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: 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: 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: 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: Who can these confused young mutants turn to for advice?

Things are going great with my girlfriend. She's totally hot and great in bed. Majorly GGG. I swear, it's like she can read my mind. The only thing is, she dresses like a professional dominatrix. I love it when we're alone, but I get so jealous when she leaves the house in her underwear and a cape. I don't like the idea of other men looking at her. Am I being unreasonable?

For My Eyes Only


I am a huge fan of Savage Love, Dan Savage's sex and relationship advice column, and the cast of First Class could definitely use some guidance. Dan's voice is spot-on here, and the letters are hilarious. A brilliant concept.

(Obligatory Dan Savage disclaimer: I am not interested in arguing about the things that Dan Savage is wrong about. Especially not on my fanfiction recs journal.)

Savage Love: First Class
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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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)
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.

Fetish
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: 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.

Grotesque

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