There were rows upon rows of books. It seemed that in this one dull grey building one could find a book about anything. From theories about how the world began to how to tie your shoes, the library had it all. For one who didn't often visit the library or read much, but science textbooks it was a little overwhelming.
Charles Xavier was an example of someone who never visited the public library. He wasn't that big into reading Hemingway while sipping tea in the rain. The man was a man of Science, of theories, problems, formulas, and equations; not classic literature. However, this rainy Tuesday afternoon Professor Xavier found he had nothing to do after teaching his few genetics classes in the morning. Charles usually didn't have this much time to kill but it seemed today he had more time than needed.
Kneeling down to look at a row of books on a lower shelf. His eyes were caught by the title of one in particular, Fifty Shades of Grey. Charles freed it from the other books causing them to fall against one another for support. 'Well the cover seems interesting enough,' he thought to himself. Before Charles could even read the back cover there was a hand on his shoulder. With a jolt of surprise he quickly looked back. Charles's eyes were met with cold grey green ones. He then got up to face the other. The stranger in front of him now had a good few inches on Charles. His hair was a soft, warm, light shade of brown and when he spoke there was a hint of a German accent in his voice. He wore a simple black t-shirt, blue jeans, and black converse.
"I'm sorry to bother you, but I really don't think that book is, uhm, really a book that you'd be interested in," the man spoke before he mumbled something along the lines of "nor should anyone," under his breath. Charles raised an eyebrow before letting his gaze fall back down to the front cover of Fifty Shades of Grey.
"Oh? Why is that?" he challenged playfully.
"Just trust me here buddy, you don't want to read that one," the other man explained. "But, I bet I can find you a much better book," the stranger announced a hint of pride slipping into his tone.
"And if you can't?"
"Well, then I guess you'll just have to read this then,"
Fifty Shades of Grey was placed back on the shelf and the two men walked away. They moved around the library, swerving in and out of the rows upon rows of shelves only stopping sometimes so a book could be thrown, not literally of course, at Charles to read. However, he was too focused on trying to figure out what the stranger did for a living. It must have had something to do with books was Charles's best guess. 'An English teacher! No no this man doesn't seem the English teacher type,' he thought. Finally, Charles just gave up and went back to following the stranger around.
"What is your name?" the taller man spoke as he glanced over to the professor.
"Xavier, Charles Xavier, and who are you?"
"I can't believe you haven't actually read this book," Erik exclaimed as he handed Charles a copy of Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird.
"Well," Charles gulped as he scratched the back of his neck before he took the book from Erik. "I was never one for reading anything we were supposed to English class and that my friend, is why I became a Genetics professor," he said before reading the plotline of the book.
"The unforgettable novel of a childhood in a sleepy Southern town and the crisis of conscience that rocked it," Charles read aloud
Erik shifted his weight while he observed Charles. After a few seconds had passed he did however speak up.
"What do you think than?"
"It sounds interesting enough so I guess I might as well give it a shot," Charles said with a shrug.
"It is one of my favourites," Erik added. "And it is far better than Fifty Shades of Grey let me tell you that much."
"Are you a librarian or something?" Charles blurted out. "I-I mean because you seem to know so much about books and all." A pink tint covered his cheeks. God he felt like such an idiot, but Erik actually chuckled softly.
"Actually I'm a writer," Lehnsherr explained with a shrug of his shoulders.
"Right," Charles nodded still feeling flustered and stupid. After he thought about it, Erik seemed more of the author type than the librarian.
Charles had left the library shortly after taking out To Kill a Mockingbird. Alone now, Erik went back to work. The man wouldn't complain about being alone though, he preferred it that way.
Lehnsherr had gone back to the table that he had claimed. It was a cold grey two person table that sat in a far corner beside a large window. The space was often empty or close to it and this was just the way Erik liked it. The man had sat down, taken out his laptop, and then started up the machine. Erik gave a frustrated sigh as he massaged his temples. 'If only writing were simple,' he thought.
At the moment nothing was working for Erik. The story was going nowhere. Working out all the plot holes was such a pain but the man had to keep going because if he didn't then well he'd just end up in more trouble than he already was moneywise. Being a struggling author wasn't a job that paid well. Sometimes, Erik wasn't even sure why he had let himself do something such as write anyway. With the computer started and the file opened, Erik had begun to write, or at least try to do so. After about an hour or so all hope was lost.
Meanwhile, Charles arrived home to his small condo. The place wasn't to bad, there was just enough space for Charles to live and work. The condo which the man owned was on the second floor, he lived in number 205. There were three bedrooms but one had been turned into an office, two bathrooms one which was in the master bedroom, and a living room that was joined with the kitchen.
Charles hung up his coat in the closet before he went over to the plain tanned love seat in the living room. He curled up and made himself comfortable before opening To Kill a Mockingbird.
Time passed quickly, maybe even a little far too quickly; but soon enough Charles had to force himself to close the book and get up off of the couch which he had become a part of. There were a few things he had to do for classes tomorrow.
Charles brought the book with him as he went to go work in his messy office. If you looked at the professor's desk at school and his one at home you wouldn't guess that they were owned by the same floppy haired British man. The one in the condo had papers tossed all over the place. Pens were scattered across said papers which did indeed covered most of the light wooden desk. However, the desk at the university was kept tidy, there was place for everything and everything was in its place.
