Chapter rating: PG-13
Disclaimer and story information can be found in part 1.
Four hours and thirty minutes after the phone call they were on their
way. Erik had arrived at the mansion about forty minutes earlier in
his blue Mazda to pick up his lover.
Charles had done what he was told and packed while he waited for
Erik's arrival. He hadn't really packed that much. Some
clothing, and a cool bag with food. His smaller, collapsible
wheelchair was in the trunk instead of his heavy electric one, which
he relied on home at the mansion. The reason why he left it was
simply because it was too large to fit into a regular car.
It was approximately 100 miles to the cabin, located northeast of
Westchester. The nearest society was named Dark Score, being so small
it wasn't even included on the map.
Charles was sitting in the front seat next to Erik, who was driving.
He was looking out through the side window while trees, fields,
meadows and houses whistled past his eyes.
"Think, Charles," Erik said suddenly. "I haven't been
at the cabin
for over 25 years! It just feels so... incredible."
"Hmm..." Charles replied absent-mindedly. "Then how do
you feel about
"Well... I hope the cabin is not mad at me for staying away for
a long time."
"I haven't been there either."
Erik gave him a surprised and, Charles figured, startled look.
for... Not since last time we were there together?"
"But... how do you know if the cabin is even there any
Charles laughed. "Calm down, sweetheart. Logan and Marie have
there a couple of times. They were there a couple of months ago. They
said it was quite cosy."
Erik laughed relieved. "Aha, alright. That was comforting. Did
tell your students where we are going?"
"No, I don't think so. I just told them that we're going
away for the
weekend. Jean promised to take my classes. It is only Thursday today.
For how long did you plan on staying?" Charles asked.
"Until Sunday, I thought. But if we grow tired of it, we can
leave earlier. But I know we won't," Erik added briskly.
really been looking forward to spending time with you alone."
"Did you really mean we'd make love before the fireplace?"
Erik laughed. "Sure. Why not? Just like when were young."
"Maybe it is worth a try," said Charles.
"We can make love on a blanket out in the grass too, if we feel
"Or in bed, as we use to," Charles said with a smile. "I
is the safest of all places."
Erik placed his right hand on Charles' thigh and rubbed it
the fabric of his pants. Charles could surely not feel it, but he
could still imagine the tenderness in the touch and placed his hand
"I am so glad you came and kidnapped me," he said.
Erik just smiled. "Good. So am I. Do you think we need to stop by
grocery store and buy something? Food, or..."
"I don't think that's necessary. I brought food from
home, which is
more than enough. But if you feel we need something, we can stop."
"I trust you," Erik said. "We're there soon anyway,
if I remember
this correctly. I haven't been to Dark Score for ages."
"Yes, a few miles north is the society," Charles agreed.
there's the cabin even further north."
"Our cabin is not the only one," Erik reminded him.
"No, but there won't be any problems finding it," Charles
Despite that Charles had packed down enough food for a week, Erik
stopped by the small grocery store in Dark Score once they got there.
He took out his wallet and got ready to step out of the car.
"I won't be long," he told Charles. "I'll just
see if I can get a
little of everything that can be useful. Is there anything you would
Charles shook his head. "No, thank you. I'm fine."
"I'll be right back," Erik said and leaned in and placed
a quick kiss
on Charles' cheek. Then he stepped out of the car. Charles
him with his eyes as he walked toward the store with light steps.
Erik was wearing beige cotton pants, a white vest and a large, roomy
jeans-shirt over it. His thick, grey hair was flapping slightly in
the warm breeze.
Erik was beautiful, although he was easily dressed. Charles wished he
could have gotten up and followed Erik into the store. Sighing, he
looked down at his paralysed and useless legs. He hated them
sometimes. Everything had been so much simpler if he could have
walked. In his current condition he couldn't even get out of a
Charles hated being so dependent on others, and above all he hated
that Erik's and his relationship was restrained by his handicap.
could, for example, only have sex in one position that didn't
Charles any discomfort. Erik stubbornly claimed that it didn't
matter, but there wasn't very much variation.
A bell tinkled when Erik opened the door to the small grocery store.
The inside was cooler than the outside, maybe since the store had air
conditioning. Erik walked about and looked for something he wanted or
He gathered a bag of potato chips and then proceeded to the ice-cream
stall. He couldn't help smiling. Charles had claimed he
anything, but Erik knew he liked chocolate ice cream with nuts, and
would surely not be able to resist one now, in this heat.
He lifted the counter lid and picked up two chocolate cones with
nuts one for Charles, and one for himself. Then he moved toward
cash desk to pay.
The clerk was a tiny, skinny girl who looked to be about 18 years
old. She wore hard make-up and her hair was gathered in a slovenly
bun. She wore a red tank top and a black denim miniskirt. She was
skimming through a magazine when Erik approached, but put it away
when she heard him.
"Hi," she said with a casual, business-like smile. She
products. "Is that all?"
"Yes please," Erik replied.
She pushed some buttons on her cash register, and then said,
"That will be 3 dollars and 50 cents."
