Fake Empire 10

May 24, 2010 18:18

Title: Fake Empire 10
Author: Alsike 
Rating: PG-13 
Fandom: X-Men/Criminal Minds 
Pairing: Emma Frost/Emily Prentiss, other Emma Frost/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 song by The National. 
Apologies: Another long chapter, probably ill described, but I have the choice, sit on it and angst, or post it and keep moving on.  I went with post.

Fake Empire 1 (Queen Emma)
Fake Empire 2 (JJ's Part) 
Fake Empire 3 (Emily's Part)
Fake Empire 4 (The Mansion) 
Fake Empire 5 (Kyougen)
Fake Empire 6 (Morning)
Fake Emipire 7 (Mostly Emma's)
Fake Empire 8 (JJ goes off the deep end) 
Fake Empire 9 (Back to work)

A knock came at the door, and Emily opened it, and blinked, finding Jordan outside of it, holding a bottle of wine.


“Hi,” Emily stepped aside, letting her in.  Jordan proffered the bottle.

“Garcia said this might be appropriate.”

Emily grinned and unlocked a footlocker disguised by an African-print cloth.  “She got most of it, but not my good stuff.”

Jordan crouched and looked at it curiously.  “You hide your wine?”

“Not intentionally.  It’s a temperature-controlled portable wine cellar.”  Emily kicked it absently.

Jordan furrowed her brow.  “You know, you don’t come off as filthy rich most of the time, but you are, aren’t you?”

Emily flushed.  “I saw it, and I could hear my mother scolding me from beyond the grave.  I didn’t really have a choice.”

Jordan had wandered off, looking curiously at the décor.  Emily located her corkscrew.

“These are your little girl’s pictures?”

Emily winced at the innocent association: ‘your’ little girl.  “Um, yeah.  Didi’s been scribbling up a storm.”

She brought in the glasses and handed one to Jordan, who took it with a smile, but stayed crouched by the cabinet with a few pictures tacked to it.

“What’s this one of?”

Emily crouched down next to her and peered at the muddled mess of multi-colored curlicues.  “I think it’s… people we met while visiting Emma.”  She frowned.  There were a few oddities about it.

“Really?  So she’s…”

Emily pointed to the towering figure outlined in silver.

“Impressive.”  Jordan grinned.  “You in it?”

Emily considered.  “Maybe there?”  She pointed to another central figure.  “Or maybe that.”  She indicated a smaller one farther away.

“I think it’s the one in the middle,” said Jordan.  “I read somewhere that children’s pictures are a lot like Egyptian paintings.  The biggest, most central figures are the most important, and the peripheral miniature sized ones are supporting characters.”

“You’re saying I’m a central figure in her life?”

“Aren’t you?”

Emily looked skittish.

“Reid was right, wasn’t he?  She’s not… from here.”

Emily’s gaze drifted to another drawing.  Tall buildings, drawn in yellow and white, surrounded by a glowingly blue-green sea.  “No,” she said quietly.  “She’s not.”

*            *            *

Emily had finally realized that she had had absolutely no idea what she was talking about when she had decided that she wanted kids.  She hadn’t wanted kids; she had wanted family.  When she really got down to it, what she had wanted were parents, not kids at all.

She leaned on the counter as Didi massacred her half grapefruit with a spoon, first prodding each segment until it was so much juice, then ladling the juice into a cup, spilling a good deal on the counter, and then offering it up for Emily to squeeze thoroughly until all the juice had been moved to the cup.  Then she would deign to drink it.  Emily ate the leavings inside the skin.

“I could just get grapefruit juice?”

Didi gave her a puzzled disapproving look as if she had no idea why that comment was even relevant.  Then she scampered off and Emily wiped off the counter.  Everything was always sticky now.

People had said that she had a good rapport with children, but that was just so much bullshit.  Children who were victims were clear in a way that adults weren’t, they had needs and fear and shame, and didn’t hide them behind masks of duty and deception.  But she always had a place with those children.  She was the cop.  She needed them to trust her.  But it didn’t work with Deirdre.  Everyone else seemed to get along better with Didi than she did.  Emma, even shocked, was direct, commanding and parental.  JJ, bewildered and frustrated beyond belief, still could marshal obedience and respect in a way utterly foreign to Emily.  Even Garcia got on better with her than she did, even if they were just interacting at the same level.  Emily was always the angry one, always yelling futilely, being utterly ignored at one moment and then ordered around the next.  She never got to have that moment where Didi put her hand in hers and trusted her.  Even Morgan, last Sunday, got to tear around the park with Didi on his shoulders yelling in delight, and be hugged when it was time to go home.

