Disclaimer: I don't own the X-Men; now don't make me say that again through this whole fanfic.

A/N: I'm going to try to be as historically accurate as possible in this story. Don't get on my case if this isn't super-accurate to the textbook. It's a fanfiction, not an autobiography!

The Warrior-Queen

Queen Boudica, the tall, fiery-tempered, red-haired Celtic queen, was a queen of the ancient Celtic Iceni tribe in Britain. The area the Iceni tribe inhabited is modern-day Norfolk. The name "Boudica," also spelled "Boudicca," or "Boadicea," means "victory;" which is what Queen Boudica is famous for. She was born around BC 2, and lived until AD 60. Little about her death is known, because she, along with her two daughters, disappeared at Manduessedum, in a battle against the Roman forces commanded by Gauis Suetonius Paulinus. One thing about Boudica that is well known, though: she was a warrior.

*

The day the great Queen Boudica's daughter was born, the whole Iceni tribe held its breath. If the daughter of the tall, fiery, read-haired Celtic queen was going to be anything like her mother, she had a lot to live up to. The baby was quite unremarkable, but pretty cute, as babies are.

"What will her name be, Queen?" one of the midwives asked the new mother. Boudica considered for a moment, looking at the small child in her arms.

"Rahne. Her name will be Rahne."

*

Five years after Rahne's birth, she was living a good life, due to the fact she was the daughter of the King and Queen of the Iceni tribe. Rahne had no sisters or brothers, but the other kids living in the compound were fun to play hunt with.

"Rahne! Come here!" Rahne's mother's rough voice called over the compound. Rahne gave the horse she was stropping [1] one final glance and dropped the wisp, running off towards the roundhouse. She arrived to see Boudica standing in the clearing in front of the roundhouse holding two swords.

"Today, I'm going to teach you how to fight. Take this sword and swing it at me as hard as you can." Boudica offered Rahne the lighter, shorter sword. Rahne looked at it for a moment, then took it. The sword nearly fell out of her hands; she hadn't been prepared for the weight of it. She did what she was told, though, and managed to swing it at Boudica's leg. Boudica swing her sword down, almost lazily, and blocked Rahne's weak blow.

"The sword's heavy, mum," Rahne complained, letting the sword drop in her hands so the tip dug into the earth, but the hilt stayed in her hands.

"Of course it is! How would you kill a Roman with a light sword? You'll learn how to do this, Rahne, if it's the last thing I teach you. I learned to fight with a sword when I was three!" Boudica scoffed. Rahne dragged the sword into an upright position. Her arms shook with the effort of holding the sword upright in front of her. Boudica smiled at her daughter's efforts.

"Good! We'll have a warrior out of you yet. Now, brace yourself. I'm going to swing my sword, and you have to make sure my sword-tip doesn't hit you." The queen let her sword-tip drop and whistle through the air, clanging against her daughter's sword. The impact, though Boudica thought it was light, made Rahne stagger sideways with the effort of holding the sword and maintaining her balance. Boudica's sword swung back down in her hands and hit Rahne's little sword a second time. Already off balance, Rahne toppled over and nearly sliced herself on the fallen blade.

"I can't do it! I'm not meant for swords. I'm titchy, not like you, mum." Rahne said, picking herself up and hauling her sword up. If there was one thing Rahne learned in five years, it was to always pick yourself back up.

"If you really can't manage a sword, then go into the roundhouse and find my slingshot. Maybe you'll be good with that." Boudica frowned and sent little Rahne off. What Rahne had said worried Boudica. Normally, five-year-olds were so much bigger than Rahne. She was right when she had said she was titchy. Rahne came running back out of the roundhouse, holding the yew slingshot.

"Found it," Rahne said.

"Find a little pebble," Boudica commanded. Rahne dropped to the ground and scrounged around for a pebble. She straightened back up with a small, round stone in her dirty little hand. Boudica nodded and took it, putting it on the leather shape that was attached to the sheep tendons.

