Court and Spark Interludes: Come in From the Cold

BY : SorchaRavenschild
Category: G through L > La Femme Nikita
Dragon prints: 1821
Disclaimer: I do not own La Femme Nikita, nor any of the characters from it. I do not make any money from the writing of this story.

Court And Spark Interludes: Come in From the Cold
by Sorcha Ravenschild

R for allusion to underage sex

Interlude One: The Sentence of This Solitude

Back in 1957
We had to dance a foot apart
And they hawk-eyed us from the sidelines
Holding their rulers without a heart

Madeline glanced up as the door to her office opened. "Hello, Birkoff. Have a seat."

Birkoff slipped into the chair in front of her desk, looking around nervously, and she smiled. "How was your downtime?"

His eyes widened. "Um, fine. It was fine." He wouldn't look her in the eye.

"Good." She moved around the desk and pulled up another chair, sitting a few feet away. "What did you do?"

He began fidgeting. "Um...well, I went out, and..." He stopped, and she could see in his expression the moment when realization dawned. "Oh my God. I - " He swallowed hard. "Am I going to be cancelled? Is that why I'm here?"

"If you were going to be cancelled, Birkoff, you would have been already." She accompanied that cheerful remark with a smile. "I just want to talk to you about it."

"Oh." His relief was almost tangible. "Why?"

She stood and went to the sideboard. "Tea?"

He shook his head. "N-no, thank you."

She poured herself a cup and returned to her seat. "You're well aware that we usually discourage operatives from forming romantic attachments with each other." He nodded, staring at the floor, and she continued, "However, we're well aware that it's unrealistic to expect it never to happen. What we do expect, however, is that any intimate relationships don't interfere with the work we do, in any way. Sometimes, that simply means prioritizing, but other times, it means ending such relationships before they become too involved. Do you understand?"

Birkoff's face was red. "Yeah," he mumbled.

She smiled. "Good." She set her cup aside and leaned forward. "How are you dealing with it?"

His expression of surprise was almost comic, and she sighed. "Birkoff, we're not monsters. We do care about our operatives. We simply know better than to let emotion get in the way of what has to be done."


"I've noticed that you seem to be depressed. While it hasn't interfered with your work, at least not yet, it does concern me." She tipped his chin up so that he was looking at her. "Believe it or not, I was seventeen once."

Birkoff gave her a crooked little smile. "It does seem kind of impossible - no offense," he added hastily.

"None taken." She leaned back, watching his face. "So. I'm sure you know all the reasons why it would be unwise to pursue a relationship with Michael. Is that why you've been depressed?"

He shrugged, slouching in his chair a little. "I...maybe." He glanced up. "We - we haven't seen each other outside of Section since...but I guess you know that, too."

Madeline didn't reply to that, and after a moment, he continued, "I knew from the start that it couldn't be anything more than...than once." His blush deepened. "I - it's just that I'm finally realizing how hard it is to accept that."

"But you have accepted it."

"Yeah." His glasses slid down his nose and he pushed them back up. "Well, I mean, I'm dealing with it. I know it - that there can't be anything. There are other things that we both have to do, that are more important." He chewed his lower lip, gazing down at his hands. "It was just... it was a dream, that's all."

Madeline nodded. "You're a very wise young man, Birkoff."

"Um, thanks."

"I know that it's hard for you right now, but it will get easier as time goes on. After a while, you'll become attracted to someone else."

"I guess." He sounded doubtful.

"Believe me, you will." She rose and went to stand behind him. "Realistically, it's a bad idea to develop an intimate attachment to a cold op, as I'm sure you're aware. Granted, we don't always have the luxury of choosing whom we are attracted to, but it's better not to encourage it."

"I know." Now he looked positively sulky, and she suppressed a little smile of amusement. "Can I go now?"

"Not quite." She sat behind her desk again. "There's still the matter of the security breach."

"Uh oh," he muttered. "Am I in a lot of trouble?"

Madeline folded her hands on her desk. "What you did was foolish and very dangerous. You could very easily have compromised both yourself and Michael. You know better, Birkoff."

Birkoff nodded, not meeting her gaze, and she said, "No downtime for two months." He groaned, but didn't protest, and she smiled. "You may return to work."

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