Epic X-Men #29: Family Matters
"Are you sure it's right for us to be here, Warren?", Scott asked as he pulled at his collar. They were waiting at the foyer of a large mansion, waiting as Emma left into a room with two wooden doors.
"I am not letting Emma go to staying with her idiot father while she is in this state! I can believe this a-hole. Typical that he gets no word from his daughter and he doesn't bother to send a SWAT team looking for her! I have a hard time believing that he actually did send Emma any notice of what happened to her mother", Warren said in a quiet, yet angry whisper.
"I can understand that, but you are least a friend of the family and have known Emma for the longest time before I. I am for the most part, a complete outsider. No money, barely any family, and questionable as Emma's friend", Scott said.
"I am positive Emma would say differently about you. Whether either of you realize it or not, Emma has some sort of soft spot for you. Had Emma been in a less vulnerable mood, I would worry from the school instead of here because she can handle herself. Emma is not thinking straight though, starting to retreat into herself the way she did when......"
"Warren. Are you in love with Emma?", Scott asked curiously.
Warren chuckled. "This may surprise everyone who sees us together, but no. We have a brother-sister companionship. We have had a date before, but that ended with me being more nervous of wreck than any girl I had met before, no matter how much I tried to calm down. She is an intimidating woman who will chew you up and spit you out if you show any weakness to her. I was lucky enough to know her prior to asking her out and she said yes out of mistrust", Warren reminisced.
"Who says yes to a date to someone they don't trust?", Scott asks in confusion.
"Emma, does. She doesn't see dating as anything beneficial to her. No man would have the balls to stand up to her father. So, with Emma, it was either some fun or catch them red-handed when they try to get sneaky. One time, she tricked a guy into filming himself with some old hag she found on the street", Warren laughed.
"What?!", Scott said.
"Hey! The guy had it comin'! Like I said, the people don't date her for her benefit. They see a gullible heiress they can get something from, mostly money. This douche had the audacity to try to film a sex tape. She of course saw it telepathically from the second the idea popped into his head, so she tricked his brain into thinking he was getting record of him doing the dirty deed with a Frost heiress, when it was just some old doped up hag who wasn't conscious enough to consent or defend herself. Emma called the police and he faced criminal charge", Warren said.
"Wait, Emma never learned psionic illusions until after Xavier", Scott said.
"Yes. Yes, she did", Warren said.
"So, even after Xavier told her not to mess anyone's mind-"
"Scott, are you really gonna be a stickler for the rules in this time over something that happened long ago?", Warren asked in annoyance. Scott relented, given that it was a long time ago, Emma wasn't in a state to deal with it, and she wasn't even a student of Xavier's anymore.....
"Father, Adrienne, I am sure you remember my friends, Warren Worthington III and Scott Summers. Boys, my father and sister, Winston and Adrienne Frost", Emma introduced.
"I could never forget a Worthington, a member of our family as far as I am concerned", the man said in a casual "friendliness". The man may have tried to put up a friendly demeanor, but the arrogance rolled off of him in his posture. The wrinkles gave a feel of grumpiness in contrast to his clothing, which looked like the definition of comfort by the looks of the fabric without sacrificing style. Next to him was the brunette Scott had seen at Warren's party when they first met.
"Likewise, Mr. Frost. I am glad to see Emma's family be available to her in a time of mourning. She was real devastated by the news, so I wanted to show her that everyone she needs will be there for her", Warren said in a more convincing friendly demeanor, yet his words held accusations firmly against the belligerent father.
"Indeed. I knew how it felt when my wife died. So, distraught and broken. Had it not been for Adrienne, I don't know how I could have survived", Winston said in what seemed like sympathy.
"Yes, I am positive mother's passing had such an effect on you father, but the news and packing has tired me. After I unpack, I will see to getting some sleep, if you don't mind", Emma said as she already started up the stairs.
"I could call the maid to help", Winston called up.
"Don't bother. I am sure you are quite the busy man with barely any time for anything. I wouldn't want to keep you from the responsibilities. The foundation of our way of living was spent on the blood and sweat of your hands. I can't possibly get in the way of such glorious progress. On a similar note, I will show the men their rooms. Come now, boys, the guest rooms are this way", Emma said as she continued up the steps.
