FIC: X-Book 2 Shadows and Steel, PG-13, Chpt 19
- Title: X-Book 2: Shadows and Steel - Chapter 19: Inner Warnings
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
As Rebecca Malloy was meeting the Brotherhood, Jeremy Malloy was
meeting his date for dinner. Something had been bothering him for
about an hour, though he was not sure what it was. Like a nagging
in his mind, a strange warning he knew he could not ignore.
"Excuse me," he said to the woman (the much older woman) whom
had accompanied him to the restaurant, "I just need to make a
The woman nodded, and smiled warmly at him as he left. She did not
know him as `Sid,' a nickname shared only by his family and
closest friends. And, if she had known the debonair gentleman was
barely in his twenties, and also a mutant, she most likely would
have had a much different attitude toward him. However, Jeremy
Malloy was a charming, if not a little bit arrogant, man of society
who frequented many prestigious parties and restaurants wooing the
upper classes of Chicago's ladies.
Sid used this alternate identity to make a name for himself both in
the financial world and, more importantly, the technological world.
His true passion, other than those of the feminine persuasion, had
always been computers and technology. He had developed and sold
many designs for aircraft already to various sources, and planned to
open his own company as soon as his income capital allowed.
But, Sid also had his other life, his real life. Hidden under a
facade of wealth and intelligence, he was still a young man who had
family and friends in much less favorable places in the world. And
in that family was his sister, his other and opposite self, and
usually when the warning feeling filled his mind, it had something
to do with her.
Sid approached the restaurant's main host and asked politely to
use a private phone. The host escorted him to a quiet back hall and
directed him to several small cubicles, each with a desk and phone.
Sid thanked the host and tipped him well, before sitting down and
dialing his home phone number quickly. His movements were smooth
and solid, beautiful but hard as the glass he could control. He ran
one hand reflexively through his blonde hair and felt his heart
begin to pound as the phone rang again and again.
Something's wrong, he mind insisted, but Sid hung up and dialed
Rebecca's cell phone. She could still be out, she has late
nights at the Library sometimes, and tonight...
Tonight, there's something wrong, that inner voice insisted
again, as the new number rang, She can't get to the phone
Sid slammed the receiver back into its base and moved quickly back
into the main lobby of the restaurant. His hand was in his pocket,
flexing a small ball of glass as he walked. He could feel heat
there and his gripped it in his palm tightly.
As he reached the host's platform, he smiled up at the man,
struggling to keep his cool demeanor.
"I'm afraid an emergency has just come up," he said and
the host nodded, "Please see that my lady friend is well taken
"Of course, Mr. Malloy," the host said with a gracious smile
and headed in the direction of the table.
Sid's face melted from one of professional grace to a nervous and
worried child. He knew something was wrong, he never questioned how
he knew, but he knew. Him and Becca, they always know where they
are, and they always know if something is wrong. Call it instinct
or ESP or whatever else, they always just know.
She's at home, he thought as he headed out the door, his mind
racing with the precision of a machine. Becca, if you can hear
me I know.
As Sid walked past the large display windows of the restaurant, the
glass rippled and fogged. When a renovation crew arrived the next
day to make repairs, the windows would still be viscous and pliable
and they would have no idea what made the glass so unstable.
As the Lady Deathstrike stepped out the front door, she only took a
few steps before she paused. She glanced around the dark street
warily and inhaled deeply through her nose. There was a scent in
the air she recognized, and a vicious grin spread across her face.
The Wolverine. She was not sure how it was possible but she had no
doubt that he was nearby.
Quietly, moving like a learned predator, she made her way around to
the back of the house. She glanced at the ground and noted several
sets of fresh footprints leading across the lawn.
Deathstrike peered around one corner, and saw five figures in the
darkness. Magneto had explained to her about those who followed
Charles Xavier, how they interfered with his plans to make the world
better for mutants. They were a danger to her leader and their
But, in this moment, her eyes locked on only one of them. They were
facing away from her, speaking in low voices as they tried to see
into the dark house. She approached slowly, and smiled again as she
heard the Wolverine sniffing the air.
That's right, she thought, Remember, you son of a bitch. Out of
all those you have killed remember my scent...Because I'll be
the one who kills you.
