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Re: [xmenmoviefanfic] X2: "An Ephemeral Compostion"

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  • The Voodoo Weasel
    I personally liked this story. Although it s maybe beause I just woke up (and jumped on the internet like the little junkie I am) I found that it did bounce
    Message 1 of 10 , Nov 20, 2002
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      I personally liked this story. Although it's maybe beause I just woke up (and jumped on the internet like the little junkie I am) I found that it did bounce around a lot from subject to subject. However, that's to be expected when writing about people's thoughts. The slash was good. There was plenty of warning leading up to the actual slash, so if I were not wanting to see it, I could have deleted it without harming my virgin eyes before it actually got to the slash part. But anyway, the thought of Charles and Eric is interesting. They are two very brilliant men, and seeing them in a relatinship (even in one in the past) is interesting. Have to say, that the small references of Pyro/Eric at the end were a little... well, the thought of it is gross. Perhaps because of the massive age difference. Perhaps because I'm now getting images of Gandolf/Pyro. Well anyway, great story!

      ~ The Voodoo Weasel
      ----- Original Message -----
      From: teland@...
      To: xmenmoviefanfic@yahoogroups.com
      Cc: welikeus@yahoogroups.com ; outsidethelines@...
      Sent: Wednesday, May 28, 2003 12:27 AM
      Subject: [xmenmoviefanfic] X2: "An Ephemeral Compostion"


      An Ephemeral Composition
      by Te
      May 28, 2003

      Disclaimers: No one and nothing is mine.

      Spoilers: X2.

      Summary: Past, present, and future.

      Ratings Note: R.

      Author's Note: Part of my continuing quest to get
      these guys *laid*, dammit. Title from a Florence
      King quote.

      Acknowledgments: To Jenn, for audiencing and telling
      me what I wanted to write, and to Livia, for audiencing
      and helpful suggestions.

      Feedback: Always. teland@...

      *

      There has always been something waiting behind Charles'
      eyes.

      It was the first thing Erik noticed about the man, all those
      years ago in the middle of huge and strange and strangely
      *whole* city, and it was the first thing he looked for even
      now.

      And it wasn't as though the man was ever particularly
      duplicitous. Clever, yes. Secretive, at times. But he wasn't
      the sort of man whose eyes you *had* to search for any
      degree of truth.

      A wonderful chess player, and the few times they'd found
      themselves at cards... well.

      Erik could recognize in himself the flaws of a lifetime, the
      need to believe that everyone, everywhere was hiding
      something. When they played together, Charles could bluff
      without bluffing at all.

      "You beat *yourself*, Erik."

      And what that led to... mm. The years have brought
      something like nostalgia, or at least a desire for it. It would
      be disturbing, and even upsetting, if he wasn't so sure of
      himself and his path. As it was...

      It was a pleasant way to spend an afternoon when there
      was nothing else to be done, or nothing especially urgent,
      in any event. The information Mystique had provided could
      wait, for a moment or two. Right now, there were no
      mutants to be trained, or, in the case of Sabretooth, brought
      to heel.

      The man had not appreciated being called back from
      whatever godforsaken corner of Saskatchewan he'd wound
      up in. Erik had already forgotten the names of the nearest
      "towns," places small enough that mutation was still a
      myth of the cities.

      Doubtless, the women exposed their stranger children at
      birth.

      They'd found Sabretooth in a cabin (much closer to a shack)
      far beyond anything that could even be called an outskirt.

      The snow had been trampled to a muddy slush in a rough
      circle around the place, and the air had stank with old
      blood, smoke, and Sabretooth himself. The locals had been
      more than willing to fill young Pyro's head with stories
      about the rabid 'bear' that had been terrorizing and
      denuding their livestock.

      About the hunters who had disappeared.

      It made him smile, if quietly. He rather thought the whole
      reason the livestock disappeared in the first place was so
      Sabretooth could lure hunters to him. Such a *predictable*
      boy.

      As for Pyro... the boy had done well enough, he supposed.
      Certainly had been smart enough to listen to what the
      townspeople had said, and perhaps everything Erik hadn't,
      and bring his lighter with him.

      Of course, the first few tries at lighting it had been stolen
      by the wind, but... the boy would heal.

      If not quite as fast as Sabretooth.

      Somewhere in the new compound, Pyro was working on
      using his power one-handed, or perhaps whining about
      the need to do the same. It hadn't taken long to get to
      understand the child. People like him always whined and
      made as much trouble as they possibly could.

      It wouldn't stop him from being useful when he was
      needed, but they always needed to be assured that they
      *were*.

      Erik spared a glance for his rumpled sheets. One way or
      another.

      Really, it was something of a surprise that he'd wound up
      here, with them, even though it hadn't been at the time.
      People like Pyro needed people to surround them, if only
      to have foils for their jokes and games and endless ability
      to get underfoot.

      Sabretooth had neither the time nor the patience for that
      sort of thing, and Mystique had games of her own Erik
      was quite sure Pyro wouldn't care for. And it wasn't that
      Erik thought his cause was too abstract to be attractive
      to thoughtful mutants; it was just that he didn't expect
      that level of thought from people, from *boys* like Pyro.

