mutatismutandis: Xavier, Charles Xavier (Default)
Summary: Rogue never thought she'd be able to repay Logan for saving her life. She was wrong.

Logan and I headed for the kitchen without really talking about it. I started to mix up the hot chocolate, and he grabbed the bag of marshmallows. It made me laugh.

"What?" he said. "You can't have hot chocolate without the marshmallows."

"So I've heard," I said. We were quiet for a few minutes. I could feel him staring at me, but I wasn't sure how to say what was on my mind.

I poured the hot chocolate into two mugs, and we sat down at the kitchen table. "We've got to find this girl," I said. "I feel like ... well, she could be me. I mean, what would've happened to me if I hadn't found you?"


Logan's return to the mansion is complicated by an X-Men mission that gives Marie an unexpected chance to pay him back for rescuing her. Good fun, and I really like Rogue's voice in this story.

Blackout
mutatismutandis: Xavier, Charles Xavier (Default)
Summary: He's Darwin. He can do it all.

Armando sprouts wings. It takes getting pushed out of a plane. There might be a slight problem when he doesn't find that unpleasant anymore. His mutation and all the crap that it does to him (and all the villains they've got to face) is so blasé that he's not even phased. He does, however, consider this a new way of making the mile high club 'cause that's what happens when you narrowly avoid another death: thank God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit, I'm alive! But with sex.

In which Darwin likes finding unconventional ways - not to mention locations - to use his mutation, and Alex Summers is along for the ride. I loved the references to comicverse canon, but you don't need to know anything about the Danger Room or the Shi'ar to appreciate this sexy, hilarious story.

Let's Do It
mutatismutandis: Xavier, Charles Xavier (Default)
Summary: Jean regenerates in the cold waters of the lake. She won't wake up alone, this time.

"Are you okay?" The woman seemed concerned but surprisingly calm, considering that she'd just pulled a leather-clad woman out of a lake.

Jean peered at her. "Do I know you? I think I know you." Her voice was still raspy, but now the woman was close enough to hear.

"Yes, you do. Are you in pain? Cold? Hungry? I've got a fire going." She took Jean's smooth hand in her own calloused one and pulled her to her feet. "Come on."


Jean awakens in Alkali Lake, but this time she's not alone. In it's own way, I think this is one of the scariest stories I've read in this fandom, and I really like this take on Mystique.

Hide a Hundred Girls in Your Hair
mutatismutandis: Bobby's ice rose. (Gifted)
Summary: He's made himself a uniform, but he doesn't wear it.

He flies with Moira just barely visible in the corner of his eye, existing mostly in the haze beyond the edge of his glasses. Her fingers grip the armrest, aware of her own mortality in a way the others don't seem to be. He doesn't look at her any more than he needs to.

Clever ficlet in which First Class turns out rather differently for Hank. A interesting possibility.

Working at Cross-Purposes
mutatismutandis: Xavier, Charles Xavier (Default)
Summary: The absence of power isn't what makes her human. It's not in her genes, or in the crest she wears on her uniform, or in the political party she votes for.

She meets Carol outside the building on a rainy Wednesday night; between closing her umbrella and juggling her backpack, Marie can hardly see where she's going, and they would have been a fast tangle of limbs on the ground if not for Carol's hand on the small of her back.

I'm so sorry, she says breathlessly, straightening up.

Carol's smile widens the more Marie tries to apologize, and Marie stops when she realizes that the woman's hand hasn't moved although she's completely steady on her feet now.


After giving up her abilities, Marie learns something about power from Carol Danvers. An interesting twist on their relationship and an all too plausible future for Rogue.

But Skin Deep
mutatismutandis: Xavier, Charles Xavier (Default)
Summary: She is not the pretty stone attached to a ring, she is the brink of disaster, a blade so sharp that the pain kicks in long after the damage is done.

Raven figured that Erik would teach her self-defense.

Charles had probably pictured a judo lesson, the kind where you roll around on squashy gym mats and bow to each other and pretend to dodge punches that come in slow motion.

What Erik really shows her is fighting. Raven spends the majority of the lesson panting on the ground, a copper-sweet taste on her tongue like biting down on metal.

Where Charles would be concerned with providing a soft space to land, Erik pulls her legs from under her and watches her hit the ground. Raven knows there is a moral somewhere in that, but the way her shoulder is throbbing with pain makes it kind of hard to concentrate.


