Fandom: X-Men/Criminal Minds
Pairing: Emma Frost/Emily Prentiss
Disclaimer: I do not own X-Men or Criminal Minds. There will be a cameo by a character from another fandom as well. I, however, was not the first person to cross over these two fandoms, and am completely stealing the idea from Argentine's Jubilee and Fifty-Foot Janine. (Another fic which is hugely better than mine, and I consider to be basically canon).
Apologies: I meant to post more of this before i wandered off into Fake Empire territory, so it might be difficult to remember that this is 3 years earlier and picks up not long after 9 Crimes leaves off. There are no small children, and so fewer rainbows and puppies and more irritating adults.
I also don't know how the plot is going to unfold, but if i don't get comments i won't write it, so i suppose we'll find out together.
Summary: Emily's mother is dead, but her memory lives on, as does her desire to manipulate Emily's life away from serial killers and towards politics. But sometimes, serial killers and politicians are not that far removed.
A card fell out of the pile of mail that Emily had carted up the stairs. It was a thick pile of magazines and coupon listings after a week chasing a pair of serial killers in Chicago. She let out an ‘oof’ as she stooped to get it, nearly too exhausted to push herself back up.
Tossing the junk onto the coffee table, she flopped into the sofa and opened the card.
“Dear Ms. Prentiss,” it read, printed in embossed calligraphic script. “You are cordially invited to the gala ball and yearly meeting of the Home and Family Coalition. This year’s ball is in honor of the late Ambassador Elizabeth Prentiss. Please write donation checks to Home and Family Coalition, c/o Chairman Richard Kimble.”
Emily swallowed hard and her eyes fell to the spiky masculine handwriting below.
“Dear Emily, I was horrified to learn of your mother’s passing, and may have pulled a few strings to have her memory be the center of this conference. She truly was a martyr for the cause of peaceful co-existence. I would love to see you there, and there would be an opportunity to meet many of the people who prized your mother. Although I’m certain there will be an opportunity for you to give a speech, no need for you to do so! Please give it a thought.
Your Uncle Edward.”
Emily sank into the cushions and pressed her fingers into her forehead. The funeral was over. She had answered all the condolence cards months ago. She had been so busy with everything else going on in her life, that she hadn’t even thought about her mother for weeks, more than in passing, as she always did when buying new clothes (her critical comments in her ear) or just looking at herself in the mirror (the same).
The Home and Family Coalition was an odd political organization. It wasn’t affiliated with a single party, and in fact had higher-ups as members from every party except the Communists. She had been dragged to meetings as a child, and nearly died of boredom, because everyone was friendly and convivial and lying all the time. To her it had seemed like a social club with the Prentiss’ usual associates with some strange ill-defined political motive. Her father hadn’t liked the group though. It had been one of the things her parents fought about before and after they separated. But her mother had never missed a meeting.
Her Uncle Edward was actually her mother’s uncle. He hadn’t made it to the funeral. She hadn’t seen him in years. She didn’t want to go. She couldn’t stand politics and politicians. But it wouldn’t be easy to say no.
She should have been able to sleep. She was so utterly exhausted, but she couldn’t relax. The three am phone calls had become fewer in the past two months, with longer expanses of time elapsing in between, but tonight, when the clock blinked from 2:59 to 3:00 and Emily was still lying awake, she was the one who pressed send.
“Hello, Emily.” Emma’s voice was low and a bit gravelly, and Emily wondered if she had woken her up, but that was one of the questions they weren’t allowed to ask.
“Tell me something.”
“Hmm.” Emma considered. “Well, I had an interesting piece of news the other day. A former student of mine, a troublemaker to the bone, is now working as an aide to a California state senator. I am actually terrified.”
Emily laughed. “What did he do?”
“She, I’m afraid. The females of the species are always worse than the males. She liked to pretend that her mutant ability was to create pretty sparkles, but in truth it was destroying electronic equipment. She took out every computer in the school once.”
“I sent my apologies to the state senate.”
“Do you have many students who go into politics?”
“I wouldn’t say many. It’s never an easy route for a mutant.”
“I always hated political society. Lies, smiling and drinking with your enemies. Using people for what they can give you. Bombing the countries of your friends, but no hard feelings, because it was purely a political decision.”
“You should try corporate circles, darling. Then you’d understand what cutthroat really means.”
Emily smiled, knowing Emma couldn’t see its weakness. “You never talk about your family.”
“No. I’d rather not violate your ears with such an ugly topic.”
“Mine wasn’t that easy.”
“When did your father die?”
Emily froze, and then frowned. “He left when I was eight, then died when I was eleven.”
“I wish my father had died when I was eleven. My life would have been so different.”
“It was hard. My mother… she pulled away when he left, disappeared into her work. And when he died she wouldn’t speak to me or look at me for years. And when she did, it was like she didn’t know me.”
“As far back as I can remember my mother was lost in a haze of happy pills and vodka. I don’t blame her. She had to live with my father.”
