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FIC: X-Book 2 Shadows and Steel, PG-13, Chpt 10

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  • Kathleen
    Title: X-Book 2: Shadows and Steel - Chapter 10: Interlude X By: Kath713/Leen713 Rating: PG-13 (violence, language) Genre: Crossover, SPOILERS FOR X2 Summary:
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 24, 2004
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      Title: X-Book 2: Shadows and Steel - Chapter 10: Interlude X

      By: Kath713/Leen713

      Rating: PG-13 (violence, language)

      Genre: Crossover, SPOILERS FOR X2

      Summary: See Chpt 1

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


      Chapter Ten:

      Interlude X:

      Time for our work to begin...

      Mary awoke with a start in her dark bedroom, gasping heavily and
      gripping her blankets to her chin. She looked around the room in
      sudden panic, until she remembered why she did not recognized the
      room right away.

      Xavier's, she thought, taking long controlled breaths, I'm at
      Xavier's school. Just shy of two weeks tomorrow...or I guess
      it's today now...

      She took a moment to gather herself from the dream, and collapsed
      back onto her pillows.

      The dream had been strange. She had been in a large stone room,
      lined with silver pillars stretching up past her field of vision.
      At the center sat a man, dressed in a long maroon cape and helmet.
      Whomever he was speaking to remained unseen, and his words were
      impossible to hear. What startled Mary out of her dream had been a
      sudden wreath of fire that appeared behind the man's head. It
      spread along the walls and floor, and began to creep up along his
      desk before she screamed. His last words ran ominously, but she did
      not know why.

      Time for our work to begin...

      What work he was talking about, she did not know. However, the fire
      around him had been destructive, burning down everything around him,
      though he did not realize the truth. A force he seemed to think he
      could control...

      Mary shook her head, and sighed. Was it a vision or just a dream?
      She did not know that either. It was a lot easier when the visions
      came during the day. Sometimes she could not tell the difference
      between the true sight of the future and some fiction her
      subconscious had invented.

      But, she would not worry about that now. It was late, and she
      wanted to be alert for her visit to the Danger Room tomorrow. She
      would not be participating in the training, but she was curious to
      see how other mutants learned to use their powers.

      So far, no other major visions had come to her, and that made any
      attempts at learning to predict or control them pretty much
      pointless. Not that she wanted to have another spell or seizure-
      like attack, it was just annoying that now, when she was finally
      somewhere where they might be able to help her, the voices in her
      head had fallen silent.

      Mary was really not surprised. She had guess a long time ago that
      whoever chose when to send her visions had a twisted sense of
      humor. It would happen when she was driving a lot more often then
      when she was sitting and meditating.

      Other than the nonappearance of her abilities, the past couple of
      weeks at the school had actually been more enjoyable than she could
      have ever hoped. The tone of the school was so animated, so
      hopeful, so much different than her sleepy little town in Arizona.
      Everyone here was interested in her gifts. They actually asked her
      questions about it, offered her their own opinions about it, and
      usually would joke (real, laugh out loud joking) about their own
      powers. She saw that was how many of them coped with being
      different, by making those differences into something that was
      nothing out of the ordinary.

      However, she did not entirely escape the influence of her family.
      The first thing her Nana had been sure to ask her about was church,
      reminding her to go every week without fail, which Mary did without
      protest. She actually found the atmosphere of silent study and
      prayer a welcome change from the boisterous and busy school.
      Luckily, she had also found another person at the school who never
      failed to miss a day.

      Kurt had been happy to tell her all about the congregation at the
      local Catholic church he attended, rosary in hand, every Sunday
      without fail. The mass was quite different than what Mary was used
      to. Her church had drawn from the many cultural influences of her
      area, and had been much less reserved than the large, quiet
      cathedral in Westchester County. She supposed that also had to do
      with the fact that the population the church served was much larger
      here than in her town. So, it was nice to find someone to attend
      with, she hoped his diligence would help keep her attendance up as

      Kurt had been a little leery at first, more for her sake than his,
      but Mary made it quickly clear she could not give less of a crap how
      the blue mutant looked. It was church, for God's sake (no pun
      intended), and she could not imagine her own pastor at home refusing
      someone entrance to the church just because he did not look like
      everyone else.

      Between he and Rogue and the others, Mary had begun to make
      friendships surprisingly quickly. The houseful of strangers had
      taken her in like a long lost relative, simple yet complete
      acceptance into their community without prejudice or judgment. It
      was a comfort to know such warmth still existed in a world that was
      becoming colder to mutants every day.

