So. Anyway. I am bored. Deeply, irreparably bored.
Boredom is a dangerous thing, since I means I start clicking links that take me places where my brain will be injured.
Case in point - I inhabit a very small corner of fandom. I'm all but unknown as a writer, I read only things recced to me by friends or writers I love, and my f-list is pretty much wank free, most times. But I heard the rumors. The whispered promises of fandom upheaval because of the arrival of the HBP. The rumors intrigued me. Because I am, at heart, a deeply stupid person. And I went clicking to read what people were saying.
After having perused a goodly number of things, I have come to the conclusion that everyone outside of my little fandom sphere is insane.
Oh dear lord, are they crazy.
I understand being taken aback. I was too. Not because of Ron/Hermione, because really people, did those of you who didn't see that coming have your head stuck in a cave? Honestly. Between the extra hints, which we know are JK approved, of R/H in the movies, and the actual book text that all but has little hearts between their names, it seems all but impossible to not have seen it coming.
Harry/Hermione people, I see that you're upset. But please back away from pens, keyboards, and any sort of writing instrument, because at this point I think ya'll are less sane than a Black family member on hallucinogens and six bottles of rum. Calm down. It's alright. See, Harry/Hermione isn't in the books. This does not mean you cannot write it. There are ways around just about anything, fandom. Yes, you too can change the face of the books.
Case in point. Sirius had been dead since last book. Not mostly dead, not undead, not looking a little peaked - but dead. He was killed by some natty fabric, granted, but still dead.
Have YOU seen a slow-down in the deluge of Sirius/Remus fic? Have you not seen a million Bring Back Black fics? Was there not an entire challenge community that did entirely Sirius resurrection stuff?
It can be done. Oh yes. It can be done.
Those of you who mourn the death of Sirius/Remus because of Tonks - fear not. She can be worked around. She can be a silly girl in love for the first time. She can be secretly a polyjuiced death eater while the real Tonks languishes in a death eater prison. Remus can be trying to make her happy. Remus can be a polyjuiced Ron, who doesn't really like Hermione because Hermione loves Harry and Ron is in love with Tonks and . . . . you see where I'm going?
There is no obstacle too large for fandom!
Honestly, I don't understand the anger. Disappointment? Sure. I would really have loved if we had no actually canon pairing for Remus. I think that anyone who hoped for an actual gay relationship in a series of what are ostensibly children's books is really a bit delusional. It's a deeply sad fact that that's true - but it is. The most we could have hoped for was for her to leave the possibility open, and she didn't. So yeah, it's an "Oh Darn" sort of moment. (Harry/Draco people - that obsession of Harry's is as close as you will get. If Harry/Draco is ever in the books I swear that I will eat my own left arm.)
The biggest one I don't get is the uproar over Blaise being black. Sheesh, people. Why is that such a big deal to some of ya'll? I was just sorta psyched that there was an actual attractive Slytherin in the books. (High cheekbones, slanting eyes, beautiful mother, a tendency to pose - I believe that adds up to a canon example of a good looking Slytherin.)
So anyway. Yes. The Wank is UNBELIEVABLE. I am just in awe. And somewhere between amused and horrified.
Repeat after me ya'll. "I didn't write it. JK did not write it just to piss me off. JK does not have a secret fandom-hating agenda. JK is telling the story she envisioned." Read the books. Love the bits you love, sigh and try to work around the bits you don't. Save bitter anger for something else. because no matter how much we love the characters, they're not ours, and the author has the right to tell the story the way she wants to tell it.
Okay, I'm done.
I shall post my X-men Fic now. Because it is already formatted and I am too lazy to format anything else.
Speaking of fic, who wants to beta things for me? *bats eyes and offers cookies*
Title: Trace Remains
Author: SullenSiren (adena(at)direcway(dot)com)
Fandom: X-Men the Movie(s)
Summary: "Some remnants - like metal traces in the liquid of her blood - in her head understood what it was to long for touch it couldn't have, and power it couldn't use." In the time between X-Men and X2, Rogue visits Magneto in his plastic prison.
Pairing: Magneto, Rogue. Implied Eric/Charles and Logan/Rogue
Disclaimer: I own nothing. Characters are owned by people with far, far more money, power, and influence than me. Please don't sue. Thank you.
Feedback: Deeply appreciated.
Written for: apillarofsalt
Notes: Written for penknife's X-Men Movieverse Ficathon. I pinch-hit for apillarofsalt who asked for Rogue to visit Magneto in prison after the first movie. Hope this is okay for you! Thank you to penknife, who did a rapid-fire beta for me. My apologies for the lateness, but I've been, and still am, stuck in Boston.
