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FIC: X-Book 2 Shadows and Steel, PG-13, Prologue

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  • Kathleen
    Title: X-Book 2: Shadows and Steel - Prologue By: Kath713/Leen713 Genre: Crossover, SPOILERS FOR X2 Summary: As the X-Men are introducing new students to the
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 18, 2004
      Title: X-Book 2: Shadows and Steel - Prologue

      By: Kath713/Leen713

      Genre: Crossover, SPOILERS FOR X2

      Summary: As the X-Men are introducing new students to the school,
      the Brotherhood also strengthening their ranks. To what lengths
      will he go to gain a very powerful ally? And is he the only enemy
      the X-Men have to fear? Mutliple crossover characters from a few
      movies/books/TV shows.

      Disclaimer: I own nothing in regards to the Marvel characters or
      any character from a previously published source portrayed in this
      story.

      ***

      Book 2:

      Prologue:

      In one secluded corner of the Metropolitan Library of Chicago,
      Rebecca Malloy sat quietly in front of a glowing computer screen.
      She was typing rapidly on the keyboard, a variety of books and
      periodicals stacked around her like self-made walls.

      Many of the volumes were medical in nature, but she was keeping them
      out mostly to convince any passer-by that she was studying. The
      rest (which were sitting much closer than the others) had to do with
      less traditional fields of study.

      It was a rare instance for her, in that she had not spoken to anyone
      in nearly an hour. It was unusual for a span of ten minutes to go
      by without her conversing with anyone who was around, but right now
      she was entirely focused on her task at hand.

      Her dark red hair was pulled back from her face and held in place by
      two crisscrossing yellow pencils. Her sharp eyes scanned the
      electronic pages of her text, searching for typos and errors she may
      have missed in her first draft.

      After a few minutes, her fingers paused, and she frowned. Her gaze
      drifted from the screen as she glanced around at the mountains of
      books. Grabbing one volume roughly, she paged through with
      frustration.

      "What the hell was that name?" she said to no one, "I
      just read this last month, I should know this, dammit..."

      She muttered to herself until she found the information she needed.
      She reread the passage twice, just so be doubly sure she would not
      forget it again. Slamming the text down, she returned to her typing.

      The title of her book of choice glittered silver under the
      monitor's glow, and read "Sir Laurence DeVillenue's Book
      of the Undead." Its elaborate cover stood in stark contrast to
      the simple bindings of the medical books.

      Rebecca was a student…in more ways than one. She was currently
      enrolled in the medical program at Chicago University and had always
      been a very dedicated pupil. She liked learning how to help people,
      and (compared to her other fields of interest) it was a very good
      way to keep her very unpractical feet on the ground.

      At least, that had been her Uncle Sebastian's intention (not to
      mention the intentions of the Council of Watchers). When she had
      been first considering colleges and majors, he had insisted she
      choose something very worthwhile, and also very time consuming. She
      supposed he had hoped studying to become a doctor would fill most of
      her waking minutes, and leave her very little time for
      her `extracurricular' studies.

      Unfortunately, that had not worked out exactly as he had planned.

      Her Uncle Sebastian had slowly, and grudgingly, accepted the fact
      that Rebecca's growing obsession with the paranormal would not be
      distracted, no matter how much studying she had to do. And he had
      also accepted that she would be a primary recruit for the Council as
      soon as she reached her twenty-fifth birthday.

      Given her family history, and her own paranormal gifts, Rebecca
      Malloy had been one of the `watched' since she was a baby.
      The fact that she, and her brother, were mutants had never deterred
      the Watchers from making their interest in their family known, the
      normal policy on interference with mutants ignored in their case.

      Rebecca paused again and yawned, stretching her arms backward over
      her head. She twisted her neck around to look at the time on her
      watch and was surprised to find it was barely nine o'clock. She
      could have sworn it was later, but figured she must have just been
      tired.

      Suddenly, footsteps resounded loudly through the library's empty
      halls at a quick, almost marching pace. Rebecca spun her chair back
      to the computer monitor and grinned. She knew what was coming, and
      she had been looking forward to it all night…

      "Moron," a voice said, in a greeting tone, from behind her,
      "Coffee?"

