How Far I've Come

(A/N: Hello. This one-shot takes place after XMFC and before DoFP. Enjoy.)

(EDIT 08-30-15: This work is now available on AO3, under the name of 'DoctorIdiot".)

Professor Charles Xavier sat relaxed in an armchair behind a desk in his study, typing nonsense of whatever was in his mind on the typewriter he had borrowed from Hank. The sound of his fingers tapping against the keys of the typewriter in an irregular pace filled the silent room, sending him into a semi-conscious state of mind.

As I stood up from the sand of the Cuban beach, I heard it, loud and clear even when the ringing in my ears were becoming louder. The sound of gunshots made by Moira's gun as she attempted to shoot Erik. I wondered if she was so desperate to put him down that she had forgotten that her bullets were made of metal, the exact element that Erik could manipulate.

Even without looking I knew that Erik was doing a great job at deflecting the bullets. Deflecting them, and subconsciously sending them flying towards my way. The bullets sailed through the air past me, and when the thought filled me with terror, I knew that I had to get out of the way of the deflected bullets.

And maybe I, too, was desperate to put Erik down.

But unfortunately, I was too late.

A bullet pierced a part of my lower torso, and pain was all I felt. I screamed, but I couldn't hear it. It was as if I went deaf for a second. I fell on the sand again. At that moment I regretted getting up in the first place. It did me no good.

Amongst the pain, I still heard the missiles exploding in the air. Erik had dropped them all. Then the metal-bender was there, cradling me in his arms as if I was a little child. As I look up at him, I saw the look in his eyes.

The look that I will never forget in the eyes that I will never stop missing.

Charles stopped typing as his vision blurred from the tears welling up in his eyes. He buried his face in his arms on the desk, the tears streaming down his face now. He didn't bother to wipe it away. Closing his eyes, he felt himself drifting straight towards the arms of unconsciousness from the tiredness of a previous sleepless night.


In his dream, he was in a helicopter. He wasn't surprised, he had been having this abnormal dream for almost a week, and all of them never ended so well.

As usual, in the dream, Erik was the only passenger on the helicopter aside from Charles himself. The metal-bender was frowning at him, his face contorted with concern and a bit of panic. Charles mirrored the expression, already knowing how the dream would go.

"Charles," Erik said, glancing at the seat of the pilot. "Can you check on the pilot, please?"

The professor's furrowed brow deepened. He knew exactly why he had to do it, but he didn't want to. He was about to protest but thought better of it. The dream was too strange and the eeriness of it gave him the creeps, in all honesty, but he couldn't wake himself up. He rose from his seat and walked — another strange thing in the dream — to the pilot.

When he saw the pilot, he knew that something was out of turn, just like in the previous dreams. The pilot was too still and too slack, his arms halfway about to fall from the yoke. It was only when Charles took a closer look at the pilot did he realize that the pilot was shot dead. Blood was soaking a big patch of red on the white uniform.

The helicopter, which was previously swaying gently left to right, seemed to plummet down towards the Earth at the moment of his discovery.

"Erik?" Charles called out for the older man, terrified beyond imagine. In a sense, he still remembered that he was dreaming, but it felt so ridiculously real. Then, Erik was beside him, pulling him to the open door of the helicopter. The metal-bender pulled Charles close to his body with one arm, while the other held a rod tightly to secure them both.

"We're going to fall into a canyon!" the older man shouted against the sound of the still-propelling rotor of the helicopter. Charles nearly laughed at the overly obvious statement, as the mouth of deep pit was probably all they could see. Erik glanced at Charles for a second before continuing. "There's no parachutes in this thing. We have to jump without it. I'll use my powers to slow us down right before this helicopter drops into the canyon. On my count, we jump out of this thing. Ready?"

