Disclaimer: I don't own any of the characters. Sad but true.

Notes: This takes place after Russia and before Cuba, so they're in the mansion. I also don't have Moira with them just because it didn't fit. I'll go with she's doing something for the CIA and just happened to miss out on the shenanigans I'm about to write.

This is the first time I've published something without most of every intended chapter written. Therefore, there may be more time between publishing chapters than I usually like to have. I know exactly where I'm going with it, it's just a matter of creating scenes to get there. The first two or three chapters are pretty much done aside from tweaks but it may slow down from there. We'll see. Unless you want three chapters, a vague outline with a few detailed scenes, then an ending. That I can provide right now :) I'll stop rambling and let you read the story now. Well done to anyone who actually read this whole note. Very impressive.


Erik and Raven stood in the kitchen of the mansion, where Erik had been caught sneaking out courtesy of the girl's desire for an evening snack.

"Erik, you can't go alone."

"I'm a grown man Raven. I'll go wherever I please."

"Charles won't like it."

"Well Charles isn't here is he?"

Raven glared at Erik. "He'll be back soon enough. He just went to get some supplies."

"Look, my contact says that Shaw is going after something and it's close enough for me to get there. If Shaw wants something, it's generally best to make sure he doesn't get it. It's too close for me not to go. It's not as if we have the time to mobilize a team. The CIA can't help us. I can't let an opportunity pass by where I can stop him. "

"You mean get your revenge."

Erik gave her a withering look. "I'm going and none of you children are coming with me."

His attempt to get a rise out of her was ineffective. "I thought we were a team."

"Well sometimes it's better for me to work alone. I'll stop you from coming with me if you try."

With that, Erik walked out the door, leaving Raven standing in the kitchen with her arms crossed angrily over her chest.


Forty-five minutes later, after breaking every speed limit in one of Charles' fastest cars, Erik sat in the lobby of an office building. It was closed for the night, all the workers probably asleep in their comfy homes. What Shaw could want here he didn't know, but his informer had never given him bad intel before. There was definitely something here. His best guess was that some of the papers in the office had information Shaw needed.

He absently flipped the old Nazi coin over his fingers. He was so caught up in his thoughts, waiting for the malice that came with Shaw's presence, that he didn't notice the more benign presence until it was sitting right next to him. He continued watching the coin flip over his fingers.

"You shouldn't have done this Erik. How many times must I tell you you're not alone?"

"You certainly got here fast to prove that Charles."

The telepath leaned forward on the bench they were sitting on. "I tend to hurry when Raven is screaming in my mind. She can cause quite a headache when she doesn't get her way."

Erik finally looked up, meeting his friend's blue eyes for the first time.

"You shouldn't be here. Shaw is dangerous."

"All the more reason for us to face him together. Besides, if you didn't want me here, why did you tell Raven where you were going? You didn't seriously think she wouldn't tell me."

Erik gave a huff. "Fine. I suppose I may have been hoping someone would come."

The corners of Charles' mouth twitched upward at the admission, but he didn't comment on it further, instead turning to the matter at hand.

"You realize this might be a trap."

"Then it's a good thing I have a telepath with me isn't it."

Charles watched as Erik continued to move the coin.

"So, what's the plan?"

"Well now that you're here, I guess it's to do that freezing thing you do and go from there."

"Just out of curiosity, what was your plan before I came? From what I've heard, projectiles can do nothing to harm him. Did you intend to stare at him maliciously until he died of terror or perhaps just brood in his general direction?"

Erik covered his smile with a tone of mock offense. "I was going to wing it. Plans don't necessarily suit me all the time."

"That explains your chess strategy."

Their banter was silenced when the poof of Azazel's teleport was heard. They stood up with lightning speed and whipped around. Shaw stood behind them with the demon-like mutant. The odd looking helmet on his head didn't hide his broad smile as he saw the two younger men in front of him. Shaw gave a quick nod to Azazel, who teleported out before Charles could get a hand to his temple to control him. Shaw then turned to face them.

"Erik, how nice to see you! And you brought a friend! The telepath I've been hearing about, right? Aren't you going to introduce us?"

Erik refused to respond to Shaw's taunting. He spoke without breaking eye contact with the man he'd hunted for so long. "Charles, immobilize him."

"I'm trying." Charles had a hand to his temple, brow furrowed in intense concentration that quickly turned to confusion. "Something's wrong. I- This has never happened before without another telepath around!"

