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01 May 2007 @ 06:55 am
FANFIC: "City on the Moon" Uncanny X-Men, Rachel Summers  
Silver Marvels The Haunting

Title: City on the Moon
Author: resolute
Fandom Remix: "The Haunting", the 1963 Robert Wise version, mixed with classic late 1980s Uncanny X-Men.
Characters: Rachel Summers, Scott Summers, Madeline Pryor, Kurt Wagner, Kitty Pryde, and the Phoenix.
Rating: PG
Warnings, Disclaimers, Caveats: This was sionnain's request, putting Rachel Summers into "The Haunting." Thanks to willowaus for the cheerleading and beta, all remaining errors are mine. All dialog is taken from the film, only the names changed.

City on the Moon

The blue area of the moon throbbed in Rachel's vision. Buildings that had stood for centuries shimmered and pulsed as she looked away. Never when she examined them properly. No, the flickering flame and smoke appeared only in half-glances. Only in mirage and shadow.

The city is coming down around me. The city is destroying itself. Rachel stumbled through the streets. In the distance she could hear the cries of her teammates, the X-Men who had brought her here. And why shouldn't they bring her? She was invited. This, the blue area of the moon, it welcomed her. It was the others that offended it, with their blind offensive hostility. Why should they hate this? Why were they afraid? Why did Madeline insist on running off like that, insist on challenging the forces that slumbered here?

Rachel walked on, faster. Perhaps Madeline was on the black gallery, hidden behind the balustrade. There, a flash of motion! Madeline? Rachel ran to the gallery, vaulting the rail and ducking quickly. She could her the others calling. Hidden behind the crumbling rock -- not rock, no, some other substance with no name in any human tongue -- hidden she stroked the carvings, the slickbas -relief revealing the forms of ancient gods. As she rested there, cheek pressed against the rail, Scott came into view. Running, frantic. His footfalls thundering loudly, his fear a tangible odor in the still and perfect air. He caught sight of Rachel and climbed the gallery stairs. His boots left a scuff on a low carving, and Rachel flinched as it she were the one struck by his careless steps.

"Madeline, are you -- where is she?" he asked urgently, rushing to Rachel's side. "Rachel, where is she, what did you see?

Rachel flinched from him, front his rough physicality, his harsh grip on her arms, nearly shaking her. His stubble under the visor, his sweat. "Nothing," she replied, pulling free from him. "Nothing! She wasn't here . . . " Scott let her go and looked around them, catching sight for the first time of the weapon sharing the narrow balcony with them. He froze, his suddenly pale.

"Scott," Kitty said, phasing quickly through the rail to join them. "If this is your idea of a joke - " She moved to Rachel's side, protective. Protective? The city whispered to Rachel, the uneven light a projection, almost, from another world, another possibility. Kitty, Rachel an embrace much like this one, much like, but different in ways Rachel found intrusively foreign. She shied from Kitty's touch, dismissing the glimpse of wounded affection on Kitty's face.

Scott moved, slowly, a man unbelieving of the physical world before him. His eyes traced the alien weapon, the slant of the barrel still pointed at the ground some short distance away. Unmoved these past few years. And why should it be moved? No one lived here. No one ever came here. The streets kept their own company, wrapped in the past and a lonely hunger. "We have to find her if we have to tear the place apart," he growled.

Kurt teleported to the rail at Scott's side, concern on his demonic features. "We can't do that . . ."

I'm coming apart, a little at a time, Rachel thought. Kitty stood and moved to the men, stepping between them as they argued. Their faces had once looked kind to Rachel. She moved away, backing towards the shadows that welcomed her in their embrace. Time -- now I now where I'm going. I'm disappearing inch by inch into this place. She looked around. There, on the street, in front of the weapon. There, she knew that was it. The place that Jean Grey had died. {{We killed her, you and I, you and I, you and I.}} The strange voice, there it was again, the voice of comfort and home. Rachel slid around the corner, down to the street, unnoticed by those who swore they were her friends.

Unnoticed by their uncaring eyes, yes -- but there were other eyes, were there not? Eyes hungry and wanting. They loved her, caressed her body with their affectionate gaze. On the gallery above the street the others argued. Voices tight with fear, dark and bitter. They had such hateful little voices.

-- She must be around this house somewhere. --

-- Look, Scott. Cyclops! Maybe this whole thing is a bad joke, huh? --

-- You think this is a bad joke? Maddie isn't the kind of girl who makes jokes. --

-- You find her, she's your wife, I'm taking Rachel and I'm clearing out of here. --

-- Where is Rachel? --

Rachel moved into the street, half dancing to the whispers of the city around her. I want to stay, she told the presence around her. I want to stay here always. I will not be frightened or alone anymore.

"Rachel!" Kitty called from the gallery. Searching.

In the street Rachel danced and spun, the alien ground beneath her feet scorched and smeared with black. Here I am, here I am inside! It's not cold at all! I've broken the spell of the moon. She smiled, her arms flung wide in welcome. Let the waiting eyes see her surrender. Here the susurrus wrapped her in its gentle chorus. I'm home. I'm home. I'm home. I'm home.

