Title: Bad Kids (1/?)
Fandom: X-Men/Criminal Minds
Pairing: background Emma Frost/Emily Prentiss, JJ/Will, (that’s all for now, later all things may change };) )
Summary: At some point Didi had to become a teenager. No one will emerge unscathed.Apologies: So... like writing. Non fic has been kind of getting in the way of that lately, as well as grad school, and there are so many half-finished and unfinished projects that I haven't been able to work on. BUT, I have been duly informed that I SHOULDN'T start a new novel until I actually get somewhere with my revisions of other things, which means this (not) long and (very not) leisurely summer break is empty of a real creative outlet. What else to do but write some fic! But I didn't want to get bored, so, I decided to change the game! :) Didi Fic!
X23 stumbled onto the campus, falling over the wall and landing on her hands and feet, like a cat. Her back arched and she hissed at the cowering students. Logan leapt over the wall behind her.
“Get away! Stay out of her way!”
Didi peeked out from behind Emma. “She’s so angry.”
Emma didn’t have time to deal with her. She tried to gain purchase on X23’s mind, but it was like finding a place to grab a miniature sun. It was a flaming ball of rage. She couldn’t fight the anger. It was all anger, synapses lit with fury and adrenaline. It felt unnatural too, and then she caught a half a memory: her trigger scent, coded into her by the mad DNA reprogrammers who had made her, turning her into an undirectable beast of tooth and claw. Following the memory came a whiplash of vengeance, striking her psychic form and tossing her away from the raging mind.
Stunned, she didn’t notice Deirdre run past her, and down the path, straight for X23.
Logan only spotted her as she bolted past him.
X23 reared away from the small girl, drawing her arms back, readying her claws to fight, but Deirdre bolted straight in under her guard and threw her arms around her. X23 stiffened in her embrace.
“It’s okay! It’s okay. Calm down,” Didi murmured into her waist. “Don’t be angry.”
Logan covered his eyes so he wouldn’t have to see the small girl get ripped apart. But as everyone watched in horror, X23’s body lost its rigidity and relaxed into the embrace. Her claws retracted, and her hands curled around the girl’s shoulders.
Emma gaped. The rage in X23’s mind was fading, the fire going out, smothered and comforted by a feeling of warmth and safety, and a sweet childish scent.
Finally, after an endless moment, Didi let her loose and reached up to touch her cheek. “Are you feeling better?”
X23 nodded, her face blank with astonishment.
“You looked like you could use a hug.”
“Hi,” Emma put her hand on her daughter’s shoulder. “I think we should all go see Hank.”
“She’s an empath,” Beast said with a resigned awe. “There’s no other explanation for it. She can read feelings and rewrite them.”
Emma breathed in sharply, both excited and afraid.
The PRIVATE Diary of Deirdre Victoria Frost-Prentiss
Mom and Emma are fighting again. I’m pretty sure they’re fighting about my birthday party, which, is, of course, as stupid a reason as they ever have to fight. Personally, I think they’re idiots. I’m turning thirteen, not like sixteen or twenty-one, not like it’s anything important. It’s not like I’m old enough to do anything, yet.
Well, except go away to school. And I kind of super don’t want to. Last year, when my powers came in, (like wisdom teeth, and instead of boobs, or height, or anything), I was too young, and Emma took a semester off to stay home and train me and it was the worst semester of my life. I couldn’t go to school, and she wouldn’t let me see anyone who I wasn’t related to, not even Henry or JJ or Garcia for a month. And then, once I had managed to figure out how to shield ‘to her satisfaction,’ she made me do regular school as well as telepath school, and decided that what we had been doing was too boring and instead made me learn mutant history which is just the worst. I can’t even say it’s boring, because it’s just… yuck, you know. It’s like, oh great, oppression and internment camps and civil rights and then sentinels, and then we got to Genosha and she just left the room for a bit and I asked Mom what was going on and she just fled the room like, well, like there was a sentinel after her.
