Title: Long Way Down
Author's Name: Jezzibel
Disclaimers: Not mine, Marvel and Fox own ‘em. Emma would figure a lot more prominently if they were mine…
Jean turned away from the controls of the Blackbird to glance behind her at her team mate. Emma sat in diamond form, staring out the window at the passing clouds. Jean sighed and looked forward again. For four months now, Jean and Emma had been involved with each other, unbeknownst to the rest of the occupants of the mansion. Emma thought the others would think it “unprofessional” of them, and Jean didn’t really care, so their relationship stayed a secret. What was bothering Jean was that, lately, Emma seemed just a distant and professional when they were alone. She was starting to wonder if maybe Emma was having second thoughts. The idea made her stomach clench.
With sudden resolve, she decided that now was the best time to get to the bottom of this. Emma was trapped on the plane with her for the next hour until they reached New York, and there was no one around to interrupt. With a decisive poke, she turned the plane’s autopilot on and stood up. Her movement attracted Emma’s attention, causing one crystal eyebrow to be raised in question.
“Emma, we need to talk.”
Emma had been sitting in the back of the plane, glad of the silence which allowed her to think. She stared discretely at the redhead in the cockpit, wondering what she was going to do. The feelings Jean caused in her were starting to scare her. A Frost did not form strong emotional attachments to other people. Those were weaknesses to be exploited in others. And yet, here she sat, falling quickly for the other telepath. In the four months they’d been together, she’d felt a wider array of emotions than in the twenty years previous, and that was what was terrifying her. She knew her distance, caused by fear, was pushing Jean away, and that thought scared her too. She was certainly in a quandary, and had to find a solution before it tore her apart.
Sudden movement from the cockpit forced her from her reverie. Jean was walking towards her with a purposeful stride. She managed to raise one eyebrow before Jean’s words made her brain go numb.
Jean watched as Emma froze, and then made a visible effort to look calm, even going so far as to revert to her normal appearance. Jean silently breathed a sigh of relief. Diamond Emma was a lot more unapproachable and emotionless, and she wanted Emma in touch with her emotions for this particular conversation.
“Emma, what’s up with you lately? I know we said we’d keep our relationship a secret for now, but you’ve been acting strange even when we’re alone. Are – are you having…misgivings?”
Emma looked alarmed and apologetic at this, putting Jean further at ease. Her words soon put an end to that, though.
“Well, I’m sorry; I didn’t realize you were expecting so much of me! I mean, really, Jean” Her eyes looked disapproving and Jean felt her heart sink to her boots. She started to turn away, but once again that perverse sense of resolve reared its head again. She stared hard into Emma’s eyes, trying to look past her permanent façade of indifference.
“Emma, you don’t mean that. I thought we had an equal, loving –” She stopped suddenly. “Although…you know, you have never told me you loved me. I just took it for granted from your actions, which have never displayed anything less since we started this. I can sense it in your thoughts. I know you care for me, but do you know? I need to hear you say it.” Emma just started up at her in shock. “Well? Emma, do you love me?”
Emma continued to sit there, mouth open, and completely silent.
When Emma had been wondering why Jean had come to talk to her, confronting her about her feelings hadn’t even crossed her mind. She had been saddened when Jean had asked if she had doubts about their relationship. She did, but never of the kind Jean supposed. Still, she couldn’t gush and assure Jean of her feelings. She said something cutting about Jean expecting too much of her and watched it crush her lover. Her own heart clenched in sympathy. She hoped Jean would return to the cockpit and so was surprised when Jean looked up and stared at her with an unrivalled intensity. As Jean talked, she felt steadily worse. She did – love Jean, in her own way, but of course would never tell her that. She could never give someone that much power over, even someone as sweet and as special to her as Jean. She just sat in silence, hoping Jean would give up.
But she didn’t. She sat there, leaning closer and staring harder with each passing second. Emma knew they would be near New York for at least another hour, which meant Jean was free to sit there until then, provided nothing unexpected happened. She caught herself before wishing some type of disaster would happen, forcing Jean to take the helm again. She would just have to wait this out.
Jean was growing increasingly frustrated. She knew Emma loved her, could feel it radiating from Emma’s mind in moments of intimacy. But Emma would never say, was far too proud and vulnerable. Jean knew that the lack of faith Emma had in her, not trusting her not to her hurt her, was a roadblock in their relationship that they had to get past. But how? Emma had years of experience in not showing her stronger feelings, years of conditioning telling her nothing was worth that. It would take a pretty serious threat to – of course! Jean’s mind started whirring and she leapt to her feet in triumph.
Emma was startled for the second time that afternoon by Jean leaping to her feet. Emma thought she detected a note of triumph on her face, before tears started streaming from her eyes.
“Emma, I – I just can’t take this. I thought you loved me, and I know I love you. If our relationship is based on nothing, then nothing is worth it.” Emma watched in horror as Jean walked over the door of the plane and started to enter the security code to open it. Before entering the last number, she turned back.
“If you can’t tell me you love me, I’m just going to have to jump.” With that, she pressed the final button and the door started to open. The air pressure in the cabin immediately dropped, but they weren’t high enough for it to be completely unbearable. Papers went flying out the door, whipping past Jean’s face. She watched Emma through her hair, a hopeless expression in her face. “Well, Emma?”
Jean stood in the doorway watching Emma, hoping to God that her stunt had Emma too shocked to think logically. If she did, the plan wouldn’t work, but from the expression on Emma’s face, she didn’t have anything to worry about. She waited at the seconds ticked by, Emma unmoving and silent. She sighed and thought internally I really hoped she wouldn’t make me take it this far. With that, she gave an anguished cry and – jumped!
Emma was finally spurred into action as she watched Jean get sucked out of the plane. She leapt forward, stopping herself just in time before she too went out the open door. Kneeling on the floor, she was in shock. It –it’s too late. Her brain couldn’t wrap itself around what had just happened. She really jumped. All because I couldn’t tell her how I felt. She could only think of one thing, knowing it wouldn’t work, but she had to do it anyway. Casting her mind out in all directions, she shouted telepathically. .:JEAN! I LOVE YOU!.:
The plane came to a sudden halt, throwing her forward. A moment later, she heard the door shut. Then a face appeared above hers. “I love you too, silly. I knew all you needed was a push.”
Emma tackled her. “I knew there was a reason I hated telekinesis.” Jean silenced with a kiss and no more speaking was done until they reached New York.