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Free to Be'''Free to Be, You and Me '''(Part 2)Author: TheCostumer
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Signs of the Times'''Signs of the Times'''
  
E-mail: Fandom: X-Men the MovieDisclaimers:All characters except Ed and Rolf belong to the Marvel Entertainment
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'''Author: TheCostumer
  
Groupand Twentieth Century Fox, and are used without permission, for
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E-mail: Fandom: X-Men the MovieDisclaimers:'''All characters (except Rosie, Nina, Fanny, Sylvie and Rolf) belong to the
  
entertainment purposes only. Images on this page are property of
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Marvel EntertainmentGroup and Twentieth Century Fox, and are used
  
20th Century Fox. Ed Gruberman and Ti Kwan Leep (Boot to the
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without permission, forentertainment purposes only. Images on this page
  
Head) are property of The Frantics.Quoted song lyrics to "The
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are property of20th Century Fox. No infringement upon the
  
Masochism Tango" and "Magda, Aletys And Belle" are byTom
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rights of Marvel and Fox''' should be inferred; nor is any intended.'''
 
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Lehrer and Dannell Litesrespectively. No infringement upon the
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rights of Marvel, Fox, The Frantics, Tom Lehrer and Dannell
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Lites should be inferred; nor is any intended.
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Links are to pieces of fic by other writers that helped inspire this story.
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Archiving: OK
 
Archiving: OK
  
Characters: Rogue, Magneto, Bobby, and my own Rolf LipchitzSequel to
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'''Characters: Magneto, Charles and the Lipchitz family.Part of the
  
[[1pagesFanficMaginjail|Tara@costumes.orgThe Rat Trap]], Part of the
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[[1pagesFanficFanfiction|Tara@costumes.orgWhatever Remains]] Series
  
[[1pagesFanficFanfiction|Whatever Remains]] Series
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Rating: PG.
  
Rating: PG. Humor.Sex fantasies & lawyers. One swear word, one
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'''Summary: Another trip to his tailor causes Magneto to remember the day when he and Charles first went to Lipchitz's shop.
  
vulgarity. No violence, no sex. Underage drinking.
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Signs of the Times
  
Summary: Rogue gets arrested and Magneto gets a good lawyer. Mainly plot exposition. Rogue/Magneto shipper humor.
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The news that evening had predicted an early heat wave in New York, and Erik had been reminded of the necessity of ordering a summer weight uniform. The last thing he needed was to be flying around over the Eastern seaboard dripping sweat. Between, his imprisonment and getting back out, not to mention the whole awkward business with Rogue, the comparatively trivial matter of making an appointment with his tailor had, not surprisingly, slipped his mind. The weather report, however, galvanized the Master of Magnetism into action, and he had phoned Rolf Lipchitz the following day.
  
'''Free to Be, You and Me '''(Part 2)
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A week later he drove to the East Side, got a decent parking space less than two blocks from his destination by levitating the car into a tight space no ordinary human could have parallel parked into, and walked to Rolf’s place. The heat this year, he had to admit, was stifling.
  
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?
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At the door, in the dim window of Lipchitz Tailoring, was a hand-lettered sign, reading "MUTANTS WELCOME" in what he recognized as Rolf’s now wavering handwriting. He smiled, and entered, prepared for the usual wait, and mused on the sign. It was not that the sign was so unusual, he reflected. Manhattan was scattered with them, as well as "NO MUTANTS" signs, allowed by a recent State law permitting businesses to refuse service to mutants. What made him smile and remember, was the memory of a sign that had been taped in the same spot nearly half a century ago….
  
''Hadn't he got nearly all of them off? Rolf argued.''
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"COMMIES WELCOME" it had said, with a breathtaking combination of humor and daring. True, there were probably more openly communist citizens living in this neighborhood in New York than anywhere else in America, but in the summer of 1950, generally speaking, it was not exactly P.C. to say so.  was turning the House Un-American Activities Committee into a three ring circus of fear, and people who were even suspected of being communists were getting subpoenaed, losing jobs, or even fleeing to Europe due to political persecution.
  
