Title: I Fell Into Your Crinkle of Time
Author: aleey/ constantbedhead
Word Count: 1,334.
Characters: Erik Lehnsherr/Charles Xavier.
Summary: Erik reflects on the newly passed Marriage Bill in New York.
Disclaimer: Don't own them. At all.
Author's Note: I live in New York, and when this bill passed, I was ecstatic. But I thought about what it would mean in the mutant world. And then thought of how Erik would feel. So, here it is.
It was the night the new Marriage Bill passed in New York. An uproarious approval swept over the streets like the curled edges of a wave in manic motion, taking everyone and thing along with it as it went. Tears of joy were left in its wake, couples clutching each other in sudden appreciation of the recognition they were now meant to receive. A swell of love that flew down the avenues all through Alphabet City; that swarmed in a thoughtless motion of pure ecstasy to Times Square; it drew people to the pleasant commotion. And for once the initial reaction of those unaffected by the news did not succumb to distaste and disgust, but disintegrated to mild-mannered smiles of agreement and affection, some even brought to welling in the eyes; love was palpable.
Erik waited patiently on his sofa, tapping the fabric of the arms relentlessly, as if something were meant to fixate on him and alter his state entirely. Nothing happened; at least not right away. The cheers that echoed through his home through cracked windows sank deep into his wrinkles, sat heavily on the dark rims under his eyes, crept their way in through the pores of his skin until they were an IV drip to his veins, singing the praise of equality until it shook his bones. Ah, equality. It was a word he felt he’d long since forgotten existed; something he still feared was far off, perhaps not even within reach of his lifetime for his kind.
Yet the smile that held his tears as they dripped from his eyelashes was nothing more than an unbridled spirit of triumph rising within him. Silver hairs pressed back against the sofa’s edge, eyelids tilted down, Erik Lensherr truly let himself give in to the sudden boiling emotion that had breached the surface.
You’ve become a sentimental old fool.
His thoughts accompanied a slew of images, wisps of whimsical memories of soft touches hidden behind closed doors, glances over rambunctious children yelling at a long dinner table, the few brief instances of closeness under ruffled sheets with the lights just dim enough to see all the glorious accents in his lover's face.
Oh, Charles, how proud you’d be right now.
That lingering touch of someone gone lifted his mind and without warning Erik had passed into a world within himself, misty around the edges. With each swift movement of his legs he tried to tear through the worn-at-the-edges feel of his heart pounding in his chest, something catching in his throat as it helped hone his attention. Through the throng of lovers of unbiased gender mixings, across the tattered cement pathway, and just over a tuft of a grassy hill, sat a bench. In all of the vision that lay before him only this bench seemed to vibrate, vivacious as though it were the very beacon of life returned to him in a singular moment. On that bench, legs crossed, dark hair suddenly returned, primly ironed slacks that horrendous gray material, sat Charles Xavier.
Erik’s breath caught in his chest, tears he hadn’t thought could still emerge slipped free and he felt his body running, running hard and fast and as quick as his suddenly sturdier legs could take him until he was bent over, hands on knees, gulping for precious air right in front of an amused Charles.
Erik, Charles started, laughing. Erik, what are you doing here?
What am I doing here? Erik’s smile grew ever more. What are you doing here?
Charles turned his eyes, that soft look of companionship stretched over his countenance. My friend, he started again, but instead of saying anything, reached his smooth fingers over Erik’s cheek. It was then, in Charles’ eyes that he saw his reflection; saw him from when they’d first met; saw him when he was young and alive and almost hopeful of peace. Almost. The fingers touching his cheekbones caught him off guard, but he pressed into them, needing their embrace, their comfort. He’d gone so long without giving into the desires of his adoration for Charles; so long since he could appreciate just what the gifted man before him had done to and for his life. He needed to do something, say something, but the screaming and cheering masses suddenly drew his attention.
It’s finally begun, Erik. Everything we’d set out for, I’d set out for, has begun. It may seem small to you now, but watch it; let it grow. Nurture what you know is right, Erik. For me. For us.
Charles’ eyes were cool and piercing, stealing Erik’s attention as swift as a sword through his heart would steal his life. It was as though they were back at the mansion, spry and in their twenties, destined for greatness, leaders, gods among insects all over again. And with Charles’ hand cupping Erik’s cheek with such sincerity, the latter male had little else to do but give in to the sudden desire around him. Everything that was humming around in what he assumed to be Central Park tugged him forward and within seconds, Charles’ lips were captured.
It was a cry from his gut as he slid his lips gently against his lover’s. Charles’ fingers leapt up and into Erik’s hair, the kiss suddenly feverish and heavy, Erik’s arms wrapping tightly around Charles’ waist. Suddenly his hands were clinging to everything that was Charles, anything he could assure to himself was his lover's, his clothes, his shape, his skin, the burning desire that was rolling off Charles in waves; he needed to assure himself that he wasn’t –
They were no longer kissing now, no longer clinging to each other, but breaths a part, Charles back to himself, to his smooth scalp and confined to his wheelchair, back to the sorrow that always seemed to linger in his eyes. Erik, feeling the ache of old age racing through his bones, crouched, weighing himself tentatively on the balls of his feet.
Erik, you need to stop this.
He pressed his palms to Charles’ knees, his face to Charles’ face, pressed his nose to Charles’ nose and lips to Charles’ lips in hopes of recapturing the moment in their keening old age.
Please, Charles, give me this. Give me this, old friend.
Charles’ hand drew up again, caressing Erik’s cheek, brushing aside the stream of tears, kissing him within an inch of his life.
We are finally free to be at least part of ourselves in public, Charles. Please. Just let me.
Charles parted with him again, the edges of his face suddenly graying and shriveling, the color of the park bench beside him fading, the trees in the background turning to ungrateful sallow tufts of fading memory and Erik tried, he tried to cling to Charles, but he was swept away through his fingers.
Wake up, Erik.
No, no, no! Erik cried, fists clenching as he tried to feel the last few moments of Charles before they drifted away. No, Charles, no, you can’t leave me, not again, not like this.
Wake up, Erik.
Erik was on his knees, forehead touching hardened cement, uncaring of scarring or bruising, as he sobbed, wretched, tore at his scalp for anything that could relieve him the pain that was a sharp jabbing in his chest.
Please, Charles. You promised I’d never be alone.
You aren’t, Erik.
With a start, Erik jolted forward on his sofa, gasping, gulping, swallowing air into his lungs until it filled him with the reassurance that he was still yet alive. As soon as his heart calmed, his emotions rose; he was still fighting a losing battle. He was still in a world with intolerance and persecution.
He was still here, alone.
“How could you Charles?” He breathed. His features hardened before he slammed his windows shut, locked them fervently, and shut off all the lights.
If only in sleep was how he would find peace, then sleep he would.
You’re a sentimental old fool, Erik.
welcome to my mind.
please excuse the mess I've made inside.
- FIC: I Fell Into Your Crinkle of Time