last01standing: ([XMFC] Beach)
[personal profile] last01standing
Title: Shades of Blue and Gold
Rating: PG
Disclaimer: I don't know nearly enough X-Men canon to own this.
Summary: Erik keeps the jumpsuit and starts crashing the X-Men's fights.
Words: 1,500



Shades of Blue and Gold



Mystique sheds the suit almost immediately and she looks a thousand times better without it. Blue skin and red hair do not match with yellow. Erik gives her a slight nod at the choice, but doesn't take his off for more than a day, only remembers when Janos chides him for getting sand everywhere.

Peeling the suit off feels like an ending. McCoy did quite a job on the design. He can feel the shape of it, the metal running through every limb. One final measure to ensure Erik could pull any one of the boys to safety. He suspects that will be the first part of this design to go by the wayside. Pity, he rather liked knowing where Charles and the rest of the children were.

Charles.

He'd sent Azazel to check on him a few hours ago. He'd scowled but complied. It's been hours and Erik suspects this is some sort of protest against his sign of weakness. He should really burn the suit. He suspects that Shaw's men respond well to symbols. Shaw's body seemed proof enough of that. He runs his hand over the yellow pattern, finds the part on the leg that's stained with Charles's blood. He quashes the urge to clean it off; it's not like he's ever going to wear it again.

(He keeps it anyway.)

*

These day, the small bag where Erik keeps his belongings bulges slightly. He's spent the better part of his life with just the one bag, always packed and ready to move at a moment's notice. He's packed the same for years, never had any problem fitting things.

He pokes through his bag, looking for the problem and finds that it's the jumpsuit. It's been nearly a year since the beach and he knows he's not the only one who thinks about it. Emma watches him constantly waiting for something. Upon hearing of Charles's paralysis, Mystique leaves for several days. Erik's still not sure what makes her come back, but he's grateful for it. She's the only member of this group he might consider a friend.

His fingers linger against the fabric. Charles would take him back, he knows. Just like he'd take Mystique back or even welcome Emma, Janos, or Azazel if they asked. His own uniform has a good deal more flare than the suit. He likes the cape. He's learned to live with the helmet.

Emma stares at him when he leaves the room and doesn't comment when he comes back with a bigger bag.

*

The first time it happens, it's instinct. Word comes through one of his contacts that the X-Men are in trouble and he's moving before he has a chance to think.

It's a recruitment mission gone wrong, that much is clear. Though why Charles sent Hank to collect a mutant is beyond him. There's a mob outside and Erik's blood boils at the sight of it. They've been identified for sure.

Hank spots him first, and he can only assume the look on his face is surprise. "Erik?" he says carefully.

At the same time, Alex hisses, "Magneto."

"Bigger issues right now," Sean says eyes on the mob.

Each and every one of the people in the crowd is either wearing or holding some sort of metal. Alex flexes his hands, his expression dark and Erik thinks that in another life, he would have been a perfect addition to the brotherhood. "Where's the blackbird?" he asks.

"It's about a quarter mile away."

Erik balls up his fists, the metal singing in his veins. "I'll cover you."

Alex looks murderous, but Sean puts a hand up to stop him from lunging. "We need his help."

The boys see the logic, and ready themselves for the fight. Hank lingers just a moment, his ill ease familiar even on the blue frame. "Don't kill them," he says.

Erik can hear the unspoken message: you don't get to wear that uniform unless you stand by Charles's ideals.

"On my mark."

*

The second time, Charles is there. Erik's not expecting that. Erik's in the area investigating a tip on a mutant research facility when he notices the giant killer robot. He's taken aback but not surprised. Charles would have the kind of luck that got him attacked by a giant killer robot. Erik pulls the suit out of the bottom of his bag without thinking and moves to join the X-Men.

Alex rolls his eyes, but doesn't comment this time around. Hank gives him a nod. Sean's somewhere in the sky trying to disable the monstrosity using a sonic scream and Charles...

