Something Beyond Imagination


AN: Thanks to rion, (welcome, you're new!), 4everYoung93, kumagorox3, Sen2TOS9, WingsAndWater (welcome, new one!), and Dreamwalker-Bibliophile for reviewing the last chapter. The ride on this story has just been so fun‼! Thanks to everyone who put the story on their favorites'/alert list!

My Cherik train isn't derailed like I once suspected! On the contrary I runneth over with ideas! Check out Possible Cherik Fic Ideas for oneshot-styled excerpts for each of the ideas. Two down, ten more to go!

In other news I will be updating All About Us very soon and will get A State of Normality's sequel's second chapter up shortly after.

Now to answer some reviews:

To rion – I think you got confused because when I had it transition from the taxi cab scene to the hospital I wanted to embellish it more from Erik's point of view. I guess that would cause confusion though :o. Sorry, it seemed to fit better in my head when I wrote it out and read it over. Perhaps I assumed what I saw and what my logic made of it would carry over to the readers.

To – Thank you very much! And I have come up with a couple things. The two excerpts I have out now are rock star Erik x Columnist Charles based and Nazi hunter Erik x CIA Agent Charles.

This is not the original intended ending for the story and as such will be different than the original.

Summary: What if Erik Lehnsherr died in the camps as a young boy? What if he was given a chance to live again? Frankly he didn't imagine becoming a guardian angel when he didn't FEEL angelic but anything would do. His charge is the young Charles Xavier who thinks he's the best illusion ever.


Chapter Ten: Herr Doctor

Erik was beginning to feel too loved as Raven again placed a mountain of pancakes on his empty breakfast plate. He'd only been 'real' for three days – counting this one – and she was already trying to give him a heart attack, judging by the half-quart of butter sliding down the stack. Charles snickered into his tea cup, sipping chilled Earl Gray quietly as Erik poked the top pancake. Clearly she was a better cook that Charles but not by much as the butter-moistened pancake seemed to defy the laws of gravity and adorned his fork like a hat instead of food. "Perfection," grumbled Erik through a mouthful of pancake that mostly tasted like charcoal, butter, and maple syrup.

Raven clapped excitedly and Charles managed to chase his halved English muffin around the remains of a runny egg before taking a bite. At least Raven's heart was in the right place. If she spent as much time cooking as she did shopping the two boys wouldn't look so afraid. Not that she cared; her world had brightened substantially since Erik had returned to his body in the quiet of the Bard room and she was already busy planning what they could show him today. On his first day back they walked around the campus so he could actually feel it under his feet, feel the sunshine, the light chill, and experience the trees sway.

The second day they drove back to Westchester so he could explore the mansion he'd spent so much time in. Feel the floorboards creak under his feet, catch the not-quite-gone smell of fire that had caused the remodeling. It was a somber experience yet enlightening, enthralling and emotional. Just sitting on the bed where he first pretended to 'camp' with Charles took his breath away. Tempting him with unexplainable laughter to be had.

Today Raven wanted something different, something exciting! "We should go shopping," she suggested joyfully. "You'll need a new wardrobe since you can't imagine yours anymore." Charles flicked his eyes to Erik, a lazy smile parting his red lips. You don't NEED clothes but for society you should have them, added Charles. Erik grinned midway into his fourth pancake. And they thought he was the bad one with his dark attitude.

Charles Xavier could be naughty, too. He knew all too well. Raven wrinkled her nose at the mental conversation when their faces to started to turn that way as they looked at one another. Next thing she knew they'd be having mental sex at the table! Shouldn't have thought of that…shuddered the mutant as she picked up her own plate, scraped off the bits too small to be bothered with into the trash, and set it in the sink.

No you shouldn't have, Charles' happy mental voice seemed to purr to her. Raven gave a cry of mock aggravation and disappeared into her room. A telepathic brother she could deal with but not when he was always on the edge of her mind. She'd rather have him for things like seeing when it would rain or helping her find an earring she'd lost. Though she loved every bit of him, mutant ability included.

When Charles was done fawning over Erik nearly an hour later – small things like running his fingers through his hair, admiring the color of his eyes, appreciating his smell – he decided Raven's idea had some worth. Erik would need new clothes. His shirts were far too small on the tall, broader man and Erik had longer legs – Charles' sweatpants looked like kids' clothes on him! "We'll have you looking dashing for the public," mused Charles as Erik shivered slightly when the other carded his fingers softly through his hair. He liked to pull Erik's hair back a bit; it tamed his semi-long bangs and let his face steal the attention it deserved.

