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FIC: Vacation, 8/?, Charles/Erik, Logan/Marie, NC-17

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  • Henrika
    Chapter rating: PG-13 Disclaimer and story information can be found in part 1. Chapter 8 In the morning, 10:00 AM all the inhabitants of the cabin were sitting
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 31, 2003
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      Chapter rating: PG-13

      Disclaimer and story information can be found in part 1.

      Chapter 8


      In the morning, 10:00 AM all the inhabitants of the cabin were
      sitting at the kitchen table, eating breakfast. Logan was the only
      one with a really good appetite. He was consuming his second plate
      of cereals, and was making his third sandwich. When he reached out
      for the coffee thermos, he saw Magneto, sitting opposite him, and
      first now Logan got an opportunity to take a closer look at him.

      The elder man was pale – even whiter than usually – and it was
      impossible not to notice the dark rings around his eyes. His grey
      hair stood straight up – which was unusual as well – and he was
      inertly, almost apathetically, chewing on a piece of white bread.

      "Gee, you're blunt today, Mags," he pointed out. "You've been eating
      that sandwich since I got here."

      It took Erik some time to react. "I have not..." he tried.

      "You should see yourself in the mirror. You really look under the
      weather," Logan said truthfully. "You didn't sleep very much last
      night, did you?"

      "No, I didn't," Erik agreed. "It was extremely hard, because I had
      to listen to creaking bedsprings from the upper floor through half
      the night."

      Rogue's face immediately grew red as a tomato, and she lowered her
      eyes. Logan, on the contrary, grinned audaciously back at Erik.

      "Well, Mags, that might be correct," he said slowly. "But that can't
      be the only reason why you're tired. You know what I'm talking
      about, don't you?"

      The colour rose even in Charles' face, and the telepath looked
      bothered. Of course he knew what Logan was talking about, and so did
      Erik.

      Logan continued, "It must have been one hell of an orgasm, Erik,
      like you screamed."

      "Were you listening to us?" Erik asked with narrowing eyes.

      "I didn't listen, I *heard*. It was a little difficult not to. So
      don't blame me."

      Erik sighed. "Very well, whatever the reason is, you're right,
      Logan. I actually feel under the weather."

      He looked down at the half-eaten sandwich he was holding, and
      suddenly let it fall to the table. "That bread tastes only of flour
      and water. Yuck! I guess I'm not so hungry after all."

      "Give it to me," Logan said and reached out his hand. "I'll be happy
      to take it."

      Erik gave him a surprised look, but picked up the sandwich and
      handed it to Logan.

      "You're welcome. So you aren't afraid of my bugs?"

      "Bugs don't bite me," Logan replied and consumed Erik's sandwich in
      only a few bites.

      Charles reached out his hand and tenderly stroked Erik's hair. "How
      are you, darling?" he asked concerned. "You aren't getting ill, or
      something, are you?"

      "No, I am merely tired. Not enough sleep, I suppose. It'll pass,
      let's hope," Erik murmured.

      "You don't want anything to eat?"

      "No, I'm not hungry."

      Charles' worry for Erik didn't go away, but he knew Erik didn't like
      being patronized, so he tried something else instead.

      "This is our last day here," he said, loudly enough to draw
      everyone's attention. "Tomorrow we'll go back home. I really would
      like us to do something together today. Something fun. What do you
      say? Any suggestions?"

      "We could play something," Rogue proposed.

      "That was a good idea, Marie," Charles agreed.

      "Play something?" snorted Logan. "What, if I may ask? Not some silly
      quiz game with impossible questions about ancient dead kings and
      shit like that!"

      "It is called history," Erik remarked dryly.

      "Who cares?"

      "I like history, but whenever I play a quiz game, I tend to get
      questions about sports, so in a way I agree with you, Logan."

      "Sport questions are easy," Logan said.

      "I am sure *you* feel that way," Erik said with a grimace."

      "I didn't actually mean any quiz game," Charles put in. "We could
      play something outside. It is a shame to be inside when the weather
      is so nice. What about Kubb? Erik and I always used to play that
      when we were young. I am sure I still have the blocks here
      somewhere..."

      "Kubb? I've never heard of that game," Logan said.

      "It is a European game. Erik taught me," Charles explained. "We
      could play it in the garden, in two teams."

      "But I have to mention that I can get angry if I lose," said
      Magneto. "At least if I lose many times in a row."

      Logan chuckled. "Do you win often, Mags?" he asked amused.

      Erik grinned and said, "Always. Because no one *dares* to do his
      best, in the fear of my wrath!"

