Down-Home Charm Photo Album Songbank Fan-Fiction History Books Fan Art Miscellania Links
Fan-Fiction >
Post-Claremont >
"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

Author's Note: I feel terrible that in the last installment, I forgot to thank those people who voted for both The Archetype Association and Will Riley in the recent CBFFA Awards. I didn't even know that Will was nominated for 'Best New Male Character' until I read the Award Ceremony. I am both flattered and honored by your support.
And now, on with the story...


Ororo woke up slowly, disengaging herself from the sheets and stretching as she yawned softly. She rolled onto her side to see Jean in the bed across from her, with her head still buried in her pillow. A quick glance at the clock told her that it was nearly ten-thirty in the morning.

What time did I go to sleep? she thought fuzzily. I think we returned from the club sometime after three. Jean and I talked for an hour or so, and then I had another Tom Collins, and then... I have no idea. She shrugged mentally. Oh well, I suppose that I couldn't have had that much more to drink.

She pushed herself up into a sitting position, then moaned and put her hands to her temples. Then again...

Bright Lady, she pleaded, I already know that it was unwise to imbibe so much last night. There is no need to hammer the point home... and even less need to use such a bloody big hammer. Standing up in a manner which lacked her usual grace, she made her way to the bathroom.

Had Jean been awake, she would have heard an interesting sequence of sounds over the next few minutes: the patter of falling rain, the crackle of a small lightning bolt, a muffled curse, and the hiss of a shower being turned on.

Henry, who weighed nearly five times as much as Ororo, had barely been affected by the wine that he had drunk, so when he awoke at 10:45, he was in his traditional cheerful mood. This, of course, encouraged him to perform his traditional singing in the shower, which resulted in the traditional awakening of Bobby, and the traditionally accompanying thoughts of homicide.

"You'd think that with graduate school, a Nobel Prize, and a vocabulary that English teachers would kill for, he'd have learned how to carry a tune by now." Bobby covered his head with his pillow and prayed that he was simply having a bad dream.

The snap of a towel across his rump a few minutes later convinced him otherwise.

It isn't generally discussed among the world of sorcerers, magicians, and, enchanters, but being a night person tends to be a prerequisite for the job. It's not that magic is, by its nature, something that should be hidden.... it's just that the type of person who compulsively gets up at five in the morning to do calisthenics is not likely to be open to the idea of spending hours staring into a cauldron. This is the primary reason why magicians are prone to find ways to turn lead into gold.... by the time they get up, the banks are usually closed, so they can't even get ATM cards.

Strange awoke to the sounds of a scuffle in the room next door, which indicated to him that both Henry and Bobby were awake. "I wonder if Ororo would be upset if I shrink those two down and put them inside separate bottles for the rest of the trip," he thought out loud as he sat up and got out of bed.

After a shower, shave, and his morning meditation, Strange felt ready to face the world. He debated ordering himself breakfast, but decided to wait until the others were ready. He spent the next several minutes transforming his clothes into various styles, trying to decide what would be appropriate for the activities which they had planned for the day.

Will awoke very slowly, with visions of curves and shadows dominating his thoughts. Once he became aware of his surroundings, he found that Rogue still had her right arm wrapped around him. Moving very carefully, he took a pinch of the sheet between his index finger and thumb and gently took hold of her right middle finger, lifting her arm off of him. After sliding off the bed, he lowered her arm back onto the mattress. He gazed at her for a few moments, and his eyes grew misty.

She is so beautiful, he thought to himself, and I am such a lucky bastard. He took the sheet that he had been wearing and draped it over her, covering her up to the neck. Bending down, he kissed her covered shoulder, then hurried into the bathroom before his bladder exploded.

After a very brief shower, he changed into a simple outfit of black jeans, white dress shirt, and a grey denim vest. After he put his gloves and shoes on, he walked over to the bed and gently shook Rogue's shoulder. "Time to wake up, sleepyhead," he said in a soft voice.

Rogue opened her eyes, yawned, then stretched lazily. "Morning," she said sleepily as she smiled up at him.

