May. 17th, 2011

mutatismutandis: Xavier, Charles Xavier (Default)
I love this heavily stylized take on Kurt, especially the tail.

Xmen NightCrawler version by *Jeemfers on deviantART
mutatismutandis: Bobby's ice rose. (Gifted)
Great pencil sketch. The tattoos are impressive, but what I like most is the shine off Kurt's costume.

Nightcrawler by ~artechx on deviantART
mutatismutandis: Bobby's ice rose. (Gifted)
Summary: A Wolverine. A beagle. Just watch the damn dog, Logan.

At four months, Darwin had liquid brown eyes, a tail that was in perpetual motion and the approximate IQ of bait. The game of fetch confounded him, loud noises unnerved him and the concept of bladder control had yet to penetrate his expensive little head. As far as Logan was concerned, Jeannie could just as easily practice her parenting skills on some poor mutt from the pound, but it wasn't, he thought with a dark look at Summers, the first time she'd gone for a pretty face over actual brains.

Logan agrees to watch Jean's new beagle puppy for a couple of hours while Scott goes to the airport. What could possibly go wrong? Howlingly funny. (Pun totally intended.)

Natural Selection
mutatismutandis: Xavier, Charles Xavier (Default)
Summary: A student’s-eye view of Xavier, post-X2.

“T.H. White,” I said. “He’s not like the others. He tells you the right names of things.”

“How so?”

“When Arthur turns into an ant, he turns into Messor barbarus. Most writers would just say he turned into an ant. They wouldn’t say what kind, not even to themselves. That’s the problem with fiction.”

The original character in this story has one of the most fascinating mutations I've ever seen, and it would be well worth reading for that alone. There's a lot more going on here, though, in his interaction with Xavier. A wonderful insight into his state of mind after X2.

mutatismutandis: Bobby's ice rose. (Gifted)
Nifty pencil sketch - I love the detailing on her scales.

Mystique by ~LunaPlina on deviantART
mutatismutandis: Emma Frost (White Queen)
Great portrait of Mystique - nicely dynamic, and I like the shading.

Mystique by ~entwood on deviantART
mutatismutandis: Emma Frost (White Queen)
Nice portrait of FirstClass!Magneto. I like the way the hand in the foreground is out of focus.

MAGNETO MASTER OF MAGNETISM by ~HenryTownsend on deviantART
mutatismutandis: Bobby's ice rose. (Gifted)
Summary: Some people aren't meant to be kept on the ground.

The second time he flies, it takes just as many months to practice as it does to work up the nerve.

The practice is easier than he thinks. The initial shock of reaching back to scratch his shoulder blade for the millionth time in a week and brushing his fingertips over pinfeathers, white and perfect and slightly damp where they emerge from his skin, dies a quick death. The fear of being found out fades away the first time he tilts back his head and looks up at the sky, the feathers tickling his flesh as they skim across the inside of his expensive school uniform.

If something's calling to him up there, he's probably just imagining that.

Warren learns to fly. A gorgeous story of what Angel's wings mean to him, and how he comes to embrace them and what they give him. I also like the background characters here; it's always nice to see humans who aren't waiting to get out the pitchforks and torches for every mutant they see.

The Man on the Flying Trapeze
mutatismutandis: Xavier, Charles Xavier (Default)
I like the subtlety of the colouring in this.

Magneto by *turkill on deviantART
mutatismutandis: Emma Frost (White Queen)
Lovely digital portrait - I like the gleam of the helmet and the glowing metal.

Magneto by ~Rennee on deviantART
mutatismutandis: Bobby's ice rose. (Gifted)
Summary: Ororo Munroe has a secret admirer.

When the science journals carry headlines that talk about mutations and genetics and the changing face of humanity, she always places the magazines face down on the counter and looks at me with wide and slightly fearful eyes. I turned the magazines over once and watched as her fingers knotted around each other, slowly tightening and strangling in fear. I didn't turn her magazines over after that.

Storm is in the closet, but at least she has company. Beautiful and sad, and a reminder that community reactions to mutants aren't always what they might expect.

The Lover
mutatismutandis: Bobby's ice rose. (Gifted)
Summary: A chance meeting at a clothing store leads to an unlikely friendship between Hank and Ben Grimm.

"Damn kid burnt a hole through my favourite jacket, so I'm making him buy me another one, and a new pair of shoes if I promised not to tell Sue. Trouble is..."

"There aren't ever any sizes or only for their ugliest pair?" Hank glanced down at his own feet, which were tucked inside a very large pair of sneakers. He'd much prefer to be barefoot, but many establishments frowned upon that sort of thing.

"Huh. Yeah. I mean, look at these." Ben held up a pair of leather shoes that would've been respectable enough had some designer not decided to use big, ugly stitches that went around the toe. "These deserve to be set on fire."

A charming story of bonding between two men who turn out to have more in common than you might think. It's also about the little ways this unexpected friendship helps bring Hank out of the shell he's retreated to. I also enjoyed seeing Hank interacting with Jubilee, and I love the idea that she buys Wolverine mittens *g*.

Lose These Blues I've Found
mutatismutandis: Bobby's ice rose. (Gifted)
Summary: "Reconciliation will require effort on both sides, Bobby. If you never talk to them again, you'll never know how they feel."

He only noticed his hands tightening on the leather armrests of the chair when his fingers started to cramp. He let go and gently flexed them. "Can I go now?" he asked, not caring that it would hurt the Professor's feelings. Bobby knew he only wanted to help, but the Professor still felt guilty about Jean, and he was driving everyone in the mansion nuts, trying to solve every little problem he could get his hands and mind on.

"Of course." Professor Xavier said, that gentle smile on his face. Bobby figured he had a couple of days at most before the nagging started again. He managed not to slam the door behind him, although he shut it hard enough that the sound echoed through the hall.

After X2, Bobby Drake has a lot on his mind. A painful look at what it means to him to have lost not only his best friend but his family as well, and at why he's reluctant to reach out again.

Long Distance
mutatismutandis: Xavier, Charles Xavier (Default)
Summary: Rogue lives in stereotypes. Logan breaks a few.

She went out and bought a notebook. It was cheap and dark green and she wrote 'History' on the cover in big black block letters. Every time she told a story she wrote it down in her neat, even handwriting--wrote down the lies she spun and who she'd wrapped them around. Sometimes she'd have to go back and check, because it was hard to keep the stories straight, the lives straight.

Later she bought another notebook, and on the top of each page she wrote a name. By the end of the year Jean had six pages, because that was how much space it took to write all the lies she'd told the person who was supposed to be her friend.

On the last page of her notebook she stenciled the word 'Truth' in small, barely there letters.

A tough but not ultimately tragic look at how Rogue copes (or doesn't) when something awful and unexpected happens. One of the best treatments of the subject I've ever seen in fanfic.

