Drifting Towards Infinity

Author: Writegirl

Publication Date: Wednesday, January 01, 2003
Rating: PG

Title: Drifting Towards Infinity

Disclaimer: They aren't mine, so no suing, please!
Okay guys, WARNING: I'm trying to get over writers block, so don't hate me if this sucks.

I didn't believe it when I saw him, when I first realized the truth. After months of acclimating myself to the new Erik, who chose to call himself Joseph, I was struck with another shock.

When he first arrived, young again, without the pain and the hardship that had marred his life I felt peace for the first time in a long time, thinking that, perhaps, what I had done was for the best. That somehow, my anger actually helped. I was distraught after what happened, mindwiping the one person that knew me better than I knew myself. Jean berated me for my anger, but nothing she said or did could have measured up to the trials I put myself through. I rethought those final moments, again and again, trying to discover if there was another way to end it, to keep him from hurting those I loved again.

The natural answer was that I could have simply controlled him, forced him to stop, without removing his memories, his very soul, and leaving him a mindless husk of a man. But then, that never worked. For years we had been fighting, and my attempts at leniency, at control, only ended with more people dying than were necessary. He always laughed at my efforts, telling me that in the end he would win, because he was ruthless, capable of acts that I would have shunned from.

If only he knew the truth.

There were times in which I thought a knife in the back would be the best method to stop him, those times when he appeared for all intents and purposes to no longer be hell bent on mutant domination. I could have stopped him a thousand times when he wasn't on the brink of world destruction, when I could feel his mind, a small glimmer in my heart, over the great distances that separated us. A heart attack would have killed him just as soon as it could another man, something natural that only a talented psi could have detected. A small push is all it would have taken, a nudge, and he would have collapsed in Budapest, Glasgow, or wherever he was at the time, to trouble the world no more.

But I couldn't do that, not Charles the stoic, not the paragon of control and the good effort, not the man who fought fair even when he felt his opponent about the knife him in his sleep. Not Charles. Not the man who had spent the better part of his life hiding a love that Shakespeare couldn't have written better, both for its intensity and for its tragedy.

In all honesty, I never thought I could hurt him, not truly. In all the times we faced off we both survived, bearing scars, surely, but little else. And there is so much more he could have done. I have seen him use his powers in ways that made my stomach turn, and the restraint that he showed in battle always surprised me. There were times when I had nightmares of him solidifying the iron in the blood of my students, my children, in battle. Of causing massive strokes my increasing their blood flow, of them simply exploding, the trace iron and other metals in their bodies turning against them. No healing factor, no telepathy, no agility, could have protected them from his true wrath. I think that they knew this, that if he fought outside what he felt was acceptable, that none of them would survive.

And neither would I.

I digress. When I first began the idea of keeping a journal, I thought of how juvenile it was, and I was afraid, afraid that someone might find it, read it. Even though that is an impossibility in this house- they all treat my privacy with the same reverence that I do- the fear was there. This entry was supposed to be about my failures, my interpretation of them at any rate. Then again, I always considered him in many ways to be my greatest failure.

It had always been a question of mine whether or not it was truly our differing views that drove us apart, or rather drove him away. After all, there was a time when he was willing to follow my dream, even lead my students against those who he once considered allies. He thought that, in the end, he'd failed, when he perhaps taught them more about life outside the bubble that my school creates than I had.

In all our years together and apart, I asked him to follow my dream, to be apart of it rather than against it. Never in all that time can I recall him asking me to follow his. There are times, when this house is quiet and still, and there is nothing to keep me from brooding, that I wonder what I would have said if he'd asked. I tell myself that I would have refused, that his way was too violent, caused to much pain. Yet whenever I tell myself this there is something else in me that says I would have went with him willingly, if not eagerly, just to be near him.

Once again, I digress. I am supposed to be writing about what happened when I discovered that Joseph was not the man we took him to be, memory or no. That first shock of seeing Erik wearing red and purple again, of knowing that he survived, took my breath away. He was always the most beautiful when surrounded by his power, a subtle aura that clung to his skin. Even as he strained, fighting to control the magnetic pull of the earth while fighting my students, I couldn't believe it. We had always known his power, but this was something that I did not believe possible. I once called him a force of nature, something that could not be contained, or controlled, and I was right. The strain of what he did would have killed anyone else, burned them out like a double ended candle, but not him. He survived, even though it meant Joseph's death.

I felt his pain at that, though he hid it well. He never meant to kill his clone. He had seen too much death in his life without adding another corpse to the pile, but then again that was more our fault than his. If we had helped instead of hindered, Joseph might still be alive, though how our perception of him might have changed is something that I have not allowed myself to think of. None of my other students wish to think of this either. They want to blame Erik, to once again cast him in the role of a demon, and them the angels, but I know this is false. He may be many things, but a demon, he never was.

Though, perhaps in bed.

Another secret that I have kept from my family, though I believe Rogue might have some garbled idea from the brief time that she absorbed his powers. Jean suspects, I think, when my emotions boil over and small images or half thought wishes tumble out of my mind like drops of water. Neither has questioned me, though, and for that I am grateful. What do I tell them, that their enemy was my lover? Is still my beloved more than anyone, except perhaps Lilandra? Whenever I think of it visions of straitjackets dance through my mind, of being placed in a cell that resembles the one we shoved Creed into while they found a suitable psychologist.

The hour grows late, and I find I'm tired of thinking, of feeling. So, until tomorrow,

Charles Xavier.