1963-12-19 - Royal Chambers
Summary: Crystal and Erik enjoy some downtime following the Attilan uprising.
Related: Attilan Rising
Theme Song: None
magneto crystal 


Crystal's quarters in Attilan are…perhaps not quite as impressive as might be assumed for a princess. Then again, the entire city is a wonder of technology and powers, so perhaps even her relatively modest room is impressive.

On the other hand, she was just a girl when she left Attilan, and the room reflects it. The pale yellow silk of the relatively narrow bed, the doll that sits on a dresser, even the wispy curtains all speak to a certain girlish aesthetic. There are strange plants, though, well-kept in her absence, and the guards and council members who've spoken with her have made sure she feels welcome - at least in the short term.

Her first stop was the infirmary, to get the wound in her side treated. But once that was finished, she returned to her old rooms, letting out a long breath once inside.

*

Crystal will find Erik standing at the balcony in his briefs. He's taken care not to step outside, for while his silhouette may be visible there, he doesn't wish to let the entirety of Attilan know that the princess has a scantily clad guest in company. A mug of coffee is held in his left hand, and from behind the draperies, he looks out upon the beautiful city with a deep expression upon his face.

It had been a long day prior. His wounds were minor compared to others, and he'd spent the better part of the day working with other Inhumans to essentially undo the damage he'd done; light posts reconstructed, buildings put back into place. A newcomer might not even recognize that a war had been waged there, not more than twenty-four hours past.

It had called for a long night of deep sleep, and now, a morning that required coffee.

When Crystal returns, he turns around to look her way, eyebrows rising. "Good morning."

*

Crystal has traded her uniform for an airy gown in yellow and black, one with clean lines like most of the city here. One with a high waist that hides the bandages around her middle. Her smile curves when she sees him, weary as it may be.

"One with hope, at least. One in my home." She looks around the room, turning in a slow circle. "Although I'm beginning to remember just how long it's been since I was here, seeing all of this. I really was just a child when we left."

*

Regarding this, Erik will have the respect not to speak a word that might bring Crystal any shame or embarrassment. "It certainly beats my childhood home," he tells her with a rueful grin, and closes the distance to meet her. "I'm… sorry for my attire," he tells her, though the apology is somewhat forced. As if the grin wasn't enough; Erik clearly isn't upset about having ditched his dirty, torn X-Men uniform. "The leathers required laundering."

*

"Oh yes, seeing you this way is an absolute trial," Crystal laughs softly, stepping in to wrap her arms around his waist, pressing her cheek to his chest with a deep, contented breath. "I'm just relieved to see you in one piece. At least this saves me wondering if you're hiding some horrific injury under all of that armor."

She draws back just enough to look up at him, smile soft. "It's over now. The wondering, the hiding. The fear. Now…now we get to move forward. We do," she adds, arms tightening around him. "If all of this hasn't frightened you away entirely, that is."

*

With a hearty laugh, Erik welcomes the embrace, and curls his arms around Crystal. "No, no. Just some cracked ribs, which one of your healers was kind enough to manage. It was… a rough fall." He turns his cheek then, to reveal that the makeshift stitches have also been removed. "No scarring," he points out.

When she pulls away, Erik holds her at arms length, not allowing her to drift too far from his clutches. The question breaks a sense of calm and peace, bringing a lifted eyebrow and the touch of a frown when he draws her in again. "You know I've seen far worse," he tells her. Yes, Maximus may have unleashed hell on the revolutionaries, but there was a real battle to be waged. The handful of innocents he'd used as bait pales in comparison to what Erik Lensherr witnessed during the holocaust.

He drops his face against her hair for a moment, reaching up to caress her fiery locks for a second or two. "What will happen to the SHIELD agent undergoing terrigenesis?" he asks her.