      "I want all this training... this *power* to mean
      something," he'd said.

      Which was nothing but understandable. And yet, hadn't
      Charles offered meaning?

      It was easy to question these things. Erik was accustomed
      to the old, the scarred, and, yes, the embittered. His best
      soldiers were the ones who would never fit within the
      singularly dull mold of humanity, even had they wished to
      do so.

      Xavier's best soldiers would fit in any magazine, an
      advertisement for *safe* mutants in the way that it wasn't
      that long ago when the only African-American people on
      television were light-skinned, thin-nosed, and long-haired.
      Or the villains of the moment.

      And that was something worth arguing with the man,
      perhaps... Perhaps at another time.

      He wanted to know what *Charles* thought of it all, of
      being so media-palatable. Why, the man was even in a
      *wheelchair*. Crippled for most of his life, and so very
      calm-voiced and gentle.

      That, at least, was not new.

      Erik remembered a time when it would drive him to
      distraction, Charles and his endless desire to *soothe*,
      as though there was any reason in this world to be
      anything *but* full of rage. A controlled rage, to be sure,
      but...

      Control used to be a difficult thing, when it came to
      Charles. Something about those eyes, with nothing
      behind them but care and... ah, everything he'd never
      wanted to admit to.

      He had lost count of the number of Charles' chairs he'd
      destroyed, and of the times it would be...

      Just the two of them, Charles pressed beneath him, legs
      awkward and still and mouth parted on a hundred
      endearments and Erik had *hated* his bald head. Nothing
      there to clutch without causing true damage.

      He would catch Charles' wrists and push them down,
      squeeze them and marvel, a little, at the muscle. Charles
      had never been a delicate man, though he moved like
      one. And there'd been something there, something about
      a brother, or perhaps a large and overbearing father?

      Charles and his secrets.

      Charles and his soft mouth and hard kisses, kisses that
      made Erik wonder (as always, as ever) how much of
      that gentleness was a pose. But it would be just *like*
      Charles to simply be *passionate*, as opposed to
      actually angry.

      Although, now...

      Erik thought his time in prison was a rather unfair measure
      of Charles'... feelings. Because Charles had always been
      cautious, and had always been temperate, but he'd *never*
      been unwilling to engage in debate. Religion, politics, the
      very question of their *existence*. It didn't matter.

      If the two of them were together, argument would occur.
      It was simply the way they worked, whether or not they
      actually agreed.

      Something in Erik still wanted people like that in his world,
      some measure of friction to make the rest of the
      relationship -- lover, friend, lieutenant, or otherwise -- that
      much sweeter and impossible to deny. And there had been
      no one like Charles for that friction. ("Kiss me again."
      "No.")

      And yet in prison, in that damnable plastic *box*, Charles
      had been all smiles and requests after his well-being. Gifts
      of books and gifts of companionship, distraction from the
      crushing *lack* of the place.

      And really, if Erik didn't *know* Charles, didn't hold him
      in a higher esteem than he'd ever be willing to say aloud
      (except, perhaps, at his funeral), it would be rather easy
      to see all that *softness* as Charles' subtle little way of
      *gloating*.

      Here, my friend, is a playing field as level as I can make
      it. Because, of course, you have nothing left to give, and
      no capacity to fight. Not anymore.

      It would be *easy* to take the amusement in those lovely
      wide eyes and make it a joke on himself. The defeated
      warrior, waiting to die.

      And Erik didn't see himself as anything remotely close to
      that petty, or even that paranoid, but sometimes he
      thought if he'd been in there for just one moment longer,
      if he'd had nothing left to look forward to but Sunday
      afternoons with Charles, weak tea, and a *chessboard*...

      Well.

      People on the other side of madness had little good to say
      of the experience, but Erik thought even that would have
      been preferable.

      He would've come to hate Charles, and while that had
      always been *close* -- a hint of spice to the sex and finality
      to the paradoxically never-ending arguments -- it had never
      truly been an option.

      Charles was... Charles.

      The young man with eyes so glitteringly intelligent Erik had
      to give up on looking for work, had to enter a coffee shop
      far too enclosed and smokeless to be anything but
      American.

      Had to sit *down*, a compulsion beyond any tricks Charles
      could do with that fabulously powerful mind.

      "Who are you," Erik had said in English still halt and heavily
      accented.

      "A friend, I hope," Charles had answered, and bought him
      too-sweet coffee and touched his hand when he moved to
      leave.

      Dragged him, dazed and never *quite* unwilling enough
      into a world of wealth and leisure and, yes, pleasure.

      And oh, he had been young enough to wonder a little at
      that, to allow himself to be distracted from the anger,
      from the growing cause for long enough to taste inferior
      chocolate and superior brandy on Charles' tongue.

      "I want to know you," Charles had said, and Erik, thought,
      perhaps, that this want of Charles was, if not the defining
      characteristic of their long, long friendship, than at least
      the most constant.

      "Then if I don't understand, you must *tell* me," and for
      Erik, there had always been something unspoken there.

      Because Charles didn't want to simply understand, he had
      wanted to understand Erik's arguments and rage enough
      to find a way *in*. A way to talk him around to *his*
      point of view.

      As if talk had ever solved anything of use.