Living in Stereotypes
mutatismutandis: Xavier, Charles Xavier (Default)
Summary: What would you do if someone told you that you were special, that you needed to come learn how to use your unique talents? If you were Jean Grey, 11 years old in the summer of 1977, Star Wars would give you something to think about when the Jedi come to you.

"I know a man who wants to start a school, a special school for kids like you."

"Kids on crutches?" Jean was sceptical.

"Kids with special gifts that nobody understands yet."

"Like you," Jean said, before she realized that she was pulling it out of his mind.

He didn't flinch. "Like me," he said evenly. "I feel what other people feel. Similar to what you do, but not nearly as strong. It's very useful to me as a priest."

"I bet," Jean said. She and Annie had talked about the Jedi Knights, about what would you do if someone showed up and said that the Force was strong in your family.

"Would you like to talk to him?" Father Michael asked. "His name is Professor Xavier."

A gorgeous story about Jean's introduction to the mansion, and about how fiction gives her the tools she needs to understand herself and the people around her.

Last of the Jedi
mutatismutandis: Bobby's ice rose. (Gifted)
Summary: The prodigal son returns home.

As he tried to find his bearings and get back to his feet, he felt a pair of large, hairy hands pick him up and toss him against a garbage dumpster as the back of his head made impact and he stumbled forward, fingers still reaching toward the lock even as the world spun around him, the halogen street lamps swirling in pinks and greens against the muddy-gray night sky.

But as the lock gave and the harness sprung open, the pain and curses no longer mattered. He didn't even notice as the men held their mouths open in shock as he unfurled his great, white wings. He didn't even care as the entire alley filled with a red light and his attackers were knocked against the far wall and a man with metal claws held them at knife point ... because he was free and they couldn't hurt him any more. No one would ever again. In the sky he was untouchable.

Written after X1, this story has Warren Worthington as one of Xavier's original students, and the first to leave the school to make his own way in the world. Having left the mansion on bad terms, Angel finds himself back there and discovers that it might be possible to reforge his ties with his friends with some compromise on both sides. A lovely story about Warren and how he finds a different way to fit into the school community.

Land of the Free, Home of the Brave
mutatismutandis: Xavier, Charles Xavier (Default)
Summary: Jean never said no.

You never told me no. That's what I remember about you and what I won't forget.

"Come on out," I said, when your parents brought me a shell of a girl. "It's safe, now."

My voice was calm, commanding. Your sea-green eyes, too old for any child, met mine and recognised me.

"Yes," you said, the first time you had spoken in weeks, and your mother cried with joy.

A dark and evocative take on the relationship between Xavier and Jean, and at what she might have been looking for when she walked out of that jet.

The Lady of Alkali Lake
mutatismutandis: Bobby's ice rose. (Gifted)
Summary: Logan's not the first.

She writes Rogue poetry and makes her watch Masterpiece Theatre and strange British comedy that Rogue mostly understands and finds herself laughing at, startled and happy. Brea lives on a whole different plane. Sometimes it's lower than the rest of them, sometimes it's higher. But it's definitely different.

Brea knows things. When she discovered Rogue's limitations, she wrote out a detailed list of sex toys that didn't require body-to-body contact and left it, folded only once, halfway under Rogue's door. Bobby found it first. Brea turned his face green for a week. "For envy," she said, and winked at Rogue.

I love this original character, and her power, and the way she connects with Rogue. Sensuous and sharp.

La Brea
mutatismutandis: Emma Frost (White Queen)
Summary: On the run, Toad visits an old friend.

At a quarter past two, Anagram was standing on his balcony, looking over the edge. He wasn't entirely happy with this. He wasn't fond of heights. But he wanted very much to know how Toad intended to get up the side of the building.

"You are living posh," Toad's voice said over his head, and Anagram jumped, dropped his cigarette, and whirled about, ending up with his shoulder blades pressed to the railing.

"Fuck!" He grabbed the railing, staring up at Toad, who was clinging to the side of the building with nothing more than his hands.

I always thought Toad has a very British punk aesthetic in the films, so it makes perfect sense to me that he used to be a bass player. In this story he meets an old bandmate and they both get something they need out of the encounter. I really like the way this digs into the politics of mutation and how it might intersect with other kinds of identity issues.

Kissable Fanatic, Unhinged Minim Artists
mutatismutandis: Bobby's ice rose. (Gifted)
Summary: Bobby gets a letter that sends him on a personal quest.

He looked down at the envelope again.

The outside had nothing but Bobby's name scrawled over a type-written sticker with the school's address. Inside, a simple note:

In the event of my death, I, John Allerdyce, bequeath all of my earthly possessions to Bobby Drake.

The key had been taped to the bottom with the motel's name written next to it. The Lucky 7. Of course John would rent room thirteen at a place called Lucky 7.

"This is stupid," he said to the door. "I haven't even talked to him in ten years. He just did this out of spite."

Ten years later, some things have changed for Bobby Drake and others not so much. I really like the characterisation in this, plausibly extrapolating from the boys they were when we last saw them to the men they've grown into.

The Key
mutatismutandis: Xavier, Charles Xavier (Default)
Summary: Karen Stryker is left alone to deal with with her son, the great illusionist.

Out of the corner of one eye, Karen can see the heel of a dirty sneaker and one swinging arm disappearing from the top of the staircase into the second-floor hallway. This is the third time Jason’s hit her with the drowning nightmare. It’s not his worst, not as terrible as the ones that made her afraid for a while to look at or touch the man she still thinks she loves (despite everything, yes?) or to face her own reflection in the mirror. But with each try, this one has been a little different, a little more convincing, a little more real. He’s getting stronger, and how the hell is she supposed to make him stop? Ground him? Keeping him inside isn’t a punishment, it’s a necessity. Take away his privileges? Hah. His mind -- and his parents -- are the only toys he needs.

Dealing with a mutant child isn't easy at the best of times, and when your child is willing - eager, even - to turn his power against you it's even worse. This really made me feel for Karen Stryker, a character we only hear mentioned in passing in X2, and understand her husband's later actions a little better.

Keeping House
mutatismutandis: Emma Frost (White Queen)
Summary: Logan may not have been seduced by Mystique, but his subconscious certainly was.

It was more than four months after Alkali Lake before Logan realized the figure haunting his dreams wasn't Jean. He'd awaken to twisted sheets and rigid desire, sensations of a hot mouth and expert hands still ghosting over his body. He welcomed the dreams, clinging to the remnants of a barely formed attachment. The nightly visions became more lucid: pale flesh writhed beneath his fingertips, moist lips met his with abandon, insatiable. Every night Logan experienced the fire he'd sensed beneath Jean's cool reserve and, though awakening to the reality of her absence was torment, he sought the solace of his bed earlier every week.

Then one night everything changed. The soft Jean-like paleness in his arms arched back in ecstasy, moaning the first sound his dream-woman had ever uttered. Logan started awake with the unearthly musical tones of Mystique's voice still in his mind.

