COSTUMES.ORG -- THE COSTUMER'S MANIFESTO WIKI

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TheCostumer's X-Men Fan Fic: Free to Be, You and Me Part 1'''Free to Be, You and Me.''' Part 1 Author: TheCostumer
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Free to Be'''Free to Be, You and Me '''(Part 2)Author: TheCostumer
  
 
E-mail: Fandom: X-Men the MovieDisclaimers:All characters except Ed and Rolf belong to the Marvel Entertainment
 
E-mail: Fandom: X-Men the MovieDisclaimers:All characters except Ed and Rolf belong to the Marvel Entertainment
  
Group and Twentieth Century Fox, and are used without permission, for
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Groupand Twentieth Century Fox, and are used without permission, for
  
 
entertainment purposes only. Images on this page are property of
 
entertainment purposes only. Images on this page are property of
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Masochism Tango" and "Magda, Aletys And Belle" are byTom
 
Masochism Tango" and "Magda, Aletys And Belle" are byTom
  
Lehrer and Dannell Lites respectively. No infringement upon the
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Lehrer and Dannell Litesrespectively. No infringement upon the
  
 
rights of Marvel, Fox, The Frantics, Tom Lehrer and Dannell
 
rights of Marvel, Fox, The Frantics, Tom Lehrer and Dannell
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Lites should be inferred; nor is any intended.
 
Lites should be inferred; nor is any intended.
  
Links are to pieces of fic by writers that helped inspire this story.
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Links are to pieces of fic by other writers that helped inspire this story.
  
 
Archiving: OK
 
Archiving: OK
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Rating: PG. Humor.Sex fantasies & lawyers. One swear word, one
 
Rating: PG. Humor.Sex fantasies & lawyers. One swear word, one
  
vulgarity. No violence, no sex. Underage drinking.  
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vulgarity. No violence, no sex. Underage drinking.
  
 
Summary: Rogue gets arrested and Magneto gets a good lawyer. Mainly plot exposition. Rogue/Magneto shipper humor.
 
Summary: Rogue gets arrested and Magneto gets a good lawyer. Mainly plot exposition. Rogue/Magneto shipper humor.
  
'''Free to Be, You and Me.'''
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'''Free to Be, You and Me '''(Part 2)
  
Rogue thought that Professor Xavier's behavior was quite odd of late. After his seemingly horrified reaction to her suggestion that she visit Magneto, a week later he was telling her it would be a wonderful idea. What were even less comfortable were all the questions he had been asking her recently. It was obvious that he now knew about her unpleasant adventures on the road north, and seemed extremely curious to hear her version of events. She supposed that the only way he might have found out about those events was if either Logan or Magneto had got her memories transferred to them the same way she had absorbed theirs, and told him.
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When Rolf first suggested to Erik that he hire the famous Edward Gruberman to be his defense lawyer, Erik balked. Wasn't this guy infamous for holding press conferences where everyone had to meditate to a mantra for 20 minutes before he would answer questions? Didn't he belong to some kind of martial arts cult group? Hadn't he mounted some of the weirdest defense campaigns for some certifiably insane (and obviously guilty) clients?
  
If that were the case, she reasoned, she was in deep do-do.
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''Hadn't he got nearly all of them off? Rolf argued.''
  
Assuming that they both absorbed her memories the way she had absorbed theirs at the point of transfer, there was an oh-so-cheerful prospect that now two men out there knew every embarrassing detail of her past life, her fantasies, and her dreams. Logan for one had featured rather strongly in her dreams and fantasies prior to transfer, and the idea that he might know every bit of those fantasies was enough to make Rogue wish she could transfer to a high school in Siberia. Having Magneto perhaps know all this too was almost as humiliating, although she reflected, with what dirt she now knew of him, the balance sheet was a bit more in her favor.
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So, today, despite extreme trepidation, he was meeting the lawyer who wasn't embarrassed to be a guest star on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, nor to endorse Viagra in print and TV ads.
  
"At least", she thought, "I didn't have any fantasies about him before the transfer that he could have absorbed."
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After all, if the man turned his trial into a three ring circus, it would be the Federal Government who ended up looking like the clowns.
  
Although the hideously embarrassing thing about that was that little by little she was getting them ''now'', most probably because since she now realized that if he could touch her, he probably could manage to do other more interesting things as well.
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''That'' idea positively warmed his heart.
  
Lately, she had actually managed to dampen down the erotic nightmares and longings she'd had since the onset of her "gift" by concentrating on Logan's absence and the idea of learning to control her power before he got back. However, since Magneto's help figured large in her plans, she was finding herself more and more inclined to catch herself thinking about that tantalizing two inches of male wrist she had briefly captured. Marie felt that having an erotic fascination with a 70+ year old’s left wrist was probably the height of sexual perversion, and she tried to crush these thoughts whenever they occurred.
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He had not been on good terms with the Feds since the fifties when his then employers, the CIA, killed his girlfriend Isabelle, and tried to kill him. He rather resented this, since all he had been doing was handing Nazi war criminals over to the Israeli Mosad, or more usually, killing them himself. Letting them go free for feeble bits of information on the Russians, which was the CIA plan, seemed an abomination, as well as being simply stupid.
  
The other disturbing thing about having both men transfer with her was that she supposed one or both of them might get one of ''her'' nightmares and (God forbid!) recognize it as hers. She had experienced several of Logan's nightmares, and her original offer to visit Magneto had occurred late one night after she had experienced one of his. Her daytime fantasies were, she felt, relatively controlled and tame compared to her nightmares, and the idea that either, (or worse, ''both'' of them), might be having front row tickets to hers gave her a deep and abiding wish to crawl under a rock.
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His relations with the government of his naturalized country had never really been cordial ever since.
  
Another annoyance was the knowledge that one of them had told the Professor what he had learned. If it were Magneto, it was bad news because it meant he had as detailed knowledge of her memory as she had of his, if it were Logan, she would feel betrayed if he had told her secrets. She could not make up her mind which of the two was likely, nor which of the two made her more annoyed. On the one hand, a person who had been a deadly enemy might now have a more thorough knowledge of her secrets and weaknesses than her Mother had when she was 4. On the other, her one true friend and defender might have ratted on her and then skipped town.
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Ed Gruberman, perhaps, could help him find the answer to Voltaire's famous prayer:
  
Either option made her feel as warm and fuzzy inside as frozen thumbtacks.
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''"Lord, make my enemies ridiculous."''
  
Then to top matters off Professor Xavier had the brilliant notion of contacting her parents to let them know she was now in Westchester. Rogue wondered how a man could have multiple Ph.D.’s and still do anything that mind-numbingly naïve. Her luck being what it was, by this time the authorities in Canada and the US had finally connected her "crimes" with a newspaper story that was run in her local paper about the incident with David Cody. FBI men came to the Xavier school immediately to arrest her, backed by the comic overkill of a S.W.A.T team. Even with some very fast talking by the Professor he could not persuade the Feds to let her out on bail until she had been in custody 24 hours.
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And since Erik generally found himself impatient with the speed at which God choose to answer his prayers, he hoped that Mr. Gruberman would help this one along.
  