“Well, what are you expecting?” Emma said when she voiced the issue on the phone.  “You’re her mother.  The whole point is that she takes you for granted and treats you like dirt.”

It forced a laugh out of her, and Emily shook her head, smiling.  Emma had the excellent ability of making her worries feel stupid and unimportant enough to laugh at.

*            *            *

Deirdre Victoria Frost!  Would you please play quietly!”

Didi pouted.  “I want you to play with me.”

“I’m so tired.”  Emily flopped face first on the couch. “So tired,” she mumbled into the cushion.

“You’re no fun!  I want M’ma!”

“Oh, please.”

“I want M’ma!”

Emily threw her phone at her daughter.  “Call her then!  Just let me sleep.”

“I will!  I’ll call her and tell her how mean you’re being!”

Emily grimaced as Didi focused on the phone and pressed the right buttons.  Four year olds should not be allowed to work technology better than their elders.  She couldn’t even read words longer than five letters, but she had figured out how to get into Emily’s email through it. (It may have been an accident, but Emily couldn’t even get her email through it on purpose.)

Emma was in the faculty dining room when her phone rang.  Emily didn’t usually call during the day, so she answered it at her seat.



The entire room watched the smile spread across Emma’s face and stared in shock.  Kitty dropped a plate.

“Mommy’s being mean and won’t play.”

“Is she now?”

“She says she’s tired.”

Emma frowned.  “Ask her if she’s hurt.”

“Mommy?  Are you hurt?”

“I’m fine,” Emma heard her mumble.

“She says she’s fine, but she doesn’t look fine.”

“Tell her you’ll poke her if she doesn’t say where it hurts.”

“Emma!  I’m fine!  I’m just tired!  We had an all night chase through the woods and then paperwork!”

“You heard?” Didi inquired with a dryness inappropriate at four.

Emma grinned.  “Yes.  Why don’t you run your mom a hot bath?  Do you think you can do that?”

“Tell me how.”

Emily’s bathroom had one of those incredibly advanced bathtubs with jets and sensors and electronic controls so Emma thought Didi could probably manage to get it started.  She walked Deirdre through the process and informed her of the correct way to add the princess bubbles, which were a necessary requirement.

“Now give the phone to your mom.”

“Emma,” Emily greeted her flatly.

“Emily.”  Emma couldn’t help the smirk in her voice; it was just there naturally.  “How are you really?  No broken ribs that you’re just machoing through?”

“I’m fine.  I did a lot of running so I wouldn’t end up with broken ribs.  But now I’m sore, and exhausted.  A hot bath and 2 ibuprofen sound… divine.”

“I’m glad I could assist.”

“I’m stripping right now.”  Emma turned away from the table so they couldn’t see her salivate.  “Oh god, the water feels good.”  Emily did have a fantastic bathtub.  Emma had been in it many times, rarely alone.  “I wish you were here with me.”

“Is that so?”

“I want you to bring me a glass of wine and wash my back.  You haven’t trained your minion to use a corkscrew yet, have you?”

Emma laughed.  “I’ll be there next time.”

“I’m counting on it.”

She was passed back to Didi.  “I’m bored, M’ma.”

“You should draw me a special picture while your mom’s in the tub, okay?”


“And keep the phone near you.  I’ll call at eight to make sure Emily hasn’t fallen asleep and drowned and has put you to bed.”

“Okay, M’ma.  I love you.”

“I love you too.”

Emma hung up and looked around at the stupefied room.  “Oh, shut up,” she said, and left.

Logan glanced over at Kitty.  “Looks like someone’s tamed the White Queen.”

Rahne smiled.  “Four year olds do have that ability.”

He snorted.  “Especially when they come with sexy brunettes attached.”

*            *            *

“She’s gone,” Emily snapped, and Emma nearly dropped the phone.  “She’s gone and JJ’s useless babysitter said that her grandfather came to get her.  Do you have any idea who that could be?”

Emma clenched her fingers so hard that the plastic of the phone cracked.  “Fuck it.  I told Garcia to make sure-”

“You find her!  You find her right now and you get me because if he’s hurt her I am going to kick your father’s ass!”

Emma didn’t laugh.  “I’m on it.”

Emily jabbed her finger at the end button and hit a different speed dial.  “Garcia!  You need to get on this.  How did he find out?  And where is he keeping her?”

The full crew of X-men and the BAU made finding her short enough work, and Emily met the jet in midair, Ororo flying her up to the hatch.  They landed outside the disused laboratories, still belonging to a subsidiary of Frost Corp (share price .04, as compared to Frost Inc’s 54.97), and the team split, easily dismantling the alarm systems.

