Jun. 20th, 2011

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Erik practically ran back to the hotel. The sun was up and the merchants were put out their goods for the day. 7:30 read his watch. He knew that time was running out for Charles and in his pocket was the one thing that could save him but only if he was in time. Erik grunted in frustration and ran up the hotel steps. The bellman opened the door for him. Erik went to the stairs not trusting the elevator to be fast enough. He wanted to be in control but felt so out of control.

He fumbled with the key in the lock and finally got it open. His ears heard sounds that he hadn’t heard in that room when he left. He also found himself facing a gun. His reflex of seizing the firearm and using on its owner almost kicked in but Captain Grace’s voice brought him back to see that he was looking at a Marine.

“Please tell me you succeeded.”

Erik pulled the silver vial out of his pocket. The Captain took and went into his bedroom. He followed quickly just a few paces but what he saw made his heart drop to his knees. Charles looked so small in the bed like he was wasting away to nothing before his eyes. The new sounds were electronic equipment that hadn’t been there when he left. Charles’ face was obscured by an oxygen mask. His eyes were stunk into his head. He looked for all intents and purposes dead.

“What happened?” asked Erik in a very hoarse voice. The silver taste of fear and panic filled his mouth.

“He went into cardiac arrest and we had to get him back a couple of time. Then he stopped breathing for a bit. Mr. Lensherr, your friend has gone through some pretty traumatic incidents this evening. I am praying that you got here in time but I must warn you that your friend might not be the man you knew if he does pull through this.”

“Colonel, how are we going to get him to swallow this?” asked the Captain.

“We’ll have to un-sedate him and hope we can get through to him to swallow some how.”

“Let me do it” said Erik.

“What? Why?” asked the Colonel.

“We have a connection at it were” said Erik. The Colonel looked at the Captain who shrugged. They started to try to bring Charles back to consciousness.

Erik sat gingerly on the bed cradling his friend’s head in his lap. He thought, ‘Charles. If you are in there and listening please do this for me and drink this.’

Charles started to thrash around a bit and the headache that Erik knew for an oncoming seizure started to tickle his brain. Erik thought hard, ‘Charles! Charles listen to me. LISTEN TO ME! You are safe and you will be well but you HAVE TO DRINK THIS. DRINK THIS.’ He put an image in his mind of Charles drinking the vial in his hand and made it the only thing in his mind. Charles seemed to calm down and slightly opened his mouth. Erik poured the potion into his friend’s mouth. The Captain massaged Charles’ throat encouraging him to swallow. Which, miracle of miracles he did. Then the seizure starting in full force only to be cut off by sedation and the return of the oxygen mask to his friend’s face.

“I pray that does it. Because there is not much more we can do medically to keep him here.”

“What now?” asked Erik.

“We wait and see” said the Colonel.

They brought Erik a chair and he sat down next to the man who had saved his life that dark night on the water. Erik hoped he had done the same for Charles. He held Charles’ hand in his and thought all kinds of thoughts to Charles and about Charles. Eventually, just through sheer exhaustion, he fell asleep in the chair his head on the bed holding Charles’ hand.

The next thing Erik felt was someone touching his hair. He sat bolt up right and looked at Charles’ blue eyes looking at him. Charles gave a half smile that Erik could see under the oxygen mask. ‘Good Morning Sunshine. You look like six kinds of road kill’ came the thought into his head.

Erik felt a sense of relief, joy and about half a dozen happy emotions all at once.

The Colonel came into the room “Ah, you are awake. Professor Xavier wouldn’t let us wake you.” Charles nodded and smiled again.

Erik looked at the Colonel with concern on his face.

The Colonel held up his hand, “Nothing to worry about Mr. Lensherr. We have checked him over. The antidote removed all the toxins from his system. The oxygen is just precautionary.”

“And the mask is a pain to wear,” said Charles in a rather hoarse voice as he tried to sit up but failed.

“Take it easy Professor. You still have some cracked ribs from when we had to perform CPR on you. We can tape them up but they are going to hurt for a while” said the Captain as she removed the oxygen mask from his face.

“I have had worse” said Charles slightly sadly.

“Rugby player?” asked the Colonel.

“Front four if you can believe it” chuckled Charles.

Erik laughed a half laugh. His throat felt very dry. He desperately needed something to drink.

Charles looked at him with some concern, “I am so sorry Erik.”

“For what?”

‘For putting you through such hell’ came the thought in his head but he also heard Charles say, “For slowing down the trip. I didn’t expect to get sick.”

“Professor Xavier, you are a very lucky man” said the Colonel.

“They say that a man’s luck can be measure by his friends and I am very lucky indeed.”

The Captain came in with a glass of water and handed it to Erik. He thanked her and downed it in a couple of gulps. She took the glass from him and refilled it with a pitcher that was on the dresser. He sipped this one a little more slowly.

“I’d like to keep an eye on you for the next 24 hours but after that I think you can travel if you need to.”

They removed the machines and their other equipment with military efficiency. The Captain was chosen to stay behind to keep an eye on both men. Housekeeping was let in to change the sheets and clean up Charles’ room. Erik went to Charles’ bed since Charles’ was in his and took a long dreamless nap.

When he finally returned to consciousness, he found Charles sitting up on the couch in the living room hitting on Captain Grace and doing a rubbish job of it. ‘Well at least we know that hasn’t changed’ thought Erik.

‘Hey! That’s not fair’ came the thought into his head, ‘I am not at my best.’

Erik laughed.

Captain Grace asked “What’s so funny?”

“Private joke” said Charles with a grin.

“Well Professor..”
“Call me Charles.”

“Well Charles, you seem on your way to recovery. I leave you in the hands of Mr. Lensherr,” she said standing up and motioning to Erik to follow her to the door. Erik did as she bid.

“Keep an eye on him and call me at this number if there is any change. He seems fine to me. Other than that, it was nice meeting you and I honestly hope to never see you again.”

“Captain Grace, can I ask you a question?”

“Shoot.”

“What are you a doctor of?”

“Genetics and Mutation. And I must say you are both interesting examples of both.” And with that she said her good-byes and left the two men alone.

“She was a looker,” said Charles.

“Hmmm” said Erik absentmindedly as he flopped down in the overstuffed chair across from Charles. “I honestly hadn’t noticed.”

Charles’ face took on that serious look, “Erik, I want to thank you. You save my life last night.”

“Call it even. You saved mine in Miami.”

Charles chuckled, “I didn’t think we were keeping an accounting on this.”

Erik could feel Charles’ tickling around the corners of his head, “Out. I don’t need you in there right now.”

Charles looked slightly hurt but nodded, “You will tell me what happened?”

“Eventually,” said Erik.

Now:
He can feel his friend struggle for each breath. Waves of pain radiate off of him. Then the cruelest blow of all. Total rejection from the man he called friend. He motioned Moria over and handed Charles to her. He gathered his troops and left his morality bleeding on a Cuban beach.
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In Fevered Dreams Truth is King

The whole thing in one shot. I am putting it behind a cut because if it almost 8000 words long.

In_Fevered_Dreams_Truth_is_King )

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