      If Charles had his way, the entire mutant 'problem' would
      be wrapped up neatly in a series of speeches and
      conferences and carefully -- humanly -- guided politics.
      In Charles' world, blood need never be shed.

      Years ago, he would have -- and probably had -- accused
      the man of just not wanting to get his hands dirty, but it
      was hard to remember a time when that was remotely
      believable. Charles was an intellectual, and something of
      an aesthete, but never a dilettante.

      So *many* things would have been easier if he had been,
      not least the question of to which of them today's young
      and powerful mutants would rally.

      No, Charles was something of an impure idealist. Optimistic
      enough to hope and dream and preach for a better, more
      tolerant world, to *believe* in the possibility of one even
      while he lived wholly in this one.

      More than once, Erik had stared at the man from across
      some richly appointed room and felt the ground try to shift
      beneath his feet. Surely, between the two of them, so alike
      in so many ways, so careful and smart and so, yes, in
      *love* damn the very concept straight to Hell, they could
      find a way to stand on common ground?

      Erik would step here, and Charles would roll himself *there*,
      and the gulf between them would close and the two of
      them would... what?

      Build an army of terribly cheerful killers?

      The idea had its attraction, to be sure, but Erik had never
      entirely...

      Trust was something to be earned, and it had been a very,
      very long time since Erik has known anyone who measured
      up.

      Not even Charles.

      And it was nothing to do with the man himself... or perhaps
      it was everything. All of that sickening optimism, that
      *faith* that no amount of the world's brittle ugliness or
      Erik's own rhetoric could shake.

      That courage, underlying everything else, that could be
      denied or forgotten only at one's peril.

      They had worked together on Cerebro, perhaps the
      greatest thing they would ever create in their lives. Erik
      had seen it as a chance to find their brothers and gather
      them, train them, *teach* them to use their powers
      against a world which would have none of them.

      Charles... had not.

      By then, many years had passed between them, many
      feuds and patchy attempts to make up, find peace, if
      not common ground. He had been younger then, but
      not so young as to not have complete and perfect
      control over his own power. Cerebro could have been
      built with any number of fail-safes.

      Erik had been careful to include none, and had told
      Charles... nothing.

      And now that power had been used against *them*,
      and could possibly be used again, but Erik wouldn't do
      anything differently.

      There would come a time when a telepath would see
      the world for all of itself, and not pause for ideals or
      optimism. He knew it would not be Charles, could
      never *be* Charles. He'd believed -- *known* that
      even with Stryker's oh-so-clever little plan in place,
      with everything arranged to create a world wiped clean
      of humanity, it could never be Charles to bring it
      about.

      But it had been... a lovely fantasy, and an opportunity
      too sweet not to take, consequences be damned.

      There was room in his life for memory, and even for
      nostalgia, but when the world handed you the tools to
      remake it in your own image, you did not halt for
      sentiment. However deeply seated, however dearly...
      held.

      And that, he thought, was something Charles could
      understand, back at his school and free of Stryker's
      toys and surrounded by the living embodiment of this
      world's future. Charles would be angry, and perhaps
      even find a way to hate him, but no amount of rage
      would keep that wonderful mind from
      *comprehension*.

      And that... would have to be enough.

      Pyro announced his presence with a hand on the back
      of Erik's neck, warm and moving to soothe away
      tension he had not been aware he had. He blinked, and
      stared at the papers in front of him on the desk, plans
      for defending the compound, information on all the
      mutants Stryker had listed on his system.

      There was a young scientist in the Midwest with an
      uncontrollable mutation and an intellect too high to be
      measured by normal means.

      A thief in New Orleans with a fascinating degree of
      psionic... resonance.

      A young woman in California with the power of flight,
      impossible strength, and indestructible flesh.

      The work would continue. The army... would grow.

      "I thought you'd come down," the boy said, without
      even a trace of the whine the words implied.

      He would be quite formidable one day. "I've been...
      thinking about our next move, my boy."

      A snort, and Pyro leaned in close, ostensibly to look
      over his shoulder. "Tracking down more pissed-off
      mutants? Can I bring a flamethrower next time?"

      Erik smiled, and allowed himself to lean back into the
      boy's touch. He could feel Pyro's cast bumping lightly
      against his back. "You can bring anything you wish."

      "God, you're like an evil Santa Claus. It really works
      on you, you know?"

      There was a time, and even a space for nostalgia, and
      wistful dreams of what could have been.

      And then there was a time to put such things aside
      and focus on one's next move.

      "Yes," Erik said. "I do."

      End.




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    • teland@teland.com
      An Ephemeral Composition by Te May 28, 2003 Disclaimers: No one and nothing is mine. Spoilers: X2. Summary: Past, present, and future. Ratings Note: R.
      Message 2 of 10 , May 28, 2003
      • 0 Attachment
        An Ephemeral Composition
        by Te
        May 28, 2003

        Disclaimers: No one and nothing is mine.

        Spoilers: X2.

        Summary: Past, present, and future.

        Ratings Note: R.

        Author's Note: Part of my continuing quest to get
        these guys *laid*, dammit. Title from a Florence
        King quote.

