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"The Archetype Association"

The Archetype Association

Author's Notes
Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4
Chapter 5
Chapter 6
Chapter 7
Chapter 8
Chapter 9
Chapter 10
Chapter 11
Chapter 12
Chapter 13
Chapter 14
Chapter 15
Chapter 16
Chapter 17
Chapter 18
Chapter 19
Chapter 20
Chapter 21
Chapter 22
Chapter 23
Chapter 24
Chapter 25
Chapter 26
Chapter 27
Chapter 28
Chapter 29
Chapter 30
Chapter 31
Chapter 32
Chapter 33
Chapter 34
Chapter 35
Chapter 36
Chapter 37
Chapter 38
Chapter 39
Chapter 40
Chapter 41
Chapter 42
Chapter 43
Chapter 44
Chapter 45
Chapter 46
Chapter 47
Chapter 48
Chapter 49


She awoke very gradually, dream and reality intermingling almost imperceptibly. She had the sensation of floating - not flying, she realized, because she wasn't going anywhere in particular. She really couldn't see anything, but she could hear a murmur all around her, which reminded her of the atmosphere of a church, or of a concert hall prior to the performance. She felt warm, safe, and comfortable. The murmur, rather than seeming threatening, was like the unintelligible but comforting sounds that a mother makes to her child.


She snapped awake instantly, and the whispering in her head was silenced abruptly. She slapped the button on the intercom on her night stand. "Here, Hank," she replied. "How's Archetype?"

"Come down and see for yourself."

Rogue scrambled into a pair of jeans and hurried down to the infirmary. She found Henry seated at one of the consoles, surrounded by paper printouts, with his head in his hands. "What's wrong?" she asked, worried.

Henry pointed to the closed door of the recovery room. "That man is going to drive me to drink," he growled.

Rogue grimaced. "That bad?"

"He was juggling the bedpans an hour ago."

"Why don't you get some rest yourself?" she asked him.

"I'm about to hit the sack. The Professor relieves me in a few minutes."

"Can I go talk to him?"

"If you're up to it. How do you feel?"

"A lot better. The rest did me some good. I had a really weird dream, though."

"Let me guess. You were floating around in a dark place, and there was whispering all around you."

She stared at him. "How did you know that?"

"Because Charles and I both had the same dream, and I'd bet good money that some of the others here did, too."

Rogue glanced at the door. "You think he's responsible?"

"I'm not sure. Take a look at this," he said, pulling a sheet of paper out of the pile in front of him. "This is an analysis of his EKG patterns while he was out. They're a bit incomplete because of that scrambling field he emits. Ororo and Warren came down earlier to check on him, and I did scans on them for a baseline analysis."


"Well, I think you'd have to see it to understand it." He turned to a computer terminal and brought up a display. "I asked both of them to take a brief nap while I scanned their brain waves. While they were asleep, parts of their patterns were identical. When I woke them up, they both reported having the same dream that you did."

"Okay," she said, "somehow he's influencing our dreams. Next question - why?"

"I've got two guesses. Either we're picking up some sort of psychic echo of his healing state..."

"Or?" she prompted.

Henry grimaced. "The 'or' gets stickier. Ever since he got here, I've been reading all the material on Jungian psychology I can find."


"Well, after I came up for air, I came up with a theory that's a bit out in left field. It's possible that our dreams are part of an effort to aid his healing process."

Rogue frowned. "From who?"

"The collective consciousness."

She looked at him. "You're kidding, right?"

He shrugged. "It fits in with both Jungian theory and the available evidence. My best guess, cornball though it may be, is that his mind was placed in some sort of... I don't know, protective custody, I guess, while his body was given a chance to heal."

"Have you talked with him about it yet?"

"I'll do it after I get some sleep." He looked at his desk and grimaced. "Maybe I should clean up before Charles gets here."

"Good idea." She walked over to the recovery room door and tapped lightly.

