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FIC: Evolution (1/1, PG, E/C slash themes, pre-X2)

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  • Renata
    (If you prefer to read this in HTML: http://www.frowl.org/heyjupiter/stuff/brave.html ) Title: Evolution Rating: PG Category: E/C, angst Words: 1191 Summary:
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 26, 2004
      (If you prefer to read this in HTML: http://www.frowl.org/heyjupiter/stuff/brave.html

      Title: Evolution
      Rating: PG
      Category: E/C, angst
      Words: 1191
      Summary: Erik and Charles play chess and muse about the evolution of their
      Notes: Songfic to "Brave" by Rachael Sage. (Yes, yes, it's a songfic, but if you're not
      into that sort of thing it stands fine without the song. You can just read around it ^_~)
      And feedback is ever-appreciated.

      He looks at his opponent, idly contemplating the plastic chess set. Erik wonders if
      Charles is looking into his thoughts, but rejects the notion-- Charles is too much the
      Boy Scout to invade his thoughts without permission, or at least a good reason. Still,
      though, he feels naked without his helmet.

      He remembers the days when he welcomed Charles's presence in his mind, found it

      Truth be told, he would still find it comforting, but is far too proud to mention this.

      This wasn't how it was supposed to end. He was the Master of Magnetism, he was a
      grown man, he was powerful beyond belief. Furthermore, he had the love and loyalty
      of Mystique, a beautiful woman who was dedicated to the same cause he held dear.
      And yet here he was, scarcely better off than he had been in the camps all those years

      And, those things in mind, he didn't know which was the crueller irony: that he was
      now once more held prisoner by mere humans, or that when he was being tortured
      and interrogated by Stryker (the torture was completely superfluous, it was just
      something the man enjoyed on occasion) the name that he cried was Charles's.

      When I look at you I think of everything I don't have
      Everything you are is everything I'll never be
      Blinded by the light, blinded by the darkness
      Blinded by the sense I'll always be reckless

      He watches Erik watching him, and resists the urge to probe his mind. He doesn't
      belong there anymore, isn't wanted. Charles Xavier makes his move, and remembers
      a time when he and Erik had been closer, before Erik had become Magneto, before he
      had turned his back on humanity. He remembers their debates-- on the existence of
      God, on the death penalty, on Nietzsche... He had admired Erik's dedication, his
      determination, his perseverance. He still did.

      Some of Charles's most haunting nightmares had been ones in which he, too, had
      been in the concentration camps. He was still chased by a persistent doubt-- if he
      had lived through what Erik had, would he still be certain his way was the right one?
      Would he even have been able to survive the camps? Would he have wanted to?

      Speculation aside... Charles had been born to an upper-class family, where he had
      witnessed his own forms of bigotry and hatred, but had not... when he searched Erik's
      mind, he had always been struck by how confident he was, how certain of himself. It
      had taken him so long to realize that Erik's mind was that of someone who has lost
      everything. There is a freedom which comes with loss, and Charles sometimes envied
      Erik for that.

      When I look at you I think of everything I don't know
      Everything you say is every place I've never been
      Blinded by the light, blinded by the darkness
      Blinded by the sense I'll always be aimless

      He pretends to study the board but it is really his opponent's face which has his
      attention. The brown eyes that used to search his own, the lips that used to whisper
      reassurances when Erik woke up screaming after nightmares. Yet the part of Charles
      that he misses the most is the part he went to the greatest length to avoid. He knows
      how much it must have hurt Charles, when he started wearing the helmet. But it was
      necessary. His attachment to Charles was a weakness, and weaknesses could not be

      That was why he would eventually win: humans were weak, and Charles... Charles
      was stronger than he had initially, arrogantly, assumed. But Charles still believed that
      he, he and his "X-Men" could make it through this with their petty morals intact.

      They did not, could not understand the nature of war. How do you explain color to a
      blind man?

      At long last, Erik makes his move. It seems that Charles has, once more, put him on
      the defensive.

      Sometimes when I'm awake I feel as if I'm dreaming
      And all my hope's in pieces on the ground
      You sing my heart to sleep
      And I whisper that I'm freezing
      Is every window open in this ghost town?

      Charles did not quite permit himself to smile. Erik has, like always, underestimated
      him. Charles knew, perhaps better than anyone else, how easy it was to
      underestimate the complexity of the human psyche, how easy it was to get distracted
      by the surface and not dig deeper. He knew what Erik thought of him, knew that he
      presumed to think of Charles's plans as naive and ill-conceived.

      But then, Erik had no sense of history. Revolution is seldom successful; too much
      change too fast sends the world into shock. A sudden change in environment will kill
      off a species, it's gradual change over time that leads to evolution.

      Still, he admires that whatever Erik does, he does it with everything he has. There's a
      passion lurking behind those blue eyes that Charles, ever the New England WASP,
      could not attain. And perhaps that had been one reason things between he and Erik
      had ended the way they had; Erik could no longer stand to be in a position where he
      had something to lose.

      And Charles remembers feeling the way Erik felt about him and thinks, not for the
      first time, of the irony that this man, this man who had once had an infinite capacity
      for feeling, now seems to feel nothing at all.

      When you look at me you think of everything I don't have
      Everything I am is everything you want to save
      Burning in the light, burning in the darkness
      Burning in the sense I'll never be brave

      He moved his piece, deliberately, but he knew the game was Charles's. They were a
      fairly evenly matched pair, but he hadn't been playing his best in this plastic cube. It
      was hard for him to concentrate... he was so used to feeling magnetic fields around
      him, knowing that they were there even if he didn't need to use them.

      He is grateful to Charles for his visits, even as he resents the feeling. He resented
      Charles in Israel, when they first met, working together in the sandy heat. He
      resented the man's noble earnestness, but not as much as he resented his attraction
      to him. He resented Charles's aloofness, his detachment, the way he effortlessly
      achieved the passionless state that Erik so wished to have.

      Charles's secret, he had finally determined, was in fact his very compassion. Charles
      cared so much for everyone that he could not connect to just one person. He, on the
      other hand, tried so hard to care for no one that when someone did finally earn his
      trust, his love... it is a commitment, a bond.

      He remembers the nightmares, remembers Charles comforting him, telling him he is
      brave, he is strong. Charles is right, but for the wrong reasons. Courage had nothing
      to do with his desire to survive. The only brave thing he has done in his entire life is
      to let himself fall in love with this strange American.

      He is terrified that soon he will be forced to betray Charles, he knows it is only a
      matter of time. Stryker's mind control is strong, and thus far Erik has only been saved
      this because Stryker does not know the right questions to ask. Soon, however, he
      knows that his luck will run out.

      Sometimes when I'm asleep I feel as if I'm floating
      And all my hope's in pieces in the sky
      You shake my heart today with promises of knowing
      The answers to the oceans asking why we try

      His gambit has worked, and the game is his. He wishes that life were as simple as

      But then, there is nothing simple about chess, just as there is nothing simple about
      life. Chess, with its perfect squares and its black and white, deceives you into
      thinking that it is simple. Life makes no such pretense.

      He lets out a breath he hadn't realized he was holding, and he says "Check," and he
      wishes with all his being that he had the courage to have said "I still love you" instead.

      I could be afraid or I could be afraid of nothing
      I could be alone or I could be alone with you
      Blinded by the light, blinded by the darkness
      Blinded by the sense there is only love

      - fin

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