If there was something close to an indisputable truth, it was that Charles Xavier and alcohol never mixed well.
Science changed, evolved, so did humans — hell, he was living proof of that with his telepathy — and truths changed overtime, but his inability to handle his alcohol wasn't mutable, try as he might.
Even so, Charles Xavier was also just stubborn enough to not accept the truth, which was why he ended up at the bar with his friends to celebrate his second PhD. One drink turned into another, and then one more, and soon he found himself going to someone's house (he still couldn't remember whose house it was) and drinking some more- the perfect recipe for disaster.
He didn't think he was that drunk as he stumbled home and smiled at any soul that passed him on the streets at six in the morning after staying awake all night, and all he did when he got home was take a quick warm shower before plopping himself onto his bed to sleep for the rest of the day. Unfortunately for him, the universe thought that maybe he should be reminded that Charles Xavier and alcohol shouldn't mix together.
There was fast knocking at the door, making Charles open his eyes as he tried his best to wake up. Thankfully, he didn't have a headache from the drinking, but there was a dizziness to his mind that he couldn't place. It would take many hours for him to figure out that the alcohol hadn't left his system yet, and that he was completely drunk at eight in the morning and with only two hours of sleep to keep him alive.
He made it to the door without falling face first while stumbling on the mess around his apartment floor, although he did curse at the pile of copies of his own book that were placed at the corridor — and really, he should've put those somewhere else already, or just give it to some of his students, whatever took them away from his corridor where he just kicked the bottom copy everyday at least once.
Behind his front door, Raven stared up at him, her yellow eyes narrowing as she saw his state.
"What are you doing here? It's the middle of the night," were the immediate words that left Charles' mouth as he leaned a little against the door.
Raven sighed, closing her eyes for a second before raising her eyebrows at him. "The sun's up, Charles."
He blinked, looking behind himself at his window and seeing the early sunlight lighting the living room and the mess of papers all over the ground and coffee table.
"Oh yeah," he nodded, looking back at his sister. She seemed done with him already. "Still, it's very early."
The way she said the words was clearly meant to make something click in Charles' mind, but instead only made him frown in confusion as if her statement of which day it was made no sense for him.
"Yes," he nodded, the word dragging out more than it should've. He had no clue what she wanted. "Saturday. Named after the roman god Saturn."
"Charles, for fucks sake-"
"-you promised me you'd help me with my shopping this Saturday morning since my car is broken."
"Oh, why didn't you say so before?" He asked, voice a little louder than before as Raven rubbed her hands against her face, her mind projecting quiet disappointment. "Alright, let me change and we can go."
"Absolutely not." She took his arm before he could bolt to his room to change, her head shaking vigorously as he eyed her hand on his arm. Her grip was very tight. "You're clearly drunk. Just give me the keys and I'll go on my own."
"I'm not drunk," Charles tried, and he did believe his own words. The same couldn't be said for Raven. "I'm just slow because I didn't sleep much."
"Believe me when I say I know my own brother enough to know when he's shitfaced." She muttered, making Charles huff indignantly at her and pull his arm away from her grip. "Lend me your car, please. I'll pay you for the gas."
"No, I said I'd help you."
"You can help by staying here while I use your car, how about that?"
"No. I'm going like I promised, to help you take your groceries to your apartment. And I'm not drunk!"
Charles was very drunk.
In the car, Raven had been the one to drive after a long discussion, which gave her some kind of control over the situation. When they got to the supermarket, however, Charles had to be the one to move and function by himself, which, in his head, he was managing to do pretty well, although he could feel that the people around him didn't think the same.
Raven seemed very done with him, and he couldn't understand why. He had been showing her cool things he found along the way as she picked what she needed around the store, their shopping cart incredibly empty considering Charles had been placing things in there for himself, which apparently Raven had been putting away back into the shelves when he wasn't looking.
"I need this," Charles had said, placing the thing on the cart as far away from Raven as possible so she couldn't reach it that easily.
"Why would you need kinetic sand?"
"Have you seen the videos of people cutting it with knives? So bloody calming. I need it."
In the end, Charles had lowered his guard at some point, because the kinetic sand suddenly wasn't there anymore when he looked again. He'd find it again, he told himself.
"Charles," there was a warning tone in Raven's voice as she stood next to him. "Stop rubbing your face against the fluffy blankets."
"I need to buy one of these," he mumbled out, squeezing one of the blankets between his hands and smiling to himself at the feeling before shoving his face onto it again. God, that felt like heaven. His voice was completely muffled by it as he said, "I want this feeling all over my body."
His telepathy picked up something then, a mind nearby that seemed alert and that approached Charles slowly with what felt like the intent of scolding him for something. He raised his head from the blanket, looking at the direction of that specific mind, and saw a man walking towards him and Raven.
His first reaction was to throw the blanket he was hugging before inside their shopping cart before grabbing Raven's arm and screaming, "Authority! Run!"
The man's mind seemed to come to a halt at his scream as Charles' successfully dragged his sister away from that aisle, the shopping cart almost falling on its side from the quick way it was tugged.