"Come in," she heard. She opened the door to find Archetype sitting up in bed, surrounded by books. His face, while still somewhat drawn, had regained a bit of its vitality, and had a cheerful expression. That expression faded, however, when he saw who had entered.

"I seem to be apologizing to you a lot lately," he said. "I'm sorry that you had to go through that."

"I stopped being angry a few hours ago. Now I just want to know why."

His face became troubled. "I wish I could give you a straight answer, but to be honest, the best one that I can give you is that those events took place in the time when they were supposed to happen."

"Wait a minute," she said, as she settled down in a chair, "are you saying that what happened was... I don't know... predestined?"

"I wouldn't call it predestination as much as I would... appropriateness. Sometimes, I find that circumstances in my life reach a state where my options all reach the same conclusion - where all the paths lead to the same destination. At that point, the actions that I take are almost incidental to the event itself." He paused. "Did that make any sort of sense?"

"You're saying that you're sort of... bound by necessity?"

"That's a good way of putting it," he said approvingly. Suddenly he yawned.

"Should I let you get back to sleep?" she said tentatively.

"I think I'd better have something to eat first. Just what time is it?"

"It's about eight in the morning. I haven't eaten yet, either. I'll cook us both breakfast. What do you want?"

He thought a moment. "Can you manage a chicken-fried steak?"

She smiled. "I haven't made that in years. How about eggs and hash browns on the side, with country gravy?"

"Sounds divine."

"Be back in a bit. Want coffee?"

He made a face. "Never touch the stuff."

"But you've been making coffee for breakfast every day."

"Just because I make it, that doesn't mean I drink it."

She laughed. "Back in a bit."

Warren and Elizabeth walked into what had been the kitchen the last time they had checked.

"What in the world..." Warren whispered.

Flour, eggshells, and cooking oil were strewn all over the room. Piles of diced potatoes and onions were lumped right next to the stove, where Rogue was frantically waving a spatula over a smoking pan.

"Who attacked?" Elizabeth asked.

Rogue glared at her. "Not... one... word."

"Is there anything we can do to help?" Warren asked.

Rogue fumed for a moment, then pulled a twenty dollar bill out of her pocket. "Two things. You know that truck stop down the highway?"

"Yeah, why?"

"Bring back two orders of chicken fried steak, with gravy, eggs, and hash browns, as fast as you can."

"Okay," Warren said, taking the money. "What's the second thing?"

"Never... ever... breathe a word of this to Archetype."

Two days later, Henry gave Archetype a clean bill of health, but cautioned him to "take it easy for at least a week."

"I'm fine, Doctor McCoy," was the reply.

"No, you're not," Henry said sternly. "You're still slightly malnourished, and your muscles, for all they've healed, are still pretty weak. If you just jump back into your normal routine, you'll land right back in that bed."

"In any case," Xavier added, "you need time to recover from the incident."

Archetype looked at him suspiciously. "What exactly do you mean?"

"You are being placed on a leave of absence until we feel that you are fit to return to duty."

Archetype groaned. "Oh, please, don't do that. I'll go crazy if all I have to do around here is sit around twiddling my thumbs."

"You don't have to stay here," Xavier informed him. "Look on this as a vacation. You have been working pretty hard lately."

"All right," Archetype replied glumly. "Are there any restrictions on traveling for me?"

Xavier and Henry looked at each other, then shook their heads. "No. Do you have anything in mind?"

"No. I'll just take the next international flight out of JFK and wing it from there."

"How soon would you leave?"

He shrugged. "I could be out of here in an hour and a half. Just give me a chance to pack and get some money together."

"Why not just use plastic?" Henry asked.

"I like to get lost when I travel. If I use plastic, then anybody who knows their way around a computer could trace my movements."

"How much do you carry with you at any one time?"

"Depends on the situation. I'll probably keep it down to about ten grand for this trip."

"Oh, gee, is that all?" Henry said dryly.

Archetype smiled thinly. "I like to pamper myself when I'm on vacation - I don't take one very often. I tend to take the four-star hotel circuit."

