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04 August 2011 @ 09:03 pm
je n'ai jamais promis un jardin de roses.  
Je n'ai jamais promis un jardin de roses
charles (with some seeds of erik/charles) (x-men: first class). 5,628 words. pg. charles had wanted a puppy for his tenth birthday. (or: charles takes care of roses to make up for the fact that he was not loved quite enough during his childhood.)

Charles had wanted a puppy for his tenth birthday.

He’s always asked for books before, possibly because he’s only ever been given books—for his birthday and every year on Christmas Day for as long as he could remember, he would sit on the carpet in front of the fireplace in the study where his father used to spend his nights and carefully unwrap from sheets and sheets of parchment paper a stack of beautiful first edition books with handsome leather covers and careful hand-binding.

History books, atlases, bibles, texts in French, Greek, and Latin on everything from physics to biology to the maths, novels by the great nineteenth and twentieth century authors—and on the memorable occasion of his eighth birthday, the Kama Sutra—which he would take a moment to hold reverently in his lap, thumbing through the pages until he can look up at his mother in her robe and slippers. She would be watching him with a cup of lukewarm tea cupped in her long, slender fingers, the most present she will ever be.

“Thank you, mother.” Charles would stand up with the books clasped to his chest and smile, kissing her dry, white cheek.

“Of course, darling.” She would smile back at him, as though she could be happy, and tuck a soft brown curl back behind his ear where it flopped onto his forehead. “Run along, then.”

He would, and so it would go, until the next holiday.

His mother does not select the books herself—if Charles hadn’t already known this by the time he received the Kama Sutra, either he was deaf to her thoughts or he was just exceptionally dull, neither of which is the case, clearly.

He isn’t upset by it, not exactly, because he knows that she hasn’t exactly been altogether herself since father passed away. He doesn’t try and read her thoughts so often because they honestly do not consist of much, but when he does, he knows that father and the past are never far from her mind. The trouble with this is that Charles is almost ten years old and despite his extraordinary memory, it still seems like forever to him—so long, in fact, that he cannot remember a time when things were not this way.

For the most part, he doesn’t mind so much. He has books and when he bothers them enough, a member of the household staff will take a few minutes to listen to him pontificate on the newest theory he’s been eagerly devouring everything he can get his small hands on about. They never seem particularly interested though, and a break of more than three seconds in his rambling speeches will usually cause them to stand up and insist that they must be getting back to work.

Charles could command them to stay, but there wouldn’t be much point. What he really wants is someone to listen, someone to care, someone who is not a maid or a butler or a tutor and doesn’t care that he’s just the eccentric the young master.

A week before his tenth birthday, he sits down at the breakfast table where his mother has the morning paper in her hands, though her eyes don’t seem to be moving past the first few sentences.

“Good morning, mother.” A servant serves him toast and marmalade as she looks up, eyes widening ever-so-slightly as if she were seeing him for the first time even though they have breakfast together nearly every morning, except for those where she cannot bring herself to get out of bed. Perhaps she is surprised because they never say much, or because there is not very much to say at all.

“Oh, good morning, Charles.”

Charles nibbles a corner of his toast (it’s a little dry) before continuing. “Um…it’s my birthday next week.”

Mother’s mouth opens and then closes again. Charles can practically feel the thoughts turning in her mind without even trying, strangely quick and foreign—he said ‘birthday’…next week, but then, what day is it, it can’t possibly be—she tilts her head. “Of course, darling. What would you like? Books again?”

Charles looks down at his feet beneath the table, his toes dragging on the soft, nubbly carpet, his too-long pajama bottoms rolled up to the ankles. When he looks up, she is still gazing at him—or rather, through him, but in his direction at the very least, which is more than he expected.

“Well, actually…” He hears himself say, and forces himself to sit still. He doesn’t know why this is so hard. Children should be able to ask things of their parents for their birthdays, shouldn’t they? “…I’d like a dog. Or a cat. Any pet, really. Even a rabbit, if you could manage it.”

