XM || Cherik || XM || Cherik || XM || Parental Problems || XM || Cherik || XM || Cherik || XM

Title: Parental Problems – Expecting the Unexpected

Fandom: X-Men Movies; during the First Class, twisting the plot after that → AU

Disclaimer: All rights reserved to Marvel Comics for the creation of some of the most awesome heroes ever. The story in itself though is entirely mine. No money is made with this, though reviews are more than welcomed.

Warnings: shounen-ai, h/c, mpreg, AU

Main Pairing: Cherik

Side Pairings: Hank/Raven, Warren/Angel

X-Men Characters: Erik Lehnsherr (Magneto), Charles Francis Xavier (Professor X), Raven Xavier (Mystique), Henry Philip 'Hank' McCoy (Beast), Alexander 'Alex' Summers (Havok), Sean Cassidy (Banshee), Ororo Iqadi Munroe (Storm), Alison Blaire (Dazzler), Warren Worthington III (Arch Angel), Angel Salvadore (Tempest), Emma Frost (White Queen), Janos Quested (Riptide), Azazel, Wanda Lehnsherr (Scarlet Witch), Pietro Lehnsherr (Quicksilver)

Summary: Takes a twist of the original movie-storyline (and don't get me started on the comic-timeline... THAT one was messed up by the movies anyway...) during the time at the mansion. Complete AU after First Class. The humans finally succeed in destroying Charles' trust in them. Can Erik help him overcome a hard time and can they gain the trust between each other again? Oh and since I've read that Warren has the power to heal I thought... why the hell wouldn't he be able to heal Charles?

Parental Problems

Expecting the Unexpected

Moments like these were rare and in-between.

The Xavier-mansion was silent for once, no sound, no screeches from Sean, no babbling from Raven, no quarreling between Hank and Alex. Peace and quiet for a change. Raven and Hank had left for a walk and he needn't to be telepathic to know what was going on. What Sean and Alex were doing, Charles didn't know and he supposedly didn't want to know.

Charles leaned back in his arm-chair, 'Alice in Wonderland' seated on his lap, a nice, hot cup of tea in one hand. Something he hadn't done in a long, long time. Ever since Raven and he had started working with Moira he hadn't had a sole moment for himself.

"Charles? Am I bothering you?", chuckled a good-amused voice near him.

The longer-haired male jumped slightly in surprise. Normally he was able to feel a presence when it neared him, but he was so lost in the peace that he hadn't noticed Erik.

"How long are you standing there?", asked Charles dumbfounded.

The handsome German smirked soothingly at him. "A few minutes, I didn't want to interrupt your reading, but then I noticed that you weren't reading at all."

"I'm sorry", apologized Charles flustered.

"You don't need to be sorry. Just... Were you deep in your own thoughts or in someone else's?"

Erik looked genuinely curious, leaning against the arm-chair and looking over Charles' shoulder.

"My own, there had been so many people permanently around me these past months and I enjoy having only my own mind around me for a change", whispered the telepath and closed his eyes.

"Mh... It had been stress for you", acknowledged the older mutant with a nod.

"Stress?", huffed Charles in mock-amusement.

He send a bunch of single images to Erik, pictures of his childhood with Raven, how he had, over the years, taken care of her. How used he was to taking care of her.

"It's just a bit more than it had been in the past", murmured the telepath, rubbing his forehead.

Erik was overwhelmed that his friend shared personal memories with him. Feeling bad for the younger mutant, he started massaging Charles' shoulders. At first the telepath tensed, but soon enough he relaxed into the touch.

"I hope my mind doesn't bother you", commented Erik worried, remembering that Charles had said he enjoyed having only his own mind around for a change.

"As long as you keep doing that, you can't possibly bother me with anything", groaned the telepath in pleasure, his eyes closed firmly. "And besides, I enjoy your mind, it's such a calm presence compared to the whirling minds full of mischief of some hormonal-ragging teenagers."

The metal-bender chuckled deeply and worked the tense muscles harder, enjoying the pleasured sounds his telepath was making. His telepath? That must have been the first time he had admitted to himself that the beautiful brunette meant more to him than he probably should.