Charles gulped nervously and nodded. He didn't bother to ask Erik why he couldn't just lift the entire helicopter and land them safely. He had asked the metal-bender that the last time he dreamt of this scene. The metal-bender had frowned at Charles, stating that he couldn't lift the entire thing up and just drop it safely. It was just another strange fact in the dream. The question that was asked, however, made Erik missed his count.

Suffice to say that the dream ended differently than the others, as in that they had both fell into the pit instead of only one of them ending up dead.

Erik's count finished and they jumped simultaneously.

But the luck was never on their side in this dream. Erik's count was too slow and the helicopter was too far from the cliff walls. Charles's heartbeat picked up pace as he found himself missing the top of the cliff. His arms flailed desperately for any handholds to hold on to. He managed to grab on to a ledge about fifteen feet down the pit. He might've not fallen, but he could've been certain that his heart had dropped all the way down into the chasm. He took a deep, shaky breath.

He looked up for any signs of Erik, hoping that the man was above him. Dread filled him when he caught no signs of the metal-bender. He closed his eyed, bracing for the worst as he opened them again to look below. Relief replaced the fear in him when he caught sight of Erik dangling from another ledge a couple of feet below him.

"Charles," Erik said, his face strained as he put all the strength he had into holding on to the tiny ledge.

"Hold on, Erik," Charles replied as he searched for a handhold that would take him down instead of up, to help Erik. He found one and soon he was low enough to reach out an arm towards Erik. "Grab my arm, Erik."

Erik did, wrapping his hand around the telepath's arm. The younger man did the same. Just after that, Erik's hand that was holding on to the ledge slipped as his strength left him. He tried to reach it again, but he just couldn't hold on to it. His life was hanging on Charles's arm.

Charles screamed as he felt his muscles burn from supporting the metal-bender's weight.

"Charles," Erik said. "Charles, look at me."

Charles did, panting as he stared longingly at those blue-gray eyes. "Erik, no," he pleaded as he knew exactly what the metal-bender was thinking. After all, he had gone through this dream for more than once. "No, no, no, please, no."

"Charles, I'm sorry," Erik said, smiling sadly at his friend. "Let go of me, Charles."


"I'm sorry for all those things that I had cost you. Goodbye, Charles."

Charles was on the point of choking back a sob now. His heart broke into a million of tiny shards that cut him, as they were so sharp. "No, Erik, please don't let go."

But Erik squeezed his arm, sending warmth of comfort spreading though him and he slipped. Charles now held not the older man's arm, but his hand. He gripped onto Erik's calloused hand, not willing to let go even as he felt like his arm was about to get torn out of it's sockets soon. Fate did not let him lead the moment, and Erik slipped again.

And he fell, like an angel who had lost his wings.


The telepath opened his eyes slowly, feeling his cheeks dampened by tears from the prior dream. As the dream seemed to replay endlessly in his head, a knock sounded on the study's door. He lifted his head from the desk, rubbing away the moisture on his face and smoothing the crinkles on his clothes. His gaze landed on the paper on the typewriter. He took it, crumpling the paper before throwing in the dustbin.

The knock came again.

He cleared his throat, and called out, "Come in."

Just like what he expected, Hank opened the door and walked in with a tray of food in his hands. "Hello, Hank," the professor greeted in what he hoped to be a cheerful tone. He internally cringed at how fake it sounded. Hank returned the greeting in an unhappy mumble and set the tray on the professor's desk. "Thank you, Hank." Charles eyed the meal, knowing that he couldn't finish it. After Erik left, eating became hard for him. But the telepath promised himself that he'd try to eat the meal given to him as dinner.

Hank pressed his lips into a thin line and gave a single nod. He turned to leave, an aura of frustration surrounding the young mutant.

Charles wondered, then, whether or not to ask the leaving genius what he had in mind, but he blurted out the question before any second thoughts. "Hank, what do dreams mean?"

Hank stopped in his tracks. "As far as I know, only a few common dreams have meanings. They can vary. Some dreams are just memories, or something alike. Or maybe the dreams have a secret message behind them, but who knows? Why do you ask, professor? Have you been having… dreams?"

