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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


The King's Inns Club was one of Dublin's most prestigious social clubs, having been founded by many of the prominent leaders of post-revolutionary Ireland. It was housed in a seventeenth-century Georgian mansion which, thought Rogue, rivaled the school in size. The front entrance was busily receiving a long series of limousines and luxury cars, from which tuxedoed men and gowned ladies emerged.

"All set to dazzle the upper crust?" Archetype asked Rogue from the shadows of an alley near the club.


His mouth twitched in amusement. "Feel like having a bit of fun?"

She looked at him, eyes narrowed. "What are you planning?"

"I haven't been seen around here in a while, so people will probably think that I've been abroad. Can you exaggerate your accent a bit?"

Rogue's eyes widened. "Accent? Why, suh, Ah don't have a clue whut yow're talkin' abowt."

"Perfect. Now, here's the plan..."

"Well, suh, mah daddy, bein' in the oil business and all, was a mite curious abowt just whut my Willie was doin' here in Europe. So we just jumped on one of my daddy's planes and came over here, an' bein' here is just so much fun, although ya'll do talk a mite strange..."

"Uh, thank you, Miss..."

"O'Hara, suh. Elsie May O'Hara."

"...Miss O'Hara, I'm afraid that my wife is motioning for me to come over. It's been a pleasure speaking with you. Mister Riley, may I speak with you privately for a moment?"

"Certainly, Mister Boyle. Elsie May, why don't you get us some punch?"

"Shure, Willy. Ah'll be right bahk." Rogue made sure to exaggerate the sway of her hips as she walked away.

"Where did you find that girl, Riley?" Boyle said after Rogue had left. "She's absolutely gorgeous!"

Archetype could only agree with him there. In fact, when he had opened the door at her knock earlier that evening, he found that he could only gape at her. Her dress was a deep, dark red, with a rather low-cut bodice and a slit skirt that reached up to mid-thigh. Her green eye shadow blended perfectly with her eyes. She had somehow found a lipstick which perfectly matched the color of her dress, and had added a pair of elbow-length black gloves which she had packed with her. The effect was crowned by her hair, which flowed down one shoulder in a cascading wave.

"She's that all right," he agreed.

"But isn't she a little..." Boyle faltered.

"If you're trying to imply that she's 'dumb as dirt', as they say where she comes from, then you're right." He smiled thinly. "I don't keep her around for her intellect, though."

Boyle raised an eyebrow. "You mean she's your...?"

"Her father owed me quite a bit of money, so he and I made a deal. As long as she keeps me entertained, I won't collect on the debt." He chuckled evilly. "The great part about it is that she doesn't even know about the deal. As long as I give her a new toy to play with every once in a while, she's quiet as a lamb."


"You know, a car, a necklace, an ocean cruise, that sort of thing. Ah, thank you, dear," he said as Rogue returned with two glasses of punch. "It's been wonderful talking with you, old boy, but I really should spread myself around a bit tonight. Say good-bye, dear."

"Bye, Mistuh Bile..."

"Boyle, dear, Boyle," Archetype said as they walked off. When they were out of Boyle's earshot, however, Archetype broke into a fit of giggles. "Oh, the con jobs I could pull with you, my dear! You almost had me fooled."

"Why, thank you, suh," Rogue replied, bowing slightly. "Actually, I'm having a lot of fun. I haven't gotten this much attention in a while."

"I think the dress might have something to do with that. I have told you that you look lovely, haven't I?"

"Only about six times tonight."

"Is that all? Oh, dear, I'm below my quota."

"Well, I'll let you get away with it, but just this once. Have we made enough of an impression for one night? My feet are starting to hurt."

"You should have said something," he said in a concerned voice. "We'll head back immediately."

As they wove their way through the crowd, Rogue, who was eyeing the snack plates for one last thing to nibble on, saw Archetype's head snap up suddenly, as if he had been startled by a loud noise. "What's wrong?" she asked him, worried.

"I just heard something," he said, his brow furrowed in concentration. She saw him sweep his gaze around the room, scanning the crowd. Noticing her look of confusion, he tapped the side of his head with a finger. "Up here."

"Oh," was all she could think to say. "Where's it coming from?"

He pointed to the fireplace at the front of the room. "There." He looked at her. "You may want to stay here. This is going to involve a walk down one of those darker paths that I've told you about."