*

"Hopefully, she'll emerge with new powers that aren't too…difficult," Crystal answers, though there's a certain sobriety to those words as well. "What happened to her…it goes against thousands of years of tradition. People aren't exposed to the mists without going through genetic screening, without checking for possible adverse reactions. Honestly, I'm surprised that she actually began to undergo the process."

She lets her eyes half-close, content in the circle of his arms. "But once she emerges, there will be familiar counselors there to meet her. To help her understand what's happened, what it means. And to teach her how to use whatever powers she emerges with."

*

Holding her close, Erik smiles warmly. Fondly. "It won't be that much different from what happens when we discover a new mutant," he tells her. "Especially if we can get them to the Institute before… too much trouble is caused."

He pulls back only so that he can kiss her, a long, warm and affectionate kiss. But it doesn't last. "I have a request to make," he asks her, mirth dancing in his eyes.

*

"She'll need a bit more explanation, I think," Crystal says ruefully, though any further words are cut short by the kiss. She lets her arms fall from his waist only to cup his face between her hands, rising up onto her toes. His last words, though, get an amused arch of her brow. "Oh? And just what might that be?"

*

"Find me something suitable to wear," Erik answers, before forming a wide grin. "And show me your wonderful city."

*

Crystal laughs, leaning back. "Well, that I think we can do," she agrees. "Though I hope you're ready for strange and awkward questions. People here have never met anyone who wasn't born and raised here for several generations, let alone one who can do the sort of things you can do without being one of us."

*

At that, Erik's smile broadens into a full on grin. He's never been one to back away from a challenge. "Well, the doors are open now. Perhaps I can… impress them?" If there were ever a man to represent mutantkind to the Inhumans…

He turns aside, offering his arm. "Unless you'd like to take me out like this. For all they know, this is how the outside world chooses to dress themselves."

*

"Oh, I think not," Crystal grins, taking his arm to pull him back to her. "Let's not give anyone a reason to think you're some sort of exotic pet. I'm sure we can find something to suit you. Also, I could use some breakfast," she admits, glancing over her shoulder toward the door. "So we'll have them bring us some breakfast and something for you to wear, and then we can show you the city."

*

Pulled back, Erik offers no complaints. "I agree," he tells her with a laugh, "we wouldn't want them considering mutants exotic pets." He holds Crystal for a moment longer, then kisses her forehead before looking down and into her eyes. "I love you," he tells her quietly. "I'm glad we were victorious. Maximus… is quite the madman."

*

"I love you too," Crystal murmurs, tipping her brow to his kiss. "And we couldn't have done it without you. Thank you for coming here. For risking so much, knowing that there's not much to be won from it." She sets her hands against his chest, pressing a kiss above his heart.

*

On that matter, Crystal was wrong. Erik had much to win from it; not only for himself, but for the good of mankind. Nobody wants to see a war between mutants and humans, as much as nobody wants to see conflict spilling over into or out of Attilan. But, no… more than anything, her own words gave proof to why he took that risk.

"Now we get to move forward," he echoes her earlier words.

*

Crystal's smile curves, warm and relaxed. "Yes," she agrees quietly. "At least…at least in some ways." On that enigmatic note, she steps back, moving to the doorway to find a guard and send a request out for food and for clothes for Erik before she turns back to him.

"This is all new, though. What the Council is doing. Things are going to change soon. I don't know how, or in what direction, but they're going to change."

*

Erik remains behind for a moment, until she turns back to face him. He strides forward then, openly shrugging while padding across the floor in his bare feet. "So we watch and see what happens," he says. "Our whole world is changing. There's no way for either of us to know what's going to happen."

*

"I love you so much." Crystal reaches out to take his hands as he comes closer, cheeks flushing. "Even here, even before we were exiled, I never imagined I would find someone who could take…everything the way you do. So steady, so certain. You never act out of fear, never doubt. I don't think I can express what that means to me."

