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Even as he contemplated death, Life had a way of shoving its face in front of him and demanding his attention.

As he heard the Scarlet Witch tend to her brother, and heard Pietro whisper desperately to him, - " Don't give up yet, Xavier!" - he was reminded of children. Unlike Magneto, he had no biological children of his own. But the band of ragtag youths that had grown to become the X-men had become his family, replacing the one he lacked. It would be hard, to let them go.

They were his precious children - Scott, Jean, Bobby, Hank... and he did not want to lose them.

Perhaps, Family too, was what kept him alive.

In times of crisis, it was his X-men who were his greatest source of strength. As much as his Dream did, they too drove him forward. And in that sense, Magnus and I are alike, for we are not driven only by the dreams that are our own, but the dreams and hopes of others as well.

And that is why, he thought wryly, we have never ceased in our conflict against one another.

Doubts lingered on, but for now, at least, he would not kill himself.

The Machine towered over him, laughing at his decision, at his cowardice.

The lights came on.


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