Okay, I think I'm spending too much time in the First Class kink meme LJ...cause yeah, this came from responding to a prompt there. It won't be really long or anything, it's just not quite a oneshot. Or I'm not done with it, anyway, so...here you go. Lol. :P I would love to know if there's any point in continuing. I know its depressing...but it will get better?
When the first bullet pinged against the helmet, pushing at his head, Erik didn't think twice as he turned to deflect that others that he felt coming. It was effortless, and he sent them around him and harmlessly into the sand.
Or that was the plan. They were bullets, after all-still too fast for him to be too exact about it. As long as he got them away...
He didn't think about the fact that Charles was behind him until he heard the small sound of impact-the faint squishing sound that came with it. It was so quiet compared to the gunshots themselves that he almost didn't catch it. Even when he did, Erik wasn't entirely certain he'd heard what he thought he'd heard until he saw Moira's face as she dropped the gun. Until he heard Raven's inarticulate scream of anguish.
Erik twisted in panic, and he saw Charles hit the ground. He'd fallen away from Erik, knocked sideways, and he landed in a heap of arms and legs and didn't move.
"Charles!" Erik shouted, already moving. He half expected Moira to follow him, but from the corner of his eye he saw that she just dropped to her knees and started to sob. "Charles!" He jerked to a stop at his friend's side, standing over him in shock as he tried to process what he was seeing.
Charles's eyes were wide open, unseeing. Lifeless. As dark as the neat hole in his temple. There was blood soaking into the sand under his head, and the part of Erik that wasn't denying what he saw with everything in his being knew that the hole in the other temple would not be as neat.
Air. He couldn't get enough air.
"No..." he gasped.
Erik sensed the others running forward, and he turned quickly to throw them back by the metal buckles in the their suits. They went nearly as far as the tree line, but they still landed in sand. They would be fine.
Charles would not be fine.
"God, no. Oh god, Charles..." He was on his knees now, and he didn't know how he'd gotten there. But he wasn't complaining about it; from down here it was easier to pull Charles's limp form into his arms. "No no NO, DAMNIT! Charles!"
Wake up...look at me...
With one hand Erik ripped the helmet off and tossed it forcefully away, and thought it again. Oh god please wake up...
But there was silence. There was no familiar presence at the edge of his mind, just waiting for the slightest invitation to be let in-as it had been there for some time now. But he had shut it out with the helmet, and now he would never feel it again. The emptiness drove away any remaining shred of denial.
"Charles," Erik cried. Sudden tears were hot on his cheeks, and the hand that had been stroking his friend's hair, hoping for some sort of response, moved to gently close his eyes. "I'm sorry. I am so sorry..."
"You will be."
He didn't need to feel the cold metal against his head to know the gun was there, and he didn't need to look to know who was holding it. But he did look up, and saw Raven, trembling as she held the weapon on him, tear stains marking her face. It took Erik a moment to remember that he hadn't thrown her along with the boys.
"You did this! You killed him! You! Killed! Him!" she screamed.
The barrel of the gun pressed into his forehead now, and Erik looked at her tiredly. "You know I could deflect it."
"You shouldn't," she spat.
She was right. "Go ahead," Erik said quietly, after a moment. "I won't." And if she pulled the trigger, he fully intended to keep that promise.
But she didn't. Raven held her ground until she was shaking harder, both hands gripping the weapon. Finally she dropped it.
"He wouldn't want that," she moaned. "He...oh god..." When she went down she curled in the sand, sobbing, and Hank was quick in making it back and to her side. He knelt beside her and pulled her to him, and glaring daggers couldn't even begin to describe the look he gave Erik.
Whatever innocence these kids may have had left after nearly being killed by the humans was gone now. Gone with one bullet and one lost mentor.
And it was Erik's fault. He knew that. In killing Charles he had lost them all.
Shaw was gone. Shaw could no longer ruin his life, but already he was doing a good enough job on his own.
He couldn't stay here. Erik knew that, too. Finally, reluctantly, he lowered Charles's body back to the sand.
So much lost...we could have had the world, Charles...
Before he straightened again, while he was still bent over Charles, Erik let a hand rest on the smaller man's cheek, his thumb stroking the soft skin that was suddenly growing cold. We could have had everything...and I ruined it...
So close. So close...but he'd been afraid. His lips hovered over Charles's face, but he couldn't do it even now. He didn't deserve it now.
"I'm so sorry," he said again, whispering this time. And all he could bring himself to kiss was his friend's forehead, though his thumb brushed tenderly across Charles's lips in longing.
I...did I love you? Would you have loved ME?
They would never know.
Erik pulled away with great difficulty, staggering to his feet and away from the others. When he had some distance between them he looked back, but no one looked at him. He didn't deserve to be looked at. To be seen.
Only Charles had seen him as he was. As everything he could be. And Charles was gone now.
All Erik could think to do then was run.