Only one thing had been beneficial through that whole terrifying experience: a presence she was beginning to call her "Magneto voice". By this time she had managed to smack down the warring echoes of David, Logan and Magneto that rattled through her consciousness, so that they conveniently were recognizably distinct and under control in her head. She could now call any of them in, rather like a consultation, when she needed them. So if she needed assertiveness she would tune into her inner Logan, and within seconds everyone would back off like they had an urgent appointment in Australia. If she needed a little extra charm or flirtatiousness, she called in her old boyfriend, and out popped the most perfect knowledge of what would stroke a teenage boys ego. If she found herself cornered in an unpleasant situation requiring cunning to escape, she just made an appointment with Magneto, and his "voice" told her the shortest way out of the maze.
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"OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOMMmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm......." Ed chanted after briefly introducing himself, and asking Erik to meditate with him before beginning.
  
The whole arrest and 24 hours in jail was just such a situation. She felt horrified by her arrest, and terrified that the jailers or other prisoners might touch her despite her protestations. However, her "Magneto voice" told her to make a point of feebly begging them not to touch her, ''but not preventing them ''if there were video cameras or other witnesses in the room. Within the first few hours of her arrest a half dozen police and prisoners had to be put under medical attention, and the police station and jail video logs had enough footage to convince her arraignment judge that she was both pitifully non aggressive, yet helplessly posed a serious danger to the more stupid law enforcement officials. He set her bail at a fairly low rate (considering she was wanted for murder and was a mutant to boot), simply to get rid of the problem temporarily.
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"OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOMMmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm......." This went on for about five minutes after Gruberman arrived.
  
Rogue was so delighted; she didn’t even fight her fantasies that night. In fact, she embraced them, along with her pillow, who, at least for that evening, was not Logan.
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Despite encouragement from Ed, Magneto declined to repeat the mantra along with him.
  
Magneto felt that although the negative effects of transferring with Rogue were happily waning, the effects of his conversation with Charles about Rogue kept increasing in annoyance. Charles had enlisted the aid of
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A Philosophical discussion followed. The author wishes to spare you the details. Erik wished he had been spared them as well.
  
[http://www.alara.net/opeople/xbooks/magnuts.html| Dr. Jacobs] in trying to convince Erik to assist Rogue with controlling her "gift". The two meetings a week with the good doctor, therefore, were turning into as much a concentrated guilt-fest as his weekly visit from Charles. It was wearing him almost as thin as the nightmares had, although in different ways.
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After Ed had expended half the allotted time for the interview in the above fashion, he finally got to the point. Erik wondered if he would ever forgive Rolf for introducing him to this wacko.
  
"Well at least I'm sleeping more now." ''He thought''
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"I have checked out the Fed's case on you before coming here, and I can tell you they have problems before we even start." Ed smiled.
  
He was in fact, sleeping too much. The whole debacle at the Statue of Liberty had made him feel tired. It was not so much the draining of his power into Rogue that tired him, nor being shot, nor even his subsequent capture, (with the aid of plastic restraints and drugs administered while he was still unconscious). It was not even the month long series of nightmares he had endured from absorbing Rogue's memories.
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Erik looked surprised at that, but didn't interrupt, since he was afraid they had wasted enough of the allowed time already.
  
It was the whole depressing notion that Charles had been right on this occasion.
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"They don't have a single witness for the business at the Statue of Liberty, and since you were found unconscious and alone there, they have no real proof you did anything there at all."
  
The mutation machine ''did not work'', and if Charles' children had not prevented him, he might easily have not only killed a couple of hundred world leaders, but also possibly even wiped out half of Manhattan. The leaders with their anti-mutant agendas he would willingly fry if the need arose, but what few non-mutant friends he had mainly lived in NYC.
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''"No ''witnesses?"
  
New York was about the most mutant-friendly city in America, except perhaps for California, where in places it was even ''fashionable'' to be a mutant.
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"They have received lots of anonymous messages about what went on, but none of these so-called witnesses is prepared to speak in court." Ed went on, "They found one live but injured security guard in the museum below, but he disappeared from his hospital room before he could be questioned, and has not been seen since. To top it off, he never was a guard there, he didn't check out."
  
Erik wondered at times if he and Charles were ''both ''of thementirely wrong in their methods of dealing with discrimination. What if the real answer was just to convince young people that mutants were, as Sylvia would put it "cool." He idly tried to think of arguments for this theory, in the hope that he might use them to distract Charles from what was beginning to be the sole topic of discussion between the two of them.
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Erik smiled. That means his Brotherhood probably all got away, including, obviously, Mystique. ''Good girl.''
  
Well, he had two more days to work on it. Charles came on Saturdays, and his sessions with the doctor were on Monday and Wednesday. Today was Thursday, so he could sleep, or read, or plan his escape undisturbed for two blissful days. Today escape seemed most appealing, since he had a desperate longing just to have an ordinary tuna and toast sandwich for lunch and then sit on the rock that had been home of late, like a lizard in the sun, breathing in sea air.
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"Also, they can't figure out what that machine that gave New York a light show was for. They can't figure out how it was powered, nor prove that it does anything besides being the world's biggest Disco Ball."
  
The government contractors who had slapped together the prison in under a week had done a terrible job, as might be expected. There were all sorts of bits of ferrous metal about that had got into the construction despite the designer's plans, from a set of car keys dropped by a worker into the cement of the lower floor, to bits in the cameras and monitoring equipment in the view room, to the little steel supports inside the arch of nearly everyone's shoes, even Charles'.
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Erik decided that he could really get to like Ed.
  
And Charles must know, he mused, from past experiences, that even as little iron as was contained in the blood of a human was enough for him to use it to kill the owner of that blood.
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"They are so washed up on the Statue thing, that they are prepared to drop those charges in a plea bargain."
  
So there was really no question that he could escape, it was just a question of how and when. He just had to think of the simplest most straightforward way he could break the prison systems down and walk out. He tried on idea after idea, yet each seemed to him to be too overblown and messy, or too prone to have flaws. He didn’t want to try an escape that had the ''slightest'' possibility for failure, nor did he want to do something excessive like destroying the entire prison building just to get that tuna sandwich a day earlier. What he needed was a way out of here that combined maximum effectiveness with minimum fuss. He felt sure he would think of one sooner or later.
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"Then what am I being held for?" Erik asked.
  