Shaw stepped forward, tapping his helmet. "Do you like it? I had it made especially to deal with people like you. If Erik is going to be rude, then I suppose I'll have to take care of the formalities. My name is Sebastian Shaw. I believe you must be Charles Xavier. I can't say that I've heard a lot about you. You're a hard man to pin down. But I've heard enough. I'm sure you've heard about me." He gave a proud smile. Charles lowered his hand from his temple, a look of loathing on his face.

"Yes, I've heard enough about you as well."

"Excellent!" With that, he shifted his attention back to Erik.

"What are you doing here, mein schüler? Do you intend to exact your revenge on me? Or would you like to finally join my ranks as a god and help me destroy the insects?"

"I'll never join you Shaw," Erik spat.

"So you're here to kill me then. That's gone so well for you in the past."

Erik snarled at the man, but before he could come up with his rebuttal, Charles interrupted.

"Why is it that you're here? There's hardly anything of worth that you could need for your plans. I know. I've seen them."

"Indeed you have. Quite impressive, breaking Emma like that. You two make a surprisingly good team. Actually, what I'm here for isn't a thing but rather a person."

Erik frowned. "Little late to be searching for someone to kidnap, isn't it? My information said-"

Shaw put on a look of mock disappointment. "Oh Erik, where do you think your informer got that information?"

Erik froze, expression wavering for the first time, as Charles tensed.

"This is a trap."

"The telepath catches on fast even without the use of his powers! Well done! Best way to lure out someone who's well hidden is to set an ingenious trap."

Erik quickly recovered from the shock of being tricked. Confidence flitted across his face once more.

"You sent me information. You knew I'd come. I wouldn't call it ingenious."

"It still got you both here, didn't it?"

"Yes, you got me here. Congratulations. Why would you even want me? You know I won't join you. Haven't you 'trained' me enough?"

Shaw let out a laugh. "My dearest Erik," he said with a smile, "who ever said I was here for you?" Shaw let his eyes slide slightly to Erik's left. Erik followed the man's gaze...straight to a wide-eyed Charles.

"No…" Erik's strangled whisper betrayed his carefully constructed mask of confidence.

"As I was saying, the best way to draw out a person who is well hidden is to make him think his reckless, vengeance-blinded friend is in danger."

"NO!" Erik shot any metal he could sense in room at Shaw, who absorbed it effortlessly. In one quick motion, Shaw moved to Erik and tossed him to the side. He hit the wall with enough force to leave him dazed, blinking back black spots. He lay on his side, groaning and trying to catch his breath. Shaw turned his attention to Charles as soon as Erik hit the wall.

Charles had put his hand back up to his temple in a futile attempt to get through the helmet. He backed up on equal pace with Shaw's strides towards him until his back hit the opposite wall. Shaw closed the distance between them in a two steps. Charles dropped his hand from his temple once more, knowing it was a pointless effort.

"What do you want from me?"

"After your little excursion to Russia, I'm short a telepath. I'd like to give you a job interview."

"I'll never work for you," Charles spat.

"We'll see about that," Shaw said as he put a single finger to Charles' temple, his other arm holding the telepath against the wall. Charles flinched away, struggling against Shaw's hold, but could do nothing to escape.

Erik desperately tried to regain his footing as the tip of Shaw's finger glowed dimly against Charles' head, releasing a small burst of energy. He stared in horror as Charles' eyes slipped shut and his struggles ceased. Shaw grabbed Charles roughly around the waist as the telepath went limp, letting Charles' arms and head swing freely near his knees like a puppet with its strings cut. Now in possession of his prize, Shaw turned to Erik, who had regained enough of his senses to stand using the wall as support.

"I thought you played chess." Erik was taken off guard and couldn't hide the confusion from his face. "It's just that you forgot the cardinal rule." Shaw smiled maliciously and glanced down at the unconscious telepath in his grasp then back to Erik. "Always protect your king."

Erik began running at Shaw. Before he could get there, Azazel reappeared, putting a hand on Shaw's shoulder. With a wave and a short "Ta!", Shaw disappeared with the other mutant, taking Charles with him. Erik slid to his knees where the men had been standing moments before, letting out a primal yell. The yell of a man who has lost his best friend to his greatest enemy.


According to an online translating site, "schüler" means "student" in German. I don't actually know German, so hopefully that's right or at least close enough. It looks like it should be right.

The title comes from a quote by Robert Herrick, "A spark neglected makes a mighty fire." It should make more sense later. If it doesn't I might change the title. I have the worst time coming up with titles that satisfy me and I had a hard time deciding between two in the first place.

I'll try to keep working on this. Like I said, I have the first chapters mapped out pretty well, so I may be able to update sooner rather than later. Let me know what you think so far!