      Logan snorted. "Right! Look at us! Marie and I don't know how to
      play, Charlie's in a wheelchair, and Mags is a damn bad loser! I
      actually suggest we do something else."

      "What?" Charles asked. "What would you like to do?"

      Logan thought for a while, making his fifth sandwich. "Well... We
      could take a drive down to the lake, have a bite, sunbathe... You
      said yourself the weather's so nice it's a shame to be inside."

      Rogue instantly got eager and her cheeks started glowing. "Yeah,
      can't we do that? Let's have a picnic down by the beach! What do you
      say, professor Xavier? We can do that, can't we?"

      Charles smiled at her childlike enthusiasm. "That was a great idea,
      Marie," he agreed. "We could actually head for the lake and spend a
      few hours there. We have enough food, so we can bring some of it.
      What do you say, Erik? Let's hear your opinion."

      Erik shrugged. "Sure. I'll do what the rest of you do. Picnic down
      by the beach suits me fine. I might even regain some of my spirits
      if I get out in the fresh air."

      "Good, then let's do it," Charles decided, hoping that Erik and
      Logan would be able to stay friends throughout the day.

      *~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

      Logan was strongly determined to drive his own car this time, since
      he didn't want to be a passenger in Erik's, and listen while the old
      man whined about scratched leather seats.

      Erik really didn't mind. He was just glad he didn't have to be the
      driver now.

      They packed down a picnic basket, some leftover chicken salad and a
      bottled of white wine that belonged to Charles. And soft drinks for
      Rogue, of course, who wasn't legal yet. Logan insisted on bringing
      some beers.

      Logan put everything in the trunk of his car and prepared to jump
      into the driver's seat, when he recalled Charles needed help to get
      inside the car.

      "I'm afraid we have to lose your chair, Charlie," he said after
      looking into the trunk once again. "It won't fit in here."

      "That is alright," Charles replied. "I don't need it at the beach
      anyway. If you carry me to a blanket, I won't need to move after
      that."

      Logan left Charles' temporary wheelchair on the patio and placed
      Charles himself in the back seat of his car, next to Erik.

      "No making out back there while we drive," he said, grinning at
      them.

      Erik snorted and rolled his eyes in reply, but Charles was just
      amused and kissed Erik as a demonstration.

      "If we can't control ourselves, you can blame my darling for being
      so irresistible. But I think it will work."

      Rogue smiled. The Xavier she saw now was completely different
      compared to his strict, formal self home at the mansion. Charles was
      in love, and he didn't hesitate to show it.

      Logan started his car and headed out on the road leading to the
      lake. The nature was really beautiful at this time of the year.
      Green and mellow and very fragrant. Rogue was sitting next to Logan
      in the front seat, very eager and expectant, which could be seen by
      her way of turning her hands.

      Logan couldn't help thinking of his "walk" in the woods yesterday,
      his fruitless attempts to find the lake, and his return to the
      cabin, sweaty and in moody, only surpassed by himself at times.

      Charles also looked happy, when Logan caught a glimpse of his face
      in the rearview mirror. He was holding Erik's hand, and the other
      man actually looked a bit better than he did at the breakfast table.
      The fresh air and a day at the beach would do him good.

      The lake was even more beautiful and grand than Logan and Marie had
      imagined, and Charles and Erik remembered. Especially now, in this
      calm sunny spring landscape, the lake looked like a mat of blue
      silk.

      Rogue got out of the car first. "Oh, it's so beautiful!" she
      breathed. "Logan, why haven't we come here before?"

      "I doubt it was as wonderful a couple of months ago, babe," Logan
      replied as he too stepped out.

      Even Erik got something wistful in his eyes and squeezed Charles'
      hand harder. 25 years... and the lake still looked the same. "I am
      glad we went out here," he said.

      Erik and Rogue carried their things, including their two blankets
      and a large picnic basket, while Logan carried Charles down to the
      beach. The sand was incredibly pure and white and the whole area
      seemed completely unspoiled, as if there hadn't been any previous
      visitors in a very long time. This seemed strange, considering what
      a nice bathing beach it was.

      They spread out both blankets beside each other – one for Logan and
      Rogue, and the other one for Charles and Erik – between two very
      large oak trees supplying them with some shadow, but not much. The
      sunshine was strongest at this time of day, and the heat from it
      made the sweat beads pour in all of them.

      "Puh!" Logan sighed when he'd placed Charles on the blanket. "You
      ain't very heavy, Charlie, but in this heat..."

      Logan started to regret he'd put on jeans. They were itching, too
      tight and felt confining. Charles and Rogue had been wise enough to
      wear shorts, and Erik sure wore long trousers, though his were large
      and baggy, unlike Logan's jeans.