"They're inside," Wolverine said confidently. The other
three X-Men, and one Cajun trainee, lingered outside the dark house
and debated their next move.
Iceman stared up at the charred windows of the home with a stony
expression. He had been well trained over the past eight months,
but he doubted any amount of training could have prepared him for
this first encounter with the Brotherhood. He had met Magneto and
Mystique before, and knew what to expect from them. He had even
learned the most evasive techniques for dealing with the powers of
other mutants loyal to Magneto.
However, the second floor had obviously been damaged by fire, and he
wondered if John Allerdyce, now simply referred to as Pyro by his
former teachers and mentors, had been the cause of the flames they
had seen from the jet.
Cyclops turned to face Wolverine, and frowned, "How many?"
"All of them," he replied. Wolverine glared through the dark
windows with his hand clenched into fists.
Iceman looked over at the ferial man with trepidation, his cool
exterior betrayed by his own anxiety. His own hands suddenly felt
very cold, very heavy; the burden of his mutation had not weighed on
him this heavily since the abrupt departure from his family on the
day before Alkalai Lake. The last day he had considered Pyro a
"All of them," Storm repeated softly, "The Professor was
right about Magneto not wasting his time getting the Brotherhood
back to full strength."
"So," Iceman asked quickly, "There're four of
Storm looked at him sternly, but not without a measure of sympathy.
"Five," she corrected him and then turned back towards
Cyclops, "I doubt they've realized we're here "
"You sure about that?" Wolverine said darkly, sniffing the
air and frowning.
"I think we would know if they knew," Storm said, thinking
back on Liberty Island, "Killing is a game they like to
Cyclops shook his head, "Yeah, but if the Professor's right
about their motivations tonight, I don't think their here to harm
those kids, just acquire them "
Wolverine listened to the others vaguely, and suddenly focused on
something else. It was familiar, dangerous, what his keen senses
were warning him about. It was the same sense he had in that
abandoned base in the Colorado Rockies. A passing scent a
presence like a ghost from his past
"Shit," he said softly and stepped away from the house.
"Logan, what is it?" Cyclops asked as Wolverine unsheathed
"I'm not sure," he lied and then looked at the other
X-Man and continued, "Go...Do what we're here to
do I'm gonna watch this side."
Cyclops frowned, but nodded. There was no time to argue here. He
lead the others around the corner and Wolverine turned back to face
the shadows. The yard was quiet and he walked toward the front of
the house slowly.
The wind was blowing softly and the scents in the air lingered. The
peaceful night was suddenly betrayed by a very familiar noise.
Metal against metal, opening upon itself, such a delicate sound
compared to the harsh tearing of his own claws, but no less
It's impossible, he thought, and then added cynically, Don't
think that, bub. Irony hates you
He heard a footstep and spun viciously around as figure, no longer a
ghost or memory, stepped in front of him and smiled. She had not
changed in form from the woman he had battled at Alkalai Lake, but
in her eyes he saw the hunger of the beast, and any trace of
Stryker's caged slave had disappeared.
"Hello, Brother," Lady Deathstrike announced in a clear tone,
the first time Logan had heard her speak. She was flexing her
fingers as far as her long adamantium claws would allow with wild
"You're alive " he said, almost to confirm the fact for
himself. She laughed, her voice almost melodic, yet so full of
hatred it seemed hardly possible that both sounds came from the same
"You're right " she agreed.
A series of explosions could be heard from within the home, as the
other X-Men and Brotherhood members began to clash.
Deathstrike regarded him for a long moment, the vicious smiled
fading from her face. She clicked her metallic fingertips together
rhythmically, setting the beat, counting down, to the tempo of her
own heart. Wolverine could hear both sounds becoming faster and
when the Lady spoke again, her voice was a low growl.
"This time, you'll be the one who dies," she said and
sprung from the ground toward him.
Wolverine braced himself for impact and swung his fist toward her as
she lunged. Deathstrike landed in front of him, her long claws
meeting his own with the screech of grinding metal. They held a
moment when the torn flesh of their fists touched, standing face to
face, each equal in strength and power, made to be death's most
Deathstrike brought her legs up and shoved Wolverine away by his
chest; their momentary stand off ended as she lunged at him again.
As they struggled, another weapon, made by the same madman who gave
them their claws, was approaching their companions.