He hoped it was sooner, however, since he felt each day that his resolve to refuse to meet Rogue was wavering. It was not so much the constant pressure from Charles and Dr. Jacobs that was making him bend, as his own memory of her hand on his own.
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"Just about everything else they can think of," was the answer. He continued, reading from his notes: "Willful destruction of railroad property, reckless endangerment, assault, kidnapping, resisting arrest, assault of a police officer, use of a gun to commit a felony, destruction of police property, and conspiracy."
  
That and the revealing look inside her head.
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"Oh." He had nearly forgot about the incident at the train station, fun though it had been. Alas, he supposed that few of the police or civilian witnesses had forgot the matter so quickly.
  
Erik had known quite a number of women in his day, and been on rather intimate terms with variety of them. For all that, he admitted, he rarely understood how they thought. Almost invariably his strong personality and amorous abilities inspired hero-worshipping lust in the beginning of a relationship. His total lack of understanding of the female mind, however, invariably got him dumped before he was even aware that the relationship was in trouble.
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"The conspiracy charge will flop because they can't find, or even name, the other conspirators. They know there was a conspiracy, but without proof they are hosed."
  
Little Marie’s thoughts and urges, on the other hand, were an open, and rather fascinating, book.
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Yes, Erik decided, Ed could really grow on you.
  
For a child (for that is how he thought of her) of sixteen, she had an almost Byzantine complexity. She had gone to private Christian schools her whole life, attended church weekly, and prayed nightly, made hand-embroidered WWJD bracelets for her friends, yet even before she left home, admitted to herself she really did not believe in God. All her external manifestations of faith were not done cynically either. She reasoned that if there was no God to manage things for her, she had to be even more strong and circumspect.
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"The kidnapping charge is also kind of moot, since nobody can even remember the face of the girl you supposedly kidnapped, and nobody ever reported her missing, nor reported her found afterwards."
  
Another thing was her language. She never swore at anyone, nor let any words pass her lips that were not edited for form and content. Far from a gossipy teen girl, she usually bottled up everything behind a shy appearance of modesty. Internally, however, she had some rather acerbic remarks to say about everything she saw. She would also mentally swear a blue streak when she was frustrated, frightened or annoyed.
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"I imagine they would not."
  
And then there was her relationship with Logan. On the one hand she had a rather sweet childish adoration of Wolverine, she felt sorry for his sorrows, and sincerely appreciated his help and understanding. She was as much in love with Logan as an adolescent girl could be.
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"Now, if she were to come forward..."
  
But when push came to shove, and she was bleeding to death from his accidental wounds to her chest, she didn't hesitate risking his death to save her own life.
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"She won't." Erik said with conviction.
  
Erik admitted that he wanted to be there when she began to show her real self to the world. Rogue self-contained was a fascinating bundle of contradictions, but Rogue unleashed would likely be as strong and dangerous a personality as himself.
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Ed looked up at that, unsure if Erik had a dire meaning.
  
His musings were interrupted by the unmistakable sound of the retractable bridge being extended towards his cell. He looked up to see who was coming, unscheduled, to visit him.
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"She's not dead." Erik said, "If that's what you're thinking."
  
The incidents where Rogue had allowed stupid police and prisoners to touch her, and so get minor injuries in the county jail, not only helped her in gaining a temporary release, but also within a few weeks, helped her case. Xavier hired a lawyer for the girl, and the lawyer subpoenaed the police station videotapes as evidence to show a jury. She also got records on the men who claimed to have been attacked by Rogue, as well as the man she killed. Finding that five of the six had previous convictions ranging from credit card fraud to child molestation severely weakened the prosecution case. She successfully argued with the Feds that child molesters and shoplifters would not make credible witnesses against a young girl who looked like a fashion model, had been secretary of the Bible Club at Meridian Christian Academy while maintaining a 3.7 GPA, and who had no prior arrests. The clincher, however, had been when a legal researcher in her office managed to find that the dead man’s fingerprints matched those of an interestingly creative sex killer wanted in Oklahoma and Arkansas for multiple mutilation-homicides.
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"Then how do you know she won't come forward?" Ed asked.
  
After that, the prosecution just decided that maybe a jury would award her with a scholarship, tiara and bunch of roses instead of jail time. So the charges were dropped.
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"Because she understands. Because she's a mutant. Because she knows if she were in my position it was what she would do."
  
Rogue, not knowing all the complex machinations that had been put in motion on her behalf, tended to assume that her deliverance was largely, if not entirely, due to her having listened to her "Magneto voice." She became more inclined to want to listen to it, and explore its memories than she had been before. She began a fairly concentrated effort to find out from it everything she could about Magneto’s past, before bits of it faded from her consciousness, as all the "voices" were wont to do over time.
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''He realized as he said this that it was true.''
  
Not surprisingly, she decided to begin with a more through review of his love life.
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"The other charges will be harder to disprove. There are a crap load of witnesses who have been yakking about it on the news and talk shows for weeks now. But that can help us too." Ed said, meaning that the media attention could be used as an argument to move Erik's trial to another region.
  
"Rolf?" Erik said in amazement, as his tailor was ushered into his cell.
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"I'm not sure how we could prove I'm innocent, with half the Westchester County Police force swearing they saw me smash their shiny new patrol cars." Erik pointed out.
  
"Hiya, Erik." Lipchitz said cheerily. "Weird setup! It looks like a Habitrail. Why'd they got you in a plastic box?"
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"We don't have to prove you are innocent, Erik." Ed retorted folding his hands into the prayer position he had held earlier. "All we have to do is create reasonable doubt that you were the man who smashed them."
  
"They imagine that it should prevent me from escaping." Magneto explained, wondering why Rolf, who had never visited him at home, should visit him here.
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"Reasonable doubt," Erik repeated thoughtfully. "The average person would think it unreasonable that a man my age could flip over a policeman, much less a police car."
  
"Oh! Yeah." Rolf continued. "But, did they have this thing ''built'' already?"
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"Exactly." Ed replied.
  
"No, they kept me drugged for a week, and managed to build it in that time."
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Erik definitely thought Rolf had been right about this weird Superlawyer.
  
"Wow!" Rolf was impressed. "My contractor has been doing our miniscule roof for two months, and he's not finished. I should fire him and hire those folks."
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"Now Erik, I sense that you aren't yet comfortable with my idea that you focus your energy through repeating a mantra aloud."
  
"Probably." Erik conceded, not wishing to draw attention to the errors in his prison's design.
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Erik blinked at the switch in topics.
  
"So I know this guy who I think can get you out of here." Lipchitz said.
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"But I want you to try doing this for me silently, whenever you feel yourself stressed out or impatient at this legal business: Repeat the mantra '''Reasonable Doubt''' in your head for at least five minutes a day. It's not one of the Seven Sacred Sounds of Ti Kwan Leep my Sensei taught me, but I think it will really help you."
  
"What's his superpower?" Magneto asked, intrigued.
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"Reasonable doubt?"
  
"He's a lawyer."
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"Reasonable doubt." Ed repeated warmly.
  