      Logan regarded the blue water of the lake longingly, and sighed.

      "What wouldn't I do for a swim..." he muttered.

      "Do it," Erik suggested. "I have thought about it as well. We can
      all go for a swim."

      "But we didn't bring any bathing suits!" Rogue objected.

      Erik just snorted at her. "Bathing suits! We can swim naked! Charles
      and I always did when we went here in the old days."

      Logan simply shrugged. He had never been modest, and appearing naked
      didn't bother him. "Well, why not?" he said. "These jeans are
      killing me anyway..."

      Rogue felt almost shocked. Swimming naked before the professor and
      Erik? That sounded awful.

      "I don't think so..." she murmured, although she longed for the
      lake's cool water almost as much as Logan did.

      Erik smiled. "Marie... There is no need to be shy. I am gay. I won't
      peep at you," he promised.

      "Great, so you'll peep at me instead..." muttered Logan, but he had
      already started to undress, like Erik.

      "Well, alright..." Rogue said after some hesitation. She had started
      to flush, for she wasn't used to appearing naked before three men.
      Logan's eyes didn't embarrass her, but in fact, Charles and Erik
      were homosexuals, and would not regard her as a sexual object.
      Slowly she started to unbutton her blouse and pulled it off.

      Erik was the first to get all clothes off. He neatly folded them, as
      always, and placed them on the blanket next to Charles. Logan, on
      the contrary, simply let his lie in a heap in the sand.

      Rogue glanced at the older man. Erik looked like a perfectly normal
      elderly male; skinny, hairless, with very pale, almost white skin.
      The only "colour spots" on his body were his rosy nipples and his
      grey pubic hair. Rogue noticed that he was circumcised. The skin of
      his forearms was slightly darker, but that could only be seen at
      close range. Obviously Erik didn't like to be out in the sun very
      much.

      Rogue crossed her arms over her chest when she was naked, attempting
      to cover herself. She was still flushing and felt very exposed. She
      knew that she really didn't have anything to be ashamed of, but
      still. She thought she was too fat, although she wasn't, and that
      her breasts were ugly.

      Erik looked at the young woman and saw that she was uncomfortable.
      Rogue had a beautiful body, but sexually she didn't attract him more
      than an insect. Although Erik was sure that he would have been more
      interested if he'd been attracted to females. He checked out Logan
      instead.

      Logan was big, muscular and very hairy. The hair began as a carpet
      on his chest, and continued over his abdomen to thicken again down
      by his sex. Erik looked down at his own weedy, hairless frame and
      couldn't help laughing. Logan looked good, and Erik could understand
      why women liked him, but he himself had never felt attracted to
      large, hairy men. He rather preferred lovers who looked more like
      himself. Like Charles.

      "Aren't you going to swim, darling?" he asked Charles and looked
      down at the telepath's sitting figure.

      Charles laughed. "I think I'll pass, but I'll be happy to watch you
      swim."

      "I'm sure Logan will carry you," Erik tried.

      "Not this time. Maybe later this summer, when the water grows
      warmer. I'll stay here and sunbathe instead."

      Charles unbuttoned his shirt and poured himself a glass of white
      wine.

      Erik gave up his attempts to persuade Charles and decided to have
      some fun with Logan instead. He approached the larger man and sized
      him up from head to toe, pretending to study him inquiringly.

      Hmm... large and hairy, sure, but a true stud...

      "Nice ass," he grinned when he walked past Logan and had to fight
      not to burst out laughing. The other man's expression had been worth
      it.

      "I wish I could say the same!" Logan called after him.

      "Then say it," Erik teased.

      "Sorry Mags, but I'm not into that kind off stuff. I'll rather check
      out my girlfriend's ass."

      "That was a joke, Logan. You're still not my type. You're too big
      and hairy!"

      Logan snorted. "That's how a real man should look! Look at
      yourself!" He teasingly squeezed Erik's left upper arm. "No muscles
      yet?"

      "I know what I look like," Erik replied with dignity and pulled his
      arm back. "And I am completely satisfied with my appearance."

      "No, your kind needs no muscles," said Logan.

      Erik knew that "your kind" was referring to gays, and he countered
      with, "No, we have a brain instead of you "real men"."

      Logan just muttered something and gave Erik a friendly push before
      he started jogging toward the water's edge. Logan was fearless
      despite he knew that the water was cold, and dove in there headfirst
      without showing hesitation. When he reached the surface again, a
      couple of seconds later, he was howling like a wolf and throwing his
      head back, splashing water around himself.

      "Whooohooo!" he cried. "Come on, it was great! You gotta try it!"