        Acknowledgments: To Jenn, for audiencing and telling
        me what I wanted to write, and to Livia, for audiencing
        and helpful suggestions.

        Feedback: Always. teland@...

        *

        There has always been something waiting behind Charles'
        eyes.

        It was the first thing Erik noticed about the man, all those
        years ago in the middle of huge and strange and strangely
        *whole* city, and it was the first thing he looked for even
        now.

        And it wasn't as though the man was ever particularly
        duplicitous. Clever, yes. Secretive, at times. But he wasn't
        the sort of man whose eyes you *had* to search for any
        degree of truth.

        A wonderful chess player, and the few times they'd found
        themselves at cards... well.

        Erik could recognize in himself the flaws of a lifetime, the
        need to believe that everyone, everywhere was hiding
        something. When they played together, Charles could bluff
        without bluffing at all.

        "You beat *yourself*, Erik."

        And what that led to... mm. The years have brought
        something like nostalgia, or at least a desire for it. It would
        be disturbing, and even upsetting, if he wasn't so sure of
        himself and his path. As it was...

        It was a pleasant way to spend an afternoon when there
        was nothing else to be done, or nothing especially urgent,
        in any event. The information Mystique had provided could
        wait, for a moment or two. Right now, there were no
        mutants to be trained, or, in the case of Sabretooth, brought
        to heel.

        The man had not appreciated being called back from
        whatever godforsaken corner of Saskatchewan he'd wound
        up in. Erik had already forgotten the names of the nearest
        "towns," places small enough that mutation was still a
        myth of the cities.

        Doubtless, the women exposed their stranger children at
        birth.

        They'd found Sabretooth in a cabin (much closer to a shack)
        far beyond anything that could even be called an outskirt.

        The snow had been trampled to a muddy slush in a rough
        circle around the place, and the air had stank with old
        blood, smoke, and Sabretooth himself. The locals had been
        more than willing to fill young Pyro's head with stories
        about the rabid 'bear' that had been terrorizing and
        denuding their livestock.

        About the hunters who had disappeared.

        It made him smile, if quietly. He rather thought the whole
        reason the livestock disappeared in the first place was so
        Sabretooth could lure hunters to him. Such a *predictable*
        boy.

        As for Pyro... the boy had done well enough, he supposed.
        Certainly had been smart enough to listen to what the
        townspeople had said, and perhaps everything Erik hadn't,
        and bring his lighter with him.

        Of course, the first few tries at lighting it had been stolen
        by the wind, but... the boy would heal.

        If not quite as fast as Sabretooth.

        Somewhere in the new compound, Pyro was working on
        using his power one-handed, or perhaps whining about
        the need to do the same. It hadn't taken long to get to
        understand the child. People like him always whined and
        made as much trouble as they possibly could.

        It wouldn't stop him from being useful when he was
        needed, but they always needed to be assured that they
        *were*.

        Erik spared a glance for his rumpled sheets. One way or
        another.

        Really, it was something of a surprise that he'd wound up
        here, with them, even though it hadn't been at the time.
        People like Pyro needed people to surround them, if only
        to have foils for their jokes and games and endless ability
        to get underfoot.

        Sabretooth had neither the time nor the patience for that
        sort of thing, and Mystique had games of her own Erik
        was quite sure Pyro wouldn't care for. And it wasn't that
        Erik thought his cause was too abstract to be attractive
        to thoughtful mutants; it was just that he didn't expect
        that level of thought from people, from *boys* like Pyro.

        "I want all this training... this *power* to mean
        something," he'd said.

        Which was nothing but understandable. And yet, hadn't
        Charles offered meaning?

        It was easy to question these things. Erik was accustomed
        to the old, the scarred, and, yes, the embittered. His best
        soldiers were the ones who would never fit within the
        singularly dull mold of humanity, even had they wished to
        do so.

        Xavier's best soldiers would fit in any magazine, an
        advertisement for *safe* mutants in the way that it wasn't
        that long ago when the only African-American people on
        television were light-skinned, thin-nosed, and long-haired.
        Or the villains of the moment.

        And that was something worth arguing with the man,
        perhaps... Perhaps at another time.

        He wanted to know what *Charles* thought of it all, of
        being so media-palatable. Why, the man was even in a
        *wheelchair*. Crippled for most of his life, and so very
        calm-voiced and gentle.

        That, at least, was not new.

        Erik remembered a time when it would drive him to
        distraction, Charles and his endless desire to *soothe*,
        as though there was any reason in this world to be
        anything *but* full of rage. A controlled rage, to be sure,
        but...

        Control used to be a difficult thing, when it came to
        Charles. Something about those eyes, with nothing
        behind them but care and... ah, everything he'd never
        wanted to admit to.

        He had lost count of the number of Charles' chairs he'd
        destroyed, and of the times it would be...

        Just the two of them, Charles pressed beneath him, legs
        awkward and still and mouth parted on a hundred
        endearments and Erik had *hated* his bald head. Nothing
        there to clutch without causing true damage.

        He would catch Charles' wrists and push them down,
        squeeze them and marvel, a little, at the muscle. Charles
        had never been a delicate man, though he moved like
        one. And there'd been something there, something about
        a brother, or perhaps a large and overbearing father?

