Life is a bitch, and then one stabs you.

Dear I was pompous and my sister was crazy.

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Brief Lives (24/25)
Title: Brief Lives (24/25)
Author: monstrousreg
Word count:  3506
Warnings:  NC-17, I suppose.
Pairing: Erik/Charles.
Summary: Erik thinks he's going to seduce, interrogate and murder some nondescript CIA intelligence agent, and winds up biting more than  he can chew. Charles is not keen on being murdered, he doesn't favor interrogations, and he's certainly not willing to be seduced. That he's not cooperating is midly put.   
Notes:  Unbetaed, and stuff. To be perfectly honest, at this point I'm just indulging.

Erik’s fashioned a ring, out of an old silver statuette he found abandoned in an attic.

“Try to feel for the metal, the shape, the weight,” he says, floating the ring away in lazy patterns. Charles, sprawled over him naked and warm, closes his eyes and tries to focus.

“Silver feels… smooth and soft, delicate, but cold. Not as cold as steel, but colder than gold or copper. Gold is warm, very warm.”

Charles relaxes against him, fingers warm like gold on Erik’s shoulder, breathing deep and even. Erik can feel him, his mind, like a ray of sunlight braiding together with his gift, wrapping itself around the stem of his power and watching, learning, like a cat.

The ring stutters in the air, hesitates, and continues obeying Erik’s commands.

“You found it, good. Now try to control it.”

Charles does so, following the pathways of Erik’s familiar mind, going down a beaten path between walls. Sections of Erik’s industrial-like maze of a mind are closed off and sealed away from access, and though it would be an easy thing to peek inside, Charles turns away from them, respecting Erik’s privacy.

“What should I do with it?”

“Divide it in two, then in four, and then fuse it together into one, smooth and perfect.”

Charles frowns, fingers moving absently over Erik’s chest in a motion almost like a gentle scratch. Erik reaches over and stills them with his hand, shifting his right leg to press his foot flat on the bed. Charles’ thigh falls between his legs, but the telepath isn’t paying attention to Erik’s burgeoning erection. Erik flicks his eyes up to the ring, floating very still where he’s left it.

It shivers, loses shape and drops three inches towards the ground, and then successfully divides in two equal halves. Dividing the two into other halves is easier because Charles understands the command now. Fusing them back together into one is a different business, though, and Charles predictably fails to manage it.

Erik closes his gift around the ring, turns it into two spheres and makes them orbit each other playfully. Then he brings them closer, fuses them into a formless mass and gives them the shape of a little horse, exquisite in its details, small eyes blinking as it trots lightly over Charles’ thigh.

The telepath laughs delightedly, eyes bright.

“Your control is nothing short of fascinating, Erik.”

Erik hums, flicking a finger as the little horse hops on steady hooves over the angle of Charles’ hip and down the flat line of his flank, then jumps elegantly to Erik’s own stomach where Charles reaches out to touch it, marveled. Erik narrows his eyes and makes the horse nuzzle Charles’ finger contentedly.

Charles laughs again, lifting his head from Erik’s shoulders to take a closer look.

“It’s very beautiful, Erik. You have a beautiful gift.”

Erik has never heard it quite put that way—powerful, yes, resourceful, skilled, even convenient—but beautiful? No, no one’s called it that before.

“No one’s called you beautiful either, but you are,” Charles sighed, stretching languidly over Erik’s body like a lazy cat, playfully nudging the horse’s head.

“I think the appropriate term for a grown man is handsome, kleiner. Keep it up and I might just start calling you pet names like Barchen, Süsser and Liebchen.”

“But then you’ll lose all right to complain if I call you sweetheart in front of the children.”

“Do that, I dare you. See what it gets you.”

“I’m not scared of you and you big teeth,” Charles huffs, grinning widely.

“You should be,” Erik warns, and without another word surges up to nip smartly at the angle of Charles’ jaw. The telepath flinches back, gasping, and Erik rolls with the movement, pinning him down under his body.

“You’ve definitely gained weight,” Charles chuckles, quickly propping his hand up to hold Erik’s weight so his right arm won’t suffer it. “Your hipbones aren’t poking through your skin anymore.”

“With no exercise and how much I’m eating, it can’t be helped.”

