Chapter 1: The Arrivals
Chapter 1: The Arrivals
Charles smiles and nods at his only older brother walking up the steps to the mansion, taking his hand in a warm handshake, “Hello Max, it’s jolly nice to see you again, glad you could fit this into your schedule at such short notice.”
It was a rather mild early December afternoon, and Charles had been waiting outside the large front doors to the mansion for his extensive brothers to join him in the annual Xavier Christmas Dinner. With so many brothers it was difficult to get one time they could all come home, and this year it had been organised rather last minute.
“Well this is family, and you know how these dinners go when I’m not around to keep everyone under control. Is err…” Max’s eyes shifted to one side for a moment looking around the building, “Is Wesley here yet?”
“Max.” Charles warned in a lower voice, “We’re not going to end this family get-together with an arrest now are we?”
“No…at least not today.”
Max had been hunting Wesley ever since he’d found out about him turning into some damned freaky super assassin, and Wesley kept on evading him, but Charles had made him promise that when they all get together for a family event that they put their jobs behind them. Max would give Wesley a days head start after they left, then it was back to business. He wouldn’t ruin things for Charles though.
“Do try and get along. Yes he is here, he’s in the study trying to get Martin to stay in one spot.”
Max raised his eyebrows at the knowledge that their second youngest brother was actually here, “So Wesley found him did he?”
Martin was rather the lost sheep of the family, disappearing for most of the year doing things that everyone knew about but rarely acknowledged. Being a heroin addict and a rent-boy was hardly something their mother had been proud of and to her dying day had never spoken to Martin ever since he ran away from home at 15.
“Yes, but you know what Martins like, the poor boy was almost dragged back here. He just doesn’t want to be here.” Charles’ voice was solemn and filled with regret that he could never reconcile things with their misguided brother. He’d tried frequently, but the only time he could get to him was these Christmas dinners, and only after Wesley had found him and dragged him home, and as soon as Wesley was home he never left Charles’ side, he missed his few-minutes-older twin brother. This meant that getting Martin alone was next to impossible, and after being dragged back home by Wesley, Wesley was not a favourite brother of Martins.
Max laid one hand on Charles’ shoulder in comfort. “I’ll talk to him. But first I’d better go and rescue him from Wesley.”
Charles nodded again and watched his brother walk through the front doors, just as the crunching of the gravel drive started again as a grey Dodge Challenger car pulled up next to Max’s police car.
Johnny stepped out from the passenger side, followed by his twin Nicholas out of the driver’s seat, closing the door with a bump to his hip, looking just as smug as always, Johnny half hidden behind his Fedora hat.
“Hello you two.” Charles smiled happily, because although knowing once these two got together his mansion would be full of mischief over the visit, they reminded him a little of himself when he was younger. Well, Nicholas did, as for Johnny, well, Charles never stole things from family. Johnny looked up at him in that moment, and Charles wondered for a second if he’d projected that thought.
“Charlie!” Nicholas hugged him tightly, his Scottish accent as strong as always, “That lovely Raven still here?”
Charles resisted the urge to bat Nic’s even more floppier-than-his hair, “Please stop trying to sleep with your sister.”
“She’s not my sister! We’re not related, and she’s extremely attractive.”
“Fine. How about that slender hunk of an Erik?”
“Will you get inside please!”
Nicholas was even more of a slut than Charles was his age, and according to Erik that was saying something. Every visit Nicholas would try and get into someone’s pants, usually Erik’s or Raven’s, Moira when she stayed for Christmas one year, and even one freaked out Alex who’d opened his door one night to go and get a glass of water and found Nicholas standing outside completely naked and holding a condom in his mouth.
In Alex’s sleep deprived state he’d thought it was Charles, and let go a scream so loud it could have rivalled Sean’s.
Now though with Charles’ stern face that Nicholas really needed to stop trying to sleep with Erik, after all they had been together for some time now, Nicholas held up his hands in defeat, a sneaky grin still on his lips, “Alright I’m going! Come on Johnny.”