      Erik slowly, with careful steps, approached the water – the urge to
      have a dip was great, since beads of sweat were pouring down his
      body by now. But when he was standing with water up to his ankles he
      froze as though someone had pressed the "pause" button on a VCR.

      The water wasn't just cold – it was freezing. When Erik put his feet
      in it, it felt like he'd stepped right into a pile of razors. He
      clenched his teeth and wrapped his arms around himself, like that
      would help. It didn't. He felt his scrotum contracting reflexively,
      of course, to protect his testicles, and since he was naked, it
      could probably be seen as well.

      But Erik was sure of one thing. He would not take another step. No
      matter how hot the air was. The water was like suicide.

      Before he had time to back, he noticed someone came up next to him.
      It was Rogue. She was more relaxed now, smiling at him, and taking
      his trembling hand in her own.

      "Okay, Erik? Are we going in?" she suggested.

      "No, Marie... I don't think I can..." Erik got out. "It is too
      cold..."

      But Rogue didn't want to hear any excuses now.

      "Cold!" she snorted. "Erik, this was your idea, so don't think
      you're gonna chicken out now! Come one, let's have a dip!"

      She started pulling his arm to get him into the water, but Erik
      struggled against her. "No, stop, Marie! I don't want to!"

      "You're coming, whether you want to, or not!" Rogue exclaimed and
      grabbed Erik by the waist, trying to wrestle his down into the cold
      water.

      "No!! Marie, stop it!" Erik cried in terror and did everything to
      stay on his feet.

      Rogue was smaller than he was, but she was young and strong and
      seemed strongly determined to get her will through.

      "Logan!" she called. "Come and help me get him in!"

      Logan stopped and turned around to look at them. Something evil
      crept into his eyes, and the next second he started running toward
      them through the water. Erik didn't realize his intention before
      Logan was standing right behind him, whispering into his ear, "Old
      Mags, you're going in, whether you want to or not."

      And before Erik could even twitch, Logan picked him up and the next
      second he lay thrown over Logan's broad shoulder, and they were
      *moving*. Oh, God, they were headed straight into the lake!

      Erik kicked and screamed until his voice burst, but nothing helped;
      Logan's hold of him just tightened and he could hear the others
      laughing. Charles, Marie, and of course Logan. Everyone was
      laughing.

      Erik was convinced that he'd die when Logan suddenly threw him away.
      The old man flew screaming and struggling through the air to finally
      land in the icy water. A heart attack was all Erik could think of
      while he tried to fight his way up to the surface through the water,
      that seemed to force in through his nose, mouth, ears and every
      other body opening.

      He managed at last, gasping for breath with a drowning man's
      desperation. The water reached his abdomen, and he could hear the
      pounding of his own heart in his ears. Still a heart attack was the
      strongest thought in Erik's head.

      Rogue was still laughing. "Erik! You look like a water corpse!" she
      called.

      Then Erik felt he had something stuck in his hair. It was seaweed.
      He threw it away like it had been a snake.

      Logan. His eyes were searching for Logan. The bastard would not get
      away with this, Erik thought, when he realized the heart attack
      hadn't come anyway.

      Logan swam under the surface, and as soon as his head popped up,
      Erik used his magnetic force to lift him up about twenty feet in the
      air.

      Logan looked surprised, and then furious. He was snarling and
      spitting, and tried to extract his claws, but Erik stopped him. A
      triumphant smile replaced the terrified look on Erik's face, and he
      said, "Logan, you may take me when I'm unprepared, but never forget
      that I'm actually the Master of Magnetism!"

      Logan looked very funny, hanging there, stark naked, several feet
      above the surface, with a grimace that made Quasimodo seem nice.

      "You crazy old bitch, you *promised* never to do this again!" he
      gurgled, sprinkling spit.

      "You should have thought of that, *before* you threw me in the
      water!"

      Rogue, and Charles, who was watching this from his blanket on the
      beach, started to laugh.

      "Kick his butt, Erik!" Rogue cheered.

      "Will you apologize?" Erik asked.

      "Never!" Logan snarled.

      "No?"

      "Forget it!"

      "Very well then," Erik finished and released his magnetic hold of
      Logan, making him fall twenty feet into the water with an enormous
      splash.

      When Logan appeared again he looked feral and exposed his teeth. A
      wrinkle as thick as a pen had formed between his brows.

      Rogue put her hand to her mouth to suppress laughter. When Logan
      looked like that, he sure as hell didn't want to be laughed at.

      "Will you apologize now?" Erik asked with a sweet smile.

      Logan didn't answer. With the same grim expression he bent down in
      the water, scooped his hands full of mud, which he then threw right
      in Erik's face.

