DISCLAIMER: Mutant X belongs to Tribune, Marvel Comics and I think the WB, now. I don't know, they're not mine so don't sue.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
A Normal Life
"Adam, how are we supposed to find her in the middle of this crowd?" Shalimar bit back her irritation as she lifted her right hand slightly.
"You're not." Adam responded over the comlink.
Emma exchanged a confused look with the blonde at her side. "This is where you sent us, Adam."
"Yes, I did." Adam agreed. "Now have fun."
"What?!" Two voices exclaimed simultaneously.
"Don't worry," He soothed amusedly. "I sent the boys out to the club under false pretenses as well. It's been over a month and a half since you've had a break. So go enjoy yourselves." He ordered.
"A fair, Adam?" Shalimar questioned dubiously.
"You don't have to stay there, Shalimar but I have a feeling you might want too." Adam paused, picturing the look of confusion on Shal's face. "But, if you don't want to stay you don't have too. Emma and you are free to do whatever you please. I will see you later tonight or tomorrow. Just have fun." Adam cut the link, effectively ending the conversation.
Shalimar looked at her partner, a weary look still covering her pretty features. "Wanna get out--" She trailed off midsentence, just taking notice of Emma's face. The younger girl was smiling, standing there wide-eyed and wondrous, staring around them in childlike glee. So that's what Adam meant, she thought. "So what do you want to do first?" She asked, smiling. Seeing Emma happy made her happy.
Emma grinned, her hand finding Shalimar's and lacing their fingers together. "Everything." She responded, pulling Shal forward as they moved into the crowd.
"Your really enjoying this aren't you?" The feral asked as Emma moved them in line for the Ferris wheel.
"God, yes. I've always loved fairs, carnivals and amusement parks." Emma slid an arm around Shalimar's waist, resting her head on her shoulder as they waited. "For as long as I could remember, it was always my favorite place to be."
"Why?" Shalimar couldn't help but be curious. Emma rarely talked about her past, or places she loved that weren't in the Sanctuary or the mall.
"Because I would never get overwhelmed from my powers. Anywhere else, it was hard to block out the emotions but here? Everyone is happy here and having it multiplied by so many and than pushed into me always made me happy. Being here was always the best feeling in the world." She explained. "And they're fun." She added with a grin.
Shalimar tightened her hold around Emma and snuggled into the taller woman. "Hmm." She pressed a soft kiss above Emma's pulse point before lifting her mouth up to whisper into Emma's ear. "I could get us much higher than this."
Emma gave her an indulgent smile, tugging them both forward as the line moved. "I know you could, honey but let's try it my way first."
"Fine." Shal agreed with a mock pout.
"Ooh!" Emma suddenly loosened her hold on the blonde and wriggled out of her grasp. "I'll be right back, wait here." She ordered before promptly disappearing into the crowd.
Shalimar just watched her go for a moment before shaking her head and letting her gaze filter through the crowds. She didn't blame Emma for loving this place. Even she could feel the happy, bubbly energy radiating from the people milling around. Kids were laughing, the adults were smiling. It was a good place to be, Shalimar decided. Besides, it wasn't like spending the entire day with a happy, energetic Emma was such a bad way to spend her day off. Quite the opposite in fact. She felt a soft hand slide over her eyes, shaking her out of her reverie and she smiled widely, Emma's familiar scent drifting into and around her.
"Miss me?" Emma whispered softly, her lips dangerously close to Shal's ear.
Shalimar turned and slipped her arms around Emma's waist, pulling her close to her so she could kiss her softly. "Of course. Where did you go?"
Emma held up her free hand, showing off her huge cone of purple cotton candy. Handing it to Shalimar to hold, she reached into her pockets, pulling out a strip of tickets. "You can't ride the rides without tickets, honey and we needed cotton candy."
"Oh, I see." It was Shal's turn to give her girlfriend an indulgent smile, thinking Emma just looked adorable standing there.
"You didn't do the whole fair thing when you were a kid, did you?" Emma asked, leaning over and ripping off a hunk of the cotton candy.
Shal watched as Emma got the sticky, sugary strands all over her lips and fingers. "Yeah, I did a few times but it was never long lasting. My parents were always afraid I'd use my powers outside."
Emma licked her fingers clean before sliding her free arm around Shal's waist. "I'm sorry. Do you want to leave?" She asked, a concerned note lacing her tone. "We can do something else."