"Do you have a destination in mind?" Xavier asked.

"I usually just look at what flights are going to Europe and take the next available plane."

"All right," Xavier said, "you should get packing. I want you gone for at least two weeks."

Archetype's face became mournful. "And I thought you were starting to like me," he said in a mock-sorrowful voice.

Xavier glared at him. "Get going," he said in an even voice.

After Archetype had left the room, Xavier and Henry looked at each other. "Do you think he'll take it easy?" Henry asked.

"Given what we've seen of his personality so far, not a chance."

"Great. So how do we keep him out of trouble?"

Archetype came out of the elevator, carrying two large suitcases, a flight bag, and a suit bag, trying to recall whether he had forgotten anything.

"What took you so long?"

He looked up to find Rogue standing in the doorway, next to a stack of luggage. "What in the hell do you think you're doing?" he asked.

"I'm going with you," she replied.

"You most certainly are not!"

"Oh, yes, she is," Xavier said as he emerged from the ante room.

"I do not need a chaperone, Xavier," Archetype said between gritted teeth.

"To put it bluntly, Mister Riley, I don't think that you're going to follow doctor's orders. Rogue is going along to make sure that you actually get some rest."

"And how, pray tell," he asked, turning to Rogue, "are you planning to do that?"

Rogue took hold of his belt buckle and lifted him up about three feet. "Punching you out if you give me any grief comes to mind," she told him.

"So much for the Hippocratic Oath," Archetype muttered.

Bobby drove them to JFK, and Archetype walked straight to the arrivals and departures board. "See if you can find the next flight going to Europe," he told Rogue.

After scanning the board for a moment, she replied, "There's an Aer Lingus to Shannon in an hour and a half."

He nodded and went to the Aer Lingus booth in the reservations wing. "I would like two adjoining seats in business class for your flight to Shannon."

The clerk behind the counter tapped at his keyboard for a moment. "Yes, sir. How will you be paying?"

"That will be cash."

"Will this be round-trip, sir?"

Rogue saw Archetype think about it for a moment. "What's your time limit for claiming the return trip?"

"Thirty days, sir."

"All right, I'll take that, then."

After they had checked their luggage in, Archetype walked over to the airport shops. "I'm going to need a survival pack," he told Rogue.

"What's a survival pack?"

"Snacks, books, magazines... anything to keep me from going crazy from boredom. Do you want anything? You've got a blank check here, so take advantage of it."

"No problem," Rogue replied. Five minutes later, they each had a largish stack of books, magazines, and candies at the checkout counter.

"Anything else?" the cashier asked.

"I don't think I could fit anything else in my bag," Archetype replied. He looked at Rogue. "Care for a bite before we leave?"

"Sounds good to me," Rogue said. "How about there?" She pointed to a pizza booth across the airport lobby. Five minutes later, they were both munching on pizza and soda.

"Mind if I ask a question?" Archetype asked her. She shook her head. "Where do you find all your gloves? I must have seen you with twelve different pairs since I met you."

"I usually get them at Bloomingdales. Why are you always wearing gloves?"

"I have a few reasons," he replied evasively.

"You're not going to tell me, are you?"

"Not quite yet." He glanced at his watch. "We'd better start out for the gate." They polished off their food and left.

As they approached the gate, Rogue stopped suddenly, her eyes widening. "Oh, no," she wailed.

"What's wrong?" Archetype asked her.

"I just realized I forgot my passport!"

He frowned for a moment. "Come with me," he said sternly, moving back to the shops. He turned into a side hall suddenly, pulling her along by the elbow. Everything went dark for a moment, and she found herself back in the foyer of the mansion.

"Well," Archetype said impatiently, "hurry up and get the thing!"

"Right," she said quickly, and flew up to her room at breakneck speed. She grabbed her passport from her dresser and hurried out the door, nearly running into Ororo.

Ororo jumped back, startled. "I thought you were at the airport."