      Erik barely had time to close his mouth before the mud hit his face;
      otherwise he very well could have swallowed it. Rogue's giggling
      sounded again. Erik acted without thinking. He bent down as well,
      filled his hand with mud from the bottom, and threw it at Rogue.

      It hit her like a clod between the breasts, and she gave out a cry.

      "At least that shut you up!" Erik called and started washing the mud
      away from his face.

      Rogue of course had to defend herself, and the war broke out. The
      three wet mutants were screaming and laughing while they splashed
      about in the water and threw big clods of mud at each other.

      Charles watched them from his blanket on the beach and couldn't help
      feeling a bit melancholy. He would have loved to join them, if he
      only could have risen from here. It had been a long time since
      Charles Xavier had really gotten an opportunity to get lax and just
      have a good time, without thinking about his responsibilities and
      such.

      From the beach it seemed like Logan was doing best. But of course,
      he was the biggest, fastest and physically strongest with greatest
      stamina. He went hard on Erik and Marie, who had fight to offer
      resistance.

      They crawled up from the water a few minutes later, clearly
      refreshed, and sat down on the blankets next to Charles. Charles
      cried out when Erik, cold and wet, wrapped his arms around his neck
      and pressed a kiss to his cheek. Charles whimpered and tried to pull
      away.

      "Erik... you're wet!" he whined when cold water from Erik's hair
      trickled down on his shorts.

      "It only feels refreshing," Erik replied. "Are you sure you don't
      want to take a dip? It did wonders with me."

      Charles smiled. "Really? I thought you would freak when Logan threw
      you in the lake."

      "I thought so too..." Erik muttered.

      Logan grinned at him from his place next to Rogue. "A good dip was
      just what you needed, Mags! You can't deny it!"

      "It was never my intention to wet my hair," Magneto said and brushed
      his wet hair back. "It's so thick it takes forever to dry."

      "In this heat?" Logan said. "I don't think so. But you can always
      shave your head if you want to rid yourself of that problem."

      Erik pretended not to hear, and Logan knew that his hair was one of
      the things Erik liked most about himself. He would never shave it
      off, that much was clear.

      "Now I'm hungry," Logan continued. "Is there any grub left in that
      basket?"

      Charles had already poured himself a glass of white wine, and was
      sipping it.

      "Yes, everything should be in the basket," he explained.

      "Good."

      Logan wanted a beer to wet his throat, and took out a couple of
      sandwiches. Rogue opened a can of Coke, and Erik poured himself some
      wine. When Logan had finished his second beer, Erik started to get
      worried.

      "Logan, remember that you are driving. You mustn't become drunk."

      "I don't get drunk. Ever," Logan replied and opened his third beer
      bottle.

      "Cool..." Erik muttered. "And you never get a hangover either?"

      "Nope."

      "I'm almost in awe..."

      Logan grinned. "Feel like changing mutant power?"

      Erik gave him a long look. "I wouldn't think so."

      "Hey," Rogue said suddenly while they were eating. "What if someone
      else comes here? We... maybe we should get dressed now..."

      She had gotten used to being naked now, and no longer tried to cover
      herself, but she didn't know what would happen if someone came here
      and saw three naked mutants sitting on a blanket.

      "Why?" asked Erik. "This is Charles' land. I am not getting dressed
      before I've dried, anyway. If someone comes here, he or she will
      have to deal with it."

      "We don't have anything "normal people" don't have," Logan agreed.

      Erik laughed. "Good point."

      "It seems like I am the only decent person here," Charles said with
      a dramatic sigh. "You three should perhaps seek out a nudist beach."

      "There is nothing that stops you from joining us," Logan
      remarked. "If you aren't too shy, will say."

      "I am comfortable like this," Charles said. "I sleep naked, but
      that's all."

      Rogue lay down on her back and stretched out her legs before her.
      She placed one hand behind her head and the other one on her belly,
      absently poking her navel. Maybe it would be a good idea to sunbathe
      now, she thought. She hadn't had time to sunbathe very much yet,
      although the weather had been nice for several weeks. And since she
      was naked now, she didn't have to worry about those white stripes
      that a bathing suit or bikini always caused.

      Rogue's eyes landed on Erik, who also lay beside her, but on another
      blanket. She didn't have much colour, but Erik was *white*. Almost
      his whole body was milk-coloured and she could see his bluish blood
      vessels curl under his skin.

      If he stays in the sun too long with that body, he'll look like a
      boiled lobster by the time we're heading back home, Rogue thought.
      She was almost about to mention him this, but Erik was supposed to
      be a wise adult, and should realize it himself. Or at least Charles
      should. He was a doctor, after all. Had they even brought sun cream?