Finally Garcia told me that they were like there right around when it happened, and my grandmother had died there. And that that was where they had met, which is like the worst story ever. I mean, seriously. People are supposed to like talking about where and when they met the love of their life. Even if it’s the most stupid story ever, like, on a sidewalk, they romanticize it and shit, but really, how are you supposed to romanticize genocide?
Not like it’s cute to romanticize anything. And really, not like my parents are cute, because, seriously, they’re the worst. Like, maybe they’re cute enough when they aren’t used to each other, like when M’ma comes home from school, and they’re kind of doofuses for like three days, until they get back to normal which is basically them arguing all the time unless they’re insulting other people together or criticizing me. Aunt Ro says that the arguing is what makes them each other’s balance, but she always looks worried when she says it, so I don’t really believe her.
I just don’t get it really. Henry and I talk about it sometimes, about how I’d like it if my parents didn’t fight all the time, but he’d rather if his parents did fight sometimes, which sounds weird, but all he means is that he wishes they’d get it out there, and not just keep it under wraps and play at being happy all the time. I used to not know what he meant, but once my powers came in it got kind of obvious that they were faking it sometimes. JJ gets sad and stuff, and whenever Will’s near M’ma he gets all tense and uncomfortable. I am glad that Mom and Emma don’t fake it, because I can’t read them. But it’s pretty clear that they act all different around other people when they are faking it, so I can read the tells. Henry says I shouldn’t be able to read tells and read feelings, but he’s just jealous because he isn’t a mutant.
I think he was also a little pissed when I caught him checking out his soccer coach. But seriously, empath, I’m going to be able to tell if you’ve got a hard-on for the shirtless dude. And it doesn’t matter. But Henry’s being absurd and says I can’t tell anyone that he’s into dudes. My parents weren’t bothered at all when I told them I had made out with a girl at a party, and a guy. Well, Mom said, “You’re twelve!”
“And an empath,” M’ma added. “And greedy.”
“She gets that from you.”
But seriously, if someone wants to make out with me, I’m not going to like, pretend I can’t tell, and if they aren’t like hugely foul or creepy, why not? So I’ve started being Henry’s gaydar and pointing out any dudes who flash interest at him, but he’s too embarrassed to try anything. BORING.
* * *
Emily opened the door. “Didi, are these your—”
Didi squeaked, Henry slammed the laptop shut. Then they both sat looking at her with wide, guilty eyes. Emily sighed.
“What was that?”
Emily shook her head. “I know I saw skintone. Were you watching porn?”
Didi and Henry exchanged a glance. It was an evocative glance. Henry clearly wanted to come clean. Didi would go down with the ship.
“Uh, yeah,” Henry finally admitted.
Emily looked up at the ceiling. “I didn’t sign up for this.”
“What’s the big deal?” Didi wrinkled her nose. “It’s not like we’re making porn, and I’ve seen what you have on your computer!”
Henry was turning red. He hid behind a pillow. “I’m sorry,” he said. “I’m sorry.”
Emily looked at him. “Hey,” she said. “It’s… fine. Just, you know these things are sometimes… exploitative, and uh, viruses—”
“We’re not stupid!” Didi snapped. “We didn’t download anything. It was just streaming. And it’s gay porn, so they’re all crazy into it.”
Henry went pale.
Emily covered her face. <<Emma…>> But, of course, she was out of range. It wasn’t like Didi would watch porn with Henry while Emma was in the house. Nope, this one was all on her. “I– just…” Emily sighed. “Fine. Whatever. You can do whatever you want, just… the door is staying open, okay? And whatever you’re doing had better not traumatize Rhi if she stumbles in on it.”
Emily walked into the kitchen, considered the wine, and poured herself scotch instead.
Henry left not much later. Apparently she had killed the mood.
Didi sauntered in and gave her a disapproving look. “Are you drinking?”
Emily glared at her.
