Title: Beauty Is Scalp-Deep
Fandom: X-Men: First Class
Warnings: Complete crack, blatant use of awful tropes, flagrant disregard for Charles Xavier's actual characterisation, and a really lacklustre ending
Summary: After a recent and jarring physical change, Charles cannot bear to show himself to the outside world. It's up to Erik to convince him that his new appearance is not the curse that it seems at first to be.
"It's really good to have you back," Ororo says for the eleventh time as they climb the stairs. "Everything else aside, no one can handle the Professor like you can."
"True," Erik replies. He unlocks the door to Charles' room with a wave of his hand as they reach the landing. "If you'll leave me to it?"
Ororo glances once at the door, then back at him, and then nods gratefully. "Good luck," she says, and doesn't even seem to mean it facetiously. Then she turns and descends the stairs, about as quickly as she possibly could without running. It's a good thing she's here to help run the institute. In a world of ignorance and human weakness, it can be hard to find good help.
"What have you become since last we met?" Erik murmurs to himself, quietly enough, but apparently Charles is at least paying attention to the world around him.
Don't come in here, he says, somewhere in Erik's head.
"You're being unreasonable," Erik says. He doesn't have to speak aloud, of course, but he's going to damn well do it anyway. "The running of your school doesn't end because you won't leave your room."
I can never leave my room again, Charles insists. Life on his own, it appears, hasn't suited him at all; he never used to be this overdramatic.
There's only one solution. If reason won't work, brute force will do the job nicely. "I hope you're clear of the door, Charles." He pushes the unlocked door into the room, slamming it against the wall, and walks into a room that hasn't changed in the ten years since he first saw it. This time, however, it's somewhat messier, as if the occupant started throwing things for a minute but then realised what a complete waste of time such an action was, but never bothered to tidy up those few thrown items.
"Don't look at me, I'm hideous," groans Charles to Erik's left, curled up against a bookshelf. He looks somehow smaller, like something of him has finally worn completely away, leaving him diminished. Uncovered. Bald, even.
Laughter is not the kindest or most politic reaction he might have had, but given their history Erik doesn't really feel the need for kindness or diplomacy. "Is that it?" he gasps once he can speak again, and Charles looks up in order to direct an expression of the purest indignation his way. "This is your horrible, life-changing secret?"
"My dignity is gone," Charles says in a hollow voice. "I will never be beautiful again."
"You gave up your dignity when you locked yourself up in here," Erik informs him, swallowing a second fit of laughter. "Professor Charles Xavier, genius of genetics, completely incapacitated by hair loss."
"You couldn't understand," Charles sniffs. "You've still got a full head of hair."
"Get over yourself, Charles, you've got a school to run." Erik pulls him to a sitting position and locates the chair, covered in a long jacket and a bottle of redundant shampoo. And then, because Charles actually does seem broken up about this, he adds, "You're wanted for your brain anyway, not whatever's covering it. Start wearing a hat if you find your bare head that troubling."
Really, though, he'd be absolutely fine if Charles' lack of hair made him seem hideous to the world at large. Maybe he'd finally decide to give up on joining the rest of the world. Maybe genetics finally having turned on him in a way he could not accept, he'd finally stop using that tired old pickup line.