X-Book 4 -- Of Politics, Tacos and Other Things that Give You
Indegestion: Chapter Two - One Brief Tale
Rating: PG-13 (violence, language)
Genre: Crossover (with anything I can squeeze in), SPOILERS FOR X2
Summary: See prologue to book 4
Disclaimer: I own nothing in regards to the Marvel characters or
any character from a previously published source portrayed in this
Reviews: Any feedback would be great and is appreciated!
Everything was quiet. Everything was perfectly still.
Mary was sitting on the edge of her bed, facing the window. She had
not moved in some time, and the sunlight shining on the floor was
slowly inching toward her feet. Her mind was also completely
silent, as she focused all her attention on the approaching light.
After a few more minutes, the warmth from the sun touched her feet,
then legs, and then reached her hands. She stared down at them for
a long time without moving. She thought about the light, all
light...her light. She did not know where it had come from, she did
not understand it. She only knew it was something much bigger than
she was, like the sun itself...and she was not ready to accept it.
When the knock sounded on Mary's door, the sunlight had reached her
face, and she blinked quickly as she looked up, the rays reflecting
off her gathering tears stinging her eyes.
Mary stood and took a few deep breaths before heading to the door.
She composed herself quickly, and by the time she greeted Rogue, her
face was clear and calm.
"Hi," Rogue said, sporting a friendly, understanding smile, "Can I
Mary nodded, "Sure...How are you feeling?"
Rogue shrugged as she walked over and sat down on the bed.
"I'm alright," she said, and then chuckled, "It's not like I've
never been unconscious before."
Mary closed the door slowly and shot her a nervous glance. She had,
of course, heard of some of Rogue's adventures with the X-Men since
coming to Xavier's school, but Mary had not been entirely prepared
for the after effects of such an incident.
"I mean..." Mary said hesitantly, "I mean...are you ok?
After...absorbing that other mutant's power..."
Rogue sighed heavily and she looked down at her own hands sadly.
"It was...it wasn't much different than the other times
I've...absorbed...someone's powers..." Rogue said, and then looked
up at Mary thoughtfully, "I felt his power, but not really the
powers of the others he had taken. Only echoes...like after
thoughts. And, I felt his memories...good and bad. The Professor
said that mutant died before the base exploded, right?"
Mary nodded, folding her arms across her chest as she leaned back
against the wall.
Rogue shrugged, "Well...maybe, in some way, part of that mutant...of
the person named Cody Weinberg...will always be remembered through
She looked down at her hands again, but was smiling.
"I have a little of everyone I've touched inside of me," Rogue
said, "Not all of it is good. But...Cody was like me. A mutant
like me. Knowing he'll stay with me actually makes me feel a little
better than it should, I guess..."
Mary shook her head, "No...no, I think that's a good thing. I
mean...that's the first time I've ever heard you say anything good
about your power..."
Rogue grinned, "I think it's the first time I've ever said anything
good about my powers. Seeing those mutants at that lab...it makes
me realize how lucky I am."
Mary nodded, and sighed. She walked slowly across her room toward
the window and stared out. Her back was to Rogue, who was watching
her curiously. None of the others had been very clear about what
exactly had happened after Rogue lost consciousness in the
underground base, so she waited for Mary to tell her experience in
her own words.
Lucky...Mary thought cynically. She did not know if it had been
luck or something else that had helped her yesterday. Luck was
easy. Luck was random. Luck did not have a purpose beyond chance.
"I'm afraid," Mary said after a few moments.
"Of what?" Rogue asked, and then decided to risk a direct
question, "Of what happened in that base?"
Mary turned toward her friend and sighed again.
"Yeah...of that...of everything," she admitted, dropping her arms in
frustration, "My whole life...every time things seem to be going
right...something impossible happens and makes me doubt everything
Rogue watched, and waited, a practiced skill of listening she
learned from the Professor and her other teachers.
Mary took one last long breath, and began to tell Rogue a brief
story of her life.
"When I was ten," she began, "Something happened to me that I've
never been able to explain. No one has ever been able to explain
it...or maybe they just never wanted to. My parents were already
dead by then, my mother and the man I knew of as my father. We had
always been happy. My father taught me about the history of the
land, and my mother taught me about listening to the land.
Everything had been beautiful then, I don't remember one day that I
was unhappy or afraid. Then, an accident took them from me. If not
for my grandmother, I would have been alone.