Four missing scenes from the film, with four women learning, choosing, moving on. I love the way this story manages to draw a thematic line between these characters, and their hearts are indeed fierce.

And your heart is fierce
mutatismutandis: Xavier, Charles Xavier (Default)
Summary: Jean Grey gets called to the hospital to help them deal with an injured and under arrest Toad.

I can feel him waking up from here. I can feel the blind panic, can practically smell the crackling ozone. He's reliving the lightning strike. His heart is racing, which is not good in his condition, since his heart's already taken a hell of a beating. He's lucky to be alive. Do the right thing, Jean. He needs to calm down. There's three police officers, two orderlies, and a nurse in here with me. Worst case scenario, someone's spraying solvent in my face in thirty seconds.

After X1, Jean Grey is called in to treat one of the Brotherhood members who tried to kill her. An interesting meditation on how the X-Men and the authorities, as well as Jean on a personal level, might deal with a mutant like Toad.

Witness for the Defense
mutatismutandis: Xavier, Charles Xavier (Default)
Summary: A stolen moment. They aren't growing any younger, haven't learned to love each other any less.

"You're losing more hair every year," Erik says. He takes off his hat and slips his trenchcoat off his shoulders. Both must have metal tucked away in the lining somewhere, because they float over to one of the chairs by the window, collecting themselves in a pile.

"Yours is still going grey," Charles says. But it looks good on him. He doesn't look weathered any more than Charles thinks he looks weathered himself. They're growing older, and not together the way Charles might have wanted, but--they're both still here. And despite everything, Erik is here today.


Between First Class and the (chronologically) later films, Charles and Erik steal and afternoon from each other. Somehow manages to contain all the beauty and tragedy in the relationship wrapped up in four thousand-odd words of eye-blisteringly hot smut. (This is not a kink that would have occurred to me for this pairing, but it turns out that it really, really works.)

As Ever
mutatismutandis: Xavier, Charles Xavier (Default)
Summary: In the aftermath of a war, four survivors struggle to hold on to their identities in the face of a society meant to destroy them.

This is our third Ceremony, but my stomach still twists into little hard knots when the fighting begins. The helplessness is worst-- the knowledge that control of my body is again taken from my hands. We're china dolls on a shelf, waiting to be passed to the winners here today. If I'm lucky, he'll be a friend. A protector. If I'm not lucky... A month can be a very long time.

It is on these mornings when I think of Logan the most. He was built to fight. He lives for it. That's not the way Scott works. All he ever wanted was a family and a safe place for them to live in peace...


In the aftermath of mutant registration, lovers have been separated and mutants must resort to desperate measures to gain any measure of safety. It's going to be a long journey for Logan if he's ever going to get Rogue back - in more ways than one. Meanwhile, Scott and Jean have a hard to choice to make between freedom and security for their child. A harrowing novella that doesn't shy away from the realities of living in a post-registration dystopia, but also shows how strong these characters are.

la bas: song of the drowned
mutatismutandis: Xavier, Charles Xavier (Default)
Summary: John lost a lot at Alcatraz, and gained a little bit in the aftermath.

"Try this instead." Remy pushed the whiskey over and watched, close, while John twisted the glass then sniffed the liquid. "C'mon, mon ami, you know you want to try it."

He crooked a grin, and flipped the card around his fingers, walked it from one to the other. John watched him over the top of the glass and then, fast, swallowed the whiskey down in a gulp.

It hurt, it burned, it was a fire in his belly. He couldn't breathe, but it was so good, so hot, and it uncurled in his stomach, warmed him from the inside out. Remy grabbed the glass from his hand and slammed it down on the bar.


After X3, John has lost his powers and his way - but there's a light at the end of the tunnel in the form of a certain Cajun gambler. Pyro and Gambit strike me as an interesting match, I like seeing them have fun together. (Of the getting into fights and burning things variety, and the other kind.)

Iteration
mutatismutandis: Xavier, Charles Xavier (Default)
Summary: It's remarkably difficult to entice new soldiers to their just and righteous cause of mutant supremacy when the only thing the potential recruits can think throughout the course of the conversation is, "I'm just not sure I can follow somebody who wears a silly cape – oh, shit, I hope the telepath didn't hear that."

