Title: Lycanthropy (Part 5)
Fandom: X-Men/Criminal Minds x-over
Pairing: Emma Frost/Peter Parker, Emma Frost/Emily Prentiss
AN/Disclaimer: Not my girls.
Word Count: 3935
Prompt: 034. Animalistic
Apologies: Just one more part to go! On track for posting it tomorrow! It just needs a read through and a bit of fleshing. And I managed to do a little original fiction work today too. Yay me! This is the beginning of the dramatic denouement! Um, enjoy?
Excessively Dramatic Summary: Love is just a symptom of a disease, a disease that makes you want to kill.
“Hi.” Garcia stood in front of the desk, gaping.
Miss Hartley gave her a sharp look over the rims of her glasses. “What do you need?”
Penelope’s mouth was still partly open. “Is that a linux-based rig with an IBM 104 clicky and-“ she bent to peek under the desk. “Four processing units?”
“Is it overclocked?”
Miss Hartley raised a single eyebrow as if inquiring why it mattered. “Of course.”
Emily peeked out of her office and made a face. “Garcia? What’s up?”
Penelope glanced desperately between her and Miss Hartley’s computer. Miss Hartley gave a slight gesture and Garcia ducked past her desk and into Emily’s office. She shut the door. “Your secretary is awesome! How dare you quit your job!”
“She’s not my secretary. And she has nothing to do with me leaving. I have to leave.”
“It’s about the girl,” Garcia said flatly.
“She’s not a girl.”
“Whatever. Why are you leaving town? If she isn’t interested, find someone else!”
“I can’t. You know I can’t. I don’t know how it works, or why, but she’s my mate. She’s it. That ‘not dating’ advice was unnecessary, because there isn’t anyone else I want. There isn’t anyone else I can want.”
Emily frowned, not meeting her eyes. “It’s not love. I can smell her from three rooms away, and it’s like it goes straight past me, straight to the wolf, and I want her.”
Garcia looked at her intently, frowning. “The wolf? You never called it that before.”
Emily shrugged roughly. “That’s what everyone else says it is. I know it’s just a disease, something wrong with me. But it doesn’t always feel that way.”
“Why can’t you have her?”
“She doesn’t want me. She has a fiancé, who’s nice, someone that she actually cares for. Isn’t that better than some unbreakable unwanted shackle, bound to someone you don’t even know?”
“Not really.” Garcia met her eyes and wouldn’t let her look away. “You can always fall out of love with someone, but you’ll never stop wanting her, or needing to protect her, will you?”
Emily shook her head. “Maybe. It doesn’t mean I know how to be nice though.”
“Well, maybe if you released the sexual tension you wouldn’t feel obligated to be such a bitch.”
* * *
“The new drugs aren’t working.” Emily said softly over the phone. Emma stilled at the sound of her voice and didn’t reply. “They make my head all fuzzy. I can’t think. It doesn’t stop the anger, and I’m useless. There was a parent in today, yelling at me, asking why her darling daughter was failing math. It was because she hadn’t done her homework in six months, and I could feel the anger and frustration rising up. The medication turned it into a blinding headache, but it just distracted me. I couldn’t think; I couldn’t pull back anymore. And I would have attacked her if Miss Hartley hadn’t suddenly come in and pulled her away.”
“You shouldn’t take those drugs anymore.”
“You’re my doctor now?” Emily barked, and then swallowed guiltily. “Shit.”
Emma shook her head. “You should get off of them. They’re clearly less effective than your old drugs, which hardly worked themselves.”
“Are they?” Emily asked weakly. “Or am I just getting worse? If I go off of them…”
“Maybe you are getting worse, but that doesn’t mean you can’t control it.” Emma’s voice was sharp, and Emily blinked, confused.
“I’ve been reading, and… it seems that although certain mood stabilizers and sedatives can reduce symptoms, they are only treating symptoms. Meditation, running, being outdoors, that’s where you can control it. You have to understand the way it’s changing you, and let it teach you how to change your habits in accordance.”
