A small what-if before school. Instead of Hank or Logan as in the movie, the Sentinels, upon Erik’s command, attacks Charles instead. Based on this post.
"Do what you were made for."
Through the helmet, his own voice might as well be a stranger’s. There are things that Erik has regretted, things Erik will regret, but if war is a book then regret is the starch of its pages, blank spaces greedy for blood and sacrifice.
The Sentinels turn, guns raised and bullets poised in their chambers. Erik senses the heavy movements through their metal weave.
Their arms swivel away. Instead of Wolverine or Beast the guns are trained on rubble, and as the Sentinels’ heads glow orange Erik frowns, unease trickling into the back of his mind. What had he forgotten? Is there something he had missed?
"Professor!" Hank screams, and Erik’s chest freezes.
The guns fire.
Seconds spent in a chaotic daze, his body moving on pure instinctual fear. All the sound of the world is drowned by the rush of blood in his ears, breath punched out of his lungs - for eternal moments all he could feel is the thundering of his heart. No, he thinks. His power flexes to crush the Sentinels, wrenching away the rubble in violent dismay. No.
Charles’ body lies prone on the grass, and all around him the soil is drenched in his blood. Erik may be screaming, or crying, he’s not sure; his eyes burn, his throat bitter with bile, and he’s fallen to his knees in front of the mangled remains of a man.
No, not mangled. No. Underneath the remnants of rubble Charles is whole, and breathing, alive, please, and Erik’s discarded his helmet, pressing both Charles’ palms to his own temples, warm and slippery with blood, willing him to live live live as if the blind panic and desperate, dwindling hope in his mind can propel Charles - breathe damn you, come on, if there is any kindness left in this world, please, please.
Please, Erik whispers, cries, begs. A prayer to a god that doesn’t exist. Please, don’t forsake me again. If I have to live the rest of my life without his smile, don’t let him be bereft of the same.
Erik’s always hated the number three.
Of course, somehow Charles lives and Erik turns his giant self-loathing angst monster up to gayleven. And then they have all the sex. The end!