Fandom: Criminal Minds (eventually X-Men)
Pairing: Emily Prentiss (eventually Emma Frost)
Summary: When one person travels into an alternate universe a thousand others are created. What if Didi showed up without a time slip on Emily's doorstep, in a world without mutants? What would a twenty-five year old Emily do?
Apologies: So, this was forgotten in the mists of time, wasn't it? But here's a bit of it, just for fun.
Emily was not someone who prided herself on her rapport with children. In fact although she found children to be pitiable moving creatures, she felt sad when she heard that one had died, and she could never watch those ‘please donate to our Christian charity which helps children with disfiguring and life-threatening diseases’ shows without tearing up and feeling vaguely exploited, but generally she liked there to be a fence or at least a good ten yards in between herself and the next one over. There were never more torturous moments when she was stuck in a waiting room with a hyperactive six-year-old, sitting with her knees together, stiff, and just hoping they wouldn’t see her as a bouncy castle that needed climbing on.
So, when faced with a small bundle of cloth and hair lying on her porch, her first instinct was to poke it with a stick. But, unfortunately, the gardening service had been by, and there were no sticks immediately available. So she took the next option and leaned over, touching the sleeping child’s shoulder with a nearly imperceptible touch. Her next touch was a little firmer, until she shook the child physically.
The girl mumbled something incomprehensible and curled into herself. She blinked, and reached out towards Emily with small arms, and fingers so tiny that Emily forgot to pull away. They were icy when they touched her face.
“Mommy, I wann sleep.” She reached out again, and Emily finally realized that she wanted to be picked up.
“Who are you?”
“Mo-mmy!” The word turned into a wail, and Emily hurriedly scooped the child up, holding her awkwardly in her hands. But the girl squirmed until Emily brought her to her shoulder, and then she curled into her warmth. “Mommy, I’z cold.”
God, she couldn’t let a child freeze to death on her porch. She brought her inside and set her down on her bed, covering her with the extra blanket, and then she called the police.
* * *
“That’s the kid?” asked the old police detective. He looked at the innocent face of the sleeping child and then up at the woman who was clearly inches away from a panic attack. “She does look a bit like you. Do you think she could have been dropped off by someone you know?”
Emily’s face twisted as she tried to think of someone she knew who might by some odd twist of fate be forced to leave their daughter on her doorstep. “I don’t think I know anyone with kids.”
“Oookay.” The detective tapped his pen on his notepad. “Are you sure you want her taken to a home? This might be one of those mysteries that solves themselves. She doesn’t match any descriptions of missing children in the area. You’re a government employee, right? You look after her, save the state some cash.”
“But, but what are you going to do about finding her parents?”
“How about I take a DNA swab and run it through the database? I’ll check the national missing children records too, all right? But she looks to be in pretty good shape, so it might not have been reported yet. I’ll keep your number on speed dial, all right lady?”
He raised an eyebrow. “Agent.”
* * *
Emily awoke oddly the next morning. Her back and her neck ached from sleeping sitting up, and something was poking her in the nose.
“Mommy. I’z hungry.” The girl crawled into her lap. “Where’s M’ma?” She cocked her head to the side. “Why you sleeping funny?”
“What?” Emily made out in a half-asleep whisper.
“Mommy. Didi’z hungry.”
“Didi?” Emily frowned at the girl-child.
It was difficult to not submit to the imperious shriek, and Emily managed to get to her feet. “Okay, okay. Breakfast.” She frowned as the girl pushed past her, heading unerringly towards the kitchen. “I’m not your mother.”
The girl looked back at her and blinked once, not impressed. “I want pancakes.”
* * *
Didi was unimpressed by her oddly shaped half-charred pancakes with jam, but she ate them, disapprovingly.
“I need potty!”
Emily followed the child to the bathroom and stood blankly as Didi raised her arms and stood with pointed intent.
“Take it off!”
Emily fumbled awkwardly with the odd garment. It was something between a coat and a cloak, and she managed to find the buckle. It came off and a crumpled bit of paper fell to the floor.
“Pants!” Didi stated decisively, and Emily looked askance at her.
“You can’t do that for yourself?”
Didi stuck out her lower lip. “Mommy do it!”
Emily gave in. After turning away while she did her business, she lifted her up to wash her hands. Then Didi ran off, and Emily picked up the sheet of paper, and followed her, reading.
“What on Earth?”
* * *