X-Men: Just Because They Stumble

/ By animechick98 [+Watch]

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Charlotte was speechless. If it was any other moment in time, it probably be like a badge of figurative honor to make the genius a loss for words. Alas, such a moment was not home for humorous thoughts.

[b "Erik,"] She began slowly after he'd retracted his hand from the brief contact, [b "I accept your apology."] If he managed to look at her, he'd see a smile again. It was barely existent, but this time it was at least a genuine one. [b "I... don't do well with abuse. A fight? Sure. Playful ribbing? Not even the same category. But any type of abuse? It just.... It's bad memories. I'll leave it at that."] The smile became a little strained, but it was still real. She added next, [b "The fact you apologize, and mean it, means the world to me. Especially since I know you weren't doing it intentionally. ...Well, you were at points, but not with the intent of harm. So, thank you."]

The short female held out a hand towards him with an eyebrow arched, and once he'd eventually comply, she would wrap both of her smaller hands around his. She gave a firm little squeeze.

[b "You, however, do not have to apologize for all of your traumas that led up to you acting the way you have. Those were not your fault."] She knew at some point she'd have to help him acknowledge the fact that while it wasn't likely there were many, that there was bound to have been mutants in the Nazi Germany Military during the Holocaust. Shaw was proof of that. [i Now is not the time, however. Later. When this entire mess with that monster is done.] Giving Erik's hand a small pat, she released it and stood up.

[b "Come on! We can finish our sandwiches in the car. We can't actually go to where our last canidate within the state is until tonight, and we have to go shopping beforehand. A suit for you, and someone... considered a dress,"] Her face screwed up a little, [b "For me. Where we have to go, they only let you in if you look as if you come from money. A very 'elite' little place."] Grinning, she wrapped up what was left of their sandwiches, popped them into the fastfood bag, grabbed her coffed, and moved over to the hotel door. Glancing down at her full hands, she looked over at him in a playful manner.

It really was amazing how zero-to-a-hundred that Charlotte Francine Xavier could go. That a thing as little as an apology could absolutely brighten her day. Such warmth... could be some type of dangerous for many, including herself or he, in various ways.
  Charlotte Xavier / animechick98 / 2y 1d 20h 22m 10s
He cleared his throat and cursed himself once more. [i Great, now I've made her feel guilty on top of sad,] he thought to himself.

[b "No, I'm afraid I do need to apologize. You were very right and I've been an asshole, as you so lovingly pointed out last night,"] Erik looked to her. [b "I am not used to...this."]

Realizing that that did absolutely nothing to clarify his behaviour, he tried again. [b "I have been alone since I was fifteen. I lost everything to humans. They took my family. They took my home. My people were locked in camps and forced to do hard labour while they starved to death, if disease didn't get them first."]

He recalled seeing the bodies on the first day getting off the train. [b "I couldn't trust my country. They turned their back on me. This concept of teamwork is completely foreign to me. Putting trust in complete strangers who are 'normal' for lack of a better word, is not something that I can do easily."]

Reaching out, he awkwardly laid his hand to cover hers, before deciding to was too much contact and pulled it back. [b "Seeing you working with them without question is something that brain cannot comprehend. And I've grown to believe that mutants can only trust each other. To watch you work with humans over partnering with me alone, I guess has made me a tad...jealous,"] the word fell from his mouth.
  Erik Lehnsherr / Kooza / 2y 3d 22h 21m 54s
The sight that she met at the door was... not one she was expecting. Even when she had managed to rise later or at the same time as him, Erik had... never looked so disheveled. She instantly felt guilt, wondering if his sleeplessness was somehow her doing. She had been sending a wave of calmness to his mind every night, in hopes of negating any nightmares that may or may not exist.

[i All because you couldn't keept your mouth shut.] Charlotte scoldded herself, and managed a small smile and a nod of her head as he welcomed her in. Shutting the door behind herself, she watched as he left into the bathroom, and then she finally let herself fully enter into the room. She had her overnight bag with her, she wanting to leave as soon as possible after finding this last eligable mutant in Chicago: a girl who could fly. Whether they succeeded or not, Charlotte could tell without her telepathy that neither of them wished to stay in the city for much longer.