      Suddenly Erik yawned and settled on the blanket. "That swim seems to
      have made me sleepy," he said. "A nap would be nice..."

      Then Rogue almost told him that there was no way he could fall
      asleep in the sun – afternoon sun, sure, but still – in that
      condition. Erik's white skin wouldn't be white for much longer if he
      did, but angrily red.

      Although she said nothing, but kept quiet, hoping he'd realize it
      himself.

      Erik laid down sideways, facing Rogue, seemingly in a comfortable
      position, with legs bent, one hand curled under his cheek, and the
      other one thrown to his side. Then he closed his eyes.

      Charles spooned behind him and wrapped his arm around his waist.
      Erik seemed to welcome his presence and a little smile formed on his
      lips. He shivered and pressed up against Charles' warm body.

      What was this? Was he really *freezing*? In this heat? No,
      impossible. Still he thought about reaching for his shirt and
      wrapping it around his body, in spite his hair was still wet. He
      didn't, though, since he was more sleepy than cold at the moment,
      and believed that the sun and Charles would make the chills go away.

      Two minutes later Erik fell asleep.

      Logan lay listening to Erik's breaths, and after some time they were
      so deep it sounded like he was asleep. Charles had probably fallen
      asleep as well, and was breathing in rhythm with Erik.

      Rogue was lying on her back with her eyes closed, but she was not
      asleep, Logan was sure of that. He put his hand on her stomach and
      started to stroke it. He very much wanted to touch her brown tuft
      and even further down, but he controlled himself.

      "Logan, remove your hand, I'm sunbathing," Rogue murmured without
      moving.

      "Don't you like it?" he whispered and squeezed her right breast
      instead. "I thought we could have a quickie, now when..."

      Rogue could hardly believe her ears. "What? Now?" she hissed. "Come
      on! Have you forgotten that Erik and the professor are here?"

      She nodded knowingly at the two peacefully sleeping elder men.

      "It won't disturb them."

      "You don't know that. Anyway, I don't feel like fucking now," she
      announced and removed his hand from her chest. "Forget that erection
      of yours, or go behind the bushes and jerk off if you feel you must."

      Logan sighed. "You're harsh, woman!"

      Rogue snorted. "Deal with it. Like you were a horny teen instead of
      over a hundred!"

      Logan shrugged. "My body produces much testosterone. I can't help
      it."

      "Neither can I," Rogue retorted dryly.

      "I should get someone with the same needs as myself," Logan teased.

      "Well... I've noticed that Jubilee is a little fond of you. If
      you're interested," Rogue countered.

      They were still joking, but if a joke like this went too far, it
      could result in of them – or sometimes both – becoming really angry
      and start fighting seriously. Logan decided not to let it happen
      now.

      "Thanks for the tip, but I don't want Jubilee. Or anyone else, for
      that matter. I only want you," he said, hoping that that would
      please her. Of course he loved her, and tried to show it as clearly
      as he could, but she always claimed he didn't say it often enough.

      Logan was doubtlessly more a man of action and words, and couldn't
      understand why it was so important to Marie to *hear* him say he
      loved her, when he *showed* it so often, but... Women are women, he
      always thought. You can't live with them, and not without them. So
      what to do? Become a monk?

      Charles and Erik don't have that problem, of course, he thought then
      and burst out laughing. But I really don't think that's anything for
      me!

      "What are you laughing at?" Rogue asked in surprise.

      "Er, nothing... I was just thinking of how much I love you," he
      said.

      Something that could have been mistaken for a smile appeared on
      Rogue's lips.

      "You'd better," she said.

      The professor and Erik were still asleep, judging from the sounds.
      Rogue turned her head to look at them, and discovered that Erik's
      skin was already more pink than white, and it would become worse. He
      might not notice anything now, but later...

      I have to wake him up, she thought. For his own good. He has to put
      on some clothes, and preferably sun cream as well.

      Erik's skin being sensitive couldn't just be due to lack of
      sunbathing this year. Obviously his skin lacked pigmentation. Rogue
      had heard that Erik had looked like Snow White when he was young,
      with his dark hair and white skin. He was still white, though his
      hair had become grey over the years. What could he be called now?
      Grey White?

      Rogue considered whether to wake up "Grey White" before he
      became "Grey Red", despite that there was a risk it would annoy
      Erik.

      But Erik woke up by himself before anyone got a chance wake him.
      That which woke him up was strange feeling that he was freezing
      despite that his body was warm, and the unexpected but severe
      abdominal cramps that had suddenly begun.