Scott knew from then on that this time over at the Frosts would reveal wholly on what made Emma who she was, as the glimpse of this interaction had..........
*Hazel Frost's Room*
Emma looked through the photo album that her mother kept for "memories". They were beautiful, but horrible to go through to get them done. Emma was never fond of those times, but looking back, this was a time where her mother was particular about everything looking right. Hazel never really shared these pictures though. From the look of things, she had kept them by her bedside in a drawer. Why?.......She was so beautiful....Emma never realized how much she had resembled her mother with her blonde hair now. Thing's were different back when she was small.......
*Hazel's Room; 12 years prior*
................."Why did father become angry, dear?", Hazel asked her tiny daughter with her brown pigtails and large round glasses.
"I was just playing my dolls. I was teaching them about plants, like I learned today in school. Then, I wanted to teach them math. But then father came in and-"
"Emma, dear. What did your father say you were doing wrong?", Hazel asked as she sipped some of her drink she always had with her.
"He said I was wasting time playing dolls when I could be thinking of ways to improve my knowledge and learn more about money and social skills and-"
"There we go. We have the answer to your plight. Your father only wants you to improve yourself, hun'. To be the hardworking, successful girl he knows you can be", Hazel said.
"But he gets mad at me for everything! I think he hates me....", Emma said as she began to cry.
"Oh, dear, no. Of course not. Father loves you very much! In fact, here's a secret.....he actually loves you most", she said as she pulled Emma into a hug.
"Then why is he always so mean to me. Why does he make a mess of my room? Why does he break my toys? Why does he grab my arm and face hard? Why is he always mad at me?", Emma sniffles.
Hazel doesn't answer her daughter for a long moment. Emma could not see the expression on her mother's face, but she could feel her arms tighten slightly more. It was nice to be held like this, protected from all the bad stuff. Emma wishes this would happen more.....
Loves me most......
As a child she had believed her mother and blamed herself.....
Emma would learn though. She would learn that it was all lies, as per usual of this family. Emma had indeed endeavored to excel as a student since. A's, after-school projects, extracurricular activities, and even awards. Meaningless trifles......all worthless in the eyes of her father.
How could she earn that respect she so wanted from the person who was suppose to love her unconditionally?
She couldn't and wouldn't. Her powers came in soon at her teens years prior to Xavier. She had to deal with all the headaches alongside the pimples. It became apparent sometime after they arose, that her father only had love for person. And he saw that person in the mirror every day of his worthless lifetime. He would seek to make himself happy by praise for the outward appearance of his family, while seeking the pleasure of himself in private. And Emma's mother?..........................
*Frost Library; 5 years ago*
Her hair was brown. Her perspective was still relatively innocent, waiting to be ruined by the secrets she would continue to uncover. One of them being her father's many mistresses, caught on camera by Emma. All too easy after reading his mind, his incredibly gross mind. Emma would have rather been anywhere but there, but it was necessary at the time. Now, it was all for nothing.......
"What do you mean entertaining? Did you....did you already know of his infidelity?!", Emma asked in astonishment.
"You are being overly-dramatic, Emma? The business world is a complicated place and your father merely ensures that the dealings we get are assured. You like our house? Your room? The food?", Hazel said calmly.
"That is absolutely ridiculous mother! If he has to resort to that, what exactly would that say about him as a businessman?!", Emma says.
"That he is doing whatever it takes to care for his family, Emma. To ensure that you have a trust fund, a home, the best education, the finest clothes, and more", Hazel rebutted.
"I would gladly turn that all in if it meant we got a loving family! That our lives wouldn't be dictated by a temperamental man-child who can't keep it in his pants", Emma yelled.
"That's enough! I don't want to hear you speak this way anymore about your father, Emma! He does so much for this family and I do not appreciate the constant bad-mouthing! If you are truly unhappy here, then you have a right to leave!", Hazel shouted as she pointed toward the door.
"I would do that! In a heartbeat! It's just-.......", Emma trailed off.
