Oct 10, 2009 22:06

Title: Fake Empire Side Story: Emily's Notebooks volume II (pt 14): Lust
Author: Alsike
Rating: R
Fandom: X-Men/Criminal Minds
Pairing: Other Emma Frost/Other Emily Prentiss
Disclaimer: I do not own X-Men or Criminal Minds. I owe  wizened_cynic for the concept of quantum babies. She does it much better than me. Title stolen from the poem The State of Virginia After Southampton: 1831, by Geoffrey Brock.
Apologies: And now for something a little bit different.

Summary: In a different world, Erik Magnus overthrew the US government when Emily Prentiss was only twelve years old. On that day the course of her life changed irrevocably. This is her story.

Fake Empire Side Stories:
Emily's Notebooks I: The Christmas Revolution
Touch, Pain, Fear, Death
Emily's Notebooks II: Nights Spent Listening to Noises
Want, Jealousy, Loyalty, Torture, Hygiene, Pride

Original Fake Empire Stories

I really, really love this story.  I should probably work on it more frequently.  :P

No one had cleaned the grout in Emma’s bathroom for months.  I had specifically put in on Aaron’s list to be done immediately after the party.  Had it been done?  No.  When I complained to Aaron he just looked at me coldly.

“You do it then.  You spend enough time there as it is.”

I glared.  “This is no way to run the downstairs.  You need to whip the next person who refuses work.”

“If I told them you said that, you’d be dead.”  He snapped at me.  “Just because you’re her personal slave doesn’t mean you have power over the rest of us.  You don’t even remember what it’s like to be one of us.”

I did not understand him.  I was nothing but one of them, subject to the same demands, to even more irrational whims.  Just because I wasn’t subservient to him, he thought I was an other.  But I had always been an other there.  They had always rejected me in one way or another, for a stupid inconsequential reason, like my language, when they had no other, (not that who I let use my body was of any more importance).

“I was never one of you.  You never let me be one of you.  And I remember what it was like in Moscow.  It’s better here.  It’s better for all of us.”  I shook my head and walked towards the cleaning cupboards to get supplies.  “Why do you struggle after freedom?” I muttered to myself.  “None of us are free.”

I didn’t want to believe what she had said.  I didn’t want to use her words, to include both mutants and humans in the “us,” but I couldn’t help but feel that she was right.  We were all in chains forged by societal expectations.  And there was no way out save death.

There had been such a backlash regarding the word slavery prior to the mutant revolution, and it had made people think of it as an enormity, when all it was was an institution formed by society, like banks.  The mutants were thrilled by the taboo of it, but when it came down to the function, it was just another economic transaction.

It seemed to me that the more importance we bestow upon something the more we tend to disbelieve its contemporaneous existence.  We aren’t able to believe that other people think differently than us, even when it’s so obvious that they do, even when we used to think that way ourselves.

For me, I could not let myself believe that I thought the same way as my mistress did.  That was the enormity, the impossibility.  And that was what made us unable to attempt communication.  We both knew that there really was no way for us to understand each other, if there even was something there to understand, so we didn’t try.  I didn’t try.

The mold that clung to the grout was stubborn and frustrating.  I scrubbed for hours, hot water, rough cloth, bleach stinging my fingers.  I just wanted to get it done, but I was angry, at Aaron for not doing his job, at JJ for cringing away from Kurt.  She had been blatantly rude to him the last time they met, and he had taken it unquestioningly.  I was almost angry at Erik Magnus at that moment.  What use is your mutant utopia if your citizens still expect to be ridiculed and insulted?  Could his empire truly be called a paradise for mutants, or merely an oligarchy of the strong?

I was angry at myself, for a hundred things, for wanting Emma, for challenging her, for stupidly trying to force people to understand that a wrong committed by a society as a whole is not changed by a single instance of violence, for being afraid of what would have to happen to truly alter a society through violence, for knowing, through Kurt, that it would never truly change for the better.

I was angry at Emma for never doing anything for herself, and I was fighting with that wall until it glistened, and it still wasn’t good enough.

Sweat dripped off my forehead, and I was almost finished, when I heard an odd hiss, and then suddenly I was drenched by the twin showerheads (one on each side).  The water was icy cold and my clothes were soaked.  I dropped the cloth into the tub and turned slowly around.

My mistress was standing in the doorway, laughing at me.  All the anger I had been directing at the mold on the grout suddenly had a new target.  I was suffused with fury, and I leapt out of the bathtub and charged her.  (God knows what I would have done had I met her there.)  She turned and fled.

I ran after her, dodging fleetly around the obstacles she put in my path.  She ducked into her office and tried to shut the door but I slammed into it, forcing it open, and knocked her over with it.  I tripped over her feet and fell on top of her.

I froze there for a moment.  My soaking clothes were dampening hers, and she was breathing hard under me, still grinning like a hyena.  It was nothing like the nights I came to her, full light, no script, no power, and I wanted her so much more than I ever had.  I was pinning her arms to the floor, and I leaned in, ready to kiss her (roughly, because that was what I wanted, to punish her for this), and a bare hairsbreadth away I stopped.

I had never kissed her, not her mouth, not her face.  It was never explicit, but I knew it couldn’t happen, it wasn’t allowed.  It was a line that we couldn’t cross, not without changing everything.

I hurriedly stood up, pulling away from her, and fled back to the bathroom.  She sat up, tugging her wet shirt absently away from her body, and watched me as I packed up my equipment and left.  I hissed my mantras, trying to build that wickerwork that Kurt had been teaching me, desperate to keep her out of my mind.