      Mary yawned and closed her eyes. She had no doubt Storm expected
      her up early tomorrow. She was like the world's nicest drill
      sergeant when it came to her classes and their trainings, always
      friendly but also stern and commanding.

      She chuckled once before she fell back to sleep. On their way back
      home from church the previous Sunday, Kurt had been speaking about
      Storm and the training sessions for most of the trip with a strange
      blush on his blue face. She thought his attentions to Storm were
      very sweet, and wondered if he would ever decide to act on his

      Her last thought was again on her dream...what could it have meant?

      Time for our work to begin...


      The next morning, very early as she had predicted, Mary stood with
      Professor Xavier and Rogue in the observation area overlooking the
      Danger Room. Mary's eyes were wide as she glanced around the
      chamber through the thick pane of glass.

      Down below, Cyclops was talking quickly to the small group...Storm,
      Nightcrawler, Iceman, and a very annoyed looking Remy LeBeau. The
      others had taken more to calling him `Gambit,' especially
      during his training sessions and it was how Cyclops addressed him

      "Gambit..." he continued, "You will take the left flank.
      Take out the machines if you can. You'll be clearing a way for
      others following behind you."

      Gambit nodded, and suppressed the sudden insane need to shout at the
      other mutant.

      I know, I know, he thought with agitation, Same as the last five
      times we were in here...

      Gambit was wearing his long coat over the uniform Storm had given
      him. It had many deep pockets, which were now full of small metal
      disks. After several trials with different shaped objects, they had
      finally settled on the small two-inch wide circles. However, Gambit
      still had trouble getting them to hit their intended targets. It
      was like playing darts with really tiny arrows which he could never
      quite get the proper grip on. And, when it came to the moving
      obstacles in the Danger Room, he felt pretty much useless.

      And, why all the drills? He thought, reflecting back on the question
      that had bothered him since his first day in the Room, What...are we
      going into battle or something?

      Gambit reached into one outer pocket and felt the deck of cards
      hidden within the folds of his jacket. They were almost like a good
      luck charm, and he ran his thumb along one corner of the deck as
      Cyclops gave the order to begin.


      In the room above, there was a quiet hiss at one of the outer doors
      opened. Xavier glanced to the right and smiled as Logan stepped
      inside. Rogue grinned as he walked up next to her and she pointed
      through the glass.

      "They're just startin'," she said, "Bobby's
      got the front run this

      Logan nudged her teasingly, "Don't sound so impressed
      already...make the boy work for that..."

      Rogue laughed, and Logan spared Mary and friendly glance.

      "How've you been feeling, kid?" he asked and Mary

      "Ok," she replied, "Nothing new. I can't say I'm
      entirely glad about that but...I'm not going to complain

      Logan nodded, and glanced out the large window.

      "How's Gumby been doin'?" he asked sarcastically and
      Rogue smirked, mocking annoyance.

      "It's Gambit," she pronounced slowly, "And, he's
      been doing better. Storm hopes those metal disks'll be easier for
      him to aim."

      "Hope so," Logan said, "Nearly took blue boy's tail
      off last time..."

      "Nightcrawler," Rogue corrected him firmly, "They're
      in uniform, Logan."

      The broad man met her gaze and nodded, quietly accepting his error
      from Rogue, who in that moment looked as serious as a general. The
      expression on her face had been so cool and militaristic; Logan
      caught himself wondering if she picked up that little piece of
      personality from when she touched him...or Magneto.

      The lights in the observation area grew dim then, and the machines
      in the Danger Room roared to life.


      "To your left!" Gambit heard Cyclops shout to Iceman as a
      large mechanical arm swung dangerously close to the younger man's

      With quick skill, Bobby formed a defensive wall of ice to block the
      machine's progress.

      Gambit exhaled a breath he had not realized he had been holding, and
      looked over to the other side of the room. He had to turn his head
      back and forth to watch the acrobatic Nightcrawler, disappear and
      reappear around the room, avoiding every attack the computer threw
      at him. Storm was standing behind him, waiting readily for their
      window of opportunity to present itself.

      With a quick shift of attack, the mechanical attackers allowed a
      corner of the room unguarded, and Storm spoke quickly to Gambit.

      "Now!" she said, "Let's move!"

      Gambit took his place in front of her and ran towards the open
      corner swiftly. He held onto several of the metal disks, but they
      felt heavy and awkward in his hands. Their smooth surfaces slipped
      from his grasp, and he focused on reaching the far wall before the
      machines noticed them.