Itching for a rematch of one kind or another, Logan tracks Mystique down and tries to settle things. Hot and dark.

Just One Good Scratch
mutatismutandis: Bobby's ice rose. (Gifted)
Summary: One Rogue. Two timelines. Three personalities. Every possibility. Rogue discovers who she is, could have been, and everything she can become.

Standing in the middle of the lot, I stared around me, trying to get a grip on the situation, which was spiraling toward Freaky real damn fast. Slowly, I put down my bag and realized I still had my change clutched in my hand.

One five, three ones, some metal, enough to get a cab. I took the coins to stuff in my jeans pocket and began to fold the bills when I froze, staring in shock at them in my hand.

I mean, how often, really, do we take a good look at our money?

You know, if you were only going to read one story in this fandom (although heaven knows why you'd be here if you wanted to do that) this would be an excellent choice. Jus Ad Bellum is a wonderful novel on so many levels. It's a great exploration of Rogue's character and the relationships she forms with very different group of X-Men. It's an exciting adventure with action and romance and suspense. Most of all though, it's a long, hard look at the ideologies involved in the conflict between mutants and humans, and at how far people on both sides are willing to go when pushed. By the end, I understood where every character was coming from, and that's its most impressive achievement.

Jus Ad Bellum
mutatismutandis: Xavier, Charles Xavier (Default)
Summary: Nick Fury gets a new intern and she's not at all what he bargained for.

"I don't need a new assistant," Fury scowled. "Why didn't he send her to McCoy in Mutant Affairs?" Fury didn't like surprises in his day. A teenage girl popping bubblegum in his office definitely rated as surprises in his book. "Why me? Why couldn't they match her with Coulson or you?"

"Coulson has his hands full with the incident in New Mexico," Natasha closed her file. "As for me, maybe I didn't strike them as overly maternal?"

I'd never have thought of teaming up Nick Fury and Jubilee, but now that I've read this, I would be willing to pay good money for a comic based on this premise. The two of them are a surprisingly good match, and S.H.I.E.L.D. could certainly use more bubblegum and bright yellow overcoats.

Jubilation Lee: Agent of SHIELD
mutatismutandis: Emma Frost (White Queen)
Summary: Motels, money, murder, madness.

She pulled a small, glassine bag from her pocket. It held a miniscule metal triangle. "He hit bone," she said. "He had a cheap knife."

He drew a deep breath, then regretted it, his nose and mouth filled with the foul stench of fear, blood and death that hung in the air.

"Told you it wasn't you," she said, taking his hand and leading him back to the car. "I don't know why you were so worried."

"How did you--" he broke off when she turned and raised an eyebrow. She shouldn't be able to read him like that. Not after so many years apart. "Find it," he finished, and they both knew that wasn't his original question.

It's been five years since Logan left Rogue, but now he needs her help to solve a series of murders. Together, they fight crime! Dark and atmospheric, and I love the procedural aspects.

Jim Morrison's Dead
mutatismutandis: Bobby's ice rose. (Gifted)
Summary: Ororo does not understand Scott’s obsession with the Blackbird.

It is pretty up here, she admits to herself, but it would be prettier yet without the windshield in front of her eyes and the metal cabin surrounding her. She wants to feel the wind, not breathe the stale, recycled air in the plane.

There’s a little turbulence and, distracted by her thoughts, she over-corrects ever so slightly.

“Easy,” Scott says quietly, but makes no move to take over the controls himself. She doesn’t ask if he’s talking to her or the plane.

Ororo and Scott are both obsessed with flying, but they have very different approaches to it. This is a lovely story about their relationship with each other and the sky, and a insight to how they related to the world before they grew up and became X-Men. It's a remix of First Loves, a drabble by Teaotter that is also great.

in the lonely cool before the dawn
mutatismutandis: Bobby's ice rose. (Gifted)
Rogue and Wolverine enjoy the hockey game ... or maybe not, in Logan's case *g*. A cute idea for a cute picture.

The Hockey Game by ~MouseThatRoared on deviantART
mutatismutandis: Xavier, Charles Xavier (Default)
Summary: Storm and Xavier both try to teach history, but history just doesn't seem to learn.

"After the war," he said, "Erik was brought to England, along with other child survivors, to be cared for. To rebuild his life. But he never told anyone the real story of what had happened to him. He was convinced that if anyone knew about his powers, he'd wind up in another laboratory. He was isolated by his secrets. Until he met someone who knew the truth without being told. And I...." He closed his eyes. "I was a young telepath. You know, people in the throes of a first love often have a little trouble remembering where they end and their lover begins -- normal people, whose heads are as separate as stars. In my case...." Suddenly his eyes looked right into her. "Storm. Don't touch her. Don't think you can solve anything that way. The best thing you can do for her is keep her separate."

A series about Storm courts Rogue in the present, while Charles is stuck in the past. Two stories about how love not only doesn't fix everything, it can sometimes make it all worse. I'm not exaggerating when I call this story heartbreaking, and I don't thing I've ever looked a the relationships between these characters the same way since I read this.



mutatismutandis: Bobby's ice rose. (Gifted)
Summary: Kurt and Ororo, chatting on the roof.

It was quiet on the far side and he quickly became absorbed in his thoughts. He didn't notice the soft breeze increasing. When she appeared in his view it so startled him that he nearly lost his perch. She floated gracefully on the currents of air at her command, turning an elegant back flip before settling on the roof, smiling at him.

He met her smile. "You could have been a legend in the circus."

"I'll take that as a compliment," she said with a laugh. "What would they call me? The Astounding Storm?"

"No, you would have been an angel..." he said. His eyes twinkled as he continued, mimicking a ringmaster's boastful patter. "An ethereal, angelic aerialist with the power of the elements at her beck and call! Thrill as she performs her death-defying aerial tricks! Wonder as she brings down the rains from heaven to your very faces!"

Storm, Nightcrawler, the evening breeze and some friendly - or maybe more than friendly - conversation. Kurt and Ororo really are adorable together, and this is a charming story.

mutatismutandis: Xavier, Charles Xavier (Default)
Summary: When Kurt wants to be alone and Artie wants someone to talk to, both end up getting what they really need.

"Was it me you came here to see?" he asked. He had no idea why that would be, but Artie nodded. Okay. "Why?"

The image entering his mind was so vibrant and beautiful that it forced him to blink - not that blinking helped. He saw Jean Grey, the woman who had died, dressed in her X-Men uniform and with her red hair glittering in the sun. She seemed taller than she should be, until he realised that of course she would be, from the perspective of a preteen boy. And she was laughing.

Unlike everyone else at the mansion after X2, Kurt isn't really in a position to grieve for the loss of Jean Grey - but he can still help. I love the way Artie's powers are portrayed here, and the images he projects show great insight into the mansion's residents. This isn't just a great story about Artie and Kurt, though, but about Jean seen through the eyes of her student, and about what her adopted family lost when they lost her.

