Fic: The Mutant Bride - 5/? - CORRECTED
- ARRGH! I sent the old version with the typos [and god I hope I got them
all]! Sorry for the repost. Grr. Arrgh. Delete the first one. Please?
Disclaimers etc. in part 0
// // indicates reality intruding on Rogue's dream
When Magneto had discovered that Rogue was missing, he was livid. He
called out the elite guards and his friend, Victor Creed, Count
Sabretooth, to find her.
They made their way across the sea to the Cliffs of Insanity and came
upon the clearing where the Man in Black had defeated Logan.
Magneto examined the ground closely. "There was a mighty duel. It
ranged all over. They were both masters."
Sabretooth, who wasn't the brightest candle in the chandelier, asked,
"Who won? How did it end?" He was distracted by the scent of blood, and
something vaguely familiar.
"The loser ran off alone," the prince answered, "and the winner followed
those footprints toward Greenwich."
"Should we track 'em both?" Sabretooth asked, primed for the hunt.
Magneto shook his head. "The loser is nothing. Only the princess
matters. Clearly this
was all planned by warriors of Greenwich! We must all be ready for
whatever lies ahead."
"Could this be a trap?" Sabretooth said.
"I always think everything could be a trap," Magneto answered. "That is
why I am still alive."
Magneto and his men scurried off, chasing after the kidnapped Princess
Meanwhile, the Man in Black caught up with Mystique and the princess.
Mystique was preparing to eat -- she had food spread out on an
embroidered tablecloth, and a bottle of wine to go with it. Just because
one was a villain didn't mean one had to be uncouth, she thought.
She showed no surprise at his presence. She held a very sharp knife to
Rogue's bared throat.
"So, it is down to you, and it is down to me. If you wish her dead, by
all means keep moving forward."
"Let me explain--" the Man in Black began.
She cut him off. "There's nothing to explain. You're trying to kidnap
what I have rightfully stolen."
"Perhaps an arrangement can be reached?" the Man in Black asked
Mystique was hard as iron. "There will be no arrangements." She pressed
the knife a little and a tiny drop of blood showed crimson against
Rogue's alabaster skin. "You're killing her."
"But if there can be no arrangement, then we are at an impasse."
Mystique nodded. "I'm afraid so. I can't compete with you physically,
and you're no match for my brains."
"You're *that* smart?" the Man in Black asked.
She smiled carnivorously. "Let me put it this way: Have you ever heard
or Plato, Aristotle,
"Yes," he said.
"Really!" The Man in Black was taken aback. "In that case," he went on,
desperate to get the princess away from the shape-shifter, "I challenge
you to a battle of wits."
"For the princess?" The Man in Black inclined his head in agreement. "To
the death?" He nodded again. "I accept!"
The Man in Black worked hard to keep his face impassive. "Good. Pour the
wine." Mystique did as he said. He pulled a white vial from somewhere
amidst his clothing. Offering it to her, he said, "Inhale this but do
"I smell nothing," Mystique said.
What you do not smell is iocaine powder. It is odorless, tasteless, and
dissolves instantly in liquid. It is among the more deadly poisons known
Mystique shrugged and laughed. The Man in Black took the two wine
glasses and turned his back to the blue-skinned mutant, pouring the
poison into one of the goblets. Then he faced her again and said, "All
right, where is the poison? The battle of wits has begun. It ends when
you decide and we both drink -- and find out who is right, and who is
Mystique laughed again, and clapped her hands. "My dear boy, it is so
simple. All I have to do is divine it from what I know of you. Are you
the sort of man who would put the poison into his own goblet or his
enemies? Now, a clever man would put the poison into his own goblet
because he would know that only a great fool would reach for what he was
given. I am not a great fool so I can clearly not choose the wine in
front of you.
"But you must have known I was not a great fool; you would have counted
on it, so I can clearly not choose the wine in front of me."
The Man in Black smiled tightly. "You've made your decision, then?"
Mystique was having the time of her life. "Not remotely!" she exclaimed.
"Because iocaine comes from Australia. As everyone knows, Australia is
entirely peopled with criminals. And criminals are used to having
people not trust them, as you are not trusted by me. So, I can clearly
not choose the wine in front of you."
The Man in Black leaned on elbow on his knee and rested his head on his
hand. "Truly, you have a dizzying intellect."
Mystique waved off his compliments. "Wait 'till I get going! Where was
"Yes! Australia! And you must have suspected I would have known the
powder's origin, so I can clearly not choose the wine in front of me."
"You're just stalling now," he said, leaning back.