"Long story," Rogue gasped. "Gotta go!" She raced back down the stairs, where Archetype was nervously looking at his watch. "Got it!" she cried.

"Let's go, then." He grabbed her jacket again, and she found herself back at the airport. They went through the gate, gave their tickets to the clerk, and boarded the plane.

"Do you want the window or aisle seat?" he asked her.

"Mind if I take the window? the pilot in me likes to see what's below me when I fly."

"No problem." They belted themselves into their seats and waited for the cabin light to go off. Once it did, Archetype took his bag from the overhead compartment and selected a book. As he replaced the bag, he glanced at Rogue. "Do you want your bag yet?" he asked her.

She shook her head. "I think I'll just take a quick nap. Can you wake me up in a while?"

"Sure, but wait a minute before you do." He got up and walked towards the back of the business class section. When he came back, he was holding a pillow and blanket. "Here you go," he said, handing them to her.

"Why, thank you," she said, touched. She placed the pillow against the wall, wrapped herself in the blanket, and was asleep in a few seconds.

A few minutes later, it seemed to her, she was gently shaken awake. "Rogue," Archetype's voice said quietly, "time to eat."

She yawned, stretching. "How long was I out?"

"About four hours. Do you want the chicken-flavored cardboard or the beef-flavored cardboard?"

"Let's go with the chicken. I had beef-flavored cardboard with the pizza."

The meal, which was actually quite good, was served a few minutes later. "Where will we be stopping first?" she asked him.

"I think we'll go to Dublin first, wander around a while. Think you can handle driving an Irish car?"

"Let me guess. Wheel's on the right, drive on the left?"

"Just like in England," he confirmed.

They both turned their attention back to their books, and soon they heard the pilot announcing the landing. Forty minutes later, they had passed through customs and had rented a car.

"How long will it take us to get to Dublin?" Rogue asked as they drove off.

"Three to four hours, depending on traffic. Just take your time. We aren't on any sort of timetable here."

She nodded. "What's on the agenda once we get there?"

"Well, I'll have to stop at my bank first and exchange some of my cash. Then I suppose we'll find a good hotel."

She stared at him. "You mean you didn't make any reservations?"

"None of you gave me any time. Besides, I've never had any problem with getting a room when I need one."

"Why's that?"

He smiled that chill smile again. "Despite my age, Rogue, I'm an old-fashioned gentleman, which means that, when circumstances demand it, I'm the nastiest son of a bitch that you'll ever meet. I'll make them so miserable that they'll give us two rooms just to shut me up."

She smiled, then looked at him. "Why two rooms?"

Archetype looked startled for a moment, then became flustered. "Well, I... that is, I thought..."

Rogue laughed. "I'm just joking. What do you want to do about dinner?"

"Lunch, actually. We've lost a few hours, remember? We'll find a good restaurant after we check in." He yawned. "Then I'm going to crash for a few hours."

"Why didn't you sleep on the plane?"

"I can't sleep in a chair. Tomorrow I'll take care of some business in Dublin. I can show you the shopping district, if you like."

Rogue's face brightened at that. "I've got a feeling that I'm going to max out my Visa on this trip."

"It's all on me. Consider it compensation for playing baby-sitter," he told her, noting her look of surprise.

"I think I'm going to enjoy this," she said, smiling.

"We aim to please."

Archetype handed Rogue an envelope as he walked out of the bank. "Two thousand punts," he told her. "If you need more, just ask."

"Thanks," she said, slipping it inside her jacket. "Which way to the hotel?"

"Down six blocks then take a left."

Ten minutes later, they walked into the lobby of the Shelbourne Hotel. "Good morning," he said to the concierge, "we would like two adjoining suites, please."

The clerk looked them both up and down. "Perhaps, sir," he said in a haughty tone, "you might wish to try another establishment."

Archetype's face hardened, and Rogue was fairly certain that she felt the air crackle. "Perhaps, sir, you might wish to reevaluate that statement." He reached into his back pocket, pulled out his wallet, and removed a credit card, which he showed to the clerk. Rogue watched with interest as the clerk's eyes widened and his face blanched.