"I wrap myself in a bag.
I'm all wrapped up in Prague.
I'm all wrapped up in you.
I'm all wrapped up in him too."
-- Damien Rice "Prague"
She'd never thought much about metal, about the clips of her hair barrettes, the wire lining the cups of her bra, the fillings in Bobby's teeth when he smiled, the jingle of the dog tags around her throat - but after the Statue and the machine, she'd felt it for a time. The metal had tingled along her skin, a strange supersensory perception, like the prickle along her spine when eyes watched her from afar.
She couldn't feel it anymore, but she noticed. A voice that was and was not her own marked the metal near her, catalogued it like an arsenal, each bit of metal a weapon slotted into its place, waiting for her to use it in a way she wasn't capable of.
She memorized metal the way she did skin. It caught her eye the same way, the dull silver drawing her attention the way bare wrists, exposed necks, flashes of stomach beneath a too-short shirt all did. She longed for it the same way, though the metal held a lesser pull. She longed to touch the warm softness of skin just as the one in her head longed for the cool of metal. They held a strangely similar appeal.
The metal wasn't her. She knew that. It was a distant ache, a slighter wanting that hadn't been there before the Statue. But it was there. Some remnants - like metal traces in the liquid of her blood - in her head understood what it was to long for touch it couldn't have, and power it couldn't use. It was a familiar feeling, if a different presentation. There was warmth she'd never touch, and an untapped power she couldn't use without killing. Without his touch, she would still have had this feeling - and with it, she felt it from two sources. A shared trait between them.
It was that kinship that drew her, though she never admitted it.
It was ritual, now. Tee shirt and stretch pants, no metal-snapped jeans, no metal-edged belt. Leather gloves and slip-on sandals, hair pulled back to hide the streak of stark white (though it never did). She would leave the dog tags in a dish outside while the overweight, under-worked guards snuck looks down her shirt. She felt a disdain for them, now. A disgust for the blue collar work bees who lived their ordinary lives in ignorant, powerless fear. They were less than her.
She didn't think that disdain was hers either, but she had her own reasons to hate normal people, and some days she wasn't sure.
He greeted her as he always did, rising and nodding politely, a smile that masked the faint sneer across thin lips. "Marie my dear. You are a creature of habit, aren't you?" Polite poison was Eric Lensherr. The trace metal in her head said that he'd taught himself to be like that, that time and hate had hardened him, tempered the softness and mercy from his bones the way fire robbed metals of their impurities. It said that he was a product of a life harsher and more horrible than her own had ever been.
A growl that was as much beast as man inside her head - its traces stronger than Eric's for having twice touched her - said that was no excuse for what Magneto had done.
Logan had little faith or patience for excuses, though.
Rogue liked excuses. She liked reasons for things. She didn't like that both the men in her head found the lies in every truth, even when she sometimes wanted to believe the lie. It was childish, perhaps, to want to believe someone when they told you they cared, that they missed you, that everything would be all right.
She'd long ago lost the ability to believe the lies she told herself. She hated, sometimes, that they kept her from believing the ones everyone else offered up, too.
She folded her arms over her chest, feeling, as she always did, the sterile, plastic chill of this place. The absence of metal tingled somewhere on the edge of a sense she shouldn't have. "Call me Rogue." Every time she told him, and every time he ignored her. She sank down onto the stool he'd pulled out for her. Now was the time she would ask what he was reading, tell him what was happening in the world, ask if the Professor had been by. She suddenly didn't feel like the same routine, like the safe questions. "H-how are you?" she asked, the Southern creeping off her tongue more as her nervousness increased. It was a new question, one she knew better than to ask. She wasn't sure why she did anyway.
"Caged by ham-fisted, witless orangutans. My only company a crippled telepath with delusions of a world that can never exist, and a broken girl I nearly killed. It is not the most magnificent of existences, but perhaps not the worst, either. And you, dear girl?" Blue eyes that saw too much watched her.
He hid behind the formality. She knew that by the trace-voice in her head. It was a shield, formal and cold and taunting all at once to bring out those who didn't shield their thoughts, their actions, or their words so well as he did. "I'm all right." She heard the tremulous timidity in her own voice and hated it.
He heard it as well, gray head tilting in consideration. "Do you consider yourself weak, Marie?"
"Yes. The name you hide behind. It's not your real name, not yet. Perhaps not at all. Marie suits you. A little girl's name for a lost little child."
She lifted her chin, feeling a surge of resentment. She was tired of eyes that saw into places she wanted unseen. "I’m not a little girl . . . Eric. And we all have our ways of hiding." She'd never used his name, and she saw awareness of that - and perhaps a strange amusement - in his eyes.
