My knowledge of X-Men is purely Movie-verse, I know nothing concerning the comics and only very little concerning the cartoons, so be kind. The title is taken from Maximo Park’s song “Girls Who Play Guitars”. Thanks to the marvelous
Charles put down the pitcher and glass and ran up to the third floor.
Erik! Erik! Don’t! He kept calling out for Erik telepathically until he’d reached the door of Erik’s room. He never got an answer. Erik, please! Please, tell me you’re still here.
He practically burst open the door.
The room was empty. There was no sign of Erik ever having lived there. Not one single thing out of place. Nothing left behind.
As if Erik had never set foot in here.
Was Charles even in the right room? With all the rooms in this manor, maybe he’d gotten them mixed up.
No, no, don’t kid yourself, Charles. It’s this one. It has been this one. The next bedroom to the master bedroom.
Erik had chosen it.
Charles sank down onto his knees and buried his head in his hands.
Erik, where are you?
Why had he taken that step to show him his true feelings (though he hadn’t even come to the point where they would have been really compromising)? Merely a few hours ago, if it even had been that long, he’d agreed with himself that it had been the right thing to hide them from Erik.
Now it was too late. He was too late. Erik had gone and Charles hadn’t had the chance to keep him from it again.
What was he going to tell the others when they asked why Erik had left?
Charles angrily wished he had Erik’s gift so he could just slam the door and lock it without bothering to get up.
Slowly, as if his limbs were being weighted down, he got up and trudged out of the empty room. He closed the door from the outside and leant against it. Hesitantly, he brought his fingers up to his temple.
Where are you, Erik? Where? He had a very bad feeling about Erik out there alone, hunting Shaw down, alone. Again. He definitely had to go after him. If not for Charles’, sake, at least for the sake of humanity.
It wasn’t that he thought Erik was a bad person. No, Charles had seen a lot of good inside him. But he knew Erik wouldn’t see his good side himself if it wasn’t for teamwork, working together, being with people who could show him the good.
Calling the kids “our” kids… Charles took even this tiny little slip as a sign that around Charles, among their kind, Erik was finally letting go of some of his anger.
And he couldn’t let that go to waste.
He had to concentrate hard, to finally detect a slight trace of Erik’s mind. Erik seemed to be struggling hard to keep Charles out. It wasn’t quite as effective as Emma Frost’s diamond skin, but however Erik was doing it, he was good at it.
Now that Charles had located him, he didn’t call out again, afraid to scare Erik off. He tried to skim his thoughts and gain any clue to where he was and where he was going.
When he knew what he wanted to know, he ran down the stairs, nearly tripped over his feet, and was out the front door before anyone even noticed there was the noise of someone taking the old wooden stairs way too fast. He climbed the military transporter, the last thing they’d gotten from the CIA, and rummaged around in the glove compartment for the keys.
Once Charles had started the car, his breathing calmed; now it wouldn’t take him much longer to get to Erik.
He wasn’t far from the mansion’s driveway when he saw Erik. Walking. Merely meters ahead of him now. His briefcase was gripped in one hand, the other rammed into the pocket of his coat, in a tight fist around a coin that weighed more on both their minds than in Erik’s hand.
Charles drove up to Erik slowly and then came to a halt beside him.
He opened the passenger door and ordered Erik to get inside.
Erik stopped walking, but he didn’t get inside. He looked at Charles for a long moment, then lowered his head and softly shook it.
“No, Charles, I’m not coming back.”
Charles gulped. He had been hoping in vain. But to tell the truth, he hadn’t expected him to come running back.
“At least let me take you to the station. It’s about another eight miles and it’s getting late.” Charles held onto his last chance to get things straightened out with Erik. Eight miles might be just enough time, he hoped. And if they were not, he’d bite the bullet and let him go, let him embark some train, headed God knows where.
“Charles,” Erik said with a soft smile, “I’m a big boy, I’ll make it.”
“But I’d sleep better.” If I do at all, Charles thought, but made sure he didn’t broadcast that. They were grown men. And if the last time Charles would see Erik would be on that damn platform, then so be it. As long as they parted in peace and without any misunderstanding between them.
Erik sighed and climbed up into the passenger seat.
“The station, Charles. No turning back. Alright?”
It wasn’t easy for Charles to do, and he wouldn’t open his mouth to say it, afraid it’d sound like a choked back sob or something along those lines. But he nodded in agreement. The station. No turning back.