Marie decided that no matter what her "Logan" and "Magneto" voices said, beer, whether Moosehead or Pilsner, tasted like piss.
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"Sure, Ed." Erik smiled, happier than he had been in weeks. "That sounds like a charming notion."
  
Still, when one of the boys found a hidden stash of the stuff in Logan's old room, she went with all the others to the secret "kegger" party in the pool house, and got as drunk as the rest. She had never tasted alcohol before, and was rippingly drunk within two beers.
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Ed felt like the interview with Mr. Lenscherr had gone well. True, Erik had not really seemed very receptive to his original attempts at persuading him he needed to meditate, but then, Ed himself, recalled, he too was unreceptive until he had been booted in the head. Mr. Lenscherr however, seemed rather cooperative by the end of the meeting, and Ed reflected as he walked to his car that, with patience, his new client might not only obtain his release, but might also be set upon the path of righteous enlightenment.
  
Everyone else was drunk as well, or pretended to be, since at their age, they thought that was the sophisticated thing to do.
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Marie awaited the Professor's coming to his office by biting one of her fingernails down to the skin. She had never chewed her nails before when she was nervous, and she wondered if that was a habit she had picked up from one of her transfers.
  
Kitty and Jubilee told everyone the old story about the time they thought they caught Mr. Summers and Dr. Grey buying
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''"Please, God," she tried praying to herself, "don't let this be about what I said in the pool house. I can't even '''remember''' what I said. I'll feel so stupid if he asks about it"''
  
[[1pagesFanficNo_more_spandex|bondage gear]] with the Professor's credit card. Rogue thought that was quite titillating, but she faked sophisticated boredom at this news quite admirably.
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Her prayers were answered, for when Xavier came in his face was wrapped in it's usual friendly concern, without a touch of question or reproach.
  
Bobby then launched into a song by his favorite composer, Tom Lehrer, called The Masochism Tango, while Kitty and Jubilee acted it out with frivolous verve.
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"Rogue," he began, "I have been wondering if you have yet recovered completely from your ordeal some weeks ago?"
  
''How I ache for the touch of your lips, dear,
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"I'm fine now, Professor." She asserted. ''"Well as fine as I'll ever be." She thought cynically.''
  
But much more for the feel of your whips, dear,
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A slightly raised eyebrow on the Professor tipped her off that he couldn't help catching that thought.
  
You can raise welts,
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"The reason that I asked you here is rather awkward." He went on. "You may recall that I told you that it would be best if none of us were to testify against Magneto in court."
  
Like nobody else,
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"Yes, you said that it 'would draw negative attention' onto the school, the X-Men and, most of all, me." Rogue said.
  
As we dance to the Masochism Tango!''
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"It would seem that Erik, that is, Magneto..."
  
After equally "sophisticated" bouts of giggling through Truth or Dare they played Spin the Bottle. Bobby tried to French kiss Rogue with the aid of Saran wrap he'd brought to the pool house expressly for that purpose, and nearly managed to asphyxiate both of them trying.
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"I know his name is Erik, Professor." She pointed out. "I know just about ''everything'' about him now."
  
More beer was consumed, and Rogue, turned on by Bobby's daring on her behalf, relaxed rather more than was advisable.
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"Of course." Xavier sighed. "Well, he seems to think that with a lawyer he might get out. That is, he could be found innocent, unless there are some more credible witnesses against him. The prosecution team also thinks the same." He stared at the floor trying to think of a good way to continue.
  
So, when Remy, in another bout of Truth or Dare asked her what kinds of memories she had managed to absorb from Magneto, she told them.
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"And so you want me to testify after all..." Rogue said.
  
In detail.
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Xavier looked up. There were times when he could swear that the girl was a telepath. In actual fact it was merely that now having Erik's knowledge of Charles burned in her brain she could read his expressions like a copy of Dick and Jane.
  
Bobby turned green, whether from jealousy or alcohol poisoning it was unclear. And promptly was sick all over poor Kitty's shoes.
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"I don't like seeing Erik locked up like that, but..." Xavier began.
  
"I heard you were arrested, and thought I'd find out how you were. I heard your lawyer on the TV and decided you needed help. That yo-yo you got sounds like he's going to plead insanity or some such crap." Rolf opined. "Where did you find such a schmuk?"
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''Then perhaps it would have been best if you had not sent the Government detailed plans on how to build that prison''." Out snapped her "Magneto voice" with sarcasm, before she could stop it.
  
"He's the one the government assigned to me." Erik replied, his lawyer really had not interested him. He did not believe for a moment that the authorities would let him go with or without a trial.
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The Professor 'started like a guilty thing', and gave her a look of such conflicted remorse she had to pity him.
  
"YOU'VE GOT A PUBLIC DEFENDER!?" Rolf roared. "WHY?" He continued in more normal tone: "I mean it's not like you're hard up for cash, are you?"
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"I'm sorry Professor," She said. "He sort of slips out sometimes."
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 +
"So I have heard." Xavier smiled at her again ruefully. "Still I must be grateful that he, or you, refrained from mentioning ''me'' at the pool house."
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So he ''did'' know. Oh, dear.
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"But to return to the point." The Professor forged on, "I'm afraid that unless we, in particular, ''you'', go on the stand and testify against him, he might possibly be out and engaging in terrorist acts within a few months."
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 +
"And so you want me to testify." Marie said again.
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 +
"Yes." Xavier said, sighing once more.
  
 
"No."
 
"No."
  
"Well then," Rolf continued, "we should get you a decent lawyer."
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"No?" The professor looked concerned again, "I'm sure you needn't be afraid."
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"I'm not afraid, Professor."
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And he could see, and feel, she wasn't. It puzzled him.
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 +
"Of course, the most logical person to have testify is Logan, but since we don't know where he is, that is impossible."
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 +
"Good." Marie said, further surprising Charles.
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Really, he had to admit, he was slowly coming to the opinion that Erik was at least partly right about the girl.
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 +
"You don't want Erik convicted." He finally concluded.
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"No."
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 +
"Why?" He asked, reasonably.
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 +
"Because he's right." She said. Then she blushed, realizing the Professor thought she had less political reasons.
 +
 
 +
"It's not that I think you are wrong, Professor" She went on, "It's just that I think you two are like the Sinn Fein and the IRA. ''You'' may not be violent, ''you ''should talk with and work with the government peacefully, but the extent to which the government is willing to ''listen ''to you is partly based on how much they fear the Brotherhood of Mutants."
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 +
"It's like what Ms. Munroe said yesterday in history class. Teddy Roosevelt said: 'Speak softly and carry a big stick.'" Marie explained. "He provides the stick, and you do the talking. Take away the stick and they will stop listening."
 +
 
