Fork in the Road

Pairing: Erik Lehnsherr/Charles Xavier
Category: Pre-relationship, first meetings, AU, Modern setting, still have powers
Rating: G
Summary: Erik just needs a job for a while, a place to lay low. Possibly answering to the ad in the newspaper was a bad idea after all...
♦ Fic-A-Week Project 2014 - Week 11
♦ Fork in the Road
Notes: Erik just needs a job for a while, a place to lay low. Possibly answering to the ad in the newspaper was a bad idea after all...
Word count: 688

Erik pulled the folded newspaper ad out of his pocket and stared down at it. Then back up at the towering behemoth of a mansion.

Maybe it was a stupid idea after all. He'd called about the job, been asked a series of weird questions, which he'd gamely answered. Then he'd been asked out here for an interview. And the guy at the other end had been cryptic. Very cryptic. Maybe he should have found a construction site that would take him for long enough for him to make money enough to get back to Europe...

However, construction work would pay a fraction of the wages this job as a ...janitor would. Of course he could rob some banks, break some vaults. Armored cars wouldn't be a problem either. However, ending up on the wrong side of the law would make leaving the country a lot harder. He wanted to keep his 'illegal' business limited to killing Shaw. Not that he considered it illegal.

The sign above the door made him roll his eyes. Xavier's Academy for Gifted Youngsters. Pretentious - much like the rest of the US. If not for the trail of Shaw leading to the States, Erik would've stayed well enough away. At least he'd managed to kill the man - even if he'd nearly lost his own life in the process.

Now he just needed to lay low, make enough money to get back to Europe and he'd be alright. Not that he had any idea what to do with his future when he got there, with his life's mission out of the way, but he'd figure that out when he got there.

Until then he was apparently applying for a job at a posh private school.

Erik rolled his shoulders. It felt as if he was being observed. He followed his first instinct to reach out and check for metal in his immediate surroundings. Nothing on his side of the door, but there was some sort of movement on the other side - someone standing, shifting their feet, but otherwise standing in place - a watch, a zipper, a pendent on a thin chain curved around a neck, warm from skin contact.

Staring at the door, Erik finally lifted his hand and rapped his knuckles against the old wood.

The door swung open and Erik waited for it to open all the way. The strong sunlight at his back made it hard for him to see inside at first, then he could make out a figure. Shorter than himself, stocky build - even if it was hard to tell under the loose fitting clothes. Not much of a threat, as far as he could tell.

The lack of a threat made him feel safer and Erik relaxed.

"I was wondering when you'd knock," the man said, cocking his head to the side.

Erik felt the tightening between his shoulderblades again when the man smiled - a smile that Erik found more than a little unsettling. As if he knew Erik, as if they were simply friends who'd been parted for a while.

He considered taking a step back, saying that he was sorry, that he'd been wrong - that he didn't need the job afterall.

"Please don't go," the guy said, stepping forward so Erik could see him clearly in the natural light.

If he hadn't been so creepily smiling before, Erik might just have found him attractive. Well, he still did, but he'd long since learned not to trust anyone. A hard earned experience, but an experience never the less.

"Please allow me to at least tell you what the job entails, why you'd be perfect for it and why you won't say no," the guy told him, a pleading look on his face.

Erik narrowed his eyes at him. He was feeling off kilter, unsettled and yet... what was the harm in listening to this guy for a few moments?

A look of delight and relief flashed over the man's face. "My name is Charles Xavier, I'm the headmaster of this school, and I think I am about to make you an offer you can't refuse."