Author: Kat Lee
Character/Pairing: Mystique/Destiny, Rogue, Nightcrawler, Dean/Crowley, Sam, Ensemble
Challenge/Prompt: 1_million_words: Crossover, whatif_au: No One Dies AU, Supernatural AU, and Magic AU, and beattheblackdog: 107: Prayer
Word Count: 4,813
Date Written: 11 April 2018
Disclaimer: All characters within belong to their rightful owners, not the author, and are used without permission.
She used to believe in magic. She used to believe that death was not the end, and at one time in her life, she can even vaguely recall that she believed in the power of prayer. But Irene changed all that and more. When Irene left her, Raven had waited for her love to return. She had waited to see her spirit, to see her reincarnated form, to have her come to her in any way -- but all she’d gotten was the same woman she’d known and loved in her dreams every night, playing out parts that were not new but merely memories. Irene was gone, and with her, she’d taken a good chunk of Raven’s heart.
Now Raven was alone as she watched the other half of her heart lying still and comatosa in a hospital bed. She’d had to sneak her way in here. She’d had to take on forms she’d promised she would never wear again in order to reach Rogue’s side without any of the X-Men becoming wise to her identity. She’d had to hide, lie, and sneak all over again when she’d promised her daughter so many times that she was done with that part of her life.
But it was the only way that she could see her again, not that that fact would have mattered to Rogue if she’d been conscious to hear her mother’s argument. Except, Raven reminded herself with a stab of pain, she no longer considered her her mother. She hadn’t in years, but Raven still loved the girl. She still loved her despite everything she’d brought about.
She’d imprisoned her more times than Raven cared to count. She’d even almost succeeded in driving a wedge between Irene and herself at the end of her lover’s life, but her beautiful, peace-loving Irene had always been wise enough to see that Raven had only had the girl’s best intentions at heart. She’d had those intentions misconstrued, unfortunately, but for a long time, she had truly believed she was leading her in doing what was best not only for Raven, Irene, and their whole species but for Rogue herself. It hadn’t been until after Irene’s death that she had painfully realized the truth, and by then, it had been far too late.
Just like she’s too late now, Raven thinks. Rogue, oh, Rogue, her foolish, too caring, and too trusting daughter who had never been happy being cast into this life as a mutant! She’d finally found the cure for her mutantcy but had become human just in time to have a bullet from the Friends of Humanity almost take her life. She was dying now, and Raven was certain that the X-Men were rapidly trying both to find a way to save her and to take her away from her again, to take her back to Xavier’s or whatever part of the old school was currently still standing. She would have blasted them all away long ago if it hadn’t been for the fact that doing so would have made her daughter hate her even more.
She reached out and pulled Rogue’s hands into her own. For once, she wasn’t wearing gloves, but she didn’t need them any more. She finally had what she’d wanted for years, what she’d sought and tried so hard to gain for years. She finally had her humanity, and yet the girl was more human than any other mutant or human Raven had ever known, except, perhaps, for her other mother. She was the one who had always been able to see both sides of any conflict. She was the one who had sought the peaceful way out even when there had been none. She was the one who still tried even when everything was hopeless.
For a while, she had been Raven’s hope. She had been the only thing good in her life other than Irene, and watching her grow up with the love of her life had made Raven hope for two things she’d never before thought she could have. For a short while, she’d even had them. She’d had a family, and she’d had a future that had looked bright -- until Irene had told her she was dying and there was nothing she could do to save her.
Much like she could now see Rogue was dying and yet knew there was nothing she could do to save her. She kissed her hands and murmured words in old Latin that no one else who might overhear them would understand. She bowed her head low over her daughter’s still body and did something she had not done since Rogue had been a little girl and Raven had been trying hard to be the woman Irene had wanted her to be: She prayed.
She prayed to any power that would listen. She prayed to any God or other benevolent being who would care. She begged, in her mind and in her heart, for an answer, any answer that would give her precious Rogue a way out of this. She wasn’t ready to lose her. She’d die herself first. Tears streamed down her face, and a sob broke free from her careful control.
