Charles had never been one for blind dates; he usually just pretended he was busy and went out drinking- alone- and maybe flirted with some random girl. So standing on the boarding platform of a passenger train, waiting for Raven, for someone, was one of the many reasons he didn't go for blind dates. He didn't know who they were; what if they took one look at him and left? What if they were like him and just bailed? He had no way of knowing, unless he used his telepathy to invade the privacy of everyone at the station; which wasn't his thing either. A wind blew, picking up some loose papers and chilling him to the bone. He pulled his jacket closer, turned, and shuffled his way back into the warm cafeteria were train tickets were being sold.
"Last time I listen to Raven about dating…" Charles muttered to himself as he walked up to a coffee stand and asked for some boiled water. When he got it, he sat down, pulled out a little portable box of tea bags from his coat and opened one. Why have a portable box of tea bags, one might ask? Well, you never know when you'll need tea! They were a gift, from Raven, since she was sick of him stealing her tea bags. He blew on the tea and sipped it as he continued waiting. A few minutes later, a man sat in the seat across from him. He wore a simple black turtleneck and a brown jacket. He had dark chocolate hair and a clean shaven face; his nose was arched and thin and his expression was emotionless. He sat there for a while, tapping his foot and looking around from time to time.
"Hello," Charles finally gave in and tried at a conversation, "I'm Charles Xavier."
"…oh," the man seemed to vaguely recognize he was being spoken to, "hello. I'm Erik Lensherr."
"Looking for someone?"
"Just a girl."
"Aren't we all?" Charles joked, taking another sip of his tea. The man smiled at the comment; small, but a smile none-the-less. They sat there in a comfortable silence until Erik decided to speak up.
"So, what's got you here?"
"Oh- I'm also looking, or rather, waiting for someone."
"Yeah," he sighs, still holding his warm tea, "I hate it, but it's part of life, unfortunately…"
Erik smiled again, a little wider this time, and looked around again. Charles took this moment to be a little invasive. He put his hand on the side of his face, making it look like he was just leaning, and gently prodded at Erik's thoughts. Erik seemed to be able to sense something, his brows knitting together in a thoughtful kind of way. Charles decided it would be better to just listen to his current, brief thoughts.
"She told me he was here. Where is he? Have I already met him? Where is she? Why hasn't she answered her phone?" Erik dismissively glanced at his pocket; probably where he kept his phone. "What do I do? I should just leave. What if he didn't even come? What if she never planned to come in the first place? She should have driven me here."
"What's her name?"
"…what?" Erik turned quickly to look at Charles.
"The girl, the one you're looking for," Charles answered with an interested quirk of his brow.
Time seemed to slow. Is this his blind date? Is this the one Raven set him up with? He chuckled darkly at the thought. It must be a cruel joke then- because he was totally straight. He'd never hooked up with a man before. Not that he was any sort of homophobe or anything. He accepted anyone and everyone. He just didn't swing that way.
The man was handsome, but not so much as to change a person's sexual orientation.
"Yeah, uncommon name, am I right?" Erik smiled, looking down at his feet, "she met me a few weeks ago. Really sweet girl… Oh, who're you waiting for again?"
"…never told you…" Charles whispered, staring at Erik. He shook himself out of the shock of it all and formed an actual reply. "Actually, a friend of mine set me up on a blind date. Well, less like a friend and more like a sister." Charles said slowly, not taking his eyes off of Erik.
"Blind date?" The words set alarms off in Erik's head, making him look back at the man across from him. "Are you…?"
"Raven, huh? You know, I always knew she was bold, but setting me up with a man?"
"Oh, I'm not gay," Erik said quickly, "it's just…Raven wouldn't shut up about her 'brother' and when she said she'd set this up for us to meet, she told me she would be playing a little trick on you, just for fun."
"Oh- okay…" Charles pushed against Erik's thoughts again, and this time the man chuckled.
"I knew that felt familiar," he said with a grin, "I can feel you in here." He tapped his head.
Charles immediately blushed, "Oh, I'm sorry. It's instinct."
