(a/n The first paragraph is going to annoy the hell out of most of you, it annoyed the hell out of me. I swear things will be realised... soon ish)
Another Quiet Evening
The guy is just that way. A kind of 'I can hurt myself because by doing so I stop harm from coming to you'. The kind of world view that then includes: 'Ergo, I have the right to get mad when you are the teensiest bit hurt and you can do nothing but ponder why on earth this is so.'
Stupid, masochistic person!
Charles laughs internally at his total inability to insult people. He just can't, he's too nice.
Sometimes he wishes he wasn't so nice. Then they'd be in trouble.
A manipulator of their very minds, able to drive them insane, to see their hopes , their dreams, their loves, their fears, and to play with those. The prospect seems inviting.
But daunting all the same. He cannot allow his mind to run with those thoughts. Can't let himself imagine the power for fear that he'd like it and become like Shaw.
(like Erik has the propensity to become)
Shaking his head lightly, Charles allows his focus to drift to other things. Hank is making many a scientific breakthrough but he's also stepping out of his shell, as it were. More sociable.
Alex is probably never going to be a crack shot, but he's at least hitting the right mannequin now and has acknowledged that Hank is a friend.
Sean, still needs work. The window business was a bit of a problem and had resulted in so very many glares.
Hold the line...
Yes way. The dish. The dish would be the ideal surface for which the ultrasonic waves could bounce back and allow him to fly.
Charles is excited now. The small flicker of light has leaped up into full blown flames in his eyes. He has to tell him, them, his new idea. Got to get Hank to make a new set of wings.
His thoughts keep rambling on, you get the jist, as he springs up and sets of in search of the 'Rec Room'.
It's like a huge game of hide and seek, find the room.
"It's the third on the left, west wing." Erik's voice makes him jump. The man's changed out of his running gear and into a purple shirt and black jeans. Charles doesn't think he could ever pull off purple the way Erik Lehnsherr manages to.
"Thank you," pauses. "How did you know that?"
"I saw Sean and Raven go in there once, and then Alex another time. They aren't in there now. Sean's raiding the 'fridge. I'm sorry I over-reacted earlier."
"Why're you looking for them?"
"I'm looking for Sean, I have an idea."
Erik raises an eyebrow. "Throwing him out of a different window?"
Charles laughs. "No, actually. Off the top of the satellite dish."
Erik gives him the look and opens his mouth.
"Yes, Erik, I am entirely serious."
(a/n I'm making this Erik and Charles' thing aren't I? The whole Are you serious thing. Sorry. I'll leave now.)
Charles would like to say that at this point he does not giggle at the glare Erik sends his way, but he would be lying.
He sobers himself up. "I thought I should probably warn him now, we'll orchestrate the experiment tomorrow."
Erik holds up a hand. "One, do not tell him it's an experiment and two, he is going to get no sleep now."
Charles does a mental double take. "Fine I'll tell him tomorrow." Pauses. "You, you who instilled fear into them by your very presence," Erik's scowl tells him that the past tense was noticed, "I'm sorry, but, you care why?"
Erik shrugs. "I actually do not know. It seems that your goody-two shoes ness is a positive influence." He punctuates the remark with a mock shiver.
Charles snorts most inelegantly. "Me? A goody-two-shoes? I don't know what planet you've been on, my friend but I am really far from that."
The older mutant arches an eyebrow. A gesture, unmissable, of 'Oh really?'
"Yes, really. Ask Raven, hell ask Moira."
(Abrubt point of view change)
Erik smiles and shakes his head, a fond expression of exasperation crosses his face. "Okay, tiger. I believe you." (not)
Charles moves towards him and shoves him lightly. "Get thee gone. It's late and I cannot face chess and/or falling asleep on that damned floor. Comfy and inviting it may seem when one is tired and inebriated but no, the thing is far from it."
He laughs because it's so true. That rug, by the fire did look so inviting.
It taken Charles about a minute to find and snap all of his joints that ached; it had taken Erik all morning.
Charles bows his head at him. "Goodnight, Lehnsherr."
Charles doesn't really feel the need for a nightcap, which is strange.
He's never abstained from alcohol before, but then he's never felt responsible for more thatn one mutant before, let alone the course of world history.
He changes quickly into his very british of pyjamas, white and blue stripes (don't judge) but decides quickly that he doesn't want the shirt.
So very, very tired. It's like a mantra, repeating itself over and over in his mind. He powers through an evening routine, robotic, his mind's somewhere else now.
It's found Erik, changed, thankyouverymuch.
Tells himself that he's just checking he's alright. Friendly concern, nothing more.
He's alright, so grudgingly Charles breaks the connection and, well, he was really tired.
He's asleep before his head hits the pillow.
Raven wakes up in the night, it's dark and it's cold. She scrambles to flick on the light at her bedside, finds that every metal object in her room is floating middle distance between floor and ceiling.
It doesn't take a genius to work it out. She pulls on her robe and opens the door. Wonders if she's the only one who's noticed.
