Genosha is peace, and peace is all Charles Xavier has ever wanted. There had been a time in his recent past when he never would have believed such things possible; that despite the odd devotion he feels towards a man who should have been his enemy ten times over, peace was never something he'd expected. Erik had said it, years ago: Peace was never an option. Charles hadn't believed him, then, but things change.
And, truly, things have changed. Charles knows he and Wanda are the only ones with memories of Earth-That-Was. When it began, he'd tried to talk to the others, but they claimed things had always been like this. Mutants on top, mutants in the open, in control, and Genosha and the House of Magnus their guiding star.
Charles stands on the balcony of the palace, tilting his head to the sky. To stand is a luxury he'd never thought he'd fully appreciate until after the beach, but now on Genosha he stands as often as he can, just because he can. The stars twinkle in a sky unblemished by polution, the constellations of the Southern Hemisphere new and unfamiliar.
He feels arms wrap around his waist, a chin rest on his shoulder. "Are you ready for tomorrow?"
Charles leans back into the touch. "I suppose we'll find out," he replies blandly. He is no stranger to public speaking, of course, but on Earth-That-Was, he spoke to fellow scientists, or his students, never huge crowds of devoted followers, never broadcast across the entire world. "Though I still think you should be the one."
Erik Lehnsherr removes his arms from Charles and moves to stand beside him, leaning against the railing and looking out over his kingdom. "You need to make yourself known," he says, ghosting his fingers over Charles'. "This is your kingdom, too."
"Yours more than mine, Magnus," Charles replies, but he knows Magneto is correct. This is Charles' kingdom, his dreams and desires. He looks up at the sky again.
Turning to him, Erik gives him a curious look. "If you're to be believed, you're the one who made this a reality." His tone indicates he doesn't believe, not quite.
"It's what you wanted," Charles says. They've had this conversation before, both know their roles. He stops the script, leans against Erik. "Tomorrow will be fine," he decides.
"Come to bed," Erik suggests, tugging at Charles' hand, still so much like a child who wants his own way.
Charles' head tilts back. "I was admiring the stars," he says.
"The sky will be there tomorrow," Erik points out, "and every day after that."
Charles pauses, but allows Erik to lead him back inside. They pass Wanda and Pietro, gathering Wanda's children for bed - the children Earth-That-Was was destroyed for. Courtiers make wide gaps in their ranks for them to pass through, mutants of all kinds bowing and courtseying as they pass. Charles is reminded of the reading he has done about the old royal courts in Earth-That-Was, and shivers. Old royalty had a bad habit of getting violently overthrown. However, he senses no animosity amongst their followers, delves into their minds and finds only adoration, gratitude. He wonders if this was consciously his and Wanda's doing, or just a side-effect.
Erik leads him to their bed chambers and Charles stops thinking.
The next morning comes too early. Charles finds he is not ready, not willing to promise things it should be Magneto promising, uneasy with the idea of being a new public face of mutantkind. He has always been that way, glad his mutation is invisible, glad he does not have to endure the kind of discrimination Mystique, Hank, or Kurt must. Of course, that was on Earth-That-Was. Earth-That-Is celebrates those with obvious mutations, and people like Charles must prove their gifts so as not to be branded a sapien; a lesser.
Erik and his servants (sapiens) help him dress. When Charles looks in the mirror, he hardly recognizes himself. Fingering the lapel of his rich burgandy suit, he turns to Erik, bemused. "I look like you dressed me," he says.
"The House of Magnus has a certain... look," Erik responds. "Pietro picked it out, anyway."
Charles shares a smile with his dearest friend, and tugs again on the heavy cape clasped at the throat by a silver 'M'. "I can't believe you - or he - won't give up on the cape," he says.
"You cut a dashing figure," Erik responds quietly, ghosting his lips over Charles' cheek. "It's time."
Charles stands on the balcony and stares up at the sky, trying to ignore the thousands upon thousands of mutants gathered below, chanting, waiting for him to speak.
Hovering above the crowd are Magneto's Sentinals, used in Earth-That-Was to kill mutants, now used to protect them. Charles feels a sudden chill, the magnitude of the moment he is participating in weighing down on him. He remembers, from so many years ago, the vision Emma Frost had shown him of Shaw's ambitions.
"We are the children of the atom," Charles says, voice booming out over the crowd. He holds out his hands. "And we are the future!"
The throng roars, and Charles looks up at the sky.