He gave a soft chuckle. "Of course you are. A little girl, longing for fairy tales. Is he back yet?"
"Your knight in tarnished armor, who saved you from the tower and the wicked king, of course."
She flushed slightly, feeling the heat along the skin she was always hyper-aware of. "Why do you care?"
"Because you do, my dear. Because it rattles about in that head of yours. Along with many other things, I fear."
Rogue swallowed. "You're not a telepath. You don't know what's in my head." Not as much as I know what's in yours, her eyes told him.
A slight smile acknowledged what was left unsaid. "No. I’m afraid not. Merely a reader of men's eyes. An old fashioned creature in these times. Your eyes give you away, Marie. There are still happily ever afters dwelling in them, even if you don't quite believe them anymore." He leaned back against the clear wall of his prison, and as suddenly as a thrown switch, he was a tired old man, the arch warrior vanished. "Why do you come, week after week, girl? What is it you think to gain from these petty conversations?"
She didn't know. She'd never known. She stripped her metal and brought the books the Professor said he would like. (Sometimes the echo in her head would chuckle and say that Charles always was overly fond of the symbolic in literature.) But she always left without knowing why it was she bothered with something that left neither of them happy. "I just . . . wanted . . ." She trailed off, feeling the way her shoulders drew in, shrank, became less. She was aware of every movement, with him, because she knew that he read them and found all the words she left unsaid in the shiftings of her limbs and the nervous motions of her hands. He read the body as well as he did the eyes, and both were as open as the pages of the thick, musty-smelling books she brought him.
"If it's an apology you seek, you wait in vain. I gave all of the regret I ever would before I sat you atop the statue."
"You said you were sorry. Didn't change anything about what you were gonna do." She heard the sharp snap of bitterness in her tone. There was an echo of aggression in it, of accusation, of betrayal. She thought maybe she sounded a bit like him.
If he thought the same, he gave no sign. "No. It didn't. Words change nothing, in the end. It is always in the action that purpose is most truly shown."
"And your 'purpose' was to kill me." It was a statement, not a question, though she had intended it to be a question.
"No. My purpose was to change the world. Your death was merely the unfortunate sacrifice required."
It came in a sudden rush, the question she'd never gathered the courage to ask - or even really realized she wanted to. "Did you know? About me, I mean. Did you know about me when you built it?"
"I began designing it nearly nine years ago, perhaps before. You were barely more than a babe in arms, and your doting parents had no notion their precious southern belle was a mutant." He smiled faintly at the question still in her eyes, knowing she needed to hear it directly and obliging her. "No. I didn't know."
"You were gonna do it yourself. Power the . . . Machine. Change the world. If it had worked, I mean. If it hadn't been a failure."
A faint flash of bitter resentment in his eyes at the dig sent an answering surge of gratification through her. It was quickly followed by guilt for having felt it at all, though perhaps not as much as she should have felt. "It worked. It did not work as intended, perhaps, but it-"
"It would have killed all those people," she interrupted.
"Yes. As I said, not what I intended. But still an effective opening salvo, the removal of the majority of the enemy's leaders."
Rogue shook her head slowly. "They weren't enemies, not really. Just people. And it would have been murder."
"It would have been war," he counter, looking at her steadily. "But I suppose you're truly a creature of Charles' making, and you still deny the inevitable."
She didn't quite understand that - the Professor rarely spoke about Eric, and she was too wary of knowing too much, of the memories in her head that weren't hers, to ever ask. She ignored it instead. "The whole world would have hated mutants, because you killed all those people."
"We," he corrected, catching her eyes and holding it, the old man gone again and the warrior returned, a zealot's glint in his gaze. "Because *we* killed them. The world already hates us, Marie. To them, there is no difference between the mutant bank robbers who kill and steal for money, and the ones who live in quiet humility next door to them." He smiled, leaning forward. "In their eyes, my girl, there is no difference between Charles and myself. Between his X-men and the Brotherhood of Mutants. Between you and I - we are all the same to them. And when they wage their war, they will make no distinction. I sought to make it OUR war - not theirs. Make no mistake - it will come anyway, even if I'm sealed in a plastic cage. It is likely already begun."
"They wouldn't have known. It would just have been murder. No warning or nothing. In war you know. You know what you're walking into." In her head, two men laughed at her naiveté.
"And will you know, when they come for you? Do you think they will post a warning in the daily paper of their intent? No. It will be sudden and merciless, young Marie. It always is." He smiled, almost sadly. "You should be prepared."
