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I was wrong. This resolved itself a little faster that I thought it would. I believe the story goes to the length it needs to be told and this one finished up.

So here is the conclusion



The hospital stay was mercifully short. They quickly got back to the task at hand. A call from Moria had them both head back to base. There was finally some news about Shaw.

“He’s in going to be in Russia,” said Moria. Erik almost grinned. This had been the closest he had come in years. Charles seemed more circumspect about the whole thing.

They went to Russia only to find Emma Frost in Shaw’s place. When they got back, Erik and Charles found that Shaw had been at their hideout and they had lost so much by not being there. Charles then took the group to his house in New York which was a little bigger than anyone but Raven had imagined.

That night at the chess board with their usual beverages of choice in hand, Erik noticed that Charles seemed a lot more tense than usual. If fact Charles had seemed out of sorts since they went to Russia and Erik was getting tired of tiptoeing around the telepath who was on a hair trigger.

“We’ll find Shaw and save the world Charles” said Erik as he put a pawn in jeopardy. Charles didn’t take the pawn but moved his rook much to Erik’s amazement.

“It’s not Shaw that is bothering me right now” said Charles.

“Then out with it” said Erik making his next move.

Charles took his knight and said “You shouldn’t have done that to Miss Frost.”

“Do what? Convince her to talk? Charles she told us that we were getting anything from her.”

Erik saw a flash of anger in Charles’ eyes and was, for a moment, rather scared.

“Not the point Erik. We shouldn’t have to resort to their tactics. We are better than that.”

“Charles sometimes I think you are the most idealist person on the planet. We know what Shaw is up to now and we can work to prevent it.”

“Far from idealist” Charles said softly as he rubbed at his wrists. Erik had noticed this new habit of Charles’ that had occurred after their rescue.

“The greater good was served because we made that woman talk or rather allowed you to use your talents so we can defend ourselves.”

Charles seemed to be getting more agitated at the conversation. Erik was concerned because Charles was not acting like Charles right now. Something was very odd and off here but Erik had only an inkling of what it was.

“Charles what’s wrong?”

“I…You…I just want….” Charles stood up and started to walk to his desk. Erik grabbed him by the wrist and Charles let out a yelp of pain and tried to pull away.

Erik didn’t let him go but stood up and pulled Charles’ sleeve back from his left wrist. It was covered in gauze and the gauze was almost bled through.

“Charles, how did this happen?” asked Erik.

Charles tried to pull away but Erik was having none of it. He unwound the gauze to see the still weeping wounds underneath. His brain was trying to process what he was seeing. Charles tried again to get away. Erik wasn’t going to let him do so.

“Charles?” asked Erik again as he looked at the pattern of the damage and a thought seem to almost come back to mind. Then a painful flash of Charles bound in metal as his command seared his brain. He let go of Charles’ hand and clutched his own head in agony. Something was there tickling at his mind and it was very bad.

“Charles what did you do?” he asked through the pain.

Charles looked down at his friend and said “What I had to. And I’ll do it again if I need to Erik.”

Erik had a moment of perfect clarity “You took my memory from me” he said very quietly with a dangerous edge to his voice, “What have you done? What did you take away from me?”

Charles looked very guilty and tried to change to his stern angry face but didn’t quite make it.

“I have a right to know” said Erik.

“No, no you don’t Erik. I am protecting you” said Charles in that world weary tone that set Erik’s teeth on edge. He was older than Charles and didn’t appreciate being treated like a child.

“Charles” he stood up to meet his friend on his level only to see Charles flinch from him. Erik went back in his mind over the past couple of weeks since he woke up in the hospital with his last memory being walking onto a porch in Helen Georgia. He realized that Charles had been flinching and in pain the whole time. Something had happened and he couldn’t remember what but Charles sure as hell did.

“This has gone on long enough Charles. You are afraid of me which is the last thing I expected to see from you. What the HELL Happened? I want my memories back and I want them bloody back now.”

Charles swayed a bit and seemed to be contemplating his next action carefully.

“I’m sorry Erik. I did it for your own good.”

“Well fucking undo whatever ‘it’ is. I have a right to know.”

“I could just get rid of this evening from your mind” Charles said almost clinically.

“Don’t you fucking dare Charles. I have a feeling that even if you do this tonight, you are just going to have to do it every night for the rest of your life. Whatever happened is too strong just to be made to go away.”

Charles nodded slightly. His whole body posture was that of a defeated man. “I suggest we sit down for this.” Both men sat in their usual chairs facing each other.

“Erik…” he started to say but Erik cut him off.

“Do it.”

Charles sighed and put two fingers to his temple and Erik’s mind exploded with images of what he seen and done. But there were things that were new to him. He could see his torture and degradation at Charles’ hand as well under the insistence of the goons that held them captive. He could see Charles using what little ability he had left to wipe Erik’s mind each time so that Erik could focus on getting them out there rather than dwelling what happened to his body. Erik pushed the table and the chess set out from between the two men and dropped on his knees in front of his friend and put his hand on Charles’ knee. He looked him in the eye and said “No one should have to bear that burden alone. Not even you my friend.”

He opened up his mind and showed Charles images of things he had seen and done in the camps that he was not proud of. He tried to show Charles that both of them were stronger than this. They were the better men in all this. He saw tears come to Charles’ eyes and then the dam broke. Charles fell into his arms and he held the man gently as the tears of regret and anger just ran down Charles’ face. He held Charles as the man howled his anger and rage at what had been done to them. After a while Charles’ quieted and sat up on the floor looking at Erik.

Erik kissed Charles on the forehead and said “I absolve you.”

Charles managed a half chuckle “I didn’t know you were a priest Erik.”

“I’m not mad at you anymore. I want to be clear on that fact. I understand what you were trying to do but…”

“But?”

Erik chose his words carefully, “Do that again and I will break you in half without a second thought.”

“Understood.”

“My memories make me who I am today. And I cannot have anything taken away from me.”

Charles nodded contritely and then he kissed Erik’s hand. Erik felt a tingle go through his body at the touch of Charles’ lips.

“Make-up Sex?” asked Charles with a few images popping up in Erik’s mind.

“I thought you would never ask” said Erik with a big grin on his face “Let the healing process begin.”

And the two men raced to the bedroom.

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