Didi threw up her hands. “Jesus! Why is it such a big deal? I’ve seen that video you have of you shagging M’ma in a bathroom, and that was sooo gross. It’s not like you walked in on me giving Henry a blow job.”
Emily looked at her, horrified. “Could I have?” Because that was not something she ever wanted to see.
Didi wrinkled her nose. “No. Hen’s all weird about it. I offered, just to see what it was like, and stuff. I think I’d be pretty good at it, you know, with the powers.”
Emily pressed the glass of scotch to her forehead. “Please don’t become a sex worker.”
“What?” Didi looked offended. “I’m going to be an architect.”
That was a comfort at least.
“You and Henry, you’re not going out, are you?”
Didi snorted. “What? Seriously no.”
“But you were watching porn together.”
“Yeah, you know, for, like, technique stuff.”
“For technique?” Emily raised an eyebrow. “Because gay porn is going to give you useful advice?”
Didi looked shifty. “Look, I’ll tell you, but you have to promise not to tell anyone.”
Emily sighed. “I can’t do that, Deirdre. You know why.”
They had had this conversation before. When you were allowed to break promises, and when you shouldn’t make them at all. Emily wasn’t entirely sure it had sunk in.
Didi nodded. “Just don’t tell Will. Henry’s terrified of him finding out.”
“Finding out what?”
“That Henry’s gay.”
For a moment Emily felt a short rush of schadenfreude at what JJ’s response would be, but she clamped down on it fiercely. “And you were educating him?”
“I didn’t say he was successfully gay,” Didi smirked, and Emily wondered not for the first time how a mouth so much like her own could make such an Emma expression. “I’ve made out with more boys than him, and more girls. So I decided we should watch gay porn for practice.”
“You’re an excellent friend, Didi.”
“I know! Aren’t I?” Didi grinned, utterly missing the sarcasm. “Really, I think Henry’s selling himself short. If he just worked out a little, he could lose that baby-fat and get hot. I think I’m going to make him go out for sports with me.”
“Ah,” Emily said.
“You won’t tell, will you?”
Emily blinked. “Of course not. I wouldn’t out someone who isn’t ready to come out.”
Didi smiled at her. “Thanks.”
She looked like a little kid then and Emily reached out to her. “Hey, come here.” She pulled Didi into a hug. “What about you? Have you decided between boys and girls or both yet?”
Didi burrowed into her shoulder. “I don’t know. It’s hard. I’m not that attracted to boys. They’re not as pretty, especially the older ones. But I like going out with them. There’s this system, and they like doing stuff, like movies and paintball. And they like me. I like the way that feels. Girls are so much harder. They’ll make out with you at parties, but they’ll ditch you just as fast. It never means anything. They’re just messing with you, and it hurts.”
Emily nodded, feeling sick at the familiarity of the words. “Now try it when you have no clue what other people are feeling.”
Didi pulled away a little and frowned. “I really don’t know how humans do it. It seems so fucking hard.”
Emily’s eyes widened. “Language!” Didi wrinkled her nose. “But, yeah. You’re right about that.”
Didi nodded. “It’s mostly girls my age that suck. If I had to choose, I’d say I like older women best.”
Emily choked on air. “Didi!”
* * *
Didi wrinkled her nose at the new school buildings. Emma strode in front of her, radiating waves of tension and frustration. It was funny, sometimes, that she couldn’t read her parents with her powers, but she could read them like a book in the human way. Emma didn’t want to be here. Well, that made two of them. Emma had her public face on, the one that Didi hated, because it meant she was upset and lonely and probably going to take it out on someone nearby. Didi wanted her mom, not for herself, but because she was the only one whose presence reliably calmed Emma down and made her not breathe fire at everyone – including Didi.
