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FIC: Old Friend, 12/13, Charles/Erik, NC-17, post X2

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  • Henrika
    Chapter 12 Erik didn t give Charles any telephone when he asked for one, but because he felt sorry for his bed-bound old friend, he decided to give him
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 29, 2003
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      Chapter 12

      Erik didn't give Charles any telephone when he asked for one, but
      because he felt sorry for his bed-bound old friend, he decided to
      give him something else instead. He bought Charles some clothes in
      his size, plus a wheelchair he could use if he wanted to get out of
      bed.

      It was far different from his electric wheelchair home at the
      mansion, but served him well enough, and Charles was happy to be
      able to get out of bed and go to the toilet by himself. It had been
      very frustrating to relieve oneself in a bedpan, and then wait for
      someone else to take care of the mess.

      Erik no longer kept the door locked, since he was relatively sure
      they would see no more of Sabretooth, and allowed Charles to move
      freely within the building. The only place Charles didn't have
      access to, was the lab underground, which was strictly prohibited
      area for him.

      Erik realized he would be forced to send Charles home, sooner or
      later, and then he couldn't have any knowledge on what went on down
      there.

      Charles appreciated the freedom he'd been given, but Erik still
      didn't give him access to any phone, which upset and frustrated him.
      Every day he thought about his students, and how sure they must be
      that he was dead. He thought of his adoptive son, Scott, and how
      hard it must be for him to first lose his girlfriend and now also
      his father.

      Mystique didn't like having him there; he knew this, and felt
      nervous and awkward whenever she looked at him with her inhuman
      yellow eyes. Charles was sure Mystique wanted him to go away. She
      was jealous, and a jealous woman could become dangerous.

      He no longer ate his meals alone in the room he now shared with
      Erik, but ate at the table with Erik and the other Brotherhood-
      members. Often the meals were eaten in silence, because no one could
      come up with a topic of discussion that suited them all.

      After three weeks Charles began to wonder if Erik would ever let him
      go back home. He felt nothing that indicated his telepathy was
      returning, and without it he was pretty helpless. Charles started to
      suspect it was gone forever, that he had sustained a permanent brain
      damage. The idea was depressing to say the least, but if that were
      the case, he had to start accepting it.

      But the missing telepathy was not the only thing that weighed
      Charles down. Despite that he very much liked waking up every
      morning with Erik's body pressed against his own, he longed for his
      home. He missed the mansion, his students, and sleeping in his own
      bed. He had tried to tell Erik about that, but it didn't seem like
      his old friend wanted to understand.

      One night, when they already were in bed, Charles decided to try
      talking with Erik once and for all. He loved his old friend, but
      this situation was making him unhappy. He had to make Erik realize
      that.

      Erik had noticed that Charles had started turning pallid and quiet
      despite that he was recovering physically, and that concerned him.

      "Erik," Charles said gravely, laying his hand on Erik's
      shoulder. "Can we talk?"

      "Yes, Charles, certainly," Erik replied and took Charles' hand in
      his own. "What do you want to talk about?"

      "Erik, I want to go home," Charles said straight out. He had never
      been so straightforward before, but realized he had to be if he
      wanted to make Erik understand.

      At first Erik said nothing. He simply looked into Charles's eyes and
      squeezed his hand harder. Then he said,

      "When?"

      "Shortly. Erik, you must know that I am forever grateful to you for
      saving me and everything you've done, but I am healthy now, and I
      miss my students. I want to... I don't want to be your prisoner… You
      promised I could go home when I was fully recovered."

      "Yes, I did," Erik admitted with a sigh. "Do you see yourself as my
      prisoner, Charles? I thought that…"

      "You've treated me very well, Erik," Charles broke in. "But this
      isn't my home. I love you, but the Xavier-institute is my home. I am
      needed there."

      Erik nodded slowly. Yes, Charles was right – his home was the Xavier-
      mansion and the children there needed him, no doubt about it. Erik
      liked to fall asleep with his lover's warm body in his arms, just
      like old times, but to keep him here for the sake of that matter
      would be selfish.

      "I see…" Erik sighed. "You want to go home to your "X-men", is that
      right?"

      Charles nodded. "Yes," he said softly. "I do."

      "I'll drive you home. In a few days. I promise," Erik said.

      He gently draped his arm over Charles' shoulders and rested his head
      against his temple.

      "In a few days?" Charles asked.

      "Yes," Erik whispered. "I promise."

