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

A/N: Writer's Block buster for the "post anything you write" challenge.

Rating: T for child abuse.


Past


Raven wishes that she was able to do something.

It is as though the world has completely frozen - become some sort of horrific painting that is rare yet all that is ever seen in terms of art. The outside is quiet. Nothing moves, nothing breathes - the air is damp in overcast, but dry, unwanting and uncaring.

The dead of night, and she sits on her bed, thirteen-years-old, clothed in an expensive pink nightgown purchased for her just the day before, watching as her white sheets slowly turn wet and red.

She wishes she knew how to put Charles back together.

"R-Raven."

Her hand, blue and shaking, trails over trembling pale arms, up a sweat-slicked neck and through equally damp brown-turned-black locks. Avoiding the mass of crisscrossed, bleeding ridges that soak through a white nightshirt.

"I'm here, Charles," sche whispers when she wants to sob. Because talking loudly will bring their stepfather to her room next.

And that will put her brother's sacrifice in vain.

Charles is nearly seventeen, small and intelligent and caring and Raven's world. He is her hero, her protector, her teacher, her father as well as brother. His smile, his gentle taunts, his kind touches are the sun for her. Charles is everything she needs, everything the world would ever need.

Charles, who is curled in her sheets, fists tightening in agony as another wave of pain rushes through him. His eyes are but blue slivers, staring at her and begging for forgiveness and penance and she just smoothes her hand through his hair again as tears of her own race from her golden eyes and down her cheeks.

She had heard his cries tonight, before he had snuck into her room to seek her comfort. Heard every lash of the belt, every grunt that came with every kick, every harsh word. He tries to block her out, keeps his mind from touching hers, but she hears anyway.

"I...I w-want to die, Raven," he sputters, gasping and gripping the sheets at another wave. "E-every day. Every day."

She has offered more than once to take his burden for him. Would do so now, again, but she knows what he will do to himself if she ever goes in his place.

"Please don't leave me here alone, Charles," she says instead as more blood becomes her bed. "Stay with me. Forever. Right? Against the world." She knows the bleeding will stop eventually with the shirt, knows the pain will fade, knows that this will happen again as it has happened for the past year, and knows that he will say those words to her another night.

It should be raining. Heaven should be in torture with her brother, because he is a part of it. The sky should crack and light with rage and Kurt Marko should be struck down for every time he has ever laid a hand on Charles.

But there is nothing.

"Raven."

"Let me be your light, Charles," she pleads softly, as she does every time. Moves so that she is pressed against him, cuddled as close as possible with hurting. She does not need to change back. No one will come to them. "Please."

Trembling, he places an unsteady kiss to her hair, and lets out a shallow breath. She closes her eyes against her tears as his continue to fall. She wishes she could find someone to help him.

"I love you," she whispers. He nuzzles closer.

They say nothing more. Blood coats Raven's bed and her arms and Charles' arms and they say nothing more.


A/N:

"It was a hardship lightened by me." I love Charles/Raven.