AN: Hey kids!

Ok. Let's put some stuff out there. This is based off of the movie, not the comics. Why do I say this? I was doing my factchecking because I loooove continuity, and wanted all the minor characters to be personified correctly...only to realize an awful lot of the movie DOESN'T MATCH X-MEN COMICS AT ALL. This has caused me endless hair-ripping, but basically I've decided that there must be overrides of canon for movieverse. Azazel, for one, isn't banished to another dimension. Alex is no longer Scott Summer's little brother. (I'd like to add that BOTH of these facts I knew, and therefore bothered me tremendously, during the movie.)

Right. Now that we've got it settled that there WILL be continuity errors, sorry comic fans, time to move on with the show! Please enjoy my little What If.

It had been some time since the incident, as they were now calling it, had occurred.

It had been a terrible day, that much was certain. Though war between the USSR and the USA had been averted, there was no doubt in anyone's mind that the entire incident had been a tragedy. The new, mutated race of superumans had now been presented to the world in a far more negative light than they deserved, the people affected now deemed dangerous and criminal to the general population. It was a cause of suffering to them all.

But no one suffered it moreso than Dr. Charles Xavier.

This war, this antagonism, had never been his intention. He wanted only to coexist amongst the people, to raise and nurture those like himself to have a fulfilling existance with their powers, but any public presence had been stripped from him and his people. He and the children were now bound where they were, entrapped within his manor, with minimal capacity to reach out to others, and the chance of being attacked should they slip up and show themselves for who they were in public.

If this metaphorical inprisonment had not been enough, there was also the matter of his legs. There was, sadly, no cure for the damage that had been done; the deflected bullet had hit his spinal cord and caused permanent paralysis. Every day was a struggle he had not before experienced, a new challenge to live a normal life that he had once taken for granted.

Then again, at least Erik was there.

Charles had a feeling, deep in the pit of his stomach, that Erik wasn't supposed to be there. That he was meant to, assuming there was some way in which the events of the world were meant to play out, leave Charles' side on that day in order to follow his ideals based on mutant superiority. But he hadn't, he refused to leave. He had cradled his friend in his arms, distraught over the suffering he had caused him, promised to never abandon his side.

And so it was that Erik, along with the shattered remains of what was once the Hellfire Club, came to live at the manor-turned-academy that was the Xavier School for Gifted Youngsters. There was understandably some dissent amongst the inhabitants of the house, but it was kept to a manageable level with the co-operation of the Professor and his assistant head.

The school functioned according to Charles' original intention: simply a school, with the additional benefit of teaching young mutants to properly contain their powers. There was no underlying military current in their training, as had been necessary prior to the incident; if there had been, it would have been bound to cause antagonism and possible violence between the two factions of the school.

"It would be dreadful if the students turned against one another," Charles said. "Bishop to B3."

Erik's brow was furrowed as he moved his small, black piece to take another pawn. "Pawn to E4. Indeed it would. There's no need for our brotherhood to fight amongst ourselves. I fear, however, there is a chance of it occurring."

"One that must be avoided at all costs. Pawn to E4. You know that I never thought violence was truly a solution." Charles plucked the previous victor off of the table, causing Erik's frown to deepen.

"And I've told you before, peace was never an option either," he muttered, performing a quick queenside castle. "Though I must agree, we need to figure out how to keep the disruptions to a minimum among the pupils."

Charles' pawn darted forward a square, and he rested his head in his hand. "I think the obvious conclusion is that we need to determine a single underlying ideology, rather than have such differing views on the nature of our future as we have."

"Keep yourself out of my mind, Charles, especially while we play." Erik glared, and the other man lowered his hand.

"I had no intention of-"

"Don't lie." Erik moved a rook to D2, which was instantly taken by Charles' king. "Schei├če..." he muttered, and folded his hands to think.

"See? I have no need to read your mind-"

"Check," Erik said, smirking, as he moved a knight. The tiny wooden horse seemed to stare menacingly at the king. "And I suppose your plan for our agreement is for me to bend to your will and ideology?"

Charles moved his king away, keeping his finger on it. "That would be preferred, but I'm sure it shall take some time for you to see my side," he said, running his finger around the top of the piece.

"As it is the wrong side? Of course, Charles. There is no way that I would start spouting lies about the fact that we could ever live in peace and harmony as you seem to believe. It's a false hope that you offer."

"One day people will see the light," Charles said, removing his hand from the king in a slightly unsure manner.

"And if they don't? If they decide that our people, these children you've taken into your home, are a blight to be destroyed?" Erik asked, moving a bishop, and Charles sighed.

"I suppose, if it came to that, we'd have to engage in war against them, for our survival." He moved a rook across the board, and Erik moved his own in response. "But I hope that day would never rear its ugly head."

"At least you are not foolish enough to believe there isn't a chance of it happening," Erik said as he watched the other man move his king.

"A chance, yes. But I highly doubt that we will have problems, as long as we keep our heads low until the threat dies down."

"So we should hide? Let the humans have all the power?"

"We are not at war with the rest of our species, Erik," he said, tapping the top of a pawn with irritation. "That is entirely the wrong viewpoint to have. It will no doubt lead to conflict."

"Fine then," Erik said, leaning back in his wing chair, entertwining his fingers. "What do you suggest is our next course of action?"

"We do as we did before." Charles smiled. "Hank is progressing quickly in our reproduction of Cerebro. Once it is complete, we'll be capable of adding more to our numbers. We'll simply be sure to do it quietly."

"And risk being turned in while we look for them?"

"The others will be scared and confused from the negativity surrounding us themselves. They'll be happy to join us, to be safe."

A minute passed, and Erik nodded.

"I suppose, for the time being at least, that is for the best," he said, moving a knight and placing Charles back into check. He then smiled, adding, "After all, if it does come to war, we'll need an army."

"They are not an army, they are our children."

Erik chuckled at the professor's words. "I never knew you were so domestic."

"I suppose we may have many surprises for each other about ourselves as time goes on," Charles said, smiling warmly. A mahogany clock in the corner of the room started to chime the hours. "What do you say to our putting these issues and this game aside for now, and we retire for the night? It's seeming to be growing later than I had expected."

Erik nodded, standing up and walking around to the back of Charles' chair. "Certainly a good idea, I agree," he said, pulling the chair away from the table and manoeuvring it out of the room. "We'll have to discuss this idealistic worldview you seem to have later, however."

"And we'll work on your overly hostile nature of course, as well," Charles said, grinning up at the other man.

"Hush, you," Erik grumbled, and Charles laughed.

"You're doing it again. Being hostile."

"I can stop pushing this chair, if you wish."

"No, no, that won't be neccessary."

Erik stopped outside of Charles' bedroom, hesitating before opening the door.

"Don't think you've won quite yet, just because I agreed to drop this argument for the evening."

Charles just smirked.

"Don't be full of yourself. You may be a doctor, but I'm sure you realize that I don't tend to bend to a doctor's authority."

"Yet you're still here with me."

"Always," Erik affirmed.

"So you must on some level realize I'm in the right."

Erik opened his mouth to respond, but closed it, eyes narrowing.

"Sometimes, I fear a small part of me may indeed think that."