And You Are Only Just Beginning

BY : Citizenjess
Category: X-Men - Animated Series (all) > Slash - Male/Male
Dragon prints: 923
Disclaimer: I do not own "X-Men" or any characters therein. I am not making any money off of this story.

Summary: After the events of season two, Charles resumes his role as headmaster at the Xavier Institute, and also copes with the task of rebuilding the mansion, keeping track of old acquaintances, and dealing with a very moody Scott Summers; set after 3x02, "The Stuff of Heroes". Title is from Nick Cave's "O Children." Porn is in part two, natch.



Seeing the dilapidated remains of his home is probably the most shocking part; he's not surprised that Wolverine and Scott have managed to keep the majority of the children together and safe, and to recoup those that happened to get caught in the crossfire of the battle with the Sentinels. He has to be filled in on all that has transpired in his absence, but some quick glimpses through Jean's mind, mostly, allows him to crowdsource a general knowledge base for himself.



Fortunately, the Xavier mansion has very good insurance and accident contingency plans, and so it doesn't take long to get workers in here, mostly for the stuff that Hank can't cajole a bunch of eager, anxious teenagers to do. At the end of each day, Charles carefully roots around in their minds for any granule of knowledge that they're working for mutants, and removes it, carefully smoothing over whatever gaps have been left in its absence. It's a small bit of recourse, particularly in the wake of the general public now understanding that mutants do, in fact, exist; but, Charles thinks, every little bit helps.

 


*

Magneto contacts him, as usual, from an undisclosed location, his voice low and concerned. "I heard what happened," he says, and Charles can tell that it's awkward for him to get the words out. "I ... I'm sorry, Charles. I didn't know ... if I had realized what Mystique had done ..."



Charles sighs. "I don't blame you for what you could have done if several things had been different," he offers, and Magneto is silent for several seconds. "I'm projecting my frustration from fielding this same line of thought from my students onto you," Charles tacks on eventually. He winces. "Sorry."



"No apology necessary." The exchange rebalances their equilibrium, and Charles decides to take his chances.



"Why did you do it, Magnus?" His voice is hushed now, and a bit unhappy. "What could possibly be accomplished by putting us all in danger? You've said yourself in the past that it would do more harm than good."



Magneto is silent anew. "I wanted to beat the government at its own game," he finally says. "They play their hand, with those robots of theirs, and now I've played mine."



"Yes," Charles agrees, his voice rising slightly, "but in doing so, you've endangered every mutant on the planet. Is it really worth that?"



Magneto sighs, and Charles can practically see him taking off his tell-tale helmet and rubbing at his temples. "I'm not sure," he admits eventually, and Charles licks his lips.



"You're safe for now, then, yes?" he asks. He thinks for a moment, and then adds: "And Pietro is with you, I assume? I've heard that the Brotherhood has been particularly floundering since Mystique's capture, and since he was their only direct contact for you, I wonder ..."



"Everything is fine, Charles," Magneto cuts in, and then the call disconnects. Charles replaces the phone heavily on the receiver, and stares at his hands.

 


*





He's made his peace with Wolverine, of course. Logan admits to being horrified at his lack of ability to sniff out Mystique, and Charles is quick to point out that they were all fooled, and that, perhaps, the bigger lesson is not to become too complacent with one's abilities, lest the defeat seems even more painful. Logan leaves it, seemingly satisfied, at that.



Scott is another story, however. Though he's the first person Charles sees after coming out of the compression chamber - the young man whispers "ssshh, Professor, nice and easy, no sudden movements, you're safe, now" and cradles his head and neck gingerly - Scott seems to make himself notably scarce for the immediate days and weeks afterwards, and Charles is remiss to figure out why.



Still, he refuses to pry into Scott's mind, assuming that, when Scott is ready, he knows where to find him. Sure enough, Scott shows up randomly in his office one afternoon, and Charles welcomes him warmly. "Sit down, please. What can I do for you, Scott?"



Scott, however, remains standing. "I know I haven't been around much," he mumbles, and Charles can see his hands grip tightly at one of the spare chairs in his study, knuckles whitening. He can't see the young man's eyes, but assumes that he is nervous. "It was kind of intentional," Scott continues, and Charles nods.



"I presumed you needed time to process everything," he returns. He rests his hands placidly on his lap and looks up at the young man's face, at his grim expression. "In any case, Scott, I did want to take the time to thank you, personally, for all that you did in my absence. It was not a task I willingly gave you, of course, but you handled it admirably. You kept all of the children safe, and what's more, you were adept at sniffing out the fox in our hen house, so to speak. Mystique had everybody else fooled. But not you. I am grateful for that."



Scott's mouth twitches, and Charles watches him twirl the chair he's gripping around rather violently before taking a seat. "It wasn't right," he murmured angrily, his shoulders slumped. Slowly, Charles advances on the young man in his wheelchair, coming to rest at a comfortable enough distance, but one where he can still lightly grasp Scott's shoulder.



"What wasn't right, Scott?"



"Her," Scott spits. "Mystique. As you," he clarifies. "She just. She looked like you; spoke like you; but it didn't feel right. None of it did; the way she kept barking at me, and trying to push Jean to use Cerebro, and how little she cared about the other students, and the whole Brotherhood team-up thing ..." He trails off angrily, and Charles can feel his eyes blazing, even though he cannot see them through Scott's red lenses. "She didn't make me feel safe," Scott concludes, and an errant tear slips down his cheek. He brushes it angrily away. "She wasn't you, Professor."



"Oh, Scott," Charles murmurs, and allows the young man to lunge into his embrace, Scott's back shaking with miniscule sobs, with emotion he's likely been bottling for weeks. "I hope you will always feel safe as long as I'm here," he concludes, and Scott nods, his face still pressed into Charles' shoulder.



Eventually, his rage peters off, and he sits up again, spent, panting a little, and bites his lip ruefully, gesturing at Charles' jacket. "Sorry, you probably didn't put that on expecting me to wipe snot all over it," he frowns, and Charles laughs.



"It will survive," he says, and Scott nods and stands up. "Thank you again, Scott," he says sincerely, and the young man smiles.



"I'm glad you're back, Professor," he says, and strides carefully to the door. "Later," he says, and then he's gone, the air tinged now with newfound relief. Charles sighs happily into it and returns to his desk. "I'm glad to be back," he murmurs, and relishes this temporary moment of peace.



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