“A pet…” Mother repeats slowly, as if he’s mulling it over. “Whatever for, darling?”

He tastes something in his mouth that could be a number of things—frustration, disappointment, bitterness, a need to be petulant though he knows it will do him no good here, but he forces himself to continue through all that, the words thick and viscous on his tongue. “I just…I want a friend. The books are—amazing, truly they are and I love them, but this year I just want something…different.”

I don’t want to be alone anymore.

Only he doesn’t say that last part.

Charles realizes only when he’s finished that somewhere during his speech he’s managed to clench his eyes shut, his hands gripping each side of his chair until his knuckles have turned white. He forces himself to relax, to take a deep breath and open his eyes, looking for his mother’s reaction.

She has already turned back to her newspaper, a quick glance inside her head showing him that the only thing on her mind is the unflattering cut of Eleanor Roosevelt’s gown from the photographs of last night’s presidential dinner.

He sighs and pushes his plate away from him, all pangs of hunger drained away. It had been worth a try; perhaps she will suddenly remember the tomes of Ovid’s Metamorphoses that he thought to ask for last year. It’s a small hope, though not one that he holds out upon.


The grounds of the Xavier family estate are still grand in scale if no longer in stature. There are old photos in the hallway of his mother and father after they had just gotten married, back when she smiled and he was still alive. There hadn’t been quite so much ivy climbing the walls back then and the rows of hedges that lined the roadway leading up to the manor were neatly trimmed.

Sometimes Charles would sit with his back against the opposite wall, staring at the pictures and unsure of whether to be happy or sad. Sometimes he wonders about where his mother would be without him, unsure that he’s the reason for which she keeps on living.

On his tenth birthday, a bit damp but otherwise pleasant-enough day, mother can’t be roused from bed and so Charles eats breakfast alone. After, their butler Gerard takes him to the east garden and for an entire minute, Charles believes that mother might have actually gotten him what he asked for. The thought makes his heart, hammering madly, feel too big for his chest.

He’s already thinking of names when they arrive, the toes of his boots wet with morning dew, but he sees nothing but a few withered old bushes. Charles looks up at Gerard questioningly, wondering if he’s supposed to do something, but a quick search of his mind reveals nothing about a gift with floppy ears and a cold nose.

“They’re rosebushes,” explains Gerard, as if it were obvious. They never grew roses before—actually, besides the very occasional trimming of the hedges and the maintenance of the lawn, Charles has never recalled a time where anything green grew in the garden. There’s never really been a need—mother hardly ever goes outside. “Your mother said you might like to take care of them.”

Ah, of course. It all makes sense, now.

Charles keeps staring and Gerard leaves eventually, the stray thought child would have been better off with the books as usual—can’t blame the missus for not bothering—hitting him like a slap in the face.

Thunder rumbles in the distance before he realizes that he came outside in only his pajamas and robe. The clouds are moving in fast, heavy and low, pregnant with rainwater. For a fleeting moment, he wants the rain to come, to stand here until he’s drenched to the skin and ankle-deep in mud, and to maybe stomp around in the puddles for a bit.

Charles has never thrown a tantrum before in his life and despite the fact that the philosophy books he received last Christmas taught him to put mind over matter, that he tries to remain on his best behavior for the sake of his mother, he can’t help but think (no, more than think, he knows from listening in without meaning to on more occasions that he can count) that the staff thinks him unnatural, that they would prefer it if he was rambunctious and unruly, like other normal children.

But Charles will never be normal, can never be normal, as long as he has his ability. Why is it that the harder he tries to please everyone, the more they turn away? Is a well-behaved boy really that unsettling? Should he, perhaps, lash out more?