"I think you just want to dress me, Charles." teased Erik as the telepath laughed into the top of his head.

"That may be a factor," muttered the telepath in an amused, slow drawl as Erik finally stood from the dining table. It's not like he was going to finish the pancakes, anyways. He imagined Raven had given them privacy should simple stares and mental conversations lead to anything else but he knew – like he knew metal livened his veins – she was waiting behind her door. Once the girl mentioned shopping – able to get this one in motion due to valid reason – she locked herself into a certain mode. A shopping mode where sales tags, sizes, colors, and traffic could easily be calculated in a fashion unlike he'd ever seen.

The ability to shop was clearly her secondary ability.

Because of her they ended up going on a five hour shopping trip. Erik couldn't say he was particularly excited about the ordeal. Now he knew why Charles always groaned and took off his shoes as soon as they got back! His feet were beginning to hurt and at one point – maybe at the two and a half hour mark? – the windows and store merchandise started blending together. Everything looked the same and he was tired of being shoved in a room just to have Raven throw clothes over the door.

She was giving him credit for being able to pull off colors and fashions he loathed. Erik couldn't hate her – well maybe he could after seeing whatever the hell that was meant for men with a leopard-like pattern – because it was an exciting thing for her. Raven loved to shop in general and being able to dress coarse, crabby, only-solid-colors Erik Lehnsherr was proving too fun. Though she wasn't winning the fight to infuse him with color and nearly everything she threw at him had been thrown back at her. "Charles can you please tell him to try something that isn't a solid color?" Raven demanded of her brother as Erik stepped out in a solid black long-sleeved shirt.

Charles found himself blushing. He knew the idea of the sizes varied across the stores and that Erik was medium but in this medium the muscles of his torso were very apparent. They stretched the chest thinly to where Charles could see the lines separating his pectoral muscles and his abdominal muscles. "I think he looks nice," managed Charles. Raven growled to herself and rolled her eyes, muttering something along the lines of 'why do I try?'.

Erik grinned victoriously and reversed his crooked lean on the door to the dressing rooms. He won that round. Now if he could only convince them that this would be okay for the rest of his wardrobe. It was hard and Erik had only managed to do so by picking out a coat or two and frustrating Raven with rejection to the point where she didn't care. Charles could care less and thought what Erik had picked suited his personality.

Finally deciding the multiple bags were too heavy they managed to stuff them into the car before heading back to campus. Raven would've rather kept them in the car and driven to get a quick bite instead but Charles was paranoid. He'd rather take the purchases to the Bard room, drop them off, make sure they were safe, and then grab an early dinner. Or a very late lunch since they had bypassed the meal in effort to comb all the shops. Had Raven known even a fraction of what Erik had shared with Charles she would've understood why he insisted on dropping the cantankerous bags off at the dorm.

Charles liked to think since Erik was alive and well nothing bad could possibly ruin the near-dream he lived every day but that would be something silly to think. Erik may have come to him as a ghost but memories of Shaw were very real. He half-hoped the man in those memories had been dead for a while but he could tell by the way Erik watched the streets with care that it wasn't stupid to think he wasn't dead. What if – by some freak occurrence – Shaw was alive? Even worse, what if he knew Erik was alive?

What if he was looking to finish the experiment that had been ruined by his death? Thoughts like that let Charles see what a danger heavy bags could be. Carrying so many was the perfect opportunity for a man like that to apprehend them. He didn't think he could handle it if Shaw got his hands on Raven, much less Erik. She had a craving for pasta but Charles managed to dissuade that because of the slight worry Erik exuded.

Now that he was visible Charles could hear just a hint of worry that he would look very out of place in such a nice restaurant. They hadn't bought him anything particularly nice because Charles wouldn't be at Bard much longer, would probably transfer to Oxford, and Erik had yet to need a good suit. He'd just been given a body! Not only was Erik concerned with being watched – mostly due to his paranoia – but Charles felt it was thrusting him into something he may not be ready for since all of his senses had recently returned. Growing up beside them as a ghost was one thing and walking down streets fully enabled was another.

He didn't want to create a chance for Erik to panic or feel overwhelmed. "Why don't we just go to the bar?" huffed Raven, a touch miffed since Charles had 'politely' declined her suggestion for Italian in the way that meant no debate would be had. "It's where you'll probably end up!" she grumbled as Charles sighed through his nose, puckering his lips thinly at her. Erik roped an arm around her waist in a manner purely sibling- like and Raven resisted a tiny grin crafted by the way he so effortlessly corralled her to him.

