Nikita walked up to the cheerfully ornamented tree, and with great care, touched the ornaments that hung there. She had never had the pleasure of a Christmas tree when she was growing up. Her mother had said that they could not afford one, and that for people like them, Christmas was just any other day. But, Nikita, nonetheless, loved to see the holiday each year. It was a time of festivity and enjoyment. Lost in her reverie, Nikita does not notice that Walter has walked up behind her.
As Nikita turns around, she finds that Walter is holding a sprig of greenery over her head, and grinning devilishly from ear to ear. Nikita can't keep herself from smiling.
"Hey Walter. And what might that be?" Nikita points to the greenery, and Walters smile grows even broader.
"Why...that is mistletoe...and you know what that means don't you?"
Nikita, no longer able to contain herself, chuckles. "Yeah...Walter...I do." Nikita leans over and kisses Walter on the check, affectionately, then straightens and looks at him.Walter frowns, and acts as if to pout.
"Ah...Sugar...that wasn't the type of kiss I was expecting...you know?"
Nikita chuckles, and smiles mischeviously. "Yeah...but if I had done anymore... I don't know if I would have been able to control myself." Walter narrows his eyes, and takes on a stern look.
"You are so bad." Nikita just winks.
"Do Operations and Madeline know that someone has placed a Christmas tree in Section?"
"Know? It was Madelines idea. She convinced Operations that it might help with the moral. Why?"
"Oh...I don't know...its just that in all the years I have been in Section, I don't remember having a Christmas tree."
"Well...enjoy it while you can. Who's to say that it will last. Listen, Sugar, I have some work to do...so I will catch you later...okay?"
Nikita, still staring intently at the tree, nods. As Walter turns to walk away, she stops him with a question. "Uh...Walter?"
"Have you seen Michael?"
"Last time I saw him, he was in his office."
"Anytime Sugar.." As Walter turns and walks away, Nikita takes one last look at the tree, before starting down the hallway for Michael's office.
Nikita walks up to Michaels open office door, and peeks her head in. She sees Michael setting at his desk, typing on his computer, and walks in.
Michael keeps his attention on his computer screen, and answers, "Yes... what do you need Nikita?"
Nikita walks over to Michaels desk, and setting down on the corner starts to fidget with the on and off switch of his desk lamp.
"Nothing... just visiting. Was wondering if we had anything in the works."
"No... nothing at present. You may go home if you wish. I will notify you if anything comes up."
Nikita, still fidgeting with the light, pauses for a moment. "Did you see the Christmas tree in the main lobby?'
"What do you think possessed Madeline and Operations to put one up?"
Michael, stoping his typing, and placing his hand on top of Nikitas, to stop her fidgeting with the light switch, looks up at her.
"Is there anything else you wish to talk about? If not, I have a report to finish."
Nikita, removing her hand from beneath Michaels, stands up and moves as if to leave. As she gets to the door, she turns back to look at Michael.
"Michael...you really know how to take the Christmas spirit out of someone."
Michael just looks at Nikita, with his usual blank stare, then returns his attention to his computer screen. Nikita, frustrated and slightly upset, walks out the door and back down the hallway.
Nikita nods her head to Madeline, and turns to leave. As she does, she bids Birkoff a farewell, and when she walks by Walters area, says goodbye to him as well.
"Good night Sugar...and Merry Christmas."
As Nikita walks out of Section, she feels as if she has lost any of the Christmas spirit that she may have had left. Thinking that it is for the best anyways, she heads home, and plans a relaxing night curled up with a good book....
Nikita pulled her car into its parking spot, turned off the engine, and opened the door. As she started to get out, she slipped on a small patch of ice, and bangs her shin. Thinking to herself, great way to end a great holiday, she rubs her shin and closes her car door. She locks it and turns on the security alarm, then cautiously walks to the entrance of her apartment building.
As she nears the buildings front door, she can hear that her landlord, Mr. Edwards, is having his annual Christmas eve party. Sounds of music and laughing can be heard emanating down the hallway as Nikita walks in. She begins to head on down the hall, when she hears the door to Mr. Edwards apartment open.
Seeing Nikita in the hallway, Mr. Edwards calls to her, over the loud music and voices, and Nikita turns around.
"Nikita...where are you going?"
Nikita, smiling and pushing back a pesky lock of hair from her face, looks at Mr. Edwards. "Hi Mr. Edwards. I am going to my apartment, why?"
"I was hoping that maybe you would join us for some eggnog... and help celebrate the holiday."
Nikita looks down at the keys in her hands, and then looks back up at Mr. Edwards. "Ah, Mr. Edwards, I don't think so. I'm really not in the mood. Maybe next year."
Mr Edwards nods his head in understanding, and starts to close his apartment door. Nikita, resuming her trek to her apartment , is called to by Mr. Edwards again.
"Oh..yeah... I almost forgot... your cousin had me let him into your apartment today. He said you wouldn't mind."
Nikita, turning slowly, with her eyes narrowed in suspicion, looks at Mr. Edwards. "My...cousin?"
"Yeah...nice fella...he assured me you wouldn't mind."
"Oh.. okay.. thanks Mr. Edwards... oh... and Merry Christmas."
Mr. Edwards bids Nikita a Merry Christmas, and returning to his party, closes the door. Nikita, not wanting to take any chances, takes the gun that she had tucked into the back waistband of her pants out, and removing the safety, advances on her apartment.
As Nikita comes up to her apartment door, she decides to approach with caution. She places her key into the tumbler, and turns it slowly. When she hears it click, she takes hold of the handle and begins to turn it. With as much stealth and quiet as she can muster, she slowly opens the door. The sight that awaits her takes her breath away.
The entire room is filled with roses. Roses in vases, roses wrapped in bunches, and rose petals cover the entire floor of the room. The aroma from the roses is overwhelming, and Nikita is unable to move for a moment. She just stands in the doorway and stares, taking in the sight, and the pleasant fragrance.
For what seems like an eternity, she stands there, then, spying a small white envelope lying on the counter of her kitchen, she steps on through the door, and closes it behind her. She picks up the envelope, that has the single initial 'N' written on it, and placing her gun and her keys down, walks over to her sofa.
Sitting on the sofa, she turns the envelope over, and runs her finger under the flap to open it. Once it is open, she removes the letter and reads it:
Nikita, I wanted to get you something for Christmas, something that you would enjoy and hold dear, but such things are frowned upon in Section. I could not afford to outwardly show any affection or weakness, where you are concerned, for fear that it would one day be used against us. But, I also did not want another holiday to go by without you knowing how I felt about you. I know that I have pushed you away, time after time, but know this. I do love you Nikita, with all my heart, and even though I don't show you, please know that I do. I hope that, one day, you will come to understand why I do what I do... until then... just know that I am here... and that I love you. I hope you like the flowers... and Nikita... have a Merry Christmas.
With all my love.... Michael
As Nikita finished the letter, tears stream down her face. She gets up and walks over to the french doors that open up onto her patio. She opens the doors and walks out. Wrapping her arms around her, to keep warm, she looks out over the city. With a tender smile, and tears streaming down her face she says:
Merry Christmas.... Michael