        Charles and his secrets.

        Charles and his soft mouth and hard kisses, kisses that
        made Erik wonder (as always, as ever) how much of
        that gentleness was a pose. But it would be just *like*
        Charles to simply be *passionate*, as opposed to
        actually angry.

        Although, now...

        Erik thought his time in prison was a rather unfair measure
        of Charles'... feelings. Because Charles had always been
        cautious, and had always been temperate, but he'd *never*
        been unwilling to engage in debate. Religion, politics, the
        very question of their *existence*. It didn't matter.

        If the two of them were together, argument would occur.
        It was simply the way they worked, whether or not they
        actually agreed.

        Something in Erik still wanted people like that in his world,
        some measure of friction to make the rest of the
        relationship -- lover, friend, lieutenant, or otherwise -- that
        much sweeter and impossible to deny. And there had been
        no one like Charles for that friction. ("Kiss me again."
        "No.")

        And yet in prison, in that damnable plastic *box*, Charles
        had been all smiles and requests after his well-being. Gifts
        of books and gifts of companionship, distraction from the
        crushing *lack* of the place.

        And really, if Erik didn't *know* Charles, didn't hold him
        in a higher esteem than he'd ever be willing to say aloud
        (except, perhaps, at his funeral), it would be rather easy
        to see all that *softness* as Charles' subtle little way of
        *gloating*.

        Here, my friend, is a playing field as level as I can make
        it. Because, of course, you have nothing left to give, and
        no capacity to fight. Not anymore.

        It would be *easy* to take the amusement in those lovely
        wide eyes and make it a joke on himself. The defeated
        warrior, waiting to die.

        And Erik didn't see himself as anything remotely close to
        that petty, or even that paranoid, but sometimes he
        thought if he'd been in there for just one moment longer,
        if he'd had nothing left to look forward to but Sunday
        afternoons with Charles, weak tea, and a *chessboard*...

        Well.

        People on the other side of madness had little good to say
        of the experience, but Erik thought even that would have
        been preferable.

        He would've come to hate Charles, and while that had
        always been *close* -- a hint of spice to the sex and finality
        to the paradoxically never-ending arguments -- it had never
        truly been an option.

        Charles was... Charles.

        The young man with eyes so glitteringly intelligent Erik had
        to give up on looking for work, had to enter a coffee shop
        far too enclosed and smokeless to be anything but
        American.

        Had to sit *down*, a compulsion beyond any tricks Charles
        could do with that fabulously powerful mind.

        "Who are you," Erik had said in English still halt and heavily
        accented.

        "A friend, I hope," Charles had answered, and bought him
        too-sweet coffee and touched his hand when he moved to
        leave.

        Dragged him, dazed and never *quite* unwilling enough
        into a world of wealth and leisure and, yes, pleasure.

        And oh, he had been young enough to wonder a little at
        that, to allow himself to be distracted from the anger,
        from the growing cause for long enough to taste inferior
        chocolate and superior brandy on Charles' tongue.

        "I want to know you," Charles had said, and Erik, thought,
        perhaps, that this want of Charles was, if not the defining
        characteristic of their long, long friendship, than at least
        the most constant.

        "Then if I don't understand, you must *tell* me," and for
        Erik, there had always been something unspoken there.

        Because Charles didn't want to simply understand, he had
        wanted to understand Erik's arguments and rage enough
        to find a way *in*. A way to talk him around to *his*
        point of view.

        As if talk had ever solved anything of use.

        If Charles had his way, the entire mutant 'problem' would
        be wrapped up neatly in a series of speeches and
        conferences and carefully -- humanly -- guided politics.
        In Charles' world, blood need never be shed.

        Years ago, he would have -- and probably had -- accused
        the man of just not wanting to get his hands dirty, but it
        was hard to remember a time when that was remotely
        believable. Charles was an intellectual, and something of
        an aesthete, but never a dilettante.

        So *many* things would have been easier if he had been,
        not least the question of to which of them today's young
        and powerful mutants would rally.

        No, Charles was something of an impure idealist. Optimistic
        enough to hope and dream and preach for a better, more
        tolerant world, to *believe* in the possibility of one even
        while he lived wholly in this one.

        More than once, Erik had stared at the man from across
        some richly appointed room and felt the ground try to shift
        beneath his feet. Surely, between the two of them, so alike
        in so many ways, so careful and smart and so, yes, in
        *love* damn the very concept straight to Hell, they could
        find a way to stand on common ground?

        Erik would step here, and Charles would roll himself *there*,
        and the gulf between them would close and the two of
        them would... what?

        Build an army of terribly cheerful killers?

        The idea had its attraction, to be sure, but Erik had never
        entirely...

        Trust was something to be earned, and it had been a very,
        very long time since Erik has known anyone who measured
        up.

        Not even Charles.

        And it was nothing to do with the man himself... or perhaps
        it was everything. All of that sickening optimism, that
        *faith* that no amount of the world's brittle ugliness or
        Erik's own rhetoric could shake.

        That courage, underlying everything else, that could be
        denied or forgotten only at one's peril.

