It wasn't love at first sight.
They didn't hate each other but their opinions weren't too high.
Eddie had always considered Charles too posh, too manipulative and his grin caused her to gag.
Charles had seen Eddie as stuck up, a sarcastic girl who passed judgment far too quickly.
They'd spoken once or twice. Eddie had been pulling her hair out on a Math assignment and Charles, with his charming smile and wide eyes, offered to help.
They'd only spoken once or twice in high school.
Eddie had seen him drinking and dancing drunkenly at a party on one of her first nights at university. She'd stopped an older boy and asked who Charles was, fully aware it was him but making sure anyway.
The older boy had shrugged, a grin soon covered his face and called the dancing young man the apparent life of the party, Eddie have him a questioning look and he nodded over to the girls he was dancing with and the others who were staring at him.
She'd shaken her head, smiling as she realised with some degree of happiness that some things did not change.
Charles was drunk. Dancing and drinking and kissing girls who he knew found him attractive. His head was spinning and the alcohol had somehow let the thoughts of those around him fill his head. He could the blood pumping through his head; he heard how that girl cheated on that boy and how that girl wanted to fuck him and how that man secretly found him attractive and how nothing was important but the room was spinning and his head felt it was exploding. He felt light headed, his throat hurt and he saw that no one thought anything of him; he was the drunk attractive guy getting it on with 3 different girls.
Charles ran out of the bar, his legs feeling wobbly and tears blurring his vision.
He threw up in a dumpster, his hoarse cruel laughter echoed as his forehead collided with the cold metal of the rubbish bin hard. Charles couldn't feel the pain because brad was pissed that Ebony kissed his best friend, Henry.
"You alright?" A Scouse voice called out behind him.
Charles turned around and lazily fumbled off the ground to stare at the newcomer.
Thoughts and images filled his head instantly.
Yes, he knew this girl.
Helped her with her math. Went to high school with her. Haven't seen her since.
"Better." Charles said although he wasn't. He felt worse, if that was possible.
"I don't think you are." Eddie said. One eyebrow raised in the way Charles remembered he hated in high school. Judging and horrible, he'd hated it.
"Charles." Eddie called out, her voice and mind thick with concern.
"I'm fine. I just needed air."
"I don't know if you remember me-"
"I do. And you remember me apparently."
"Why did you run out of there so fast?"
Charles didn't answer. He was tired and his head hurt and his back hurt and his forehead hurt and he didn't care that Ellie's mum and dad hated each other and he certainly didn't care that Eddie Parker cared about him.
Eddie Parker wasn't a very understanding girl, especially to those she hadn't seen in years and those she hardly ever talked to even when she saw said person every day. But she saw Charles eyes and she remembered how they were supposed to be wide and blue and flirty and charming, she hadn't known what happened to him during the years she didn't see him. Rumours spread around the school after his step-father had died when Charles had come to school with an easy smile. Eddie hadn't put that much thought into it to be honest but when looking closer the darkness that had disappeared when he first walked into the school was back.
Eddie wasn't one for being quiet but she elected to try as she sat down next to Charles, who had slumped down, leaning against the dumpster. Eddie sighed and hit Charles in the ribs for no reason other than to actually feel him there, to know he was still sitting there next to her.
"Let's just stay here." Eddie suggested lightly.
Charles didn't say anything, didn't even look at Eddie only looking straight ahead at the night sky.
They stayed there for five hours. Sitting next to each other and chuckling when they received funny looks from people passing by.
"You should say thank you." Eddie said as Charles finally said it was time they left.
"Should I?" He said teasingly, Eddie couldn't stop a smile from forming on her face when the charming glint returned to his eyes.
He should be happy. Eddie thought she didn't know why he should have. She hardly knew him but something in her thought he deserved at least that.
Charles smiled brightly. He lifted a hand and waved lazily at Eddie before walking down the street.
Eddie stared after him. It was rather like a scene out of a movie she thought. Charles walking off, hands in pockets and she was sure there a grin on his lips. And her smiling after him, like some dame in love. She'd laughed at that, she was certain she heard Charles laugh too if that was possible.
The next time she saw Charles was in the hallway of their university, he smiled. She suddenly thought of all the others times she had ever saw him smile and she groaned inwardly as she realised how cute he was. She wasn't in love, oh God no please don't ever think that oh my God, Eddie had a crush. Not a proper one, oh no but more of a crush like: hey, I'd really like it if you ask me out but I mean you don't have to but it would be really cool if you did…..just saying, ok cool.
Charles had never saw Eddie as amazingly good looking. Her green eyes were dull, and her hair was too short, she wasn't the thinness girl he'd ever stared at, more like Marilyn Monroe, she was pretty but in a July Garland kind of way. People often overlooked her because there were girls that were prettier than her.
It took a few months, a few months of awkward conversations (neither mentioning the 5 hours they had spent sitting against that dumpster), a few months of Eddie mentally slapping herself for thinking Charles was 'perfect' until Charles finally came to the conclusion that Eddie Parker was the most beautiful girl he'd ever laid eyes on.
