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Save the Mutant Save the World

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The Blackbird landed at the base of the Chinese Temple, that was hidden deep inside the mountains, making it virtually impenetrable and secluded.  Bobby had done a good job finding the place and getting the team secured – away from the Sentinels.

For now.

Charles walked down the ramp as it was lowered, with Hank and Mystique flanking him, Logan and Storm followed, with Logan chomping on his cigar as always.  How he found one in this nightmare, ceased to amaze Charles. He gave Bobby a nod, as they made their way into the Temple, where Kitty and others were waiting.

They were so few now.

His dreams of a school destroyed by hatred.

The whole room, was filled with ancient symbols of hope and prosperity.  It radiate the idea that if you believe, you will be saved. Charles looked around at the color, smiling softly at the beauty.  The world had been so dark, nothing but greys and blacks, that the vividness of the color was almost overwhelming.

For the first time in a long time he felt just a bit of hope.

"Professor?" Kitty smiled at him, as she took a seat on the large stone altar.  "We called you here because we might have a plan."

"To stop the Sentinels," Bobby added into the conversation, stepping closer to Kitty.  He had watched the two's relationship develop from barely friend, to teammate, to lovers.  He wanted to tell them it was pointless. As the heartbreak losing what you love is too much, but he didn't have the heart to scowl at young love.  

"At this rate, any idea is a good one." Hank snorted, his voice low and gravely with age.  The blue fur rippled under the X-Men uniform, the only thing they all still held onto. He glanced around the temple, already finding the exits and potential defendable positions.  He didn't like the fact, the sanctuary felt more of a grave than a place of worship.

Mystique smirked at Hank, ready to comment about one of Erik's crazy plans, but shut it, when Charles gave her a dark look.  She sighed, wondering if her brother would ever forgive her.

"What's your plan?" he asked the younger Mutants.

"We've been staying one step ahead of the Sentinels by tricking them with illusions – basically they are fighting us in the past. When they get to Kitty, we all disappear, and they are left where we were, giving us time to escape to the next location."  Bobby explained, glancing over at Kitty, who nodded along with him. It wasn't an easy thing to explain, and half the time he didn't know how they were doing, just that it worked.

"I think I could use the same abilities to send someone back, to stop this where it started." She took a deep breath, her gaze on the Professor, watching him intently, as it was him they had to convince. "I know no one talks about the time before the Sentinels, but maybe, if we knew what time to go …"

"1973," Hank said without hesitation. "It wasn't when it all started, but that was when Trask Industries got the Sentinel program approved."

"Trask's labs had been targeted by the Brotherhood." Mystique continued Hank's train of thought. "He'd been experimenting on Mutants for years, but it wasn't until then the company got the approval…"

"How did they get it?" Bobby asked.  He had never been sure how this whole thing started. He had been trained by Charles since he was a boy, after his parents abandoned him, not wanting a Mutant for a son. As long as he had been alive there hadn't been peace between Humans and Mutants.

"I killed Trask," Mystique answered. "And from that moment, the war began."

"It just didn't start until ten years later when the first Sentinels appeared." Charles glanced at his sister, she still looked as young and beautiful as those days before Cuba, before the Brotherhood. "Do you think this would work?" His focus turned towards Kitty, she was one of his brightest would've made an excellent teacher, instead she ended up a soldier.

"It could, it's just that I've never done it for that long or far." She glanced around the last of their unit.  So many friends lost. "We would need someone who was there, but I don't know how it would affect the person being sent back."

"I'll do it." Logan stepped up volunteering, he pulled the cigar from his mouth and put it out in his hand.  If there was anyway to stop this war, he would take it. "I was around at the time, add in my abilities, I should be able to handle it."

Hank gave Mystique a side eye, then both turned and looked at Charles.  The Professor everyone knew now, was not the one Logan would find in 1973.  There was only one person, who could pull this off.

Magneto.

"It might not be like you think it is." The Professor chuckled humorlessly.

"Oh, I know about the 70's Chuck. Lava Lamps, free love, the war … it was a different time. I might not remember most of my life, but everyone knows the 70's." Logan smirked at the Professor, who gave him a rare smile in return.

"You will need to go to Westchester, find the Xavier School for the Gifted."  He didn't want to talk about that time, back when he was happy, before he lost everything, before the world went to hell.  But if this was going to work, he needed them understand that … he wasn't not the same Mutant they know and despise.

"It's in the same location where our headquarters were located." Hank explained hesitantly, knowing they were approaching 'never bring up' territory.  He could see Charles was getting agitated, feeling the pressure against his own mind.

Logan glanced between them, a confused expression on his face.  "Wait. You're tellin' me that our headquarters was a school?"

"Yes." Charles gave a warning look to both Mutants before they said anything more damaging. "Logan, when you meet me, I'm not the same man I am now."

"No one is bub." He settled on the spot Kitty had vacated, laying down on the stone slab.  He felt like he was going to be a living sacrifice.

Maybe he was.

"I'm not kidding Logan. I was a very different then, naïve and so stupid.  Or as someone once put it Naïve Idealist ." He tried to push back the memories of grey eyes, that held so much passion.  A commanding voice, yet with a gentle loving touch. "I will be difficult to deal with."

"Oh for fucksakes, Charles." Mystique threw her arms up in frustration as pushed past her brother.  She looked down at Logan, rippling into her natural form, knowing it would get his attention. "Ignore Charles.  You'll need to convince Erik."

"Just tell him Charles' life is in danger and he will listen to you." Hank added, his hand wrapped around the metal Star of David in his pocket.  

"That's enough!"   The rest of the team, startled at the raised voice.  Only having heard that tone, when the Professor was beyond pissed and it was usually at the two he was glaring at now.

"No!" Mystique yelled back at her brother. "If we're going to fix this, you're not going to be the one to do it, not you from back then. He needs Erik."

"Who the fuck is Erik?" Logan asked wondering what the hell he was going to walk into.

"The reason for everything." Charles answered.

***

Logan woke up to the sight of a lava lamp.  

He took stock of the situation, realizing he was stark naked.   Well it was the 70's and the embracement of free love. He moved out from under the very naked woman, standing to take stock of the situation.

It was a typical cheap hotel room.  A king size bed, rumbled covers. Plain furniture, that matched every other hotel room he had ever been in.  Clothes were strewn across the room, it didn't take long for him to find his pants.

He had no idea who the woman in the bed was, or what was supposed to happen.  The few memories he had before finding his way to the Brotherhood, were of water and pain.  The only link he had even after all these years, was the dogtags he had worn.

Standing in the mirror he blinked in shock at seeing the same set of dogtags.

Obviously he had them longer than he had thought.

When the door opened, and angry thugs stormed in, he really wasn't that surprised.  Fighting some pissed off wannabes was par for his life. What was shocking was when he slid down his claws they were bone and not metal.

That will make things interesting.

After the last body dropped, he finished dressing, grabbed the keys and left the carnage behind.  He needed to figure out where he was, and how to get to Westchester and this Xavier School for the Gifted.

In all the years he had known the Professor, he had never known that he had actually been a Professor .  He had thought the name had stuck because of his posh tone in lecturing all of them in the arts of war.

He still had no idea who this Erik was, it was obviously a sensitive subject by the way the Professor was ready to shred his closests Generals.  He couldn't imagine Chuck being anyone but the 'Professor'.

Hopefully this Erik wasn't an asshole.

***

Alex followed Stryker into the barracks, knowing that the guy was a) an asshole b) an asshole c) likely going to kill or kidnap the small group of Mutants that the army had put together to fight in this goddamn war and d) an asshole.

He had the bad luck of having his birthday called.  Though if he was honest with himself, he was happy it hadn't been Sean or Hank.  Neither Mutant would've been able to handle the horrors he had seen.

Sean was still at University of Southern California, getting his Phd.  Charles made sure he stayed safely away from the war.

Irony, Hank's feet got him out of being drafted.  His birthday had been called soon after Alex's, but he failed the physical.  Hank had laughed and cried at the irony that the government turned him away because of his mutation.  The very mutation he hated all his life, only for it to save his life. Erik sat at the Kitchen table and stared at Hank, not sure if he was offended for him for not being accepted or wanting to lecture him for wanting to get rid of it.

In the end he was thrilled that Hank was safely tucked away in the laboratories at the school.  

Darwin lived up to his namesake, and was never called up.  Instead moved to Los Angeles, keeping an eye on Sean.

The school hadn't quite taken off over the past decade.  Too many were afraid of their own mutations. Others lost to the war.  Charles took in those he could, gave them some training or education, and then helped them find a new path.

Alex had been thankful that he had friends that kept him sane, and sent care packages.  Notes from Charles kept him going, and the years at war honed his ability to control his mutation.  Letters from Erik, made him laugh and he would forever be thankful that dad had put contingency plans into place.  

He hadn't been sure what the plans were until Azazel and Erik arrived in the middle of a firefight.  

Erik stood in the open field, holding all the bullets and grenades in mid air, as Azazel got everyone out.  Alex stayed until the teleporter could grab both of them, refusing to leave without dad.

Charles would never forgive him, if something happened to Erik.

They ended up two miles to the south, near one of the American bases.  Erik told him to stay out of trouble, and the two disappeared. The mutants on his squad asked if they were part of the Brotherhood, Alex nodded.  The humans on the squad were willing to accept the devil could actually be an angel.

"Sir, is there a reason you brought us here?" Alex asked, eyeing Stryker.  He remembered the boys father, and didn't like him either. He paused, when he saw soldiers step away from the walls, guns drawn.  "It's going to be like that I see…"

Just then Stryker's skin shifted until standing before him was Mystique.  Before the guards could respond, she took them out with ease startling the rest of the unit.  Alex channeled his power through his arm and out the fist taking out the last two.

"What are you doing here?" he asked as the last guard fell.  

The barracks they were in were isolated from the center of the camp.  They were the freaks, the odds ones out. Despite the army using their 'skills' for their benefit, they didn't want them mixed in with the normal soldiers.

"Saving you."

"I don't think so.  I'm just reaping the benefit of whatever you have planned here."  Alex gave her look, knowing she had her own agenda. "I know Erik didn't send you."

"He's still being coddled by Charles."

Alex sighed, the bitchiness between the two hadn't stopped over the past decade, and it wasn't worth getting in the middle of it.  Besides he would always side with dad, and she knew it. "Now what?"

"I'm hunting Trask."  She shifted back into Stryker and headed for the door.  "He was expecting your unit at one of his labs."

Alex moved in front of his men, who watched everything intently.  They had gotten used to weird shit happening around them, and respected their Captain, knowing he would protect them.  Many had heard his stories of Charles and Erik, and the school they were building. Some had been curious, others scoffed.  

"We will not be your sacrifice."

She turned on the ball of her feet, and glared at him.  "I wouldn't betray my fellow Mutants!"

"So that wasn't you who almost got Erik killed?" he snarled.  

On a rare furlough, he had gone home.  The place had been quiet … too quiet. He learned Erik was resting, recovering from a major relapse.

It was in the middle of the night over a bottle of scotch when Charles told him what happened.

Erik had stepped in to help Emma with a situation, they had discovered the government was moving soldiers who were Mutants to a lab.  The few with families, who cared enough to seek out what happened to their loved ones, were told they died in the war. She needed Erik's help, Angel and Janus were down in South America working on a seperate mission.  

Charles tagged along, to keep an eye on Erik.  The Mutant had been sick a month prior and still had a heavy cough.  

With ease the Brotherhood had gotten inside, with Charles sweet talking the front guards to keep them distracted.  Azazel moved the prisoners, while Emma interrogated the 'Doctors'. Erik made sure the labs were destroyed and nothing could be gained from their experiments.  

As they were leaving, it was Mystique who discovered there was a network of labs, all owned by Trask.  She deviated off the plan, and went into Trask's office disguised as the man himself.

The only problem, he was sitting at his desk and sounded the alarm.

Erik yanked her out, while slamming Trask against the wall.

She shifted and blended in with personal as they evacuated the facility.

Erik ended up surrounded by guards with their guns drawn.  Charles casually walked down the hallway, convincing everyone that Erik was harmless, letting the two of them, escape with the rest of the staff.

When they returned to the school Charles, in a rare show of anger, yelled at her for leaving Erik behind.  He didn't care what her attitude was about their relationship, she abandoned a fellow Mutant and a teammate.

She shrugged, and gave the excuse that Erik could control their weapons.

Charles, sharply, reminded her the last time he faced off against someone with a gun, he was shot.

When Erik yelled at the pair of them, it ended in a violent coughing fit.  Charles pulled out a handkerchief and handed it over, only to panic when he saw blood soaking through.  He yelled for Hank, when Dr. Gregory appeared out of nowhere. Kurt held onto the doctor's hand pointing at his Vater, demanding help.

Gregory didn't blink, used to the unique family, and went to work.  He took Erik out of his Charles' arms and led him towards the bedroom, with the young teleporter holding tightly onto his Vater.

Charles turned on his sister, and in a voice calmer than anyone expected, told her to get out.  

They hadn't spoken since.

Alex had checked on Erik before he got shipped back out.  He hadn't seen him that pale since Cuba. Despite the underlying fear of losing someone he cared about he couldn't help but awe at the sight of Peter and Kurt sleeping against their father's side.

Erik may still be an asshole, but he is a good father, despite what he or others think.

It was soon after, Mystique parted ways with the Brotherhood, hell bent on going after Trask.

"I'm pretty sure, even Emma is now after your head.  There's helping your fellow Mutants, and then there's going rogue and getting them killed."

"Well at least I'm doing something." She snarled.  "Unlike my pathetic brother and his lover. So how many kids are they teaching, exactly?"

"Well it's not like they're raising yours or anything." He stepped back, knowing she was likely to lash out.  "I'm not sending my unit to their deaths."

"They'll die here."  She pointed out, glancing at the door.  "It's not like the government is going to let you go home."

"It's not like you're our only transportation out of here."  

Mystique stepped back the moment Azazel poofed into the barracks.  He gave his once lover a look, before focusing on everyone else in the room.  "For those who want safety or just out of this hell hole, grab on. Those who want to go with beautiful, yet deadly, Mystique on her crusade - stay here."

Alex stopped being surprised that a few always stayed behind.

***

"PETER!"

Kurt looked up at his brother, and said in a singsong voice, "someone's in trouble."

"Just because you're the goody tooshoes in this family."  He looked around trying to find a place he could hide, maybe someplace in South America …  He felt the pull of the metal in his jacket. "Wish me luck!"

The young Teleporter waved as Peter was yanked down the hall.  He then wandered off to find his Uncle, for storytime.

Quicksilver ended up sliding into his father's office, coming to stop in front of said enraged parent, who was sitting behind his desk.  The door closed, and locked. All escape routes had been blocked. With a sense of inevitability he sat down in the very uncomfortable chair in front of the large oak desk, though he knew if his father could find a way to have it metal he would.  He put on his biggest smiles, and tried to look casual. "Hey dad."

"Don't you even …"

Peter closed his mouth, and looked towards the door that connected the two offices, sending out mental pleas of help, only to have them ignored.  It would seem luck was not on his side today. "So …"

"You're mother called."  Erik leaned forward, elbows resting on the desk, hands clasped.  Every inch the madman who was trying to take over the world.

Or worse a concerned parent.

He cringed, wondering how the hell they found out about that particular incident.  "I put the records back."

"Records?"  Erik gave him a look, one that was firmly on the side of 'don't lie to me, my boyfriend is a telepath and he'll rip it out of your mind'.

"Nothing, what did she call about?"  Peter tried to sort through the many reasons his mother would call.  Over the past decade, the two had come to an understanding of how to handle Peter.  Erik trusted his mom to take care of him, and she trusted Erik to protect him.

For the past couple of years Erik had taken to upping Peter's training, knowing he would need to learn to fight and defend his fellow Mutants.  Especially as he adopted Kurt as his little brother, and despite his sweet nature, his appearance scared most people.

Well except the Catholic Priest in town, who adored him to no end.

Who knew?

Erik waved his hand, then reached into the open side drawer and pulled out some Polaroids, tossing them across the desktop.  "It seems it's nice weather in Los Angeles, this time of year."

He cringed at the images.  Though he had to admit the trip was a lot of fun!  He even got to see movie stars, and go to Disneyland. "I went to see Sean!"  Erik's eyes narrowed, well at least someone else would get yelled at. "Darwin was there."

"I will deal with them later." He ran a hand over his face and sighed.  

There were times he looked older than Peter remembered.  Ever since he had that lung infection, two years ago, there was more grey in his hair, and he swore Uncle Charles had a bit less hair.  

"I know you want to explore.  I get it, I do. But you just turned sixteen, and there's been rises in Mutant disappearances.  I can't always be there."

"I can take care of myself."  It wasn't like he would stay and fight, though Erik had taught him some pretty killer moves.  He was more likely to run, and would be in another state before anyone even realized it.