Erik passed her a five-dollar note. She accepted it and pressed some
coins back into his hand. He noticed that she was giving him an
inquiring look through her hard make-up. Just hope she doesn't
recognize me as Magneto! he thought.
"I haven't seen you here before," she said before he
around and leave. "Are you new here?"
Erik smiled relieved. "Oh, no. I am merely a tourist."
Now her eyes widened. It was obvious that they didn't get that
tourists here, judging from her expression. Then she just shrugged
"Alright. Have a great time here, then. And hope to see you
"I'm sure I will," Erik replied, gathered his things and
store. He went to his car, where Charles was sitting, and opened the
door to the driver's seat. Charles almost jerked. Obviously he
heard Erik approaching.
"Daydreaming?" Erik asked with a grin.
"No, I just... Did you buy anything?"
"I did. Here," he said and passed Charles the other ice-cream
cone. "I figured you'd want one."
Charles sighed with a weary smile. "Erik... I don't eat junk
have to think about my weight."
Now Erik snorted. "Bah! One ice cream, what difference does it
Now we're on a holiday, and then you must allow yourself some
Come one, it's melting! I don't want to think I paid for it
Charles accepted the ice cream without further objections and started
to pull the cover away. Erik did the same with his own, and started
his car again.
While they were driving north, the roads kept getting more and more
narrow and the vegetation grew more and more dense. Finally they had
to turn into a gravel road which would take them to the cabin.
"Are you sure this is the right way?" Erik asked dubiously.
remember very much about the terrain."
Charles nodded. "Yes, I am sure. This road will take us
were no longer any asphalted roads, only narrow gravel roads.
in here, Erik."
Erik did what he was told and headed out on the gravel road with his
car. The road turned out to be bumpy, and it felt almost like sitting
in an airplane that flew through air pockets. Charles nearly dropped
his half-eaten ice cream on his lap.
The gravel road was not the only way to the cabin, but it was
definitely the quickest. There was another road, Erik now recalled,
leading there from the nearest lake, a few miles from the cabin.
He kept a low speed while they were out on the gravel road. Mostly
because the road was bumpy and narrow, but also because there was
always a chance that a moose, a deer or some other animal would jump
out on the road in front of them, and cause a serious accident.
"Charles?" Erik asked apprehensively, a few minutes before
reached the cabin. "Have you any idea in what condition Logan and
Rogue left the cabin last time they were there?"
Charles smiled. "Don't worry," he said. "They
can't have caused any
terrible confusion. Be glad someone has actually been there after us,
25 years ago!"
"I know order isn't exactly Logan's field..." Erik
"Erik, you're the one who wanted to go here from the start.
want us to get a lovely weekend, you might want to stop worrying. But
the cabin is old, after all. It is hardly the same as it was when we
"No, of course not."
"Now we're not far away," Charles said and placed his
hand on Erik
upper arm. "Soon we'll see what we have reached."
The drive lasted for about two more minutes. Charles was the first to
see the cabin's log roof through the rows of trees and other,
vegetation. "I can see it!" he called. "I can see..."
Erik, who was driving and simultaneously trying to keep his eyes on
the road ahead of him, also stretched his neck to catch a glimpse of
the cabin. The cabin itself was located about 20 yards from the
gravel road. A large, although overgrown and uncultivated garden
extended before it.
What could one expect, when no one had checked on the cabin in 25
years? After the breaking-up with Erik, Charles had had no reason to
go up here. It had always been their place, a refuge they used to go
to, when they wanted to get away from all the work, stress and other
problems at the time, like angry mutant-haters.
Going there alone was not tempting. But now he wasn't alone. Now
were together again, Charles and Erik, and the cabin would once again
be their place, where they could relax and just enjoy each other.
Erik parked the car in the garden, in the two-foot grass. A
relatively broad - and still intact - pathway, covered with stone
slabs, lead to the patio. Tufts of grass were growing between the
slabs, but it wasn't so bad one couldn't walk there, or push
Erik pulled the ignition key out of the ignition lock.
said and regarded the cabin with eyes wide open. "Finally here,
"Yes, now we're here. I know the garden looks like a jungle,
really, I think it's just cosy," Charles said. "Shall we
get out and
see what it looks like on the inside?"
"You see that oak tree, left of the cabin?" Erik asked.
"A lot of things can happen in 25 years."
"Yes, of course... It just feels so unreal that... it's been
since we were here."
"Have you missed this place?" Charles asked.
"Of course!" Erik replied with a nostalgic smile and looked
Charles' eyes. "It reminds me of you."
"My darling..." the telepath whispered and reached out his
and passed his fingers over Erik's cheek. "I have missed
Erik grabbed Charles' hand and kissed it. "No, let's go
out and have
a look around," he said and then quickly jumped out of the car,
because he didn't want Charles too see how emotional he was
Charles simply smiled. It was so typical to Erik. He never wanted to
appear as meek.