      He pressed a kiss to his friend's cheek, and then proceeded by
      kissing his neck.

      "Erik…" Charles began, but it was no real objection, and he didn't
      try to recoil or push Erik away.

      "Charles… in a few days you are gone. Shouldn't we take the time we
      have, and do something meaningful?"

      Charles couldn't hold back a smile. "You mean make love?" he asked.

      "Wouldn't you like that?"

      "Hmm… Maybe… Oh!" he called out when Erik's hand found his sensitive
      penis and closed around it. "Alright, I do," he then confessed.

      "That's better," Erik said smiling and gently pushed Charles onto
      his back in the bed. Maybe this would be their last time ever.

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

      When Charles woke up in the morning one day later, he instantly
      noticed something was different. In his soporific state he first
      didn't realize what it was, but he did after a while.

      He could hear voices again. Pyro, Mystique, and even some unclear,
      indistinct thoughts from Erik, who was still asleep.

      His telepathy had come back. To begin with Charles had trouble
      focusing his ability, since it had been gone for so long, and his
      shields were not up. Besides the three people inside the house, he
      could also hear other distant and blurry thoughts; probably people
      that drove past their house on the highway a few hundred yards away.

      He almost didn't dare to believe it was true. He was lying
      completely still, and could besides the foreign voices hear his own
      heartbeats and ragged breathing. Erik was lying behind Charles, with
      his warm, naked body spooned against his back, and one arm thrown
      around his waist. Judging from his breaths, he was still soundly
      asleep.

      A while later, when he had regained more control, Charles quickly
      scanned Mystique and John. They were both awake, and he had no
      problems locking on to them and knowing where they were and what
      they were doing.

      Mystique was in the kitchen, making herself breakfast, and Pyro was
      still in bed, although he was awake, not really sure how to start
      his day.

      Charles scanned them without their knowledge. He could do it easily.
      So far he was the only one who knew his telepathy was back, so they
      couldn't even be suspicious.

      Charles remained in bed, totally still, without waking Erik. He
      wasn't going to scare Erik by reading his thoughts already before
      he'd woken up, but intended to wait for Erik to wake up and then
      tell him. He was so happy to be a telepath again that he wasn't
      quite sure what to do with his gift. He didn't try to raise his
      shields, but welcomed the voices in his head, despite that he knew
      Mystique and John probably wouldn't appreciate having their minds
      read.

      Another while passed before Erik woke up. When he finally did, and
      Charles could feel him stirring, he immediately closed his eyes
      again and pretended he was still sleeping.

      Erik yawned and murmured something incoherent. Then he slowly
      started getting up and got out of bed carefully not to disturb
      Charles, who he thought was asleep.

      Erik walked around in his room, pulling on a robe and sticking his
      feet into a pair of slippers before padding into the bathroom to
      shave and brush his teeth. Charles could hear the distinct buzzing
      from his electric shaver.

      When he was finished in the bathroom Erik came in again. He was
      still trying to be quiet, and Charles couldn't help smiling at the
      concern.

      Erik got dressed, and before leaving the room he approached the bed,
      bent down and placed a gentle kiss on Charles' temple.

      "Good morning, old friend…" he whispered and pulled Charles' quilt
      up so that it covered his whole body. "You know where to find me."

      Then he left the room. Charles didn't need to read his mind to know
      he was going to have breakfast. He always did that right after
      waking up, and probably he expected Charles to accompany him at the
      breakfast table when he woke up.

      He didn't do that today, though. He remained in bed instead, and
      waited for Erik to return so they could talk in peace. If he went to
      the breakfast table Mystique and Pyro would be there, and he didn't
      want to see them now, only Erik.

      So Charles waited. He lay still, staring at the ceiling while he was
      waiting for Erik's return. While he waited, he was also in the
      kitchen together with the other inhabitants of the house, without
      their knowledge, of course. They didn't even try to shield their
      minds, and were therefore as easy to read as an open book. Charles
      didn't even need to probe.

      As a child, the voices had almost drowned him, and now he couldn't
      imagine a life without them.

      Charles brought his hand to his left temple, where he had his fresh
      scar. Probably it was the blow to his head that had taken his
      telepathy away from him. He shivered. If the injury had been more
      severe, he could have lost his ability forever, or even become brain
      dead. Really, he had been lucky.

      Erik came back half an hour later. He wondered if Charles was still
      asleep, and if not, why hadn't he come to the breakfast table?