"You're my son."  Erik moved around the desk and leaning against it, hand reaching to rest on Peter's shoulder.  "I would do anything to protect you. And you know how Charles feels about me hurting humans."

Peter chuckled, yet leaned into his comfort.  "So you're using Uncle Charles to guilt me into staying out of trouble."

"If it works," Erik grinned.

"Fine, I won't go on any vacations without telling you."  He shrugged, then slid further into the chair, leg bouncing slightly with bent up energy. "I'm feeling a bit hyper, even more so lately."

"Hormones."  Erik moved back to his seat behind the desk.  "Charles thought you might as you go through puberty."

"I need to run."

"Next time let us know, and we'll work something out."  Erik frowned when he heard the doorbell. They didn't get a lot of visitors, and the ones who visited, rarely knocked.

"Go find your brother, stay out of sight," he ordered as he unlocked the door.

In a flash he was gone.

***

Logan took in the gate, the plaque on the wall, and then the school.  It was exactly as he remembered it, yet completely different. The Brotherhood Headquarters that he had stumbled upon after fleeing Stryker, was intimidating.  The school was the exact same building, yet felt more welcoming.

He hesitantly opened the gates, waiting for the mind sweep, but nothing came.  Still on guard he made his way up the driveway, parked the stolen car, and as he stepped out of the vehicle he took everything in.

The grounds were meticulous, well manicured.  Nothing like the rough patches he had been used to seeing.  There were no outside training grounds, no obstacle courses.  The fence was still high, but no cameras or barbed wire. But then it was 1970's so cameras were bulky at best, not the nice discrete ones they had before the Sentinels destroyed the place.

With a shake of his head, he rang the doorbell.

Even that was different.

After a few moments, the door creaked open to reveal a geeky kid.  He peered over his glasses, frowning at Logan. 'What type of place was this?'

"Can I help you?" he asked.

"I'm looking for the Professor."  Logan demanded, they didn't have time to waste.  His instincts was telling him, his future was on the brink of being destroyed.  If they didn't fix this now, there was no hope.

"Do you have an appointment?"  

"Look bub, I need to talk to Chuck.  This is a matter of life and death." He pushed on the door, stepping into the building.  Everything may seem different, but it was still the same place. The Professor's office was on the second floor, across from his rooms.  A section very few people had been allowed to venture into.

Many whispered that a ghost lived there.

He was halfway up the stairs, when he was attacked from behind.  With a grunt, he pushed back and took a swipe at his attacker, only to stumble in shock.  "Beast?"

The geeky kid, who was now rippled with blue fur, gave him a contemplative look, before going in for another attack.  The two slammed into the ground, both growling. In a move, ironically one Beast had taught him, Logan tossed the kid upwards.  Beast snarled, as he landed in the chandelier.

Logan released his bone claws, when a metal snake crawled up his leg, yanked him down, dragged across the room, and slammed into the wall.  He snarled at the unexpected intrusion, only to have the wall sconces melt and wrap around each of his wrists.

"What the bloody hell is going on down here?"

He knew that voice.

Logan looked up the stairs to see the Professor … with hair!  But he sure as hell wasn't the man he knew. This Professor was softer, bright blue eyes, gentle expression, and was wearing a cardigan for god's sake.

"He tried to break in, Professor."

"Hank, why are you in the chandelier?" he asked.  With a sigh he waved his hand downward. "Get down from there.  And the last I checked most burglars don't ring the doorbell."

Hank easily landed in a low crouch.  His blue fur faded as he stood. "He says he knows you?"

Logan felt the metal tighten around his wrists.  He had no idea how Beast was doing it, though if the kid was anything like his older counterpart he was pretty damn creative and sneaky when it came to boobytraps.  "Let me down asshole." He glared at Hank, who shrugged and glanced towards the shadows of the lobby.

"Erik."  Charles voice softened as he came down the stairs. "This is not how we treat guests."

Logan slid down the wall, his focus on the man who stepped out of the shadows, so this was the elusive Erik.  If there was a man who had seen war, it was him, not the two geeks he was supposedly seeking out. He was starting to understand why, Mystique said to find him.

"Guests don't attack those they are visiting."  He pointed out, giving Logan a dark look. "He knew exactly where to find you Charles.  I don't like that."

"Erik…"  He admonished, then smiled brightly as he stepped up to Logan.  "Welcome to the Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters."

"What the fuck happened to you?"  He felt the metal wrap around his wrist again.  

"Do I know you?"  Chuck gave Erik a side-eye.  "Let him go."

"I don't trust him."

"Look bub.  You sent me here."  Logan looked between the two men, while making sure he kept Beast in his line of sight.  At the moment it looked like Logan could break him like a twig, but he knew exactly how well Beast could fight.  "From the future."

<<Charles?>>

<<Something is odd.  He's not lying, that's for sure.  But he's not alone his mind.>>

<<Another telepath?  Emma isn't usually this cras.>>

<<It might seem weird darling, but the other presence I'm feeling is mine.>>

Logan looked between them, it was obviously they were communicating.  The Professor - he knew - had no problem using his powers to get information, whether the person wanted to give it or not.  This one seemed to have a conscience. He rolled his eyes, this was going to suck. "Look the future is in jeopardy, and you sent me back to fix it."

"How is it in jeopardy?"  Beast asked moving next to Charles, two steps behind and one to the left.  Logan almost sighed in relief it was such a familiar view, even if the two in front of him were far from the hard bitten Generals he knew.

Erik gave Charles an all knowing look.  "Let me guess, they found out that there were more Mutants than they thought, flipped their collective shit and started hunting us down.  We defended ourselves, and they declared war ... destroying everything."

"Erik!"  Charles frowned at his lover.  "I know you're pessimistic but still!  I have a bit more faith in humans and mutants, than we wouldn't destroy the world."

"Naive Idealist."

Logan stared at Erik, he was truly starting to understand what they meant now.  He smirked, then turned towards the Professor. "Sorry Chuck, he's right.

<<See…>>

Erik gave him a second look.  "I freely admit I'm not nearly as idealistic as Charles here, but we really destroyed the earth?"

"The Sentinels did."  

He began to explain how everything went wrong.

***

Erik followed Charles up to their rooms.  He could tell his lover, was upset over everything Logan had told them.  Part of him wasn't surprised, that the humans used Mutants own DNA against them, irony that it was Mystique's wasn't lost on him.  

And typical humans, they didn't know how to put the genie back into the bottle once they created their Sentinels.  It was one thing to kill the freaks, lock them up in concentrations camps, treat them like animals, but to have the Sentinels turn against humans, who could have mutants … well fate had a lovely sense of irony.

He paused outside their rooms, noticing instantly Kurt was in the corner watching them intently.  He knelt down, letting the young mutant run into his arms. "What's wrong?"

"Big man is scary."

"True."  Logan was formidable, and had it was obvious he had been through hell, but really wanted to do what was right.  Why else would someone volunteer to time travel back to convince a naive Charles that he had to go to war. "But he is a good guy, besides you can just poof away."

He smiled with all his teeth.  "I can go farther now, and take someone with me.  Peter and I zapped to …"

Kurt's eyes went wide as he shut his mouth.

"We'll deal with that particular incident later, right now go find Peter and stay close to Hank."  Erik kissed him the top of his head, smiling when he poofed out of the hallway.

"They grow up so fast." Charles leaned against the door jam smiling softly at the moment.  "I can't imagine putting him into battle."

"He would go."  Erik stood, reaching out to Charles.  

"We can't send children into war, Erik!"  He shook his head, the longer locks getting into his face.  

"We already have."  He argued, arms sweeping back towards the empty house.  A house that should have more kids in it, but the war had scattered them to the wind.  "Alex is out there fighting, in a human's war. How many kids came home in boxes Charles?  Not just our mutant brothers and sisters, but humans? I was twelve in the camps, Dr. Gregory was barely an adult when he landed on the beaches.  War is started by adults and fought by children."

Charles looked at him, always amazed at the passion that still burned through his veins.  "How could we let this happen?"

"I would like to point out, I actually didn't start it."  The glare yet smirk was what he had been aiming for.

Charles reached out, hand resting on the scar on Erik's chest.  "It scares me."

"Liebling." He reached out pulling him close, kissing him softly before tucking him under his chin.  "I'm still here."

"I don't know what I would do without you." Charles held him tightly, not wanting to let go.  The very idea that they would see a war of this magnitude, shattered his undying hope that the world would be a better place.  That humans and mutants would find some form of peace, even if it was just to leave each other alone.

"Well you don't have to." He kissed the top of his head, running a soothing hand down his back.  "I'm here and I'm not going anywhere."

Charles leaned back, then pulled Erik into a heated kiss.  "Don't leave me."

He gave him another passionate kiss, before stepping back as much as he wanted to push Charles onto the bed, and remind him how very much alive he was, they had priorities.  "Let's fix Mystiques fuck up, deal with Trask, and save the world."

***

"Hi."

Logan startled at the soft voice next to him.  He looked down to see a Mutant child staring at him intently.  He couldn't remember the last time he saw a kid, let alone one not being trained for battle.

"Who are you?"  He couldn't help the small smile.  To see such innocence, something he thought had been destroyed.

"Kurt."  He gave a toothy smile in return.  "Are you friends with my Vater?"

"Vater?"  Logan had no idea what that meant.

"It's German for father."  Peter leaned against the door, taking in the burly man.  The one who upset Uncle Charles, and pissed off dad. But then, it didn't take much to piss dad off, usually someone just had to upset Uncle Charles.  "Erik, the angry one."

"He's your father?" He looked down at the young child, not seeing the connection.

"Yes and no."  Quicksilver stepped away from the door, getting closer to his brother.  He wasn't quite sure if he trusted the guy yet. "Erik's my father, but he's raising Kurt here along with Charles, so in theory … he's Vater.  Though Charles is Uncle Charles, as Kurt's mother is actually Charles' sister."

"Erik slept with Charles' sister?"

"She wished."  Peter shrugged, not really wanting to get to far into the family drama.  "She stole Erik's 'I'm pissed at the world mojo' and began a crusade against everything.  A kid didn't quite fit into the lifestyle."

"And since this is a school, she dropped him off."  He was kinda following along, but the kid talked so fast he was having a hard time keeping up.

"It was Kurt's actual dad, he knew the little one would be safe here."  He waved his hand around Kurt, as the tail wiggled behind him. "He doesn't fit in with most daycares."

"What is he?"

"A Mutant."

Logan took a deep breath, and pinched his nose trying not to get pissed.  He wasn't used to dealing with teenagers. Bobby and Kitty never acted like teenagers, they had already seen too much war.  And Rogue … he didn't want to think about her.

"He's a Teleporter."  Hank's voice broke through his frustration.  "His father is also a Teleporter, his mother a Metamorph.  Peter, here has the ability for super speed."

"And Erik?"  Logan glanced over to Beast, not sure how this small dweeb became one of the most fiercest of generals.

"Shouldn't you know that?"  Hank asked frowning. "As they sent you back here, to save the world and everything."

He hesitated not sure if he should mention, that he actually had no idea who the hell Erik was, nor did he recognize the kids.  Logan glanced at the young boy, who looked to be barely seven. "Hey kid, let me give you one good piece of advice."

Peter moved closer to his brother.

"What is it?"  He asked filled with the curiosity of a child

"Don't stay and fight.  Teleport the hell away from all this shit."  Logan squatted down, focusing on the youngin'.  "You're too young to see any the horrors this world as to offer."

Kurt stepped forward, his three clawed hand resting on Logan's cheek.  "Peace be with you, Mr. Logan." He smiled then started to leave, before turning back.  "I pray for peace, but I will fight at my Vater's side."

"As do I."  Peter gave him a look.  "So want to tell us why you don't recognize us?  I might not be to rememberable, but my little bro is very noticable."

Logan stood ignoring the obvious question, by asking another. "Who exactly is his mother?"

"Mystique."  Hank watched as Logan stalked out of the room.

***

Erik sat across from the blonde beauty, drinking his coffee.  The amount of people who walked by and smiled at the couple had him rolling his eyes.  If he had sat at the same cafe with Charles, they would either ignore them or a few would give them a side glance … wondering.

The cafe was one of their favorite meeting places, small and away from normal New York traffic, but not so small that they were regulars and noticeable.  As far as anyone was concerned they were just a cute couple having lunch, of course it helped that Emma made sure those around them really didn't pay attention.  They saw a man and woman, but wouldn't be able to ID them or tell anyone what they looked like.

He could tell Emma was pissed, by the the tapping of the perfectly manicured nail on the coffee cup. "She's out of control."  Emma set her cup down, with more force than needed. "I know Azazel is helping her, which I get, but it's annoying."

"Well it's worse than you think."  He took a sip of his coffee and set it down a bit more gently.  "She's going after Trask."

"What do you think she's been doing for the past two years, sugar?"  Her eyes narrowed slightly, her one tell that she was trying to get information Erik wasn't willing to give.

"You had a difficult time before I spent ten years with Charles, you think you're getting in now?"  He smirked as he leaned back in his chair. "We have information that she will be in Paris, aiming to actually kill him, and if she succeeds it's the death of all of us."

"You think Trask will retaliate?"  She hesitated, Erik was known for his over exaggerations.

"Lets just say if we don't stop her, I'll get to crow about how right I was about humans, the problem is I'll likely be dead."  

Emma leaned forward, now concerned.  He was right, she couldn't read his mind, but she had known him now for ten years, and she could tell something was upsetting him.  "Erik, what is going on? I've known you a long time now, honey. I know your rants, speeches, and if only I hadn't fallen for a pacifist whines.  This is different. You actually look and feel worried, but not quite."

He stood, buttoned his suit coat, grabbed his fedora and put it on, before holding out his hand. "Walk with me."

With a nod, she grabbed her bag, taking his arm after he tossed some money onto the table.  They strolled through the nearby park looking like the perfect normal happy couple. "I want to ask something of you."

"Anything, within my reason."

He chuckled, the two had built an interesting relationship over the past decade.  He admired Emma, she handled the Brotherhood with a dignity and strength. Basically, she had every member by the balls and they knew it.

"If something happens to me, make sure Charles is taken care of."  

She yanked on his arm making him turn towards her.  "Erik what are you planning?"

"I'm planning on stopping Mystique..."

"By sacrificing yourself?"

"Fuck no."  He gave her a filthy glare.  "I'll kill her before I let her crusade ruin Charles... " he sighed, "there are days I wonder how this became my life."

"Sex, sugar.  Plenty of it."

He gave her a rare smile, the one only family saw.  "All I'm doing is making sure my partner is taken care of.  I know you all have plans to deal with me, if something happens to him.  I'm pretty sure it ranges from putting me out of my misery to letting me conquer the earth and let the humans know how bad of an idea it was to hurt him."

"Depends on the day."

He snorted, at the comment.  "I don't think Charles is going to handle losing me well."  He needed to talk to Logan without Charles, to find out more of what the future held.

"You act as if it's inevitable."  Her tone indicated she didn't like where this conversation was going.

"Emma, I've had a rough life.  And as we saw a couple years ago, that gunshot will be the death of me.  Maybe if we had a houseful of kids for him to teach, he would be fine."  Erik paused, taking a seat on the bench. "I'm worried."

She sat down next to him, taking his rough hand in her delicate ones.  "You two will have a long life together, and if I have to kill Mystique myself to make sure of it I will."  

The two sat back, Emma taking his arm and leaning close to him.  "I have some good and bad news. The good news Alex is recovering, as is the Mutants that came with him.  There are a few who are interested in the Brotherhood. Considering they are trained soldiers, this could be good.  Alex is going to rest a bit before I send him home."

"And the bad?"

"It's news that likely sent Mystique over the edge, to finally killing Trask."  She laid her head on his shoulder. "And if you say things will get worse if she does, then you need to be prepared."

There was only one reason Mystique would go off that bad.  "Who did we lose?"

"Janus and Angel."  She sat back up, trying to not show the tears in her eyes. They were part of the original team.  The ones who were there for that moment … that changed everything. They told her many times, that if the beach had gone down differently, who knew what would've happened … and not necessarily for good.  Janus admitted a few years after the Brotherhood been formed, that Mutant Kind was better off that Erik was with Charles, than the two separated. And now to lose them … it was a blow to her personally and to the brotherhood.  "We got confirmation a few days ago."

"Fuck."  He stood, paced a few steps, then turned back to Emma, giving her a kiss on the forehead.  "I'll take care of this."

"Erik."  She ran a hand over her cheeks, then stood and gave him a determined look.  "We have the same plans for Charles as we do you. Either let him take over the world, or put him out of his misery.  Because honey, this world can't survive without the two of you in it."

"Be careful."

"I always am, Sugar.  So how are you getting to France?"

Erik gave her a wink, with a saucy grin.  "Advantage of having a rich boyfriend. We're going by private jet."

***

Mystique let the Vietnamese General approach her.  She had made sure that she was everything he was looking for.  Sophisticated, blonde and beautiful. His eyes appreciated what he saw, and with a sassy smile, she spoke his native language … reeling him in.

