1963-07-15 - Romance Ahead
Summary: Crystal seeks out Magneto to check on him after the protest in Kansas. Warning: romance ahead.
Related: None
Theme Song: None
erik crystal 

Immediately after the rescue mission, Crystal was mostly concerned with making sure that the boy was settled in at the mansion, that the summer students still in the rec room weren't panicking at what they might have seen on the television, and that no one who didn't need to had seen Lockjaw.

There were other duties after that. Schedules to see to, greasing the wheels that keep the institute running. In the back of her mind, though, was Erik's reaction to all of it. She waited for an opportune time, then went looking for him, checking each room in turn.


Its no surprise that Erik can be found in the library. Though the hour is late, there he is. Upon a table is a tall glass of beer and a plate bearing a large pretzel doused in mustard. Upon his lap? The collected works of Milton.

A pipe rests between his teeth, packed full of juicy sweet tobacco. He's not a smoker, per say; but every so often he does enjoy a good pipe.

When the library door opens, Erik's eyes rise. He looks across the room toward Crystal, and his eyebrows rise upward. Not quite knowing what to say, he removes the pipe from his mouth and rests it upon the table, marking his place before closing the old tome.

"Good evening, Crystal."


Whatever Crystal was expecting, it clearly wasn't this particular tableau. When she walks in, she blinks, unable to stop a flicker of amusement from crossing her features. "You look like you need nothing more than a caption to be some sort of political cartoon," she laughs softly, stepping inside and closing the door behind herself.

"Which is somewhat encouraging, honestly." She settles into one corner of the couch, fluffing the pillow until it sits just so behind her back. "I wanted to check on you, after…Well. Everything."


"I think I'd be much more suited to star in my own comic book," Erik answers with glib sarcasm. He rises once she's sat, leaving the book on his chair and joining her on the other end of the couch.

Lips become pressed into a thin line at Crystal's expression of concern. "I remain uncertain whether such a display of raw power was a mistake or not," he answers, with a tone of raw admittance. "I suspect there are some, Charles included, who believe it may have been a mistake. Unfortunately, such answers are, I'm afraid, far beyond any of us."

Erik's brow furrows then. He can't help but feel, at least for a moment, as if he were becoming a patient on this couch.


"Well, when you star with Captain America, I will be certain to pick up a copy," Crystal smiles crookedly over at him, though the expression softens as he settles onto the couch. Patient, perhaps, but at least she can do nothing more than talk and listen.

"It was understandable, at least," she allows. "I for one didn't realize that Charles could hold that many people at a standstill from that far away, and if he hadn't, then it would have been necessary to…at least make certain that we were protected. There were other options as well, but…" She trails off, shrugging one shoulder. "I had the sense that such missions haven't exactly been common."


That crooked smile. There's something about it that Erik can't quite place, something that doesn't quite fit with her appearance or ability. Not a bad thing, just unexpected.

Still, the conversation turns serious. "No, they haven't been," he admits. "Havok is admirable in what he's trying to do. I question whether Charles is behind it, but, I suppose that's between Charles and I." He shakes his head. "I fear we don't know yet how far is too far, nor that we don't know how to be effective in… situations like that."


"Then you'll learn." Crystal leans forward, reaching out to set a hand over his. "Erik,that situation was far from ideal. But when it came to it, you made the important choice. You chose bringing that boy to a safe place over giving in to anger. Not everyone can do that."

She tucks a piece of hair behind her ear, glancing away as she chooses her words. "Your lives, the way things are here…It's hard. You're born with these abilities, or you come into them with no warning, in a world where there are no or few people to guide you through it. No place but the one you make for yourselves. No one expects you to know how to handle all of it."


Erik looks down at the hand upon his for a moment, before turning his over to hold Crystal's more naturally.

"That boy's safety was more important than anything," he agrees. "You're right. I was angry. It was-" Without warning, Erik's words cut off. He looks at Crystal, suddenly guarded for a moment, but it comes and goes in a flash. "We must learn how to handle it," he argues. "These students in these halls? They can't afford for us to take our time figuring it out." There is a sense of urgency in his tone, and he finds himself grasping her hand just a bit tighter.


"Charles is taking steps with Alex," Crystal points out, her hand fitting into his with a reassuring pressure. "It's a start. I'm willing to help, for what it's worth. It's just…" Catching his pause, she slides a little closer on the couch, leaning her shoulder against the back and tucking one leg beneath herself.

"It's hard for you. So much harder than it is for us. In Attilan, the mists are a gift, something bestowed - usually - only after a great deal of testing, training, and preparation. And even then, when the new Inhumans emerge, they're met by a society of people who know what they've gone through, who respect and revere it, who know how to help them and admire them for what they've become."

She shakes her head. "We can do that; we're one city that's been isolated for centuries, and we control the change. Out here, in the world? With mutations that arise seemingly at random? It isn't an option. But Cerebro, this place? They are poised to try."