"Morning. The shower's all yours. I'm going to see who else is up and see if I can round us all up for breakfast.... or brunch, given what time it is already."

"That sounds nice," she replied with a smile as she rolled onto her side and cupped her chin in one hand.

He looked at her for a moment, his eyes soft and distant. "I have got to buy a camera one of these days. I keep seeing these images of you that deserve to be kept somehow."

Rogue raised one eyebrow. "Maybe we can come up with a few shots for a private collection."

"For me or you?" he asked with a nearly identical expression.

"We'll talk." She sat up, wrapping the sheet around herself. "I should be ready in a few minutes. We can decide on a place to eat after you've kicked everybody else out of bed."

"I'm on it." He left the room taking the keycard with him.

Five minutes later, Will had determined that Ororo was dressed and ready to leave, Jean was nearly finished with her shower, Strange was prepared for a day of walking, and Henry and Bobby would pay him back whatever the hotel would charge him for replacing the damaged pillows. He knocked before entering his room again.

Rogue had finished dressing, and was brushing her hair. That wasn't so unusual, but the fact that was doing so while floating about three feet in the air, upside-down, would have turned a few heads. Will simply tilted his head slightly. "Problem?" he asked.

"No, I'm fine. It's just easier to brush out the kinks this way."

"If you say so."

Ten minutes later, everyone was in the lobby. "What sounds better," Will asked, "a late breakfast or an early lunch?"

"Why don't we just snack?" Bobby suggested. "I'll probably get something at the ballpark, anyway."

"You'd better get going if you want to get a half-decent seat," Jean advised him.

"Good idea. What do tickets run around here, Will?"

"I have no idea. I'm not a sports fan, remember? A Ben Franklin should cover a ticket, food, and souvenirs, and leave more than enough for your fare on the El."

"Where do you want to meet?"

"Let's make it the coffee shop at Union Station. That way you can get a bite to eat if anybody's late. You have your map, right?"

"Yep. Train schedule, too. See you guys later."

"Have fun," Jean called to him as he walked off.

"Shall we find a location at which we may partake of the local culinary delicacies?" Henry asked.

"Translation: Let's eat," Will said. "You have your choice of Chicago pizza, Chicago hot dogs, or an Italian beef sandwich."

"Or since it's you we're talking about, Hank," Rogue said sweetly, "we have the option of choice 'D', all of the above."

Henry shot her a look which mixed affection and annoyance. "Thank you, dear. Please remind me to place my medical instruments in the freezer the day before your next physical."

"Behave, children," Ororo said with a laugh.

"Why don't we just find a place on our way to the Institute?" Strange suggested.

"Sensible," Will agreed. "We can either stop somewhere or grab something from a vendor." He put on his hat, then offered his arm to Rogue, who took it with a smile. Strange offered the same service to Ororo, and they all made their way down the street.

Once Will had paid for their admission to the Institute, they agreed to meet one another at the entrance two hours later. Ororo went straight to the African wing, while Strange decided to look at the extensive collection of Indian art.

"Do you have anything in particular that you'd like to see?" Will asked Rogue.

"Not really. How about you?"

"There's a collection of European arms and armor that I like, and an original Rossetti in another wing. They have the European art in chronological order, so we can just wander through it."

"Okay." She looked at Jean and Henry. "Are you two coming, or are you heading to another area?"

"I think we'll tag along," Jean said. "I've never really been into art, so I may need an explanation or two once in a while."

"Now that is a big sword," Rogue said, looking at the massive, 1.25-meter blade.

"It was used to hunt boar," Will explained. "See those things that look like fork tines? They were designed to keep the boar from hurling itself all the way down the length of the blade."

"What about this one with all the gears on the side of the blade?" Jean asked.

"That was an early attempt at a hunting gun. They were just starting to use gunpowder, and guns really weren't dependable yet. The idea was that since you'd get only one shot, if you were lucky, this setup would give you a traditional weapon to fall back on."

Jean nodded, then turned her attention to a mace. "Hard to believe that people would actually put work into making these things look nice."

