Erik Lensherr’s…Magneto’s...mouth dropped open as he observed the bustling activity on grounds of the soon-to-be ‘Xavier School for Gifted Youngsters’ (Seriously, Charles? Could you be any more pompous?). Erik…Magneto...hadn’t believed Emma’s report concerning the recent spike in activity at the estate--after all, what remotely sane person could believe such a fantastic story? On the other hand, Magneto could control metal with his mind, so he had decided to take the risk of coming to see for himself. And now, even seeing it with his own eyes, he could hardly believe.
THE PREVIOUS DAY, BROTHERHOOD HQ
Magneto, in the midst of indulging himself with his daily allotted Charles fantasy, his only indulgence really (this one featuring Charles’ full red lips, lovely pale skin and…oh yesss)--nearly screams in frustration when he is interrupted mid-wank by a knock on his office door. “You know that I’m not to be disturbed during my meditation time! This had better be important or someone will die!”, Erik yells as he yanks open the door to find Emma Frost waiting impatiently, arms crossed, booted foot tapping. At least he thinks she’s impatient, it’s hard to tell sometimes (‘Kristen Stewart has a broader range of facial expressions‘, he thinks-- suddenly never more glad for his helmet. He’d rather not have to explain to Emma, to anyone, how he even knows that bit of info).
“Eri…er, Magneto…Sorry to disrupt your ‘Alone Time’,” Emma says, glaring, voice in full bitch-mode. He can just feel her mental eye roll, but lets it slide…this time. “We need to talk”.
“Well? What is so urgent you felt it necessary to disturb me, Ms. Frost? I gather that it must be important--you sound more constipated than usual,” he says snidely, still pissed about his aborted wank session.
“Believe me, I’d rather gouge my own eyes out than walk in on you while you’re rubbing one out to one of your sick fantasies about pouring it to Charles Xavier. However, the information I have is rather important.”
“I was not wanking to fantasies of Charles!” Emma just looks at him. Magneto looks away first (‘but only because she bores me‘). “Woman,” he growls, “pray that your usefulness to me continues, because as soon as I don‘t need you anymore--you’re dead.”
“Right back at you…” Magneto can almost hear the unspoken >. They glare at one another for several moments like angry cats before finally settling down to talk.
“Well? Spit it out, woman! I‘m not the telepath here--I need words: For the last time, what was so important that you just had to interrupt me?”
“Alright! Don’t get your cape in a twist,” Emma snaps. She takes a deep breath and begins, “As you know, I’ve been keeping track of goings-on at Xavier’s estate.” Erik nods and motions impatiently to continue. “With the CIA out of the picture for now and Cerebro out of commission, things had been pretty quiet. Mostly, they’ve been tied up with renovating the mansion & grounds to house students and to accommodate Xavier’s wheelchair.” Magneto can’t hide his wince, and Emma, in a rare show of tact, ignores it and goes on, “Obviously, Xavier’s determination to continue with his mutant school remains unabated, but we haven’t been overly concerned--if nothing else, it will continue to keep them occupied with something besides causing problems for us. The probability of success was pretty low, anyway. He’s only got a handful of students, after all. But even if he was able to find more students, there’d be no way that Xavier, even with all of his money, could find enough people able, or even willing, to adequately staff a school full of mutant kids.”
“Ms. Frost, you are failing to tell me anything I don’t already know.” “What I’m getting at, is that it looks like we were wrong.”
“What do you mean, ‘…it looks like we were wrong.’? Wrong about what? Remember?” he stabs at his temple in annoyance. “Not. A. Telepath.”
“I’m getting to it!” Emma jumps up and begins pacing. “Like I said, earlier, things had been quiet, slow--but a couple of weeks ago, I started noticing a substantial increase in mental activity at the mansion. Lots of minds buzzing. All adults. At first, I just assumed that it was because of all of the contractors on site for the renovations, so I didn‘t think much of it. Then, I started noticing that even though the personalities all seemed to be distinct and unique to each mind, they were all somehow oddly in sync with one another, with a common thread linking them all together. I’d never felt anything like it. So, I took a closer ‘look’ and…I’m not really sure how to say this without sounding crazy…but, um,…I counted over a dozen Charles’ at the estate”.
“I said, I counted over a dozen Charles’.”
“Over. A. Dozen. Charles‘. Not including the original. That was the common thread that I found in all of the minds. All of them were linked to Charles somehow. More than linked. More like, deep in their minds, their psyches, they are so deeply intertwined with each other and with Charles that it’s almost like a split personality--only it’s not. I think. What I do know is that, apparently, they’re been running the estate for him, getting the school ready--taking care of everything for him. Taking care of him.”
“Wha-!? Who!? They!?!! How?!!? H-how can this be possible?! Dammit, woman, answer me!!”
“I don’t know! Maybe the injuries Xavier suffered caused him to have some kind of mental break and he’s manifested other personalities and he’s started to project them or maybe he’s developed a secondary mutation that allows him to make copies of himself or something--I don’t know! Neither of those scenarios really seem to fit the activity in the minds that I felt. I told you: I’ve never felt anything like it before. My main concern is…what if they’re all telepathic, too?”.
