When they saw each other again, Charles didn’t know how to react to the way Erik stared at him— no, not even at him, but at his legs.
Erik knew what had happened.
He didn’t try to wheel himself away. Nor did he try to come closer. He merely gazed at the open window, the same one Erik had used to get into his study and waited to see what Erik would do.
He hadn’t expected Erik to take several steps forward and then another and another until Erik was standing before him. Then Erik slowly lifted the helmet from his head, hesitating all the while, and then he crumbled, tossed the helmet to the floor and fell to his knees.
Guilt drowned Charles, viciously dragged him down to its endless depths. This soul-crushing emotion wasn’t his.
Words weren’t needed. Erik leaned into him, resting his head on Charles’ lap. Forgiveness. It was something Charles knew that Erik didn’t deserve.
He let his fingers sink into Erik’s hair, felt some of the tangles, the coarseness of them and then he leaned down, brought his fingers to Erik’s jaw, lifting his chin so that they were face to face, and then Charles kissed his forehead.
(Later, they would argue and fight and Charles would politely tell him to get the hell out, but for now, he took comfort in the fact that he wasn’t alone.)