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FIC: Not Unspoken RR # 52: The Third Time (Xavier, Jubilee, OC)

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  • Elisabeth A Shanley
    Title: The Third Time Author: Beth Series: Not Unspoken RR #52 Timeline: Same continuity as Khaki s The Masks We Wear Codes: Xavier,
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 30, 2001
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      Title: The Third Time
      Author: Beth <eshanley@...>
      Series: Not Unspoken RR #52
      Timeline: Same continuity as Khaki's The Masks We Wear
      Codes: Xavier, Jubilee, OC
      Summary: Xavier get a lecture, a cup of bad tea, and comfort
      Author Notes: Okay... I'm dipping my toes in the water, seeing if I can do
      it. Don't ask me why I went with this, it just preyed on my mind until I
      did it. Hopefully, I won't break anything. For the chicas, who know who
      they are, and especially Andy, Jenn, and Shana. They doth rock.
      Archiving: RRindex at Indulgence, Muse's Fool, WRFA, XMMFC



      Xavier was in his study, teaching the afternoon physics class when she
      returned. He felt an echo in his mind as she opened hers to him; a soft
      caress followed by a simple nod to the fact that she felt him in her head,
      just before she booted him out.

      A wry smile curving his lips, he returned his attention to his
      students. "Turn to page 107, and we'll start the law of momentum
      conservation, shall we?"

      An hour later, class dismissed, the students streaming from the room,
      Xavier asked Jubilee to remain.

      She did her best not to snap her gum, which Xavier appreciated. "Yes,
      Professor?"

      "Claudia has returned, I would appreciate it if you would… update her on
      what has been going on since she left, if you would."

      The young woman blinked at him, dark eyes opening wide. "The Westchester
      Soap Opera?"

      Xavier smiled at the name, knowing that it wasn't a misnomer at
      all. "Yes. You may leave out the pool, if you wish."

      The gum stopped in mid-bubble, and he gave her a narrowed glance as she
      shifted uncomfortably.

      "I know it's intention is not malicious…" the raised eyebrow said the rest,
      he disapproved, but wasn't going to stop it.

      "I'll just go talk to Claudia," Jubilee said, shifting the books she held
      in her arms to free a hand to push her sunglasses back up on top of her head.

      "Thank you, Jubilee," Xavier said politely, watching her until she was out
      the door. Turning back to his desk, he took out the books for the younger
      children's science class.

      ~x~X~x~

      She was angry.

      Xavier sighed, knowing there was little he could do about it. Claudia took
      the tray and put it on the desk, taking the tea cozy off the bone china
      pot. She didn't say a word or look at him; she simply went about the
      ritual of making tea.

      It began to steep and Xavier could smell it, Lapseng Souchong. Oh bloody
      hell. She was out to punish them both. The scent of old shoe leather
      masquerading as tea spread through the room.

      Finally, the tea was brewed and she poured, bringing him a cup. She sat in
      the sofa next to where his wheelchair was parked, curling her feet under
      her. Her silver-grey hair reflected the lights.

      They both winced at the taste of the tea, but both drank, a ritual atonement.

      "Things have been changing," Claudia said, placing her cup and saucer on
      the low coffee table in front of her.

      Sliding his cup next to hers, Xavier turned his wheelchair to face
      her. "You're angry."

      "You have no idea how angry I am right now, Charles."

      "I am psychic, you know."

      "Yes, you are," Claudia shot back, staring at him intently. Shaking her
      head, she got up, starting to pace, avoiding the desk.

      At least, he thought in relief, she wasn't willing to torture either of
      them with more tea.

      Claudia stopped in front of the windows, staring out, her back to
      Xavier. "Thirty years," she muttered softly, "thirty years."

      "This is nothing like what happened between us, Claudia."

      "No, it isn't. There aren't any humans in this equation."

      "That had nothing to do with anything…"

      "It had nothing and everything to do with it. The children are on edge,
      Charles. All of this has disrupted their home."

      "I know that, Claudia."

      "You know it, but you don't understand it, Charles," she turned, facing
      him. "He sent his killers into this house."

      "I am well aware who he sent into my house, Claudia."

      "Our house, Charles. Yours, the childrens, the staff. Ours."

      "Claudia, I understand you are angry at him, but it will solve
      nothing. What is done is done, we must move beyond it."

      "I'm angry at him all over again, Charles. We wove a merry little
      tapestry, the three of us. But he tried to kill you, he could have killed
      Marie, Scott, Ororo… the children."

      Charles lost the fight to keep the bitterness from his voice. "I know he
      betrayed me, Claudia. More than once." He looked up, his blue eyes
      meeting green ones that had been there the first betrayal; that had stood
      with him on the second, and had stayed until this, the third.

      Charles, Erik, and Claudia.

      They had been a trio, back at university. When Erik and Charles had
      found each other, Claudia had found her Robert, but had always been there
      for Erik and Charles. The first time, the first time Erik had stepped over
      the line, Charles found his way to Claudia's doorstep, Robert handing him a
      whiskey and soda, then going back to bed, leaving them to talk. A year
      later at Robert's funeral, Claudia had watched as Charles and Erik tried
      again. Sixteen months later, she had stood in the hall of the Xavier
      family mansion, helping Charles to set up the school, the creation of
      Cerebro.

      A year after that, she watched as Erik stormed out, his anger unmanageable,
      his terror creating a juggernaut deep inside. Charles and Claudia moved
      slow throughout the years that followed, helping to move mutants who needed
      help, none of the students ever questioning the 'plain' human who made sure
      there were meals and bed linens.

      Erik and Robert were always a presence in their lives, love and passion
      never die easily, and neither of them was willing to give that up. But
      they moved on, until one night, things didn't stop with tea, and the
      comfort of the morning was peaceful. It wasn't just sex, it was friendship
      and comfort, not love with rockets, but love that had a calm cadence, of
      friends who had complete trust in one another.

      "What are you going to do, Charles?"

      "I don't know yet, Claudia. I don't know."

      She sighed, then returned to the desk, taking the teapot to the bathroom,
      and he heard her pour the remaining contents down the sink. Her voice
      echoed off the tiles as she returned to the room. "I sent Jubilee to
      apologize to Logan."

      Blue eyes blinked in surprise. "Have you met Logan?"

      "Only for a moment, at dinner."

      "Do you think that was the best idea?"

      "I think being as honest as you can with growling, metal-clawed men is the
      best policy."

      He chuckled as he wheeled the chair to the bed, the automatic lifter
      helping him to move himself from chair to the bed. Claudia turned off
      lights, then removed her robe, sliding into the bed next to him.

      Charles turned to her as she laughed softly, and sent a questioning touch
      into her mind.

      "I never wanted to be Jane Eyre, you know."

      He laughed against her temple. "Never particularly wanted to be Rochester,
      myself."

      "We have to do something, Charles. He can't be allowed to put them in
      jeopardy again, no matter how much you love him."

      "I know, Claudia. I know," he said softly as his lips touched hers, that
      feeling of comfort moving over them both, an easy passion growing in the
      silence.




      Elisabeth A Shanley
      <eshanley@...>

      http://www.wolverineandrogue.com/thecodex

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