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: 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 (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: Bobby's ice rose. (Gifted)
Summary: Things change.

Time passes. It must – her whole body progressively feels more and more like lead. Lead that's been doused in gasoline, and set on fire. Repeatedly. Under and around the cold, she burns.

The trees all look the same, though – spectral outlines in the dark – and the stars aren't visible through the branches. Could've been hours, or maybe they've only just started walking. She can't tell.

It's hard to believe that these are the same woods she's often explored over the years. Even when she went on camping trips with the other students, the trees still felt familiar and comforting. The difference that a few flashlights can make. Oh, and not being chased by a bunch of gun-wielding commandos. She's heard that can help.

The fate of the kids who escaped from the mansion during the attack in X2 gets glossed over in the movie, which is understandable given everything else that's going on. This story fills in the gaps nicely, as Kitty, Piotr and Warren run from their home and try to keep the younger children - and each other - safe.

mutatismutandis: Emma Frost (White Queen)
Summary: On the run, Toad visits an old friend.

At a quarter past two, Anagram was standing on his balcony, looking over the edge. He wasn't entirely happy with this. He wasn't fond of heights. But he wanted very much to know how Toad intended to get up the side of the building.

"You are living posh," Toad's voice said over his head, and Anagram jumped, dropped his cigarette, and whirled about, ending up with his shoulder blades pressed to the railing.

"Fuck!" He grabbed the railing, staring up at Toad, who was clinging to the side of the building with nothing more than his hands.

I always thought Toad has a very British punk aesthetic in the films, so it makes perfect sense to me that he used to be a bass player. In this story he meets an old bandmate and they both get something they need out of the encounter. I really like the way this digs into the politics of mutation and how it might intersect with other kinds of identity issues.

Kissable Fanatic, Unhinged Minim Artists
mutatismutandis: Xavier, Charles Xavier (Default)
Summary: What would you do if someone told you that you were special, that you needed to come learn how to use your unique talents? If you were Jean Grey, 11 years old in the summer of 1977, Star Wars would give you something to think about when the Jedi come to you.

"I know a man who wants to start a school, a special school for kids like you."

"Kids on crutches?" Jean was sceptical.

"Kids with special gifts that nobody understands yet."

"Like you," Jean said, before she realized that she was pulling it out of his mind.

He didn't flinch. "Like me," he said evenly. "I feel what other people feel. Similar to what you do, but not nearly as strong. It's very useful to me as a priest."

"I bet," Jean said. She and Annie had talked about the Jedi Knights, about what would you do if someone showed up and said that the Force was strong in your family.

"Would you like to talk to him?" Father Michael asked. "His name is Professor Xavier."

A gorgeous story about Jean's introduction to the mansion, and about how fiction gives her the tools she needs to understand herself and the people around her.

Last of the Jedi
mutatismutandis: Xavier, Charles Xavier (Default)
Summary: Sometimes coping can be difficult. Scott and Jean from the film's 'September' find themselves in a difficult 'November.'

She's sleeping now, her knees curled into her chest, covered by an old leather jacket of his that he hasn't worn since he graduated. He remembers he used to like that jacket, used to give her looks across the courtyard when he was wearing it, and bite his lip a little awkwardly whenever she came near him. The first time she touched him, the first time she whispered a confidence into his ear, it had been this jacket that she'd clasped, balled into her fist as she'd leaned into him, her hot breath on his ear as she told him she liked it. Then, blushing lightly, she clarified it was the jacket she liked.

A great look at how Scott and Jean fall apart and pull together in the aftermath of X1. I love stories about established relationships and how people negotiate the changes they go through, and this is a wonderful example.

The November Dawn

(The link takes you to Kat's XMMFF Archive author page, since they require an age check before you read it.)
mutatismutandis: Bobby's ice rose. (Gifted)
Summary: Rogue keeps walking into trouble. Scott keeps dragging her out.

Rogue swiveled the stool around and faced Scott's disapproving glare. She couldn't see his eyes, but then again, she didn't need to. She'd been on the receiving end of his "I don't approve of this behavior" look enough times that the attitude was clear from the set of his jaw and the fists forcefully shoved into his jacket pockets. Rogue mused to herself that that was probably to keep him from dragging her out of the bar or strangling her, whichever impulse was currently striking him with a greater degree of intensity.

