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"Through a Mirror Clear"

Through a Mirror Clear

Chapter One
Chapter Two
Chapter Three
Chapter Four
Chapter Five
Chapter Six
Chapter Seven
Chapter Eight
Chapter Nine
Chapter Ten

Future Chapters

Brunch with Mystique
A Night on the Town
The Return

Note: This is far from the final version. It's still in the editing stages.

Chapter ???

She knows not what the curse may be,
And so she weaveth steadily,
And little other care hath she,
The Lady of Shalott.
~ from "The Lady of Shalott"~
by Alfred, Lord Tennyson

Still drying her hair with a towel, Rogue stepped into her room in search of a comfortable pair of shoes to wear for a morning walk around the mansion grounds. It was only nine, but it had been a long morning already, with movers bringing in new furnishings for the mansion, paid for out of some of Bobby's spring accounting earnings. All of the mansion residents had received new beds, although Rogue had been granted a larger bed than most of the others' had because of her "condition."

Seized by a sudden burst of giddy energy, Rogue scampered across her room and jumped onto the bed, giggling as she gave the mattress and box springs a few "test bounces." Finally, she flopped onto her back and lay staring at the ceiling.

Don't think Ah've laughed like that in months. And jumping on the bed…haven't done that since Ah was just a kid. Momma would get so mad at me, and Irene would just stand in the doorway and laugh...

Even when Ah was sixteen, seventeen…Ah'd still sneak in a bounce or two when no one was looking.

Rogue let out a sigh and placed a hand on her stomach. "Life makes us all grow up so fast. Well, I promise you this, kiddo -- whoever you are -- Ah'll do my best to make sure your childhood is a happy one, do whatever Ah can do to make sure that you're happy, healthy and prepared for the future. Ah'll try to give you everythin' Ah never had when Ah was a kid -- everythin' my momma couldn't give me…

"Still workin' on findin' your daddy, but there's plenty of men here who'll be fallin' over themselves to be your favorite uncle." She giggled at the thought. "And then you've got yourself a real Uncle Kurt -- He's like a big fuzzy elf, sweet as can be.

"And then there's Mystique…Guess she'd be your gramma, huh?" Rogue smiled wryly at the irony. Even though Mystique had raised Rogue through her teen years, it was hard enough for Rogue to imagine her as a mother, let alone a grandmother.

"She's about the only one Ah haven't told yet, or that doesn't know already." She sighed. "Guess Ah oughta bite the bullet and tell her -- just get it over with."

From her table at the back of the café, Raven Darkholme eyed her foster daughter curiously as the X-woman entered the restaurant. She's changed her looks a bit, and she's gained quite a bit of weight. The girl's pregnant -- I know it. Dammit, she knows better than this!

Mystique lifted an eyebrow and stared at Rogue as she made her way to the table. This is going to be an interesting story, to say the least.

Mystique resolved to bite her tongue and let Rogue tell her news -- without being prodded. I won't say anything…I won't say a word…

As Rogue came closer, Mystique noticed the false smile her foster daughter had planted on her face and the way Rogue was chewing her lower lip. God, she's scared to death to face me on this. It'll be an hour of pussy-footing around the subject until she finally starts to talk about it, and then another two to get the whole story out of her…

She's too old for me to baby her anymore.

Mystique was applying jam to a bagel when Rogue reached the table. "Hi, Momm --"

"So, who's the father -- the Magneto clone in touch with his inner wimp or the Bayou bigamist? Or maybe you've finally found someone worthy of your intentions?" Raven hadn't even looked up.

Rogue sighed and wearily sat down in the chair across from Mystique's. This was going to go even worse than she had thought. Why couldn't Ah just do this over the phone? she moaned inwardly.

"Good morning, Momma," Rogue tried again, her voice a bit more forceful.

Mystique, for her part, continued to apply jam to her bagel. "Talk" was all she said to her foster daughter as she studiously tried to avoid Rogue's gaze.

Rogue began studying the cloth napkin she had set in her lap, trying to remember the speech she had rehearsed along the way to the restaurant. Nothing came to mind. "Well, Ah -- Ah guess you know that Ah'm pregnant -- "

"I figured that much out," Mystique snapped, her face deceptively calm. "What happened?"

Rogue looked up at her foster mother, her eyebrow cocked quizzically. "We're not pullin' any punches today, are we?"

Mystique glared at her. "I'm just trying to get the whole story out of you and keep the beating around the bush to a minimum.

"Now talk."

"You want the whole story, Momma?"

"That would be nice."

"Then shut up."

With a huff, Mystique returned her attentions to her bagel and tried to put on a look of disapproval, although her inner amusement at her daughter's sudden show of spunk threatened to shatter her stern facade.

Rogue ignored Raven's smirk and proceeded to tell her about what had happened with Gambit. The telling went largely uninterrupted, although Mystique occasionally saw fit to interject her own commentary.

"You did what in a cave?!"

"Ah slept with Remy, okay? Isn't saying it once enough? Fine. Ah'll say  it again. Yes! Ah had sex! It was unprotected. It was a bad decision.  Live and learn. Now can Ah finish?"

Mystique truly pulled no punches when Rogue finished her tale of Remy's fate.

"So you left him in Antarctica...It was about time -- he was never worthy of you."

"But that's not -- "

"Pity you didn't do this long ago."