Grief and the Lack of It
mutatismutandis: Emma Frost (White Queen)
Summary: Memories, dreams, reality - they're all the same colour to Logan.

He used to be afraid of the dark, a long time ago when he was small and didn't have fur. No, hair, it was hair, and he couldn't forget that, or who knows what else he might forget. Like his favorite shirt or Mississippi or that song he heard one time before he was Here.

Or his name. His name. His name ... his name was ... was ...


A disturbing look inside Logan's dreams. The imagery does a great job of getting the trauma across.

mutatismutandis: Bobby's ice rose. (Gifted)
Summary: Spring fever hits the school and Jean has just the solution.

"The ground rules are," Jean said, "you must spend all waking hours that are not spent in class together. However, there will be no sleeping together." Groans mixed with nervous laughter. "You must do your daily activities together. And by together we mean the same activity, not just in the same room. If one of you wants to watch television, both of you watch television. If one of you wants to play ping-pong, both of you play."

"You're going to learn about partnership and compromise," Scott said. "Or else you're going to drive each other nuts." That got genuine laughter.

"Can I ask which you and Dr. Grey have done?" St. John piped up from the back of the room.

"No," Jean and Scott said at the same time.

When the senior students at Xavier's are hopelessly distracted by hormones, Jean has a brilliant idea to cure them of it: make them all pretend to be married for a week. Funny and insightful, and I love the appearances by various comic book characters, some of whom haven't made it onto film even now.

The Great Marriage Boondoggle
mutatismutandis: Bobby's ice rose. (Gifted)
Summary: Bobby Drake is a god among snowflakes.

Taking the last step off the gangway, he can't say for sure what set this day apart from all others this morning, what has brought him here today instead of yesterday or last month or next week. Nothing but the vague realization that if he doesn't do it before anything else gets in the way, he may be too late.

God knows I've earned a vacation.

A lovely story that really earns its 'saving the world' tag on AO3. Superheroes interacting with real world problems can be a tricky thing to pull off, but this is beautiful and such a perfectly Bobby way of handling things.

God Among Snowflakes
mutatismutandis: Bobby's ice rose. (Gifted)
Summary: Who says Ronny Drake is a mutant hater, anyway?

Ronny couldn't even take satisfaction in it when Bobby'd fucked off to that snotty prep school, because they'd recruited him. His mother gushed on and on about how grateful she was for this opportunity, practically wetting herself in front of that Doctor Grey bimbo.

They wouldn't even let Ronny use his room while he was at school. Three years of cramming all his stuff in closets and his mom threatening to sell off his comic collection, while Bobby's room just sat there across the hall, like a shrine.

Ronny Drake is mad with his brother, but not for the reason everybody assumes. I've seen several stories where Ronny turns out to be a mutant, but this is a unique take on the idea and I love the power the author gives him.

mutatismutandis: Xavier, Charles Xavier (Default)
Summary: "Checkmate, old friend."

"Charles?" Now Erik's brows were drawn together in a neat, single line across his forehead. He reached out an arm to Charles, fingers mere inches away from the back of Charles' hand. "Are you all right, Charles?"

"No," Charles whispered, "no, no, no..." He reached a hand out to steady himself against Erik's outstretched arm, but the arm turned translucent as soon as Charles' fingers alighted upon it. Erik flickered for a moment, then faded away altogether. Charles turned on his heel, eyes darting madly as the world around him began to bleed away.

The empty room rippled.

The walls of Cerebro-Two were buckling under the weight of thousands of tons of water. Already, the lower half of the chamber had filled with water, like a fishbowl being prepared for occupation.

X2 ends ... differently. Disturbing and disturbingly plausible, this is a scary look at how the chess game between Charles and Erik could have taken another turn altogether.

mutatismutandis: Emma Frost (White Queen)
Gorgeous digital paiting; I love the way the image is springing out of its frame and the glowing staff.

Gambit Colors by ~PYdiyudie on deviantART
mutatismutandis: Xavier, Charles Xavier (Default)
Summary: No one believes Rogue...

Jean smiled politely and nodded. "I was expecting something like this ..."

Rogue looked at her in surprise. "You were?"

"Well, yeah ..." Jean smiled. "I mean, even with Logan's memories fading, you're still confused by what you think are your own thoughts, but are vestiges of Logan's."

You know, I first read this story the day it was posted, and eleven years later it still makes me giggle every time. Real world problems being complicated by mutant powers don't always have to be completely Serious Business, but one of the things I like the most about this is the underlying thoughtfulness.

mutatismutandis: Xavier, Charles Xavier (Default)
Summary: Charles and Erik are off to See America. They get hungry along the way.

Erik reached over without looking and took the peach out of his hand, lifted it to his own mouth and bit, then returned the remaining fruit. Licked the escaped flavour of it away with the delicate tip of his tongue.

That was the fifth day of their trip. Charles had spent two weeks planning it. Since the night they'd sat across from each other at dinner in New York, and he'd watched Erik watch the room. Shadowed blue eyes that focussed and refocused constantly, reading everyone for possible danger. They only centred on him when the two of them were fighting; even a spirited conversation only demanded half of Erik's attention. So Charles had started a fight.

I love the way this story is both expansive and entirely intimate, a road trip told in flashes and locked rooms. It's also scortchingly hot.

Fragile Bodies of Touch and Taste
mutatismutandis: Xavier, Charles Xavier (Default)
Summary: One of these is probably the way Storm met Charles Xavier. It's possible that it matters which one.

"My name is Charles Xavier. I run a school for children like you."

"For kids who get into trouble," she says.

"Well, often that happens, I'm afraid. But what I meant was for children with special abilities like your own."

"Witch school," she says, and laughs a little wildly. "You're a rich white teacher who can talk in my head, and you want to take me to witch school."

He seems to be considering that.

"If you want to think about it that way," he says. "I prefer to call it a school for the gifted."

Ororo encounters Charles Xavier for the first time, in four different ways. Touching and disturbing depending on which universe you're in at the time, and I really like the different character portraits of Storm and Xavier. This is the kind of thing fanfiction is made for.

Four Ways of Coming out of The Cold
mutatismutandis: Bobby's ice rose. (Gifted)
Summary: Things change.

Time passes. It must – her whole body progressively feels more and more like lead. Lead that's been doused in gasoline, and set on fire. Repeatedly. Under and around the cold, she burns.

The trees all look the same, though – spectral outlines in the dark – and the stars aren't visible through the branches. Could've been hours, or maybe they've only just started walking. She can't tell.

It's hard to believe that these are the same woods she's often explored over the years. Even when she went on camping trips with the other students, the trees still felt familiar and comforting. The difference that a few flashlights can make. Oh, and not being chased by a bunch of gun-wielding commandos. She's heard that can help.

