Before we begin this latest (insane) sequel,
I would just like to present readers with a brief interview
with my co-writer Orla. I do this because as she has no email
address of her own, and thus no way to communicate to the
net without me, people are beginning to suspect that she is
a figment of my imagination. So here to prove that I am not
(completely) insane, is an interview with Orla, co-author
of A Match Made?,
Don't Feed Her After Midnight,
and the current, Clothes Maketh The Mutant.
Jaelle: "Orla, can you confirm that you are in
fact, not me?"
Orla: "I don't know, who can tell when one person
is telling the truth?"
Jaelle: "Hey! You're supposed to be telling people
that you're an individual person!"
Orla: "You're talking to the person who got skunk-streaks
in her hair, oops, I just individualized myself -Damn!"
Jaelle: "This makes me really glad that you're
not a part of my imagination. I'd hate to think that I hated
myself enough to create you."
Jaelle: "Uhhh... so Orla, why don't you tell the
nice people a few things about yourself?"
Orla: "Lets see...umm...Well, my alter-ego is
a sword wielding maniac... you didn't really want to know
that did you?"
Jaelle: "Ummm... depends, did your alter-ego bring
her sword to the computer labs today?"
Orla: "Of course, along with the interdimensional
hammer, the thing I WAVED OVER YOUR HEAD AFTER YOUR NASTY
Jaelle: "Errrr... and now, without further ado,
our latest publication: Clothes Maketh The Mutant."
Orla: "You call that an interview? Hmm.. where
is that sword?"
Disclaimer: The characters herein
all belong to Marvel Comics. Except for one who belongs to
Rumiko Takahashi, and implied references to DIC trademarks.
The various background characters are all extras, and therefore
not trademarked to anybody. They're underpaid as well.
The Clothes Maketh the Mutant
Joseph was walking through the gardens admiring the scenery.
It paled however in contrast to the vision that dropped out
of the sky in front of him.
"Joseph! Ah been lookin' for ya. Let's watch a movie
Joseph smiled, "That would be wonderful Rogue. Shall
we get a video or go to a theatre?"
But Rogue was frowning at him, "You're wearin' that
X-uniform again. Couldn't you change into somethin' else?
We're not likely to forget who you are without it you know."
Joseph was a bit surprised, "But it's quite comfortable."
"Joseph, Ah know that uniform. Ah wore one
just like it for about a week before it had a little 'accident'.
It looked terrible on me and it looks terrible on you. Can't
you change into something else?"
"Well I would, I don't have any other clothes with me.
My one change is in the wash."
"Oh is that all the problem is. That's easy."
Rogue grabbed his arm.
"Rogue, what are you doing?"
"We are going shopping..."
In another part of the mansion, Jean Grey put one hand to
her head in confusion.
"What's wrong Jean?" asked Scott.
"I felt a strange disturbance in the astral plane. As
though a single voice had cried out once in pain and anguish
and then been... silenced..."
"Rogue, this really isn't necessary. Truly, I feel fine.
Oh come now, surely this costume is better than that other
red monstrosity I apparently used to wear."
Joseph clung by his fingernails to the door of the mansion.
"Now Joseph, don't go gettin' stubborn on me."
Rogue yanked at his legs. Despite her super-strength she was
having difficulty dislodging him from his grip. She suspected
him of using his magnetic powers to hang on.
Joseph (who was doing exactly that) gritted his teeth and
focused his powers harder, "Shouldn't there be some clothes
from when I used to be a member of the team around someplace?"
"If you think for one second that Ah'm goin' to let
you wear that awful purple... thing ever again you
have got another think comin'! You really want to go through
life with a bucket on your head and an M on your front? Now
quit strugglin' an' let's go already.
With a final yank Rogue pulled Joseph free and grabbed him
by the scruff of the neck. "In the car!" she ordered.
Grumbling under his breath, he obeyed. The car roared off,
Rogue evidently attempting to match the speed she could fly
at in it, and slowly peace re-settled over the mansion. Wolverine
wandered past the open doorway and stared at the deep gouges
left by Joseph's fingernails. "Smart boy. He's learnin'."
Grinning, he walked away.