        They had worked together on Cerebro, perhaps the
        greatest thing they would ever create in their lives. Erik
        had seen it as a chance to find their brothers and gather
        them, train them, *teach* them to use their powers
        against a world which would have none of them.

        Charles... had not.

        By then, many years had passed between them, many
        feuds and patchy attempts to make up, find peace, if
        not common ground. He had been younger then, but
        not so young as to not have complete and perfect
        control over his own power. Cerebro could have been
        built with any number of fail-safes.

        Erik had been careful to include none, and had told
        Charles... nothing.

        And now that power had been used against *them*,
        and could possibly be used again, but Erik wouldn't do
        anything differently.

        There would come a time when a telepath would see
        the world for all of itself, and not pause for ideals or
        optimism. He knew it would not be Charles, could
        never *be* Charles. He'd believed -- *known* that
        even with Stryker's oh-so-clever little plan in place,
        with everything arranged to create a world wiped clean
        of humanity, it could never be Charles to bring it
        about.

        But it had been... a lovely fantasy, and an opportunity
        too sweet not to take, consequences be damned.

        There was room in his life for memory, and even for
        nostalgia, but when the world handed you the tools to
        remake it in your own image, you did not halt for
        sentiment. However deeply seated, however dearly...
        held.

        And that, he thought, was something Charles could
        understand, back at his school and free of Stryker's
        toys and surrounded by the living embodiment of this
        world's future. Charles would be angry, and perhaps
        even find a way to hate him, but no amount of rage
        would keep that wonderful mind from
        *comprehension*.

        And that... would have to be enough.

        Pyro announced his presence with a hand on the back
        of Erik's neck, warm and moving to soothe away
        tension he had not been aware he had. He blinked, and
        stared at the papers in front of him on the desk, plans
        for defending the compound, information on all the
        mutants Stryker had listed on his system.

        There was a young scientist in the Midwest with an
        uncontrollable mutation and an intellect too high to be
        measured by normal means.

        A thief in New Orleans with a fascinating degree of
        psionic... resonance.

        A young woman in California with the power of flight,
        impossible strength, and indestructible flesh.

        The work would continue. The army... would grow.

        "I thought you'd come down," the boy said, without
        even a trace of the whine the words implied.

        He would be quite formidable one day. "I've been...
        thinking about our next move, my boy."

        A snort, and Pyro leaned in close, ostensibly to look
        over his shoulder. "Tracking down more pissed-off
        mutants? Can I bring a flamethrower next time?"

        Erik smiled, and allowed himself to lean back into the
        boy's touch. He could feel Pyro's cast bumping lightly
        against his back. "You can bring anything you wish."

        "God, you're like an evil Santa Claus. It really works
        on you, you know?"

        There was a time, and even a space for nostalgia, and
        wistful dreams of what could have been.

        And then there was a time to put such things aside
        and focus on one's next move.

        "Yes," Erik said. "I do."

        End.
      • **Callisto**
        Do you think perhaps in the future you could put slash warnings please, not everyone likes reading it **Callisto** Care to chat: MSN thegoodgoddess View my
        Message 3 of 10 , May 28, 2003
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          Do you think perhaps in the future you
          could put slash warnings please, not
          everyone likes reading it

          **Callisto**
          Care to chat: MSN thegoodgoddess
          View my homepage http://www.angelfire.com/my/nightangelsworld
          http://www.livejournal.com/users/callistomoon
          http://www.deadjournal.com/users/purelight

          ----- Original Message -----
          From: teland@...
          To: xmenmoviefanfic@yahoogroups.com
          Cc: welikeus@yahoogroups.com ; outsidethelines@...
          Sent: Wednesday, May 28, 2003 8:27 PM
          Subject: [xmenmoviefanfic] X2: "An Ephemeral Compostion"


          An Ephemeral Composition
          by Te
          May 28, 2003

          Disclaimers: No one and nothing is mine.

          Spoilers: X2.

          Summary: Past, present, and future.

          Ratings Note: R.

          Author's Note: Part of my continuing quest to get
          these guys *laid*, dammit. Title from a Florence
          King quote.

          Acknowledgments: To Jenn, for audiencing and telling
          me what I wanted to write, and to Livia, for audiencing
          and helpful suggestions.

          Feedback: Always. teland@...

          *


          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • teland@teland.com
          ... You know, I realize I forgot to put the rating in the subject header, and for that I m deeply regretful, but unless I missed something in the FAQ, there is
          Message 4 of 10 , May 28, 2003
          • 0 Attachment
            > Do you think perhaps in the future you
            > could put slash warnings please, not
            > everyone likes reading it
            >
            You know, I realize I forgot to put the rating in the subject header, and
            for that I'm deeply regretful, but unless I missed something in the FAQ,
            there is no rule about warning for slash.

            Perhaps you should consider my name a warning, in the future.

            Te
          • Khylea
            Whether it s a rule or not, it seems like it should be done anyway. I think anything that could be a potential squick should be warned for, regardless of what
            Message 5 of 10 , May 28, 2003
            • 0 Attachment
              Whether it's a rule or not, it seems like it should be done anyway. I think anything that could be a potential squick should be warned for, regardless of what the rules are, just out of politeness: 1) graphic sex 2) non-consensual/rape sex 3) slash 4) graphic violence 5) character death 6) AU writing

              I don't know about anybody else, but I read too much fanfiction to remember what each author writes. I personally don't think the name warning is enough.

