*See part 1 for story information*
The introduction had not started well.
Erik thought of that while he stood by the bed with his suitcase
lying open on the bed in front of him. He started unpacking his
things. The flushing that the anger and humiliation had caused
before, during the encounter with Wolverine, had passed, but he
wasn't feeling any better on the inside. On the contrary.
He had not spoken very much with Charles. Charles had clearly shown
that he was in a hurry, so the only thing he had really done, was to
accompany Erik to the room - *their* room, which it had been formerly
too, when Charles and he had been... And then he had said something
about "catching up later", and wheeled away in his electric
That happened fifteen minutes ago. Now Erik was sitting alone on
the large double bed that Charles and he had shared every night for
over 25 years, pondering over the situation.
He had to admit he had been surprised when Charles called him and
suggested that he'd come to the mansion and stay there for a few
days, to try to "patch things up again".
Those were the exact words he had used. Erik wondered what he meant
by that. There was no "Erik and Charles" any longer, and
been that for many, many years.
Erik had accepted, too stunned to do anything else, and now he was
here, and he already started to regret it.
He had barely gotten inside the door before he was attacked.
Wolverine. Of course. He should have guessed that. Already then he
had seriously considered doing exactly what Wolverine said and just
go away, but then he had decided not to let a feral madman with claws
chase him out of a house whose one half once had belonged to him.
He truly despised Wolverine, and he knew the feeling was mutual,
and probably Wolverine would do his best to make his time here hard.
Erik sighed. And then there was that Rogue-girl. She could also be
a problem. He had absolutely no plans on hurting her, but he already
knew now everyone didn't understand that.
And all the others? He already knew what Wolverine thought. But
what about all the rest? He thought that he should have asked Charles
what his students felt before he accepted.
But now it was too late. He was already here, and unless he left at
once it would soon become evident what people felt about his
He looked around in the large room. Charles had not changed much
after he moved out. It looked basically the same. No, wait... His
collection of African masks that used to hang on the wall left of the
bed was gone. But he very well understood why. Charles had never
shared his interest in anthropology.
Erik had been honestly surprised when Charles offered him to stay
in their old room. There was only one bed (*their* bed) and that
meant they would have to share it. He had not been in bed with
Charles for over twenty years. Not for any reason.
Erik jerked when the door to the room suddenly opened and Charles
wheeled inside in his wheelchair. He gave Erik a little smile as he
wheeled inside and closed the door. He was carrying a food tray on
- I thought you might be hungry, he said. Have you settled yet? he
asked then and glanced at the opened suitcase lying on the bed. The
suitcase was open, but that was all Erik had accomplished during the
Charles wheeled closer. - I'm sorry for being so short with you
before, he said, but I had some things to deal with. It is done now.
Now I am free.
He settled the tray on the table next to the bed.
- I don't know if it is a good idea that I'm here, Erik
- Is there something that troubles you? Charles asked concerned.
- What will your students say, for one? Or have you even consulted
them about this?
- Of course I have. Storm said it was a good...-
- Wolverine attacked me already before I had walked in through the
front door. He didn't seem to know. I almost thought I would have
use my powers on him.
- Well, maybe I forgot to mention it to Logan, Xavier confessed and
then remembered he was right about that. I am sorry, Erik, he
continued. Did he threaten you?
- You could say that... Erik murmured.
- He had no right to do that, said Charles. I will talk to him.
Erik shook his head violently in reply.
- No, no, don't. I don't want it to seem like I am hiding
you. If he has trouble with me, we will have to work it out by
ourselves. I don't want you to interfere, Charles.
- Are you sure? Because if Logan bothers you...-
- I hope he will not bother me, Erik interrupted. But I'm
A long time of silence followed. Neither of the two men knew what
to say. They were friends, and former lovers, and despite that they
had known each other for over fifty years, there was sometimes
tension between them. Their opinions about certain things had not
always been the same throughout the years, and they weren't now
- Why did you ask me to come here? suddenly Erik asked, and he even
sounded accusing when he asked his question.
Charles seemed to be troubled when he heard the tone in his old
friend's voice. He had hoped this would be a turning point for
a new start, so to speak, and at least make some, if not all,
problems go away. He just couldn't accept that his idea maybe
wouldn't work, after all.
- Erik, Charles replied slowly, I thought you knew. I was hoping we
could work out some of our problems and get a fresh start...-
- That was not what you said on the phone, Erik interrupted.
- What did I say?
- You said "patch things up again".
- I did, maybe, but it was only a choice of words, Xavier said. I
meant what I'm saying now. I don't want any enmity between
I care about you, you know.
Yes. Erik knew that. Charles cared about him. But almost five
billion people more, that aren't mutants, and that wants nothing
than to destroy us! He cares about them too! he thought.
He didn't answer, but he believed Charles maybe knew what he
thinking anyway, since it was quite common that he "sneaked
his head" as Erik called it.
I should have brought my helmet, Erik thought.
- Then why didn't you? Charles replied audibly, and the
was evident in his voice now. He had read Erik's mind.
- I should have done that, at least if we are going to play a game
of chess while I'm here! Erik snapped back.
Charles sighed but remained quiet. The conversation was turning
into an argument, and he wanted to avoid that, no matter what.
- I think I am going to take a shower, Erik, he said instead. Then
I'm probably going to bed. It is Monday tomorrow and I have to
early. If you would like to move to... eh, another room, then you are
welcome to it if you want.
- No, let me stay here, Erik mumbled. This is the only room I am
used to sleeping in.
Xavier nodded understandingly. Of course. If Erik wanted to stay,
then of course.
He took a pyjama with him, and a towel, and disappeared into the
adjacent bathroom, which was constructed to fit his needs.
Erik clearly noticed that he did not close the door. Erik
sure if it was a habit to let it be open after living alone for so
long, or if Erik's presence simply didn't bother him.
He stood up heavily and started to poke about in his suitcase
again. He pulled out a white cotton pyjama to wear during the night.
He thought it might be best to change now, while Charles was in the
bathroom, since he didn't really want to do it while Charles
He didn't know why.
They had been lovers, after all. What were they now? Two old men
that argued just about anything that was arguable?
Yes, basically that.
Erik neatly folded his travelling clothes - a cashmere pullover and
grey velvet pants, and put them back inside the suitcase.
When Charles came out of the bathroom Erik was ready for the night
and lay underneath the covers. He was lying on the left side of the
- Are you still sleeping on the same side? he asked Charles.
- Why would I not?
- Good. At least I remembered *that*.
Erik also remembered that Charles hadn't broken his habit to
right before he went to bed. Erik could never do that himself. But
then Charles had no hair to worry about or wait for it to become dry.
Charles wheeled to the bed and lifted himself - still with great
agility and speed, despite his age and for many years paralysed legs -
to the bed. It only shook slightly when he lifted himself over.
Erik couldn't help thinking of old times.
The soft bump when Charles came to bed, and then Charles in his
arms, eagerly caressing and kissing, and at last, Charles lying under
him, naked, with him inside, screaming and panting, while he, Erik
Lehnsherr, made love to Charles until they both exploded.
He missed that. He missed Charles, the scent of his body and the
taste of his kisses.
Erik didn't think before he asked, but only followed his
and that surprised him as much as it surprised Charles.
Erik was usually not an impulsive person.