 +
"I see that transferring with him has brought you around to his point of view."
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 +
"No." Rogue pointed out. "''His'' point of view is that talk is pointless, only action matters. ''Your'' point of view is that violence solves nothing. I ''know'' from experience that violence can save your life. I also know that his murder of Senator Kelley caused the Mutant Registration act to fail by ''one vote''." And then in a darker tone she said, "I also know, from my own experience, that violence by itself is addictive, and yet leads nowhere."
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It was as close to an admission of guilt about the men on the road as she was willing to give.
 +
 
 +
"He needs to get out." Rogue insisted firmly. "And you need to help him."
 +
 
 +
Xavier wondered where Rogue had acquired such a definitive voice. He worried that it might be Erik's personality taking over.
 +
 
 +
"You do recall that he tried to kill you?"
 +
 
 +
"In terrifying detail." Marie admitted.
 +
 
 +
"I should also tell you that he has flatly refused to help you when I asked him to do so for the last three weeks." He said.
 +
 
 +
Rogue admitted to herself, that hurt.
 +
 
 +
Xavier insisted, "I cannot, in good conscience, let him go free, knowing that he will probably go straight out and do another violent action."
 +
 
 +
"Then blackmail him." Rogue suggested. "Tell him that all the X-Men are prepared to testify against him if he will not promise to sit quietly back and not launch any offensive action unless we are attacked. Make him keep the peace, but keep him out here, in reserve, in case he is right, and there'' is ''a war coming."
 +
 
 +
"He won't agree." Xavier insisted, "If he gave his word he'd feel obliged to keep it, so he won't give his word on something like this."
 +
 
 +
Rogue realized the Professor was exactly right, and tried hard to think of a way around the problem.
 +
 
 +
"Then tell him," she said after consideration, "That'' I ''will testify against him unless he agrees to help ''me''. Make the rules include that he stay here till I learn how to touch people. Then you can keep an eye on him for months, maybe years, and I can keep him too busy to do anything else---unless we need him."
 +
 
 +
"My dear girl," Charles warned her, "he'll eviscerate you! Or at any rate be too angry with you to teach you anything."
 +
 
 +
"The longer it takes, the longer he'll be here under watch."
 +
 
 +
"When you came here you seemed so timid." He mused, rather missing the fey Rogue who seemed to start at shadows like a deer.
 +
 
 +
She decided to explain: "Ever since I found out I was a mutant I've been afraid of only three things: That I would hurt people who I touched, that people would hate me when they knew that I could kill people, and that I might die not touching anyone ever again."
 +
 
 +
"I can't kill Mr. Lenscherr even if I wanted to," she went on, " and he can hardly hate me for what I am, considering what he is."
 +
 
 +
"And you can touch him." Xavier continued for her.
 +
 
 +
"And, with practice, maybe I can learn to touch anyone."
 +
 
 +
"He won't exactly be in a pleasant humor with you if we blackmail him into this."
 +
 
 +
"Does that really matter? I need him on any terms I can get." She admitted. "So do we all, whether you want to admit that or not. Remember Professor, that law was just ''one'' vote from passing. What happens if Mystique can't manage to keep on holding into Kelley's seat? There are elections next Fall, and things could get nasty in a hurry. "
  
"Why?" Erik demanded. "Do you think that they built me this special prison so that they could ''let me go?''" The cynicism in his voice was palpable. "Do you really think because we're ''in America,'' I will magically get a ''fair trial''
+
"I'm sorry," Xavier replied. "But I still say I can't in good conscience let him get out where he could do terrorist acts again."
  
"Oh, right!" Lipchitz countered. "Like I'm that naive? Get a life..." Rolf matched him sarcasm for sarcasm. "''I think'' that because we're in America you can get off from what ever it was ''you did do'' if you buy a good enough ''lawyer''
+
"You must." Rogue insisted gravely. "If you do not, I will go out of here, seek out his friends, and help him to break out if I have to."
  
That gave Erik pause. It happened often enough. He had amazingly got off of all charges when he blew up that Russian atomic submarine, years ago. It was worth a shot.
+
"Are you blackmailing me too?" Charles asked, trying to sound severe.
  
''And it would be such fun to watch.''
+
"Yes." Rogue said, not backing down.
  
"So," he said with a smile, "who is this Superlawyer?"
+
"I'm sorry," Xavier maintained. "I still must say no."
  
Rogue didn't remember exactly what she had said at the pool house the night before last, but from the way everyone whispered behind her back, she was ''quite'' sure she had said too much. She had spent the intervening day, like most of the others, nursing an awful hangover, and enduring the obvious disapproval of the faculty, who clearly suspected that the students had done exactly what they had done.
+
"Then, before I leave," she upped the ante, "I'll make sure Bobby writes another ''verse to that song."''
  
Today, however, was infinitely worse. From whispers, the furtive comments of the students had progressed to giggles, and she burned in shame wondering what she had said to prompt such an embarrassing situation.
+
"You know," he concluded in defeat, "I think Erik was ''right'' about you."
  
Did she admit she had hit on Dr. Gray after Logan had healed her the second time? Did she admit she had called Mr. Summer a "Dick" around the same time? Did she tell them about the man she killed?
+
Victor Creed, curiously, was the one hardest hit by the failure of Magneto's plan. While his injuries were, with his power to heal, almost nonexistent, his emotional state was in turmoil. While Victor had to admit that he had never really liked Magneto, he found, in his absence, that he needed him, or someone like him, like a junkie needs drugs. With Magneto and the Brotherhood, Sabertooth was a fierce warrior, a deadly weapon for mutantkind, a hero. Without a cause, or an army, or a leader to follow, Victor found himself little more than a random killer, without hope or purpose, killing out of mere rage.
  
No, she decided, that wouldn't induce giggles. What would induce giggles?
+
It had been like that when the military project he had been a part of was terminated, and the mutants involved all were "terminated" as well, or, like Logan and himself, escaped. Like Logan, the "experiments" conducted on him had wiped out much of his memory (although, he reflected in anger, not so conveniently as much as Logan had forgot). All he could remember of his pre-military years was a whiff of being young, alone and happy in a forest of tall trees overlooking the ocean.
  
That her High School boyfriend had turned out to be gay? No. Too ordinary. It probably happened all the time.
+
''The rage came later.''
  
Perhaps she admitted she had a crush on Logan.
+
He had enough memory to recall that the rage and fondness for killing had been put there deliberately. It was one of the "experiments" that had been attempted, in an effort to make perfect soldiers out of "useless" mutant outcasts. It had been effective. It had taught him to love killing, to need violence, and to justify that violence to himself by blindly following a cause.
  
No, definitely not that. Everyone seemed to know that already.
+
When the "cause" (curiously enough, Anti-Communism, of all dated silly precepts) went so far out of fashion with the Canadian government, that they no longer were willing to go "halves" with the American CIA on the project, he found himself being hunted down by the very leader he had so blindly served.
  