Joseph let out a breath as Rogue parked the car and stepped
slowly out. He glanced at the dents in the cars before and
behind theirs and wondered if he should pop them back into
the right shape.
"Come on come on! It's shoppin' time!"
With a sigh, Joseph jogged to catch up with Rogue. He felt
awkward, dressed as he was in an old grey tracksuit and rather
resentfully looked at Rogue, who was wearing a long-sleeved
green silk shirt tied loosely over a white t-shirt, with green
leather gloves. She was also wearing a very tight pair
of jeans with knee high black boots. Needless to say, his
resentment didn't last that long with this vision next to
"Here we are!" she announced, "First stop,
the all-American jean store."
"But I'm not Amer.. waaah!" Joseph yelped as she
dragged him inside.
"Can I help you?" a sales assistant walked up to
the pair of them.
"Why yes, muh friend here needs a new pair of jeans.
In fact several new pairs of jeans."
The sales assistant smiled knowingly at Rogue, "Oh I
see. Yours is addicted to sitting around in sloppy tracks
watching the football too huh?"
Rogue sighed, "You said a mouthful girl. Can yuh save
"What size does he take?"
Joseph opened his mouth to answer when Rogue cut in and told
her. He frowned in brief puzzlement, wondering how exactly
she knew what his size was and suddenly turned his attention
back to the conversation when he realised that Rogue was giving
the rest of the order!
"He'll need a pair of semi-formals... in black I think.
Three pairs of blue, straight leg, no stretch. Front and back
"Always in. A classic.." assured the saleslady.
"Alright then, and one pair of work denims, he likes
"Comin' right up."
The assistant went off to fetch the jeans. Joseph found his
"What?" asked Rogue, pushing him towards a changing
"Don't I get to choose what I wear?"
Rogue looked at him blankly, "Why?"
"Well... it's my clothing."
"Sugah, considerin' your past history of clothing,
Ah am doin' you a favour."
"But... but... "
"No but's. Now get into those jeans and let's see how
Rogue followed him into the changing booth and was roughly
shoved out again.
"I can dress myself!" shouted Joseph.
The sales assistant and Rogue shared a look, "Men."
said the saleslady, "They're just like little boys sometimes."
"What would they do without us?" Rogue agreed.
Now dressed in a brand new pair of jeans, Joseph felt slightly
less inconspicuous strolling through town. Now if only his
ears would stop flaming he'd feel fine.
"Okay, and next on the list is shirts and t-shirts."
"Can I order them this time?" Joseph asked
"Alright, but Ah get right of veto." said Rogue
absently. "Here we go." Joseph stared at her as
they wandered into another store, but managed to pull himself
together to order some plain white t-shirts and cotton shirts.
He pulled on one of the t-shirts in the changing rooms and
then tried out the shirts to see which patterns he, or rather
Rogue, liked best. He passed the ones he didn't like out to
her, and she periodically stuck her head in to give advice.
Joseph had gotten comfortable with it now, and was actually
quite enjoying the attention. He absently held out a shirt
through the curtain and waited for Rogue to take it away.
Not feeling anything he poked his head through the curtain
and couldn't see her anywhere. Frowning, he walked out.
"Ah'm in here sugah!" came a muffled voice. Joseph
turned to the changing booth next to his.
"What are you doing in there?" he asked.
"What do you think?"
"Changing?" he guessed.
"No, Ah mean, what do you think?" Rogue pushed
back the curtains and Joseph gaped. She was now wearing one
of the shirts that he'd put aside as a "maybe",
having taken off the t-shirt and tying the ends of the shirt
up around her midriff it looked... great.
"It looks better on you than it does on me!" he
Rogue giggled, "You say the sweetest things. Mind you,
Ah do have an advantage."
"Yeah, two of them," said a leering male from a
nearby set of racks.
Joseph glared at him, as did Rogue, who hmphed and pulled
the curtain back across to get changed. The man grinned at
Joseph and wandered into another changing section nearby.
Joseph waited until he was in there and then, with a touch
of thought, administered the world's first magnetically powered
wedgie. He smiled at the resulting yelp, and then went back
to trying on shirts.
"Rogue, we now have more than enough clothes, are we
done yet?" Joseph asked hopefully.
