Sequel to 'The Beast Does Not Control Me' and 'Catching Teardrops'

Category: angst, hurt/comfort

Pairing: Shalimar/Emma

Authors Notes: I'm not sure about this whole fic. It's been in my head and on various pieces of paper for so long it's kinda lost its novelty. If you don't like the way things are going, yell and I'll see what I can do. If you do, review and I'll keep writing! Thanks to my Betas, foxyferal and rain for their patience! The summary is a quote from Charge - Splendid, I just liked the idea.

Stir Crazy

Katianna

Love, if I weep it will not matter,

And if you laugh I shall not care;

Foolish am I to think about it,

But it is good to feel you there.

Love, in my sleep I dreamed of waking, --

White and awful the moonlight reached

Over the floor, and somewhere, somewhere,

There was a shutter loose, --it screeched!

Swung in the wind, --and no wind blowing! --

I was afraid, and turned to you,

Put out my hand to you for comfort, --

And you were gone! Cold, cold as dew,

Under my hand the moonlight lay!

Love, if you laugh I shall not care,

But if I weep it will not matter, --

Ah, it is good to feel you there!

Edna St. Vincent Millay - The Dream

There was something wrong, Emma knew that. Something had woken her. There was an intense feeling of anxiety filling Sanctuary and she knew the emotion was not her own. She rolled over and tried to block the emotion from her mind; too tired to worry about whom would be awake at such an hour.

It was probably Adam. Things had been hard the last couple of weeks. Someone had managed to hack into Sanctuary's computer systems and there were signs of invasion into files that might compromise their safety and that of the safe houses. Having locked down the safe houses and made sure all of the new mutants were safe; the members of Mutant X were currently locked down tight themselves within Sanctuary. They hadn't been out for weeks now and there were no signs that anyone was going to try to attack them or break into Sanctuary, but Adam wanted them to keep their heads down until he was sure all was clear.

Emma found herself reaching out to her friends throughout Sanctuary. She often found that if the emotions of one of them were disturbing her she could find solace in the emotions of the others. Jesse slept with very clear emotions, reminding her of ice and crystals, something delicate but complex. Brennan slept, first with a tension that was all fire and fury, but which often lead to very deep and relaxing emptiness when he was in deep sleep. Adam, when he could be persuaded to sleep, slept the sleep of the very weary. A soft sleep, easily disturbed, but very soothing to the mind. And then there was Shalimar. She so often found herself drifting off to sleep with the emotions of her new lover surfacing in her mind. After several attempts to spend the night together physically they had decided that the beds in Sanctuary were not made for two and they would have to spend more time together in the day to make up for it. Quiet afternoons now often found Shalimar showing Emma sparing skills or Emma showing Shalimar meditation techniques. Evenings more and more frequently found them curled up together on a sofa, reading or watching a film. If nights were ever lonely they would reach out to each other, finding themselves wrapped in blankets together and watching the stars or simply feeling each other's presence within a psychic link. There was something warm about the thoughts that flooded Shalimar's mind whilst she slept, a protection and caring that the woman often showed her team-mates when she was awake. She rarely had nightmares, and when she did Emma knew exactly how to deal with them, because they were always the same.

It was always the team behind a wall of fire and Shalimar on the other side. They'd talked about it more than once, because after such a dream Shalimar had a very particular routine. She would visit Jesse's room first (sometimes she would sit in his room for a time and watch him sleep). Then she would check that Adam was safe in the lab, (if it were one of the rare occasions that he was actually asleep, panic would flare in her mind until she found him safe in bed). Then she would stand outside Brennan's door and listen to his breathing for a moment (she never entered). Then finally she would come to Emma. Sit beside her bed and smile at her, knowing that the nightmare would have woken her too, just through the power of the emotions that haunted her terrifying visions. Sometimes she would talk and sometimes she would sit silently until the tears came. It had scared Emma the first time she had cried. Though it seemed so long ago it could not have been more than a year. The feral had always seemed too strong to allow her emotions to escape her in such a way. But sometimes emotions could overwhelm them all, so she would sit and hold her until the silent sobs slowed and she pulled away. And she would smile again and thank her and then she would return to her own bed to fall back into the sleep of warmth and protection. And eventually so would Emma.

Was tonight one of those nights? Were the emotions that had woken her those of the disturbed dreamer?

'Emotions are strange things', it had once been said. A quote Emma would not argue with. They did not seem to follow the rules of normal space and time. An emotion could lurk in a place for a long time after its owner had moved on, or pass through space faster than light or even time itself. 'Normal' human beings could interpret some of the subtlest of emotions and be ignorant to the most blatant ones. Some emotions could seethe and eat away, and in the end it is these that cry out the loudest. Emotions were a lot easier to access than thoughts and much more powerful. This was one of the many reasons the telepaths of the New Mutant world numbered much higher than the telempaths, and one of the main reasons a large percentage of the empathic population ended up in an asylum at some point in their lives. Emma shuddered at the thought.

