Disclaimer: If you want to sue me, get in line. With all the X-Men fics I've written, I think Marvel wants my hide first. Assuming, of course, that they can catch me *he, he*

To Sephulbadis, with a big thank you for the hints ;)

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In the Silence

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Cool, sleek metal against caramel skin. Trails of coldness as she toyed with the bullet between her fingers - graceful, but oh-so-capable of destruction.

The pale light of dawn reflected in the flawless metal, sending rays of blinding light dancing across her face. There would be those who would call her beautiful, and in some twisted way she found it appropriate. It was the final insult to her already dark heart - she attracted people through her looks and inhuman luck, but the moment they came too close, fate would brutally take them away, leaving her alone and grieving once again.

If this was life, she wanted death. If this was death, then why could she still feel the pain of every loss she'd ever suffered?

In a sudden blaze of anger, Fortune threw the bullet away, sending it clattering across the cold metal floor. It hit the floor once, then twice, before rolling away, and finally disappearing between two large boxes.

Fortune leaned against the wall and looked at the small pile of bullets in front of her. She picked up another one and sent it a disgusted look.

Such a useless, little thing. Its kind granted death...to everyone but her. In battle, the bullets would zip past her, sometimes so close that she could feel a small gust of air...but they would never hit her. They would defy gravity and every other law of nature, but they would not hit her.

In some twisted way it was fitting - she broke every rule of combat she'd learned from the military, and the bullets broke every rule to avoid her. She'd been taught to disappear into the shadows, to remain hidden until the enemy let their guards down. Instead she placed herself in the middle of the room, far away from any form of cover, and would shoot at anything that moved. She'd been taught to use a weapon that was easy to aim with, and easy to reload. Instead she used an experimental railgun. She'd been taught to wear a uniform that let her blend into the surroundings and attract as little attention as possible. She didn't. Instead she'd picked an outfit that was bound to attract attention from anyone who saw her, and then, just to challenge fate, she'd picked a golden lipstick, just to make sure no one would miss her.

She smiled bitterly. Lady Luck. Fortune. The names themselves were insulting.

She sometimes wondered if she'd be able to deflect a blast from her railgun. Would the lightning be deflected with the same ease as bullets, grenades, and missiles? Could luck command a force of nature? Not that it mattered. No one would dare to actually use the weapon. They all feared that it would blow up in their hands...and with her luck, it probably would.

She threw another bullet across the room, watched as it sailed through the air in a large arch, aiming for the boxes in the other end of the room. It was a perfect shot - it would land right between the two boxes and join the pile of other bullets that had accumulated there. It came closer, closer...

...And was caught by an unnaturally pale hand.


In many ways he was as much a living dead as she was.

He'd scared her when she first met him. Now...now, very few things scared her.

She watched as he held the bullet between two pale fingers, then tossed it on the floor with a look of indifference. She didn't ask him how long he'd been lurking in the dark, watching her every move, and he didn't ask her how long she'd been sitting there.

It was a mutual agreement.

He respected her enough to let her brood in peace, although he never quite let her out of his sight. Somehow, it comforted Fortune. It reminded her that she wasn't completely alone - Vamp was still there, and he did not intend to leave her. He had survived in her presence for so long that it almost - *almost* - made her believe that he wouldn't eventually be taken from her as well.

He crossed the room silently, his eyes never leaving her. She stared back at him without blinking, and she imagined that she could see a small spark of amusement in the pale, blue eyes.

He held out a hand, never breaking the silence around them. Fortune hesitated for a second, then took his hand and got back on her feet in one, swift motion. Cool skin against her own warm hands, and he held onto her for a second longer before letting go. The gesture had a strangely calming effect on Fortune - it was proof that someone was still around, someone who cared about her for other than her luck or talent for destruction.

"We have work to do, my Queen," he reminded her, and whispers of his voice echoed through the large room.

Fortune just nodded and picked up her railgun from the floor.

Yes, they had work to do. And maybe - just maybe - if she pushed her luck far enough, it would reach its limit, and give her peace.