He was her ticket into the meeting with Trask.

It was the closest she had come to him, after all these years.

If Erik hadn't pulled her out of his office, this would've already been over.  

Janus and Angel would be alive.

The autopsy pictures will forever be imbedded in her memory.  The fact he had one of Angel's wings on display, made her sick.  He deserved to die! And she would make sure of it. She didn't care what her brother preached about hope, there was no hope with men like Trask around.

She was doing what was right.

Right for her people.

She was doing what Magneto was supposed to be doing.  The moment she saw him, she knew he was a man who would not hesitate.  And he didn't. He took those missiles and was ready to destroy the humans.  At the time she still had been conflicted, not wanting to hurt innocent people.  

But now … now she understood there were no innocents.

He lost his courage after getting shot and hid behind Charles ... afraid of the humans.

She saw his expression with the guards at the lab.  He froze, afraid of all the guns. He hadn't even lifted his hand, just waited for Charles to save him.  That was when she knew, the Brotherhood he created would never take it where it needed to go. Despite Emma being in charge everyone knew it was Erik.  He bowed down to her brother, and lost his ability to fight.

So she would.

She would bring war to the humans.

And it will start with killing Trask.

***

Erik slipped off his glasses as he stepped inside the waiting plane.  It was nice but not over the top, but then Charles was subtle with his money.  There were times he forgot how rich Xavier was, until he looked around their spacious bedroom, with the rich warm furniture, a closet filled with designer suits, and he never had to think about where the next meal was coming from.

Add in the fact he paid for Sean's education, and he was pretty sure there were accounts already set up for Peter.

He placed his sunglasses into the designer suit jacket, before taking it off and hanging it up in the small closet, tossing the hat onto the shelf.  He made his way over to Charles, who was sitting at the small table reading. He looked irritated, and was trying to hide it behind the book. Erik glanced over to Logan who was sitting in the corner, looking surley.  

"What did you say to him?"  He glared at the mutant.

"Nothing, bub.  Even if I did, what are you his keeper?"  Logan glared at him.

"Yes."  Erik leaned against the table, getting into his face.  "You hurt Charles, you deal with me. And I don't give a shit who you are or where you came from."

"Erik."  Charles' called out to his lover.  "It's not Logan's fault. I'm just upset over this whole thing."

He gave one last dark look, then focused on Charles, his expression softening instantly.  "Don't let him get to you."

"It's not him."  He gave the other Mutant a soft smile.  "It's just all of it, and I was told some bad news before we boarded."

Erik again turned towards the other Mutant, only to have Charles stand and take his arm, pulling him towards the table.  "By the way if Hank is flying who's watching the kids?"

"Azazel popped in with Sean and Darwin."  He pushed Erik into the chair, then poured them a drink.  "Despite the fact Peter is old enough to take care of himself, I wouldn't leave them alone."

"I trust Peter as far as I can toss him. He's sixteen and has my infamous stubborn streak."  Erik played with the crystal cut tumbler. "Besides Kurt is the more mature one of the two."

Hank snorted from the cockpit.  "They both take after you, I warned Darwin that Kurt will poof them away if he doesn't watch them."

Charles gave his lover a sweet smile. "They love you dearly."

"As they should!"  He made him laugh, so he counted it as a win.  "Tell me Liebling, why are you upset?"

"Azazel told me about Janus and Angel.  He was rightfully upset, the two of them had been friends for so long."  Charles swallowed the golden liquid, letting it burn on the way down. "And I'm sure this news isn't going to help us stop Raven."

"She already knows."  He downed the scotch, then sat back in his chair.  "Hell part of me wants to put a bullet between Trask's eyes.  I don't even need a gun to do it!"

"Murder isn't the answer." They both glanced over at Logan who snorted, he swallowed down his own drink, ignoring them both.  "We have to find a way to fix this…"

"You know I'll kill her if I have to."  Erik leaned forward taking Charles' hand.  "If it comes down to her or our future, the kids futures … I know you don't want to think about it, but her life is forfeit."

"She's my sister."  Charles squeezed Erik's hand.  "I love her no matter what's she done."

"There are times Charles, that I hate that I love you so much."  Erik kissed the back of his hand, then sat back. "I should be the one going after Trask, leading the Brotherhood … saving our people.  Yet here I am, raising children with you."

"Is it such a bad life?"  He asked seriously.

"No."  The answer was honest to a fault.  "I just feel useless."

<<You are not.>>

<<Am I?  I was taken down by a lung infection, from a cold Peter picked up from school.>>  

<<The cold was aggravated by the stress of the situation.  If I hadn't stopped all those guards you would've been worse, you were already exhausted from destroying the labs.  And I couldn't see you get shot, not again. I'm the one who should be sorry.>>

"Why are you sorry Charles?"  He asked out loud. "You have done nothing but try and help our people, even if it's a bit idealistic."

"It's because of me, she is like this."  Charles sighed running a hand through his hair, as he leaned back in his chair.  "She sees you as weak, afraid of humans, that I coddle you. She sees herself taking up your campaign."

"She's doing a shittastic job at it, but then who knows where I would be if I hadn't been shot."  He shrugged.

"Jail."  Both Hank and Charles said at the same time.

"Exactly how would you've kept me in it?"  Erik gave them both a look.

"Plastic prison."  Hank called out from the cockpit.  "Buried deep in the ground, maybe out in the countryside, though knowing our government they would've put in the middle of the Pentagon or something."

"I'm disturbed you thought this through."  He glared at the kid … well not so much of a kid anymore.

"Though the logistics alone to build one would take years, in the meantime, Charles would've broken you out and tried to make you see reason."  Hank glanced over his shoulder a grin on his face. "Probably be some epic escape, Peter would help … oh lets not give him ideas."

"As I said no prison could truly hold me."  He looked foundly at Charles. "Except you."

He was out of his seat and into Erik's lap, kissing him hard and deep.  <<Darling.>>

Erik's hand slid into the long locks, gripping them tightly as he devoured the sweet mouth.  He shifted them, until Charles was seated on the small table, giving him the leverage he needed to push him back, wanting nothing but to get his hands in to those sinful jeans and around the hot hard …

"ERIK!" Hank yelled as the plane vibrated and shuttered.  "You're in a fucking plane … made of metal!"

He gasped pulling off his lover, eyes dark with lust.  "Oops."

Logan was gripping the seat, knuckles white as the plane finally leveled back off.  He stared at the two mutants, eyes wide in shock. "Are you two always this way."

Charles blushed slightly, though not letting go of his lover.  He figured if Logan was sent back to save them, he would know about Charles and Erik's relationship - it's not like they ever hid it.  Even when they were in the city, Erik always had a hand on Charles it wasn't overt, but it was enough. The few times they got confronted, the thugs learned quickly that they weren't 'some fags they could mess with'.

"YES!" Hank growled from the cockpit.

Erik smirked as he pulled Charles back into his lap, letting the smaller man curl up.  He knew he was tired. They hadn't slept well since Alex got shipped out. They hadn't slept at all in the past few days since Logan showed up.  When Charles gets too tired, his shields slip, most of the time he ventured into Erik's mind, or Hank's, but in large crowds it could be dangerous for Charles and others.

He ran a hand through his soft hair, soothing him, until he fell asleep.

Logan watched as Erik easily lifted the Professor, laid him out on the couch, then covered the him with a blanket.  In a touching moment he ran a hand through his hair, and then kissed him on the forehead. This was not what he was expecting.  He had a feeling that Erik had been close to the Professor by the way he had snapped at his Generals, but this loving adoration on both sides was shocking.

The little time he spent with Erik, he didn't come across as a loving anything.  More as a dominating soldier … hell he would've paid good money to see someone like him take on the Sentinels.  

It is obvious that losing Erik was the catalyst that made The Professor he knew.  He had no idea what to do with the one that was just got tucked into bed.

Logan startled when Erik slid into the seat across from him.  "I'm not in your future am I?'

"No." He figured it was best to answer with the truth. "And before you ask Bub, I have no idea what happened.  Just that before I went under, Mystique emphasized I had to convince you, because Chuck from now was useless."

He snorted humorlessly.  "She always underestimated him.  The fact he's still alive tells me that.  Tell me more about these Sentinels."

***

The conference room was in shambles.  Chairs tossed to the side, some tipped over as people scrambled to get away from the 'monster'.  Trask stood at the head of the table, in shock and awe at the sight before him.

If it hadn't been for the fact he carried his Mutant detector around with him at all times, he would've never have known she was in the room.  He watched as the same mutant that had invaded his lab disemate his security. It had been because of her, he had built the detector and started the Sentinel program.  

How does a simple human fight against that?!

She was mere feet from him, when she looked up, eyes going wide.  Trask turned to see four men enter the room. The one with the long coat, he recognized.  It was the one who threw him against the wall, he still hadn't figured out what his mutation was.  

He stalked into the room, pulling one of the guards guns from the floor, without touching it, and aimed it at the blue girl.

The smaller man, moved next to him putting his hand onto the gun floating in mid air.  "Erik, please let me try…." The gun didn't waver, but it didn't go off. "Raven, for once listen to me!"

"Why should I?" She snarled back, her focus between the long haired hippy and Erik.

Trask wondered if he could levitate items?  Maybe Telekinesis. He glanced at the surly man behind him, eyes widening at the bone claws, the very thought of what the man could do as a soldier …

The younger man on the sidelines, seemed out of place as did the hippy, but then he's learned that mutants who looked innocent were usually the most dangerous.

"Because our future is at stake!"  He snapped at her. "This isn't the way to do it.  Killing Trask isn't going to solve anything. It's just going to set everyone off."

"He has to die!"  

"And who are you willing to sacrifice in the process!"  He stepped closer to the table, hand out. "Is our lives forfeit for your revenge?  Is mine? Erik's …"

Her eyes narrowed, he knew it was the wrong thing to say.

She pulled her own gun on Trask, who stepped back tripping over his useless guard.  He scrambled up, and without a second thought slid past the big guy and ran out of the room.

The last thing he heard was a gun going off.

Mystique back flipped off the table, throwing a chair towards Charles knowing, it would distract Erik.   She couldn't believe they would attack her, instead of the real threat.

She felt the bullet go through her calf as she went through the window.

Erik growled, ready to rip Hank a new one for tackling him into the table, only to see him go through the window after Mystique.  With a frustrated yell he shattered the gun, and turned towards Charles who was knelt next to Logan, who seemed to be lost in a convulsion.

"Is he okay?"  Erik asked.

"I think past and present is mixing."  He tried to sooth the mutant, but was having a hard time getting past his claws.

"Not surprising."  He glanced down at the unconscious military personal.  "It's Captain Stryker, you've met his father, and if I recall Alex mentioned him a few times in his letters."

"Go deal with Raven and don't hurt Hank too much.  I've got this." Charles jumped back at the slash of the claws, then moved in quickly to pin them down.

'Hold him!'  He heard the yell the moment he touched him.  It sounded so much like Hank, but older gruffer. 'God I miss Erik.'

'He would've had a field day with Logan's metal frame.'

Charles shook his head, he knew that voice, it was Raven!  He put a knee down on Logan's arms looking down at the bone claws, the metal must have been added later.

'Kitty are you okay?'

'I'm fine.  He's calm now.'

'Logan… go back.  You need to go back.  The Sentinels are on their way …'  

Charles blinked at the sound of his own voice, older, wiser, harder.  

Dark eyes snapped open, staring at him.  "Are you back?" Charles asked easing up on his grip.  

"Yeah Chuck."  He struggled to get up, looking down at the bodies around the room, not quite sure what happened.  "Where's Mystique?"

"Out."  Charles pointed towards the broken window.

"Erik?"

"Also out."  He sighed trying to ignore the screams, growls, and crunching of metal.  "We've got to get out of here."

Logan looked down at the soldier.  One flick of his claws …

"I do not know what happened to you, but it made you the man you are today.  The one who was willing to come here to save the world." Charles put his hand on Logan's wrists.  

"I'm not sure I like this version of you, Professor."  He turned and walked away, dragging Charles behind him.  If there was one thing he had learned, leaving the Professor behind would only make Erik angry.

And that wasn't a good thing.

***

Erik had no idea who the other Mutant was, but the long tongue had made things awkward fast.  

Before Hank had even hit the ground, the Mutant had grabbed him and thrown him into the fountain, then used his tongue to bend the metal spikes trapping him in the water.  

Erik levitated himself to the ground, and the moment the mutant toad attacked he threw a trash can, sending it straight into the idiots face.   As he made his way towards Beast, he reached out with his metal senses looking for the bullet, but it was nowhere in the vicinity. The whiff of sulfur was enough to know how she got out of the area quickly.  

"Now what?"  Beast asked as Erik pulled the beams apart and yanked him out of the fountain, getting himself soaked in the process.  He shook the water out of his fur, noticing instantly that everyone was staring at the two of them.

"We need to get back to Charles."  He stepped out of the fountain, throwing his hand out as the cops approached tossing them to the side.  "Can you de-fur."

"What happened to Mutant and Proud."  Beast stood next to him, growling lightly.  He hated being furred and wet.

"Your wet fur is making me sneeze."  He smirked, getting the eyeroll he was expecting.  

<<Go left the crowd has no idea what's going on.>>

<<Ah Liebling did you mind whamming tourists?>>

<<Fuck you Erik.>> He could feel the pause.  <<Yes, but you have a short time. Get to our rooms, I have news.  It's not good. And stop teasing Hank!>>

He glanced around noticing people were frozen - staring past them.  "Time to leave." He grabbed Hank, and headed left.

"Is Charles keeping us from being seen?"  He asked, passing by a young couple obviously on their honeymoon, neither one of them looked at his wet sopping blue fur.

"At the moment."

Charles had surprised him with a trip to Paris a few years ago, they spent half their time in bed, the other exploring the city.  Giving Erik an advantage as they maneuvered through the city.

The moment they hit a dark alley, he grabbed Hank and shoved him against the wall.  Beast growled, grabbing Erik's wet jacket. "Why did you stop me from shooting her?"

"She's his sister!"  He pushed back using his strength to slam Erik into the opposite wall.

"You heard what Logan said, if she kills Trask we're done."  He brought his hands down on Hank's arms making him let go, then pushed him back into the wall.  "I don't give a shit about Mystique or even if Charles is pissed at me. I'm saving our future."

"Killing her isn't the way.  You know it!" He argued back.  "She think she's doing the right thing, like you did back on that beach."

"So you thought declaring your undying love would stop her?"  His voice dropped, going from anger to frustration. "Hank that only works if she loves you back."

"I know." He sunk into the wall with a sigh.  "Do you know how hard it is to see the adorable kid running around, the one who calls you uncle, knowing it's the son of the woman you love with someone else!"

"Fuck Mystique."

"Azazel already did."  Hank dead panned. They both snorted, laughing lightly.  "I thought I was doing the right thing, but now everyone knows about us.  I mean I know there's been rumors and theories, government inquirers, but now we're publicly out there … Shit."

"It's not a bad thing, we shouldn't have to hide!"  Erik argued. "Yes, we need the school, hell this would likely boost our enrollment finally, but why should we hide to make them comfortable."

"Because they build Sentinels to hunt us down!"

"Then we stop them."  Erik reached over and put his hand on Beast's shoulder.  "I'm not sure how, but we will."

He looked at the one person he thought he would never be friends with, the one person who wasn't to be trusted.  The one person who he had become family, who fought for and against him. The one person who made him believe in the geeky kid and the Beast.  "But you die. You and I both know it. Logan doesn't know Magneto ... only Erik. So you died." He reached up and wiped the tears from his eyes.  "And I don't think we handled it well."

"This time."  He pulled Hank into his arms, not caring that they were both wet, and fur was getting up his nose.  "We make sure I don't."

"How did this become our lives?"  Hank asked stepping back while pulling off his glasses and trying to clean them with his wet shirt.

"I blame Charles completely for my lack of world domination."  Erik grabbed his arm, and headed out of the alley way, they had to get the hell out of sight.   And later, he needed to find Azazel and beat the shit out of him.

***

The suite he had booked last minute, was not his usual style.  He prefered something more lowkey.

When he had surprised Erik a few years ago with a trip to Paris, he had rented an apartment, it had been a simple studio and the two had enjoyed their weeks away. He had known Erik spoke French fluently, and had been to Paris during the time he hunted Nazi's, but he had never taken the time to enjoy the city.  That trip were some of his fondest memories. He had felt contentment bleeding off Erik the whole time they were away.

This two bedroom suite was huge, and was more than enough space for the four of them.  The bedrooms sat on opposite sides, with a large living area in between. There was a fully stocked bar in the back, near the balcony that overlooked city.

A bar Charles was aiming for.

"Erik isn't alive is he?"  Charles grabbed the scotch and poured himself a glass, not offering anything to the other mutant.  He downed it in one swallow, then poured a second before focusing on Logan.