The thought leaves him as soon as he looks back at the house, entertaining the notion of even kicking some of the rosebushes to see if it will make him feel better. They don’t even constitute a real birthday present—they’ve always been there and no one cares for them so they’re basically dead, no one ever goes to the east garden, anyway, no one—


The first raindrops hit his nose as all the frustration leaks out of him, seeping down his small body and into the ground, replaced by a certain curiosity. As if he were approaching a wild animal, Charles inches closer, crouching down to peer at the roots of the bushes and uncaring of whether the dirt will ever wash out of his pajamas. Most of the brambles are brown and husky, but beneath—yes, yes, at the very bottom, half-hidden by soil, a bit of soft green bark shows through.

It’s as good as a ray of sunshine and he feels himself laugh, really laugh, whooping with joy and scrambling back up, running back through the gardens and thinking of where he placed his single horticulture text. Of course, at the bottom of the trunk at the foot of his bed—he had read it once, but finding no practical use for it, stored it with a collection of field notes written by a zoologist when he was traveling through Madagascar. The sketches in the notes were beautiful to look at, but unfortunately, Charles could not read a word of Portuguese.

He’s drenched when he finally makes it back to the manor and Sylvia chides him all the way to the bath but for once, Charles goes without word or protest, too busy wondering if there might still be a set of gardening supplies in the maintenance house. Today seems to be looking up after all.


Though Charles’ interest in genetics grew from the desire to learn more about his own gifts, in later years he would look back and realize that it was really augmented by his love for his roses.

The rosebushes are alive, but the soil they are planted in has been stripped of nutrients as a result of their neglect for the past decade or so. From his reading he learns that roses are actually quite a hardy plant, though it takes careful attention to make them bloom at their brightest and most beautiful.

The gardening tools he found in the maintenance house were hanging on the farthest wall, where rain leaking through the roof had caused them to rust beyond repair, and so Charles had asked Sylvia to purchase a new set, the very best she could find.

He could have asked Gerard to hire a gardener to help him, but somehow that feels like cheating, so he combs the grounds for more fertile soil to mix, eventually finding a plot along the south wall of the house, mostly shielded by rain and sun so that it’s still soft, damp, and loamy.

Charles was never a large child, but a lifetime of being encouraged to stay indoors with a book and effectively out of trouble has made long periods of strenuous labor difficult and by noon he can feel sweat dripping down his face and pooling beneath his chin, the muscles of his arms and legs screaming in pain from the effort of hauling bucket after bucket of soil from one side of the grounds to the other.

But this garden is also the only thing in his life that he has possibly been never able to accomplish simply by thinking hard enough about it. For the first time, he has to apply action to theory and every ache and sore is somehow new and exhilarating. When he goes inside, he has blisters on his hands and dirt all over his face, but he’s smiling wider than he ever remembers smiling in his life and the maids seem to look at him with less indifference than usual.


The first rose blooms in the middle of May, a small but almost perfectly formed pink blossom at the very top of the bush. There are other buds that look as if they’re about to open, but for today, it’s just the one.

“Don’t worry. You won’t be alone for long,” He says to it without thinking, and the only thing more surprising than finding himself speaking to a flower is realizing that it will not say anything back. Charles doesn’t know why he finds this comforting, but he does not think to question it, either.


The October after he turns twelve years old, he gains a sister. He and mother have long gone back to books as gifts and he hasn’t asked for anything else. This past year, he received a copy of Machiavelli’s The Prince, a text he finds is read best by lamplight after the rest of the household has gone to bed.

At first, he thinks the rustling sound is the tapping of the tree outside against the kitchen bedroom, but when it persists for more than half a chapter, he decides it’s worth investigating. The house seems so much bigger at night and even though Charles can feel around the perimeter of the manor with his mind if he concentrates hard enough, he stops in his father’s study to take the baseball bat that sits atop the mantle anyway. Better safe than sorry.

What he finds is even better. Raven is a blessing, a miracle, a friend, a confidante, a sister. She is everything he’s ever wanted, someone like him, who understands. After he cements that in his mind, any doubt about implanting her presence into the halls of the manor for years and years and years, playing tag and knocking into the legs of the cleaning staff as they run past, just disappears.

