September 13, 1974
"You're getting sleepy David," Moira said.
"No," David said, rubbing his eyes.
"David, it's your bedtime," Moira said.
David pouted. She saw Sean shake his head and smile as he finished up a puzzle with Terry. His broken wrist rested in a sling by his side.
"Come on," she said, "Go upstairs to your room, and your father and I will be in in a few minutes to come and read you a story."
David perked up, but he still looked somewhat unhappy.
"Any story you want," Moira said, "And we'll do voices."
David smiled and nodded. Sean put the last piece of the puzzle into place and got to his feet.
"Terry, come on," Sean said, "All in the Family's coming on. I know you love that show."
Terry nodded and jumped to her feet. Sean put his arm around his daughter and waved to Moira before leaving the room. She saw Alex walk past the room, narrowly avoidng running into Sean. Alex stopped at the last moment. He nodded to SEan and kept going. Sean paused for a minute before leaving the library and going into the study.
Moira frowned at the exchange.
"Mama, coming?" David asked.
Moira ruffled his hair.
"Your father and I will be up in a minute," she said.
David looked at her, frowning.
"Now?" he asked.
"A few minutes," Moira said.
David sighed and left the living room, his young face twisted into a pout again. Charles wheeled into the room as he left.
"He's getting impatient, isn't he?" Charles asked.
"He's always been impatient," Moira said.
Charles wheeled up next to her. He leaned over and kissed her lightly on the lips. He pulled back and Moira smiled.
"Quite unlike his father," she said.
One of her hands reached out and caressed his cheek. He closed his eyes at her touch. Charles brought up his hand and leaned into her hand, grasping her wrist. She couldn't help but smile. Moira could only marvel at the changes that had taken place in the few days that she had been back home.
He had made time for them, just like he'd said that he would. It wasn't just a temporary change either. He had divided many of his extra duties between Alex and Sean. Moira knew that he enjoyed many of those duties, and she'd timidly brought it up. Charles had stopped her, saying that he'd been choosing them more than he'd been choosing his family, that it was time to make up for that.
It wasn't anything that Moira hadn't thought as she'd looked at her marriage with anguish at the beginning of the month. However, hearing it come from Charles meant that he really was staying true to his word. She felt like she was falling in love with him all over again, the man who really was willing to try.
Moira knew that it wasn't taking much to repair things, not when both parties had come so close to losing everything. Sometimes at night she could see that same fear in his eyes when he held her. It had brought things sharply in perspective, although Moira wouldn't recommend it to anyone as a solution to marital problems.
"Now then," Charles said, "You took your antibodies, didn't you?"
Moira nodded. Ever since Sinister had attacked her she'd been receiving antibodies. Hank had put her on a strict diet of them after flying down briefly to assess her condition. She had to take a dose designed especially for her in the morning after breakfast and some before bed. He said that she should be able to stop taking them after another week.
It hadn't all been a simple solution though. The antibodies were just to make her body strong. They still weren't sure what the Legacy virus was. Hank had told her that he suspected that the effects of the virus would continue to plague her in some way or another for the rest of her life.
Currently she underwent random, painful headaches. They weren't too common, but they did happen. Sometimes she woke with unexplained aches and she tired much faster than she was used to. It was difficult to adjust to, but considering the alternative Moira couldn't help but feel blessed.
"I'm just making sure," Charles said.
"You don't have to mother me you know," Moira said.
"As you reminded me when you were pregnant," Charles said, "And do you remember what I told you?"
"That you couldn't help it," Moira said.
"Exactly," Charles said.
She reached out and tapped her nose.
"Try," she said.
"I'll work on it," he said.
The doorbell rang. Moira looked up, surprised. She got to her feet.
"I've got it," Moira said.
Charles didn't let go of her hand.
"Are you sure that you shouldn't rest for a few more minutes?" he asked, "We're reading to David, and I know that that can be tiring."
"Charles, if I say I'm fine, I'm fine," she said.
