"All right," Logan says, "so, just to review, Professor, I find you, convince you of who I am, then we find Erik, and we stop Mystique from killing Bolivar Trask."
"That's it," Charles says. "That's right, Logan. But I will need you to be patient with me."
"Patience isn't really my strong suit."
Erik and Charles exchange a look. "You will need to bring us together," Erik says, "at a time when we couldn't have been further apart."
"Yes," Logan says. "You said that."
Charles looks over at Erik. "Really patient," he says.
There is an ominous sound somewhere in the distance. Bobby braces.
"No, okay," Logan says. "I think I have a handle on it now."
"I need you to remember to be patient. Guide me. Lead me."
"Guide you. Lead you. Got it."
"And me," Erik says. "How blind I was then."
"How blind we both were," Charles says. He gives Logan a significant look. "Also, I won't be in a wheelchair, so, you know, don't be too thrown by that."
"I'm in a dark place. I still have hair, but it looks terrible."
"It really does," Erik says. "I'm sorry, Charles, but it really does."
"You looked like a drowned pirate," Erik says.
"Guys," Kitty says.
"Talk to me, Logan," Charles says. "Tell me: Charles, the future needs you."
"I have every confidence in you, Logan. I believe that we will stop Mystique, and save the future, and you know, all of that, very important."
"Very important," Bobby says. "Really the only important thing right now."
"But then," Charles says, "as long as you're back there."
Bobby looks around nervously.
"As long as you're back there," Charles continues, "as long as we've been given this chance --"
"Is this critical?" Bobby asks. "Is this really absolutely critical?"
"Well, he's going to be back there," Erik says.
"Tell me, 'so, look, I know you and Erik cannot be farther apart right now, but in the future, well, the two of you really really strongly suggest that you give it another go.' Tell me—wait, I've got an idea."
"Guys," Kitty says.
"In 1973, what was your favorite restaurant?"
Erik ponders. "There was a little French place I always fancied," he says. "Hole in the wall in the Latin quarter, of all places. Chez Lindner."
"Right," Charles says .
"Sort of a bistro. Wonderful pate."
"So, Logan—" Charles continues.
"Professor?" Kitty says.
"I need you to tell me – then me, not now me."
"I know which one."
"Tell me," the professor continues, in a serious tone, "to invite Erik to a nice meal at that bistro. Once it all blows over, I mean. Get Trask. But then, you know, afterwards, get some candles. Get some wine. Tell me to do that, you don't have to do that, you're going to have enough on your plate without getting people candles—"
"Professor?" Bobby says.
"Tell me," Erik says, whirling ominously toward Logan, "that I need to go. Call it a summit if you need to. Say 'there's a summit, and you have to be present, because – mutant solidarity things.' You know. That sort of thing. I've always been into that sort of thing."
Kitty and Bobby exchange a look. "This – is nice?" Kitty starts, as delicately as possible, "you know, and –"
"Erik," the professor says, "is there – how do I put this? What's my opening here? What do I sort of lead in with, as it were?"
There is another ominous loud noise somewhere off in the distance. Bobby turns toward it.
Erik has been pondering with an expression of terrible gravity. "Well," he says. "I think—"
"Time pressure," Kitty says. "Just a tiny bit."
"What would you have wanted me to say?" Charles asks.
"You could say you'd missed me?" Erik says. "You could compliment my helmet. It's a more subtle purple."
"It's still a purple helmet with a big M on it," Charles says. "Subtle is hardly the word I would--"
"Guys," Kitty says.
"And! Oh! I know!" Erik says. "You could say, 'Let's just have one evening where we don't talk about mutant separatism, old friend. Let's just catch up.'"
"If I said a thing like that, you'd get up and walk away from the table immediately."
"Hmm," Erik says. "Yes, that's a fair point." He frowns. "Maybe – No. Maybe—"
"Tell us, Erik."
