Cel (c_elisa) wrote,

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The Ones God Blessed: A Mystique/Destiny FST

This is an attempt to sum up 80 years of love and partnership (give or take some Marvel time) in 14 songs and a few scanned comic-book panels. May contain inexplicable stylistic choices, personal fanon, and traces of crack.

zipfile (88mb):

The Ones God Blessed: A Mystique/Destiny FST

Anne Sofia von Otter and Elvis Costello - No Wonder
As a girl, years before her first appearance in canon, Mystique prepares to slip away from her old life without a trace.

There is a secret no one knows.
I set my face, I changed my clothes.

John Pagano - Change in My Life
Mystique has taken male form (or possibly just gone to Radclyffe Hall's couturier) and found work as a consulting detective. Against a background of gaslights and horse-drawn trolleys, young Irene Adler seeks her help. At this time the concept of a mutant exists only in an obscure passage in one of Destiny's journals, but they know that they're both set apart from others, and for the first time they're able to tell the whole truth about themselves. Should this meeting with an Austrian mutant in turn-of-the-century London be underscored with American Gospel? I think that question answers itself. (X-Treme X-Men #1)

But with you I belong
Because you helped me be strong
There's a change in my life since you came along

Cats Laughing - Black Knight's Work
In Europe between the wars, Destiny plays a patient game with history. Mystique (in her identity as "Mr. Raven") does the dirty work. In the long run, nothing they do seems to help. (Cats Laughing was Kitty Pryde's favorite band; a time-travelling Kitty met Mystique and Destiny in 1936, in X-Men: True Friends #3.)

Dark deeds and secret matters
You can fix it but it doesn't last
Bright flash, the mirror shatters
Who's reflected in the broken glass?

Talking Heads - Life During Wartime
Between their meeting and the founding of their version of the Brotherhood are many decades with barely a scrap of canon to cover them. Sometimes they are seen living in considerable comfort, but I think there must also have been times when their existence became more tenuous.

We dress like students, we dress like housewives
or in a suit and a tie
Changed my hairstyle so many times now
don't know what I look like

Oyster Band - Lovers in a Dangerous Time
Still, there are compensations.

These fragile bodies of touch and taste
This fragrant skin, this hair like lace
Spirits open to the thrust of grace
Never a breath you can afford to waste

Richard Thompson - She Said it Was Destiny
At times, Mystique and Destiny are separated and even try to work in secret from each other. (X-Men Forever #4, X-Men Unlimited #4.)

She said it was destiny
She said it was written somewhere
But if it was destiny,
Why am I over here and she’s over there?

Jill Hennessy - It's All Over Now, Baby Blue
Dreaming in bed alone, Destiny watches Mystique flee the wreckage of various future lives. Her dream is full of confusing imagery because it's written by Bob Dylan.

You must leave now, take what you need, you think will last.
But whatever you wish to keep, you better grab it fast.
Yonder stands your orphan with his gun,
Crying like a fire in the sun.
Look out the saints are comin' through
And it's all over now, Baby Blue.
(In my head, the image of "your orphan with his gun" combines -- with perfect dream logic -- baby Kurt, the child Mystique orphans, and Rogue, the orphan she rescues, who is seen crying and clutching a rifle in the version of their meeting in X-Men Unlimited #4. Explaining Unlimited #4 as a dream of Destiny's, not all of which comes literally true, solves quite a few of my problems with Mystique/Destiny&Rogue canon.)

Muse - Time is Running Out
Kurt is born, but during his birth Mystique reveals her true form. Trapped, she makes a desperate decision. Songs for throwing your baby off a cliff are hard to find, at least in my music collection, but this is one. (X-Men Unlimited #4 and Uncanny #428.)

I won't let you bury it
I won't let you smother it
I won't let you murder it

our time is running out
our time is running out
you can't push it underground
you can't stop it screaming out
How did it come to this?

Eva Cassidy - Time After Time
In the end they always come back to each other. But Destiny is aging, and Mystique isn't.

You say -- go slow --
I fall behind
The second hand unwinds

Eurythmics - Beautiful Child
Rogue comes into their lives. Mystique's parenting skills are questionable, but her love for their adopted daughter is not, and with only a little denial it's possible to think that this will last.

You'll be feeling fine
When you hit the ground
So don't slip away

Richard Thompson - King of Bohemia
Years before, Destiny held Mystique like a child after she was forced to kill a man (in X-Men Forever #3). Now Mystique holds Rogue after she kisses Cody and puts him in a coma (and Classic X-Men #4 will never convince me otherwise).

There is no rest
For the ones God blessed
And he blessed you best of all.
(I hope the reckless disregard for gender here isn't too distracting, by the way. Originally I was going to stick to male singers for first-person songs about Mystique when she was in male form, and female voices when she was in female form, but I couldn't make it work. I really wanted this song, and the Linda Ronstadt cover of it is something I'll never be able to unhear.)

Dave Carter & Tracy Grammer - The Mountain
Destiny foresees her own death in a dream. Struck by the glory of her vision, she finds a degree of acceptance. (Uncanny #254.)

Miller take me and miller grind me
Scatter my bones on the wild green tide
Maybe some roving bird will find me
Over the water we'll ride

Elvis Costello - Dust 2...
Mystique, however, is taken by surprise. The Mystique in my head is, if not an atheist, at least a materialist; perhaps that's why she has to come to terms with her lover's death in such a direct and physical way (X-Factor Annual #11).

You rub your eye a little and appear to blink...
What got into you is not a ghost as such
It was just dust.

The Beatles - Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da
Mystique sings this song (with slightly misremembered lyrics) after scattering Destiny's ashes at sea. It tells the story of a simple love, a stable home, untroubled by outside events or greater aspirations -- everything that their life together never was. But life goes on.

And a bonus track, for the XMM Mystique and Destiny of "Foresight":

Cry Cry Cry - By Way of Sorrow
Before Irene found her, Mystique was shot with a cure weapon, then abandoned by Magneto. Irene's always known it would happen that way.

You have drunk a bitter wine
With none to be your comfort
You who once were left behind
Will be welcome at love's table

You have come by way of sorrow
You have come by way of tears
But you'll reach your destiny
Meant to find you all these years
Meant to find you all these years.

I've decided not to flock this, so that more people can make fun of my musical taste download it, but I'll probably go back and flock it once the yousendit links expire. The liner notes are also in the zipfile and here.

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