Title: Past Forward
Author: Jamie (madjm@...
Rating: PG-13 for some language, violence and adult situations.
Summary: Once upon a time there was a princess named Rogue ...
Category: Alternate universe, foofy fantasy adventure. Rogue. Jubilee. Jean.
(Rogue/Logan, Jean/Scott, Jubilee/?)
Disclaimer: "X-Men" is the property of Marvel and 20th Century Fox. I'm just
a geeky fan who likes to write. A few things were sort of inspired by
episodes of "Buffy The Vampire Slayer," which (surprise!) I also do not own.
Archive: Lists, The Nightowl. Otherwise, please ask.
Feedback: I'd love to know what you think.
Notes: This sucker is long and kind of strange. Thanks to Cheryl for the
great beta. HTML version and some additional parts are at
. The whole thing
will be posted in a day or two.
21 years ago: Sidre
It was exactly like the dream.
Sidre Falon slid through A'Mirion, capital city of the kingdom of Sandoriel,
smoothly dodging clusters of celebrating men and women who stumbled through
the streets, singing, drinking and laughing. The scents of ale, pipe
tobacco, roasted lamb and chicken and sugary sweetcakes mingled with the
sweat of the revelers in the steamy heat of the night, turning her stomach.
Even so, her face placid, she continued toward the castle. The nearer she
got, of course, the worse the crowd became. It wasn't every day a princess
was born. In fact, the princess had been born a month before, but the royal
family still followed the tradition of celebrating a Naming Day instead of a
birthday. In the old ways, a family waited one month to see if The One would
judge them worthy to keep the child. Once the month was up, the child was
given a name.
Sidre nearly collided with a couple who stumbled to a halt in front of her.
The man lifted up a small boy and pointed at the sky. "Watch, Jeran!" he
said as the sky exploded into multicolored flame. The Fire Bringers were
busy tonight, illuminating the sky in honor of the latest royal birth.
It truly was beautiful, but Sidre had no time to stop and admire the show.
She had work to do this night. She stepped around the small family and
continued on her way.
She'd been 13 when she began to Dream. As usually is the case, she didn't
recognize her Gift at first. It was a small thing, then -- a dream about
Aunt Joi marrying the mayor. When, nearly two years later, the event came to
pass, she'd joked with her mother about trying to dream herself a husband.
Her mother had laughed and suggested a number of likely candidates, but she
began to quiz Sidre about her dreams after that.
Sidre knew she would have a Gift. It was always so, except for the
Outsiders, who lived in the Barenian territory. It was impolite to speculate
about Gifts until they appeared, but she'd privately hoped for her father's
ability to fly. She'd stopped short of asking The One in her prayers, but
she spent much of her childhood imagining what it would be like to soar
across the sky like a bird.
The last thing she imagined, the last thing she wanted, was to be a Dreamer.
Though the Gift was powerful, and often came with other, lesser Gifts, it
was rumored that Dreamers could never have children. They almost never
married, and they often went mad from the strain of their power.
Sidre pushed her way through a large crowd, wincing as a vulgar man took the
opportunity to pinch her bottom. Another night, she would have paused to
make him regret the action. Not tonight. She kept moving, tracing the path
she'd followed in a Dream almost 11 years before.
Though she was nearly 40 years old, Sidre appeared much younger. She was
tall and slim, her face only marked by faint lines at the corners of her
eyes. Her hair was still the thick, dark brown that her Galdran had loved,
so many years ago.
She'd been 15 the first time she had Dreamed a death. Stubbornly, she
refused to tell her mother that she'd seen that the Widow Silas would soon
die of old age. She told herself it was only a normal dream, that her true
Gift would show itself soon. But when the old lady died in her sleep a week
later, Sidre knew she had to do something drastic.
That afternoon, when she went on her daily walk with Galdran, she carefully
considered what to do. Galdran was 18, strong and beautiful, with a wild
edge that set her stomach fluttering whenever she saw him. Just having his
hand closed around hers made her heart race. His mother was one of the
Untamed, who lived in the Forest of Marn. Few ventured out of the forest,
but Galdran's mother had fallen in love with a man from Sidre's village.
