This is an aside from my ongoing series of NCIS mysteries, which follow a history where Jennifer Shepherd and Michelle Lee had not been murdered but had lived at least through the 2030’s. This is a look at where the televised series and my mystery series were in 2010.
I own none of the characters appearing here, they are the property of Belisarius Productions. I make no money on this venture. In all cases, the usual legal disclaimers apply.
“Okay, remember, tomorrow’s dinner is in the freezer,” Michelle Palmer tells her husband in their living room as she buttons her green blouse and adds the finishing touches to her traveling attire. Her suitcase is at her feet and the Convention awaits. “Just put it in the microwave for four minutes, and for your own happiness let it sit for two before you take it out or it’ll be cold inside.” She drapes a circled pentagram pendant over her head, tucks the back chain under her collar and centers the jewel before her breasts. “You won’t forget, will you?”
This attention to detail is one reason why Jimmy loves her, but sometimes her care can be a bit much. “‘Chelle, how can I forget? In for two, sit for four.”
She looks up and meets his grin with her own. “Bon appétit.”
“I’ll miss your teat.”
She occasionally thinks that Special Agent Gibbs has got it right, that sometimes Jimmy really needs a wake-up call. Then again, she’s afraid he might enjoy it. “I’ll be just two nights. You won’t even know I was gone.”
But he sees the look in her eyes, hears the hesitation in her voice. “Go on, I’ll be fine. You’ve looked forward to this all year.” He glances at the seven foot tall mirror, the ornate wooden frame carved with occult symbols he's never wanted to interpret. Prominent is the circled five pointed star that crowns it. “It’s not like it’s four hundred miles away.”
Actually the Beltane Festival in Salem, Massachusetts is almost exactly that far away, though by traveling through the Scrying Mirror she’ll be there in seconds.
Mirror Transitioning is incredibly convenient, the only drawback being the ‘transition vertigo’ at the other end as her body adjusts to her new orientation on the rotating and orbiting Earth. Short distance travel is one thing, particularly on a north-south orientation, but a trip back to China often feels like she’s been turned inside out as her inner ear must cope with a cumulative reversal of objective linear direction of 36 miles a second while believing she’s been flipped upside down. She always arrives oriented, upright of course, never risks a high speed fall but her system never believes that.
“Okay,” she says as she picks up from the couch her long, hooded cloak - green on the inside, purple velvet on the outer and drapes it over her shoulders, purple side out. “Have to arrive in style,” she says in answer to his questioning look.
She’s caught. “Actually not,” she admits. “Nothing’s going to happen until dawn,” she gives him a sour look, “but there’s just something wrong about arriving in jeans and tee shirt.”
“You could always arrive ‘skyclad’.”
“Oh, sure, that’ll cause a stir.” To be skyclad is to be clothed only in the light of the Goddess. “‘Sides, you know I don’t do ‘skyclad’.”
“Except with me,” he reminds her with a lecherous grin.
“That’s not ‘skyclad’, that’s nude.”
“What’s the difference?”
“Around you, eight inches.”
“Come to think of it, what if you miss?” he asks, still holding the mental picture of her arriving at the hotel lobby with nothing but the suitcase.
“I can’t miss,” she scoffs, the nonsense easy to dismiss. Kendra Little, High Priestess of Rising Star Coven, had provided everyone with the picture of the room anyone transitioning in is to target. Little has also provided its exact location within the hotel and that building’s location in the city. All she must do is hold the target in her mind and she’ll walk right into the room.
She glances at the clock on the opposite wall. Working a case right up to the last minute had made her late, it’s after midnight. It’s not that the time means much, nothing begins until Friday sunrise, but she’d still like to have left earlier.
“Well,” she spreads the floor-length cloak, her body back-curtained in green, “how do I look?”
Her silk blouse is pine green, her medium-length skirt russet, her slippers match it. Earth colors are not just appropriate to the season, they’re her preferred ones. The pentagram suspended between her breasts gleams in the room light.