"Well, this is a little far-fetched but it's the only thing I can think of. What if you – if, say, we talked about mutant separatism and getting along with humans, and, you know, the usual things, but it was very clear by your general tone and demeanor that this was a metaphor for sex?"
"That could work." "That is one of the worst ideas I've ever heard," Charles and Logan say, simultaneously.
"Give me an example?" Charles asks.
"Oh my God," Bobby says. "We are going to die. We are all going to die here."
"Uh," Erik says. "Er." He waggles his eyebrows suggestively. "'The arrival of a new species inevitably leads to the destruction of their less evolved kin, baby.'"
"That's not going to do it."
Erik frowns. "No, probably not."
"Do you think you'll actually be wearing the helmet?"
"If it's a summit, of course."
"Hmm," Charles says. "Well, I could go for sort of the direct approach and just say, 'Why don't you take that thing off? I've missed being inside you.'"
"Jesus," Logan says.
"That's a little direct," Erik says. "Don't you think?"
"I thought you liked a direct approach."
"I do," Erik says, "but what if it's like last time—"
Charles ponders for a moment or two. "No," he says, "you're right, it might be best to at least stay at the table through the dessert course and try to talk things out before resorting to—"
"Right," Erik says.
"I think that once we've established we're both on the same page that will take care of itself," Charles says, "but what we need to do is talk."
"Right," Erik says. "Talk."
"Although," Charles says, "while we're on the subject, Logan, there is one simple trick that makes the sex part of things much easier and doesn't put me in the awkward position of being forced to choose between use of my legs and the use of my powers, both of which are relevant in different ways—"
"Guys," Kitty says. "Can we—"
"This is important," Erik says. "This is very important."
"I'm sure it is," Bobby says, "only—"
"I don't think you understand how important this is," Erik says.
"We've been given this chance," Charles says. "We must take all the advantage we can. Logan, are you getting the mental image that I am sending your way?"
Logan makes a face as though he's just taken a large mouthful of expired cottage cheese. "I've got it," he says.
"Bobby," Kitty says, beckoning. "Here."
"What?" Bobby says.
"Shh," Kitty says, gathering herself.
"Okay," Charles says, "now, where were we?"
"You could just say that you'd decided I was right."
"But I haven't."
"But you could say you had. That was all I really wanted you to say."
"I just don't think I'd be very convincing," Charles says. "Why don't we tell YOU to say YOU agree with me?"
"Because I'm not the telepath, Charles."
"Okay," Charles says, "so, to recap, Logan, we – do the whole – save the world, stop Mystique, stop the Sentinels thing, and then you direct me to take Erik to this specific bistro and to tell him—"
"Sexily," Erik says.
"And to tell him, sexily, that I agree with him?"
"Right," Logan says. "Sure. Okay."
"What should I wear?" Charles asks.
"I don't know, Charles," Erik says. "Wear what you like."
"You can't just leave these things to chance," Charles says. "Sometimes, you think an evening is off to a good start, and then three hours later you're screaming about mutant rights and frightening the other restaurant patrons and nobody's so much as casually brushed a hand against anybody's knee."
"I did!" Erik says. "I did repeatedly."
"I was paralyzed, Erik! I didn't know what you were doing down there."
There is a pause. "Well, I feel like an idiot," Erik says.
"You're not an idiot, old friend," Charles says.
"Thank you, old friend."
"Where's Kitty?" Logan asks, and then suddenly the room is empty.
"Okay," Bobby says, a few minutes earlier, "everyone, this is very important: I am here from the future, but just, like, a couple of minutes into the future. Yes, we should send Logan back. But you absolutely cannot start talking about this date idea that you have."
"A date idea?"
"I am looking at you, Professor. And at you, Magneto."
Charles looks curiously at him.
"A date idea?" Magneto asks. "Play some chess on a beach, take a long moonlit stroll?"
"Would that appeal to you?" Charles asks. "I believe what we were going to suggest was that we could go to a bistro, but if chess and a stroll would be more your speed –"
"Good God," Kitty says. "Bobby. Here. Again."