"Let's start over, shall we?" Archetype said coldly. "We would like two adjoining suites, please."

"Y-Yes, sir."

"We will be paying on a daily basis. We will call if we require anything. Beyond that, we are not to be disturbed. Is that clear?"

"Yes, sir."

"Excellent. Get someone to see to our bags." Fifteen seconds later, a bellhop was loading their luggage onto a cart and leading them to the elevator.

"What kind of card was that one you showed him?" Rogue asked quietly as they ascended.

"Bank of Ireland Platinum Card," he replied. "Millionaires only."

She nodded. "Why'd you get so cold on him?"

"I didn't like his attitude."

As they entered their rooms, Archetype handed a fifty punt bill to the bellhop. "Thank you very much for your help," he told the young man. "Tell me, what's the best restaurant in this part of town?"

"That would be Coffees, sir."

"Would they be open right now?"

"Yes, sir."

He looked at Rogue. "Could you be ready to leave in forty-five minutes?"

"No problem." She entered her room and gasped. It was huge - easily three times the size of her room at the mansion. She quickly composed herself, undressed, and took a quick shower, deciding that, given the size of the tub, the suite was intended for two guests. She promised herself a nice, hot bath later that night.

Forty-five minutes later, she was putting on the last of her makeup when she heard a knock at the door which adjoined the two suites. She unlocked and opened the door, letting Archetype in.

"Ready?" he asked. He wore a tweed ensemble in various shades of grey.

"Just finished," she replied. "How do I look?"

"Enchanting," he assured her. She wore a white blouse with a kelly green jacket, white hose, and a green-and-white striped ankle-length pleated skirt. "Shall we get going? I got the address of the restaurant from the front desk. It's only a few minutes' walk from here."

"All right." She made sure that she had her keycard, and they left her suite and entered the elevator. "What exactly was that business with that guy at the front desk?" she asked as they descended.

"I had just decided what my role is going to be," he said.

"I don't get it."

"Well, we could have gone to another hotel pretty easily, but I just wasn't in the mood. So, as far as this hotel is concerned, I'm a rich bastard who wants everything done his way and done immediately." He frowned for a moment. "Remind me to make one or two calls to the desk and complain about something trivial."

"You're enjoying this, aren't you?"

"Immensely." They stepped out of the elevator and crossed the lobby to the entrance. As they passed the front desk, Rogue noticed that Archetype fixed the clerk with a cold glare.

As they walked down the streets, Rogue noticed that most of the buildings that they were passing were older, and said so.

"This part of the city didn't see much fighting during the Rebellion," he replied. "The area we're going into is a bit more recent." He proved true to his word, as brownstones soon gave way to skyscrapers.

"There's the floozy," he said absently at one point.

"Excuse me?"

"Hm? Oh," he said, pointing to a nearby fountain, which housed a stylized statue of a nude woman. "That statue's known locally as 'The floozy in the Jaccuzi'. The Irish, as a general rule, aren't too fond of modern art."

Ten minutes later, they walked into Coffees. "Reservation for two under 'Riley', please," Archetype informed the maiter'd.

"Of course sir. If you'll please follow me?" He led them to a small booth in the corner, handed them their menus, and left them alone for a moment.

Rogue frowned as she looked at the menu. "I don't see any prices."

"This is the type of place where if you have to ask the price, you can't afford it."

"Oh." After studying the menu for a moment, she decided on chicken stuffed with wild rice, while Archetype chose the filet mignon. Rogue also requested the wine list, which surprised Archetype. "You just haven't struck me as a drinker," he said.

She shrugged. "I'm on vacation and feel like relaxing. Besides, my body burns alcohol out of my system pretty quickly. One glass of wine isn't going to do much to me. Why?" she asked with a twinkle in her eye. "Are you considering taking advantage of me if I get wasted?"

He drew himself up. "I am a gentleman, madam. Besides, you're stronger than I am."