      "Are you sleeping, old friend?" he asked when he noticed Charles was
      still lying in bed, undressed.

      Charles tilted his head in Erik's direction, smiling. "No, Erik. I
      was waiting for you to come back, so we could talk in private."

      "Oh, really?"

      Erik sat down on the bed edge, looking down at his friend's
      peaceful, wise face.

      "What did you want to talk about, Charles?"

      "Now I can read minds again," Charles replied, looking steadily into
      Erik's eyes. He wasn't sure how his old friend would respond to the
      news, but he assumed the best way to tell him was by words, face to
      face. After all, even Erik had told him it would probably happen
      shortly.

      At first Charles didn't receive any real reaction from Erik. The
      other man simply looked back into his eyes and his facial expression
      revealed nothing. Then he sighed and lowered his eyes.

      "Oh, really?" he murmured.

      "Yes," Charles replied.

      "Prove it. What am I thinking now?"

      Charles pulled a deep breath and closed his eyes. "Erik…" he slowly
      began. "You're thinking whether or not I'm telling you the truth,
      and if so, will I use my power against you? You are also thinking
      that you would very much like to keep me here, but only if I would
      have remained non-telepathic. Am I right?"

      Erik opened his mouth to object, but realized there was no point.
      Charles could see through him as though he'd been an open window,
      just like always.

      "When?" Erik simply asked.

      "This morning, when I woke up," Charles told him. "Suddenly I could
      hear voices again."

      "Were you awake when I left?" Erik asked.

      "Yes."

      "Why didn't you tell me then?"

      Charles hesitated before answering that question. "I… I wanted to
      prepare myself mentally," he confessed. "Besides I didn't want to
      frighten you. I thought that…"

      "What did you think, Charles?"

      "I wanted to… I… Erik, could you drive me home now?" Charles asked.
      He wanted to be able to avoid manipulating Erik's thoughts, and
      hoped he would freely agree to this now, but in case he didn't,
      Charles saw no other option. He loved Erik, but he wanted to go
      home.

      "Now?" Erik asked quietly.

      "Yes, today. That would suit me fine. Will you do that?"

      Erik nodded at last. He knew what Charles was capable of doing now,
      and he had actually promised his friend this already a few days ago.

      "Alright. I will drive you home," he said with a tiny smile and
      gently stroked Charles' cheek with his left hand. "I understand that
      you want to go home. It's alright."

      "Erik…" Charles began, sighing. "Don't get me wrong now, please. You
      have been wonderful, and what happened was… between us… It was
      beautiful, but… You do understand my children need me, right?"

      "Yes, of course I do," Erik replied. "I told you it was alright, old
      friend. I am not heartless. Of course I understand you. Would you
      like to go at once?"

      "Give me a telephone first," Charles pleaded. "I'd like to call my
      students and tell them I am alive."

      The last thing was said with a small glint of irony in his voice,
      and Erik grasped it.

      "Can't you contact them telepathically?"

      "I could, but since they probably believe I'm dead, it would be…
      more merciful to call beforehand, don't you think?"

      Erik shrugged. "I suppose so. Hearing a voice in one's head can be
      freaky. I'll get you a telephone."

      Of common politeness Erik agreed to leave the room while Charles was
      making his call. He took the portable phone Erik had given him, and
      dialled the number to the Xavier-institute – again. Charles couldn't
      help thinking what a sorry end his previous attempt got, and really
      hoped it would work better this time. After four signals a male
      voice answered.

      "The Xavier residence, hello?"

      It was Logan. That surprised Charles. Logan normally didn't bother
      answering the phone, but left that to Scott and Ororo.

      "Logan? It's me, Charles," Charles began carefully. "Are you…?"

      A gasp sounded on the other side of the line, and a while passed
      before Logan could pull himself together again. Because everyone,
      including him, had believed that their mentor was dead, it was at
      first hard to actually believe he was really on the phone now.

      "All be damned…" he then muttered. "Charlie? You… Where the fuck are
      ya?! You know how worried we've been? You…"

      "Logan, calm down," Charles said calmly. "I know that my call
      certainly was unexpected, but listen to me now. I am alright. You
      don't have to worry any longer. Everything is going to be just fine.
      I'm coming home today. Can you please be kind and put Scott or Ororo
      on the line, Logan?"

      "Nope, can't do that," was Logan's reply.

      "Why not?"