"Thanks for the offer, but the X-Men are a team. We don't let our people face problems alone. I'll be right behind you."

"Suit yourself." They both strode directly to the fireplace, and turned around.

There were two overstuffed easy chairs in front of them. A woman sat on their left, a man on their right. It was instantly apparent that they were twins. They were both quite short and slender, with pale skin and black hair, and it was obvious that they were both older than they looked. They were dressed in clothes which were exactly the same deep shade of blue, and looked at them with eyes that were so dark as to be black.

"I believe that you two wanted to see me?" Archetype asked in an even voice.

"Why would you think that, good sir?" the woman asked in a low, musical voice. She had an accent which Rogue couldn't quite place.

"Don't play games with me!" Archetype snapped angrily, his Irish accent becoming much more pronounced in the process. "If you want something from me, then come right out and say it!"

"Very well," the man answered in a similarly musical voice. "We would speak with thee three nights hence at the mound near your home."

"And what interest would the Fair Folk have with me?"

"You will learn that when we speak."

"In three nights, then. Rogue," he said, striding towards the door, "we are leaving."

Rogue hurried to catch up with him. "Who the hell were those two? And why do you have to meet them in three days? Why..."

"Please, Rogue, no questions now," he said as they claimed their coats from the check area and left the club. "Give me a few moments to come down to earth." They left the club, turned a corner, and were back in front of the hotel. As they walked by the front desk, Rogue noticed that the staff cringed slightly, as if awaiting an imminent eruption.

As they entered their rooms, Archetype took a deep breath and exhaled. "All right," he said, "I'll explain over a meal. Are you still hungry? I didn't get a chance to eat much during the party."

"I could deal with a light snack. Do you want to go out again?"

"No, I think I'll just order from room service." He picked up a menu from the desk in the corner. "How does beef stroganoff sound?"

"Nice and filling."

"All right, then." He picked up the phone and dialed room service. A moment later, he was speaking with the kitchen. Rogue noticed that he slurred his words slightly. He glanced at the wine list for a moment, then added a bottle of champagne to the order. "And hurry up with it!" he bellowed into the phone receiver before slamming it into the cradle.

"That was part of the role, right?" Rogue asked.

"Right. Mister Rich Bastard just went to a party and came back drunk as a lord. As rude when he is when he's sober, he's impossible when he's smashed. The bottle is because he and his companion are going to drink themselves into insensibility."

"We are?" she asked, one eyebrow raised.

"Nah," he said, waving dismissively. "I'll just pour a little bit into our glasses, swirl it around, and pour it and the bottle down the drain."

"Oh, don't do that," Rogue protested. "Why waste it?"

He shrugged. "If you want some, I'm certainly not going to stop you. Now, if you'll excuse me, he said as he loosened his tie, "I have to make myself look drunk." He undid the top button and rumpled his shirt, pulling out the tail and half of the front. He tousled his hair and set his glasses off-kilter. He then swayed on his feet slightly and looked at her with unfocused eyes. "How do I look?" he asked her in a slurred voice.

"The term wasted comes to mind."

"That was the effect I was hoping for. What are you going to do?"

"Well, that tub attracted my attention before. A bubble bath sounds real good right now."

"There's a bathrobe in the closet," he informed her.

"Thanks. Let me know when the food gets here," she said, closing the door behind her most of the way. She walked over to the closet, took out the robe, which she noticed was emblazoned with the name of the hotel, turned on the water to the tub, added some of the bubble bath from the small shelf which was next to the tub, then went back into the bedroom and, after taking a moment to make sure that Archetype wasn't peeking through the door, undressed and changed into the robe. She tied her hair back with a barrette, then sank into the tub with a contented sigh.

About fifteen heavenly minutes later, she heard a knock on the door to Archetype's room, then his voice saying "I'm comin', I'm comin'," unsteadily. The door opened, then a second voice announced room service.

"It's about time," she heard Archetype say. "How much'll that be?"

"The amount will be on your bill in the morning, sir."

"Fine, fine, fine. Here." There was a pause. "Can't figger out this damn foreign money. Here ya go."

"Um, sir, this is a hundred-punt note."

"Whatever. Have a good night, kid." The door shut, and Archetype chuckled softly. "That should erase any ill will among the staff," he said, his voice now normal. "Are you almost finished?" he asked, raising his voice slightly. "This stuff won't stay hot for long."

