Disclaimer: I do not own X-Men Evolution or any characters, places, things, or idea contained therein. It/they belong to Marvel comics, etc. I am writing this fic for entertainment purposes only, not monetary gain.

Summary: Mystique quietly watches her son. My first XME fic, no pairings.

Rating: K+

Warnings: None

Pairings: None

Spoilers:slight ones for Turn of the Rogue; Self Possessed; and Impact

Title: Reflections

Author: fyd818

Dedication: To the always-fabulous TeylaFan, who introduced me to the exciting, wonderful world of the X-Men. Thank you sooo much! *hugs*

Author's Note: This is my first X-Men Evolution fic ever. I will openly admit that I haven't seen every episode in the series (yet), but so far I have loved every one that I've seen. I sincerely hope I've captured everyone's "voices" right in this fic, and apologize in advance for anything that might not line up right with the show. Now then, I hope you enjoy this fic, and I would love to hear what you think, but please no flames. Thanks, and enjoy! ~fyd


Reflections

fyd818


Even though it had been many years, I still remembered the first and only time I'd ever held my son.

I knew when I found out that my little baby would be born into a very difficult life – perhaps the worst anyone could imagine. I am a mutant, and there was no doubt in my mind that my son would be the same. He would be shunned, laughed at, perhaps even hunted and killed. The world was not kind to those that are "different."

But when I took little Kurt into my arms, and looked down into his sweet, innocent face, I knew I would have to let him go. There had been a deeply hidden part of me that had wanted so badly to keep him, to hang on to him with everything I had and never let go.

My son.

Most people took one look at me and immediately thought I was a heartless mutant who had only her own interests in mind. In most ways, they were absolutely correct. I couldn't blame them for judging me that way. But when it came to Kurt, I couldn't keep my heart from melting. Heaven knew how much I didn't deserve him, but he was mine. I could never deny that, even though I wanted to so he could be safe, have as normal and good a life as a mutant could have. There was only one way that could happen: if I gave him up. He had a better chance even on the streets than with me. I knew there had to be someone out there with good enough a heart to take him in, protect him, love him the way he deserved to be loved.

I could still remember that moment so clearly. . .

I tucked the blanket away from his little face, stealing a moment of peaceful joy in what could quickly turn into a dangerous situation (I had had to find an alternate place to go to deliver Kurt, for what mutant in her right mind would go to the hospital to birth her equally mutant child?), gazing upon his tiny features, memorizing them. I had made the blanket myself, slowly working on it over the nine months I'd been pregnant with him. I had somehow known I was carrying a boy, and had monogrammed the name I'd chosen – Kurt – onto the soft blue blanket. Now it caused me to smile a little, for the blanket just matched the blue in his soft, downy fur – the same color as my skin. I could see other parts of myself in him – too much, to be honest. Besides the color of his fur, he had the same nose, even the same chin, as me. I hoped his resemblance to me stopped at his looks, for I couldn't bear it if this sweet, innocent child turned out to be a monster like me. It was too late to save myself – and, after all, I was completely devoted to my cause – but it was not too late to save Kurt, to keep him from the life I led. Surely there was someone, somewhere. . .

No! The word was suddenly there in my mind, powerful and impossible to ignore. Perhaps there were others out there better suited to raising him, but now that I was holding him, I just couldn't let him go.

My son.

Clutching him close to my body, I had hushed him as he started to cry. I felt tears well into my own eyes in response. My son was unhappy. I had to make him happy again, because he was everything that I was not. He deserved to be happy.

I left before I was supposed to. I was still weak, tired, drained from the exhaustion of months from running away from Magneto to hide Kurt's existence from him. I knew stopping somewhere halfway safe, in a place that protected mutants, to deliver Kurt would cost me precious time, but I couldn't risk losing my baby. At that moment, protecting him was the most important thing in my life.

Kurt eventually hushed. I held him as close to me as I could, knowing the cold German winter air would make him sick if I didn't keep him warm. I wanted to stop, to sit by a warm fire for a while and nurse my little boy like a normal mother would. But I couldn't – I had to keep him safe.

Maybe there was hope for us yet. Maybe I could find a way to permanently hide us, to make a safe, normal life for us. With each step I took, my dream took firmer hold inside myself, fanning the flames of my hope exponentially. Plans were zipping through my mind, becoming firmer and more real.

At the very pinnacle of my hope, my fleeting fancy of desire, I had lost myself. I wasn't paying attention to my surroundings like I should have been. The inevitable had happened, just when my life had hit a high point – when, for once, I was willing to be something I thought I could never be.

Magneto found us.

I had had tenuous arrangements with him before, working with him when it furthered my own agendas. I had turned a blind eye to his activities, particularly those that involved genetics. He loved to try to find out what made mutants tick. When I'd found out I was pregnant with Kurt, everything crashed down onto me at the same time. I knew if given a chance, Magneto would steal my son to use him to further his research. I couldn't let him do that! I had to keep Kurt safe!

My son.

I had done several overhauls to my wardrobe. Firstly, I couldn't afford anything fancy. Secondly, I had had to change clothes every couple of weeks because of my steadily-expanding waistline. Thirdly, I had painstakingly found garments that didn't include metal. Magneto couldn't use his powers against me if I wasn't wearing a scrap of metal, or there wasn't something metallic around. Finally, I was keeping close to the woods – trees were not made of metal, thus could not be used to ensnare me and Kurt.

An old wooden bridge was quickly approaching before me. I felt my breath catch in my throat, for something was telling me that if I was able to get us on the other side of that bridge, we would be all right. Nearly sobbing with mingled fear and relief, I ran onto the bridge, heedless if the old thing would hold my weight or not. That was not important – at the moment, I was willing to go on a little faith. I was too desperate not to try.

