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Commodum Ex Iniuria (The Reward of Injustice) [6/6]

 Title: Commodum Ex Iniuria (The Reward of Injustice) [6/6] (Final Part!)
Author: Alsike
Pairing: Emily Prentiss/Emma Frost
Rating: PG-13
Summary: The members of the BAU are faced with hunting down a mutant killer.  Other people may also be in pursuit.  And Emily finds out that where there are mutants, divisive politics follow close behind.
Apologies: There are many.  Feel free to yell about any of my many failings.  I deserve it.

The Whole Damn Thing
Prequels:
Women of Diamond
Oedipus for Girls
Commodum Ex Iniuria: part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4, part 5

JJ was not impressed by Emily’s taste in women.  Emma was exactly the type of mutant that terrified her, the one with more power than they deserved, and a lazy attitude towards morality.  She made you feel that you were lucky she wasn’t interested enough in you to destroy your mind.  She probably thought that using her powers was too easy and she would rather deal with JJ by gaslighting her until she went insane.

And it wasn’t fair to bully her about what was in her head.  JJ had just been blindsided, with a one-two punch, by the sexuality of one of her friends, and she wouldn’t be human if she weren’t thinking about it.  And anyways, whatever Emily said, JJ had seen those scratches, and those were not playful little accidental scratches.

Emma was going to hurt her.  And JJ was not going to just sit back and watch it happen.

The officers were milling about and it looked like they had never set up a roadblock in their lives.  Emily had said something about them being forest rangers, which had been odd at the time, but now was looking more and more credible.

It was only after she had carried the barricade nearly halfway into position that she realized the man helping her was the hairy mutant.  She nearly dropped the barricade.

“Relax, princess.  We’re on the same team.”

JJ glanced towards the part of the forest where their opposite numbers had disappeared.  “You sure about that?”

Logan chuckled.  “No one’s ever sure what team Emma’s playing for.  In any sense.”

JJ breathed in sharply.  “Really?  You don’t… think she’s trustworthy?”

“She hasn’t stepped wrong yet.”  Logan shrugged.  “She’s played long games before though.”

JJ felt nauseous, and looked back towards the woods.

A blue pickup truck pulled up to the roadblock and the area was full of erratic motion and panic.  Distracted, JJ ran around, trying to get the officers into position.  She spotted Morgan and Reid in the truck and nearly laughed in relief, but made the officers go through the procedure anyway for practice.

When the block had been sorted, she glanced up, noticing a flash of white in the corner of her eye.  Emma was speaking to the young officer.  JJ looked around but couldn’t see Emily.  She looked back to Emma in time to see her frown.

“Where’s Emily?” she asked, and then saw a look cross Emma’s face that she had never expected to see there.  It looked like fear, and when she started to run, JJ’s hand went to her holster and she ran after her.

*            *            *

Emily was collapsed in the middle of the clearing.  The boy, for he was a boy, scruffy and overgrown, but fresh faced and wide eyed, was kneeling next to her.  He was bending down, as if to kiss her, and the photos of the charred interiors of the bodies flashed through Emma’s mind.

<< Don’t- >>  The rest of the phrase was lost in the echoing roar of rage, and a bolt of diamond burst into him, knocking the boy away.  He fell, his eyes wide to see a woman of diamond, and then his mouth opened and flame shot towards her.  She caught Emily’s body, pulling it in front of her, flames bursting out across her diamond back.

“David!  Stop!”  Emma couldn’t shut him down telepathically in her diamond form, and she couldn’t change in his range.  JJ stumbled out of the woods, her gun out.

“FBI!  Freeze!”  Then she choked on the sulfuric air, her gun wobbling.  The boy turned and fled.  A hairy ball of flesh, propelling itself on silver knives, flashed past and after it. A humming came from the sky and sun caught red hair, making it glow gold.  The nerd and the campy black man ran up to JJ, who pointed, still trying to catch her breath.  She signed to them to go around the clearing, and they ran on, following Wolverine’s shredded trail, guns out.

