"So you see, all you need to do is hold the memory as you would somebody's hand. Whenever you have a nightmare, you can always come to me, but it's nice to be able to do something for yourself, isn't it?"
Erik returns from his morning run to witness an impromptu telepathy lesson. Jean is barefoot but dressed despite the hour; Charles, meanwhile, is in a bathrobe and slippers. They're sitting on the dewy lawn, the remains of toast on a nearby lawn table. Erik wonders how long the lesson has been going on. When he left, Charles was still asleep.
"Hello, Erik," Charles says, smile brilliant. Erik stops himself before comparing it to the rising sun or something equally melodramatic.
"Hi!" Jean says. She's not Ororo, young enough to throw her arms around an adult's leg and declare her love at the least provocation, but the expression on her face is equally loving. Gratification blossoms in his chest, and an emotion that answers as well as echoes.
You can think it, you know. No one's going to take it away from you.
Once, Erik would have scoffed at Charles's blithe reassurances. Once, those reassurances would have deserved the adjective. This, though, this he can hear and find peace, a peace that settled into his bones the moment he sought reconciliation with Charles after that day in Cuba.
"I hope you didn't set the kitchen on fire for breakfast. Angel will be very upset," Erik says, leaning over to kiss Jean's forehead. He's not a demonstrative man by nature, but the little ones are proving his undoing.
Charles clasps Erik's hand briefly, smile going rueful. "I let Jean make the toast."
"We're safe, then," Erik says.