Erik heard the soft thump of a body hitting the sand behind him before he heard Raven's loud gasp.

He turned around and and and

Charles

His mouth was in a surprised O as two holes in his throat stained the sand with his blood and Erik ran over and held him close like he had wanted to do for weeks and Charles was making a strange gurgling noise and what was that about and, really, even though Erik's hands and arms and legs were slick and red, the wounds couldn't be too bad, but if they were it was Moira's fault, Moira's fault, Moira's fault, Moira's fault...

A voice entered the chaos.

Let... Let her be, my friend.

It was quiet at first, not at all what Erik was used to, but grew in strength until "friend" was echoing in his head like a desperate scream for help deep in an empty cavern.

What?

Erik touched his head and felt hair instead of comforting metal and realized that not all of the children had stayed away. Hank was standing a few feet to his left, helmet thrown haphazardly in the sand near his feet. It occupied Erik's thoughts for but a moment before he turned back to Charles.

Another thump sounded and there was someone gasping for breath but Erik couldn't care less because it wasn't Charles.

Charles was no longer breathing.

His eyes were wide open, moving back and forth frantically, but he wasn't breathing.

Erik's vision blurred for some reason and when he called out to Azazel his voice cracked like pubescent boy's.

He seemed to understand Erik's request before he stated it and everyone quickly grabbed whatever part of Azazel they could reach before the sand disappeared and was replaced with tar.

Erik stood as quickly as he could without jostling Charles and sprinted to where he saw the ER entrance.

The nurse inside had to take a second glance at them before what she was seeing registered and she started shouting for gurneys and doctors and transfusions and it wasn't until someone ripped Charles from his grasp and asked what his blood type was that Erik realized he was sobbing.