"Chuck."

"I can rip it out of your head."  He downed the amber liquid and poured a third.  "I think you would be surprised how far I would go to protect my family."

"Oh I know exactly how far you would go."  Logan gave him a look, moving towards the bar to grab his own vice, huffing in triumph when he found an actual Cuban cigar. "I've seen it.  You're a scary bastard when pissed."

"Who sent you?"  He demanded, blue eyes flashing with determination.

"You, with your two Generals: Beast and Mystique."  He lit the cigar and moved to the balcony doors. The city was quiet, as if in anticipation.  The last time he had been in Paris, they had been hiding in the Palace of Versaille.

'It's beautiful.'  Kitty smiled at all the trimmings, though most of the historical pieces were destroyed.  She grabbed Bobby and began to dance across the ballroom floor.

Chuck had watched them with a small smile on his face.  It was a rare moment, to see him so open and unguarded.

'Look at all the gold…'

He flashed a look towards Mystique who quickly shut her mouth and wandered off.

'So much abundance.  All they had to do was feed their citizens and they could've kept their heads.'  Charles' voice had turned to lecture mode, though most had ignored him, there were times Logan sat and listened wondering what the Professor was really telling them. 'But we hold onto our perceived rights and privileges.  Cling to wealth and power.'

He pulled out the spray can, and like all the places before left behind their calling card.

214 782

He had no idea what that number had meant, until now.  Logan had seen the same six numbers tattooed on Erik's left arm.  

"Erik's a Holocaust Survivor."  It wasn't a question.

"Yes."  Charles looked at him, as if trying to read him, but without using his telepathy.  "Why?"

"You used his number to mark our territory." He puffed on his cigar.  "I never knew why? No one talked about it, and you yelled at anyone who did.  It drove the governments insane trying to figure out your code."

"When it was me reminding them of their past mistakes?"

"I think it was more of a fuck you."

"How did he die?"  Charles asked wanting … no … needing to know so he could stop it.

He shrugged, chomping on his cigar.  "I don't know. You took me in after I escaped Stryker.  There was no school only the Brotherhood. I never heard the name Erik, until Mystique told me to get him on my side."

Charles' slammed the glass onto the bartop.  "She gets Erik killed and lives. I lose everything, and she stands by my side - fighting a war she fucking started."

"I'm not saying you two got along."

"I bloody fucking hope not."  He snarled moving from behind the bar towards his room, then stopped. "Kurt and Peter?"

"Sorry, but I don't know them."

"Sean? Alex?"  Charles asked desperately, eyes wet with tears.  "Darwin?"

"Darwin I knew, he fought like hell.  You actually destroyed a small city when he was killed."  Logan stepped away from the balcony doors and approached the distraught man.  "I only know the man you became Chuck, and for the past few days I've seen the man you are."  He gripped Charles' shoulders tightly, bending down to look him in the eyes. "You were a fighter, a fucking vicious general, a phenomenal teacher, who everyone was willing to die for you.   But I like this long haired cardigan wearing hippy. I want to meet him in the future. I want to see the school as a school. I want you to save Jean and Scott. I want to bring you Rogue. I want to see Kitty as a teacher not a soldier.  I want to see Erik with fucking grey hair."

"But I don't know how to do that."

"Yes, you do Charles."

Charles turned to see a sopping wet Erik.  "Fucking hell you're soaked. Out of those clothes, into the shower - you'll catch a cold!"  And before he could blink, Erik was dragged out of the room towards their bedroom.

Logan looked at Beast. "I'm taking the sex is amazing."

"From what I've heard. Yes."  He shook his own fur, letting water fly.  He focused on Logan, and with a low growl he made his intent known.  "We need to talk."

"There's the general I know."

***

Erik was stripped and under the hot soothing water in seconds.  The only reason he didn't complain was he had an equally naked and wet Charles.  Words weren't spoken, they weren't needed. Hands moved over warming skin, mouths licked and bit across exposed flesh.  Erik lifted Charles, pushing him against the back of the shower, holding him against the tile as he kissed him deeply, mouth trailing down his neck onto his shoulder, leaving a mark for all to see.

Charles' moaned, pushing back against the cold tiles, desperate to rub his aching cock against Erik.  He wanted everything. Wanted to taste him, feel him, wrap himself around him. He felt fingers probing against his entrance slick with soap, not the best but he didn't care.  

And as Erik slid physically into him, he slipped into his mind.

He would never get enough of Erik's mind.  It was so bright with passion, warm with love, and he shuttered in pleasure when he used his mutation.  

<<Liebling.>>

<<I love you.  So much. Please Erik.>>

He felt the huff of breath against his neck, as Erik slammed harder into him.  "Fuck…"

"Working at it."  He chuckled into his neck.

"So close."  Charles' hands went into Erik's short locks and pulled his head back, taking his mouth into a heated kiss.  He wrapped around him physically and mentally, and let go.

The sound of metal crunching was enough to know that he had got Erik to lose all control.  With a satisfied smirk he reached out with his own powers to feel an embarrassed Hank, an amused Logan, and it would seem they weren't the only ones in the hotel letting off some steam.

Erik gently lowered him, then dragged him back under the water.  Their touch was softer, more of a caress as they finished, dried off, and got re-dressed.

He quickly fixed the pipes in their suit and the ones next door, and then moved back into their suite.  Erik sat on the small couch, pulling Charles into his arms. "Tell me."

"The Sentinels are already created." He had dived into Trask's mind, while trying to deal with Raven.  The man was terrified of Mutants, he saw them as something to be eradicated yet found them fascinating. "He started building them when Mystique first attacked him.  He's also fascinated in you … he can't figure you out."

"Are you telling me, this is a wasted effort?"  Erik frowned, not liking that the future was inevitable.  It had to be changed, if it couldn't be - he would've walked away from Charles on that beach.

"I don't think it is." Charles sat up, setting across from Erik.  He took his hands, they were so much bigger than his own, rougher, had been soaked in blood, but held Kurt so gently, touched Charles so lovingly.  "I refuse to believe that the future Logan is talking about can't be changed."

"Charles…"

"No!" He squeezed the hands under his.  "We will change this."

"Then I need you to go back to New York, get in Cerebro and find Mystique."  He pulled his hand free, and tipped Charles' chin up. "I don't need you to be this general Logan knows, I need you to be Charles.  I need you to have the hope we will change this, I need my Naive Idealist."

"But what if he can't do it."

"He can."  He leaned over and kissed him. "You made me see the better man inside of me.  Now focus on the one inside you."

"And what are you going to do?"

"Hunt down Azazel, and see if I can find those Sentinels."  He stood, then gave Charles one last kiss, before grabbing another coat and stalked out of the room.

Charles took a deep breath, then got up and followed.  He looked at Hank and Logan, who were staring at him with anticipation.  "We're leaving. I need Cerebro … " He paused for a moment, focusing on Logan.  "And I need to talk to myself."

He was not going to lose Erik, and he didn't care what he had to do change that.

He would even take out his own sister.

The thought should've horrified him, but the fact it didn't was more horrifying.

***

It took a train trip out of the city, and a mental scream at Emma, before Azazel showed up in front of him.  

"I should smack the living shit out of you, but I actually get it."  Erik snarled at the Teleporter. "But we have a bigger issue than protecting your kids mother.  Protecting your kid to start with."

"Is Kurt in danger?"  That got his attention.

"Not at this moment, but in the future."  He explained everything: Logan, the Sentinels, and the fact they were already built.

"And you and I are not in this future?"  Azazel frowned as he started to pace. "Nor my son?"

"He didn't know a Teleporter, doesn't recognize Peter, Sean or even Alex."  The implications were astounding, add in the fact he only ever mentioned one Telepath indicated Emma wasn't making it through this alive either.

"I lost my friend to this cruel man."  He argued, the emotion coming through. "We may have never agreed fully with Shaw, but he saved both of us.  And we made a life, found a purpose with your Brotherhood. Did you know he and Angel thought about having children."

"More kids for me to raise?"  Erik smirked slightly, he had known the two had become lovers, hadn't realized it had gotten that serious.

Azazel chuckled.  "You make a good Vater."

"Thanks." And he meant it.  "I know you still care for Mystique, she is the mother of your son, but if she keeps this up … it's just not us Azazel.   I am willing to die to protect Charles, the kids, the school, our fellow Mutants. But our kids shouldn't be sacrificed. And not just ours, but we're talking all of mankind.  This isn't a concentration camp he's building, this is the destruction of the world."

"She has already left Paris, I do not know where she is going.  But I may have lead on these Sentinels. Janus got out some intel, there was a lab in Texas, what was odd was the manufactory plant next to it."

"Then let's go."

***

Charles had lost track of what day he was on, by the time they landed back in New York.  He was quiet for the drive back to the school, no one was really in the mood to talk. By the time they pulled up to the front door, Charles was already out and wanting to get to Cerebro.

"All okay?"  Darwin opened the door, taking in the burly new guy.

"No, but it will be."  Charles pulled the young man into his arms and hugged him tightly.  

"I don't know what's going on, but it's okay."  He held the smaller man tightly, before letting go and stepping back.  "Sean is playing with Kurt, and Alex is back, he's been talking to Peter."

"Keep an eye on them.  I'm heading below." He looked at Logan.  "Come on it's time you learn a few things."

Darwin watched them pass through the lobby, heading to the elevator that took them to the labs and X-Men territory.  As they disappeared he stepped in front of Hank. "Where's Erik?"

"Looking for the things that could destroy us. Come on, let's get Alex I have a story to tell you."  He grabbed Darwin and headed for the offices. He wanted to check the feed from France, see how much damage he did, by going after Mystique.

***

"How does this guy build five of these things in two years!"  Erik stared in shock, horror and awe. He could feel the metal running through them, so he would be able to control them if it came down to it, though taking on five would be hard.

"Determination."  Azazel snarled. "How do things thing know how to detect Mutants.  I could understand them going after me or Beast, but you and Charles look normal."

"Something to do with Mystique's DNA, Hank and Charles were talking a mile a minute about it, I tuned out at 'using it so it can detect Mutant genetics'.  I didn't need to know anything else."

"What now?"  He asked, eyeing the other Mutant.

"We need to find out where these things are going, it might help us track Mystique."

"She's focused on Trask."  He pointed out. "And he's not here."

"We made a huge scene in Paris.  Trask is going to use it to showcase how he can single handedly save the world from Mutants.  These Sentinels will be going where he's at, and where he's at…"

"We'll find Mystique."  Azazel looked up at the creature, a frown on his face. "Shouldn't we just blow them up?"

"Freeze."

"Fuck."  Erik turned to see over a half a dozen security guards.  "Charles is going to be so pissed."

"You are so whipped."  Azazel gave him an evil grin, pulled his sword, and then flashed away.

Erik snorted as he raised his hands, pulling their guns from their grasps.  They screamed as each one of them disappeared, or was killed. In the end Azazel stood in the middle smirking, just as the alarms went off.

"Get us out of here." Erik snarled.  He felt Azazel's tail wrap around his wrist, and just before they poofed he saw two dozen more men, and Trask.  He gave the man a half salute as they disappeared.

***

Alex stared at the TV, then Hank, then back at the TV.  "Dude I'm impressed."

"Fuck off."  He gave him a side glare, though fluffed his fur slightly in appreciation.  "Problem is we're out and proud, and Trask is using it against us."

"What's the plan?"  Armando turned off the TV newscast that was announcing a big press conference planned by the White House.  "We have a jet and uniforms for this moment." Alex gave him a look, not sure where he was going. "Mystique is going to try and kill Trask, no doubt very public.  Obviously channeling Erik's showmanship." Beast snorted, but nodded for him to continue. "We have to counter this, by saving Trask by helping the humans - this is why we built the X-Men."

"Are we prepared for that?"  Sean asked the original team.  "I haven't trained like that in years."

"But I just got back home from war."  Alex glanced between them, smirking slightly. "Beast here has been getting his ass kicked by Magneto these past few years."  Hank sighed but nodded. "I'm not sure about this Logan guy, but if any a portion of what he's saying is true ... "

"And here I thought it would be Erik who would start World War Three because someone did something to Charles, who knew Mystique would lose her shit this much."  Sean shook his head.

Hank looked at his brothers, that's what they were to him.  All of them had been there in the beginning, Sean and Alex were on that beach, and Darwin helped in Erik's recovery.  They deserved the truth.

"I'm telling you something that Erik and Charles likely don't want you to know."  He took off his glasses and cleaned off the invisible speck, trying to get his words.  When the world came back in focus all three of them were waiting intently. "Erik didn't make it to this future.  Charles was leading the brotherhood - which means one thing."

"Fucking hell, he died protecting Charles."  Alex stood and began to pace. "This isn't good.  We have to stop this."

"What about the rest of us?"  Sean asked quietly.

"I was by Charles side."  It was all he had to stay, the implication was there for the taking.

"Well fuck if I'm dying because of Mystique."  Alex muttered, looking at the rest of them. "I think it's time the world meets the X-Men."

***

Logan had never been in Cerebro.  

The Professor had refused to allow anyone in, but Hank.  

Even Mystique didn't get inside the room.

He stood watching as the lights filled the room, first all the specs were white, and then they slowly turning to red.  "Are these Mutants?"

"Yes."  Charles answered with awe in his voice.  "Each year there are more, some born, some manifesting.  All beautiful. I've reached out to those seeking something, to get them to come to the school.  But times are rough. No one trusts anyone, especially after many disappeared. It was warming to discover how many parents, friends - humans who were concerned for their unique family members.  It was also terrifying to find out how many sold them."

Logan looked at the vast amount, wanting to reach out and touch.

He had watched as his people had been wiped out.  First by mobs, then the camps, and lastly hunted to eradication by the Sentinels.

"Can you focus on one?" He asked distracted by everything.

"Yes."  

Charles focused on Raven, knowing exactly what her mind felt like.  He found her sitting in the airport.

He divided into the woman next her.  'You can't do this.'

Raven snarled at him. "Stop it Charles."  

She got up and left only to run into someone else, who took her arm. 'It isn't the way.  There is more going on that just your revenge.'

"This is about what he's done to our people!"  She yanked her arm away, only to turn around and see Charles standing in front of her.  She startled slightly, it was a showcase of power she wasn't used to seeing from him. "I'm doing this Charles! You and your lapdog can't stop me."

'So it doesn't matter to you, that the future your creating will kill your son.'  

She gasped at him.  "I'm doing this for him."

'No you're doing this out of hatred and self-righteousness.  Believe me I'm familiar with it.'  

"Get out of my head Charles."

'I will stop you.'  He stood firm.   'I know you think I'm weak.  That you think Erik is weak. That our relationship is wrong, but you forget how powerful both of us are.'

"So you would harm me to save a human!" She hissed.  Her anger tangible in the air.

'I would do what I have to, to save the world.'

She stood staring at an empty void, for once not sure what to think of her brother.

Charles pulled off the helmet and set it down on the console.  He leaned forward, thighs resting against the edge, as he bit back the frustration.  He wanted to scream, cry and throw an epic tantrum.

"Chuck."

He turned around wiping the tears off his cheeks with the back of his hand.  "Logan…" He paused not even sure what to say. Instead he found himself sitting on the floor, cross legged, sulking like a child.  It was a good thing Erik wasn't here, he could hear him easily.

'Liebling you're being an idiot. Get up, wash your face and move on.'

<<You are being an idiot.>>

Charles' eyes shifted, sometimes he forgot how open he was to Erik.  <<Oh do shut up.>>

<<When your done, come upstairs the kids are planning things, and I just want to say this isn't my fault, I blame you and, well this time Hank, entirely.>>

<<They get it from their father.>>

<<Fuck you.>>

<<Later.>>

Charles was a bit shocked to see Logan sitting in front of him.  He didn't hesitate, because if he did … he would run and not see what the future held.

He blinked a few times, looking at a beautiful ceiling, it was rich with color and expression.  Titling his head sideways he saw Mystique looking exactly as he had seen her moments ago. He didn't recognize the kid next to her, or the one at his head.  Though he figured from Logan's description it was Bobby and Kitty.

He sat up, flipped his legs around and stood.

Getting a good look at himself in the future.  He aged well despite the stress, the jaw line was harder, more pronounced.  His body was in fit shape, but then that wasn't surprising considering what Logan had described.  The black X-Men uniform looked menacing in contrast to his paler skin.

But … what the hell happened to his hair!

Beast was standing behind him, he was fiddling with a small object in his hand.  Charles gasped when he realized it was the Star of David, Erik had made out of the coin that killed Shaw.  Even after all these years, Hank kept it.

'Well if it isn't me when I still had hope.'

"And hair."  Charles smirked at his olderself.  "I would think to blame Erik, but I have a feeling it's more than that."

The older Charles' smile was brittle. 'I think he would've liked me bald.'

"The jokes alone would have made it worth it."  He settled next to himself. "What happened to us?  How did I lose all hope?"

