Disclaimer: I own nothing, but my original ideas
A Half Played Game of Chess
The world outside the window is black. The children are in bed and the house is quiet save for the occasional pop of the fireplace. On the table is a glass of wine just poured and untouched. Beside it is a half read book with a picture of a waterfall as a bookmark. A Godsend, the title reads in big bold print. It isn't a book he would normally read, but as the days turn cold Charles has found himself in the need of miracles. If reading a book is the only way to get it, he would settle.
Across from the fireplace and in-between two red chairs there is a chess board set on the coffee table. A half played game waits to be finished as the pieces collect dust. Once upon the time, the pieces, both black and white, would have glittered in the fire's light, but now the light only further illuminates the grime. The students, Hank in particular, often offer their services to "clean it up if it isn't too much trouble, Professor." But Charles can't bring himself to let them and he can't force himself to do it either.
Next to the chest set is a newspaper from this morning. It's the New York Times and on the front page is a blurry picture of a woman with blue skin, wearing nothing and a man with a pointed helmet and cape. There standing next to each other, hovering over the ruins of what was once Time Square. Above the picture reads the title: "Mutant Terrorists Attack Washington, How will this affect the government's decision to create a school for mutants?"
It's written by a woman names Emily Bonds and her brother, Edmund (Legion to his friends), is a mutant with the ability to duplicate himself. It is a fascinating mutation and he can create at least six clones without getting sick. Charles has plans to double that number by the end of the week.
Charles pulls away from the window and back to the wine glass he had set down minutes earlier. He swirls the liquid before taking a small sip. His left leg aches and his cane seems heavier than usual. It's wood is from the Baobab tree with the head of a kite as a handle. Ororo's grandfather had given it to him on his last visit.
"The kite flies free," he says with sympathy in his eyes as he glances at the metal cane Charles is leaning against. He holds the cane out with one hand, the other holding a small parcel that kept Ororo's things, "Remember that."
Collapsing into the chair besides the fire and in front of the chess set, he sets his glass down on the side table and looks over at the newspaper where he can see Raven smirking and Erik sneering before turning his eyes on the chess set.
Tonight marks the third anniversary of the last time Charles touched that chess set.
Three years ago had been before Cuba. A time when he had a sister to smile with and a best friend to laugh with, when he could walk with both legs and no help.
It seems more than three years though. More like a lifetime, back when there was a Charles Xavier instead of a Professor X.
The article in the paper tells him the Supreme Court will be holding off their decision for another week so to review the new evidence presented by the opposing side that might slide the judges to their favor. His lawyer has promised him that it's a load of "bullshit," but that he had all ready created a counter argument just in case.
Tomorrow he would have received a phone call telling him that he was allowed to open his school with funding from the government. Tomorrow he would have officially hired Logan, Trevor, Howard, and Sophia as teachers of the new school. Tomorrow the students would have no longer been labeled as drop-outs, but members of an elite boarding school designed for the purpose of helping mutants of various ages from 5 years to adulthood master their powers to their full extent in a controlled, safe environment. Tomorrow he would have been welcoming fifty-six new students, four of which were orphans and six of which were above the age of thirty-five.
But according to the paper, tomorrow he would have to tell everyone, including those four orphans who would have to be sent back into the system and those six adults who had been living in fear of their gifts for the past thirty-so years, that they would have to wait another week because his former-sister and ex-best friend decided that today was the best time to attack Washington.
Charles glared at the chest set.
For the past three years, it has been collecting dust and waiting for a move that would never come because Erik had left. For the past three years, as pathetic as it sounds now that Charles is willing to admit it to himself, he has been waiting for Erik to come home and make his move.
He stares at the newspaper article where Mystique and Magneto stand side by side, proud of their achievement as millions of city dwellers run for cover from the destruction of their city.
He turns back to the chess set.
For the past three years, he's been wondering what he did wrong, what he could have said that could have convinced Raven and Erik to come home. But, it's time for him to realize the truth.
Reaching over, he knocks his king over with the the tip of his forefinger and as the piece falls, something else click into place. Tomorrow he would tell Hank to clean up this mess and throw the old chess set away.
Because the truth is that Raven and Erik died that day in Cuba, and it was time for him to stop mourning their memories.