminal.

His trousered leg brushed against the silk stockings she wore covering her shapely legs, and for the first time, she wondered what his hands would feel like on her naked flesh.

The rhythm of her heart became languid, each beat sending blood thick as molten honey through her veins.

The fingers of Clark’s other hand rested on the pulse in her wrist, and he felt the change. He grinned, pleased that he had gotten within her defenses.

He slid his arm around her and drew her flush against him, letting his arousal nudge her gently, ready to soothe her should the specter of the bastard who didn’t know enough to appreciate her loom up to cause her distress.

But the dead Henri had no hold on her. Exx tentatively brought her mouth to the senior agent’s, tasting desire on his lips. Her exhalation was a soft sigh, and Clark swallowed it with relish.

To the casual observer, they appeared to be lovers, reuniting after too long apart.

Not yet, but soon.


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