"You'd like to think that, wouldn't you? You've beaten my Beast, which
means you're exceptionally strong... so you could have put the poison in
your own goblet, trusting on your strength to save you, so I can clearly
not choose the wine in front of you. But, you've also bested my
assassin, which means you must have studied, and in studying you must
have learned that man is mortal, so you would have put the poison as far
from yourself as possible, so I can clearly not choose the wine in front
The Man in Black was getting irritated now. "You're trying to trick me
into giving away something. It won't work."
Mystique cackled gleefully. "It *has* worked! You've given everything
away! I know where the poison is!"
"Then make your choice." His voice was short, his words, clipped.
"I will, and I choose --" she broke off and pointed behind the Man in
Black. "What in the
world can that be?"
He turned to look, and Mystique switched the goblets.
"What? Where? I don't see anything," he said.
"Oh, well. I could have sworn I saw something. No matter." She laughed.
"What's so funny?" His annoyance was obvious now.
"I'll tell you in a minute. First, let's drink, me from my glass and
you from yours."
They each took a long drink of wine.
"You guessed wrong," he said flatly.
Mystique gave her fearsome smile again. "You only think I guessed wrong!
That's what's so funny! I switched glasses when your back was turned!
Ha ha, you fool!! You fell victim to one of the classic blunders. The
most famous is never get involved in a land war in Asia; and only
slightly less well known is this: Never go in against a Sicilian, when
death is on the line!"
"You're not Sicilian!" he snapped. "You're German!"
"Pffft. Details!" Mystique continued to laugh hysterically. Suddenly,
she stopped and fell over with a thud. The Man in Black removed the
blindfold from the princess.
Rogue blinked at the sudden light assaulting her eyes. She shivered when
she got a good look at her new captor. She didn't know why, but she had
a feeling he was more dangerous than the old ones had been.
"Who are you?"
"I'm no one to be trifled with," the Man in Black replied. "That is all
you'll ever need know."
Rogue looked from him to the prone body of Mystique. "And to think, all
that time it was your cup that was poisoned."
"They were both poisoned," he said. "I spent the last few years building
up immunity to iocaine powder."
Magneto and his men reached the hilltop where the Man in Black fought
Hank. Magneto looked at the ground as Sabretooth sniffed the air.
"Some one has beaten a Beast," the master of magnetism announced. "There
will be great suffering in Greenwich if she dies."
Meanwhile, the Man in Black was running, dragging the princess along
He stopped, finally, and said, "Catch your breath."
After gasping for a few moments, Rogue said, "If you'll release me,
whatever you ask for ransom you'll get it, I promise you."
The Man in Black laughed. "And what is that worth, the promise of a
woman? You're very funny highness."
"I was giving you a chance," Rogue replied. "It does not matter where
you take me. There is no greater hunter than Magneto. He can track a
falcon on a cloudy day. He can find you."
"You think your dearest love will save you?" the Man in Black sneered.
Rogue was insulted at his tone. "I never said he was my dearest love.
And yes, he will save me - that I know."
"You admit to me you do not love your fiancé?" The Man in Black was
"He knows I do not love him."
Something inside the Man in Black snapped. "Are not capable of love is
what you mean."
Rogue was taken aback by his anger. "I have loved more deeply than a
killer like you could ever dream!"
The Man in Black raised a hand and Rogue flinched. "That was a warning,
highness! The next time my hand flies on its own. Where I come from
there are penalties when a woman lies."
Magneto had come upon Mystique's picnic.
"Iocaine!" he exclaimed. "I'd bet my life on it. And there are the
princess's footprints. She is alive, or was an hour ago. If she is
otherwise, I shall be quite vexed!"
The princess and the Man in Black were running again.
Finally, he stopped to allow her to catch her breath again.
"I know who you are," Rogue said. "Your cruelty reveals everything.
You're the Dread Pirate Sinister, admit it!"
"With pride," he answered with an exaggerated bow. "What can I do for
"You can die slowly, cut into a thousand pieces."
The Man in Black shook his head. "Hardly complimentary, your highness.
Why do you use your venom on me?"
Rogue was upset at his playful tone. "You killed my love."
He shrugged. "It's possible, I kill a lot of people. Who was this love
of yours? Another prince like this one -- ugly, rich, and scabby?"
"No," Rogue snapped, goaded beyond endurance. "A farm boy -- poor! Poor
and perfect, with the sweetest mouth any man ever had. On the high-seas
your ship attacked, and the Dread Pirate Sinister never takes
Another shrug. "I can't afford to make exceptions. I mean, once word
leaks out that a pirate has gone soft people begin to disobey him and
its nothing but work, work, work all the time."
"You mock my pain!" she shouted angrily.
He pulled her close, so close his breath stirred her hair. He was done
with playfulness. His face was serious as he snapped, "Life *is* pain,
highness! Anyone who says differently is selling something."