She had been lost in her thoughts so greatly that she startled when he returned from the bathroom, staring at him, but then slowly nodded at his suggestion... until he took the coffee and [i thanked her] for it. Nonetheless, she managed to make herself move over to the small table to sit down.

She handed him his sandwich, took her own—another sandwich that spoke of the owman somehow being able to eat more than her weight: a bacon-egg-and-cheese bagel with a sausage added onto it. She had been unsure of what to get him since at all the places they had eatene, he'd critisized everything she suggest. So, she'd gotten him two sausage biscuts. And, of course, she'd gotten them each two hashbrowns. Just as 'of course', she had stressed over if she was purchasing correctly, considering the stress she'd been under th enight before.

Then Erik spoke.

[b "What?"] She snapped her head up, staring at him, needing to blink a few times as she processed his words. Ultimately, she sighed, setting her sandwich onto it's wrapper. [b "Erik, you don't have to apologize,"] The short genius sad, offering a smile that very clearly wasn't a genuine one. [b "It's my fault, really. You can just forget everything I said, hm? You didn't deserve any of that."
  Charlotte Xavier / animechick98 / 2y 4d 1h 1m 39s
Erik hadn't slept at all.

By midnight, he'd left his room and took to walking the streets. It would have been quite peaceful, if he wasn't alone with his thoughts that were eating away at him. They flipflopped from being angry at Charlotte for putting these thoughts in his head, to plotting how he could get her trust back.

He'd gotten desperate around three in the morning and purchased a teddy bear and chocolate bar from a 24 hour gift shop down the road, with the full intent of gifting them to Charlotte over breakfast. By four o'clock, he'd angrily eaten the chocolate and ripped the head off the teddy bear.

When her knock came with the sun, his hair was unruly and his clothes were disheveled. [b "Come in,"] he murmured, stepping aside.

[b "I'm uh...I just need to shower,"] he quietly excused himself to the bathroom.

He set the water as cold as he could handle to wake him up and clear his head. [b "Don't screw this up again,"] he gave his reflection a pep talk as he buttoned his shirt.

There was an moment of awkward silence as he rejoined her, accepting the coffee with a quiet thank you. [b "Shall we eat?"] he gestured to the bagged food waiting on the table.

The coffee was slightly tangy on his taste buds, but he offered her a smile over the cup. [b "This was very kind of you. I don't deserve the generosity. I apologize for my behaviour,"] he stammered over the words, unused to being apologetic.
  Erik Lehnsherr / Kooza / 2y 4d 21h 44m 33s
The next morning, March 21st, would come no matter how much Charlotte didn't want it too. Sitting up in a room she hadn't bothered settling into, she found her head throbbing in a way it hadn't since the day after her twenty-first birthday.

[i ...I still feel pathetic. Lovely.] The British-blooded girl thought to herself, raising her hands to rub at her temples slowly. Glancing at the clock, she saw it was before seven, and after a few minutes she found the motivation to go and shower.

Two hours later, at 9 a.m. on the dot, she showed up to Erik's room with two coffees and breakfast from a fast-food place nearby. [i 'This stuff is horrible, Charlotte, I don't know why you got it. It's not real coffe' and 'These sandwiches are calories beyond my worst dreams' are bound to come.] Despite that fear, she had gone out and got it anyway. She had a couple happy memories of fast food places, and eventually getting something from there helped lessen how bad she felt after a panic attack.

Granted, it had been years, but she always had a soft-spot for McDonalds. She and Raven often joked it's the only thing that prooved America had apparently infected the genius after years of moving back and forth between there and England.

This was not one of those happier moments though, so as the woman awaited for Erik to open the door so they could get going, her eyes dimmed, she schooled her face as calm as possible, and she inhaled as calmingly as she was capable. For her own sake.
  Charlotte Xavier / animechick98 / 2y 4d 22h 50m 35s
Erik's eyes flew as wide as they could as this little firecracker of a woman got right in his face. [b "I-"] he tried to interject, only to be shut up once more.