"You're very tense. You should have said something that this is such stress to you", scolded Erik.

Charles only hummed lowly and the metal-bender wasn't sure if the other had even heard what has been said at all.

"Lay down on the couch and I'll give you a back-rub", offered the German.

Charles' head snapped around and he eyed his friend warily.

"You should use that bit of child-free time to relax", commented Erik with a shrug.

"I... If it isn't a bother for you", agreed the Brit reluctantly.

With short steps he went gracefully over to the blue satin couch and kneed down on it before peeling off his shirt and laying flat on his stomach, arms crossed under his chin. Erik licked his lips subconsciously and stepped up to his best friend. Stopping dead in his tracks, he stared down at the bare back of the man he slowly fell in love with. Straddling the smaller mutant's hips, he got to work. The sounds he drew from those sinfully parted lips were payment enough.

It lasted a total of thirty minuted until they were interrupted. Alex and Sean barked into the library, closely followed by Raven and Hank. The teenager came to an abrupt halt as they heard their beloved professor moan in pleasure.

"Oh dear lord, that's something I really didn't want to witness my brother doing!", groaned Raven, not sure if she should cover her ears or better yet her eyes.

Charles' head shot up and Erik slowly, reluctantly stood up. The professor stared at his sister and the three boys, all of them blushing in embarrassment.

"Maybe you should, you know, hang a tie at the doorknob when you're at it", suggested Alex.

"When we're at... what exactly?", asked the Brit confused.

"You know, Professor, when you and your boyfriend enjoy some alone time, if you know catch my meaning", explained the blonde teenager, his eyes roaming the room and avoiding his mentor.

The telepath blinked in confusion, gazing from the blonde over to the other boys, then to his sister and at least to his best friend, who looked greatly amused. Realization dawned slowly over him.

"You... You think that Erik and I...?", he gaped in shock.

"Look, Professor, we don't judge you or anything, I mean, we like the both of you and if you make each other happy, then we are happy, too", explained Hank hastily.

"Yeah, it's just that we would love to have some kind of warning so we don't... uh... witness something so private!", squealed Sean flustered.

"But we don't... I mean... Uh...", stuttered Charles, equally flustered and more so confused.

Erik decided to help his friend out. "I've only given him a back-rub, since all the mischief and quarreling you guys do have stressed our dear professor quite a bit."

"You mean... You guys are not like together?", asked Alex confused.

"No", exclaimed the professor, deep, dark red covering his cheeks and ears.

"Oh... Okay...", mumbled Sean, sounding a bit sad.

"Is there", Charles coughed slightly and grabbed his shirt. "A reason why you're here?"

"Uhm... No", murmured Hank and shook his head.

"Well, then. We'll leave you to your back-rub", smirked Raven and winked at her brother.

The blonde girl pushed her friends out of the library, blue orbs followed their movement irritated. Why did his sister wink at him like that? The telepath crossed his arms over his chest and turned to his best friend, who still looked very amused.

"Erik? Did you know that they think that...?", asked Charles, leaving the end of the sentence hang in midair.

"That I fuck your brains out against the book-shelves?", smirked Erik.

The smaller man gaped at him, colored crimson again.

"Erik! Watch your language, dear lord!", hissed the professor.

The metal-bender chuckled and shrugged apologetically. He leaned casually against the professor's favorite arm-chair. Charles shook his head, obviously trying to understand what had been going on in his house for these past few months.

"Would it be so disturbing if we were?", voiced the German curiously.

"No", came the haste reply. "I mean—This, what kind of question is this? We are not, so the question is in vain."

Erik felt brave so he took a few long steps towards his best friend, standing only inches apart.

"But what if?", breathed the metal-bender against Charles' cheek.

One of his hands came to a rest on the younger man's hips, the other one caressed the red dusted cheek of his best friend. Charles opened and closed his mouth a few times.

"I—What are you suggesting, Erik?", whispered the telepath.

"Read my thoughts. Go on, you have my permission", murmured the taller man.