Raven noticed how distracted Charles had become over the past few months and as her role of his sister Raven knew it was a girl. She'd laughed at him but Charles was happy, happier than he'd been since they left their childhood home so there wasn't any poison in the laugh, only affection.
Charles tried his hardest to stay out of Eddie's mind but he always caught glimpses of her thoughts. Whether it was funny thoughts that flew in her head such as how grasshoppers had sex, or things like 'what if legs didn't know they were legs?' Some were sadder; the ones that broke his heart were thoughts that surrounded around her inner thoughts, the ones she thought about when they weren't talking. She was sad, not depressed but sad, she thought too much and as much as Charles wanted to alter that part of her mind he didn't because he refrained, he had to hold his mutation down because he wanted to help so much but his powers couldn't help, not with something to precious.
Oh God he was babbling again, babbling to himself and oh God she was staring at him. Out of the corner of her eye she was staring at him, affection clouding everything about her and God she was thinking and thinking. Charles felt his face flush when 'perfect' flouted through her mind.
"Can I ask you something?" Eddie asked instead of voicing her thoughts which Charles isn't surprised and happy she didn't.
"How is it that you always look like you know everything?"
"You have that look about you. It annoys me."
Charles laughed at that.
"Oh sorry my face annoys you Ed."
"I'm sure you are darling."
"Don't 'darling' me"
Charles smiled at, he flicked Eddie's arm and something flashed in her mind and she kissed him.
Eddie's hands landed on Charles' shoulders and his hands instantly flew to her waist holding her securely, his mind felt light and the only thing he could think about was how soft Eddie's lips were until perfect flashed through her mind again and he stopped.
"You gotta stop saying that." Charles whispered.
"What?" Eddie asked her face red and insecure. "See! I knew you knew everything."
"Eddie." Charles said. His voice sounded hoarse and his eyes sad and Eddie was reminded of the night she stared at Charles for five hours and how his eyes were so terribly wounded and sad.
"I know what you're thinking."
"You can read me that well, uh?"
"I know what you're thinking." Charles repeated and Eddie's smile slipped off her face.
"I can, I've always been able to. Not just you but everyone. Sometimes I can't control it and sometimes I can but I know what you-what people-are thinking."
Silence. Horrible, cold silence.
Charles could hear the flow of his blood and Eddie could hear her heartbeat.
"How? Wait no-what? Charles-"
I can't help it sometimes. I know what people are thinking no matter how hard they want to keep it secret. How perfect is that?
Eddie's eyes widened, her hand flew to her mouth. She stuttered, laughed, shook her head then laughed again.
"You're a telepath? Like in those movies, those fictional movies."
"Talk to me properly goddamn it."
"Why are you trying to scare me off?"
"Are you scared?"
"Have you been reading my mind for the past few months?"
"I've been trying not to, but Eddie-"
"Then you know what I think."
She kissed him again. Her hands held his face, her eyes tightly shut but her mind open like a book.
You're perfect. Better than perfect. You're an idiot but that's ok. Don't push me away not when you're kissing me like that. No when I'm kissing you like this.
Charles didn't reply, he kissed her back and tried to hold back the laugh that threatened to spill from his lips. He didn't reply, Charles instead gave her all his happiness and all that he was feeling and he felt like a soft sod and he felt horrible when he felt Eddie's tears fall on his face but they didn't stop kissing. Not until the need for oxygen grew too strong.
"I thought I was a freak." Charles said.
"You are not a freak. God, you're not a freak."
That's when it got moving, faster than it had before.
Charles felt himself ease into Eddie's mind and she welcomed him willingly. He could feel both of them fall in love.
Eddie met Raven on a Friday night. She screamed when Raven transformed into Charles and danced around the room like loon but then she laughed, a split second later she laughed and stuck her tongue out at Charles and Raven grinned because her brother was in love and the girl wasn't too bad.
They shared everything; they were in love in only the way young, first lovers could be. They talked about all things and when words weren't enough they used their minds.
Charles thought he was a freak and Eddie didn't believe she could be happy. Simply being with each other didn't change it but the love they showed each other did. They weren't perfect because Charles was stubborn and Eddie was sad but they were enough for each other. Happiness was enough.
The time they spent together wasn't long, not in the big scheme of things. 3 years wasn't long, although even if they'd spent 50 years together it wouldn't have been enough. Time spent with those you love hardly ever does.
Cancer was a fickle thing. Charles hated it, Eddie hated it even more.
It didn't even take a month.
Charles was racing around trying to get all his work for school finished when a friend ran into his room, checks wet for both Eddie and Charles.
"She's dead." Was all he could muster up in words.
"I'm not ready for this." Charles mumbled over and over again as he ran out the door.
He didn't run to the hospital, he ran to a bar and got drunk. He slid against a dumpster and laughed until Raven found him then he cried. Cried like he'd used to cry when Cain would hit him and push him down the stairs, he howled like he used to when Kurt would punch him and run tests on him. He held his head and sobbed like he used to when his mother died.
He was in pain.
The letter helped him.
Which he'd found a week after.