Crystal Night
by Stephanie

<<< Lyrics taken from the song Break Me, Shake Me by Savage Garden>>>

((( I never thought I'd change my opinion again
But you moved me in a way that I've never known
You moved me in a way that I've never known)))

        Michael held his head in his hands. It had been a long, frustrating day and to top it off, Nikita was furious at him. He didn't know what to do. Telling her the love that he felt would endanger them both. Denying the love he felt would lose her forever.

        Reaching out, Michael turned on his computer and entered a password. A picture came up on his screen and he stared at it with watering eyes. He placed his finger on her face and tears ran down his exquisite features. She was so beautiful and innocent. Who was he to ruin that?  Michael set his head on the desk top and buried his face in his arms. He cried out his grief.

(((But straight away you just move into position again
You abused me in a way that I've never known
You abused me in a way that I've never known)))

        Nikita stared out her window with flat eyes. He had done it once again. Had the opportunity to tell her the love she suspected was there, yet ran out at the last minute. All she wanted was that love.

        Nikita placed her palm on the cool glass and watched her reflection. Tears seeped out of her azure eyes and ran paths down her pale features. She was exhausted. Turning, Nikita went into her bedroom and flopped into bed. Staring at the ceiling, as she had done to the window, Nikita could only think of Michael.

(((So you're the kind who deals with the games in the mind
Well you confuse me in a way that I've never known
You confuse me in a way that I've never known)))

        Madeline folded her legs beneath her. She settled back into the cherry oak bench and began to draw. It was a beautiful night, the sky was clear and the air was crisp. With each stroke of the pastel, Madeline felt as though she was leaving behind a little piece of stress or regret. She continued to draw and this helped her think. Lately, things had been stressed between Michael and Nikita. They were having problems, probably communication problems knowing Michael. She smiled bitterly. Who was she trying to kid? She was having communication problems. Hers lay with Operations. Or Paul, as he had been known to her so long ago.

        She realized that she was getting nowhere tonight and put down the chalk. She put away the supplies and locked her front door with the same amount of caution that she did everything else. The picture of her family, the Section issued one, lay unfinished in the hallway.

(((He says, "I can help you, but what do you say?"
But it's not free baby, you'll have to pay
You just keep me contemplating, that your soul
is slowly fading)))

        Operations looked down over Section. Everything was quiet and calm, the same as always. The only thing he was thinking about tonight was Madeline and how to get her interested in him. He laughed, a sardonic sound in the quiet room. He sounded like a immature teenager. Madeline was not something he could win, he had learned that long ago.

        Turning his back on the window, he was faced with piles of work. Sighing, Operations walked to his desk in an exasperated fashion and began to go through the reports of operatives on abeyance. Taking his stress out on them, he ordered four cancellations. And so began another day at Section.

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