Charles was reluctant, that much was obvious. He never used his power against his family, the little group he shared his home with. But after given the permission he closed his eyes and looked into his best friend's head. Images swirled around his mind, images of him and Erik and the teens, every little moment they had shared, the light happy feeling the German had felt. How, after a long time of pain, loneliness and haunting for revenge, his time at the mansion with Charles and the kids was the first solemn time the metal-bender had since the death of his mother. Then there were the most recent once and the feelings the German had were more intense towards him.

"Erik—What—", started the telepath, only to be interrupted by a pair of fierce lips.

The German had pulled him flush against the broad chest, their lips meeting in a heated kiss. After a few seconds of shock, the professor reacted and slung his arms around the taller man's neck. Erik's hand wandered from the telepath's cheek to his waist, hugging him closer. A wanton moan escaped the professor's lips and his fingers played with Erik's hair. They parted for air and Charles leaned his forehead against his best friend's chest.

"And now...?", asked the younger mutant breathlessly.

"Now I suggest we hang a tie at the doorknob", grinned Erik and wriggled his eyebrows.

"Erik? Erik, where in the world are you with your thoughts again!"

The metal-bender groaned in annoyance and turned around, looking at the blue-skinned teen in front of him. Raven had one hand stemmed against her hip, glaring at him openly.

"In the past", answered the older mutant sharply.

Raven's eyes softened and her posture changed significantly. With slow steps she walked up to him.

"It wasn't your fault. If Moira wouldn't have tried to shoot you, it wouldn't have happened", murmured the shapeshifter.

"I still should have watched done something", sighed Erik.

"I miss them", admitted the blue-skinned girl.

The metal-bender only nodded. Of course they missed them. Even though they both missed Charles the most, they also missed the shy and clever Hank, the annoyingly mischievous Sean and Alex, the loud screaming and screeching and laughing. Even the mansion did they miss.

It also mainly had to do with something Charles had observed after he and Erik got together. The kids started to call them da-Erik and mo-Professor and after the telepath had picked their minds, he had blushed the deepest red possible and wasn't able to form any coherent sentences for the rest of the day. At the next morning it was that Erik could bribe his lover into telling him. Telling him that the teenagers, who had viewed them as role models before, had started to see them as mother and father, hence the strange name-meddling. The metal-bender had a good laugh out of that and Charles couldn't stop to stutter the first few weeks after the kids had officially started calling them mom and dad, but he was also rather proud of how found the teenagers had grown of them.

"If he just wouldn't be so stubborn", hissed the German annoyed.

He looked hurt and lonely, the difficulties between Erik and Charles had grown too big to overcome. The telepath was too obsessed with the idea that they would, one day, be accepted. And then there was the problem with Shaw...

"Azazel came back", re-directed the teen their conversation.

"Was he successful?", asked Erik hopefully.

"It... It seems that way. We just have to go and collect the mutant", nodded Raven.

Ever since the missile crisis, Erik and his team spend most of their time searching for a mutant with healing powers. Both he and Raven needed this, they needed to find a way to cure Charles.

Raven had spied on her brother every now and then in the past few months, always with another face, only one in a crowd, just catching glimpses of Charles and the boys. Discovering that her beloved brother was paralyzed was beyond shocking for them both.

"Well then, what are we waiting for?", grunted Erik and stood.

The duo hurried downstairs, collecting Angel and Emma on their way. The icy woman still needed time to adjust to the new changes. Angel, Erik and Raven worked like a family and tried to get her, Azazel and Riptide to loosen up a bit. It was hard work, but slowly the build-up walls faltered.

"What is it this time, Erik?", asked the blonde woman.

"Raven said that Azazel found a mutant with healing powers", answered the metal-bender.

She nodded in acknowledgment. It wasn't like she really knew Charles Xavier, but she knew what the man meant to those around her. Those who had rescued her from the government.

"Azazel, what do we have?", no pleasantries, right down to business.

"There is a boy – Warren, he is called – it's said he possesses the power to heal", explained the red-skinned teleporter.

"Then, what exactly are we waiting for?", asked Erik slightly annoyed.

Azazel shrugged, a half-smirk tugging on his lips, before he offered his arms to both Erik and Raven. The girl was eager to grab the teleporter and get going. However, the German send one last glare at Emma and Riptide.

"Keep an eye on Angel and, if anything happens, get out of here", warned the metal-bender.

