Category: AU, Modern setting, Still have powers, First Meetings, Flirting, arguing
Summary: Sometimes the unlikely meeting is the one bearing the best fruit.
or Charles goes exploring while waiting for Raven to finish a photo shoot for a pro-mutant calendar.
Series: Fic-A-Week Project 2014 - Week 5
Notes: Done with the aid of the mcfassy image generator.
And in honour of garnetquyen's birthday - whose tumblr is a constant plethora of gorgeous artwork.
Additional notes: German version: Reflections in a lens - Spiegelbilder im Objektiv by marryoftheblood
Word count: 1,519
Charles was paying little attention to the minds and voices around him as he worked on reviewing an article on his tablet. He was about halfway through it and he'd already lined up two pages of scathing notes that he knew he'd have to PC before submitting. However, it always helped to be as open and honest as he could initially.
Congenial and pleasant could be edited in later.
Something pinged his mind but he ignored it. Some minds were always louder than others. The only one he kept a marginal mental eye on was Raven's and even then, he only let her mood seep through to him. She didn't like him in her head, but she had long since accepted that he was a happier little brother when she allowed him to at least track her mood.
At this very moment she was happily showing off her chameleon powers and her gorgeous blue scales for the photographer. Charles had promised not to gape at the other participants, or even worse, start asking questions about their mutations. He'd have loved to, but he'd promised Raven. There was a time and place for such things, and the photography session for a calendar was not it.
As it were, he was happy on her behalf, glad that she was getting this opportunity to show off her visible mutation.
The strange feeling of an intrusive mind was there again, and this time Charles took it as an excuse to have a little break. He checked in with Raven, just sending a questioning touch to her and getting told back that no, she wasn't done yet.
'Going exploring for a bit,' Charles shot back, feeling the mixed reaction of mirth and dread from his sister. Those were the emotions she mostly felt around him, so nothing to worry about there.
Charles walked down through the room where the half wall shielded the photoshoot and headed towards the office at the end of it. Some of the people taking part in the shoot truly had impressive physical mutations and Charles did have to push down the urge to go talk to them, especially the red skinned man who was lounging in a low chair, reading a magazine and actually turning the pages with his tail.
Just stretching your legs, Charles told himself, sauntering through the room. Nothing to see, no threats whatsoever. He came to a stop at the open section of the wall that lead into a smaller room, where another photoshoot was going on. The surprising part here was that a. the guy posing for the shots didn't have any visible mutations, and b. he was answering questions between the clicks of the camera, a young woman with a pen and pad sitting on a chair, scribbling as she asked.
Oh, Charles did recognize the man and the slight flutter in his stomach was ruthlessly crushed. Just because Lehnsherr had a hell of an on screen presence, did not mean Charles had a crush on him. He respected him, found his work for their kind invaluable, but his more rabid and extreme views always made Charles yell at the tv screen during speeches and interviews.
"So, Mr. Lehnsherr, if you could, you would prefer a place for us, where we could be what we are, do what we wish?" the interviewer asked him.
"Of course, it would be perfect to have a place of our own, where no humans would interfere with our lives," Lehnsherr agreed, stretching his arms over his head to allow a tantalizing peek at the tight abs under the black jacket he was wearing over bared skin.
Charles scoffed before he could stop himself.
The interviewer and Lehnsherr both looked over at him.
"Something amusing you, kid?" Lehnsherr asked condescendingly.
Charles gave him a scathing look. Hardly a kid, at least not in mental years. As telepath he'd long since learned things that probably shouldn't be general knowledge for a child. Meaning now, at the age of twenty four, he tended to think like someone at least 10 years older.
"I couldn't help but overhear you saying that you'd prefer a place for our kind where we'd live without humans?" Charles said, simply to clarify it.
"What would happen to the children born without the mutated gene?" Charles asked.
Lehnsherr stared at him.
