1963-09-11 - Monarchal Politics
Summary: Monarchal politics threaten to put a damper on Crystal and Magneto's relationship.
Related: None
Theme Song: None
magneto crystal 

Crystal has been busy lately. There was the search for her sister, and then once Medusa was found, there was even more to see to. Added to that, there have been politics lately. Or at least, that's as much as she's said about meetings she's had lately, including a visit from a certain thunder god.

Last night, Medusa woke up. Crystal spent most of the night talking with her sister, and it's early morning when she finally slips into the bedroom, closing the door carefully behind herself.


Similarly, up until a couple of days past, Erik was absent from the mansion on a trip of his own; across the pond to the University of Cambridge.

Since his return, he's been furiously studying in the library, even going so far as to bring back books to his room, and some materials from the science lab.

"Just as I thought," he speaks upon Crystal's entry. "It's a brass alloy." He turns around, leaving a microscope on the table behind him. He's dressed casually for the morning, wearing denim jeans and a maroon tee-shirt. His hair is a bit of a mess, and a carafe filled with black coffee rests nearby, next to an empty mug.

Erik smiles, then glances toward a clock on the wall. 5:30. The sun hasn't yet come up, which is what connects the dots in his brain that both of them have been up all night. "Oh dear."


"Good grief," Crystal laughs softly when she finds him awake and working, stepping over to the table to take a look for herself. "What is a brass alloy? And why has it kept you up all night?" As she steps in, she slides an arm around his waist, taking a deep breath of his scent as she presses a kiss to his shoulder.


"Well," answers Erik, "it explains the non-ferrous bullet." He pauses for a moment, stilling his explanation in favor of leaving into Crystal's embrace. He rests his eyes but for a moment; doing so and the shadows of sleep creep upon him. He can't have that.

"Most rounds contain a ferrous alloy, such as steel or iron, alongside the nonferrous lead. But this round…" he gestures toward the item they 'claimed' from NYPD Evidence Lockup, which rests beneath the microscope. "… contains a brass alloy instead."

Erik rises from his seat, turning to face her next. "Don't tell me you've been up all night, as well."


"Medusa woke up." Crystal's smile is tired, but genuine - her sister's return is something she's been working on for a very long time. "We had a lot of catching up to do. And some very serious issues to discuss." When he rises,she drapes her arms around his shoulders, hesitating for only a moment before she sighs softly. "Very serious issues we should discuss as well, I think," she admits. "Though if we've both been up all night, perhaps this isn't the best time."


The concern is evident before she tells him what's transpired. With his absence, he has to wonder whether she knows what the X-Men have been facing as well. It was news to him, after all.

"I have at least two mugs of coffee left, perhaps more," Erik answers. He leans forward to kiss her. "Be a pity to let it go to waste, my dear."


Crystal's fingers curl in the hair at his nape, holding him to the kiss for a moment longer. There's the slightest edge of desperation to the kiss, but maybe she's just missed him while he was gone. "I'm glad you're back," she murmurs, a small smile flickering across her features before she steps back to pour them each a mug of coffee. "It's…politics," she prefaces things. "But there is- There is a prince who wishes to seek my hand."


There's a small part of Erik still distracted by the brass bullet; it quickly fades when he perceives the desperation in Crystal's touch. "I'm glad to be back," he answers quietly, now fully focusedupon her. He leans his forehead into hers, letting loose a deep sigh. "I've missed you."

Once they've separated, he moves to offer her cream or sugar; his own coffee will remain black for this round. Especially once she explains what's likely bothering her so. He accepts the mug with his left hand, then stands still and looks toward Crystal with a furrowed brow. "… I see."


Crystal sits on the edge of the table, cradling the mug between her hands without adding anything to the coffee. Unusual for her, but she's distracted. "It is complicated," she explains. "And I told him my heart belongs to another. To you," she adds gently, looking back up from her coffee.

"It may come to nothing. His family has been pressing him to find someone appropriate, and for all I know they won't find me suitable, and that is the end of that. Medusa as well says that someone in our family should be free to follow their heart," she smiles crookedly. No wonder why she searched so long for her sister. "But I couldn't keep it from you, Erik."


For a moment or two, Erik finds himself still caught off guard. He should have expected something like this. After all, he's well aware that she's royalty. It is her speaking of where her heart belongs thatdraws a lopsided smile to his face, and draws him closer.

The mug of coffee is set upon the table. It still needs time to cool. "You know, I've often found it troubling, the term 'belong'. We've chosen each other. I do understand the sentiment, I can even appreciate it, but… I don't think it right to consider someone property." He's quite well aware of monarchal politics, and there's a chance he's mentioned these things for a reason.

Erik rests his hand upon her leg, looking at her with eyes that possess an ability to look deeper than most. "Crystalia, I want us to choose what we have, what we wish. Your sister is right."


"Right she may be, but still, there will be others to convince." Crystal reaches up to rest a hand on his cheek, her touch still heated from the mug. "And there is Attilan to consider. An alliance could bring us assistance to reclaim Attilan from Maximus. But then, that's also assuming that Blackagar wants any assistance. He could well want to do it on his own."

