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The Specialist

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Summary: After one of her students is abducted by a vampire, Headmistress Frost decides to call in a specialist to help handle the matter.

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Marvel Universe > X-Men > Fred/Illyria-Centered(Moderator)JoeHundredaireFR18921,73089832,32616 Dec 0824 Jan 09No

Chapter Five

Joe's Note: For those of you who know Marvel but not inside and out… Noriko is from New X-Men (the blue-haired electrokinetic), Petra was terrakinetic on Team 1.5 in X-Men: Deadly Genesis , and Danica is a pyrokinetic OC of mine developed for something else. Oh, and Regan is the daughter of the original Mastermind from the comics, who never appeared in movies. Her primary power is to create illusions, which she augments with a weak telepathic talent to steal thoughts from her target's mind and make the illusion even more realistic.

     "So, Skunk, heard they're getting so desperate that you finally got stuck with a roommate. What's she like?"

     Marie was half-tempted to come right out and say 'strong enough to rip your heart out with her bare hands', but decided against it. Regan Wyngarde wasn't worth the potential punishment from the headmistress and Illyria herself for divulging the God-King's secret. "Her name is Illyria. She's… unique."

     The answer obviously didn't satisfy Regan, but Marie didn't really care. It wasn't like they were friends or anything. Bobby, though, wasn't willing to let the matter drop and she actually DID care about what he thought. "Tell us more? What are her powers? Is Illyria her real name or her codename? If it's not, does she have a codename yet? When did she get here?"

     "Um, two days ago but yesterday she was busy shopping because she didn't bring any belongings with her." Marie looked down at her own outfit: a green tank top and a black skirt, worn over a translucent black body stocking that covered all other exposed skin. Illyria had bought Marie a number of outfits for being 'a suitable, albeit quiet shopping companion', most of them variations on her current one, and she had to admit that it felt freeing to wear so few layers without having to worry about her powers kicking in if she brushed against someone. "Illyria is her real name and her codename is going to be Buran. And… her powers are actually the same as yours, Bobby. Except she's got better control."

     "Damn straight I do." Jumping in surprise, Marie looked back over her shoulder. She'd never even heard Illyria enter, but then again the girl had a spooky ability to appear out of nowhere that put even Logan to shame. It was almost, but not quite, as spooky as her ability to switch between her icy goddess persona and the bubbly Texan teen self she presented to the rest of the mansion. "I don't suppose Emma had someone make the grits I wanted for breakfast?" Walking over to the breakfast table, she planted one foot on Regan's chair and pushed, sending the girl sliding a few feet to the left. Waving her hand, she drew moisture to herself and created an identical chair out of ice, sitting down next to Marie. "Phooey. Oh well. Someone pass the eggs?"

     Bobby stared at Illyria even as he complied with her order and passed her the serving bowl full of scrambled eggs. "How… that was like, four seconds for an entire chair. And it's perfect. How did you do that?"

     Smirking, Illyria swapped plates with the empty one in front of Regan, giving the blonde her breakfast back before starting to assemble her own. "Better control, just like she said. Constant practice will do that to you. I've only been here for two days, give or take, so ya'll might have hidden depths I haven't seen yet, but so far it just seems like ya'll treat your powers like party tricks except for when you're in class or downstairs in the Danger Room. Bobby, the only time I've seen you use yours so far was to cool down a soda for Kitty. Who, might I add, gets more practice in than you even if it's just because she's too lazy to open doors. Me? It's part of who I am. Life. So I use it."

     "She told you, Bobby." Regan evidently was over getting summarily relocated to fit Illyria's whims, at least if it meant she could take a swing at someone else. "Actually, isn't that what Frosty's been after you to start doing for the last few months?" Marie shook her head. Such a petty little bitch. A bit like Emma and the Cuckoos. She wondered if it was a part of being a telepath… but Jean hadn't been like that. Maybe a blonde telepath? Some sort of genetic flaw?

     Illyria reached for the platter that held bacon and sausage. Marie didn't see quite what happened, but the next thing she knew, one edge of Regan's plate had jumped up into the air and spilled the contents into the blonde's lap. "Oops. Sorry."