Charles brings Raven to the garden too, and she keeps him company as he takes a break from reading to weed the plants. She likes the yellow roses best, the color of friendship as Charles remembers reading once, so whenever the yellow rosebush blooms he raises himself on his toes to clip the prettiest flower and tucks it behind her ear, the same radiant yellow as her eyes, to watch her smile bloom just as brightly.


He receives an invitation to attend Oxford University a month after he turns fifteen. Raven, hanging over his shoulder as he reads the handwritten letter over and over, asks excitedly if he’s going to go. She has never been to England.

Charles has never been to England either, though half his family is from there. He thinks about Doctor Dunham and his neat, even handwriting, explaining that he was an old friend of his father’s and hearing about Charles’ academic achievements through his network of tutors, would like to provide him the opportunity to study molecular biology at the University. He thinks about his abilities and what he could learn—what he could do with them.

He thinks about Westchester, his mother still in her bed, Raven, and his roses.

He runs his fingers across the top of the page, then folds it closed and tucks it carefully between William Bartram’s Bartram’s Travels and Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle.


His mother dies when he is sixteen years old.

Charles knew it was inevitable long before she did; by fourteen he could listen to the thoughts of the entire manor without too much of an effort and even without the constant stream of worries from the household staff, it was clear by her leaving her bed less and less that she was not long for this world. The thought bothers Charles more than he predicted it would.

The last few weeks of her life herald a particularly wet and humid April. The year’s first crop of roses is blooming and he begins to bring them to her, placing the largest and most perfectly-formed in a vase by her bedside. He’s not sure what colors would be the most appropriate so he brings her all of them; red, yellow, orange, pink, and ivory.

“Darling, where did these come from?” She asks him the morning before her death, fingering the petals wistfully. It’s a sunny day and Charles has brought his textbooks with him so he might study while he keeps her company. Raven plays outside, unburdened. “They’re beautiful.”

“From the garden, mother,” He answers, closing the sixth edition of Darwin’s On the Evolution of Species he had received on his fourteenth Christmas when she reaches out for his hand, clasping his fingers tightly between her own. He can feel her bones, thin and fragile as a bird’s. “I grew them at your encouragement.”

She blinks at him, sounding happy when she speaks. “Why, I didn’t know we had a garden. You clever boy. I should like to see it when I am well again.”

Charles swallows. “Of course. Whatever you wish.”

Mother sighs, lips curving up in a slight smile as she turns her gaze upwards toward the ceiling, and for the first time in his life, Charles can see how beautiful she truly is. “Your father used to court me with roses.”

It was the first and only time Sharon Xavier spoke of her husband. They say no more, but he stays with her while the maids come and go, looking in on them under the pretense of cleaning up this and dusting that. The entire household is tense with waiting.

At dawn the next day, Charles feels her mind stirring from shallow sleep and knows that neither of them can afford to wait much longer. He slips gently into her mind and wipes away the pain in her lungs, the ache in her bones, the tiredness in her heart. He constructs a scene, one that he has taken from the photos on the wall. In it, he builds the estate as it was fifteen years ago, makes everything lush and green and brings the sun shining down on a bright blue sky. He clothes his mother in pale yellow, the color he imagines her wearing in the photograph, and puts his father next to her with his shirtsleeves rolled up to his elbows, tall and handsome with a laughing mouth. He lets her memory do the rest.

They walk down the roadway together arm in arm, Charles alongside them unseen, chattering about this and that with the pure exuberance of newlyweds. When they reach the front door, his mother stops and faces his father, a tender expression she has long forgotten in the waking world on her face. Slowly, she takes his hand and places it on her stomach, cheeks flushing with happiness as she watches his eyes for the question, the sudden burst of revelation, and the subsequent elation.