"You have nowhere to go. You have no survival skills because it has been waited on you. Hand and foot! How long would it be before your friends kick you out? Assuming they allow you to stay with them to begin with!", Hazel said furiously.
".....I...don't have any friends.....I am alone....", Emma said in a hushed tone.
"Then I suggest you change that attitude and appreciate what we do for you here, Emma. No more of the harsh outlook over any of this family. Learn. Love. Live. That is all you are required to do for us. Dismissed", Hazel said before going back to her book. Emma slowly walked in a sort of daze as she thought over the things her mother had said to her. She was just about walking up the stairs when she heard her fathers voice.
"You know, everything your mother had said in there, they have been exactly what I had said to you for years. Still, no appreciation. Tsk, tsk. Its a shame, girl. You have a lot of potential in that brain. If only you would learn to use it. Make yourself not just book-smart, but socially smart and business smart. Look at you, Emma! You wonder why you have no friends of any age? You simply aren't the best. It's all about that image. Be smarter than them, without them knowing. Use them. Such beautiful genes culminating into this young woman, yet you choose a pitiful, homely appearance. Believe it or not, Emma, I have a choice to make among my three girls as to who owns the company. The fortune will indeed be split fairly to you children, but the most valued asset must be earned to the best of you all. Will it be you?", Winston said.
"I don't want your company! I never did and I never will!", Emma said before turning back up the stairs. Yet, as she traveled down the hall, she took a look at the strands of brown hair that laid over her shoulder. As she thought to herself about change, she could still hear his voice in his head.
"What a shame"
*Emma's Room; Present Day*
"Emma?", Scott called as he knocked on her door. Emma opened her door, looking remarkably fine for someone mourning her mother's death.
"I.....I wanted to see how you were doing", Scott said.
"Did Warren send you?", Emma asked as she leaned on the door frame.
"Not this time", he said with a smile. "He cares about you, ya know?"
"Of course I do. That is exactly I wanted him to stay away from this.....madness", Emma sighed.
"Your father seems...."
"Horrible, Scott. There is no way around it. Any faith you have in him, crush it before he does it for you", Emma says as she turns and walks to her bed.
"Okay. Uh, so.......what are ya gonna do now that you left the school?", Scott asked as he sat at the other end of her bed.
"Get my brother, first and foremost. Then get as far away from my father as possible and start a new life off of what I learned from Xavier. I am....I am thinking about teaching", Emma says as she begins to blush.
"........I could see it", Scott said after thinking for a second.
"Really? You don't think I should choose something more ambitious?", Emma asked. Scott was surprised at that show of vulnerability from Emma of all people. Did she really trust him this much?
"Really, Em'. If it's truly something you want to do, who is anybody to stop you?", Scott said.
"Me", Emma said simply.
"Why would you want to, though?", Scott asked.
"Because I am a Frost. We are supposed to run businesses, live in class and luxury, and -"
"Who told you that?", Scott asked.
"My.......my father. Oh god, I could swear I was moving past him, leaving him behind, yet there he is, buried deep in my head!", Emma said with fear on her face.
"Emma! Listen to me", Scott said as he put his hands on her shoulders. "You are so much more than your father thinks. If her were half the person you were, I would consider maybe some contemplation. He doesn't want you to succeed Emma. He wants you to be his legacy, but that isn't who you are. Tell me who you are."
"I am Emma. Emma Grace Frost. I will be a college student. I.....", Emma trailed off as she looked away.
He gently turned her chin back to him. "You will be a teacher, Emma, if you truly want it. Not just any teacher, but the best damn teacher any school will ever learn from. Guiding the next generations, with Ms. Frost being a name you can be proud of", Scott said firmly.
Emma stared at him for the longest time, making Scott doubting the way he worded everything. Did he overstep? Was he doing exactly what her father did to her? Would she hate him this coming-
It was sudden, needy, and forceful. A kiss that determined to own Scott, to offer more things to come. Her lips were soft and surprisingly warm compared to her naturally cool attitude. So much different than Jean........Jean!
"Emma, please, I-I can't", Scott said as he pushed gently.
"You can't what? Is there something wrong? Did I do something?", Emma asked confusedly.
