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

A/N: Writer's block buster. Title is purposely spelled and is pronounced as "essence".

Note: Major character death and blood.


Escence

Charles sits in the middle of a steel tiled room, on a chair with wheels, surrounded by men with guns and someone screaming orders so loudly they can't be heard at all.

The floor is coated in blood that continues to ooze, inching forward like some slowly-growing river, and Erik's body lays at its mouth, still as a windless flag.

And Charles cannot comprehend it, even as Raven, a gun to her own head, is sobbing while being brutally held standing. Metal cannot kill its master.

And yet Erik does not move.

Erik? He calls out hopefully, silently, desperately. Erik, please. Please stand up. Please don't do this. Not now, Erik, please.

All that answers him are the orders he cannot hear.

Please! Erik, please!

But only the blood moves to his call, wrapping around his stainless wheels and under his chair, moving towards the soldiers who are still aiming their guns even though Charles isn't moving and Erik is dead.

Dead.

Erik is dead.

Charles' world begins to shake. The background onslaught of noise-filled chaos suddenly ceases to exist as somehow his arms force him from his chair to the ground with a graceless thud, coating him instantly in the spilled blood. It's still warm, warm like Erik's hand had been on his shoulder only moments ago. It's soothing, gentle, and he makes no effort to avoid it, and in exchange it allows him to glide to his fallen friend's body, allows him to reach that hand and curl his fingers around it.

He's not aware that Alex has hit the ground, or that Azazel has killed the general, or that the soldiers aren't moving towards him, as his hand brushes against a heavy, thick obsidian-colored ring. A ring he remembers with clarity.

Made from a bullet, too much guilt, and a pang of something more they never verbaly discussed but knew was there.

And suddenly, it's not the enemy screaming, but Charles. Struggling to pull Erik to him even as his own body slips uselessly. He can feel the fire burning in his chest, the rage bellowing from his throat. Tears spill from his eyes as he pulls, and his mind is literally tearing itself apart with the need to fixthisdosomethigmakeitright and calls of ErikpleaseGodErik whydidyoudoitwhywhywhyIwasn'tworthit and something snaps with a satisfying crack inside his skull.

For a moment, everything goes silent to his ears.

And the next, he isn't the only one screaming.


A/N:

I... killed Erik. o.o

There was more, but in the end I decided to cut if off right there. Make you guys wonder a bit. =) Maybe I'll post the rest one day. But for now ... hopefully Erik and Charles start playing nice in my other stories. And you know? It's mostly Charles that's the problem. So uncooperative. ~sigh~ ... I wonder if this rating should be higher? o.O

Anyway, like I said, it's only a writer's block buster, and a drabble at that, but...

I'd still like to know what you thought? Please? :3