She prayed that she had not described one of her erotic nightmares that had so plagued her nights from the time she'd killed that man till fairly recently.
+
What followed was ten hellish years of fleeing and fighting without hope or purpose. There were times Victor tried killing himself, so sure he was that he'd devolved into a mere serial killer. However, since he could survive slashed wrists, hanging, gunshot, and even self immolation, he eventually gave up trying to end his life, and concentrated on hunting down the people involved in turning him into the monster he had become.
  
As she approached the student lounge, however, the real answer wafted down the hall with guitar accompaniment, freezing her in her tracks:
+
While engaged in this more satisfying activity, he met Magneto. Magnus was also engaged in trying to find out what the CIA was trying to do by experimenting on mutants, and he too had no compunction about killing anyone who had willingly taken part in these "atrocities" as he pithily put it. Victor, starved for a leader and a cause, was embraced into the fold of the Brotherhood of Mutants in an instant, and, despite grumbling conflicts with every other member, even Magnus himself, was entirely devoted to this new "cause."
  
''His lovers were many and varied
+
But then the plan failed. Magneto was arrested, Toad vanished like air, and Mystique went solo to Washington to impersonate Kelly. Hanging about her would be counter productive. Toad he never liked enough to go looking for. So Victor fixated on breaking Magneto out of jail.
  
From the day he began his beguine
+
''"She says she'll do WHAT?"'' Erik thought back at Charles' statement, delivered via telepathy. Since Charles was not Erik's lawyer both supposed their conversation was monitored, so they'd made their statements mentally so as not to be overheard.
  
There were three favored ones where he tarried
+
''"She is serious, Erik"'' Charles insisted, ''"and extremely determined."''
  
And God knows how many between!''
+
'You''' put her up to this blackmail, Charles."''
  
''Oh, Magnus, tell us!
+
''"No I did not!"'' Charles thought at him with a sincerity Erik could not deny.'' "In fact, I too am being blackmailed."''
  
Professor Xavier is jealous
+
''"You?"''
  
Which of you're magnetic spells
+
''"She threatened to break you out," ''Charles explained, ''"as well as tell the students other things..."''
  
Got you Magda, Aletys and Belle?''
+
'Those''' things?"'' Erik nearly laughed aloud.
  
Bobby's voice went on for
+
''"Exactly."'' Xavier confirmed. ''"She really is as frightening as you said."''
  
[http://geocities.com/Area51/Keep/4026/MagnusTell.html|several verses], detailing Magneto's past love life, while Marie felt herself slowly turn red with abject shame. When one of the verses implied that she too had a crush on him she fled.
+
Erik smiled, he could really get to like any girl who put Charles up on one foot so neatly.
  
Most probably because she belatedly realized it was true.
+
''"So what do I tell her?" ''Charles continued.
  
Go on to
+
''"Tell her..... '''yes'
  
[[1pagesFanficFanfic5|Part 2 of Free toBe, You and Me.]]
+
To be continued....
  
Return to
+
Magneto and Ed need legal assistance to continue to trial. If you have suggestions for them
  
[[1pagesFanficFanfiction|TheCostumer's Fan Fiction Page]]
+
[[1pagesFanficFanfiction|let me know.Go back toTheCostumer's Fan Fiction Page]]
  
 
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Revision as of 01:36, 23 January 2014

Free to BeFree to Be, You and Me (Part 2)Author: TheCostumer

E-mail: Fandom: X-Men the MovieDisclaimers:All characters except Ed and Rolf belong to the Marvel Entertainment

Groupand Twentieth Century Fox, and are used without permission, for

entertainment purposes only. Images on this page are property of

20th Century Fox. Ed Gruberman and Ti Kwan Leep (Boot to the

Head) are property of The Frantics.Quoted song lyrics to "The

Masochism Tango" and "Magda, Aletys And Belle" are byTom

Lehrer and Dannell Litesrespectively. No infringement upon the

rights of Marvel, Fox, The Frantics, Tom Lehrer and Dannell

Lites should be inferred; nor is any intended.

Links are to pieces of fic by other writers that helped inspire this story.

Archiving: OK

Characters: Rogue, Magneto, Bobby, and my own Rolf LipchitzSequel to

Tara@costumes.orgThe Rat Trap, Part of the

Whatever Remains Series

Rating: PG. Humor.Sex fantasies & lawyers. One swear word, one

vulgarity. No violence, no sex. Underage drinking.

Summary: Rogue gets arrested and Magneto gets a good lawyer. Mainly plot exposition. Rogue/Magneto shipper humor.

Free to Be, You and Me (Part 2)

When Rolf first suggested to Erik that he hire the famous Edward Gruberman to be his defense lawyer, Erik balked. Wasn't this guy infamous for holding press conferences where everyone had to meditate to a mantra for 20 minutes before he would answer questions? Didn't he belong to some kind of martial arts cult group? Hadn't he mounted some of the weirdest defense campaigns for some certifiably insane (and obviously guilty) clients?

Hadn't he got nearly all of them off? Rolf argued.

So, today, despite extreme trepidation, he was meeting the lawyer who wasn't embarrassed to be a guest star on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, nor to endorse Viagra in print and TV ads.

After all, if the man turned his trial into a three ring circus, it would be the Federal Government who ended up looking like the clowns.

That idea positively warmed his heart.

He had not been on good terms with the Feds since the fifties when his then employers, the CIA, killed his girlfriend Isabelle, and tried to kill him. He rather resented this, since all he had been doing was handing Nazi war criminals over to the Israeli Mosad, or more usually, killing them himself. Letting them go free for feeble bits of information on the Russians, which was the CIA plan, seemed an abomination, as well as being simply stupid.

His relations with the government of his naturalized country had never really been cordial ever since.

Ed Gruberman, perhaps, could help him find the answer to Voltaire's famous prayer:

"Lord, make my enemies ridiculous."

And since Erik generally found himself impatient with the speed at which God choose to answer his prayers, he hoped that Mr. Gruberman would help this one along.

"OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOMMmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm......." Ed chanted after briefly introducing himself, and asking Erik to meditate with him before beginning.

"OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOMMmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm......." This went on for about five minutes after Gruberman arrived.

Despite encouragement from Ed, Magneto declined to repeat the mantra along with him.

A Philosophical discussion followed. The author wishes to spare you the details. Erik wished he had been spared them as well.

After Ed had expended half the allotted time for the interview in the above fashion, he finally got to the point. Erik wondered if he would ever forgive Rolf for introducing him to this wacko.

"I have checked out the Fed's case on you before coming here, and I can tell you they have problems before we even start." Ed smiled.

Erik looked surprised at that, but didn't interrupt, since he was afraid they had wasted enough of the allowed time already.

"They don't have a single witness for the business at the Statue of Liberty, and since you were found unconscious and alone there, they have no real proof you did anything there at all."

"No witnesses?"