He grins. “Delicious.”
“Letch. I’m serious.”
“Why are you wearing that star?”
“Oh, Jimmy, please?” Her favorite pendant is the one he’d commissioned from a jeweler to celebrate their engagement. That circled star encloses, in the pentagon formed by the crisscrossing lines, a Christian cross: the symbols of her dual faiths.
But that one she can’t wear. The independence she enjoys in Rising Star - and her daily life in NCIS - might not carry over well in an International Gathering of Covens. There’s a time for uniqueness and a time for conformity.
“I’m sorry, Honey, you’re right.”
“Look, it’s time to leave. I’ll see you Sunday morning,” she says, picking up the small overnight case.
He pouts, his voice warbling. “I’ll miss you. You’ll be so far away.”
“Idiot. Kiss me.”
She puts her free left arm about him in a hug but his hands slip between them to cup her breasts. She doesn’t pull away, enjoying the stroking of his fingers as they kiss. She pulls an inch back from his lips. “You’re incorrigible.”
“Would you want to corrige me?” He gently tweaks her nipples.
“No,” she decides though she shivers at the sensation that chases itself all the way to her toes. He’s so unfair, can always turn her on at the worst moments, “but if I don’t leave now I’ll never go.”
“I prefer it when you come.”
This does make her pull out of reach, though the sensations remain hot in her ignited body. “You horny satyr! Goodbye.”
“Come back soon.”
She turns to the tall mirror, their images reversed in the wide glass. ‘If I don’t get out of here now....’ She doesn’t need to complete the thought, the lustful sensations he’d ignited leave her no doubt, as usual, as to what they’d do.
She tries to push the sensations from her mind - she can’t push them from her body - and to concentrate on the activating spell. She steps forward.
“Don’t get lost.”
She glances past the reflection of her body to him in the mirrored room. “I never get lost.”
She can barely feel the glass as she steps through it.
The vortex is silent as she walks, the blackness filled with flashes of light that burst in every hue and shade of the rainbow. Colored light streaks toward her, warps past at dazzling speed, belying her strolling pace.
She’s never allowed herself to wonder if they’re stationary and she’s moving at tremendous velocity or if she is actually walking as though across a room. When doing magic in the cosmic vortex, she dares not break her concentration.
The room materializes around her, revealed in the two-dimensional plane as though she’d stepped through a doorway and it resolves into three dimensions. That’s another thing its best not to dwell on. She’d seen another witch’s vortex materialization from the rear only once and decided, when she’d awoken from a dead faint, that it’d been much worse than walking in on an autopsy.
Though the lights are off, enough light filters in through the curtains for her to recognize her own living room.
‘What the heck?’ jumps through her mind simultaneously with the thought that Jimmy had turned off the light and gone down the short hallway to her right and to bed. She starts to call softly “Ji–?”
The Transition vertigo is like a mule kick.
She staggers and drops the overnight case with a loud bang. The vertigo kicks her a second time, harder than she’d ever known. She falls forward, can’t get her hands up. Her carpet approaches fast but disappears into black oblivion before she hits it.
Early morning light filters through the drawn blue curtains overlooking Orchard Lane when Michelle forces her eyes open. Her muscles feel like overcooked pasta as she pushes herself an inch off the floor. ‘Oh Goddess, what went wrong?’
She’s on her living room carpet, rather than in a hotel room in Salem, Massachusetts, and warm under the blanket of her purple and green cloak, perhaps the only good point about this fiasco. Not only has She missed the Sunrise Welcoming Ceremony - blast Gibbs - but she’s been clobbered by the worst bout of vertigo she’s ever known and even now the room is tilting. She fights it back, presses her hands to her head
and draws on Healing force until the room settles. Though brief, this wasn’t the worst transition vertigo she’d ever felt. That worst had come last night.
“Jimmy?” she calls too softly. ‘How’s he going to hear me when I can barely hear myself?’