Charles is gaping at him and Erik has to wonder how the boys managed the keep this from him or if he'd only assumed it was a one time thing. "Erik," he says, voice faint.

There's no metal at all in his wheelchair, but Erik doesn't comment. Two weeks ago, the X-Men had met the Brotherhood the first time in the field. It hadn't quite come to blows, but it had been close. It won't be long before somebody gets hurt and Erik isn't welcome anymore. "Is there anything I can do to help?"

There's a second more of staring before a crash reminds them both of the giant killer robot. Charles, straightens puts a finger to his temple and alters the plans to include someone with the power over metal. When they move back into the fight, it feels as natural as breathing and Erik realizes that this would have been his life if he'd stayed on that beach in Cuba.

*

Somewhere along the way it becomes a habit. Erik sees the X-Men when they're opposing one of the Brotherhood's less legal ventures and a few weeks later, Erik quietly sides into the group, trying not to think about the members missing due to the Brotherhood's ventures.

There are other faces starting to emerge in the X-Men and somehow they manage to look younger than their original team ever did. At the same time, the older faces are filtering out. He realizes one time when he's locked in battle, that he's the last remaining member of the original team still here.

*

He knows the newer X-Men talk about him. He doesn't have to be a telepath to realize he's been fueling the gossip mill for years by crashing their fights and leaving after only a few words. This time around it's Bobby who winds up seeking shelter just yards away from him. "Couldn't have shown up a little sooner, Erik?"

"Busy," he calls back, which actually means he was planning a Brotherhood mission in Lima, but that's not something to discuss with the X-Men or even think about too loud if that red haired telepath was around.

Bobby grins. "You know we're going to have to get you all call sign at some point if you keep showing up."

"How do you know Erik's not already an alias?"

"Erik's not exactly a bad-ass superhero name."

"We should argue about this when we're not actively under attack."

*

"The professor's got to know," one of the kids says as Erik makes his customary pass by the mansion. "He's got a uniform and the professor's been there since the beginning. We could always ask."

"He could be from the future," another protests. "It hasn't happened yet, but you know it's going to."

"I saw Dr. McCoy with a suit like that though. It's definitely the old style."

"We could always ask him."

"You know the professor doesn't talk about before. I swear he was born a wise old man."

Erik pries himself away before he's tempted to make an entrance.

*

Much later, it's just him and Charles, the last two standing (only Charles is never standing) against unthinkable odds. Blood streaks his friend's face and Erik's ripped one of his sleeves. It's likely the suit's going to be unwearable after this.

"We can get you a new one if we survive," Charles says.

"Why do you keep letting me do this? Most days, I'm the enemy."

Charles's eyes are wide and very blue. "Because one day, you're going to want to come back for good."

"You believe that," Erik realizes. "Why do you still believe that?"

His friend just raises an eyebrow and taps his temple and oh. He believes it because it's coming from Erik. That little piece of him that only feels at home with the X-Men.

"We still have to fight," Charles says and Erik's not sure if he's referring to ideology or the battle at hand. He's not sure it matters.

"It's easier when you're here."

Charles smiles and Erik knows this is not an ending.
Tags:

(no subject)

10/1/12 01:44 (UTC)
tigriswolf: (kiwi)
Posted by [personal profile] tigriswolf
This is adorable!

(no subject)

25/1/12 03:24 (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] trolllogicfics.livejournal.com
Thank you so much!

(no subject)

25/1/12 03:01 (UTC)
Posted by (Anonymous)
This line:

"When they move back into the fight, it feels as natural as breathing and Erik realizes that this would have been his life if he'd stayed on that beach in Cuba."

Tragic and bittersweet. This and your other First Class fics do a great job of exploring the depth of Erik and Charles' friendship. I enjoy your style of writing a good deal and eagerly await those stories yet to be crafted and shared. Thank you!

(no subject)

25/1/12 03:24 (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] trolllogicfics.livejournal.com
And thank you for commenting, lovely anon. I'm glad you enjoyed it!