"They have received lots of anonymous messages about what went on, but none of these so-called witnesses is prepared to speak in court." Ed went on, "They found one live but injured security guard in the museum below, but he disappeared from his hospital room before he could be questioned, and has not been seen since. To top it off, he never was a guard there, he didn't check out."

Erik smiled. That means his Brotherhood probably all got away, including, obviously, Mystique. Good girl.

"Also, they can't figure out what that machine that gave New York a light show was for. They can't figure out how it was powered, nor prove that it does anything besides being the world's biggest Disco Ball."

Erik decided that he could really get to like Ed.

"They are so washed up on the Statue thing, that they are prepared to drop those charges in a plea bargain."

"Then what am I being held for?" Erik asked.

"Just about everything else they can think of," was the answer. He continued, reading from his notes: "Willful destruction of railroad property, reckless endangerment, assault, kidnapping, resisting arrest, assault of a police officer, use of a gun to commit a felony, destruction of police property, and conspiracy."

"Oh." He had nearly forgot about the incident at the train station, fun though it had been. Alas, he supposed that few of the police or civilian witnesses had forgot the matter so quickly.

"The conspiracy charge will flop because they can't find, or even name, the other conspirators. They know there was a conspiracy, but without proof they are hosed."

Yes, Erik decided, Ed could really grow on you.

"The kidnapping charge is also kind of moot, since nobody can even remember the face of the girl you supposedly kidnapped, and nobody ever reported her missing, nor reported her found afterwards."

"I imagine they would not."

"Now, if she were to come forward..."

"She won't." Erik said with conviction.

Ed looked up at that, unsure if Erik had a dire meaning.

"She's not dead." Erik said, "If that's what you're thinking."

"Then how do you know she won't come forward?" Ed asked.

"Because she understands. Because she's a mutant. Because she knows if she were in my position it was what she would do."

He realized as he said this that it was true.

"The other charges will be harder to disprove. There are a crap load of witnesses who have been yakking about it on the news and talk shows for weeks now. But that can help us too." Ed said, meaning that the media attention could be used as an argument to move Erik's trial to another region.

"I'm not sure how we could prove I'm innocent, with half the Westchester County Police force swearing they saw me smash their shiny new patrol cars." Erik pointed out.

"We don't have to prove you are innocent, Erik." Ed retorted folding his hands into the prayer position he had held earlier. "All we have to do is create reasonable doubt that you were the man who smashed them."

"Reasonable doubt," Erik repeated thoughtfully. "The average person would think it unreasonable that a man my age could flip over a policeman, much less a police car."

"Exactly." Ed replied.

Erik definitely thought Rolf had been right about this weird Superlawyer.

"Now Erik, I sense that you aren't yet comfortable with my idea that you focus your energy through repeating a mantra aloud."

Erik blinked at the switch in topics.

"But I want you to try doing this for me silently, whenever you feel yourself stressed out or impatient at this legal business: Repeat the mantra Reasonable Doubt in your head for at least five minutes a day. It's not one of the Seven Sacred Sounds of Ti Kwan Leep my Sensei taught me, but I think it will really help you."

"Reasonable doubt?"

"Reasonable doubt." Ed repeated warmly.

"Sure, Ed." Erik smiled, happier than he had been in weeks. "That sounds like a charming notion."

Ed felt like the interview with Mr. Lenscherr had gone well. True, Erik had not really seemed very receptive to his original attempts at persuading him he needed to meditate, but then, Ed himself, recalled, he too was unreceptive until he had been booted in the head. Mr. Lenscherr however, seemed rather cooperative by the end of the meeting, and Ed reflected as he walked to his car that, with patience, his new client might not only obtain his release, but might also be set upon the path of righteous enlightenment.

Marie awaited the Professor's coming to his office by biting one of her fingernails down to the skin. She had never chewed her nails before when she was nervous, and she wondered if that was a habit she had picked up from one of her transfers.

"Please, God," she tried praying to herself, "don't let this be about what I said in the pool house. I can't even remember what I said. I'll feel so stupid if he asks about it"

Her prayers were answered, for when Xavier came in his face was wrapped in it's usual friendly concern, without a touch of question or reproach.

"Rogue," he began, "I have been wondering if you have yet recovered completely from your ordeal some weeks ago?"

"I'm fine now, Professor." She asserted. "Well as fine as I'll ever be." She thought cynically.

A slightly raised eyebrow on the Professor tipped her off that he couldn't help catching that thought.

"The reason that I asked you here is rather awkward." He went on. "You may recall that I told you that it would be best if none of us were to testify against Magneto in court."

"Yes, you said that it 'would draw negative attention' onto the school, the X-Men and, most of all, me." Rogue said.

"It would seem that Erik, that is, Magneto..."

"I know his name is Erik, Professor." She pointed out. "I know just about everything about him now."

"Of course." Xavier sighed. "Well, he seems to think that with a lawyer he might get out. That is, he could be found innocent, unless there are some more credible witnesses against him. The prosecution team also thinks the same." He stared at the floor trying to think of a good way to continue.

"And so you want me to testify after all..." Rogue said.

Xavier looked up. There were times when he could swear that the girl was a telepath. In actual fact it was merely that now having Erik's knowledge of Charles burned in her brain she could read his expressions like a copy of Dick and Jane.

"I don't like seeing Erik locked up like that, but..." Xavier began.

Then perhaps it would have been best if you had not sent the Government detailed plans on how to build that prison." Out snapped her "Magneto voice" with sarcasm, before she could stop it.

The Professor 'started like a guilty thing', and gave her a look of such conflicted remorse she had to pity him.

"I'm sorry Professor," She said. "He sort of slips out sometimes."

"So I have heard." Xavier smiled at her again ruefully. "Still I must be grateful that he, or you, refrained from mentioning me at the pool house."

So he did know. Oh, dear.

"But to return to the point." The Professor forged on, "I'm afraid that unless we, in particular, you, go on the stand and testify against him, he might possibly be out and engaging in terrorist acts within a few months."

"And so you want me to testify." Marie said again.

"Yes." Xavier said, sighing once more.

"No."

"No?" The professor looked concerned again, "I'm sure you needn't be afraid."

"I'm not afraid, Professor."

And he could see, and feel, she wasn't. It puzzled him.

"Of course, the most logical person to have testify is Logan, but since we don't know where he is, that is impossible."

"Good." Marie said, further surprising Charles.

Really, he had to admit, he was slowly coming to the opinion that Erik was at least partly right about the girl.

"You don't want Erik convicted." He finally concluded.

"No."

"Why?" He asked, reasonably.

"Because he's right." She said. Then she blushed, realizing the Professor thought she had less political reasons.

"It's not that I think you are wrong, Professor" She went on, "It's just that I think you two are like the Sinn Fein and the IRA. You may not be violent, you should talk with and work with the government peacefully, but the extent to which the government is willing to listen to you is partly based on how much they fear the Brotherhood of Mutants."

