Some days I want to look like a hipster kid, and then other days I want to be prim and proper. I really wish I had, like, seven lives so I could go from being a hipster one day to a punk the next. But that’s the great thing about fashion. In a way, it’s like acting, because you can try on all these different roles.
Ritual, an essay on food preparation, routines, and flatmates by Sophie.
And yet there is a thing 3. The process of mixing the oats and the seeds and the yoghurt every evening to start again the next day is some kind of weird, sweet therapy. It is the moment when we look at each other with a mutual confidence – we can find the serenity needed to keep going through the next working day because we’ll have had a solid breakfast. We can keep going.
Our ambivalence for this evening custom is rooted in a deep contempt for the humdrum and a heartfelt willingness to avoid being a disillusioned twenty-something. Cynicism is easy. Getting up at 5:30 and embracing the tupperware is not. The ritual of the preparation every evening offers harmony and comfort. We manage to find some semblance of order in our otherwise chaotic days. And the oats get super creamy.
It startles him out of his sleep.
An incessant voice is yelling in his head. A very familiar, well loved voice. He stuffs a pillow over his face and groans. CHARLES CHARLES CHARLES.
Downstairs he hears more of the yelling. The voice in his head doubles in volume and he resigns himself to answering its unrelenting call.
Erik be a dear and leave me alone
Yes it is indeed Charles. Now do us all a favor and stop your clamoring.
COME DOWN HERE AT ONCE I NEED TO SEE YOU
You can see me in the morning, Erik.
IT'S AN EMERGENCY
Oh alright but only if you cease your caterwauling.
The yelling cuts out at once. Charles smirks and awards himself a pat on the back. Well done, Xavier.
By the time he gets downstairs the whole house has woken up and they don’t seem terribly pleased with him. He waves aside their annoyance and sends them back to bed. They’ll have no memory of Erik’s nighttime visit. They never do.
The sight that greets him when he gets to his doorstep should be discomforting but it’s not. Hes always happy to see Erik. Even now.
Erik is sprawled out on the steps of the school elegantly. He does everything elegantly damn him. His hair is tousled and his leather jacket is tied around his waist. His eyes are closed and at rest he has the look of what Charles would call peace on anyone else. Content perhaps.
As if summoned by his presence, Erik’s eyes open up. He smiles warmly at Charles.
“Hello old friend.” He stands up and moves closer to Charles but wavers a few inches away from the door as if unsure of his welcome. “Its been a long time.”
“Not long enough. Care to explain yourself?”
Erik smiles broadly and its all teeth. Charles shivers and attributes it to the cold night air. Nothing more.
“Aren’t you happy to see me?”
He rolls his eyes. “Bloody thrilled. Now would you care to explain why you are on my doorstep at 3 in the morning?”
Erik shifts guilty. “I was in the neighborhood.”
He refuses to dignify that blatant lie with a response and instead cracks open the door a little further. Erik tenses. It’s awful cold out and that flimsy jacket doesn’t seem to be doing anything for him. He could get pneumonia right out there on Charles’ doorstep.
“Well, I suppose you might as well come in.”
They settle down in the library with two glasses of brandy to warm them up. The chessboard has been set aside and he takes the opportunity to study his friend closer. Erik looks worn and ill at ease.
“Out with it.”
“Whatever harebrained scheme you’ve gotten yourself into this week you might as well tell me now.”
Erik frowns petulantly.
“The Brotherhood’s mission is not a harebrained scheme, Charles.”
“I’m sorry would you prefer ill advised venture? Diabolical plan? Forgive me if I’m not up to date on the current slang.”
“That’s not what I came here to talk to you about.”
He nods sagely and sips from his drink. “Ah yes, your ever so vaguely worded emergency. Do share.”
He’s not overly concerned. If it were truly dangerous he would know. Erik is merely radiating discomfort and distress not apocalyptic nightmare levels of stress. Which is a departure from their modus operandi come to think of it.
Erik shifts in his seat. “It’s difficult to explain.”
“Facts first, explanations later.”
“It’s the facts themselves that are difficult to explain. They’re so…. fantastic.”
“I think you’ll find that running a school for highly gifted young mutants leaves me somewhat immune to what most would consider fantastic.”
This startles a laugh out of Erik. “Yes, I suppose you’re right.”
“As usual. Now, start at the beginning.”
Erik raises an eyebrow but moves on.
“A new mutant arrived at the Brotherhood this week, a young woman by the name of Clara. Her mutation involves the manipulation of inhibitions- quite simply she removes it. Whatever you desire most that’s what you’ll do.”
“How extraordinary, why it sounds almost like a direct line to the Id surpassing the superego entirely and unleashing one’s most basic instincts.”
“Exactly. And a dangerous ability placed in the wrong hands. She has very little control of her mutation and earlier this evening I was…affected.”
He sets down his drink with shaking hands. “Erik, what did you do?”
Erik’s eyes cut into him. “Nothing. Yet.”
“So you are afraid of what you are going to do?”
Erik’s voice trembles. “Yes.”
“Do you…do you want to harm someone? Do you want to harm yourself?” Its a scene from one of his nightmares. Erik’s penchant for self destruction warped until he’s bleeding, until he’s gone where Charles cannot follow him.
Erik laughs and its an ugly, bitter thing.
“No, nothing like that. Its Charles….I need-” He cuts himself off brutally, clearly disgusted with his own weakness.
He reaches for Erik’s hands and holds them in his own though he’s still shaking. “Whatever it is that you want Erik, whatever it is that you need I can help you. Let me help you.
Erik pulls away from him harshly.
“You can’t be saying that, you you don’t know what you’re saying if you knew-”
Charles pulls him back down into the armchair and takes his hands once more.
“There is nothing you can ask of me that I would not happily give you. Surely you must know this, surely you must know that I-”
Erik looks up with desperate, wild hope in his eyes.
He reaches out and runs a hand across Erik’s cheek. Erik shudders and his eyes flutter closed.
He traces reverently across Erik’s skin until he reaches his temple. Charles summons up all the devotion, frustration, worry and love he has for Erik and pushes it at him, lets it wash over him.
The thing is that Millian informs Captain Swan. Like without Millian Captain Swan is completely different. Because Hook doesn’t learn how to be an amazing half of an equal partnership, he doesn’t lose his love, he doesn’t go down the path of hundreds of years of violence and revenge, he probably never even meets Emma but just becomes a footnote in history that she will never read because she didn’t grow up in the LWM. So loving Millian is an extension of my love of Killian Jones and Captain Swan!
SO really if I choose Captain Swan I am kind of also choosing Millian too!