"If it's any consolation he can probably make you think you're eating pasta," pointed out Erik. "And if it makes you smile I'll be nice to one boy at the bar for you...for at least five minutes." Charles smiled as Raven took the bait. There was something alluring and heart-warming at how Erik would do anything to make her smile. It wasn't rare so much as it was a contrast to his usual conservative demeanor largely meant to scare people always from them. The honest smile looked coarse and even flirtatious as he kissed Raven's head and Charles felt his cheeks warm.

Good lord was Erik even aware of the faces he could make with all that new flesh? His heart galloped down slowly to its natural rhythm as they entered the bar, Raven just finished adjusting her body to look twenty-one. Charles stood by just in case the bartender questioned Erik – he was three days into living, he had no paperwork! – but surprisingly he went unchecked. Well…it wasn't too surprising; it was a bar near a college campus so Charles imagined it was pretty relaxed by default. Most of the current drinkers were from the college and he had a suspicion that if the bartender actually enforced the drinking law he wouldn't be doing half as well as he was.

Aside from that Erik had a rugged-looking tint to his age. It made him look a bit older with or without the dim bar lights. The way he carried himself also helped. Charles imagined if he had lived through the camps he would be a hardened type chasing recklessly after Shaw. Something akin to a vigilante with a vendetta hardened by time, memories, vengeful desire, and exercise meant to keep him fit for the day.

He cleared his throat, trying to focus on the waitress asking what he'd like to drink instead of the insistent twitch beneath the table and between his thighs. Damn Erik. "A cola," choked out Charles, determined to think of anything else so he wouldn't be stuck in an awkward situation. Raven sent him a mildly disgusted but oh-so amused look when she realized why his cheeks were pink, and Erik managed a tiny laugh before picking up a menu in attempt to shield himself from that pouty, evil glare. At last – thinking of nuns, igloos, and the high death count of the Titanic, how those people froze to death amongst other things – he could pretend like nothing ever happened.

Though not for long. It irked him to know people would look down on them for being themselves. Who cared if they were gay? He loved just like everyone else, his love just happened to be the same sex. Charles had half a mind to distort everything in the bar so he could just hold Erik's hand – the urge was winning steadfastly against his own morals – but lost his concentration.

Erik was holding his hand. It had been a silent, undetected move, but he knew the texture of that larger hand. Relished its warmth and coarseness against his own skin. He went to untangle their fingers as the waitress approached but recognized the subtle pressure as a sign not to. Their waitress, a girl named Cindy, gave them a cautious, skeptical glance and Charles – for once – was speechless.

Too embarrassed. Loved, awed, but embarrassed. "He understands sign language so he likes to keep Charles' hands close. Helps him better understand." Lied Raven. Charles' mild surprise was barely covered and even Erik admired her quick wit though it made him seem like some sort of disabled idiot. At least he got to hold Charles' hand.

"Oh well, what do you want to eat?" Charles could tell Cindy resisted making a scooping motion to illustrate her question. Thankfully Charles did know sign language to perpetrate the lie. It was something he'd learned at that unbearable preparatory school. After asking him in sign language Erik turned the menu around to the waitress and pointed to a hearty club sandwich. She nodded, scribbling away on the notepad, and looked to Raven and Charles.

Only after she went away did they laugh. "You're terrible, Raven." Chided Erik in perfect German. The blonde lifted her glass of cola and toasted him, grinning cattily. Raven ordered a salad to go with her fish basket, Charles had a bowl of soup with a few pieces of bread, and Erik ate fries with his sandwich. Or they would have, had they not spent so much time talking, simply laughing.

It was one thing to have had Erik in their childhood and another to see him at their table – real – like he wasn't dead. Sitting at the table, eating in a bar not too far from the college they could fool the world. He could be a friend that never left. Just one that had never seen the world since his childhood. In a way –Charles mused on the idea as he licked cola from his lip and dragged the excess soup off the back of the spoon before taking a bite—they were entrusted to protect him like he had brought it on himself to do for them.

They knew about the world he'd missed out on as a ghost. He didn't know as much and could stand to know more, if only just to be safe. It was an amusing concept and Charles grinned as he took another spoonful of chilled potato soup. By the time they finished eating it was more the time Charles like to drink. This would be exciting – he'd always wanted Erik to drink with him!

Erik looked a bit cautious as Charles proposed indulging in the drink. Raven couldn't because of her condition and Erik didn't feel totally right leaving her alone in the 'fun'. As if she knew the cause for his deliberation Raven waved him off. She'd gotten perfectly used to drinking cola while Charles made a fool of himself. Charles was fully prepared to be the more sober of the two of them.