The fate of the kids who escaped from the mansion during the attack in X2 gets glossed over in the movie, which is understandable given everything else that's going on. This story fills in the gaps nicely, as Kitty, Piotr and Warren run from their home and try to keep the younger children - and each other - safe.

mutatismutandis: Emma Frost (White Queen)
Summary: Rogue comes home for the first time.

In Anchorage she had a daily routine of classes, a room of her own, beauty surrounding her every time she stepped outside. She managed to make a few friends, hallmates who knocked on her door to borrow things and stayed to talk. But outside of her time in Canada, it was also the farthest she had ever gone from anyone who knew her, from anywhere she might consider home.

Home. Whenever people from the Xavier Institute called her at school, it always brought that constricting feeling back. Her chest would get a little smaller, a little tighter. Each voice taking a turn at the phone seemed to head straight for her lungs, pushing all the air out of her chest.

A beautiful story of Rogue's first homecoming after leaving the mansion. I love the way the supporting cast is drawn, too, from her friends at the Thanksgiving dinner table to the voices in her mind.

The First and Last Places
mutatismutandis: Xavier, Charles Xavier (Default)
Awwwwwww. Adorable cartoon versions of Bobby and John.

Fire and Ice by ~Sesy on deviantART
mutatismutandis: Bobby's ice rose. (Gifted)
Summary: Bobby hasn't told Rogue everything.

They say when you’re young, you think you’re immortal. Risk-taking has never been that way for Bobby. He is a mutant and, barring disaster, a future member of the X-Men. No matter what he does, danger is fact of life. He has no choice. It’s a taste of the way Rogue must hate the limits that were suddenly placed on her when her own more extreme mutation manifested.

He understands Rogue -- and he doesn’t. He doesn’t.

There's plenty of kinky fanfic out there, and I'm as fond of stories where the characters just go nuts with the handcuffs and whipped cream as they next fangirl. But there aren't nearly as many that are actually about kink and where it comes from and how it works. This story is, and it's adult in quite a different way than the usual.

mutatismutandis: Emma Frost (White Queen)
Summary: Arvin Sloane has a proposition. Magneto listens.

Rambaldi had not predicted mutants. They were not mentioned in any prophecies of the future, which was why they had never held too much interest for you. Given Rambaldi's accuracy in all other things, they probably were not the next step in evolution, but a time-limited phenomenon, an interesting branch in the human tree that would remain without descendants, like the Neanderthals. Watching the news and hearing the young people at your office hotly debate about the Mutant Registration Act, you were struck with a mixture of amusement and ennui. It did not really matter one way or the other, except in one regard.

A crossover with Alias in which two ageing players of the Great Game meet on a ferry. Does a wonderful job of conveying the grey and frosty atmosphere.

Ferry Tales
mutatismutandis: Xavier, Charles Xavier (Default)
Summary: Hope is the thing with feathers/That perches in the soul.

Warren climbed to the top of the jungle gym and tipped his head back, watching the tattered clouds chase each other across the sky and make a hazy, shifting mask over the sun. It made his chest go tight and his shoulders hurt, but he didn't look away. He was used to feeling that way, a lot, when he looked at the sky or at the pigeons outside his window or at his father across the length of the dining-room table. A dull, vague kind of ache all over, but stronger in his shoulders and his heart. Maybe that was what they called growing pains.

A glimpse of Warren Worthington's life long before X3, when he's a twelve-year-old boy already suffering the effects of his father's prejudice. Luckily, one of the X-Men is there to provide moral support even if he can't do anything else. I like that Scott gets to be the cool guy here, and his conversation with Warren is lovely.

mutatismutandis: Bobby's ice rose. (Gifted)
Summary: Ronny Drake starts running the day Bobby and his freak friends trash the neighbourhood.

Once the cops are gone, once the flaming wreak of a police car is off of their front lawn, once most of the neighbours have gone back inside and his mom's finally stopped crying, Ronnie takes off out the back door and he runs. The sun's low at his back and he stumbles on cracks in the sidewalks, going too fast to keep his balance. His fists are squeezed so tight that his hands feel cramped, and if he goes fast enough he can forget what his big brother is.

We didn't get a lot of insight into Ronny Drake's actions in X2, but this is a nice look into his motivations as he finds out he has more in common with his older brother than he thought.

Fast As You Can
mutatismutandis: Xavier, Charles Xavier (Default)
Shirtless, blindfolded Scott Summers is always good with me, and this is a lovely drawing of the subject.

X-Men: Faceless Crowd by ~GabrielMalkavian on deviantART
mutatismutandis: Bobby's ice rose. (Gifted)
Summary: A school field trip to a museum turns into a crusade for Jubilee.

"I don't get it," Jubilee said, not listening to her friend.

"Huh?" Bobby asked.

"This exhibit. I don't get it. It's supposed to be about evolution, right?"

"Um, yes?" Bobby said as he and Kitty looked at each other.

"Well, I slept through most of biology, but," Jubilee shook her head sharply, "evolution is all about mutation, right?"

"Yeeees," Kitty said.

Jubilee put her hands on her hips, finding herself unreasonably irked. "Then where are the mutants?"

A brilliant story about Jubilee and about an issue that's a hot topic in our universe and must be even more of one in a reality that has mutants popping up all over the place. Jubilation Lee might seem like an unlikely political activist, and her journey from apathetic mallrat to crusader is what this is all about.

The Evolution of Jubilee
mutatismutandis: Xavier, Charles Xavier (Default)
Summary: Bobby Drake encounters Henry McCoy for the first time.

"What's it like to. Um. Look like that?"

"Do you think the facial fur detracts from the natural sharpness of my cheekbones? Is blue really my color?"

"I ... I'm sorry, I shouldn't have asked, I mean, I didn't mean --"

"It's all right, Bobby. No, don't apologize. I fear I've grown far too accustomed to being rather ... flip with my responses to that sort of question, over the years.

When Bobby met Hank, the movieverse version. These two have an epic friendship for the ages in comic canon, so I love to see them meet in this continuity. Bobby's reaction to the mansion's new occupant is adorable, and the part about the X-Men as a Eurotrash pop band makes me crack up every time.

mutatismutandis: Emma Frost (White Queen)
Summary: Jason used to give her nightmares.

She's proud and she's cocky and she ignores all of the warning signs. Fuck, the thing is called the Weapon X project, that should be enough of a sign for anyone, though she doesn't find that out until she's in too deep and too classified to back out. Its name wasn't in any of the paperwork she read before she signed her name (she read it line by line, the fine print too, she didn't skip or skim), just "classified military projects in the US and abroad."

If she thinks about that at all, she thinks that it means nuclear depots in Iran. Not secret bases in Canada. Does the Canadian government know about the projects at Alkali Lake? Do they care? She never asks.