"I… Yes, I have been having them."

"What are they about?"

"Nothing," Charles quickly answered.

Hank's lips curled dangerously. "It's about him, isn't it? Erik? You know, he left you. He's not the man you think he is. You have to let him go, Professor. He chose his path and he is not coming back!" Hank's voice raised and when he stopped, Charles knew from his expression that the scientist didn't mean it. Hank shook his head and left the study, slamming the door behind him.

Charles knew if he were angry, he'd be angry for nothing. Hank's words were the truth, he thought as it bounced off the walls of his mind. He stared at the tray of food in front of him and pushed it away, his promise forgotten and his appetite gone.


The next time Charles awoke it was already dark in the study and he noted quickly that it was nighttime. He sighed softly, staring at the untouched meal on his desk.

"You're not eating," a very familiar voice spoke from the shadows. The telepath jumped, not sure if he was startled at the sudden presence or who the presence was.

"Yeah, well," was all he managed to reply. He curiously stared at the silhouette hidden in the shadows of the study. He felt his heartbeat beat faster. It couldn't be. He switched on the table lamp just to be sure of it.

His eyes weren't deceiving him, were they? Standing in front of his desk was no other than Erik himself. Blue-gray eyes stared at him, concern swirling like storm in them.

Charles looked away, knowing if he didn't, he might snap. Was Magneto really there? He didn't know. He wanted to connect with the metal-bender's mind, but he was afraid of what's going inside of it. He was beyond afraid that he wouldn't find what he's searching for.

"Charles," said Erik, in a tone so soft that it didn't match the metal heart in him.

The professor didn't look up. He was too busy glaring holes into his desk.

"I'm sorry."

At that, the telepath glanced up. He caught the regret in Erik's eyes. With a blink of an eye, the metal-bender vanished out of thin air. Charles closed his eyes, feeling a teardrop fell down his cheeks. Why was he surprised? He had expected that. But it didn't mean that he'd like it.


Meanwhile at the Brotherhood's hideout, in Erik's so-called 'office', the leader of the team dropped his head on his table. A soft thunk sound broke the silence.

What were you thinking? He mentally scolded himself, clenching his jaw and fists.

He scowled at the ever-present presence in the room. "Get out," he spat at the other telepath that wasn't the telepath he needed now. Even though Emma Frost had just helped him get into Charles's head, he was in no mood to put up with anymore people that night, mutant or not.

Emma arched an eyebrow, rolling her eyes and left him to wallow in his own misery.

In the journey of his life, Erik had never wished death upon himself so much as he did now. All those things he had done to Charles…

He had Emma taking them into Charles's head the exact time he was still dreaming. Erik had saw himself falling in the dream and heard Charles cry for him. He didn't understand. Why does Charles still care for him when the things that Erik did to the professor were unforgivable?

Perhaps it should've made him felt a little better of himself, but no, he felt worse. The weight of guilt on his shoulders dragged him down. When the telepath awakened from his dream, Erik wasn't sure what he was still doing there. When the telepath didn't dare meet his eyes, he was sure it was time to come back to reality, so Emma did what he told her to do.

What had hurt so much was how the picture of Charles had been glued to Erik's head. The telepath had bags under his eyes, a light stubble growing into a beard, and all in all, he looked like someone homeless.

Charles had been left thinking Erik was never actually there, and the Erik he had seen was just actually a hallucination. Erik had no doubt that it would hurt Charles more.

Erik sighed, using his mutation to carry a chess set to the two armchairs and a table near the window. Placing it neatly on the surface of the oak table, he plopped down on one chair, leaning forward to stare at the chess pieces. He moved a pawn, starting the game.

"Your move, Charles," he said to no one at all.

What Erik didn't know was that Charles was doing the same in his room in the Xavier mansion.