Raven complained for a while, although Charles was just glad they were able to outrun the man as they entered a random aisle. Thankfully, Raven seemed to need something from said aisle, since she just muttered curses under her breath and took something from the shelves.
After a few seconds, Charles had already calmed down, walking alongside Raven and trying to pick up more stuff to throw in the cart. He saw Raven trying to dispose of the fluffy blanket he found, quickly putting it back inside the cart with a warning glare that it was going with them. After her third unsuccessful try, she seemed to begrudgingly give up.
"I should buy a board game," Charles started saying as Raven seemed to compare the prices on some cleaning products, her eyes raising to look at him with curiosity. "I don't have any. I should get one."
"Why did that come up now?"
"I've never played Monopoly- I was thinking about how I never played Monopoly," he explained, waving a hand next to his head to make sure she knew he was talking about his own thoughts. "But maybe I should buy that old game, what's the name- Life? Do you remember that one?"
"I remember you got too many kids one time when we played and you were very bothered that you couldn't upgrade your car to a van to hold your nine kids."
"Yeah, that was very upsetting. I had to tape the remaining five that wouldn't fit to the sides of the car." He sighed at the memory, hearing Raven snort by his side.
As she put the cleaning product she chose in the cart, however, Charles felt that man's mind again, quickly approaching. This time, Charles noticed that there was a curious tinge to it. He couldn't bring himself to really care about it, because Charles was, even if he wouldn't admit it, drunk, and apparently the alcohol made him fear the authorities, even if he hadn't done anything remotely illegal in his life — except maybe downloading that PDF of a book he needed to finish his masters that one time because he couldn't find it anywhere, and the shipping time would take longer than he could wait for it.
The moment he saw the man turn the corner, green eyes staring directly at Charles, Charles grabbed the cart and made a run for it while Raven screamed behind him in confusion. His only response was shouting a quick, "You can't catch me!" before disappearing through the aisles. On his way, Charles threw a frying pan into the cart — he needed one of those, and it had a non-stick coating to it! He loved those.
He managed to find Raven again as he walked around the kids toys' aisle, the kinetic sand back inside the cart and his sister glaring at him as she grabbed the front of the shopping cart to stop him, fulming.
"If I didn't love you," she started, almost snarling at each word. "I'd just make a run for it and leave you here to be kicked out by security. Stop running."
"That man wants to scold me for something-"
"I wonder why."
"-and I'll not let it happen. Did you get everything?"
"No, because you ran away with the cart."
"Understandable," Charles nodded, offering her the cart. "Let's go."
Raven took the cart with a tired sigh, Charles following right behind her before his attention was caught by something. There were a few inflatable pools around him, his eyes immediately going towards the red tab in one of them as he read the word "Pull" written in it. There were other words as well, although Pull seemed to be the one that caught his attention.
Curiosity hit him like a brick at the command to pull, and all Charles was able to feel was that man's mind again, a sudden panic in it as Charles' hand took hold of the tab and pulled. He barely was able to see the pool inflating immediately, knocking him back and to the ground before what felt like a whole aisle fell on top of him, the pool kind of heavy over his body.
His immediate reaction wasn't to scream, probably because he wasn't hurt, just very confused. His immediate reaction was to say "Raven! I'm stuck!" loudly when he tried to raise his body from the ground, hoping his sister would be able to listen.
He tried to move around, unable to take the stuff on top of him off. The man's mind was really close now, and Charles wondered if he shouldn't just play dead and pretend he wasn't there.
"Charles!" He heard Raven's voice, accompanied by movement next to him. "Charles, you fucking idiot- Are you okay?"
"Language!" Charles screamed back on instinct.
"I'll take that as a yes- I'm so going to kill you when I get you out of there you stupid man."
There was a muffled voice nearby then, coming from the man who had been following Charles before probably, and suddenly Raven was answering back, although Charles couldn't exactly understand what they were saying. The cramped space was starting to feel weirdly comfortable as he laid there waiting to be rescued, so he only zoned out until he felt the pool getting pulled away from him, and grabbed someone's hand to get up.
The man was there, in front of Charles now, holding his hand after pulling him up from the mess, and Charles' mind halted. How had he not noticed the man was hot before?
"Are you okay?" The man asked, and Charles' eyes widened a little. Was that a light German accent he heard?
"You are very handsome, has anyone told you that before?" Charles said immediately, hand not letting go of the man yet. His hand was very warm and his fingers very lean against Charles' hand. "I'd love to take you out to dinner."
"What?" The man asked, looking very baffled all of the sudden.
"Oh, and you're ginger! What a lovely mutation- Your eyes aren't also completely green, are they?" Charles asked, getting close to Erik's face seeing the man apparently blush at the closeness. "No, they aren't. How lovely. You're very lovely. I might be in love with you."
"Oh my- No." Raven's voice sounded behind him, pulling him away from the man of Charles' dreams as he complained. "You're not doing that right now- I'm so sorry about him, I promise you he'll pay for anything that was damaged."