“What if they are all telepaths? The possibility of over a dozen telepaths with Charles Xavier behind the wheel…? Are you not seeing a problem!?!”
“I-I just don’t believe it. It‘s impossible! Maybe Charles knows that you’re watching and he’s just playing with you. Did that ever occur to you? He is far more powerful than you, after all. Or maybe you‘ve finally lost it, Ms. Frost. Perhaps my demands have finally overtaxed your already sub par abilities.”
“Fuck you, Lensherr! I know what I saw and I know what I felt! Something’s going on at that place, and whatever it is, it means trouble for the Brotherhood.”
“Take time off, Ms. Frost. You obviously need to clear your head.”
“Go to hell!” Emma snarls. “Maybe you need to take that stupid-looking helmet off and clear your head. If you don’t believe me, go and see for yourself! Who knows--maybe one of them will lay you and you can finally get over your ridiculous crush on Charles. Then, you can get back to being a leader and see how much trouble we could be in! I so look forward to saying ‘I told you so’ .”
Magneto doesn’t need to be a telepath to hear her unspoken <"Bitch!"> as she stomps out of the room.
XAVIER ESTATE, NEXT DAY
“Is That a Gun in My Back…?” Wesley--Part 1
After a long, sleepless night, Magneto (not Erik--especially not today) finds himself standing at the gates to the Westchester estate of one Charles Francis Xavier aka Professor X (former best friend, soul mate, and unrequited love), staring in shocked disbelief as he watches Charles walk (walk?!) across the grounds pushing a wheelbarrow. And another Charles sitting with a group children. And another Charles, with a beard(?!) talking to Sean and Alex. And yet another(?) Charles--this one standing behind him, pressing a gun to the base of Erik’s…Magneto’s skull.
“I don’t need the gun to kill you,” Charles (Not-Charles?) says in an amiable American-accented voice. “However, you do have to admit that it makes an effective statement.” He leans in close to Magneto, “Try to take it from me, though, and I’ll kill you before you can finish the thought. Just so you know.” Eri…Magneto is so shocked, it doesn’t even occur to him to use his powers. At any rate, he doesn’t doubt Not-Charles’ words, because he can practically feel the predatory smile in that strangely (dearly) familiar voice--something almost like…anticipation. He wants Magneto to try to take the gun. He wants violence. Magneto shivers (fear? lust? How did he sneak up on me?) and controls his instinct to fight back until he’s seen more. The Not-Charles sighs, a warm puff against the back of Magneto’s neck, bringing another shiver (looking like lust), “I confess that I’m a little disappointed, my friend. I wouldn’t have guessed that you’d back down without a fight, but I suppose it’s for the best. Charles would be seriously pissed if I killed you before he got to see you. I’d have to apologize to him and I’ve really been trying to break the habit of apologizing all the time. I've been told I do it too much. Erm...sorry about that.”
Not-Charles lightly traces the barrel of the gun down Magneto’s spine (ok, lust is definitely rearing its ugly head) before tapping it against his helmet, instructing him to slowly turn around--finally allowing Eri…Magneto a look at the gorgeous, shaggy-haired young man standing(!) in front of him. The spitting image of Charles Xavier (albeit, better dressed), if not for the hardness behind those blue, blue eyes and the aura of violence and deadly confidence about him--helped along in no small part by the fact that he’s casually, willingly, pointing a gun at Magneto’s head.
“…Or Are You Just Happy to See Me?” Wesley--Part 2
“You’re really not Charles, then? Where is he?! Is he alright?!” Erik starts to panic, “Who are you?! Where is he!? If you’ve hurt him, I‘ll ki--”
Not-Charles rolls his eyes, hands coming up, palms out, in the universal gesture for peace, “Whoa, take it easy! Breathe! Calm down before you blow a gasket. No, I’m obviously not Charles, though I suppose I can understand your initial confusion--there is some resemblance.”
Magneto lets out a semi-hysterical bark of laughter at this and Not-Charles shoots him a droll look before continuing, “Charles is in his study. And he’s fine--thrilled, in fact, to have the extra hands helping out around this old mausoleum…I mean mansion. I‘ll take you to him if you want.” He smiles and offers his hand to Magneto (What did he do with the gun? I didn’t even see him put it away! My God, he‘s gorgeous!). “I already know who you are, but I guess I should introduce myself. Charles,” he says, wiggling his fingers at his temple, “is no doubt appalled by my manners. I’m Wesley. Wesley Gibson.”