The movement isn't lost on Magneto; thought of Alex has him considering the young man's moniker of himself. Erik watches with a sort of rapt curiosity, unspoken questions that are soon enough answered, at least in part.

"Chosen," he echoes. "Not random." Blue eyes provide a piercing gaze, as he quietly wonders just what preparations Crystal must have gone through in order to be blessed with such a gift. It would explain some of the unspoken questions that otherwise go unanswered.

"The free world is both a blessing and a curse," he says. "The same holds true with societies that did not hold such freedom. Absolute power corrupts, absolutely. Absolute freedom? Dangerous, but for different reasons." He sighs deeply, and looks down to the woman's hand, considering it for a momentary silence. "In some ways, Crystal, I would wish that I knew what it was like to come up in your world. The world I was brought up in was…"

A shadow falls upon him then; a shadow that might only be understood by another who might have gone through such terrors as Auschwitz. The silence lingers, and Erik finds himself moving his fingers, seeking to entwine them with hers, for comfort. Even though he doesn't quite realize that it's comfort he seeks.

"… quite different."


"Mostly," Crystal smiles crookedly at the chosen part. "Royal family is a bit different. Which…isn't always a blessing, either. My cousin, for example. He was exposed before he was even born. And then his powers…" She glances away, an odd mix of sympathy and affection in her features. "There is such a thing as too much power, I think."

As he goes quiet, she tightens her grip just a bit, thumb brushing against the back of his hand in a soothing gesture. "You would like Attilan, I think," she says softly. "Strength. Order. Grandness. Purpose."


"Of course there is," Erik agrees. After all, he'd just made a point about absolute power. A sort of empathy passes over his face.

All in all, he's grateful that she chose not to ask elaboration of him. There's no way to be certain just what she knows of humanity's history without asking, and this is something he does not wish to ask. Not at this moment. Rather, the way she speaks of Attilan has his eyebrows rising, his posture straightening just so; a lean that suggests Crystal's assumption is correct.

"Are outsiders even granted passage there?" he asks, doing little to conceal the hope in his voice.


"Not generally. But to be fair, neither are we at the moment," Crystal points out with a sad smile. "Politics. My family are in exile right now." Right now, she says. As though she refuses to accept that it could possibly be anything other than temporary.

She knows the history of Europe. She's spent the better part of the last decade traveling through it, searching for her sister and trying to stay clear of trouble. She knows enough not to ask about the numbers his arm. And she knows enough to know when to share something distracting.

Still holding his hand, she starts to explain, though she uses both hands in illustration. "My cousin Blackagar was born with great power," she begins as if telling a fairy tale. "His first cries shook the city itself. His power was in his barest whisper, so he was confined to a sound-proofed chamber and provided with a suit rather like Alex's to help him harness the power. There he stayed, visited only by family, until his nineteenth birthday. My sister - his betrothed - visited him often. So often that they came to understand each other as if they shared one mind."

"His brother Maximus, though, was envious of his place and his power. Before Blackagar was released, Maximus even tried to force him to lose control, hoping to claim the throne. He failed, but soon after was caught bargaining with an enemy. Blackagar managed to stop the enemy from escaping, but the city was damaged in the process and his parents were killed. He became king then, butMaximus didn't give up. Again, he tried to seize the throne, but this time he succeeded. My sister disappeared in the battle, and we were exiled. We've been searching for her ever since. Blackagar won't even try to go back without her."


Perceptive as he is, Erik picks up on that slight of hand in Crystal's voice. Similarly, he says nothing of it, perhaps out of appreciation for her not bringing up the numbers on his arm.

The tale as it's told seems grander than it may be to Crystal, who experienced it in all of its rawness, it's nearness. To Erik, it is much like a fairy tale. Perhaps his escape from Auschwitz before its liberation might strike her in a similar fashion, but he dare not speak of what took place within those walls. The old Deutschemark in his pocket may burn like fire, but he does not show it. To anyone.

"I believe," he finally speaks, while winding his fingers in an effort to hold her hand closer still. "… that I now have come to understand you. At least, to some degree." He pauses for a moment, teeth biting his lower lip for a moment, eyes glancing down before rising again to seek contact. "I now understand why you wish to help us in such a manner. Because, until you find your sister… your home is a foreign place. At least, here, you can make a difference." His eyes glance back and forth, and Erik finds that the back of his neck is growing warmer. "It is foolish, and perhaps terrible to speak, but in some ways… I hope you don't find her." A brief pause. "Sometimes, Crystal, it is better not to reopen old wounds."


"Medusa was raised to be a queen," Crystal smiles ruefully. "Even more than most in her position, because she would have to be Blackagar's voice. I was much luckier." She sets her free hand over his as well, the skin warm. "I was free to be a connection to our people without the burdens of responsibility. I miss it, desperately," she confides, voice low.