She checks on the cause first, Erik is pale and he keeps turning. She's afraid to wake him.
She runs to Charles' room as fast as she can and flings open the door. "Charles," she'd meant to hiss it but the name comes out a broken, unsure whisper.
But he's already awake, the door had seen to that.
He sits up fast and fixes her with a stare. "Raven, what's wrong?"
She resists the panic that inches over her. "It's Erik," she says. "Something's wrong with him."
Charles grabs his own robe and is out of the door by the time Raven finishes saying Erik's name. Running like a man possessed, he's careful to keep quiet, it will not do to wake the entire house. Erik wouldn't take kindly to that.
Raven is slightly behind him, she runs with a blank look on her face. He can tell she's frightened. He sends a calming wave toward her, it's up to her whether she takes it.
"Some water, please, Raven. Cold."
She nodds dumbly and turns on her heel.
Charles pushes open the door to Erik's room.
It's worse here. Every metal object, even the coin that he always keeps close, is floating and jumping; vibrating with a manic energy.
He looks at the man, tossing and turning. It's a wonder he's still asleep, but Charles' knowledge tells him that that very fact is a very bad thing.
It means the nightmare is keeping him under, it means he thinks it's real.
Charles doesn't really think twice as he places the tips of his fingers to his temple and closes his eyes. He kneels by the bed.
Normally he only speaks to minds of looks at the thoughts they hold. Rarely does he actually enter them, mostly it's only to flick a switch, place an idea or immobilise.
But this is full emersion, his body in the real world stiffens and his breathing slows.
Erik's mind is concentrated on a strange thought, half a memory and half a projection.
Charles hones in on the dreamer.
Erik is standing, covered in blood, on what appears to be somekind of nuclear battlefield.
Flinching, Charles picks his way over the vividly imagined corpses. He stops, one of them is his own.
His resolve doesn't waver.
He begins to project thoughts of his own into the dream wasteland.
He calms the wind that'd been rattling through, and he steps forward into the Erik's view.
The image of a cruel and powerful Shaw melts away, but Erik's mind is tenacious: the corpses and destruction remain.
"Yes, my friend."
"But you died."
"No, this is a dream."
Erik's eyes flash. "No, this is not a dream. I- No, this is just too real."
Charles nodds softly. "I know, I know what it looks like- I'm seeing it now but, my friend, this is not real. I am not dead. You are in your room at the mansion in Westchester and it is roughly one o'clock in the morning." He keeps his voice steady and soft, he finds that he needs Erik to trust him, that need is boosting his powers.
THe man is still unconvinced, he's still looking for Shaw. "You let him get away!" he shouts. "You- you let him," he collapses to his knees.
Walking quietly, so as not to scare him, Charles moves closer. He kneels down beside him. "Look, this is your mind, your dream. I could force you out of it but I'm not sure what the effects would be." Probably not good, he adds silently.
"If this is a dream why not wait until I wake up naturally?"
"Because you're causing all the metal in the mansion to float. And I'm worried, you're my friend."
Erik sighs, "I still don't believe that this is a dream." He starts back and scrambles to standing. He moves away from Charles concentrated. "This is what he wants."
Charles holds out a hand, pleading, calming. Surrendering. "No, my friend, please." His mind darts around for a way to prove that this is not real.
He comes to a simple conclusion, isn't sure whether he likes it or not.
It'd work though, that's for sure.
He moves quietly to standing and then, his hands still held up in a show of well-meaning, he walks toward his friend for the second time. Touches his shoulder.
They're standing face to face now, and Charles can see that Erik is very close to violence or despair. He makes the decision quickly.
It's a chaste and small gesture. His lips are cool on Erik's, doesn't force himself on him and breaks away very quickly.
Erik looks stunned, looks exactly how CHarles feels. "Do you believe me now," he asks, though he's started to disbelieve himself, "This is a dream."
Still shell-shocked the other man nodds.
The plain on which they stand shifts, and the destruction and death is wiped away. A remembered sun starts to shine. Erik colours slightly.
Charles breaks the awkward silence. "I'm going to get back now, and then I'll wake you up. But as soon as you open your eyes the metal will most likely fall, if it hasn't already. I need you to concentrate, do you still feel the power you're using?"
"Yes, I've still got them, I think."
Charles smiles and then dissapears.
Erik, alone again in his own mind, chances a sigh. He'll think about this later.
Charles opens his eyes. Raven has left a glass of water by his side, she's gone back to bed now. He reminds himself to thank her in the morning.
On the bed, Erik appears calmer. Charles taps him lightly on the shoulder. "Wake up."
The other man's eyes open and flutter and then his face takes over an expression of immense concentration. The floating objects are set down.
They both let out a breath they did not know they'd been holding.
The silence goes on for ages until Charles snaps. "Well, I'm gl-"
Erik stops him, interrupts.
"For the sake of memory," (and because he really wants him to) he shifts a little and looks up. "Kiss me again?"
(a/n Please don't kill me.)