It was at that time that she heard his voice, and in the two syllables of the name he called her, she knew he wasn’t happy to find her here. “Mother.”
“Kurt.” Her tear-filled eyes flew open, and she turned to look at her son, the son she’d given birth to and had failed to be there for at any point. Like herself, he was hiding his natural appearance; only he used an invention created by one of his fellow X-Men to do so rather than any mutant powers. “Please you have to understand -- “
“I have to understand nothing,” he spoke sternly, and despite herself, Raven flinched inside. She didn’t pull away from Rogue, though, or drop her hands. “But I do any vay.” He only wished that he could have at least once in his life seen her display such compassion over him. Had she even attended his funeral? He doubted it as his tail, unseen by the humans who crowded the hospital hall outside his adopted sister’s room, twitched like mad.
He stepped into the room, his head bowed, and tried to calm the fury of his own emotions. Here was a woman who had tried to kill him, Rogue, and all their friends so many times. Here was their mother who had never been a mother to either of them, but yet had always cared more for a girl who was not her own than for he who actually was her own flesh and blood. Here was a lying, deceitful Witch of a woman who he would never trust and yet whom he could also never quite entirely stop himself from loving. Here, before him, was the reason for almost everything he was.
But part of what he still tried to be was as far away from her as possible. “Perhaps ve can pray together?”
Raven recoiled, anger flashing in her currently green eyes. “I wasn’t praying!”
“Nein?” His head and shoulders sank while his tail continued to swish. “I should’ve known better. It’s ze only zing zat can help her now, and yet you can not even bring yourself to do zat -- “
“Where was your god when Irene was killed?! He doesn’t help people like me!”
“Mother,” he spoke softly, reaching out and touching her shoulder, “He helps whoever asks it.”
“I did ask it, Kurt. I prayed and pleaded and screamed at Him until the very moment Irene breathed her last, and it did us absolutely no good! He still took her! Now we have a cure for the disease that killed her, but what good did it do us then?!” She shook his hand off of her shoulder and got to her feet. “He never helps people like us!”
“He -- “
“Where was he, Kurt,” she demanded, her words cutting into him, “when you died?! Heaven was such a great place you couldn’t wait to leave it!” She shoved him aside, stormed out of the room, and kept marching, half expecting her son to come after her, half knowing he wouldn’t, through the crowds of people too concerned with their own lives and their own loved ones to know or care her daughter was in the room she’d just left dying.
She let her feet walk, neither knowing or caring where they were taking her. She found herself on top of the humans’ hospital, not wanting to leave Rogue but yet also not being able to stay in the room with her child’s brother, with her own, misbegotten son who was so holy he couldn’t help but to see all the flaws in her.
“You are flawed,” a voice whispered to her from the shadows. “All mortals are, although you are far better than the mere homo sapiens who flock around us like monkeys all searching and scrabbling over that one, bloody banana. You’re far more beautiful as yourself, Raven Darkholme, more powerful too. I didn’t think I’d ever see the day when you’d be willing to make a deal again, not to save someone other than your precious Irene.”
Raven turned, and in that single movement, she transformed back to herself, blue skin, yellow eyes, and all. Her angry, teary eyes seemed to glow as she glared at the stranger in the shadows. “You obviously know me. I’m afraid the pleasure’s not mutual.”
“All you need to know,” the man dressed in a suit said as he emerged from the shadows that seemed to fit him so well, “is that I can save your daughter. I can even make her love you again, if you like, but I can save her.”
“What will it cost me? Never mind. I don’t care -- “
“In ten years, I’ll come to collect your debt.”
She caught a whiff of brimstone, witnessed a flame in his dark eyes, and realized who he was. “Fine, but if we’re going to make this deal, I want everything.”
“You want the world -- “
“No. I want more than what this world has to offer. I want my daughter, and I want my lover. I want them both happy, alive, well, and wanting to be with me.”
