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: 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)
Great pencilwork. The subtle glow on the Phoenix shape works really well.


X-Men: The Last Stand: Phoenix by *daekazu on deviantART
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: "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: 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: 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: Kitty watches things change.

Logan pauses as he passes her. She looks at him; his eyes narrow, and he frowns. "I'd stay out of there, kid," he says, and his hand is soft and heavy where it rests above the star, before he continues walking. Kitty stares at the door for a second, then drops her hand as if she's burnt it.

"Oh," she says aloud. "Oh."


After X3, things are different around the mansion. I love the way this handles Kitty's crush on Bobby Drake and how she evolves away from it. Bonus points for Piotr painting things and calling her 'Katya.'

Slowly Creeping In
mutatismutandis: Xavier, Charles Xavier (Default)
Summary: "If this is my dream, Charles thought, I can kiss him."

Charles was seated at an old wooden table with a chessboard inlaid. The gloss on the wood was scratched, presumably from decades of play. The chess set was unfamiliar to him: not one he had ever owned or played on. The pieces were angular, almost cubist.

Erik sat opposite in a heavy leather club chair. Grey flannel trousers, a spotless white shirt with round collar, eyes bright as ever.

"Is my subconscious mind so boring that all we can do is play chess even when I'm dreaming?"


After X2, Charles receives a nocturnal visitor. Mysterious and tentatively hopeful.

In Dreams Begin Responsibility
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: 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.

Backsliding
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.

Chirality
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: 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: 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: 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: 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

know


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.

Disassociation
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

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