Hellfire 2/6

Oct 07, 2009 22:24

Title: Hellfire (2/6?)  (Sequel to Human)
Author: Alsike

Fandom: X-Men/Criminal Minds x-over

Pairing: Emma Frost/Emily Prentiss

Rating: R

AN/Disclaimer: Not my girls. 
Apologies: Yeah, pacing, not my strong point.

Summary: Emma's an X-man now, but she wasn't always fighting for truth, justice, and peaceful-coexistence. Emily has had a taste of her past, but is she ready to meet the White Queen?

JJ couldn’t stop looking at Emily’s neck.  The modest oxford almost covered it up, but not entirely.  And with the way Emily was leaning on her hand, bending over a spread of photographs from a file she didn’t recognize, looking vaguely depressed, the shirt pulled away from her neck, exposing just that much more of it to the open air.  Every time JJ passed her desk, walking back and forth to Hotch’s office, with various files and questions (more than she honestly had to, not that she would admit that, even to herself), her eyes were drawn to that smooth column of neck, and that really, really disgusting mark on it!

She also wasn’t a fan of that look of pensive depression.  Sad Emily was prone to taking irrational risks and JJ did not want to be a target of another such irrational risk.  Every time she walked by she just got more and more pissed at Emma.  If you leave someone with that kind of mark, they should at least be in a good mood the next day!

Finally, she gave in.  JJ leaned back against the wall and smiled fakely at Emily.  “So, you went to see Emma this weekend?”

Emily shrugged, still paging through the file.  “She was there.  It was in honor of my mom.”

JJ crossed her arms.  “She was just there?  You showed up and were like, oh, I haven’t seen you in a while, and come home with a hickey the size of Australia?”

Emily finally really looked at her, confusion written on her face.  “I’m not sure if that’s any of your business,” she said tensely.

JJ stiffened.  “I’m not saying anything.”  She considered leaving before it got worse, but didn't.  “I’m just pissed that you didn’t even tell me you were going.  I had to find out from Morgan!  We used to be friends, Emily.”

And that was what she was angry about.  It was easier to blame Emma for screwing up their friendship, but the truth was it had been messed up for a long time before that.

“And maybe once you stop making comments about my sex life we can be friends again.”  Emily snapped back, flicking the file closed.  “Seriously JJ, think before you speak.  How am I supposed to talk to you if I know you’re just going to tell me I’m a slut to be seeing Emma at all?”

“I don’t think that.”  JJ looked away, wishing she had more control over her reactions.  “But you don’t have to lie to me, Emily.  I do know how to be happy for someone, if you’re happy being with her.”

Emily stared at her desk, her fingers tracing the edge of the file.  “Happy?”  She glanced up at JJ.  “I slept with her, but you already worked that out.  But that isn’t even half of it.”  She shook her head derisively.  “She murdered her sister.  I asked, and she didn’t deny it.  And then I slept with her.  I still slept with her.”

JJ gaped.

Emily flipped open the file and took out a photograph.  It was of a woman, auburn hair, sprawled across a marble step, the back of her head blown off, a single entry point in her forehead.

“How am I supposed to deal with this?  How am I supposed to rationalize this?  Not even her actions, but my own.  I found out that she killed her sister and I wasn’t surprised.  It fit the profile.  Decisive, violent, unrestrained, when someone she cares about is hurt, she will solve the problem.  Nothing is too extreme.  Nothing is going overboard.  I knew this, but I needed…”

“Her sister?”

Emily bit down on her desperation and passed her the file.  “Adrienne Frost.”

JJ was shocked by the heft of it.  “This is a big file.”

“She was being investigated for quite a few things, her husband’s death, bombing, embezzlement, tax fraud, when she was found dead, out of the country.”

“Do you think she was guilty?”

Emily shrugged.  “I wouldn't be surprised.  She planted bombs in Emma’s school and killed one of her students.  Emma always said she didn’t want to talk about her family.”  She laughed weakly.  “I know it’s not simple.  I know she cares, sometimes too much.  But what kind of person do you have to be to kill your sister?”

JJ looked away.  Defending Emma was anathema to her soul, but she wasn’t going to lie.  “You were an only child.”

Emily laughed incredulously.  “Are you saying you would consider killing your sister?”

“Consider it?”  JJ laughed.  “You have no idea how often I’ve considered it.  But considered it seriously?  If she murdered a child, if she was out of reach of the law, if she seemed unrepentant and likely to do it again?  I wouldn’t just consider it.  I might even consider it my responsibility.”  JJ shook her head.  “Sisters… sometimes they make you wonder what family actually means.”