*            *            *

“Are you certain?” Winston stared at the third set of results, which were exactly the same, and the scientist made a helpless shrug.

“She’s a mutant, if that’s any explanation.”

“I’m bored!” Didi yelped.  She scowled at Winston, tired and possibly close to tears.  “I want mommy!  I hate you!”

Winston cringed, giving the ceiling an oddly desperate plea in a glance, then schooled his expression into a hard look and turned it on her.  “Control yourself, child.  It is not worthy of a Frost to lose control of her emotions like that.”

Didi narrowed her eyes.  “You stink.”

The door to the lab banged open.  Winston whirled to face it.

“Emma,” he said, at the sight of the person he saw there.  She stared him down, arms crossed, as Emily darted in and hurriedly gathered Didi up, checking her over quickly for any signs of injury.  She seemed fine, Didi hugging her neck happily, and that brush of knowledge from Emily made her relax.

“You went too far, father.”

“Did you expect me not to find out that you have a child with the slut?”

Emma stiffened at his words.

“I’m bored, Mommy! I hate doctors.”

“We’ll do something fun, right after this, okay?”

“McDonalds!  With Henry!”

“Why would I tell you anything when you speak about her like that?”

Emily gave her a silencing gesture and came towards Winston.  “You can talk to me if you want.  The slut’s right here.”  Winston tossed her a cruel unapologetic sneer.  “You didn’t hurt her.  But if you come anywhere near her again, I will destroy you.”

Winston started to scoff, and Emily, holding Didi easily in her left arm, pulled her right fist back and punched him across the face.  His head snapped to the side.  He hovered for a moment, stunned and unresponsive, and then collapsed onto the floor.

“You don’t come near her.  I have a gun, and I use it professionally.”

“She does,” Emma added helpfully, putting an arm around her shoulders and tugging her two charges back towards the door.  “Very talented with it too.”

They were dropped off back in Virginia and, true to her promise; Emily picked up Henry and took him and Didi to McDonalds.  Emma tagged along, not willing to disappear quite yet.  The kids ran off to play in the tubes, and Emily leaned back in the booth and sighed.

“I don’t know how I managed to walk out of there without strangling him.  It probably would have been better to, wouldn’t it?  I mean… not for Didi’s psyche or anything.”

Emma considered this.  “I think you did well, actually.  You do know how to deliver a threat.”

Emily laughed weakly.  “My mother taught me that.  You say it once, you give them a taste of how you will carry it through, and then you say it again.”

“You were very leonine, hunting down the beast that took your child,” Emma commented, sipping her vanilla milkshake and watching her appraisingly.  “I adored seeing you punch him.  He needs that more often.”

Emily smiled and caught an odd look in her eye and a slight crossover of a feeling.  She had loved it, because somehow Emma still felt powerless around him, too powerless, too easily used.  Emily slid around the back of the booth until they could lean against each other.  She liked the physical connection when Emma was this open to her, she could let her mind wash over her, like waves, and she could sense the reassurance that the tendril of mind still hovering near Henry and Didi was present and aware, and nothing was wrong, at least right at that moment.

*            *            *

“She’s four years old!  How difficult is it to keep her under control?”

“But…  But…”  The babysitter started to sniffle.  “She said that I was an incompetent slave and that I needed to be whipped.”

Somehow, none of this fazed Emily anymore.  “She’s four!  She’s not going to whip you!”

“But she said-”

“Just,” Emily shook with frustration.  “Just go.  If you can’t handle her, it’s clear that it’s not worth having you here.”  She peeled off a few bills and shoved them into the girl’s hand and shoved her out the door.

Taking out her cell phone she dropped onto the sofa and hit speed dial one.


“That was the third babysitter in a month,” she said flatly.

Emma laughed.

“It’s not funny.  JJ is going to murder me for completely eradicating her stock of reliable sitters.  And after what happened with your father, it feels less paranoid for me to tell them not to take her anywhere.  JJ knows how to shoot first and ask questions later, but these are just kids…”

“You said that Didi listens to her.  Just get her to quit her job and stay home full time.”

Emily snorted.  “Uh huh, her husband couldn’t convince her to do that.”

“I could.”

“You cheat.”

“It’s not cheating.  It is exploiting my natural advantages.”

“You could convince me to do it.”

“Yes, but you’d shoot yourself if you had to be with Deirdre 24/7.  And anyways, when I convince you to quit your job it will be for the express purpose of you becoming my love slave.  I am not wasting the effort for any other goal.”

Emily laughed.  “It’s sort of strange.  That doctor said that she was a mutant, but she can’t have any abilities yet.  And still she talks like she’s… I don’t know, destined to rule the world.”

