Would you look at that? I haven’t even seen First Class, and already lonely!Charles is a kink of mine.
For my bro Nie ♥
Oh man, now I really want me some kid!fic where Charles is like 12 and is already paralyzed from the waist down and is lonely and sweet and in need of many many hugs especially from that older boy he sees from time to time with the scowl and the attitude and the many many teeth. Someone tell me this already exists.
Please someone write this!!!!
ninemoons42 writes: tell me your name, you’re lovely
Jean is pretty and kind and always, always seems to be so patient with Charles, Jean who spent a week making sure that all of Charles’s favorite books were on the lower shelves of the bookcases so that he didn’t have to ask for help in reaching them, so that he could read them whenever he wanted. She’s interesting, too, because she reads all kinds of other books, because she thinks about mathematics at an even higher level, something Charles is doing his best to catch up with, because there’s a purity and refreshing strength to reducing variables and to crunching the numbers down to something that will almost always be true.
But these days Jean is a little bit distracted, and she’s thinking about a smart white suit and about threading flowers into her hair. Charles can’t really complain; she’s asked him to be one of the witnesses for when she gets married, even if he’s underage and won’t be allowed to sign the contract - it’s enough that she believes it’s important that he be there, to the point where he’s keeping the invitation engraved with his name on his bedside table.
So today she has just enough time to wheel him out onto the sidewalk and to give her usual advice - take care, be safe, don’t forget to be good - and then she’s going back to the house and he’s alone out here, with his battered shark for company. A stuffed toy that had been given to him as a farewell gift, and Charles is thankful that Steve had prevented Tony from doing anything weird to it, because as much as he would have laughed at receiving a stuffed toy that could talk and probably attempt to take over the world all the while attempting to imitate Charles’s own Oxford accent, sometimes it’s just better to have a quiet toothy grin and little black bead-eyes and seams that have been stitched back together over and over again, with the kind of meticulousness that only Margaret or Pepper could have.
Charles squeezes the shark, once, and he simply lays his cheek against the top of its head, and he murmurs, “I like being out here with you, Max.”
And he gets the shock of his young life when someone answers, from behind him. “That’s - that’s my nickname, how did you know?”
Charles tries to twist around in his wheelchair, but because even that is difficult for him, he has to quickly turn around instead, tongue poking out in concentration, and by the time he resets the brakes and picks Max back up there is a tall boy standing on the sidewalk with him, with piercing eyes that seem to shift colors, blue to green to grey, and with a smile that - actually, it reminds Charles of nothing so much as his companion. “You’re a Max, too?” he asks, eventually. He clutches his shark somewhat defensively.
The other boy laughs and plops himself right down on the sidewalk, head tilted curiously at Charles. “That’s what my mother calls me. But that’s not my name.”
The boy takes his hand and goodness, his skin is warm, like he’s got the sun in him, on an overcast day like this. “Pleased to meet you. You can call me Max, too, but my name is Erik.”
“Hello, Erik,” Charles says, and he takes one of Max’s fins and shakes it at the other boy, who grins and shakes Max’s fin as well. “You’re new around here?”
“Yes, Mamma and I just moved here yesterday. We live just around the corner. Would you like to come and visit? I think she’s making lunch.”
“No, I - I have to stay, because my nurse is busy airing out the house, and I can’t really go far without her.” Charles blushes and looks away, but he can still catch Erik’s expressions out of the corner of his eye and - he looks concerned. No pity in those odd eyes. “I’d like to, though.”
“Yeah,” Erik says. And then - he smiles again, lots of teeth, and there are lines in his face when he smiles. “What if I brought you something? Will your nurse mind? Mamma always makes enough food to feed an army.”
“Gut,” Erik says, and he gets up so he’s on his knees like it’s the most natural thing in the world for him to look everyone in the eyes, even Charles, who is already short and is also in a wheelchair. “You stay right there, and I’ll be right back.”
And then he does a strange thing - he leans forward and gathers Charles close, squishing Max between their bodies, and Charles almost drops the shark in an attempt to hug back, and Erik smells like salt and leaves and sun.
When Erik gets up, Charles almost cries at the loss of contact.
“You’re nice to hug,” Erik laughs. “We can do that again when I come back?”
“Yes, please,” Charles whispers, and he can hardly count the breaths, the seconds, till his new friend returns.