With Erik being recently reinstated into flesh he wasn't sure what kind of capacity he had. But…he had come from German influences so there may be no reason to worry. Erik's first drink of choice was a lager. It was bitter, strong, and semi-sweet but he drank it anyways. Beside him Charles opted for something heavier and pungent, far darker than his drink.

Charles was steadily out-drinking him but in his own defense Erik thought the lager was larger. It was put in a different glass, after all. But he wasn't really good with volume-based math – or math at all, thanks to Shaw – so the question fell unanswered, and by the wayside. He did know that Charles was pissed when he cut him off at midnight. Raven looked utterly awake but he assumed that was because she'd ingested so much sugary soda.

"Go pay the tab. I'll wait for you outside," whispered Erik as she fished bills out of Charles' left-hand pocket. It only occurred to Raven after Erik asked her to go pay that they'd never taught him about British pounds or any type of currency. Little did she know he had a piece of currency on him, a coin given to him by a sinister old man. It was the only bit of money Erik really knew and the only reason he held onto it was so he could repay the kind doctor. One day…if the old devil was actually alive anymore.

The possibility that he wasn't crossed his mind but that would be just too easy. Something dark in Erik wished he wasn't just so he might get that chance to kill him. Outside the streets were lit by a sprinkle of lamps to fend off the dark sky overhead. Erik clasped Charles to him, an arm under his arms, as he waited restlessly for Raven to come out. In the dark, with a drunken Charles, he was very vulnerable – they were vulnerable.

Charles grunted and Erik absently pet his wavy curls. "My head hurts," groaned the telepath.

"That's probably the beginnings of a headache," mused Erik as Charles flinched again.

"No, it really hurts. Like…like when I go into peoples' heads." Muttered Charles. Erik pursed his lips. How was that possible? He realized Charles could better break into minds when he was drunk but why would it hurt? And if it did couldn't he just pull himself out of those minds?

"Maybe that's because I was in your mind." The sudden appearance of a blonde hadn't necessarily startled Erik. He'd seen Charles do the same thing to Raven on more than one occasion. It was something like tricking her mind into seeing him when he wasn't there, or making it seemed like he'd moved while he wasn't actually anywhere near her. Instinctively Erik bristled at her presence and it wasn't because of her skimpy white costume or her eerily perfect blonde curls but the predatory way she raked those brown eyes across both of them. Something was wrong.

Very, very wrong.

"Did you find them, Emma?" Erik heard a voice ask. The second person seemed not too far off but his intrusion wasn't what bothered Erik. What bothered him was the fact that the voice sounded…familiar.

"Yes," the blonde rolled her eyes. "I don't know why you want another telepath when you have me."

"Because you'll be going to Russia for me and this telepath is an Xavier." Purred the man. It was an older voice by the sound of it and the tone was too happy for Erik to like. He stepped in front of Charles and readily ripped up several light posts to show these two that Charles wouldn't go without a fight. In response the blonde turned her whole form completely diamond. Erik didn't care who saw; he wasn't about to let these people have Charles.

"And?" asked Emma, unamused by her partner's answer. Erik thrust his arm forward and the first light post shot past the blonde where her associate was waiting. Due to shock Erik dropped the lamp post. It was Shaw. Before the light completely disappeared from the familiar contours of his face – his mustache was gone, Erik noticed but his cheekbones were the same – Shaw's eyes twinkled curiously as if to ask if that was him.

"The government might sweat a bit if we capture a highly wealthy young man who could possibly fuel future war-preventing efforts."

"So you say. We make them sweat without this guy," Emma muttered into her nails. She'd only been brought along to track the telepath and block him if need be. Telepaths had that effect on one another; they could cancel each other out. That and Shaw liked her diamond form because it made her a force to be reckoned with.

"Little Erik Lehnsherr?" inquired Shaw in flawless German. Then Charles knew. That was the man…the man from Erik's nightmares. "I thought you died…" Shaw was unbelievably awed. How could he be alive?

Had the coroner mistaken him for dead? Did the soldier just think he was because his own fingers were cold from keeping watch? He could see Erik faking his death but little had been thought about him since his body was tossed in the pit. It was possible, Shaw reasoned, that he climbed out after they had left the pit but whatever had happened he was here! And how strong he'd become!

A far cry from the boy who couldn't move a coin.