      Erik lifted his head, which felt incredibly heavy. It took him a
      couple of seconds to remember where he was, and whom he was there
      with. Charles' body lay pressed against his back, and the sun was
      shining, yet he was still freezing. And not just freezing. Gee, he
      was shaking! And why did his stomach hurt like this? Could it be...?
      No, not the appendix. That would have been a different kind of pain.
      Now it felt like... well, like he needed to...

      Erik stumbled to his feet and staggered unsteadily toward the bushes
      a few yards away, not to have an accident on the blanket.

      Charles woke up, of course, and at first he saw nothing peculiar
      about it; Erik needed to relieve himself just like everyone needed
      sometimes. One minute passed. Then two. And more.

      After some time a wrinkle formed between Charles' brows and he
      looked both stern and worried. "Logan," he said slowly and
      gravely. "Erik isn't feeling well. Can you please go and check on
      him?"

      "What?" Logan asked, unsure of what Xavier was meaning.

      "Erik is ill," Charles explained. "Can you go and see how he is?"

      "Well, okay..." Logan muttered and started to rise.

      Actually he felt more annoyed than worried; if the old man was in
      the bushes, he sure as hell didn't need any escort back to the
      blanket?

      Logan soon got a reason to revise that opinion. The first thing he
      saw when he looked behind the bushes where Erik had ran, was a big
      brown puddle that Logan immediately knew was shit; diarrhea more
      precisely. The stench revealed that the pile was fresh. Then he saw
      Erik, squatting next to the pile of shit, with his head bent down
      and hands to his temples. His lean body was shaking and a thin layer
      of sweat coated his skin. To be honest; Erik didn't look better than
      the pile of shit that he'd recently produced.

      Logan slowly approached the old man with one hand stretched
      out. "Erik?" he asked carefully and placed his hand on Erik's
      trembling shoulder. "Erik, how are you? Are you ill?"

      Erik raised his head and displayed his red, sweaty face. "My
      stomach, it..." he croaked. "Hurts..."

      Then he grimaced and pressed his hand against his belly, clearly
      pained.

      "Do you want help back to the blanket?" Logan asked.

      Erik replied with a nod.

      "Want me to carry you?"

      "No, I can walk..." Erik murmured and made an attempt to stand up.
      He wobbled, and Logan grabbed him to stop him from falling straight
      into his own feces.

      When Erik leaned his body against his, Logan couldn't help noticing
      how warm the other mutant felt. He wasn't just warm – he was hot, in
      a sick way, that could only mean one thing – fever. No matter how it
      happened, Mags was sick now. Really sick.

      Despite Erik's objections that he could walk by himself, Logan
      picked him up into his arms and carried him back to the blanket. The
      poor old man was significantly lighter than Charles was, although he
      was taller. That made Logan wondering if Erik was healthy to begin
      with.

      Rogue gave out a terrified sigh and put her hand to her mouth, and
      Charles' worry grew when Logan gently lowered Erik onto the blanket.

      "He seems to be suffering from some kind of stomach disorder," Logan
      said and told them about the pile of shit he had seen behind the
      bushes.

      Charles' stern expression deepened. "Alright, I understand. Whatever
      it is, it seems serious."

      Erik sat slumped, with a pained expression, pressing one hand
      against his stomach and the other one against his forehead, still
      shaking.

      Charles took Erik's own shirt and wrapped it around his shoulders,
      and then took him in his arms and held him tightly. Even Charles
      noticed how warm his old friend was.

      "What's wrong with him, professor?" asked Rogue, with large anxious
      eyes.

      "I don't know, Marie," replied Charles, "but it seems to be his
      stomach, like Logan said..."

      "Is it food poisoning?" Erik asked flatly.

      "No, I don't think so," Charles replied slowly. "That would have
      started sooner. I actually don't know, sweetheart. But you are going
      to be alright, don't worry."

      Charles soothingly caressed his lover's feverish cheek and wiped his
      forehead with a paper napkin.

      "Eh, Charlie..." Logan began. "If he's so sick, then should you be
      touching him like that?"

      "If it's contagious I have already been infected," Charles said. "It
      doesn't matter now."

      And Charles wouldn't even consider pushing Erik away when he was ill
      and needed care and comfort. He rather got infected himself.

      Then something happened that made the situation even worse. Rogue
      was the one who noticed it. Erik had blood on his thighs. Or rather
      greenish mucus mixed with blood, but no one knew that yet. They only
      saw the red.

      "Erik..." she whispered, unsure of how to proceed. "You... your
      thighs..."

      And Erik looked down at his inner thighs, seeing the red too. If he
      had been worried before, he grew almost hysterical now. The
      knowledge of where that blood came from, the fact that he was
      bleeding from his rectum, simply had to mean that something serious
      had happened to him. He could fall down dead anytime, he was sure of
      that. What could it be? Ruptured bowels? Cholera?

