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pieces of me; memories of us

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/My hands they shake, my head it spins/Ah Brooklyn, Brooklyn take me in/When at first I learned to speak/I used all my words to fight/

The sand beneath his feet is hot; burning (like his need; want; desire for forgiveness), and he just stares out at the ocean, watching the waves crash against the shore. And he realizes that he doesn't particularly like the beach, though he isn't sure why.

There is no memory to getting here. But he knows he wants to leave, it is but a mild annoyance to him that he doesn't have any shoes; but either way he starts to walk; in what he can only hope is the direction that will lead him away from here.

His mouth is dry, and the sun is hot on his back. He has been traveling for days; and with no money, and nowhere to go, he has been reduced to stealing to get by; something that comes to him with startling ease.

It doesn't bother him. Not the way he thinks he knows it should.

People bother him, though. And he finds he does not like them (but he likes metal; cold and indifferent to the life around it).

There is no direction he finds himself pulled in (no way home; does that mean he doesn't have a home?), and so he walks (and hopes to find a home).

Work is something he thinks he could be good at; and honestly his body tells him that he must have been built for it (there are numbers on his arm that he does not recognize; but if he looks long enough he can feel something tugging at him mind; trying to come back), or at least trained for it (a pain so unbearable that he pulls back before he can fully grasp whatever it is that he is feeling).

So he is relieved when he finds a man who does not care who you are, where you come from, so long as you can work; that relief is short lived when the man asks for his name, he remains silent for a few moments; concentrating only on the pull of the metal equipment around; the tools being used during construction; magnetic.

"My name" his voice is hoarse from lack of use, and there is a definite pause, "… Magnus." He finishes with a scowl; it tastes wrong on his tongue.

He is put to work with a man to teach him what they do here; a man shorter than him, but looks as if he could hold his own in a fight between them (there is a pull toward this other man; something that courses through him, and shutters out again, sending tingling sensations through him, and out his fingertips). His voice s gruff; but he gives him a look as if to say 'I know you.'. They only talk when it is necessary.

At the end of the day he finds himself in a small bar; the beer doesn't taste right to him, the setting doesn't make him feel comfortable; and the empty stool beside him leaves something to be desired, and he knows he is missing something (Someone) important.

There is nothing here for him. And he knows that in time he will move on; and search for whatever (Whoever) it is he is missing.

Time makes fools of us all, and before he realizes it, he has stayed until the job is complete.

He and the other man, the only one he really talked to; and yet he still does not know, are standing together outside the bar; a farewell that does not taste quite so bitter as it should (as bitter as the one he remembers; yet cannot pull up from the dregs of his mind).

An awkward joke; a soft pat on the shoulder, and his sort-of-friend is climbing on a motorcycle, asking him what he'll do now; where he'll go, and a soft smile graces his lips, a shrug of the shoulders; though he knows he will look (for home), and he will search.

There is a hesitation about his sort-of-friend, a scowl firmly in place; guilt plain in his expression, a soft confusion in his words as he reminds him that they'll see each other again (doesn't say that they will both find their way home in time). There's something there. Hidden in those words, that goes unrevealed as the other man pulls away from the curb; and the bike rumbles down the street.

The cities get bigger; the pull toward metal becomes stronger. And so does he. It is quite easy to recognize the powers inside once he first surrounds himself with metal.

Cool in his hands it becomes a weapon; but he doesn't understand why his mind automatically goes to that direction. He tries to control himself, but humans really are intolerable, and he doesn't like them.

Though enjoyment is easy to come by in the city, he finds himself in the country within no time.

It's nice; and there is no violence.

He realizes soon, that more than anything else in the world he yearns for a world without the need to hurt; to destroy; to tarnish innocence.

He yearns for love.

In the quiet of the night, as he lies awake under the stars (wishing; hoping; praying; begging; breaking), he is almost certain he hears someone calling out to him; or who he once was.