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.
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Yet there it was. Professionally lettered, and sitting in the sparklingly clean window of a tailor’s shop.
  
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.
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Erik had been looking for a tailor’s shop when he had walked to the neighborhood, and the sign certainly intrigued him with this one. He had grumblingly objected when Charles had tried to get him to order a suit from his own uptown tailor, and after enduring the looks that the old coot of a Scotsman gave his worn clothes and longish odd-colored hair, snapped at Xavier, and they had an argument. Eventually a compromise was reached: Erik would allow Charles to pay for some new clothes, if he could find a place, of his own choice, that was reasonably priced and to his own taste. He would meet Charles later at a bookstore to go home.
  
''That'' idea positively warmed his heart.
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He still remembered how stupidly embarrassed he was to take money from Charles to buy suits. Such a small thing, he reflected now, but it had felt so "icky" (as little Rogue would say) at the time. Probably because, after Charles lost Gabrielle, on the ship back to America, the two friends suddenly found themselves in a position a bit more than just friendly, and were now living together in a relationship that would probably cause that prune of a Scotsman to throw them ''both'' in the street if he guessed at it. Erik found he had surprisingly few inhibitions about the relationship, but money was definitely one of them. Every time Charles, so much as paid for their hot dogs and beer while walking in the park, Erik suddenly felt like a kept man.
  
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.
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So he was in the worst possible humor that day, and had tried to walk off his shame and anger by making the whole trip on foot. The unusual sign had stopped him, and even intrigued him enough that he went inside the shop. A bell over the door rang when he entered, and an attractive bleached blonde American woman in an almost excessively fashionable dress came to wait on him. After a few typical commercial pleasantries and queries passed between them, the woman went to the back and extracted her husband from his workroom. Erik was surprised and a little disconcerted to see that he recognized him. And vice versa.
  
His relations with the government of his naturalized country had never really been cordial ever since.
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The tailor, after a moment of trying to place him, broke into a grin that seemed totally out of place to Erik’s way of thinking.
  
Ed Gruberman, perhaps, could help him find the answer to Voltaire's famous prayer:
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"Well if it isn’t B6808." He said. "So you moved to New York?"
  
''"Lord, make my enemies ridiculous."''
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"Yes." Was all he found he could say.
  
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.
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"You been here long?"
  
"OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOMMmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm......." Ed chanted after briefly introducing himself, and asking Erik to meditate with him before beginning.
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"About a month" Erik replied.
  
"OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOMMmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm......." This went on for about five minutes after Gruberman arrived.
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"You coulda fooled me, B6. Your English is really good. Me, it took me the last five years to get my speech to sound American." Erik noticed that it did sound like like the tailor had been raised in Brooklyn, not Poland.  
  
Despite encouragement from Ed, Magneto declined to repeat the mantra along with him.
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Rolf went on: "You sound like you’ve been in England, or maybe Upstate for years."
  
A Philosophical discussion followed. The author wishes to spare you the details. Erik wished he had been spared them as well.
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"I’ve been in Israel. I had an American friend there, who taught me English." He didn’t choose to mention that Charles taught it to him telepathically, and so well that Charles’ American friends mistook Erik for Charles on the phone. "He’s from Westchester, and went to University in England." Somehow he found himself offering more information than he usually did, and yet still felt awkward having a normal conversation with a man he had last seen when they both were boys assigned to a forced work detail involving removing gold dental work from corpses.
  
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.
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The blond lady seemed to recognize his uneasiness, and demanded "So, honey, aren’t you going to introduce us, and invite him in?"
  
"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.
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"Oh, sorry, yeah." The man stumbled. "Only I don’t know his name, sweetie…"
  
Erik looked surprised at that, but didn't interrupt, since he was afraid they had wasted enough of the allowed time already.
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"I’m Erik Lenscherr."
  
"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."
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"And I’m Rolf Lipchitz, NOT ''Ginger''." The Man replied. "And this is my wife, Rosie."
  