     Glaring, Regan didn't reply but everyone at the table recognized her silence for what it was: she was trying to lash out mentally at Illyria. There was a moment of silence that stretched into a minute, then two, and then Illyria reached over and tipped Regan's chair backward, spilling the blonde back onto the floor. "I don't know how you manage can block me out like that, bitch, but you just made a powerful enemy." Gathering herself up as regally as she could, given that she was covered with her breakfast, Regan stalked out of the room.

     After a long moment of silence, snickers broke out and breakfast quickly resumed. "I hate girls like her. Even after I made fun of her, she tried to jump on the bandwagon behind me and use my insult to take her own swing at you." Illyria stabbed a sausage viciously with her fork and bit a piece off. "Hate sycophants. Followers are fine, as long as they have brains. If they don't, what good are they? My brain already does its own work; I don't need people to repeat my own ideas back to me." Taking another bite of her sausage, Illyria fixed Bobby with a stare that had the cryokinetic shifting in his seat. "Why didn't you stick up for your girlfriend, huh? Isn't that your job? Marie has a perfectly good name, and a codename too. She doesn't deserve to be called 'Skunk'." Reaching up, she ran her fingers over the patches of pale blue skin at her hairline before leaning over to play with the white streak in Marie's hair. "Although it could just be transference on my part. I'm a little sensitive about people making fun of physical mutations."

     "Illyria! Don't touch her! You'll…" Bobby lunged forward, only to halt when both girls simply blinked at him. "…not be affected by her powers at all?" Illyria's fingers traced a path down Marie's temples before cupping her cheek. "How?"

     Marie shivered, but not because the fingers were cold. Quite the opposite, really; Marie felt the head of Illyria's fingers against her skin and it sent a warm flush through her entire body. No, she shivered because… she wasn't really sure. Granted she didn't get touched much these days, especially now that her relationship with Bobby was getting increasingly strained, but what Illyria had done felt… more than friendly. Her mind flashed back to her mental wanderings of the night before, but she forced herself to focus on the question at hand. "Natural immunity, Bobby. That's what the headmistress told me, at least. It's why she put Illyria in my room. The girls are complaining about my 'palace' again, and this way there's someone else in there who won't go into a coma if we touch."

     Nodding slowly, Bobby looked Illyria up and down as the younger girl (at least appearance-wise; Marie knew that in reality, Illyria was far, far older than her) slowly withdrew her hand and went back to eating breakfast. After a moment, his attention drifted to the icy chair she was sitting on. "Is it something you to do with your powers? Something I could learn how to imitate so I could touch her too?"

     "Maybe I could teach you, if I wasn't planning to take advantage of it to steal your girlfriend." Marie's eyes went wide even as Bobby spit out the mouthful of coffee he was in the process of drinking. "God, kidding. Kidding. I swear, ya'll are too gullible. No, it's just part of who I am, Bobby. Just like the blue bits and my actual powers." His face fell. "I'd say sorry, but it's not really my fault."

     The trio was silent for a few minutes, the only noise in the room the clink of silverware against plates, before a new group of voices entered the dining room. Looking back over her shoulder, Marie found a trio of new arrivals: Petra Kristensen, Danica Danvers, and Noriko Ashida. That made her frown. The three girls had very little in common and ran with very different groups in the mansion. They did have one thing in common, though: elemental-themed powers. Petra was a terrakinetic, Danica could create fire with her mind, and Noriko was some sort of walking Duracell who could shoot stored electricity out of her hands.

     But while M-Day had caused serious problems with human/mutant relations, it had also created a large enough jump in the school's population that there was an Asian clique that Noriko hung out with, while Danica tended to spend her time with the cyberpaths and other geeks, and Petra was a bit of a loner. Now they were together and headed her way.

     Or rather, in her direction but not towards her per say. "Hey! Ice Princess!" Noriko zipped across the room to plop down in Regan's former seat to Illyria's right, leaving behind a faint trail of ozone as she channeled some stored energy into superspeed. "What's the big idea?" Illyria paused and looked up from her breakfast, raising one brow. "Telling Frosty to put us on a team with you." The other eyebrow went up. "It would have been nice to, I don't know, ask us first or something."