And though the whispers promise (forgiveness; home; hope) love, he closes his eyes to it.

Work is easy enough to find; and he finds that animals rather enjoy him, as he does them. The people here are good people, and that yearning for what is right; what is just in the world keeps him at peace with them; keeps his darker instincts from lashing out at these innocents; because war, and blood, death and violence, he realizes, are not the answer to anything; pain and punishment, upon the innocents, is never an answer to what few have done to many; and he realizes that now (it is too late, though; and with each smile, each gentle word, and careful understanding he feels something break inside; though he refuses to shatter under the weight of it).

(It's too late, part of him screams inside, you're too late; as usual.)

Doesn't respond to the resounding war stole my everything that crashes into something in the back of his mind (and that thought has absolutely nothing to do with the numbers on his arm; has everything to do with the dull ache inside that he can't seem to understand).

It ends with him here, he realizes.

Here in this shop; working for an old woman, who lost her son in WWII. They fit together well, he thinks; and he smiles every day; a genuine, true smile.

He stays, not because he feels obligated, but because he feels like he belongs here.

Holiday seasons come, and he feels strange, out of place; wrong, but they celebrate her way; because he doesn't know what his way is.

It tears through him, at dinner, in a way he doesn't understand; can't quite fathom-[it's a very beautiful memory, Erik]-it hurts his head; and his heart in a way he'd like to deny-[thank you]. The very voice in his mind brings a pain (a regret; dashed hopes, and broken hearts) he'd like to be rid of; but the rest of the evening is laid out before him, and he forces himself through.

And if he trembles a little as he raises his glass to his lips, no one seems to notice.

After two years he feels something he doesn't understand (run, it tells him, run and don't look back). Things are no different now than they've been, and he's sure his confusion is palpable; but no one seems to notice, or mind really. Confusion turns to annoyance (at not being able to understand what he's feeling), and annoyance turns to anger.

But he doesn't leave; he can't.

Several days later, the woman that had taken him in as her son, has died. His path to leave is cleared.

But he stays to shut the shop down. To say goodbye.

Something he'd never had the chance to do, before.

The door opens as he's taping the last box shut; he doesn't turn around, despite the pulling feeling behind him that indicates a large quantity of metal. He doesn't speak, doesn't tell them the shop has been shut down, because it's his fault for not putting the sign in the window.

"Excuse me" a shiver courses through him, and his hands start to shake, "I do believe I'm lost." A blow to his pride to admit such a thing, he's sure, "I-…" a thrumming through him; a headache pounding at the back of his eyes; an intrusion in his mind.

Walls breaking down, crumbling around them; unease, and pain shattering him as he turns to face the other man (what have I done, runs through his mind like a mantra), the need for forgiveness (love; hope; help) is breaking through him. And he falls to his knees without realizing it.

An outstretched hand (and it's so much more than a hand; it's a lifeline, an acceptance, a plea; a pity. It is life restored to him), and his trembling fingers wrap around those before him.

He isn't quite himself just yet; but for years now he's been leaking back in; bits and pieces (and memories of the man before him; blood and sand; and tears and sweat; the only love he had known; and a life he missed dearly.).

And here and now he's willing to let it all come flooding back in; accept the help offered, as he grips the hand, and places soft kisses to the skin, as if kissing the ring of a saint; and really, he feels as if he might as well be.

"Charles." He says it; begs; pleads; cries; shatters, and falls to pieces before the man; friend; love; life; human; mutant; everything, that he had once held dear.

A forgiving touch; the others hand comes out to stroke his hair; a soft chuckle, and he knows now that he is, has been; always was, forgiven.

A/N: If any knowledge of the original series, this will make sense. Just view it as someone, a telepath, repressed Erik's memories, and set him free… as per usual Cherik if you want

What is this, I don't even. Technically X-men: First Class, heavily influenced by the comics where Charles was (hurr hurr) wiping Erik's memories, so that Erik would stop getting in his way.