"Not hardly sugah, there's still a very important item
we need to obtain some of."
"I was afraid of that," he muttered under his breath.
His attention was then caught by a lacy little something hung
at eye level. He jerked his head around in shock and hissed,
"Rogue, we're in the lingerie section!"
"So I'm not really into woman's underwear."
"Well okay then, Ah guess we'll just have to keep movin'
through it till we get to the men's underwear section."
"Oh." Joseph felt slightly releieved. Briefly.
"Okay, now you just go on and get y'self some underthings.
I'll just stay over here," said Rogue, stopping at the
nightclothing. Joseph smiled happily at her - she understood!
Finally, some privacy. Sighing happily to himself he selected
some underwear and went up to the counter to purchase them.
"PLAIN WHITE JOCKEYS???!!!"
Rogue's shriek was clearly audible throughout the store.
Joseph dove for cover behind a rack of dressing gowns as the
heads of every customer swung around to watch and stare. Rogue
marched up to him, "What d'you think you're doin' down
there?" she demanded. Joseph made frantic shushing motions.
"You just put those back right this minute!" She
ordered, "At the very least get black pairs."
Blushing furiously, Joseph returned the underwear and picked
up a few black pairs. He walked back to Rogue, who was standing
by the counter with a salesman, who was grinning sympathetically
at him. Joseph muttered something and shoved the underwear
across the counter to the man. "Is this all?" he
"Sure thing sugah," she assured him, "Now
we just pay and ... oooooohh..... boxer shorts! Satin boxer
shorts." Rogue grabbed a pair of Bugs Bunny boxers and
began stroking them. "Ah love satin!"
"Now there's a hint if ever I saw one," said the
salesman, grinning at Joseph.
Joseph sighed, "I fear so. Five pairs please."
No matter that I couldn't possibly wear them under my costume,
he added mentally.
Rogue reluctantly relinquished her grasp on the shorts as
they, and four others with different designs, were packed
away. While waiting, Rogue's eye was caught by something else
and she snapped her fingers.
"Oh yeah! We forgot nightclothes!" she darted to
the nightwear section, Joseph following. "Here, how about
this pair of pajamas?"
Joseph held the items at arms length, his expression one
"It's got teddybears on it Rogue," he said
"Ah know! They're so cute!"
"Cute is not the word."
"Well then how about these bunny rabbits?"
"Okay, okay. Suns, moons and stars?"
Joseph pushed them away, "Look Rogue, this really isn't
necessary, I don't wear anything in bed anyway and... I do
not believe I just yold you that!!!"
Rogue was staring at him, lips twitching, obviously just
dying to say something risque.
"Look, how about these?" Joseph grabbed a pair
of black satin pajamas from behind him.
"Oooooooohhhh..." Rogue's eyes went wide.
"And look! There's a matching green pair!"
"Ooh ooh ooh oooo oooo mine mine mine mine mine!"
Rogue ran off, and Joseph collapsed in relief.
"Is there anything we've forgotten?" Joseph asked
"Shoes." said Rogue.
"Very well, shoes I can deal with." said Joseph.
After all, he thought, you couldn't get much more sensible
"Joseph look! The perfect boots for you!"
"Which boots?" he asked, hoping that he was wrong.
"You are, I presume, referring to those thigh high black
leather boots in the window over there."
"The ones in-between the whip and the gag display?"
Joseph took another look at the boots, "Rogue. I am
not going into that store."
"Rogue. I. Am. Not. Going. Into. That. Store.
I don't care how much you sulk, how loud you yell or whether
or not you do your 'wounded puppy-dog eyes' at me, I am _not_
going in there... Rogue?" Joseph looked around. She'd
disappeared at some point in the distribe. Just then she came
bouncing out of the store.
"They're the wrong size for you," she told him,
Grabbing his arm, she led him off.
"By the way Rogue, how is it that you know all my sizes?"
he asked as they walked together, "And does it have anything
to do with the fact that after the last wash my clothes came
back tinted pink and my jeans had shrunk two sizes?"
In yet another store, Rogue handed Joseph a small piece of
material, "Here, try this on."
Joseph looked at it, "Rogue, how do you try on a handkerchief?"
