FIC: Old Friend, 11/13, Charles/Erik, NC-17, post X2
- Chapter 11
In the afternoon Charles heard knocks on his door again. He
remembered yesterday with fear, thinking back at Sabretooth and what
he had done. It wasn't Sabretooth again, was it?
"Who is it?" he called anxiously.
"It's John," replied a familiar and slightly insecure voice. "Can I
Charles breathed a sigh of relief. Okay. John. He was supposed to
come today. Right.
"Yes, John. Come on in," he called back.
A key was stuck into the lock and turned Erik still insisted on
keeping the door locked and John entered. He quickly closed the
door behind him and when he turned around Charles could see he was
carrying a tray.
The boy tried to smile. "Good afternoon, professor Xavier," he said
while approaching the bed. "Erik told me to make you a meal "
He nodded at the tray he was carrying. On it was a plate with two
hamburgers, a small bowl of salad and a glass of mineral water.
John's smile became apologetic. "I'm sorry if you don't But this is
all I can make."
Charles smiled back at his former student. "Good afternoon, John.
You're right in assuming I don't usually eat hamburgers, but that
really looks delicious."
"Well I've never been much of a cook " John murmured and gently set
the tray down on Charles' bedside table.
"No, I remember domestic science was never your best subject,"
Charles agreed. "But I do appreciate your kind gesture."
Charles was happy that Erik had provided him with some clothes
before he saw John. He was presently wearing a deep blue silk
pyjama, which really belonged to Erik but was never used by him. At
last it made him look a little more presentable than naked skin.
John sat down in a chair next to the bed. He wasn't really sure what
to do or say now. This was his first encounter with the professor
since he hooked up with Magneto, and although he knew Xavier wasn't
able to use his telepathy right now, he still felt very inferior to
the wheelchair-bound man. Why did he even want to see Xavier in the
"How are you?" he finally asked.
"I have been better, thank you," replied Charles. "As you see, I was
beat up pretty badly. But I'm well, according to the circumstances.
Erik has taken very good care of me."
"That's good I was really worried."
"I understand that, John. But there is no reason to be. I will make
a full recovery."
John hesitated before he asked his next question. "What about your
telepathy? Will you get your telepathy back?"
"No one knows for sure," Charles replied seriously. "But Erik said
my chances are good, and I hope he is right. A life without my power
feels very empty."
John squirmed. "But Why did you even lose your telepathy in the
first place?" he asked carefully.
"It must be an injury due to the concussion I sustained," said
John nodded. He didn't know what to say next. He knew that he, being
a Brotherhood member, should be hoping Xavier never regained his
telepathic abilities. He was technically an enemy. It was
ridiculous, of course, and John knew that. He would never think of
the professor or his students as his "enemies", no matter what
"Maybe you should eat The food's getting cold," John muttered and
stuck his hand into his pocket to finger on his lighter.
"Yes, I will, don't worry," the professor replied smiling. "Where is
Erik, by the way? He never told me where he was going."
"He's working," John said. "With Mystique, down in the lab."
"Really? What is he doing there?"
John shrugged. "I don't know that. But even if I knew I probably
wouldn't understand that much."
"I know, Erik is a very technical person," Charles agreed. "Without
his help building Cerebro would have been impossible."
He smiled at the memory. In fact, Erik had done most of the work,
and Charles simply had the advantage of being able to use their
invention. Suddenly Charles glimpsed something that caught his
interest. John was carrying a cell phone at his hip, attached to his
belt. An idea started to form in his head.
Erik had not let him use any telephone, and probably it would take a
while before he did, and all Charles wanted was to contact his
students and let them know he was safe and alive.
Maybe John would lend him his cell phone, just for a little while ?
Charles decided to ask him straight out. "John, would you mind
lending me you cell phone?" he asked, trying not to sound too eager
The boy looked surprised. "My cell phone? Why, professor?"
"I need to make a phone call," Charles replied. He didn't feel
comfortable using John, but he could definitely not tell him that
Erik refused to let him call the mansion. If John knew that was the
case he would not lend him his telephone either.
The professor's reply didn't make John any wiser, but he realized
how impolite it would be to refuse. He just wanted to use the phone,
"Sure, you can borrow it," he said and unhooked the phone from his
belt. "But the battery is almost out. I think I forgot to recharge
Charles accepted the little cell phone; a Nokia 3310, and noticed
that John was right. There wasn't much power left in it. Maybe it
would last through a short call. At the most.