"Watch me closely." The queen furrowed her brow for a moment, pulling back on the pebble and leather, then released it. Rahne looked around wildly to find the pebble, then she heard a faint thunk. Boudica started striding toward one of the trees in the compound, Rahne running to keep up with her mother's vast steps. When she got to the tree, Boudica lifted Rahne up to show her a small, deep hole high in the tree's trunk.

"The pebble's in there?" Rahne asked in wonder. Boudica grunted, and set Rahne down. For such a small child, she weighed a lot; but she wasn't an ounce overweight. Dense muscles, Boudica supposed.

"Yes. Do you want to learn the slingshot?" Boudica asked. Rahne nodded, ecstatic.

"I'd love to!"

*

After an hour of coaching Rahne how to aim a slingshot, Boudica was quite satisfied with her daughter's performance. Rahne, however, was sorry she ever asked to learn slingshot. After Boudica had explained how Rahne would hit with pinpoint accuracy, knocking out the enemy's eyes, and how she would one day succeed as the Iceni queen, Rahne wanted nothing to do with war. It was too . . . involved, and time-consuming, not to mention slightly bloody.

Rahne retreated to the horse's pasture and hunted for her wisp before going back to strop another horse. The horses didn't mind Rahne, they just kept on grazing as Rahne smacked their coats with the wisp of wound hay, smack, brush, rub, smack, brush, rub, smack, brush, rub . . . Rahne fell into a sort of daze as she automatically moved the wisp over the horse's legs and belly – those were the only parts of the horse she was tall enough to reach.

The little girl was thinking about how she was so short, but the only reason the other kids didn't tease her was because her mother was the queen. Rahne's mind moved from subject to subject, considering things well beyond her years. It was obvious she had inherited her mother's smarts and cunning. Finally, Rahne came to the horses. Her mother wouldn't let her ride them, and she didn't like Rahne going into the pastures. Why, though? Rahne didn't see anything wrong with that. So, then, what did Boudica see with that?

*

In the roundhouse, Boudica was standing over the fire, her husband, Prasutagus, the king, was talking to her.

"She's not normal, Prasutagus! Five years old, and barely up to a horse's knee! Weighs as much as a young pig, not a stone of fat!" Boudica ranted, stirring the stew angrily.

"Well, love, you're not exactly normal either," Prasutagus reasoned. "Taller than a man, fiercer than a she-wolf," he laughed.

"Yes, that's all well, but it's just . . . just, uh!" Boudica said, lost for words. "Out with the horses each day, doesn't want to learn about swords and slingshots or fighting! Rahne has only ears for horses, dogs and wolves!"

"Right proper huntress, then. Rahne insists on dogs, then Rahne'll be the leader of the pack one day, you'll see. Horses, that's fine. Rahne will be the woman of the woods. It's not a bad thing, love." Prasutagus said, standing from the bench and going over to Boudica. They were both the same height, so when Boudica looked up from the fire, she didn't have to really tilt her chin to see into Prasutagus's dark eyes. The queen sighed and stepped away from him, turning her attention back to the fire.

All Boudica really wanted was a daughter to carry on her legacy, a daughter just like her, a warrior queen. The daughter she didn't get with Rahne, though, she was about to get. Boudica turned her gaze from the fire to her big belly. The bulge was mainly hidden by the thick wool of her dress and shawl, but you could still see it if you looked hard enough. Prasutagus was hoping it was a son, so he could have a king to rule after him, but Boudica dearly wanted a daughter. A flame-haired warrior queen daughter.

*

First chapter of my new story! I'm keeping it as historically accurate as possible, but seeing as nothing about Boudica's daughters was ever really recorded, I can have more freedom with this. Please review!

[1] Stropping a horse is not, like, beating it. Stropping is a rather therapeutic was of brushing a horse with a wisp – a small piece of hay or twine – that is used to briskly rub the horse and "beat" the flat muscles of the shoulders, barrel, neck, and haunches. This makes the muscles release the waste products, like lactic acid, and feels good to the horse.