Alright folks, this is the last part of this story. I hope you've
enjoyed it. If so, feedback would be nice! I've also made some
illustrations to this fic. You can have a look at them here:
It would become night before they reached Westchester. The drive
there was long. They left Erik's house by 1:00 PM and Erik said he
expected them to arrive in Westchester around ten PM in the evening.
For the first time Charles could now see Erik's house from the
outside. He had spent three weeks of his life there, but he had
never been out on the courtyard, but the balcony upstairs had been
the closest he got to outdoors.
Charles dressed neatly in a deep blue silk suit which Erik had
bought him, assuming it would be best if he looked liked he used to
when he came back to his students. The only visible scar he had left
was that on his left temple. Probably it would never disappear
Erik dressed in normal street clothes; a black turtle neck sweater
and grey cashmere pants, plus a long overcoat and a fedora. His
uniform would only draw attention and that was really the last thing
They had a steady lunch and then left in Erik's blue Mazda. Both
John and Mystique came to stand by the front door when it was time
to leave, but unlike John, the shapeshifter looked happy. Her yellow
eyes gleamed when she looked at Charles one last time, and he could
see all of her white teeth when her mouth was pulled into a
Charles knew what was going on inside her head. Now she would
finally have Erik all to herself again, and she wanted that more
When the car started rolling Charles even believed seeing her raise
her hand in a wave. She would not miss him, and he wouldn't miss her
They stopped by a pull-up a few times, and the second time Erik took
out their packed meal and a thermos with coffee. Charles stayed in
the front seat and ate his food in the car, but Erik went outside
to "get some fresh air". The coffee had cooled and was neither hot
nor good anymore, yet Erik drank it all up, and after that chewed
down his sandwich.
It was already October, and the weather was windy and cold, and Erik
started to regret not bringing any gloves. He rubbed his frozen
white hands together to further the circulation in them, and then,
with a trembling hand, took out a package of cigarettes from his
Charles was honestly surprised when he saw Erik lighting the
cigarette. His old friend had not smoked anything in over 20 years,
not since it was stated that smoking caused lung cancer.
"Erik?" Charles asked puzzled. "When did you go back to smoking?"
Erik sighed, looking down at the cigarette in his hand.
"I suppose I'm a little nervous
" he muttered with his head bent
Erik smiled. "I can't imagine they
" Charles tried. "My students won't try to harm you. They are
grateful to you for saving my life."
Erik replied by shrugging, and had one last pull from the cigarette
before putting it out and dropping it to the ground. The acrid smoke
made his unaccustomed lungs burn, but the nicotine also had a
soothing effect. Maybe Erik was feeling a bit less nervous now.
"I suppose you'll calm them down if they try anything," he said.
"That won't be necessary," Charles assured him. "I promise."
"I certainly hope so."
Erik rose from the wooden bench, walked back to his car and got into
the driver seat. It was half past four. They still had a long drive
"Would you like to listen to some music?" Erik asked his friend.
"Yes, that would be nice. What do you have?"
"Mozart," Erik replied.
"Perfect. Put it on."
It was almost ten in the evening when they finally reached
Westchester, and the drive to the mansion would be over in a few
minutes. Charles contacted Storm telepathically a short while prior
to their arrival, telling her they were close.
Storm was in the kitchen. Through her eyes, he could see the inside
of his beloved home; the kitchen was a place where he often liked to
sit alone at nights, when everyone else was asleep, lost in his own
thoughts. Sometimes nights were Charles' favourite time of the day,
because then everything was quiet.
When Erik finally stopped his car outside the Xavier mansion gate,
six mutants were standing there, waiting for them, like some odd
welcoming committee. Charles could see that Logan's eyes narrowed
when he saw Erik in the driver seat, but apparently he knew better
than trying anything.
Scott was there too, but he looked very tired, and his face was
ashen grey. Besides he had lost weight. How much Charles couldn't
tell, but it was still very obvious. Poor baby, Charles thought
tenderly. He must have had a hard time.
Charles and Erik watched each other. Charles knew Erik was nervous.
He did his best not to show it, but it was clear anyway.
Charles then gave his students a broad smile to assure them
everything was alright. Some of them, like Storm, smiled back, but
Logan did not he was too busy ogling Erik and Scott almost
looked like he'd burst in tears.
"I suppose it's time
" Charles murmured, looking down in his lap.
"Yes," Erik replied. "Your students are waiting. We had better part
as soon as possible so I can get out of here before they change
their minds and attack me."
Now Erik was smiling. Maybe he'd only been half serious about that.
He regarded Xavier's students through the windshield, and noticed
that they all looked at least most of them a bit anxious and
watched him with sceptical eyes. Maybe they wouldn't attack, but
they were ready to defend themselves and Charles, in case *he* tried
anything. Obviously they didn't trust him one bit.
But I wouldn't either, after what I've done, Erik thought.
"Goodbye, then, old friend," he said solemnly and reached out his
It took Charles a moment to realize Erik wanted to shake hands with
him. It felt odd indeed, yet he grabbed Erik's hand and shook it.
Usually, they never said goodbye like that, but embraced, kissed or
shot each other angry glares in case they parted as "enemies". But
they never shook hands with each other. The thought hadn't even
occurred to Charles until now. But it came out Erik had his reasons.
"This is my private cell phone number," Erik said after sticking the
note into Charles' hand. "Call me
if you'd like to meet sometime
and get out, or just
keep in touch."
Charles quickly slipped the note into his jacket pocket before
anyone else could see it. He could feel the eyes of his students on
him, knowing they wanted him to hurry.
" he whispered. "I might. In a not too distant future, old
Erik winked at him, and then turned away. "I'll look forward to it,"
he mimed. "Now go."
Finally Charles opened the car door, and Logan and Ororo instantly
rushed toward him. Ororo hugged him spasmodically hard.
I believed that
I am so happy to see you!"
Charles hugged her back and assured everyone he was fine, and that
there was nothing to worry about. Logan, still suspicious, quickly
came and lifted him into his arms, ready to carry him into the
warmth of the mansion. Or maybe getting him as far from Erik as
possible was what he really wanted.
Erik's car slowly started rolling, but before they lost eye contact
Charles sent him one last telepathic message.
//Soon// he said.