"Be out in a minute," she called. She reluctantly got out of the tub, toweled herself off, then put on the bathrobe and entered the bedroom, where she slipped into a T-shirt and cutoffs.

When she reentered Archetype's room, she found him wrestling with the champagne bottle. "I don't have to deal with these things that often," he apologized.

"Take your time," she replied. A moment later, the cork popped off, and Archetype poured a small amount into his glass. Glancing at Rogue for approval, he topped off her glass. "Thanks," she said, then, looking at the cart, noted that there was more food on the tray than had been ordered before. "You ordered a deli tray?" she asked.

"I felt like a sandwich," he replied. He took a plate from the cart and, choosing a roll from the pile, started stacking lunch meat into a moderately large heap. He added pickles and mayonnaise, and spooned a generous helping of the beef onto the side of the plate. He then took a can of Coke from the ice bucket. "Told them I was adding rum to it," he explained. He sat at the table by the window, while Rogue chose to simply sit cross-legged on the bed.

"Now," he said between mouthfuls of food, "your explanation. Those two people at the club were not what they appeared to be."

"I figured that part out," she replied as she dug into her own sandwich. "Just who were they? You called them the Fair Folk."

"That's one of the many names they have. They're also known as the Sidhe, the Tuatha de Danann, and the Faerie."

"Wait a minute. That term I recognize. Are you saying that those two were... I don't know... elves?"

He shook his head. "I'm not really sure what they are. They might be the remnants of the people who lived on the British Isles before the Celts came. They came to me while I was traveling through Ireland a few years ago, and offered their assistance to me when I needed it. I still haven't given my answer."


He was quiet for a moment, staring out the window. "It's another one of those shades of being that I've talked about before. The Sidhe view the world as a much darker and more cutthroat place than we do. They strike bargains where you lose far more than you gain, and where minor mistakes can have drastic consequences. They do have one saving grace: they will not lie. They'll twist the truth into a pretzel or bury it under various levels of metaphor, but they won't lie. So, if you're truthful, even-tempered, and very, very careful, you can deal with the Sidhe and come through unharmed."

"And you'll be dealing with them three nights from now," Rogue said as she polished off her second glass of champagne.

"Yes. Fortunately, I have a good idea of what to expect."

"And what will I be doing?"

"You'll be doing what's good for you and staying inside my house. If anything goes wrong, I want you out of the line of fire."

"Now, wait a minute..."

"This is not open for discussion," he said, cutting her off. Then his face softened. "Look, I know you want to help, and I do appreciate it, but I'm going to be dealing with forces that are far older than anything that you're used to. Pure strength won't be of much use against the Sidhe."

Rogue frowned. "I don't like it."

"I'm not too happy with the situation myself, but we're pretty short on alternatives. Well," he said, wiping his mouth with the napkin and standing up, "I'd like us to leave at around ten in the morning, if possible. Unless you have any objections."

"None here. Well," she said, leaning back into the pillows and stretching out on the bed, "good night. Make sure to close the door behind you when you leave."

Archetype raised one eyebrow. "Aren't you forgetting something? Your room's on that side." He hooked one thumb over his shoulder.

Rogue, however, had a total of five glasses of champagne in her, and was, at that moment, feeling no pain. She was also in a bit of a playful mood. She grabbed the sheets on either side of her tightly and made a mock-stern face. "I ain't movin'," she announced.

"Oh, really?" he asked. "We'll just have to see about that." He cracked his knuckles menacingly.

Rogue's eyes widened. "Remember about my powers. I don't want to..."

She never got a chance to finish the sentence, because Archetype bent down, grabbed the edge of the bedsheet, and flipped it over, covering Rogue completely. Before she had a chance to protest, he rolled her up in the sheet, threw her over his shoulder, and marched her back into her suite, where he dumped her onto her bed. "See you in the morning, beautiful," he said as he closed and locked the door.

Rogue lay there for a moment, not freeing herself, but simply remaining wrapped up in the sheet with a big, goofy smile in her face, one thought bouncing around in her fuddled brain:

He said I was beautiful.

Archetype shut and locked the door, then leaned against the wall and exhaled explosively.

"A cold shower is most definitely in order. Those legs shouldn't be let out alone at night..."


Continued in Chapter 13


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