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.
So, I've had enough sleep for once, and i made myself crack up over and over again while writing this. But I think that was because I put in jokes that were based off of jokes that exist only in my head, so, I'm sorry if it's really not funny to anyone else.
Edited again 6/22/09
Fake Empire 1 (Queen Emma)
Fake Empire 2 (JJ's Part)
Fake Empire 3 (Emily's Part)
Fake Empire 4 (The Mansion)
That was a phone call that she hadn’t wanted to make. JJ could feel Hotch’s frown deepen as she tried to explain without explaining that Emily had some family problems and needed a little time off. Since it was common knowledge that Emily was an orphan with little to no contact with her more distant relatives, this didn’t go over particularly well. And, of course, the last time they had used that excuse it was for Emily to go gallivanting off to California to rescue her sometimes girlfriend from another weird mutant problem, and once that made national news, their cover was blown.
Hotch sighed. “What is it this time? Really, I mean.”
“It is a family problem… just, um, dimension traveling mutants are involved.”
“And why is Emily involved?”
“It showed up on her doorstep?”
Hotch sighed. “Do you think this will take longer than a week to sort out?”
“No,” JJ said, hoping her hardest that it wouldn’t. “I’m sure it won’t.”
“Tell her she has time off, and that calling me herself would be appreciated. She doesn’t lie as well as you, JJ.”
“I didn’t lie at all!”
Hotch grunted and hung up the phone.
JJ dialed Emily to give her the news, but no one picked up. She glanced at the number pinned to her fridge, the ‘if you can’t reach me anywhere or are in really terrible trouble number.’ She gave a little prayer that it wasn’t Emma’s, and dialed it.
* * *
Ororo was having some quiet time in her garden after that meeting from hell. She really had tried to find anything that would help Emily, and Forge was very unwilling to share any of his information about ghost boxes or alternate universes, but she had wormed them out of him. It all came to nothing in the end. And of course Scott, who had hated Emily ever since the incident with Belasco, had only made things worse, basically suggesting that the only assistance the X-Men would be willing to give her was taking Deirdre away.
Ororo truly did want to help. She knew how uncomfortable her friend would be with the idea of having children. She was so jaded about it, how easy it was to lose control, to damage permanently by accident. But there was little she could do. The child was Emma’s, and no matter how much Scott tried to resist the idea, that did give her some rights, if only in Emily’s mind.
But really, what would Emma sacrifice for this? She was not someone who liked having her autonomy taken away. She would easily part with cash, but Emily did not need that sort of assistance. It would be very difficult for her, particularly with her job. She could not see Emma leaving the X-Men to look after a child, for someone else’s comfort. It was far too easy to see her leaving at her own whim.
Her phone rang. She didn’t recognize the number, but answered.
“Hello?” the voice repeated, insecurely. “This is, um, Jennifer LaMontagne. Who am I speaking to?”
Storm wondered whether she had given her identity away to an enemy. But this was her private line, so it was unlikely.
“You’re… Ro, right? Emily’s friend.”
“And you would be…”
“JJ.” Ororo heard the laugh in the other woman’s voice. “Sorry, I was being so formal, wasn’t I? I was worried I’d get Emma.”
Ororo smiled involuntarily. The exaggerated horror in the woman’s voice, suggested that her opinion of Ms. Frost was shared by others of Emily’s circle. “Emily gave you my number?”
“Is she, um, I heard she was going to the mansion. Is she with you?”
“I did bring her here, but she has gone into town for dinner with Emma and Deirdre.”
JJ chuckled. “That should be fun. I was just calling to tell her that I got her the next week off to sort things out, since she’ll need it.”
“That was very kind of you.”
“Well,” JJ sounded truly humble, which was uncommon. “When you have kids, you need all the help you can get. She’s done for me before.”
“You have children?”
“Oh,” Ororo felt vaguely surprised. “I would not have guessed.”
“From a two minute phone conversation?”
Now she was embarrassed. “It just seemed to be something that would come across.”
“You don’t.” JJ knew this for a fact, and Ororo felt no need to deny it.
“I… I didn’t do it on purpose. But I had nine months to get used to the idea. I’m not sure if Emily is used to it yet. I’m worried about her.”
“I am as well. It seems that without outside intervention, the child will be in this world for at least twelve more years. Emily did not take the news well.”
JJ let out a breath of relief. “I was afraid she would try to get rid of her. But it was unsuccessful?”
Storm paused. Emily had shared enough with her to make her wonder what Jennifer knew. “That’s a bit harsh,” she said. Not everyone was perfectly designed to have children. She herself knew that the time required and intensity of focus would be too much for her. Being Kitty’s mentor was different, and then extracting herself from something like parental idolization combined with an akogare-style crush had been painful enough. “We are actors. We like to help rather than just wait and hope. But Deirdre is not the first dimension traveling child we have encountered, and as our ability to assist in that case was little better than none, I did not have much hope this time.”