''"No ''witnesses?"
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"Nee Simon. Pleased to meet you, Mr. Lenscherr." The woman smiled dazzlingly, then turned to her husband and said: "Why ‘not Ginger’?"
  
"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."
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"Cause in the camp my name was ‘Ginger’, honey." He told his wife. "Let’s go into the back, and Erik will tell you all about it. It’ll be funnier that way…" Then he wrapped an arm around Erik’s shoulder and ushered him back to the workroom.
  
Erik smiled. That means his Brotherhood probably all got away, including, obviously, Mystique. ''Good girl.''
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Erik was vaguely disconcerted that he was expected to tell a "funny" story to the man’s wife, and was further surprised by being handed a cold bottle of beer to ingest instead of tea or coffee. Happily, Lipchitz seemed inclined to tell Erik the complete story of his years since the war, including his sponsorship by an American cousin, his first job, his courtship of the delectable Rosie, and every detail of every fun place to go in a 200 mile radius that he had visited with his wife. The couple seemed to spend nearly every night out dancing, and every weekend out driving. Rosie, apparently had family money sufficient to set them up in business, and yet still have a bit to spare for any moderately priced amusement they wanted.
  
"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."
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Two hours, and two more beers later, and already late for his appointment with Charles, Erik finally had relaxed, and felt ready to explain to Mrs. Lipchitz why her husband was called "Ginger".
  
Erik decided that he could really get to like Ed.
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"In the camps, names weren’t allowed. We were all given
  
"They are so washed up on the Statue thing, that they are prepared to drop those charges in a plea bargain."
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[http://www.chgs.umn.edu/Educational_Resources/Curriculum/Auschwitz_Tattooing/auschwitz_tattooing.html|numbers], or the guards would just call us ‘prisoner’"
  
"Then what am I being held for?" Erik asked.
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"Or less polite names…" Rolf interjected.
  
"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."
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''Don’t'' tell me what they are." Rosie warned her spouse.
  
"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.
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"Often prisoners had names for each other, but getting caught using them in front of the guards could get you punished."
  
"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."
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"Or dead." Rolf interjected again.
  
Yes, Erik decided, Ed could really grow on you.
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"So there were no names." Erik continued. "But one day there was music playing, and no guards around and Rolf here started dancing to the music."
  
"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."
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"You would, honey." Rosie said. "But why was there music?"
  
"I imagine they would not."
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"They use’ta play music all the time in the camp, on big speakers. They had a whole prisoner orchestra that played music." Rolf explained.
  
"Now, if she were to come forward..."
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"You’re kidding." Rosie insisted.
  
"She won't." Erik said with conviction.
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"No, really, it’s true." Erik added. "They played it to soothe the guards or some such thing."
  
Ed looked up at that, unsure if Erik had a dire meaning.
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"I always thought it was to kill us slowly with German Schmaltz, like ‘The Blue Danube’ or ‘Villja’." Rolf theorized.
  
"She's not dead." Erik said, "If that's what you're thinking."
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"Well, whatever the reason, there was some such music playing, and Rolf started dancing to it." Erik continued. "Just then a pair of guards came to where we were supposed to be working and saw him. They were both young, not much older than we were, and instead of getting angry, were amused. They insisted that he dance for them. They brought two more guards over to see him dance, and they thought it was funny too."
  
"Then how do you know she won't come forward?" Ed asked.
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"Oh, you poor baby." Rosie said as she deposited herself on her husband’s lap.
  
"Because she understands. Because she's a mutant. Because she knows if she were in my position it was what she would do."
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"Finally they all got into making jokes about dancers they had seen in American films, and asked him if he thought he was Fred Astaire. He said ‘No’, and then one of the guards said ‘No, he’s Ginger Rogers!’ and after that they all called him ‘Ginger’ and insisted we call him that too." It was just the sort of trivial cruelty that boys who volunteered for camp guard duty thought was fun.
  
''He realized as he said this that it was true.''
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Although Erik didn’t feel he told the story in a funny manner, his audience still laughed politely, and said to her husband "Well, I think you dance much more like Gene Kelley, honey, you’ve got ''swing!''
  