"Generally, none of these weapons were ever used. They were ceremonial, or status symbols. If a person could afford to pay for one, they were rich enough to get other people to do the fighting for them."

"What would the average soldier wear?"

"If they were lucky, they got a helmet.... which was usually made of boiled leather.... padded armor, a wooden shield, and a spear. None of which would do you much good against burning pitch, boiling oil, or molten lead."


"War is never pretty. A lot of the people who owned these things forgot that." He sighed. "This is starting to depress me. Let's move on."

Rogue looked at the medieval painting and frowned. "What's with those freaky buildings in the background?"

"The idea of perspective hadn't been developed yet," Henry explained.

"Oh." She looked around. "Where's Will?"

"I think he's a room or two ahead of us."

They found him a few moments later, gazing thoughtfully at a painting. Looking at it, Rogue recognized the style instantly. "Oh, you found the Rossetti."

He nodded. "Beata Beatrix." He glanced at Jean, then back at the painting. "Jean, could you stand over here for a second? Good, now turn a little.... tilt your head up slightly.... close your eyes.... what do you two think?"

"Pretty close," Rogue admitted.

"The resemblance is astounding," Henry agreed.

Jean glanced at the painting. "You really think so?" she asked.

"You probably would have made good money as a model back then," Will informed her. "Rossetti had a fondness for redheads."

"Thanks," Jean said, flattered. "Peter kept telling me that he wanted to do a painting of me, but he's never gotten around to it."

"Didn't you say this morning that you were going to start painting?" Rogue asked Will.

He nodded. "If my previous experience is any indication, it'll be at least a few weeks until I get to be any good. Sometimes it takes a while before the Chorus can hammer something into my brain."

"But you do develop the skill eventually?" Henry asked.

"Eventually. It took me the better part of three years to become a decent swordsman."

"That's right," Jean said, "I forgot to tell you. We're going to ask Charles to let you turn the old stables into a workshop. Maybe you can also use it as a studio."

"How big are the stables?"

"Huge. You'll probably be able to set up a few different areas for different things."

"Have you done anything artistic before?" Henry asked.

"Well, I've done some metalwork.... forging swords and such. I've also done pottery, woodwork, and I did some cabinetmaking and repair work on my cabin."

"Maybe once you've developed the skill, you can do a painting of me," Jean suggested.

"Maybe," Will agreed. "Actually, I'd like to paint all of you ladies."

"Warren might have a problem with you painting Betsy," Henry pointed out.

"Why would he.... oh, I see. You think he might decide that I have ulterior motives." He walked over to the bench in the center of the room and sat down. "I keep forgetting that other people don't categorize things the way I do. Maybe it's because I'm a writer."

"You just lost me," Rogue confessed.

"I use certain words to describe specific qualities when I'm talking about people. Those qualities can overlap, and a single person can have many of them. Example: I can say, without hesitation, that I think that you, Jean, Ororo, and Betsy are all beautiful women. That does not mean that I have romantic intentions towards all of you."

Henry thought for a moment. "So to you, the word 'beautiful' implies physical beauty only."

"Not quite. I'd better run through all of them to be safe.

"Beautiful means that the person has a quality that moves me emotionally. I've met many old women, and some little children, who were so beautiful that they moved me to tears. It's a quality that mixes both the physical and the spiritual.

"Attractive means that the person affects me on a more intellectual level. A person who I find attractive may be extremely intelligent, have an interesting background, be a talented artist or a stimulating conversationalist, or simply have an exotic accent that I find intriguing.

"Pretty means that the person is physically pleasing to the eye, but there isn't any emotional connection. The person is more eye-candy than anything else. Most of the women that I met in college fell into this category. Emma Frost fits there, too, since while she's undeniably a woman who's well put-together, she uses her qualities to intimidate and control people, which I don't respond well to.

"Cute is a little harder to define. It means that the person sort of tugs at your heartstrings, in an amusing sort of way. Most little kids are in this group, although I've met a few grown women who also rate the description. They have that sort of grown-up pixie look."

"Freckles?" Henry asked. "Dimples? Laugh lines? They look like teenagers into their mid-thirties? I know the type."

