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Fic: The Orange

Title The Orange
Fandom Marvel: Uncanny X-Men
Pairing Charles Xavier/Magneto/Gabrielle Haller
Rating G
Word count 456
Summary An excursion to the sea.
Author's notes This is a fill for the prompt "Gabby/Erik/Charles, Haifa", which demoiselledefortune on Tumblr gave me. This is set during the flashback issue Uncanny X-Men #161, in Haifa in 1962. As this follows the comic canon, Magneto is referred to as Magnus, which is the name he goes by when he first meets Charles in the comics.

The first excursion they make together does not take them far, only to the sea. Many of Gaby’s childhood memories from before the war (which are distant, as though she is watching them from across a wide river) revolves around water, but the blue Mediterranean is unlike the harsh North Sea.

The sun beats down on them, making the sand so hot that she thinks her skin will blister when she pushes her fingers into it. Charles buys them all oranges. He keeps one for himself and throws two to Magnus, who in turn hands her one. The ease with which they move makes it look almost like a circus-trick. Charles starts pricing his fruit open with his finger-nails. She tries to follow suit, but her nails have been cut too short so be used for such things. Without speaking, Magnus takes the orange from her and opens it with a few practiced movements, far more elegant than Charles’ digging and ripping. She thanks him as he hands it back. His hand brushes against hers for a moment. His smile changes - broadens and becomes genuine. Then it disappears, dwindling to the usual secretive quirk of his lips. Gaby looks away and bites into her orange.

The meat melts in her mouth, and the juice runs down her hands. She chases a trickle of juice on her wrist with her tongue, not wanting it to go to waste. When she looks up again, Charles looks at her so directly that she first thinks it is horror. He stares, thunder-struck, at her hands. Gaby smiles at him and pops the last of the orange into her mouth. He smiles back, looking overwhelmed. His smile disappears altogether when she licks the stickiness off her fingers. She casts Magnus a glance. She is pleased to see him watching too, but he hides it better than Charles. Still licking her fingers, she kicks off her shoes and steps out of them. It has been so long since she last ran. Her legs feel weak, but now that she has started running, she cannot stop, or she will burn her feet. Even now, she sinks into it, and hot grains nestles between her toes and under her toe-nails. She does not want to stop. She laughs and wheels about, arms thrown wide. This is what freedom feels like. Far behind her, she sees Charles and Magnus. They have their arms around each other’s shoulders. They are laughing, hurrying after her and waving her forsaken shoes, each holding one in his free hand. She laughs back and waves back at them. Then she turns and sets off again.

She runs towards the wide expanse of the sea, knowing they won’t be far behind.


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 3rd, 2014 08:47 am (UTC)
This is lovely, both in the imagery and just the summery, bright feel. It's good to see these three very focused people focusing on each other and the moment for once!

(One typo in the last para: "Erik and Magnus")
Jul. 3rd, 2014 06:28 pm (UTC)
Thank you very much!

(And argh, thanks. That's what I get for writing quickly and late at night...)
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )



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