Chapter 2

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Erik debated whether to leave before Charles woke up. But there were things he needed to say and he wanted to speak to Charles as they had spoken before. After moving Charles' chair next to his bed so he could get out easily Erik went and sat anxiously in the kitchen and waited.

Half an hour later, Erik heard wheels scraping on the floor and took a deep breath.

"What are you doing here Erik?" Charles almost spat, his words seemingly full of anger directed at Erik, only Charles knew the anger was in fact directed toward himself.

"You didn't call Charles. I was worried. I thought..."

"You thought what? That poor old incapable Charles would not be able to take care of himself? Well thanks very much Erik, but I'm fine"

" I don't think you..."

"I'm fine. Okay!" His voice began to soften as he wheeled away from Erik so that he didn't have to look at him.

"Just please. Please Erik. Leave me alone." The last words were almost whispers, things it hurt Charles to say but he knew that he had to say them."

Hearing the words like daggers in his chest, Erik turned to leave, before changing his mind at the last minute.

"I'm not going to let you do this Charles!"

"Do what?!"

"Destroy yourself! I can't sit back and watch you do this to yourself. Please, I..." Erik looked down, trying to disguise the crack beginning to form in his voice.

"Please Charles, don't make me"

Looking at Erik for only a moment and wanting nothing more than to comfort him, Charles looked away and put up his defences once more.

"I'm not." he said, although with an air of uncertainty in his tone

"Just. Go."

Erik didn't move.

"I thought... Charles, I thought that we..." Erik couldn't finish his sentence for fear of letting out the tears he had been holding back.

Finally realising he had to give Erik a reason. Charles' shields collapsed.

"Erik. When we said that we... felt like this about each other. I wasn't like this. Like I am now. I wasn't weak. Look at me Erik, what a sorry sight I am. I can barely doing anything for myself. Every night I drink and I pass out and I wake up and I do the same damn thing all over again. Don't you see? I'm broken Erik. I don't work, I'm going to stay broken for the rest of my life while you're fine. You had feelings about someone who was fine. They weren't damaged. I'm not them Erik. I don't want you to stay long enough to realise how broken I am so you can leave me. If you know what's good for you you'll leave and let me destroy myself for I am not the person you came to find. I am but his weaker shadow."

"I don't care." Eric whispered.

"I don't care about any of that."

Charles, beginning to get frustrated, replied

"I make myself bloody miserable Erik. Imagine what I'd do to you... I don't want to do that to you."

"I've told you Charles. I don't care. However miserable you make me when I'm with you is nothing compared to how I felt without you. I don't care if you think you're broken Charles. You're still Charles, so you'll never be broken to me."

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