Erik always visited. He always visited the mansion once in a month. And that pretty much added up to the many reasons why Peter was going to stay there longer.
Charles concluded that Peter and Erik were not much different from each other – when they do something, they must have a reason for doing so.
Peter said he stayed at the mansion because he felt like it – but truth be told, he stayed because he still had yet to tell Erik about his little secret.
And Erik came visiting this particular month because it was Christmas. Truth be told, Erik just wants to see children again.
Despite the similarity between father and son on giving excuses on everything they did - from the way they eat, messy sleepipng schedules etc etc, Charles didn’t really mind. At least his dear friend was healing.
“The kids will love your presents,” Hank said as he smiled at the huge red sack the metal-bender had brought with him. Apparently, Erik’s little birthday gift to him a few years ago had finally broke down the awkward walls full of hatred surrounding them. Raven immediately rummaged through the sack as soon as Erik placed it onto the ground.
Erik patted the sack adoringly, “They should be, Charles told me what they all wanted,” his face turned softer – reminiscing his long-deceased daughter.
Raven stopped rummaging and huffed in disappointment. “There’s nothing that I like in here,” she crossed her arms and glared at the elder man.
Hank stepped forward to rummage the sack himself. “Well, these are for the kids,” he bit his lip when the shape-shifter gave him a glare.
“I told you before, Raven,” Erik held his chin up and stared menacingly at the woman, “I will only buy you presents after you tell Kurt about his mother.” Raven was undaunted and instead, she stuck her tongue out at him.
“I already did!” she exclaimed. Erik raised his brows at this. “Now where’s my present!?”
Before the former terrorist could reply, came along a voice which soothed them down.
“She told Kurt last month, Erik,” the three adults turned to see the professor rolling into the room. Charles smiled calmly at them. “You better ready a present next year, my friend.” Erik glared at the telepath.
Raven threw the metal-bender a short hug before dragging Hank – who was still rummaging through the sack excitedly guessing which present was whose – down to the kitchen.
The two old friends stared at each other in silence.
“So, fancy a game, my friend?” Erik smiled at Charles before nodding in reply.
“Your daddy’s here!”
Raven looked too happy to Peter’s liking. Everyone else smiled at the news but Peter and Jubilee.
“What’s with the face?” Hank asked before taking a seat next to Ororo – who was playing cards with Kurt. Kurt smiled happily when Raven took a seat next to him, reading his cards. Ororo smiled contently at the two elders.
Peter refused to say anything but continued to glare at Jubilee who was also glaring at him in resentment.
“They had a fight,” Kurt told, and Hank understood.
Scott shifted uncomfortably beside Jubilee while Jean calmly ate her popcorn, silently listening to the insults Peter and Jubilee were throwing at each other – without being verbal about it.
Everyone in the school knew that Jubilee and Peter were not in the best interest of each other but the professor never bothered to fix their relationship filled of hatred. Instead, he said, “They have the best chemistry I have ever seen.”
Hank and Raven thought he was going senile already.
“So you’re still not gonna spill it out?” Raven asked while pointing a few cards to Kurt.
No response came from the silver-haired man but a disgruntled huff from both he and Jubilee.
The woman rolled her eyes in annoyance.
Christmas was fun. Apparently, Jubilee and Peter had a fight because they couldn’t decide when to start the music – before or after Jubilee’s fireworks.
They eventually sorted it out by having the songs played before and after Jubilee’s fireworks and well, it was fun.
After tucking all the children in, the adults drank all they wanted.
All the children woke up simultaneously and that worsened Charles’ and Jean’s hangover.
They all got presents that they have been expecting to get and no one missed the chance to thank both Erik and Charles for it.
Later before Erik left again, he told Charles about a present he received from an anonymous sender the night before. It was a silver feather pendant that was carefully carved.
He demanded Charles to find out who the sender was, in which Charles retorted, “I am afraid I can’t do that, my friend.” Erik scowled at this. “If he wanted to tell you, he wouldn’t have sent it anonymously.”
At least Charles hinted that it was a ‘he’.
Erik came back, as usual. He came by early in the morning to have a chess match with Charles.
This time, Peter was very determined.
He struggled to even bear the thought of even standing in front of Erik, and Kurt being Kurt tried to help by being there by his side – though his help was almost useless.
