Author: Trekker (47_trek_47)
Summary: She's a princess, and she decides he'll be her prince.
Pairing: Adam Monroe / Elle Bishop
Rating: R (some violence; mild language; mild sex--Elle is 18)
Disclaimer: Someone else owns these characters, I am just playing with them.
Original story: Funny Looking Little Men by danniisupernova
Notes: Thanks to mystery_sock, who saved my bacon, and kindkit and futuresoon, who bore the brunt of my angst.
Once upon a time, when she was ten, she told herself she lived in a castle.
She was too old to believe that, she knew. She was too old to even pretend it, maybe, but she did anyway. The walls were blank gray blocks, so it was easy to imagine them as stone. Her room was on the top floor, so when she sat at the window, brushing her hair and staring out at the tops of the trees and the yard and the high chain-link fence, it was easy to picture herself in the highest room of the tallest tower.
She was there that afternoon when Daddy came and said, "Time to go, Elle."
He didn't say where, but she knew it was the basement. That room in the basement.
She sighed, but she didn't argue. There was no point in arguing. She knew that by now. And anyway, she never even remembered what they did in there.
Eight years later, she'd long since swapped fairy tales for romance novels. She would lie awake at night and fantasize she was one of those lucky girls, being swept off their feet (literally) by a handsome man in a half-unbuttoned shirt that showed off his hairless, perfectly sculpted chest.
She'd never met anyone like that, of course. All the men in her life were her father's associates, who by then were like family--albeit, rather distant, uncaring, estranged family.
Still, at night, just imagining those things was enough to make her squirm. She'd get hot and wet between her legs, her nipples would get hard, and she'd just want something.
Something went differently that day: afterwards, she remembered. Some of it, anyway.
She went into the room. It had a chair in the middle with straps on it, and a window on one wall that she couldn't see through. The walls of the room were covered with rubber. Next to the chair was a big machine with wires coming out of it.
She stopped in the doorway, but Daddy pushed her shoulder and said, "Come on, now, Elle, be a brave girl for Daddy."
She told herself that princesses were brave, and she went to sit in the chair.
Daddy fastened the straps around her tummy and her arms and her legs and told her it was so she would be safe--"just like a seatbelt."
Then he took the big wires coming from the machine and put one in each of her hands and told her to hold onto them tight, no matter what.
Then he left.
She was scared, until his voice came from a speaker, saying, "All right, Elle, we're starting now. Don't worry, it won't hurt."
Then something changed, and she felt the electricity starting to come out of her, like it had at Grandma's, and that time she got really mad when she was eight. She was worried for a moment, until she felt that it was going into the wires. She looked to the side, and saw a light bulb light up on the machine.
That was kind of cool.
Then something changed again, and she felt a little more electricity coming out.
Then again... like the machine was pulling it out of her.
She started to feel like she did when she ran too fast up and down the corridors, but she kept holding the wires, because Daddy told her to, no matter what.
It didn't stop. It kept going and going. It changed and suddenly it felt like she was on fire all over and it hurt and she screamed and she was going to let go even though Daddy told her not to, but she couldn't.
It changed again, even though in her brain she was begging it not to, because she couldn't anymore, she couldn't be brave, it hurt too much, and she felt something snap and smelled something burning and realized it was her.
There was one man, though. She saw him every day, but he wasn't like family. Not at all.
That day, she put took his pills and his cup like she always did.
He barely even noticed her when she walked in. He was writing something in his notebook and muttering to himself.
He wasn't much of a romance-novel hero. He was short, his hair was kind of messy and dirty and he was just dressed in the sweatpants and T-shirt that he always had on, not a flowing, unbuttoned dress shirt.
But he was a man.
She'd been trying to get his attention for almost two months now. Today, she swore, she wasn't taking 'not interested' for an answer.
She cleared her throat and he finally looked up, one blonde brow quirked in askance.
She was shivering with fear at her own boldness... and with anticipation.
It hurt, it hurt, it hurt, even with the machine gone, even though they were carrying her on a stretcher down the hall and she wasn't even in the room anymore. Everything hurt, even the air, and she was crying and Daddy was yelling at his friends and they were yelling at him and suddenly they were in another room, with a bright light on the ceiling that hurt her eyes and Daddy was saying, "Get him out of the way, we have a medical emergency!"
They put her on a bed and they were doing stuff, poking her with needles and shouting, but none of it was making the hurting stop. It just hurt so much. She couldn't even tell them to make it stop, because her mouth wasn't working, and her throat hurt as much as her skin, and her insides felt weird.
"Fuck," a voice she didn't know cut through the yelling, "A little girl? Even I'm not that twisted."
Bad word, she thought, weakly, even in the midst of the pain and the confusion and the brightness.
"Stay the hell away from her," Daddy said. 'Nother bad word. Everything was getting dark and strange.