"When I was ten, though. That's when I really became alone. I told
some of this to Storm...on the jet...but not all of it. I don't
even remember all of it, but...what I do remember makes me afraid of
what might be inside me. I know it doesn't make any sense but I'll
try to explain...
"When I was ten...I think I saw an angel. Not some guy pretending
to be one or some mutant with wings...but a real angel. Like
directly from a choir of seraphim. I've studies a lot of religious
texts since then. His name was Simon, and he was running from
someone. He had something he needed to hide. So he gave it to me.
But it wasn't a good thing...and I wish he hadn't picked me...
"It was a ghost...or a soul...or a spirit...I don't know. But
suddenly I had the memories of a very bad man in my head. I saw the
terrible things he'd done. I knew everything he knew. God, I can
still smell his aftershave sometimes...
"The next thing I remember is that now I was being chased. The ones
who had been after Simon were now after me. They were other
angels...but not good angels. Fallen angels, I guess. Would you
call them demons? I don't know. But they wanted what I had.
"Somehow, the elders of my people were able to remove the soul from
my mind before those others could get to me. I was freed, the
scents and memories were gone, but my mind never entirely closed to
those other voices...
"That's when I started having visions. I could just see more than
other people could. Finding things that had been lost, knowing if
someone was in trouble...sensing if something dangerous was nearby...
"What happened under the base...whatever that creature was that
tried to hurt me...hurt all of us...it felt just like those angry
angels had felt. Hate, so much hate. I was so afraid it was going
to hurt you all, hurt everyone there, I had to stop it. I couldn't
let it just take you all, like they had tried to take me...because...
"What if it was there because of me?"
Rogue stared at her in silence for a few long moments. Mary's face
had been emotionless as she spoke, but the terror in her eyes as she
finished her last sentence was obvious.
"What if it follows me here?" Mary said finally, and then covered
her face with her hands. She did not cry, but the sunlight on her
face seemed to burn her skin. The memory of the fire that destroyed
the base...her vision of the fire at the school...what if she was
the one that would bring this danger upon the people who were trying
to help her.
Rogue stood and walked toward her friend quickly.
"Listen to me," she said firmly, and Mary dropped her hands, "I'm
not going to pretend I understand what you felt or what's happened
to you. But, I do understand how you feel now. The first week
after the X-Men brought me and Logan here, I ran away because I
thought I'd brought a danger here the Professor would never want. I
was dangerous, and I thought I deserved to be alone. The
Brotherhood took me, and the X-Men had to come after me. For a long
time, I wondered why they thought I was worth the trouble. But then
I thought about what would have happened if they hadn't. I would
have been dead...thousands more would have died, too. The danger
wasn't my fault even though it would have been my power that killed
those people. The worst evil happens when those who can stand up to
it don't. If some danger's coming after you, it's gonna have to get
through all of us first."
Rogue grinned then, and looked surprisingly like Logan.
"Besides...I heard it was you who kicked that creature's ass at the
base. It might be a little afraid itself to come after you after
Mary tried to smile, but it fell from her face quickly.
"What about the fire?" she asked, doubtfully, "I saw...my first
vision here...I saw the mansion on fire..."
Rogue bit her lip thoughtfully, "From what the Professor says...that
fire didn't have anything to do with you. One of the other mutant's
there...the girl who was shot...she can start fires. And...another
one of the Brotherhood can manipulate fires. The Professor said he
expects to hear from the family of the girl who was shot pretty
soon. He seems sure they all made it out of there alive."
Mary seemed to relax visibly, "I hope so."
Rogue touched her shoulder reassuringly and Mary glanced out the
"Do you think the Professor would want to know, too?" Mary
asked, "What I told you about my past, I mean?"
"It can't hurt," Rogue said, "He always seems to have an answer for
a question someone was just about to ask."
Mary chuckled, "Just like me..."
Rogue narrowed her eyes dramatically, "Next week's history
"George Washington Carver," Mary replied quickly and Rogue blinked
Mary laughed, "Just kidding."
Rogue walked away, flabbergasted with many exaggerated dramatic
flailings of her arms.
"That's not funny!" she said, and drug Mary toward the door, "I am
so feeding all your tacos to Bobby!"
"I hope Dr. McCoy has a lot of Tums for later on tonight..." Mary
replied before following Rogue out the bedroom door.
Archived at www.fanfiction.net/leen713
*work in progress*