A/N: Heyyooo I am the wooooooorst. But this fic is not abandoned! It's late so I'll fix errors tomorrow. Enjoy!

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I wake up and find myself surprised I slept at all.

After the overnight stay at the clinic I was able to stay awake for the flight. Some of the kids had never been in a plane before. Connor was helpful there, explaining the mechanics of flight, although that didn't seem to help Mason much. He sat on my lap the whole flight, though I suppose part of that could have been the emotional distress of having to say goodbye to his dad so soon after being rescued. It was a scene on the tarmac at the airport: Mason, his father, the professor, Erik, and myself all trying to convince Mason that everything was going to be fine. His father was barely holding back tears as he tried to calm Mason down, but I could see it wasn't helping. The professor surely could have helped more with his telepathy, but I suppose that's no way to start a relationship with already traumatized children.

Although, I guess he also could have been reluctant to enter the mind of a seven year old whose out loud voice was already deafening.

In the end it took me using the Alpha voice on Mason when he began rattling the plane. I wasn't sure it would work, but I guess a seven year old is still pretty impressionable. He stopped wailing, though the tears continued. Professor Xavier put his arms out and Mason surprisingly crawled onto his lap.

Erik and I had a small stare-down before he nodded and used his ability – apparently he can control metal – to lift the professor's wheelchair up and into the plane, Mason and all. Erik followed them up. I had something to say to Mason's father.

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"You didn't have to come for us. Thank you."

He looks surprised for a moment. "I did. They had my son."

I shake my head. "I can tell you're not comfortable with all of us. You could have taken Mason and left the rest of us. Instead you saved all of us. I won't forget that."

He shook my hand when I offered it.

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He didn't even hesitate to shake my hand, and the memory makes me smile considering he would have shuddered at the thought a mere 24 hours earlier.

The drive to our destination in Westchester was short enough and I hadn't been tired. Our destination ended up being Professor Xavier's house. He called it a house. I would say mansion is more accurate. My guess is he wants it to feel homey for us, and if he intends to start housing mutants in need then his house better be big with lots of land.

It also turns out he comes from money, as though the mansion wasn't indication enough.

When we first arrived yesterday, the mansion was overwhelming, and I could see through the windows that the land out back was expansive. We spent most of the day learning the maze indoors, setting up our rooms, and recovering.

Immediately upon entering the house I watched as all the other's heads swiveled around in cartoonish fashion at "our new home."

Professor Xavier's words, not mine.

We were led to a large room with all the furniture pushed to the walls, and scattered in the room was piles of stuff. It turned out to be our stuff, gathered from our homes, or recovered from the lab that was confiscated from us when we were abducted.

I didn't really want to know how they got this stuff, so I didn't ask, and I was relieved the others seemed to follow my lead. Instead I focused on the calm having my own things brought in an unfamiliar environment. One of the boxes had my really soft blankets and my favorite blanket – the one I've had since I was a baby. It's a little raggedy, but considering the situation I now find myself in, I'm not worried about being so attached to it.

Laying in the bed that's been given to me, in a room of my own, I clutch the blanket a little tighter and think that maybe it's the reason I was able to sleep last night.

After deciding what stuff we wanted to keep here, the professor told us to pick our rooms. He smiled as he said it, but I don't think we provided the reaction he was looking for since he kind of awkwardly cleared his throat and turned himself around to go down the hallway. He rolled himself to a large and rather ornate staircase where Erik nonchalantly floated him up.

He explained that he would normally not ask Erik to do this and would instead take the elevator he had installed, but this time was for the sake of convenience. We wouldn't all fit in the elevator at once.

Only three steps up Mason pouted and lifted his arms in front of me in the universal signal for 'pick me up.' Seven year olds aren't light, but luckily my mutation makes me stronger than I look.

Though my sudden exhaustion was a pretty good equalizer.

At the top of the third floor staircase we were faced with a long hallway with open doors all down both sides. Professor Xavier gestured outwards and told us to pick any room in the hallway. He asked that we at least double up, so we had room for others in the future.

The girls started down the right side, and the boys the left. I put Mason down so he could have a choice in his room.