“Do you know what it is yet?” He whispers, voice tight with so much emotion, and she shakes her head, biting her lip shyly and for a moment, looking just like a girl in love.

“No, it’s too soon. But I hope—well, I’ve always wanted a son.”

Everything dissolves into light.

When Charles opens his eyes again, his mother is still, that last same, soft expression smoothing her brow into the radiant youthfulness of the past. Gently, he removes his two fingers from where they press against his temple and places them on her wrist. Her skin is cool.

For once, everything is quiet and no one comes in—Charles is sure they must all know by now. He sits, immobile, until the day begins to dim (in the deep recesses of his mind, it occurs to him that this is the longest they’ve ever spent together, and he shakes it away—there is no point in dwelling now), and then he wipes the last of his tears with the back of his hand before calling for the doctor and Sylvia.

Raven waits for him outside the door along with all the household staff, but no one offers their condolences. No one says anything and for a moment, he thinks that it’s out of respect before he realizes that they are looking to him for direction. He is the master of the Westchester estate now.

One day, perhaps, but not now. Charles Xavier is sixteen years old, his mother has just died, and he has a sister to take care of. He has telepathic powers that he cannot explain and an invitation to the greatest university in the world. He thinks, fleetingly of his roses, blooming more beautifully this year than ever before, but they cannot be the only thing to root him to Westchester.

He holds his hand out to Raven. “To Oxford, then?” She asks.

Charles takes a deep, shuddering breath. “To Oxford.”


His first girlfriend is a literature student he meets when they both reach for the same copy of Taken At The Flood for the same reason—sometimes the brain needs Agatha Christie to recover from Milton and Conrad, Mendel and Auerbach. He doesn’t remember much about her—that she had nut brown hair and serious eyes and that she didn’t taste like anything when they kissed—but he does remember that she liked roses.

He bought them for her on occasion, but he never took particular pleasure in their beauty; compared to the roses he left at Westchester, they always seemed too red, too perfect, too fake.


They don’t return to Westchester until 1962. The house looks still nearly the same as they drive up the old gravel pathway, though it just may be Charles’ memory filling in the gaps. His attachment to Westchester is little more than cursory—it’s never exactly been the definition of home to him.

The children ooh and ahh and Erik makes a comment that Charles turns aside with an abashed smile. Compared to the pop art and futuristic sensibilities of the sixties, there is something antiquarian and…Austenesque about brick and marble where the rest of America has fully embraced plastic and chrome. It’s certainly a world away from the destroyed CIA facility they left behind in Virginia.

Still, he hopes that everyone will be comfortable here (“When my options are this or prison? Are you nuts?” Alex asks before chasing Sean upstairs to claim the biggest bedroom and Charles has to admit that he has a point). No one asks about the people in the photos still hanging on the wall (though he can tell that they all want to) and Charles offers no explanation other than a small smile and a vaguely dismissive hand gesture. His mother left no lingering presence and Sylvia and all the others have long-since gone their own way—it’s just an empty old manor house now, but perhaps, for the first time, he thinks that he could make it into a real home for them.


“Raven told me I would find you here.”

Charles looks up from where he is crouched, turning over soil with a spade, squinting as Erik’s silhouette fills his line of vision. He can feel a tinge of amusement radiating off of him at the sight of his gloves and large straw hat, but really it was the only one he could find in the house on short notice and after years of more rain than not, he’s found he’s become slightly less tolerant of the sun. He can already see freckles appearing on his forearms where he’s rolled his sleeves up and expects there to be a smattering across his nose by the end of the day. Raven says they make him look like he is twelve years old again and he rubs self-consciously at the tip.

A manuscript sits on his jacket, but it’s never been opened and Charles can’t pretend that it was more than an excuse to come out here to spend some time by himself. The truth is that Westchester is, once again, worlds away from Oxford and the CIA. When he and Raven first made the trip across the proverbial pond, it had taken him a few weeks to become accustomed to the constant overwhelming torrent of thoughts coming from every direction after years of near isolation. In time, he learned to push them back until they became just a quiet buzzing in the back of his mind, to focus on just one mind at a time when he needed to.