She chuckled. "Where do you want to go after this?"

Archetype rubbed his chin thoughtfully. "How about getting some shopping done? I need to pick up a few things, and there are a few antique stores that I frequent in the area. After that, I'll show you where some of the boutiques are." He was interrupted by the waiter, who brought them their drinks, salads and a hot loaf of bread. "Dublin isn't exactly Paris, but there are a few fashionable places around here." He tore off a piece of the bread and buttered it. "Is there anything in particular that you want to see?" he asked as he sipped at his sparkling cider.

Rogue shook her head. "Not really. Any objection if we just wander around and window shop?"

"None. I like to window shop, actually. It gives me an opportunity to find things that I wouldn't intentionally seek out. You haven't seen my bric-a-brac collection yet. I keep all sorts of little treasures scattered all over the world. I'll warn you though: if we stop at a bookstore, we'll be there a while. I tend to grow roots when I'm in one."

"I'll make sure to throw you across the street if we pass one, then."

"Thanks," he said dryly.

"No charge."

Their first stop turned out to be a men's clothing shop, where Archetype requested a fitting for a suit. Fortunately, it was a slow day, and the tailor had him on a stool within minutes, measuring him from every angle. Archetype requested that a vest be included with the suit, and offered the tailor a bonus if it could be ready within twenty-four hours. The deal having been struck, he and Rogue left and went to the nearest antique store, where he purchased a nineteenth-century Scottish dirk.

The next two hours were all Rogue's, as they were spent in one of the women's boutiques that Archetype had mentioned earlier. Rogue entertained herself by trying on a series of progressively more cutting-edge outfits. "Well, what do you think?" she said to Archetype as she posed in a black bustier with elbow-length gloves and a floor-length skirt slit up to waist level.

Archetype's face was impassive. "I'd advise against wearing it to a job interview."

Rogue stuck her tongue out at him.

Later, they spent an hour or so inside a used book store, where Archetype bought a largish stack of books. "Do you feel up to a black tie situation?" he asked Rogue as they left. "There's a charity function tonight, and it would be a good idea for me to show my face for a night. I haven't been seen in Dublin social circles for a while, and an appearance with a mysterious young woman will set tongues wagging. Besides, we get a good meal out of the deal." He looked at his watch. "It doesn't start until nine. Why don't we head back to the hotel and rest up before we go?"

"Okay," Rogue replied, "but I'll need to get in to see a hair stylist."

"There's a salon in the hotel," he informed her. Then he frowned. "Wait a minute. If you're invulnerable, how can you get your hair cut?"

"I have a power dampener in my suitcase."

"Oh," he said. "Next stupid question: if you have access to a power dampener, why not use it all the time? I've talked with Bobby, and I know how much grief your powers have given you."

Rogue was silent for quite some time. When she spoke again, her voice was much quieter, almost a whisper. "I've got lots of reasons, but two of them are the most important. First, being exposed to a dampening field for long periods of time can be dangerous. It's a lot like living next to a power line. It doesn't do much short term, but the long term effect is damage to the nervous system. I don't want to take that risk."

"I see," Archetype said feelingly. He looked at her closely. "You don't have to talk about this if you don't want to," he said gently.

"That's okay," she said, smiling slightly. "It's been a while since I've talked about it, and I need to get it out of my system once in a while. The second reason?" She looked up at him, defiance flashing through her tear-stained eyes. "The second reason is that I'm selfish. I will find a way to control my powers, and I'll do it without relying on some damn electronic crutch."

Archetype smiled gently, and slowly cupped her chin in his gloved hand. "There's a brave girl," he said affectionately. "Don't let them keep you down." He reached into his back pocket and handed her a handkerchief, which she used to dry her eyes.

Rogue looked at him gratefully for a moment, then, acting on impulse, wrapped her arms around him and hugged him tightly. When she let him go, he straightened his clothes out and looked at her. "Shall we get ready for the party?"



Continued in Chapter 12


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