*

"But I do fear," Erik tells her, carefully at first. Then his hands wrap around hers, tightly, for he knows that with all of his natural strength, she is stronger. He wouldn't hurt her, and can express all of his emotion with that alone. "I fear losing you, Crystalia." It isn't like the escapades of his youth; he knows, deep down inside, that losing her could destroy him.

*

Crystal lifts his hands, pressing her lips to his knuckles. "You won't," she promises. "I'm hard to kill, after all. And I turned away a very handsome and charming prince for you, you know," she teases gently, the love in her eyes more than proof of enough that she has no regrets about the choice.

*

"Oh, I'm well aware," Erik answers, with a rueful grin. "And, given what I know now about Asgardians? I'm glad it didn't come to arm wrestling." After all, beyond his armor and mastery of magnetic forces, Erik Lensherr is just as squishy as anyone.

They're interrupted by a rapping at the door, and the arrival of hot breakfast and a change of clothes. Someone, somewhere, was paying attention, for the garb brought in for Erik to wear consists of deep purple and rich black. He looks toward the servant, kissing Crystal's hands once more before breaking free to collect the garments with a raised eyebrow. "Shall I?" he asks, turning to face her with a glimmer in his eye. "Or shall I wait until we've finished breakfast?"

*

Crystal's smile curves, rueful, as she presses a hand to her side. "You might as well get dressed," she laughs low, pausing to thank the servant with a warm word, lifting the cover from the tray to take a breath of the breakfast dish. "I'm afraid I'm still in rough shape after taking that hit in the fight. Besides," she teases. "I'd like to see how it looks on you."

*

It doesn't take long for Erik to become dressed. One wouldn't go so far as to call it a 'dress', but it certainly threads the needle somewhere between 'gown' and 'robes'. Still, there's a decidedly masculine cut to it all, paired with the dark colors that gives him a unique offset to Crystal's dressings.

"You don't suppose they'd let me bring it home with me?" he asks, coyly.

*

"I think you'll have to," Crystal smiles crookedly back at him, pulling up a chair to start picking at the food on the tray. "It's certainly been ruined for anyone else now that I've seen you in it," she teases, winking. "So what do you want to see first?" she asks, taking another bite. "What most interests you about the city and who we are?"

*

Joining her at the table, Erik seems genuinely relaxed. Not unlike Tahiti, only here, it seems almost as if there's no promise of return to normal life. Oh, he knows in the back of his mind that their time here in Attilan is short, and he couldn't begin to fathom what awaits them back home; but here, for now, he is truly at peace.

"I want to see how this city works," he tells her. "What people do; for work, for recreation. How they move around. If I might borrow a Western parlance; what makes them 'tick'."

*

"So we'll start with a walk through the city," Crystal nods. "Visit the hydroponics, of course. To the kitchens. The scientists, the healers. Of course, the true heart of the city is the terrigenesis chambers, but…" She looks up, briefly apologetic. "I think it would be pushing it to bring you there. It's one of the great secrets of our people. Exposing that agent like he did is…a large part of why the council was so ready to remove Maximus."

*

Erik pauses in enjoying breakfast, setting down his fork and swallowing before making a gesture. "Some things are not meant to be seen," he answers, clearly understanding such limitations. "Your people would be wise to keep it secret. It's now known that it can be made into a dreadful weapon. That is a secret that cannot be let loose beyond those who hold it." Even then, Magneto might see fit to seek out all who have come here, if only to impress upon them the importance of such a secret.

No doubt SHIELD will have… reports on it.

*

"Precisely," Crystal agrees, dipping her chin. "We'd need to study more about it, to make certain it doesn't have adverse reactions for humans or mutants. Otherwise I can only imagine what people would do, either wanting powers for themselves or fearing other people might have them." She tucks her hair behind her ear, reaching over for a piece of fruit. "I'll have to speak with SHIELD when we get back, of course. But in the meantime…"

She pushes back from her chair, offering him a hand. "Shall we go and explore?"

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