'Beast and Mystique would tell you it was when I lost Erik, and in truth it took a huge chunk. I knew he would want me to keep the school going, not lose sight of what we were doing.  Maybe it was naive of me, but then I never hid that from him.'

"Yet?"

'I lost everyone.  Not just Erik, and with each death I lost more hope.  Until it was gone.'

"What happened?"

'Do you really want to know?'

"Yes.  To stop this.  It's why you sent Logan to me, right. To stop this? Or was it to just save Erik?"

Older Charles snorted.  'Selfishly fixing this fuck up would save Erik, so yes I took the opportunity.  But I also knew we had to stop this, because what use is saving Erik if we destroy the planet.  So in theory … Save the Mutant Save the World.'

"Tell me."

'The Sentinels as you know were created because of Mystique.  Except they didn't show up until the 80's. They hadn't released them until there were more studies, more information, more mutants.  The government was also getting pissed at the Brotherhood who was destroying labs and their research left and right. So they tested his Sentinels by sending them to the school.'

"How did they find out about the school?" The implications alone was enough to think about better security.

'Captured one of our students, who told him everything to make the pain stop.  I never blamed him, he was barely fifteen years old.' Charles closed his eyes, almost as if reliving the moment.  'There were five of them. Erik's procedures went straight into effect. Hank and I, along with Darwin got the kids out.  Alex, always Erik's second, stood ready to defend. Azazel showed up, ready to grab them if need be. I never knew what happened.  The next day we came back, found the sentinels ripped apart, scattered across the school. In the midst was Alex, dying from burn marks, so similar to his own plasma blasts.  It was his dying breath he told us that there was one Sentinel that was made of plastic, it took Erik and Azazel. But what was more disturbing … one of the Sentinels adapted to Alex's mutation and shot him with his own blasts.'

Charles let the tears fall.

'We buried him next to the markers for Angel and Janus, who we had lost early in the war, some of Trasks first victims.'

"Unfortunately we weren't able to save them."

'I didn't think you would.  They are the catalyst to Raven's revenge,  somethings are meant to happen.'

"There is no way we sat back and let them have Erik."

'No we didn't.'  

The sorrow in his eyes, made Charles want to run away.  He wasn't sure he wanted to hear how he lost Erik, especially as he was going to make sure that didn't happen.  "Tell me."

'When we told Emma, she went into a rage, set out personally to find both men.  Six months later she disappeared. A few weeks after that Mystique showed up at the school with a few leads, most of them panned out to labs and factories that were closed.'   He paused for a few seconds, trying to compose himself. 'It was Darwin who found the clue, that led us directly to the lab.'

 

Charles wiped the minds of the guards as they stormed the facility.  

Beast tossed the remaining.  

He ordered them to spread out.

If they found any Mutants help them.  

If they found any scientists get as much information out of them, then do as they felt was necessary.

Destroy everything.

It wasn't until they were into the core of the laboratory that he finally felt Erik's mind.  The cry out to Charles, along with the waves of pain had brought him to his knees.

<<Darling.>>

<<Liebling?>>

It was so weak.

He stood and followed his instincts, leading him to a series of plastic cells.  He yelled for Hank, and between the two of them they got the last one open, to find Erik on the floor.  Charles slid to his knees, pulling him into his arms. He bit back the tears, at the sight. He was skin and bones, ribs prominent … looking very much like the child who came out of the concentration camp.  

'Erik. Darling.'  His hand went over the shaven head, not wanting to think about the indentions and scars he was feeling.

'Charles?' His voice cracked.  'No...they can't have you.'

'I'm here to rescue you.' Charles took his hand, holding to his own cheek wet with tears.

'There is no hope for me.'  Erik pulled Charles head down to his.  'But now I can die in peace. I am here with you.'

'No…'  He tightened his grip on his lover.  

<<I'm sorry Liebling.  I can't. Take care of the kids.>>

<<Erik.  Love.>> He took the moment and truly looked at him.  The man he loved, the one who fought for and with. The man who loved him with everything he was.  The man who hunted Nazis and searched 20 years of the man who killed his mother. The man who raised their children.  The man who fought for Mutants. Was no more. They had tortured and experimented on him, which destroyed who he was. <<Be at peace.>>

He held onto him until he felt his last breath, and Erik's mind slip from his.

The scream of anguish ripped through the building, the mental backlash reached out killing all those who were responsible.

'Charles.'  Hank approached him carefully, laying a blanket over Erik's body, then scooped him into his arms.  'They found Azazel's body in the autopsy room.'

He stood, hand resting on the body.  'We won't leave either of them behind.  Azazel would want to be next to Janus, and Erik next to Alex.'  The tears began to fall as Hank started to say the El Maleh Rachamim, the Jewish prayer for the dead.

As they made their way to the entrance, Charles was in too much grief to care about the bodies left behind.  Their small party, stopped at the entrance and met up with Darwin, who was pushing a gurney with a body bag. Sean hugged him tightly, then took his arm.  'I hate to be the bearer of more tragedy, but you need to see this.'

Charles didn't want to leave Erik, but Sean's expression was enough that he knew he was needed.  It was probably a good thing, he had wiped out the humans in the lab with a single thought. The pain he would've caused when he saw the sight before him, would've been worse.

He softly approached the once beautiful diamond, and knelt in front of her. She was hooked up to something similar to Cerebro, how they got the plans he had no idea.  The normal illustrious blonde hair was stringy, the white dress dingy and grey, eyes pale and no longer seeing.

<<Emma>>

<<Charles?>> The mental connection was soft and fading.  <<Please. Sugar. End it.>>

<<I want you to look beyond.  Erik and Azazel are waiting.>>

<<No. No… sugar Erik is supposed to be with you.>>

<<Take care of him for me.>> He took her hand, kissed it gently, then mentally reached out and shut her down.  <<I'm so sorry Emma.>>

He pulled the helmet off her and threw it against the wall.  'Sean when we leave, let out all your frustration and destroy this place.'  Charles picked her up easily as she weighed nothing. As he left the room, he heard Sean's inhale of breath, and even with the doors closed the piercing scream tore through the walls.

'Fuck.'  Darwin said what was on most of their minds.

They loaded everyone up in the vans, and left.  No one tried to remove Charles from Erik's side, all worried of what would happen now.

They all had plans for Erik if something happened to Charles.

But very few of them had plans for Charles.

When they arrived home, it was Charles who had to tell Peter and Kurt, their fathers were dead.  He was the one who had to hold both of them, as they cried. He was the one who had to console the students, he was the one who had to watch Scott lose it at the loss of his brother.  

But he was determined to go on.

Keep the school.  Keep the kids safe.

He also fought every day with the government.  Told them of the atrocities, showed them the photos, the evidence.  He even threw Erik's file folder onto the desk of one of the Senators who was Jewish.  The file folder that had six numbers 214 782.   The same numbers Nazi's tattoed onto a twelve year olds arm, after they killed his parents and tortured him.  The same number these 'humans' used as Erik's Case Number.

'Professor you have to understand, people fear Mutants.'

'People feared Jews.'

'That was genocide.'

'What do you call this?  You are wiping out my people.  Erik's people, who was one of you.  Just because he was a Mutant didn't make him less Jewish.  If you can sit there and say, these registration acts, these atrocities are perfectly okay, because we're not human … then you are no better than a Nazi.'

'How dare you! My parents died in the camps.'

'So did his.'  Charles snarled as he walked out of the room.  'I want you to remember this - if you follow this path - it will be the destruction of all of us.'

'Are you threatening me?'  He snarled at him.

'I am stating a fact, Senator.'

 

"No one listened."  Charles wiped the tears from his own eyes, as he listened to the story.

'The last stand.  The moment that took away all my hope, was when we discovered the government authorized the making of more Sentinels.  They would be used for patrol, so human cops wouldn't be harmed by these mutants. The government encourage parents to give up their mutant children.  It's how I got Kitty and Bobby.'

"Logan?"

'He came to me with no memory, and a skeleton frame made of metal.  Erik would've loved him.' Charles smiled softly. 'He was a soldier who they experimented on, as they did on so many others.'

"What happened with the next set of Sentinels?"

'They were due to release on the 15th Anniversary of Trasks death.  A celebration of a man who understood the threat of the Mutants, one that cost him his life.  It was all very dramatic.'

 

Charles through the scotch glass at the TV breaking it instantly.  He took a few calming breaths, before turning around to apologize to the children.  Ororo gave him a slight smile, while Jean stood and gave him a hug.

There was a part of him that really wanted to smack the living shit out of his sister.  She had been by the school a few times, helping where she could. But she refused to see how her killing Trask was the problem. The humans were declaring war on them! She argued that they should fight, ignoring that Charles was still trying to protect children.

'They came here the first time, what makes you think they won't come again.'  She yelled at him.

'And what do you plan on doing about it?'  He demanded of her. 'You're not here. You weren't here when they came.'

'I'm saving our people!'

'Then where the hell were you when they killed Azazel? The father of your child? Or Emma? Or Erik?'  Charles shook his head. 'You are good at starting the fight Mystique but you're not the one suffering.'

'You don't think I'm suffering. My people are dead…'

'OUR people Raven.  I am a Mutant. Or did you forget that? Oh wait, you don't like my mutation - because it's intrusive.  If you want to fight for your people … start with accepting all of us. Don't think I don't see how you look at Jean, she's one of us.'

'She's dangerous.'

'So am I.  So are you.  So was Erik.'  

He ended the conversation by leaving the room.  He didn't see her again until she showed up with information on where the new Sentinels were located.  What he didn't expect, but what he should've anticipated, was Peter and Kurt.

Two boys were just like their fathers.

They overheard the location and went after it.

The two of them had become a formidable team for the Brotherhood.  Taking down labs, detention centers, and other facilities. Kurt would get them in, while Peter used his speed to plant charges, and then Kurt would get them back out.

Before Charles could stop them, they went after the Sentinel facility.  But what they hadn't known was they had instituted a new technology that detected Teleporters.

They got in, but couldn't get out.

Charles, Hank, Darwin, and Mystique arrived in time to watch the facility blow.

 

'I never told anyone, Kurt reached out to me before they detonated the charges.'  Charles ran a hand over his bald head. 'He said not to mourn, they would be with Vatar.'

"They were children."

'They all were.  They were declared Terrorists, and the humans started a war against all Mutants, rounding us up, building concentration camps … the irony wasn't lost on me.  We lost Sean, Darwin, and Dr. Gregory who refused to move when soldiers came for children he was hiding.'

"How many are left?"

'There is only those you see, and not many humans left.  Soon the world will be no more.' He gave him a pained smile.  'Go back. Fuck him into the bed. Tell him you love him. And stop Mystique, anyway possible.'

 

Charles watched as his younger self disappeared.

'You know there's a possibility that Mystique won't survive.'  Hank said from behind him.

'I know.'

'Are you prepared to deal with that?'  He asked with concern.

'I won't have to.'  He looked back at Hank.  'I just sent my younger self back with all my pain and suffering.  I know myself, he'll do what is necessary. And as long as Erik's by his side, he can deal with anything.'

'You've never forgiven her.'  

'She still thinks killing Trask was the right thing to do.  She knows it caused this, but in her mind - she feels perfectly justified.  This …' he waves his hands around ' … is all the humans. So how can I forgive her for something she has no remorse for.'

'Do you think it will work?'

Charles looked at him, then laid a hand on his furred shoulder.  'You have stood by me through all this, and I'm sorry I never gave you the world I promised.'

'You don't care if we die tonight.'

'No,' he admitted. 'If they succeed I'm with Erik.  If we die tonight, I'll be with Erik. I'm tired Hank.  I just want to be with the man I love more than life itself.'

'Ever think what would've happened if it was you and not him?'  Hank had always wondered it.

'No.  I wouldn't want him to go through this.'

***

"NO."  Erik and Azazel yelled at the same time.  

The two looked at each other, then fist pumped.  

"Dude when did we become parents?"  Azazel smirked at his friend.

"I think that would be when you fucked Raven."  Erik shook his head. Peter coughed, only to get glared at by his father.  "Hush, you're already in trouble."

"We want to help Vatar." Kurt looked at the two of them.  "I can teleport all the way to the city to St. Patricks."

"Why are you teleporting there?"  Azazel bent down to look at his son.  He was so beautiful, and made him so proud.  He really wished he could spend more time with him.  Maybe after all this, he would take more time. The idea that he never saw his boy grow up, upset him more than he cared to admit, let alone the idea his son wouldn't survive.

"I like their St. Michael statue."  He said with a smile. "Father Gregory is also nice, but I prefer Mass here with Father Angel."

Azazel stood and looked over at his friend, eyes narrowing. "My son is going to Mass?"

"What do you expect when an Anglican and Jew raise a Teleporting Mutant, of course he becomes Catholic."  Erik rolled his eyes. "He loved the stories of Angels as a toddler, specifically St. Michael and the Archangels.  He didn't like normal picture books, just the big ones with the angel images. When he was threeish he popped into the local Catholic church, by accident.  Father Angel gave him some food, let him play with his St. Michael statue, and then called us. He's a priest Azazel and he didn't blink at your son."

"I would like to meet this man.  Well if he is to follow Christian Symbolism, at least he went for the badass of them all."  Azazel patted Kurt's shoulder. "You're still not helping, you are small and not quite at Archangel status."

"But I can move people."

"And I can get around people."

Erik looked at the two of them, knowing they would go into this war without hesitation.  He hated the humans for starting this. He hated Mystique for being who he would've been.  "You are too young."

"Sean and Alex were not that young when you guys went against Shaw."  Peter argued back.

"Let me put this in terms you will understand."  Erik looked at the two of them. "If something happened to you.  I would kill Trask, and anyone around him without hesitation. I already want to, I already want to fight, but your safety is keeping me tempered."

Kurt poofed, then landed in his Vatar's arms, something he hadn't done in years.  "No Vatar, you wouldn't. You are a good man, I see it." He patted Erik's cheeks.  "We stay."

Erik held him close, then set him back down to the ground.  "Peter?"

"I get it man."  In a rare show for the teenager, he hugged his father.  He stepped back and looked around the room, at the rest of the X-Men.  "But I want to be trained at some point."

"You've already ordered your uniform, it's on backorder until your twenty-five, and graduated college."  Alex snarked at the kid, making Erik snort. "Same with you kid."

Kurt and Peter smirked.

Azazel caught Erik when he stumbled suddenly.  "You okay?"

"It's Charles."  He shook his head, trying to absorb the mental anguish that was suddenly coursing through him.

"He went to talk to himself."  Hank frowned. "Wanted to find out what happened."

"Fucking idiot."  Erik stalked off towards Cerebro.  "Get some rest, we're leaving in the morning."

"It would be wise if we stay away from those two."  Alex suggested, a smirk on his face. "How about some food?"

"I could teleport us to another country?"  Azazel suggested as Kurt, took his hand to lead him to the kitchen area, it wasn't often Papa stayed long enough for a meal.

"We might take you up on that offer."  Hank smirked as they moved away from the main sections of the school.

***

Charles didn't hesitate, he was up and out of Cerebro in seconds, leaving behind Logan who looked a bit shell shocked at what he had witnessed.  

By the time the elevator dinged, letting him out on the main floor of the house, he was anxious.  He needed to see Erik, needed to feel him. Make sure he was real, and still by his side. He recognized the feeling, he had the same anxieties after Erik had been shot, which intensified after he yanked the metal out of his chest.

"Liebling."

The voice was soft and comforting.

But he didn't want that.

Charles pulled him down into a heated kiss, tongued demanding entrance as he pushed his body into his embrace.  <<Need you.>>

<<I got you.>>

He had no idea how they got from the elevator to their rooms, but he was grateful they didn't have a school full of kids at that moment.  The moment he heard the door lock behind him, Charles stripped Erik out of his too many layers of clothing.

Once he was gloriously naked, he pushed him down onto the bed.  His gaze roamed over the strong chest, flat stomach, still too narrow hips, and solid thighs.  He stripped out of his own clothes, and crawled onto the bed straddling him.

<<I need.>>

<<Take what you need, Charles.>>

He ran his hands up Erik's body, fingers caressing over scars, some he never got the story of how he had got them, others he saw in Erik's dreams, and a few he bandaged when they were fresh.  His tongue licked over each one, he paid close attention to the one that went up his sternum. The one that kept Erik by his side, while almost taking him away.

Charles nibbled up Erik's neck, then took his mouth into a deep kiss.  <<Can I?>>

<<You're always welcome.>>

He slipped fully into Erik's mind, wrapping them together not just physically but mentally.  Each touch, became a feedback loop, making them both moan in pleasure. It wasn't often Charles took Erik, he prefered to bottom, enjoyed the feel of Erik in and around him, but right now he needed to be in him on all aspects.

The lube ended up in his hands, the cap slipped off and on the table.  Charles shivered in pleasure at the use of Erik's power, causing Erik to groan as his hands clutched at the blankets.  He took his time preparing him, always marveling at the trust Erik gave him during these intimate moments.