              Min, you're a mod, what do you think?


              ----- Original Message -----
              From: teland@...
              To: xmenmoviefanfic@yahoogroups.com
              Sent: Wednesday, May 28, 2003 2:56 AM
              Subject: Re: [xmenmoviefanfic] X2: 'An Ephemeral Compostion'


              > Do you think perhaps in the future you
              > could put slash warnings please, not
              > everyone likes reading it
              >
              You know, I realize I forgot to put the rating in the subject header, and
              for that I'm deeply regretful, but unless I missed something in the FAQ,
              there is no rule about warning for slash.

              Perhaps you should consider my name a warning, in the future.

              Te



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              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            • victoria p.
              ... I dislike detailed warnings. Mature themes should be enough. AU is a genre, and stories should be labeled thusly, but it s not a *warning*. The pairings
              Message 6 of 10 , May 28, 2003
              • 0 Attachment
                > Whether it's a rule or not, it seems like it should be done
                > anyway. I think anything that could be a potential squick
                > should be warned for, regardless of what the rules are, just
                > out of politeness: 1) graphic sex 2) non-consensual/rape sex
                > 3) slash 4) graphic violence 5) character death 6) AU writing
                >

                I dislike detailed warnings. "Mature themes" should be enough.

                AU is a genre, and stories should be labeled thusly, but it's not a
                *warning*.

                The pairings in the headers should be enough to tell you if it will be
                slash or not. The rating should tell you if the sex/violence will be
                graphic.

                Character death is a spoiler and oughtn't be warned for, imo.

                Obviously, it's up to each individual author to do what s/he feels is
                necessary, and caveat lector.

                victoria
                co-mod

                --

                The Muse's Fool: http://www.unfitforsociety.net/musesfool
                diary: http://musesfool.diaryland.com
                LJ: http://musesfool.livejournal.com
              • Khylea
                Movies and TV shows give detailed warnings, why shouldn t fanfics? How are they different? It s a fair warning to the reader/viewer as to what is in the
                Message 7 of 10 , May 28, 2003
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                  Movies and TV shows give detailed warnings, why shouldn't fanfics? How are they different? It's a fair warning to the reader/viewer as to what is in the content and gives them a chance to view/avoid it as they desire. I personally do not feel "mature themes" is enough, because that covers too broad a palette. I personally don't mind reading or viewing sex, pretty much any kind, except non-consensual, but graphic violence can give me terrible nightmares. I would NOT be happy if an author/movie did not warn me ahead of time about graphic violence and I read/viewed the story and ended up with nightmares because of it.

                  Yes, AU is a genre. Warning is not the correct word, but it should be labeled.

                  And I stick to my opinion that character death should be warned against. Yes, it is a spoiler, but I do NOT like reading character death, and would NOT choose to read most fics that include it. (Min's "Climb the Wind" is one of the few I have, and the only reason I did was because I respect her greatly as an author and I knew she would handle it in a sensitive, caring way.) But normally I do not read it, and am not at all happy when an author suddenly puts it in with no warning. I read fanfic as an escape, and there's enough death in real life, I do not care to read it in fanfic.

                  I just see warnings as being polite to your potential audience in allowing them to avoid anything they may not want to read.

                  All IMHO of course. Your mileage may vary. :)


                  ----- Original Message -----
                  From: victoria p.
                  To: xmmff
                  Sent: Wednesday, May 28, 2003 9:55 PM
                  Subject: RE: [xmenmoviefanfic] X2: 'An Ephemeral Compostion'


                  > Whether it's a rule or not, it seems like it should be done
                  > anyway. I think anything that could be a potential squick
                  > should be warned for, regardless of what the rules are, just
                  > out of politeness: 1) graphic sex 2) non-consensual/rape sex
                  > 3) slash 4) graphic violence 5) character death 6) AU writing
                  >

                  I dislike detailed warnings. "Mature themes" should be enough.

                  AU is a genre, and stories should be labeled thusly, but it's not a
                  *warning*.

                  The pairings in the headers should be enough to tell you if it will be
                  slash or not. The rating should tell you if the sex/violence will be
                  graphic.

                  Character death is a spoiler and oughtn't be warned for, imo.

                  Obviously, it's up to each individual author to do what s/he feels is
                  necessary, and caveat lector.

                  victoria
                  co-mod

                  --

                  The Muse's Fool: http://www.unfitforsociety.net/musesfool
                  diary: http://musesfool.diaryland.com
                  LJ: http://musesfool.livejournal.com




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                  To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
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                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                • Min
                  Well, I may not give the answer some of you are hoping for. Vic already addressed this, as my fellow mod, and I agree with what she s already said. A few
                  Message 8 of 10 , May 28, 2003
                  • 0 Attachment
                    Well, I may not give the answer some of you are hoping for. Vic
                    already addressed this, as my fellow mod, and I agree with what she's
                    already said. A few more points to add to that.

                    Te did mark her story as [R] in the story header, albeit not in the
                    subject header. At least she gave you a rating, which is more than I
                    do. [R] indicates adult material, which could be anything.