      "'Ro's not home at the moment. She's the one running this place now,
      and has a lot to do. And One-Eye…"

      Logan went quiet for a moment, and didn't proceed until Charles
      asked him.

      "Yes, what's wrong with Scott?" he asked.

      "He hasn't taken your disappearance so well. First Jean, and now
      you… I suppose it broke the kid. Anyway, he's in his room right now,
      sleeping, and he can't even do that unless he washes down a couple
      or more sleeping pills every night. Ororo and I have been forced to
      take almost all his classes. Charlie, this place is in chaos," Logan
      said truthfully. "You gotta come home. Where are ya, by the way? Are
      ya coming home anytime soon?"

      "Yes," Charles replied. "Logan, I'm sorry… You have no idea… Poor
      Scott. I should have known there would be a limit. I am truly sorry,
      but I couldn't help it."

      "Where are you?" Logan asked again.

      Charles thought whether it would be wise to tell Logan who he was
      with. Logan had a tendency to overreact, and he hated Erik, so
      telling him might not be suitable. At least not yet.

      "I am safe, Logan, and I'm coming home today. You can tell that to
      the others."

      "Where *are* you?" Logan persisted. "I wanna know where you are. Is
      that so odd?"

      Charles sighed. "Does it matter where I am?"

      "Yes!" the other mutant exclaimed. "It does! I wanna know what's
      happened to ya, dammit! Where are you, Charlie?"

      "I am with Erik. He was…"

      "Magneto!" Logan exclaimed. "He kidnapped you?! I knew that fucker
      had…-"

      "Logan!" Charles snapped sharply. "Now you listen to me. Erik saved
      me. He found me severely injured, and brought me to his home to
      nurse me. He hasn't hurt me. Logan? Are you listening to me?"

      The receiver was silent for a moment, but then he could hear Logan's
      voice again. "Yeah, Charlie, I'm listening…" he murmured.

      "Do not overreact. Tell the others what I've said. There is
      absolutely no worry. Erik hasn't hurt me. He saved my life. Can you
      tell them that?"

      "Sure, Charlie…" Logan muttered. "Mags "saved" you… Right… I'll tell
      them, but don't blame me if they doubt it!"

      "Then make sure they don't," Charles replied calmly. "And Logan… One
      more thing."

      "And?"

      "Stop calling me "Charlie"."

      "No, sure, professor Xavier," Logan said, pronouncing the name over-
      explicitly. Charles could almost see Logan before him, grinning his
      usual sarcastic, mischievous grin.

      "'Charles' will do fine," he remarked. "Maybe we should stop here. I
      don't want to give Erik a too high telephone bill."

      "No, he's such a poor bastard, right?" Logan sneered. "Bye, Charlie.
      Good to have ya back. I'll bring them your message."

      "Thank you, Logan."

      They concluded the call. Charles put the phone away and called for
      Erik. Really he would have preferred talking to Scott or Ororo,
      since Logan wasn't always very professional, but he decided to trust
      Logan in a situation like this one.

      "Charles? Did you make your call?" Erik asked.

      "Yes, Erik. I talked to Logan."

      Erik failed to hold back a snort. "Logan? It's surprising that he
      even knows how to answer a telephone…"

      "Erik, stop. He took it better than I was hoping or expecting."

      "Did you tell him where you were?"

      "Of course."

      "Let me guess… He thought I'd kidnapped you, didn't he?"

      "Yes, but I told him that was not the case," said Charles. "Logan is
      neither as dumb nor as feral as you seem to think. It is actually
      possible having a civilized conversation with him."

      "Oh, really? I didn't notice that…" Erik muttered.

      "He doesn't like you either."

      "That suits me fine," Erik said with a shrug. "But let us forget
      Wolverine for a moment. When do you want me to drive you home?"

      "This afternoon would suit me fine," replied Charles. "I promised
      Logan to come home today."

      Erik sat down on his bed edge again, and tenderly placed his hand on
      Charles' forehead, stroking his bald head. His scalp was as smooth
      as the rest of his body.

      "You maybe should get dressed before we depart," he suggested. "And
      have something to eat. It's a long drive to Westchester from here."

      "I know," Charles replied. "I'll get ready then."

      "I am going to miss you…" Erik murmured without looking into
      Charles' eyes.

      "I will miss you too, Erik. You know that."

      "Yes, I hope so."

      They embraced each other firmly and finished the embrace with a deep
      kiss before they finally withdrew from each other.

      "I am so glad you are well now, Charles," Erik said in a thick voice.
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