“Fine. Done. But only for ten years -- “
Mystique shrugged her slender, blue shoulders. “My soul’s already condemned any way.” She held out her hand.
“Oh, no, my dear, we don’t simply shake on a deal like this.”
He took her hand but drew her skillfully into his arms. She didn’t resist. If this Demon could give her everything she wanted, she would gladly be his. His lips touched hers.
Guns fired, and the Devil disappeared while his tongue was still down her mouth. She spun, pulling out her own guns and fired back at the hunters. One yelled in pain; the other cussed. “GO CHECK ON ROGUE!” she demanded of her son as she fired again.
For once, Kurt didn’t barrage her with questions. He actually obeyed, bamfing from the hospital roof, causing the hunters to cough and gag in his wretched-smelling brimstone, and leaving her with enough black smoke to quickly make her own exit from the roof. By the time she reentered Rogue’s room, she was a finely dressed, dark-haired lady once again.
“M-Mothah?” The sound of her daughter’s cry was the sweetest thing Raven had heard in years. She hurried to her bedside and into her waiting, open, reaching arms. As Rogue hugged her close and murmured an apology for all their lost time, Raven, despite all her best efforts to not allow her children to see her true emotions, cried tears of joy. She had just sold her soul to the Devil, but no transaction she’d ever made had been more fulfilling. Rogue’s arms around her felt wonderful, and she would have gladly paid any price to feel her daughter’s arms around her again in a loving, warm embrace. Rogue no longer hated her!
But her teammates still did. Raven pulled reluctantly away from her daughter as she heard the tell-tale Snikt! of claws behind her. “Yer mother smells funny, Elf,” Logan remarked.
“Logan, not here,” Ororo commanded. “It is obvious Rogue wants her mother at her side in this time.”
“It’s obvious Raven’s hired some telepath to play with th’ poor kid’s mind again,” Logan grumbled.
He sheathed his claws, but their opinion and threat were clear. Raven stroked her daughter’s hair. She leaned down and pressed her lips to her forehead, and for the first time, while doing so, she realized that maybe, for Rogue, giving up her mutant power was for the best. It would change everything. She’d no longer be a valuable asset to the X-Men, but she would always be an asset to her.
“Everythin’s changed,” Rogue murmured, still hugging her mother. “You don’t have to go. Ah don’t want you to go.”
“Do you forgive me?” Raven questioned. “Can you forgive me?” She ignored Logan’s grumbling behind her as well as the drop of the temperature in the room. She and Storm had always had their differences, but Ororo was too good of a woman to ever really try to keep her from her daughter.
“Yes,” a familiar voice spoke. Raven gasped and whirled around, no longer concerned with not breaking from Rogue’s loving hug.
“She forgives you, Raven, but I’m not sure I can.”
“I zink zis is a family matter, mein freunds,” Kurt spoke up, raising his hands and gesturing for the other X-Men to leave the room.
“Darlin’,” Logan called to Rogue, “you come back to yer senses, all you gotta do is say the word, and she’s gone.”
“She’s mah mother, Wolvy! Ah want to be with her! Besides, Ah’m not a mutant any more. Y’all don’t need me any more.” She looked to Raven with tears glistening in her green eyes. “But she does.”
Kurt shut the door behind his friends and turned back to face his mother and the rest of their little family. “Raven,” Irene’s name was smooth and yet also filled with concern and wonder as she shook her white head, “what did you do?” She was on the verge of crying, Raven realized as anger flared inside of her.
“I did what I had to do to get you back!”
“Oh, my dear, dear love,” Irene crooned, reaching out and caressing Raven’s cheek. “Don’t you realize we could have had eternity together?”
Raven out right snorted. “Not the way I’ve lived my life.”
“You could’ve changed, Mother.”
“Don’t start talking to me about your god again, Kurt! He was nowhere to be seen when I needed Him!”
“But now you’ll only have ten years! Unless . . . “ His tail swished as he heard familiar voices start up a conversation just on the other side of the closed door. “Unless mein freunds can help.”
