The Red Room
Andromeda Valentine

Pairing: Emma/Shal

Rating: NC-17

Status: New (10/28/03); Complete

Archive: Yes to list archives, anyone else please ask first.

Feedback: Yes, please!!

Series/Sequel: Not sure yet...

Other Websites: Crimson Red

Disclaimers: Not mine. Emma and Shal belong to Tribune and the song 'Honey Don't Think' belongs to Grant Lee Buffalo...

Summary: Soldier!Shal and Rent Girl!Emma - need I say more? :-)

Notes: Just a weird AU that sprang into my head fully grown after one too many repeats of 'Meet Me In The Red Room' off the second Moulin Rouge soundtrack. Dedicated to my li'l sis Lil, for her birthday...

Song lyrics are from Grant Lee Buffalo´s 'Honey Don't Think' ...

Warnings: Explicit femmeslash. (Uh... duh...?)


"I don't know about this, Jess..." Shalimar Fox eyed the face on the other end of her vidscreen dubiously. "It's a little weird, even for me."

Jesse Kilmartin just laughed, blue eyes twinkling as the sound carried across the connection. "Nothing's too weird for you, Shal. Trust your little brother - you'll have a great time."

"And you don't see anything wrong with the fact that you're hiring me a *hooker*? Not exactly the sort of thing a brother does for their sister." Shal just stared at the vidscreen again, eyes wide.

"Yeah, well," Jesse shot back laughing,"we're only *honorary* siblings, so things are a little different. Besides - you're on Aphrodite Station, Shal. It's legal, perfectly respectable, and perfectly safe. Live a little! Besides, you'll finally have one up on Angel and Beau when you swap wild stories."

Shal still wasn't convinced. "I can find my own companionship, thank you very much, with*out* paying for it. And do you even know anything about this girl?"

"Of course I do!" Jesse replied, mock-insulted."A friend of mine - who I trust - recommended her, and I've even met her once or twice in passing. She's just your speed - red-headed, all leg, and totally wild."

Shal arched an eyebrow, interested despite herself. "Really?"

Jesse grinned at her, knowing he had her attention now. "Yep - and she's licensed, too, which means she's choosy *and* expensive, and good enough to be both. So you better appreciate this..."

"That hot, huh?" Shal asked, now completely intrigued.

"Oh, yeah - enough to make your eyes bleed. I'd be broke in a heartbeat if I was at all her type, believe me..." Jesse assured her. "She'll be there at 8 - all you need to do is make sure your medscan is current, and be there waiting for her."

"Fine..." Shal said, capitulating with a sigh. "So what's her name?"

"Emma." Jesse said, smiling again. "Emma DeLauro..."


By 7:45, Shal had exhausted most of her wardrobe - what she'd brought with her, anyway - and was heartily sick of the whole idea. Finally, still half-naked from her earlier shower and almost snarling in irritation, she told herself to get a grip and just pick something.

Searching over her wardrobe again, she decided on something informal, but not entirely casual - a dark brown tank top with spaghetti straps and a matching brown skirt with a slit up one side. Paired with brown leather boots that came up to her knee, she was comfortable, stylish, and (she hoped) sexy...

With only a few minutes left, she neatened her hair and makeup and declared herself ready. Even to her nervous and critical eye, she looked good - only the barest traces of makeup, and her hair flowing loose down her back.

By the time the knock on the door came - at exactly 8:00, she noted - she'd managed to regain most of her composure back, though the sight that greeted her when she opened the door took most of it away again...

Jesse hadn't been kidding. The woman at the door was just... hot - tall, slender, with bright red hair in pigtails, and bright blue eyes rimmed in slightly smudged kohl. She wore a black tank top and leather miniskirt that showed off her pale, perfect skin, and her impossibly long legs were cased in thigh-high stockings in some sort of lace pattern, attached to a garter belt that just barely peeked out from under the miniskirt.

It might have been simply trashy on anyone else, but the way she wore it acknowledged that fact and made it into something entirely different...

She flashed Shal a wide grin, displaying even, white teeth. "Shalimar? I'm Emma..."

Shal, jolted out of her paralysis, stepped aside suddenly. "Please, come in. And it's just Shal."

Emma, walking in, let out a low whistle as she looked around the suite. "Wow - they really take care of you Sol Corps kids, don't they?"

