Summary: I went with request number 3, something with mutants and Nigtcrawler, after canon. I hope you like it!
Deep in the Black Forest, a waterfall rages and roars, throwing herself down over the mountains. She is white over black, mixed with waterweeds and silverfish. She is deadly, and she is smashing onto rocks, before pooling out.
She is waiting.
Irene knew what the child would like before he was born, before she had even become a woman, before she had lost her sight and gained her sight. She had drawn him in her book, on her wall, had covered the inside pages of the Bible with pictures and words, showing him, and her, and her husband.
Her husband, who was even now riding back through the dark woods to her. He was eager to get to her, and had decided to risk the night, to get home in time.
Irene rocked the cradle with her foot, letting the soft wool drift through her fingers into her spinning wheel. She heard Maria put another log on the fire, and smiled, thinking of the argument she had had earlier that day, when her stepdaughter had tried to bundle her and the newborn Konrad out of the way, inside, wrapped in a shawl. Winter’s first snow had barely begun, but Maria was convinced that her newborn half-brother was as fragile as a berry before the frost. It had taken many soft words before the child had drawn aside, and returned to her own chores, allowing Irene to return to her wheel.
By now, her husband would be able to see the light of the window. If, indeed, he returned.
He would return. She had seen it.
He would return, ready to change the world, and make of it a paradise for their children.
She had seen it.
He would return from the mad Inquisitor, fearless and raging against the betrayal of his own, by his own, for which Irene thanked God, in every tongue she knew, even her native English, which she had not spoken since her own blind eyes had taken her from her family and set her wandering, to meet her husband, to birth her son, and to see two paths, one leading to shadows and betrayals, the other leading to a bright new world, with high mountains and deep green forests.
Her husband was returning, one foot already set in the path to the New World.
Her babe woke, less frightened or hungry than lonely, and began to cry.
Konrad screamed, a cry like a lost lamb, neither hungry, nor cold, nor particularly frightened, merely confused. Maria, up above him in a little loft her Papa had built for her, listened for a moment, wondering if she ought to get up and comfort him, until her step-mother’s cool voice pierced and broke her brother’s wails.
Sighing, the little girl turned back to her window. The glass wavered a bit, and was discoloured in places, a creation of her dear Uncle John, but she could see the stars through it, shining brightly. They were pale, more silver than white, with the deep indigo of the winter night between them. Maria watched the sky between the stars, and thought of her Papa and her little brother.
Konrad was very beautiful, like Papa, who was the most handsome man in all the world, even the New World, where Maria imagined men with skin that gleamed like copper. But Konrad was like a deep blue pool of water, high in the mountains, and his eyes were like the broken sun in the waters.
He was not blue like Papa, though. Where Papa was a smooth blue, like the outer skin of a ripe plum, Konrad was fluffy, more like a kitten. And his tail! Maria had spent a whole night just playing with it, letting it curl in and around her hands.
She felt her eyes growing heavy, and her pillow grow softer. Somewhere in the woods, Papa was riding home and she had promised herself she would be awake, but the night was getting deeper. She didn’t fall asleep, so much as let the stars take her home.
The man didn’t slam the door. He didn’t stride in. He didn’t fling his wife into the air. He didn’t say, or do, anything that one might expect of a man who had left his wife and his daughter and his unborn child a year ago.. He did hang his coat up and he did lay a full burlap bag on the table, and he did stoop over his wife to kiss her where she sat nursing their baby. His skin did darken and fill with blue, as his eyes faded to a uniform ghostliness. His gaze did settle over his wife’s shoulder, onto his firstborn son.
She smiled, not at him, she could not see him, but beautifully away, into the fire.
“He’s well, Raven.”
“Oh, my darling Irene.”
Raven Darkholme reached out, running a finger down his son’s cheek. Konrad stopped nursing long enough to grab it. Raven laughed, and held very still.
“He’s so- so blue!”
“I thought you might like that.”
Raven sat by her, in the chair that was really too small for all of them, even if one was barely a month into the world. Irene lay back against him, and they watched the fire dance and die. Near midnight, Raven spoke, a low, rough whisper.
“I know,” Irene brushed at his arm with her free hand. “Hush. It’s well. You chose well.”
“If I had not-“
“Our son would be dead and our daughter not long after him. You and I would both be fled, and a shadow would swallow the world. My dearest, it’s right. Great things will come, terrible things, wonderful things, but you chose well, and rightly.”
Raven kissed her again. “My darling Irene, when did you see this?”
“I see it now.” She smiled into his white eyes. “I see it now, and always.”
The fire went dimmer, with a suddenness. Raven swore, and got up, putting kindling on, then, as that took to flame, more wood. The room chilled and warmed as he worked. Konrad whimpered once, then stilled.
Maria stood at the doorway, rubbing her eyes, hair in disarray. Raven held out his arms, and she ran to him.
“Have you come to sit with us, sweetling?” He asked. She nodded into his shirt.
They sat together, in a chair that was too small, to watch the fire and wait for the dawn to rise on a new world.
The waterfall pours and twists over the rocks, tangling the weed and grinding the stone. She screams, rages, wants.
Two worlds to the left, a woman has dropped her baby over the falls, to throw off a mob at her feet. Two worlds to the left, it’s winter and the bridge wasn’t wiped out in a flood last spring.
In this world, a mile away, a family waits for the bright future and their destiny.