"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.
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"So, Erik." Lipchitz inquired, "Do you have a girl?"
  
"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.
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Erik nearly choked on his beer at the sudden change in the conversation.
  
"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."
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"Um, no."
  
"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."
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"Never mind, he can take Fanny, or Nina." Rosie said.
  
"Exactly." Ed replied.
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"Fanny dances like a poster girl for the March of Dimes." Her spouse objected.
  
Erik definitely thought Rolf had been right about this weird Superlawyer.
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"Excuse me." Erik broke in. "What exactly are we talking about?"
  
"Now Erik, I sense that you aren't yet comfortable with my idea that you focus your energy through repeating a mantra aloud."
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"It’s Friday." Rolf explained. "This is America! You should go dancing with a girl and have some fun."
  
Erik blinked at the switch in topics.
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Before Erik could successfully interject again, the Lipchitz’s got into a heated debate over which dance club to go to and which of Rosie’s female relations should be Erik’s date. After they had negotiated peace on an inexpensive club in Brooklyn, and Nina for a date, Erik was finally allowed back into the conversation.
  
"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."
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"I’m afraid that I have to meet up with my friend and go back to Westchester tonight. I’m sorry." He said, surprised to realize that he actually was.
  
"Reasonable doubt?"
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Another flurry of conversation ensued, and Erik found himself pressured into telephoning Charles at the bookstore to ask if he wanted to go dancing as well. Charles, curious about anything to do with Erik’s mysterious past agreed, to the amazement of Erik.
  
"Reasonable doubt." Ed repeated warmly.
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Belatedly, they all remembered the original purpose of Erik’s visit to the shop. Rolf took measurements, and Erik chose two styles and fabrics from a sample book in great rapidity, trying to finish before Charles arrived.
  
"Sure, Ed." Erik smiled, happier than he had been in weeks. "That sounds like a charming notion."
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Section where the Lipchitzs' shanghai Charles and Erik onto a double date with Fanny and Nina. Rolf explains his philosophy. Too much alcohol is imbibed. Fanny and Nina are goofballs. Charles manages to offend Rolf. Erik pours Charles home. (This section awaits information on NYC swing dance clubs in 1950 before it can be written. If you have information on this topic please write me at  so I can get this important bit of exposition done for the story).
  
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.
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Back in the present, Erik has his fitting with Rolf and Sylvie. Sylvie is dressed very conservatively in a "preppy" style, because she is planning on going with David to meet his Dad (Charles) after the fitting. David and Sylvie are now engaged. Rolf disapproves. (Awaiting the above.)
  
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.
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[[File:FanficXmenSmilehat.jpg|Tara@costumes.org]]
  
''"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"''
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After his fitting, he strolled back towards his car in an amiable frame of mind, humming "I Love New York in June". As he dug in his pocket for his keys two young men walked up to him and came close enough to nearly startle him. One shoved at the middle of his chest and shouted.
  
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.
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"GIMME YOUR WALLET!"
  
"Rogue," he began, "I have been wondering if you have yet recovered completely from your ordeal some weeks ago?"
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The other circled around behind him and shoved a blunt metal object into the back of his torso, in a manner that suggested he was a business associate of the shouting thug.
  
"I'm fine now, Professor." She asserted. ''"Well as fine as I'll ever be." She thought cynically.''
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Erik remained unmoved. He allowed his gaze to take in the appearance of the two young men. The shouting one was twitching with withdrawal from some drug, and both were clearly masterpieces of some body modification parlor.
  
A slightly raised eyebrow on the Professor tipped her off that he couldn't help catching that thought.
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"My!" he smiled at them, disingenuously. "What very interesting piercings you boys have everywhere."
  
"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."
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"GIMMIE YOUR WALLET, YOU OLD FART OR WE’LL PIERCE YOU!!"
  
"Yes, you said that it 'would draw negative attention' onto the school, the X-Men and, most of all, me." Rogue said.
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The man behind him decided to cock the pistol for emphasis, like he had probably seen villains do in action movies. Erik was now even more amused.
  
