This scene really stuck with me after watching the movie and I have done a lot of writing on it and finally decided to post it. I don't really post stories on here, I prefer to read, and for anyone who is reading this because of the story "Echo", I am truly sorry I never finished it. My new rule is to only post something if it is already complete.

Short scene between Erik and Charles. I hope you like it. Reviews are food for the starving writer. =)

Erik shook his head and looked back at the satellite. It was irritating that Charles had such absolute faith that he could move it. He had never moved anything that big before. Even when he had been filled with rage, powered with it, he hadn't been able to stop the submarine carrying his mother's murderer. His creator. He wasn't near angry enough now. Even the frustration building inside of him wasn't strong enough to direct his power at the satellite.

"Your greatest strength is the point between rage and serenity."

What was that supposed to mean?

He tried again and his friend repeated the phrase but it illuminated nothing and he stopped. Rage worked well enough for most things anyway. It had worked for him his whole life. What could possibly be stronger? There was nothing with the same energy, the same all-consuming nature. Shaw, at least, had shown him that.

But Charles was still standing there, an eager expression on his face, and Erik frowned. He disliked not being able to live up to his friend's expectations.

Friend.

That was a word Erik would never have given any weight before all of this. Friends were liabilities. He had counted himself lucky not to have any such burdens in his life. Before he met Charles. Before the light hearted genius had looked in his eyes and told him he knew everything and still, inexplicably, hoped he would stay. They hadn't known each other for all that long, really, but he trusted him and they were close, closer than he thought two people could be after such a short time. Not that he had much experience in the way of friendship.

Still, their trips together had been the most fun he had had…perhaps ever. Charles had shared a lot about his life on the plane and car rides. It was probably out of some sense of fairness, because he had learned so much about Erik in those long moments in the water when his pain and rage and memories had been open. Erik knew, though he tried to forget, what Charles had learned about him in those seconds. Everything, he had said. Everything. A worse man would have tried to use that knowledge to manipulate him. A decent man would have pretended it didn't happen. Charles was much better. Instead, he armed Erik too. Providing Erik with the inner workings of his own mind, his weaknesses and regrets, his memories and ambitions.

Instead of feeling somehow exposed or vulnerable, knowing he had no secrets from Charles made him feel almost relieved. He had heard that sharing burdens lightened the load but he had never believed it. Not until Charles, looking beyond the dark stain on his soul and the flaws Erik knew he could see, had extended friendship with a mischievous grin.

"May I help?" Charles asked, gesturing at his head. The question knocked Erik back to reality and he bit back his almost automatic "no" and thought about it. A worse man would have done it without asking. A decent man wouldn't try to help at all. Charles was asking. He was a better man. But asking to do what? He wasn't sure how he even could help. Curiosity won out. Curiosity and the absolute knowledge that his friend wouldn't abuse the privilege.

He nodded and then he was no longer standing outside in the summer sun, he was inside his childhood home, lighting a menorah with his mother, and his chest expanded. As full
of energy as rage, as full of passion, and yet his heart, for an instant, was completely at peace. He felt a tear roll down his cheek. The point between rage and serenity.

Love.