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: 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 (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: "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: 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: 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: 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: Emma Frost (White Queen)
Summary: n. an abnormal and persistent fear of rain. The end of the world comes to Westchester County.

On the first day, when the rains begin to fall, Ororo becomes the subject of many uncomfortable glances from students and X-Men alike. Halfway through the history lesson, she overhears Jubilation Lee mutter to Katherine Pryde, "Man, whaddya think's gotten her in such a bad mood?" as the downpour hammers the broad windows. Kitty only shrugs and rolls her eyes, then puts on a studiously innocent expression as Ororo raises an eyebrow her way.

A loose crossover with The Day After Tomorrow, in which the catastrophic breakdown of the planet's climate is seen through the eyes of a mutant weather goddess. An excellent idea for a crossover, and the result is effectively creepy.

mutatismutandis: Bobby's ice rose. (Gifted)
Summary: Logan can't remember anything from before he started driving taxis ...

I had to admit, I liked her. She was smart, and tough, and she didn't seem to be caught up in anythin' bad, 'cept for hookin'. And even that was a little weird - she had issues about bein' touched, so she'd be wrapped up in yards of rubber and vinyl, and she'd never actually touch the johns. Big hit with the ones who thought they were all diseased or somethin', and she'd always seem to find 'em ...

She'd always seem to find me too, flaggin' me down after she had turned a few tricks, gettin' into my cab with a wad of cash, handing me a few bills and tellin' me to just drive. We'd drive, and talk, and eventually, we'd find a beat-up diner, drinkin' coffee and eatin' greasy eggs. I knew that, despite the cash, she didn't eat often, too busy payin' off people to leave her alone, too busy replacing the latex gloves she seemed to always wear, so I'd always pay for her meals, as we sat and talked some more, sometimes about our days, sometimes about anything in general.

In an alternate universe where Logan is driving taxis instead of cage fighting, he still meets up with Rogue. Everything seems sad and faded in this story, but there's a glimmer of hope in their connection.

Taxi Driver


mutatismutandis: Xavier, Charles Xavier (Default)


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