Upon A Peak In Darien

by Amanda Sichter


Disclaimer: Universe Marvel's. TCP concept originally Kielle's and her partner-in-crime (who I believe to be Laersyn). The title from 'On First Looking Into Chapman's Homer' by that god among Romantic poets, John Keats.

My daughter is a mutant.

The first thing they told me when I came out of the anaesthetic, the first thing I needed to hear when I was groggy and confused and hurting horribly and discovering that gas makes your mouth feel like it's full of cotton wool.

I knew it wasn't going to be easy, but "difficult birth" doesn't begin to make you understand how much it can hurt.

And now this.

My daughter is a mutant.

I didn't even get to ask for a glass of water before they told me that. The most important thing, the first thing I needed to know. "We've tested her and she has the X-factor."

"Your daughter is a mutant."

What am I going to do?

Oh, God, what am I going to do?

I wanted her, I did, I know there were doubts but I wanted her. Tony wants her. We wanted children for so long, tried so hard.

But a mutant. A mutant!

She shouldn't be. There's no history. No-one in the family is a mutant. Debbie's given Tony a bus-load full of nieces and nephews and none of them are mutants.

Why me?

Oh, God, why me?

They've already given me choices - I could have her adopted, fostered, whatever. As if she's unclean, an unmade thing, broken.

What kind of a mother am I?

Oh, God, help me. It's so *tempting*.

And now the nurse is bringing her and I don't know if I can even stand to look on her.

My daughter is a mutant.

What is she going to look like?

What is she going to be?


I'm your mommy.

You're my daughter.

You're a mutant.

They told me that. Told me that first.

They didn't tell me that you have ten perfect little fingers and toes. They didn't tell me you have the most perfect cornflower blue eyes.

They didn't tell me you'd frown up at me, your face all crumpled pink and perfect, and yawn, your little tongue curled up like a kitten's. They didn't tell me the way your little fists wave about in the air, like you're reaching for something, trying hard to reach out to something.


Your fingers are so strong. They wrap around my pinkie like you never want to let me go and they're so tiny and so perfect. Tiny little fingers, tiny little mouth and you reach out, cry softly and I know you're reaching for me, for your mommy and you want to be fed and you trust me utterly, you know I'll look out for you, care for you, love you.

How did you know when I wasn't sure I could love you?

You're a mutant.

We won't know until you grow up what your power will be. Maybe you'll fly, maybe you'll purify air, maybe you'll change the colour of flowers.

Maybe you'll grow fur or feathers or scales.

Your little face is so intent as you suckle, so perfect. Your nose is so tiny. Your hair is so soft. So perfect soft. I feel like I'll break you as I stroke your hair - your skull is soft and you are so small.

You're a mutant.

You'll need to be protected. There are people there who'll see you only as a mutant, who'll think that's the most important thing about you, who won't realise that you once suckled at your mother's breast, tiny and perfect and loved.

Always loved.

I'll protect you, my daughter, protect you all the days of my life. You will have a good life - I promise you that.

And you'll always be beautiful to me - even if you do grow fur or feathers or scales.

My little girl.

You are a mutant.

You are my daughter.

You are wondrous in my eyes.

You are a whole new world to me.

I shall call you Darien.

"Then felt I like some watcher of the skies When a new planet swims into his ken; Or like stout Cortez when with eagle eyes He stared at the Pacific - and all his men Look'd at each other with a wild surmise - Silent upon a peak in Darien."

The End

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