"I know", snorted the blonde and rolled her eyes. "Really, Erik, I'm not a child."

The German nodded slowly, grabbing the offered arm and disappeared together with Azazel and Raven in a cloud of red mist. Emma waved her hand annoyed at that.

"It wouldn't be half bad if we had to get out of this rat-hole", grunted the beautiful blonde.

Riptide hummed in agreement and Emma rolled her eyes again. That man was nearly as talkative as a wall. No, she had, in fact, had better conversations with walls.

The next hour or so was spend playing a game of chess with Riptide. At least one thing he was good for. And, in lack of anything at all in their hideout, they played with ice figures. Each pawn that got beaten melted away. Somewhere in between Angel had come out of her and Raven's room and started observing their game, she too held her silence.

A loud thud and some stumbling noised were the first indicators that their friends had arrived back in their un-cozy little not-home. Emma turned around curiously, eying the new mutant. A young man, maybe around Raven's and Angel's age, stood awkwardly amidst them.

"This is Warren Worthington. Warren these are Angel, Emma and Janos", introduced Erik them.

"And where is this Charles you wanted me to look at...?", asked the blonde man after nodding everyone a little greeting.

"He's not here", answered Raven and played with her hands.

"Azazel will bring us to him. And, once again, I am very grateful that you can spare the time."

"It's not a problem, I'm always glad to help", declined Warren.

In a hurry everyone gathered around Azazel, grabbing each other's hands and the teleporter brought them to the Xavier mansion. While Raven and Erik looked at it with a nostalgic glance, the others marveled at it's beauty and how big it was.

"Now that's the way to live", approved Emma impressed.

Raven snickered slightly, she was highly amused by the supposedly icy woman and had started looking up to her like to a big sister-figure. The blue-skinned girl ran to the doors, closely followed by the others. Erik felt reluctant, he had left Charles alone on the beach and hadn't visited or called or written or contacted him in any other kind of way since then. He highly doubted that his former lover would welcome him back with open arms. Maybe he won't even take Erik's help.

"It's unusual silent", commented Raven confused. "Charles?" No answer. "Hank?" Still no answer. "Alex? Sean? Is anybody at home? It's me, Raven!"

"Raven?", asked a suspicious voice from one of the many rooms.

Reluctantly emerged the three boys and faced their... former family? Former friends? Newly gained enemies? They weren't so sure as to what they were now.

"What do you want?", asked Alex, standing bravely in front of his two friends, ready to attack if anything would go wrong.

He still vividly remembered how Darwin had died at the hands of some of those who stood in their living room right now. Even though Raven and Erik had been family, Angel had betrayed them too and it had cost them a good friend's life. He wouldn't risk loosing more of his family.

"We don't mean a threat, Alex", assured Erik, holding both his hands up in surrender.

"It sure seems that way, though. Seeing as it's three against seven", screeched Sean.

"We've only come to visit Charles. We've found a mutant that could be able to heal my brother", explained Raven, pointing at Warren.

"Well, then you can just turn around and leave again", growled Alex, his voice a mixture between sad and angry.

"What do you mean?", demanded Erik to know.

"He's... not here", answered Hank reluctantly.

"What? Where is my brother?", asked Raven nervously.

Hank motioned for them to sit down, indicating that this was going to be a long and unpleasant conversation. He, Alex and Sean sat down on one couch, Raven, Erik and Angel sat opposite them and the other four sat awkwardly onto the sofa.

"Mom – The Professor... He got... He got abducted by the government", whispered Hank.

"After all that he had done for them", hissed Alex in disgust, wringing his hands as if trying to control his powers so he won't accidentally destroy the living-room.

"When? How? What are you still doing here?", asked the shapeshifter confused and angry.

"Two and a half weeks ago", mumbled the four-handed boy.

"But until two days ago he had send us mental messages that he's alright...", murmured Sean.

"What – exactly – had happened? From the beginning, please", wanted Erik to know.

The sonic-voiced boy looked up at him with teary eyes before jumping into the metal-bender's lap and crying into his chest, murmuring desperately "It wasn't my fault, dad, please don't be angry at me!". The German wasn't sure how to handle the situation. Normally it was the telepath that dealt with feelings and such things, while he himself was more like the strict father. Slowly he laid his arms around the boy's back and patted him lightly.

