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I am figuring that there are two more parts to this but it is already longer than I thought it was going to be.

Charles pulled back from Erik but Erik held on to his hand. Charles wanted to break the connection but Erik wouldn’t let him go either physically or mentally.

Charles found himself looking out of Erik’s eyes at his body on the bed in the infirmary. He looked so small. His eyes were sunk into his head. And his color was not good.

“Hank?” asked Erik.

“I don’t know Erik. There is a lot going on here that is a little out of my fields of expertise. But…”

“It would be too dangerous to bring another person into the picture” finished Erik “I know all this Hank but we’re talking about Charles here. I can’t do anything.”

“Until he sorts his head out, there is not much any of us can do for him. And Erik, whatever is happening in there, it is accelerating. I don’t think he has much more time.”

Erik swore under his breath. This was all his fault. If he hadn’t gone after Shaw and exacted his perfect revenge, Charles wouldn’t be in the situation. If, if, if….he could wrap the world in all the ifs he was thinking.

Hank brought Erik a chair. “You’d better sit down before you fall down Erik. You can’t keep going like this.” Erik sat down and took Charles’ hand in his.

Raven found him there. “Erik, go to bed and get some sleep. You’re not helping him. I promise that I’ll stay with him until you get back.”

“What about you?”

“What do you think I have been doing for the past 8 hours. It’s past midnight. You need to let go and give it a rest.”

Erik looked at Raven. She raised her right hand and said “I promise to come get you if there is any change or send one of the boys to get you. Alright?”

Erik nodded. It had been hard to keep his eyes open. He got up and made his way to his bed which felt better than a bed had felt in years. He awoke with the sun streaming in the windows of his room which put the time at late afternoon. He stretched and relaxed. He went and took a shower, got dressed and went to see how Charles was doing.

The first bodies he found were Sean’s and Alex’s in the kitchen. He thought they were dead but was relieved to find them both unconscious but breathing very shallowly. He ran to the infirmary only to find Raven and Hank crumpled on the floor clutching their head with their faces in agony. Charles was nowhere to be found. He tried to bring them around but they seemed trapped within themselves. He had to find Charles because he had a feeling that only Charles could reverse what happened. He was thankful that Angel, Moria, and Azazel were nowhere to be found. He remembered Hank talking to him yesterday about them going out to gather more supplies for the mansion. He wished he had a way to get in touch with them to tell them to stay away.

He remembered where he and Raven had found Charles last time and he figured that would be the place to start. He worked his way through the woods to the treehouse. He went up into it and found signs that Charles had been there but he had moved on. But moved on where? He went back down the tree and started looking around the base of the tree to see if he could figure out which way Charles went. He was luck because it seemed that Charles had cut himself. Erik could almost smell the iron in very light blood trail. He didn’t know if Charles had accidently cut himself or it was on purpose but at this point he didn’t care. He needed to find Charles.

He followed the path through a circuitous route back to the house. He went into the study to find Charles sitting in his usual chair with the chess board set up where they had left off from their last game. He approached cautiously and froze when Charles’ gaze met his eyes. The look in the eyes gave Erik a very bad feeling indeed. What do you do when probably the most powerful mind on the planet has gone mad?

“Indeed Erik,” came the response from Charles, “What do you do? Personally I suggest a game of chess.”

“What did you do to the rest of them?”

“Sort of a feedback loop. They are trapped in their own nightmares” Charles said with a rather high-pitched insane giggle. Erik could feels the hairs on the back of his neck raise. He knew he had to tread carefully here.

“Sit!” said Charles in a rather commanding voice. Erik found himself complying before he knew what he was doing. He wanted to resist but knew that resistance was useless. Charles could kill him with a thought.

“Now why would I want to do that to my best friend? Erik you should know me better than that.”

Erik didn’t trust what Charles was saying. He had seen this sort of thing in the camps one too many times. They would make you feel safe and then yank the rug out from under you.

“Your move Erik” said Charles gesturing to the board.

Erik picked up his pawn and began playing the game that he knew was bigger than the board in front of him.
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