Will nodded. "I differentiate that from cutesy, which is a commercialized, saccharine form of cute that's cynically used to manipulate people.

"Last is sexy, which is a quality that aims straight for your gonads. It's a quality that your body responds to, rather than your mind."

Jean nodded. "It's more of a hormonal thing."


She considered that. "So you can say that in your eyes, I'm beautiful, but not sexy."

"Right. Ororo is both beautiful and attractive in my eyes, because of her physical qualities and the religious views that I share with her."

"What about Betsy?" Rogue asked.

Will thought a moment. "Well, now that I think about it, Betsy would be mostly pretty, because while I share a link with her due to the fact that we're both X-Men, I haven't bonded with her on any emotional level."

"But once you do, she'll become beautiful in your eyes."

"Once I get to know her well enough, yes."

"And what about me?" Rogue asked with a smile.

He smiled back. "My dear, you're the first person I've met who fits into all five categories."

"Aw," she cooed, "that's sweet."

"All this stuff was part of an altar set?" Jean asked, looking at the assortment of gold-plated goblets, crucifixes, and candlesticks from Spain.

Will nodded. "I'm not sure, but I'd guess that it was in a family chapel or something similar. I doubt that they'd let the general public see this. They'd have had a revolution within a week."

"I can see why. If I knew that the people I paid taxes to had stuff like this when I barely had enough to eat, I'd start feeling a little murderous myself."

"If you think this is bad, you should go to St. Petersburg and see the stuff in the Hermitage. It sort of makes you understand why communism got started."

"Has everyone had their fill of art for the day?" Henry asked when they all met at the entrance.

"I enjoyed myself," Ororo said.

"So did I," Strange added. "I think I'll take a day off when I get back to New York and spend some time at the Metropolitan. I haven't taken advantage of the cultural opportunities available to me in a long time."

"See, Stephen," Will said, "you did learn something from this trip. Any arguments against hitting the gift shop and then finding someplace for lunch?"

"None here," Jean told him.

Will selected a book on the Institute's medieval arms collection, Strange bought a small fountain, Ororo chose a replica of a statue from the African gallery, Henry purchased a poster of the painting American Gothic, and Rogue decided on both a scarf that showed a silkscreen of Seurat's A Sunday Afternoon On the Island of La Grande Jatte and a small bracelet made of Russian amber.

"So what's the consensus on lunch?" Will asked as they left the Institute. "Do we find a restaurant or go with the vendors?"

"I think I want to try one of those beefsteaks," Rogue mused.

"And I'm in the mood for pizza," Strange decided.

"The vendors it is, then." Ten minutes later, they were all seated in front of a fountain, nibbling on their choices.

Rogue's beefsteak was piled high with peppers and onions, and she moaned in appreciation as she ate. "Can you make one of these?" she asked Will.

He nodded. "I'll pick up a few containers of the beef before we head back. It's almost impossible to find the real thing on the East Coast." He was eating a plain beefsteak with a large pile of cheese fries on the side.

"What's next?" Jean asked him.

"We walk a few blocks to catch the El, then head over to Oak Park for the Wright tour."

"Okay. Any other shopping stops?"

"Not unless any of you see something that you just have to look at."

They finished eating a few minutes later, and started out for the train. After a while, however, Will made an abrupt turn and started walking across the street. Rogue saw his destination, and made a quick decision.

"Grab him, Hank!" She and Henry each took one arm and dragged him back.

"No, Will," she said firmly.





"Why did you stop him?" Strange asked Rogue curiously.

"We'd never get him out of there."

Will gazed longingly at the storefront as they firmly led him away. The lettering on the door, Godiva Chocolatier, looked back mockingly at him as he turned a corner.

Ororo looked up and frowned. "Explain to me again how the chains are holding up the building."

"Okay." Will pointed towards the ceiling of Frank Lloyd Wright's studio. "Wright made the roof so high that the stress on the walls would make them buckle out, so he attached the chains to the load-bearing beams, and then linked them all together with the ring of chain. The chain takes all the stress, and there's no need for any external support."

