Ch 1: The Mirror Has Two Faces
NB: The backstory and all characters from the TV shows, Buffy: The Vampire Slayer, La Femme Nikita and JK Rowling’s Harry Potter series, are all merely the foundation for my story. I’m just borrowing them for my own amusement. Only the original characters that have not appeared on the show and the storyline itself belong to me. There are other 'surprise' cross-over characters that I don't want to give away. I will give due credit at end of story. Obviously, I don't own anything that has been done & copyrighted.
Timeline: Buffy - after S5E22; LFN - somewhere within S3; the rest are in-between seasons; any HP characters - post series
Sometimes there is no meaning, it just is. And sometimes, someone else’s truth versus my truth, versus the other truth not bound by either force, doesn't always mean a damn either.
A face peered into mine. White, serene, stranger.
I groaned, shifting and finding myself completely retrained, flat on my back and every limb cuffed. I tried to wiggle free, the bedding scratching against my clothes, clothes that weren’t mine. I looked down at myself, not recognizing anything: the metal railing that ran all the way around, my feet, bare but moving. My whole body felt numb and hot. I blinked, my vision blurring and the light bearing down on me blotted out everything else. It was like being enveloped in some pale void, no sounds, nothing familiar. But the white I knew, the white light, so brilliant my eyes watered, that was…familiar
I tried to speak but it came out strangled and low, hoarse as though I hadn’t spoken in ages. It felt scratchy and burned. I jerked at my restraints.
‘Careful. Don’t want to hurt yourself.’ She turned her head and stared at the monitor. She pressed a few buttons on the screen.
‘…who…’ I coughed, trying to move, feeling ill, feeling disorientated with every movement. My center of balance was off as I turned my head, trying to look around me. My stomach sloshed to and fro like a buoy, the world tilting.
The woman turned her gaze back to me. ‘Welcome. To your new life.’ She smiled. Beautiful, startling. Dangerous.
‘…I…’ I began, sounding so strangely. I struggled up, but failed. ‘Who are you,’ I said in a rush, whisper and barely audible. But the room was round, painfully white, the machines beeping and doing their rhythmic jobs of monitoring. Me, apparently. I saw suited body, long pinstriped suite. A haze lifted and she was recognizable but still a stranger. Nordic looks, tall, tall blonde woman, blue eyes, a kind, motherly smile. Strange, stranger, strange my brain screamed.
Get. Out. That was what my heart kept beeping. I took in deep breaths of tepid air. Freaking out and panicking, as calmly as that sounded, would get me nowhere. And not just because of the metal cuffs. I tugged at them, eyeing her, my vision clearing moment by moment. I blinked.
‘My name is Nikita.’ She smiled, and it almost seemed genuine. And sad. ‘I’m here to help you.’
She nodded, her gaze sweeping around the room. 'Yes, help you survive this place.'
Her pale long hair, her pretty face, her kind eyes, made me think, momentarily, she was an angel. And this was a dream, that I was dead, and I hoped it was all true.
Then she spoke the words that made it obvious she was no angel.
‘Do well, be strong. And they'll allow you to live.’ She put her hand on my forehead, her touch cool and soft. She pulled lines of my hair off my face, gazing at me like I’d already done something fatally wrong. ‘Fail, and you will be canceled.’ Her hand dropped away, as had her calm expression.
I didn’t say anything.
‘Don’t misunderstand me. I am here to help you.’ She leaned forward, her hands curling over the railing. Behind her, I saw the black line of a door. Her face went flat, and she stared into me so hard, I couldn’t help but meet her gaze. Earnest, stealthy and a touch scared. Lowly, she said, ‘What they want, they’ll take. Don’t let them take anything without a fight. Remember that, remember who you are.’
That was a problem, I wasn't sure about anything let alone who I was. ‘…why…’
‘Why doesn't matter anymore,' she said quietly, almost sympathetically. 'If you die, for whatever reason, no one will mourn your death.’ She paused, straightening her tall stature. She pulled her own long blonde hair off her shoulders and her face was once again a mask. ‘I think you’ll come to realize this, if that is the way you want it to be. Because if you resist, you'll be canceled.’
I swallowed, hard, my throat scratching against itself. The lights were so bright, I flinched every time I tried to look around. The cuffs dug into my skin and my bones.
‘You’ll start training soon. Four a.m.’
‘Survive. That’s all you need to know. Do that, if you can just do that, for now, you’re already on your way. Don’t think about anything else. For now.’
Something buzzed in my head, and I felt something lull me into sleep. My body felt rubbery, lax, disconnected and was being commanded by such things that could rob any human body of itself. I floated, and dreamed of nothing but whiteness, and nothing.