"No," Shalimar assured her with a smile. "You want to stay, I want to stay. Besides watching you eat that is *so* worth staying." She teased, her eyes sparking feral for the shortest second.
Emma blushed slightly before hugging her close. She placed a kiss on Shal's temple before stepping back so she could see her face. "Are you sure? I don't want to stay someplace that has bad memories connected to it for you."
Shal nodded, giving Emma a light squeeze. "We can make new memories."
Emma was about to respond when they reached the front of the line. Emma handed over the tickets before pulling Shalimar into the seat with her. Shal slid her left arm around Emma, pulling her close as Emma snuggled into her, pulling the bar across their laps.
Emma continued picking at her cotton candy, pulling it apart and eating little bits. Catching Shalimar's heated gaze, Emma grinned before pulling of a huge chunk and offering it to the blonde. Shal eyed it for a second before pulling the sugary concoction into her mouth, her lips closing over Emma's fingers. Emma's eyes widened considerably as Shal continued to nip at her finger tips, licking away the residual cotton candy. Emma dropped the forgotten candy and pulled her fingers from Shal's lips.
"Emma, you dropped your cotton candy." Shal pointed out innocently.
"I found something sweeter." Emma murmured, pulling the blonde close and capturing her mouth with her own.
Emma was right; Shal's lips were sweeter than her cotton candy. She ran her tongue over Shal's bottom lip, seeking an entrance that the blonde gave freely. Emma shifted in her seat, her hands sliding around Shal's neck so that her fingers could tangle in long blonde locks. Shal's arms slid around Emma's waist, pulling her as close as the small seat would allow as she deepened their kiss.
Their kissing continued, blocking out the sounds and the rides around them so effectively that when the Ferris wheel came to a stop, they didn't even notice the jolt that signaled the end of the ride. The ride operator cleared his throat apologetically, smiling widely when they pulled apart.
Emma looked around them, a faint rush of color stealing across her cheeks as she noticed the stares. Shalimar laughed loudly as she took Emma's hand and pulled her up and out of the seat. Sliding an arm across her shoulders, she pulled Emma close to her as they exited the ride.
"That was fun." Shal grinned, leading them away from the amused crowd of people still waiting for the ride.
Emma shook her head, burying her face in Shal's neck. "That was embarrassing." She muttered dramatically.
"Ooh, poor baby." Shal kissed the top of Emma's head, still smiling. "Come on, show me around the rest of this place. Maybe we can find more places to make out at." She teased.
They wandered around the fairgrounds aimlessly for a while, stopping momentarily when something caught one of their eyes. Emma had exhausted most of their tickets, dragging Shalimar on the best rides there. After hitting almost every single upside down ride, Shalimar was ready to just walk. Emma was teasing her quietly, Shalimar dragging her to the games section. This was something she could enjoy. Coming up to the shooting gallery, they both stopped.
The vendor spotted them and grinned widely, thinking the two lovely ladies would be easy targets. He persuaded them to come over, giving them the everyone wins selling speech.
Shalimar smirked, glancing sideways at Emma. "Want a prize, baby?"
Emma smiled and nodded, knowing that the vendor was going to be very sorry once Shal picked up that gun. She took a spot on the side, leaning back against the stand more than content to just watch her girlfriend show off.
Shalimar spent a good twenty minutes on the shooting game. She won an animal of every size from every round. After she had the appropriate amount of small and medium sized stuff animals, she traded them in letting Emma pick out a huge stuffed kitten.
"Please take her away before I go broke." The vendor begged good-naturedly, handing Emma her prize.
Emma grinned, dragging the feral away from the shooting counter. Shalimar pouted but followed Emma anyway. Shalimar stopped at the Hi-striker, a smirk covering her features as she halted Emma's movements.
Emma stopped and glanced at the game. Shaking her head, she stepped up to the counter with Shal as the blonde handed over the money. The guy handed Shal the hammer, making some crack about it being a little heavy for her.
Emma winced, knowing that this wasn't going to be a fast game. She was right, Shalimar rang the bell five times in a row, purposely picking out the biggest prizes and handing them to Emma. After a while, a small crowd gathered and Shalimar kept showing off. She'd win prize after prize and randomly hand them to the little kids standing around. When she was done, she dropped the hammer at the vendor's foot and smirked.
"Okay, I feel better." She said.