Ororo mulled that over for a few seconds, then nodded. "Magneto would love the idea. I'm surprised that he's never used it."

"I think that he'd be a bit more of a traditionalist. Wright's work is an acquired taste. You either love him or hate him."

"Well, I love what I've seen so far. Hiding a grand piano inside the wall was very clever. So were the stained glass panels over the lights."

"I was surprised you weren't nervous while you were in there, 'Roro," Rogue commented. "I was expecting you to go a little claustro."

"I was astonished, too," Ororo admitted, "but the feel of the house was so.... organic, I suppose.... that I was absolutely comfortable."

"Well, our next stop on the tour, Unity Temple, is a lot more open."

"How so?"

"Wright came up with a brilliant concept. Once he realized that concrete and steel expand and contract in exactly the same way in response to heat, he was able to use reinforced concrete to construct the entire building. He pulled the load-bearing columns of the building in a few feet from the walls. That let him punch holes in the walls to let in light and make the columns architectural features in themselves. He called it 'destroying the box'."

"But he sometimes used the box as a theme," Henry pointed out.

"In his early works, yes, but he moved on to triangles, circles and spirals later as his work progressed."

"He designed the Guggenheim in New York, didn't he?" Rogue asked.

"He did, but he argued constantly with his patrons about that particular design. They kept trying to modify his designs, and he felt that any changes defiled the spirit of the buildings."

"That sounds a little egotistical," Jean remarked.

Will laughed. "Jean, the man was once sworn in as a witness for a trial. When he was asked to state his profession, he described himself as.... and I quote.... 'America's greatest living architect'. When the judge asked him why he used that particular phrasing, Wright said that he was sworn to tell the truth."

"Humility was not part of his nature, I see," Ororo said.

"Not in the least. Let's move on, shall we?"

"Okay," Rogue said as she sat down on a bench, "that's enough walking for me. Let's take a break."

"Are you all right?" Will asked as he sat down beside her.

"I'm fine. I think I'm going to start jogging a bit more when we get back, though."

"We'll try to ease you into it," Henry said. "You're still off-duty for the next month, remember."

Rogue was silent for a long moment. "Excuse me?" she asked with a sweet voice and a steely gaze.

Henry, who was facing away from Rogue, failed to notice the way her eyes narrowed. "I thought I told you about that."

"No, actually, you didn't," she informed him in a frosty tone.

Will, who was looking at Rogue's eyes, sensed an impending eruption similar in scale to Krakatoa on anabolic steroids, and hastily stepped in. "We made that prognosis before you began the massage therapy. If you keep improving the way you have been, we might be able to shave some time off of that."

"That's right," Henry added, grabbing tight hold of the straw that had just been placed within his reach. "Besides, you might be able to spend the time helping Will build his workshop."

Nice save, Hank, Jean told him.


"Well, okay," Rogue grumbled. "I still don't like it, though."

"We all have our burdens to bear, dear," Ororo said.

Will glanced at his watch. "Why don't we hit the antique stores for a while, then head over to Union Station to meet up with Bobby?"

"I like it," Jean said as she stood up. "Let's get going."

They found an antique mall after asking around, and spent the better part of two hours wandering among the furniture, paintings, and other objects. Will purchased a Japanese katana, after carefully studying the blade, removing the hilt, and asking Rogue to translate the chop mark on the tang.

Jean, who had been eyeing an end table, pointed it out to Will. "Do you think that would match the other furniture that's in my place?"

Will thought about it a moment. "I think it may be a little too dark. Your house has more of a country feel to it." He leaned over close to her. "Besides," he whispered, "it won't fit in the van, and I don't think that we want to tell the salesman how we're really going to take it home, do we?"

"Good point," she admitted.

"If you like," he offered, "I can build you something close to it. Or I could make a combination table, high-back bench seat, and storage cabinet. Given how little free space you have in your place, it's probably your best option."

"You can do that?" she asked.

"Sure. It's a pretty straightforward design. I'll draw up the plans for you when we get back."

"Speaking of drawing things up," Ororo reminded him, "didn't you say that you wanted to get started on those documents today?"

