Hellfire 4

Nov 03, 2009 10:25

 Title: Hellfire (4/6?)  (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: Short chapter, but the wangst may be over... for a bit

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?

“You look terrible,” said Hotch flatly as he passed her on the way to his office.  Emily had come in early, unable to sleep, unable to waste time in her empty apartment, but the only file on her desk was Adrienne’s and that just made it worse.

She ignored him, as she traced the details, put together the numbers, went over the credit reports and receipts that were location, motive, method, and tried not to wonder why she was so desperately seeking evidence against a criminal who was already dead.

JJ, right behind him, froze and stared at her.  “I feel like crap, but I’m hung-over.  You look ten times worse than I feel.”

Emily didn’t look at her.  “I’m fine.”

JJ let it go and went into her office.  There was always more work waiting for her there.

About an hour later an IM box popped up on her computer screen and beeped at her.

GuruOfPink: u know what’s wrong with EmEm?

GuruOf Pink: ?

GuruOf Pink: ?

GuruOf Pink: ???????

SoccerPrincess: no

GuruOfPink: Weeeeelllll????

SoccerPrincess: no

GuruOfPink: Why not?

SoccerPrincess: You know why not.

GuruOfPink: I thought we fixed that last night.  L

SoccerPrincess: no

JJ gave in and went in search of Emily.  She wasn’t at her desk.  JJ finally found her leaning over the sink in the women’s bathroom, looking suspiciously close to vomiting.

“How many tequila shooters did you do last night?”

Emily gave her a ghastly look.

JJ stepped in and put a hand on her back.  “Are you alright?”  She sounded more sympathetic this time, but Emily jerked away from her.  She stepped away, and then covered her head with her arms.

“I think we broke up.”

JJ froze her inappropriate reaction at its birth.  “Did you…?”

Emily laughed weakly.  “No.”  She leaned back against the cold tile wall and rocked her head up to stare at the ceiling.  “You’d think that I might, say, reconsider calling her all the time after I found out about… you know, her sister?  But I couldn’t give it up.  She could.  Trying to protect me, as usual.  I thought it would be okay, that it was a good idea, but, I’m just…”

She scrubbed at her face, and mildly panicked, JJ reached out again, but pulled back, her hand hovering over her shoulder, but not daring to touch it.  “Why did she…?”

Emily shrugged, keeping her face covered.  “I was too drunk to remember to ask.”

*            *            *

Emma hadn’t felt the brush of fur around her face for too long.  It was exactly what she needed.  It felt like control, which was exactly what she was lacking at the moment.

She found her phone in her hand her thumb hovering over send, her mind getting ready to beg, trying to work out which words would fix this, (would fix everything).  (Sometimes she wondered how hard it would be to just make her forget.  Why did she have to know all those things?  Why was she even bothering with letting Emily do all those idiotic things that she called her career?  She could just fix it, fix her.  It would be so easy.)

(And then she would deserve the fur she wore.)

Sebastian had actually gotten good reservations at a nice restaurant, which was mildly unnerving to say the least (even if it was for lunch), and he was dressed in a new suit, and looked about ten times less grim than he had just last weekend.

“What has happened to you?  Did you… deal with your son?”

“I did indeed,” Sebastian smiled broadly.  “And in a way he never expected.”

Emma was curious enough to probe, but Sebastian would be able to tell, and it was impolite, so she merely tipped her head and raised her eyebrows, waiting for him to be too eager to manage to keep it a secret anymore.

“I’m the new Lord Imperial.”

*            *            *

Without meaning to, Emily had brought Adrienne’s file home.  Flipping through it for the tenth or eleventh time, she noticed a reference to the Hellfire club and frowned.  There was something familiar about that name, but she couldn’t remember whether Emma had thrown it out off handedly, or if it had been Ro, trying to convince her to end things with Emma, back when there really hadn’t been anything to end.

That was what made it difficult this time.  Back then she hadn’t expected it to last, and even their conversations fading out had been expected.  Emma’s paranoia wasn’t a permanent element of her character, and even her interest in Emily’s wellbeing was only inclined to fade since she hadn’t had to be informed that Emily had ended up in the hospital again for some time.

