FIC: X-Book 2 Shadows and Steel, PG-13, Prologue
- Title: X-Book 2: Shadows and Steel - Prologue
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
Disclaimer: I own nothing in regards to the Marvel characters or
any character from a previously published source portrayed in this
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
"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
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,
"Putz " she replied, in customary fashion and spared her
brother a sarcastic look as he sat down next to her,
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
"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
"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
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
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
all tense and people went on guard. Just the tone around us. I
mean with the Council and school even the Underground. When
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
"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
"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
"Big jerk," Rebecca said to him affectionately and Sid
"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
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