"I'm sure that whatever had happened wasn't your fault", assumed the older mutant.

"Yeah, it was more like your fault", hissed Alex acidly.

Hank grunted warningly and Erik looked at him confused.

"Don't chide me, Hank", growled Havok. "You know I'm right! If Erik and Raven wouldn't have left us alone, then the Professor wouldn't have been so depressed lately and he certainly wouldn't have gone to that search only with Sean! He would have gone with Erik and Erik would have been able to protect the Professor and everything would be alright!"

Guiltily looking down, the metal-bender remained silent. It was Raven's turn now.

"What... What had happened to my brother?"

"Ever since... everything that had happened... the Professor had started widening his search for mutants in a different way", started Hank to explain.

"Who else is in this house?", interrupted Emma irritated.

The others looked at her in confusion and she rolled her eyes annoyed.

"I'm a telepath, too. I can feel the other minds in this house."

"Guys? Guys, it's... safe. You can come out", called the blue-furred boy.

Slow, cautious steps came nearer to the living-room, until two young children entered the room. A blonde girl, around seven years old, a dark-skinned, maybe four years old, at her hand with untypical white hair. The smaller child was sucking her thumb and the other girl sparkled a bit.

"Those are Ororo Munroe and Alison Blaire, but we call them Storm and Dazzler, the newest additions to our family", introduced Hank. "Girls, those are some... old friends."

Dazzler smiled at them brightly and Ororo tried to hide behind Hank. The blue-furred mutant stroke her hair soothingly and turned back to their former family.

"After what had happened", Hank didn't want to name the missile crisis in any kind of way. "The Professor cut our connection to the government."

"But what about Moira?", asked Raven confused.

"He erased her memories of ever meeting us", mumbled Sean.

He had liked her and was a bit sad that after they had lost Raven and Erik they also had to let her go. Sighing in sadness he ruffled Dazzler's hair.

"He started to search for younger mutants. Whereas he had found us more for the purpose of fighting together, he said that he came to the conclusion that we are more than a team, that we are family", the way Alex said family and looked at Raven and Erik made them look away in guilt.

"He said that after he had given us a safe home, he wanted to give the same chance of a mostly normal life for others, too. For other orphaned mutants. Before...", Hank stoked.

"Before the government takes them and starts to experiment with them", growled Alex.

Erik nodded slowly. So, in the end, Charles came to the same conclusion as him. That the humans would be a danger for them. Maybe everything could have been different if he would have stayed...

"There was a call, a call from another telepath, a young girl that cried for help. And mom, the Professor, couldn't ignore it. He told me and Alex to stay here and keep an eye on the younger ones, because it seemed to be an easy job", explained the blue-furred mutant.

"But it was a... trap...", continued Sean. "He... went with them willingly so they won't notice me..."

"You said... You said my brother had send you messages?", whispered Raven.

"To assure us that he was still alive and alright", nodded Hank.

"But two days ago...?", started the shapeshifter and let the question hang open.

The looks on the boys' faces darkened significantly, they looked down at the floor.

"He said... He said he was sorry and that he wants us to search for you so... we would have someone to take care of us", murmured the blue-furred mutant lowly.

"He did? But why would he?", asked Erik, not wanting to hear the possible answer.

"What do you think changed?", added Raven with wide, yellow eyes.

"I have a clue, but I'm not allowed to tell", answered Hank, writhing his hands and feet.

"Huh? What are you not telling?", edged Alex slightly aggressive.

"I promised mom not to tell!", squealed Hank.

"But he's not here and maybe he never will be again!", screeched Sean, tears shining in his eyes.

He sat between Erik and Angel. The Latina patted his shoulder tentatively. Hank's eyes glided over his family and he fixated Erik with sad and apologetic eyes.

"When I took care of mom's injury... he told me something. Something he had known for some weeks before... that. And he made me promise not to tell anyone, because he thought that after what had happened, we had enough on our minds as it was and he didn't want to bother you two."