“Are you joking?” Emily frowned. “It’s a disease. You saw me, you guessed what I could have done to you. You can’t understand it.”
“You can listen to me or not! But I did see you, I saw your mouth and your eyes, and there is no way that can be the result of a hormone imbalance. But you called me, and that’s all I have to say to you!”
Emma hung up with a sharp click. Emily stared at the dead phone for a long moment, a hopeless little “oh” coming out of her chest. She hung up the receiver and dropped back into her pillows. She wanted to cry, and she felt the ache in her fingers and her tailbone that could so easily turn into anger. She didn’t reach for her Epipen though, she just clung to the sheets and breathed in, counting the beats of her heart in each inhale and exhale.
In the morning she broke the dose in half. She wasn’t stupid or inexperienced enough to go cold turkey.
* * *
“Emma? Are you okay?” Peter mumbled, half asleep. His hand moved to her shoulder and she jerked away.
“Don’t touch me!” she snapped. He blinked in surprised, almost waking up fully. She slipped out of bed and took a deep breath. “Sorry,” she said. “I- I need some water.”
She bypassed the kitchen, the bathroom, and her shoes. Her house was only a few blocks from the fields at the edge of town, and she barely noticed the night-cold pavement under her feet. She ran faster, loping easily, not breathing hard at all in the cool air, chasing the moonlight, and the soles of her feet touched grass. Her chest lightened at the softness, the reality of it, and she hardly noticed when she started running on all fours.
“Mmm,” Peter mumbled when she came back. “You smell like pollen,” he said, and sneezed twice while still asleep.
* * *
Apparently wolves had been spotted near the town. Emily glanced down at the pamphlet thrust into her hand by a small child. “Save the grey wolf,” it said. “Benefits of natural predators, reduction in the deer population, a sustainable ecosystem, will not attack farm animals.”
“They don’t mention the reduction in the stray cat population,” Emma said, appearing behind her suddenly. Emily gasped and dropped her pamphlet. She hadn’t scented her approach.
“What-“ She scooped up the paper and looked down at it, feeling ill. “What if it’s me?”
Emma looked at her. “You’d remember,” she said. “I’d remember if it were me.” She disappeared down the hall. Emily gasped a little, trying to breathe in uncontaminated air. She couldn’t last like this, but she had her tickets to her mother’s house in Virginia at the end of the week. Just three more days and this would be over.
* * *
She couldn’t lie to herself anymore. Emma had told herself over and over again that the constant hydration and iron supplements were just in case. They were good for her anyways. The advice had made it sound so easy, but it wasn’t easy, not when she could smell everything. That was what made the nausea constant, the garbage, the people, the horrible acrid scent of perfume and cologne. She had thrown out everything scented from her bathroom and vanity. Peter walked in the door and she had to cover her face with one hand and then shove him towards the bathroom with the other. “New soap,” she managed to say. “Wash thoroughly.” Utterly bemused, he obeyed.
She also hated the way her eyes would flick to black and white right when she needed to choose her outfit. Sticking to all white helped. The muscles in her arms and legs ached as if begging her to use them. She remembered the way Emily had fled past her window on the day of their first meeting. She had dreams about running, and sometimes she would wake up with burrs on the cuffs of her pajama pants and twigs in her hair.
Peter had come upon her wrecking her refrigerator, looking for something that she wanted to eat. Eventually she found an abandoned tin of Bovril sitting at the very back, made it, and drank it down like it was nectar. Peter had turned green at the smell and made an excuse about work before fleeing.
The doctor, the pages she had read, neither hadn’t had the answers she needed. It was already so hard to stay away from Emily, so much harder than it had been at the beginning, and the ache didn’t let up when they were far apart. It was less than when she could smell her but not see her, or see her and not reach her, but it was still there. What she had read suggested that it would hurt for the infected one, but it would be manageable. Eventually, she would hardly notice it at all. But if it was both of them… She didn’t know if it would be worse, but she was terrified that the happy little comments about ‘best case scenario’ and ‘slight pain’ would suddenly be thrown out the window.
