In reality between the move to Xavier Mansion and the end of the Cuban Missile Crisis fell ten days. But when have Fanfiction writers given a damn about time spans? We speed 'em up, we slow 'em down, and who minds? No-one. Besides, in the real series of events that spanned those ten days there were no mutants. That we know of, at least.
So here are glimpses of life in those ten days that span, in my mind, months.
Secrets; perfect lies (or Deception for Happiness)
He has a Plan, of course he does. Step One: Train them. Step Two: Stop Shaw. But there has to be the ever present Step Always: Worry about Mr Vengeful Erik.
Charles lifts his fingers to his temple and allows his eyes to slide shut. He senses that of the four young adults within the mansion, only three are fast asleep.
He can feel Raven, she's gazing out of the window.
Charles smiles to himself and sends a quick message: Sleep. Technically he isn't inside her mind so he isn't breaking any promises. He's just helping her sleep; a helpful big brotherly thing to do.
Raven, Alex, Hank and Sean safely settled and sleeping the telepath turns his attention to the most powerful mutant he's ever seen.
He must admit that he is a little bit jealous, regardless of what they all say. Telepathy is an astoundingly limited 'power' especially when one has at least some sense and respect for other's privacy of thought.
To be as strong as Erik is, though... he stops the thought as it falls.
The mansion is beautiful at night, illuminated in the harsh glow of a full moon. He hopes that it'll be a little more homey now that it isn't just Raven and himself.
There's a slight rustle from behind him. He raises his eyebrows but doesn't turn. "Are you settled, my friend?"
A small grunt from Erik makes him laugh. "I'm sorry, did I wound your hunter's pride?"
Erik's eyes narrow but his lip curls up into a smile. "Thank you for the room."
Charles turns this time. "No need for thanks." He nodds towards the grand wooden doors. "Scotch?"
"I'd love one."
Erik isn't used to splendour, isn't used to cosy either. It isn't really him, if he'd honest, and he knows that. But this room; this room with warm mahogany bookshelves that encircle the couches and the fire that crackles and glows from behind its grate, this room is so very, very Charles.
It reflects the Professor's personality completely, warm and inviting.
Charles bypasses the couches and opts for a spot on the rug by the fire, he settles there cross legged and starts reading a book that, apparantly (Erik wasn't really paying attention) he created out of thin air.
Erik removes his jacket and sits close enough to be 'next to' Charles but far enough away that it isn't what anyone would call close or friendly. It's not 'cause he doesn't want to be this man's friend, regardless of the many assurances he's had to the fact, but because he is unsure of what reaction friendliness would get.
He'd been fine on the mutant finding trips, okay with the closeness, he wonders why now doubt chooses to rear its ugly head. Maybe it's the sensibility of the Mansion, or the fact it's someone's home.
He needn't of worried, really.
"I'm not going to hurt you." Charles' voice is soft, his long fingers hold his line in the book.
Erik ducks his head. "I know." Eyes him. "What are you reading?" The cover says 'Advanced Genetics: Mutation' but he's pretty sure that 'Avaunt' is not a scientific word. Neither are 'Dragon' and 'Knight'.
Charles pulls the book up to his chest. "Advanced Genetics." he says.
"Do Geneticists often deal with Knights and Dragons?"
The younger man blushes. "Fine," he mumbles. "Not like I have to teach anyone or take anymore finals." This is to himself rather than Erik.
He turns. Lecture mode. "Knights in shining armour throughout fairy-tales show mankinds need for a savior..."
Erik sees where he's going and cuts him off. "Yes but the bad-guys are invariably magical. Mutants like us are far more likely to be viewed as the villian, rather than the heroes."
Charles' face changes swiftly from annoyance at being interrupted to a confident smile. "Not if we beat Shaw and avert world war three." He means it. "Anyway, I offered you a scotch, I believe?"
"That you did." Erik watches as the Professor lithley springs up and moves to a cabinet underneath a book case.
"I had to rethink the placement of the alcohol after the debacle at the CIA." He's talking more to himself than for Erik's benefit, the latter finds it endearing. Whoa, it's been years since he's found anything endearing. He ponders this as the scientist continues to speak.
"I can't believe they did that, honestly. I think they are exceptional young people, regardless of how cynical you may be." Ooh, being called a cynic. Ouch.
He settles back down, closer to Erik. Arms brushing. He's taken off the blazer and undone the first two buttons of his pale blue shirt.
"Here." Scotch finds its way into Erik's coarse, bullied hands. "Cheers."
Charles Xavier touches people all the time. Hands linger on shoulders, arms. Holding down or assuring that there's someone there. But he doesn't often lean into to people. Sat in front of a fire at, surreptitious check of watch, ten minutes to mindight. However, he thinks, he could get used to this. Erik may not always be the calmest herbal tea in the shop but now, in the firelight, he's a warm and solid presence.
A calm lull washes over them and the sleeping children fall a little deeper.
The Professor and the Nazi-Killer sit in silence. Telepath and Metal Manipulator. Friends.
It's about eight o'clock when Doctor Hank McCoy wakes, goes downstairs and finds the two men sprawled across the rug with empty glasses in their hands. They're far enough away to mean nothing happened (he blushes at the thought) but the hands that don't hold glasses stretch across the gap between them. Almost touching, reaching out for another one. An equal power.
Hank smiles and closes the door. He fetches the drink of water he'd been after.
Back upstairs, in the room that the youngsters have named the 'Rec Room', he warns them not to go into the second sitting room.
And that Charles and Erik, Magneto and Professor X, might take a while to wake up.
(a/n There will be more. I have more ideas. I wanted to play with them while they weren't angry or dying. Review please. And point out any spelling mistakes you see. I can't find the spell checker on this damn thing anymore. S'all different. )