He paused, releasing her and taking a deep breath. "I remember this farm
boy of yours I think. This would be what? Five years ago? Does it
bother you to hear?"
Rogue raised her chin and said, "Nothing you can say will upset me." She
was every inch the haughty princess.
"He died well. That should please you. No bribe attempts or
blubbering. He simply said, 'Please, please, I need to live.' It was
the please that caught my memory. I asked what was so important for
him. 'True love' he replied. And then he spoke of a girl of surpassing
beauty and faithfulness. I can only assume he meant you. You should
bless me for destroying him before he found out what you really are."
"And what am I?"
The Man in Black leaned in close again. "Faithfulness he talked of,
madam, your enduring faithfulness! Now tell me truly, when you found out
he was gone did you get engaged to your prince that same hour or did you
wait a whole week out of respect for the dead?" His voice was furious.
"You mocked me once! Never do it again! I *died* that day!" she said
Suddenly, the Man in Black turned. They could see Magneto's horses in
Rogue took that moment to strike. She pushed him down the hillside,
saying, "You can die too, for all I care!"
He tumbled, ass over teakettle, and his voice floated back up to her.
Rogue's eyes widened in shock at his words. "Oh, my sweet Scott, what
have I done?"
And with that, she hurled herself down the hillside, so she could be
Magneto was coming closer. His brow furrowed at what he'd just seen.
"They disappeared," he informed his troops. "They must have seen us
closing in, which might account for his panicking into error. Unless
I'm wrong, and I'm never wrong, they are headed straight into the fire
Scott and Rogue finally ceased tumbling. Scott moved over to help his
beloved Rogue. His mask had come off in the fall.
"Can you move at all?" he asked, running his gloved hands over her legs,
making sure nothing was broken.
Rogue was joyous. "Move? You're alive! If you want, I could fly," she
He cradled her to him. "I told you I would always come for you. Why
didn't you wait for me?"
"Well," she said, "you were dead."
He shook his head. "But death cannot stop true love. All it can do is
delay it for a while."
"I will never doubt again," she whispered.
"There will never be a need," he replied, slipping her sheer scarf over
her lips and kissing her passionately.
// "Oh, no! No. Please!" Thomas exclaimed.
Jubilee glared at him. "What is it? What's the matter?"
"They're *kissing* again," the boy replied disgustedly. Can't we
fast-forward through the kissing part?"
Scott grinned. "Someday you might not mind so much."
Scott and Rogue raced along the ravine floor.
"Aha!" Scott exclaimed. "Your pig fiancé is too late! A few more steps
and we'll be safe in the fire swamp."
"We'll never survive," Rogue said worriedly.
"Nonsense!" her former fiancé replied confidently. "You're only saying
that because no one ever has."
They cautiously moved into the dreary, damp swamp. The heavy air was
filled with sounds -- the chittering of creatures Rogue thought she
could live happily without ever seeing or hearing again.
"It's not that bad," Scott said, his mouth quirking slightly at the
disbelieving glance Rogue shot him. "Well, I'm not saying I'd like to
build a summer home here but the trees are actually quite lovely."
They continued to make their way through the eerie maze of trees. There
was a sudden popping sound and flame shot up from the ground, catching
the hem of Rogue's dress.
She screamed as Scott calmly smothered the flame.
"Well now, that was an adventure," he said, keeping his voice level.
"Singed a bit, were you?"
Rogue shook her head nervously. "No. You?"
"Nope." He strode confidently through the underbrush, aware that he had
to remain calm so Rogue wouldn't panic. When they heard another popping
sound, Scott simply lifted Rogue out of harm's way as the flame rose
from the ground.
"Well, one thing I will say; the fire swamp certainly does keep you on
your toes. This will all soon be but a happy memory." Scott used his
sword to cut through a mass of vines. "Sinister's ship Revenge is banked
at the far end. And, as you know, I am Sinister."
"But how is that possible, since he's been marauding twenty years and
you only left me five years ago?" Rogue interrupted.
"I myself am often surprised at life's little quirks," he said with a
grin. "See, what I told you before about saying please was true -- it
intrigued Sinister, as did my descriptions of your beauty. Finally,
Sinister decided something. He said, 'All right Scott, I never had a
valet. You can try if you'd like. I'll most likely to kill you in the
"For three years he said that. 'Good night Scott, good work, sleep well,
I'll most likely to kill you in the morning.' It was a fine time for
me - I was learning to fence, fight, anything anyone would teach me.
Sinister and I eventually became friends.
"And then it happened."
"What?" Rogue asked, so intrigued by the story that she had begun to
relax. "Go on."