“If you want those hunters to stay alive, you’ll keep them away from us!”
“Mom,” Rogue asked, “what’s Kurt going on about? Ah know th’ meds still have me groggy, but . . . “
“Never you mind, darling,” Raven told her, walking back to her side, looping her arms around her, and holding her close. “You don’t need to worry your pretty head about a thing any more.”
“Except that she sold her soul.”
The door opened, and Logan strode in followed by the two hunters, Ororo, Remy, Piotr, and Kitty. Wolverine looked furious; his unlit cigar was splitting as he clenched it too tightly in his sharp teeth. “Raven, you’ve always been a stupid broad!”
“Does everybody know?!” Raven demanded.
“Enough people know, chere. ‘Course,” Remy gestured to Dean and Sam, “when we saw dis two show up, it was pretty obvious.”
“You gave your soul to save your daughter’s life,” Ororo spoke. “In a way, it is to be commended.”
“In a way,” the shorter hunter muttered, “it’s damn stupid, but you’re in luck. We happen to be pretty good at getting contracts back from this particular Devil.”
“But getting the contract back will mean -- “
“Rogue won’t die,” Ororo cut in. “You know we X-Men take care of our own, Mystique, and rather she’s human or mutant, she is still one of us.”
“It will mean Irene dies all over again,” Raven whispered, her heart clearly breaking again, “and I’m not ready for that.”
“Irene . . . died?” Rogue asked.
“I admit my memories’re foggy at best,” Logan commented, “but I don’t remember the broad biting it.”
“So smoothly put, Wolverine,” Gambit teased. He started to fetch a cigarette from his own pocket, but at the look Ororo shot him, he quickly put it back.
“What . . . exactly . . . did you sell your soul for?” Piotr asked. Kitty placed a reassuring hand on his broad shoulder. It was hard for the Russian to imagine anyone willingly selling their soul after everything his beloved, little Snowflake had endured.
“For both of zem,” Kurt answered before Raven could admit or deny anything else. Still unseen by others, his tail swished. “For Rogue to live and Irene to be back as well. I doubt she specified ze exact circumstances.”
“I didn’t actually think it would bring her back to life, but what if it did?! It’s not like you X-Men take dying permanently or seriously!”
“But I was dead, my dearest Raven,” Irene spoke up, placing a hand on Raven’s tense arm. “You brought me back, but you brought me back in the wrong way.”
“Like there’s always a fucking right way to do things,” Raven muttered. “Irene, you were dead! You left us!”
“I told you I was going to have to.”
“But you left us and I wasn’t ready to let you go!” The tears started again, but this time in front of the X-Men. Raven’s hands balled into fists as she fought the urge to claw at her own tears, a surefire sign of weakness in front of her oldest enemies. Rogue and Irene each caught a fist and held to it. Irene kissed the one she held.
“I wasn't ready to leave you,” she told Raven, “to leave either of you.” She glanced down at Rogue, who reached up, took Irene’s other hand, and squeezed it. “But it was my time. I wanted you to be in a better place before I left you. At least now I can see that you are there before I go again.”
“You’re not going anywhere!”
“Lady, if you want your soul back -- “
“Don’t you people get it?! I don’t care if I have my soul or not! I just care if I have these two people in my life!” Raven wailed.
Dean was taken aback. His mouth shut, and he looked at Sammy, Sammy for whom he had sold his own soul to save before, Sammy for whom he’d sell his soul however many times it took to keep. His brother shook his head for he, too, understood where the woman was coming from. There was no happy answer to this contract.
“It was my soul,” Raven announced, fighting to keep her voice firm and straight. “My soul to give, and I gave it freely. I don’t want it back, not at the cost of Rogue dying, not at the cost of losing Irene again. I don’t want the damn thing back!”
“Never heard someone so bent on sellin’ anything,” Remy muttered.
“Remy -- “ Rogue cut her eyes at her former boyfriend.
“I know, chere,” he said quietly. “It’s not funny.”
“No, it’s not,” Kitty spoke up, “but there has to be a way.”