Emily’s expression was horrified.

“Don’t profile me!”  JJ waved her hands as if they would deflect the profiler stare.  “If you ask me what she did to traumatize me, I’ll ask you why you’re a sexual masochist!”

“I’m not a sexual masochist!”

“Tell that to the woman who keeps biting you!”

Emily’s hand slipped to her neck.  “Would you have a problem with it, if I were?”

JJ’s eyes dropped and she looked away.  “You know what I see every day.  I hate seeing you marked up because I don’t want you to get hurt.  And even if you can trust her…”

Emily shook her head, trying not to think of the door against her back, the hand on her throat.  “If she hurt me… she’d hate herself.”

JJ handed her back the file.  “What are you looking for in there?  Are you looking for an excuse, or evidence?  Because even though you can understand why someone would kill their sister, you’re a profiler, you can understand someone who rapes children.  It doesn’t mean you forgive them.”

Emily shut the file and frowned.  “There’s no evidence.  Just because I know… there’s no way to prove it.  That makes it worse though.  She isn’t afraid of telling me this because there’s no way I can use it against her.”

“It makes you feel helpless.”

Emily shot her a look.  “Why haven’t you taken the profiling training course yet?”

JJ stiffened.  “You know.  I don’t want to be separated from the victims-“

“Are you afraid?”

“I told you not to profile me!”

“Are you afraid that you aren’t smart enough?  That’s the real problem, right?  You have confidence in your ability to be pretty and sound sensitive, but you said before…”  Emily thought back.  “You said you weren’t as smart as me.”

“I’m not.”  JJ looked angry, but wasn’t letting it into her voice.  “I’m not Reid, with his eidetic memory.  I’m not a language genius like you.  I’m not brawny and afraid of nothing like Morgan.  Don’t blame me for doing what I’m good at.”

“You’re afraid you won’t be useful.”

“You can’t replace me!  You tried, but-“

“Jordan was fine.  She did your job.  She just couldn’t do everything else that you do.  Just accept it, you’re as much as a profiler as anyone here.  That was why she didn’t fit the hole you left.  We didn’t need a publicist, we needed a sixth profiler.”

“Maybe I don’t want to be a profiler!  Maybe looking at these disgusting people’s handiwork every day is enough, I don’t need to live in their heads!”

“You already do.”

“I don’t.  Someone on this team needs to remember that there are blacks and whites.  If you can’t tell whether or not the woman you’re fucking is an unsub or not, maybe it’s a sign that you’re getting a little too deep into the psyche of your precious psychopaths!”

Garcia popped up between them, her plaid bow bouncing.  “I see my two favorite girls are having a little stress.”  She pressed her hand to her chest.  “You know this makes me sad.  I am like unto…”  Garcia frowned, and glanced at Emily, “um, the one that turned into a rock with the streams coming down?”

“Niobe,” Emily filled in automatically.

“I am like unto Niobe, with my streams of never ending tears!”

JJ shook her head.  “I’ve had enough.  I’m going back to work.”

“Oh no!”  Penelope caught JJ’s sleeve.  “This is not making the goddess happy.  This is called a-voi-dance.  It’s a dance I like to avoid.  There is only one thing that will make this goddess happy.”

“What’s that?”

“A girls’ night out!”

JJ and Emily eyed each other with trepidation.

“Because the last one ended so well,” commented Emily wryly.

“That was months ago!  You are no longer suicidal and have a girlfriend, and JJ is in control of her lesbian tendencies.”

“What lesbian tendencies?  I don’t have lesbian tendencies!” yelped JJ.

“I thought our psych records were supposed to be sealed,” grumbled Emily.

Morgan suddenly appeared in their midst.  “Did I hear the words ‘lesbian tendencies’ and ‘girls’ night out’ included in the same conversation?  Because I so totally don’t want to be left out of this.”

Emily gave him a look.  “Unless you are hiding something surprising under those fugly man-pants of yours, I think you are banned from both the definition of girls’ night out, and lesbian tendencies.  So avaunt.”

Morgan pouted.

“Aww,” Garcia cupped his face.  “If it were up to me, I would totally invite my pretty princess along, but Emily has laid down the law.”  She turned back to the girls.  “So, tonight?  Dinner and drinks?  Sixish?  As not to make it too late?”

Emily shrugged, giving in.