“Hey.” Johnny said in a quick greeting, his eyes bloodshot and tired looking, but still managing a small smile.
“Hello Johnny,” Charles greeted as Johnny walked past, “And my brother, I love you, but please stay away from the fine china this time. And the library?”
Johnny’s smile turned rather sheepish but didn’t say anything, just continued following his twin inside.
Every time Johnny came round Charles would find expensive things missing from around the mansion by the time he’d gone, plate sets, small statues, rare books, anything that could fetch a big price in a pawn shop so Johnny could fuel his gambling addiction. Still Charles had heard from Nicholas during the year that he thinks there might be a girl in Johnny’s life, so Charles hoped it would start a positive vibe in Johnny’s life and maybe start getting him off the gambling track.
Charles only had to wait a minute longer before a yellow New York cab made its way up the drive, coming up right in front of him at the bottom of the steps.
“Ch-Charles!” a nervous Valentin greeted his cousin the moment he stepped out the back of the cab, Joe appearing from the other side along with Brian, who must have been squished in the middle of them on the back seat.
“Valentin my dear how are you?” Charles hugged him tightly, giving a few good pats on the back, “How are things in Russia? Doing well?”
“Oh yes! I have so much to tell you about! He is such a fascinating man, I just-” Valentin suddenly paused, Charles smiling an all too knowing smile as he waited for his cousin to sneeze. And sneeze he did. “I’m so sorry.” Valentin apologised as he got out a handkerchief, “Travelling, i-it makes me nervous.”
Charles patted him on the back and guided him to the door, “I can’t wait to hear about it all, head on inside, everyone else is already here.”
Valentin wasn’t a brother but a cousin, but he looked so much like all the other brothers that everyone outside the family had always assumed he was one, and Valentin was happy with that assumption. He was ever so nervous though, too much bullying from Wesley and even Max when Max was going through his rebellious teenager stage. Still, nothing hard core, all brothers fight, and Valentin was just happy to be accepted as a brother, though these get-togethers tended to make him sneeze in nerves.
“Charles!” Suddenly Charles’ arms were full of his excitable youngest brother Brian, decked out with scarf and gloves even though there was only a slight breeze outside.
“Brian, my darling Brian!” Charles laughed, “How’re your studies coming along? I hear you’re close to getting on University Challenge, is that right?”
Brian stepped back and nodded enthusiastically, “Yes! And you’ll have to test me! You know everything Charles so you’re the best person to practise with!”
Brian was their youngest and most adorable of brothers. No one had anything bad to say about Brian, he loved every one of them and they all loved him back. Everyone went out of their way to make Brian happy, even Wesley.
Although sometimes even sweetness can get on peoples nerves, and an irritable voice sounded from the back of the cab where Joe was hauling out all the luggage, “Brian how much luggage do you need?! Get down here and take some of this most of it’s yours!”
Brian headed back down the steps to the cab and helped Joe carry their luggage, and Valentin’s, whom everyone knew would go into a guilty hyper sneezing fit when he realises he forgot to help with the luggage.
As Joe walked past Charles with a nod and an “Afternoon Charles”, Charles eyed the small silver case he was carrying.
“Those aren’t knives are they?”
Joe just looked at him, raised an eyebrow, and walked on.
Joe had a habit of bringing half his kitchen, the dangerous half, with him to cook their Christmas dinner. Charles had every piece of kitchen cutlery and appliances you could think of, but no, Joe had to work with his own equipment.
Joe didn’t get very far though when a white blur suddenly barrelled into him knocking all the bags and his case from his arms, the case breaking open and as Charles suspected, five large and very sharp kitchen knives splayed out along the ground. The white blur turned out to be Martin, legging it down the steps away from Wesley calling out after him. Charles immediately went after him, raised his fingers to his temple and Martin froze just past Brian, standing there looking shocked at the sudden commotion trying to not to fall over with all the bags he was trying to carry.