She crushed out her cigarette in the ashtray near her elbow and gave Scott a charming smile, just because she knew that her nonchalance would piss him off even more. "Hey, Cyke! I didn't think this was your kind 'a joint. Pull up a stool and I'll buy you a drink before last call."

Rogue is in a bad place, both literal and metaphorical, but she's always got someone to drag her out. I've got a soft spot for stories about these two together (in whatever sense) and their characterisation is great here.

Nowhere Fast
mutatismutandis: Emma Frost (White Queen)
Summary: Kurt talks to a priest. The priest talks back.

"You shouldn't have to hide," Father Enrico said as he pulled his bulk into the narrow aisle between the pews, gathering his skirts to him. He sat down with a small huff. "You are, as I've said before, as much God's creature as I. You were born of mortal flesh, as was I. You had a father and a mother." Had Kurt had such? Well, presumably he'd had them.

This close, Kurt could smell the spicy sweat of the man, like smoked garlic sausage and incense. "I was adopted," he admitted. "I never knew my --what is the phrase? --my birth parents."

"Hmm," Father Enrico said non-committally. "And do you know why?"

"I was born much as I am now," Kurt answered, keeping his voice carefully neutral. Then he grinned at Father Enrico. "But I was cuter then."

A neat story about how Kurt became what he is, and how he might become someone else. I like stories that get into the nitty gritty of the ideological debate around mutant rights, and this is a great one for that.

Ode to Joy
mutatismutandis: Xavier, Charles Xavier (Default)
Summary: Peter Parker learns a lot from Professor McCoy. Spider-man crossover.

"I must admit, I'm a bit surprised by your reaction, Peter. Many would not have taken my revelation so calmly. Nor would most think to ask if I used my mutant abilities for the good of others."

Crap. He knew. And Peter had totally blown it. How could he have been so stupid? Most people were afraid of mutants, or hated mutants, or were tolerant only from a distance. Peter might as well have painted, 'Hey! I'm a freaky mutated crime-stopping good guy, too!' on his forehead and then done a little dance while squirting his webbing everywhere and singing that stupid 'Spider-Man, Spider-Man' song. Jeez!

The idea of Hank McCoy as one of Peter Parker's professors is pure genius, and the pair of them find a lot to bond about when Beast is called away to a 'family emergency' while his student is in the room. This story just leaves me with a ridiculous grin on my face.

Office Hours
mutatismutandis: Xavier, Charles Xavier (Default)
Summary: Charles has a proposition for Erik.

"You want to know why I'm here and probably also how I got here. You want to know why none of your scanners and psychics can sense the X-Men keeping an eye on me. You want to know what I want."

"A fair approximation."

Charles nods. "I'm here because I want to talk to you. I got here undetected with the help of my own powers and those of various X-Men who are now, much to their considerable displeasure, safely gone from Genosha. What I want... ah, well, that is more complicated."

"It always is," Erik says dryly, folding his arms. "Shall I save us both time and simply say 'no' now?"

Five years after the events of X2, Charles visits the island of Genosha. A great intergration of comic book elements into the movieverse, and I am always a sucker for political arguments between these two. Beautifully characterized.

Strange Giant Creatures
mutatismutandis: Bobby's ice rose. (Gifted)
Summary: In which Wolverine deals with the death of Jean Grey in his own fashion. Beer, memory, impermanence and desire.

Logan couldn't figure it, the way he slipped in and out of the world like the world wasn't really there. It made his brain hurt just thinking about it. Same thing with little Kitty, of course, but she was just a kid and she did it easy as breathing. She didn't have the showman's flair that Kurt had. She made walking through walls look normal, and Kurt - he made it look like something you'd buy tickets for. Like a circus trick. Yes.

Logan couldn't stop thinking about the tail. And the skin. And the tattoos. Especially the tattoos. Kurt had begun to fascinate him. This beat the hell out of spending every waking minute replaying the way he let Jean down at Alkali Lake, so he was going with it for a while.

I can see Wolverine grieving exactly like this, with beer and sex and a Kurt Wagner who can be very distracting when he wants to be. What I like most about this is how it gets across Kurt's appeal to Logan - his grace and humour and the marks on his skin that speak to a permanence Logan longs for.

Written on the Body


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