Rogue snorted with laughter, "Joseph, that's a pair
of swimming togs!" [Or whatever the American word
for swimwear is. They're a pair of speedos okay? Jae.]
Joseph stared at the swimwear, and then with a heavy heart
turned towards the changing rooms.
"Are you done yet?" Rogue called through the door.
"Well it didn't exactly take long to put them on!"
Joseph yelled back.
"Then come out."
Joseph stared at his reflection in horror, in the mirror
he could see that his entire body was blushing.
"Are you comin' out? Or do I have to come in and drag
you out by your hair?"
Joseph shuffled out.
"Turn around," Rogue ordered.
"Do I have to?"
"But there's such a cute l'il design on the front."
Joseph turned to face her, and for the first time all afternoon
got to see Rogue struck speechless. Her jaw dropped as she
stared at him and went bright red.
"mommy buy me that..." she whispered involuntarily.
"Pardon?" asked Joseph.
"N-nothing... I think we'll take those."
"You don't want me to try anything else?" Joseph
couldn't believe that he'd gotten off so lightly. He turned
and walked back into the changing room. Rogue watched him
Laden down, with packages obscuring his eyesight, Joseph
stumbled along following the click of Rogue's heels. It's
over, he thought in relief, I can go home and crash, thank
Joseph dropped the parcels and ran to Rogue's side, "What
happened? Are you in pain?"
"Yes. Pain of the best kind." She pointed at a
nearby boutique window. " D'you see that dress, ain't
"Do you see that price tag - isn't it a bit high?"
"Joseph, Joseph ya won't ever get the hang of this if
y'all don't go with the impulse."
"Charge!" cried Rogue and made a bee-line for the
boutique. Joseph whimpered slightly, picked up the packages
and followed. He entered and saw that Rogue, in all of six
seconds, had filled her arms with the dress, and a few other
"Now you just wait there sugah," she said. "Ah'll
be out soon."
Rogue dashed into the changing rooms. Joseph leant against
the counter and sighed. One of the saleswomen smiled at him.
"Your girlfriend is very beautiful."
"Uh... she's not... we're not..." Joseph struggled
for a minute and then decided that trying to explain the exact
nature of his relationship with Rogue would take far too long.
"Yes she is beautiful," he answered.
"Um excuse me," someone touched his shoulder. He
turned around and saw a boy, about sixteen or seventeen standing
behind him. The boy had a large backpack with an umbrella
on it strapped to his back, and a yellow bandanna held his
dark hair back.
"Umm... you wouldn't be able to tell me how to get to
Furinkan High School would you?" he held up a map.
Joseph looked at the map, "This is Tokyo! In Japan!"
"Yes, of course it is," snapped the boy.
"But we're in Westchester, in the United States!"
"Aaaaagh! I'm really lost this time!" the boy ran
out of the store.
Joseph frowned, what a weird kid! Still, he was hardly
one to throw stones.
"Um, excuse me."
"What now?" he rounded on the speaker.
"Oh..." the girl behind him flinched.
"I'm sorry," apologised Joseph, "Can I help
"Yes, could you give me your opinion of this outfit?"
she indicated what she was wearing.
Joseph blinked, "It's... it's nice... why are you asking
"Oh, I just need a male opinion. My boyfriend _refused_
to come with me."
"Smart man," muttered Joseph.
"So you like it?"
"Sure." Joseph backed away, and his arm was seized
by another girl.
"Hey, can you tell my sister that she looks awful?"
"I do not!"
"Yes you do! And he can tell you - he's a man."
"Excuse me mister, do you think my husband will like
"Does this dress make me look fat?"
"This isn't too small - is it?"
"Go on tell her, she looks like garbage!"
"Shut up! Please, it's fine isn't it?"
Joseph found himself backed up against a wall with a crowd
of women around him all asking for his opinion on their outfits.
As he looked frantically around he noticed that he was the
ONLY male in the ENTIRE shop.
"Uh ladies... I..." Joseph broke away and headed
for the door. A woman strutted out of the changing room wearing
a very tight, very short black dress.
"Hey you," she pointed at Joseph, "What do
you say?" she posed.
Joseph's jaw dropped, "Y-you look stunning!"
"Oh does she now sugah?" a low deadly voice murmured
in his ear.
