Disclaimers: La Femme Nikita is owned by Warner Brothers.
I make no monetary profit from my fanfic.
Summary: Well somebody had to wrote a fic about that bad hair!
Rating: PG - Humour
BAD HAIR DAY
As fast as Nikita ran it seemed like she was going nowhere, as if she were running on a treadmill. Her feet felt like lead with a ball and chain. Her muscles ached, and the horrified expression on her face never lessened.
She never slowed her pace, even when she reached Section One's HQ, barrelling past anyone or anything in her way.
Birkhoff saw her panicked expression and pointed to an access shaft. Nikita nodded thanks and crawled like she'd never crawled before. Her ears almost didn't register the quiet sobs. The Femme slowed; the sobs became a little louder.
Nikita twisted down a level to the access port and continued to follow the muffled sobs.
In the distance, she saw a crouched figure, at first thinking it was an Operative, who hadn't quite cut it, probably a new recruit. Although Michael was her primary objective, she crawled to the hunched figure, hoping to offer some comfort and stopped in horror hen she recognised the profile.
A pale face turned to her, looking somewhat embarrassed.
Nikita's mouth opened in shock. "You look terrible..."
Michael could not hold the next few tears back and Nikita saw him shiver.
"When I heard you'd been taken to the white room, I... Oh Michael, I'm so sorry..."
"It isn't your fault..." he said softly. His face twisted. More tears. "Hold me ..."
Under other circumstances, Nikita would have thought he was trying to manipulate her yet again, but the sincerity and pain in his eyes told her otherwise as she placed her arms around him.
And the normally aloof, reserve Operative burst into sobs.
* * *
Nikita glared at Operations and Madeline throughout the briefing. The latter's face remained impassive. Operations gave a subtle smile. Incredibly uncomfortable, Michael's expression remained stoic. Talking with Nikita had made it easier, but he still felt as though he was standing naked in a Winter Antarctic blizzard.
* * *
Operations' stomach knotted tighter. He knew someone had to answer for the bungled mission. But Madeline? Much to his embarrassment, he felt he was to blame as well. Hill, the Operative who had mistaken Bralovski's identity had been cancelled. Birkhoff had also undergone rigorous grilling for not checking the relevant Data ... but Oversight signalled Madeline for punishment. Relieved that she would not be cancelled, Operations still offered himself, in place of her, trying to convince his superiors that he was more to blame, that Madeline was too important to Section, but his offer was refused.
"You don't have to stick up for me," Madeline had said. "I'm not a child ... but thank you. You are the only one who would."
He had kissed and embraced her before she had been taken to the white room.
"You too will be reprimanded," George had told him, this being the only person besides the late Adrian, of whom Operations was wary.
He stopped himself from swallowing as he followed George out of his office, watched by numerous anxious eyes.
In horror, Operations realised what his punishment was to be - to be forced to watch Madeline's.
"You'd be the last person I'd adorn with compassion, Operations, you see now it is a luxury we simply cannot afford."
The other man simply smiled. "She's worth it, believe me."
George offered a smile as he left Operations to his fate.
Madeline sat strapped to the chair. It had occurred to her that one day she may sit in this chair in this room, but still it sent shivers through her body and when the door creaked open, she realised what a hideously creepy sound it made. It had been designed that way of course and it had never bothered her - until now.
The cold look of the torture expert Operatives intensified Madeline's shivers and she realised just how daunting they were as they advanced on her.
She refused to show fear. It would be looked upon as weak and hardly fitting for Section One's ball breaker.
A pair of scissors were picked up and raised. Madeline flinched, Operations watched in terror, despising the fact that he was utterly helpless. George had told him if he interfered, Madeline would not only be tortured, but cancelled. Operations' worried eyes never left her, or the cold, gleaming scissors.
Madeline almost shrieked as they began. Operations' hands pressed against the glass as he stared, horrified.
"No ..." Barely a whisper. "I'm with you, Madeline..."
She knew Operations was watching and knew he was as horrified as she. Somehow his 'presence' made this a little more bearable, but still, she wished he didn't have to watch this. It was bad enough for her. Madeline's eyes showed their horror, despite desperate attempts to control it - they weren't gentle either. She almost cried as locks of her beautiful auburn hair fell to the cold white floor.
Operations couldn't hold a tear back.
* * *
In her office, Operations held a teary Madeline.
"Oh, Paul ..." She sobbed, wiping wet streaks from her face, as he helped at least cut her hair into a style that didn't look like she'd just risen from the grave.
"It ... looks a ... little better..."
Madeline looked a tad relieved. "A mirror, please."
"A mirror ... erm ... I left it in my room."
Her eyes burned into him. "A mirror."
Sheepishly he handed it to her. Madeline shrieked and threw the reflective glass to the far wall, shattering it.
"Seven years bad luck..." Operations said with a smile, trying to cheer her up.
"You know I'm not superstitious ... And I didn't *need* to break a mirror for bad luck!" She viciously tugged her short hair.
"It'll grow back ..." Operations offered.
"Do you know how long it takes for my hair to grow?! I'll have to go around looking like a hairdressing disaster!! If anyone laughs, I'll cancel them personally!!"
* * *
Walter had to leave the room, locked himself in his private space and began thudding and howling with laughter. Birkhoff looked like he'd just seen Adrian's ghost.
Nikita almost couldn't keep a straight face when she saw Madeline, who seemed to have regained her composure as she and Operations discussed the latest mission, having discovered Bralovski's real identity.
"I don't need to tell you if you fail the penalties will be severe."
Nikita shivered as she ran a hand through her long golden hair. Madeline shot her an envious look as she and the other Operatives left for the mission. Madeline retreated to her room, her computer her only company, despite Operations' comforting look, she did not want to remain in view.
"Now you know what it feels like," Michael said quietly, running his hand through his short hair.
Operations glared at him. "*She* did *not* switch my shampoo for peroxide!!" He ran his hand through his whiter than usual hair.
Michael almost smirked, his only regret being caught, as he hurried and caught up with Nikita.
"I can't go out like this, Nikita..."
"Michael ... Get a hold of yourself."
"Merde, Nikita, I look like a jerk..."
She smiled. "You still have the same eyes."
Michael couldn't hold back a smile.
"And besides, I bought you something." Nikita held up a wig, an exact replica of Michael's hair. "I had it made."
He looked at it in awe and smiled, embracing Nikita as though she was his long lost sister.
"How can I ever thank you?"
"Stop brooding." And she smiled.
Through the camera, Madeline stared, her interest perked. Instantly she was on her computer, desperately searching Nikita's credit card statements to find that wig shop...
* * *
Bralovski cancelled, the heat turned down on the Section, Operatives and things pretty much returned to normal. Madeline hated her itchy wig, but she surmised it was better than looking like a walking hairdressing diaster.
* * *
"I wish it didn't feel so damn hot!" Michael said, ripping his wig off, in his apartment, going to wash his short hair.
"Don't worry," Nikita said. "It'll grow back in a couple of seasons."
"Good," Michael said. "I'd hate to have this awful cut in Winter."
Nikita smiled as Michael closed the door to his bathroom, moments later, turned on the shower and began to sing.
"This is the dawning of the Age of Aquarius ... Age of Aquarius..."
Nikita couldn't help but chuckle to herself as Michael continued to chant songs from Hair: The Musical ...
And only hoped it grew back - soon!
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