That was when the medieval swords hanging for show above the villa fireplace had tied themselves into knots and began to glow a deep, menacing red. Erik strode from the room, his ridiculous cape sweeping behind him, and slammed the door.

A second later, he had to open the door and slam it again, because he still hadn't quite got the hang of sweeping the cape all the way through the door before shutting it.


The Brotherhood have an image problem, and its name is Magneto. Emma and the others set out to solve it. Both insightful and really, really funny. (This also earns bonus points with me for the parts where Mystique tells her new friends hilariously embarrassing stories about Charles.)

The Emperor's New Clothes
mutatismutandis: Xavier, Charles Xavier (Default)
Summary: "When I was a little girl, I thought my mother knew the ending of every story in the world."

We were working a job at the Hellfire Club, Matta and I. Sebastian Shaw was a regular customer. We always covered security at his parties. Shaw preferred the sort of protection that we provided, rather than the obvious, imposing help other promoters employed. That sort may have looked as though they could crush a person's spine, but they were tall, heavy and clumsy. Muscle like that is only good for putting on a show or stopping a bullet. Our methods were much more delicate. I could feel trouble before trouble even realized itself for what it was. Matta could erase a person before they could touch him.

I could do it before they knew I was there.


A haunting tale of how Psylocke came to be where she was (and what she was) during X3. A take on the connection between Kwannon and Betsy Braddock that would never have occurred to me, this is disturbing and beautifully written.

... about the dead floating in the wind
mutatismutandis: Xavier, Charles Xavier (Default)
Summary: All actions have consequences.

The faint smell of decay in the mansion is getting stronger with each day. He's learning to live with it, but he'll never get used to it. Stagnant water, old blood, singed flesh.

He tries not to stare when she drifts past in the corridors, to not look at her grey skin. To meet the fiery emptiness of her eyes with love, instead of letting his gaze slide away in revulsion. He never quite manages.


After X2, Jean comes back ... wrong. Effectively creepy, and I love the characterization of Scott here, faced with the thing his fiance has become.

Bring Out Your Dead
mutatismutandis: Xavier, Charles Xavier (Default)
Summary: From the kink meme prompt: "Raven taking Hank's virginity while sitting on his lap in the chair."

Hank's eyes are huge behind his glasses, his eyebrows arched up towards his hairline, his face pale and hot at the same time, red flaring on his cheeks. He's adorable, Raven thinks, tilting her head just enough to make the mass of her simulated hair tumble across her shoulder. "I'm glad you like how my cells look," she says, reaching back for her bra hooks. It's a bit of an awkward stretch but she manages to maintain her easy grin, the small triumph heating her further. "I thought I'd show you a few more, if that's not too forward."

A hot, sweet and sad story about Hank and Raven's first time. I love how this conveys both what what Raven sees in him, and what he fails to see about her.

Lose a Winning Match
mutatismutandis: Xavier, Charles Xavier (Default)
Summary: Thanks to recent events, Storm finds herself in charge of the desperately under-staffed Xavier Institute for Gifted Youngsters. It puts her in the uncomfortable position of having lunch with Emma Frost, a woman who never quite managed to choose a side.

The restaurant is Emma’s choice. Storm would have liked to have met somewhere else, somewhere a bit more private, but she gave in because it really doesn’t matter. She’s learning that being in charge sometimes means a great deal of compromising. She looks down at the crisp white tablecloth and sighs. She wishes Scott was here, or Jean. It’s lonely being the last one of them left, lonelier than she ever would have imagined.

“Ororo. So sorry I’m late.”

Storm looks up at that, taking in Emma’s appearance as she stands sedately by the table, dressed as always in flawless, crisp white. Her diamonds flash as she sits, crossing her legs at the ankle and arranging her napkin in her lap with a flourish. “It’s all right,” Storm says evenly. She’s not fooled. Emma’s late because she wants to be.


After X3, Ororo and the school are in dire need of help, and that means looking for unconventional aid. I really like the portrait of Emma here. The story also builds effectively on one of the few personality traits that Storm was actually given in the films - her frustration with mutants who won't choose a side.

There Is A War
mutatismutandis: Xavier, Charles Xavier (Default)
Summary: Maybe he should just give up on being sure when it comes to John.

