Disclaimer: I don't own anything.

He's dimly aware of world in his immediate vincinity. He can sense Hank's giddiness as the printer spits out numbers. He can feel Erik standing slightly to the side, hands in his pockets, smirking. This universe is clouded behind the rush of Cerebro. These minor but nearest presences are nothing compared to the minds of everyone human and mutant for miles around.

It's a rush. Humans and mutants are separated by their different brainwaves. Mutants stick out against the gray backdrop of normality. There's more of them than he could have ever thought. He opens his mind wider to the outer limits of the machine's and his own capabilities, lightly touching them all. He feels the incredible power in every fiber of his being and it's amazing. There's a flutter at the back of his mind that it all might be too much too fast, but he ignores it.

Too soon he feels the machine losing energy as Hank powers it down. Charles wants to say, no, turn it back on. He wants to feel that rush, that amazing ability to be in the mind of everybody at one time. But he stays quiet and opens his eyes to everyone's glorious grin. He feels himself smile and slowly removes the helmet and hands it back to Hank, who's talking in a rushed voice.

"That was brilliant! I can't believe it worked!" There's the sound of shuffling paper and Charles glances at Erik, who has his arms folded over his chest.

"Nice going, Labrat," he smirks.

"Oh it was nothing, really," Charles says airly. "I'm always happy to lend my powers to the cause."

He leans forward on the railing to gather himself. His heart is pounding and the edge of his vision is slightly blurred. He frowns, realizing that after the initial high has worn off, he doesn't feel very well. Erik notices his change of expression and takes a few steps closer.

"Not feeling so hot, Labrat?"

His eyes flutter. Hank turns.


It takes a moment for him to answer.

"I'm fine," he says, smiling a bit. "A bit worn, that's all. I've never had to use my telepathy this much before. It's rather…" He looks up. "Draining."

Hank turns back to many screens.

Charles steps off the platform, ignoring the lightheadedness he is so sure will pass.

"You sure you're okay there?" Erik's voice is tinged with concern. "You kind of look like you're gonna puke."

"I just need a moment." Charles waves him off. He takes a few more steps forward and freezes. He wavers.

"Stay with me, Labrat."

Spots appear in front of his eyes. His knees buckle and he pitches forward. Erik darts ahead, catching his dead weight before he can hit the ground. Charles sags into him and Erik lowers both of them to the floor. "Hank!" Erik is yelling. "Get me some help!"

TBC, shortly.

A/N: herp review if you derp