Ah don't own Charles Xavier, his abusive step-father Kurt Marko, his
mother Sharon Xavier, nor Magneto.  Marvel Comics does!  God help them
all:(:(  This is a fanfic for entertainment purposes only and not
intended to infringe on any copyrights held by Mavel Comics, Time/Warner
or any others.  So please don't sue moi!  *eeeppp*

Rated PG-13 for some not *too* graphic domestic violence and a few
naughty words.

This story was written in response to Alara's Childhood Challenge!  And
yes, Ah know the chronology is off!  So sue moi:):)  Who knows how
telepathy actually works?  Perhaps time has less meaning to a telepath.

By: Dannell Lites

"You leave my mother alone!"

The back-handed blow was casual, delivered with almost no anger and it
sent the futilely struggling boy flying back across the large, elegant
room to land in a crumpled heap against the curved legs of a Louis XIV
table.  The Viton lamp sitting atop the now rocking antique table
teetered and then fell from the smooth marble top, crashing to the
parquet floor with a small explosion of tinkling, shattering crystal.

"Stay away from me you little freak!" Kurt Marko snarled at his moaning
twelve year old step son.  One long leg kicked out and buried itself
deeply in the determined boy's ribs.  With a gasp of pain Charles fell
back down to the floor and lay there.  Trembling hands rose to his high
domed forehead when he felt the warm sticky trail of blood crawling down
his face.  Gulping, he stared at the blood.  But he did not cry out.

Charles Xavier had learned many a hard taught lesson not to do that.  It
only angered his brutal step-father more, it seemed.  So, gritting his
teeth, he held his silence and prayed for the storm of rage to pass him


"Kurt, please!" the still reeling Charles heard his mother plead through
swollen and bleeding lips.  "Let the boy alone!  It's me you're angry
with!  Me!  Not him!  Puh-please .. "

"You're damned right it's you I'm angry with, Sharon!" exploded the
wrathful scientist.  "How many times do I have to tell you, for God's
sake?  Are you really that stupid?  If I'd known that I'd never have
married you in the first place!  Not even for all your money!  Damnit,
woman!  You *know* I want dinner to be waiting when I get home from the
lab.  I work hard all day; I put up with a lot from those idiots to
provide for you and that worthless brat of yours!  I deserve to at least
be served my supper on time, wouldn't you think?  But can you manage to
do even such a simple thing as that?  Hell, no!"

To empathize his point more vividly he shook the despairing Sharon
Xavier like a rat locked in the ruthless jaws of a terrier.  Her low
keening cry of terror galvanized Charles.  Climbing in slow, painful
stages to unsteady feet, he struck his murderous step-father from behind
as hard as his small fists would allow.  Again, a casual backhanded blow
was his only reward for his frantic, chivalrous defense of his hapless
mother.  Then, as ever, he was ignored.

"NO!" The cry was torn from his raw throat.  "NO!"  Scrambling to his
feet yet again, he felt something slammed him back down to the floor
once more.  His world exploded in a frightening, dizzying kaleidoscope
of pain and confusion.  He clutched at his temples and cried out against
the agony.  It didn't help.  Still felt as though his head were about to

And then, from deep inside something coiled and awaiting blessed release
*pushed* it's way outward.

The pain in his head was gone, now.  Happy, almost giddy, with relief,
the boy watched in befuddlement as his step father release the
victimized Sharon Xavier as though the hands that abused her held
burning cinders and not soft, vulnerable flesh in their angry grip.

The nuclear scientist grabbed his own temples, now, and sank to one knee
like a pole-axed steer in a slaughter house.  A deep moan escaped his
tight lips and Charles blinked back bafflement.


What had happened - ?

But the twelve year old was given no further time to contemplate the
mystery of it all.
a flash, his tormentor was again upon him, teeth set in rage, pounding
Charles' head into the hardwood floor.  He saw his terrified mother seek
dubious shelter behind their antique Louis XIV sofa.  Somehow, though,
he doubted that Marko had forgotten her.

He was right.

The last sound his ears brought to him, before the darkness descended to
claim him, to carry him away on its dark tide, was the dull slap of
flesh hitting flesh and his mother's loud echoing cry of answering pain.


The dream took place slowly and stubbornly refused to leave him.

He was walking down a strangely familiar and yet unfamiliar street.  He
shivered, not entirely with the cold of the morning air, he suspected.
The cobblestones beneath his feet were ancient, Charles could sense
that. And it was a pleasant, safe feeling, indeed.  His family had lived
in this town for generations.  For a moment  confusion overwhelmed him.
If this was his family's home, why, then, did he not recognize any of
these streets, these houses?  Westchester, New York this was most
definitely not.