Joseph gulped, I'm doomed, he thought.
"You don't think she's better looking than me do
you?" Rogue's fingers ran up and down Joseph's sides.
"Agh! Rogue don't do that," hissed Joseph.
"What's that? Hmmm... y'all haven't mentioned if ya
like mah dress."
"Oh I love it!"
"You haven't seen it," Rogue jabbed her
fingers into Joseph's side and shoved him into a rack of shirts...
Joseph untangled himself from the shirts and winced when
he saw Rogue standing in front of him, and expression of wrath
on her face. He winced further when he saw that the crowd
of women had not dispersed and they were all staring at him.
Joseph got to his feet, "Rogue..." he began, then
stopped when he really got a look at the dress she was wearing.
Green (big surprise), low cut and tight, it hugged her figure
perfectly. Joseph stared and forgot all about the girl in
Rogue beamed, "How sweet! Thanks for the compliment."
Joseph eyed her warily, was he off the hook?
"So, have you finished?" he asked.
Rogue's eyes opened wide, "Hardly! Ah've got a few other
things to show you."
"Just a few? Not a lot?"
"Joseph, trust me."
Two hours later:
"Alright, we have more clothes than I really want to
think about, is there anything we missed?"
"It's okay, we just need formal clothes. Right, this
is the store, come on!"
The atmosphere of the store was extremely oppressive. An
arrogant salesman bore down on them. "Monsieur, mademoiselle,
may I be of assistance?" His eyes took in their casual
clothes and narrowed in disgust.
"Yes," said Rogue brightly, "Mah friend requires
"I do?" murmured Joseph.
"This way sir. We have the finest selection in the country."
the salesman led them forward, "Not that you'd know you
couchon," he muttered under his breath. For the first
time ever, Joseph wished Gambit was there to translate. They
reached the rack of tuxedos and accessories.
Rogue leapt forward and grabbed one. "How about this?"
"That's an Armani Mademoiselle. Not what our usual
customers ask for."
Rogue grinned at him, showing all her teeth, "And from
what sewers do they come from?" she asked sweetly.
The man sputtered, Joseph stepped forward and towered over
him, all his muscles bulging obviously through his tight t-shirt.
The salesman backed down rather hurriedly.
Rogue shoved a tuxedo at Joseph and frowned, "We need
something more... ah!" She grabbed four items from the
accessory shelf; a top hat, a cane, a pair of white gloves
and a cape. "Here."
Joseph was baffled, to put it mildly, "What's this?"
"Just try it on."
He went into the changing room and did so, then walked out.
Rogue leapt forward, "Your tie's not right!" She
grabbed it and tightened it.
"Madame, I think he's choking."
Joseph pulled away with an effort and looked at himself in
the mirror. "I think the cane and cape are a bit much."
"No, it's perfect!" Rogue protested. She grabbed
a mask from the masquerade section, "Here - this completes
Joseph stared at the mask, "Now I know where I remember
"Yes, isn't it wonderful!"
"Just don't change your hairstyle," he said. Then
threw the mask away, "There is no way that I am wearing
"Awwww... but I have this really cute sailor suit...
it would be perfect."
"In words of one syllable - no way."
Rogue sniffled, "Ah think y'all're being awfully negative
The salesman looked reproachfully at Joseph, "Ah monsieur,
how could you make a woman cry?"
"But... but... Rogue, face it, you want real quality.
And this doesn't do either of us justice! Besides, it only
works in Japan."
"Hmmm..." Rogue considered, "Okay, but keep
"I thought you hated my other cape!"
"Oh I liked the cape, it was the rest of the outfit
"Riiight." Joseph looked at the price tag, gagged,
and grabbed Rogue's hand.
"This is extremely expensive," he hissed.
"Don't worry sugah, Ah've got it covered." she
"Just where is this money coming from? Because I warn
you now I'm no good at washing dishes, I break them!"
"So that's what that heap of broken plates in the kitchen
Rogue shrugged, "Anyway, here's the money," she
pulled out an American Express Gold card.
Joseph gaped, "Where did you get that?"
Rogue beamed, "16th birthday present from Mystique -
"But she's a criminial! Where would she get all... no,
I thought you were a good guy!"