But that weekend, aside from the serial killer, had seemed almost like a date.  She had met her students (which was unnerving).  They had sniped at each other and fought like people who knew each other far too well (which was a lie).  And she had come back from a hellish interrogation by the NYPD and hadn’t had to be alone.  (She had still been angry though, but Emma hadn’t cared.  She had slid into Emily’s stiff back, parting her from behind, biting down on her shoulder, and fucking her mercilessly until she had to press her face into the pillow to keep from crying out at her release.)  It had felt real and possible, those few days, but it wasn’t, of course.  It was an almost.

Almosts were warning signs.  As long as it wasn’t real, wasn’t normal, wasn’t scripted, it could exist.  Emma could want her because she needed her.  But once it was real, she was gone.  It shouldn’t have been a surprise.  No one wanted Emily for something real.

She opened her laptop and searched for the Hellfire Club, to avoid wallowing in self-pity.  Oddly enough, there was a website.  It was a dark brown screen with a black input box in the center.  What were you supposed to put in?  Some sort of code?

There were letters there, black on dark brown.  “Surname.”

She considered.  “Frost,” she typed in.  It was research.  And she hit enter.

The page opened onto another.  Frost was written in white, six times, down the center of the screen.  Each one had a small image of a chess piece next to it, one king, one pawn, one bishop, two queens and a rook.  The pawn, the bishop, and one of the queens were tipped onto their side, as if captured.  When she clicked on one another box appeared, but this one said password, and she didn’t have any success probing it.

She went back to the first page and on a whim, typed in Prentiss.  The page that opened up had a list probably over a hundred names long.  They were written in red.  Nearly all of them had chess pieces in a position of surrender.  Most were pawns, but there were a few other ranks mixed in.  The pawn at the very bottom was still standing.  Emily clicked on it.

The box that appeared was a button labeled “register.”  She hit it.  The page that opened was a questionnaire, but not a normal registration form.  It was more of an ancestry page than anything else.  It asked about her grandparents, and great-grandparents, and generations farther back, their places of birth, their maiden names.  Emily wasn’t entirely certain whether she could remember all of this, but it was interesting.  She was at the limit of her recollection, but only halfway through the form, when it all disappeared and a pop up filled the screen of her computer.

“Identity verified.  Emily Elizabeth Prentiss, Special Agent.  Scion of Edward Prentiss and Elizabeth Jane Prentiss née Jackson.”  It had her address, phone number, and place of employment.  She hadn’t filled in any of that.  She choked, looking for a cancel button.  There wasn’t one.  The only button left was ‘set password.’

She set it hurriedly, trying to get out of the maze of windows.  Find a club center near you!  Set up an appointment!  Select a special companion!  Meet the Lord Imperial!

Finally she just quit her browser.

*            *            *

“You did what?”

“I made a website!  Really, old Gordy was stuck in the past.  He did not embrace modernity.  And all of those new geneaology archives don’t have anything on what the Hellfire library has.  It’s astonishing!”

Emma pressed a finger against her temple and thought that this must have been how the BNP leaders must have felt when the person who leaked their role lists confessed his act as being indended to ‘strike terror in the hearts of the liberal British populace at their amounting numbers.’  While yes, she understood the rationale, no, it still was a terrible idea.

“Why are you so eager to have me at this party of yours?”

Sebastian smiled again, but this one she recognized.  It was the one she didn’t trust.  (She felt much more on solid ground with it than with his boyish enthusiasm.)

“You do want to keep your position in the inner circle, don’t you?”

“No one is the White Queen besides me.”

“And I’m just dying for you to meet the new White King.”

*            *            *

Jean was in the hall when she got back, and gave an odd look at her coat.  That was discomfiting, but it wasn’t as if Emma would give this up if she were called on it.  There were few enough places left where she still had power, and she wasn’t about to give up this one.  There was no way to eradicate the Hellfire Club, and she knew, far too well, that if it wasn’t kept under surveillance, it had a tendency to grow poisonous shoots in any direction it pleased.
The Hellfire Club wasn’t a moral compass.  It wasn’t built for evil.  It was power, pure and simple, but like the pointer on a ouija board could be directed the way the one with the strongest will wished.  Emma just had to make sure that everyone still remembered that the strongest will belonged to her.

*             *              *
Part 5 

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

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