"I suppose we could take in a movie," Charles is saying, as the room fades. "But much would depend upon the choice of film."
"Professor," Logan says, decades earlier, as their car approaches the White House lawn, "before we move any closer to this climactic battle, I have --" He swallows and frowns down at the grass. "Well, I seem to have one more, uh, quest --"
"You-need-to-invite-Erik-out-to-dinner," Logan mumbles. "To this uh, this -- crap, I'm forgetting the name of the place, but it's a bistro. Chez something. I think it's in France somewhere."
"Chez Lindner?" Charles asks.
"That's the one," Logan says.
Hank looks over at him. Logan shrugs. "It's his favorite," Logan elaborates. "He likes the pate. So, uh, at some point, at some point during this whole thing, you should, try to, uh, mention this, probably, because -- well, future you has put a lot of effort into this."
"Really." Charles shoots him a hard-to-read look. "Should I be writing this down?"
Logan frowns. "Possibly."
"Then what?" Charles asks.
"Then-you-need-to-tell-him-that-his-helmet-is-a-nice-subtle-purple," Logan mumbles. Hank's eyebrows rise another fraction of an inch. "And that you've." Logan rubs his forehead. "That you've missed him, but you need to." He rubs his forehead again. "You need to say it very sexily."
"Beg pardon?" Charles says.
"Future Erik was very insistent on this point," Logan says, staring down at his shoes.
"This is not a joke?" Charles says.
"Does this sound like a joke?"
"Yes," Hank says.
"Oh, and you should get a haircut, beforehand," Logan says. "So you look less like a drowned pirate."
"Who said that?" Charles asks. "Did Erik say that I--"
"I said it," Logan says, too quickly. "Future me is an asshole. Anyway, next you have to order a bottle of--" he grimaces. "'62 Cabernet? And play a leisurely round of chess as the moon rises. Staring." He emits a heavy sigh and picks a large chunk out of the upholstery. "Staring deeply into one another's eyes."
"Are all these details important?" Charles asks. "We're almost there."
"Professor," Logan says, "one of my best friends had to keep traveling through time and watching us all get killed by Sentinels while you two haggled over the specifics of the evening. So, yes, these details MUST be important. Or why else would future you have put us through --" His claws come out. He frowns them back. "You should probably also get yourself a hotel room," he goes on, staring very intently at the dashboard. "And-you-should-probably-bring-flowers-and-perhaps-a-candle-to-set-the-mood. And -- scented oils."
"Your friends died listening to this?" Hank says. "Was I there?"
"You'd died already."
"Thank heavens for small mercies," Hank says.
"Scented oils?" Charles asks. "Whose idea were the scented oils, his or mine?"
"Why doesn't he just read this out of your mind?" Hank asks.
Logan emits a stricken groan and beats his head repeatedly against the dashboard. "I'm an idiot," he says. "Yes. Take it from here, Professor." He opens and shuts the glove compartment several times. "Also, professor, uh, there are some -- just -- just look in there, there's some -- you know, specs."
"How interesting," Charles says. His face lights up. "That's actually. That is incredibly interesting. And. Wow. That. Yes. All right."
"We will never speak of this," Logan says.
"Of course not," Charles says, brightening perceptibly. "Well. Hank. Logan. This is a banner day all around, I think. Let's do this."
Logan grits his teeth. "We'd better."
Minutes later, Magneto's metal is dragging Logan up into the air. "WAIT," Logan shouts, as he hovers higher and higher, "WAIT, STOP, ERIK, THERE'S THIS BISTRO..."
"What?" Erik asks.
"Chez--" Logan yells, now six feet up. "Chez--"
"Lindner?" Erik asks. "With the pate?"
"YES!" Logan shouts, flailing, the ground dwindling. "You have to go! You have to go to the bistro! It's a summit! A SUUUUMMMIT! The professor's going to beee--"
Erik's baffled smile is the last thing he remembers before he hits the water.