They decided to share rooms as I watched, pleased with the lack of chaos. Kenna and Raya decide to share a larger room and pull Sofia in with them, and Blair and Bonnie pair up which isn't surprising considering they're twins. Akemi and Kitty. Emma and Erica – and I wondered briefly if it was a good idea for two telepaths to share a room, but I let it go. Adelaide and Anna-Marie chose to share a room, and that kind of surprised me since they seem to be very different people, but I figure they'll work it out.

Mason ended up rooming with Sam and Diego in a room with a bunk bed set. I made a mental note to check on them later, but Mason looked so excited, finally, that I decided not to say anything. Hank and Piotr pair up, followed by Remy and Sean, which might the scariest pairing I had ever contemplated. Kurt politely asked to room by himself and found a room to his liking further down the hallway. I guess since he spent so long alone he needs the space to decompress. Alex and Conner take the first room on the left, right across from the room left empty by the girls on the right. It's right at the top of the staircase, and where I would have chosen to room if I hadn't decided to let the others choose first.

I was busy in my thoughts and didn't notice when Emma approached me and let me know that they had discussed it telepathically, and they thought I should have a room to myself after everything I had done to protect them. She gestured to the empty room.

It takes me a second too long to process her words, and everyone's smiles falter. I recovered quickly and thanked them. And we moved on. Everyone checked out their rooms and put some of their stuff away to make it seem like their own. I dragged a couple boxes of my clothes – again, not really wanting to know who collected it – into my room and sat on the end of the bed while I listened to the others through the walls.

I refused to be upset about what should have been a nice thought. They wanted to give me privacy. I should be thankful. But I can't let go of the feeling that I've been sequestered from the others. I couldn't decide if I felt like that because I wasn't right there in the room to protect them, or if I was worried they had decided I was more monstrous than they wanted to deal with.

Even now, the next morning, as I lay in the silent room alone I can't decide why I still feel this way. It was clearly meant as a kind gesture.

Lunch followed and was uneventful. Some sandwiches, though I don't know where they came from. Some kids decided to take a nap after. Some decorated. Some wandered the halls. I found Professor Xavier in his office.

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"Dr. Ratley wasn't there when it was raided." I say when I step into his office, though it wasn't really what I had planned on saying.

I don't know what I wanted to say.

Professor Xavier looks up from his laptop and closes it.

"No, he wasn't."

"Do you know where he is?"

"I don't."

I don't know what to say to that so I stay silent as the professor looks at me.

"Do you want him found?" he asks, finally.

I open my mouth to answer, but then I hesitate. I honestly don't know. To pay for his crimes? Yeah. But would that mean seeing his face again?

"Neither was Michaels," is what I say instead.

"I know."

We look at each other a moment before I nod and turn to walk out, still unsure about what I wanted in the first place.

"They can't reach you here," the professor says from behind me.

It's enough to make me stop and turn back with a question evidently plain on my face.

"No one will harm you here. I have measures in place to ensure it."

I just nod and continue out of the office. I feel a little lighter. Maybe I was looking for some reassurance.

I pass Erik and Ororo on my way out. They smile and nod, but I barely respond.

I wanted reassurance, but I'm still holding on to some reservations.

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Dinner that night was as unassuming as lunch. Some stew Ororo apparently made. It was pretty good, but it made me miss my dad's beef stew and that made my heart hurt more than I was willing to admit, so I ate as much as I could stomach.

Professor Xavier told us that there was another professor we hadn't met yet, but she was always busy in her lab and we would see her a breakfast the next morning. There was also already a mutant living at the mansion and we would meet him the next day as well.

I honestly just wanted to sleep, but I found that I couldn't alone in my silent room. Instead I opened the window of my room and took flight as an eagle into the night sky.

I don't know how long I flew and ran and explored the grounds outside, but when I finally returned I saw a light on in the second floor with a silhouette low to the ground behind the curtain. The light went off as I flew back to my open window, and as I finally collapsed in exhaustion there was a brief whisper in my mind wishing me a good night.

Waking up to sunshine streaming through my window meant I hadn't dreamed the last few days, and this mansion was unbelievably real.

Finally, I sit up to find out what today holds.

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A/N: I knooow, I'm the worst at updating, but in my defense junior and senior year of college are no joke. This semester kicked my ass. But here I am! Ready to start again!