The woods were close and she didn’t feel like trails, she tied her hair back, tugged down the waist of her thin tank-top and set out. It was like meditation, one step, two steps, four, ten, and she slipped out of the driver’s seat, letting the wolf lope joyfully through the trees.
* * *
Peter stood in the grocery store, in the ice cream isle, perusing the section unhappily. It was really obvious that Emma was feeling sick, but it had been more than a week now and he worried that she was pushing herself too hard right after the flu she had had. He took out a box of dove bars and considered them, then sighed and reached to put them back.
“I’ll take those, if you don’t mind.”
Peter turned with a start toward the pleasant feminine voice. A young blonde woman was standing behind him, leaning on her shopping cart. He offered her the box and she took it, and put it in her car. “I’m sorry,” he said. “Was I blocking you?”
The woman laughed. “Well, it wasn’t boring at least. I have to say I was wondering what you were thinking about in your contemplation of ice cream.”
Peter glanced toward the case and then back to the woman. “It’s my girlfriend,” he said. “My fiancée,” he clarified, and looked rather surprised at his own words. “She hasn’t been feeling well lately and I was trying to think of something that she would like.”
“How sweet! I hope there’s nothing wrong.”
“I don’t think so. She’s been getting over the flu. It’s sort of been…” he frowned. “She’s more angry than usual, and her skin is hot, and she can’t sleep. She has lots of headaches and I’m worried it’s affecting her eyesight.”
The woman looked concerned. “I-“ she started. “I have a friend who’s, well, she has ups and downs, mood swings and headaches like that. But,” she caught his arm all of a sudden and started tugging Peter down the aisle. “When she’s feeling kind of low, she likes this.” She pointed to the extra large tapioca ball tapioca pudding sitting next to the orange juice. “She says the balls are like gristle.”
Peter looked at her, shocked. “What?”
“Uhhh, I said, um, griiisjun,” the woman corrected quickly, “A German children’s candy. Not gristle. They, um, remind her of her childhood, in, uh, Germany,” she tried.
Peter glanced at her and then at the puddings. It was worth a shot. “Thank you,” he said, taking one off the shelf. “Miss…“
“Jareau,” the woman said, and then grinned embarrassedly. “Only my students call me Miss Jareau. I’m JJ.”
“Peter.” They shook hands.
* * *
Being off the drugs was getting easier. Emma was right. She couldn’t deal with her, but the rest of it, the anger and anxiety, dealing with people, they were almost manageable with deep breathing and escaping out to the woods behind the soccer fields at lunch time. It was strange how much more at peace she felt in the woods.
It was Friday, and she leaned back against the tree, enjoying the way the sun lit the leaves above her from behind. She had the last of JJ’s tapioca puddings in her hand, a spoonful of it in her mouth. Her plane left at five the next day, and it was an hour to the airport. At least one school had shown interest at having her fill in for the end of the year for a counselor on maternity leave. But it was in an inner city high school in Chicago she wasn’t certain if she could handle that, particularly without medication. It was going to hurt to leave here. She liked it up here. The town was large enough to have a separate middle school and high school, but a few miles away from downtown there was nothing but fields and trees, huge expanses of empty land. The first few weeks she had biked out every weekend, but she had felt too terrible lately to do it. Now that she was off the drugs she felt better. Maybe she could take a ride this afternoon or tomorrow morning if she had time.
She took the last bite of pudding and then glanced around, but she was deep enough into the woods that nobody could see her, so she licked around the edge of the pudding cup, gathering up all the remnants. If she relaxed her tongue was just long enough to reach the bottom, and she cleaned it thoroughly. There was a prickle from the back of her neck as other effects beside her longer tongue were triggered, but there was no one to see her here, no one to humiliate her like Emma had when she had shown the doctor the way the fur was starting to peek up out of her cuffs. It wasn’t long or thick yet, and it went away sometimes, not of course when she wanted it to.