      "Putz…" she replied, in customary fashion and spared her
      brother a sarcastic look as he sat down next to her,
      "Thanks…"

      Jeremy Malloy was a tall, blonde, and undeniably attractive young
      man. His eyes sparkled with almost a metallic gleam, and his
      expensive suit was obviously tailored to fit. This stood in strange
      contrast to his sister, wearing faded denim overalls and a worn,
      comfortable looking sweater. Despite their fashionable differences,
      one needed only to look in their eyes to know they were twins.

      For underneath her long red hair, Rebecca's eyes gleamed with the
      same blue light, like the brightest, hottest part of a flame.

      "Bec, my sis," he announced grandly, "Have I got the dirt
      for you…"

      Rebecca blew through the small hole of the plastic lid on her
      coffee, and sipped at it experimentally. She grimaced and swallowed
      quickly.

      "Uhg…Sid!" she said, calling her brother by his nickname,
      "This shit's freezing…"

      Jeremy, also known as Sid to most of his friends, did not even
      garner her a glance as she complained, pulling a newspaper from
      inside his suit jacket.

      "So, next time I'll bring you a fucking thermos…" he
      shot back, unrolling the paper quickly.

      "Yeah, right," Rebecca muttered, and took the cold cup in her
      hands. Her eyes narrowed, and after a moment steam began to rise
      from the warming liquid. It had not taken much, only a slight push
      with her powers, before the coffee was again at a drinkable
      temperature. She did this with practiced caution, not wanting to
      surprise any other patrons of the library by setting the cardboard
      cup on fire.

      Sid…on the other hand, was holding a small strangely shaped piece
      of glass in his hand openly. It almost looked like a `stress
      ball,' its clear surface indented by the impressions of his
      fingers. Almost absently, Sid focused on the glass and flattened it,
      creating a quick and effective paperweight on the news print.

      "Look…" he said simply, pointing impatiently at an article
      on the third page. While he, like his sister, enjoyed conversing
      frequently and verbosely with anyone who would listen, private
      conversations between each other were often monosyllabic, and to the
      point.

      "What…" Rebecca said, and frowned.

      Sid pointed again, "Look…"

      Rebecca rolled her eyes and sat up to look over Sid's shoulder.
      As she read the headline, her eyes widened with amusement.

      Vampire Cheerleader Terrorizes Quiet Mexican Village, the story
      began, with obviously doctored pictures of a `Vamprella' with
      plastic teeth, running after a few terribly stereotyped sombrero
      sporting `villagers.'

      Rebecca chuckled, "I guess Harmony's single again. She's
      been so depressed since it ended with Billy-Boy the Bloody out in
      California, I heard she shacked up with the first eligible blood-
      sucker who came along…but I guess that didn't last
      either…"

      Sid shrugged, "Hey, she's your friend, Bec. I try to steer
      clear of dead women. They nag even more than living women…"

      "Pig," Rebecca shot with a disgusted grin.

      "Cow," Sid replied back affectionately with the insult and
      then continued thoughtfully, "Although…Harm is pretty
      hot…maybe I should give her a `friendly' call…"

      "Ew…" Rebecca replied, "I think she could way better
      that you, Sid…"

      Sid nodded, not disagreeing, and then nudged Rebecca's arm,
      "Why don't we hook her up with Uncle `Bastian. He's a
      vampire…she's a vampire…it could work…"

      Rebecca glanced over at him skeptically, "You really want Harmony
      as an aunt? Imagine the nagging then…"

      "Oh," Sid said with a frown, "Point…taken…"

      Sid picked up the glass from the paper and rolled it in his hand.
      The glass shifted, rolling through his fingers almost like water.
      He never bothered to check if anyone was watching him do this, even
      in the most public settings. Sid would no more hide his mutant
      abilities than he would not throw a flirtatious glance at any woman
      (excluding the dead and his sister, of course).

      He reached for his coffee and was about to take a drink when he
      noticed the temperature of his cup had seemingly fallen into the
      negatives as well.

      "Hey, mind reheating his, Ms. Mr. Coffee-Reheater?" Sid said,
      stumbling over the last comment and Rebecca grinned.

      She held on hand toward Sid's cup, extended her middle finger, as
      is custom, and touched the cardboard dramatically. Within seconds,
      the liquid was hot and Sid was grinning broadly.

      Rebecca shook her head as her brother drank, "Ms. Mr. Coffee-
      Reheater? That was terrible…"

      "Look, I was lacking caffeine…" Sid commented bitterly, and
      Rebecca acknowledged with a simple nod how caffeine deprivation can
      dampen one's ability to insult their sibling.

