Prologue

"Are you ready?" The whisper was quiet, so quiet that even the sharpest ears couldn't hear it. All except one pair, which pricked in the gloomy shadows. Two bright golden eyes, alight with laughter, met a pair of identical-if not more cautious- ones, and bobbed up and down; a nod. The two lithe figures leapt, wraithlike, a good six foot jump to the roof, landing silently.

Momentarily standing straight, they threw themselves off the edge. Ten, twenty, thirty feet down black wings flared and they pulled up sharply, soaring into the sky. A loud whoop of laughter came from the more feminine one, but was quickly shushed.

They flew around for a bit, half an hour at least, before finally landing in an empty alleyway on the outskirts of their city. Glancing around through narrowed eyes, one of them stepped out into the open. A young teenage boy, about fourteen, he was unexpectedly handsome with sharp and slightly slanted features, glossy black hair cut into an emo style over his eye, dark skinny jeans and pale skin. One thing was unusual, though: fluffy black kitty ears poking through his hair, a long soft tail and large, strong wings with thin silver chains crisscrossing at their base.

"It's safe, Danni," he called out, keeping his voice soft. 'Danni', however, had no such qualms. With a loud huff, a second figure stepped out from the shadows, one that was almost an exact mirror image of the boy except she was quite obviously a girl, what with the black plaid mini-skirt and long straight hair that fell over her left eye and tumbled down her back.

"I don't see the point to all this paranoia, Danny." the girl-Danni- complained loudly. "Even if somebody did see us, we would be gone before they knew it!" the boy also named Danny gave her a sharp look.

"You know perfectly well why. One look would be all they need." Danni pouted, but nodded sullenly. "And," Daniel added, checking his watch, "the hour is almost over. We cannot allow ourselves to be seen before then."

Just at that moment, loud footsteps echoed through the alleyway. Immediately, the twins leapt back into the shadows where they crouched, nearly invisible.

"Man," a loud and rather rambunctious voice complained in a slightly slurred tone, "that was a total waste of woman!" the owner of the voice was just as rough as his voice was. Bulky, bald and scarred; Danni silently dubbed him Scarface.

"Right? Right?" an equally slurred voice responded. "Wha' right do some girl ha' ta talk ta us like tha'?!" this was followed by a chorus of drunken laughter, peppered with some derogatory jeers clearly aimed at women in general.

Daniel's keen eyes saw his sister tensing in the shadows next to him. He shot her a warning glance, but if she saw it, then she ignored it.

"Women like her should be lined up and shot," 'Scarface' sneered. For Danni, this was the last straw. Standing up, she quietly stormed up to the man and slapped him in the back of his bald, flabby head.

Hard.

"what the-" Scarface spun around, and upon seeing the fact that he was now sporting a nice bruise inflicted by a mere girl, became angrier.

Back in the shadows, Daniel mentally face-palmed. Just leave it to Danni... now he was the one who was going to clean up her mess. For the moment, though, he was content to just sit and watch how the events unfolded.

Meanwhile, Scarface glared furiously at the slim girl before him who glared back with equal ferocity, only it was more intimidating on her.

"Worthless, are we?" she mocked. "Well this woman is gonna kick your a-"

"Shut the hell up, woman! Your kind should respect us men!"

"Respect?!" she spat back. "I would rather respect a toadstool!"

"Hey!" one of the cronies stepped forward and grabbed her wrist tightly. "Boss, lookit her. There're one of her, and ten of us. How 'bout we... teach her to respect her betters?" Scarface's angry features morphed to a more mischievous look.

"S'not a bad idea..."

During this exchange, Danni was not just sitting idly. Her rage was steadily rising, and she was simmering.

"ENOUGH!"

Everyone in the alleyway jumped at the yell which, surprisingly enough did not come from the girl. In one fluid motion the man, now named Sexist Buttwipe, was pinned to the ground with his arms twisted behind his back. A wicked looking blade was pressed to the man's throat. Danni looked around, confused.

"Good sirs," Daniel said in a mild tone which greatly belied his true rage. "I would much rather settle this without fighting, wouldn't you all agree?"

"Bit rich from the guy holding a knife to someone's throat," Danni thought sarcastically. However, she knew that tone and took a quiet step back. She was grateful that her brother got that creep off of her, but still...

"Good sirs," Scarface drawled in a warbling, squeaky voice, and "s'not the eighteenth century any more, punk."

He was rewarded for his truly exceptional acting skills with a swift roundhouse to the jaw. his 'friends' didn't dare move, for the unknown boy excluded an aura of such menace that they felt sure that, with one misstep, and their leader would be beyond the point of saving. They were probably right.

Scarface, however, was not exactly known for his intelligence. But, he did make the connection between the two faces and realization dawned.

"Twins, eh?" he smirked. "See, even with you two the boy protects the girl." Daniel appraised him coolly, before giving Danni a look that said, quite plainly, go for it.

Danni stepped forward, cracking her knuckles. The grin she wore was comparable to that of a vampire's.

And go for it she did.

o.O.o

"Do you think we went too hard on them?" Danni mused, poking an unconscious man with the tip of a leather-clad boot. She thought about what she just said, and shrugged. "nah."

Daniel stashed his pocketknife back into his pocket and gazed at his handiwork. On the left side of the alley, five bulky men lay groaning on the ground, bloody and beaten. On his sister's side, the remaining men were on a vacation to la-la land as well.

"Oh!" Danni started as the thought sparked in her mind. "It was probably too dark to see the ears and tail, but what about our wings?"

Daniel shrugged.

"Who knows? But they probably won't remember anything anyway, with the state they're in."

"Good point."

Both their heads snapped up at the sounds of approaching police sirens.

"Oops," Danni muttered guiltily, "d'ya think we were too loud?"

"Doesn't matter," was the response, "we should go. Now."

"Right."

they snapped out their wings and with a running leap they were airborne. Danni let out another bubble of laughter as they soared with an instinctive ease, but this time Daniel did not berate her. Because the night was theirs and theirs alone, and it was during those scant few hours that they were free, free like birds.