Cherik + 43 please? :)
BUT OF COURSE!!
[to the tune of “Fathoms Below” from the Little Mermaid] EONS AGOOOOOOOOO I posted this fic meme, but then had work exhaustion and was mentally tired for ages, SOOOOO much belatedly I present you with….
43. “Why are you/we whispering?”
Kid!Cherik AU. They’re about first grade here.
“Why are we whispering?” Charles whispered.
“Because the teacher could come back at any minute,” said Erik, face set and gray-blue eyes blazing, just like the men on the covers of the adventure books Charles liked nanny to read to him before bed.
Miss Elroy was in the teacher’s lounge, flipping through a People magazine and absentmindedly waffling back and forth between getting a pedicure the next day, but Charles said, “Okay,” because Erik hadn’t asked where Miss Elroy was, and Charles didn’t tattle.
Not much, anyway.
Well, he was trying to be good, even if sometimes his words got out of his mouth before his brain could stop them.
“Come on,” whispered Erik finally, after ages had passed and he decided it was safe to open the storage room door and sneak back out into the classroom.
“Did you see where she stashed them?” he whispered to Charles as they tip-toed, hand-in-hand, through the classroom, gray and full of muted colors with the overhead lights off. It made Charles’s nerves jump.
“Yes,” he whispered back, having plucked the action from Miss Elroy’s head when she had stashed their “pop quizzes” away in her desk. He squeezed Erik’s hand. “This way.”
“How could she do that to us?” seethed Erik as they inched around lifeless desks, skirting Ororo’s purple sweater sagging on the floor from the back of her chair, and giving a wide berth to Emma’s perfectly organized desk with her sparkly gel pens all in a line. “How could she just… test us, without giving us a warning? We didn’t have time to prepare!”
“Well, she did say she wanted us to pay attention to the story,” Charles pointed out fairly. But it was a beautiful spring day, and all the children had been bored and restless and Miss Elroy had wanted them to pay attention instead of looking out the windows at the bright blue sky and playground…. Not that Charles was supposed to know that. He was trying very hard to be good and stay out of her head, but it was hard! It was so fascinating, learning stuff, and thinking about teaching it to other people….
“Where are they?” Erik asked when they reached Miss Elroy’s desk, and, hesitantly, Charles showed him, opening the bottom drawer where their responses to her reading Frog and Toad Are Friends were stashed.
Erik reached in and grabbed them with reckless hands, then - Charles gasped and covered his mouth, saying “Erik–!” - he started tearing them apart, little white pieces of paper flying around and drifting to the ground while Charles watched in horror.
“Uhhhh, aren’t you kids supposed to be at recess?”
Charles whirled around. At the door was a… it looked like a fifth grader, leaning against the doorjamb and squinting at them.
“Gonna get your teacher,” she muttered, straightening and disappearing.
Charles’s heart felt like it would burst from his chest.
“We have to run,” he said desperately, clutching at Erik’s arm. Erik seemed to be frozen, staring at the deserted doorway with huge eyes. Charles looked at the littered ground. “We’d better clean up first.”
He bent down and started grabbing at the torn pieces of papers.
“No, Charles!” Erik said, coming back to life. He grabbed Charles around the waist and started tugging him away. “We have to hide! Back to the closet!”
The pit pat pit pat of someone running down the hallway signaled the end of the adventure. Charles tried hard not to shrink back as Miss Elroy burst into the room and flicked on the lights, out of breath and alarmed.
Her frantic look changed into resigned chagrin when she spotted them.
“Erik Lehnsherr,” she sighed. “More anarchy in the classroom, hm?”
“It isn’t fair!” he shouted, fists balled by his sides. “You didn’t give us a chance to study for a test!”
“Oh for…” said Miss Elroy, massaging her forehead. “Everyone got a point just for doing it, Erik. I wasn’t going to grade you, I wanted to make you think about the story.”
A confused, slightly embarrassed look replaced Erik’s bluster.
“All right, then, each of you to a corner until recess ends,” said Miss Elroy, putting a hand on each of their backs and ushering them toward the back of the classroom. She got a stool for each of them to sit on and face the corner and Think About What They’d Done while she returned to her desk and
worked read The New York Times (not that Charles was supposed to know that).
Charles curled into a ball as best as he could on his stool and put his head in his arms in despair. Punished in the classroom! He’d never been disciplined like this before. Occasionally he got too excited talking to the others, especially Erik, and had to be told to calm down and be quiet, but this - !
Loud scraping of metal on the floor echoed through the room. Miss Elroy’s tapping on her mouse stopped and Charles peeked through his elbow. Erik was now half a foot closer to Charles. For a few seconds nothing happened, then Miss Elroy began tapping again. A few seconds more and Charles just barely managed to suppress a surprised yell as his stool jerked to side, loud across the floor, closer to Erik.
“Oh, for…” Miss Elroy muttered and everything stopped again. Eventually she sighed heavily and began typing, clearly ignoring them as Erik, sweating and face scrunched in concentration, used his power to pull them close enough to each other they could lean over and whisper together, hands entangled and legs kicking against each other as they waited out the rest of their sentence.