"I understand," Erik smiled. Charles looked at the man with a single raised brow. He suddenly felt something in his pocket wiggle. He patted his pocket as his metal pocket watch flew out and into Erik's hands. Charles gasped, very impressed.
"You're a mutant too?" He whispered breathlessly.
"Of course. Raven warned me about your telepathy."
"Oh… So- what is your power, exactly?"
"I can control all types of metal. I'm quite powerful, too. I've been practicing since I was a boy." Erik grinned again, "and I can tell you're a powerful telepath. I bet you could do some serious damage in a fight."
"Well, it's a good thing I'm a nice guy," Charles laughed, shifting in his seat to lean forward. "So- since neither of us had anything planned today, maybe we could go out to lunch."
Erik smiled at that and nodded, "that would be wonderful. There's this great pizza place about an hour from here."
"An hour?" Charles asked, sort of confused, "I don't have a car- I took a taxi here."
"No car?" Erik raised a brow questioningly.
"Never really needed one…" he explained, "I live next door to my university and I could take a taxi anywhere I needed to go."
"Oh…" Erik nodded, still looking quite skeptical.
"We could take the train, anywhere. Just go for a ride, have lunch on the train…"
"Erik-" Charles started, then looked at the man's face. The other man was giving him a look, a pleading look, one that wanted to get to know him.
Charles groaned; not the puppy eyes… Charles was a sucker for puppy eyes.
"Alright," he sighed, finally giving in, "lunch and a train ride. Let's go then."
Erik and Charles went and bought tickets then and boarded the next train. It was warm and cozy on board, as they walked up and down the aisles, looking for the right seat. Erik was being picky on purpose, since there was all of two other people on the train, because he wanted to talk Charles into renting a booth. Charles didn't have to be asked after they passed the first class booth about 5 times, because Erik had to 'go to the bathroom'. Charles asked the train attendant to let them rent the booth and she smiled and let them in for free; claiming it to be okay since no one was on the train anyway. Charles gently prodded into her mind for a moment and was surprised to find that she thought they made a cute couple.
"Do I really look so gay…?" Charles thought, "or maybe we just really do make a cute couple… wait, what?"
"Charles, you coming?" Charles blushed at being caught dazing off.
The train ride was long, but they had plenty to talk about. Occasionally they would order a snack, since neither of them were that hungry. Charles kept ordering tea, though; one constant thing. The view out the window of the train was one of beauty. They were always facing the un-touched nature. It wasn't until later, when Charles had shifted over to sit next to Erik, that it had begun to snow. They looked out the train window in awe, staring at the flakes hitting the warm glass and melting instantly. Erik gave a small sigh and leaned back in his seat.
"It was the first snow of the year when I lost her," Erik muttered. Charles looked at Erik and gently prodded his mind, washing it with comfort. Erik smiled at the feeling, but it quickly disappeared.
"We were always on the road- looking for someplace- somewhere we could stay and they wouldn't think us freaks." Erik felt Charles's hand slip into his, their fingers intertwining, "no matter where we went, we were public enemy number one- because we were just a bit different… because I was a bit different…
"Some idiot didn't know what he was doing; some people shouldn't be able to drive- you know?" Erik's eyes became wet, "he was trying to turn and-" Erik fell silent and looked away as a tear trickled down his cheek.
"Erik…" Charles started, but he wasn't listening, "I know I just met you… and I know I have absolutely no place…" he had everything to say- everything to tell him; but why was he being so open? "I know how you feel. I lost my parents, but not like you think… they never paid me any attention. I was alone my entire life- well, until I met Raven. She's my sister, basically." Charles bit his lip when Erik stayed silent, "and you know what?"
Erik blinked then, glancing at him, as if letting him know he was listening.
"I'm so glad she set this up; I'm so glad I met you."
Erik was sort of shocked at this confession, but instead of being appalled or confused, he just simply smiled and put a hand on Charles's shoulder.