Despite the predatory gleam in his eyes when he looked at her sometimes, she
knew Galdran's honor would keep him from asking her father for a marriage
agreement before she turned 16, the customary age. But she was afraid she
didn't have that much time.
When they reached their place, a small clearing in the woods, he grinned and
pulled her into a kiss, and Sidre made her decision. This time he wouldn't
leave her breathless and trembling from kisses and touches. She wouldn't
allow it. Galdran's honor be damned, that day she was determined to become
After, of course, he all but ran to her father to ask for a marriage
agreement. Her father suspected the truth, she knew from the disappointment
in his eyes. But he agreed to the match, and Sidre married Galdran the
They had been so happy, Sidre remembered, until the next Dream. She couldn't
hide what she was when she Dreamed her own husband's death.
Sidre sighed, shaking herself out of the memories. She didn't have time for
this. She darted down a side street next to the castle, moving quickly
between people. Briefly tangled in a web of scandalously drunk young girls
singing "The Maid from A'Fara," Sidre spied her cousin Lorin, standing next
to a small wooden door in the castle wall.
She broke free of the singing girls and headed for Lorin. Her cousin was a
cook in the castle, and she'd arranged months ago for him to meet her here.
Sidre couldn't quite stop a sigh of relief. Things usually went the way she
Dreamed them, good or ill, but if anyone could disrupt things, it would be
Tall and thin, with a shiny bald head, he leaned on the wall whistling
something she didn't quite catch and staring with rapt attention at the sky.
Streams of color painted the darkness, and the crowd gasped as one golden
light flamed into a sunburst, the sign of the new princess.
"Ahhhh," Lorin sighed dramatically, bringing a hand to his heart and gazing
at the lights, making a point of not looking in her direction as she slipped
in the door. A trifle overdone, she thought, but that was Lorin. She was
just lucky he'd actually remembered to meet her.
Sidre sped through the halls of the castle. She'd never been inside before,
but the Dream had shown her exactly where to go. The only people she met on
her way were servants. Her plain gray gown and a purposeful stride convinced
them she belonged precisely where she was, and woe to anyone who tried to
What seemed like hours later, but was probably only a quarter-hour, she
arrived at the nursery. Praise be to The One, the hall was empty. Taking a
deep breath, she pushed the door open and strode inside. An older woman,
perhaps 60, stood at the window, fanning herself and watching the lights
flash across the sky. The nurse turned, startled, as Sidre entered.
"I am here to relieve you," Sidre said briskly.
The woman looked confused, then frowned. "Mistress Aron did not say anything
"She rarely tells anyone anything," Sidre said, sighing. "She has other
plans for you. She is right outside, why not ask her to come in?"
The nurse, still frowning, turned for the door. She made it two steps before
Sidre crashed a vase on her head. Sidre swiftly examined the woman and, with
a grunt, dragged her to the rug in front of the empty fireplace. She would
be fine, but for a large headache, when she awoke.
Rubbing her hands together nervously, Sidre moved to the bassinet in the
corner and looked gravely down at the princess. Her Highness Emmarie Rosa
Danis Maron, Daughter of the Sun, stared at her with serious brown eyes.
Tiny fists waved in the air, but the princess didn't make a sound.
"It is almost time," Sidre told her. "We only have to wait a while longer."
Despite her calm words to the infant, Sidre felt her heart racing. She knew
the sounds of revelers singing and dancing, laughing and celebrating in the
streets were covering up other sounds. More sinister sounds. She knew little
of what was to happen, but she knew before the night was over the king,
queen and their small son would be dead.
This night, she supposed, was the reason she'd been born. The princess must
survive, and it was Sidre's responsibility to make sure she did. But not
hers alone. There was another, and he should arrive at any moment.
At her very thought, the door to the nursery flew open.
He stood there, glaring at her, his sword clenched in his hand. Sidre forced
herself to swallow, her throat suddenly parched. Despite his military
bearing, it was obvious he was one of the Untamed. In his eyes she saw the
ferocity that often skimmed beneath the surface of his people, and she
prayed silently that the honor and duty that prompted him to wear the
uniform of the King's Guard would stay his sword until she could explain.
She had little time. *They* had little time.
"Captain Logan," she said smoothly, as though they were meeting at a social
event. "I have been waiting for you."
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