“We’re X-Men,” Storm announced. “There’s always a better way, and we’ll find it. Raven . . . “ She strode across the room to stand before the very woman who had tried to kill her so many times and who even she had been sorely tempted to kill far more times than she liked to admit, even to herself. This woman had taken the man she’d thought she’d loved. She had at one time blamed her for taking her life, but now all she wanted to do was help her and her family. “We will find a better way, Raven. If we could have our Professor back, if we could have Jean or Scott back, we’d take it, whatever the cost. But by the Goddess, we will help you keep Rogue, keep Irene, and somehow keep your soul!” Lightning crackled outside in the bright, blue Summer sky.
“We’ll help too,” Dean spoke up, nodding. “Like I said before, we’re good at contracts, and we know this particular Devil very well. We’ll get your contract back -- “
“I don’t want my contract back! I don’t want my soul back! I want to keep the only two people in this damned world who I actually love more than myself!”
“We’ll find a way,” Dean said softly, “to make it happen.”
“Rowena,” Sam commented at his side.
Dean nodded. If there was anyone who would still have an easy way to blackmail the King of Hell, it would be the Devil’s own mother.
“It is possible,” Kurt spoke softly, “to be happy vithout one’s own soul.”
“Elf -- “ Logan’s voice cracked. “You never told me.”
Kurt shook his head. His tail finally stopped its swishing and settled, curling around one blue leg. “I never told anyone before. I had to give up my soul to escape Heaven. I had to leave Heaven to help you, to help you all, to help mein family. What I did is no different zan vhat mein mother has done except that I knew vhat I vas giving up and still did it.”
“You sacrificed everything, Fuzzy,” Rogue spoke softly, “to help us.”
“And I’d do it again in a heartbeat. So, Mother, if zat is your decision and you stand beside it, I vill stand beside you,” he declared, coming to stand beside Raven.
Raven whipped her hands out of Rogue’s and Irene’s holds and wrapped her arms around her son. “I always loved you too,” she whispered into his ear.
“I zink I knew zat,” he said softly. “You just didn’t know how to show it.”
“No,” Raven agreed to the surprise of everyone gathered there who knew her, “but maybe, when this is all over, we can have a proper family reunion.”
“Aw, isn’t this just so touching?”
“Crowley!” Dean and Sam whirled onto the Devil as he appeared in their midst. Logan unsheathed his claws. Remy pulled out his cards. Piotr’s skin started turning to metal, and thunder shook the entire hospital.
“I don’t often check in on contracts when they’re being filled, especially this early in the game,” Crowley remarked, pretending to dab at a tear, “but I rather like this dame. She reminds me of my old, dear ma.”
“Both redheaded bitches?”
“Both redheaded Witches with a problem showing their true emotions,” Crowley answered, “like a certain Winchester I know.”
Dean tensed, but suddenly, everything was clear. He knew how to save this day. He knew how to save this family whereas the only part of his own family he’d ever been able to save was his own little brother. “How about I make a deal with you?”
“No.” Dean shook his head. “I know what I’m doing this time, Sammy.” He shrugged off his brother’s hand that was placed on his shoulder to stop him.
“That doesn’t mean you should do it!”
“Yeah. Listen to your brother, kid.”
“I’m all ears -- or tongue, depending on how you like it.” Crowley winked at his favorite mortal.
“How about I stop not showing my true emotions? No souls, no tears, no dying. You pretend this woman’s contract and her son’s never existed, but you leave the other women alive.”
“I don’t have her son’s contract.”
“It’s a different deal,” Crowley explained with a shrug. “He chose to leave Heaven. His contract is still up there somewhere with God, who, I’m sure, is watching very closely to see how he spends his time back down here among you mortals.”
“Fine.” Dean gritted his teeth, braced himself, then leaned in close to Crowley, and whispered into his ear. Crowley’s red eyes grew wide and then lit with excitement. “All night,” Dean finished, pulling back and grinning smugly.
