One damned donation - he'd made one damned donation and that was just because Charles Xavier was far too pretty to be hosting any kind of wholesome family entertainment. One donation and he'd wound up on some mailing list. Erik scowled at the envelope addressed to Ms. Wanda Lensherr and Mr. Pietro Lensherr - he'd made the donation in their names - and envisioned what would happen next. More junk mail. His name, well, his children's names, sold to various other mailing lists. An increase in junk mail. Catalogs.
Actually, Erik kind of liked catalogs. They were so full of potential.
"Meow meow genetic mutation meow." Pietro rolled on the floor of his father's office, then popped up on his knees and promptly smacked his forehead into a side table (to no discernible effect). He was very taken with Henrietta Beastlycat. "That's what you have, right, Daddy?"
Show children programming about tolerance and acceptance and that was what happened - they wanted to talk about it. Erik counted to ten (not to twelve, never to... dammit, that song was stuck in his head again) and exhaled a long, slow breath. "Yes, darling, that's what I have." Distraction was always a good ploy. And it was probably time to feed everyone. "Shall we go make sandwiches?"
Everyone liked sandwiches.
It wasn't that he was ashamed of his mutation. He just didn't want to talk about it. He'd had enough of that growing up in Shaw's house, and he'd left that man behind for good. Erik crammed the books for his next class in the tote bag he was still using, his scowl enough to keep Moira from saying a word, for once. He'd told the twins when they came to live with him because it had seemed important to be honest with his own children, just in case.
And because sometimes manipulating metal was useful. In the privacy of his own home. That was all. It was private.
And no children's television show host was going to convince him otherwise.
His marked up copy of Moby Dick wouldn't fit in the tote. Erik restrained himself from throwing the damn book across the room, but just barely. Gods and little fishes, he hated Herman Melville.
Moira was staring at him. She a very persistent stare; Erik had been on the receiving end of it before but never at this intensity. He could feel it boring into his forehead, like it would go straight through his brain if he let it. Every word he read was tainted by Moira's interpretation, even though she hadn't said a word. It was making the hairs on the back of his neck stand up. And she wasn't stopping - Erik was well aware of how stubborn Moira MacTaggert could be. Actually, she might be a good role model for Wanda in that regard; he should ask Moira if she'd mind... actually, actually, maybe she was trying to kill him with her mind.
"Sweet zombie baby Jesus, what?" He wasn't proud of breaking under pressure but he had things to do, dammit. Important American literature type things.
Moira sniffed, satisfied with his attention. "You're Jewish. You don't get to call on the the zombie baby Jesus like that."
That was just unfair. "Who made you arbiter of the zombie baby Jesus? You're a goddamned atheist. You have even less claim."
"It's about cultural tradition, Lensherr." She was smiling now, pleased enough to set aside the Norton's she'd be paging through.
"That's total bullshittery of the highest order and you know it. If you get to appropriate and adulterate religious iconography, so do I." He'd be fucked if he was going to lose this one. It'd been a shit week. If he had to teach Hills Like White Elephants to disinterested freshmen one more time...
"Don't take your Hemingway rage out on me, Lensherr. I am here to offer you an opportunity." Moira pushed her hair behind her ears and smiled in a way that was actually quite terrifying, no matter what she said about Erik having too many teeth.
This was going to cost him, Erik suspected, no matter what he said. "I'm flattered, MacTaggert, but you aren't actually my type."
"Okay, first, no. Second, you have obviously fucked women in the past, you have twins, you asshole." Moira gave him the finger.
He gave it right back. "I meant I like blondes." And also brunettes. And also redheads. And maybe he hadn't been super discriminating as far as all that was concerned in his past. But he was a father, a responsible damned citizen raising the future or some shit like that. Still. Variety, spice, life, all that. And the spice must flow. "What do you want?"
Moira pulled three tickets he'd taken for a bookmark out of her Norton's. "Guess who's making a special appearance at the bandshell this weekend."
He was going to owe her forever.