Charles cursed his bad luck, but not audibly. If he started to swear
now something he never did before his students he would probably
scare John or arouse his curiosity. Instead he smiled at the boy and
thanked him warmly. At least he had a chance now.
"Er You want me to go outside while you're talking?" John asked.
"Yes please, that would be kind of you," replied Charles. "Wait
outside for five minutes. I think I'll be done then."
John got up and left the room. Charles looked down at the little
cell phone in his hand. Now
The dialled the number to the Xavier-institute. He knew it by heart.
Charles had a very good memory and the ability to keep many
important numbers and names in his head. He would never forget the
number to his own school, no matter what happened.
Two signals. Three. Charles' heart rate increased and his breathing
grew ragged as he waited. Finally a female voice answered the phone.
"The Xavier-institute, Ororo Munroe."
It was Storm. She sounded tired and sad, since she obviously hadn't
gotten much sleep lately.
"Ororo!" Charles called. "It's me. Could you "
Suddenly the reception grew worse. The phone started buzzing and the
call almost went dead. Ororo's voice started fading away, but before
it did, Charles could grasp some of what she said. She sounded both
excited and frightened.
"Professor?" she exclaimed. "Is that you, Charles? Charles? Char "
"Ororo! Can you hear me? It *is* me! Please "
But he heard nothing more and Ororo's voice disappeared completely
when the call went dead. In vain Charles tried to renew the
connection but there was really no power left. The last thing he
heard was Ororo's fervent and anxious voice, calling his name. Then
she was gone.
Charles held the phone to his ear for almost a minute after the
connection was broken, hoping that it somehow would return. Of
course it didn't. This had been his best chance so far, and now it
His disappointment was so huge he almost began to cry. He cursed his
own bad luck and also John's cell phone. Why couldn't the boy make
sure to keep his battery charged? Didn't he realize how important it
could be sometimes?
He was still staring down at his own hands when he heard a knock on
the door again. Apparently his five minutes had passed.
"Yes, John, you can come in," Charles called with a sigh.
John opened the door and entered.
"Did you make your call?" he asked carefully.
Charles decided not to tell him the truth. He mustn't make Pyro
"Yes," he replied. "I did. Thank you for the use of your phone."
He handed his former student his cell phone back, and when John
accepted it he saw that it was out of power.
"Did you really have time?" he asked. "There's no power left."
"I got to say what was important."
"That's good "
Charles forced himself to smile. He had no reason whatsoever to
curse John. The boy had been kind and at least tried to help him. He
simply had no luck, and there was nothing more he could do now,
anyway. When Erik returned Charles was going to have a serious word
with him and request a telephone.
John was looking down at his feet. He suspected something was wrong,
but he didn't have the courage to ask the professor.
"I should go now " he murmured and started to rise. "Maybe you'd
like to rest."
"You can stay, John. It's alright," Charles said. "It's quite lonely
in here until Erik shows up."
"No, I I have homework left to do," John hurried to say. "I'd love
to stay, but "
Charles smiled. "Of course you should do your homework," he
said. "Erik can be a demanding teacher, but don't let him run you
over. In case he gives you too much to do, remember to object."
John couldn't help laughing. "Yeah, I'll remember that, but Erik
doesn't like to be contradicted!"
"No, I know that, but you have to be firm. It's in Erik's nature to
be dominant. I have known him long enough to know that."
"It's okay, I'm fine " John murmured.
"Of course you are. I never meant to imply that you aren't."
John nodded. "I see. I I guess I'll leave you alone, then."
He placed his hand atop the older man's and gave it a brief squeeze,
because he couldn't think of a better way to say goodbye to the
"Goodbye, John," said Charles. "Stop by some other time if you feel
like it. I believe I'm going to stay here for yet some time.
John started approaching the door, but then suddenly spun around and
"Do you like it here, professor Xavier?"
"Erik has treated me very well," Charles replied seriously.
"Well, that's great I hope you'll recover in due time."
John left and locked the door, just like Erik had told him to do. He
couldn't quite understand why, though. A paralysed man could hardly
escape or anything, now could he?