      "Charles, am I dying?" was all he got out. It wasn't more than a
      whisper.

      "No, you are not dying," Charles replied resolutely. "Don't think
      like that, Erik. It is probably just a little gastric flu. Don't
      worry. Everything is going to be fine."

      Charles knew that Erik was almost having the hysterics now, and
      wanted to get him calm. Even if that meant lying to him. He had no
      idea what Erik might be suffering from, but he could hardly be
      dying. Or?

      "What if I'll hemorrhage to death..." Erik whispered.

      "What?" Logan asked, being the only one who hadn't yet seen what was
      going on. Then he looked down at Erik and saw the blood on his
      thighs.

      "Shit, Erik! Are you on the rag!" he exclaimed.

      Logan wasn't trying to be funny; it was just his first spontaneous
      thought.

      "Logan, this is really not the time for jokes," Charles said
      harshly. "Erik is really bleeding, and I suspect it can be serious.
      We have to leave, back to the mansion. Get dressed, everybody. At
      once."

      Now Charles had that authoritative voice again, that made everyone
      obeying as soon as they heard it. Logan and Rogue started looking
      for their clothes immediately and hastily pulled them on.

      Charles wiped the bloodied mucus away from Erik's thighs with the
      same napkin as before. "Erik," he said mildly, wrapping the shirt
      tighter around his friend's trembling body. "You have to get dressed
      too. We are leaving now, and I'm going to let Jean find out what is
      wrong with you."

      "Charles, what if it's the E. coli bacteria?" Erik whispered
      hoarsely. "It can cause kidney failure. What if... if..."

      "Erik, it is not the E. coli bacteria," Charles tried, despite that
      they couldn't rule out the possibility. "Where would you have gotten
      that into you? As far as I know it mostly occurs in the feces of
      cattle.

      "It might be in the water."

      "Nonsense. Get dressed, and we'll leave."

      But there was no time for Erik to get dressed. The violent abdominal
      cramps returned and he felt he simply had to empty his bowels again;
      at once, and fought to crawl away from the blanket. But this time he
      didn't make it to the bushes, like he'd planned, but had to relieve
      himself only a couple of yards from the blanket. He barely had time
      to squat.

      What came out was watery and hot, like before, and burned his
      opening. When the flow finally ceased, Erik felt ready to drop. The
      cramps were gone for the moment, but he wasn't feeling any better.
      On the contrary. Feebleness, probably caused by the fever, came over
      him, and for a moment he didn't believe he'd make it back to the
      blanket. He did, though, and Charles took him in his arms again.

      "Sweetheart..." the telepath murmured and cradled his oldest friend
      and companion. "We have to go home now. Back to the mansion. Do you
      think you can get dressed?"

      Erik nodded feebly. Yes, he probably could. But what was the point,
      since his pants would soon be filled with shit, anyway?

      Charles helped him buttoning his shirt and pants, because Erik's
      hands were shaking too much. He was shivering a lot now, and Charles
      suspected that the fever was rising.

      Logan and Marie had packed down their things in the meantime, and
      only Charles and Erik's blanket remained.

      "Erik, Logan has to carry me to his car," Charles said. "Do you
      think you can walk if Marie supports you?"

      "I'll try," replied Erik.

      He put his arm around Rogue's shoulders when she came to help him,
      and slowly and tentatively started making his way to the car. Erik's
      stomach ached, but nothing seemed to indicate he needed to relieve
      himself again right now. Erik also noticed that the girl was worried
      about him, and it warmed his heart. Rogue had a good soul, and he
      hoped that whatever he had, he would not infect her.

      Logan placed Charles in the back seat and watched as his girlfriend
      tried to lead a very sick Magneto toward the car.

      "Hey Charles..." he murmured.

      "Yes, Logan?"

      "Mags being ill... it hasn't anything to do with the fact that I
      threw him in the water before, has it?"

      Charles smiled faintly. "No, not at all. Probably he must have
      caught the infection some time ago. Probably from the pizzeria
      yesterday. You really scared him when you threw him in the lake, but
      that didn't make him ill."

      Logan just nodded. It felt good to hear *he* wasn't responsible for
      this, but still, Erik remained ill.

      Rogue managed to get him to the car, and then Logan helped to get
      him inside it. Erik felt burning hot and the ague shook his body
      when Charles enveloped him in his arms again.

      "Drive," he ordered Logan. "We'll go to the cabin at first, and see
      if there is any aspirin left for him. It is a long way to
      Westchester from here."

      Logan started his car and they left the lake.
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