"Oh, that's right. Thanks for reminding me. Just let me make one purchase and take care of the shipping arrangements, and we'll be set to go." He walked over to one of the salespeople.

"What did he want to buy?" Jean asked Rogue.

"I'm not sure." They walked over to where Will was making shipping arrangements with the salesperson.

"Okay, so you can just make the delivery charges C.O.D.?" he asked.

"No problem. You should have them in about a week."

"There's no rush. Send them out with your next big shipment to New York, or make arrangements with somebody who's moving. I probably won't need them for a month or so."

"Need what?" Rogue asked.

"Those," he said, pointing at five huge rotary saw blades leaning against a wall.

"What in the hell do you want with those?" she demanded.

"The steel is perfect for making knife blades. I'll have material to work with for years."


After over half an hour of wandering, they found a copy center, where Will spent about twenty minutes writing up the contracts for the X-Men. After he had finished typing, he motioned Rogue over to his side. "I'm going to have the boys at the Crypt set up an identity for you as May O'Hara. Why don't you sign using that as your name?"

Rogue nodded. "No problem. You still need to find a notary, don't you?"

"They've got one here, and the hotel can get your contracts off to the airport tonight. They'll find a courier without any hassle. Jeff should have them by noon tomorrow, Dublin time."

After everyone had signed, and the contracts had been notarized, they found the nearest platform for the El and took the train to Union Station. Will seemed to know his way around, and they quickly found Bobby at the coffee shop, sipping his iced latte.

"How was the game?" Henry asked.

"The Sox won, seven to four." He pulled a baseball cap out of his bag and put it on. "Everybody set?"

"We're going to go check out," Jean informed him. "Then Will's going to zap us back to Salem Center."

"Actually, we'll go to New York first," Will corrected her. "Stephen was out guest, so it's only right to drop him off at his place."

"That's not necessary," Strange protested.

"I'm in an accommodating mood, Stephen. Take advantage of it. There's no telling how long it'll be before I'm back to my usual cantankerous self. By the way, Jean, I do not 'zap' people. I transit them."

"That's right," Ororo said. "Zapping people is my department."

"Sorry, Ororo," Jean said politely. "I'll try to work on my terminology."

It took everyone about an hour to pack up everything and put it in the van. The sheer volume of things that they had purchased on the trip made closing the doors a bit of a problem, and it took a combination of Rogue's strength and a few telekinetic shoves to get everything into place.

Will made sure to leave generous tips on the pillows for the maids, and rewarded himself for his generosity by taking all of the chocolates that had been left out. A quick swipe of his credit card at the front desk paid for everything, and the van pulled out of its parking space five minutes later.

"Is there anyone nearby, Jean?" Will asked as they started descending the ramp.

"No. No cameras, either."

"Good." A Door opened in front of the van, and Henry drove right into it.

"Where are we?" Bobby asked.

"The service entrance for my sanctum," Strange supplied. "Good aim, Will."

"Thanks. Need any help?"

"No need." He stepped out of the van, then waved his hand. The bags containing his things floated out of their storage places in the van and hovered around him. "Call me in a few days, once you're settled in again and feel up to getting back to your training."

Will nodded. "Thanks for all your help, Stephen. See you again soon." He closed the door to the van. Another Door opened in front of the van, and it drove on through.

Strange looked at the now empty spot for a few moments, then opened the door and went inside.

"I'm back, Wong!" he declared.

"Hello, Master," the younger man replied, too used to Strange's comings and goings by then to even blink. "Did you enjoy your trip?"

"It was a nice, relaxing vacation. I do, however, have some more questions about Mister Riley that need to be answered. That can wait until tomorrow, though.

"Right now, I'm taking a nap."

After checking to make sure that Graymalkin Lane was devoid of cars or pedestrians, Will motioned the van through. "Who has their smart card?" he asked. "Mine's packed away."

"I've got it," Jean said, pressing her ID against the identification plate. The gate opened with a click, and they drove on through. "I just let Scott and Charles know that we're back. Could you just drop me off at the house, Hank? Scott's there right now."