Jean decided to telepathically boost his confidence and Scott threatened to call Mystique. Ororo also stood by his side and prepared a few cover-up lines in case things went wrong.
There came Jubilee.
“He would never possibly be disappointed of you,” she ushered with an annoyed frown when Peter decided to retreat.
“Oh he will!” Peter cried. At this moment, Kurt and Ororo were struggling to hold him still.
“Stop being a coward and spit it out!”
Peter growled in annoyance. “It’s not that easy!”
“We’re here for you!”
“How about you tell him about it!?”
“Oh I bet I can tell him!”
“Tell who?” everyone froze at the voice. They turned to see Erik innocently smiling at them. Kurt was shaking terribly and hid behind Ororo who looked like she just saw death. Scott retreated towards Jean who was calmly watching the whole situation. “About?” Erik demanded with a nervous smile.
Ororo nudged Peter on his side.
Peter and Jubilee stared at each other in awkward silence before the stare turned to glare.
“Coward,” they both hissed at each other menacingly and that concerned Erik.
“Erik?” they all mentally sighed in relief at the sound of the professor’s wheelchair coming by.
Erik smiled again at the young adults. Jean smiled genuinely at him while the others looked like they were to puke any moment.
“See you later,” Peter waved stiffly at him as the metal-bender nodded.
“We will get back to this later,” he smiled with a daunting gaze before taking his leave off the hallway.
Peter’s knees immediately failed him and they all sat down in awkward silence.
“That was crazy scary,” Scott concluded and no one made an argument against it.
New Year meant new resolutions. But Peter’s resolution each year was always the same – to finally tell Erik about it. Unfortunately, every year was the same and he was getting more desperate about it.
So, this year, Peter decided to change his resolutions.
This year, he would impress Erik with whatever he could and possibly bond with his dad without the dad knowing that they were father and son but that had to wait since the children were still up. And it was past midnight already!
New Year celebration was so merry. Everyone – the kids and teenagers – played games like they never before, from spin the bottle to cards and tags, the children gave headaches to the adults until around one in the morning.
Ororo and Peter were the last of the X-Men to stay awake but they didn’t complain. Instead, they spied on two certain best friends.
Erik and Charles did nothing they had always been suspecting – just plain old chess matches.
“I’m going to bed,” Ororo yawned as she got up from her hiding spot and Peter followed suit. She grinned lazily at Peter, “I guess you still not gonna ‘woman up’?”
Peter chuckled at the usage of the phrase. He then shrugged.
“Nope, I guess,” he smiled half-heartedly. “See you tomorrow, O.”
The other mutant just smiled in return as she headed to her room.
Peter sped off to the pond in the mansion’s compound and sat there, staring at the reflection of the moonlight on the water. He unconsciously took out his mother’s necklace from his pocket and held it in his hand with care.
He sat down for a long time.
Erik was leaving the mansion when he saw the speedster in a somber mood. He approached the silver-haired man and debated with himself to either sit with him or just say his farewell.
He kicked himself for both of the options.
“Love issues?” he started. He was trying to get along with these kids. But they were really hard to deal with or was it just him being socially awkward towards them? Peter looked up, slightly startled but grinned nonetheless when he realized who it was.
Erik took a seat next to him and noticed the necklace in Peter’s hand. At the sight of the necklace, he froze.
Peter noticed Erik was stiffening so he stored the necklace to give him his attention – not realizing it was the cause to Erik’s current state. “Everything good, man?” he asked with a slight frown.
Erik took in a deep breath before giving out a small smile.
“It just got better,” he retorted, giving Peter a half-hug. Of course, Peter was freaked out at the sudden gesture. He forced himself to stay the stillest he could under his dad’s arm.
Erik stared longingly at Peter one more time before getting up.
“So you like music?” Peter was taken aback at the sudden question. He got up and slowly nodded in response.
Erik smiled toothily at Peter. “Until we meet again, Peter,” the metal-bender patted the younger mutant’s shoulder and gave it a slight squeeze before walking away.
Peter swore his heart had stopped beating but his anxiety beats him to a heart attack as he collapsed at his spot in joy.
He was looking forward to it.
He really did.
But Erik left for quite a long time.