“I like it,” Charles comments, arching his back sinfully to demonstrate just how much. “You look healthier.”

“That’s just because Shaw’s dead,” Erik replies, rolling off to the other side so he’s lying on his legs flank, right arm unharmed. “I wish this stupid thing would come off already,” he complains, glancing down at his dominant arm.

“Mikey said he’s taking the stitches off today,” Charles points out, , resting his hand on Erik’s right hipbone. “That’s one improvement, isn’t it?”

“It frustrates me not to be able to do anything without it.”

“That’s hardly true, darling. Your gift gives you plenty of independence. Imagine me in your situation; I wouldn’t be able to cut my own food. Stop sulking, it’s not attractive in grown, handsome men. Besides, you face can’t pull it off, it looks unnatural.”

Erik laughs and slumps forward so he’s lying half over Charles, pinning him down.

“Oi, you’re taller and heavier than me now, you oaf. And I need to take a shower and get up. Some of us have morning classes.”
“Some of us skip them to have long, sweaty morning sex.”

“You and your hand do make a lovely couple.”

“It would have to be yours, since I can’t do it properly with my left.”

“It’s not rocket science, I’m sure you can manage. I don’t see why I have to sacrifice my hand to your pleasure.”

“I’m not selfish,” Erik murmurs against Charles’ lips. “I’ll share it.”

Charles smiles, slow and sinful, and his hand snakes down across Erik’s taut stomach, down to—


They both jerk up, startled, to find, of all people, Caroline Fraser standing in the middle of their room, in her rumples pink nightdress and sleepy, bleary eyes.

Erik scrambles for the covers, even as Charles sits up, grinning, as the girl wobbles her way over to the bed.  “What are you doing here, pet?”

There’s a sound from the study, “Hey, what—Car! Come back—Uncle Charlie, Mr. Erik, I’m sorry! Da sent me up here to pick something up. I turned my back one second. May I come in?”

Charles checks they’re both decently covered, giving Erik a rueful look, House full of children, occupational hazard I’m afraid.

I’m liking this boy less and less.

“Come in, Nicky,” Charles says, grinning at Caroline.

The boy peeks inside, and then quickly strolls over to lift the toddler into his arms, leaning her expertly on a hip. “Sorry to have bothered y’all, you know how she is. She’s been asking ‘bout you, Uncle. Tarlie, Taaaarlie,” he mocked fondly, poking the girl in the nose.

Charles laughs, reaching over to smooth the girl’s hair back gently. “I fear I might have made an impression last night, what with holding her up all the time, and now I must seem neglectful.”

“Other people like cuddling too,” Nicholas grinned, glancing at Erik with all of his father’s natural mirth.

“Hilarious,” Erik says flatly, leveling the boy with a look as cold as ice.

Unfortunately, Fraser got to Nicholas before Erik did, so the boy’s been forewarned that Erik has a big jaw but little bite.

Erik smiles, “We’re naked under here, you know, so if you could scurry, that would be appreciated.”

Nicholas’s smile turns sharp, much in the way his father’s does when he’s about to put someone—generally Erik, occasionally Logan—in their place.

“I’ll just go and tell Sofia that you nearly scarred her daughter for life, shall I? Between the two of you, you ought to have enough balls to stand up to her.”

That is a debatable point, as it would likely take more balls than four of those to face down one Sofia Fraser. However, before Erik can rise to the bait, Charles is making a shooing motion. Boy and toddler leave the room, not before the Texan throws Erik a victorious smirk.

“That brat is a pain in the ass.”

Charles is too busy doubling over laughing to reply, so Erik shoved at him with his left hand and chokes on his own laugh when the telepath tumbles gracelessly off the bed. In the ensuing fight for revenge, they do end up having sex—on their sides, with Erik’s left arm under Charles’ head, fingers tangled in dark hair, panting wetly into Charles’ ear, and Charles’ thigh thrown back over his own as he thrust in long, slow movements that make Charles’ breath catch in his throat.

Then when Charles has showered and left and Erik is alone, indulging himself a while longer in the soft warm bed, he wonders how long it will take for Charles to find actual pleasure in his gift, as Erik does on his.

