Author: Kat Lee
Character/Pairing: Mystique/Destiny with cameos from Nightcrawler and Rogue
Challenge/Prompt: femslashbb: Fantasy
Word Count: 1,301
Date Written: 12 March 2017
Disclaimer: All characters within belong to Marvel Comics and Disney, not the author, and are used without permission.
She can still find her in her dreams, which is why she sleeps so much these days. Every time she shuts her eyes and begins to doze, Irene is there waiting for her to hold her once again in her loving arms. She's only ever felt love for this one woman. Every man and woman who came before her and the few who have came after have always been about the sex, if not just mere affection. They've been about getting by, not about loving or being loved.
But for Irene, she still feels that love. She will always feel that love, Raven knows, and so she chases after it the only way she knows how: She shuts her eyes and dreams. Sometimes, it's a memory, sometimes good, sometimes bad, that her mind wants her to recall. She regrets every fight now, not the fights against their enemies, of course, but the fights between each other. Fighting Irene over their kids was never worth it; she should have just given in every time. After all, if she had her life to live over again, one of the few things she'd want to change is the fact that she'd go from being overprotective to doting on her beloved and their children at every single opportunity she received for every opportunity, she understands now belatedly, is a blessing.
Other times, it's just a normal day that's either a day that they lived together or a day that they could have easily experienced, stolen moments in between battles, passionate kisses stolen in secret, Irene's gentle grace and musical laughter, and those wonderful, beautiful cloudy eyes that could always see through all of Raven's disguises straight to her deepest heart, which has always often been a place she herself has not dared explore. Yet, with Irene, she does just as she did so many other things she never thought she would, settling down, raising a family, fighting the good fight . . . She's the woman she is today because Irene first found, through some way Raven will never quite understand, a person within her deserving of her love.
Sometimes, they're with their children; other times, it's just the two of them. Still other dreams have her fantasizing about things they never did and roles they never played. Sometimes, she's a Knight saving Irene from a castle or a dragon. Sometimes, even in her dreams, she understands that the Legacy Virus is the dragon, and she can not win the fight no matter how hard she tries. Still, at other times and in other dreams, Irene is a ghost, come back from the grave to visit with and love her again. In all these dreams, she says all the words Raven needs to hear, all the words she's aching with her every breath through these days she still survives to hear.
She's rarely visited by the nightmares these days. Her life has become a nightmare, so she doesn't need the beasts in her dreams. She doesn't need to dream Irene begging to be saved when she can not save her, when she gives life and soul to save her but still can not, because that is simply a mirror of the world she's surviving. She doesn't need to dream, either, as she used to, about a world where Irene and her children look at her in scorn and laughter because they neither need or love her. That, too, is far too painfully close to reality.
She understands that the dreams she has these days are also a blessing. They feel so real, and any way that she can still reach out, touch, and caress her beloved, hold the woman she loves who was taken from them all far too early, is a blessing. She'd stay in her dreams all the time if their children didn't need her. Even now, as she wakes, she can feel them lingering just outside her bedroom door. She hears Rogue whisper, her beautiful, green eyes full of weeping concern, "Should we wake her? She's been asleep so long this time."
"Nein," her wise and kind son answers, his pointed tail whisking in the shadows behind him, "she needs it, schwester. Every dream she has brings her closer to Mutter."
"Ah miss Mothah."
"Ve all do," Kurt replies and takes his sister, her eyes filling once more with tears, into his arms. His embrace has always been the second kindest one Raven has ever known, second only to the woman for whom they all miss and grieve still every day of their lives.
She fights through the fog to awaken. It hurts to let go of Irene, even knowing what she's been experiencing all night is only a dream, but their children need her. For them, just as she promised her love, she will continue to live, to love, and to fight, and only for them. When the day comes and she's buried them as well, she'll finally be free to walk into the next life and once again truly hold Irene's hand in hers. She wonders if it will be as wrinkled with age as the last hand to which she pressed her lips. Her love will probably look young again -- she'll certainly be whole again --, but it doesn't matter. Raven will always love her, no matter how she looks or how long she's gone from her.
Bullets suddenly rip through the air. Screams pierce her dreams and heart. Raven's yellow eyes pop open, and she looks around her. She forces her heart's wild, rampant beating to calm. It was only a dream, she reminds herself. It was only a dream. Irene has been gone from her for far too long, and she values every moment she receives with her in any and every dream, but her children never wanted her. They always chose Xavier's side over hers. Even Irene's love was never enough to persuade them to stay.
With her heart hanging so heavy in her chest that it feels almost like cold, dead lead, Raven rolls over to her side and reaches out to the jug beside her cot. Bullets again riddle the building where she's hiding as she pours the burning alcohol down her parched throat. Irene would tell her she's drinking too much these days, but she's no longer here to tell her anything. That's exactly why she's drinking, and dreaming, too much.
Mystique downs the rest of her jug quickly before rolling to her feet and darting to the single window in the room. She peers out onto the war-torn land. She chose this place well when she needed to disappear the last time which, she hopes, really will be the last time. Danger and death are all across this land, and she's never needed either more. Grabbing her guns, she jumps out of the window into the fire of the enemy -- and every man is her enemy now -- and starts firing the moment she's out of the building.
She kills indiscriminately, creating more screams from both sides of the war, but she can no longer find pleasure in other people's pain. She can no longer find pleasure at all except in her dreams, which always bring reassurance while she's sleeping yet leave her with even more pain with their non too subtle reminders that her beloved is long gone, dead and cold and buried six feet under the ground. No one will even bother bury her, Raven knows, but that's okay. She doesn't want to be buried. She only wants to go from this world, hopefully to find Irene again but to depart from it nonetheless. She hopes, firing at both sides, that today will finally be that day for she knows that will be the only release she ever truly receives.