AN: I own nothing and no one portrayed here. "Who Wants to Live Forever" belongs to Queen. Yeah, I know I'm doing a lot of songfics lately. Can't help it. Anything to shut up the plot bunnies. For some reason they're stuck on Mystique's death. This assumes that Irene has not had any premonitions about Mystique's resurrection by Apocalypse.

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There's no time for us There's no place for us What is this thing that builds our dreams Yet slips away from us

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They're laying my Raven in the ground today. It's not much of a burial, considering there are only pieces of her left, but it was kind of Charles to do this for her, considering their enmity. I suppose he does it more for her son though, than for her. I can hear Kurt crying softly nearby, standing with Charles and the Windrider. I have never actually seen him but in my mind's eye he is a strong, handsome young man, with so much of his mother in him.

You would be proud of him, dearest. He has your goodness in him; the humanity that so few other than myself have seen and that you felt you had to bury in order to do what you thought needed doing. I was right; it was for the best that you give him up. Growing up apart from our world has kept him a pure soul, and it gives me comfort that that part of you has been kept alive and untainted.

It's not easy being right all the time though.................

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There's no chance for us It's all decided for us This world has only one sweet moment set aside for us

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The entire Institute is here, even some members of the Brotherhood. There is one glaring absence though.

She is in her room. Charles asked her to attend but she refused. I suppose it is only understandable. The others have been withdrawn from her. Kurt refuses to have anything to do with her. As horrible as it sounds, even I cannot quite bring myself to face her yet. My sweet little girl, my Rogue, grown up to be a killer. But then I knew that when we took her in..........

You've known me for decades darling, supported me through the trials and pains of my gift, but I don't think you've ever been able to understand the true pain that knowing the future can bring. To know what will happen, what needs to be done to bring the future into reality, but at the same time to know the costs is a heavy burden. We knew from the start that Rogue would be powerful, I told you about Apocalypse and that our daughter would be needed to stop him, but I never told you that she would destroy you in the process. How could do I that to you? Tell you that the beautiful little girl we took in would be your destruction. If I had I know you would have taken means to prevent it, but then she would not be in the place she is now, and she needs to be here to be the world's salvation.

All the things you've done, all the hurt you've caused, I wonder if you and she realize that it's all been part of Fate's plan, all been foretold? I was surprised when you resurrected Risty though. The shape I knew you as when we first met, before I lost my sight. I still remember the nights you held me close as I was losing my sight; your beautiful voice my anchor when the visions got to be too much. You promised to be my rock, and that our love would last forever. It was a fool's dream, but I let you believe, I let myself believe.

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But touch my tears with your lips, Touch my world with your fingertips, And we can have forever And we can love forever Forever is our today

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The service is over, and Charles has given me a moment alone at Raven's grave in a quiet corner of the garden. I can sense him nearby though. I can tell he has so many questions. Did I know this would happen? Do I blame her? What now? The first question; of course I knew. No solution to any problem is without consequences, and when faced with a choice between the lives of millions and the life of one woman, even if it's someone you love, how else could I choose?

The second question is not so easy. Some part of me, the part of me that remains Irene, the woman who loves Raven, does. There are times when I wish we had never taken her in, and over the years there were times when I saw our daughter growing up and felt a tiny bit of hate and fear, knowing what she would do. Destiny cannot be so emotional though. When a shot is fired, who is more to blame, the gun or the person who wields the weapon?

As for the third? I will tell Charles of Rogue's role in stopping Apocalypse, and what needs to be done to defeat him. I won't tell him of the inevitability of Raven's death though; I couldn't do that to Rogue, let her know she was destined to destroy her mother as a price for saving the world. Despite everything, she is still my daughter as much as Raven's and I still love her.

I also won't tell her about the doctor's report I received several months ago, just as I didn't tell Raven. I knew this would come also, and that there would be nothing either of them could do to prevent it. Not that it matters now; my love, my anchor is gone and nothing remains to keep me to this world. In my paperwork I've requested that I be laid next to Raven, and my diaries will go to Rogue, explaining everything. I suppose it's cowardly of me, to leave explanations for after I'm unable to answer for my deeds, but despite everything I'm still human; Raven may have been able to live with Rogue's hatred but I cannot.

Goodbye my darling, this is the last time I shall visit here in this life. You promised me forever; I'm sorry I never had the courage to tell you it was a lie.

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