“You got a babysitter JJ?”

“Will’s home.  But I’m up for it.”  She gave Emily a wry look.  “I’m the one who said I still wanted to be friends, right?  And moderators are always a good idea.”

She turned away and patted Morgan on the back.  “So when did you become the pretty princess?”

Emily looked at Penelope.  “You didn’t emerge from your cave just for that, did you?”

“Nope.”  Garcia handed her a thick stack of paperwork.  “This is for you.  Your collar in New York.”

“What?  I had to spend five hours answering questions for the NYPD as if I was some sort of costumed vigilante.  Can’t they do it?”

“Sorry, our jurisdiction and your collar, that means your paperwork.  And Strauss is not pleased about you bringing in a killer while technically on vacation.  That means she’s going to be looking at it hard.”

Emily grumbled but took the papers.  “God, I’m going to have to be pretty creative on this one too.”

Garcia chuckled.  “Tell me about it.”  Emily shot her an odd look, and she winced.  “On the other hand, don’t.  I don’t want to know.”

*            *            *

Emma sat in her office between classes, hoping the closed door would keep out the grade grubbers and whiners, purportedly working on planning the next paper topic for her advanced telepathy class.  A research paper would be good, something where they took a psychology article and retested it with telepathic data.  It could be interesting if they chose good topics.  She’d give them a list and assign an abstract so she could check if they had any clue what they were doing.  She hated boring papers.

She hated Emily’s shields.  It was absurd that a human could have shields that good, except she had a good reason for it.  Emma had been surprised at the internal barriers in Emily’s mind that were so similar to her own.  She had just taught Emily that she could move them outside, to keep out intruders.  She had picked it up easily enough, too easily it seemed.  Emma conjectured that she had linked them with her internal shields, because they were always up; she was always partially closed off.

It made Emma feel like a teenager to not know what someone thought of her.  Like before she had been able to control her powers, when she had had to live with her family…

The worst part about living with her family was that her abilities didn’t work against them.  When she heard a thought, it was as if it were marked Read Only, and she only heard it if it was projected.  It was crap.  So many mutants ended up hurting their families by accident when their powers manifested, but it always seemed that the ones who could hurt were able to hurt and the ones who could help weren’t able to.

There was nothing more useless than a telepath in the bosom of their family.  If she had been able to use her powers on her family she could have fixed so many things.  There had been research done on using telepathy to cure addictions, and even as a child Emma could have worked out a way to make her brother or her mother cringe away from their crutches.  Even if Christian still had gone crazy, she could have healed him.  If she had known what her father was thinking, he would never have manipulated her so easily.

And she would have never been tricked by Adrienne.  She would never have needed to kill her.

Emma closed her eyes.  She hadn’t thought about Adrienne in years, but seeing Jubilee again had brought it all rushing back.  And now Emily knew another of her weaknesses, another of her sins.

She had loved Adrienne so much when she was a child, idolized her.  She had wanted to look like her, act like her, have friends like her.  But Adrienne had hated her from first sight and done everything she could to make her life hell.  And Emma had still idolized her, and taken the cue that the best thing to be was as vicious and as selfish as you could.

And then she had won the competition, her father choosing her to be the heir over Adrienne, and she had tossed the prize away, rubbing it just that much more in her face.  She had gotten used to the idea that maybe she’d never be as pretty as Adrienne, or as comfortable with other people, but she could be more powerful.  And power plus wealth could get you everything else.  It could get you beauty.  It could get you friends, sycophants at least, which was just as good as all of Adrienne’s shallow hangers-on.  It could get you pleasure, and sex, sex, sex.

It couldn’t get you your brother back.

Maybe that was why she fell for Adrienne’s lies, asked for her help, groveled at the bitch’s feet.  They were adults, weren’t they?  They didn’t have to have the same relationship they had had as children.  Emma didn’t have to check her bed for snakes or bugs or road kill, and Adrienne didn’t have to check her clothes for sabotage or graffiti.

Emma just had to check her school for bombs.

Emma was always the one to retaliate, never the one to start it.  But this time she ended it.

Adrienne had to check her brain for a bullet.

She wasn’t sorry.  She couldn’t stand that look on Emily’s face, the one that said she saw the killer, saw the criminal inside.  But she would never regret what she had done.  She had enough to regret in her life.  Adrienne was a psychopath and a serial murderess.  If she could change anything, she only would have killed her sooner.
*          *            *
Part 3

criminal minds, hellfire, x-men, emma/emily

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