My feet, encased in shoes well-worn from the many miles they'd carried me, banged across the boards like drumbeats as I ran. I could see the end of the bridge just ahead of me, so close now, beckoning me toward freedom. . .

I tripped.

Everything was so clear to me in that moment. The feel of my toes, still smarting, from where they'd caught in the merest space between two half-rotted boards. The sensation of falling, the cold wind whistling faster against my cheeks as I went down. And, worst but clearly of all, the horrible sensation of Kurt falling from my arms, my momentum throwing him over the side of the bridge, into the freezing water below.

I screamed at the same moment I hit the floor of the bridge. If I hadn't been so crazy with grief, the impact probably would have knocked enough breath out of me to stop my cry. But I kept screaming my baby's name, crying out as I scrambled to the edge of the bridge. The water was rushing and churning beneath me, erasing any sign of where Kurt could possibly have gone.

Hands grasped my shoulders and yanked me back. I was too limp with shock, with grief, with anger, to resist. I had to find Kurt, get him out of the water, save him. But I couldn't, for the thing I had feared most had just happened – I'd proven too weak to protect him. He was gone from my grasp, probably for forever. But, somehow, I couldn't cry. The tears just wouldn't come – I was too numb, too frozen over with my emotions.

I gave in to Magneto, knowing my future could only lie with him. Perhaps, if he was powerful enough, I could one day find some closure about what happened to my son. There was the barest, slimmest hope that someone would find him, save him, care for him and love him. One day I could possibly use Magneto's connections to find him. . .

My son.

I blinked away the memory, angry. I thought I had dealt with my grief long ago. I had tried once more to find happiness in a child, the little girl with two-tone hair that I'd adopted at four-and-a-half years old, but there was no way she could fill the gap in my heart where my little Kurt belonged. I'd eventually had to let her go, too. Only this time, I'd let her go willingly.

It hadn't been until Magneto and I had encountered the X-Men that I found my little Kurt again. At first I didn't recognize him until I looked closer – then I saw the resemblance. The same soft blue fur, the same nose, the same chin. It was Kurt, right here before me!

My son.

It should have been a slap in the face, that Kurt had wound up with the X-Men – on the opposite side of the fight from me. But I was happy that the mysterious Professor Xavier had found him; for after all, hadn't I wanted nothing but good for Kurt? No one, not even me, could deny that the X-Men were anything but good. It was also ironic that I found my adoptive daughter with him – she'd grown to be an attractive girl. But in that encounter, my eyes had always been drawn back to Kurt, eagerly drinking in every little thing about him. He was safe, he was well, and I had no doubt he was loved.

Now I had demeaned myself to being a sidewalk sweeper, endlessly moving my broom back and forth as I watched the opposite sidewalk for even a glimpse. It had been nothing short of an answered prayer to discover that Kurt had been enrolled with others from the Xavier Institute into Bayville High School – all I had to do was wait somewhere along the route between the two places.

Fortunately, I didn't have long to wait. Before I knew it a group of kids approached, talking and laughing. I picked out some familiar faces – Cyclops, Jean Grey, Rogue – but I acknowledged them only enough to file away their presence at the back of my mind. My eyes went straight to Kurt (Nightcrawler, as I he'd heard the other X-Men call him during our encounter) where he was walking at the back of the group next to a girl with a pink sweater and a high ponytail – Shadowcat, if I remembered correctly for our brief former encounters. She and Kurt were laughing together, nudging each other playfully just like best friends should. My heart swelled briefly with relief – Kurt had found a best friend.

Only then did I register his appearance – he looked – well, normal. The hair was still the same, tousled as if he'd climbed out of bed without combing it, and I could still make out some familiar features. But he still looked different – normal. He looked like how I'd always hoped he would, healthy and normal and loved, and, most of all, happy.

Everything inside me ached to call out to him, to reach out and pull him to me in a hug, then never let him go. But I let him pass me by unawares across the street with his friends. I had lost Kurt long ago, and he had a different life now. One that didn't include me. It stung a little, but I was consoled by telling myself that it didn't matter – he didn't even know of my existence as anything but his enemy, the way I knew it should be. I hadn't been able to save myself, but I had, in my momentary slipup, been able to save him. That was worth any pain in the end.

As Kurt and his friends disappeared around the corner, I allowed my form to ripple back to normal. I stared after him, wrapping my arms around myself to hold in the bone-deep hurt I was feeling. Then I was shocked to discover my eyes were stinging, my vision was blurred, and my cheeks were feeling wet.

I reached up and brushed my eye, staring in disbelief at the tears that came away on my fingers. I was crying. After all these years, I'd begun to think I couldn't cry, that somehow I hadn't been born with that ability. But seeing my son happy and loved, with good friends and a good life – one without me in it – had somehow made me angry, sad, and happy all at once. I couldn't describe my feelings, I could only deal with them.

Turning in the direction the X-Men had come from, I slowly started walking toward Bayville High School. Perhaps it was time for Raven Darkholme to make an appearance – after all, if I could somehow insert myself into the workings of the school, I could get closer to Kurt. I could be a part of his life, watch out for him the way I'd always wanted to. This way, I could maybe find a way to eventually tell him I was his mother, and get to know him.

I was letting my hopes run away with me. For now, I had to concentrate on one step at a time, then let come what may. I would somehow convince myself that I was doing this to further my agendas, Magneto's researches and work, not for my own personal gain.

But there was still that part of me, the last part that still held a modicum of good, that was crying out in equal parts relief and pain.

My son.

-The End-


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