Author: Kat Lee
Character/Pairing: Emma, Monet
Challenge/Prompt: halfamoon Day 2: Confrontational
Word Count: 590
Date Written: 6 February 2017
Disclaimer: All characters within belong to Marvel Comics and Disney, not the author, and are used without permission.
"Stop pouting," Emma snaps the second time she catches her former student watching her through brown eyes narrowed with distrust. "You're not exactly my ideal partner with whom to work either, but these children need us."
"What were you doing in Algeria?" Monet asks softly, contemplatively.
Emma's eyes narrow now. "My business here, or anywhere, is my own," she retorts icily.
M lifts her shoulders into an elegant shrug that Emma knows is supposed to make her seem to be carefree, but she knows the girl far better and already understands her true implications. "Check your country's records, Monet. My enterprises have no business here, and I'm not one of those businesspeople who are looking to ship their production plants overseas to make a bigger profit. My profit margin is just fine, thank you very much, without the help of any third world country."
"Algeria has many benefits to offer -- "
"I'm sure it does, but I'm staying stateside. I want my businesses operating where I can check on them easily without having to fly overseas, and besides, I like to employ my own people -- "
"Your people are mutants."
"Yes," Emma acknowledges, lifting her chin a little higher, "and I can personally guarantee you that if I know an applicant is a mutant, I'll be more likely, not less, to offer them a position."
"Reverse discrimination," Monet murmurs.
"What's wrong with you, child?"
"I don't trust you," she answers point blank. "I never did. And now you're suddenly in my country and a school has caved in. It seems a little too coincidental, wouldn't you agree, Miss Frost?"
"If you think I had something to do with this natural disaster, read my mind, Monet, but I wouldn't dig too far. I've experienced things the likes of which you couldn't handle seeing on your best days."
"I doubt it."
"That's what I doubt: Anything I read from you is bound to be a lie."
"If you're such a skilled telepath, you should be able to deduce the difference between a lie and the truth, especially when unspoken."
"With you, it's always easier when it is spoken."
"I'm sure it is. Now are we going to squabble all day, or are we going to save these children?"
Monet glowers at Emma as she takes her diamond form, which is even less readable than her natural body, and begins clearing debris. She hears the muffled thoughts of the children, senses their fear, and pushes her own doubts to the side. She recalls the line about keeping one's friends close and one's enemies even closer, but Frost would claim she was never her enemy. Monet smirks, the same expression flashing over her face that she used to wear in school when she aced a pop test Frost with which had thought she'd stump the room. She never stumped her, but true to her word, Monet also never trusted the former villainess.
Still, she is right: There are children to be saved, and the longer she spends trying to deduce her true motives, the less air these children are getting -- and the less likely they are to still be alive when they reach them. She steps in beside her former headmistress and starts lifting boulders, not missing the way Emma glances up at her obvious show of strength. The children need them. They'll concentrate on saving one life after another now, just as they used to, but Emma isn't getting out of her country until Monet knows exactly what the White Queen is up to this time.