“I didn’t… I didn’t mean to be harsh. But my little boy has been talking non-stop about his new best friend, and I would hate to tell him that she wasn’t coming back.”
Ororo smiled. “I am glad you’re there for her. Someone needs to show her that it is possible to succeed, or at least survive. But if… if there’s any help you think she needs, I would appreciate it if you would call me. We were friends when we were children, and her experiences might give her a drastic idea of the hardships involved. I would be grateful for any chance to assist.”
“Yes, of course. I’ll call you for that.”
Ororo froze, worried she had been too specific. It would be awkward to interact as only ‘Emily’s friend,’ selfish, almost. “Or for yourself, of course. I would not mind speaking with you again.” Ororo was surprised at the words that had spilled from her lips. But she meant them. There was something charmingly easy about JJ’s conversation, and forgiving, even when she managed to embarrass herself. And she had so few friends; one more could not hurt.
“I… I wouldn’t either. Please call if you’d like.”
* * *
JJ set down the phone, trying to hold down the thrill she always got when meeting someone new, making that connection. It had been an odd call. Emily’s friend was very formal, but her voice was beautiful and modulated. She could have listened to it for hours.
She flushed and went to find Will and Henry. Will’s explanation would have to come next.
* * *
“Ah! It’s the limo! See, I told you!”
The chauffeur was staring open-mouthed at the apparition and had forgotten to open the door. Emily smirked, glancing up at Emma.
“Do they let you keep servants here?”
“Of course not,” Emma snorted, “the bourgeois rabble. I had to call nearly an hour ago for the car.”
She pushed past the immobilized chauffeur and opened the door herself, picking up Deirdre and setting her inside. “No shoes on the seat.”
And then held it open for Emily, who laughed at her. “Still smiling now that they’ve taken your tax cuts away?”
“Why not? They’ve given the money to the banks, so I still get to watch the proletariat starve.”
The chauffeur eventually recovered and began the drive into town. Emma glanced over at Emily who was watching Deirdre take apart the car phone with general trepidation. Emily looked up and apologized and asked a question with a single wince. Emma ignored it. She didn’t care. Car phones were about twenty years out of date by now.
“You don’t need money.”
Emily shook her head. “I haven’t done the finances yet, but it’s not something I really have to worry about.”
“You won’t have to sell stock?’
“I doubt it.”
“Don’t,” said Emma with flat finality.
Emily raised her eyebrows. “Okay?”
“You know what I mean.”
“I know.” Emily grinned. “I just want you to say it.”
Emma glared. “Fine. If you suffer any shortfall of capital, you are to contact me immediately. In fact, I will give you the number for my accountant, or, perhaps I should just…”
“Emma! Emma. I’ll be fine. I haven’t even looked at my inheritance. This is not an issue.”
Emma shook her head. “If you say so. But I am serious. Do not do anything idiotic, like sending her to public school.”
Emily chuckled. “What’s wrong with public school?”
“No, honestly. I’ve heard Banneker is really good.”
“You have never set foot in a public school in your life. Unless there was a murder there. Which is not actually a positive argument.”
“Neither have you.”
“Oh yes I have. I taught in South Boston for three years. It was horrifying. Even worse than my previous stint with menial labor.”
Emily hid her grin and acquiesced. “Okay, no public schools.”
“Actually…” Emma frowned, lost in thought. “I want you to let me choose. That age group is not my specialty, but I know some people in the field who are respected. I’ll pay for it, if you let me.”
“It’s your area of expertise. Please, go ahead.”
“When she’s ten or eleven you’ll have to send her here, to me, or wherever I am.” She paused. “If I’m not around… I’ll write you a list of qualified counselors, trustworthy ones. No one should go through that time alone.”
Emma turned and looked at her fiercely. “You need to be prepared for this. And I can’t promise to be there.”
“Neither can I.”
“You had better.”
“It doesn’t work like that! You know that! If it’s me-“
“You’re keeping your job?”
Emily glowered. “Oh, no. You do not get to use this as an excuse to let your paranoia run wild again.”
“It’s not paranoia if I keep visiting you in the hospital.”
“Don’t fight please?” Didi crawled into Emma’s lap. The stiffness fell from Emma’s shoulders and her hands stroked the hair back from the tiny girl’s face. “Are you coming home with us, M’ma? I don’t like Court.”
Emma sighed and leaned back in the seat, stricken to the core. Emily met her eyes, and matched them with the same helpless desperation.