“Dead. Like Marilyn Monroe: sleeping pills and sedatives, with a chaser of vodka. She would have been pleased. It was ruled a suicide, to my father’s irritation, lost all that insurance money.” She laughed. “But it was probably an accident. Really the miracle wasn’t that she died, but that she lived as long as she did like that.”
“Don’t pity me for that. Pity me that my father, the devil take him, is still walking this earth. God, I wish he were dead.”
Emily was silent. She wished they weren’t so far apart. She couldn’t read her face from here, or put her arms around her and hold her whether she liked it or not. The crisis was obvious in Emma’s voice, but although she had caused it, she couldn’t stop it.
“Is that enough?” Emma spat bitterly. “Or did you want to know more about the childhood that produced one madman and three sociopaths?”
“I love you.”
Dead silence. A long hiss of breath.
“Fucking hell, Emily! Don’t just… do that!”
Emily did smile this time. “Sorry. I wanted to shut you up.”
Emma’s voice had grown quiet. “Why did you call tonight?”
They had already broken all the rules, what was one more?
“I was invited to a conference, a gala ball in honor of my mother.”
“They’re politicians. They want to make her into a martyr for the mutant cause, just because of how she died. She was doing her job, because that’s all she did. And fine, use her as a symbol, as a point of integration, but I don’t want anything to do with it.”
“You’re going, aren’t you?”
Emily blinked. “I…”
“It’s the Home and Family Coalition, in New York, isn’t it? Have you chosen a hotel yet?”
“I haven’t even agreed to go yet!”
“There should be room left at the Hilton. I’ll make certain. I would just have you in mine, but that would be unseemly, I suppose.”
“What? You didn’t think they wouldn’t invite one of their largest contributors, did you?”
Emily laughed with relief.
* * *
Garcia was disgusted by the amount of abusive language used towards mutants in the private emails of government officials and even widespread memos in certain departments. Muties, mutant freaks, just freaks, talking about registration, elimination, keeping the national news away from information about lynchings and murder.
It wasn’t even that secret, just like the old boys talk about faggots and girly-men. She wondered how many secret mutants like her were in those departments, having to listen to this shit all the time. She was lucky that her team wasn’t like that. It helped that none of them were particularly normal to begin with. Even JJ was coming around to a degree that Garcia was considering telling her. They were such good friends that it always felt to her like an elephant in the room. She was just worried that after she told her it would change from being an elephant only she could see, to one particularly vivid to them both.
But as of yet, she had only found evidence of normal prejudice. She hadn’t seen signs of any nefarious plots. Even the pro-registration people were merely trying to draft a new resolution, and would wait for an opportune time to introduce it, rather than manufacture one. After New York there was a flurry of legislation passed, but Garcia had managed to infect one of their emails with a virus that handily deleted all the related files, slowing down their progress until the flurry had passed and the legislation was again considered reactionary.
She thought she trusted the system, but she knew about disaster politics. Crises were dangerous times, especially with this presidential regime in power. And Sage wasn’t entirely wrong. If she trusted the government to be able to change, she knew it could change for the worse as well as the better.
There was only one that struck her as slightly odd. It was from a very pro-mutant candidate complaining about the new junior state senator from his district. It contained a lot of mutant abuse. But when Garcia read it closely it seemed that the real motivation was a combination of him being irritated by her being more intelligent than him, female, young, and uninterested in subordinating herself to her seniors. It was pretty vicious though, and the girl was one of the few members of government that had been elected openly as a mutant. She was already a target.
Garcia flagged the correspondence for her spider-bot to take a closer look at.
* * *
“Emily’s not here?” JJ stepped into the meeting room with a stack of files.
“Nope,” replied Morgan. “She’s heading up to New York today for a big party this weekend, the lucky duck.”
“A party?” JJ slid into her seat. Then shook her head. It was none of her business. “Too bad. There’s this case…”
“We pull more mutants?” asked Reid.
* * *
It was a strange case. The Sacramento PD didn’t want the news getting around, so they only asked for a consult, a basic profile that they could work with to catch the perpetrator. Homeless people were being murdered, indiscriminately. Their bodies were left on the steps of the state senate, in local neighborhood parks, one in the bathroom of a public library. All of the victims appeared human.
The police had assumed it was a violent psychopath, and had posted extra officers to keep an eye out. But so far, there was no luck. Also the method of killing was surprisingly dainty. The first few had gone unreported as murders because the COD was an overdose, which homeless people had a habit of dying of all the time.
It was only when someone reported a struggle between a small cloaked figure and an old man that they put it together. Officers had rushed to the scene, but the old man was dead and the anonymous caller had disappeared along with the murderer.
Then the email came to police headquarters. It said that the murders were cleaning up society, getting rid of the lowest form of sapiens to pave the way for the development of the species.
That was when the Sacramento PD decided they needed help.
* * *