His heart was hammering in his chest with adrenaline pumping through his veins. He'd only ever felt this kind of intensity during a fight. Granted, this was slightly more terrifying than any fight he'd ever been in. His mouth hung slightly open for the duration of the verbal obliteration.

Then the tears started. [i Fuck.]

Charlotte Xavier had been a beacon of confidence and reassurance since they'd met. And now she was looking at him like he was worse than the monster they were hunting. Erik's eyes fell to the floor, unable to maintain eye contact knowing that he was the one who had made her fall to such a level.

The door slammed behind her and he was left alone. Always alone. [b "Goddamnit,"] he slumped back into his chair and rubbed at his face.

She was right.

He knew she was right. And still, he'd gone and made her cry because he couldn't handle being wrong. The humans had tried helping. They'd provided the information needed for their search. They'd given them sleeping quarters and food.

And how did he repay them? By consistently pointing out their flaws and shortcomings. His preaching of superiority had provided the necessary wedge he'd come to drive between himself and anyone who could get close. He'd viewed them all as the monsters that had locked his people in camps to starve and die. Yet here he was claiming to be the better species. Just like the man who had put his people in those camps.

[b "I'm sorry, Charlotte,"] he murmured to himself, knowing that it would be best to leave her be for the night.

Tomorrow, he would do better. He would make it up to her and be worthy of her friendship.
  Erik Lehnsherr / Kooza / 2y 5d 2h 10m 7s
The looked of rage stayed on her face, she getting up from the bed she had claimed. [b "Would just fucking [i stop] that?!"] Charlotte snapped again, her breathing speading up and she getting red in the face. [b "Stop speaking down at me like nothing is your fault."]

She stompped up to him, shoving him once in the chest, but instead of continuing the current triade, she looked up at him and abruptly asked, [b "Do you hate me, Erik?"] The question hung oddly heavy in the air for a duo of people that knew each other as little of a time they had, and no matter what he'd answer, her expression would not change as she raised a hand to cut off his response.

[b "I have done nothing, at all, to deserve the way you've been treating me."] She raised a hand, tacking off on her fingers, [b "I saved your life, gotten you resources, and have extended a hand all for no cost from you. This is not my battle, but I'm fucking in it, because a monster like Shaw does not deserve to run free. And if I get to help others like us—others I didn't know might exist beyond me and my sister until I bloody met you—then that is the only selfish gain I get: that pleasure of knowing I've helped others."] Charlotte was trembling, glaring up at him as she lowered her arms. Her lips were quivering, her jaw clenched tight.

[b "I've known you hardly a week, Erik, and I know not why I've put up with you. You've belittled me, nit-picked, judged, cursed, and done so many rude things I do not believe I deserved. Do you resent me, hate me, want me dead? I don't know,"] She threw her hands up in the air, [b "But I'm trying to help you anyway, no matter what those answers are, because I don't think I've [i ever] met a mind more bright and more deserving of justice then [i yours!"]] Her chest was heaving by this point, her eyes stinging, and no matter how much she worked her jaw she couldn't stop the tears that finally forced their ways down her face.

[b "And above all, you preach supperiority. It was not a human that's had me need to stop nearly a dozen confrontations that could get them arrested over the past week—stopping them in a way I hate doing, because I hate having to control anyone to such a degree, let alone innocent bystanders. A regular human did not put me in the position to have to do that."] She stocked forward, hitting him in the chest and backing him up against the wall, [b "A human did not make me feel like lower than dirt the entire week because things weren't going the way they wanted, Erik. [i You] were the one who did that to me, and I don't know what I did to deserve it, but I meant what I said after our flight; I am so [i sorry-],"] Her voice broke a bit, she inhaling shakily, [b "That...th-that I decided to invest myself so quickly into thinking you deserve all the kindness I have, because despite all the bad shite you've done to me so far, [i even now], that thought hasn't changed. "]

She backed up from him, walking over to the nightstand, grabbing her carry-on back from it, and slipping her shoe on. [b "I'm getting a different room. I'll come and get you at 9 a.m., and I suppose I'll be stupid and worthless and a waste of time yet again from waking you up at either too early or not early enough. I'm sure if neither are true, you'll still say the insults anyway."] She marched to the door, pausing, and then marched out of it before slamming it shut.