The steps that propelled his long, coltish legs down the
familiar/unfamiliar street were slow and plodding ones.  Reluctantly, he
was headed home.  Sadness clouded the sharpness of his young mind.
Today the Nazi's had told him, along with all the other Jewish students,
that they were no longer welcome in the gymnasia.  Schools and learning
were reserved henceforth for proper Aryan students and not the likes of

Things were so different since the Nazi's came.  His few non Jewish
friends were gone.  Vanished like morning mist in the burning sun of
Nazi control of the town.  Everyone was so afraid these days.  It
pervaded all their lives like a foul miasma, constricting the lungs and
freezing the heart.  Everyone spoke in such hushed whispers and crept
about like hunted mice.  And people were disappearing, swallowed whole
by the darkness of the night.  Where was Haim, the grocer?  Lujak, the
cobbler?  No one seemed to know.  And no one spoke of them.  It was as
if they'd never existed.

"You must be careful, Erik, very careful.  You are forbidden to leave
the house unless one of us is with you.  Do you understand, my son?"
said his frightened father.

"Yes, Papa."

As always Opa Moshe, the Rebbe, preached patience.

"This, too, will pass," he prophesied, like Moses Our Teacher for whom
he was named.  "One day the Nazi's will be gone like all the others.
The Egyptians, the Babylonians, the Assyrians, the Romans ... all gone.
But *we*- we will remain.  We endure.  We always do, don't we?  We are
God's Chosen People.  He will not abandon us.  It is but another test of
our faith.  We must pray to Him and help one another through this dark
time.  This, too, shall pass ... "

Erik hoped so, but grave doubts were already growing in his turbulent
young mind and spirit.  It was difficult for him to see his small sister
Anya cry so much. To see his widowed Tante Rizpah seek the solace of
laudanum "for my nerves".

It was troubling.  He was lonely.  And now he was sad about the
gymnasia.  His Gypsy mother was a good teacher.  Who, now, would she
teach, he wondered in momentary despair.  'She will teach you and Anya,
at home, now,'  Charles heard himself think and felt better for it.

Lost in thought, he did not notice until too late, the other, older boys
dogging his reluctant footsteps.  In silence, he cursed himself for
that.  Perhaps his father was right about not venturing out alone.  He
should have waited for his mother, he knew.  But such caution rankled
him.  So he did not notice the others until his world was engulfed in
the soft mushy feel, the acrid stink of the animal feces that struck him
full in the face.

"Juden!  Schmutzige  Juden!"

"Filthy Jew!"

Charles was not quite certain how he knew this; that the German word for
filthy was schmutzige; but he did. He barely had time to think that he
really must study German (it was such a structured, logical language!)
before the trio of older boys were upon him.

He fought back as best he could, but he lost.  Soon, they left him
laying in the street, his clothes ripped and torn, his considerable
pride bruised much worse than his young body.  Grimly, he pulled himself
to his feet, wiped the blood and shit from his face, and continued his
determined journey to the small, neat house near the center of town.

When she saw him, his tender-hearted mother cried out in dismay.  But he
would not let her cry for him.  He would not.  He rejected her
comforting arms, stormed up the stairs, and locked himself in his room,
nursing his wounds.

"One day," he vowed to himself, his hands in hard fisted knots at his
side, "one day I'll be stronger.  *Then* I'll fight them.  They'll never
hurt me or mine again!"

He was learning very, very quickly.


Charles woke to the sound of his mother's incessant weeping, invading
his consciousness, driving out the dream that had briefly claimed him.
The air of the lavish living room hung heavy, redolent with the pungent
aroma of alcohol.

His mother was drinking again.

The latent young mutant closed his eyes.  Why did she do that, he
wondered in rising anger?  Why couldn't she be stronger?  It was *she*
who had brought that horrid pestilence that called itself a man, that
Kurt Marko, into their lives, their home, in the first place!  Why!  Why
couldn't *he* be enough for her?  WHY?

He lifted his hand to his tender, throbbing forehead and it came away
tacky with the fading residue of drying blood.  Frowning, he tried not
to notice the handful of golden blonde hairs that came with the blood.
Charles bit his lip.  He'd been losing quite a lot of hair lately,
hadn't he?  His morning ritual of brushing the once thick sunlight
colored mass often left the lavatory full of loose, lost hair, these
days.  When he woke from his frequently disturbing dreams his pillow
shone in the morning light, bright with the reflected glory of the
golden hair that covered it.

What was happening to him?

And the dreams!

Charles was resolute, refusing to allow himself to dwell upon his
dreams.  It was true, being Charles Xavier, just now, was no great
privilege.  No doubt there was some twisted Freudian significance to the
fact that he was always someone else in his own dreams.

Like the boy with the strange silver colored hair, just now.


'But *my* name is Charles,' he insisted firmly, but not without some
small bit of fear to turn his belly cold.  'I'm Charles!  "Erik" is just
a dream!  A dream!'

What was happening to him?  What??