"It's like what Ms. Munroe said yesterday in history class. Teddy Roosevelt said: 'Speak softly and carry a big stick.'" Marie explained. "He provides the stick, and you do the talking. Take away the stick and they will stop listening."

"I see that transferring with him has brought you around to his point of view."

"No." Rogue pointed out. "His point of view is that talk is pointless, only action matters. Your point of view is that violence solves nothing. I know from experience that violence can save your life. I also know that his murder of Senator Kelley caused the Mutant Registration act to fail by one vote." And then in a darker tone she said, "I also know, from my own experience, that violence by itself is addictive, and yet leads nowhere."

It was as close to an admission of guilt about the men on the road as she was willing to give.

"He needs to get out." Rogue insisted firmly. "And you need to help him."

Xavier wondered where Rogue had acquired such a definitive voice. He worried that it might be Erik's personality taking over.

"You do recall that he tried to kill you?"

"In terrifying detail." Marie admitted.

"I should also tell you that he has flatly refused to help you when I asked him to do so for the last three weeks." He said.

Rogue admitted to herself, that hurt.

Xavier insisted, "I cannot, in good conscience, let him go free, knowing that he will probably go straight out and do another violent action."

"Then blackmail him." Rogue suggested. "Tell him that all the X-Men are prepared to testify against him if he will not promise to sit quietly back and not launch any offensive action unless we are attacked. Make him keep the peace, but keep him out here, in reserve, in case he is right, and there is a war coming."

"He won't agree." Xavier insisted, "If he gave his word he'd feel obliged to keep it, so he won't give his word on something like this."

Rogue realized the Professor was exactly right, and tried hard to think of a way around the problem.

"Then tell him," she said after consideration, "That I will testify against him unless he agrees to help me. Make the rules include that he stay here till I learn how to touch people. Then you can keep an eye on him for months, maybe years, and I can keep him too busy to do anything else---unless we need him."

"My dear girl," Charles warned her, "he'll eviscerate you! Or at any rate be too angry with you to teach you anything."

"The longer it takes, the longer he'll be here under watch."

"When you came here you seemed so timid." He mused, rather missing the fey Rogue who seemed to start at shadows like a deer.

She decided to explain: "Ever since I found out I was a mutant I've been afraid of only three things: That I would hurt people who I touched, that people would hate me when they knew that I could kill people, and that I might die not touching anyone ever again."

"I can't kill Mr. Lenscherr even if I wanted to," she went on, " and he can hardly hate me for what I am, considering what he is."

"And you can touch him." Xavier continued for her.

"And, with practice, maybe I can learn to touch anyone."

"He won't exactly be in a pleasant humor with you if we blackmail him into this."

"Does that really matter? I need him on any terms I can get." She admitted. "So do we all, whether you want to admit that or not. Remember Professor, that law was just one vote from passing. What happens if Mystique can't manage to keep on holding into Kelley's seat? There are elections next Fall, and things could get nasty in a hurry. "

"I'm sorry," Xavier replied. "But I still say I can't in good conscience let him get out where he could do terrorist acts again."

"You must." Rogue insisted gravely. "If you do not, I will go out of here, seek out his friends, and help him to break out if I have to."

"Are you blackmailing me too?" Charles asked, trying to sound severe.

"Yes." Rogue said, not backing down.

"I'm sorry," Xavier maintained. "I still must say no."

"Then, before I leave," she upped the ante, "I'll make sure Bobby writes another verse to that song."

"You know," he concluded in defeat, "I think Erik was right about you."

Victor Creed, curiously, was the one hardest hit by the failure of Magneto's plan. While his injuries were, with his power to heal, almost nonexistent, his emotional state was in turmoil. While Victor had to admit that he had never really liked Magneto, he found, in his absence, that he needed him, or someone like him, like a junkie needs drugs. With Magneto and the Brotherhood, Sabertooth was a fierce warrior, a deadly weapon for mutantkind, a hero. Without a cause, or an army, or a leader to follow, Victor found himself little more than a random killer, without hope or purpose, killing out of mere rage.

It had been like that when the military project he had been a part of was terminated, and the mutants involved all were "terminated" as well, or, like Logan and himself, escaped. Like Logan, the "experiments" conducted on him had wiped out much of his memory (although, he reflected in anger, not so conveniently as much as Logan had forgot). All he could remember of his pre-military years was a whiff of being young, alone and happy in a forest of tall trees overlooking the ocean.

The rage came later.

He had enough memory to recall that the rage and fondness for killing had been put there deliberately. It was one of the "experiments" that had been attempted, in an effort to make perfect soldiers out of "useless" mutant outcasts. It had been effective. It had taught him to love killing, to need violence, and to justify that violence to himself by blindly following a cause.

When the "cause" (curiously enough, Anti-Communism, of all dated silly precepts) went so far out of fashion with the Canadian government, that they no longer were willing to go "halves" with the American CIA on the project, he found himself being hunted down by the very leader he had so blindly served.

What followed was ten hellish years of fleeing and fighting without hope or purpose. There were times Victor tried killing himself, so sure he was that he'd devolved into a mere serial killer. However, since he could survive slashed wrists, hanging, gunshot, and even self immolation, he eventually gave up trying to end his life, and concentrated on hunting down the people involved in turning him into the monster he had become.

While engaged in this more satisfying activity, he met Magneto. Magnus was also engaged in trying to find out what the CIA was trying to do by experimenting on mutants, and he too had no compunction about killing anyone who had willingly taken part in these "atrocities" as he pithily put it. Victor, starved for a leader and a cause, was embraced into the fold of the Brotherhood of Mutants in an instant, and, despite grumbling conflicts with every other member, even Magnus himself, was entirely devoted to this new "cause."

But then the plan failed. Magneto was arrested, Toad vanished like air, and Mystique went solo to Washington to impersonate Kelly. Hanging about her would be counter productive. Toad he never liked enough to go looking for. So Victor fixated on breaking Magneto out of jail.

"She says she'll do WHAT?" Erik thought back at Charles' statement, delivered via telepathy. Since Charles was not Erik's lawyer both supposed their conversation was monitored, so they'd made their statements mentally so as not to be overheard.

"She is serious, Erik" Charles insisted, "and extremely determined."

'You' put her up to this blackmail, Charles."

"No I did not!" Charles thought at him with a sincerity Erik could not deny. "In fact, I too am being blackmailed."

"You?"

"She threatened to break you out," Charles explained, "as well as tell the students other things..."

'Those' things?" Erik nearly laughed aloud.

"Exactly." Xavier confirmed. "She really is as frightening as you said."

Erik smiled, he could really get to like any girl who put Charles up on one foot so neatly.

"So what do I tell her?" Charles continued.

"Tell her..... 'yes'

To be continued....

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