"It would seem that Erik, that is, Magneto..."
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"Indeed, it would seem that you even have piercings in places ''I'' personally would consider highly uncomfortable…." He smiled.
  
"I know his name is Erik, Professor." She pointed out. "I know just about ''everything'' about him now."
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"How do you know that?" The less twitchy one asked, grabbing Erik by the shoulder.
  
"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.
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"The same way I know how to do ''this''." Erik replied, suiting his action to his words, and then stepped over the pair of writhing, screaming men to his car, humming cheerily again:
  
"And so you want me to testify after all..." Rogue said.
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''"I Love New York in June,
  
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.
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How about you?
  
"I don't like seeing Erik locked up like that, but..." Xavier began.
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I Love a Gershwin tune,
  
''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.
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How about you?"''
  
The Professor 'started like a guilty thing', and gave her a look of such conflicted remorse she had to pity him.
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Return to
  
"I'm sorry Professor," She said. "He sort of slips out sometimes."
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[[1pagesFanficFanfiction|TheCostumer's Fan Fiction Page]]
 
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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.
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"No."
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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.
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"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."
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"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.
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"He needs to get out." Rogue insisted firmly. "And you need to help him."
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Xavier wondered where Rogue had acquired such a definitive voice. He worried that it might be Erik's personality taking over.
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"You do recall that he tried to kill you?"
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"In terrifying detail." Marie admitted.
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"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.
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Rogue admitted to herself, that hurt.
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Xavier insisted, "I cannot, in good conscience, let him go free, knowing that he will probably go straight out and do another violent action."
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"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."
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"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."
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Rogue realized the Professor was exactly right, and tried hard to think of a way around the problem.
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"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."
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"My dear girl," Charles warned her, "he'll eviscerate you! Or at any rate be too angry with you to teach you anything."
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"The longer it takes, the longer he'll be here under watch."
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"When you came here you seemed so timid." He mused, rather missing the fey Rogue who seemed to start at shadows like a deer.
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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."
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"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."
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"And you can touch him." Xavier continued for her.
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"And, with practice, maybe I can learn to touch anyone."
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"He won't exactly be in a pleasant humor with you if we blackmail him into this."
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"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. "
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"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."
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"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."
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"Are you blackmailing me too?" Charles asked, trying to sound severe.
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"Yes." Rogue said, not backing down.
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"I'm sorry," Xavier maintained. "I still must say no."
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"Then, before I leave," she upped the ante, "I'll make sure Bobby writes another ''verse to that song."''
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"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.
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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.
+
 
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''The rage came later.''
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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."
+
 
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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.
+
 
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''"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.
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''"She is serious, Erik"'' Charles insisted, ''"and extremely determined."''
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'You''' put her up to this blackmail, Charles."''
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''"No I did not!"'' Charles thought at him with a sincerity Erik could not deny.'' "In fact, I too am being blackmailed."''
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''"You?"''
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''"She threatened to break you out," ''Charles explained, ''"as well as tell the students other things..."''
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'Those''' things?"'' Erik nearly laughed aloud.
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''"Exactly."'' Xavier confirmed. ''"She really is as frightening as you said."''
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Erik smiled, he could really get to like any girl who put Charles up on one foot so neatly.
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''"So what do I tell her?" ''Charles continued.
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''"Tell her..... '''yes'
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To be continued....
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Magneto and Ed need legal assistance to continue to trial. If you have suggestions for them
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[[1pagesFanficFanfiction|let me know.Go back toTheCostumer's Fan Fiction Page]]
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This site soon to be hosted by my new underwriter  
 
This site soon to be hosted by my new underwriter  
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[http://www.costumes.org|The Costumer's Manifesto]by , Ph.D. Copyright 1996-2006. You may print out any ofthese pages for non-profit educational use such as school papers, teacher handouts, orwall displays.You may link to any page in my site.
 