      "So, why else are you in the city tonight?" Rebecca asked her
      brother curiously, "I know I wasn't just for coffee and a
      late night discussion on the ethics of dating the undead."

      Sid did not reply right away, and the sarcastic expression on his
      face faded. Rebecca frowned in sudden concern, but waited for her
      brother to continue.

      "I...I don't know really…" he said, grinning again but
      not with sincerity.

      "Sid, I know you know that's not true," she replied
      somberly, and Sid nodded.

      The one thing they could never do was lie to each other. They were
      too alike in mind and manner not recognize when the other was not
      being entirely true.

      "It's…it's just a feeling," Sid said,
      "Something around us, you know. Something's changed. And I
      don't mean like those attacks a few months ago, when the world
      got
      all tense and people went on guard. Just…the tone around us. I
      mean with the Council and school…even the Underground. When
      vampires
      and demon beasties get nervous, you know something's up…"

      Rebecca nodded slowly as Sid spoke. She had noticed it too. It was
      like they were being watched, more than normal, as if everyone was
      waiting for something to happen, either around them…or to them.

      "You think we should ask `Bastian about it?" she said and
      Sid shrugged but did not reply.

      "You think their lookin' for mom again," she said, and
      not as a question.

      Sid glanced up at her sadly and sighed.

      "I really don't know, Bec," he said, "I mean,
      it's been almost ten years…"

      "Eight and a half," Rebecca corrected him quickly and Sid
      nodded resigningly.

      "Ok, eight and a half," Sid said, "Still a fucking long
      time to be waiting for someone to come back…"

      Rebecca sighed and slung an arm around her brother's shoulder.
      They had been through this before, and Rebecca knew better than to
      hope.

      "Yeah…" she agreed finally but said nothing else. Nothing
      else needed to be said. In the end of all these conversations,
      there had always only been one answer.

      "It's not her," Rebecca said, almost bitterly but kept
      her words in check, "You know it's not…she's dead.
      She drowned, and that's the end of it."

      Sid looked over at his sister sadly and then lowered his eyes. They
      were quiet for a moment, all the words that others may have needed
      to say aloud passed silently between the twins, their troubled lives
      kept stable only by the presence of each other.

      Sid inhaled deeply and sat up. He gathered himself quickly and
      grinned.

      "Big jerk," Rebecca said to him affectionately and Sid
      laughed.

      "I love that you hold me in such high regard...putz," he said
      sarcastically. Their humor was more often than not directed at each
      other, and was simply the way they managed though the most difficult
      times.

      Rebecca hugged him and smiled, "Yep, but don't worry.
      Tonight, I will be abducted by aliens who will introduce me to Elvis
      and the weirdness of my life will be complete."

      Sid laughed, then stood up and straightened his tie. He ran a hand
      through his hair, which never seemed to be out of place, and then
      glanced back at his sister.

      "Gotta run, fire-bug," he said, "Got a date. Tell Uncle
      S not to wait up…"

      "Ew…" Rebecca repeated her earlier statement with a wicked
      grin, "Leave before you frighten the librarians…"

      Rebecca shook her head as she listened to her brother march off,
      whistling arrogantly, his quick pass through the stacks gaining him
      approving glances from other female students. Rebecca ignored this
      completely, and went back to her typing.

      She glanced over at the coffee cup and sighed, thinking of her
      mother again sadly. She had inherited her mother's gift of fire,
      but rarely put it into practice beyond coffee or s'mores. The
      gift was powerful, but dangerous, a fact that had been ingrained in
      her since she was young.

      Rebecca glanced around, and when she was sure no one was watching
      her, she cupped her hands and focused the power to a specific
      point. A small, well-controlled flame appeared between her palms
      and she grinned. The flame arched and twirled upon her command, a
      simple trick, but one she enjoyed practicing as much as Sid did with
      his glass. After a few moments, she closed her hands together and
      the flame went out.

      Rebecca sighed, and began typing again.

      So what, her mother was the `firestarter'...her uncle was a
      vampire...her friends were a wide assortment of weirdoes...and her
      brother...well, he was annoying in a way that could only be defined
      by with much foul language...but...

      …at least things couldn't get any worse…

      ***
      Archived at www.fanfiction.net/~leen713
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