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The next couple of days were a bit of a blur for Charles. Between the drugs and not being able to tell what time it was, he felt alone and adrift. Phrases felt fragmented but they kept drifting through his mind. “Bilateral stroke” and “head trama” were two that kept being repeated. And there was the one that he overheard when the Doctor was talking to Erik “hysterical blindness”. His head did ache from where he had struck it on the Blackbird. He knew that his head was swathed in bandages and they had shaved part of his head to get to the injury. It was itching where it was healing and the hair was growing back. They were good about giving him drugs for the pain but there was some pain that drugs couldn’t help. And there were the tests. Test after test after test. He was so sick of being poked and prodded.

His mental abilities had defined so much of who he was that the lack of them made him wonder who he was now. Was he human? A mere mortal? Or would he recover? His thoughts wound round and round on themselves. He tried not to cry when the others were there but he did shed a lot of tears for his loss.

Erik was trying to help but at the same time Charles knew from his tone of voice that Erik felt guilty about what had happened. Charles did put this whole mess at Erik’s doorstep. If he hadn’t driven the coin through Shaw’s head, none of this would have happened.

Charles decided to broach the subject one evening that he knew it was just Erik and him in the room.

Charles turned his head towards where he figured Erik was seated and said “Erik, I don’t blame you.” He figured that the straight approach was better with this man than pussy-footing around.

Erik said “I wouldn’t blame you if you did. I had one thing on my mind and look what it cost us.”

Charles didn’t correct him. Erik hadn’t lost a damn thing. He was the one in the hospital bed.

Erik said “I have something to tell you about your condition. The doctors weren’t sure if you should know about it or not but I think it is only right that you have all the information considered I am the one who put you here.”

Charles didn’t disagree with Erik.

He heard Erik get up from the chair he was sitting in and felt him take his hand in his grasp.

“We know that the coin that killed Shaw caused you to have a stroke or rather two strokes as he died and for that I am truly sorry. But the doctors believe that your blindness has something to do with the stroke or it may be hysterical because of what you saw. Your eyes are working fine but they aren’t connecting to your brain.”

“Well I guess there’s hope for me then” said Charles with a chuckle. “Apparently it is all or rather not all in my head.”

Erik gave a dry chuckle as well and said “Charles whatever it is, we will get through this together.”

“Why are you telling me all this now?”

“You are being released from the hospital today. They want you to go to a rehab center but we convinced them that you would be better off with your family. Raven can be very persuasive when she needs to be.”

“Where are we going from here?”

“Home” came the reply.

They drove from Las Vegas to the Xavier estate. That way they could all get back as a group. They bought two decent used cars and trekked back to New York.

Charles slept a good deal of the way back. There was nothing for him to look at since he couldn’t see so he drifted between consciousness and slumber quite a bit. Hank kept a careful eye on him to make sure that nothing else was happening to him.

They got to the mansion and Charles found himself in familiar but unfamiliar surroundings. He knew the mansion very well but that was sighted. It took a bit to adjust to it without being able to see where he was going. He hated feeling helpless and dependent on the others but he put on a brave face in front of them all except Erik.

Erik was the only one who knew how he really felt about all this. Charles even trying to smooth out the edges to his anger and sadden but Erik always seemed to know.

Then there were the headaches that tore through his skull. At this point he would have preferred that Erik had driven the coin through his head rather than Shaw’s. It would be less painful. Again he tried to hide it from the others and again Erik seemed to know that something was wrong.

Charles flipped between begin grateful to being resentful that this one man seem to know him better than anyone else.

Then the seizures started and the world went to hell.

The first one came in the middle of the night when he was alone. His mind seem to fill with light and sound and he could hear everything and anything that was going on in the world. The pressure of so much information in such a short time overwhelmed him and he passed out only to wake up in the dark finding himself dripping in his own sweat and blood coming from his mouth were he bit his tongue. He went to his bathroom and washed himself and went back to bed with his brain feeling numb.

He had his usual cup of tea in front of him but he waited for it to cool because he didn’t need the hot on top of his rather tender tongue.

“Something wrong with your tea?” asked Raven who was sitting across from him.

“Just waiting for it to cool just a bit.”

“Charles, it’s probably stone cold by now” she said “Are you alright? You haven’t been into the liquor cabinet again have you?”

“In reverse order no I haven’t been drinking and yes I am just fine this morning.” Charles drank the tea and then got up and picked up his cane. “I’ll be in the study if any of you need me.”

He went to the study, put on the radio, and managed to dial in the BBC. He listened to the news of the day in Europe and the European views of things going on with the US and Russia. Everyone was scared. He was also listening to see if he could find any information about any other mutants that might be out there.

There was a knock at the study door.

“Come in Erik” said Charles.

Erik walked in and shut the door behind him “You are getting very good at that.”

“You have a rather efficient way of knocking that is quite distinctive.”

“Raven is concerned about you. She said that you didn’t look good and that you had blood under your nose.”

Charles wiped under his nose and could feel dried flakes drifting from his skin. ‘Dammit’ he thought.

Erik came walking around the chair to look at Charles in the light.

“Charles, what the hell happened to you last night?”

Charles opened his mouth to answer when the world when white and the noise forced its way back into his head instead of talking Charles Xavier screamed the unholy scream of one of the damned.

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