Erik walked to the trunk and lifted out Charles' temporary
wheelchair, which he unfolded and checked it was steady and safe and
would not collapse, before he wheeled it to the passenger side and
opened the door. The chair was barely visible above the high grass.
Charles sighed. "I hate that chair..." he said quietly.
"Your regular one was unfortunately too large to be brought,"
said. "But you'll be alright with this one too. Don't
"That was not what I meant. I hate *all* wheelchairs. And I hate
being like this..." he said and nodded at his own paralysed
legs. "Hey... I can't even get out of a car without
Erik bent down and took Charles' drooping head in his hands and
looked into his eyes. "Listen," he said seriously and
lover. "I'll take care of you. You know I will. You don't
worry at all. It is alright. It will be okay. It always will.
"I just don't want to be such a liability..."
"You're no liability! I take care of you because I love you!
that, don't you? Now we are going to have a great time, so cheer
"Yes..." Charles whispered hoarsely. "Now we're
having a great
"Put your arms around my neck. I'll life you to the
Charles did what he was asked, and Erik lifted him, despite that he
was actually too heave for the other man's slender, aged body.
Erik managed well this time, and Charles ended up in the wheelchair
without any misadventures. But he suspected that Erik's back
liked that kind of exertion.
"Charles," Erik whispered again and put his hands on
shoulders. "Don't think of that anymore now. Now you must be
Charles made an effort to smile and sound happy when he
answered. "Yes, I am happy. Let's not think of that
Erik gripped the handles of the wheelchair and started pushing it
through the grass toward the pathway. The ride felt as bumpy as the
car drive to Charles, but once they reached the path, it got better.
There were three steps from the ground up to the patio, and besides
there was a ramp which made things easier for a wheelchair. Erik
pushed Charles' chair to the patio, despite that Charles claimed
could do it on his own. Erik ignored his objections.
"Do you know where to find the key?" he asked instead.
"I told Logan and Marie to hang it on a hook beneath the bench
just like we used to do," Charles replied and motioned to the
standing on their right.
Erik sank down to his hands and knees and looked in under the bench.
And the key hung there, just like Charles had suggested; large, and
slightly rusty, but very much the same key they had used in their
youth. He picked it up and held it up with a broad smile.
"So even Wolverine remembered *something*..." he murmured
walked toward the front door in order to unlock it.
Erik stuck the key into the lock and turned, but when he was to pull
the door open, he couldn't. It wouldn't budge a millimetre.
pulled until he felt beads of sweat flowing down his forehead and
cheeks, but the door wasn't budging.
"It's stuck..." he panted at last and leaned against the
can't get it open."
Charles scowled. "Strange... the wood must have expanded... Are
sure you're pulling in the right direction, Erik?"
Erik simply moaned in reply. "Yes, you try, if you feel like it!
wonder how Wolverine and Rogue did this..."
"Logan is strong," Xavier reminded him. "He very well
pushed the door a little too hard when he locked it and left."
"So what do we do?" Erik asked with a shrug.
"Either you can try to pull until it opens, or you can open a
and crawl in that way, and open the door from the inside."
Erik hastily glanced at the nearest window, leading into the kitchen,
and then at the door again. "I'll choose the window," he
"It's worth a try," said Charles. "But be careful,
Magneto ran down from the patio and stood under the window, trying to
"Can you see anything?" Charles asked.
"I'll climb in here," Erik decided. "Although
it's a bit high... I
need a..." He let the sentence trail off while he started looking
something to step up on.
"Can't you levitate yourself?" Charles asked.
"No, there isn't enough metal to create a field strong enough
carry my weight," Erik replied, with his eyes riveted on the
window. "I'll have to climb..."
He suddenly noticed a stool that stood against the wall beside the
patio, and decided that it had to do. The stool's legs were rusty
rickety, and honestly, it looked all but safe.
"Just hope it stays together..." Erik murmured to himself as
placed it underneath the window and then lifted his leg to step up on
it. The stool shook, but it didn't fall over or crash. Erik
the sash window's lower part and tried to pull it up with all the
strength he had. Nothing happened. He tried again. This time it
seemed to be moving. With one last, quick tug, the window suddenly
gave in with a long, drawn out screech.
"Bingo..." Erik muttered and figured that the hardest part
now, at least. He took a strong hold of the windowsill, and then
jumped up toward it.
The stool fell over underneath him just as his feet left it, and he
could hear Charles gasping for breath. For a while he hung there,
with his upper body inside the house and his legs dangling on the
outside. The windowsill was cutting into his stomach, causing pain.
Erik took a deep breath. I really have to do something about my
condition! he thought and simultaneously tried to swing his left leg
over the edge. His second attempt was successful, and then he could
just pull in his right leg too, and jump into the kitchen.
Erik landed safely with both feet on the floor and inhaled deeply
before he hurried to open the door for Charles.
This time he had to push, and it was slightly difficult now too, but
he managed to get the door open without any terrible exertion, and
met Charles with a triumphant smile. He took the telepath's hands
into his own, and kissed him.
"Inside at last!" he panted and sighed happily while he
Charles in through the doorway. There was no threshold.