Diclaimer: I Own nothing.

...

Saigon, South Vietnam, 1975

First Lieutenant Charles Xavier stood with his back to the wall, his M16 assault rifle clutched in his hands against his green uniform, his dark brown hair covered in small particles of dust. He was in Vietnam, working on an evacuation operation to pull out American civilians, as well as Vietnamese citizens that were deemed 'at risk'. He disliked the idea of having to determine who was 'at risk' and who wasn't. However, he had chosen to join the marines following his mother's death.

He wasn't going to just sit around in the Westchester estate his father owned. He didn't like the things he heard there. He always knew what his father was thinking. Quite literally. He had an ability, a power. A power to read the minds of others. It had made him an excellent soldier, once his first attempted career as a science teacher had failed. His issue with reading and writing had made sure of that.

So, he'd chosen to join the military of his second country, the country his mother was from. He'd considered the British military, but if they were anything like his father, he would have simply grown to loathe everyone there. So, he'd joined the US Marine corps. And now, he was there, in Vietnam.

He peered round the corner, seeing a big built Caucasian man in a scientist's outfit as he did. Charles stepped out, walking towards the man to give him some cover from anyone who might decide to fire on the civilian. It wasn't exactly unheard of in the conflict.

As the man ran past him, Charles began to back up, before hearing something crack behind him. He turned around, seeing two of the other Marines had joined him. He recognised both of their faces, but could only put a name to one.

The man he knew was a Sergeant, a man who had, as a small boy in Poland, been penalised by the Nazi's in World War II for being Jewish. The man had jet black hair, and was built slightly larger than Charles. His name was Eric Lensherr. The two had know each other for a couple of years now, and were as close to proper friends as people could get in the military.

"Ever the protector, aren't you Charles?" Eric said, smirking slightly, his voice still possessing a slightly European accent despite his 30 years in the United States.

"Well Eric, someone has to protect the innocent from harm." Charles replied, also smirking.

As he did, he saw Eric's facial expression change to one of surprise. Charles span, turning his head and gun ahead of him, in time to see a Vietnamese soldier firing a gun at his head. As he closed his eyes, expecting to die, he instead felt a sharp pain at the bottom of his back, falling to the floor with a scream of pain and opening his eyes, seeing the man who shot him falling to the floor, dead.

Eric came running over to him, as did the other soldier. He picked Charles up as gently as he could manage, beginning to carry him towards the chopper, the other soldier covering them as they went.

"I'm sorry I didn't manage to deflect the bullet." Eric said "I didn't have enough time to concentrate on it."

"It's okay, Eric." Charles replied, wincing in pain as he was lifted into the chopper "If it weren't for you, I'd be dead right now. Besides, having feeling in your legs is overrated."

Eric moved Charles over to a medical gurney, setting him down on it before rolling him on his front. Eric looked round quickly before putting his hand above the wound on Charles' back and beginning to focus. As he did, the bullet slowly came out of the wound, as if being pulled by a magnet. He put pressure on the wound before looking around and spotting the man Charles had got back to the chopper.

"Hey, you!" Eric said, pointing at the man "You're a scientist, right?"

"Uh, yeah." The man said "Well, I'm training to be one. I came out her to work on my thesis and-"

"Great." Eric cut him off "Get over here and keep the pressure on his wound. I dug the bullet out, so you don't need to worry about that."

"I'm a scientist, not a doctor." The man replied.

"That doesn't matter. What matters is he saved your life, you owe him." Eric said, as the man came over and took over from Eric "Now, I'm going to go get a bandage from the medical kit over there so we can dress his injury, okay?"

"Yes." The man said as Eric began to walk over to the medical kit.

That was the last thing Charles heard before everything faded to black.

...

4 days later

Charles woke up with a start, his eyes snapping wide open. He tried to sit up but found he couldn't. He looked down, trying to lift his left leg. He couldn't. He put his hands on the mattress, using them to prop himself up against the headboard so he could better see the room.

He was in his bedroom, in the Westchester estate, a number of medical machines by his bed. He looked around the room, seeing it basically unchanged from the last time he was there, aside from one detail. The wheelchair in the corner of the room.

As he looked at it, there was a knock on the door, causing him to turn to see his father walking in, followed by Eric. His father looked down at him, the disappointment in his face evident.

"I told you not to go." He said "But you had to go anyway, didn't you, Charles?"

"Hi dad, I'm fine thanks, how have you been?" Charles replied, sarcastically.

"Don't get smart with me, boy!" His father said "You went to join the military and now I'm stuck with a cripple for a son."

"Well, I'm sorry I'm such a disappointment." Charles said, turning to Eric "What happened?"

Eric said nothing, simply sighing. Charles' father turned to Eric and scowled slightly.

"My son asked you a question." He said "Or rather, what's left of him did."

"Mr. Xavier, that's uncalled for!" Eric snapped "Your son's a hero, and you're treating him as if he's some sub-human thing!"

"How dare you talk to me like that in my house!" Charles' father said "Get out! You're not welcome here!"

"Good bye, Charles." Eric said "I'm sorry for all this."

Charles watched Eric walk out before turning to his father, his face full of anger.

"He's right, father!" Charles said "Still, you finally got what you wanted. Me out of the military."

"How did you-" His father began.

"They're hardly going to want a man in a wheelchair in the marines, are they?" Charles cut him off "So congratulations, you got me out of there."

"Charles, regardless of my feelings about your military service, I would rather you were in the military that this." His father said as a young, tall, well built man walked in "This is Doctor Hank McCoy. He's been taking care of you."

"Thanks doc." Charles said.

"That's quite alright, Mr. Xavier." Hank replied "I'm just glad you're feeling better."

"Call me Charles." Charles replied "Mr. Xavier is my father."

"I'm going now Charles." Charles' father said "I'll see you later. When I do, I expect you to show a little more respect!"

Charles' father walked out, leaving Hank to explain to Charles the extent of his injuries. Then he got onto the results of the blood tests, and explaining the extent of his findings. The extent of what Charles was. He was a mutant.

...

So, that's chapter one of this fic. Well, prologue. Part one. We've got three of the characters introduced already. Next chapter will deal with the lead up to the main event. And what causes Charles and Eric to drift apart. R&R, please, no flames. B.