"No! No, i-it's something I did! If it were any other time, but- oh god!", Scott exclaimed as he runs his hands through his hair nervously.
"Scott, if you don't like me, it's fine. It's not like-"
"No, that's not it at all! Y-you're a telepath. I know that even if I were trying, I couldn't hide just how...good it felt to kiss you, but....", Scott trailed off.
"Scott? What is wrong?", Emma asked worriedly. Pathetic isn't it. Here she is comforting him when he was supposed to do it the other way around. But this....it has gotten all messed up and confusing and-
"I'm dating Jean!", Scott said suddenly. Emma's eyes widened mostly from the suddenness of the confession, rather than what he actually said.
"Oh. I'm....I'm sorry, Scott. I didn't know, truly", Emma said, tampering down the rising bit of envy she was feeling. Of course the perfect little red-head who had the ability to get anyone she wants without compromising her own being gets the guy Emma had grown to like more than any person she has known. She ensured that nothing betrayed her emotions on her face. "For how long?"
"For about a couple months", Scott said as he looked to the floor.
"Alright. Why have you not said anything to the rest of the team?", Emma asked.
"We kind of wanted to keep it a secret. Well, more me than her. I don't know why, I just....I didn't want to get anyone's hopes up in case, she changed her mind about me or the other way around", Scott said guiltily.
"Well....if that is what you want, then I will see to keeping this secret until you decide otherwise......well, it has been fun, but now I think I will need time to recover from the mortifying embarrassment I just experienced. Would you mind, uh, leaving?", Emma asked without looking to Scott.
Scott nodded and started for the door. Before passing through, he turns back to Emma for a final say. "Emma.....I am really sorry. I want you to know that, even after this took place, I....I still want to stay close friends. I do care about you a lot and if you ever need me, you can call, visit, or whatever. Just.....don't forget that."
"Okay, Scott", Emma said with a smile before laying away from the door to let the tears fall onto her pillow.
*Hallway to Winston's Office*
Emma walked down the hall as she thought more on what she would say to him when she got there. She was gonna follow her own goals, not his.....Maybe running the company was a more sound decision? Whatever. Either way, he will be in a bad mood for her disturbance of his "important" work.
"Father, I wanted to-", Emma stopped in her tracks as she saw her sister standing over the body of her dead father. Not a drop of blood to be found. Such a case would be a problem for prosecuting, but Emma knew what her sister was capable of. "Adrienne....what did you do?"
"Gave us an out from under his thumb. Your welcome", Adrienne said.
""Emma, they- what is....Emma, did you do this?", Scott asked when he ran in.
"What?! NO! You think I am- forget it, of course you. I have complained enough about him to make me a suspect, right?!", Emma said, flabbergasted Scott would even ask.
"Em'-", Scott was about to answer, but a voice interrupted.
"Unfortunately, it does, Miss Frost", Nick Fury said as S.H.I.E.L.D Agents put power dampening cuffs and a collar on her to keep her powers in check.
"You called S.H.I.E.L.D?!", Adrienne asked out loud.
"No. They have been monitoring father for a long time. They have evidence of him dealing with different supervillains", Emma said simply as S.H.I.E.L.D took Adrienne in the same cuffs and collar.
"We were gonna take him, but given the current circumstances, it looks like we will have different case on our hands with two Frost members who have superpowers of killing someone with a single thought. Get this body picked up!", Nick directed his agents as the two women were filed into the S.H.I.E.L.D supervillain containment van.
"Wait, where are you guys taking her?! Scott, whats going on?!", Warren asks as he gets to Scott past the S.H.I.E.L.D Agents.
"They are arresting Emma nad her sister for the alleged murder of their father", Scott said listlessly.
"Winston is dead?.....Can't say that he didn't have it coming, but Emma couldn't have......this sucks. We gotta call the Professor", Warren said with a tired sigh. Scott didn't say a word as he watched the vans drive off.
*unknown S.H.I.E.L.D location*
Emma looked up to see Xavier wheeling into her cell.
"How lovely of you to visit, Charles. How are things on the outside world?", Emma asked in a faux conversational manner.