"What? Why? I mean, we're family, we could have helped! Why wouldn't he tell us something important? Didn't he trust us?", screeched Sean unnerved.

"What's wrong with mommy?", asked Ororo in a silent, barely audible voice.

The ginger started to walk up and down in the living-room. He looked stressed and hurt. Alex stood and wrapped his arms around his little brother to comfort him. Hank sighed desperately, pulled the little white-haired girl on his lap and faced his two brothers, trying and hoping to explain everything so they won't be mad.

"It wasn't that he didn't trust us, it was more like that he hurt, badly. And telling you would have made it... more real and that would have hurt him even more. He used his powers to keep it a secret. And he said he had planned to tell us after Shaw would have been out of the way, but then... and he didn't want to burden us."

"What? What was it that he didn't even tell me? Why would he have wanted to wait until after the mission to tell us? And why didn't he tell you guys?", interrupted Raven.

The girl looked unnerved, her shape shifting uncontrollable. Dazzler looked fascinated by her constant shifting and edged closer to have a better look. Ororo snuggled deeper into Hank's embrace. Still standing in the middle of the room were the two boys, both looking expectantly at the blue mutant. Erik and Angel, too, looked likewise curious and confused. Their three new-found teammates on the sofa leaned in a bit closer, their curiosity picked by the secrecy of the blue-furred teen. Only Warren, who didn't know any of them really, shifted awkwardly in his seat and felt majorly displaced as he only came to help someone.

"He said we wouldn't have let him go with us if we had known before", answered Hank.

"Jeez, stop beating around the bush and spit it already, boy!", grunted Emma annoyed.

Everyone looked at her and she just shrugged irritated.

"I'm a curious person. I want to know what had him that desperate."

"What are you talking about, aunty Emma?", asked Angel confused.

Now it was her turn to shift uncomfortably. She folded her hands over her knees and faced them.

"While I've been imprisoned by the government, I got majorly bored so I channeled in to Azazel to know what's been going on with you. When he got shot, shortly before you guys left the beach, I've felt the wave of despair that he send unbeknownst to himself out. I've never in my life felt such great despair before. I want to know why he felt that way", explained the blonde woman.

It was the first time that Hank huffed in something akin to anger.

"Why, in the world, would he be desperate? Maybe because the love of his life left him, or that his sister turned her back on him, or was it the fact that he lost his ability to walk? He... When I examined him, after we came back to the mansion, the first thing he wanted me to check was the baby!", exclaimed the blue-furred teenager at least.

"What baby? What are you talking about?", asked Erik, trying to cope with the love-of-his-life-part.

"He's pregnant", stretched Hank exaggerated.

"This Charles... is a guy, right?", whispered Warren confused over to Emma.

"Uh... Yeah", nodded the blonde telepath equally confused.

"It's a mutation, part of his mutation to be exact", grunted Hank annoyed and rolled his eyes. "Like you are a telepath, but you also have the ability to manipulate ice and to change your skin into diamonds. He, obviously, has the ability to get pregnant, something he didn't know either since he never... well, did such things with another man before."

"But... You said he knew it weeks prior to our mission... Why did he never tell?", voiced Raven.

"Like I said, he thought we wouldn't allow him to that dangerous mission."

"That's bull, Hank. We would have noticed, I mean, how far is he? We would have noticed if he was pregnant. At least after all the shit that had happened. I mean, he must have, like, a baby-bum by now, right?", grunted Alex irritated.

"He used his ability to create the illusion that everything was still alright, even though it was far from it. And he's... he had been three months when he noticed and now... He's due, I don't know the exact day, but our calculations said sometime this month. That's the reason I fear he gave up. Maybe he lost the baby, or the... government took it", whispered Hank sadly.

"I... He had been carrying my child and I left him... God, he must think I'm the most awful person alive. Hell, I am the most awful person alive. Just because we had different opinions about the damn humans! I shouldn't have left! I shouldn't have left him! I shouldn't have left you kids!"

Erik burried his head in his hands, taking his helmet and throwing it against the next wall. Why was he being so stubborn? Just because he was afraid? Afraid of loosing them? Charles got shot because he had pulled his lover into his personal vendetta. And now that he had pushed him away, he may not only loose the love of his life forever, but maybe even their biological child!