“Just one night?” Crowley shook his head. “No deal.”
“I’m not staying an eternity.”
“You want me to leave her and her alive,” Crowley demanded, pointing out Rogue and Irene, “but give this one,” he indicated Mystique, “her soul back? It’s going to take more than one night.”
“Fine. One week. Take it or leave it.”
“Dean, what are you agreeing to?”
“Never you mind, Sammy.”
“One week. I choose who tops when.”
Ororo, Rogue, and Kitty blushed. The metal around Piotr’s high cheekbones looked a little darker. Logan drew his breath in quickly, and Sam gasped, his mouth dropping wide open.
Ignoring the others’ shocked reactions, Dean nodded. “You choose everything we do, as long as it only affects us.”
“Deal,” Crowley agreed hastily. He clasped Dean’s arm in his hand and drew him in for a long, passionate kiss. They disappeared with a loud Bang! that sounded like thunder, but when the other X-Men looked to Ororo for an answer, she shook her head.
“It wasn’t me.”
Sam slowly shook his head.
“Your brother -- “ Kurt started.
“Will be fine,” he assured them all, including himself. “I knew he had feelings for him, and it wasn’t just because he was a Demon!”
“I thought he was a hunter -- “ Kitty spoke.
“He is. They’re the sons of the best hunter I ever encountered,” Ororo answered.
Logan nodded in agreement.
“They’re good at what they do.” Remy chuckled and shuffled his deck of cards. “At everythin’ they do, evidently.”
“I’ll be in your debt,” Raven announced.
Sam looked at Storm, Wolverine, and finally Kurt. “Do everything your son asks you to do in the future,” he told her, “and you can consider your debt paid.” Shoving his hands into his pockets, he walked out of the room, his own mind turning over with questions. Dean had gone willingly, and he’d be gone a whole week. He didn’t even want to think about everything he was enduring for, and with, Crowley! But how would his brother find him again?
“I don’t know how he’s gonna do it,” Logan spoke, making Sam jump for he had had no idea the older man had tagged along with him, “but he will. Dean’s a lot like your dad. You won’t have to find him. He’ll find you. Meantime . . . “ He glanced around at the busy hospital and all the people who, as usual, had no idea what the X-Men or hunters in their midst had just gone through. “Beer?”
“To quote my brother,” Sam answered, smiling, “Hell, yeah.”
Back in the room, Kitty and Piotr filed quietly out after Sam and Logan. Ororo and Remy were the next to go, Ororo tugging on Remy’s hand to get him to leave Rogue.
“I did always love you, Kurt,” Raven spoke aloud this time.
“You just always loved zem more,” he added for her, nodding his head in understanding.
“But I would still like to have a relationship with you, son.”
He grinned, and his tail swished again, this time with joyful eagerness. “I’d like zat.”
“I would too,” Irene agreed.
“What about you?” Raven asked, turning back to face her love again. “Are you still mad at me?”
“Yes,” Irene answered swiftly. “You should never have sold your soul to bring me back from the dead, Raven!” Then she hugged her. “But I’m happy to be back with you, back where I belong!”
“You got that right,” Raven barely had time to comment before Irene covered her lips with her own. She kissed her long, deep, and passionately as Rogue and Kurt looked on with budding joy.
Rogue shook her head; she was beginning to feel weak again. “Why does it always take a near death experience for this family to get back together?”
“I don’t know, sister,” Kurt answered honestly, reaching out and squeezing her hand, “but maybe this time, ve vill have all learned our lessons. Maybe ve von’t have to be separated again.”
“Only if you make me leave you,” Raven spoke, having interrupted her kiss with the love of her life to listen in on her kids’ conversation.
“It’s not gonna happen this time, Mothah,” Rogue said, reaching up from her hospital bed and hugging her again. While her arms were still around her, Kurt and Irene stepped closer, and soon, all four were hugging. They’d been given yet another chance, and this time, they weren’t going to blow it. They might not live happily ever after, but they would live together with love, joy, and the occasional sorrow for a long time to come.