After a couple minutes of the train heating up to a comfortable temperature, Charles began to feel drowsy; and eventually dozed off on Erik's shoulder, unconsciously cuddling into his side. Erik smiled and let him stay there as he gazed out the window, watching the snow fall harder. They were probably hours away from home by now, but neither of them cared, they'd just ride the train until they wanted to go back. Maybe they never wanted to go back- back to their old lives. They've only known each other for an afternoon, one that was quickly becoming night, but the bond was a strong one; almost as if they were destine to meet, Raven just made it easier.
Erik had also drifted off as the clock neared 9:00pm, and when he woke the train had stopped for passengers to get off or switch trains. Erik rubbed his eyes and was about to wake Charles when he noticed their position. Charles was lying on the seat, his head in Erik's lap and his arms tucked against his chest. He looked rather comfortable and it took Erik a while to bring himself to wake the sleeping man.
"Charles," he finally whispered, nudging his shoulder, "we need to switch trains to go back. It's nearing midnight. Do you work tomorrow?"
Charles remained unresponsive, his chest rising and falling gently in his deep sleep. Erik almost rolled his eyes. He shifted Charles off his lap and onto the train seat as he went to find the train attendant. When he found her, he asked how long they had to get off. She smiled brightly and told him 10 minutes until they leave the station. Erik really did roll his eyes then. She asked him what was wrong and he replied, 'damn brit fell asleep, I'll have to carry him,' to which she giggled. Erik trudged his way back to the private booth and collected the sleeping man into his arms, bridal style. Surprisingly, Charles was quite light. He looked like he'd be heavier, but he felt frail and thin, as if he didn't get enough nutrients. Maybe he didn't- he'd have to talk to Raven about that.
Once they were in the train destined to head back to their starting point, Erik asked for a blanket and maybe a pillow if they had it; they did. Charles was fast asleep as Erik laid him down with the pillow and blanket. He hoped they'd be back home by 3am or so. He wasn't tired, himself; because Erik was content to stare out the window, keeping eye on their location. Unconsciously, during the train ride, Erik must have reached down and threaded his fingers through Charles's soft, brown hair; since he vaguely remembered petting the brit, a small smile on his face.
The next morning, Charles found himself asleep at his home, in his soft, warm bed. He didn't know how he got there though, because the last thing he remembered was drifting off on Erik's shoulder and something about work tomorrow a little later. His drowsiness prevented him from being alert as he fumbled out of bed. Taking note of the boxers being the only thing on him, he grabbed his navy blue bath robe and wrapped it around himself and made his way into the kitchen. There, Raven and Erik were conversing; Erik at the coffee machine, pouring himself a cup, and Raven at the kitchen table, reading the newspaper for today.
"What's going on?" Charles muttered, rubbing his eyes. Raven set down the newspaper, looking sternly at her [sort-of] brother.
"Charles! How rude can you be? You fell asleep on Erik's shoulder and didn't bother to wake up so he had to carry you!" She smirked then, not a good sign. "Good thing I got some pictures of him carrying you bridal style, or else I would be a lot angrier."
"Wait- what?" Charles said, shocking himself out of his daze. He looked over at Erik, sipping at a cup of coffee. "You- carried me?"
"Well, yes. I tried to wake you, but you wouldn't comply- so I just decided to carry you."
"It was adorable."
"No-" Charles pointed an accusing finger at Erik, "don't you say that. You're not helping!"
Raven couldn't help but chuckle at that, "you two sound like an old married couple."
Charles flushed and gave a defiant 'huff!' before pouting and sitting at the kitchen table. Erik and Raven shared a laugh and Erik offered to make breakfast. He asked them what they wanted. Raven wanted anything he would be willing to make, while Charles, still pouting, replied in thought.
"I want you to be mean so I could hate you."
"But Charles, I was just trying to be kind—" he thought back, a little mockingly.
"No buts, and stop thinking about my sleeping face. I demand you focus on awake me, and not sleeping me."
"But you're just so utterly cute and helpless while you're sleeping…"Erik thought in a mock cutie voice.
"Erik… don't test me."
"Haha, fine. You win this time."