"'Ask, and ye shall receive'." Henry made the turn towards the lake, and they pulled up in front of the boathouse a few minutes later.

Scott walked out the front door as Jean and the others stepped out of the van. Without saying a word, he stepped up to Jean and gave her a long, lingering kiss.

"Not bad," Will said when they were done. "I would have given the two of you another fifteen seconds before hypoxia set in." He pulled Jean's packages out from the van and handed them to Scott. "I'd tell you to get some sleep, Jean, but your husband looks like he has other ideas. See you tomorrow." He started to get back in the van.

"Wait," Scott said before Will had shut the door.

Will turned around and looked at Scott steadily. "Yes?"

Scott took a deep breath. "I.... want to apologize.

"I had no right to say what I did to you. I was upset, and angry, and I took advantage of the fact that you'd been traumatized. I've had a lot of time to think since it happened, and I realized that I haven't been fair to you since you got here. That nearly got you killed when you went up against Apocalypse, and almost got all the X-Men killed too.

"I can't make up for what I've already done to you. All I can do is promise to start over, and try to work with you without judging you, both as an X-Man, and as a member of this family." He extended his right hand to Will.

Will looked at Scott for several long seconds before speaking. "Emotionally, I've just been through the wringer. I'm really not in any shape right now to make a decision like this. I need to rest, and recover, and center myself again." He stepped up into his seat and took hold of the door handle.

"Maybe tomorrow, I'll be willing to accept your apology."

He shut the door.

"But not today."

He was silent for the rest of the trip back to the mansion.

"Scott deserved what you said to him."

Will turned around to see Rogue in his doorway. "I thought I was a little harsh, myself."

She shook her head. "He caused too much damage for a simple apology to be enough. He needs to prove that he meant what he said. You're done unpacking?"

"Almost. What did Henry say about your shoulder?"

"I'll be starting therapy for it in the morning. The Professor said you can look at the stables tomorrow, if you want."

He nodded. "Well, I'm hitting the shower for a while, then I'm going to bed. See you later?"

"Sure. Sleep yourself out, Will." She closed the door behind her as she left.

Will was annoyed with himself as he showered, convinced that he should have said something more to Rogue, although he couldn't decide just what. He grimaced in exasperation, then rinsed himself off and turned off the water. He dried himself off quickly, then put on his robe and walked into the bedroom.

"You took longer than I expected."

He looked up at Rogue, who was wearing a flannel robe and a bright red pair of silk, Chinese-style pajamas, complete with socks and gloves, that buttoned up to her neck.

"I don't really feel like I'm home yet," she explained, as she handed him a light pair of white cotton gloves. "I don't want to spend the night alone."

He smiled. "Neither do I." He put on the gloves and the pajamas that Strange had made for him, then shut off the lights. They both burrowed underneath the covers, and after he spent a minute rearranging the pillows, Rogue settled her head against his chest.

"Now I feel like I'm home."


Continued in Chapter 42

Author's Notes: Now that we've cast our votes on an actor to play Will, It's time for a contest! All you budding artists and photomanipulators out there can send me your vision of what Will Riley looks like! Just base your work on what's already been said about Will in regards to appearance, height, dress, etc., and send the scanned pic to either me or Aly. I'm interested in what you, my readers, see in Will. My personal votes for an 'established' artist to draw Will are Jim Lee (back when he was drawing X-Men), Dave McKean, or Bill Sienkiewicz during his New Mutants run. Please keep in mind that Will's eyes glow silver when his power is active, but the details of his eyes are still visible. I know that I'm dating myself here, but think of the glowing eyes of the choirboys in the video to the original cut of Total Eclipse of the Heart.


Down-Home Charm / Fan-Fiction / Fan Artwork / History Books / Photo Album / Songbank / Miscellania / Links / Updates

Legalese: Rogue, the X-Men, and the distinctive likenesses thereof are Trademarks of Marvel Characters, Inc. and are used without permission. This is an unofficial fansite, and is not sponsored, licensed or approved by Marvel Comics.
Privacy Policy and Submission Guidelines