I couldn’t let her see what I was thinking.  In a way I wished I had learned a technique to keep myself from seeing what I was thinking.  It made my stomach twist and my chest ache.

*            *            *

Perhaps I was more sensitive to it after she had played that trick on me, or perhaps she was merely watching me more often, but I felt her eyes on me often during the day, when I was just going about my normal chores of cleaning or serving.  She seemed to be drawn to the places I was working.  She would even come into the kitchen to complain or interfere or get something to drink if I was there.  The mutant servants clearly noticed and started to give me curious looks.  The only place she still never came was the downstairs.

It was the library where we always seemed to speak, a place where no one else came besides me with my dust cloth and her with her reading.  She didn’t pretend to have any ulterior motive in being there, just leaned against the doorframe and watched me.

Finally I couldn’t bear her eyes anymore and turned around to face her.

“What is it?”

She frowned, turning away petulantly, but then glanced back, unhappy but intent.  “You want me, right?” she asked, roughly.  “That’s what you meant, isn’t it?  When you…  You want me.”

Sometimes it was so obvious that she was only sixteen, trying so hard to place something so complex, so impenetrable, in terms she could comprehend.  I could do no better.

I nodded weakly.

It was less of a defeat than I had expected.  It was only a physical need; it wasn’t admitting how I had felt when I had awoken after the first night in her bed.

“Okay,” she said, awkwardly, and turned to go.  Then she paused and glanced back at me.  I knew what she wanted, what she meant, but she said it anyway.  “Tonight?”

I nodded again.  I would be there.

I wished she hadn’t asked.

*            *            *

But that night she made it easy for me, as easy as it could ever be.  We followed the script, with all its built in awkwardness and bland, unromantic, passionless eroticism.  Then she curled into my back, burrowing her face into the back of my neck.  Her hands moved around me, brushing against my breasts as if asking permission, and when I did not react, she curled her palms around them, feeling their weight in her hands.  Her fingers brushed my nipples and I couldn’t keep my body from stiffening.  She laughed into my shoulder, and bolder, rolled them between finger and thumb.

Just in the way she touched my body it seemed clear that she liked it.  I found her attraction for me pleasurable, enough to make it easy for her to slide her fingers into me and touch me until I came with a short gasp in her arms.  She would often whisper to me afterwards, nothings, just her irritations at Court, lazy daydreams, dirty things, but her tone was always very self-satisfied.

Eventually I found this amusing rather than annoying.

I grew used to this state of affairs, comfortable with her hands on me, even if I never expected it.  My wanting her was something I had admitted to, but I had an obligation to serve her, she had none such to serve me.  I wondered if I would ever be able to ask for it, to tell her to do it, to fuck me, and expect her to obey, regardless of her own inclination.

I wondered if that was ever possible if there was no obligation.  I wondered if she ever asked herself the reverse.  Would I ever disobey her?  Would I be willing if there was not obligation?  I asked myself the same questions.

*            *            *

In the free time I did not spend with Kurt, I attempted to mend my relationship with Jennifer.  She had found other companions amongst the slaves, and they were clearly uncomfortable around me.  They did not reject me outright, but there was a tension there.  And as always, I seemed to be prone to saying the wrong thing.  JJ was used to my opinions about work, about finding meaning in the fulfillment of your duties.  But her new companions were accustomed to complaining about the requirements of their state of bondage.  I would nod and ignore most things as long as they were expressing their opinions, but often I would speak to correct a factual error before I thought about whether it was a good idea.

Working intimately with the butler and cook had made me very familiar with the workings of the house.  If a slave was jealous of the lighter duties of a mutant servant, I could often bring evidence that their duties were in fact not any lighter, and they did not have the structure of the downstairs to rely on providing their meals and necessaries.  They were uncomfortable with listening to me, but it was hard to argue with bland facts.

It was particularly difficult, for as always, there was the stirring of revolution.  If I spoke up when the vitriol against Emma became too fierce, I was ridiculed.  I was the mistress’ slut.  I sympathized with the woman whose bed I warmed.  Some of the young men complained that they were never called to her bed.  But their complaints were mere bragging about their masculine prowess.  They still never touched me, and looked at me with something like disgust, as if they could see mutant fingerprints on my body.

I berated my mistress often in my head.  I had a long list of faults and disappointments about her character, but although I could say them to myself, I could not bear to hear them out of anyone else’s mouth.  It seemed like an odd sort of possessiveness, but perhaps it was just fear.  My complaints were complacent.  I knew too well that there was nothing I could do to change her.  But their words were backed by an ideological passion that spoke to me of blood.  Perhaps I thought that if they did not say the words they could not work themselves up to the point of violence.

The rumors that spread through the downstairs were secret and quiet, but they spoke of rebellion.  In other parts of the Empire, slaves had risen up and killed their masters.  They were then all executed, but the rumors carried the hope of power, the promise of possible success.  The stories made me sick.  A whole household dead, for what?  But if I said anything like that even JJ looked at me oddly.

JJ sat down next to me once and held my hand, asking me why I felt this misplaced loyalty.  Didn’t I believe that this state of affairs was wrong?  Shouldn’t we take vengeance for the murder of our parents by the sword?

I didn’t believe that mutants deserved to rule, but I didn’t believe in bloody revolution either.  An idea may be a grand thing, but it is another person on the end of your sword, in the sights of your gun, and as the uprisings and bombings that occurred at infrequent intervals through the capital showed, a violent action provokes a violent response.

But many actions, violent or not, provoke a violent response.

*            *            *

criminal minds, fake empire, x-men, au, emma/emily

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