"Ah am. So?"
"I can't believ I'm hanging out with a woman who's committing
"Look who's talking!"
Joseph conceded the point, "Well anyway, how about that
"You didn't even look at it!"
"Ah don't have to, Ah know you. It's purple isn't
"Uhh... why don't you pick something out?"
"Ah knew you'd see it mah way."
"One more stop," said Rogue, "Ah just have
to get a bracelet to go with mah new dress."
"That doesn't sounds too painful," muttered Joseph.
They entered an exclusive and extremely expensive jewellery
shop. Rogue selected a gold charm bracelet and took it to
the counter. Unfortunately her card was rejected.
"I'm sorry miss," said the salesgirl in a most
offensive manner, "Your credit limit has been reached."
"WHAT?!!!" Rogue's voice reached octaves Joseph
had never heard before. Tears sprang to her eyes. "This
has never happened to me!"
Joseph blinked, "You've never done this? Amazing!"
"Oh shut up," she smiled nervously at the salesgirl.
"Could you just hold the bracelet while I make a phone
"To the bank?" asked Joseph.
"No, to the person who gave me the card!"
"I've got a bad feeling about this."
Five minutes later, at the X-Factor complex in Virginia,
Wildchild answered the phone, "Yeah?"
"Um, can ah speak to Mystique?"
"Okay, are you sure about that?"
"Just quit the comedy an get her, it's urgent."
Wildchild spotted Mystique walking down the hall, "Hey,
phone for you."
Mystique picked up the phone, "Thanks ugly."
"Oh don't mention it."
"Hello?" she said into the phone.
"Ah went over my credit limit!"
"I see, and this is the only way I can get you to call.
Is it so hard to write a letter? Even a postcard would be
nice," Mystique sighed, "But the younger generation
"Would you cut it out?" Rogue begged, "Y'see,
Ah've been buyin' clothes for Joseph..."
"Who's Joseph? Last time I heard it was Remy."
"You remember Joseph - before Onslaught?"
[Mystique met Joseph and Rogue in _A Match Made..?_. Jae.]
"You're still with him? That's quite a record isn't
"Do you mind? Please, Ah need my credit. There's this
"Couldn't you just steal it?"
"Ah can't do that! Ah'm a hero!"
"Sure, defraud them with fake credit but you can't steal!"
"It's the principle of the thing!"
"Okay, alright, give me ten minutes, I'll do it for
"Thanks Momma, Ah promise to write!"
"Yeah, sure," Mystique put down the phone, "Kids
today, no gratitude. They've got no idea what it means
to earn money."
Sabretooth was walking past the door at that moment and overheard,
"You earnt money?!" he asked incredulously.
"Sure, when I was in the secret service."
"You stole someone elses identity and took their pay!"
"Yeah, but I was spending time with you. I should've
been paid double!"
Rogue pulled the car into the driveway of the mansion and
headed for her usual parking space (whereever the hell she
felt like parking). Joseph stumbled out of the car the minute
it stopped and sat down on the grass.
"I'm back... I'm safe." he breathed.
"Joseph! Help me get these clothes into the mansion!"
Rogue called. He sighed and grabbed the rest of the packages
and boxes. The pair of them made it inside the mansion but
couldn't face the stairs and so flew to their rooms. Joseph
collapsed the second he was over the threshold of his room
and lay on the floor.
"Joseph? Are you alright?" asked Storm, who had
seen the pair entering and come to see what had happened.
"I think so," he said doubtfully, "We've been
"So I see," said Storm, stifling a smile, "But
why didn't you just use the Shi'ar machines downstairs to
create clothing for yourself?"
"The... what?! You mean we could have stayed here
and made the clothing?" Joseph demanded.
"Yes, but it wouldn't have been as much fun sugah,"
said Rogue from behind Storm. She pushed past and nudged Joseph
with her foot, "Besides, we wanted ordinary clothing,
so we might as well go to ordinary clothes stores. Now
however we have to do something about that costume of
yours. You desperately need a new one."
"You mean..?" Joseph turned over and stared at
her in horror.
"It ain't over yet sugah! Up and at'em, it's time for
your spandex fitting!"
Comments to Jaelle@ihug.co.nz
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