God, she really wanted a drink.

And she wished she wasn't crying, even as she wiped her cheeks whilst walking to the elevator. Soft sobs still escaped her.

She felt absolutely pathetic, and she couldn't help but fear that it was just gonna get worse with the rest of the journey, but she wouldn't give up. She'd help him if he liked it or not.

Despite her determined thoughts, Charlotte had to stop short of the elevator to lean against the wall, trying to calm her quickly turning-panicked breathing that had been induced by her high stress, emotions, other things she really wished were cropping up in her mind right then, and by her silent-though-nearly-violently-intense sobs.
  Charlotte Xavier / animechick98 / 2y 5d 19h 16m 13s
He was going to break something.

Probably the next mutant who said no to them.

They were zero for four, and it wasn't looking like things were going to be in their favour. [b "I'd advise you to reconsider,"] he'd even snapped at the last person they'd spoken with, before being ushered off by Charlotte.

There was another problem. He hadn't quite been able to kick his attitude from the plane, and neither of them were in a particularly good mood. In fact, Erik would be impressed if they made it back to headquarters without having killed each other first. [b "I told you this was a bad idea,"] he had snapped at her while slamming the hotel door shut.

He was now perched on the lumpy armchair in the corner, watching a mindless game show. [b "We could have found Shaw by now."]

Erik glanced over at her, silently reading her book. [b "I trusted you. You said that this plan would work, and so far all it's done for us is get us cheap hotel dinners and rejections."]

He stretched his legs out and crossed his arms over his chest. [b "But this is what you wanted, right? To play along with the humans. To try and make them happy. Well congratulations, we're screwing ourselves over."]

She'd finally had enough of his shit and the next thing he knew, her book was hitting him in the face. [i "Are you out of your mind,"] he yelled, rising to his feet and pressing a hand to his nose to check if it was broken.
  Erik Lehnsherr / Kooza / 2y 6d 52m 20s
The remaining four hours of the flight would pass in silence. Charlotte wouldn't try to get Erik to talk to her—surprisingly. That oddity of what the man had come to understand about the genuinely certified-genius of a woman would easily be explained by the fact he was sleeping, of course, so the grouching man probably woudlnt' think anything of it.

The duo would land, and Charlotte would be silent until they were about to leave the airport. A car being dropped off for them by a government official in the Chicago area once they had called and given one of their valid badge-numbers.

[b "You're right,"] She said as the car pulled up, nodding as the driver went to go and get a taxi, and she moved to get in the driver's seat herself. [b "I am most definitely sorry."] Her tone was genuine with the apology, but something seemed slightly... off. But she ahd flashed him a smile, and it seemed there was nothing to worry about.

[h3 Two Days Later — March 20th, 1962 ]
It had been another long, long, [i long] day.

There were four eligable mutants in the state of Illinois, and all four of them were in Chicago.

Two of them were siblings—powers of lifting things with their mind, and the other being able to make a force-field with a purple hue.

They had found them on the first day, and both of them had said no.

They found the third mutant—one who could manipulate water—just this morning: they declinded a little more than an hour ago.

She and Erik having been back at their room for the past half hour, she had been silent. Reading a book, and writing notes as Erik watched the television whilst making general jabs her way. Charlotte hadn't spoken much the past few days, but... after a another jab of Erik's , she just couldn't take it anymore.

[b "For the bloodiest of fucks, would you just [i stop it!?]"] Charlotte snapped, slamming her book shut before, honest to God, throwing it at at the metal-using mutant.
  Charlotte Xavier / animechick98 / 2y 6d 22h 35m 4s
He grimaced right back at Charlotte. [b "Don't you look at me like that. He was only proving my point that mutants are the advanced species. You'd never see me discarding peanut shells on the public floor, like some ill-mannered child."]

Erik huffed and pushed himself back in his chair, drawing the complimentary eye mask down to block out the light. [b "You know I'm right,"] he grumbled.

He never had been a friendly drunk. Taking advantage of the free champagne had put him in a sour mood, and he was hell-bent on giving her the silent treatment until the flight landed. [i I'll show you to undermine me,] he thought to himself stubbornly.

