A/N: Thanks to everyone who was so patient while I went through the biggest writer's block of my career. And thanks to Rodney and Emma who waited so patiently in the dungeon while I worked things out. One more chapter will finish this section, and then on to a more juicy chapter with kissing and stuff. I think they've earned it.
Emma tried not to panic as she and Rodney were pulled from their cell. So far they hadn't been harmed, at least not too badly. There must be something these men wanted from them, or at least from her. She kept her eyes on Rodney as they were led through a maze of hallways, willing herself to remain calm. She put all of her trust in him. He would find a way out of this – he had to.
They entered a ballroom very similar to the one she had originally found herself in less than twenty-four hours earlier. Except this one was much more run down. She saw Rodney's eyes focus on a table at the far end of the room and turned to see a large selection of Ancient devices. Her heart stopped. She was right. It was her powers that interested them. If only she could use that power to help herself and Rodney.
The man who looked so much like Alexander walked over to Emma and caressed her chin. She jerked her head back, and tried to pull herself free of the two guards holding her on either side. She heard Rodney yell behind her and then silence as one of them punched him in the stomach.
"Don't hurt him." She cried as she tried to turn towards Rodney. She had heard him gasp as the air was knocked out of him. She needed to see how badly he had been hurt. Her instincts told her these men would stop at nothing to get what they wanted.
The Alexander look-alike smiled coyly at her. "Is he yours?" Adrian turned and sneered at Rodney. "Not much of a specimen."
Emma glared but said nothing. Terror was running through her veins at the image in front of her. This man had to be related to Alexander, but he showed none of Alexander's compassion. She had heard one of the men call him by name. Adrian. Yes that was it. Adrian.
Adrian moved away from them and took his place on the throne nearby. "My informants told me you were beautiful," he leered evilly at Emma, "They were right." Emma tried to remain calm as he examined her.
"What do you want from us," Rodney asked, catching his breath.
"Not you, her." Adrian replied. "I really have no need of you."
Rodney started struggling again. Emma looked at him pleadingly, wanting him to stop before they hurt him further. "If you want me to cooperate you won't hurt him," Emma shouted at Adrian.
"You're not in any position to make demands," he replied coolly.
"You can't make me do anything," she started to struggle herself.
"Emma, stop it," Rodney ordered her.
"Listen to him, Emma," Adrian interjected. She stopped and tried calm herself as he walked back down and stood in front of her. "You will do as I say or he dies." Adrian stared straight at Emma, never glancing at Rodney. She didn't move, terrified of the man in front of her. She knew he would have no trouble ordering Rodney's death or possibly even causing it himself.
Adrian smiled at her and moved closer. She watched him closely never taking take her eyes off of him. The guards had dropped their hold on her but there was nowhere for her to run. She could sense Rodney nearby watching them.
"That's better," Adrian whispered as he brushed her hair back. He brushed his thumb across her cheek and Emma tightened her lips in response. Adrian's hand stilled. She could feel the tension in his body.
Adrian glanced at Rodney giving him a sly smile, then escorted Emma over to a table covered with Ancient artifacts. "Perhaps we should take care of business first." Emma knew she needed to be able to think clearly so nothing would go wrong. Rodney's life was in her hands. She glanced over and saw him staring at the table. She tried to figure out what he was looking at, if he saw something that could help them escape.
"I see you recognize what I have here. But as you know, we are not able to make them work." He turned to Emma. "That my dear is your job."
Emma swallowed hard. She didn't know exactly what was on the table, but she did recognize one device.
"Ah, I see you eyeing this." Adrian picked up a stun gun and pointed it at Rodney. Emma gasped as Rodney flinched only to be held in place tightly by his guards.
Adrian smiled mischievously. "So I was right. This is a weapon. Good. You have earned your first reward. Now, before you have any ideas about using one of these devices on us, let me just say that any misstep on your part will result in his death." Adrian turned quickly, aiming the gun once again at Rodney.
"Stop!" Emma looked pleadingly at Adrian.
Adrian laughed, but lowered the weapon. "Good. Now that we are all in agreement as to what our jobs are, let's get to work." Adrian left Emma at the table and strolled back to his throne. Sitting down, he casually threw a leg over one arm of the chair and waved his hand at Emma, signaling her to continue. As she walked up to the table, the two guards standing behind her tensed. She stopped and glanced back at Rodney, hoping for some sign of what she should do next. He nodded slightly to her and gave her a brief smile. Emma slowly walked along the table studying the various devices. If she could just recognize something that would help them escape. She could feel the tension emanating from everyone in the room. She started to reach for one that looked familiar to her when it started flashing and beeping. The guards behind the table jumped back, Emma startled and took a step back, and Adrian came to attention. She started to reach for it again.
"Wait!" Rodney cried out. Emma looked first at Rodney and then at Adrian to see what he would do. "She doesn't know how to control it. I mean, uh, we work as team. I have to tell her how each machine works, and then she gets it to work."
Adrian rose and stepped down towards the two of them. He studied Emma as she stood motionless, not wanting to betray any emotion.
"Is this true?" Adrian said his face close to hers.
"Yes," she replied softly. "I don't know how I get things to work, I just do."
"You can see how dangerous this would be if she picked up the wrong instrument," Rodney added quickly. "She's created all sorts of trouble back home."
Emma turned quickly towards Rodney then paused. "Yes, he's right," she said calmly. "I haven't yet learned how to control my abilities." Emma glanced sideways at Adrian who was still studying the two of them.
"Alright," he said slowly. "We'll try this your way. Release him," he ordered the two guards holding Rodney as Adrian walked away.
Rodney staggered forward never taking his eyes off of Emma. Emma tried to understand what he wanted her to do. She willed the terror in her to settle, letting her adrenaline work for her instead of against her. If ever there was a time to be able to control the gene, it was now.
"However," Adrian turned back towards them. She could feel Rodney tense next to her. "I do believe that I will have Emma watch you work from up here." Emma barely had time to react as the two guards who had been holding Rodney came up and grabbed her. The guards dragged her up to where Adrian was seated and forced her down on the step at his feet. She could feel Adrian's hand on her shoulder as he gripped her tightly.
"Now, proceed." Emma watched as Rodney slowly turned towards the equipment, but not before giving her one last glance.
What seemed like hours had passed since they had first been brought into the hall. Emma watched as Rodney continued to work futilely on the Ancient technology. She knew he was stalling. Even without his equipment he should have had better luck by now. She also noticed that his Ancient gene wasn't activating the equipment. More likely that he was making sure it didn't. Whatever he was doing, she was sure they could not stall much longer.
"I grow tired of this," she heard Adrian mutter behind her. She had been afraid to move, afraid that anything she did might startle the guards into hurting Rodney. "Take him away. We'll start again in the morning."
Emma got up to go with Rodney, but was stopped by Adrian's firm grip. "Not you, my dear." Emma felt a cold chill go down her spine. She saw Rodney watching the two of them before she turned to see Adrian smiling wickedly at her.
"She will be safer with me, I think." Adrian winked at Rodney, causing him to struggle against the guards' hold. "I look forward to entertaining her."
"No, you can't take her. She stays with me or the deal's off." Rodney was breathing hard, his eyes bright with anger.
"Once again, Dr. McKay, I don't believe you're in the position to make any demands." Adrian laughed as he steered Emma through a side door into a dark hallway.