Recovery

Nov. 15th, 2015 08:53 pm
balancingminds: (breaking)
"Erik was right. All your tries at being good ended up in pain," Raven walked just in front of him through the quad, skirting being on the grass. He couldn't seem to reach her to say something before she turned a corner and was gone.

"She's braver than you, Charles. Bold and daring," He could hear satisfaction in Erik's voice and he turned to spot him leaning against a wall in the library sipping at his scotch, "We're going to out play you and win."

The words were there, he could feel them, he could speak to Erik. A scream cut the air and the world was cold and white, his gloves felt like they were stuck to his hands.


He reached for consciousness through the morphine and woke sweating. He began to sit then he felt the pain and sank down, he had his shields. Near him, Art, who'd fought at Bastogne cried out and Charles took a breath before reaching out to soothe his nightmares through the wall.

He could do that, he could help, somehow.

****


As the morning light came through the window, Janet, his nurse came through the door and sighed, "Another bad night, Mr. Xavier?"

"Am I that obvious?" Her kind eyes cut him more than he cared to admit, he'd never been good at being cared for.

She helped him sit up, adjusting his pillows and he focused on the lists she ran through her head, what he needed, her shopping for later in the day including making a delicious Jamaican chicken dish with her family, "You think a lot and that keeps you up and you don't use enough morphine."

"I don't like how it makes me feel disconnected," It was harder to keep his shields where he wanted them and he felt lonelier. Janet lifted him into his chair for the uncomfortable process of going to the bathroom.

"That's a nice thought to keep connected but good to not be in pain too. There, that's all done and I've got your breakfast. I asked around and one of my neighbors is from St. Nevis and he had some of that tea you like. Now you can wake up with that English Breakfast you like so much without your friends having to sneak any into you. We wouldn't want any of those nice boys to get in trouble with the hospital. I keep expecting that boy Alex to bolt any time he comes near your room," The image of the neighbor and the smell of proper tea helped him relax as much as he could with all he couldn't feel and everything that was too much.

"Me too, that's why I remind him that he doesn't have to come as often," She set his tray in front of him with a fond smile.

"They care and I saw another visitor for you, Miss McTaggert on the list for today. So take your time with your breakfast and I'll find you a better mirror to get you looking your best for her," Janet looked him over, he liked how she saw him as someone who was nice and polite who didn't make her days too long. Then she turned and left to check on everyone else on the hall.

Breakfast was always hit or miss, but having actual proper tea made the bland porridge, odd eggs and today the spongy toast easier to enjoy. From what Moira had said at her prior visit, this was probably going to be the last time she saw him here as she had to return to the CIA where many questions waited for her. He knew that she would find ways to check in but it would be best if there was as much plausible deniability on her side. Enough people had been hurt by their well meaning attempts, she didn't need her career harmed any more.

****


When Moira arrived, his hair was combed and he was reading the day's papers and only wincing at some of the motions of turning the paper.

"Hello, Charles," Her voice was tight and as he folded the pages felt her worry for him and scenes of conference rooms.

"Good afternoon, Moira. Thank you for visiting me," He kept his voice calm, he didn't want to add anything more to her thought, "I've been thinking of how we might find a smooth ending for you. They already know some of what I can do, take advantage of that."

"I'm to tell them that you manipulated me? I don't know if they'd believe that of you," Her memory of his kindness to the hurt agents at the Facility's destruction and in Russia was in many reports. Those men wouldn't forget how he soothed the men that Erik took down.

"I trust your judgement. I'd rather not take anything from you unless you ask me to," That would be safer for all of them, but would betray the trust she placed in him.

"No, I know how to make them think you did and not ask anymore. Men can be very predictable," She smirked, thinking of how so many men including him underestimated her and few of them learned their lesson.

"Yes, we can," Moira sat down beside his bed and didn't speak for a time, reading the paper with him for almost an hour before standing up. It was quiet and comfortable, he had never done exactly this with either Raven or Erik. Raven had always been moving as he read the paper while Erik discussed what felt like almost every article with him.

As she turned to leave she thought at him; I'm sorry that they're gone, but I trust in what you can do.

He nodded and leaned back against his bed, he was tired and scared. This wasn't a place that he could stop, only rest and plan. He was needed.
balancingminds: (don't want to think)
The shadows keep moving, he has on all the lights but he can't make the shadows stop. He looks up, there was a ship and a sky, but they're gone. Is he truly awake? Lights don't mean anything, he can create lights in a dream, he looks down to find he's not dressed. Perhaps he was asleep then, that would be good. He needs to be able to sleep and then wake up once more.

Carefully he dresses, focusing on the texture of each piece of clothing so he doesn't hear all the thoughts and feel all the emotions. They're very close, people are scared and angry and something's hungry. His shirt is starched, the cloth smooth between his fingers as he buttons all but the last two buttons at his collar. Then the cuff links with the Xavier crest, he presses his finger against one of the Xs until the pressure hurts. Sweater next, soft cashmere that's light as he slips it over his head and adjusts it to fall just so. Then his jacket, heavy tweed that he bought in Dublin, a jacket for a tutor at Oxford, he traces the weave noting the threads of blue interspersed with the grey. He chose this one because it looked best with his eyes, Raven approved of the ever so slightly wider lapels, not as modern as he could be but a step forward.