The rest of the flight was fairly uneventful. Though he did make sure to bend the slob's fork when he wasn't looking to make his meal a little more difficult. By the time they were disembarking the flight, Erik turned to Charlotte. [b "I hope you've had time to consider your actions. I will accept an apology whenever you are ready,"] he waited with an air of condescension.

When she said nothing, he frowned. [b "I was only trying to teach him some manners. It's not like I physically assaulted him. Though if you ask me, a good smack upside the head might have done the animal good,"] he dusted off his jacket and pulled it in place.
  Erik Lehnsherr / Kooza / 2y 7d 23h 43m 2s
Charlotte rolled her eyes, though her cheeks colored just a little from how obvious her emotions must have been on her face earlier. [b "To be fair... that wasn't [i exactly] what I was thinking, but very close to it. Yes."] Having shared a grin with the man, they both got settled into their First Class seats. Within thirty minutes they had taken off, and all seemed well.

That is, all seemed well besides for Erik's growing aggrivation. The tiny woman was hoping it wouldn't come to a head, but it did, because the metal-user decided to snap at a very large, tall, bulky-armed man. [i Good lord.] Charlotte thought to herself as the man came over, saying some words to Erik, but before it could escalate she decided that now was a time to use her power rather... more intensely than Erik had yet to see.

In fact, he probably thought, on some mental level, that Charlotte exagerated her abilities with how calm the woman was.

Calmness does not equal weakness or falsehoods, however.

The Xavier woman grabbed Erik's forearm with one hand, tugging him with a firm look to sit back down as she closed her eyes. Breathing in deeply, around them all of the tension of passenger would leave as they all looked back to what they had been doing before the confrontation had began. Though it wasn't visible, those in couch and all the flight attendents had relaxed as well.

Opening her eyes, Charlotte looked up at the burly man who had gone slightly blank-faced. Giving him a smile, she simply said, [b "I'm sorry, sir, we really don't have any tissues. Perhaps you could ring for an attendant? I'm sure they keep them stalked up."]

The man blinked, staring, but then shook his head. [#229e00 "Right. Yes, thank you, miss. Sorry for disturbing you two."] Smiling as if the past five minutes hadn't happened, the man walked back to his seat... though he did pick up the peanut shells once there. Charlotte kept her smile until the man was gone, and then turned with a mild glare at Erik.
  Charlotte Xavier / animechick98 / 2y 8d 7h 20m 57s
[b "I doubt you would need superhuman reflexes if you went five miles over,"] he leaned over to look at the speedometer. [b "The thirty that you're doing now,"] he drawled.

By the time they reached the airport, Erik had moved on to teasing her for her over-attentiveness at the wheel. [b "I don't think even the strongest mutant on the planet could pry that steering wheel out of your hands. I think you left indents in it,"] he taunted, tucking his fake passport back into his pocket as he took his seat next to her.

When the flight attendant came around with their complimentary champagne, he clanged his glass against hers. [b "Are you sure you're ready to commit yourself to multiple days of traveling with just me? You're not exactly good at hiding the whole 'don't throw him out of the car' vibe you had going on back there."]

Thirty-thousand feet in the air means no escape. Erik's patience had already been on edge for the past few days, and being stuck in a tin can with strangers meant he was even more annoyed than usual. [b "Since when have manners been forgotten? That man has been shucking his peanut shells onto the floor for the past ten minutes,"] he grunted in disgust. [b "Tell me, are you an animal, or do you know how to pick up after yourself?"] he leaned forward in his seat to speak to the man one row up and across from them.
  Erik Lehnsherr / Kooza / 2y 10d 22h 36m 25s
[b "Well considering you want to start from outward and work in, we're going to Chicago first. So... our first stop, technically, will be the airport."] The airport itself was only an hour away, sure, but it was still a drive.

She wanted to toss him out of the car within five minutes.

Because Erik was being a little shit.

[i Don't make him throw himself out of the car, don't make him throw himself out of the car, don't make him throw himself out of the car....] A mantra steadily thrumming in her brain, Charlotte would release a slow breath as she changed lanes in order to take the right right road, rather than the left wrong one. [b "I am going to ban you to riding on the roof~!"] She softly sing-songed, glancing over at him with a rolled of her eyes.