     "Well, it's not like you guys were doing anything better. Unless you really liked getting spanked by Logan's simulations three times a week in a lame excuse for 'powers practice'." Illyria turned back to her breakfast and tapped her glass, causing a thin layer of frost to coat the outside before taking a sip of orange juice. "I mean, if you want, I'm sure I can find better people to lead against the New X-Men for the status of best young team in the school."

     Petra held up her hands defensively as she perched on the next chair down from Noriko. "Hey now, I know it's hard for a speedster, but let's not be hasty." Noriko scowled at her but Petra didn't seem at all affected. "But seriously, it was a bit of a shock to hear that we've suddenly graduated from Intermediate Powers to our own team, under the leadership of a girl who's been here for less than two days. We just want to know what's going on."

     "And what's this about leading them against me and my friends?" Bobby voiced the question that Marie was about to ask herself, even if it didn't apply to her anymore. After all, she'd been ousted in favor of a 'more useful' mutant in the aftermath of M-Day, the team now consisting of Bobby, Piotr, Kitty, Jubilee, and two of the three Guthries now enrolled at the school: Sam and his younger sister Paige. They'd been unofficially dubbed the New X-Men by the student body, seeing as how Jean and Scott were both dead and none of the remaining adult teachers seemed keen on continuing the catsuit-clad adventurer tradition of Professor Xavier's day. "You guys may be close to our age, but Petra said it: you're just out of Intermediate Powers. There's no way you could take us, even if the headmistress did allow team-on-team fighting."

     There was a burst of heat from behind her and Marie grimaced as beads of sweat broke out all over her skin. "Excuse me? I could cook your ass like a holiday ham, 'Iceman'." Tendrils of flame wrapped around Danica's fist and forearm as she glared at Bobby, a few jelly bracelets disappearing with puffs of foul-smelling smoke as they burned away. "Just because you beat someone who needed a Zippo to turn his powers on doesn't mean you could take me."

     Illyria pushed her plate away from herself and leaned back. "My thoughts exactly. Just because you're oldest doesn't make you the best. Still, Danica, cool off. I don't need you melting my chair out from under me." The air cooled abruptly and Illyria waved her hands, chilling it further as she reinforced her replica of the dining room chair, turning it into something that looked more like a throne. "And for your information, Bobby, you need to catch up on current events. The headmistress is going to form off the entire student body into squads. The older squads are going to get to compete for the right to be called the New X-Men. Mostly to keep everyone on their toes and encourage them to keep working on their powers. I think you guys are getting demoted to the New Mutants until you earn back the right to be the New X-Men."

     "Huh. That's just… huh. What a load of bull. I mean, we fought on Alcatraz. We earned it." Bobby scowled as he rose from his seat, picking up his plate to bring it over to the tray near the kitchen so it could be taken in to be washed. "So you really think you can take my team, Illyria? Wanna make this interesting?"

     Oh, this could not end well. Especially considering half the team consisted of the impulsive Noriko and the perpetually hot-headed Danica. It turned out their new leader was the one Marie really had to worry about, though. Illyria leaned back in her chair, staring up at her fellow cryokinetic curiously. "Whatcha thinking of betting? Gonna make this worth my while?"

     "If my team beats your team, then I want private tutoring from you. Even if you can't teach me some trick to touch Marie, I bet there are plenty of things you can do with your powers that I can't yet. And if your team wins… hmm…" Bobby floundered for a moment, clearly lacking something to counter with. Probably because he didn't think it was possible for his team to lose, Marie mused. Then again, he didn't know what she did about Illyria. "If your team wins…"

     Illyria grinned ferally as she stared up at him. "If we win, you have to wear Kitty Pryde's uniform for your next Danger Room session."

     Oh, eww. Marie's face screwed up in revulsion as she pictured that and Bobby didn't look any happier with the prospect. "But… but… it's a skirt. And she's like, a foot shorter than me. My… you know… would be…"

     "Let's hope for all our sakes that you win then, eh?" Illyria held out one hand, using the other to shovel more food into her mouth. "Deal? Or you chicken?"

     Bobby pumped Illyria's hand twice before spinning and walking away. Groaning, Marie resolved to talk to Logan about the Danger Room schedule. She definitely wanted to be out of the mansion the next time the New X… err, Mutants were scheduled.
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