Still half-dazed (whether from the mornings events or from the effects of Wesley‘s smile, he‘s not yet sure), Magneto takes Wesley’s offered hand--so like Charles’ in looks, so different in feel--surprisingly strong and callused. It triggers in Erik a wave of longing (God, I miss Charles). As their hands part, he feels Wesley’s fingertips lightly but deliberately graze the skin of his inner wrist. Wesley’s smile shifts into something a little bit coy, little bit wicked, and a whole lot sexy when Magneto‘s surprised eyes snap up to meet that brilliant blue gaze. And of their own accord, his eyes slide back down to Wesley’s lips, helplessly drawn to the promise of that perfect, red mouth that he never thought he would ever see smile like that for him.
Smirking, Wesley starts talking again (Something else he’s got in common with Charles, Magneto thinks.), “I‘m in charge of security at the estate--for now anyway. Though in my spare time I’ve been helping Charles get the accounts straightened out. What a fucking nightmare, that‘s been! When Charles showed me his accounts, I nearly shit a litter of kittens. Do you have any fucking idea how much money that man has!? Or how much financial planning goes into getting a school set up? It’s enough to make me want to run away and join the circus.” Turning and starting off toward the mansion, he beckons Magneto to follow (“Anywhere…”). “Can you believe that I used to be an accountant, excuse me, ‘Account Manager‘…?”, he laughs. “Thank God, I got away from that! I would have ended up killing someone!” Wesley gets a strange look on his face, then doubles over with laughter. “Oh, my God! I-I believe…that might…possibly be the funniest…fucking thing…I’ve ever said,” he gasps, brushing at the tears in his eyes as the laughter finally tapers off. “Private joke,” he explains, at Magneto’s slightly alarmed look.
“Oh, and Magneto, Erik Lensherr,…Max Eisenhardt, whatever it is you’re calling yourself these days”, Wesley says--all traces of laughter suddenly gone, eyes and voice deadly cold (‘How the hell does he know my real name!?’, Magneto thinks). “Understand that I am responsible for Charles’ safety. I will protect him. At any cost. And just so there are no misunderstandings between us: You fuck with Charles and I‘ll kill you. You fuck with his students and I‘ll kill you. Hurt any of them and I will end you--and you won’t even see it coming.”
“And what if I fuck with you, Wesley? What will you do then?” Magneto is alarmed to find his mouth saying the words completely without his permission, mouth forming a smile that‘s all about teeth and sex and violence (see, I‘m a badass, too)--ignoring the part of his brain that’s screaming at him to shut the fuck up before he finds himself dead at the hands of this beautiful, dangerous creature. Oh, well…There are worse ways to die.
“You fuck with me…,” Wesley gives Magneto a speculative look, wicked-coy little smile sliding back into place, eyes heating. “You fuck with me and I’ll kill you. After I fuck you.” He then claps his hands together and grins, “Well! Now that that’s been settled, would you like to head down to the house and see Charles or…?” Wesley quirks his eyebrow in invitation, smile going from wicked to downright pornographic.
Erik finds himself unable to form any cohesive thoughts, mind nearly overwhelmed with images of red lips, wanton blue eyes, strong callused hands gripping him, of taking Wesley hot and hard, using him the way he’d never dared (only dreamed) with Charles. Charles. He latches onto the image of sweet, beautiful Charles. Charles, who brings Erik back from the edge of the abyss, time and time again. Erik removes his helmet (always hated the stupid thing, anyway) and finally manages to choke out an answer, “Charles. I want to see Charles.”
A delightful little pout and exaggerated sigh from Wesley, “You disappoint me again, my friend. I thought you’d be more fun. Oh, well. In that case, we should get going then…it‘s not like Charles doesn‘t already know you‘re here.” Wesley motions toward his temple again, then waves at Erik‘s head, “Especially now.”
“Are you a telepath, as well?” Magneto suddenly feels stupid for not asking earlier (“If Emma finds out, I will never live it down.”)
Much to his relief, Wesley replies, “Oh, no, no! Definitely not. I can communicate with Charles like this,” again with the finger wiggle, “but only him--no one else. Disconcerting, to say the least, having someone else in my head like that. But kinda comforting, too--someone knowing who, what, I really am and not having to hide.” Magneto understands, oh yes. Then Wesley grins and says, in a truly horrible English accent, “Well, come along now, guv‘na, and I’ll take you to the lord of the manor for tea and crumpets.”
“I know my way around the mansion, you know.”
Magneto gets a another quick glimpse of that predatory smile, so out of place on Charles’ face, but somehow strangely right. “That may be, Magneto, my friend,” Wesley drawls, teasing (mocking? probably), “but if you think you’re going to just walk around Charles’ house unimpeded, you’re wrong. I know that you‘re a dangerous man, and we just discussed how seriously I take responsibility for Charles‘ safety. The fact you‘re still even conscious is a major concession to Charles’ wishes.”
Magneto feels like he should be offended by Wesley’s arrogance, but somehow just can‘t find it in him to care right now. “Well then, take me to him.” Magneto says, feeling lighter than he has in a long time. Maybe it’s because that ridiculous helmet is finally off of his head. Or maybe it has something to do with the soft, joyful soft touch of another mind, long missed, brushing against his own. Nah. Erik smiles his first real smile in far too long and walks toward Charles.