~2 years later~

Charles found a few other gifted people, and convinced them to listen to his ideas. Some of them were unsure about learning anything from someone so young, but Erik helped convince them that there was more than learning to be done. He explained to them the importance of keeping their powers under control and away from most other humans.

Charles happily brought his new friends to his childhood home and was delighted to witness the astonished looks on their faces. "This is yours?" One of the other mutants asked.

Charles smiled at them all. "No. This is ours. Come now, I'll show you around." He led them inside. He gave Hank the room nearest to the science lab, Raven was given the room closest to the kitchen, and Alex got a room by the elevator to the basement. Darwin picked the room across the hall from Alex's, and Sean got one on the top floor. Erik took the room next to Charles' and immediately informed Charles of his intention's to create an adjoining door for them. By the time everyone was settled, Raven was already cooking dinner. She was, by far, the greatest cook Charles had ever encountered, and was currently preparing rice to go with the chicken she had in the oven. Hank was sitting at the table, watching her cook with a dazed sort of expression on his face.

"That smells amazing, Raven." Charles said, taking a seat across form Hank. Erik sat beside him and draped his arm protectively around the back of Charles' chair.

"Thanks Charles. It should be ready any minute now." She opened the oven to check the chicken and Hank nearly fell out of his chair at the sight of her short skirt riding up her legs. Charles kicked Hank under the table.

Alex and Darwin walked in just as Raven placed the chicken on the table. "Perfect timing!" She exclaimed. "Get it while it's hot!" She put plates down on the table and everyone started eating in near silence. When they were all done, Raven decided to inform them that she refused to do the dishes. "I did the cooking. One of you boys will have to take care of those dishes for me."

Charles quickly established a routine in the house. After breakfast, there was a class about general control that everyone would sit in for, then everyone would get private sessions about controlling their specific power. With Hank's help, Charles also set up a computer lab for them to study courses. The computers were equipped with lessons for every subject they could find, and provided a full education without the hassle of paying college tuition.

As the weeks went by and Charles only managed to scrape together a handful of mutants, he appealed to Hank for a faster means of tracking the others down. "I can't keep going places and sitting there just hoping that a mutant will walk by." Charles told Hank one day. "There must be something we can do to enhance my ability."

"I've been meaning to show you this plan I was working on." Hank admitted with an embarrassed smile. "It's far from complete, but I had been thinking about the disadvantages to your telepathic reach." He brought Charles into the lab and sorted through a few drawers before finding the one he was looking for. The blueprints for a device were laid out in front of Charles, outlining an impressive dome with a great many notes scrawled in Hank's impatient handwriting. "I don't know how we are going to build it, but if it works, it should enhance the distance that your mind can touch."

Charles, delighted with this news, told Hank to come to him if he needed any help with the designing of the device, but secretly knew that Hank would manage much better on his own.

"Charles, Alex had a little accident in the basement." Erik had entered the room silently, but neither Charles nor Hank were surprised to see him. Nobody around the mansion jumped anymore; they knew that Erik would only allow Charles out of his sight for a few minutes before showing up.

Charles sighed. "Enjoy your night, Hank. I will see you tomorrow for lessons."

"He was trying to focus the energy using one of Hank's inventions." Erik explained as they began walking to the basement. "He managed it, by the way. One line of energy straight to the target. Of course, the target is equipped to withstand the power, but we didn't think to Alex-proof the walls. I stopped the fires, but Alex is angry with himself for causing the explosion, and I'm not exactly the best person to talk to for emotional outbursts."

Charles laughed. "So you came to get the mother of the house," he teased, using the nickname the other mutants had given to him when they discovered the way he worried about taking care of them all. He reached up on his toes and gently touched Erik's cheek with his lips. I'll only be a few minutes. Wait for me?"

Erik pinned him against the wall and kissed him. "Just hurry up."

Charles smiled and went into the basement to see Alex glaring at a blackened wall. "You did well today, Alex."

"I nearly burned the mansion down."

"I hardly think Erik would have allowed that. Come now, Alex, this is what we try to do. I told you to focus your power, and you did just that."

"I could have destroyed the house!"

"It will take much more than this," Charles gestured to the small section of blackened and burned wood, "to destroy this mansion. I tell you to practice here because it is the safest place for you. There are protective layers in the walls to prevent fire from spreading. Alex, this is what you are supposed to be doing. If you don't practice, your power will never grow. If I thought that your power was too dangerous, I would not allow you to practice here."

Alex shrugged and picked up a charred harness in front of him. "Hank tried to design something for my power, but I destroyed it. And almost destroyed the house" He dropped the thing and kicked it.

"You should bring it back to Hank and see if he has modifications for next try." Charles suggested, ignoring the comment about the house. Realizing how futile his attempts were, Charles used his power to locate Darwin and asked him to come to the basement. He had barely broken the connection when Darwin was rushing through the door.

"Alex." Darwin muttered, his hand going under Alex's chin. Lifting his face, Alex seemed to shrink with shame, but Charles knew that Darwin would heal Alex's hurt better than anyone else could. Charles slowly walked out of the room, trying not to disturb the silent communication the two boys were having with their eyes.

Erik grabbed him by the arms and pinned him to the wall. Charles twined his arms around Erik and kissed him. "I was only gone for a minute." He whispered when they finally broke for air.

"I don't like when you're not next to me." Erik whispered back, his eyes showing vulnerability that he only allowed Charles to see.

"I'm not going anywhere, Erik." Charles pushed them off the wall and pulled Erik along the hallway toward their rooms.