                    I want to point out, folks, that giving ratings and warnings at ALL is
                    more information than you'll find in any published novel or short
                    story in a bookstore. Unless you go to the children's and young
                    readers' section, if you pick up a novel written for and marketed to
                    adults, it could contain ANYthing. Yes, the backblurb will often give
                    you a clue ... but it might not, too. You wade in, you take your
                    chances. I have spent 17 of my life in professional publishing, and I
                    will never be convinced that film ratings are appropriate to fiction.
                    If you want to know why, I've already written on this at length:
                    http://www.themedicinewheel.net/ratings.html

                    Warnings are a courtesy. This group's FAQ does SUGGEST (though not
                    insist) that the writer give the major protags and/or pairings.
                    Obviously, use common sense. Listing more than 1-4 will be *unwieldy*
                    and "ensemble" should be assumed. But a note of the pairing(s)
                    involved should be sufficient to indicate there's same-sex material.
                    Of course, with a few stories, indicating a pairing would ruin it, and
                    I won't ask an author to ruin her story as long as she's indicated
                    that adult material is present, if it is.

                    And I'll never insist on a specific SLASH warning unless I also insist
                    on a specific HET warning. To do so would be an unfair bais.

                    --Minisinoo
                    Co-Mod, XMMFF
                  • **Callisto**
                    the thing is there was NO pairings listed it s internet etiquette, I never said anything about publishings heck I don t actually read books that involve sex,
                    Message 9 of 10 , May 29, 2003
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                      the thing is there was NO pairings listed
                      it's internet etiquette, I never said anything about publishings
                      heck I don't actually read books that involve sex, or relationships
                      only when it comes to fic, do I read them.
                      Sometimes a rating just isn't enough, it doesn't really give you anything
                      only the level of what is in the fic.
                      I was merely making a suggestion, that would in turn benefit alot of people


                      **Callisto**
                      Care to chat: MSN thegoodgoddess
                      View my homepage http://www.angelfire.com/my/nightangelsworld
                      http://www.livejournal.com/users/callistomoon
                      http://www.deadjournal.com/users/purelight

                      ----- Original Message -----
                      From: Min
                      To: xmenmoviefanfic@yahoogroups.com
                      Sent: Thursday, May 29, 2003 6:09 PM
                      Subject: [xmenmoviefanfic] Re: X2: 'An Ephemeral Compostion'


                      Well, I may not give the answer some of you are hoping for. Vic
                      already addressed this, as my fellow mod, and I agree with what she's
                      already said. A few more points to add to that.

                      Te did mark her story as [R] in the story header, albeit not in the
                      subject header. At least she gave you a rating, which is more than I
                      do. [R] indicates adult material, which could be anything.

                      I want to point out, folks, that giving ratings and warnings at ALL is
                      more information than you'll find in any published novel or short
                      story in a bookstore. Unless you go to the children's and young
                      readers' section, if you pick up a novel written for and marketed to
                      adults, it could contain ANYthing. Yes, the backblurb will often give
                      you a clue ... but it might not, too. You wade in, you take your
                      chances. I have spent 17 of my life in professional publishing, and I
                      will never be convinced that film ratings are appropriate to fiction.
                      If you want to know why, I've already written on this at length:
                      http://www.themedicinewheel.net/ratings.html

                      Warnings are a courtesy. This group's FAQ does SUGGEST (though not
                      insist) that the writer give the major protags and/or pairings.
                      Obviously, use common sense. Listing more than 1-4 will be *unwieldy*
                      and "ensemble" should be assumed. But a note of the pairing(s)
                      involved should be sufficient to indicate there's same-sex material.
                      Of course, with a few stories, indicating a pairing would ruin it, and
                      I won't ask an author to ruin her story as long as she's indicated
                      that adult material is present, if it is.

                      And I'll never insist on a specific SLASH warning unless I also insist
                      on a specific HET warning. To do so would be an unfair bais.

                      --Minisinoo
                      Co-Mod, XMMFF


                      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                    • Minisinoo
                      ... Which is why I said that our FAQ suggests listing them. There will be no slash (or het ) warnings required on XMMFF. If an author wishes to give them,
                      Message 10 of 10 , May 29, 2003
                      • 0 Attachment
                        --- **Callisto** <calisto@...> wrote:
                        > the thing is there was NO pairings listed

                        Which is why I said that our FAQ suggests listing them.

                        There will be no "slash" (or "het") warnings required on XMMFF. If
                        an author wishes to give them, that's just fine, but they aren't
                        required. Notations of protags and pairings IS encouraged, but not
                        required either, especially if it would spoil a story's surprise.

                        We DO ask a warning (or rating) of adult content since we have
                        underage readers and those who don't want to encounter adult
                        material. But opening a story labeled or rated as "adult" means that
                        the reader may encounter anything that might be found in the regular
                        fiction section of a Borders or B&N. Thus, please bring the same
                        responsibility and caution to reading fanfic that you would bring to
                        picking up a novel in a bookstore.

                        Thanks. If you want to take this up further with the mods, then
                        please email Vic and I offlist.

                        --Minisinoo
                        Co-Mod, XMMFF

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