Rated T+: For brief mention of sexual conduct.


There once was a woman who had never known love. Not the love you felt for another, or the love another felt for you. She had known the feeling of fierce loyalty for a man who offered many promises of a better world, but not love. It was through this man she had come to know lust, but still not love. Though deep down she desired love, life always denied her.

Then one day it was through the empty lust that the man unwittingly gave her an opportunity to finally know love: She had become pregnant. At first she didn't know what to make of this. She was a fighter, an assassin; a warrior drafted into a coming war. But the more the little life grew in her, the more she wanted it. At first she was afraid that the man - her leader - wouldn't allow her to keep it. But her worries turned out to be for nothing; he seemed to be very pleased by this event. He was going to let her keep the child. For the first time in years she felt joy, and the beginnings of what she knew had to be love.

Months went by; her belly swelled. She couldn't wait, she could feel it: The love growing in her. She knew this little person would love her despite who she was; all she'd done. And she would return this love, for as long as she lived. Perhaps even after.

Then the day came for her to give birth. It was the most intense pain she had ever known. But it paled in comparison to the anticipation. What would her child look like? Was it a boy or a girl? Would it be human? If it was would the man still let her have it? Hours passed, she became afraid; was there something wrong? She would have said a prayer, but she didn't believe. She stopped a long time ago.

Then the pain ceased; a cry rang through the air. Her baby had finally come. It was a boy, and he was beautiful. Raven hair, pale peachy skin, and the biggest golden eyes she had ever seen. Golden eyes… That meant he wasn't human! It had to! She couldn't bear to lose this child she already had come to love. The man took the child and tested him; he was not human. She was so relieved, and happy. So very happy.

The man had given her a time of rest, but when her strength returned the man said it was time for to her return to her duties. He had promised to keep her child safe, and she believed him. What a fool she was. She had been gone for days, and when she returned she wanted only to see her child. But she was denied. She demanded to see her son, she was told to remember her place. Suddenly the baby's cry rang out through the castle, and it was coming from the lab. Terror jolted through her body, shoving past the man she ran to her child. Breaking down the locked door she frantically searched the room, and found her child in some kind of pod, she couldn't see his face because he had been completely wrapped in a blanket.

Carefully she removed the blanket, and let out a horrified scream at what she saw. His once peachy skin was covered in blue fur, in his mouth were two white razor sharp fangs, his eyes glowed in the dim light, and his limbs were shaped all wrong! He had a tail! She heard the man enter the room, she whirled around. Her rage must have been apparent because he took a few steps back.

"MONSTER! WHAT HAVE YOU DONE TO HIM?"

She turned and ran out of the castle, ignoring his calls to stop. She ran into the woods, fear worming its way into her when she heard the barks of starved guard dogs. Her baby wailed in protest to the jerking motions, she could only hold him tighter and pray to a power she didn't believe in. They were catching up to them; she couldn't allow this man to have her child again! Ahead she could see a cavern with an old bridge stretching across it, the bridge didn't look trust worthy but she had no choice. She started to cross it when she felt a hand grab her cloak and jerk her backwards. The sudden action caused her to slip and her arms to snap apart. She screamed in horror when she saw her baby go falling down into the abyss.

"NO!"

She yanked herself free and watched over the bridge's side as her baby hit the river below. His wails still echoing through the cavern, her heart broke entirely. The walls she had spent years building around her emotions came crashing down, and she wept. The will to fight or run was gone; she turned her tear streaked face to look at him.

"Why?" she sobbed. "Why?"

He gave no answer; he simply turned and headed back to the castle. Having no where else to go, she stood up and followed him.

The following morning she went out searching, hoping to at least find her child's body. Instead she found something she didn't expect. Two humans had found her child; her still living child. To her shock they didn't scream or run when they saw his face. Instead the human woman had wrapped him protectively in her shawl, and the human man placed his arm around her shoulders. They turned and took her child into their home. Her heart burned to go and take her child back, but she knew he would be safer there. Away from him.

She would not tell the man her son lived; she would allow him to stay with these humans. To know another woman as mother. She turned and headed back before the man would notice her absence, she would give him no reason to question her now stained loyalty.

A few years passed; the woman was still in the man's service though she had not heard from him for quite some time. She had no qualms with that. She had met and become the occasional companion of a woman who saw the future. Perhaps there was the ghost of a platonic love between them, but not the love she prayed to air for.

Then one day an answer to her prayers came, in the form of a little girl she saw sitting outside an orphanage. Her skin had practically no color at all, she had mostly red-brown hair except for her bangs which were star white. Her wide green eyes held a loneliness that no child should have to feel. Her heart went out to this girl; she could see herself in her so clearly. Life had denied them both love, she had a chance to change that. To be this girls mother. Something she'd never be to the son whose name she didn't know.

She adopted the girl in a heartbeat, took her home and bought her everything a girl could ever want. She learned the name of the girl from the care takers of the orphanage, but for whatever reasons the girl would never respond to it. So she gave the girl a new name: Rogue. It seemed to suit her.

She took her daughter to see her friend the future seer, it was pleasant at first. But then her friend was suddenly gripped by a vision. She spoke warnings of the girl's future, of her coming abilities. She said to be cautious, but the woman wasn't worried. She could deal with her daughter's abilities when they came. For a short time they were happy.

But then the woman received a call. From him. He wanted her to return to her former duties. He made it clear this was not a choice for her to make. She knew she couldn't take her daughter with her; surely the man would do to her what he had done to her son. She wouldn't allow that to happen a second time. So the woman did the only thing she could to keep her child safe: She left her with her friend the seer to be guarded and raised. Twice now she had to allow her child to be loved by someone else.

Years passed; the woman never forgot her children. She never stopped praying to whatever power there was that she could see her children again. She prayed for a third chance.

Then one day her prayer was answered, what she perceived to be her third chance had come. Fate had brought both her children back to her. True they had no idea who she was, but she would find a way to tell them. What a wonderful thought it was! They could be a family. For the first time in her soul she sang thanks to the powers, for surely this miracle couldn't have occurred without divine intervention. She would finally know love.

When her chance came to tell them though, they didn't react as she hoped. There was no joy, no love. Only disbelief, anger and then hatred. Her children hated her. How could this be? She was their mother! Their mother. Why? Why were her children brought back to her, only to look at her with sneers and distrust? Why did the powers continue to mock her? She hated the powers! And the man who nearly caused her son to die! This was all their doing! Their fault!

But she was wrong; she had been mistaken. A third chance had been given to her, but she was so preoccupied with children that were no longer hers that she hadn't seen it. The powers had sent it in the form of new children, four boys and a girl. All of whom had gone the majority of their lives without love. Each of them in desperate need of a mother, and they each did look to her to fulfill this need. But she responded with harsh words and even physical blows. It wasn't long before these children too became biter and resentful towards her, as her previous children had.

In time they turned their backs on her, leaving her alone. It was only then did the woman realize the truth. She had blamed the man and the powers for keeping her children away. But they weren't kept from her, she had driven them away. And with that realization - like it had all those years ago - the wall around her emotions broke; and she cried.

By the fault of her own actions, Mystique would never know love.