"Surely you must have given it some thought," Charles carried on, not terribly surprised to find that Lehnsherr hadn't considered this 'problem'.
"Children born by two mutant parents," Lehnsherr started-
"Have no guarantee that their offspring will be mutants. They may not have the gene, they may carry it but the actual mutation may skip a generation," Charles said evenly. "And what would happen to the couples where a mutant loves a non-mutant? Would your paradise, your utopia, only be offered to the mutant half - or perhaps not at all?"
Lehnsherr narrowed his eyes at Charles, who realized he might've gotten carried away. Yet, he couldn't quite help himself. Even with the interviewer glaring at him.
"And what if you did carve this little piece of the world where mutants could live and be free? You'd still have to consider how the rest of the world would view it, how much of a threat it may seem if you have this nation of powerful beings. Not to mention, a hell of a target for them to aim at."
Lehnsherr's scowl wavered, and Charles realized that down behind that harsh glare of his, was a passionate soul. Judging from the wave of interest and curiosity that hit Charles maybe, just maybe, Charles had bitten off more than he could chew.
"Sir," the interviewer began, turning to Charles and obviously considering having him thrown out.
Lehnsherr held up his hand. He turned to her and shook his head. "You have your questions, I know. But I'm getting the feeling you might get much better answers if you let our young friend here join us. I doubt he and I shall see things eye to eye - but that only makes for a more interesting discussion."
Charles didn't miss the silent 'and I think I might enjoy that,' added to the end of that.
'Your grave my friend,' Charles projected at him. He was fairly sure that once Lehnsherr knew he was a telepath, he'd be turned down and away. It was no secret that Lehnsherr harboured a certain animosity towards them. His scathing remarks about and at Miss Frost during tv debates were legendary.
The wave of naked interest that hit Charles was completely unexpected and if not for years of exposure to people's thoughts he would have staggered back and flushed deeply. As it were, he merely swallowed hard and looked to the interviewer for the okay.
He was tugged forward by his belt and buttons before the interviewer could agree and pushed gently into the one chair on the set. Then another one drifted down through the air and made itself at home right across from him.
Lehnsherr grinned at him with far too many teeth.
"Show off," Charles muttered under his breath, which only made the infuriating man grin wider - if such a thing was even possible.
"Take the cardigan off," Lehnsherr said evenly. "Let's give the photographer a little less of a buttoned up academic to work with."
Charles rolled his eyes at him but at the same time as he did shrug off his cardigan to leave it hanging off the back of the chair. At least the air in the room wasn't too cold for the thin grey t-shirt he was wearing underneath.
'Give me something to look at,' Lehnsherr purred at him, obviously perfectly capable of projecting his thoughts at a telepath.
Charles pulled up his walls and fought the flush to his cheeks.
"I think we'll have a much better session this way," Lehnsherr said to the interviewer, though he didn't take his eyes off Charles at any point. "What's your name, professor?"
The added title was obviously a dig, but Charles took a deep breath. "Charles Xavier," he said, "I'm working on my Phd at Columbia - genetics," he added with a smirk.
"I prefer my conversational opponents with a brain," Lehnsherr said evenly, lips twitching. "I'm getting the feeling you'll be a very interesting 'acquaintance'," he said to Charles.
Charles watched the long, lanky line of Lehnsherr's body as he slouched enticingly in his chair. "Absolutely," Charles agreed. He didn't miss the heated undertone of the other man's stare - even if he hadn't caught one or two choice images from the man as well.
He took a deep breath, sent a quick thought off to Raven that he'd probably be in very, very late - or early, depending on how interesting his debate with Lehnsherr might become.
Charles met Lehnsherr's eyes and leaned forward, utterly forgetting the camera clicking in the background.
"Mutant registration act," Lehensherr shot at him. "Pro or con?"
"Superhuman Registration Act," Charles corrected. It was going to be a long, interesting night. "And it can't be broken down to pro or con - "