A/N: Whoa, my first brief foray back into fanfic, and it's with . . . X-Men? Lol. Shocker!
Warnings: kissing (dude/dude kissing, that is ...), angst, slight language, disturbing imagery, lots of goop about Charles Xavier's gorgeous eyes.
Pairings: Charles/Erik, VERY SLIGHT Charles/Moira. And I guess VERY SLIGHT Erik/Raven. As in, SUPER SLIGHT.
Disclaimer: If I owned X-Men, James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender would be contractually obligated to be my love slaves.
" . . . Charles."
There is a short pause, before Erik Lehnsherr speaks again, feeling rather ridiculous as he does. "Am I dreaming?"
"You are, yes," Charles says, leaning easily against the desk in his study.
"Interesting. This is an odd setting for a nightmare."
Charles smiles, a casual, relaxed smile. "I don't think it's a nightmare, my friend."
"Are you really here? I mean, is your mind in my dream?" Erik queries. "I didn't know you could do that."
"What, invade other people's dreams? Yes, I can, if I choose. Sometimes it's unintentional, and I do so while I myself am asleep. Other times I have been known to pull people into my dreams."
Erik is more than a little confused, and this weakness tingles on the back of his dream-neck uncomfortably. "So is this your dream or my dream?"
"Yours, if I had to guess."
"So you're saying I don't ever play a part in your dreams?" Erik asks. This odd dream-conversation is already past bordering on awkward, but he doesn't want to wake up, although he has the suspicion that Charles, genius that he is, could easily rouse him from inside his own dream.
"You do," Charles says, with that pleasant smile still affixed on his face. "And I'm well aware that I play a large part in many of your dreams. And nightmares."
"So you can be in my head while you're in my head. You never cease to surprise me, Charles."
Charles raises an eyebrow. "That's a good thing, I'd wager."
Erik feels the corners of his dream-mouth twitch just slightly. "For you, perhaps."
Charles smirks and taps his temple knowledgeably. "Indeed." He pauses. "I've missed you, Erik."
I've missed you, Erik. Just the words he wished might appear in one of his dreams.
"And I you," he replies, somehow unable, as always, to lie to Charles (perhaps it's because he's asleep?). "You look well."
Charles smiles. "Thank you. Although, this is your dream, so you could really picture me in anything from a potato sack to a king's robes if your subconscious chose."
Erik shakes his head. "I think my subconscious prefers you like this." Charles does indeed look dashing – slate gray suit, light blue shirt, shiny dress shoes, his dark hair wavy and somehow thicker, without the streaks of gray at the roots.
"Erik, please. You flatter me."
"You deserve the flattery," Dream-Erik says thoughtlessly, taking a step towards Dream-Charles. "Charles –,"
"Calm your mind, my friend," Charles says soothingly. "Don't say anything you will regret."
Erik laughs, which he suspects has never, ever happened in one of his dreams before. Being poked and prodded with scalpels? Yes. Watching bullets hit his mother and seeing sparkling Nazi coins spill from her wounds instead of ruby-red blood? Yes. Laughter with his friends? Never.
Although, it's a little hard to consider Charles a friend. Not when he knows that technically they are the leaders of opposite sides, which makes them the greatest enemies of all. But how could Charles Xavier possibly be his enemy, when he is standing here in the dream-study of Erik's mind, looking at him with those intelligent, crystal clear blue eyes? How could he be Erik's enemy or even his friend, when he was always so much more?
"Regret," he says. "There is nothing more that I will regret, Charles. I've given myself to a life of no guilt."
"No guilt, Erik?" Charles says, his voice seemingly passive but with an undercurrent of disbelief, as though he knows there are things Erik cannot bring himself to feel blameless in. Charles knows they are both thinking of that bullet, that one deflected bullet that changed him forever.
"A future with no guilt," he amends. "You know that I – that I will always regret what happened. Always."
"Everything that happened?" Charles says, eyes glinting. Those damned eyes that both pierce him and comfort him, that pain him to look into yet also draw his gaze like two perfect blue jewels. Damn Charles and his eyes.
"No," he says honestly. "I don't regret taking my stand. I do regret your injury, and I regret that you didn't see reason."
Charles's smile, once pleasant and welcoming, has turned sad and oddly hopeless. "Reason is in the eye of the beholder, I suppose."
Erik takes three more steps, so that he is standing right in front of the desk that dream-Charles leans against. "I thought that was beauty."
"That, too," Charles says, and takes a step forward himself, closing the gap between them. It's only then that Erik notices that dream-Charles is walking, standing on his two perfectly fine legs, but he can't think about Charles's legs, because Charles is kissing him.
Oh, Charles. He kisses the shorter man back, kissing him with all he has and all he will ever have, reaching up to curl his calloused fingers into Charles's smooth, soft hair. Charles is smiling into this dream kiss, and Erik can't tell if it is a happy smile or a sad smile just by the feel of it, but he knows it must be a happy one –
Charles breaks the kiss, looking up at Erik with eyes that are bright and slightly wet. Erik frowns, because no, Charles shouldn't cry, this is a good dream, he shouldn't be –
And then, things begin to change. The dream warps almost slowly, the study around them blurring, objects becoming gooey and then solidifying into piles of white sand. The soft silence of Charles's study is replaced by voices and crashing waves.
Horror grips Erik's stomach. "No."
"It looks like your dream is changing, my friend," Charles says, eyes growing wetter, tears threatening to spill.