Still, if there was indeed significance to his wandering sense of
identity in his dreams, all his research into the endless fascinating
depths of psychology had failed to uncover it. He resolved to study
more, harder.

He righted himself in the comforting confines of the plush sofa with a
small moan.  And instantly regretted it


Her voice was slurred with drink, throaty with the harshness of it.
Charles set his lips in a grimace of distaste.  His mother was weak.
Very well.  Then he must be strong for her.  Something deep within him
railed at the necessity.  Rising, he swallowed his anger whole; a grim
unnourishing meal, indeed.  But an increasingly familiar one.

He watched in dismay as his mother re-filled the Waterford crystal glass
once more, burdening the still air with the warm, peaty scent of
expensive Glen Morangie scotch.  The dark amber liquor gleamed sunnily
in the thick glass as Sharon Xavier raised it to her puffed, distorted
lips and Charles' stomach rolled over in threatening rebellion.  Once,
he had remembered that smell with nostalgia, delight even.  His father
was an abstentimous drinker, but he insisted upon the best.  Now, it
only made him nauseous.  It only shamed him.

Sharon Xavier smiled.  "Don' worry," she mumbled into the glass she
clutched so tightly in her hand.  "'s gone ...  Won' be back f' hours
... "

Charles softened when he saw the tears that fell absently into her
glass, melding, blending with the fine single malt whiskey she drank.
When the glass fell from her nerveless fingers, shattering on the
polished parquet floor, his anger melted away with a sibilant hiss and
he clutched at her as she slipped to the floor with a sob.

The buzzing of enraged bees seems to fill his senses for an instant.
Time and space melted as he gasped and cried out, holding on to his
mother even more tightly, an anchor in a swiftly crumbling,
deteriorating world that filled him, now.  The boundaries between them
disappeared in a sickening lurch of disorientation and he sank
noiselessly beneath the roiling, tumultuous sea of *he*.

Crushing loneliness gutted him, leaving him a rotted empty shell like a
long neglected, condemned building waiting for the wrecking ball to
strike and end its misery.  'Brian!' the thought invaded his mind while
tears spilled down his chilled cheeks like hot, molten rivers.  'Brian!
Why did you leave me?  Why?  You promised me you never would!  You

He knew, then, knew deep in the cells of his body, where there is no
safety nor denial, that for Sharon Xavier the death of her husband was
the end of her world.  Brian Xavier *was* her world.  Like most other
young women of her era and social class, his mother had always assumed
that she would marry.  It was what women did.

Ravaging further into his teeming mind came memories.  Brian's touch ...
the sound of his voice ... his warmth of his smile ... the cold
emptiness of the bed they no longer shared when she woke in the lonely
depths of the night.

The cold emptiness of her *life* without him.

And, as suddenly as a flickering shadow, the beast of her endless grief
was beaten back into its cave.  Replaced by another warm, bright smile,
another comforting, tender touch, another voice to fill her days and
nights ...

<Sharon, please don't do this to yourself.  Brian was a good friend.  I
miss him, too.  But he wouldn't want you to shut yourself away like
this.  You're a beautiful, desirable woman, Sharon ... >

<I love you, Sharon ... >

<The boy needs a father.>

And it was good ... so very, very *good* not to be alone.

And the fear.  Oh, God the fear!

<I'll kill you, Sharon!>

The guilt.

<Why do you make me do these things, Sharon?  For pity's sake, why?  I
don't want to.  I don't!  Why can't you simply do as I tell you?  Why?>

*Was* she responsible for his anger?  She must be. 'Perhaps if I ...'

The guilt that assailed Charles now was cancerous, eating him alive from
the inside.  Tearing at his heart and mind ripping him with the sharpest
claws imaginable.

"Mother!" he cried.  Was it aloud?  He didn't know.  Or seem to care.
"Mother, I'm sorry!  God, I'm so sorry!  I - I never knew.  I thought
you were weak and thoughtless for not standing up to him; for not
sending him away, for even bringing him into our lives in the first
place.  I was wrong.  I understand now!  I do."  His legs gave way under
the burden of her weight and they sank to the floor.

And like a star going nova, just that quickly, that unexpectedly, he
*was* alone.  Alone, blessedly singular, cowering within the frail
sanctuary of his own mind.

He embraced her tightly.  Him.  She had done it all for him.  The
marriage, enduring the blows  .. All for him.  Like Atlas struggling
under the weight of the world, he shouldered his new burden.

"I'll make it up to you, mother," he promised her.  A vow made with all
the intensity and sincerity that only a twelve year old, teetering
shakily on the edge of maturity, can muster.  "I'll make it up to you."


And under the rapidly darkening skies of an ominously embattled Europe,
separated by miles and the passage of years, a young boy named Erik
Lehnsherr woke from a strange, troubling dream of being a wealthy
American youth plagued by an abusive step-father.

The End