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: 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: 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: 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: 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 (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: 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: 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 (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: 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.

Details
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.

Event
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: 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)
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: 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.

Gaiety
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: 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 ...

M-I-S-S-I-S-S-I-P-P-I


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

Green
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.

Parched

Ex

Half
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

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