"Knowing him, he's probably still alive -- his kind never stay dead."


"You need to be more thorough. I thought I taught you better than that!"


"And now you're stuck with his brat -- you definitely knew better than that! And I suppose you're actually going to keep the little -- "

Mystique's tirade was cut short by an anguished cry from the other side of the table. As she finally looked up from the bagel she had studiously been concentrating on to avoid Rogue's gaze, her cold eyes met Rogue's now red and tear-filled ones. Her daughter's evident pain melted her own cold anger into shamed embarrassment. Her stern facade dropped almost completely as she reached out her hand to grasp Rogue's gloved one, and then moved her chair closer to Rogue's to offer a much-needed hug.

"I'm sorry. I'm sorry," Raven said softly as she patted Rogue's hair.

When Rogue had composed herself, she pulled away from Raven and made an attempt to wipe her eyes and nose with her napkin. "'S'Okay...probably deserved it anyway..."

Raven grabbed Rogue's arm and forced Rogue to meet her steely gaze. "No. You didn't deserve that. I apologized, and that should be the end of it. Understand?"

Rogue looked up at Mystique with a note of surprise: Her mother had never been so forceful about her apologies before. "O-Okay..."

"Good." Mystique backed away from her daughter and returned to her original place at the table. "I'm assuming that since you and I haven't spoken in over six months," she said, finally biting into her jam-laden bagel, "there's more to this story than what you've said so far."

"Ummmm...Yeah..." Rogue said hesitantly. She had been unsure how to tell Mystique about what had happened since Antarctica, and had considered not telling her anything at all. But given Raven's own past history with the Shadow King, Rogue decided, with some uneasiness, to tell the whole story.

But not just yet.

To give herself some more time to ponder just how to phrase her story, Rogue suggested to Raven that they order their meals before she started talking. Mystique assented, but eyed Rogue curiously as she spoke to the waiter and waited almost serenely for her food.

Finally, breakfast had arrived and Rogue had to tell her story. She began haltingly, but by the end her voice had built up strength and confidence, and she delivered her tale calmly, trying with some difficulty to erect a wall between the words she spoke and the emotions the memories threatened to rekindle.

From the other side of the table, Raven watched her daughter with rapt attention, trying with little success to hold back her rapidly mounting anger at what the Shadow King had done to Rogue. After his murder of Destiny and his attempt on her own life, Raven had no great love for the Shadow King, and learning of his manipulations of her daughter only served to multiply her hatred.

Raven felt disappointed in herself, as well, for not having had been there for Rogue to protect her from what had happened. She knew that Rogue was an adult and had likely faced worse in the years since their parting, and that her own maternal sentiments were irrational, but at the same time she could not hold back her own feelings of guilt. He went after Irene, and I couldn't save her. Even now, I haven't really gotten over it...

I don't want to think about what would have happened if he'd been successful with Rogue.

Rogue's depression and attempt on her own life distressed Raven as well, and Mystique again felt guilty for not having had been there for her daughter, although her guilt was mixed with a degree of anger at Rogue for not having had come to her when she was going through such a difficult time -- and she was disappointed in herself as well that Rogue evidently hadn't trusted her enough to come to her.

When Rogue had finally finished her story, Raven came to her side and the two shared a tearful embrace. Rogue felt relieved that the telling was finally over, but she relished the renewed bond she felt with her mother, talking and sharing as they hadn't done in years.

Raven, too, appreciated the renewed sense of trust, and she resolved to become more of a fixture in Rogue's life, more of a mother figure and friend than ever before. She knew better than Rogue the pain of pregnancy and giving birth, as well as of regrets and loves lost, and Raven wanted to be someone Rogue could come to for advice or simply overall support.

Yes, she fully expected Rogue to live her own life and be independent, just as Raven had taught her, but at the same time she wanted to play a greater role in her daughter's life.

Especially if there was a grandchild on the way.

Mother and daughter broke from their embrace and returned to their places at the table. With more tenderness than was usual for her, Mystique asked softly, "So what are you going to do now?"

Rogue shrugged. "What else can Ah do? Continue on, same as Ah have. For now, Ah'm stayin' with the team and helping out as Ah can." She looked down, her face flushed with embarrassment. "Ah don't know what Ah'd do without them. They've been so great ta me, even after everythin' that's gone on...Ah don't think Ah'll ever be able to repay them for that."

"They're your friends, Rogue, and you've done as much for them as they've been doing for you. But what are you going to do about the baby?"

"Keep it, of course. Ah've always wanted a child -- a family -- of my own. Yeah, this is comin' quite a bit ahead ‘a schedule, but who knows -- this kiddo's probably a blessing in disguise for me." Rogue reached out and squeezed Raven's hand. "And with you, Kurt, an' all the X-Men around, Ah reckon the baby will have as good a family as any -- maybe even better."

Rogue gave her foster mother a sly smile. "B'sides, maybe havin' a grandchild ‘a your own -- "

"Don't even start..." Mystique was quick to interrupt Rogue's ribbing.

A grandchild. As they continued their meal, Raven pondered the concept and chided herself. Leave it to me to become the "doting grandma." Heaven help me if I start baking cookies...


To be continued.

Note: The references to Rogue and Gambit's "interlude" in the cave are based on the wonderful fan-fic "You Did WHAT in a Cave?" by Poi Lass. It's hilarious, so if you haven't read it, check it out.


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