Charles is undeniably powerful of course, but he uses his gift as someone would use a handgun; it’s a weapon and a necessity, something to put up with. When it was gone Charles missed it because it’s a part of him, but he has no love for it.

Erik shakes himself and gets up, showers. After a moment of hesitation he puts the metal horse in his jacket pocket, wondering if he might find some more unused silver lying around to make it a rider to go with. Then he stalks out of his room in search of his head physician. He finds him in the lawn outside, playing baseball of all damn things, and yelling.

“Stop that, you cheater! We said no teleporting, or I’ll tie your tail around a tree! Play fair like everyone else!”

“You don’t censor Pietro,” Azazel mumbles.

“Petro plays by the rules, you big red babe! Good Lord, like I didn’t have enough with one sullen teenager in my life—“

Nicholas doesn’t reply because he’s sitting on the grass with Alex Summers, Sean Cassidy and Hank McCoy. Erik can just tell they’re plotting something, and it can be nothing good, so he sidles over, listening.

“…away somewhere it’ll be hard to find, yeah? Somewhere they won’t look for it.”

“What about the Prof’s study?” Sean suggests.

“Nah, that’ll be over in a lick,” Nicholas dismisses, shifting Caroline in his lap. Alex is stretched out on his back, legs crossed, hands behind his head, face half-covered by Nicholas’ Stetson hat, and seems to be dozing in the sunlight.

Caroline makes a sound of protest, and his brother lets her go so she can give three steps and fall unselfconsciously in McCoy’s lap. The boy fumbles awkwardly, but Nicholas pays him no mind, perfectly undisturbed by the fact that a giant blue lion-man has just become his toddler sister’s playmate and caretaker.

Erik doesn’t really hate this boy. It’s impossible.

“Planning mischief?” he asks, towering over them.

“Learning being shifty and creepy in broad daylight now?” Sean asks, squinting.

“Practice does make perfect,” Erik smirks. “So what are you all good-for-nothings thinking of?”

“It’ll be Raven’s birthday next week,” McCoy answers, steadying the toddler on his thigh. “We were thinking some guys would be nice, maybe like a holiday to celebrate she’ll be over? Ororo suggested a scavenger hunt, and we were trying to decide where to hide the treasure.”

Erik crouches down, setting his elbows on his thighs to join the plotting. “Any useful ideas? Not the study, Nicholas is right, too obvious.”
“We could use the grounds too,” McCoy says, sounding like he’s insisting. “It’s a big estate.”

“But then it’ll have to be in groups,” Nicholas says, sounding like he’s gone over this already. “You can’t let children loose around with no supervision, man. And with groups and if each group needs to have an adult looking out for them, it won’t be as fun by half.”

“Group sports are good,” Sean shrugs, unfolding his ridiculously long legs in front of him. “Help promote camaraderie and shit.”

“How eloquently put,” Erik mocks.

Caroline, having seemingly had enough of tugging at Beast’s fur, gets off his lap and makes her way back to her brother, only to find one of Sean’s long legs on her path. She stumbles over, and Erik darts out to catch her before she falls, only to remember, a split-second too late, that he can’t use his right arm. The hesitation forces makes him overbalance, and McCoy quickly slides an arm around his stomach and steadies him, matter-of-fact and easy, comfortable. Nicholas gathers his sister into his lap and admonishes her to stay still.

It’s nothing for McCoy—he’s used to helping, of course, and trusts Erik implicitly now that Charles has declared that he trusts him with more than his life.

But Erik—Erik is only used to contact in two variants: combat and sex. He’s certainly not familiar with the warmth of McCoy’s hand, resting companionably on his back, or the way Sean glosses over the clumsiness with no comment, not even attempting to tease him about it, or the way Nicholas glances at him only to make sure he’s fine, and then redirects his green eyes to Alex, who’s turned his head and lost the shade provided by the hat. He reaches over, and fixes it, and thinks nothing of it.

Erik gets up and leaves without a word, wanders aimlessly through the lawn until he comes to the same old willow tree he’d first found that evening after Charles had told him everything Shaw had done to him. Absently he flicks aside the long trailing branches, and sits down at its root, stretching his legs.

This is where, about an hour later, Ororo find him.

“We need to stop meeting like this,” Erik teases, smiling.