Emily wasn’t breathing.

*            *            *

Jean caught a glimpse of the fleeing boy, and swerved in the air to follow his path.  Scott tapped his visor shattering a cliff face.  Jean, flowing with illicit phoenix heat, tossed the boulders into a barrier.  Faced by a change in the landscape David turned and fled, rushing to the right.

Suddenly a lawnmower whirlwind appeared in front of him.  “Hey bub, slow down, or you’ll do yourself an injury.”

Davy huffed flame, setting all of Logan’s hair on fire.

“Hey!”

The boy struck, open-handed, leaving a red welt on Logan’s skin.  In seconds it was whole again, and David stared.  Logan knocked him down with a sideways blow.

“Give it up, bub.  You’re out of your league.”

“FBI!”

Reid and Morgan held him in the sights of their guns, but Davy bent and the air around him warped like on a humid day.  Reid was first to grab his throat.

“Can’t-“

Davy was on his feet and huffed fire at Logan again.  This time the air itself seemed to catch fire.  Logan ducked low, beneath the fiery gasses, and lashed out with the backs of his claws at the boy’s ankles.  He fell and with a brisk clip to the back of his head, Logan knocked him unconscious.

*            *            *

She coughed, finally, and Emma felt the flutter of her heart under her hand.  Emily’s eyes opened, and Emma sat back on her heels, but she left her hand where it was.

JJ stood back in the trees, breathing slowly and carefully, and watched.  There was nothing on Emma’s face, no way to tell what she was thinking.  Her eyes were shadowed and the line of her jaw was cold and still.  It was almost hard to believe the change.  When she had been diamond she seemed more alive.  She had acted, attacking David, protecting Emily, and for that moment JJ had really believed that she was a hero.  But that energy faded the moment she returned to being flesh, checking airways, administering CPR.  She had closed up, become rigid, almost jerky.  As she sat back she regained her self-possession, but no fluidity.

Emily’s eyes caught the light oddly, glistening, and then closed, an expression of resignation crossing her face.

The conversation was over.

Emma looked up, and JJ found her self suddenly transfixed by impenetrable blue eyes.

<< Come here, and help her back to the roadblock. >>

Not quite understanding, but unable to question or disobey, JJ moved.  Emily sat up on her own and took her arm to get to her feet.

Emma turned and walked in the opposite direction.

*            *            *

The Kamas Police did not have the facilities to hold a mutant as powerful as David Barry, so the X-Men put him in a holding cell on their plane.  His mother, charged as an accomplice for alerting him to the FBI presence, was in the single Kamas cell.

“Why in hell did you go off on your own?” Hotch demanded of Emily, looking even grimmer than usual, as he always did when they came that close to losing an agent.

“I’m sorry sir.  I wasn’t… thinking clearly.”

Hotch shook his head.  “I can’t let this go.”  He turned to JJ.  “How could you let her just wander off like that?”

JJ closed her eyes.  He was right.  The X-Men weren’t agents.  They didn’t have the same procedures.  She shouldn’t have taken Emma’s bait.  She shouldn’t have turned her back.

“I know you haven’t been getting along lately, but this is unacceptable.”

JJ nodded.

“We were outclassed on this one.  We were damn lucky the X-Men were here to help us.  Three agents with mild asphyxia, and one needing resuscitation… I am not eager to explain this to Strauss.”

“Maybe it would be useful to have mutants on the team.”

Everyone turned to stare at JJ, Emily and Morgan’s eyes widest of all.  JJ shrugged, embarrassed.

Hotch looked wryly grim instead of grimly grim.  “I’ll be sure to suggest that to Strauss.  And when she assigns me a psych evaluation, I’ll mention who said it.”

A few chuckles lightened the atmosphere slightly.

“The mutant containment team is coming tomorrow morning.  So everyone should use tonight to rest their lungs.”  Hotch stopped Emily on her way out.  “Shouldn’t you be checked into a hospital?”