"I don't believe you." But she did. The trace metals in her head made her believe, just as they made her incapable of faith in the prettier lies.
"It is the prerogative of the young and of the foolish to cling to their illusions, of course."
Not for her. Not anymore. She toyed with the tie of her hair, pulling it free. It swung, fanning across her back, the white streak slipping in front of her eyes. She looked at him through it. "Why did you take me? You were going to do it yourself, and then you took me instead. Why?"
"Because Mystique found you. Because the opportunity presented itself. Because the war that would come had more need of generals than of children." He gave his reasons eloquently, evenly, and without remorse.
"Because you didn't want to die," she added flatly, a ring of truth to it that came from the echo within her mind.
"Perhaps. Believe whatever it most comforts you to consider truth. They all hold shades of it. "
She stood slowly, and he did the same. Ever the gentlemen. "I could have believed you. If you went up, I would have. I'd have believed what you said, and that you did it because you believed there wasn't another way. But you sent me instead. And now I have you in my head, and I can't believe in anything. I want to feel sorry for you, because of it. 'Cause I know what you are, and where you've been, and what made you. But there's too much of you, and of him - and maybe of me, too - up there. And I can't stop hating you enough to feel anything but that."
"And yet you come here."
"You don't have him."
She pushed the hair behind her ear, feeling the absence of the metal around her neck. "He saved me."
"He gave you as much as he took, and in the end both left you changed. It's the fairy tale that keeps you from hating him too. You see the truth of him in your head - just as you see me. You haven't accepted it for him the way you do for me." His gaze was steady and saw through her. "The Wolverine will disappoint you, my dear. The fairy tale won't keep you from hating him for it, in the end."
"But it's what keeps Xavier from hating you, isn't it?" she asked, acid in her tone. She could hear it dripping out to eat at him, and she didn't stop it.
He flinched, and the general became just a tired old man in a cage, again. He slumped and sat. "Fairy tales of redemption and memories of past days. Yes. Perhaps it is."
For a moment she was sorry, but her hair swung back in front of her eyes as she moved and the white hid the blue of his eyes as the traces in her head reminded her that there was artifice even within truth.
She didn't apologize. "I won't come back again."
"No. I didn't expect that you would." He lifted his head to look at her. "I'm surprised it took you so long to gather your courage, Marie. A girl who left home, survived the Statue - you're many things. Weak isn't among them, I shouldn't think."
"It is for you though. If it hadn't been, you'd have been up there, instead of me."
"And this story would have had a very different ending."
"I doubt it would have been 'happily ever after'." She shrugged and turned to leave, but stopped and turned back. "I know what you are. What you want. How you think. I can feel it - and maybe I've become it, a little. This place won't hold you forever. And when you're out - I'll be your enemy. And I'll know you."
"You know a fragment, only. You remember that - just as I'll remember your little warning. And we needn't be enemies. We are the same, you and I. A member of the same elite - the same chosen. We will suffer for our differences. And in the end, we will have to fight for our right to live with them. That is an undeniable and unavoidable truth. Like Charles, you've just chosen to blind yourself to it, until now. If the time comes when you're willing to see the world as it is, and not as you wish it to be, then we will be allies."
His eyes lingered on the white of her hair. She stiffened, speaking before he could. "Don't. Don't mention it. It's not your place." A faint, cynical smile, it's curve mirrored within her head as Logan's echo snarled from its cage. She ignored both. "Goodbye, Erik."
From the plastic hall she saw him mouth the words, but couldn't hear them. She knew what he'd said though, and the voice in her head spoke them for him.
"Until we meet again, Rogue."
That was my first try at X-men. Not a great triumph of literature, but I think it came out okay.
My mom is back in the hospital with another blood clot. She'll be having surgery to have a filter of some sort put in. I'm not sure of the details, as she's been there since five this afternoon, has has a CT scan, Iv's, and meds, and is STILL not in a room, despite them telling her she has to stay. Fucking emergency rooms take forgoddamnever. Anyway, with her still in the emergency ward, it's really hard to hear what I'm being told. I'll be going back in the morning with clothes and such for her.
She's okay, they say, which is good. But it is fucking scary to be called from an ambulance and told your mom's on her way to a hospital while you can hear the sirens over the phone. Just terrifying. If you're reading, Nat, you can call her on her cell, or tell your mom so she can. She might not answer, 'cause it's so hard to hear, but she'll call back.
And now I am done.
I watched Dangerous Liaisons this morning 'cause my sister's friend Jhazmine hadn't seen it. Damn I love that movie. "And in the end I distilled it all into one wonderfully simple principle: win or die."