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coffee shop meet-cute

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Erik had a good memory for regular customers, but he would have remembered this guy either way: A handsome Englishman in a wheelchair, with unusually blue eyes and a voracious appetite for books. In the past two weeks he'd made his way through half of the cafe’s library, piquing Erik’s interest. All the books here were from Erik's own collection, but most customers just flicked through them while waiting for friends to arrive. It was almost as if this man came here specifically to read, and the coffee was an afterthought.

'A nerd after your own heart,' quipped Raven, after she caught Erik watching him from behind the counter. Erik glared at her and said nothing, but only because he didn't have a decent comeback: She was right.

So, Erik was oddly disappointed to catch him scribbling in the margins of Hunt for the X-Gene by Dr. C. Xavier. An instant black mark on his pristine record.

Frowning, Erik stalked over to his table. 'If you vandalize that, you have to replace it.'

The man glanced up, surprised. 'It’s mine,' he said.

Erik paused, looking over at the bookshelf. Sure enough, there was his own dog-eared copy, propped up beside a volume of war photography. 'My apologies,' he said stiffly.

'Is it a personal favorite?'

“Favorite” wasn’t the word Erik would use. Hunt for the X-Gene was the most infuriating book on mutant genetics he’d ever read—and the cleverest. 'Let’s just say I understand the desire to write corrections,' Erik said eventually. 'As long as they’re in your own copy.'

The man grinned and held out his hand. 'Charles Xavier,' he said, and Erik’s gaze flashed down to the book’s cover, echoing an all-too-familiar name. When he looked up, Xavier’s eyes were twinkling with amusement. 'I believe you’ve heard of me.'