"Well, Sinister had grown so rich, he wanted to retire. He took me to
his cabin and told me his secret. 'I am not the Dread Pirate Sinister,'
he said. 'My name is Remy LeBeau. I inherited this ship from the
previous Dread Pirate Sinister, just as you will inherit it from me.
"The man I inherited it from was not the real Dread Pirate Sinister
either - his name was Kurt Wagner. The real Sinister had been retired
fifteen years and was living like a king in Patagonia.' Then he
explained the name was the important for inspiring the necessary fear.
"You see, no one would surrender to the Dread Pirate Scott. So, we
sailed ashore, took on an entirely new crew and he stayed aboard for
awhile as first mate, all the time calling me 'Sinister.' Once the crew
believed, he left the ship and I have been Sinister ever since. Except
now that were together, I shall retire and hand the name over to someone
else. Is everything clear to you?"
Rogue was about to answer when she stepped into a pit of sand and
disappeared. Scott, thinking quickly, cut a vine and tied it around his
waist. He then plunged down into the lightning sand in search of his
beloved. Moments later, they resurfaced, gasping and coughing.
"We'll never succeed," Rogue moaned, suddenly losing hope. "We may as
well die here."
"No. No!" Scott gasped. "We have already succeeded. I mean, what are
the three terrors of the fire swamp? One, the flame spurt -- no
problem -- there's a popping sound preceding each. We can avoid that.
Two, the lightning sand -- and you were clever enough to discover what
that looks like, so in the future we can avoid that, too."
"But Scott, what about the R.O.U.S.'s?"
"Rodents of Unusual Size? I don't think they exist," he said, grateful
that his visor hid his eyes, so Rogue wouldn't know he was watching the
giant rodents that were tracking them through the swamp.
Just as Scott finished speaking, a huge rodent jumped on top of him. It
bit him on the shoulder before he could even draw his sword. The man and
the rat rolled a few times and then the rat decided to go for an easier
It launched itself at Rogue, who screamed and picked up a large branch
with which to fend it off. Scott jumped on the creature's back and
attempted to wrestle it to the ground.
Then he heard the popping sound. Scott timed his roll perfectly. The
flame flared and burned the R.O.U.S badly. Not quite dead, it tried to
hobble away, but Scott gave chase and, using his sword, finally killed
After several hours walking, Scott and Rogue finally exit the fire
swamp, tired and worn.
"We did it!" Rogue exclaimed triumphantly.
Scott pulled her into his arms. "Now, was that so terrible?" he asked,
grinning and leaning in to kiss her hair.
Out of nowhere, Magneto's soldiers came upon them, led by the prince
"Surrender!" Prince Magneto thundered.
Scott cocked his head, never letting go of Rogue. "You mean you wish to
surrender to me? Very well then, I accept."
"I give you full marks for bravery," Magneto responded. "Don't make
yourself a fool."
"Ah, but how will you capture us?" Scott asked. "We know the secrets of
the fire swamp. We can live there happily for some time, so whenever you
feel like dying, pop in for a visit."
While the two men were speaking, the soldiers surrounded Scott and
Rogue, with crossbows loaded and cocked.
"I tell you once again," Magneto commanded, "surrender!"
"It will not happen!" Scott drew his sword.
"For the last time, surrender!" the prince shouted.
"Death first!" Scott answered coldly.
"Will you promise not to hurt him?" Rogue asked softly.
The two men looked confused. Turning to her, as one they said, "What was
Rogue stepped forward, dropping Scott's hand. "If we surrender, and I
return with you, will you promise not to hurt this man?" she queried.
"May I live a thousand years and never hunt again!" Magneto responded.
"He is a sailor on the pirate ship Revenge. Promise to return him to
his ship," Rogue requested.
"I swear it will be done." Magneto leaned over for a whispered
conference with Sabretooth. "Once we're out of sight, take him back to
West Chester and throw him in the Pit of Despair."
"I swear it will be done," the big, hairy mutant said.
Rogue turned to Scott. "I thought you were dead once, and it almost
destroyed me. I could not bear it if you died again, not when I could
She walked toward Magneto, who lifted her onto one of his horses; they
"Come, we must get you to your ship," Sabretooth said to Scott.
"We are men of action," Scott replied coldly. "Lies do not become us."
"Well spoken." As he motioned for the guards to escort the pirate king
away, Scott noticed the talons on Sabretooth's hands. "What is it?" the
count barked, quickly losing what little patience and civility he
"You have talons. Someone was looking for you--"
Sabretooth drew his sword and hit Scott in the head with its hilt,
knocking him out.
"Oh my God! She's fashion roadkill!" Charlotte Bradford, _Sex and the
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