The weapon, the weapon on the gallery, it shifted to follow her dancing figure below. Scott turned, alarmed. "Rachel!"

The great grey lever atop the weapon ground against the slow decay of time. It moved slowly forward, but this was not the first time in centuries, not, it was the second, the first time some few years ago. Another in its sight. I will not look back, Rachel thought, spinning,
because they will know what I am thinking.

"Rachel," Scott cried, dodging in front of the weapon. "Turn back around and come up!" He pressed at the end of the weapon, the long protruding barrel obscenely thick in his grasp. "Now, be very, very calm," he said, not looking at Rachel.

{{All that is gone,}} the chorus told her, {{and left behind.}} The voice grew brighter, warmer. She would not be cold anymore.

"Rachel, for god's sake!" Kitty cried. She started forward, intent on preventing Rachel's dance.

"Wait a minute now," Kurt said, moving in front of Kitty, "this thing's going to fire!"

Rachel ignored them, singing softly now to the presence around her. Brighter. Brighter. She could almost see it here. What fools they are, she thought. The city fooled them so easily. They can't take me from here, not if you need me to stay.

"Ray!" Kitty shouted, unshed tears choking her voice.

Kurt attempted to teleport, used his power to approach her. The city, the voice, the bright burning presence around Rachel, it objected. Kurt was pushed away, sprawling in pain in the street some distance away. "Wait!" he cried, even now trying to prevent Rachel from joining the loving voices

So now I'm going, Rachel thought. The air around her was heavy with golden light, light the color of fire, of distant stars. {{You belong to me . . .}}

I knew it, I knew it! It doesn't want me to go! It . . . it should have been warmer. It was cold. Why was the fire cold? Rachel looked around, seeing herself for the first time. Beneath her feet the scorch of the ancient weapon on the rail, the scorch marking the last time it fired. Marking forever the last death on this spot. The soles of Rachel's shoes bore that same blackening. She shuddered. 'Stop it, please,' she whispered. "What . . . are you doing?" Rachel tried to walk away. Tried to move towards the gallery, towards her gesticulating companions. She could not stir. Could not will her legs to carry her away. "Let go!" she said, frightened at last. "What are you doing?" she asked the burning presence surrounding her. Why don't they stop me, cant they see what is happening?

{{But it's happening to you, Rachel. Something, at last, is really really happening.}}

On the gallery Rachel saw it unfold, the pieces playing their parts with terrible inevitability. Scott, visor raised, attempting to destroy the weapon. The futility of his actions as his power, childlike in its simple directness, ricocheted across the wide boulevard. Kitty, trying to phase through the material and receiving only pain for her efforts. The bright glow cradled Rachel, held her in comfort and other, darker, ways. A tactile presence now her first lover, her only love from here forward. No time to regret sweet opportunities lost. No time to consider words unsaid.

Rachel watched as the weapon glowed, briefly. She faced it. The city called to her. The burning presence wanted her. She would walk here, forever, alone.


{{Ours mine here forever never alone never alone ours yes}}

Rachel assented, voiceless and formless but never cold. Kitty cradled Rachel's body, crying. Scott leaned over, hand on Kitty's shoulder. She shrugged him away, angry now.

"She's dead," Scott said, looking around helplessly. He caught sight of the woman before any of the others, caught sight of the red-headed woman stumbling towards them from the buildings ahead. "Maddie!" Scott shouted. staring as she ran towards the small group.

"I didn't want any of this to happen, you must believe me Scott." She dashed towards him, seeking comfort. But Scott stiffened, warned her away with a look. Maddie stopped short, dirty and frightened and bereft of the comfort of her husband's embrace. It wouldn't be the last time, Rachel knew. Knew suddenly the dark future unfolding in demons and flames and endless small betrayals.

"Well what were you doing?" Scott said. "What happened?"

"This terrible city," Maddie said, crying. "I was frightened. I got lost, almost as though the city was doing it on purpose and I ended up here. I was trying to find a way out, I wasn't trying to frighten her. Didn't you see me?"

"No, but Rachel did." Scott turned his back on Maddie. Turned his back on the future and started at the past. At another woman, always dead, always dead on the moon. This place. This place, cursed to be the death of the Greys.

"It wasn't your fault." Kurt said, moving to Maddie's side. "Rachel did it to herself. Looked to me, anyway, like she deliberately came to this place."

"Where Jean died," Scott murmured. "There's the mark. There was something here with her, I'm sure." He turned back to the others, their shocked facespale and accusing. "Call it what you like but this place is haunted. It didn't want her to leave and her poor bedeviled mind wasn't strong enough to fight it. Poor Rachel."

Kitty held Rachel's body, gently pushing back the bright hair now dusty and dimmed. "Maybe not poor Rachel. She wanted to stay here. She had no where else to go. The city belongs to her now. Maybe she is happy."

"No, no," Maddie replied, moving towards Scott yet again. She put her hand on his shoulder only to have him step away. "No one must come here again!"

"The city has what it wants," Scott replied, beginning the walk back to their spaceship. "For a while."
Mynxgarden_hoe21 on May 6th, 2007 01:31 am (UTC)
Really scary and good.
resolute on May 6th, 2007 02:15 pm (UTC)
Thank you!