Here, it’s different—he has five other voices that ring clear and crisp in his head, a heady mix of excitement and anxiety, attraction and frustration, the same emotions he can pinpoint having felt at their strongest and purest in his own younger years. Charles isn’t an empath, but thoughts are usually attached to more primal emotions and when singular enough, they transmit into his mind just as clearly as words. The garden is far enough away from the manor that the majority of thoughts don’t reach him and after a long day of dodging Alex’s blasts or racing Hank around the grounds, digging his hands into the earth is just as calming as an afternoon nap or a tumbler of scotch.

“The groundskeeper didn’t do as good a job as I thought he did.” He offers by way of explanation, and it’s true. All of his bushes are alive, which is heartening, but they haven’t been properly trimmed in what he recognizes as years and some of the brambles have tangled together. It’s the work of more than a day, so he will finish revitalizing the soil today and work on trimming tomorrow. Some of the bushes have already started to bloom so with any luck and careful attention, he could have the entire garden returned to its former glory in as little as two weeks.

“I never took you for the gardening type.” Erik crouches down beside him, resting on his heels and using a hand to shield his eyes from the sun. Charles smiles, shrugging a shoulder as he moves onto the soil around the next bush.

“Neither did I, but I’ve grown to like it. It’s…honest work.”

“Your science isn’t honest?”

“No, of course it is, but what I study is our genetic make-up, the basest form of what makes us who we are—biologically speaking, anyway. The physical difference is so small, Erik—did you know that all it takes is a single allele to draw the line between human and mutant? Of course, it’s often more than that, much more complex, but that’s really where it all stems from. A single piece of DNA. From a human perspective, it can appear daunting, but in the garden, it just feels…simpler, so much clearer. Roses will only ever be roses—we can ascribe them meaning based on their color and value from cultivating the biggest and most beautiful flowers, but roses don’t care if they are red and their neighbors are yellow, do they? Not like us. Their mutations don’t matter—they’re all just trying to survive and grow. That’s what makes them so beautiful.”

Erik says nothing, reaching out to the bush and Charles panics for a moment, thinking he means to pluck a flower from it (you must never pull flowers straight from the branch, only clip them–the violence of the break often destroys the chance for the shoot to regrow), but all he does is pull off a yellowing leaf that Charles missed, letting it flutter to the ground between them.

“And what of thorns?”

“What of them?”

“They mar your roses’ perfect beauty; you mean them no harm, but they don’t understand that—they’ll still hurt you if you’re not careful.”

On impulse, Charles deftly clips one of the pink roses off the bush and tucks it behind Erik’s ear, like he used to do for Raven when they were children. Erik looks startled, putting his hand to his ear as if he wants to pull the flower out and Charles suddenly wonders if he has just acted quite foolishly.

“The thorns aren’t ugly,” He forces himself to continue, a little more vehemently than he intended. “Roses grow them for protection, so that they might survive and we might enjoy their beauty longer. We must be able to accept all things for what they are—a rose would not be a rose without its thorns. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, my friend.”

Erik doesn’t remove the rose, just pats around the edge of the petals with curious fingers before letting his hand drop to his side again. “We all have our thorns, Charles. Some are just easier to see than others. Some are easier to hide than others. Do you truly accept all things for what they are?” He asks quietly.

“Are you speaking about yourself? Because you already know the answer to that, Erik; I’ve always accepted every part of you—”

“I didn’t mean myself,” Erik cuts him off, straightening in a single fluid motion that makes Charles feel like a bumbling fool in comparison. He stretches before slipping Charles a smile, the one that Sean says gives him the jeebies because no one should have that many teeth but Charles secretly likes because it’s more genuine than any of the furtive grins or sly smirks Erik allows to pass through his stoicism most of the time. “But thank you for your vote of confidence.”

