Sunlight and Shadow I
Ice and Snow

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Prologue
Just Winter

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Heaven and hell.

Summer and winter.

It was like heaven and hell, summer and winter.

He couldn't stop looking at her, couldn't stop staring. He could feel hot anger washing behind the backs of his eyes, and grief biting into his chest, gnawing away at his heart like the Phurba's razor sharp teeth. The world was as ice, cold and winter dark. The stars slashed through the night like icy knives. The moon had the pale color of bleached bone. The city streets stank of decay and decadence, of death, but he didn't care. He was trapped, trapped in his own personal hell. He couldn't stop staring at it, the object that, once the flesh of the surface was stripped away, had the sinister semblance of twisting black spires and wrought-iron work, a gateway to the infernal afterlife that the Tulku had promised would not be his fate if he only stayed on the path of righteousness.

You know you can save her... you know how to save her....

The path back to the light was lost to him. He could see that now. He had blinded himself for nearly eight years, thinking he could destroy the monster inside of his heart, the evil of Ying Ko, simply by becoming a masked vigilante who terrorized New York City's criminals by playing mind games with them. And now... now, as blood seeped from a gash on his forehead, staining the ivory snow with scarlet spots, as he bled from a gunshot wound to the chest that had somehow miraculously missed his heart, he gave up on it all. He was already in hell. Why bother trying to change it anymore? Why try to make summer out of winter?

Summer and winter.

You know what I want, Lamont....

His life had been like summer after the downfall of Shiwan Khan. It had been full of hair like a sunrise, eyes like a summer sky, skin softer than silk and blushing with life. Dinner at the Cobalt Club, shows on Broadway, dancing with a woman who could taste the very essence of his thoughts, who would never spurn him because of the shadow of Ying Ko. His life had been heaven. Bliss. For seven years, no one had known his identity as the Shadow except Moe, who acted as his chauffeur but not as his confidante or friend. Then she had waltzed into his life, the attraction electric and sizzling, the pull of his mind to hers almost magnetic. Chinese food was, last Lamont had heard, not a bonding agent. But less than ten minutes into that first dinner of Peking duck, he couldn't have found a happier moment in his life. The connection was already there, and every second they spent together only strengthened that bond. Ten months... ten months to forge a bond as unbreakable as time and space. His life had been like a beautiful summer day, never ending, always warm and bright. And now...

You walked willingly into my winter waste....

Now it....

Give me the last piece, Lamont....

Now it was....

Give it to me now!!!

Now it was winter. White silk against the lifeless contrast of white skin, white lips without the blush of blood to warm then, white snow cradling a white corpse, summer sunrise hair now white with frost, eyelashes silvery with pale ice. So much ice. So much snow. So much wintry death.

I will freeze her to death if you don't give me the shard. Give it to me.

And all of it was his fault. All of it. Shrevvy, Dr. Lane, his uncle, the other students of the Tulku, the children of Saint Marisella Orphanage, and now... oh, God, and now... his entire body shuddered, the breath ripping at his chest, as he forced his icy lips to form the damning syllables of the name carved into his heart.

"Margo... oh, for the love of God, Margo, why?"

The ice cold voice in his mind condensed, froze, sharpened, into something hard and frigid and painful, and the voice in his mind finally spoke aloud, breaking through his anguish, her voice finally registering to the grieving vigilante, whispering, "Hello, Lamont. I've missed you."

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So, there it is. My prologue to my first installment of "Sunlight and Shadow." I got the title from a song in the book Arrows' Flight by Mercedes Lackey. "Ice and Snow" is half the title of a book by Jessica Day George. This was inspired by a scene from the movie the Snow Queen starring Bridget Fonda as the title character. I thought about doing a Shadow/OC fic, but the idea of killing off Margo made me sad, so I changed my mind. This series was also inspired by the Twilight Saga (in that the prologue takes place at the END of the book) and Wicked: the Musical, as well as the bands/music groups: Muse, Skillet, Disturbed, Skye Sweetnam, Breaking Benjamin, 30 Seconds To Mars, Vanilla Sky, and Uncanny Antmen. I own nothing that is not copyrighted by me.