"Here, for the first time in years, I've been able to do that again. To truly connect with people. We've been running for so long." She sinks into her lean against the back of the couch, temple falling to the fabric. "But I think…I think that building something new doesn't have to mean letting go of the old, too."


The warmth of her hand is a comfort Erik has missed, something he has not allowed himself for some time. He closes his eyes and leans back into the couch, shoulders rising and falling in a manner that sets loose much of the tension he's felt since they departed for - no, since before the rescue. Since the East Village.

When he opens his eyes, Erik looks for Crystal's again. The empathy is still there, for he knows what it is like to long for home. For family. But to know that such a thing is still out there? He can't be certain whether it would drive him mad, or be a comfort.

It takes much to overwhelm a man with such poise as Erik Lensherr, but events of the past week have taken his soul to a new place. He's not entirely thinking of ramifications or royalty when he stretches out his free hand, reaching to touch her temple, to shift the red locks away from her eyes.

"No," he murmurs, his voice a touch raspy with the quietness of it. "I suppose it doesn't."


When he opens his eyes, there's a soft smile for that release of tension. Even as she thinks about the loss of her own home, Crystal finds some comfort in bringing peace to someone else, letting out a breath of her own. She holds his gaze, not pulling back from the touch.

"I think you tricked me, Erik," she says in a low voice, searching his features. "I was going to listen to you talk, and instead here I am waxing on about home."


A laugh never comes from his chest, but it's there upon the spread of his face. "I could stand to listento it for a while longer," he answers.

His touch gently runs down the length of her face, resting at her chin. There his thumb brushes across her cheek, remembering the kiss they shared in trickery within District 9. The mutant's blue eyes look to her chin, her mouth, then back to her eyes. The unspoken question is clear, words aren't necessary. It's almost instinct, how he pulls her hand closer to his chest, not forcefully but certainly with a mounting tension mimicked by the sudden racing of his heart.


"Oh, well, in that case," Crystal starts to laugh, as though she could launch into a new story without hesitation. Only instead, her hands tighten around his to follow him closer as she leans in to answer the unspoken question in kind.

The precinct was a moment of desperation and instinct. This, though, is different. One soft brush of her lips, testing, before she follows it with a second, glancing up to see his reaction.


Erik opens his hand so that he's holding her chin, guiding her closer until their lips meet. He answers the testing touch with a kiss that is more firm, more intentional. She'll see his eyes lidded, barely open, a heat emanating from his face matched by the slightest trembling of the hand that still holds on to hers.

Erik closes hiseyes then, and opens his mouth just so, holding her face close.


Crystal does, it seems, know how to kiss. When he doesn't draw back, she tightens her hands around his, pulling herself in enough to need to tilt her head to meet his lips. It's slow, but it's certain, and she takes her time until she turns her head to catch her breath, pressing her cheek against his as she tries to get the pounding of her heart to slow in turn.

"I do hope none of the telepaths are listening," she murmurs, cheek twitching against his with a faint smile, flushed.


Once they've parted, Erik's hand caresses her chin, fingers still entwined with hers, body poised to welcome her closer still. There is a relief in the tension, heated breath coming in measured paces.

Then, he smiles, humored by her words. "They might learn a thing or two," he answers, before lowering his face into the crook of her neck. His hands then move to embrace her, wrapped around her shoulders and pulling her close. A soft kiss is pressed into her neck, then his head rises to brush lips against her ear.

"I do believe the two of us are in trouble," he whispers.


"Impossible," Crystal counters, head tilting to one side to bare her neck. "You don't work here, and I'm quite certain I didn't sign anything regulating my personal life," she laughs softly. She frees one hand to brush her fingertips through his hair, though she does glance over her shoulder toward the door.

"I do promise not to slap you if someone walks in this time, though," she adds, immediately turning back to claim another kiss, this one less cautious, more playful.


"My dear," Erik laughs, "that is not the kind of trouble I speak of."

Crystal's playful kiss is answered with another laugh, one of delight. He runs his hand into her hair, fingers strafing the back of her head. "Retire with me?" he asks of her. "It would be a shame for one of the students to wander in."

"Anything else," Crystal replies, shifting to set her feet on the floor again without letting her upper body move away from his, "Is no trouble at all."

Another kiss and she reluctantly pulls away to stand, though she keeps his hand, pulling him up with her. "Yes," she says simply, backing toward the door with an absent touch to her hair, brushing her thumb along her lip in a reflexive check for lipstick.

"We should- we should probably leave separately…" Decorum wars with passion for a moment as she eyes the door, then waves a hand. "No. We're adults! We'll just. Go. At a normal pace." Or at least try not to run through the halls like the teenagers.


Leaving his pipe, the book, the beer, Erik has no use for it now. No use what so ever.

At a normal pace? Once the door is open, Erik snatches up her hand and begins to run down the hallway, pulling her along in tow.

Yes. Like adults.

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