"Charles, no –,"
But then Charles's full weight is in his arms, and they are not standing in the dream-study at all, they are on the nightmare-beach, and Charles is bleeding. Instead of one small bullet wound in his back, the man is riddled with bullets, and his suit (which is no longer the smooth, dapper gray ensemble; instead, it is his yellow and black outfit) is turning red with blood.
"God-damn it!" Erik finds himself roaring, and despite the fact that he knows this is just a dream, he can feel icy tendrils of panic curling around his spine. He suddenly becomes conscious of the others around him – Raven, her form switching continuously from her natural scaly-blue state to her blond, pale-skinned disguise; Moira McTaggert, her dog tags choking her by themselves; his mother, shaking and held by Nazi guards; and Sebastian Shaw, smiling coolly with blood running from a thin slit in his forehead.
Charles, below him, is moaning with pain. "Charles. Charles, fix this. Can you fix it? Make the dream change back."
But Charles merely breathes, "I can't, Erik. I can't."
"But you must, Charles – you have to make this stop, I don't want to see this –," Erik rambles. He can feel himself panicking, and Erik Lehnsherr – no, the man formerly known as Erik Lehnsherr, he is Magneto now – does not panic. He can stop this, he can stop the silly human missiles that are now hurling overhead.
He turns, still clutching his dying friend in his arms, and raises one hand over his head, flexing his fingers and concentrating his energy.
The projectiles are raining down on the beach, exploding with jarring force. His fingers twitch spastically, but nothing is happening, he feels nothing, he is helpless, a powerless child – Everything is alright, no, everything is not alright, Mama, it will never be alright again –
Moira McTaggert is the first to be hit. She explodes, her human blood spattering the beach – in his arms, Charles screams, agonized, "No!" Erik cannot believe he honestly cares that much for the human woman, but at the same time he knows Moira is good, Moira is perhaps the only human who cares – and then Raven is hit.
She is blond and 'beautiful' when she goes, and strangely, all he can think as he watches her die is, "Mutant and proud." She will die at the hands of these humans while trying to conform to them –
"No!" he screams. "No!"
In his arms, he hears Charles saying, "Erik, you did this. You did this."
But he can't focus on Charles, because his mother is next. She is gone in a shower of silver coins and screaming metal, the two Nazi guards next to her smiling and unhurt except for their crushed skulls and smashed helmets. Shaw takes his mother's place standing between them, and they salute him as he smirks and bleeds, the blood from his forehead almost reaching his chin.
"Damn it!" he shouts again, vulnerable, unable to move. He looks back at Charles, ready to plead, desperate for anything to make this end – "Charles, Charles, wake me up. I want to wake up. Make it stop."
But Charles is juddering, dying, unable to do anything but stare up at Erik with eyes that are twice as beautiful as the sky, a thousand times more vibrant than the ocean, eyes that are running over with tears. "You did this," he repeats. "You did this."
"Charles, no," he says, gritting his teeth as a million more missiles slam the beach around them. "Charles, this is only a dream, make it stop – Charles!"
But Charles is silent, completely silent. His face is empty, eyes blank, and Erik can almost feel the weakening hum of that powerful mind as it goes quiet. He is dead.
"No!" he shouts. "No, no, no!" He looks up, ready to curse God and Shaw and Charles and everything, but all he sees is a looming missile, blotting out the sun as it shoots smoothly for him – no – everything is alright – you did this – I'm going to move the coin – peace was never an option – everything is alright – never an option – you did this.
He awakens with a shudder and a gasp, and immediately tenses, his hand flung out, the gun on the bedside table flying towards him as though yanked to his palm by an invisible chain. He slowly relaxes every muscle in his body, assessing the situation. He is in his bed, not the dream-study or the nightmare-beach; he is armed and not at all powerless; he is alone; and he is shaking and sweating like some sort of traumatized mental patient.
As his irrational fear slowly dies away, relief replaces it. He is safe, it was only a dream – a ridiculous, intense nightmare that is all over now. His mother has been dead for nearly twenty years, Shaw is dead, Raven, Moira McTaggert, and Charles Xavier are all alive and mostly well – oh. Charles.
Charles, he calls out with his mind, searching clumsily for some sort of mental connection to the other man. Charles, can you hear me? I'm sorry you had to witness that, my friend. I'm sorry about the whole thing, the nightmare and before that. Not really sorry, his mind tries to interject, not sorry at all about that dream-kiss – but he remembers that Charles can probably hear everything going through his mind right now, and he stops that train of thought cold.
Silence inside his mind, except for his own swirling thoughts.
Charles, it's alright to speak to me – I want you in my head right now. Charles?
There is only more silence and a cold sense of being perfectly alone in his own mind. A sudden sinking suspicion slides through him, and he drops the gun, letting it land on the floor with a thud. He slowly reaches up with both hands –
And his fingers touch the cool metal of his helmet.
"Oh," he breathes. "Oh, Charles."
But Charles isn't there – Charles was never there at all.
Without thinking, he slides the helmet off his head and shouts out with his mind again. Charles. Charles, can you hear me?
But Charles either cannot hear him, or doesn't want to. The thought of Charles ignoring his mental cries makes him feel curiously empty and slightly nauseated, and he slides the dark helmet back down onto his head with fingers that are slowly ceasing their trembling.
Charles, for my sake, I hope you never end up in my dreams again, he thinks, now flawlessly cool and rational, directing this thought to Charles although he knows that now, Charles really cannot hear him. But he also knows it is more than pointless – whether intentionally or whether he has no idea at all, Charles Xavier will always haunt Erik's dreams.
A/N: Now that was angsty. Reviews appreciated!