Erik and Raven stood in the kitchen of the mansion, where Erik had been caught sneaking out courtesy of the girl's desire for an evening snack.
"Erik, you can't go alone."
"I'm a grown man, Raven. I'll go wherever I please."
"Charles won't like it."
"Well Charles isn't here, is he?"
Raven glared. "He'll be back soon enough. He just went to get some supplies."
"Look, my contact says that Shaw is going after something and it's close enough for me to get there. If Shaw wants something, it's generally best to make sure he doesn't get it. It's too close for me not to go. It's not as if we have the time to mobilize a team. The CIA can't help us. I can't let an opportunity pass by where I can stop him. "
"You mean get revenge,” she scoffed.
Erik gave her a withering look. "I'm going and none of you children are coming with me."
"I thought we were a team," she said, brushing off his attempt to get a rise out of her.
"Well sometimes it's better for me to work alone. I'll stop you from coming with me if you try."
With that, Erik marched out the door, leaving Raven standing in the kitchen with her arms crossed angrily over her chest.
Forty-five minutes later, after breaking every speed limit in one of Charles' fastest cars, Erik sat in the lobby of an office building. It was closed for the night, all the workers probably asleep in their comfy homes.
What Shaw could want here he didn't know, but his informer had never given him bad intel before. There was definitely something here. His best guess was that some of the papers in the office had information Shaw needed.
He absently flipped the old Nazi coin over his fingers. He was so caught up in his thoughts, waiting for the malice that came with Shaw's presence, that he didn't notice the more benign presence until it was sitting right next to him. He continued watching the coin flip over his fingers.
"You shouldn't have done this, Erik. How many times must I tell you you're not alone?"
"You certainly got here fast to prove that, Charles."
The telepath leaned forward on the bench. "I tend to hurry when Raven is screaming in my mind. She can cause quite a headache when she doesn't get her way."
Erik finally looked up, meeting his friend's blue eyes for the first time.
"You shouldn't be here. Shaw is dangerous."
"All the more reason for us to face him together. Besides, if you didn't want me here, why did you tell Raven where you were going? You didn't seriously think she wouldn't tell me."
Erik gave a huff. "Fine. I suppose I may have been hoping someone would come."
The corners of Charles' mouth twitched upward at the admission, but he didn't comment on it further, instead turning to the matter at hand.
"You realize this might be a trap."
"Then it's a good thing I have a telepath with me, isn't it."
Charles watched as Erik continued to move the coin. "So, what's the plan?"
"Now that you're here, I guess it's to do that freezing trick you do and go from there."
"Just out of curiosity, what was your plan before I came? From what I've heard, projectiles can do nothing to harm him. Did you intend to stare at him maliciously until he died of terror or perhaps just brood in his general direction?"
Erik covered his smile with a tone of mock offense. "I was going to wing it. Plans don't necessarily suit me all the time."
"That explains your chess strategy."
Their banter was silenced when the poof of Azazel's teleport was heard. They stood up with lightning speed and whipped around. Shaw stood behind them with the demon-like mutant. The odd looking helmet on his head didn't hide his broad smile as he saw the two younger men in front of him. Shaw gave a quick nod to Azazel, who teleported out before Charles could get a hand to his temple to control him. Shaw then turned to face them.
"Erik, how nice to see you! And you brought a friend! The telepath I've been hearing about, right? Aren't you going to introduce us?"
Erik’s lips formed a tight line. He spoke without breaking eye contact with the man he'd hunted for so long. "Charles, immobilize him."
"I'm trying." Charles had a hand to his temple, brow furrowed in intense concentration that quickly turned to confusion. "Something's wrong. I- This has never happened before without another telepath around!"
Shaw stepped forward, tapping his helmet. "Do you like it? I had it made especially to deal with people like you. If Erik is going to be rude, then I suppose I'll have to take care of the formalities. My name is Sebastian Shaw. I believe you must be Charles Xavier. I can't say that I've heard a lot about you. You're a hard man to pin down. But I've heard enough. I'm sure you've heard about me." He gave a proud smile.