"Shesh! How about you reschedule the dwelling-in-self-pity-part to a later date and we work on rescuing your precious professor?", sighed Emma exaggerated.

He looked up again and stared at the blonde woman in wonder. She only smirked in return.

"I'm a telepath, if I concentrate on him I can feel him and we can find him. Azazel can get us inside, we get your lover-boy back and then we'll all live happily ever after."

"I like her plan", voiced Dazzler, the little blonde nodded vigorously.

"Yeah, me too", grunted Alex, crossing his arms over his chest.

"You stop it right there", warned Erik.

The blonde boy raised one eyebrow, looking at the metal-bender challengingly.

"Don't look at me like that, boy! You kids will stay here, Emma, Janos, Azazel and I will go alone."

"What? But he's my brother!", screamed Raven enraged.

"Who do you think you are? You left us, after he hadn't been able to walk! And now you treat us like little children!", growled Alex angrily.

"SHUT UP! You're going to stay, that's my last word. Charles couldn't stand it if one of you got hurt!", declared the metal-bender definitely.

Before Alex could raise a havoc, his blue brother laid a reassuming hand on his shoulder. Erik strode, with self-conscious steps to the red teleporter, looking questioningly at Emma. She nodded at them and closed her eyes, pressing her middle fingers against her temples. It was as if the whole room held their breath in exasperation. Suddenly the woman went down, screaming at the top of her lungs in what must have been measureless despair. She opened her eyes hastily, clawing her nails into the soft carpet. Janos hurried to her and helped her up.

"The good news; he's alive and I know how to find him. The bad news; his mind is a blurred mess of pain and despair", explained the blonde woman.

The adults gathered and disappeared in a red cloud, leaving the teenagers and children alone. Warren shifted once again awkwardly, looking unsure at the others. He didn't know anyone, but the red-skinned man had promised him safety and others who were like him. The Latina sat down beside him, obviously feeling at least a bit displaced too.

"Hey, I'm Angel", she introduced herself with a shy smile.

"I'm Warren."

"Would you... uh... like to take a little walk with me? We could explore the garden!"

Her eyes gleamed and Warren found himself unable to deny her. A slight red dust laid down on his cheeks and he nodded slowly. She sprung up and grabbed his hand, leaving through the window-door they had come through. Once outside, she realized she still held his hand and let go of it like she had burned herself, her face flushed crimson.

"So... uh...", stuttered the girl. "What's your mutation?"

He shot her a surprised look, a bit weary and worried. Understanding downed on her face and she nodded, he wasn't used to somebody asking such a question. So she removed her jacket, showing her tattoos and slowly easing her wings out, flying a few feet above the ground. However, she misinterpreted his facial expression and got down again, hiding her wings in shame.

"No! They're beautiful!", exclaimed the boy hastily.

Looking up at him with wide eyes, she observed how he stripped down his sweater and unfolded his white, big wings. Cautiously she stroke the feathers.

"You have wings, too... I've never met someone with wings", whispered the girl in awe.

"Neither did I", chuckled the blonde male and offered her his hand. "Would you... Would you like to fly with me?"

The smile she send him was breathtaking and the two of them flew a few times around the mansion.

Inside the mansion, the atmosphere would have been able to be cut with a knife. Raven send glares to the door, angry at Angel for leaving her alone inside. The three boys looked at her wearily. Storm was sound asleep, snuggled into Hank's lap, while Dazzler was playing with cars on the floor, not minding the older children. It was Hank who broke the silence.

"Why did you leave? Both of you?"

"Because we had too big difficulties", whispered Raven. "Humans will never accept us the way we are and Erik and I have been the only ones to acknowledge this fact. You've decided to remain ignorant and naive, my brother had always only wanted to see the good in human nature. We would have clashed if we would have stayed."

"But... I thought we were family", murmured Sean sadly.

"We are, but can't you see that Erik and Charles had edged on in the past weeks? All they did was fighting because of Shaw and because of Erik's distrust towards Moira and the government. And then, when the humans wanted to kill us, my brother still protected them! Erik couldn't stand it any longer and neither could I! I've had to hide all my life, I'm sick of it!"

