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Enigma by Yahtzee (PG-13)

Title: Enigma by Yahtzee
Fandom: X-Men: First Class, fused with other X-Men canon (comics & movies 'verse)
Pairing: Erik/Charles
Categories: AU, Angst, Drama, Family, Time-travel
Length: Medium (11,146 words)
Warnings: multiple major & minor character deaths, includes World War II & concentration camps and violence, past child abuse, and brief cameos with real people

Author on LJ: yahtzee63 / [personal profile] yahtzee
Author Website: faviconYahtzee / Yahtzee's website

Summary:
Erik...finds a reversey-time mutant...and wakes up in the past. This time, though, it's before he ever met Charles - in fact, it's before his mother died.

He can save his mother that one time (thanks to his mastery over powers carrying back), but what does Erik do after that? Does he stick around, or escape and run to find Charles again (and hope everything doesn't go wrong)?

Review:
A deep character exploration (and de-/re-construction) of Erik, as well as a thrilling alternate history starting with Erik turning the tide of the European front in World War II. Erik's actions make mutants know far earlier, with interesting cultural implications (I particularly enjoyed that he was played by Montgomery Clift in a movie about him, with Audrey Hepburn as his love interest). He also has his parents, and that changes him further. He still meets Charles, and they do form a team together and train other mutants, but the changes in the past have huge impacts on how things turn out.

I was also astonished to discover how short Enigma is. Somehow the message, and history covered, and developments in character have such an epic scope, and yet it all fits compactly into a story slightly over eleven thousand words.

This story made me cry every time I've read it; the warnings for character death are to be taken seriously. But it's sort of a good kind of hurt. Erik changes everything, most of all himself, and by the ending it's like a weight has been lifted off his shoulders.

“I’ve heard from various customers, over the years. All of them say the same thing. They get what they want – but they pay a price that’s colder than cash. The price of getting what you want is losing what you have.”


Enigma

Comments

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
enderwiggin24
Mar. 4th, 2012 06:39 pm (UTC)
i totally second this rec
I remember giving kudos to this, and you reccing it, i had to go and reread, and damn, this is one of the few stories, where charles dying actually does not make me cry, because of the way, erik reacts in the end.
it fits so perfectly, and well, he lives with his choices, and honored charles choices.

i feel like you do, its a good kind of hurt.
(minus the crying thing. not when I feel it makes so much sense)
jenna_marianne
Mar. 5th, 2012 11:49 pm (UTC)
Re: i totally second this rec
So good; it really was cathartic. :D
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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Length Guidelines

Short: under 2,000 words
Medium: 2,000-15,000 words
Long: 15,000-40,000 words
Epic: 40,000-100,000 words
Super Epic: 100,000+ words

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