"They try." Shal replied, still feeling a little off kilter. Whatever she'd expected, this force of nature was not it, and she had no idea how to act or what to say.

Trying to buy a little time, she headed over to the bar to fix them both drinks. "Something to drink, Emma?"

"Sure!" the redhead responded cheerily. "Bourbon, neat. Mind if I scope out the stereo system while you play bartender?"

At Shal's negative response - she didn't mind at all, it gave her that much longer to regain her bearings - Emma strolled over to the stereo, and spent a moment or two sifting through its contents before wandering back over to the bar.

Perching on one of the stools and crossing one leg over the other - Shal trying not to stare at the indecent amount of thigh her idly swinging leg revealed - Emma pulled a cigarette case and matches out of her purse. "Mind if I smoke? It's a clove - one of those 'safe' ones that takes all the fun out of it."

"Doesn't bother me." Shal said, handing Emma her bourbon. "Nikki - one of the women in my unit - smokes cloves, so I've gotten kinda used to 'em."

Images of some of the nights she and Nikki had spent together flashed across her mind, and she felt herself flush as Emma grinned at her as if reading her thoughts. "Nikki, huh? She sounds cute. Not the jealous type, is she?"

Shal just laughed. "It's nothing exclusive like that. And I've been told we look a lot alike, so I'm gonna have to go with yeah, she's cute."

"Works for me." Emma said, and Shal's pulse jumped up a notch or two at her sly, teasing grin as she went to light her clove.

A slightly uncomfortable silence fell a few seconds later, until Emma propped her elbows up on the bar, chin resting in one hand. "So you're a soldier, huh? Sol Corps? Must be pretty cushy - I know they're about creaming themselves to get New Mutants in these days, especially Ferals."

"Yeah, they are." Shal agreed. "My whole unit's made up of Ferals, actually." She held out her right arm to reveal the Mu and Phi tattoos, that, with the barcode under them, marked her as a registered Feral New Mutant. Directly beside it was another tattoo - a red circle with a black five-pointed star inside it.

Emma's eyebrows shot up as she took another drag off her clove. "Darkstar, too, huh? Damn, Shal, you just get hotter by the minute."

"That so?" Shal challenged, teasing.

"Fuck, yeah!" Emma replied. "How the hell *all* of you Ferals are so hot, I'll never know - and I don't really care, because, god, your stamina is incredible." she added, exhaling the last drag off her clove. "Plus you're a soldier girl on top of that, and I *love* a woman in uniform. Gets me all kinds of hot and bothered."

The teasing note dropped from Emma's voice at that last statement, and Shal found herself backing up a step as those direct blue eyes stared into hers. "Look - I don't - I can't-"

Emma just looked at her for a long moment, then smiled gently. "You've never done this before, have you?"

"Nope." Shal said, with a wry smile. "I mean - how does this work, exactly?"

Emma winked at her while putting her clove out in the ashtray. "Let me worry about that. I'm the professional here, remember?"

She hopped off the bar stool and sauntered over to the stereo. Punching a button on it, she kicked off her heels and held a hand out to Shal. "Dance with me? It'll help you relax."

It was Shal's turn to arch an eyebrow. "I don't think dancing with you is going to be... relaxing, exactly."

Emma just held her hand out again. "Humor me."

Shal considered for a moment, then paused just long enough to tug off her boots before walking over. The song started just as she got there - one of her favorites, actually, with mellow acoustic guitar and a male singer with a sexy, slightly raspy voice.

It wasn't as awkward as she'd thought it would be - they seemed to move together very naturally, standing there with Emma's hands on her hips and her hands resting on Emma's shoulders as the music filled the room.

It's the luck of the draw -
how you wound up with me
I don't know how at all.
But I beg you to stay -
crawl around on this earth
while the world's still small...

Emma pulled Shal a bit closer, the intimacy of the moment and the song finally letting Shal relax until they were almost dancing cheek to cheek.

Honey, don't think
about it too long, now...
Honey, don't think -
you're liable to figure me out...

Moving with the slightly increased tempo of the song, Emma shifted slightly to kiss Shal, gently at first, then with slightly more daring and urgency as she gauged the blonde's reactions.

