A series of vignettes expanding the story of the First Class movie, largely exploring Charles' attempt to "help" Erik. The timeline of the movie may be a bit distorted...given the Marvel universe's normal lack of respect for chronological regularity, I have no regrets. Just assume that Shaw got mononucleosis or something, and was advised by his doctor to take some time off from heavy lifting and being evil to get it properly treated. Bits of information are taken from the comics, but – through the magic of cross-medium transformation – may have been slightly altered as well. I have put in some references to music from the 60s, not all of which were necessarily recorded before the Cuban Missile Crisis in our universe, but X-Jim-Morrison can be assumed to have worked on a slightly different schedule. Or whatever. Paying careful attention to historical accuracy in an X-men fanfic is like arguing over the exact number of leprechauns you can fit into a dragon skull.

Two final notes: First, I mainly write dialogue. When necessary, setting events are simply and briefly described.

Second, James McEvoy mentioned in an interview that the director had originally wanted to play up the 60s theme by putting bong references everywhere – I took this idea as inspiration (though it won't show up until later).

Disclaimer: I do own the X-men. So there.

Erik sits on the floor of the stone cell, feeding crumbs to a rat. He needs the calories, but he needs the companionship more. A soldier – Beier is his name – enters the cell. "Oh look!" he says. "A vermin, and also a little rat."

Other soldiers laugh.

Beier raises his boot. The rat is a bit tame, a bit less fearful of humans thanks to Erik's daily feedings, and it is slow to react. When the boot comes stomping down, the rat has begun to flee, but not quickly enough. There is a crunch of breaking bones as Beier crushes the rat's back half. Its belly, tail, and hind legs are mangled now. The creature squeaks and chitters and writhes piteously.

Erik breaks the rat's neck, putting it out of its misery. He has grown strong; a year ago he would have shirked at such an act, even though the creature was a rat and he had killed it for its own sake. Then a thought occurs to him. Perhaps he should do something fierce and disgusting. Perhaps he should convince the soldiers that it is best if they fear him, best if they leave him alone. He grabs the rat's corpse and he bites off the tail, twirling it around his tongue.

Goodbye, friend rat.

Erik Lensherr could easily sense the metal in the lock, the shape and heft of each piece. With concentration, he could pick a lock and open the door without leaving any fingerprints. No sense giving the authorities any motivation to interfere. He slipped in quietly and grabbed an envelope from the kitchen table. Yes, it was the right name. He had visually identified the man earlier, but he believed in thoroughness.

Now he had to wait for the man to enter the kitchen. He would, eventually. And until he did, Erik would stand in the corner, perfectly still and silent, obscured by the refrigerator and the cupboard. As he waited, he thought about reasons to hate Beier, tried to rile up the emotion necessary for the more dramatic applications of his abilities. He could picture the man clearly: Beier wearing foul cologne that stank when it mixed with sweat on hot days. Beier laughing, pissing in his food. Beier wrestling him down to be strapped in for another of Herr Doktor's tests, tests that-

He interrupted his own reverie. There was no point in imagining too far afield. Focus on Beier.

And then, as if conjured by his focus, the man appeared, and immediately found one of his own kitchen knives pressed tightly to his throat. Erik stood behind him and hissed in his ear, for Erik was taller now, was stronger. "Listen to me very carefully," he said. "Here is what you are going to do. Send your son to his grandfather's to play. Ensure that he does not return for at least an hour. Then you will call your neighbor and invite him over in 20 minutes. I do not care what lie you tell. You are going to die regardless, but if you do what I say, at least your spawn will not have to see it."

It was the strangest suicide the local police had ever seen, though they had no reason to suspect foul play. There was no sign of forced entry, no fingerprints on the knives other than those of the deceased. And the man had made preparations – send his son away, writing a note. The strange element was simply the amount of damage the man had managed to inflict on himself before death. It had been obscured by blood and viscera at the crime scene, but when the coroner cleaned up the body, he announced that Beier had managed to carve a swastika into his own belly, 26 centimeters tall and as much as 14 centimeters deep in some places.

It was an ugly death.