"Charles get the fuck in me before I rip apart the pipes in the house."

He chuckled into his neck, enjoying the fact Erik was totally lost, he was speaking in his native Polish and hadn't even realized it.  

He slid into him, with one thrust.  

He wasn't going to last, the heat and tightness wrapped around him was almost too much.  Erik pushed upwards, pulling him the rest of the way in. He wrapped himself around Charles …

<<let go liebling>>

And he did.

He lost himself in Erik's mind and body, it wasn't long before he slammed into his lover, coming harder than he ever had.

It took a moment to realize he was staring up at the ceiling.  He shifted his head to see Erik on his side, smiling at him. "You're back."

"Oh that's embarrassing."  Charles curled into Erik's arms. "How long was I out?"

"Long enough for me to wash us up and crawl back into bed."  He brushed back a lock of his hair. "I saw what your older self showed you."

"I'm sorry I didn't want you to see that."  He snuggled closer, not wanting to be far from him.  "I won't let that happen."

"I promise you Charles, we will change this.  Our destiny isn't set, if it was I would've walked away on that beach."  He kissed the top of his head, trying to sooth his lover, when his own heart was racing.  

Seeing even a glimpse of how he died, plus what happened to Azazel and Emma … Alex and the kids.  He wasn't sure he wanted to destroy Trask, kill Mystique, or just burn the world down.

Tomorrow they were going to change the world.

He was going to give Charles the future he deserved.

Even if he had to swallow his own ego.

He did wonder what the hell happened to Charles' hair? Though the bald look was kinda hot.

***

"Charles do not argue with me!"  Erik glared down at him. "You aren't the General, Logan here knows, leave this to those of us who know what we're doing.  And if we do this right you never have to think this way, and can be happy surrounded by kids reading them The Once and Future King ."

"God, I love you."  Charles gave him a sappy look, filled with devotion.

"Geeze do they ever stop?" Logan looked at Hank, who shook his head smiling.  "So what's your plan bub."

"Irony, it's the kids plan."  Erik gave Hank the side eye. "We know Trask is going to showcase his Sentinels off at a Press Conference in DC, which there is no way Mystique is missing out on that opportunity.  Hell, I wouldn't pass it up."

"At this moment we know the Sentinels have metal running through them, thanks to Erik and Azazel's trip to Texas."  Hank added to the conversation. "This is a good thing, if Trask new what Erik's Mutation actual was, they would've likely be plastic or some other material."

"Can you control them?"  Logan asked impressed.

"Five will be rough, but I'm stubborn."  Erik smirked at him. "You, Charles, and Hank are heading to DC via private jet.  Charles I need you to find Mystique as fast a possible … if you can take her out."

"I will do what's necessary, but I still hold onto hope that we can all walk away."  Charles gave him a half smile.

"Logan - if he has a hair out of place.  I'll hunt you down." Erik gave him a glare that would send most people screaming for the hills. Logan shrugged, he had his mind swept by The Professor and right now he didn't have a metal frame Erik could fuck with.

"Alex and Darwin, are with me.  We'll be showing off your X-Men Charles.  I can't believe I'm actually wearing this…"

"At least it's not yellow this time."  Alex pointed out, with a smile. The all black sleek look was much nicer, than the original concept.

"How are you getting there?"  Logan asked.

"Azazel Air."  Erik nodded towards his friend, who gave a salute and waved his tail.  "Charles will let us know the exact moment we should show up. Here's the thing.  We need to save the humans, make sure they understand who stood between them and the Sentinels.  We all know they are going to do exactly what Trask designed them to do, the problem is there are a lot of Mutants hiding in plain sight.  If these things start attacking children."

"Trask looks like the bad guy."  Hank glanced at Erik, the two had discussed options before everyone had gotten up.  

It had been a habit they started years previously, both being early risers.  One day Erik had found Hank wandering the halls, he grabbed him and forced him into a morning run, afterwards they sat with coffee to discuss building works, Cerebro, and other new techs.  Years later they still followed the same routine.

Hank and Erik's adventure in Paris scared people, but if they became more scared of the government, the sentinels - they had a chance.  "We need to make him look like the bad guy, just not for ourselves, but for the world. It's the only way the government isn't going to take up his idea and run with it.  If it looks like they can't handle the Sentinels, that they are seen attacking children … they'll shut Trask down."

"Sean is staying behind to make sure the two kids don't do anything stupid."  Azazel and Erik stared hard at Kurt and Peter. Then back to Sean ... "I'll hold you responsible."

"Dude if they out smart me, which they will, it's your genetics not mine."  Sean held his hands up in defense. "We're your back up plan, if it all goes to shit."

Both kids gave everyone the most innocent looks.

"This is going to go shit."  Erik sighed, pinching his nose trying to stop the headache.  His hand was pulled down. Without even having to open his eyes he knew it was Charles, he felt his calming influence. "For the continued existence of this world, don't die on me Charles."

"I can say the same thing to you."  He pulled him down for a kiss. <<By the way you look hot in that outfit.>>

<<When this is all over you can literally peel me out of it.  Hank made them a bit tight!>>

<<Your ass alone will be enough to convince humans to like us.>>

<<Are you pimping me out.>>

Charles chuckled and kissed him one more time, then stepped back.  "Okay let's get this show on the road. No one get dead. Or shot."  He hugged Alex and Darwin. "Please stay safe."

"We'll protect dad."  Alex assured him, making Charles smile.

"If something comes up, I'll go straight into your head to talk to you.  Don't be alarmed by it."

"We're good with it."  Darwin shrugged. "You can't advocate for Mutant Rights if deny someone else the use of their mutation.  I never understood how we can fight for equality for blacks, but not latinos. Or fight for women's rights, but not for the queer community.  It's all or nothing."

"Says a very wise man."  He gave them a salute then made his way to the car.  

As Hank drove out of the school, Logan looked back studying it intently.  

"What are you hoping for?" Charles asked.

"I'm hoping to keep this in my mind, to remember it's home."  Logan looked at him through the rearview mirror. "My life won't get better for a while, not until I find you.  I can't wait to meet you back in the future."

"We could save you," Hank suggested.

"No."  Charles turned in the seat looking at him with shock.  "You were right, back in Paris. The man who is sitting here … to be him I need to go through some shit.  The idea that I'll be going home to a better future, makes what I'll go through worth it."

"Your a good man, Logan."  Charles gave him a grin. "Despite the asshole we met the first time."

"Well your boyfriend slammed me into a wall!" He pointed out, with a slight disgruntled smirk.

"We actually met once before, you told us to go Fuck ourselves."  Charles gave him a wicked smirk. "It was good advice."

Logan laughed loud and open. "I'm the cause of this lovey dovey bullshit?"

"Maybe."  He turned back in his seat, enjoying Hank's questioning looks and Logan's unbelievable stare.  

What he won't tell them, was that they had started their relationship soon after meeting Angel, Charles couldn't get the idea out of his head of Erik in fishnet stockings, and he kept staring at his legs, which caught Erik's attention.  The man had no shame, so next time he came out of the shower, he dropped the towel and let Charles have as much as he wanted. He was on his knees in front of him so fast, it was embarrassing, the man had a cock that was made for worshiping.

***

"So anyone else see the irony of a Jew, a Black Man, and a Juvenile Delinquent saving the world?"  Darwin gave his comrades a smirk.

"Who you calling Juvenile?" Alex hit him on the shoulder.  "War ages you man."

"Unfortunately it does."  Erik looked at the two men, then turn towards Azazel.  "I need you to get people out of the way, they will fight you, but win them over with your charming personality."

"Da."  He let out the Russian accent, smirking slightly.

"You are such an asshole."  Erik laughed openly, soon the others joined in.  He sobered, and looked at them. "Don't get dead."

"For the sake of all humanity, you either."  Alex patted him on the shoulder. "It's time to show the world The Professors' X-Men.  By the way, why aren't we taking the jet?"

"Because we don't want the government to know that we have better tech than they do," Erik answered easily.  "Azazel get us to the baseball park, no I'm not going to rip it out."

He gave his friend a look.  "Talk about scaring the natives."

"Well it would've looked awesome, using America's past time to trap the humans and sentinels together."  He knew showmanship, Mystique still had a few things to learn if she was going to be over the top and absurd.  "But I promised Charles not to do too much damage."

"So whipped."  Azazel's tale wrapped around his wrist, then reached out to the other two and they disappeared.

***

Trask sat on the platform, eyes roaming over the crowd.  He wasn't sure what he was looking for, but his instinct told him that thing … that woman was out there.  He kept looking down at his alert, seeing if it was flashing red.

So far it had stayed quiet.

The President droned on about how the great government was doing all it could to make sure they protected the American People, from these Mutants.  

As if they single handedly came up with the Sentinels.  

He tried not to roll his eyes, but it was not shocking.  

Trask truly hadn't expected credit for saving the world, but it would be nice to at least have his company mentioned in the building - he was after all trying to run a business.  His thoughts came to a startled stop as he glanced towards the President slightly shocked when his name and company was mentioned. With a humble smile, he waved to the crowd, ignoring the stares he was getting for his height.

It was then, he saw them.

The hippy, soldier, and kid.  The kid looked human again, he had studied the footage from Paris, watching his strength enhance with the blue fur, making him look like an animal … a Beast.

He glanced around wondering where Erik was, he was obviously the fighter in the group.  The man held himself above everyone, the way he used his Telekinetics to get what he wanted was blatant.  Trask admired him, in a way, the confidence that oozed off him would have men following him easily.

Which made him dangerous.

He glanced down at his indicator, when it started beeping.  There was a Mutant close to the stage, if not on it. Trask stood, holding out the device, until it landed on a Secret Service Agent.

"Mutant."  He yelled, pointing towards the guard.  "It's her I know it!"

Chaos erupted on the platform, Agents moved towards the President.  

Cops moved towards the platform to protect it.

<<Why are you doing this?>>

Trask shook his head, looking around panicking, before his gaze settled on the hippy, who was standing serene in all the chaos, two fingers tapping his temple.

<<All we want is to live our lives.  You have nothing to fear from us.>>

"They can influence our minds!" He yelled, hitting the activation button on the Sentinels, sending everyone into panic.

***

"Did you do that on purpose?"  Logan looked down at Charles, knowing full well that he was communicating to Trask.  He recognized the panicked look of suddenly hearing voices in your head.

"I was hoping he would listen, but if he decides to set the Sentinels off in a panic."  Charles gave him a half shrug. "Mystique is on the stage, and she's ignoring me completely."

"Now what?"  Hank asked stepping back as the Sentinels came alive and started moving towards the crowds.

"Let Magneto show Mystique how it's really done."  Charles stared at one of the Secret Service Agents, as they moved the President and everyone else into the panic room in the White House.

"I take it back, you're as vicious now as you were in the future."  Logan slide his claws down, moving into a crouched position, ready for to attack - just as a Sentinel approached.  

"Good move though."  Hank furred, ready to fight.  He was done with hiding, and it was time the world saw that Mutants were not the enemy.  He took a step towards Charles ready to shove him back, as powerful the Professor was, he didn't stand a chance against the machines.

"It's called Chess, Hank.  You should play it sometime."  

<<Darling.  Make your dramatic entrance.  Leave the stadium behind!>>

***

<<You are no fun, Charles.>>

Erik glanced around at his team. "Show time."  

They all grabbed onto Azazel, and ended up in the middle of chaos.  

Two of the Sentinels were hovering over the platform, while others were moving through the crowds.

Cars were turned over and debris was scattered everywhere.

The authorities were overwhelmed, not sure where to go or help.  Their weapons were useless against the machines. Eric noticed instantly, that one of the cops was being targeted, some fellow officers moved to help, while others fled the exposed Mutant and Sentinel.

"Azazel!" Erik pointed towards Logan, who was standing in front of families trying to get the Sentinel to follow him, instead on what it was focused on, considering the mom was hiding her daughter behind her, she knew exactly why it was targeting them.  "Get the kids out of here."

He nodded zapped into the middle of the families, and after only a second of hesitation the mothers grabbed his hand and they were poofed away.

"Alex go after the one that's heading out of the area."  <<Really could've used that stadium, Charles>>

<<That would've really dented my Magneto Destruction budget>>

Erik glanced across the grass, eyes narrowing at his lover, who was smirking slightly.  He was staying close to Beast, and between the two of them they trying to usher military vets out of the area, though a portion of them were refusing to leave - defenders of their country no matter what.

"Darwin, stick with Alex, let's hope if you can survive Shaw you can survive them."  He waved his hand snagging the one that was heading for the White House. He pulled it back, feeling the strain.

<<Find the place between Rage and Serenity>>

With the rage of his people being hunted down, and the serenity of Charles surrounding him, he was able to yank it away from the building, dismantling it in the process, leaving parts all over the White House lawn.   He then went after the one closest to Charles, only to have a third aim straight for him. He dodge the bullets, cringing as one sliced across the top of his shoulder, two inches to the left, and Charles would've been a widow and likely bringing down the government in a righteous fury.

<<A little over dramatic darling.  Please be careful.>>

<<How many citizens have you mind whammied into leaving>>

<<More than I care to admit, what is with people who just don't listen!>>

<<Where the fuck is Mystique?>>   He asked as he forced the Sentinel that attacked him up in the air then crashed it straight into the ground.  <<For that matter where is Trask?>>

<<Secret Service dragged them into the White House Panic Room>>

Erik glanced towards the White House, reaching out with senses and grinned as he felt the perfectly square metal box.  <<Good thing they made it out of metal.>>

***

Trask sat back in his chair, heaving from the run to the Oval Office.  He was right, this proved he was right. "See I told you they were dangerous."

"Right now, the only thing keeping your Sentinels from killing American Citizens is those Mutants."  One of the Generals snapped at him. "My own men can't counter those things, what happens if they got out of control?"

"They aren't designed to!"  Trask stood his full height, glaring up at the man.  "They only go after Mutants."

"And what if that Mutant is a child?"  One of the Senators asked. "How is that going to look on the news, that your creation killed a child."

The room was deadly silent, waiting for an answer, and Trask wasn't even sure how to answer it.  The beeping from his detector caught everyone's attention. "She's here."

Just then one of the Secret Service Agents, attacked those around him.  In a few swift moves they were down, and the Agent had a weapon pointing it directly at Trask, only to pull back when someone else was suddenly standing in front of him.

"Azazel!?" Mystique morphed into her natural form, staring at her lover in shock.  "Why are you defending him? He killed our friends!!"

"Because I know more about this situation than you, and this isn't the right thing to do."  He stood his ground, a sword in each hand ready to defend himself and Mystique if it came down to it.  He realized why they had to stop her, but he understood the desperate need to rip Trask's head off.

"Charles is influencing you!"

"See I told you one of them could influence minds!" Trask pointed out to everyone in the room.  The very idea, that someone could get into another's mind and make them do things was disturbing and should be eradicated!  Even the Mutant who wanted him dead, knew it!

"Little man, sit down and shut up.  I'm trying to do what's right here, despite the fact I want to string you up by your toes and slice off your skin like you did my friend."  Azazel growled at him, sending Trask further into the seat he was in. He then turned and looked at Mystique with the love he held for her even after the years apart.  "I came on my own, to talk to you. I want the same thing, I want the bastard dead for torturing our people, but you have to realize the consequence are far more grave and not worth your revenge."

"I'm sorry Azazel I don't agree…"

The room shook, knocking everyone off their feet.  In a flash Azazel was gone, he had done what he could, and it was now up to Erik to deal with her.  He zapped next to Charles, who gave him a soft smile and squeezed his arm. "She's stubborn."

"Runs in the family."  Azazel looked around to see two Sentinels destroyed, one faltering as Alex and Darwin worked with officers to finish it off, and the last two Erik was controlling while yanking up the steal box.  "What do you need of me?"

"There's some vets who are in wheelchairs, I'm not sure how Erik did it, but he has them secured behind some cars, get them out of the line of fire.  I can feel Erik's exhaustion, he's barely holding on to the last two."

"Charles…"

"I'll call you to get Mystique, she is still my sister, I will not see her in the hands of the human authorities."  Charles assured him as he poofed away. The Professor tried not to laugh at the yelp, from the Veterans before they disappeared.

"Now what?"  Hank asked looking tired and slightly singed, there was blood flowing down his arm, matting his fur.  

Charles looked at him, then downwards to see a kid attached to his leg.  "We're supposed to get them out of the area."

"I tried, he was separated from his mother.  He's got some interesting markings on his arms, I'm sure he's a Mutant, so it was easier to keep him close at hand, than one of those things going after him."   

Charles knelt down in front of the child.  "Hi."

"I want my mommy."  He held tighter onto Hank's pant leg.