"Herr doctor," hissed Erik. At this point he had no control. He realized the wild swell of panic, the fury, had shortened the fuse of his concentration, his mind, and that the metal surrounding him was very apparent. Everything pressed on his veins just like the pick that day, like the coin on his office desk. Charles quickly rearranged his brain chemistry as best he could – the tactic still wasn't perfect, he hadn't done it much – as the other telepath receded from his mind to take her diamond form.

Raven stay inside. Don't question me, just obey. Charles demanded. Few were out on the streets but he threw up a scene anyways. The ones that were out were probably drunk like him but he couldn't risk people seeing mutants so exposed. It would cause an uproar, he feared. They would be hunted and corralled like Erik always worried about.

"Emma," Shaw smiled to Erik like the boy hadn't died, like those tests had never hurt. "Be a good girl and get the telepath for me. Whistle for Azazel before you start."

"NO!" roared Erik and at once all nearby metal leapt from the windows, street lamps, and anything else disguising it to whirl around them. Emma was slightly taken aback by the floating menagerie of sharp, thick, jagged metal standing between her and the two men but knew her diamond skin could handle it. Ignoring the show, the shimmying metal, she puckered her lips in a whistle. Erik's furious concentration nearly broke when a man that looked like the devil himself appeared in a cloud of sulfurous red smoke. In a blink he was behind him and back in front of him.

Only with Charles.

Shaw merely smiled, brushing a hand along the curl closest to Charles right eyebrow. Something in Erik snapped when he realized the evaluating, carless way he looked at Charles. Like he would experiment on him just as he had done to him. Emma could do nothing but bunch her arms against her body as she walked towards the metal bender. The metal nicked her relentlessly but not at the right speed to cause cracks along her form and she continued to push the adamant pieces out of the way.

She knew what Shaw wanted her to do. He may want the government to sweat but he really wanted this guy to sweat. Apparently he'd been the one that'd gotten away. The one that could ruin him if he ever said anything. Shaw had been talking about him nonstop since Emma said the other telepath kept mentioning an 'Erik Lehnsherr'.

There was a chance it was someone who had been named in honor of the allegedly murdered boy but when Emma garnered from Charles' mind that this Erik Lehnsherr could move metal Shaw was beginning to think it was the same one. Nearly impossible but he knew it could be no descendant. The only Erik Lehnsherr he knew had died in the camps and they killed any children born to the girls while in the camps. He then decided he wanted to see Erik again. Even if that meant they'd have to use Charles to do so.

Emma had been taken off her feet by the sheer force behind the street lamp. Shortly after everything collapsed on her and began to beat her. Erik's hands trembled. He could feel the fury exhausting his strength but wouldn't stop until this girl was dead. THEN he'd worry about Shaw.

The female telepath rolled over to her stomach in her diamond form. Despite the metal pieces she crawled on her belly until she could reach the metal-bender's foot. Erik hissed as she balled up her sharp, hard fist and punched him as hard as she could in the ankle. For a second pain arched across his mind – pain like in the room, in Auschwitz – and he wondered if she'd broken the ankle. It certainly felt like she had.

That was all the opening Emma needed. The metal around her shivered…fluttered up and down rapidly as Erik struggled to refocus his mind despite the pain. She brought her foot up to nail him in the stomach, effectively winding him. Before Erik fell completely back, totally out of her range, Emma thrust her diamond-hard palm out with as much strength as she had and clapped him upside the head. Erik crumpled to the ground, able to see the colors of the sidewalk and bar front dancing between dark spots.

"We're done here. Let's go. Azazel." Erik recognized another pop! despite his aching head and managed to sit up. The act did nothing but make him feel utterly on fire with pain and dizzy but he had to find Charles. Where was Charles? Where had they taken him? He could feel warm, wet blood gush thickly between his fingers and wondered if he'd die of some sort of brain swelling before getting answers.

Finally Charles' presence receded from her mind. Raven had half a mind to lecture him for suddenly invading like that but the panic in his voice told him not to. Or what she thought was panic, as he mostly sounded drunk. She tried to pass the time by talking with this woman who'd come to see Charles – a woman named Moira MacTaggert – since he was outside but something didn't feel right. "I think he's still outside if you want to see him." Raven didn't care what Charles had told her, she was worried damnit!

"Should I come back tomorrow? He did look like he drank a bit."

"Ah he always does that. Charles' building up his immunity."

"Right…well let's see how coherent he is, shall we?"

