Author: Kat Lee
Challenge/Prompt: slashthedrabble 466: Trap(ped)
Warning(s): AU, Future Drabble
Word Count: 533
Date Written: 3 June 2018
Disclaimer: All characters within belong to Marvel Comics and Disney, not the author, and are used without permission.
He’s trapped in his own dream. The use of his legs having been restored for he no longer has need to sacrifice so much of his mind to controlling his telepathy, Charles walks amongst his family and friends alike. Even Cain is here this day, his wife and son present and smiling and laughing beside him. There is no need for jealousy or hatred between them, no need for hero versus villain roles to define them. They are once again a family as his X-Men always have been.
His students are all around them. Jean is resplendent, her red hair shining in the bright, Summer sun like fire but without any trace of the Phoenix force that once threatened all their existence. They are at peace now. She is at peace. There is no need to sacrifice themselves, neither he or her, for the betterment of man- or mutant- kind. There is no need for sacrifices.
And yet . . . Yet sacrifices have been made. He can not walk these halls without remembering the man who once travelled them with him. He can not take care of his legs without remembering the hands that once stroked them, even long after he had lost their use. He can not see his children laughing and smiling without remembering the one who had once been going to teach them alongside him. He can not even gaze upon his own brother and his family without recalling the man who was always far more of a brother to him than Cain Marko -- and far more than a brother at that.
Sacrifices have to be made. Sacrifices have always been made, all along his life. The world shifts. Life turns upside down and rightside again, and he finds himself standing at a lone grave. He stares through tears filling his blue eyes at the letters carved into the headstone and feels himself shake. His legs, his family, both blood and adopted, his whole world -- He would give it all up to have him with him just once again. He would give it all up just to see Erik’s fond smile again.
Yet it was not to be. He’d had to make a choice, and though everything seems right with the world at large now, Charles still wonders. Did he make the right choice? Was sacrificing the greatest love of his life worth all the changes he has wrought in this world? He’d had no other choice, another part of him argues for it wasn’t just his life that was affected. He’d had to make a choice between Erik and the world as it should be, between his love and his Dream which finally brought peace to the whole, wide world. Every child was affected by his sacrifice, every life touched by the loss of his love.
He hears laughter and turns again. He sees children running, Cain’s son, Scott, Jean, Hank, Bobby, Warren -- even himself, Cain, and Erik as children. The children now will grow up in a world that doesn’t hate and fear them. They will have a true chance at love. And yet, as he wakes, Charles sobs one name into his pillow with all his breaking heart, “Erik!”