Wakes up from nap just enough to post …
The metal vibrations alerted him that Erik was waking up.
He had been by his side for twenty-four hours, and only budged to find a shower and change, Azazael having popped in again with some clothes, necessities, and cash. He in turn had sent a list of medical supplies that would be needed for Erik’s recovering and told him to give it to Hank to prep a room.
Charles stood, still holding Erik’s hand as he leaned over him. “Erik I need you to calm your mind. You’re safe. Where ever you think you are, it’s an illusion. Follow my voice.” He felt the grip on his hand tighten. “Come on Erik you can do this, I need you to stay calm … focus on my voice.”
He barely flinched when the pen on the chart embedded itself in the wall, as the metal clipboard began to crumble.
Charles startled when he was pulled into Erik’s mind.
He looked around trying to gauge where he was, the rain was heaving down making it difficult to see. He flipped the hair out of his eyes, and stared up at the iron gates and the hordes of people being shoved through it.
He heard a boy scream for his mother.
Watched as the metal gate began to bend to his will.
In a blink he was dry and in an office, startled to see Shaw looking the exact age as when they faced him down only a few days ago. He studied the young boy, terrified of what was happening around him.
This was the moment.
The one that set Erik on his path, the one that would lead him to Charles … to Cuba … to recovering from a gunshot wound.
A part of him was awed by Erik’s raw power as he destroyed the office and lab, inadvertently killing the German guards.
Watching Shaw put his arm around young Erik, laughing as he dropped the coin at his feet … made him wonder why he wanted to take Shaw alive.
The man was truly a monster.
The next scene made him heave, even if the scene before him was only in his head. He logically knew what happened in the camps, read about the atrocities. He had even seen glimpses of these moments in Erik when they first met and during their recruiting trip.
But to see it fully.
‘What are you doing here?’
He turned to see Erik has he knows him standing in the corner, looking between his younger self being electrocuted and Charles.
‘You pulled me in, you need to wake up.’ He reached out to him, wanting to move him away from the scene.
‘I pulled you into one of my nightmares?’ Erik looked frustrated, as he ran a hand over his face. ‘I am sorry for that, no one should see these.’
‘No one should have lived them.’ Charles whispered softly.
‘I don’t need your pity, Charles.’ The voice became stern.
He could feel the anger brewing. ‘Calm your mind Erik. You’re causing damage outside …’
‘That’s why I asked for a room away from the others.’ He took a deep breath, hands clenching and unclenching by his side.
‘We’re not at the manor.’ He finally got close enough to touch, fingers softly caressing Erik’s arm.
‘Where the hell are we?!’
The scene changed in moments going from cold sterile operation room, to the beach in Cuba. Erik looked around, then back at Charles to see him in the black and yellow uniform.
‘It’s beautiful when not being shot at.’
‘What do you remember?’ Charles asked, noticing that Erik was projecting his image without the helmet, not that it would work. He was already in his head.
‘Shaw’s death. Humans trying to kill us. One succeeding.’
‘You’re not dead my friend.’ He reached out and laid a hand on his chest. ‘You’ll recover I’ll be there each step of the way.’
‘I might as well be.’ He shrugged. ‘You won’t forgive me for killing Shaw.’
‘I…’ Charles hesitated only for a moment. ‘I am a pacifist by nature. I don’t believe in violence. I believe that one day we can all live in this world together.’
‘Naïve idealism.’ Erik smiled at him. ‘But it’s what makes you … you. I wouldn’t change that, but I do wish you would see that the world isn’t ready for it.’
‘Nor does it need another revolutionary. It’s seen enough death and destruction.’ He pointed out in earnest.
‘Then we find ourselves at a standstill.’ He glanced out towards the water. ‘Maybe you should just let me go. Maybe I can finally find that peace that has eluded me all these years.’
‘I cannot survive this without you, my friend.’ Charles reached out and cupped his cheek, making Erik focus on him. ‘We’re not a standstill, we’re at a cusp. Neither of us is right nor wrong. We’re better together.’
‘You teach, while I fight.’
‘The point I’m making Erik is we do it together.’ He ran a thumb across his cheek. ‘It’s time to wake up.’
He looked down to see Erik’s eyes were open, staring up at him. He smiled softly, running his thumb over his cheek. “Welcome back.”