"Wait, let me talk to him, Raven-"
Raven, bad sister that she was, didn't allow him to get close to the love of his life again, tugging on his arm before he could.
"Just send the damage costs to Professor Charles Xavier's office at Columbia University. I'll take him away before he destroys anything else- I'm truly sorry."
Raven started dragging him away after those words, the man staying behind with a confused look as Charles told Raven to hold on because that was the man of his dreams right there and he needed to talk to him.
"What's your name?" Charles shouted before he was too far away.
To his surprise, he heard the man scream back, "Erik."
Charles smiled at himself at the name, hoping to go back to the store later when Raven wasn't looking and invite Erik to a date.
Charles didn't go back to the store for a whole week after the incident, cringing every time he did as much as remember what had happened. He made a vow to never drink again — useless, since it was the tenth time he told himself that. Even so, he felt like he owed Erik an apology for the trouble he caused.
When Saturday morning came, Charles drove to the supermarket with his stomach doing flips at how embarrassed he was, entering it and seeing a few of the workers clearly recognizing him. Some seemed to feel less worried at the fact that he seemed sober this time, but he couldn't help the flush that creeped up his cheeks.
He found Erik fixing some items in one of the aisles, staring at the other man for a while as he tried to decide what he should say to him, when Erik's green eyes finally noticed him. The man seemed surprised for a moment, confused for another, but Charles couldn't help noticing the quiet hopeful feeling in Erik's mind.
"Hi," Charles said when he finally properly approached Erik, feeling incredibly stupid.
"Hello," Erik said back, putting a box to the side before standing up to look Charles eye to eye.
"Um," Charles tried, scratching his neck. His throat felt very dry. "I came here to apologize. I made- I made a giant mess the last time I was here…"
"You did." Erik nodded, confirming Charles' words and making the telepath feel his face burning a little more.
"I sent the check to your manager. For the damage I caused."
"I know, I've heard."
"Right." Charles nodded. Despite everything, the man seemed very calm, and that strange hope was still there, brushing against Charles' mind as he tried not to pry to understand the feeling. "I also wanted to apologize for flirting with you like I did… It was very awkward, wasn't it?"
Erik didn't answer for a moment, making Charles' palms sweat. Erik was attractive, and if they hadn't met the way they did, Charles would try to flirt with the man, but alas…
"A few people had called me handsome before, yes," Erik said then, making Charles frown immediately before he realized Erik was answering his question from a week ago. "And I would love to go out to dinner with you sometime."
Charles blinked a few times, not believing his own ears, and he saw the moment Erik turned sheepish all of the sudden, like he felt unsure of his own words now.
"Unless you only said all of that because you were drunk-"
"No!" Charles raised his hands, a sudden panic rising in his body. "No, I… I think you are very attractive and, um, you do have a lovely variation of the MC1R gene- Which, well, means you have red hair and- And…"
Charles trailed off, realizing how much he was rambling before shutting his mouth and feeling his face burning all over again. Erik's eyes were wider now, his mind seemingly taking in every word Charles had said.
"Thank you, I guess. I, uh… I know your work," Erik confessed, shrugging nervously. "I've read some of your books and I like some of your points on mutation- I'm a mutant as well… Metallokinetic and magnetic fields. I think it would be great to go out with you. You also said you were in love with me, so it would be cruel of me to just reject you like that without meeting you first, right?"
"Some of my points?" Charles questioned, his mind clinging onto that part out of everything else. The smile on Erik's lips after that was charming.
"I work until six today."
Charles stared at the other man again before huffing out a laugh, realizing what his words meant. He ran hand through his hair, smiling at Erik and shrugging.
"Good. I can pick you up here and we can discuss which of my points you don't agree with over dinner?"
"Sounds good to me."
Charles fixed David on the carrier as he pushed the shopping cart around, the baby almost dozing off to sleep against Charles' chest while trying to valiantly eat his own fist, just managing to make a mess of himself and Charles' shirt. Wanda was sitting nicely inside the cart, organizing in her own way the groceries so she'd still fit in there, while Pietro ran around it with enough speed to make Charles dizzy.
By his side, Erik walked with Lorna holding his hand, the toddler demanding to be allowed to walk around the supermarket while she sucked on her pacifier, bright green eyes looking at everything curiously when they arrived at the kids toys' aisle.
Charles and Erik had promised them one new toy for each since David had been the one to get all the new toys lately, so they just watched as each of the kids picked something.
Erik took that moment to wrap an arm around Charles' waist, placing a kiss to Charles' hair before leaning down to kiss David's head, who cooed softly against Charles' chest at the kiss.
"Are you sure you don't want to give him to me?" Erik asked, smiling down at the baby before his eyes went to Charles'.
"It's alright. We're both very comfortable, aren't we, bud?"
In response, David cooed again.
Their attention was caught, however, when they noticed Lorna running with her unstable steps towards the inflatable pools, her small hand reaching for the Emergency Pull Tab and making both Erik and Charles widen their eyes. They were only able to scream "Lorna!" in unison before she pulled it and everything exploded.