Once upon a time, Yuriko Oyama had a mind of her own and actually wanted a job with William Stryker. A closer look at a woman who became a weapon, that gives agency and perspective to a character who had neither in the film.

The drowned face always staring toward the sun
mutatismutandis: Xavier, Charles Xavier (Default)
Summary: A sentimental education.

It sucked that Magneto was still making him study. John had figured that when you ran away with international mutant terrorists, that really wouldn't be an issue anymore, but no. Of course, it was a little different than Xavier's, with Magneto just sitting across the table with his piercing blue eyes and asking him question after question about what he thought about the book of the week, just not letting up until John was ready to wing it right at him.

He'd done that once, in fact, when Magneto had been poking holes in his argument that might made right. Erik had batted it back into his face with a twitch of his eyebrows. "It seems to me you have two options here, Pyro," he'd drawled, amused, as John rubbed his head. "Either accept the counterargument or get better at hitting people."

Pyro is learning a lot now that he's joined the Brotherhood, and not all of it is about mutant terrorism and robbing banks. A beautiful insight into the thoughts of a character caught between adolescence and adulthood, and learning all the time.

dragonflies draw flame
mutatismutandis: Bobby's ice rose. (Gifted)
Hank in a lab coat! Like the artist, I'm sorry we didn't get to see this in X3. This manip corrects the oversight.

Dr. Hank McCoy by ~sonLUC on deviantART
mutatismutandis: Emma Frost (White Queen)
Summary: Scott and Jean have a complicated relationship. Pyro has regrets.

"Why were you so worried when I went into Cerebro?"

His tone is almost chipper when he answers. "I thought you couldn't handle it. I was wrong." There's no pride in him admitting his error and he prides himself on that in the backburner of his brain, where she pokes around like a child putting a fork in an electrical socket, looking for where he loves her.

"So you don't have faith in me?" Jean is teasing, but the Phoenix wants to


The parallels between John and Jean never really struck me before reading this, but it turns out that they have a few things in common. An intertwined pair of stories about love and identity.

mutatismutandis: Xavier, Charles Xavier (Default)
Summary: Pyro notices the details.

It was the little details, always, that drew him back.

Strawberry ice cream, Bobby's favorite.

A pair of long white gloves in the window of a fancy women's dress store, pearl buttons at the wrist just like the pair Rogue was wearing that day.

Pyro has left the X-Men, but perhaps they haven't quite left him. An astutely observed piece about the impossibility of neatly abandoning a life.

The Devil's In the Details
mutatismutandis: Bobby's ice rose. (Gifted)
Summary: Logan learns how things work at the mansion.

If you just watched carefully, it wasn't hard to understand why they all fought so hard. Why they risked their lives for one another, for the world in general. Of course, aside from the Professor, none of them were so absorbed in the pursuit of anything so lofty as the preservation of mankind. It was preservation of the people they loved, not just from Magneto and unnamed destruction, but from the pain of everyday life. The smaller details could become overwhelming, if an attempt was made to itemize each gesture.

In its quiet way, this is one of my favourite X-Men movieverse stories. It's such a nice look at how people in the mansion take care of each other, and how Logan responds to that.

mutatismutandis: Bobby's ice rose. (Gifted)
Lovely digital painting of broody Scott. The shine off the glasses/visor is particularly well done.

Cyclops by *becc-j on deviantART
mutatismutandis: Xavier, Charles Xavier (Default)
Summary: Terrorists need love, too.

He leaned forward to pour them some wine. Again, local, but it would do. He'd been allowed nothing alcoholic in prison--the sheer prudery of an administration willing to kidnap schoolchildren but refusing to authorize money for a simple glass of wine would never cease to make him laugh. At least, until he remembered the one drug that they hadn't had any pangs of conscience over. He hastily passed her a glass. "Have I told you how very clever your plan to rescue me was?"

She had already almost finished the bread. "Yes, but don't let that stop you from telling me again."

Magneto and Mystique reunite after X2, in every sense. Sweet and complicated and political.

Custom Cannot Stale
mutatismutandis: Emma Frost (White Queen)
Turns out there's a downside to having a catlike mutation *g*. I like the panel layout, too.

creed's weakness by ~rockedgirl on deviantART
mutatismutandis: Xavier, Charles Xavier (Default)
Summary: Rogue ties up loose ends in her life.

Three months in Seattle and seven before that: it's been nearly a year since she's seen him and always, always he looks the same. "What do you want?" she asks. She's proud that her voice sounds steady and strong.

"Coffee." He hitches the legs of his jeans and sits on one of the counter stools, and it's deja vu all over again. "You know how I like it."

She gives him a nod, glad the coffee's fresh because that *is* the way he likes it. Setting a cup in front of him, she stares hard. "That's not what I meant."

"It's all I wanted."

"You're full of it. Do they think you'll have a better shot at getting me to come back?"

He raises an eyebrow. "It's been three months, from what they tell me. You still don't believe they're willing to leave you alone?"

Marie runs away from home all over again, and it's going to take something radical to get her to come back. A lovely, hopeful story that's as much about her psyche as her blooming relationship with Logan.

Counting Backwards
mutatismutandis: Bobby's ice rose. (Gifted)
Summary: After all these years, Mystique looks a little different. Natasha looks exactly the same.

She stands in front of a stool, two down from Mystique, orders a vodka martini, then waits for it, wishing with great intensity for the days you could smoke inside in this city. Because if now were then, she could simply have struck up a conversation by asking for a light.

Also because she would really like a cigarette.

I love crossovers in general, and those that bring other Marvel movie characters into the orbit of the X-Men universe are among my favourite kinds. In this story, Mystique makes contact with S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Natasha Romanova. The author borrows Black Widow's comicverse background to good effect, and shows how much she and Mystique have in common - although maybe that's not as much as they used to.

Common Cause
mutatismutandis: Xavier, Charles Xavier (Default)
Summary: It takes some time to feel at home.

Her jaw was tight with concentration. It seemed to Hank that Jean always looked tense. It was nothing new; she’d been an extraordinarily tense twelve year old. Now she was clenching her teeth like a stevedore, not like someone reading in a comfortable library on a Saturday evening. Hank wondered if she was interested in the journal in front of her at all, or driven solely by duty. Her hair haloed around her face, glowing in the soft light of the green-shaded lamp on the desk, but she looked like a crusader. Jean d’Arc.

I need to get laid, Hank thought to himself. I’m going to find a cure for cancer before I get laid.

Hank is trying to lose his virginity, and Jean is surprisingly helpful. A story about tolerance, sex and home comforts of all kinds. I love how wonderfully opaque the Jean Grey in this story is, like an iceberg with two-thirds below the water. Hank, by contrast, is endearingly easy to figure out.

Comfort Zone
mutatismutandis: Emma Frost (White Queen)
Summary: "In her more reflective moments, she wondered if she had a self-destructive streak running through her." AU, or not...?

