Spatter (or 5 Avengers who almost became X-Men)




Darcy isn't ashamed of being a mutant. She just doesn't want special treatment (or lack thereof) because of it, wanted to be evaluated on based on her own accomplishments (or lack thereof). By the time she transferred to Culver in Virginia, the high school diploma from Xavier's School for Gifted Children didn't matter as much as course credits from the three other colleges she'd attended in two other states. Not that she planned it that way. Darcy just has a healthy helping of New Shiny Syndrome, as Mr. Rasputin liked to call her habit of plunging headfirst into new projects without finishing old ones. But, Darcy figures, growing up means working on character flaws so she fully intends on finishing this particular internship with Jane Foster so she can finally graduate with her Poli-Sci degree. Which, beeteedubs, has absolutely nothing to do with her ability to travel through mirrors and trap scumbags inside.

Of the many things Bruce knows for sure, one of them is this: he is not a mutant. He is, perhaps, a mutate even before the gamma-radiation. He remembers going to one of his dad's offices as a child at least once a month, remembers caramels with an odd aftertaste, remembers picking at Batman bandages on his thigh or his arm, and, clearest of all, his dad's threats of harm should he ever speak of those visits. More vaguely, he remembers other people-- mostly kids and teenagers-- picking at their own arms and legs. He's not sure if the chain-link fences are real. He doesn't know if that one boy really did have metal glasses bolted to his face or if that little girl really did have white hair to match her white eyes. Soon after going on the run, in a Midwestern diner, he watches Magneto tear apart the Golden Gate Bridge and wonders how many times the military has had to put down the monsters they had made.

Sixteen, brash, with two years of carnie independence under his belt, Clint had laughed at the nerdy guy's recruitment spiel. No way he'd go back to school; he was a man, he earned money, he spent it, he had a good life. If being a mutant meant great eyesight and a photographic memory, then he already had his gifts mastered. Or so he thought. When shit went down, it had gone down bad, leaving Clint with the choice of jail or shooting people for America. Apparently, photographic memory doesn't guarantee intelligence. The real rock bottom wasn't the blast that took away eighty percent of his hearing (but not his eyes thank God not his eyes!), the dishonourable discharge that left him without means to buy hearing aids, or even the gas station B&E's for crappy food. No, his shittiest moment was when the same pro-mutant recruitment nerd brought him to Xavier's for room and board, no questions asked, and Clint repaid him by stealing from the school. Transferring to the Avengers base in New York City meant living within driving distance of the school. Clint's second shittiest moment was standing in front of a gravestone at Xavier's, unable to even apologize properly to Scott Summers.

Tony knows he's a mutant. He knows mutants are second-class citizens. However, Tony is Howard Stark's son, one of the richest people in the world (apparently writing about wizards is more lucrative than making bombs, who the fuck knew?!, thanks Dad!), and deft juggler of many a politician's balls (figuratively, of course, because literal ball-juggling requires photographic evidence and Tony can be discrete when it suits him). Tony knows he's a mutant because Howard Stark said so. Howard Stark said so because Brian Xavier said so. More importantly, Tony knows because no one else can hear machines talk. He's not quirky, hallucinating drunk, or sleep-deprived-- he talks to gears and circuit boards. They talk back. That's why he's a fantastic fucking engineer. When Tony programmed JARVIS, he did it so other people would understand what they were lacking. He lives for his machines and now they ensure he still bleeds.

Natalya met a man during the Siege of Leningrad, when dogs, cats, rats and small children disappeared during the winter months, when even the soldiers' daily ration was five hundred grams of bread that was more sawdust than flour. The man had wiry hair and a matted beard, lean muscles despite the lack of food, and an uncanny ability to sneak through the siege lines without harm although he returned with his clothing torn and bloodied. She followed him one night, determined to find his food stash. As stealthy as she had learned to be, he caught her before she could crawl through a hole in the city wall. A mortar exploded where she would have exited. Natalya hugged her stomach and held back the urge to vomit. She could not afford to lose any more nutrition. The man sniffed at her. His eyes snapped to her belly wrapped in layers of men's clothes. He told her to wait and she did because what else was she to do? When he returned with a fistful of charred meat and trousers blood-stained in one thigh, Natalya ate the offering without question. Was she a mutant before the Red Room? She doesn't know. But that day stands out in her memory as the day when she stopped being wholly human.

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