"We shall," Raven mused. Though the smile died once she saw Erik laying in a pool of blood trying to stand. Pieces of metal and tangled street lamps littered the ground around him like someone had dropped them from the sky. "JESUS CHRIST! ERIK! ERIK WHAT HAPPENED? WHERE'S CHARLES?"

"Shaw," stuttered Erik as he continued to press his fingers to the oozing wound. "Shaw. Shaw took Charles. And a diamond telepath. Red teleporter. Fucking SHAW!"

"I knew it," hissed Moira. "How ironic," she frowned. "Let's get you taken care of." She tried to take Erik by the arm, to help Raven help HIM but he snatched his arm away.

"Who are you? What do you know? Why 'I knew it'?"

"The CIA asked me to find Charles. We want his help tracking Shaw."

"Take me with you. I'm not leaving him. And I won't let you find him alone."

"And I'll do that. We just need to get you cleaned up first," promised Moira. Raven's wet eyes and clenched hands around his arm was the only reason Erik relented.


Every minute he'd spent getting cleaned up, stitched up, only pissed him off more. Getting back to the covert base alone had taken more time than Erik wanted. The blood transfusion and gentle admonishing of their on-base doctor – a young boy barely older than Raven – was getting harder and harder to take. Stitches he could take but why weren't they looking for Charles? Why the hell were they in a meeting?

Why the FUCK weren't they looking for Charles?

Hank McCoy dabbed tentatively at the last of red trying to escape between the six stitches and tried to talk to the blonde, Raven, as the man in his chair looked like he wanted to rip the arms off. Or break everything in his lab as the genius was very aware of the noisy rattling of nearly anything metal. "Okay, I'm done. I'm stepping away. Would you like anything to drink? Maybe something to eat?" in response Erik threw a metal-lined ruler from the table full of vials and had it just graze the young man's scalp. He was in no mood to talk, eat, drink, or anything. Hank licked his dry lips nervously and nodded, stepping back six more steps.

Raven did want a drink, however, and wanted someone to tell her it would be okay and god just speak to her so she asked him where the kitchen area was. Best to get him away from Erik before he tried to kill him, anyways.

Charles…please, please speak to me! Erik didn't care if it was just a whisper. Just one letter. As long as he got something! He hoped the distance wasn't too much. Who knows where they were since they had a teleporter at their disposal?

Erik? The reply was very faint and Charles sounded mentally drowsy. Like he was just waking up, maybe.

CHARLES! Where are you?

Not so loud…it hurts.

I'm sorry, but where are you? I haven't heard from you in almost two hours! Are you okay?

I…I think I'm in Auschwitz.

Wh—what?

The room looks just like the one from your memories except its mostly plastic now. Plastic where I'm laying and in the room I can see, the one connected to this one. Like a plastic doctor's office.

Do you see anything identifying? It could be where Shaw once held him but Erik wasn't sure if he'd be that stupid to go there again. Not when it had been cleared out and cleaned by the Americans. Or would he do it just because he was conceited? The room didn't sound the same but he had an icy feeling it was, the metal had just been removed because of what Shaw had done to him. He was afraid of retaliation.

There's a sign on the wall. A German sign.

What does it say?

Arbeit macht frei. Work brings freedom…right?

Yes, yes that's right. Stay very still Charles. I know where you are. I'm going to tell them and we'll get you and you'll be okay, alright?

I feel tired…

Don't go to sleep Charles!

Ripping his mind away from Charles' at that very moment was the hardest thing he'd ever done in his life. Harder than moving the coin. Harder than surviving despite the death of his mother. Erik leapt from the chair and prowled the halls, looking for Moira. Luckily she'd been coming to check on him and had brought a portly man in a suit along with her. "Get me a plane. I know where he is."

"But that's impossible how can you—" Erik turned on the fat man and growled. His lips curled up drawn curtains and the man swallowed at the sight of his plentiful, sharp teeth.

"Do not question. We do not have time. Get me a plane."

"They'd need to know where before you took it."

"Shaw has him at Auschwitz and I swear to god if you ask me one more thing I will rip this place apart!" threatened Erik as the metal on their badges shook. He moved the larger things, like tables in the young man's lab, and made the window latches shake. They paled considerably.

"Platt go talk to McCone. I'll take him to the plane."

"Right…"

Moira desperately crooned to the pilot, as did Raven. Erik was not in the mood – she pointed that out – and his skepticism could get him killed. Charles would like her, Erik thought, the one calm idea in all of his fury. She was playing the peacemaker like he always had. Would, Charles wasn't gone yet. And wouldn't be if he had anything to say about it.