“This surprises you?”

Emily snorted.  It wasn’t the origin of this attitude that was in doubt.  “No.  But it’s really difficult to teach her that humans are people too when she assumes that most of them are slaves and should be treated as such.”

“Then get her a mutant babysitter.”

Emily blinked, that could actually solve a few of her problems.  “I… I can’t advertise for a mutant babysitter.”

Most people would either assume that it was a mutant house, and she would become a target, or that she was looking for mutants for some vile purpose.  Emma snickered.  “No, you can’t.  But I can.”

*            *            *

Emily opened the door, not looking at the visitor.  She was half turned away, calling out behind her.  “Didi, don’t you dare…”  there was a loud crash.  “Shit.”

She turned to face the visitor’s bright grin.

“Hi, Ms. Prentiss!”

Emily blinked twice and gave her visitor a look that took in the patched up messenger bag, day-glow crop top, stylishly ratty jeans and combat boots in one go.  Then she frowned and looked at her face.  “Jubilee?”

“Pretty good, Ms. Prentiss, for it having been so long.”

“Three years.”  She stepped back, opening the door to let Jubilee in.  “And call me Emily, please.”

Jubilee grinned.  “Happy to.”

“I’m sorry it’s such a mess.”

Jubilee glanced around the apartment as she walked in.  It looked like an apartment where a kid lived.  It was tidier than her room, that was for sure.

“Do you want some coffee?”

“Coffee would be slammin’.”

Emily disappeared into the kitchen, likely the locus of the loud noise from earlier.  “Deirdre Victoria Frost!  Pick those up this instant, we have company!”

Jubilee chuckled to herself and peeked in.  About three bags of beans had been emptied all over the floor.  Emily skated like a pro between them and handed Didi a pot to put the beans in.

“We’re having chili tomorrow then, I hope you’re happy.”

Didi grinned and nodded.

Emily managed to rescue two mugs and pour the coffee.  She handed one to Jubilee and the creamer.  It was eggnog flavor, awesome.

“So, why are you in DC?  I thought you were going to school in Berkeley.”

“To Frosty’s everlasting shock, I managed to graduate on time.  Nini offered me a job, but I’m so over politics.  I applied to grad school instead, media studies.  I started at Georgetown this fall.”

“Georgetown?  That’s great!”

“Working on a paper right now, Cultural Hegemony and the American Shopping Mall.  I think I might do my thesis on something like that.”

“Sounds good to me.  So you’re reading Gramsci?”

“Adorno, Benjamin, Foucault.  I have such a head crush on Foucault.”

Emily laughed.  “You tell Emma this?”

“She disapproves.  I only realized last year that she quoted Nietzsche ad nauseam in our classes.”

“So you’ve been in DC six months and you just now dropped in?”

“I didn’t know where you lived.”  Jubilee grinned ingratiatingly.  “Until I found a very interesting newspaper ad.  My first year grant’s running out, and I either need a job or a cheaper apartment.  Mysteriously, Frosty called me out of the blue and informed me, in no uncertain terms, that I was going to be a nanny for her spawn.”

Emily groaned and covered her face.  “I told her I could handle it.”

“I’d already cut out your ad.”

Didi had come out of the kitchen and pulled on her mother’s pant leg.

“Is it clean?”

“It’s all clean.”  Didi looked curiously at Jubilee, who sat cross-legged on the floor.  “What’s a spawn?”

Emily arched her eyebrow at Jubilee.

“It means kids,” said Jubilee, with a guilty grin.  “Although usually for frogs.”

Didi nodded seriously, still looking at her with an evaluating expression.

“I’m Jubilee.  You’re Didi, right?”

Didi nodded.

“You want to see something cool?”  Jubilee lifted her hands and started a light show.  Mini-fireworks, Chinese dragons, demons, and all sorts of creatures burst into sparkles in the air.  Didi’s jaw dropped.


Jubilee looked shyly at Emily.  “She’s a cute kid.”

“JJ says she’s a mini Emma.”

Jubilee laughed.  “I’d love to know what Frosty was like as a brat.”

“A terror, I’m sure.”

Emily looked away, remembering the tension and pain in her face as Emma remembered her childhood.  But it would be a betrayal to say anything about that.  Jubilee probably knew enough to guess the truth without help.  And from the few things that Emma had said, Emily had understood that Jubilee had enough secrets of her own to not make the mistake of asking too many questions.

“If you want it,” Emily said, probably too quickly and too soon.  “The job’s yours.”

But Jubilee just grinned.  “Yeah, I want it.”

*          *            *

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

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