‘I’m sorry to do this to you without your permission but please just hear me out Martin. Please don’t leave, I know you don’t want to be here but all of us do want you here. We really do little brother. We love you, please don’t run away, just stay for dinner, then we can sit down and spend some time together. We’ve missed you. I miss you Martin.’
Charles could slowly feel Martin relax, though rather reluctantly, so cautiously released his hold on his body. Martin then turned around, looking sourly at his brothers, Charles, Joe, Wesley and Brian, before hugging himself with crossed arms and glowering at Brian for simply being the closet to him,
“Fine.” He deliberately pushed past Brian knocking the boy into the back of the taxi making him drop all his bags too, grumpily walking past Charles and mumbling, “I don’t have to be telepathic to know none of you want me here.”
Max arrived at the door just as Martin went to step through it, and as Martin looked up at his oldest brother he quickly looked away, hurriedly walking past knowing Max had seen the tears in his eyes.
A short silence fell upon the brothers, before a struggling Brian covered in bags asked with a trembling lip, “Why does he hate me so much?”
“Oh, Brian no.” Charles was instantly by his side, helping him up and taking some of the bags, “He doesn’t hate you, he’s just….” Charles sighed, how many times over their lives had he tried to talk to Martin, to get him out of the life he’s dug himself into, “…he just needs help, that’s all, and as his brothers we’re going to love him and help him,” Charles turned to his other brothers with eyes narrowed, “aren’t we?”
Joe just shrugged, picking up his knives, while Wesley swore and went back inside.
‘I’ll have a chat with Martin now, I don’t want this continuing.’ Max thought for Charles to hear, who nodded in response.
“Don’t forget to pay the taxi Joe.” Charles reminded him as he helped the upset Brian up the steps, “And please put those knives somewhere up high and out of reach of hormonal teenagers. And Wesley.” Charles added as an afterthought, calling out with his mind to Erik somewhere in the house to let him know his brothers have arrived, and to prepare for the mayhem that was sure to happen.
Joe just watched them disappear into the house, “Do you want me to poison you?”
Max found Martin back in the study that he'd ran from, rummaging around in one of Charles’ many alcohol cabinets scattered throughout the mansion. He stood in the doorway for a moment watching his younger brother take a good full long swig of what looked liked Whiskey, before putting it back in the cabinet and flopping down in a large brown leather sofa near the French windows, glaring up at Max from under his eyelashes just daring him to say anything at all to further piss him off.
If there was one thing about Martin that Max was proud of, was at least he hadn’t turned into a raging alcoholic like their mother had been, and like Charles might as well be (though more in the fun way, if being a fun alcoholic was even something possible). In a world of drugs and sex at least Martin had avoided that route as well, taking the one gulp and leaving the bottle in the cabinet. Had that have been their mother the bottle would never have made it back there.
"You know being a cop in this family is hard.” Max began, keeping his eyes sharply on Martin as he moved into the study, standing behind a matching brown leather armchair opposite the sofa, “I have to turn a blind eye to a lot of things. Johnny and his thievery, what you get up to,” Martins fingers clenched into his white jeans, “not to mention the fact that Wesley is a murder on who knows how many counts, but do you know why I turn a blind eye to it?”
“I don’t really care.”
“Because no matter what everyone gets up to we are all still family, and with our parents dead we have to look out for each other, because there’s no one else who will.”
Martin kept his eyes fixed to one side on the floor, arms now wrapped around himself in his well known defensive stance, an irritated pout on his lips. No one said anything for a little while, Max not wanting to push Martin too much and just letting his first words of conversation sink in, before Martin decided to point something out.
“You don’t turn a blind eye to Wesley,” he mumbled, “you still hunt him down.”
“Wesley is an exception I can’t ignore, but I still put it to one side when seeing everyone at these dinners, mainly for Charles’ sake, you know what he’s like being a pacifist. Wesley is, it’s very…” Max sighed loudly before running his hand through his hair, “conflicting, hunting down your own brother.” And it really was. So many times he’d questioned whether or not this was the right thing to do, whether or not he’d actually arrest Wesley when he found him. He was his brother, but the cop part of him could only see all the faceless murders he’d committed, regardless of whether the men in question deserved to die or not.