John sighs, and sits down beside Bobby on the porch. He smells faintly of charcoal and cigarette smoke. They don’t say anything for a while; Bobby’s still reeling from the realization that John is actually here, sitting beside him instead of a million miles away or six feet under or... who knows where.

In the months after John left and Jean died, Bobby had entertained many fantasies about John’s contrite return. Depending on the day, some would end with him kissing John and some would end with Bobby punching him.

None, however, began with a fifteen year gap and awkward silence.


Many years after X2, John walks back into the mansion and back into Bobby Drake's life. A warming but unsentimental reunion story about just how much they haven't changed in the intervening time.

Hospitality
mutatismutandis: Xavier, Charles Xavier (Default)
Summary: "She knew him well enough to make up for his own failings. It was the least she could do, all things considered, and it wasn't a bad job." Five steps on the way to family.

Eventually she trailed back to Charles' room and collapsed on his bed in frustration for lack of anywhere else to go. Stupid Charles was probably off somewhere reading his stupid books and-

There was a noise coming from below the bed, she suddenly realised.

Raven squeaked and fell off the bed in shock, backing away.

Screwing up her resolve, she pressed a cheek to the cool floorboards and peered underneath the bed, squinting in the low light. There was what looked like a bundle of pyjamas, and when she poked it the sound repeated, and now Raven could recognise the low moan for what it was.


Raven and Charles as siblings, from the beginning to the end and then afterwards. I love how this illustrates all the little ways Raven knows her adoptive brother better than anyone else, and its warm and sad at the same time.

Getting To Know You
mutatismutandis: Xavier, Charles Xavier (Default)
Summary: What does Logan believe in?

I'd tell her a little bit about where I was. The weather--the color of the sky, the way the place smelled, if I'd seen anything interesting. Once I was driving across Kansas and I saw a tornado moving across the sky. It was far away but it triggered a memory of some book about Oz and I pulled over and called her. She knew the book I was talking about and asked what color the tornado was. No "be careful" or anything like that. Maybe because it was she had a part of me inside her--I don't know. I just know that she was easy to keep in touch with, and that's why I did.

In a fandom with dozens (probably hundreds) of stories about Logan coming back to the mansion and falling for Rogue, this still manages to stand out for its great characterization and atmosphere. Still one of the definitive Logan/Rogue stories, eleven years after it was posted.

The Magic of Belief
mutatismutandis: Xavier, Charles Xavier (Default)
Summary: Does she dare disturb the universe? X3 wasn't the first time Jean Grey wrestled with her powers. Set about 10 years before the first movie.

"He doesn't dream," I realize, and at the same moment I say it out loud. Not, as some would say, because my impulsive temper matches my red hair, but merely because I do not always remember the line between thought and speech.

Vail freezes, mid-drone and pivots slowly to look at me. "Miss Grey. Perhaps you would like to lead us today, with your vast expertise in the subject." His sarcasm drips, for all to hear, but no one else witnesses the fantasy in which he pushes me against the wall and reaches under my labcoat. He thinks that I would cry and kick, at first, but quickly surrender. This is what women like me really want.

He has an active imagination.


A portrait of Jean in medical school, struggling with her abilities and with the difference between thought and action. I love the characterization here, and it's great to see Cecelia Reyes turn up in the movieverse.

Phoenix: Lovesong (The J. Alfred Prufrock Mix)
mutatismutandis: Xavier, Charles Xavier (Default)
Summary: The mutant named Darwin can survive anything, but some situations are easier to live with than others.

One pile of dust and ashes was pushed into a corner of a courtyard and forgotten, until it rained a little and the newly-made mud began to push itself upward into a lump. It gathered more debris from the wreckage in a swirling little dust devil and shortly the lump of mud was a golem the size of a man, huddled on a broken paving stone. In a few more minutes, he had human skin, and he stood up, naked. Armando looked around at the empty square, up at the dark sky and found that he was alone and it was the middle of the night, and he didn't know what day it was.

He coughed into his fist, spitting out some stray dust. First order of business, he needed some damn pants.


Darwin's death is the one thing I hate about First Class. (Especially since the first time I saw it I spent the rest of the film expecting him to come back.) As far as I'm concerned, the more fix-it fic the better, and this is a favourite of mine. It's a lovely take on the subject, as Darwin adapts his way back to life, to his friends, and to Alex Summers in particular.

The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals

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