Disclaimer: I do not own X-Men. Marvel does.

A/N: X-Men: First Class. Obviously no one can deny the Charles/Erik chemistry.

Takes place right after Erik gets away, as the realization and pain set in for Charles.


It was empty.

The pain swept through him in waves - crackling down his spine like small jolts of tumultuous lightning, washing over his mind in an endless tsunami. He couldn't focus, couldn't think - the voices he could hear were nothing but nonsense, nothing but senseless - nonexistent, but there.



Angled wrong, sitting wrong, completely wrong. His body was seized, his blood burning - racing - dazzling, searing flashes of light taking place of his vision. His eyes were open, but he could see nothing. Was he under water?


He couldn't breathe anymore.

"Charles... Charles." Someone was calling to him - he was resting on someone. Someone warm, familiar. But not right. He didn't know. He always knew. This wasn't right.


Another rush of tearing pain. The soft image of stunningly haunted eyes that held more strength than his own.


His back was wet. His back ... but nothing else. Something missing. Something else. Something light against his cheek, trembling.



Erik! His mind surged, piercing through the pain, the lights. To the image of the person holding him. Brown hair, brown eyes. He couldn't make it out. ErikErikErikErik. He jolted, trying to reach him, trying to make it clear.

"Professor." Professor? That ... that was him. That was him. His eyes darted over - a glimpse of blue with a hesitant, yet commanding voice. This was wrong. "Try not to move."

"Charles?" He turned back, back to Erik. He needed to tell him something was wrong. Needed him to fix it. Erik could fix it.

But the eyes were wrong.

Moira. Not Erik.

Not Erik.

Again his body jolted, trying to get away, trying to bloody fix this, find Erik! but something was wrong.

"Professor, don't move!" Hank. Not Erik.

"I can't." And he choked out those words, a tinge of hysterical laughter with them. His mind hazed over again, like a bandage trying to cover a wound - the gap in his mind, where he had been just minutes before. Just minutes.


"I can't move," he whispered, and the laughter was gone in a violent burst of realization. Gods, he couldn't fix this. "I can't ... I can't feel my legs." He closed his eyes against the reappearing lights. Only silence enclosed him now. "Erik?" Desperately. Please. Damnit, please! The voices picked up again, darkness invaded his mind. "My legs! I can't feel my legs. I can't feel..."



It was hours later, in the haven of an abandoned Florida cabin in the dead of night, that he finally allowed his fingers to slip over the protective metal that covered his head. Fingers still covered in blood that had now dried.

Charles' blood.

Erik closed his eyes tightly as he lifted the stolen helmet from his head, waiting for the familiar jibe of the telepath's mind. The warm, soothing presence filled with bad jokes, laughter, and affection. Or anger, he expected now. Anger, disappointment.

But nothing came.

"Charles?" He called out softly, eyes still closed, voice low enough not to wake the girl with the tear-stained face sleeping only feet away. Charles' sister, whose hand he had grabbed with her brother's blood. "Charles. Please. I'm so ... I'm so sorry." But still silence.

And then came the presence. But there was no warmth, no laughter. Just a dead, seeping fog of loneliness and pain that inched across his mind, tickling along his shoulders and his neck like a phantom's embrace. And a word, just one, spoken with the despair only the lost souls had - hopeful yet broken - and he dented the helmet in his hands.


As always, I'm beyond tempted to continue. I may have to see the movie again to do so. Obviously not a losing situation there. :)

Tell me what you thought, please?