Max sensed it was safe enough to move a little closer with Martin’s start on the conversation of Wesley, and walked around the chair sitting down in it, leaning forward resting his arms on his knees. “It’s probably why I haven’t caught him yet, part of me doesn’t want to.”
“It’s not that simple, but Martin the point is regardless of my issues with Wesley is that you and I and all of us here are brothers, and as such we love each other and look out for each other. I know your childhood was…not how it should have been, and I’m sorry, I really am very sorry that it forced you to run away and turn to the life that you’re in now, but Martin if you’d let us help you, stay here at home for a while, you know Charles would be more than willing to give you money and anything you needed-“
"Stop trying to be a Dad.” Martin interrupted, finally looking at Max though his eyes were narrowed, “It's all I've ever got from all of you…when you could be bothered to notice I existed.”
Professor Brian Xavier had died when Martin was only 13 months old. He didn't remember him, and it's why their youngest brother had been named for his this father, as Brian had died 3 days before little Brian's birth. All the older brothers had pitched in to be a father figure to Martin and Brian, but Brian being the newest and youngest most of the attention was lavished on him, and poor Martin grew up watching Brian being cuddled and cooed over while he stood alone. Anytime anyone did pay him any attention it just felt to Martin like they were only doing it because they had to, that Martin was really just in the way, and he began resenting his family for it, hence why he ran away from home. It was a feeling he'd never grown out of.
"I'm not trying to be Dad, Martin.” Max said softly, “I'm trying to be an older brother who’s worried about you, but you have so many barriers up you won't let any of us care about you.”
Martin looked away again, and Max could see his eyes beginning to shine again. He regretted so badly how they’d all treated him, none of them even realising they were doing it until one afternoon when Charles and Johnny had been kicking a ball around with Brian in the estate grounds that Charles had suddenly stopped, looked back towards the mansion and simply said, “He’s gone.”
Martin had somehow grown up alone in a house full of brothers, and now not surprisingly he was too prideful to want any of their help. Even though he knew he needed his family more than ever now his life was going down the drain, but he wasn’t going to give them the satisfaction of knowing he was pathetic, that he couldn’t make it out in the real world on his own.
“All I ask is that you think about it.” Max said quietly, “It’s never too late to get help from family, and we all want to help you.” He paused for a moment, choosing his words carefully, “We all love you Martin, despite what you might think, despite how you grew up. We’re all sorry, and we all want to make it up to you.”
Martin still refused to look at him, seeming to sink further and further into the sofa, so with a hint of a sad smile on his lips Max rose from the chair. He’d said what he wanted to say, hopefully Martin would take the time before dinner to think about things and calm down a little, and then maybe, with a little bit of luck, would take the first step to ask for help. It was a big thing to hope for, but still Max hoped it.
As he walked back towards the door though Max suddenly stopped, a memory flashing in his mind, one that gave him an idea. He turned back to Martin with a small smile.
“Would you like me to make you a hot chocolate?”
Martin pulled a face close to disgust and glared up at him, “I'm not a kid anymore!"
Max couldn’t help the flash of a warmer smile on his lips. Even at barely 20 years old Martin was more like a kid than he realised, "Martin, do you want it or not?"
Max counted it as a small victory when the glare in Martin’s eyes softened just that little bit, and with a huff he pulled his legs up onto the sofa, curling in on himself.
"-sweet.” Max immediately finished for him, having been waiting for him to say it, Martin looking back at him with a hint of surprise in his eyes, “Yeah, I know, I spent half my teenage years carrying you around everywhere, remember?"
Martin had had the worst childhood out of all of them, but not all of it had been bad, and with a smile from Max as he left to head to the kitchen Martin’s urge to run away again while no one was watching had vanished, and instead he just remained curled up on the sofa, staring out of the window.
