Disclaimer: I don't own Irene … or anyone else mentioned in this one-shot.

A.N.: This pointless drabble was inspired by reading Terry Pratchetts 'Darwin's Watch', re-reading 'Sophie's World' and the wonderful fic 'Minion' by our fellow FF-net author Gevaisa. Check it out if you get the chance. :)

And more importantly don't forget to R&R! Thanx :)

Destiny

'Is there such a thing as destiny?' 'And if so who or what controls it?' 'Could ones destiny be changed?' 'Does free will exist?'

Over the centuries many have pondered these questions but no one has come up with a definitive answer and the attempts of great philosophers to explaining the fickle nature of fate and free will often contradict each other. So most of us are left to search for answers on our own and Irene 'Destiny' Alder is no exception to this rule, which was perhaps an odd thing because Irene is a mutant with the power of precognition and should easily know the answer to any of these questions.

And usually if she's asked (which doesn't happen that often) she will say that she is the only 'Destiny' she knows off and that the future is a result of one's actions.

But today that answer doesn't come easily as it usually does.

Today she wonders…

'Can I create the future I want?' 'Or is our future predetermined?'

Either could be true.

For instance she lost her sight at the age of five as a result of a car crash.

But a later this tragedy turned out to be … well, perhaps not a blessing but useful non the less as her blindness forced her to rely on her mutant power to 'see' were she was going, giving her control and precision unrivalled by any other Precog in the world. And this particular twist of fate seems almost poetic, as she has slipped into the role of the blind 'Seer' which occurs in almost every fairytale or myth.

Almost as if it had been meant to be.

A disturbing thought. One, which Irene quickly pushes away and reminds herself that she sees not one future but all possible future. She sees hundreds of possible futures that pop up and wilt again, only to be replaced by a new version of that future.

A smile creeps onto the clairvoyant mutants face as she remembers the words of her favourite Starwars character Master Yoda: 'Always in motion the future is.'

And there have been times when the turn of events surprised her.

Her first kiss at the age of sixteen. It had been tender, salty sweet and completely unexpected. She had been sure the other girl didn't reciprocate her feelings so Irene had been almost in a state of shock when she pressed her lips against her own. Although it turned out that her first assessment of the situation had been accurate. Her crush only wanted to see what it was like to kiss another girl and wasn't really interested after all. She had been heartbroken.

Two years later at one of her parents many parties – they were diplomats after all – she would meet a young and at the time still impoverished Latvarian noble whom rescued her intoxicated guest who wouldn't take no for an answer. And although the 'rescue' hadn't been necessary it was no less appreciated.

In exchange she offered him to tell him about his future as she had seen it when he touched her, but he declined stating that he knew what his future held. He told her that he would free Latvaria from the chock hold of the Haasens and return as the rightful heir to the thrown.

There was no hesitation in his voice, no doubt, no uncertainty. That had never happened before and it hasn't happened since – at least not with the same unwavering confidence Victor von Doom showed that day. So she only told him that he was right (which he was), though she didn't tell him about the mask she saw over his face while they were speaking … perhaps she should have.

The third time something unexpected happened was when Irene met Raven.

As mentioned before she saw numerous versions of the future. Some were clear, some only had symbolic and some were distorted beyond recognition. Some timelines were more probable than others and altering them in favour of a less probable future isn't as easy as most novels or sci-fi movies made it look. Irene needed help if she wanted to ensure the changes she so desperately craved and if she wanted to figure out some of her more allusive precognitions.

So she sought out one of the world's greatest mercenaries Raven Darkholm.

She had not expected to fall in love with the blue meta-morph but she did. And to this day, despite all their problems, Irene considers the other woman to be the love of her life. She misses her dearly, especially during the night when her bed is cold and empty and Raven's arms are not around her.

But despite all of the control Irene has over her gift she sometimes misinterprets what she sees or it isn't always clear as her subconscious mixes replaces unknown places and faces with symbols that represent them. Sometimes she simply makes mistakes.

Like the day Rogue's power manifested. She really thought the X-men would hunt her, which is why she called Raven who would later take the shape of Xavier's team and pursue their daughter in a wild chase across Caldecott County.

But that doesn't mean she is happy about Rogue living with Xavier now.

In her opinion Xavier is an idiot. As a matter of fact so is Magneto, the idiot that would have ensured Rogue's survival in a war between humans and mutants but an idiot never the less.

Irene thinks so partially because of the ridicules get-ups these men or their staffs wear and partially because they are far to concerned with the possibility of a war with each other and or humanity to do what is really necessary for their people.

She is also concerned about the coming war (which is why she send Raven to Magneto … so they could keep an eye on him as he is far less predictable than Xavier), but she also knows that if mutants want to thrive – and not just survive – in this world they need to be educated and take up a profession. In other words they need to get a real job and not prance around in silly costumes all day.

Working as a mechanic, an accountant or for a psychic hotline (which Irene does to pay the bills, well that and her uncanny ability to pick the right stock options) is something the Master of Magnetism deems beneath 'homo superior' all together and Xavier dismisses as unimportant at least in comparison to being an X-men. Not that it is a completely bad idea to have a mutant team to take down criminal mutant or that the next generation of mutants learn to protect themselves but a man of Xavier's intellect should be able to understand that teenagers should not be sent into a full fledged battle.

And she can literally see his face if one of his students would consider taking up a job he considered menial labour.

In her opinion both men were far too convinced that mutants were the next step in evolution. Or perhaps even the ultimate step and there in lies the flaw of their logic. Like most things in nature evolution is not a straight line, it's more like a river that sometimes goes left, then right and then left again. It separates and it reunites at a later point.

So mutation isn't automatically progress, not that either man would admit that.

But somehow fate seems to have chosen them to lead mutant kind, as they are her peoples representatives in almost every timeline Irene can detect. Although Irene thinks she would have chosen better.

'So were back to this predetermination again.' Destiny sighs inwardly and begins massage her temples. Her head hurts which usually means that she is going to have a vision really soon.

'Maybe I can change the future or maybe I can't, but I'll never find out if I don't try.' The Precog thinks and decides to reflect on the nature of destiny on a later date for, because all she can do now is to wait and see. Just like everyone else.