There's something wrong in my stars...
Could you look at my chart and help me heal these scars?
Could you learn to read minds?
And in the case of mine,
do you read in the dark?

Sensing that Shal had begun to relax into the moment, Emma slid a hand over to cup Shal's breast. When she got only a slight moan in response, she brought her other hand up, too, hearing Shal's breathing quicken ever so slightly.

Honey, don't think
about it too long, now...
Honey, don't think -
you're liable to figure me out...
You don't want to figure me out...
You don't want to figure me out...
You don't want to...

Emma leaned in and kissed Shal again, then reached down to catch the hem of the blonde's shirt and tug it off. Shal didn't protest, especially when Emma's hands slid back up to toy with hard nipples.

Honey, don't think
about it too long, now...
Honey, don't think -
you're liable to figure me out...

Sometime in the last few moments, Shal had closed her eyes tight, and had yet to open them again. Emma, guessing the reason for it, smiled and leaned in to kiss her again as she let her hands roam a little.

Honey, don't think
about it too long, now...
Honey, don't think -
you're liable to figure me out...

"Open your eyes, Shal." Emma whispered as the song faded out. Shal's eyelids fluttered open to reveal that her irises had turned golden and her pupils slitted, and Emma's own pulse picked up a notch. "Fuck, that's hot..."

The next song on the stereo faded into background noise as she steered Shal up against the nearest wall. A moment later she had Shal's skirt off, leaving the blonde clad only in black silk panties.

Those Emma left on for the moment, sliding her hand up the inside of Shal's thigh to toy with her through the thin silk. Once the blonde had begun arching into her touch, she slipped two fingers inside the panties, feeling Shal tense as those fingers glided teasingly over her clit.

The blonde actually growled when Emma pulled away to tug her panties off, and Emma wavered between amusement and arousal. Finding your client as hot as they found you wasn't part of the job, but it was damn nice when it happened.

Grinning slightly, she leaned in to kiss Shal again, sliding her hand between them to slip two fingers into the blonde, who bucked against her. Then Emma started trailing kisses down Shal's body, finally ending on her knees trailing kisses up the blonde's inner thigh.

She paused for a split second to focus and center, then flicked her tongue ever so gently across Shal's clit.

Shal felt the floor drop out from under her, as her own pleasure was returned to her doubled and trebled until she finally just lost herself in the tidal wave. She heard someone screaming in pleasure and pain, then vaguely realized it was her.

When the world returned several moments later, she was sitting on the floor, aftershocks still rippling through her."How the hell did you do that?!"

Emma - who had barely managed to remain coherent and not be pushed over the edge herself just from feedback - held out a slightly shaky arm to show her own tattoos, Mu and Psi with a barcode underneath. "Psionic." she said weakly. "Telempathy..."

Shal, quickly regaining her bearings, grinned at her. "Kinky. So," she added, leaning in, "do you get to play too?"

There was no question of saying no after all that, not in her present state of arousal, and she capitulated with a whimper as Shal pushed her back onto the carpet. The last coherent thought she had was the blonde pushing her skirt up over her hips and tugging at her panties...


"Three days?" Brennan Mulwray stared at Emma DeLauro across the vidscreen, amused and incredulous. "You two stayed locked away for three days?!"

Emma just smiled blithely back at him. "Yep."

"Was it worth it?" Brennan asked.

Emma felt a wave of heat wash over her at just the memory. "Oh, god, yes..."

Brennan just laughed, grinning at her. "That good, huh?"

"Better!" Emma shot back, grinning too. "You found me a good one, Bren - I'm thinking of taking her on as a regular client. I really like her."

"Uh oh!" Brennan teased. "I think someone's getting a little attached."

"No, I'm cool." Emma assured him. "Besides, I think I've earned a little fun."

Brennan just smiled. "You have. I'll tell Jesse everything went great. He'll be glad to hear it."

Emma just nodded as the vidscreen console beeped. "You do that. I gotta go - got another call coming in."

"Talk to you later, kiddo - take care of yourself." Brennan replied.

"I always do." Emma told his fading image as she reached to switch vidscreen channels.

Shal's image appeared, smiling and restless. "Hey, Red."

"Hey yourself, Soldier Girl." Emma said, smiling back. "We still on for tonight?"

"Oh, hell, yeah..."