It couldn't have been more than 2 weeks before Charles and Erik began some beautiful sort of loving friendship that would last a long time. A friendship so close, that they could not be separated. Their favorite past time was probably playing chess, since strategical games were their thing. Charles tried not to cheat, but sometimes he couldn't help himself, because truly; Erik was a chess professional. He could beat anyone, probably. Charles won almost once in a blue moon without cheating, but even then, he believed it was just Erik feeling guilty for beating Charles each and every time. They began getting each other gifts when they were away from each other for a long amount of time. For example, when Erik went out for basic training, since he joined the military, he would be out of state and out of Charles and Raven's lives for months on end. When he came back, however, he would have a hand-crafted necklace for Raven and an elegantly crafted metal pocket watch for Charles. He said they were special, just for them. Then one day, he was shipped off to war, and didn't return for a long while.
And that was when everything started to fall into place.
6 months and Erik was still away. Charles collected all his pocket watches, excluding one special one, and melted them. He took the metal and left it in a wad under his bed wrapped in one of Erik's old shirts. He didn't look at it again after he put it there. The excluded pocket watch hasn't parted with him since. Raven seemed worried for Charles and had watched the entire ordeal. She asked him if he was okay; all she got was a wave of loneliness from Charles in her head. He became quieter, only speaking to people when necessary. He graduated college and became a professor. Professor Xavier, his students affectionately call him Professor X, though.
A year of Erik away and Charles stopped talking to people all together- excluding his lectures. His students became worried, noticing his distance, and sent gifts to him; small cards and things to make him smile. Charles does smile, and he gathered up all his gifts and put them out for display on a small coffee table in the living room of his home. He wanted to move on from Erik- it's not like they were together or anything; but he just couldn't bring himself to do it.
It's been a year and 8 months since Erik left. Charles finally started to get over Erik; well, that's what he liked to believe. He's started talking again, but has stopped flirting. As a gift to his faithful students, he started taking them to the park for class once a week. Raven took him out for drinks sometimes, to get his mind off of things, but Charles had also stopped drinking. He didn't want an escape, and drinking only reminded him of Erik anyways.
One night, Raven took Charles out to the train station where he and Erik first met. They got there late, so there were a lot of people already on the train. When they got on, a man in a black trench coat bumped into Charles, making him drop the special pocket-watch he'd been fiddling with. He quickly plucked it from the ground and rounded on the man, about to tell him off. That's when the man took off his hat and lowered his collar. Everyone had stopped to watch them now.
"Erik?" Charles asked, pink staining his cheeks.
And then Erik got down on one knee.
From his coat he pulled a small box. His grey eyes never left Charles's face as he said the words:
"Charles… we've known each other for quite some time, and although we didn't realize before- being away from your smile everyday made me finally see… see how much I really love you. So, Charles Francis Xavier, would you do the great honor of becoming my husband?"
Charles blushed, his hands darting up to cover his mouth so the small squeak that came from him was somewhat muted. He didn't know what to do or how to respond. His heart pounded at a million miles an hour. He could barely breathe.
"Erik, I- I-" He stuttered, his whole face a bright pink now. "Yes! Yes, yes, yes!" he cried and started laughing. "I love you!"
"I love you too, Charles." Erik stood up and hugged Charles around the waist, lifting him up and twirling around. When he finally put Charles down, he caught his hand and gently put the ring on. People applauded in the background. Erik leaned against Charles and kissed him then, not caring that a crowd of people were watching. Charles hesitantly kissed back, feeling light headed as his heart flutters.
"I'll never leave you for that long again," Erik whispers when they part. Charles felt the tears sting his eyes and threaten to fall.
"You better not," he scolded playfully, his voice shaking, "I love you so much-"
And Charles began to cry, a light, happy cry. One that made Erik's heart glow.
It must've been the best day of his life.
Erik and Charles live together now. Erik became a mechanic and Charles got his master's degree in teaching. Raven came to visit sometimes, but mostly they had the place to themselves. Charles thought about adopting kids and Erik is perfectly fine with that.
And to think this all started out with a blind date.