“You’re welcome, but I must admit I still don’t quite understand what you’re asking.”

Erik shakes his head, willfully ignores Charles’ confusion. “I’ll see you in time for dinner, I assume.”

Charles squints again, tilting his hat up to try and get a better read on Erik’s expression since he already promised him his privacy of mind, but he is already walking back towards the house, hands tucked into his trouser pockets and, inexplicably, humming. Charles sighs, turning back to his garden. Every time he thinks he’s built a solid foundation of the world, Erik always finds a way to tilt it on its axis. It’s not what he’s used to, but it’s not a bad way to live, either.

Raven comes to find him a little later, nudging his back with the toe of her boot as he finishes patting down the soil around the last bush. “Hey,” She says, and he turns to see her with her arms folded with a smile like she’s a cat who’s just caught her favorite canary. “I saw Erik on his way to train with Sean.”

“Did you?” Charles pulls off his gloves and dusts himself off, picking up his bucket of gardening supplies as they walk back together.

“He looked…rosier than usual.” She continues quickly as Charles opens his mouth, ready to announce his indignation. “It’s a good look for him. Though, I have to question your choice in pink; I didn’t think you were going for the slow courtship with this one—Charles, Charles, I was just kidding—” She breaks off with a laughing shriek and leaps out of the way as he tries to brain her with his hat.


You become responsible forever for what you have tamed.

Charles startles to see Erik in the doorway, arms crossed and watching the fire with pensive eyes. Completely engrossed in the findings from Cerebro they managed to rescue from the ruins of the facility, he had not even felt the presence of Erik coming up the stairs. He wonders how long he’s been standing there. “Pardon?”

“Nothing,” He mutters, shaking his head and giving Charles a peculiarly soft one-sided smile as the thought clears out of his head. “Just something I read in a book once.”

It’s not so often that Charles doesn’t recognize the book being referenced, but then again, Erik’s education has been so very different from his own. “I’m afraid I’m unfamiliar.”

“You needn’t worry—it was a children’s story.” Charles smiles back, slightly uncertain, until Erik uncrosses his arms. There’s some measure of finality to the movement. “Good night, Charles.”

“Good night, Erik.”

He watches Erik go, the broad planes of his wool-clothed back swallowed by the dark hall. He settles back in his chair, prepared to finish another section before succumbing to bed, before he catches one last stray thought, ringing clearly from Erik’s mind.

--but at the end of it, which one of us shall have tamed the other?

▩ ALL THE THANKS IN THE WORLDDDDD to harbor who is my favorite enabler where XM:FC is concerned and looked through it for me once I finished, so all mistakes that remain are my own.
FC canon mentions neither Kurt nor Cain so they just...don't exist in this universe. I STAND CORRECTED. They still don't exist in this universe. Charles' life is hard enough without them. >:T
▩ In my mind, Charles is Candide and Erik is the Little Prince. If you needed a French literary reference comparison, which I don't think you do, but considering how this entire fic is basically an obnoxious extended metaphor, why not take it all the way?
▩Working titles include "A Rose For Erik," "I Never Promised Erik A Rose Garden," and "A Rose By Any Other Name Would Still Smell Like Erik."
▩ Thank you for dropping by! ♥
fatal_drum: charlesfatal_drum on August 5th, 2011 01:51 pm (UTC)
Sharon's death scene was heartbreaking, from her request to see the rose garden when she is well to the staff looking at Charles for direction when he must be utterly lost. You've painted a very vivid picture of a brilliant child raising himself, and it's absolutely tragic.

I don't think that movie would have been any gayer if Charles had tucked pink roses behind Erik's ear.
my hat is deep & full of magic.chezvous on August 6th, 2011 01:03 am (UTC)
Thank you so very much; that scene was definitely my favorite to write. ♥

It's true, but at least it would have been pretty. I CAN STILL HOLD OUT FOR DELETED SCENES.