Taking care to position each of her friends as she opened herself up to Sanctuary. She was not surprised to find Adam in the lab, his emotions in disarray. He was tired and his mind was becoming clouded. She smiled softly, but it quickly turned to a frown. The emotion that had woken her had not come from their mentor. She found Brennan in a deep sleep that almost pulled her down to join him, but she was still curious as to who had woken her and that allowed her to escape sleep's grasp. Jesse's mind was crystal clear, he was sound asleep too. Which only left Shalimar, who wasn't in her bed, or even in her room.

When she found Shalimar she was startled by her closeness. She was in Jesse's room, but moving now. Something was different this night. The emotions that plagued her were not those of fear for her friends and surrogate family as they usually were after a nightmare. Tonight they were for her self, and a strange nervousness invaded her thoughts, as though not quite her own. Curious, and now completely awake, Emma watched the swirl of emotions that was Shalimar as it flexed and coiled. She was confused and unhappy, Emma read. She was scared and angry. And she was leaving Jesse's room.

~~

Shalimar walked the hallways, shivering as she thought of her warm bed. But she could not sleep. Though her body cried out for rest, her mind was unable to give it. Watching Jesse sleep, knowing he was safe, had soothed her as always. But more recently she had always found herself crying in Emma's arms rather than waking the young molecular as she had in the past. And subconsciously she knew that was where she was headed now, though her conscious decision had been to go back to her warm bed and leave her friends and her love in peace. She slid the door open silently; knowing she would make no sound entering the room and, closing the door behind her, sat on the floor beside Emma's bed. She leant her head against the wood of the bed's headboard and tried to clear her mind of everything except Emma.

Her eyes opened again as she realised why she couldn't find Emma in her mind.

"I know you're awake." She whispered.

"How'd you know that?" Emma asked, rolling over to face her.

"You broadcast emotions when you sleep. You have barriers up when you're awake."

"I'm sorry."

"Don't be, it's a wonderful feeling. Did I wake you?"

"Not coming in, I didn't hear you come in."

"But I still woke you."

"There's something wrong. What is it?" Emma questioned, carefully changing the subject.

"There's nothing wrong, I'm fine." The response was too quick, too breathy; there was definitely something wrong. Emma reached out, brushing Shalimar's cheek with her hand, trying to offer reassurance.

"I know you Shalimar. Something's wrong. Something's troubling you and I want to know what it is." Shalimar scrubbed at her eyes, trying to organise her words and thoughts. Trying to find a way to explain.

"I need you to not over react, or get upset or over react." She began. Emma sat up in her bed with a start.

"What happened? What's wrong? Are you hurt, did something happen? What? Tell me!"

"EMMA!" Shalimar interrupted. "It's nothing terrible, I'm just ill."

"Ill?"

"Yeah, ill, okay? It's not life threatening, I'll be fine, it's just messing me up a little at the moment. I figured you'd notice eventually, I wanted to tell you. I wanted you to know."

"What is it?"

"It's hard to explain, I'm not sure exactly. It's happened before, more than once. It started when I was still with my parents. They used to lock me in my room if I did anything stupid like showing feral eyes in public. I never used to do it on purpose but I was a kid, I didn't understand how prejudiced people could be, how much trouble it would cause if someone saw me like that. Normally it would just be a couple of hours, like being grounded - a punishment. Then one day it wasn't

"I got really ill, being locked in there so long. I couldn't breathe, I was dizzy and I couldn't see straight. So I broke out and just ran. I felt so much better, being outside, not trapped. I've felt it a couple of times since then, but never since I've been here with Adam, and never quite as badly."

"Is it as bad now?"

"Not yet, but it's getting there." Emma moved out of her bed to sit next to Shalimar, embracing her tightly.

"What are you going to do?"

"I'm going to wait until tomorrow, when Adam lets us out of here and I'll be fine. I don't want to tell him, he's worried enough as it is about all this."

"And you'll be fine, waiting until then?"

"I'll be fine. As soon as I'm out I'll be better and until then I" Emma could feel Shalimar tense, as she did when she had spotted or heard something she perceived as a threat.

"Shal? What is it?"

"I'm sorry." She mumbled suddenly standing, pushing past Emma and shooting out of the room.

~~

Disclaimer - I don't own these characters or situations, they belong to Tribune Entertainment and the rest, but I do own the storyline and writing. I'm not making any money out of this writing, I do it just for fun.