[http://www.costumes.org|The Costumer's Manifesto]by , Ph.D. Copyright 1996-2006. You may print out any ofthese pages for non-profit educational use such as school papers, teacher handouts, orwall displays.You may link to any page in my site.
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==Product Links==
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[http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/USAred.htm|Joseph McCarthy]

Revision as of 01:36, 23 January 2014

Signs of the TimesSigns of the Times

Author: TheCostumer

E-mail: Fandom: X-Men the MovieDisclaimers:All characters (except Rosie, Nina, Fanny, Sylvie and Rolf) belong to the

Marvel EntertainmentGroup and Twentieth Century Fox, and are used

without permission, forentertainment purposes only. Images on this page

are property of20th Century Fox. No infringement upon the

rights of Marvel and Fox should be inferred; nor is any intended.

Archiving: OK

Characters: Magneto, Charles and the Lipchitz family.Part of the

Tara@costumes.orgWhatever Remains Series

Rating: PG.

Summary: Another trip to his tailor causes Magneto to remember the day when he and Charles first went to Lipchitz's shop.

Signs of the Times

The news that evening had predicted an early heat wave in New York, and Erik had been reminded of the necessity of ordering a summer weight uniform. The last thing he needed was to be flying around over the Eastern seaboard dripping sweat. Between, his imprisonment and getting back out, not to mention the whole awkward business with Rogue, the comparatively trivial matter of making an appointment with his tailor had, not surprisingly, slipped his mind. The weather report, however, galvanized the Master of Magnetism into action, and he had phoned Rolf Lipchitz the following day.

A week later he drove to the East Side, got a decent parking space less than two blocks from his destination by levitating the car into a tight space no ordinary human could have parallel parked into, and walked to Rolf’s place. The heat this year, he had to admit, was stifling.

At the door, in the dim window of Lipchitz Tailoring, was a hand-lettered sign, reading "MUTANTS WELCOME" in what he recognized as Rolf’s now wavering handwriting. He smiled, and entered, prepared for the usual wait, and mused on the sign. It was not that the sign was so unusual, he reflected. Manhattan was scattered with them, as well as "NO MUTANTS" signs, allowed by a recent State law permitting businesses to refuse service to mutants. What made him smile and remember, was the memory of a sign that had been taped in the same spot nearly half a century ago….

"COMMIES WELCOME" it had said, with a breathtaking combination of humor and daring. True, there were probably more openly communist citizens living in this neighborhood in New York than anywhere else in America, but in the summer of 1950, generally speaking, it was not exactly P.C. to say so. was turning the House Un-American Activities Committee into a three ring circus of fear, and people who were even suspected of being communists were getting subpoenaed, losing jobs, or even fleeing to Europe due to political persecution.

Yet there it was. Professionally lettered, and sitting in the sparklingly clean window of a tailor’s shop.

Erik had been looking for a tailor’s shop when he had walked to the neighborhood, and the sign certainly intrigued him with this one. He had grumblingly objected when Charles had tried to get him to order a suit from his own uptown tailor, and after enduring the looks that the old coot of a Scotsman gave his worn clothes and longish odd-colored hair, snapped at Xavier, and they had an argument. Eventually a compromise was reached: Erik would allow Charles to pay for some new clothes, if he could find a place, of his own choice, that was reasonably priced and to his own taste. He would meet Charles later at a bookstore to go home.

He still remembered how stupidly embarrassed he was to take money from Charles to buy suits. Such a small thing, he reflected now, but it had felt so "icky" (as little Rogue would say) at the time. Probably because, after Charles lost Gabrielle, on the ship back to America, the two friends suddenly found themselves in a position a bit more than just friendly, and were now living together in a relationship that would probably cause that prune of a Scotsman to throw them both in the street if he guessed at it. Erik found he had surprisingly few inhibitions about the relationship, but money was definitely one of them. Every time Charles, so much as paid for their hot dogs and beer while walking in the park, Erik suddenly felt like a kept man.

So he was in the worst possible humor that day, and had tried to walk off his shame and anger by making the whole trip on foot. The unusual sign had stopped him, and even intrigued him enough that he went inside the shop. A bell over the door rang when he entered, and an attractive bleached blonde American woman in an almost excessively fashionable dress came to wait on him. After a few typical commercial pleasantries and queries passed between them, the woman went to the back and extracted her husband from his workroom. Erik was surprised and a little disconcerted to see that he recognized him. And vice versa.