The cigarette was good. She hadn't smoked since right before medical school; somehow it didn't seem appropriate, then.

It was certainly appropriate now. Post-coital cigarette number two. Jean glanced down at her sleeping bedmate, sprawled out on the dingy bed like he owned it, one muscular arm flung over her legs. She sat on the bed, back against the headboard, cigarette in hand. A plume of smoke rose from the tip like a carcinogenic ghost. She sucked down another drag. The burn in her throat spread through her body, infusing every cell with the delicious bite of nicotine. It was like she'd never quit; it felt like her body had gone into a long dormancy, brought back to life only when she inhaled the hot smoke.

After Alkali Lake, Jean Grey falls into more than one bad habit. Beautifully written and intriguingly ambiguous - it's labled AU with a question mark for a reason.

Color of Ashes, Color of Fire
mutatismutandis: Emma Frost (White Queen)
Summary: Emma goes to visit an old mentor.

'Welcome to my humble abode.' The same wry smile as always, but tireder, older, in a way not attributable to the passage of years alone. 'I'm afraid we had to move in rather a hurry, and therefore have yet to find the time to decorate.'

You would have been able to make this place into a fortress within minutes, once, she does not say. She supposes it is impolite to point out the obvious failings of others. Not that it's ever stopped her before.

Magneto gestures for her to sit down on one of the wooden chairs. Murder is acceptable, but good manners are vital. Always a gentleman, right to the bitter end.

After the events of X3, Magneto is attempting to make a new army from his old allies, but that might be easier said than done. I love this version of Emma Frost, who is diamond hard in more ways that one, and the perspective on Magneto is a fresh one.

Cold Front
mutatismutandis: Xavier, Charles Xavier (Default)
Summary: The blade slid into the flesh, its sharpness balking at first and then easing in with a sickly wet sound.

The Mutant Question was the topic of the day now. It seemed to escape people that the mutants weren’t a real force yet. Some day, perhaps. A generation, maybe two – yes.

Now? Just a tool, whether they wished it or not. There simply weren’t enough of them to coalesce in a movement of their own, no matter how often Magneto got his purple-caped ass kicked in a televised manner. Just a tool to be used by older interests, established and strong, by the entrenched ideas and old hates. Or Ideals.

A fascinating look at how global politics might function in a universe that has mutants in it. Set in both Washington D.C. and Chechnya, this story deftly explores the complications superpowers could add to real-world problems. Some things are different, and others depressingly similar. And X-Men fandom could always use more espionage, international incidents and people getting stabbed in dark alleys.

Cloak and Dagger
mutatismutandis: Bobby's ice rose. (Gifted)
Summary: Rogue and Scott learn to let go.

"What do you see?" she asked Scott at breakfast a few days later. He'd taken to sitting by her in the past year or so; he'd taken to giving her gentle looks and glimpsing touches that made her wonder if his fingertips were soft.

He shrugged. "A strawberry, with a toothpick stuck in it."

She pulled the toothpick out. "And now?"

"A strawberry."

"Exactly," she said, and ate the bit of fruit decisively.

A lovely story about how people grow apart and grow together, and about the passage of time and what Rogue and Scott's mutations mean to them. There's a great sense of atmosphere in this.

Clinging Cures
mutatismutandis: Xavier, Charles Xavier (Agent Xavier)
Summary: Cyclops and Wolverine are taken prisoner, and escape is only the beginning of the recovery process.

One of the guards stepped forward and released me. I held still till the man moved away. I didn't want to scare them. I didn't want to scare Summers, either. Despite the dimness of the room and his weakness, I could see him trembling, smell his fear. Strong, acid sweat. His face had a slack quality. He was drugged. I laid a hand on his shoulder. He flinched.

Under the tape, his face was covered with bruises, fresh and greening both, and I could see more on his body. They'd beaten the crap out of him, burned him with cigarettes down one arm. Carefully, I unzipped the front of the coverall and checked his torso, afraid he might have bruised kidneys or some other internal injury that could explain his illness. He tried to shove my hands away, but not with affronted modesty. The fear in him had spiked sharply. "Stop, Scott. It's me." No jokes now. No half-insulting names. "I won't hurt you." He quit fighting but the trembling grew worse.

This was crazy. Even drugged, this was Cyclops. What the hell had they done to him?

A harrowing novel about what happens when Scott and Logan are captured by an organization that has terrible things in mind for both of them. Does an incredible job of exploring both their initial reactions to the experience and the recovery process.

Climb the Wind
mutatismutandis: Emma Frost (White Queen)
Summary: Kitty Pryde tries to understand what the universe has planned for her. Set pre-X1.

When they were finally ready to leave, the tears vanished from Kitty's mom's face as she opened the garage door and firmly nosed the family car past the idle gawkers who gathered daily to watch the mutant house. Some of them, slackers Kitty vaguely recognised from the mall, took photos of the car with their phones. She slouched in her seat and scowled at them as the car moved implacably through the crowd.

"Like they're going to get a photo through the glass. Haven't you heard of polarisation?"

The story of how Kitty Pryde started walking through walls and ended up at Xavier's, with occasional digressions into physics. I love the way this captures Kitty's geekiness - an aspect of her comicverse character that wasn't played up in X3 but not, I feel, at odds with it.

mutatismutandis: Bobby's ice rose. (Gifted)
Aaaaaaawww! Kurt is even more adorable in chibi form. I like the shading work on the background, too.

Chibi Movie-Nightcrawler by ~MarsW on deviantART
mutatismutandis: Xavier, Charles Xavier (Default)
Summary: Charles and Erik, against the backdrop of the 1962 Seattle World’s Fair and it’s three themes.

And the great metal skin was peeled back in his mind’s eye, to reveal a living, breathing organism.

The metal breathed, inhale and exhale, behind concrete ribs. Expand and contract. The vertebrae of reinforced steel, climbing six-hundred feet above the ground. The give and take of electrons, push and pull of cations and anions at the cellular level. A great metal skin stretched over the entire surface; that glowed the same color as Phidias's Bronzes in the proper light.

A look at Charles and Erik as young men, still in love and full of hope but with the shadow of the future already on them. This is lyical and sad, and the setting is perfect for them.

Century 21
mutatismutandis: Xavier, Charles Xavier (Default)
Summary: How do you tell a man who's lived inside his skull for the past seventy years that his mind is rotting away?

We have a few helmets that we've cobbled together, headgear to protect us against the Professor's roving telepathic reach. In his dementia, the Professor sometimes mistakes people for figures from his past and--and he rewrites them, so that, for a while at least, they are who he remembers them to be. I still remember the first time it happened to me; the Professor started calling me "David," and before I could gently remind him that I was Scott, not this David he seemed to mistake me for, I was screaming hysterically and accusing him of abandoning me.