"You know what? This can be your chance to work on it," she teased.
Charles continued to look at her worriedly, but he let go of her hand.
"Thank you," she smiled.
Charles didn't say anything as she crossed into the hall. Moira opened the door, expecting that it was a delivery. It was an odd time for such a delivery to be made, but still. It was the only explanation she could give for someone coming to the Institute at such a late hour, unless it was a potential student. That would be a different issue altogether, and Moira began rehearsing the appropriate words of welcome.
She looked around and frowned. There was no one there. Moira wondered if some of the children from the local town had come up for a very time-consuming game of ding-dong-ditch. She frowned and shook her head, ready to close the door. Moira took another look though, and she froze.
Moira stared, feeling disconnected from the situation. It felt like it was happening to someone else. After a moment she gathered her wits together, along with everything else, and walked back, still feeling strangely disconnected. She paused once in the hall, shutting the door behind her with her foot. Trembling, she managed to lock the door and open the letter. She read it and closed her eyes.
She suddenly felt like she was back to herself, and it was a bad feeling. She looked at the library, knowing she would have to face her husband. Taking a deep breath she walked back into the library.
Charles was leaning back in his chair, his eyes closed.
"Who was it?" he asked.
"I think you should open your eyes," she said.
Charles frowned and did so. His eyes widened as he took her in. She could see shock ripple through him as she walked closer. Moira managed to hand him the letter. She remained standing as he read. The letter was only a few words long, nothing that would take more than a few seconds to read.
It was processing the information that took some time.
"This…this…my God," Charles said.
He slumped. Moira sat down next to him and, after some shuffling took his hand. He needed her.
"It's alright," she said.
"It's not," Charles said.
He looked at her, his expression dismayed.
"I…how could…?" he said.
"I don't know," Moira said.
She honestly didn't. It wasn't something that she could ever bring herself to do unless the circumstances were dire. Moira didn't think they had been.
"This isn't…" Charles said.
He looked one step away from crying. Moira gripped his hand tighter.
"It's alright Charles," she said, feeling like a broken record.
Charles looked again, his whole demeanor that of someone who had been given a bitter pill to swallow. It was close enough to the truth, and she could see that he was hurting.
"Charles, we can do this," Moira said.
"That's…that's not what I'm worried about," he said, "You know why it was us, don't you?"
"I can't say that I do," Moira said, her voice quiet.
Charles nodded, looking tired.
"If you put it that way," he said.
"You know how things were," Moira said.
"I do," Charles said, "And I'm sorry for it."
"I'm not sure how I feel about it, but it doesn't really matter anymore," Moira said.
"No, it doesn't," Charles said.
"The only thing that matters is what we do now," Moira said.
Charles began rubbing circles with his thumb on the back of her hand.
"What do you want to do?" Charles said.
Moira paused. Her heart swelled with the fact that he was giving her the decision, even though she knew it was going to be difficult for him. She hoped that it wouldn't matter in a little bit, that it would just be part of their lives. Moira knew that it would be like that in time. The first few months would just be a little painful.
"You know what I want to do," she said.
"Of course," Charles said, "Something I've always had trouble giving you."
She leaned over and kissed his forehead. It required a little maneuvering, but it wasn't too difficult.
"I've told you to stop talking like that," Moira said, "You've given me more than enough."
Charles managed a smile. Moira smiled, free of doubts. Only a few weeks ago she might have quailed at the prospect that had been laid before them. She had mourned their marriage, mourned the fact that they weren't what they had been.
Now she knew that their marriage and love was secure, even if the events that had happened to prove it had been hellish. It didn't matter, and she wondered if some higher power had arranged things for them to know that they were strong enough for this. The timing seemed perfect in an odd way.
She heard footsteps and watched in surprise as David walked into the room.
"Mama, daddy?" he said, looking petulant, "Story?"
He paused as he looked at them. His eyes widened and he squealed before running over.