The tailor, after a moment of trying to place him, broke into a grin that seemed totally out of place to Erik’s way of thinking.

"Well if it isn’t B6808." He said. "So you moved to New York?"

"Yes." Was all he found he could say.

"You been here long?"

"About a month" Erik replied.

"You coulda fooled me, B6. Your English is really good. Me, it took me the last five years to get my speech to sound American." Erik noticed that it did sound like like the tailor had been raised in Brooklyn, not Poland.

Rolf went on: "You sound like you’ve been in England, or maybe Upstate for years."

"I’ve been in Israel. I had an American friend there, who taught me English." He didn’t choose to mention that Charles taught it to him telepathically, and so well that Charles’ American friends mistook Erik for Charles on the phone. "He’s from Westchester, and went to University in England." Somehow he found himself offering more information than he usually did, and yet still felt awkward having a normal conversation with a man he had last seen when they both were boys assigned to a forced work detail involving removing gold dental work from corpses.

The blond lady seemed to recognize his uneasiness, and demanded "So, honey, aren’t you going to introduce us, and invite him in?"

"Oh, sorry, yeah." The man stumbled. "Only I don’t know his name, sweetie…"

"I’m Erik Lenscherr."

"And I’m Rolf Lipchitz, NOT Ginger." The Man replied. "And this is my wife, Rosie."

"Nee Simon. Pleased to meet you, Mr. Lenscherr." The woman smiled dazzlingly, then turned to her husband and said: "Why ‘not Ginger’?"

"Cause in the camp my name was ‘Ginger’, honey." He told his wife. "Let’s go into the back, and Erik will tell you all about it. It’ll be funnier that way…" Then he wrapped an arm around Erik’s shoulder and ushered him back to the workroom.

Erik was vaguely disconcerted that he was expected to tell a "funny" story to the man’s wife, and was further surprised by being handed a cold bottle of beer to ingest instead of tea or coffee. Happily, Lipchitz seemed inclined to tell Erik the complete story of his years since the war, including his sponsorship by an American cousin, his first job, his courtship of the delectable Rosie, and every detail of every fun place to go in a 200 mile radius that he had visited with his wife. The couple seemed to spend nearly every night out dancing, and every weekend out driving. Rosie, apparently had family money sufficient to set them up in business, and yet still have a bit to spare for any moderately priced amusement they wanted.

Two hours, and two more beers later, and already late for his appointment with Charles, Erik finally had relaxed, and felt ready to explain to Mrs. Lipchitz why her husband was called "Ginger".

"In the camps, names weren’t allowed. We were all given

[1], or the guards would just call us ‘prisoner’"

"Or less polite names…" Rolf interjected.

Don’t tell me what they are." Rosie warned her spouse.

"Often prisoners had names for each other, but getting caught using them in front of the guards could get you punished."

"Or dead." Rolf interjected again.

"So there were no names." Erik continued. "But one day there was music playing, and no guards around and Rolf here started dancing to the music."

"You would, honey." Rosie said. "But why was there music?"

"They use’ta play music all the time in the camp, on big speakers. They had a whole prisoner orchestra that played music." Rolf explained.

"You’re kidding." Rosie insisted.

"No, really, it’s true." Erik added. "They played it to soothe the guards or some such thing."

"I always thought it was to kill us slowly with German Schmaltz, like ‘The Blue Danube’ or ‘Villja’." Rolf theorized.

"Well, whatever the reason, there was some such music playing, and Rolf started dancing to it." Erik continued. "Just then a pair of guards came to where we were supposed to be working and saw him. They were both young, not much older than we were, and instead of getting angry, were amused. They insisted that he dance for them. They brought two more guards over to see him dance, and they thought it was funny too."

"Oh, you poor baby." Rosie said as she deposited herself on her husband’s lap.