Mutant powers have a way of making real life problems more complicated, and as worst case scenarios for telepaths go, Alzheimer's disease has to be on top of the list. A heartwrenching story of what happens to Charles Xavier and his family as his mind collapses in on itself.

mutatismutandis: Bobby's ice rose. (Gifted)
Summary: Yuriko remembers other names.

She remembers meeting Stryker for the first time. The memory is sharper, and she remembers things like how his teeth looks as if they would gobble her up. He doesn't smell of cigars or alcohol, like she thought he would.

"You're a very talented young lady, Miss Shan," he had said.

Self-determination isn't the only thing that Stryker took from the woman he turned into Deathstrike. Sharp and incredibly layered for such a short story.

By Any Other Name
mutatismutandis: Xavier, Charles Xavier (Agent Xavier)
Summary: What might have happened had X1 not ended so well.

The calendar in the box room still read October 2010, but she knew it was later than that. She had no mirror, because she'd thrown it out of the window an autumn ago, or maybe a spring ago, and judged her age by the rough and lined hands that she would stare at as they tried to grip at her fork and knife.

She asked her nurses which year it was, but they never told her.

A poignant story about what might have happened to Jean - and, by extension, to everyone else - if things hadn't gone quite so well at the Statue of Liberty. Full of beautiful details that make it sing, from the Jell-O cups to the view from her tiny window.

The Box Room
mutatismutandis: Emma Frost (White Queen)
Summary: Toad and Mystique go for a drink.

"Want to go for a drink?" Toad asked her.

She looked at him in surprise. It was not that she was unaware of Toad's need to regularly imbibe liquids in order to prevent dehydration and eventual death - a need shared by herself, and by Magneto, and probably also by Sabretooth, although she was working a theory that he mostly only ate and drank because he was able to do so in such an obnoxious manner - but so far as she knew their Secret Lair had an extremely well-stocked kitchen.

Toad and Mystique spend some time together outside a work context. Great fun, and surprisingly sweet - it's nice to see what the Brotherhood get up to when they're not carrying out Magneto's plans or sitting around plotting their next act of mutant terrorism.

Because there's nothing else to do
mutatismutandis: Xavier, Charles Xavier (Default)
Summary: It's about time for Marie to move on.

"Life isn't fair," he said, and she could have sworn she felt a touch like a fingertip on her neck. "You and I, Erik -- we all know that. But never let me hear you complain about learning."

"Then teach me something useful," Rogue said. "I'm tired of chess."

This is two stories intertwined, one of Rogue making her way outside the school after X3, and the other of Xavier's ... unconventional attempts at therapy before she took the cure. I really like this darker take on their teacher/student relationship, and find it entirely plausible given what X3 told us about Jean's past.

mutatismutandis: Bobby's ice rose. (Gifted)
This photomanip does a neat job of somehow making Warren look heavy and completely weightless at the same time.

Angel in Water by ~FanOfVilya on deviantART
mutatismutandis: Emma Frost (White Queen)
All I have to say to this is: guh. Gambit certainly is pretty. I really like the detail on the hair and the glowing eyes.

Alone Time by ~Catherine-OC on deviantART
mutatismutandis: Bobby's ice rose. (Gifted)
Summary: Scott Summers makes a compromise.

What she said to him later was yes, she found Logan attractive. She didn't love him, but that was beside the point. She couldn't sleep with him, because he'd never give her up, and she didn't want him forever, only for a night. Pressed up to Scott's back in bed while she said it. But he could do it. Meaning Scott. He should, maybe. One of them should.

Jean has a novel solution to the tension between Scott and Logan and herself. This is both hot and sweet, and I like the insights into the reasons Scott and Jean love each other.

All of the Animals
mutatismutandis: Xavier, Charles Xavier (Default)
Summary: "Fire gods. They always have to make trouble of one sort or another.”

Bobby Drake held two things, one tightly and one loosely, in his hands. The first was a postcard, No Rest for the Wicker printed at the bottom of a black-and-white photograph showing a long line of people snaking through a field in front of a set of wicker furniture. He had both sides memorized. The back had a twenty-three cent stamp (greenish, white profile of Washington, ponytail and all), slapped crookedly into the box in the upper right-hand corner; it had a postmark stamped half into the message on the left side, dated five days before today from Parkersburg, West Virginia. The letters were scrawled (typical), slanting up. The pen had died a few words in, and the note changed color.

Magneto called Pyro a god among insects, but if he remembered his comparative mythology he would know that fire gods always cause the most trouble. I love the use of the legends here, and the deft characterization of John as well.

The Agnihotri
mutatismutandis: Bobby's ice rose. (Gifted)
Summary: When someone tries to settle Stryker's score with Logan, Rogue learns a few things about the price of secrets and what it takes to survive the truth.

Five months ago, she'd barely been able to pass for nineteen; now she can walk into any liquor store in the county and sell her age as twenty-one and she knows how to get around the I.D. problem. His redheads aren't the only women in town who know how to wield a tube of lipgloss like a machete. He turns down her offer, sticking with all the stubbornness of his latent honor to the deal he made with the One Eyed Wonder not to drink in front of students. But he doesn't try to stop her; maybe he figures he doesn't have the right, maybe he just doesn't know how. He could punch through metal and walk across fire and any other grand melodrama, just to save her, but he can't even look at the scars on her wrists without flinching.

Rogue's relationship with Logan causes more than one kind of trouble after she's kidnapped. Dark and excellent.

After the Fact
mutatismutandis: Xavier, Charles Xavier (Default)
Summary: John has indeed been led away...

Magneto will offer him what he can. He will play the powerful elder, for that is what he is. He will play the sculptor; and unlike his dear friend Charles, he will complete his artwork, perfect it and refine it. He will make St. John something to be proud of.

John is seduced by evil, or possibly by an old man who is kinder to him than one might expect. I think this really gets the appeal of the pairing across - the things Pyro and Magneto have in common, and the ways in which they're very different.

Ad Delo Yada
mutatismutandis: Bobby's ice rose. (Gifted)
Summary: One family, two answering machines, and the aftermath of a very different Alkali Lake.

For a flickering, ephemeral instant, he thought that the jet was taking off without them, that the X-Men hadn't noticed their absence in their rush to squirrel the hostages out of Stryker's compound. He pulled his too-thin jacket closer, tucked his head down, and lengthened his stride into the best sprint he could manage.

Then Rogue gasped, and he realized that the rumble he heard wasn't the thudding, grating roar of pistons and gears. It was the living scream of the sea, the sound of hundreds of thousands of gallons of water clashing against one another as they tumbled end-over-end, wild, unstoppable...

I like the way this story is told - sort of epistolary but with answering machines instead of letters. More than that, though, I like the idea. This is a universe where the events at Alkali Lake went a different direction, but not necessarily a better one. Painful and clever.

Acts of God


mutatismutandis: Xavier, Charles Xavier (Default)

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