She closed her eyes, leaning back against the tree, rubbing her back against the bark though her shirt. It felt excellent. Her mind drifted like she was meditating, through the trees, in and out of puddles of sun. She breathed in and a smile curled across her face. She knew that scent and the sound of those footfalls.
The wolf looked over. Emma was standing in the trees, sweat glistening on the expanse skin that showed nearly everywhere. She was only wearing a soaked ribbed tanktop, her sports bra completely visible underneath and white nylon running shorts. Her hair was sticking to the back of her neck, darkened with sweat and curling slightly, and Emily just couldn’t help the sudden swell of joy that rose up inside.
“Emma!” She popped up to her feet, happily, and threw her arms around the taller woman’s neck, tugging her down so she could press her nose into the slick patch of sweat layered on the back of her neck. “You’re here!”
* * *
Emma hadn’t intended to find her, but tired out she had walked aimlessly, and pushed though a few branches to find her, sitting under a tree, looking up at the leaves, looking happy. She had taken one more step, unable to look away. And then Emily had looked over, something unrecognizable in her eyes, and yet it was the same unrecognizable thing that was always there, only this time stronger, and not tense or unhappy or angry, just there, looking at her from inside. And then Emily was up, clinging to her, hanging off her neck, and Emma felt a low deep purr in her chest respond to her nearness.
She struggled to free herself half-heartedly. “Emily!” She cupped the backs of her arms, trying to get a look at her face. But Emily just nuzzled more, leaving kisses and nips on her cheek and neck.
“I love the way you smell!” she exclaimed, as if it was the only thing she could say at that moment. She pulled back slightly, cocking her head at Emma’s incredulous expression. “And your eyebrows! And-“ she leaned in and licked up Emma’s neck. “And the way you taste!”
“Emily! What are you on today?” Emily blinked. Emma laughed at her, but she just grinned back, clearly having no idea why.
“Nothing! I didn’t take my meds today!” She licked Emma’s face affectionately. “I hate them. They make me feel ick.” She pouted, and Emma smiled, eyeing her with slight apprehension, but enjoying the playfulness. She pressed a finger against the tip of Emily’s nose, holding her back from making more forays with her tongue.
“I thought I made you feel ick.”
Emily looked at her adoringly. Usually Emma would be horrified by such blatant affection, but it was like a dog, it wasn’t manipulative or pathetic, it was just ‘I need you to survive,’ and Emma could understand that. “You? You make me feel like the world is all better, like it’s not dire and dark and doomed. You make things bright.”
“I know what you mean,” Emma said, tracing a finger up the back of her neck and curling into her hair. Emily suddenly looked sad.
“Your fiancé?” She tried to twist away but Emma caught her arms, holding her firmly.
“No.” Emma tugged her closer. She hesitated for a moment, but she needed to say it, consciously she needed to say it, because unconsciously all she wanted was to cling to her and press her nose into her neck and prove it. “You. It’s about you.”
Emily looked stunned and a little broken, and Emma leaned in and pressed her lips gently, chastely, against Emily’s. Emily whimpered a little. It made something dark and desperate twist in Emma’s stomach and she was no longer sure who was in control.
“He told me… he told me that if I didn’t touch you, maybe this would be okay, maybe I could survive it.”
Emma curled an arm around her shoulders and the other around her waist. “Do you really want to survive this?”
“No,” Emily whispered, and leaned in, letting their lips touch without making it a kiss. She breathed out, and Emma inhaled her breath. Emma’s hand slipped under her shirt up her back into unexpected softness.
“Don’t!” Emily jerked away from her and tripped backwards over a root, falling onto her ass and making an unhappy whimper. Emma stood over her, frowning.