Everything sucked. Staying in the dorms. Her schedule. Emma had always taken way too much interest in the classes she was taking, but usually she got to pick a few electives herself. This time Emma had signed her up for nine super difficult sounding classes plus Intro to Mixed Martial Arts, which to be honest, sounded kind of cool, but still. She didn’t even have a study hall! And she wanted to play soccer. At least she hadn’t forgotten the woodshop class which Didi had demanded to take since the moment she saw the course catalog.
Worst of all was the fact that two of the classes were being taught by Emma.
No, she realized after an hour of the welcome party, worst was the fact that there was a welcome party. Didi leaned against the wall and tried not to get overwhelmed by all the slightly terrified new students and very hormonal older kids, and Emma, being bitchy at everyone because she wasn’t getting laid for the next few weeks.
“Hey,” said a boy with spiky hair and a bright smile, coming up beside her. “You’re Frosty’s daughter, aren’t you?”
Didi blinked at him. “Frosty?”
* * *
“Okay.” The girl at the front of the muddle of people hanging around in the danger room (and seriously ‘danger room’ what kind of lame-ass name was that?) was slight and pretty short (though still taller than Didi, goddamnit. Both her parents were of reasonable height. Surely she would start putting on inches soon.), with long straight black hair tied back in a ponytail. She looked a little anxious, and no one was giving her much mind. She had kind of cat-like eyes, and Didi studied her for a while, trying to figure out whether she was a little Asian or just an odd type of mutant. “Okay? Can we get started now? You’re all here for the intro class, right?”
No one paid her any attention at all. She was starting to stress a little, Didi could feel it, but her face didn’t show it; it just went a little stiller and harder.
Some of the boys at the front of the class were beginning to tease each other and roughhouse. The girl worked her finger up inside the kind of sexy choker she wore and tugged at it. Her lips tightened. “Hey!” she tried again. “We’re going to start with—”
And then one of the idiot boys accidentally hurled his friend straight at the teacher, who, without any seeming effort, backflipped out of the way, spun, grabbed the flying boy by the collar, and with a hissing spitting fire-column of rage, shot two claws out of the skin of her knuckles and had them pressing right against the boys’ throat.
The room gasped, and everyone stepped back, except for Didi, who had lurched forward, and suddenly found herself in empty space between the teacher, her hostage, and the crowd of panicking students.
The teacher locked eyes with her, and they had really turned cat-like and slitted, and golden and glowy, and… familiar.
“Uh, hey,” Didi managed. Everyone was panicking. Shit. Emma had made her practice this. She reached out, spreading calm, pressing an extra tendril or two toward the teacher and the hostage who looked like he might be about to start hyperventilating. “You’re the teacher, right?” The girl with the claws was looking a bit bewildered now, and her eyes were a little less cat-like. Her feelings were also shifting from ragey to befuddled. That was good. Befuddled was always better than homicidal. “I’m Didi,” she put her hand to her chest and smiled. It was probably not the most charming smile she had ever made.
With a snikt, the claws withdrew. The girl dropped the student. “Um, X23,” she said.
Oh. Didi actually smiled this time. X23, was it? The girl she had hugged out of a murderous rage when she was eleven? She had known the rage-eyes looked familiar. “Really?” She let her grin turn into rather more of a smirk. “We have got to stop meeting like this.”
* * *
“So it’s actually not all that bad,” Didi said, her feet propped up on the wall above the head of her bed. Her roommate was down in the game room, leaving her to talk to Henry in sweet – and rare – privacy. “I mean it’s crazy, and everyone here is on edge, and M’ma is so bitchy, it’s like I don’t even know her. But my MMA instructor is like super hot, and I think I’m going to go for that.”
“What? Didi! Really?” Henry was laughing, which was a relief, since he had sounded down before.
Didi nodded before remembering he couldn’t see it. “Totally.” She hadn’t really thought about it before, but if it made Henry laugh it had to be a good idea. “And you’re good?”
“Yeah,” Henry said, but his voice was soft. “Miss you though.”
“That’s because I’m awesome.” Didi kicked the wall a few times. “Miss you too.”