Emily looked away.  “Dr. McCoy checked me out.  He told me what to watch out for, but that I should probably be fine.  I didn’t inhale any smoke.  He was releasing sulfur dioxide and nitrous oxide, so I choked, and the hypoxia sent me into cardiac arrest, but there wasn’t much internal damage.  He had me on oxygen for an hour.”

“You were dead.”

“Only clinically.”

Hotch shook his head in disapproval.

*            *            *

Logan found Emma standing outside in the dark underneath a tree.

“Nice evening.”

Emma nodded vaguely in response.

“I was planning on crashing in the ‘bird tonight, keep an eye on the prisoner, eh?”

Another non response.

“You want your room key back?”

Emma finally looked at him, well, the key in his hand.  He nearly stepped back, stunned by the vulnerability on her face.

“It probably smells like me, but…” he shrugged.  Emma took the key and inclined her head.

“Thank you.”

“No problem.  Hey, we caught the bad guy.”  Logan frowned and scratched his head.  “Young little snot though he is.”

Emma wasn’t listening to him anymore, so he slunk off towards the Blackbird.  What a mess this whole thing had become.

*            *            *

Emily, in pajamas and a hotel robe, found her there an hour later.  The moon had risen and Emma was staring up at it, through the trees.

“It’s smaller here,” said Emily, quietly.

Emma glanced over at her, saying nothing.

“I need you tonight.”  Emily whispered the words, too ashamed and too desperate for anything else.  “I close my eyes and I think I can’t breathe again.  I can’t…”

Emma nodded and followed her up the stairs.  Emily curled up in her arms and Emma laced her fingers through her hair.

“I’m broken,” Emily murmured into her chest.  “You said it.  I hate you for being right.”

Emma’s hand moved gently against her head.  Emily felt her swallow, and then her grip tighten almost painfully.  Maybe now she could sleep.

*            *            *

Emma was gone when she woke up.

Emily dressed slowly, packing her bag.  She winced as cloth rubbed against her arm where David had touched her and left shiny red burns behind.

She couldn’t get the expression Emma had worn when she regained consciousness out of her head.  For a moment she couldn’t tell which one of them had been dead.  She wished Emma had been angry, raging, furious, given her anything but that blank hollow stare.  There was nothing, no words, no thoughts, just the snap of their cold brittle connection breaking.

“Hi.”  JJ leaned in through the door and picked up her bag.  Emily wished she could smile, but it was a little beyond her today.

“Hey.”

The mutant containment team was just bringing David Barry out when they reached the field that served as a local landing strip.  He was wearing a small electronic collar and looked young and desperate.  His eyes fell on Emily as he stepped onto the grass and his expression changed to sneering disdain.  The Agent at his left shook his shoulder.

“No looking, keep moving.”

He ignored the instruction and kept his gaze on Emily.  “What a shame,” he said, to her, disregarding the distance.  His voice was rough as if his own smoke had hurt his throat.  “I really wanted to kiss you.”

Emily cringed.  She wouldn’t have survived that. 

“Why?  Couldn’t get a date your own age?”  Emma’s sneering tone was almost a relief.

David spat at her.  “You’re a disgrace.  Collaborator.”

“Collaborator?”  Emma laughed.  “Been reading up on World War Two?”

“Been fucking any dogs lately?”

“Shut your gob, kid.”  The Agent elbowed him forward.

“Woof!  Woof!”  He laughed.  “They really need to re-define bestiality.”  He aimed a kick at one of his escorts, who smacked him in the head to keep him moving.  “We’re better than you.”

Emma rolled her eyes.  “Scum like you doesn’t have an edge on anyone.”

“Yeah?  Like you, who can’t even get a date in your own species?”

“Unsuccessful rapists shouldn’t brag.”  Emma arched an eyebrow.  “It sounds bitter.”