Emma smiled. "I know you do, honey but you didn't have to completely wipe him out."
Shal shrugged, helping Emma with her toys. "He was a jerk, he deserved it."
Emma silently agreed so she let the subject drop, heading for the Mustang in the parking lot. Shalimar leaned against the car, her toffee colored eyes tracing Emma's form as she stuffed her winnings in the back-seat. When she was done, she stepped into Shal's embrace, wrapping her arms around Shal's neck. She brought their lips together in a thorough kiss, her body unconsciously pressing into Shal's.
"I love you." Emma whispered softly, pulling away and resting her head on the blonde's shoulder.
"I love you too." Shalimar responded automatically, her lips pressing against the smooth skin of Emma's neck as she trailed her fingers through Emma's dark hair. "I'm glad we stayed." She admitted.
Emma looked up and met her gaze. "So am I." She brushed her lips over Shal's briefly before shooting her a dazzling smile. "We're not done yet, though."
One more chaste kiss and they were off again, Emma once again leading the way. Only this time Shal was following willingly, her enjoyment of the outing obvious.
Emma stopped abruptly, causing Shal to walk into her. "Oh my God, I love this ride!" Emma tugged Shal forward so she could see.
Shal turned her head, following Emma's gaze and her eyes went wide. "I don't think so." She stated.
Emma turned to face her. "What? Honey, come on."
Shalimar's golden brown orbs stayed locked on the ride as it looped around and around. "No way, baby."
"Why?" Emma almost whined.
"The Ring of Fire?" Shal questioned. "It's kinda self-explanatory."
Emma rolled her eyes, stepping up to Shal and wrapping her arms around her waist. "Baby, there's no fire. It's just a name, I swear."
"I don't care. Absolutely not." Shal enforced, shaking her head back and forth.
Emma pouted, her eyes pleading for Shal to give in. While Shalimar kept shaking her head, making it obvious that she wasn't going to budge, Emma switched tactics. She tightened her hold around Shal's waist, kissing her lips softly. Her mouth moved down, trailing little kisses along Shal's jawline down to her neck. She kissed and nipped her way along the soft skin, her lips lingering over Shal's pulse point. Shalimar tilted her head, giving Emma better access as a small moan escaped her lips.
"Keep it up, Em and we're not going anywhere but home to bed." She whispered huskily, her fingers curling up into Emma's soft hair.
Emma bit her neck gently, teasingly before pulling away, a slight pout still curling her bottom lip. "Pretty please, baby." She was whining at this point.
Shal leaned over, kissing away Emma's pout before glancing uncertainly at the ride again. "No fire?" She asked timidly, sounding more like a child than a grown woman.
Emma gave her soft smile, once again linking their fingers together. "No fire, I promise. I wouldn't do that to you." She pointed out sincerely.
Shalimar squeezed her hand, acknowledging her comment silently as she followed Emma to the line.
After the ride, they wandered around some more, stopping to grab something to eat. Emma chatted excitedly about what they still had to do and Shalimar just listened.
"No more rides, Em. Please." She begged.
Emma swallowed her bite of her sno-cone before nodding. "All right." She agreed.
Shalimar smiled thankfully, leaning on the picnic table. She enjoyed the rides to some extent but she was more content to stay on the ground. If she wanted to be high up, she wanted it to be because she jumped that high not because of some man made hunk of metal. She finished her fried dough and got up, tossing her plate in the trash before sitting back down next to Emma.
Emma finished off her treat, moving to stand. Shal reached out, tugging on her wrist and pulling her back down. Before Emma could voice her question, Shal caught her lips with hers. She kissed Emma slowly, the younger girl's lips tasting faintly of cherries and raspberries. She nibbled gently on Emma's lower lip before sucking it into her mouth. They kissed leisurely for a few more moments before breaking for air. Emma pulled back and their eyes met. They both smiled.
"I wish we could do this more often." Emma said wistfully.
"We should start." Shal responded, taking Emma's hand and standing up.
"Yeah, in between saving the world." Emma quipped sarcastically.
"You don't like being a hero?" Shal teased, her arm sliding around Emma's waist automatically.
Emma shrugged, staying silent as they weaved their way through the crowd.
Shal gave her a squeeze before stopping. "What's wrong, Em?"
"Nothing." The brunette answered, giving her a tiny smile.
"Shalimar." Emma retorted with a slight smirk.