"We'll find her."  He did a quick dive into the child's mind, to get a glimpse of what the mom looked like.  They had got seperated when the cops were pulling people out of the area, the young boy had tripped and reached for his mom when she got pulled away when one of the Sentinels went over, aiming directly for the child.  "I'm sure she's worried for you."

"Daddy left because of my markings."

"Your daddy is an asshole."  Hank muttered loud enough to get a glare from Charles.

"Your mom loves you very much."  The kid nodded still digging his fingers into Hank's pant leg.  "Stay with Hank here he'll protect you."

"Are you a superhero?"  He asked looking up at Beast, then over to Charles.

"No we're just like you."  

Charles stood and moved next to Hank, not soon after Logan made his way over, giving the kid a double take, but just shrugged keeping his claws out just in case.  

"It's all or nothing."  

<<Darling…>>

<<Not now Charles I'm trying to save the world.>>

***

Hank moved back into the Temple, shutting the door behind him with a clang.  He nodded towards Bobby, who gave it a few extra layers of ice.

This was it.

The last stand.

Charles made himself comfortable on the floor, leaning against the altar.  "You're bleeding."

"Wouldn't be the first time."  Hank hissed as he settled next to his friend.  "Storm used the jet and was able to take out at least three of the Sentinels, but they kept coming."

He only nodded, he had felt Storms lost, along with the rest of his team.  He hoped his past self, will find all of them, and give them homes instead of war.

Mystique sat down next to her brother, giving him a half smile.  "Any last requests?"

"I would like a hamburger."  Beast chuckled, as he dug out the metal Star of David.  "You think there's peace for us."

"Yes."  Charles reached into his uniform, pulling out the most precious item he carried.  A photo of him and Erik from their time in Paris. They were so carefree and happy, he rubbed his thumb over the top of the image, the spot was run down from all these years.  "It would seem we failed."

"Don't give out hope on Erik yet."  Mystique reached over and took Charles' hand.  "He will do what needs to be done."

"And I'm sure in the grandest way possible." Hank added, reaching over to put his hand on Charles' knee.  "He will make this right, not to save the world, but for you Charles."

He laid his head back against the altar, he was tempted to tap into Logan's mind to see what's going on, yet he knew Wolverine didn't need the distraction.  He could feel Kitty was weakening, and Bobby was likely going to be their last defense. As powerful as the three of them were their mutations weren't viable against the Sentinels.

He could hear the door melting, as the Sentinels broke into their last refuge.

Charles closed his eyes, and selfishly dove into Logan's mind he wanted to see Erik one last time, before he died.

He stood wearing an X-Men uniform, controlling two Sentinels, while destroying some metal box.  He used Logan to look over to see his younger self, he had always been turned on at the display of Erik's Mutation.  His focus was back on his lover, he was in command of the situation and beautiful in his righteous fury.

<<Charles>>

He blinked in shock, he had no idea how Erik of then could feel him.

<<You've always been open to me Liebling.>>  He could feel the humorous chuckle, along with his exhaustion.  <<You sent Logan back to me. Trust me to fix this.>>

<<I love you>> He let go of the connection, feeling for the first time in decades at peace.

"I'm sorry." Mystique held his hand tightly.  "I never said it. You lost him because of me, and I'm sorry."

Charles pulled her into his arms, as they Sentinels started to burn through the door.

***

Magneto ripped the wall off the metal box, and stared at the occupants.  

He took in the agents, who pulled their guns, the few Senators who were hiding in the back,  the President was sitting the closest looking as if he was contemplating his life and what led him to this moment.  And then there was Trask, standing in the midst of all of them, looking smug yet terrified.

This was it.

He had sensed the older Charles presence, felt his pain, yet despite it all the underlying hope.  He would make this right, for Charles - the one who stood by watching, and the one clung to the desperation the world will be a better place.

The shot sliced across his neck.  He hissed in pain, ignoring the blood as it flowed down his back.  He had no energy left to deflect smaller projectiles, still focusing on keeping the last two Sentinels hovering over head.  He was not above using them to destroy the whole damn lot of them.

Mystique suddenly appeared in front of him in her natural form, head tilted cringing in pain.  Erik didn't take the time to look over at Charles, who he was sure, just lashed out at his sister for shooting him.

He knew it was Charles' greatest fear.

"Why are trying stop me?"  She held the gun firm, but lowered it.  Her gaze shifting at the two Sentinels above them.

"I'm protecting our people, while your hell bent on destroying them!"  He yelled back, not noticing that suddenly the world was focused on them.

"You were the one who said, we were better than them."  Mystique argued.

"We are!"  He yanked on one of the Sentinels feeling it pull away, as he was losing his grip.  "We're the next step in human evolution. We are fast, stronger, and superior than they are."

"Yet you're okay with them hunting us down and killing us!"  She waved her hand towards the Sentinels and then over to Trask.

"Don't assume because I won't start a war, as apathy to the destruction of our people!"  Erik sighed, suddenly just tired of all of it. "You're not helping us. You are creating fear, and once they fear us, then they destroy us.  Fear is what led to millions of my people, my parents, shoved into a gas chamber. Fear is what leads to lynchings. Fear is how we get gay bashings.  They fear what's not normal, what's not like them. Killing them, is not going to stop it. It's going to escalate it."

"Let them escalate it."  She snapped, gun now pointing at Trask.  "We don't fear them."

"But you do, or you wouldn't be here."  His voice dropped into a softer tone. "In time we will be more than them, our children's children will stand amongst them and not fear them.  This isn't about me, this isn't about you. This is about our children. It's doing what's right for them."

"The only thing stopping you from doing what you should be doing is your own fear."  Mystique focused back on him, letting all of her anger and frustration out on the other Mutant.  "Ever since you were shot …"

"That is what you never understood. I wasn't shot, Mystique.  I stepped into the bullet's path. I made the choice, because …"  He glanced over at Charles, then focused back on her. "... because his life was more important than my ego.  I'm standing here, right now in front of you telling you not to do this, not for myself … hell not even for my kids.  I'm standing here begging you to walk away, because Charles deserves the future he dreams of. The one where we … all of us … humans and mutants live in a world together.  Because he believes we can."

"Charles is naive!"

"Yes he is."  Erik smirked, feeling his lover's indignation.  "But he's my Naive Idealist, and I will swallow my pride and ego to do what's right."

"And Trask lives."  She cried out, all the anger seeping out of her.  "He lives, after torturing and killing Mutants!!"

"If that's what it takes."  His focus moved ono Trask. "I hunted Nazi's for twenty years, and I learned that when you turn on your own people, and commit genocide - fate will catch up."

"I am not a Mutant!"  Trask stepped forward, pissed at being called one of them.

"Are you not?"  Erik watched him intently.  "You are not human. You are not one of them.  You are unique, and they look down upon you. They didn't care to listen to you because of your size, not until you created something they needed.  You are a fellow Mutant, and would be accepted among us, instead you decided to hunt and kill us."

"You are dangerous!" He argued.

"Says the man who created machines that will destroy all of us."  Erik pulled one of them closer, letting the weapons focus on everyone in the destroyed panic room.  "Don't think for a second Trask, that not killing you is a weakness. I just believe that justice will come to you, as it came for the all those like you."  He looked at the rest of the humans. "I stand here before you, not as your savior, but for my fellow Mutants. Know this, we will not be hunted. We will not be marched to Concentration Camps.  If you come for us … we will fight."

"What do you want?"  The President stood pushing Trask into his chair, walking boldy past the Mutant, who still held a weapon that could be used against him.

"How about not killing us to start with."  Erik reached out and destroyed both Sentinels, letting their parts fall and scattered on the ground.  "I've been in a Concentration Camp, I refuse to see my children in one."

"You stated some of your people have been tortured?"  He glanced back at Trask, then out to the Mutant.

"How do you think he got these things to hunt us?"  Erik glanced over towards Alex and Darwin who were making their way closer.  "A soldier, fought in your army, ask him how many of his men disappeared into labs."  He pointedly looked at Trask. "Today how many of your citizens were targeted by these machines.  My friends were murdered, he has one of our fellow Mutant's wing on display in his office … no better than the Nazi doctors who experimented on Jews."

"I can't guarantee all of us will not be afraid.  But I can work to make sure we both have a better future, starting with investigation into Trask industries."  The President held his hands out in a peaceful gesture.

Erik nodded then looked at Mystique, she glared but nodded in recognition.  Azazel popped in behind her, then the two disappeared as quickly. With a sigh, he gave a final salute to the President and slowly made his way through the debris towards Charles.

The Professor stared at him, with awe and love.  <<Darling …>>

<<Don't ruin it Charles>>

<<When we get home, I'm peeling you out of that outfit, running a hot bath and will take good care of you.>>

<<Sounds perfect.>>

"ERIK!"

He turned at the sound of his name, only to see another Sentinel heading in his direction.  He reached out, scrambling when he felt no metal to grab on. "What the fuck? It's not metal!"  

Alex took aim, pushing past his own exhaustion only to have the machine turn on him, sending a similar blast at him.  Darwin grabbed him, throwing his body over his friend taking most of the hit.

Logan growled and went for the attack, only to get slammed straight into the ground, knocking him out.

Hank pushed the kid into Charles's arms and shoved both of them back, getting between the two and the approaching Sentinel.  "I have no idea how he even made it, this is beyond anything I've seen."

"Says the man who has a Blackbird under the basketball court."  Erik hissed, yanking every piece of metal in the vicinity and using it to push the sentinel away from them.  "We have to get it turned off!"

<<Turn it off!!>> Charles sent the message to Trask, who tossed the remote on to the ground and destroyed it.  <<You're killing innocent people!>>

As the machine got closer, Charles worst fears were coming true.  He was still going to lose Erik. The mutant was beyond exhausted, and he wasn't sure how much more Erik could handle.   He pushed past Hank, and wrapped his arms around Erik's chest, channeling his own strength to him … and if it all fails he would die with him.  

<<Darling … >>

Erik suddenly stilled, the world went calm around them as everything slowed down.  He closed his eyes and focused on Charles, let his serenity wash over him … the ground began to shake as he began to pull the metal elements from the earth.

Hank stared in shock as a magnet field began to form around them.  "Holy shit."

Charles looked around in awe, the power Erik was showcasing was beyond anything he had ever seen or even contemplated.  <<Don't destroy the earth, honey.>>

Erik reached out to the Sentinel, using the Earth to pull it down, when it suddenly crashed in front of them and skidded to halt meer meters from their feet.  He stared at it, blinking for a few moments, until he looked up to see Peter standing on the top of it, a bunch of wires in his hands. "That was so cool!"

"You are fucking grounded!" Erik yelled at him, terrified, relieved, yet so very proud of his son.  

"We did it."  Kurt popped next to his brother, then froze at his Vatar's expression. "We go now."  He grabbed Peter and disappeared as quickly as they appeared.

"I'm going to kill both of them."  Erik let out a breath, bending over not sure if he was going to be sick or just pass out where he was at.  "Do you think we did it?"

Charles looked around to see everyone staring at the destruction, then at the Mutants around them.  Medical personal were helping Alex and Darwin, along with the a few of the Veterans, including one Four Star General.  

He heard a cry, and a young woman running towards them.  Hank let go of the kid, who ran for his mother. She fell to her knees, tears streaming down her cheek as she checked her son to make sure he was alright.

A few of the cops were moving towards them, along with more medical personal.  They stopped to check on Logan, only to be bewildered when he seemed perfectly fine.  Those that approached Hank, hesitated until he nodded and let them look at his wounds.

Federal Agents grabbed Trask and dragged him out of what was left of the panic room, he was yelling that he was saving them, that they should listen to him, the Mutants were dangerous.  His protests were quieted when he was put into one of the few cars that was still standing.

Charles looked over Erik's shoulder at the President, who gave them a salute, then looked back at the White House and sighed.  "Well it needed some renovations!"

"I think we did."  He pulled Erik around, cupping his cheek and pulled him down for a kiss, holding him tightly.  <<I love you>>

"Can we go home now?"  He held him in his arms, ignoring the buzzing around him.  Until a few of the paramedics approached. "What do you want?"

"You're bleeding sir, do you mind if we take a look?"  

Erik hesitated still not trustful of humans, but one look from Charles was enough to let them help.  He ended up sitting on the ground surrounded by metal debris. He fiddled with a few pieces as he was being patched up.  "I'm surprised Dr. Gregory hasn't just appeared screaming at me."

They both paused, looked around then chuckled.  "Wait until we get home, he'll be at the doorstep."

"When we get home the kids are grounded for life."  Erik winced as the paramedic cleaned the bullet wound.  

"Don't be too harsh on them, darling.  After all they helped save the world." Charles settled next to him, watching the small pieces of metal floating.  "They take after their Vatar."

***

It had been six months since the incident in DC, and they were still recuperating.  Erik couldn't go far, without Charles glued to him. Dr. Gregory had showed up soon after they arrived home, to give everyone a check up, then proceeded to yell at Erik for ten minutes about his blood pressure, and taking care of himself, pointing out in exasperation that he was still underweight, which set Charles off on a 'feed Erik' frenzy.

He swore the doctor did it on purpose.

Helen and Austin came home after a month long anniversary cruise, wondering what the hell had happened.  Charles had to tell Austin, about the loss of Janus and Angel. The gardner nodded, then proceeded to clear a section of the garden for a memorial - he found the one spot where there was a constant breeze in honor of his friend.

"I never asked my older self what happened to them."  Charles stated as they walked along the gardens, a dusting of snow on the ground.  "I hope they never lived to see that world."

"Let's hope none of us do."  Erik was wrapped in a coat, with a scarf.  "Hank has some new ideas for the next uniforms, and a training facility.  We won this battle, but there will be more Trasks and governments that agree with him."

"We'll be prepared." He tucked his arm into Erik's as they headed back to the house, to find Logan waiting for them.  "You're leaving?"

"I appreciate the help Chuck, but it's time I move on."  Logan had woken up to a war zone. He had no idea how he got there, or the three guys who seemed to know him.  The hippie offered him a place to stay. He had no better place to go, so he took them up on their offer.

He had let himself relax the past months, learning from Charles, or the Professor as he took to calling him.  He was naive but adorable. Erik on the other hand, got most of it right. Secretly he was hoping the Professor was right in the end.

"Logan."  Charles stepped up to him, and took his hand.  "This is your home. You can come back anytime."

"Thanks, bub."  He looked between the two of them. "I hope this school works out, I think us Mutants will need it."

"When it's time, come back teach the kids some history."  Erik gave him a small smirk.

"Speaking of, how's the kids, still grounded?"  Logan settled onto the bike that Darwin had procured for him.

"For another ten years."  Erik laughed lightly, neither of them were happy, but they took it with ease.  

He was actually very proud of them, and they knew it.  But they were still to young to be fighting, and he really hoped Charles was right and they never had to, but that didn't mean he wouldn't train them.

"How are you keeping a Teleporter and kid who can run to another state and back before you blink grounded?"  Logan had wondered about that, and as far as he could tell the kids hadn't left the School.

"Erik has a metal band on both of them, he would know if they left the area."  Charles held Erik close to him. "We allow some liencies as their mutation needs space, and they are growing boys and need to flex their skills."

He chuckled, then started up the bike.  "Take care of theses kids you got coming, Chuck."

"We will."  They watched as the Mutant left through the front gates and disappeared.  "You think we'll see him again?"

"Yes."  Erik was confident one day an amnesiac Logan will wander back through their gates.  Hopefully this time, they will give him a home and not a war. He glanced down at Charles, who was smiling brightly at him.  His cheeks were pink from the cold, and he couldn't help but to lean over and kiss him on the nose. "You're cold."

"Which means your likely frozen solid, inside we go.  Helen has some matzo ball soup ready." He dragged Erik into the house, settling him at the table before practically sitting in his lap.  

<<Liebling I can feed myself>>

<<Sorry>>  

He went to move, but was held by Erik.

<<Didn't say to move.>>

<<Sap.>>  

He kissed Erik deeply, before sliding to the seat next to him.

"Do you have to do that at the table?" Alex gave them a mock glare, grinning at his parents.  Despite the fact his own parents, suddenly were speaking to him and letting him see his younger brother, Scott - Erik and Charles will always be his parents.  "Think of us children, who have to watch such a loving display."

Erik snorted as he dug into the food.  "How did the recruiting go?"

Alex had taken up the recruiting duties, traveling with Armando around the country.  He was sure they were getting hassled in variety parts of the country, but the two of them could handle it.

"Good.  We've signed up two kids for Spring, and at least half a dozen for next year.  And that was only going to a third of the States. I'm sure we'll pick up more, on the next trip.  Looks like you're going to get your wish." He glanced over to Charles, who was grinning.

The past six months had been interesting to say the least.  They had inquires about the school, and those who were looking for trouble were quietly sent away by Charles with a few well placed thoughts.

Hank was working on building more of the underground, adding a larger training facility, and conspiring with Magneto.  At the moment no one was sure if that was good or bad yet.

They had decided not to take any kids for the rest of the year, they all need time to heal and come to terms with everything that happened.