“Emma.”  Scott used his paternal instruction voice, and Emma grimaced, but let David be manhandled into the transport.  She glanced over to Emily, then jerked her eyes away.

“All right.  Let’s get moving,” Hotch called out, leading the way towards the FBI jet.

“Us too,” added Scott, turning to climb up the hatch into the Blackbird.

Emily nodded for JJ to follow the rest of the team into the jet, but stayed behind.  Emma ignored her, but didn’t move to enter the plane.

“Are you going to call this time?”

“No.”

Emily sighed and shook her head.  She hadn’t really expected a different answer, but a lie would have been nice. 

Emma turned slightly, glancing over her form.  Then suddenly she was in front of her, barely six inches of air between them.

“I can’t do this.”

Up close Emma’s shimmering white make-up looked like armor, a defense.

“Can’t do what? If you would remember, I can’t read your mind!”

“I would be ashamed to be with you.”

“What?”  Emily was disgusted.  “Did that asshole’s barking get to you?  You’re saying you agree with him now?”

“He’s not the only one who thinks like that.”

“So what?”

“I’m not going to waste my life protecting you!”

Emily stepped back, bewildered.  “Waste your life?”

“You don’t know who I am.”  Emma stalked towards her, closing the distance again.  “You don’t have any conception of the things I’ve done, for power, and you have no idea of my plans.  These X-Men, they’re children, they’re happy to find out that I’m weak, that I’m more like them.  But they’re worthless.  The people I need, they would lose all respect for me if they knew any of what happened here.”

Emily shook her head.  “I don’t believe you.  If I’m that much of a liability, just make good on your threat.  Rip yourself out of my head.  I don’t care.  I don’t need you.”

Emma growled, her hands gripping her shoulders, nails digging so deep that Emily was sure they would bleed.  “And when you were dead?”

“I was dead!”  She jerked away.  “I didn’t need anything!  It would have been horrible for everyone else, but it was my own fucking fault.  You were the one who needed to save me.”

A hiss of breath as the dagger hit home.  “I don’t need you!”

And the air between them became a vacuum.  Emma was kissing her, artlessly, angrily.  Emily held on tightly, clinging to the moment with every ounce of strength she had.  There had been too many lies spoken, every word had been a lie.  But the one truth unsaid was that this was over.

It was over.

*            *            *

Emma entered the Blackbird, hitting the button to close the hatch behind her.  She looked straight ahead, ignoring the interest of her teammates, and walked to the back of the plane, locking herself in to a seat by the window.

The plane lifted off and she closed her eyes, trying to find the synapse that would make her head stop throbbing.  The whine of the engines only added to the pressure as they turned, taking a northward curving route back to New York.

She curled her hand to inspect her fingernails, and hated it.  She hated her hands, hated her arms, hated herself.  Why was she the one always left carrying the dead bodies of the people she loved?  Why was it always her?

*            *            *

Morgan glanced up as Emily climbed into the plane.  He grinned.  “Hey beautiful, you’ve got a little…” he touched his lip.  “Not sure if the white is really your color.”

He wasn’t prepared for the stricken look that crossed her face.  She disappeared into the plane bathroom.  JJ, startled by the slamming scrape of the door, looked up at Morgan, who physically expressed his bewildered consternation.

JJ frowned exasperatedly at him and stood, dropping her book on the seat.  The door to the bathroom hadn’t been locked.  Emily was bent over the sink.  Her mouth had been scrubbed clean, but tears were running down her face.

“Fuck her,” she managed to get out.  “Fuck her.”

She looked up enough to meet JJ’s eyes in the mirror.

“It’s not fair,” she said, her voice cracking.  “She always leaves her mark on me.”

JJ could see the cement blocks of Emily’s foundation crumbling and scattering into sand.  She hesitated, her hand poised to reach out.  A touch might destroy her entirely, but she had nothing else to give.

 

FIN


Tags: criminal minds, x-men
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  • Fake Empire Phase 2: Bad Kids 2/?

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