Disclaimer: I do not own X-Men. Marvel does.
A/N: Again, you guys are just freaking amazing. Do you know that? Iloveyouall. In that "I want to throw pie in your face" kind of way. It means love. You know it. XD Here's some Insomnia-based drabbles I had laying around for this universe. Chipping away at my Writer's Block. I think it may be gone :) Anyway, there's a special note regarding the multi-chapter at the end of this. I would love feedback from you guys on it via either PM or review, if you could.
The rich spoils of Xavier Mansion are nice - beyond nice, even ("dude, you have a fucking castle?"), but when the lights go out and night settles across the sky, it is not what the children are used to.
Charles had felt the beginning of their unease when he had finally managed to get them off to bed (accomplished only when Erik had off-handedly informed them all of a seven-am-sharp wake and run) - tendrils of confusion and little pings of subtle fear had timidly knocked at his mind as Raven had lead the three boys to their new rooms. He had made sure to put each in their own, and had seen to it that each room was one of the less frightening ones (why his mother had decided a portrait of his grandfather, post-mortem and mixed with his ashes, was the perfect painting to place over a bed was beyond even his comprehension ...)-had even aired out the bedding and fluffed the pillows himself. But-
"Are they alright?" Erik's voice is soft, flowing over the chessboard in interruption of Charles' thought process as he overtakes one of the telepath's pawns with his own in a surprisingly gentle manner. His eyes, the eerie mixture of gray and green (pewter, Charles), glow in the firelight, and he is looking at Charles as though he is already aware of the answer, but not certain enough in it that he has to ask the question to be sure. Charles, for his part, is frowning at something other than the game, fingers pressing to and rubbing against his temple almost absently.
Because it has been a few hours, and the unease has grown to restless discontent that it as a whole is not easy to sift through.
"It is difficult to say," he admits on his breath. "They are troubled, but then it's always hard to adjust to a new place. Tell me, my friend." He gives Erik a look, his hand falling from his head. "Do you intend to sleep well tonight in this new place?"
"I have moved around for the majority of my life, Charles," the older mutant reminds him dryly. "I sleep where I drop, for the next day I keep moving."
But this is not a temporary place, or at least not as temporary as the others. And this place is warm, and welcoming, and so very very different from anything he has ever experienced before, they both know. Different from anything the boys have ever experienced before. Charles' mind pulses in ache. Like the children, he knows Erik will not be sleeping tonight.
And Charles, surrounded by memories and taunting echoes of haunting phantom voices, has no intention of doing so, either.
"I think we can delay the morning's run," he suggests nonchalantly, "and have a late night of chess and more drinks." Because getting intoxicated is the only thing that keeps them all away.
Erik says nothing to contest his words, but Charles pretends the terribly slight smirk that forms on his face is from triumphant amusement and not bitter understanding.
That is another battle for a time after war.
Sean's strange habits come to their attention when Charles slips downstairs at an odd feeling, and Erik follows.
Because Sean falls asleep in the kitchen every night, and it is not by the refrigerator that he makes his bed (despite how enthralled he is with it).
No, Sean curls by the stove, pressed into the gap between the heavy steal and the floor, arms crossed around his chest as he endures his troubled slumber. Though the youngest, he seems even smaller in the fetal position he adopts, and it strikes an angst-ridden poetic chord in Charles' chest that this was the boy they had found, all alone and yet just desperate for someone to hold and care for him.
His dreams are filled with shadowed images the pull fear from depths the telepath cannot enter, but he picks up the raw, trembling feelings of coldcoldcold and solonelywanthome can'tgohomecan'tgohome thereisnohome. It leaves him reeling and shaking and refusing to answer Erik's soft mental questions as they loom over the sleeping teen.
For the first few nights, they merely cover him in a blanket, as the stove and doesn't provide the warmth Sean's instincts tell him it does, and the floor is tile and chills at night. For those first few nights, they allow him to sleep where he wishes, where he feels comfortable, where he can feel safe.
Until the night they come downstairs, blanket ready, and see the red-haired boy tossing about, mumbling clear phrases of "don't hurt me", "I'll b'good", "I'm sorry". And then Erik is there before Charles, blanket forgotten, and is scooping Sean into his arms.
"Schlaf, mein Kind." The words are almost unheard. "Soyez en paix. Jesteś tu bezpieczna."
While Charles is certain Sean does not understand any of the languages Erik speaks, and while Erik is large like the men he fears, for some reason, Sean's words drop to mumbles, and he falls deeper into unconsciousness.
Erik glares at Charles, as though daring him to say anything, but the other man has seen their odd relationship before, and simply smiles and picks up the blanket.
Every night after that - every night - they carry Sean back to bed.
Charles notices that Erik sleeps from four in the morning until seven exactly - twelve minutes after Charles himself retires to his room. They are hardly healthy hours, but Charles, who will not sleep until everyone else is safely secured in their dreams, sleeps less, and has little room to speak.
But he allows Erik to believe that he is the last to fall asleep - lets his friend have that calm, that power, because he knows that Erik is like himself, and needs to believe that every charge under his care is safe before he takes care of himself. It is something the metalkinetic likes to believe is secret.
Charles, curled against his pillow and gently pushing away the nightmares of them all while keeping his own on the edge of his psyche, let's him believe that too.
It is no self-sacrifice.
Ugh. Google-Translate, so horrible ... yet I still use it to decode my homework instructions. Translations: Schlaf, mein Kind - Sleep, little one. Soyez en paix - Be at peace. Jesteś tu bezpieczna - You are safe here. German, French, and Polish respectively.
I have an Erik-Sean drabble of this story sitting on a different computer - it shows the strange relationship Charles mentions. I'll probably post it. And yep! No Alex, Hank, Angel, or Raven ... maybe I'll post them too. XD I really want to work on the long version of this, but as you can see I took Healing Crisis down. I think I want to rework it to be an AU, where it deviates from the film at the scene of the CIA attack, which would void some of the previous drabbles. I could just do a "sequel". But I love Darwin. I can't decide. . . Suggestions?
Anyway, I'm writing all weekend. Lots of updates and new stories. Sorry to anyone who has me on Alerts.
Let me know what you thought? :)