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New Beginnings, Harder Struggles

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"Charles, please explain why we are doing this again?" Erik Lensherr asked exasperatedly.

"Erik for the last time," Charles responded patiently. "There is a little girl with special talents and we want her to attend the institute."

Erik snorted as he continued to push his friend forward in the wheelchair. "In this rundown little place?" Erik asked skeptically, gesturing towards the small town they found themselves in.

"I'm sorry Erik, do you see any palaces around here that I may have missed?" Charles Xavier asked sarcastically. "Yes, the child we're looking for lives nearby."

The two mutants made their way to a house on the left of them. The house seemed as old and as rickety as the rest of the town. As they got closer, Erik took note of the yellow chipped paint. After leading his friend over to the door, Erik went through the motion of knocking on the door.

Sookie Stackhouse got up from her seat in the kitchen and walked to the front door. Her grandmother and her older brother, Jason, watched her with interest.

"Sookie?" her grandmother called. "What are you doing sweetheart?"

"Someone is coming to the door," Sookie explained. "Two someones." As if to emphasize her point, Sookie opened the door to reveal the visitors that were just outside.

Erik awkwardly lowered his hand as he studied the little girl who opened the door. 'Strange,' he thought. 'Almost as if she knew we were coming.'

"Well I didn't actually know that you'd be coming," the girl shyly explained, "… but I heard you coming."

Erik raised an eyebrow, while Charles smiled benevolently. "That's quite alright."

"Sookie? Who's at the door sweetheart?" Adele Stackhouse walked towards the door and noticed the two young men in front of the door and noticed the two young men. "Well hello. Is there anything I can do for you?"

"Hello, Mrs. Stackhouse. My name is Charles Xavier," Charles said before gesturing to Erik, "and this is Erik Lensherr. May we please come in? There is something we must speak with you about."

Adele nodded her head. "Alright." She gestured for them to come inside. "Please have a seat in the living room. Is there anything that I can get you? Sweet tea? Lemonade? Water?"

"No thank you, Mrs. Stackhouse," Erik answered evenly, his stare completely fixed on the little girl that answered the door. When Mrs. Stackhouse walked into the kitchen, Erik finally turned his attention to the man in the wheelchair. "Another telepath Charles?" The metal controller whispered angrily. "When did you find out? And why didn't you tell me about this before?"

Charles usually told him the mutant abilities of the children they came to retrieve if he had an idea of what they were." "I'm sorry my friend." Charles had the decency to even appear remorseful. "I was just so excited that it must've slipped my mind to mention it."

Erik sniffed disapprovingly. "Don't let it happen again, Charles. It's not appreciated." Charles smiled serenely. Sookie balanced on her feet in an uncomfortable manner.

"I'm sorry," she mumbled, eyes downcast.

Eric turned to face the little girl again. "What are you apologizing for, little girl?" he asked softly.

Sookie started blinking rapidly. "I just… I can't control it… I try but…" The little girl was on the brink of tears.

Erik's countenance softened. He lowered himself on one knee so that he was eye-level with the girl and held her shoulders. "Now listen to me," he whispered to her. Sookie slowly met his eyes. Her tears sliding down her face without interference. Erik wiped them away. "You have nothing to be ashamed of," Erik told her. "Your powers are not something you will ever need to be ashamed of."

At that moment, Sookie felt a slight tug from the pocket of her sundress. Sookie looked to see what it was. She watched in amazement as her quarter levitated out of her pocket and into Erik's hand. Sookie wiped her tears, never taking her eyes off the coin. "You will never feel shame again," Erik swore. Sookie looked then at the man in the wheelchair, but he didn't look at all surprised by the events that occurred. Instead, he continued to smile warmly as his wheelchair came closer. He grabbed her hand.

'Erik is right you know,' the man said, his lips never moving. 'There is nothing wrong with the way you are.' Sookie just continued to look at him until her Gran returned with Jason in tow.