The coin hummed against the skin of his thigh despite his jeans and Erik growled again. "GET THE FUCKING PLANE IN THE AIR!" he wanted to scream, but he didn't have a voice with all the fury swirling in him. Shaking for him, folding up, and sliding off Erik paid a disheveled Moira no mind as she was thrown to the floor of the plane. Utterly terrified the pilot clasped the controls and only had real control of the plane once the engines started properly and Erik corked his rage. He would save it for Shaw and send the coin spinning so fast he wouldn't be able to see it by the time it halved his brain.

Or he would die trying.

No one, especially him, would take his Charles.


"Do you realize that on your person you have two paper clips, one pen, four quarters, seven dimes, eight pennies, and two nickels?" inquired Shaw as he finally quit fishing around the heavily sedated telepath. Charles had rearranged his brain chemistry the last four injections but had finally reached a point where he was too tired to do so again. Shaw wasn't quite sure what he would do with him, yet, aside from letting Emma probe his mind before she left. At the moment he was too amused that Charles had exactly the right combination of odds and ends to match the numbers on Erik's arm. The blue eyes looked sleepily to him and Shaw could tell the sedative had worked this time.

He looked like he was about to fall asleep.

"Erik…" whispered the telepath. He wasn't searching for an answer, waiting for Shaw's approval. He knew. Charles always kept Erik's numbers on his person in some way. It was like having Erik when him while he'd still been a ghost because he'd always sent him off to Raven.

"You are as smart as they say," mused Shaw. He looked to the door, expecting Emma. She should've been in here by now because in a half hour she needed to be in Russia. Shaw rolled his eyes, mumbling to himself. While she was a good teammate she did like to have her own agenda and take her sweet time.

It was that damned ego of hers. But he could stomach it so long as she did her job.

Erik pounced on the blonde dressed scantily in white before the even made it down the hall. Since the Americans had liberated the camp it was desolate, and no one would think to look for the telepath here, and no one would think to come help the telepath he had under his fingers, either. He was sure it was only her and Shaw here though she was trying to whistle which meant that teleporter couldn't be far.

At the last minute – against all instincts – Raven had run onto the plane. "He's my brother!" snapped the shape shifter and Erik couldn't deny that. She had clearly stolen various metal objects on her way towards the plane and now Erik was glad she had. The bulging bag jostled as the surprised female telepath squirmed against his hands and Erik snarled, pressing his full weight into her. If she didn't shut up he was going to snap her neck!

Thankfully she'd gone into her diamond form to fend him off, meaning she couldn't telepathically communicate according to the CIA's files. Before she could deal him a blow like she had Erik let the metal pieces rip the bag to shreds. The items – ranging from paper clips, to lanyards, and even name plates – twined together in a thick miss-matched chain wrapping tightly around her throat. She was struggling now while she had the last of her wits about her. Erik didn't care that she scratched him, the fact she was resorting to scratching and couldn't buck him off meant she was starting to feel the sheer pressure despite her diamond form.

His hands never once dropped from above her head. He wouldn't stop until she quit moving. Her diamond form shattered and Emma gasped for air. Erik kept his hands steady above her head.

"Erik, Erik please—"

"Shut up, Raven!" snapped Erik in German. Emma didn't care that he'd spat on her when giving the command. She couldn't breathe!

"Erik what about Charles?" at last the blonde slumped underneath him and Erik stepped off.

"Change into her," commanded Erik as he pointed to her. Nervously, never seeing Erik so mad as to notice that vein in his head, Raven nodded. Erik was staring at a perfect copy of Emma, one he'd rather not kill. He untangled the pieces, trying to calm his mind, and reshaped them into the sharpest thing possible as he hid by the wayside, Raven picking up Emma's abandoned path. There was only one room at the end of the hall and she knew her brother was behind it.

They had agreed he'd count to ten before doing anything but Erik could hardly think straight, let alone count properly. He was so MAD! At last he'd gotten to ten and Erik ripped the door off its hinges, spinning it about so that the heavy metal-adorned part flew forward into Shaw's surprised face. Raven ducked and was busy trying to drag Charles sedated body out of the room.

Shaw made a move to stand, to go after them, and Raven dropped her disguise. She dared him with her yellow eyes to so much as step towards her brother. The old man paused, amused. "You're beautiful," he whispered in awe of Raven. Erik brought the door down on his face again.

And again. And again. There was no end to the tempting rhythm. He could hear Shaw gasping for coherency and air as the blood spatter flew around the room when the door lifted time and time again. Erik would not stop until this man was dead. He hoped he died slowly.