“I don’t- you don’t want to touch that.” Emma dropped to her knees and reached for the buttons on her shirt. “I said don’t!” Emily lashed out and Emma ducked her head but didn’t move away, letting the cuff strike her in the shoulder. It was a heavy blow, but it didn’t have claws. She didn’t mean it. She reached forward again, unbuttoning the shirt. Emily didn’t try to stop her again, but she wouldn’t meet her eyes. When it was open, Emma pushed it to her shoulders. “Please stop. I don’t want you to see.”
“I want to.” Emma slipped the shirt off, exposing pale skin and dark thick fur. It was gorgeous. Emily glanced down hurriedly.
“God, it’s gotten worse.”
“Better I think,” Emma purred. She moved quickly catching Emily off guard. It had to be fast and tricky, because she wouldn’t win in a fair fight. She flipped her onto her stomach and straddled her, keeping her down. “Got you.”
The fur was long and thick between her shoulder blades, falling in a zigzag pattern down her back, bristling up over the bifurcation of her bra straps. Emma unfastened the bra, shoving it away, and buried her hands in the fur. It was lush and soft, and she let it bristle up between her fingers as she moved her hands against the grain up Emily’s back. Emily gasped and lay still and Emma felt a pleased growl rumble in her throat. She bent her head, pressing her nose into the fur, breathing it in. She couldn’t stop touching it. She rubbed her cheek against it and tugged at it with her teeth. Emily gave a little whimper in response.
It still wasn’t close enough and Emma pulled her damp clinging tank top off over her head and then her bra and molded her body against Emily’s back. She curled her fingers around Emily’s arms, pulling her self up so that the fur bit into her sweat-sticky skin, rough against her nipples, and making her growl in pleasure. It was too much. She squirmed futilely, trying to get just a little more, enough to satisfy the wolf, and then she bit down on Emily’s shoulder, with teeth sharp enough to draw blood. Emily jerked at the sudden pain, pushing herself up to hands and knees, trying to throw her off, but Emma shoved her hips into her ass, grinding against her, and used the opportunity to shove a hand down the front of her trousers.
Emily could complain all she wanted that she didn’t want Emma to see her fur, but she couldn’t deny that being petted turned her on. She was slick and liquid down there, and the scent of it overwhelmed her. When Emily felt fingers slide into her, she flopped ungracefully back onto her stomach, but it was too late. The heel of Emma’s hand ground against her clit and her fingers slid through her wetness, not inside, but Emma didn’t need to go inside. This was perfect. Emily whimpered, wordless, her hips rolling against Emma’s hand and Emma pressed a kiss to her neck.
Emily was still and quivery under her, and Emma curled into the fur, rubbing her body against it, but keeping her hand still. She ground her hips against Emily’s ass again, and then used them to thrust against her, hard, forcing Emily against her hand. Emily keened, but couldn’t stop moving now that she’d started, and Emma moved her hand with her hips, fucking Emily, sandwiched between her hips and her hand, the rough ground against her bare front. Emma was biting and sucking at her neck, still finding skin even as fur spread up it, quick enough for her to see, and her hips ground into Emily again and this time she could feel the hard lump of her tailbone growing, lengthening, as furry as her back. Her tail pressed between her legs, the nylon shorts were so thin it was like nothing separating them. Her fingers pressed hard against Emily’s entrance, sliding up and down as she rocked forward onto the heel of her hand and then back . She pushed her free hand against the ground for leverage, changing the angle, fucking her harder. Emily was splayed in the dirt and pine needles, leaves and roots grating her body, but she wasn’t complaining. She was moving under her, jerking against her hand, panting out rough sounds that ended in growls from deep in her chest. Emma could feel her body tense as she was about to come.
And this had gone way too far. Emma jerked away, pulling out of her trousers and sliding off her tail. She grabbed for a shirt, and got to her feet, then staggered. There was something wrong with her knees, like they wanted to bend the wrong direction. “Shit.” She fell, and clambered up again, her knees appropriately oriented this time.
Emily rolled over, confused and helpless. “What?” It was like a ripple across water as the fur pulled back inside, up her arms and over her shoulders.
“I’m sorry.” Emma turned and ran.Part 6
* * *