Emma sat across the table, one leg over another, her leather boot shining in the harsh light. She filed her nails, the emery board making a soft shushing noise with every stroke. She had used a metal file once. Erik had admired her moxie.
”I'm starting to think that our little exercise is far too difficult for the beginners,” Emma said without looking up from her nails.
”She still has time. The hostage isn't dead yet,” Erik said. He flexed his hand and in the middle of the table, a gun started to spin. It ended up pointing at Angel. Again. This game was rigged from the get go.
When the gun stopped moving, Angel struggled against her ties, earning a cold glance from Emma.
“Really? He has done that twenty times now, and you still jump in fright? Don't you have any self control? Uh. Disgraceful.”
Erik smirked and turned his hand, the gun flopping around like a caught fish. Angel's eyes widened over the gag.
“Emma, she isn't jumping from fear,” Erik said, a little patronizing, forced to explain something simple and obvious to someone who just didn't get it. Emma frowned, not amused by this.
“Oh? If it smells like fear and tastes like fear...”
“It still isn't fear. That...” Erik nodded at Angel and twirled the gun with a fluid movement of his fingers, watching the look in her eyes change with every twist and turn. “...is lust.”
“Really?” Emma asked, turning her attention to Angel, frowning a little as she shifted through the layers of emotions. “Oh yes, there it is. I assumed it was the general 'ravish me Erik, ravish me' -type of reaction, but no, it is the gun. Fascinating! Do the twirl again, I want to feel the whole range of it!”
Angel's eyes moved back and forth between them, her cheeks burning red. She didn't like the direction of this conversation. Erik didn't care, and neither did Emma.
“I'm sorry, a what reaction?” Erik asked, adding a flourish on his twirl. Angel made a meek little sound, and shivered. Emma smiled at her, then at Erik and it was his turn to shiver from the sight. The gun clattered back to the table, the barrel pointing the space between Emma and Angel.
“Why did you do that? Angel just hit the good part...Oh. My trap! It's broken! Excellent. Now we are finally getting somewhere.” Emma turned at the door and the gun leapt to Erik like an overexcited puppy. The heavy door rattled on its hinges for a moment, then the noise stopped as quickly as it had started.
“Poor Angel. One minute and thirty seconds, and you become a dead hostage. He will shoot you with that shiny gun, wouldn't you like that?”
“Release the hostage!” Mystique shouted from the shadows. On cue Erik pressed the barrel against Angel's head. She tried to squirm, to get away or move closer, it was hard to tell the difference.
“60 seconds and I shoot the hostage,” Erik said to the shadows.
“10 seconds and I shoot you,” came the calm reply.
“What would be the point? I can stop the bullet, you can't. The hostage has the short end of the straw,” Erik asked, pressing the gun harder against Angel's head.
“Rock salt, your chest. 5 seconds.”
“She has you there, Erik,” Emma said quietly, flickering into her diamond form as countermeasure. She had no doubt that Mystique would make good with her promise, and Emma certainly didn't want to ruin her clothes.
“Plenty of metal parts in a shotgun,” Erik said and reached with his free hand to grab the metal of the gun. Erik frowned. “Except...It isn't there.”
“The gun, there is no gun.”
The same moment Angel flung the chair back, toppling over hard against the bare concrete floor. The chair cracked and another swift move and she rolled away from the direct line of fire. Mystique dropped down from the support beam running across the hall ceiling, and like a cat she ended up on her feet, knocking Emma down in process. Erik turned to block her kick, but he was a fraction of a second too late, and the impact to his arm flung the gun to the floor. Instead surging forward to Erik, Mystique backed down, reaching to touch Angel.
“Hostage secured! Game over. We win,” Mystique declared. Emma straightened up and shimmered back to her flesh form, glancing at her nails to see the damage. Not too bad.
“Only because we let you,” Emma said and Erik laughed. The gun bounced back to his hand.
“Who wants to be the next hostage?”