"You will not touch my family. You will not take anything else away from me!" said Erik in the lowest of growls Raven had ever heard as the sharp objects from his bag dropped heavily towards the door pinning him flat against the floor. If there was any doubt the man was in pain there wasn't now. Erik pulled the door up to find Shaw neatly pinned by the various crude spikes he'd made. With a flick of his hand the spikes dislodged and spun around to pin him from the front. Blood sputtered from his mouth as he gasped and Erik almost didn't recognize him without the glasses, mustache, and vague presence of vulnerability on his face.

Did he not like the monster he had made?

"Your tests worked well, Doctor," mused Erik. "But maybe too well. Remember this coin? Look at this coin. I want you to see it…" the coin from so long ago floated out of his pocket and Shaw watched with wide blue eyes as it drifted closer. It was close enough for him to see the detail and smell the all-too-iron scent of it. "Watch the coin doctor because it's going to disappear."

"I—I made you…" stuttered Shaw. Erik glared hotly at him, causing the door and his pinning pieces to rattle.

"The only thing you made me was pissed," replied Erik coolly. Revenge was so close he could taste it.

"Powerful…" wheezed Shaw. "I made you power…ful…"

"No…" Erik would never admit Shaw had given him anything to feel successful about. If anything Shaw made his mutation feel like a curse. But Charles…Charles did away with that feeling. When he looked at Erik, watched him tease metal Erik actually felt proud. Loved.

"He did," nodding his head slightly to Charles Erik waited only a second longer. Only enough to tell Raven to shut her eyes and walk as far away as possible. He didn't want them to see him like this. So angry…

Raven couldn't hold Charles anymore. He was so heavy! The loud, anguished cry startled her anyways. Charles groaned as he was dropped and she whispered apologies, sweet nothings, as the screaming continued. Erik would be done, come out, and they would all go home and it would all be okay.

Those screams didn't sound like Erik, anyways. Finally, after what seemed like forever, they stopped. Erik walked quietly out of the hall be speckled in blood. His newly purchased shoes squelched in the blood and his face was clean but his hands weren't. Probably from handling his tools since she saw the pieces in his arms.

Erik dropped them all, ignoring the dark stain from the bloodied coin and the fact that his jeans had been ruined. Shaw was definitely dead. He'd run the coin through his brain enough times so that a clear trail could be seen and one could look through it as if they were staring past a keyhole. "Is he okay?"

"Unconscious, I think. Hank will know what to do once we get him back to the base."

"I imagine it's a sedative." Erik looked him over. For the most part Charles looked unscathed. He imagined they got there before anything had really happened. Shaw had probably tried to dope him up in order to get answers. Cooing to his boyfriend Erik sighed as gently collected the lump in his arms, letting Raven carry out his instruments. He was strapped into the plane not even twenty minutes later, right next to Erik, and watched carefully on the flight home.

Moira would have good news for her superiors and he and Raven could see to it that Charles recovered. Evidence of good cheer at Shaw's death showed itself when even the young scientist, Hank, had been invited to a small party they were cobbling together in the kitchen. The boy declined, of course, because he had a patient to attend to. In the wee small hours of the morning when twilight gave way to powder blue skies and the stars receded Charles stirred. Ultimately Hank had fallen asleep because even he had to obey the need of replenishing himself, and Charles let him sleep.

Raven was no better, sleeping in the extra chair that had been taken from his study area. Erik was the only one awake. Charles' eyes fluttered. "For a moment I saw the light," he laughed, "and I thought I was back in that room. With him."

"No, you're here with me. And Raven. You're safe. We're at the CIA base. Apparently I wasn't the only one who wanted Shaw."

"That place was awful," croaked Charles. "Like a nightmare."

"Don't think about it anymore," urged Erik. He kissed Charles' forehead, then his eyes. The telepath looked so tired. "It's just a bad dream now. He won't be able to get you anymore. I took care of him." Charles shifted, using his elbows to prop him up higher on the bed. There were no wounds to speak of per se – mental damage, probably – but he felt tired, heavy, and sore from all the attempted fighting he'd done before that teleporter disappeared.

"You can say it's a bad dream but it's not over. People will always be trying to get us." mused Charles sullenly. Erik sighed. He was right about that but that didn't mean Charles had to frown about it. After all, he was here now, and he would protect him. Them, because people would surely be after Raven, too.

"They can try but I won't let them have you." Charles laughed, a real grin lighting his face.

"I couldn't see it any other way."

Erik smiled and patted his hand softly. Neither could he.