She pushes herself up on shaking arms. ‘I don’t usually get blasted off my feet, but this was worse than China.’
She’s about to call out again when she freezes, recognizing the sound she does hear.
Rhythmic thumping of the bed down the hall punctuates feminine cries of passionate delight - coming from the bedroom. ‘What the hell?’
Outrage ignites a deeper rage and gives her the strength to shove herself off the floor. She staggers, but growing anger charges her body. ‘He can’t be….’
She stumbles to the short corridor, works her way down the hall past the bathroom to the closed bedroom door. The rhythmic noises of passionate lovemaking, the thumps of her headboard against the bathroom wall, drive the fugue from mind and body. She reaches the door as the sounds rise to a climax. ‘He can’t be–!’
She shoves the door hard. To her right, in the early morning light filtering through the drapes across the room is a sight she’s never had nightmares about.
A naked blonde bitch under her husband clings to him, arms and legs wrapped around him! He pounds into her, his every thrust met by her and the bed slams into the wall in lewd rhythm. The strumpet’s cries reach a climax and she slams the button beside her with her fist. The room explodes in light.
Her scream blasts the pair apart. He lands on his own side of the bed, leaves the blonde whore uncovered. He snatches his glasses off the night table as the bitch lies frozen, sweaty and horrified. He yanks his glasses on and mortal terror fills his face.
She’ll give him a reason to be terrified!
“WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU DOING?” She realizes it’s a stupid question, but she’s too furious to care. Jimmy stares at her, wide-eyed and petrified.
“Who’re you?” the appalled blonde demands, belatedly remembering to hide her breasts and crotch and failing at both.
“I’m His Wife, You Bitch!”
“His wife?” She turns to the frozen man on the far side of the bed who knows he’s about to land on his own autopsy table. Her slap cracks through the room.
“GET OUTTA MY BED!” Blasted by the scream, the woman leaps up, backs away over her discarded clothes toward the window. “GET OUT OF MY APARTMENT NOW!”
“I’m sorry! I didn’t - he said–”
Michelle reaches into her cloak, clutches the amulet suspended between her breasts, yanks its power and feels the mystic energy fill her to bursting. ‘Do no harm be damned.’ “GET OUT BEFORE I TIE YOUR TUBES TOGETHER!”
The blonde whore bends, grasps at the clothes scattered beside the bed.
“GET OUT!” she shrieks and readies a blast that’ll turn the bitch inside out.
She runs past, clutching the wrinkled bundle. Michelle, too furious to care, focuses her fury on her petrified, naked husband. The red handprint is livid on his cheek and he still hasn’t taken his eyes off her.
“You bastard!” She spits the word down at him as the outer apartment door slams. “I go away for a– I catch you– What’ve you got to say for yourself?”
He’s frozen, staring at her with bulging eyes, his face paper-white. She knows he knows she has the power to decimate him, that she can give him a treatment Viagra can never cure and she decides she’ll never miss it.
“WELL?” she demands, takes a step forward. He flinches away against the far wall. “ANSWER ME, DAMN YOU!”
He breaks, jumps from the bed, crouches behind it. She’s too furious to care. It won’t save him.
“WHAT’VE YOU GOT TO SAY FOR YOURSELF?” She’d leap over the bed to throttle him but in utter horror he screams
Summary: Michelle Palmer plans a trip to the Beltane Festival in Salem, using her Scrying Mirror to make the journey. It's supposed to be a fun two night International Gathering of the Covens. What could possibly go wrong?
Categories: Het, Het > Other Het Pairing
Genre: Alternate Universe, Angst, Dark, Drama, Friendship, Hurt/Comfort, Mystery, Romance, SciFi/Supernatural/Fantasy
Challenges: Quantum Mirror Challenge
Challenges: Quantum Mirror Challenge
Chapters 3 - 7 being updated for posting, but I wanted to get this out in time for the Quantum Mirror Challenge.
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