This is reality, this is all real. He starts coughing, feeling every shudder through his body.
balancingminds: (painted mansion)
There was only fog, he gasped and put his feet down hard to find/create solid ground. As he put his feet down, they slipped as the grass was covered in mist and rocks, he needed to find out where he was. He didn't trust the idea of creating a light as that hadn't been working and he didn't seem to have enough control.

Instead he reached out his hands and walked forward until his hands bumped stone, broken stone. Something went by overhead, he heard the noise of a plane and immediately tucked himself down to the ground, an air raid? If it was a raid, there should be a siren, loud and wailing, he'd never heard one himself, but he felt he knew them due to many minds. Was this the ruin of his home, these stone walls all that was left of Xavier mansion?

He kept his hands out and tried to stay along the walls, which are true ruins and heard something fall to the ground. Someone might be hurt and he stands up, if this is what's left of his home then he'll protect it. He starts forward until something with too many arms comes towards him from the fog, he knows that shape, "No, no, you're not allowed here. This is my home!"

It doesn't stop and he runs into the fog, he will fight.


In his room, he wakes up reaching into the darkness and shivers before turning on the light, then getting up and turning on all the lights. The fog can't come into his room, it can't.
balancingminds: (mind hurt)
He hasn't been looking forward to sleep but he knows his body needs it. The rituals that he thought he was past have returned though they don't seem to do as much good. Every night, he sit in his bed and builds a wall around his mind, the stones of his childhood have returned but there is now water and metal mixed in with them. He will take what strength he can from Iris and Erik's inspiration to make himself feel safer. Along with the wall, he chants, "No dreams but my own, not dreams but my own."

Sleep doesn't come easily but he knows how to quiet his mind enough to rest.

He's in a library, not in Oxford, but another one that he doesn't know. Someone's researching and there's the whir of a cassette, he tries to follow the sound but the stacks twist and turn around him. The shadows keep lengthening and there's the glance of a face as he hears through the quiet a recorded voice saying, "He tells me to do things, awful things."

Charles shivers at the voice, its so young and he can almost feel the pain and confusion. The recording continues but he can't hear what's said just a buzzing that's wrong.

Finally he finds a door and opens it out onto a lecture theater and someone saying his name and that its time. All the voices and emotions in the theater press towards him with excitement, disbelief and he leans against the door frame.

He can't do this now, he's not ready, he needs more space in his head. More voices ask for him, telling him, poking him as the emotions grow stronger and he tries to shut them out, take control. His shields won't seem to hold, they keep shifting away instead of holding steady as they're meant to. He yells out to the crowd, "Be quiet! I can't find myself!"


The yelling wakes him up as he coughs and shivers, he's broken out in a sweat and he touches the droplets on his forehead. He turns on the light and looks at the water on his fingertips, the physical sensations of being scared and cold, this is real. He doesn't attempt to sleep for the rest of the night, but turns on all the lights and drinks some tea as he reads journals about genetics.
balancingminds: (don't want to think)
His mother and Nanny were looking down at him and he could feel their concern pressing with its weight of worry. What had he done? What had he said that he wasn’t supposed to? He didn’t know what to ask as he couldn’t hear their words just feel them wondering and discussing him. Then Erik was there, tsking at him saying, “You feel too much, Charles. Its bad for you.”

He closed his eyes and tried to sink into his bed to make it all stop or wake up. Instead he was walking down a long hallway, it felt cold and he realized that the walls had a shine to them, so he tried to call up a flashlight. Where a light should have been electricity shot from his hand, arcing over the walls and he backed away, this wasn’t right, this wasn’t him. He tried to calm down, regain control and find his own mind as the electricity grew stronger and he saw figures coming towards him, men in suits. One seemed thinner than the rest and then he ran and ran until the hall changed from metal and the electricity faded and he stood in the small bedroom from Erik’s dream.

He sat down on the bed and breathed in this place Erik had felt safe here, had wanted him here. The room was still too dark, but there was a light on the bureau and he focused on it and willed himself awake.


His bed was solid and he’d gotten tangled up in his sheets during the dream, so he turned on his bedside lamp with a shiver. Something seemed to move in the shadows and he took deep breaths, this was reality, he was safe.
balancingminds: (worry)
In the darkness he can't find his way, nothing is solid and there's someone else in the shadows. He calls up light for the dark but only manages a candle that flickers as he realizes that the windows are blacked out. Is there an air raid? But they're safe at home. He shouldn't be afraid, he's safe, isn't he? There's fog and he walks after it and remembers that the war is over, then he's the age he should be. Nightmares and dreams can be controlled and he knows how to face them, he does.

The candle turns into a bright flashlight as he walks forward to the French doors, and he pushes them open onto the back garden. There's a bright moon in the sky full of promise, and pinpricks of stars, though fog swirls around his feet and he feels someone watching him. This is his dream, he shouldn't feel afraid to go into the trees that he's known since he was a little boy. He strides towards them, moving his flashlight through the fog though the light doesn't go that far.


There's a draft in his room and he wakes to pull his blankets closer around him as the fire flickers. The light of his bedside lamp is bright in the room, dispersing and creating shadows. This is real. He's awake.

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Charles Xavier

July 2017

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