"Thank you, thank you, thank you!" he said, bouncing on one foot to another.
David hesitated as he drew closer, but crawled up onto the couch, leaning over Moira's shoulder.
"David, give your mother some room," Charles said, his voice faint.
David shrank back, but only a little. He turned to them, his eyes shining.
"Mine?" he asked.
Moira swallowed before nodding. There wasn't anything else that she could do. They had already made the decision. She just wished David had let them chose when they were going to tell him.
"Of course David," she said.
"You didn't tell," he said.
"We were just as surprised as you were," she said.
David shrugged, his four-year-old mind not fully processing his mother's words. He stared for a moment more before looking back to his parents.
"Call?" he asked.
Moira swallowed again. She looked over at Charles who nodded, the letter still in his hands. It took Moira a minute to remember what the letter had said. Her whole mind was so jumbled with the weight of its implications. Still, she managed to make sure that her face was open and confident before she turned back to David.
"His name is Kurt," Moira said.
David smiled and peered down at the baby in Moira's arms. The baby's eyes were closed and he was swaddled in a gray blanket. His skin was the same dark blue as his mother's, the only other indication of his heritage besides Mystique's signature on the letter that stated his name. Three-fingered hands were clasped to his chest and Moira could just make out a tail in the folds of the blanket.
She looked back at Charles, who nodded again. Moira smiled at David, shifting Kurt in her eyes.
"Your brother's name is Kurt," Moira said.
A/N: Now it's time for the incredibly lengthy author's note. Charles/Moira is my favorite pairing, and they were the reason I started writing X-men fanfiction. The two have such diverse nuances in their characters that makes it worthwhile to explore them. Besides that, Charles leads a very complciated existance, pouring much of himself into his cause. It's interesting to think of a woman who could accept that as a part of him, stand by him, and form a strong marriage.
Which is why I used this fic to explore marital problems that could, and probably would, arise as a result of this. They're both strong people, but let's be honest: Charles has some pretty strong abandonment and inadquecy issues, and Moira is very independant. They live stressful lives which would put a strain on their marriage, especially when you throw a young child into the mix. However, I believe that they were strong enough to overcome this. It's one of the reasons why I love them: I don't think that either of them would give something that they wanted up just because it was difficult.
The introduction of the Legacy virus was something that I had wanted to include since 'My Father's Daughter' when I introduced Sinister. Technically Sinister's agents only released the virus in the comics: they didn't design it, but in this fic I wanted to show it as an extension of Sinister's obsession with the Summers. In the comics Moira did contract the Legacy virus, the only human to do so. There were various reasons as to why this could have happened, the comic never really clarified, but one possibility was because she gave birth to a mutant. She eventually died from it, but not in this fic.
Warren does have healing blood due to his being a Cheyarafim, an 'angelic' subset of the mutant race, just like the Neyaphim are 'demonic.' As for whether or not his blood can heal people with the Legacy virus, he once brought people back to life with it. I think his blood's healing factor has some untapped potential in a lot of these stories, but there is a finite amount. In the comics Azazel was the leader of the Neyaphem, but I'm using the movies as a basis, and I don't quite think that role works with the movie's depiction of him.
Speaking of Azazel, Kurt. I had people ask me the moment Azazel died in 'My Father's Daughter' about Kurt. As this last chapter proves, he will be making an appearance in these stories. All I'm going to say about his futre is that Kurt is still my favorite X-man.
Finally for my second favorite pairing, Alex/Lorna. I know that people have been curious about Lorna's back story in this particular universe, as well as the developing relationship between her and Alex. I'm planning three more stories in this series, making this a rather lengthy endeavor. The next story, 'True Colors,' will come out in two weeks and focus on Alex and Lorna.
Now, shoutouts! A special thanks to Princess-Amon-Rae, Knight of Wings, Whylime, and Fanatic4Fiction! Also, a special thanks to everyone who reviewed but block private messaging! See you all in two weeks!