The pen twirled around in his hands as the man let his thoughts wander a little. He just wanted to stop working and read again. To Kill a Mockingbird sat beside Charles on a stack of papers. 'Maybe just a chapter?' he thought but shook his head. 'No, there is no time for that.' Not to mention the fact that Charles kind of wanted to see Erik again, he wasn't sure why though and that fact alone drove him half mad. He seemed like an okay person, a bit of a lone wolf and everything that Charles wasn't, but okay none the less. Did they even have anything in common? He just sighed.
It had only taken Charles about four days to finish To Kill A Mockingbird. The book had been always by his side so that if a spare second arouse Charles could fall back into the story Harper Lee had created. The story had been so brilliant. Charles had troubles trying to actually put it down so he could teach. The book told stories about problems that the world had once faced and in ways still did. However, there was an innocence about it all because the tale was seen through a young girls eyes.
The day after Charles completed the book he returned to the library. The man had wanted to find other good reads.The only problem was, Charles didn't know of any books that would be considered a 'good read.' However, he remembered a few suggestions that Erik had mentioned while they were searching around the library the other day. 'Well it is somewhere to start,' Charles thought as he began to look around the shelves of books. 'There was uhm... Catcher in the Rye? Oh and something about a Tinker, a Tailor, and maybe a spy?' he thought. 'God, I'm so hopeless.'
Only after a few minutes of looking for the books someone tapped on Charles's shoulder. He turned around to see the writer that he met last week, standing behind him.
"Ah, it's good to see you Bill Nye the Science Guy," Erik spoke then smirked.
Charles raised an eyebrow and replied, "Did you really just call me Bill Nye the Science Guy?" .
"It suits you." The German man jokingly retorted.
"So does this mean I've turned 'Sir I-Don't-Read-A-Lot' into a book whore?" Erik asked before taking a sip of his coffee. Both Erik and Charles had walked around the building for a bit, Erik finding the other new books to read. After a little while they had decided to go sit down at Erik's normal table.
"I guess you could say that," Charles replied as he looked over to the small stack of book which sat on the table. Erik said nothing. He instead just put down the cup of coffee and pulled out his laptop.
"Would you like me to leave?" Xavier asked.
"No you can stay," Lehnsherr replied without looking away from the screen.
"Are you sure?"
"Yes, please stay if you want," Erik looked up at Charles who smiled happily in return. The man gulped and looked back at his screen quickly. What was he doing? Why had he let Charles stay? If it had been anyone else they wouldn't have even been allowed to sit with him let alone stay.
When Erik looked back up, Charles had his nose in John le Carré's Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy. A small smile twisted at the corners of Erik's lips at the sight of the floppy haired man all hunched up reading. The man's gaze soon fell back to the computer screen.
'Okay this isn't going anywhere,' Erik thought. 'I've only been writing for what, fifteen minutes?' A frustrated grunt escaped his lips as the mans head met the keyboard with a thunk. Charles looked away from his book.
"I can see the whole writing thing is going well," he teased.
"Piss off, Charles."
"But you invited me to sit with you! Do you have writers block or something?" Charles asked as he set down the book.
"Yes thank you for pointing that out, Sherlock," the German man mumbled into the keyboard.
"I think all you need is a little inspiration," the other explained. "Go write somewhere that isn't a library. Like I don't know, maybe outside?" There was no real answer from Erik other than a low groan followed by a whimper. Charles just laughed and went back to reading.
Charles was visiting the library more often after classes. Sometimes he brought papers he had to grade or the book he was currently reading. Erik was always there sitting alone at his normal table by the large window that looked out onto a busy downtown street. A frustrated glare was more often than not pasted on his face. The poor man was having no luck with his book.
Today the Genetics professor carried two cups of hot coffee and a copy of Ian McEwan's Atonement was tucked securely under his arm.
"Afternoon," Charles greeted. Erik nodded slightly in return but kept on having what seemed like a staring contest with the computer screen. "Brought you coffee." Now that interested the struggling writer. He looked up from the screen and over to the British man standing beside him.
"Coffee for both of us?" Erik asked.
"Well yes," Charles raised an eyebrow.
"I thought British Bill Nye the Science guy would be drinking some posh tea or something," he snorted. That got an eye roll out of Charles.
"Oh no, Erik it isn't a problem at all, no need to thank me."
"Thank you Charles."
They stay there in silence, Erik trying to write and Charles reading Atonement. Lehnsherr had his right hand outstretched past his laptop while his left cradled his tense jaw as he glared at the computer. The professor didn't look away from the book as he too outstretched his hand trying to find his own cup of coffee. Soon, Charles's fingers met the back of Erik's hand. Charles stayed still for a second before realizing what he was doing. He pulled away quickly and as a result ended up hitting the coffee cup which fell and spilled onto Erik's hand. Yelping the man jumped back to get away from the sudden hot burning sensation around his hand. He soon noticed the coffee spill and grabbed the laptop before there was a chance of damaging it.
Both Charles and Erik stood there in silence looking at the mess of dark brown coffee which was by now spilling off the edge of the table and onto the white carpet. Their eyes drifted up to meet the others both with the same expression of shock and terror. This only lasted for a good long second though, because just like that both Charles and Erik burst out laughing. It had been far too long since Erik had actually laughed like this. Calming down a little, Charles went off to find something to clean up the coffee spill.
A spark of an idea can seem to come from nowhere or even emerge at the at the oddest of times. It is like a light has been switched on in your head and everything just seems easier. Ideas flow together so effortlessly. One ends up pondering things such as 'how did I never think of that before' or 'this all makes sense.' Flopping down on the floor soft white carpeted floor, Erik opened a new word document on his laptop and began to write.