Author: Kat Lee
Challenge/Prompt: beattheblackdog 74: Marriage
Warning(s): Cannon Character Deaths, Spoilers
Word Count: 1,179
Date Written: 5 August 2017
Disclaimer: All characters within belong to Marvel Comics and Disney, not the author, and are used without permission.
She stands at a window as the moon rises, overlooking a city she long ago stopped believing would ever happen. A snort suddenly sounds from behind her. Rahne doesn’t look back, but she does fear the familiar itch of fur beginning to grow on the backs of her hands. Her tail, already sprouted, swishes behind her as Marrow’s gravelly voice taunts, “Don’t tell me you’re pouting again.”
“Nae.” It’s not a complete lie, she tells herself. She’s more contemplative right now than she is sad, more thinking than pouting. “I jest . . . I ne’er believed this would happen. Did ye?”
Marrow snorts again. “Did I ever think I’d be able to walk out there among the humans? Hell, no. But Xorn’s made this possible. He’s made it all possible for us.”
“All hail Xorn,” Rahne whispers.
Apparently content with her answer, Marrow moves on, leaving Rahne to her thoughts . . . and her guilt. Much has changed about her life, but one of the few things that’s stayed the same is her faith. Despite the attempts of Reverend Craig and so many other supposed “Christians”, she’s always stayed true to the faith she possessed as a child. She’s never worshipped any other deity, and especially not any man, until now. Xorn claims he wants everyone to be able to practice their own faith, but Rahne knows better. There are far too many “Hail Xorn”s floating through these hallways for the man not to expect himself to be worshipped as a god.
There are other gods, Rahne knows besides hers. She’s fought both against and alongside them. She knows they exist, just as she knows, when all is said and done, Xorn is only a mutant, like the rest of them. But yet, he’s made this possible! Mutants and humans are walking alongside each other every day now, twenty four hours a day. Professor Xavier’s dream has finally been realized, even if it’s through methods that she knows, in her heart, the Professor and Lady Moira would never have given their approval.
But look at wha’ their honor got ‘em, a voice whispers in her head. Is it her own? Things are so different now, and she’s heard the voice so many times, that she’s no longer sure. What does it even matter if it’s not? It still speaks the truth after all. Both the Professor and Lady Moira are dead. So many of those she’s loved are dead. They lived honorable lives. They did everything they could and gave everything they had to make the Dream happen, and in the end, all their beliefs and honor did was cost them their lives.
And left alone. Rahne shivers, though it’s not cold. It’s never cold here in New Tian. She shivers and lets her fur grow and thinks again on all the things in her life she once took for granted. She wanted to be an X-Man. She never wanted to fight against them. She thought she’d always be one of them.
Just as she thought they’d find a cure for the Legacy Virus before Lady Moira died. Just as she never imagined the Professor dying before his dream could be made a reality. Just as she never thought that Scott would go evil, or the White Queen good. Just as she once always believed Sam and Dani, especially Dani, would always be here for her. And she’d always walk the right path, the good and righteous one, until she married and eventually retired to raise her own children, who would also become the X-Men when their time came.
But now all she is alone and clinging to a dream that’s been realized but, again, not through any methods Lady Moira, the Professor, or even she herself once would approve of. None of this is how she thought it would be, but then the ideals she possessed as a child have also been proven to not be real. Marriage, for example, doesn’t last. Even Scott and Jean’s marriage didn’t last, and Moira never actually married Sean -- because both Lady Moira and Sean knew that his heart was no longer in their engagement by the time she was announced to have the Virus. Moira had once been determined to let him go, but Sean had clung just as determinedly to her -- not out of love but for honor’s sake only. Rahne growls, deep and low in her throat, her eyes flashing. Marrow’s right: The X-Men are a bloody, stubborn bunch.
None more so, she thinks, than herself. She’s tried so long to lead a righteous life, when there’s nothing righteous about her. The Lord may still love her, but that doesn’t mean she was made in His image. She looks down as her fingernails grow into deadly sharp claws. She was made in the shape of a Demon, and even if the Lord does still love her, as Lady Moira always said He would, that doesn’t mean she can be righteous or that a righteous life can get her anywhere in return.
It certainly didn’t save the woman who was her mother, or her child for that matter. It didn’t save any of the countless friends she’s buried over her years as an X-Man. It didn’t save Scott, or Jean, or their love. It didn’t save the Professor. It didn’t save Sean. It didn’t save any of them. And it won’t save mutants as a whole, but New Tian will save them.
Maybe it’s not the way they wanted the Dream to be realized. Maybe it’s not the Professor’s original Dream at all. But it is a safe haven for mutants. It is a place where all of them, righteous and Demon spawn alike, can live together in peace and safety. It is a place where children don’t have to be afraid and parents have no need to fear for their children, or the evil Reverends who might sink their vicious claws into them.
Rahne’s own vicious claws flex in the moonlight. Maybe New Tian isn’t the Dream they had at all, but it is the only working dream of peaceful coexistence. It’s the only way mutants are ever going to survive in the end. So she shouldn’t feel guilty. She’s saving her people, not hurting them. This is the right cause.
But then why does it hurt so bloody much, she wonders, when she thinks about what Lady Moira would say if she was still standing here beside her today? That in and of itself, however, is a huge part of her problem: Lady Moira isn’t here, and she’s not coming. She’s dead, because the X-Men failed to save her. She’s dead, because everybody was too busy saving the world to save Rahne’s world.
Tears streak down Rahne’s cheeks as she turns from the window. A howl bursts forth from her trembling lips. She throws out her hands and lets herself become the pack again. It’s easier these nights to run as the pack, to run without her mind thinking, to run without her conscience screaming, and so she runs.