No one was surprised when Erik came down sick after the incident in DC, as much energy he had used to hold the Sentinels, let alone the final pull of elements from the ground.  So far no one had talked about that particular incident. Charles was waiting for the right time for the two of them to have a long conversation. The amount of power, Erik showcased was beyond anything he had seen and he was curious to see how far he could go.

Azazel started spending more time with Kurt, training his son on how to teleport further distances and know what he was getting into.  There was no word on Mystique and there was a silent agreement not to ask.

How Mutants were being seen by humans was a mixed bag, but then no one expected full acceptance.  On some days they were heroes, on other days the villains. There were calls for testing, registration, after all - good American kids could be going to school with these 'freaks'.  While others were reaching out, asking for information, and trying to build a community.

Erik was skeptic, but he was basking in Charles' delight.

The Brotherhood was still active, and hunting down the last of Trasks laboratories.  They were still gathering Intel and watching for 'unauthorized' government sanctioned programs for Mutants.

"So how does it feel to be the hero of the Mutant world?"  Alex smirked over at dad. The one person, out of all them, that was the least likely to be anyone's hero, was now the poster child for Mutant Rights.  "Everyone we talked to, asked about you. Wanting to know more about the Mutant Protector."

"I'm sure, as many asked if their kids were safe with a gay jew."  Erik gave him a pointed look, knowing exactly how people thought.

The papers had been filled with articles about who he was, or who they thought he was.  They had discovered his family name, dug up his records from Poland. It was one of the rare times, Charles was willing to let him destroy things.  The Xavier lawyers had a grand time getting those records sealed, and the pictures of his parents out of the newspapers.

From that came the KKK, using Erik as proof the Jews were out to destroy them.  

And don't even get him started on the moral society who lost their collective minds, when they realized he was talking about a man in his speech.  Let alone the open kiss between two men on live television.

"You likely advanced the rights for many underprivileged, Darling.  As did Armando and Alex. All over the world, kids and mutants, saw people like them saving the world."  

Charles looked around the whole table, at his family.   

Alex was older, wiser, and calmer.  Not the hot headed kid they had once knew.  Armando had a new strength about him, secure in his position and who he was, not just as a black man but also as a Mutant.  Hank was confident as the geek and the Beast, learning to be both. Sean though still quiet was now the teacher and had found something in himself, that he likely wouldn't have if it hadn't been for the school.   All four of their boys had grown up. They were men now, no longer the teenagers he had strived to help. He was quite proud of them all, and was looking forward to seeing them prosper.

Peter was becoming a young adult, a bright young man who had a future.  Kurt, wasn't fearful of who he was or what he looked like, he had truly embraced the ideals of helping and protecting others despite how they treated him.

And then there was Erik.

He had been angry and scared when they met.  Charles really had thought, he would lose Erik to his anger, and almost did - but something happened on that beach.  The love Erik held for him outweighed his hatred of humans. He may never know why Erik made the decision that Charles' life was more important, but he'll never forget it.  And he will spend his life, making sure Erik knew he was loved and as important to Charles.

And now a decade later, Erik was the inspiration of a new generation.  He gave them a voice, a hero to look up to, something to fight for.

"I'm not that naive to ignore there will be problems.  Humans have hang ups on color, religion, sex, and now mutants.  But what you did was show the world that we can live together. That we will survive, and we will fight.  Some will admire you, and others will hate you. You're just upset that you can't take over the world now."

"Maybe I'll just run for President."  Erik teased him, taking his hand and kissing his fingers.  "You can be the First Husband."

"We would have to get married first."

"I'm up for it."

"Did he just propose at breakfast?"  Hank glanced over to his brothers. "That was far from romantic?"

<<Darling.>> Charles didn't care that he teared up, nor that he was about to pounce on his 'husband' at the breakfast table.

<<I mean it Liebling, not sure how it would work, or if we even can, but I would marry you.>>

"Hate to break it to you.  Charles would have to run for President as he's the American, you would be the First Husband."  Armando smiled at the two. who were so lost in each other.

"I'm so claiming Flower Girl!"  Peter smiled brightly. "I think it would be awesome.  Even if it's not legit, who cares. Party!"

"I can see the Political Campaign now.  President Xavier, says be nice or he lets loose his husband!"  Sean teased the two for them, smiling brightly at them. He didn't care that technically he was in his late twenties and now a teacher, there was something about seeing those two and feeling like a kid again.  "They would be a handsome couple, probably when over the country by being adorable - well Charles would be adorable, Erik would growl at anyone who didn't think Charles was adorable, which would make him adorable."

"I'm not running for President!"  Charles glanced around the table, smiling at their antics.  "We'll save that for the next generation."

"Peter is going to have to give me grandkids, 'cause he is not Presidential material."  Erik glanced at his son who was bouncing in his seat. "And Kurt makes a more adorable Flower girl, you can be the ring bearer."

"I'm good with it!"  He paused, as his dad's words caught up with him.  "Wait… did I just get insulted." He paused, chuckled and stuffed more food into his mouth.  "Accurate. And we all know Kurt is a future Priest, so that's out."

Kurt just shrugged and continued eating his breakfast.  "I would make a good Priest."

Erik just stared at Charles, who was trying not to laugh.  "I blame you entirely for all of this."

"I'm good with it."  He kissed him softly.  

"By the way did anyone notice the article about Trask being tried at the Haag Court.  It would seem your comment about Nazi's getting their due, came true." Hank held out the paper to Erik, who snatched it to read the article.  "They are trying him for Human Right Violations." Hank knew Erik, would love the irony.

Erik read through the article, snorting at the rhetorical.  "Trask has some good lawyers. His main defense is that he couldn't be tried against Human Rights Violation as Mutants aren't human, but animals and it's okay to experiment on animals for science and to better enhance the world for humans. If he gets out of this, I'm letting Mystique kill him.  After we make sure there is no Sentinels around."

Charles took the paper out of his hand.  "Progress, darling. He's going on trial.  That would've never happened ten years ago."

"Or even last year."  Alex pointed out. "And did you know that Veterans Affairs is opening a Mutant section.  They've asked me, and a few other soldiers to come talk to them about needs for Mutant Vets."

Charles' smile brightened.  "This is good! We are making a difference."

"Make sure to take back up, and Azazel needs to know where you are so he can get you out." Erik gave him a pointed look, ignoring Charles.

They all paused when the doorbell rang.  "Last time that rang, a Mutant showed up from the future wanting us to save the world."  Hank stood up and headed for the door. "If it's another Mutant from the future, we're busy this weekend."

"He's adorable when he's being snarky." Alex got up to follow him, just in case, then stopped in his track.  "Oh this isn't going to be good."

"Hello, my name is Moira, Moira Taggart."  The woman standing at the door, was holding the hand of a four year old boy.  "I was told this was a safe place for Mutants. My son…" She looked down at the young boy.  "Kevin, he's a Mutant."

"Irony is a bitch."  Alex muttered as he turned and left Hank at the door to go get Charles.  

He knew exactly how it was going to play out, except it didn't.  He hadn't expected Erik to actually take the kid while letting Charles deal with Moria who seemed familiar yet very confused by her surroundings.

A couple of hours later, Charles found Sean and Erik on the floor playing with the little one.  He leaned against the door jam, watching the one man in the world who should be yelling, playing peek-a-boo.  "Are we prepared to take them this small?" He asked genuinely.

At the moment Darwin was giving her a tour of the facilities, everyone agreed he was the best suited as he only had good memories of her, and wasn't here for the dramatic confrontation that led to Erik almost bleeding out.

"We raised Kurt since he was nine months old."  Erik pointed out, as the little one crawled into his lap.

"My degree is in Early Childhood Studies."  Sean added into the conversation. "Well my Masters is in Elementary Education, but the Phd is in Early Childhood.  I've already started working with Hank to prep a Pre-school type classroom that has a door attached to an enclosed playground.  Austin is working on adding safe plants."

"Are we taking him full time?"  Erik asked not sure how he was feeling about this particular situation.  The irony that Moria had a son, who was a Mutant wasn't lost on him. The fact she showed up to seek help for him didn't upset him, if she just wanted to drop him off, that did.

"No.  She wants to learn more about Mutants and how to handle him.  He's not in school yet, and the manifestations are not disruptive.  She's not sure about when he gets older, and the fact she tried to ask about 'curing' him, makes me hesitant not to take him, yet at the same time…"

"He doesn't need to be cured, and if that's what she thinks you can do.  Then she can leave this darling little one, and fuck off." Erik bounced the boy in his lap, making him giggle.  "I'm not sure what his Mutation is, no offense but is she sure he's a Mutant or maybe something else?"

"We would need to watch parents who are dropping kids off who have disorders and not Mutants."

"We'll take them if they do." Charles said with a firmness.  "In theory they are just as much a Mutant as any of us. Might need more teachers though."

"Honey, you're going to need more teachers."  Erik stood, settling the boy in Sean's lap who yawned and decided that was a good place for a nap.  "Let her bring him by so she can learn to handle him, and when he's older - he can stay. But I will not deal with her, nor will I tolerate any parent asking us to cure their kids."

"I agree completely."  He slipped his arms around Erik.  "So it looks like we're going to run a school."

Erik kissed the top of his head, holding him close.  "I can't wait."

***

Logan blinked, shifted on the empty bed and looked around the spacious room.  It wasn't something he was used to, it was too … nice. It was painted a dark green,with hardwood floors.  Pictures of the Canadian wilderness were on the walls, with the dresser filled with a variety of personal photos.

He swung his feet over the edge of the bed and stood, staring down at the nice jeans and heavy sweater.   It was then he realized that it was actually cold. He found some socks and boots, slipped them on before opening the door to chaos.

There were kids everywhere.

Mutants of all kinds.

Laughing and smiling, while heading for class.

They had done it.  

They had actually done it.

He wandered down the hall, knowing he looked like a complete idiot with the sappy grin on his face.  Standing on the top of the stairs, he watched as Storm ushered kids along, answering questions and laughing.  She looked younger and less stressed than he remembered.

As he made his way down the stairs, and came to a stand still.

Maria was talking to Bobby.  

She had a scarf around her neck, and long white gloves on as she held his hand, but she was alive and happy.  She turned, smiling brightly at Logan before giving him a wink and wandered off with Bobby.

He snorted, but couldn't find himself to care what she she was up to.  She was alive to be up to something. Slowly the kids started making their way into classrooms, pushing and shoving like typical teenagers.  Logan paused outside one door, watching Kitty teach physics of all things. Colossus was in the corner, watching over the kids as he paid attention to the lesson.

It wasn't long until he started to make his way to The Professor's office.  He wasn't sure what he was going to walk into, or what he will see. He remembered nothing since 1973, but obviously they got it right, as he was standing in a school and not the Brotherhood Headquarters.

"Where do you think you're going?"  

Logan turned to see an older Peter chase after a small girl, with vibrant green hair.  Peter's hair was still silver, and the goggles and leather jacket were still in place, but he had a few more wrinkles and was a lot more controlled.  The little one dodged left, when Peter went right, he couldn't help the chuckle. "Looks like she outwitted you."

"Well you could help me!"  Peter rolled his eyes at the Mutant.

"I'm frozen to the spot."  He smirked as he realized he couldn't move. "She takes after her grandpa."

"In more ways than one."  Peter put on some speed and grabbed his daughter, making her squeal as he swung her around, before letting her rest on his hip.  "Unfreeze him, Lorna."

She giggled.  "I can't hold him long like Pappy."

"Thank God."  Logan reached out and ruffled the kids hair.  "It's good to see you Peter."

"You saw me last night…" The laughter paused, as he suddenly looked at him intently, before shifting Lorna to the ground.  "Hey kiddo go find your Uncle Kurt, tell him to find us."

She ran off, in search of her favorite Uncle.

"You're back." Peter gave him a half smile, then reached out and hugged him.  "We were wondering when you would show back up, well as you … you. Dad wasn't to surprised when you wandered in amnesiac and angry with the world.  Though your tagalong was a surprise, but Uncle Charles seemed to brighten when you introduced Maria."

"You haven't changed."  Logan couldn't help the smile at the fast rambling.  He had so much to learn, about everything and everyone, but it was good to see some things hadn't changed.

"I'm older and wiser."

"He's older, wiser is a myth."  Kurt held Lorna's hand as he smiled at Logan.  "Welcome back, my friend."

"A priest?"  He took in the black suit and white collar.

"First Mutant ordained at the Vatican.  Vatar was so proud, and when the Pope said he raised a lovely Catholic child, Vatar reminded him he was Jewish.  Pope just smiled, and told him so was Mary and Joseph, who gave the world our Lord." Kurt smiled brightly at the memory, at seeing his Papa and Vatar in the middle of St. Peter Basilica both who couldn't help the laughter at the visual or irony.  Charles had to keep hushing them, though even he couldn't keep the smile of his face. "I'm actually the priest at the local parish, I requested to be close to the school."

"I really need to talk to the Professor."

"Not between the hours of 9 and 10."  Hank stepped up, giving all three of them a look. "Shouldn't Lorna be in class?  As a matter of fact Logan shouldn't you be teaching your class?"

Peter and Kurt looked at him, shifting their heads at Logan.

Logan couldn't help but take in the Mutant, he looked so much like the general he knew, though softer.  It was a good look on him, more scholarly less soldier. The fact he was completely blue furred, showed he had come to terms of who he was even without the war.

Hank took off his glasses, cleaned and put them back on.  "What?"

"It's Logan."  Peter stated hands waving at the Mutant.

"Yes it is."  Hank shook his head, there were days he swore Lorna was more mature, but then she also had her grandfather's tendencies, which made her as unpredictable.

"No as in LOGAN."  He tried again, making wide hand gestures.

Kurt looked heavenward, crossed himself then gave Hank a look. "He means are friend from 1973."

Hank paused, then looked at Logan.  "We were never knew when of if you would return to us.  We had changed so much, we weren't sure what would happen.  I'm glad to see you." He smiled brightly at him, taking his arm.  "I'll let you knock. Though, you do have your metal frame so be cautious."

"They're still that bad."  Logan couldn't help the bemused smile.

"Yes."  It was said with a fond amusement.  "They've been an inspiration for many couples over the past decades.  Including another pair, who will be interested to hear your story."

Logan stopped in his tracks when he saw Jean, standing at the Professor's door with a mixture of fond amusement and exasperation.  She smiled brightly when she saw Logan. "Well someone finally decided to get up. I was ready to send Scott."

"I would've likely tossed him through a wall."  Logan couldn't help but take in her beauty. The three of them were formidable warriors, until they day the Phoenix was uncontrollable.  He lost Scott and Jean that day, but between the two of them they took out a shitload of Sentinels that helped many of them escape and regroup.

"I'm sure you three have a lot to talk about." Hank coughed, then took a deep breath before knocking on the door.  He stepped back and hid behind Logan.

The door ripped open, showcasing a growling Erik.  "What?"

"I didn't do it."  Jean held up her hands, trying not to grin as the Professor adjusted his suit and settle behind his desk.  Erik on the other hand, didn't care that his shirt was untucked and looked rumbled. "It was Logan."

"The world must be ending if you of all people dared to interrupt."  Erik left the door open, and proceeded to sit on Charles' desk, fiddling with some paper clips.

"Nice grey hair."

"Fuck off."  Erik gave him a pointed look, though confusion was showing through.  "I don't like it when you act weird."

"I never asked in all the years, how you lost the hair."  He stepped into the room, focusing on Charles. "I assumed it was from the stress of what we were going through, but now I'm guessing it's Erik."

"Ish. We don't talk about Egypt."  Charles stood, his gaze and attention focused on Logan.  "Something is different, my friend."

"I'm having a hard time with some of my history, mostly anything past 1973."  

They both looked at him, then at each other.  "Welcome home, Logan." Erik's voice was softer, older, yet held a steal to it that he remembered.

"Thank you."  Logan looked between them, trying to hold back the tears.  Just seeing Jean and Scott, the kids, a grown up Peter and Kurt, Erik with grey hair, hell he was even a grandfather, was enough to make him want to cry with joy and frustration as he knew no ones story.  Only a future that will never happen.

"No Logan."  Charles pulled him into his arms and held him. "Thank you."

"Come on in, we'll catch you up."  Erik ushered everyone out but Hank.  "Let Alex and Darwin know what's going on, they'll be back in a few days." He paused, smiled at the sight of his grandkid, then focused on his son. "Did you know my granddaughter is making a sword out of spoons?"

Peter turned to stare at his kid.  "Lorna!"

Erik chuckled as he closed the door.  "God I love that kid."

"So where should we start…" Charles sat behind his desk, Erik joined him, leaning against the back table.   Hank settled onto the couch, with Logan taking one of the armchairs.

"How about Egypt?"

Erik growled.

"Oh that sounds like a good story."  Logan settled into his seat, he had a lot to catch up on, but he was content to finally be home.