Silence fell between them, all averting their eyes so they wouldn't face each other. After a while, the super-sonic mutant looked at his former sister insecurely.

"I... don't trust the humans anymore, they've... it's their fault that mom got hurt and now they took him away from us, after all he had done for them... Can't you... Can't you stay and convince him that they're not worth the effort?"

She looked surprised at the ginger. Never would she have thought that she'd ever be welcomed back at home and amidst her friends-turned-family. The blonde boy behind Sean nodded in agreement.

"I miss you, Raven", mumbled Hank barely audible.

"I would... I would love to come back home, but... it's Charles' decision in the end..."

Slowly she sat down next to her ex-boyfriend, just to be pulled into a deep embrace. A kiss was brushed against her red hair and Hank purred contently. The silence that befell them this time was a shared silence, content and full of acceptance.

It lasted longer than they had hoped for. After half an hour Angel and Warren came back inside, holding hands and smiling at each other. The two sat down on the couch, waiting together with the others for the adults' return. Another half an hour later and they heard loud noises from upstairs. All of them ran up the stairs until they have reached the master bedroom, stopping short in front of them. Once they heard a baby crying, Raven opened the door.

There, in the middle of the room, stood the king sized bed. On top of it laid Charles, thin and skinny, only a shadow of himself, his dark hair even longer than back then when they've parted ways on the beach. Pale skin a sick grayish shade, dark circles under his eyes.

Azazel, Janos and Emma had backed off a few steps, their hair and clothes in disarray, evident for a fight that had taken place between the mutants and the humans.

However, on the bed, next to the unconscious professor, sat Erik, two bundles in his arms, rocking back and forth to calm the crying children.

"What... What's wrong with him?", asked the blue-skinned girl nervously.

"I would appreciate an explanation, too", whispered Erik, glancing at Emma.

"I've knocked him out", explained Emma, continuing after she saw the shocked expressions on the other mutants eyes. "The government had taken the babies away from him after the birth and he had rescued himself by creating illusions. Everything you saw when we entered his room was an illusion, cast by his messed up mind. That was the reason why no human was in sight once we came nearer his cell. Charles can't control his power anymore, he had been projecting his despair and anger and sadness to the whole wing, I've blocked him from us so you didn't have to feel these emotions. I had to knock him out, his mind is a big, broken mess right now."

The metal-bender looked over at his former lover, stroking the soft hair with one hand, as Raven took one of the babies into her arms. He turned pleading eyes to the blonde woman.

"Let him regain his consciousness."

"I doubt you want that, but if you say so", the telepath shrugged nonchalantly and released Charles.

The skinny man stirred, blinking in confusion, looking around the room until baby-blue eyes fell upon the metal-bender next to him, a soft smile graced his lips.

"Erik", whispered the professor, laying his arms around the taller mutant's waist, snuggling deep.

"I don't know what you meant, Emma", commented Erik, his fingers gliding through the dark silken hair of his younger lover.

The children gathered around them anxiously, no one seeing the sad look on Emma's face.

"He thinks that you're not real. He thinks that this, being back home with the children and with you and with his sister and with the babies, all of this is only another illusion cast by his ability."

"Is that... is that true, Charles?", asked the older mutant, looking down at his former lover.

"Doesn't matter that you're not real, as long as you're here", sighed the professor contently.

"Oh, Charles...", murmured the German and shook his head, pulling his beloved one closer.

"I've missed you so much, Erik, I just wish I could see you again..."

"But... brother, we are real, we are here... Erik and I came back for you and Azazel helped us getting you out of there", explained Raven desperately.

"It's alright, I know you wouldn't come back", smiled Charles and shook his head. "I just wish I wouldn't have let you leave us... You were right, after all... I just wish I would have listened to you, maybe everything would have been alright then, but it doesn't matter now..."

"How about we let the Professor rest for now?", suggested Emma and shunned everyone out.

It took weeks of Emma's mending and Erik's passion until Charles was back to his cocky self, or at least as much back to himself as possible. The mutants stayed together, as one family and the blonde woman briefly wondered how she had missed having a family and someone to care for all these years.

~*~ The End ~*~