"I am sure you know for a fact that is not the reason for my coming. I have come to bring you home, wherever that is to you", Xavier said as he parked next to her bed.
"These days, I can't say I would know either, Charles, but I know the school will not be it", Emma said.
"Why do you feel that way? Have I not provided well-enough for you? Treated you kindly while teaching you the fundamentals?", Xavier asks .
"My leaving has nothing to do with you", Emma responded tiredly without looking at Xavier.
"Then why?", Xavier asked. Emma didn't answer him, prompting him to sigh.
"Emma, in order for me to get your release, I need to look into your mind. I know under these circumstances, you will not be able to defend yourself the same way you could with your powers, but we have to prove your innocence. That is, if you are innocent to begin with", Xavier explained.
"Do you think I could truly do something like this?", Emma asked Xavier.
Xavier was silent for a moment. "With powers like yours, it would take no effort to shut down any mind you wish through my training. Yet, just because you can does not mean you did. I am holding onto the hope that my training and teachings taught you the right way of things and that you would not resort to such a barbaric way of doing things", Xavier said after a moment of thought.
"Then you have no need to look into my head. Please, leave", Emma said.
"..........Very well", Xavier said before wheeling out. It took no more than 5 minutes before her cell opened back up.
"This way, Frost! You have been bailed out", the agent said. Emma looked up and followed direction. As she walked down the hall accompanied by S.H.I.E.L.D, she noticed Xavier coming out of a cell. Passing by him and looking into the cell, she noticed her sister, hugging her legs, telling Emma exactly what happened. Emma was free.
*Mental Institution; a week later*
"Greetings, how may I help you?"
"Yes, I would like to speak to your manager. Tell them Emma Grace Frost, new owner of Frost International and daughter of Winston Frost is here to see them", Emma said to the lady at the front desk. That caught the woman's attention and she ran off to do just that.
"Miss Frost! What a surprise to see you! We didn't know you were gonna visit today", a man she presumed was the manager said with a friendly welcome.
"Yes, that is because this isn't a regular visit. I have come to take my brother home", Emma said.
"Uh, but Mr. Frost-"
"Is dead. Thank you for reminding me. And my sister has been imprisoned after murdering him, so I am in dire need of some family to get me through such a hard time. I was there when they took him away to this place and I know for a fact that my brother didn't belong here when my father sent him. I will pay whatever fee it will take to get him out, I just want it done. Now!", Emma said in succession, not allowing him a chance to speak until she was finished.
"W-well, yes, that is correct. Mr. Frost, my condolences b-by the way, uh....Mr. Frost did send Christian here under the a false pretense, but after watching him over, we found that he had symptoms", the man said nervously.
"Symptoms? Of what? He has never been diagnosed with anything previously", Emma said in shock.
"Yes, and he appeared fine when we first brought him, but after a couple of days, Christian had been experiencing symptoms of schizophrenia. Talking to beings that aren't there, screaming in fear of being attacked, unable to communicate properly after speaking with the people, and violent tendencies toward himself. And no medication we have given him seem to affect him in a way that treats the disorder", the manager explained. Emma thought for a moment about this new information, before thinking of something....
"Violent tendencies? But that doesn't.........When exactly did these hallucinations start?", Emma asked.
"A couple of days later, sometime after his thirteenth birthday. I know what you are thinking, violent tendencies aren't related, but I mean toward himself. Miss, he has begged his doctors to end it on occasion. The problem is that as we try to help him, we get no good result. We have never seen such a reaction from anybody before because we can usually at least help treat it and we are still researching his condition as we speak", the manager answered.
"........Show him to me", Emma said. With a sigh, the man led her down the halls of the institute until she came to her brother's room. As she did, Emma could feel the chaos of thoughts screaming in her head and talking in different voices of the hospital. If her suspicions were correct, she needed to move before the people get hurt. "Christian? Christian, its Emma."
"Emma? Emma, y-you shouldn't have come here. Shouldn't see me like this", Christian said as he looked to her and then away.
"Christian, I have come to take you away, but first we gotta stop the voices in your head. I need you to listen to my voice", Emma said quietly. She then closed her eyes and reached into the chaos of emotions in his head. As she suspected, he was brimming with psychic energy, but that wasn't the end of it. There was a link....someone feeding him as he does them.