Erik had just gotten dressed from having a shower after a training session with Alex when he’d heard Charles’ voice in his head, ‘My brothers have arrived, be prepared for the usual mayhem my friend’.
Erik wasn’t exactly the most patient of men and these yearly dinners with the Xavier brothers often tested that patience. But Erik never backed away, never disappeared for the weekend, he was here for Charles’ support, though often not really doing anything aside from watching from the sidelines as all the Xavier’s hounded each other, and then be there at the end of the day for the exhausted Charles to collapse upon, sometimes quite literally (and more often than not ending in a blowjob, or more, to help him relax).
Most of the brothers he didn’t have a problem with, Brian being his favourite (though he was always everyone’s favourite) and being the only one other than Charles that he’d play chess with. With Max there was a mutual respect, and although certainly polite to each other never really had much to talk about. Nicholas’ yearly attempt at trying to sleep with Erik was more amusing than irritating, because as if Erik would ever sleep with anyone aside from Charles, and watching Nicholas thinking he was being flirty and sexy was nothing compared to what Charles could get up to at full flirt.
Valentin he certainly had no problems with, though the man tended to sprint from the room whenever Erik walked into it. He’d asked Charles about that once and Charles had laughed, saying that Erik scares him, but Erik said he couldn’t help being who he was and Charles had just laughed again and kissed him, saying not to worry about Valentin, it didn’t take much to scare him.
Johnny and Martin were very quiet and rarely shared two words with Erik, but it was Wesley that Erik had a problem with. In fact it wasn’t even really that Erik had a problem with him, it was Wesley that had a problem with Erik. Erik didn’t know if it was just a twin thing where Charles’ relationship with Erik made Wesley think Erik was taking Charles away from him, but from the moment they first met Wesley had taken an instant and fierce dislike to him. To the point, in fact, that Wesley had tried to kill him on several occasions, or at least maim him in some way. Last year Erik had walked around a corner and found a large butchers knife flying towards him, Erik immediately using his powers to turn the blade to the side where it flew into the wall. Erik had called Wesley an idiot, for he always used something with metal in to try and hurt him, knives, gun and bullets, even a letter opener once. Erik’s powers were always at fully heightened sensitivity whenever Wesley was around, but in a way Erik rather enjoyed it, it was a like a full on training session for himself, as Charles refused to shoot him at point blank range.
Erik had to admit he liked provoking Wesley, it was almost something he went out of his way to do when all the brothers came for a visit, and as he left his room freshly showered making his way down to the main hall he knew he had what Charles had always called his shark smile on his face.
He entered the main reception hall just in time to see Max disappearing down a corridor towards the kitchen, when suddenly he felt a warm presence standing behind him.
“Well hello there Erik.” Dr Nicholas Xavier came into view as he sauntered past Erik obviously deliberately closely, brushing their arms together as he did, “Long time no see.”
Aside from the obvious similarities in face and height, you could very easily tell that Nicholas was related to Charles for the simple reason that their lecherous smiles were absolutely identical.
“Nicholas I’ve told you before, I’m with Charles,” Erik began without even so much as a hello, “Stop trying to come between us.”
Nicholas just pressed his lips together, that slutty smile still tugging at the corners, watching as Erik gave him a pointed look before walking past him. Erik may find Nicholas more amusing than irritating but irritation was still there, and right now he wanted to find Charles, or Wesley, whichever came first and for entirely different reasons.
“I like a challenge Erik!” Nicholas called out to him, never one to give up a chase even if his prey already did belong to his brother.
Just then another Xavier came rushing past him, Erik turning to look just as Valentin raced through the hall towards the front doors, “Oh no no no I forgot the luggage! AT-CHOO!”
I incorporated two gifsets I made ages ago into this fic.
1) Erik's little line to Nicholas which you can find here: http://starrose17.tumblr.com/post/35812993526/starrose17-i-like-a-challenge-erik
2) Erik calling Wesley an idiot with knives here: http://starrose17.tumblr.com/post/38269224248/shut-the-fuck-up-lehnsherr