“We would, if you were a bit more sociable.”

Ororo waits for a reply. And when it doesn’t come she walks over and sit next to him, drawing up her legs to hug them as she normally does.

“I told Nicky I liked him,” she reveals after a moment.

Erik blinks at her. “He’s been here one week. How can you like him? That’s just a crush. It’ll pass.”

The look the girl gives him tells him that was precisely the wrong thing to say. Erik grimaces, waving a hand around.

“Sorry. So what did your leather-boot knight say to that?”

“That I’m really pretty, but he’s only staying another week, so he can’t do anything with me because it wouldn’t be nice of him.”
Erik sighs, “It wouldn’t. He’s right. And he was nice to say it.”

“I know,” Ororo mumbles. “But I still like him.”

Erik drags his left hand over his face. Normally in this kinds of situation eh would sink, but this is Ororo, and he knows what she needs. So he just lifts his right arm and lets her burrow in closer to him, sniffling quietly.

“It’ll be alright,” he says, absently stroking her shoulder. “It doesn’t feel like it now but it’ll pass.”

“How do you know?” Ororo asks shakily.

Erik closes his eyes.

“Everything passes, schatz. Am I not living proof than one can withstand any kind of torment and come out of it alive and whole?”

“Not everyone’s like you, Erik.”

“Nor should you have to,” Erik says, and smiles down at her as he gathers her up closer. “Nor will you need you need to. Unlike me, you won’t be alone.”

He shifts to be more comfortable, and a shape digs into his side. Grinning, he pulls the silver horse out, and sets it on the ground. He focuses all of his power in giving it life, and is rewarded with Ororo’s delighted squeal when the little animal shakes its silver mane, and trots, gallops, jumps around elegant as any life-size horse.

Charles sends out a sweep of inquiry, one his normal daily telepathic rounds, just checking in with everyone to make sure there are no problems.

All quiet in the western front, Erik sends back, frames it with warmth and peaceful and wraps snugly it in come join us.

You, my friend, Charles murmurs back, are a wonder.

Erik grins, I know.

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Awww Erik, you giant teddy bear/shark...

This chapter just made me feel warm and shmoopy inside. I adored every bit! From the little metal horse, to Nicky and Caroline's adorableness, to sweet little Ororo in the end.

Oh, and this may be random to mention, but the sex position that you had Charles and Erik use is one of my favorites. Let's call it a sex position kink. lol. I always find it's hard to write/describe the pose, as a visual aid is needed more often than naught for it (unlike missionary or doggystyle which *everyone* knows). So thanks for using this rarely used position. ^_^

ITA! I liked that this position seemed to have more to do with intimacy and less to do with, you know, power over someone else. I'm not sure how to explain it eloquently, LOL. It was so nice to see Charles and Erik both relaxed about sex, at last :-)

I can't ever get enough of this fic. Your Erik is so adorable! *____________*

Thank you so much for updating. I am loving your young Ororo and Nick characterizations.

Gigant fluffy Shark! =D
cute chapter

All quiet in the western front, Erik sends back, frames it with warmth and peaceful and wraps snugly it in come join us.

The way you write about their telepathy is nothing short of beautifully poetic and I love reading it. Also love Erik and the silver horse, again SO beautiful. I've never read anything like it.

Very sweet and peaceful chapter! I swear, the calm radiated from your writing.

Don't apologise for you indulgence, because it's lovely!

I enjoyed the gentle peace of this chapter. It is another kind of revenge on Shaw, I think, that Charles can put Shaw's sexual abuse behind him somewhat, and the comfort and peace in Charles and Erik's relationship is a warm relief after everything!

I like that you have left tatters of angst around the edges, though, like Charles' power still weighing heavily on him. But Erik's horse was so sweet. He seems to have a fondness for making Charles horses in your stories ;-)

what an adorable chapter!
that little horse sounds so neat!

noooooo!!! it can't end here :-/

*sigh* this story is making me feel warm and fuzzy inside...

Oh please more, please. 24/25 and there's no other chapter? Unless you've forgotten to tag it, of which I am going through your archives as I type.

Hope life is treating you well.

Did you find it or does it not exist?! ;___;

I can't find it in the tags nor going through the archives :(

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