Erik is searching in one of Charles' myriad wardrobes for a spare shirt – they haven't quite figured out how to send away their laundry yet now that the mansion is in use again, and Charles has already admitted in between lots of embarrassed coughing that he's never washed so much as a sock in his life – when it happens. One minute, he's standing in the midst of a cluster of ugly coats; the next, he's face-down in snow, with more falling softly on his head.
"What in the hell …" Erik murmurs, standing quickly. He hears a shuffling and then, out of the corner of his eye, he spots a flash of red. "Who's there?" he barks. For several seconds, there's no response; then, gradually, a small-ish creature peeks out from behind a tree. "Who … what … are you?" Erik asks as it makes its way out from behind the thick trunk completely.
The creature grins affably at him. "I'm Mr. Tumnus," he says, and looks Erik up and down. "I'm a faun," he continues, which, Erik thinks, must explain the antlers and the hooves. It still doesn't explain why this Mr. Tumnus has a human torso and can fucking talk, however, and Erik privately vows to put a stop to his and Charles' vodka martini drinking contests, or at least to limit them to once or three times a week, because this seems like a notable consequence.
"You look cold," Tumnus says, and Erik shrugs, though his face is still chilled from its brief trip against the snow-covered ground, and the short-sleeved polo he's wearing isn't doing much for his bare arms. "You can follow me to my home," Tumnus offers, and beckons for Erik to follow. Deciding that he could probably still summon up something metal to use as a weapon if need be, even if this place is a bit queer, he trods after the faun, leaving heavy, large footprints behind him.
Mr. Tumnus' home is small, yet cozy. He sets the packages he was carrying when he first met Erik down, and quickly gets a fire going. "Would you like some tea?" he asks, and Erik, staring blearily at the red scarf around the creature's neck, his mind elsewhere, blinks, dazed.
"Uh, sure. I guess."
"Wonderful." Mr. Tumnus smiles and turns away, busying himself with his newfound task. While he brews his tea, Erik lapses back into his own thoughts: Shaw, the mansion, Shaw, Charles, Raven's pretty blue skin, Shaw. He's once again surprised when Mr. Tumnus interrupts his thoughts, this time by pressing a warm cup with steam rolling off the top into his hands. "Careful, it's hot," the faun cautions him, and Erik thanks him briefly and then takes a small sip. He's thirstier than he thought, and soon, half the cup is gone. Mr. Tumnus sits across the room now, watching him with a measured expression.
"So what is this place?" Erik asks. "Are you a mutant? Do people here treat you differently because of that?"
Mr. Tumnus looks troubled. "This is Narnia," he explains slowly. "But as for your other question, I'm not sure what you mean."
Erik regards him critically. "Surely not everybody here looks like you," he observes. Mr. Tumnus shakes his head. "So where I'm from, that makes you different." Perhaps 'mutant' isn't popular terminology in this strange land yet. Erik has to admit that, prior to meeting Charles, he'd never thought of his metal manipulation powers in such terms, either.
Mr. Tumnus is still considering his words. "There are other creatures like myself, fauns and other wood-folk," he says finally. "And there is the White Witch. She is … human," Tumnus notes.
Erik feels strange suddenly. "Do many humans come here?" he asks, somehow already knowing the answer.
Tumnus regards him full-on, his furry face solemn. "No," he says softly, and Erik is starting to feel woozy now. "Only the White Witch. But there is a prophecy that this may soon change; that Narnia may once again be ruled by young kings and queens." He skitters a bit closer to Erik. "Tell me, my friend, did you bring anybody with you to this land today?"
"No," Erik replies shortly, and then faints where he's sitting. Mr. Tumnus helps him roll into a safe position on the floor, and catches Erik's cup just before it has a chance to clatter to the ground and break. He sniffs the inside delicately, and decides that he possibly overestimated how much herb the human would need to fall asleep; though in his defense, Tumnus thinks as he begins to pick through Erik's pockets, the man is very tall.
He finds some strange currency on Erik's person, as well as some identification. Tumnus cannot easily say Erik's last name, but he has a feeling that it's just as well, as the man does not seem to have much to do with any Narnian prophecy. Still smiling, he pats Erik briefly on the head. "You may not be a Son of Adam, my friend," he says softly, and begins to unwind the scarf from a previous guest from around his neck, tossing it atop the pile of gifts that he only recently lifted from their previous owner, "but you'll do well enough."