The brunette had said that, sure, but she was fighting off a small smile. It was nice to see him being a teaser without her needing to induce it first. She hadn't known him very long, sure, but it as already so refreshing to see Erik letting a little loose.

At his last commented she snorted, shaking her head. [b "And I'm going to drive whatever speed I please. I'm telepathic, but do not hold superior reflexes. I'm going to drive at a speed I can manage."] She added, rolling her eyes with a grin.

Soon they would reach an airport, get into First Class with their badges, and they were on their way to Chicago in no time at all.
  Charlotte Xavier / animechick98 / 2y 11d 8h 7m 5s
Erik rolled his eyes as the younger sister left the room in search of the young scientist. [b "I'm afraid I don't have much experience with teenagers anyways, so excuse me if I don't log this lesson away for future use,"] he drawled wryly.

He accepted the badges and slung his bag over his shoulder. [b "I'm not quite accustomed to driving in this country yet. You should drive."]

It was a bitter truth for him. Pride was his main virtue, and it was not easy to just hand over control to her for the mission, let alone admit that she was capable of something that he wasn't. [b "Shall we?"]

Once again, he walked away before she could answer. The car was waiting for them, and Erik glanced -or glared- towards the driver's seat. Stupid country, driving on the wrong side of the road, he thought to himself. He put the bags in the trunk and slumped into the front passenger seat.

[b "What's the first stop?"] he grumbled, unfolding the map from the glovebox.

If he was going to be the passenger, then he was going to be useful. He would not sit there for the entire journey without occupying himself somehow. [b "If we stay along the rural routes, we will make better time. Freeways can get backed up with traffic, and we are working with a rather strict time frame."]

He withdrew a pen from his jacket pocket and began marking their route. [b "No no, don't take that road. We'll be better off taking a right instead of a left,"] Erik guided her.

He knew he would be a great pain in her ass, but he was the only way to keep himself entertained. [b "You can also speed up. We're not quite going to be pulled over in a government issued cat,"] he glanced over at her with a smirk.
  Erik Lehnsherr / Kooza / 2y 16d 21h 37m 7s
[b "Aww,"] Charlotte all but cooed, giving the man a warm yet playful smile as she stood up from her chair. Stretching out her back, she just as playfully continued, [b "You want to do things my way? I know we haven't known each other very long, but I bet I'll never hear that out of your mouth again."] Her smile grew utterly cheeky, but even with teasing in her tone, her voice was nothing but that kind and verbal softness it seemed to naturally be.

She rolled her eyes when he handed her the files and went off to go pack first—assuming he'd probably tease her for not packing fast enough once she finally got to their shared lodging. Nonetheless, she went and gave the information to Flemyng, quickly secured two badges that would allow them onto flights without need of tickets or identification, and left off to head back to her rooms. She felt her ever-sense of Raven reach the location first, and she may have dramatically timed her arrival.

Charlotte opened the door, stepping inside, and casually said, [b "You can't come."] Moving over to Erik, she handed him one of the badges before heading to the bathroom to grab her utilities. Her clothes had still been mostly packed. All she needed to do was toss in a pair of shirt and pants.

[#c43112 "But, Charlotte, I can help-"] Raven began, but quieted as her elder sister put her hand on her shoulder.

[b "We won't need your abilities, Raven, it's just business. I can take care of myself."] Charlotte soothed, brushing a kiss to the currently blonde-haired teenager's forehead. [b "Now, why don't you go find Hank, hm? I think he's looking to have lunch with you."] Charlotte chuckled as Raven blushed, but the woman ended up turning to Erik with a triumphant grin as the teenager left the adults be. [b "And that, my friend, is how you distract a teenage girl."] Laughing softly to herself, Charlotte zipped up her bag and tossed it over her shoulder. [b "I have the keys to a car. I got us these badges to allow plane travel, rather than yet. I figured you wouldn't want us being flown around by a government employee."]
  Charlotte Xavier / animechick98 / 2y 17d 4h 23m 29s
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