"Finally they all got into making jokes about dancers they had seen in American films, and asked him if he thought he was Fred Astaire. He said ‘No’, and then one of the guards said ‘No, he’s Ginger Rogers!’ and after that they all called him ‘Ginger’ and insisted we call him that too." It was just the sort of trivial cruelty that boys who volunteered for camp guard duty thought was fun.

Although Erik didn’t feel he told the story in a funny manner, his audience still laughed politely, and said to her husband "Well, I think you dance much more like Gene Kelley, honey, you’ve got swing!

"So, Erik." Lipchitz inquired, "Do you have a girl?"

Erik nearly choked on his beer at the sudden change in the conversation.

"Um, no."

"Never mind, he can take Fanny, or Nina." Rosie said.

"Fanny dances like a poster girl for the March of Dimes." Her spouse objected.

"Excuse me." Erik broke in. "What exactly are we talking about?"

"It’s Friday." Rolf explained. "This is America! You should go dancing with a girl and have some fun."

Before Erik could successfully interject again, the Lipchitz’s got into a heated debate over which dance club to go to and which of Rosie’s female relations should be Erik’s date. After they had negotiated peace on an inexpensive club in Brooklyn, and Nina for a date, Erik was finally allowed back into the conversation.

"I’m afraid that I have to meet up with my friend and go back to Westchester tonight. I’m sorry." He said, surprised to realize that he actually was.

Another flurry of conversation ensued, and Erik found himself pressured into telephoning Charles at the bookstore to ask if he wanted to go dancing as well. Charles, curious about anything to do with Erik’s mysterious past agreed, to the amazement of Erik.

Belatedly, they all remembered the original purpose of Erik’s visit to the shop. Rolf took measurements, and Erik chose two styles and fabrics from a sample book in great rapidity, trying to finish before Charles arrived.

Section where the Lipchitzs' shanghai Charles and Erik onto a double date with Fanny and Nina. Rolf explains his philosophy. Too much alcohol is imbibed. Fanny and Nina are goofballs. Charles manages to offend Rolf. Erik pours Charles home. (This section awaits information on NYC swing dance clubs in 1950 before it can be written. If you have information on this topic please write me at so I can get this important bit of exposition done for the story).

Back in the present, Erik has his fitting with Rolf and Sylvie. Sylvie is dressed very conservatively in a "preppy" style, because she is planning on going with David to meet his Dad (Charles) after the fitting. David and Sylvie are now engaged. Rolf disapproves. (Awaiting the above.)

Tara@costumes.org

After his fitting, he strolled back towards his car in an amiable frame of mind, humming "I Love New York in June". As he dug in his pocket for his keys two young men walked up to him and came close enough to nearly startle him. One shoved at the middle of his chest and shouted.

"GIMME YOUR WALLET!"

The other circled around behind him and shoved a blunt metal object into the back of his torso, in a manner that suggested he was a business associate of the shouting thug.

Erik remained unmoved. He allowed his gaze to take in the appearance of the two young men. The shouting one was twitching with withdrawal from some drug, and both were clearly masterpieces of some body modification parlor.

"My!" he smiled at them, disingenuously. "What very interesting piercings you boys have everywhere."

"GIMMIE YOUR WALLET, YOU OLD FART OR WE’LL PIERCE YOU!!"

The man behind him decided to cock the pistol for emphasis, like he had probably seen villains do in action movies. Erik was now even more amused.

"Indeed, it would seem that you even have piercings in places I personally would consider highly uncomfortable…." He smiled.

"How do you know that?" The less twitchy one asked, grabbing Erik by the shoulder.

"The same way I know how to do this." Erik replied, suiting his action to his words, and then stepped over the pair of writhing, screaming men to his car, humming cheerily again:

"I Love New York in June,

How about you?

I Love a Gershwin tune,

How about you?"

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Costumer's Manifestoby , Ph.D. Copyright 1996-2006. You may print out any ofthese pages for non-profit educational use such as school papers, teacher handouts, orwall displays.You may link to any page in my site.

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"The Costumer's Manifesto"
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