OH MY GOD I CLEARLY NEED TO REWATCH THIS MOVIE AGAIN BECAUSE I HAD ALREADY FORGOTTEN THIS PART
But oh my god, guys, look at them. This whole bit with the gun speaks, just, augh, just volumes about them, right? Because there’s Erik lifting a gun to his own head, partially out of a desire to show off, sure, but it’s more than that. The grin that pops onto his face a second after the shot in this gif, it’s manic, a little crazed, the push for that adrenaline…and maybe, too, the push to know that Charles would do that, that Charles has it in him. Because that’s the the deep and dirty heart of them, isn’t it, Erik with his rough scarred history and Charles with his soft, soft hands. Erik would shoot Charles if Charles asked him to, because Erik would trust that Charles knew what he was doing, but Charles can’t shoot Erik. And the thing is, it’s hard to know if it’s a trust thing or something else; it might just be because in his heart of hearts, in that unthinkingly selfish place, he doesn’t want to know that he ever pulled a trigger.
But the trust, right, that’s the other thing with Charles and Erik, really. The whole falling out is really painted as a trust issue, as Erik’s trust issue. Erik doesn’t trust in the goodness of men and Charles does, the subtext screams out; Erik doesn’t trust Charles in his head, won’t take off the helmet, and that’s wrong. But, if you actually look at it, it’s Charles with the trust issues, isn’t it? Charles who doesn’t trust Erik to stop the bullet in the above scene, Charles who trains everyone but won’t let anyone train him, Charles who insists he’s right no matter what. Charles who could always know what anyone is thinking, if he really wanted to; Charles who can’t can’t bear it when Erik puts the helmet on, stripping him of that safety net. Charles who wipes Moira’s memory. Charles who forces Oliver Pratt to get in the car. Charles, who thinks he’s trusting, but really, really isn’t—has never really needed to have faith in anyone, because he could just look into them see their thoughts, could make them do what he wanted if he had to.
And Erik, when you really think about it, is actually incredibly trusting, given the circumstances. He doesn’t trust humanity, because he went through a level of trauma as a child that would leave anyone with lingering difficulties on that front, but the level of trust he shows for Charles from the start is insane. For fuck’s sake, he moves into Charles’ home. He travels the country with a man who has exhibited a level of mind control that must terrify him, whose first introduction to him was an invasion, whose response to “What do you know about me,” was “Everything.”
And Charles won’t even pull the trigger. Charles won’t even trust him with himself. I love them together, ship the pairing like burning, but really…is it any wonder that Erik left?