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The funeral service was bitter, but sweet. Everyone had something to say about Graydon. Most of them came from former students who had arrived at the institute emotionally scarred, feeling unable to cope, but with kindness and support shown by Graydon they had managed to heal and bloom.

Professor Xavier talked about Graydon when he first met him, how he too was a disturbed young man, but who managed to overcome his demons.

Nightcrawler talked about all the games they had played on one another, and on others like Cyclops. How he never saw him just as a friend, but also as a brother.

Cyclops talked how he and Graydon rarely got along because Graydon thought he was a Teacher's Pet and a Stick in The Mud…which, he added amusedly, he was right about by the way. But when they worked together in the running of the school, there was nothing they couldn't do.

Many others got up to speak; offering their own voices in remembrance about the Xavier Institute's only non-mutant. The only one who didn't speak was Logan.

Everyone assured him that he was not to blame for Graydon's death. Nightcrawler had seen the whole thing, how Graydon had run right into him while his claws were out. Graydon had grown up with him, so he should have known better.

As far as Logan was concerned, that was all bullshit!

He should have been more attentive! He shouldn't have let his rage get the better of him! He should have…he should have…done something different.

He had decided to leave the X-Men, despite everyone's protests, but he was adamant. There were too many memories there at the school, and he felt it was time to start fresh somewhere else. Or maybe go back to his old farm in Tibet? As far as he knew, it was still there and in his name.

"I would like to speak!" a woman's voice suddenly spoke out from the crowd.

Everyone turned to see a dark-haired woman in glasses walk up to the stand. No one had a clue who she was.

"I didn't know Graydon Creed," she said, "at least not nearly as well as I would have liked. But I am pleased he was surrounded by good friends, and had a good life here with you X-Men. He obviously did good work by helping out your children and students, and thought of others before himself, which is far more than a lot of us can say for ourselves… May you rest in peace, Graydon."

With that, the woman stepped away from the stand, heading towards the exit.

Many wanted to stop her and ask who she was, but many more still wanted to speak, so they allowed her to go in peace.


Several Hours Later:

The dark-haired woman stood outside her car, parked right outside the gates of the Xavier Institute. She had been standing there for over an hour, ever since the end of the funeral.

She was waiting for someone.

She heard the sound of a man's footsteps approaching her, but didn't bother turning around. She knew who it was.

The footsteps continued approaching her until they were standing right beside her, yet still she didn't turn, nor did she even think to be afraid, which was what a lot of people would be, especially considering those footsteps belonged to.

"Hello, lover," she simply said.

The man in the oversized shoes lifted up his hat at her. "Mystique," he greeted her.

"Sabretooth," she greeted back.

"Didn't figure on you being here," he said, leaning back on her car beside her. "You were never there for him when he was growing up. Why now?"

"I was there at the beginning of his life. It seemed only right I be there at the end of it."

He grunted. "Didn't figure you for the sentimental type."

"Look who's talking. By the way, where's that slut of yours?"

He smirked. "Why, you jealous?"

She scoffed. "Please, any feelings I ever had for you, if I ever did, died long ago, Creed."

He growled. "Birdy's home. I told her to wait till I needed her." He looked at her curiously. "How'd you know Graydon was here and everything by the way? You haven't shown your blue hind to him since before he was crawling, and suddenly you're at his funeral."

She shrugged. "The X-Men and I have had some dealings in the past, and I learned he was with them."

"And you didn't bother showing yourself to him in all that time?"

"What would be the point?"

Sabretooth glared at her, and then they sat in silence for a few seconds before he finally asked, "Incidentally, give me one good reason why I shouldn't be ripping your throat out right about now?"

"Wouldn't that be bad taste, on the day of our son's funeral and all?"

"I've done worse."

"You wanna fight, okay. But don't forget where we are. I imagine a lot of the X-Men are probably blaming you for what happened to Graydon, and a fight would soon attract their attention."

Sabretooth said nothing to that, and just growled again, leaning further back against the car. In truth, there was nothing he wanted more than to taste her blood on his lips, right after ripping her blue hide into so many pieces that not even her morphing powers would give her back a full form. But he couldn't deny she was right. A fight here, right outside the X-Mansion, would be unwise.

It wasn't just because she had once betrayed him that he wanted to slice her to ribbons, but also because of her abandoning Graydon. It reminded him bitterly of his own mother, how she had stood by while his father had tortured him for years in that damn cellar.

'I'm gonna need Birdy to give me the Glow again, soon as I get back,' he thought, and then asked aloud, "How'd you know I'd be here?"

"I took a chance that you might come to our boy's funeral. Granted, I knew you'd never be stupid enough to actually go into it, what with all those X-Men there gunning for your blood. But I figured you'd be some place close by, just to watch. I also knew you'd be able to sniff me out wherever you were. After that, it was just a simple matter of waiting."

"What do you want, Mystique?"

"Just…to talk."

"About what?"

"Anything you want really. But…I guess what I'd really like to know is about Graydon. You raised him after all."

"Raised him, yeah. But he weren't mine in the end. After all that, he ended up being Logan's son instead!" He snarled.

She gave him a long stare. 'Still possessive, as always,' she thought, remembering all too well how he was during their relationship. The memories of their time together still gave her the creeps. She remembered how she would sleep with his arms encased around her, leaving her little room to move, and the morning after when she would wake up and find him standing over her, just staring at her. She had felt like a prisoner, and couldn't even imagine what life for their son must have been like.

"I'm not sure about that," she said finally.

He looked at her. "What do you mean?"

"Logan was about to skewer you, right? Only Graydon jumped in at the last minute, sacrificed himself for you. Tell me, what guy would do that for anyone but his own father?"

Sabretooth went silent again, wondering how she even knew about all that.

"So?" she asked.

"So what?"

"So…what was he like? Did he like school? Did he have many friends? What was his favourite story as a kid?"

Sabretooth stared at her for a few moments, and then he got up.

"Where you going?" she said, looking up at him.

"I don't need this shit right now," he said, and looked as if he were about to leave. Before he did, though, he took a long look at the woman he had once come close to actually loving. "You had your chance to be a part of his life years ago, Mystique. You blew it. Don't come crying to me now."

Mystique shrugged, as though it didn't matter. "It's in my nature, Creed. I'm a shapeshifter after all, trusted by no one, not even our own kind. I learned long ago that the only thing I could trust was myself. So I did what I could only do…and survived."

Sabretooth tilted his head at her. "By any means necessary I'm guessing. Hence why you dumped your baby boy into the lap of a guy who for all you knew might have killed him."

She said nothing.

"Like I said, Mystique…you had your chance years ago. It's too late now. Deal with it."

He turned again to leave, only to be stopped when she suddenly shot out her hand and grasped his.

"I'm not asking for the world!" she said, her tone sharp, and her yellow eyes for once holding something akin to desperation, but she did not beg. "I'm only asking to know a little something…anything, about our son. Is that too much for you?"

This time he didn't bother to turn around. He didn't even say anything, and just walked out of her grasp. And that was by far the worst and most cruel punishment that he had ever given anyone before in his whole life, and this time he hadn't even needed to unsheathe his claws.

She watched him go until he was out of sight. Once he was gone, Mystique the famed shapeshifter, a feared agent known for her cold and callous personality, noted for her sharp attitude…let a small tear roll down her cheek.

The End!

To know more about the X-Men or the mentioned stories in this saga…buy the comics!