"Hello? Do you know my friend, Christian, too? Or are you Christian, too?", a voice said.
"Am I- wait, who are you? How do you know Christian?", Emma asked the voice.
"He came here eight years ago and has kept me company since. We are the bestest of friends.........", that voice said.
".......and the worst of enemies", a different, more sinister voice said.
"You......you are the reason he is like this. Your mind, it is so much more chaotic than anything I have ever felt. So many individual thoughts surging through Christians head through you. Who are you?", Emma asked the voice.
"I answer to many names...", the voice said. Emma then heard names spit out from around her among different voices ranging from male to female to monstrous to young to old to kind to wicked. All at the same time in a disorganized manner that made things difficult to grasp for even Emma.
"You're....not real. You are all aspects of a single being. Multiple individual thoughts and emotions flooding a single mind and that same mind is sending you all to my brother. My brother was fine before this, but because of both of your powers, it has driven him to madness", Emma said.
"So, you believe me to be insane", one of the voices say in an offended voice.
"Yes. And I would like you to kindly get out of my brother's head so that I may take him home, where he belongs", Emma said bluntly
"Wow! Someone has gotten to big for her britches", an elderly female voice said.
"You can't take him away! He's me bestest friend!", a crying child said.
"So, I think you should kindly f-"
"I've had enough of this! I am severing the connection, now", Emma said.
"NO!!!", the voices said in unison as Emma was hit with an intense amount of psionic energy, filled with so many thoughts and feelings that overtook her entire being.
"So, powerful.....too powerful.....can't give in. Must.......there.....there is a main personality in there.....you are the one to keep them in check.....with my help, you will beat this.....David.....", Emma said to him.
"Emma? You-you did it! You made the voices go away!", Christian said. Emma looked around and saw that she was on the floor of her brother's room and that the manager of the mental hospital was unconscious. Everyone was, except for Christian and herself. Now was the time to take Christian from this place.
"Christian, I am going to get you out", Emma said finally as she reached out to her mind and woke everyone who'd fallen unconscious.
"Is gone. Adrienne ensured that. Mother is no longer with us either. You can be free now, to live as you were before all this", Emma said before talking to the manager. She had wiped his memory of the whole thing and made it seem like he brought her to a room with a perfectly fine brother. With apologies made to a very confused man, Emma takes Christian and leads him to her limo.
"What am I gonna do? I came in that place at the age of thirteen and now I am out at the age of 21, with no prospects, no real skills, no passion", Christian said worriedly.
"Whatever you decide will be supported by me, so long as you don't hurt yourself or others. You have a trust fund, as does Dehlia. And, despite my sisters actions, I am putting aside money for her, too. Do what you like, but be wise about it", Emma said.
".....You really have grown since I left. Become so much more.....mature. Beautiful and strong. I am proud of you, sis", Christian said with tear-filled eyes.
Emma didn't answer, but she gave smile to him as she drove down the street.
Winstons's Emma's Study*
Emma felt strange in the room that her father spent most of his days. She didn't want to think about the things he had done in this very room, but as she looked through records of his company funding, she saw all the evidence of how wicked he was. Funding the supervillains wasn't even what brought her to that realization. No, it was the plans of driving her back to him by planning to do something about mutants. He was one of the investors for the idiotic Sentinel invention of Trasks.
"What am I gonna do?", Emma asked herself as she sighed in exhausted frustration.
"Come in", Emma called. The door opened to reveal a man with raven black hair in a medieval style coat and confident aura about him. He watched Emma with a smirk that made Emma's skin crawl in all the wrong ways. Following after him was a woman with a black hair and a tight corset. She had stockings that matched her scantily clad outfit, yet her expression held nothing sexual about it. She was pretty, but uninterested.
"Greetings, Miss Frost. I am Sebastian Shaw and this is my personal assistant, Tessa", Shaw introduced in a smooth, deep voice.
"We would like to speak to you about further dealings regarding an exclusive secret organization that your father was a part of", Tessa said as they both took a seat........