* * *
Emily decided that it was absolutely unfair. Emma’s poise amongst chaos was perfect. She spoke to Deirdre as if she were an adult, and Deirdre responded in the same manner. (Unlike with Emily to whom she responded as if she were speaking to a particularly idiotic child.)
Then of course came the lesson on how to speak to wait-staff, and Emily realized that she was incredibly glad that she was the one who had defacto custody, or Deirdre was going to turn into her mother.
She hadn’t thought about her mother in this whirlwind of activity. Emily wondered what she would say if she were still alive. The first time… she had been so horrified and sickened by the idea that Emily hadn’t been able to bring herself to tell her what had really happened. Let her think that her daughter had some secret Italian boyfriend, better than knowing that she was a drunken slut who let herself get manhandled outside a Discoteca.
She wondered what life had been like for her double, what had been different, when it had all changed. If it had been true and she had been a slave, been Emma’s slave… Emily gritted her teeth, not turned on, she was not turned on.
“Emily, please accompany the young lady to the restroom.”
Well, actually it probably wouldn’t be that different from what it was now.
* * *
“I want M’ma to read to me!”
Ororo had intercepted them on their return and said that “Jennifer” had called, and gotten Emily the rest of the week off work, and offered to prepare rooms if they were staying the night. Emma had responded in no uncertain terms that they would stay with her, and Emily had found the staring contest that followed rather diverting.
Emma had made up a bed on the sofa for Deirdre, but she resisted getting in until her story was read. Emily proffered the book, and Emma took it, brusquely. She sat on the floor and allowed Didi to squirm into her lap. Emily lay on her side across from them and watched, astonished and mystified at the situation.
Didi stayed alert through a story and a half, but then started to get sleepy. Finally they got her into bed and slipped out, Emily’s hand tangled in Emma’s, tugging her into the next room. The door clicked shut and a moment later Emma’s back made a soft thud against it.
Emily, still clinging to her collar where she had pulled herself up, broke the kiss. Emma gaped, and tried to catch her breath.
Emily pushed off her toes and pressed her body into Emma’s. “It’s just really irritating that you’re so good at this.”
Emma grinned. “You don’t seem irritated.”
“I am.” She wrapped her arms around Emma’s shoulders and tipped her head forward as Emma’s hands slid down to her thighs and lifted. She carried her easily through the darkness to the vast expanse of bed.
In the morning, the bed had three occupants.
* * *
Garcia had taken a disgusting number of pictures of Didi on her camera phone, and they were doing the rounds of the BAU.
Morgan squealed in a very unmanly way when he spotted them. Reid just gaped.
“What? But… what?”
Garcia arched an eyebrow. “You speak English?”
“Nononono! Look at her. This is impossible. Utterly, utterly impossible. See the teeth, look at the teeth, full set of baby teeth, can’t be any older than five, six at the most. And Emily’s been with us five years. We would have known, we would have seen something. Even if she gave her up in the hospital, you can’t just hide that. But what if she’s three?” He seemed suddenly struck by a shock of horror. “What if… what if she was already pregnant before Genosha was attacked, and then she took so much time off, and was acting strange. Maybe they had met, and,” he faded out of the world, only coming back to mutter something like “nefarious experiments” and then go off again.
Morgan hugged the picture to his chest. “Oh, this isn’t fair!” he cried. “I want to be a daddy!”
Jordan pricked up her ears and stuck her head out of the office. “Pictures?” She strode over. “She’s Emily’s?” she asked, pushing her hair back over her shoulder. “Oh my god, she’s darling! Who’s the father?”
Penelope frowned. “Did you ever meet Emma?”
Jordan only blinked once in surprise. “You mean the…” she stood as tall as she could, crossed her arms, and looked imperious, “one?”
Garcia grinned and nodded. “That one.”
“I didn’t realize…” she frowned and looked more closely at Deirdre. “There’s something mutanty going on with this, isn’t there?”
Reid dropped his pen. “Wait! Alternate universes!”
Morgan raised his eyebrows and patted his shoulder. “Dude, you need to lay off the caffeine.”
“No! No! It's the only way it makes sense!”
Garcia gave Jordan a picture of Deirdre hitting Henry over the head with a stick.
“Oh! She’s so cute!” Morgan batted his eyelashes at her. Jordan shoved the photo into his chest with a glare. “Not a chance.”
JJ came rushing in, a little late, and spotted the gathering by the photos. She looked from them, to Garcia, to the cooing federal agents, and sighed. “Emily is going to kill us.”
She spotted Hotch coming in and hurried towards the bathroom to hide. She was too late. He had spotted the photos, and identified them with inhuman speed.
“JJ! My office!”
* * *