"What's up?" Shalimar asked seriously, letting Emma move them along again.
"Do you ever wish for a normal life?" Emma finally asked, glancing sideways at Shal's profile.
Shalimar bit her lip, debating her answer carefully before looking up and meeting Emma's gaze. "Yes, sometimes." She answered honestly. "But we're not normal, Em."
"What's really going on, Emma?"
Emma shook her head, smiling up at the feral. "Enough heavy conversation for today. Let's just have fun."
Shalimar opened her mouth to protest but than decided against it. Whatever was bothering Emma now, she would find out about later. Emma would probably be better off just enjoying herself for now. She watched Emma carefully though as they walked along.
"You're staring." Emma caught her gaze.
"Can't help it." Shal answered. "You're gorgeous."
Emma gave her a small smirk. "Nice cover."
"I thought so."
"I'm fine." She assured her. "Really." She emphasized the word heavily. "I'm just-. It's just sometimes I wish that we were normal." Seeing an argument hovering on Shal's lips, Emma continued. "It's only sometimes. I love my powers and I wouldn't give them up for anything. Just every once in a while, I wish there were so such thing as New Mutants, Eckhart, or Geomnx."
Shalimar let her talk, knowing that Emma would feel better after she got things off of her chest. She pulled Emma into a hug and held her close, her hand rubbing soothingly over Emma's back.
"I just want us to have a happily ever after." Emma finally whispered, burying her face into Shalimar's neck.
"What makes you think that we won't get one anyway?" Shalimar asked carefully.
Emma shrugged. "We might." She finally responded after a long silence.
"We will." Shal promised determinedly.
Emma shot her a grateful smile, silently apologizing for the dreary mood she laid upon them. She couldn't not believe Shalimar when she looked that determined and sure of herself.
"Ooh, dunk tank." Emma exclaimed excitedly, swiftly shaking away the remains of their previous conversation.
Shalimar watched Emma step up to the vendor and speak briefly before she came back carrying three baseballs. She handed two of them to Shal before stepping up to the line. She took her first shot and missed. Barely concealing her laugh, Shal handed her a second ball. Emma concentrated and took aim, flicking her wrist and letting the ball fly. She missed again.
Pouting she turned to face Shal, plucking the last ball from her hand. The guy on the plank teased her good-naturedly, making faces and laughing. Emma rolled her eyes and concentrated again before whipping the ball at the small bullseye. Shal let out a soft laugh as Emma's aim missed wildly.
Emma turned back to Shalimar, a pout still on her pretty features.
"Better luck next time, Em." Shal teased, picking up her hand.
Emma smirked, closing her eyes as the image formed in her head. Glancing up, she sent the barely noticeable psionic blast towards the bullseye as they walked past it, successfully hitting the lever and knocking the guy into the tank of water. She gave Shalimar a gloating look and grinned, her eyes sparkling mischievously.
"Cheater." Shal teased, squeezing Emma's hand lightly.
Emma shrugged, still grinning. "So?"
The feral just smiled as they continued along. They spent the rest of the evening just wandering around, people watching. Coming up to the picnic area, Emma pointed to the sign announcing fireworks after sunset and the two girls made their way through the grassy area. Shalimar pointed out an empty spot near a big oak tree and lead them over to it. Sitting down, she leaned back against the tree taking a breather. Emma waited until she was comfortable before nestling herself between Shalimar's legs. Shal wrapped her arms around Emma and the brunette leaned back, resting her head against the blonde's shoulders. They watched the sunset and the fireworks in companionable silence, cuddled in one another's embrace.
When the fireworks were done, Shalimar nudged Emma lightly. Emma stood up, offering a hand to the feral and Shal took it, standing up and brushing herself off. They walked back to the car silently, Emma resting her head on Shalimar's shoulder as the day caught up with her. Shal gave her a gentle smile as she let out a yawn as she slid into the passenger's seat. Emma waited until Shal had buckled herself in and started the car, before sliding over and leaning on the blonde. They were quiet as they drove away from the fair, each lost in their own thoughts.
Shalimar had to agree with Emma's comments from earlier when she thought about it. She did wish that they could have more days like that. It had been a perfect day and that was so rare with them. Shalimar knew that realistically, they couldn't have perfection. They weren't normal. Far from it and they never would be normal. But Emma's question weighed heavily on both their minds as they headed back to Sanctuary.
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