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: 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)
This is a fantastic Deathstrike outfit, and the contact lenses really add that extra touch.


X Men 2 - Lady Deathstrike II by *yayacosplay on deviantART
mutatismutandis: Xavier, Charles Xavier (Default)
Summary: Rogue and Scott and horse sense.

It was spring. The grounds were muddy and the horses were muddier. The mud was bad for their skin and worse for the tack, so Mr. Summers had embarked on an anti-mud crusade and had drafted her to help get the horses clean, even if they wouldn't stay that way long. It might have been because she was quiet and good with animals, or it might just have been her turn to do stable duty. But she suspected the real reason she was here was that all of the older students had spent most of the winter working with the professor to improve control of their powers, and everyone had made progress. Everyone but her, that was.

After X2, Rogue and Scott clean horses and bond. Quiet and beautifully characterised, and does a great job of bringing out the things these two have in common.

Without Wings
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 (Default)
Summary: John has indeed been led away...

Magneto will offer him what he can. He will play the powerful elder, for that is what he is. He will play the sculptor; and unlike his dear friend Charles, he will complete his artwork, perfect it and refine it. He will make St. John something to be proud of.

John is seduced by evil, or possibly by an old man who is kinder to him than one might expect. I think this really gets the appeal of the pairing across - the things Pyro and Magneto have in common, and the ways in which they're very different.

Ad Delo Yada
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: Xavier, Charles Xavier (Default)
Summary: "Fire gods. They always have to make trouble of one sort or another.”

Bobby Drake held two things, one tightly and one loosely, in his hands. The first was a postcard, No Rest for the Wicker printed at the bottom of a black-and-white photograph showing a long line of people snaking through a field in front of a set of wicker furniture. He had both sides memorized. The back had a twenty-three cent stamp (greenish, white profile of Washington, ponytail and all), slapped crookedly into the box in the upper right-hand corner; it had a postmark stamped half into the message on the left side, dated five days before today from Parkersburg, West Virginia. The letters were scrawled (typical), slanting up. The pen had died a few words in, and the note changed color.

Magneto called Pyro a god among insects, but if he remembered his comparative mythology he would know that fire gods always cause the most trouble. I love the use of the legends here, and the deft characterization of John as well.

The Agnihotri
mutatismutandis: Emma Frost (White Queen)
Summary: Toad and Mystique go for a drink.

"Want to go for a drink?" Toad asked her.

She looked at him in surprise. It was not that she was unaware of Toad's need to regularly imbibe liquids in order to prevent dehydration and eventual death - a need shared by herself, and by Magneto, and probably also by Sabretooth, although she was working a theory that he mostly only ate and drank because he was able to do so in such an obnoxious manner - but so far as she knew their Secret Lair had an extremely well-stocked kitchen.


Toad and Mystique spend some time together outside a work context. Great fun, and surprisingly sweet - it's nice to see what the Brotherhood get up to when they're not carrying out Magneto's plans or sitting around plotting their next act of mutant terrorism.

Because there's nothing else to do
mutatismutandis: Bobby's ice rose. (Gifted)
Summary: Yuriko remembers other names.

She remembers meeting Stryker for the first time. The memory is sharper, and she remembers things like how his teeth looks as if they would gobble her up. He doesn't smell of cigars or alcohol, like she thought he would.

"You're a very talented young lady, Miss Shan," he had said.


Self-determination isn't the only thing that Stryker took from the woman he turned into Deathstrike. Sharp and incredibly layered for such a short story.

By Any Other Name
mutatismutandis: Xavier, Charles Xavier (Default)
Summary: How do you tell a man who's lived inside his skull for the past seventy years that his mind is rotting away?

We have a few helmets that we've cobbled together, headgear to protect us against the Professor's roving telepathic reach. In his dementia, the Professor sometimes mistakes people for figures from his past and--and he rewrites them, so that, for a while at least, they are who he remembers them to be. I still remember the first time it happened to me; the Professor started calling me "David," and before I could gently remind him that I was Scott, not this David he seemed to mistake me for, I was screaming hysterically and accusing him of abandoning me.

Mutant powers have a way of making real life problems more complicated, and as worst case scenarios for telepaths go, Alzheimer's disease has to be on top of the list. A heartwrenching story of what happens to Charles Xavier and his family as his mind collapses in on itself.

Caducity
mutatismutandis: Xavier, Charles Xavier (Default)
Summary: Charles and Erik, against the backdrop of the 1962 Seattle World’s Fair and it’s three themes.

And the great metal skin was peeled back in his mind’s eye, to reveal a living, breathing organism.

The metal breathed, inhale and exhale, behind concrete ribs. Expand and contract. The vertebrae of reinforced steel, climbing six-hundred feet above the ground. The give and take of electrons, push and pull of cations and anions at the cellular level. A great metal skin stretched over the entire surface; that glowed the same color as Phidias's Bronzes in the proper light.


A look at Charles and Erik as young men, still in love and full of hope but with the shadow of the future already on them. This is lyical and sad, and the setting is perfect for them.

Century 21
mutatismutandis: Bobby's ice rose. (Gifted)
Aaaaaaawww! Kurt is even more adorable in chibi form. I like the shading work on the background, too.


Chibi Movie-Nightcrawler by ~MarsW on deviantART
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: 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: Xavier, Charles Xavier (Default)
Summary: A sentimental education.

It sucked that Magneto was still making him study. John had figured that when you ran away with international mutant terrorists, that really wouldn't be an issue anymore, but no. Of course, it was a little different than Xavier's, with Magneto just sitting across the table with his piercing blue eyes and asking him question after question about what he thought about the book of the week, just not letting up until John was ready to wing it right at him.

He'd done that once, in fact, when Magneto had been poking holes in his argument that might made right. Erik had batted it back into his face with a twitch of his eyebrows. "It seems to me you have two options here, Pyro," he'd drawled, amused, as John rubbed his head. "Either accept the counterargument or get better at hitting people."


Pyro is learning a lot now that he's joined the Brotherhood, and not all of it is about mutant terrorism and robbing banks. A beautiful insight into the thoughts of a character caught between adolescence and adulthood, and learning all the time.

dragonflies draw flame
mutatismutandis: Bobby's ice rose. (Gifted)
Summary: Ronny Drake starts running the day Bobby and his freak friends trash the neighbourhood.

Once the cops are gone, once the flaming wreak of a police car is off of their front lawn, once most of the neighbours have gone back inside and his mom's finally stopped crying, Ronnie takes off out the back door and he runs. The sun's low at his back and he stumbles on cracks in the sidewalks, going too fast to keep his balance. His fists are squeezed so tight that his hands feel cramped, and if he goes fast enough he can forget what his big brother is.

We didn't get a lot of insight into Ronny Drake's actions in X2, but this is a nice look into his motivations as he finds out he has more in common with his older brother than he thought.

Fast As You Can
mutatismutandis: Emma Frost (White Queen)
Summary: Arvin Sloane has a proposition. Magneto listens.

Rambaldi had not predicted mutants. They were not mentioned in any prophecies of the future, which was why they had never held too much interest for you. Given Rambaldi's accuracy in all other things, they probably were not the next step in evolution, but a time-limited phenomenon, an interesting branch in the human tree that would remain without descendants, like the Neanderthals. Watching the news and hearing the young people at your office hotly debate about the Mutant Registration Act, you were struck with a mixture of amusement and ennui. It did not really matter one way or the other, except in one regard.

A crossover with Alias in which two ageing players of the Great Game meet on a ferry. Does a wonderful job of conveying the grey and frosty atmosphere.

Ferry Tales

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