She sets her own mug aside, wrapping one leg behind his to hold him close. "I've offered him some assistance in freeing his brother. It's all a mess of complicated, royal nonsense. But if he shows his father he is at least willing to consider a betrothal to someone who approaches an appropriate match, then it may earn him and his brother their freedom. Could you forgive me such a ruse?"


Complicated, royal nonsense indeed. Truth be told, she'd lost him at Attilan, and the devil is truly in the details. Erik's expression is one of befuddlement, but he's not about to interrupt her. Nor is he backing away, what with her leg around him. Not that he'd want to, at any rate.

"I believe a ruse bears with it the dangerous risk of backfire," he answers. "Especially when dealing with war. Helen of Troy comes to mind; not exactly an apt comparison, but I believe my concerns would translate."

Erik shakes his head, and reaches to touch her cheeks with each hand. "My dear, this is a dangerous game. You could risk an unwanted war with both your nations… mutant-kind might even be throw into it all, should they find out where your heart lie." His expression darkens. "I'm not sure Charles and I have the capacity to hold them all at bay."

You see, to Erik, it's not about forgiveness. He understands the complexities of diplomacy, along with the far reaching repercussions of subterfuge.


Crystal turns her head, brushing her lips against the inside of his wrist. "Which is why I'm doing everything I can to be honest," she nods, reaching up to take his hands in her own. "I've told the prince that my heart lies elsewhere. I'm telling you what may or may not come to pass. I've told Medusa both of the offer and of my feelings on the matter."

Her hands tighten on his, a deep breath taken. "I don't believe that his father will approve. And even if his father does, Medusa can convince Black Bolt to decline. Negotiations fail all the time, it's normal."


"Yes," Erik answers, "but at what cost?" He closes his eyes, holding Crystal's hands tightly in his own. There is a long silence, during which he weighs what he has managed to piece together. He and the details are not intimately familiar, to be sure, but he's beginning to realize that the details may not be as important as he would like to think. Only if he intended to manipulate such an outcome.

The thought does, briefly, cross his mind.

"Has your kingdom ever encountered something like this before?" he asks, after opening his eyes.


"No," Crystal shakes her head. "Not really. We've been isolated for thousands of years, since the Kree abandoned their experiments. But things are changing, Erik. The world is changing. If our family could benefit from an alliance…" She trails off, leaning forward to press her brow against his.

"I'm sorry to drop all of this on you now, when you've been up all night and so busy. But I didn't want to hide it. Whatever else I may be uncertain of, I am sure that hiding what was happening is the most likely way for this to end in sorrow."


Royalty is something Erik would only ever understand in its clinical, institutional sense. He'll never carry that badge, so his understanding for Crystal's plight is limited.

Once again, Erik closes his eyes, only this time it's to hide the anguish that seeps into them. He lets go over her hands so that he might press them against her face, fingers digging up into red locks for the comfort of burial. Then, his lips curl into a mischievous grin.

"So long as it doesn't end with some sort of honor duel. I'm not usually one to smite my opponents."


Crystal's sudden laugh is startled, hands wrapping around his wrists. "No duels," she promises, shaking her head against his. "In fact, I may well smite the first person who starts a fight. Which does not mean you should try to goad him into one," she adds with another low laugh, leaning in for a soft kiss.

"I love you, Erik. So much it makes my heart ache. I love yoursmile, I love your pride. I love your mind, and your fierce loyalty to your people." Her grip on his wrists tightens, keeping him close. "You are…more than a prince."


Mischief widens into a toothy grin, then quickly into mock insult. "Why on earth would I ever do such a thing?" he jests, before softening the expression to answer Crystal's kiss in kind.

The words that come next strike a pang of grief deep within. In all of his years, he's not let himself come to a place such as this. The way he acted upon breaking out of Auschwitz would make the street kids grin with pride, but his indiscretion bordered on shameful. Love wasn't a part of that mess, it was pure, unadulterated youthful rage. His tempering of that young man is what forged the man who stands here today.

When he looks back up and into Crystal's eyes, his own are damp and distraught, but not fully in grief. Yes, it is there, for the risk of losing her is quite real. But there is another emotion there, something he's never known before. It twists and destroys him as much as it warms him to the core.

"That explains why I've fallen for a princess," he whispers in response, before pulling her closer and enveloping her in a heated kiss.


The depths inside of him, the razor's edge he walks between them, are as much a part of what draws Crystal to him as anything else. For all her composure, for all her diplomacy, at heart she is a creature of passions and instinct, all too eager to drown herself in him. Arms wrapped around his neck, she melts into the kiss with a soft sound.

"Maybe experiments and meeting Medusa can wait until later?" she murmurs against his lips, smile curving warmly. "We've had long nights, after all."


Erik pries his left hand away, so that he might aim it toward the outer wall. Three windows, each with thick draperies that hang against their wallposts, prepared to let the sunrise flow in once it's crested the horizon.

Instead, the drapes are suddenly drawn shut, metal rods providing the manner in which such a thing takes place. Now the sun will be hard pressed to pierce the thick fabrics.

Erik then lifts his love and carries her to their bed, the coffee long since forgotten.

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