"Do you want her to live or not? Back off. I can help." The voice was calm in the midst of all the chaos. It felt good, like soft blankets instead of rocks. She leaned toward it.
She saw him above her, with light shining all around him. He was sticking himself with a needle and pulling out blood, and then he reached down, saying, gently, "This'll make it better."
And she believed him. She didn't even try to pull away from the needle.
And it did. The pain stopped and everything got quiet. For a moment, the man was still standing over her, looking down between her and the bright light, and she thought, My prince. He saved me.
Then one of Daddy's friends took him away.
"I'm not leaving," she said to him, hoping her voice wasn't shaking as much as it felt like it was.
He just squinted at her for a moment, then said, "Do you even know what you're saying?"
"Of course I do," she snapped. "I'm not a baby!"
He snorted and stood up. "Everyone's a baby," he said.
She slapped the pill tray down on the table and stalked over, standing right up against him. She'd put on some of her secret stash of perfume, and she saw his eyelids flutter for a moment and his nostrils flare, and she smiled inside.
"I want it. You want it. Where the hell else are we going to get it?"
"Bad word," he said, chidingly, teasingly, with a small, superior smile.
She just growled in frustration and grabbed his hands, far beyond fear now, too close to what she craved to give up. She put his hands on her hips and pressed into him. She felt his cheek brush against hers and his nose brush her ear and she knew, in a sudden, excited rush, that he was going to give in. This was going to happen.
She felt like electricity.
He jerked a bit, and she realized she actually had shocked him a little. But he didn't pull away. Instead he growled, and suddenly gripped her wrists, turned them around and slammed her against the wall. She gasped with excitement, feeling like she did at night in bed, when she touched herself there.
"You want it?" he whispered, right up against her, trapping her, shoving her short skirt up around her waist with his hands, "you just got it, my little princess. Don't whine to me about it later."
She found him a few days later, downstairs in his cell. She'd always known he was there, but she'd never paid any attention before. She was paying attention now, though. She stood on her tip-toes and pressed herself to the plexiglas window and watched him as he stood perfectly still, with one foot up and both arms out, like a scarecrow.
He didn't look like a prince. In fact--
"You're funny-looking," she blurted.
He opened one eye. "You're funny-looking," he said.
She frowned a bit, because that wasn't what princes were supposed to say to their princesses.
Anyway, on closer examination, her potential prince looked really old. Like, maybe-as-old-as-Daddy old. "How old are you?" she asked, because that was one of those things she needed to know about her prince.
He just frowned back at her. "Why don't you go play with your dolls or something?"
It occurred to her that maybe he didn't remember, either. She only remember bits and pieces. She wondered if he remembered anything. "What do they do to you in there?" she asked, leaning her head towards The Room.
He walked over to her, and now he wasn't looking at her like she was a little kid. He was just looking at her like she was a person. She liked that.
"They cut me," he said.
"Why?" she said. Why do they do any of this? I don't understand.
"To see how deep I go," he said, and that answer was simple and maybe true, but it didn't help her with her question.
"I don't think that's what they do to me," she said.
"Well, what is it they do to you, then?" he asked. He was smiling a little, like it was all a big joke. Maybe she could pretend it was all a big joke, too. Maybe that would make it easier.
"I don't know," she said. The memories fluttered just out of reach. "It makes me sleepy, though. My Daddy told me there's a witch and she puts a spell on me to make me sleepy."
That didn't quite add up, though. Even she knew that.
She shook off that uncomfortable thought and looked back up at him, remembering him with the light all around him, saying gentle words to her--even if he didn't remember doing it. "Are you the prince that wakes me up?" she asked.
For a moment, he didn't reply, and she thought he'd say something mean and walk away. But then, instead, he smiled and dropped to one knee, like a knight before a queen, and cried, "If you'll have me, fair lady!"
She giggled, surprised and pleased by this. "Okay, I guess..." she said, suddenly shy. He smiled up at her, and, following the script, she leaned in and pressed a kiss to the plexiglas.
A moment later, overcome by shyness, she took off running down the hall.
She gasped with pain when he pushed himself into her, but she tightened her arms around him anyway. She'd heard it would hurt, but in the books, it always got better. Much, much better.
"Ah," he said. "Christ, I'd almost forgotten--"
Then he was rocking in and out of her, kind of rough and kind of fast, and it still hurt a bit. It felt a little good. A little. She just tried to keep breathing.
He was panting against her and going faster, and then suddenly, he stopped. "Oh, fuck, yes."
Then he was gone, off over by the toilet, getting a tissue and wiping himself off with his back to her.
She realized it was over. That was it. Just that.
As she was still standing there, trying to understand, he turned back to her. Her prince's face was twisted into a dragon's grin.
"So," he said, "was it good for you?"
She hit him with a bolt that sent him flying into the far wall, where he slumped to the floor, sizzling, then she stalked out of the room, slammed the door, and decided real life would never live up to fiction.