Charles lowered his hand from his temple, a look of loathing on his face.
"Yes, I've heard enough about you as well."
"Excellent!" With that, he shifted his attention back to Erik.
"What are you doing here, mein schüler? Do you intend to exact your revenge on me? Or would you like to finally join my ranks as a god and help me destroy the insects?"
"I'll never join you Shaw," Erik spat.
"So you're here to kill me then. That's gone so well for you in the past."
Erik snarled at the man, but before he could come up with his rebuttal, Charles interrupted.
"Why is it that you're here? There's hardly anything of worth that you could need for your plans. I know. I've seen them."
"Indeed you have. Quite impressive, breaking Emma like that. You two make a surprisingly good team. Actually, what I'm here for isn't a thing but rather a person."
Erik frowned. "Little late to be searching for someone to kidnap, isn't it? My information said-"
Shaw put on a look of clearly fabricated disappointment. "Oh Erik, where do you think your informer got that information?"
Erik froze, expression wavering for the first time, as Charles tensed.
"This is a trap."
"The telepath catches on fast even without the use of his powers! Well done! Best way to lure out someone who's well hidden is to set an ingenious trap."
Erik quickly recovered, confidence flitting across his face once more. "You sent me information. You knew I'd come. I wouldn't call it ingenious."
"It still got you both here, didn't it?"
"Yes, you got me here. Congratulations. Why would you even want me? You know I won't join you. Haven't you 'trained' me enough?"
Shaw let out a laugh. "My dearest Erik," he said with a smile, "who ever said I was here for you?" Shaw let his eyes slide slightly to Erik's left. Erik followed the man's gaze...straight to a wide-eyed Charles.
"No…" Erik's strangled whisper betrayed his carefully constructed mask of neutrality.
"As I was saying, the best way to draw out a person who is well hidden is to make him think his reckless, vengeance-blinded friend is in danger."
"NO!" Erik shot any metal he could sense in room at Shaw, who absorbed it effortlessly. In one quick motion, Shaw moved to Erik and tossed him to the side. He hit the wall with enough force to leave him dazed, blinking back black dots as they danced before his eyes. He lay on his side, groaning and trying to catch his breath. Shaw turned his attention to Charles as soon as Erik hit the wall.
Charles had put his hand back up to his temple in a futile attempt to get through the helmet. He backed up on equal pace with Shaw's strides towards him until his back hit the opposite wall. Shaw closed the distance between them in a two steps. Charles dropped his hand from his temple once more, knowing it was a pointless effort, and raised his chin in defiance.
"What do you want from me?"
"After your little excursion to Russia, I'm short a telepath. I'd like to give you a job interview."
"I'll never work with you," Charles spat.
"We'll see about that," Shaw said as he put a single finger to Charles' temple, his other arm jammed across the telepath’s chest trapping him against the wall. Charles flinched away, struggling in vain against Shaw's hold.
Erik desperately tried to regain his footing as the tip of Shaw's finger glowed dimly against Charles' head, releasing a small burst of energy. He stared in horror as Charles' eyes slipped shut and his struggles ceased. Shaw grabbed Charles roughly around the waist as the telepath slumped, letting Charles' arms and head swing freely near his knees like a puppet with its strings cut. Now in possession of his prize, Shaw turned to Erik, who had regained enough of his senses to stand using the wall as support.
"I thought you played chess."
Erik paused, taken off guard and unable to hide the confusion from his face. “What?”
"It's just that you forgot the cardinal rule." Shaw smiled maliciously and glanced down at the unconscious telepath in his grasp then back to Erik. "Always protect your king."
Erik began running at Shaw. Before he could get there, Azazel reappeared, putting a hand on Shaw's shoulder. With a wave and a short "Ta!", Shaw disappeared with the other mutant, taking Charles with him. Erik slid to his knees where the men had been standing moments before, letting out a primal yell. The yell of a man who has lost his best friend to his greatest enemy.