Finally I've managed to get back to this. I've had an awful time as of late trying to find enough time to focus on stuff. I'm sorry to tell you all but this is the last chapter – i.e. the epilogue – and I don't think I'll do a sequel to this; or at least, not for a long time. I've got some major requirements from college coming up and I'm afraid that takes priority :/

Right. Enjoy!

EPILOGUE

Present Day (2012)

"And today marks an iconic point in our planet's history..."

"All over the world today people are celebrating..."

"It's unbelievable, almost impossible to even think this day has arrived..."

"The single most important piece of legislation in the human history..."

"We interrupt this news broadcast with an important message from the President of the United States of America."

"People of America, I am speaking to all of you today, during the most important moment in our nation's history, to remind ourselves of all that we have achieved.

Nearly fifty years ago on a Cuban beach something miraculous happened. Something that confused and unnerved my predecessors; both in government and out. Today I am speaking to all of you to explain what happened, and why it is such an important thing.

Several individuals, all born with unique and amazing gifts, rose to our nation's defence. These individuals were Mutants...

This event was the first official discovery of human beings who had abilities outside of the 'norm' and, because of the lack of foresight of some previous individuals; we labelled them a threat and grew to resent their presence within society. But we did not consider the cost to these few, these special few, who sacrificed so much to protect the sovereignty of our nation; indeed, to protect every person upon this planet.

For the last fifty years these same individuals have shown themselves to be, not only powerful, but also trustworthy and honourable. We have resented their presence, resented them for how they were born - even though we teach our children that such behaviour is unjust and unkind. But even though we have shown them contempt, they have not abandoned us at any point in time.

For every threat, for every potential danger, for every death, these 'Mutants' have stopped a half-dozen deaths, exposed two-dozen threats and protected us from danger; both international and domestic.

It is, therefore, beyond important to recognise these 'Mutants' for all that they have done; for humanity on the whole. We are all human, whether we are born with the ability to control the elements or do university-level math at aged eight.

My administration has spoken to many different Mutant representatives since we entered office, and two years worth of hard-work on both sides, and sheer stubborn will has culminated in what I consider to be the crowning achievement of America, and indeed, of the entire world.

The Mutants Right Bill acknowledges that those who are born with the 'X-gene' are human as much as any child born with it. All Mutants are to be given equal pay, the same rights and freedoms that are afforded to any other American citizen.

Too long we have behaved unjustly towards our own species, too long have we held prejudices against those individuals who do not think, act or look as we do. Too long has this been permitted to go on, by both individuals and the state.

Now, now I say, is the time when all that will change!

Now is the time when we will look at our brothers and sisters and not see differences, but similarities!

Now is the time that we will not exile a girl who can walk through walls, a boy who can create ice, or a man who can manipulate metal or read minds.

Now is the time that we will embrace all forms of differences, everything that makes us, as a species, great."

"It's official Erik." Charles said as he switched off the television with a flick of his hand. "We are no longer considered pariahs in any official sense." The aged telepath turned to look at his old friend who was sitting silently on the sofa next to Charles.

The years had been kind to them both, Charles still retained his youthful appearance, though he had lost his hair due to the increase in his own use of telepathy and telekinesis, and Erik was now a silver-haired, refined individual who had never quite lost his sharp gaze and quick reflexes.

"But for how long Charles?" Erik asked quietly. He turned to look at his telepathic friend and continued. "How long until the next President reverses the Bill? How long before we are hunted once more?"

"You're always so negative my friend." Charles chastised and Erik glared at him. "I understand your concerns Erik, I share them also." Charles continued softly. "However, I refuse to let myself become consumed by them. I know full-well that there will those who will use the lingering prejudice against Mutants to gain notoriety and power, but I also know that there will many who will do all they can to constrict the actions of those with less-than noble ideals."

Charles rose from the sofa and ambled over towards the large window in the study, he'd moved it all around nearly a decade ago when one of his old students had grown too excited with themselves and let lose a cannonball of water through the window - his study had been nigh unsalvageable. The new, heat-resistant, water-proof, three-inch thick, plexi-glass windows had, so far, stood up to everything the students had thrown at them. Charles was counting the days till he'd need to have new ones installed.

"Look out the window Erik." Charles beckoned quietly, not needing to turn around to know that Erik was already up and moving towards the window. "Tell me what you see?"

Erik, standing next to his shorter friend, was quiet for a long moment. "I see children who have suffered because of fear." Erik's voice was low and deep, filled with a sort of raw pain that time could never dampen. "I see Mutants who fear the outside world. I see victims of man's cruelty."

Charles sighed inwardly, would his friend never see anything but the pain and suffering in the world? The telepath hoped not. "Look closer Erik." Charles insisted firmly, his British accent echoing around the quiet study. "Look at them, not what they've experienced."

"I..." Erik blinked slowly and watched the groups of children, from mixed backgrounds, from different countries, different walks-of-life, playing and laughing together. "I... see the future of our people... I see, children who are happy and safe..."

"You see that which I have always sought." Charles whispered quietly. "In every civilisation, in every eon, there has been suffering; but there has always been joy. We can choose whether to let the suffering consume us, the fear and anger, hate and prejudice. Or, we can choose to look towards the light and progress."

Charles turned slowly and pierced Erik with a sharp gaze as his mind reached out and displayed images to Erik's own mind.

"I have seen suffering..." An image of a boy being beaten appeared in Erik's mind, the feelings and sensations almost impossible to distinguish from the real world.

"But I have also seen happiness..." The same boy as before appeared in another image, this time laughing and running about in one of the school's sports-fields.

"I could have let myself become consumed by the pain..." Charles continued as he drew forth a memory from his time with Shaw making Erik's anger rise sharply, only for Charles to temper his friend and move onto another image. "It would have been easy, simpler even... but I refuse to let myself fall prey to prejudice and hate. Not when I know there is so much more out there." Charles showed Erik a relatively recent memory of the pair of them in the study, doing nothing but playing chess, laughing and joking and enjoying a scotch.

Slowly Charles slipped out of Erik's mind entirely and the German took a deep breath, closing his eyes tightly as he looked deep inside of himself. Could he do what Charles had done? Could he learn to let go of his hate entirely? To look at the world through new eyes?

Opening his eyes slowly, Erik's gaze focused on the children playing on the lawn; his sharp eyes picking out of his pupils making the leaves on the ground twist themselves into complex patterns to entertain the younger children. Watching as the leaves whirled about, twisting and arcing through the air, Erik realised that he could... he could move on from the past and help ensure the future for his pupil and all those who came after her.

Charles smiled gently as he reached out a hand and threaded it through Erik's own. 'My brilliant Erik... you truly are unique my love.'

-o-X-o-

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-o-X-o-

Well... it's over. It's complete! It's only taken me what... three months to get around to this last chapter! Wow... I need to try and keep up with dead-line's lol.

I know this is a bit of a cop-out but I didn't want to make the story drag on too long... though I sure some of you wouldn't have minded in the slightest lol!