      Unfortunately, Gambit suddenly found himself barreling towards a
      reaching claw and forced himself to a halt. The pinching arm
      snapped a few times as it approached and Storm spoke again to him.

      "Watch that attack!" she called, "Focus and use your

      Gambit ground his teeth together angrily, and held one metal disk
      between his fingers. It glowed to life, and his spun it towards the
      target. With a small explosion, the disk impacted the wall beyond
      the clawed arm and Gambit cursed with frustration.

      Instead of reaching for another disk, he dodged the arm before it
      could grab him and he moved around the room towards the others. He
      heard the howling of wind as Storm rose into the air over the
      machines and glided above his head.

      "Try again, Gambit!" she called, "You won't learn by

      Gambit glared up at her and reached in his pocket again. The disk
      slipped against his gloved hand and he was able to retrieve one just
      as another machine swung toward him. He concentrated and threw the
      charged disk toward the arm, but it had not absorbed enough energy
      to do any damage.

      Merde, he thought, This is pointless...what the hell am I learning
      here? How to toss mini disks at tinker toys? I just wanted to be
      able to play a little poker or blackjack again without having to
      worry about the fucking cards blowing up...

      The arm jerked to a stop as a stream of ice coated the base. Iceman
      appeared by his side and urged him onward.

      "Come on!" he said to the aggravated Cajun, and Gambit followed
      him towards where Cyclops was standing off against four attackers.

      Before they could reach him, Iceman was hit by surprise by a blow
      from the left and fell to the floor hard. Gambit jumped back,
      avoiding a second swing by a padded arm.

      "Bobby!" he said with concern when the boy did not move and
      ran toward him quickly. He once again fumbled in his pockets for
      one of the silver disks and crouched next to his fallen teammate.

      Gambit heard the machine heading back toward them, and glanced up
      with an angry glare. He had no idea how being bludgeoned by a human
      wrecking ball was supposed to be productive and decided he had had
      about enough of these training sessions.

      Gambit drew an object from his pocket and held it in front of his
      face. His eyes flashed a deep red and he stared at the ace of
      spades for a brief moment before it began to glow with power.

      The fucking cards blow up... he thought again.

      With a quick, learned flick of his wrist, the playing card flew
      across the room. It was an action he had done a thousand times,
      dealing hands for thousands of opponents in New Orleans. The motion
      seemed completely natural, and the ace hit the machine dead on.

      A flash and explosion filled the room, and Gambit stood in gaping
      surprise as the arm crumbled to his feet. Iceman was slowly sitting
      up, and coughed.

      "Another..." was all he managed, pointing past the other man
      with urgency.

      Gambit spun around, and pulled another card easily from his pocket.
      He held it in front of his eyes and saw the queen of diamonds
      looking coyly at him.

      What are you waiting for, you silly petit?, her expression said to
      him, and Gambit tossed her away to explode noisily against another
      pinching claw.

      There was a soft bampf from behind him, and saw Nightcrawler
      crouching by Iceman. The blue mutant nodded to Gambit quickly
      before grabbing onto Iceman's shoulders, both then disappearing.

      "Yeah, don't worry about me!" Gambit announced with
      annoyed sarcasm, "I'll handle it from here!"

      He looked back and forth quickly, grasping his next card and
      glancing at it sadly. He hated to keep destroying his deck but it
      was better than getting his Cajun butt kicked by Xavier's
      computer things.

      Ah, well, LeBeau, he thought and grinned, They always said you were
      a few short of a full deck anyway...

      Suddenly, Storm was beside him, looking at him with approval. She
      motioned him on, and he followed her to the other side of the room.
      After a few more minor attacks, the room fell silent and the lights

      Cyclops stood at the front of the room and waited for them to fall
      into line. Iceman was walking quickly again, now that he had caught
      his breath, and Nightcrawler appeared next to him in a cloud of blue
      smoke. Storm and Gambit soon followed, and the Cajun was still
      grasping a card in his hand protectively.

      "Good session today," Cyclops commended them, "You've
      all shown improvement...same time tomorrow?"

      They all agreed and began to head out of the Danger Room. Bobby ran
      up next to Remy and grinned.

      "Hey, that was great," he said, "Thanks for covering me
      back there..."

      "Not a problem, mon ami," Remy said smugly, but
      appreciatively, "I'm glad to know I can finally do more than

      Bobby chuckled as they headed up the stairs towards the observation
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