Tea in Spain

Author: Razeth Kota

Summary: The events of 9/11 leave Charles Xavier questioning an old friend's thoughts

Rating: G

Valencia, Spain. Friday, September 14th, 2001

Valencia. A Rather large city, but a person who has been there knows where to find the small town charms. A quaint inn, a charming bar, a lovely cove from which to watch the breathtaking Spanish sunsets.

A Small, little-known cafe. A Man sits at a corner, outside table. Slowly sipping his tea. He watches as young lovers, giddy with admiration in each other, run laughing from the cafe to the inn across the way. He smiles. As he looks to his watch, a shadow falls upon him. He turns to meet the gaze of another man, white hair covered by a fedora, his face clearly scarred by the years.

“Buenos Dias, Charles.” he says.

“Buenos Dias, Erik.” the man at the table replies, “Come. Sit.”

Erik Lensherr approaches the table, he sits and removes his hat. He studies the face of the man across from him, Professor Charles Xavier. Noting this, but choosing not to question it now, Charles speaks up. “I Took the liberty of ordering for you.”

Erik nods, acknowledging, though dismissing Charles’ words. “Forgive me if I’m not very cooperative in this conversation, Charles. But I’m sure you’re well aware of the reason.” he says.

“Yes,” Charles begins, “Of course. We’ve all be shaken recently. In fact, that is the reason I’ve called you here.”

Erik looks at Charles, questioningly. “Hmm?”

“I Was hoping to discuss the recent events with you.” Charles elaborates. “When I heard the news, I instantly wanted to know your views.” he adds, noticing the faltering look on his old friend’s face.

“Charles, if you’re suggesting that I had something to do with this, then I assure you...” Erik begins.

“No,” Charles interrupts, “I’m not accusing you. I’m well aware you had nothing to do with it.” Erik falls silent. “Not that an act such as this is beyond you...” Charles adds.

Erik sighs and narrows his brow, “Then what, Charles? Why have you called me here?”

“You don’t know?” Charles asks.

“Charles, need I remind you that you are the mind-reader at this table?” Erik replies, sarcastically.

Charles chuckles lightly, “Erik, your opinions on matters such as this intrigue me.”

“The thoughts of one’s enemies are often of great interest, yes.” Erik says.

“No, you misunderstand.” Charles begins, “I Called you here, not as an enemy, or even an ally. But as merely an old aquaintence, with whom I wanted to share a simple cup of tea.”

Erik ponders Charles’ words for a moment. He looks up to see a pair of sparrows perched on the umbrella overhead. “Is this....all?” he asks, not taking his eyes off the birds above.

“You have my word.” Charles replies.

“Very well.” Erik says, still noting the birds above his head. Charles grinned slightly at the man sitting in front of him. The fact that, despite all he has been through, his never ending war, both against homo sapiens and his own inner demons, Erik Lensherr could still take the time to notice the simpler, happier things in life.

The waiter approaches the table, he sets a cup of tea and a plate of lemon slices in front of Erik. He nods to the waiter, indicating he may leave. He looks down to his tea. “Chamomile....” he mutters.

“Yes?” Charles asks, puzzled.

“I Detest chamomile, Charles...” Erik replies, slowly looking up from his tea.

“Really?” Charles asks, obviously confused.

“I Thought you were a psychic...” Erik mumbles sarcastically.

“Oh, very well.” Charles begins, annoyed. “I’ll call the waiter, and we’ll..”

“No,” Erik interrupts, sitting back into his chair, “No, need. I’ll make do. Let us merely get to the point of this meeting. Shall we?”

“Very well.” Charles agrees, “Your thoughts?”

“Thoughts on what?” Erik asks.

“Recent events....Acts of terrorism. Talks of war.” Charles replies.

“Fools...” Erik whispers.

“Who?” Charles asks, “The terrorists?”

“The terrorists, the world leaders, the activists. Humans, Charles. They’re fools.” Erik begins, “We stand on the brink of a new era. The coming war should be fought on the grounds of evolution, not of foolish things like communism and the rights of some silly third-world nation.”

Charles shudders. “What’s the matter?” Erik asks.

“I Was just reminded of old times, that is all.” Charles replies lightly.

“Mmm..” Erik mumbles. “It’s the truth, Charles. You know it to be true.”

“I Did not invite you here to get into a heated debate over our obviously and vastly different views on human/mutant relations.” Charles warns.

“Yes,” Erik begins, “Yes, yes. I’m aware. But you ask my views on such things and I will share them.”

“I Understand that, Erik.” Charles sighs.

“The humans fail to realize that they’re biggest fight has yet to begin. And it is not against communism, it is not against those who threaten to take away their freedom...It is against us. Against Homo Superior. Their failure in realizing this will be their downfall.” Erik declares.

“Can we not have a simple conversation in which we do not become involved in some kind of vocal tug-of-war over mutant/human issues? Over your plans of mutant purification.” Charles replies, a tinge of sadness in his voice.

“Charles, it is an inevitability. The new war is coming. Whether or not the humans realize it is between them and us, and not between one another, is on their heads.” Erik states, firmly.

“You’re not planning anything now, Erik...” Charles trails off.

“No,” Erik begins, “I’m sure you were able to sense that by now. It would be totally and completely unfair of me to strike at moment of such weakness.”

Charles looks to him, confused. “But...”

“I May not believe in a peaceful coexistence with humans,” Erik interrupts, “But I do believe in honor. And it would be wholly dishonorable of me to strike now.”

Charles raises his hands, resting his chin on the tips of his fingers. “However..?” he asks, almost knowingly.

“However,” Erik begins, “I Am no longer a young man. I no longer have the drive I once had. Make no mistake, Charles. The war will come, and I will fight it. So, while I refuse to strike now...”

“It won’t be long...” Charles finishes.

“So you are a psychic...” Erik remarks. He sips his tea silently, then grimaces. “However, I do not hold as much faith in your taste in teas...” He places the fedora back upon his head, “Anything else, Charles?”

Charles, deep in thought, takes a moment to respond. “No, Erik. I Believe, based upon your answers to my queries, I may discern your thoughts.”

“Then I believe that is all.” Erik places money on the table and straightens his coat. “Good day, Charles.” he says as he begins to exit the cafe courtyard. Charles begins preparing to leave.

Erik turns and faces his old friend. “Oh, and Charles?”

Charles turns slowly to meet Erik’s gaze. “Yes, Erik?”

“I Trust our paths will cross again...” Erik begins.

“Yes,” Charles interrupts, “Soon.”

A Wry smile crosses the face of Erik Lensherr as he tips his hat and walks away, his form slowly dissipating amongst the strong glow of the Spanish sunset.

Charles Xavier sighs lightly, chuckles to himself, and turns his study to a pair of sparrows, perched upon the umbrella above.