FIC: Not Unspoken RR # 52: The Third Time (Xavier, Jubilee, OC)
- 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,
"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
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
"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.
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
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
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,
"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
Elisabeth A Shanley
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