29 and unfortunately a grownup
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Imagine your OTP in a massive ball pit.
Charles dove through the brightly colored plastic orbs with something approaching an embarrassing amount of glee. ”Erik!” he crowed, twisting among them as he slithered towards the last place he’d seen the other man.
"Charles, this is ridiculous," Erik’s voice said in clipped sharp tones. Charles reached for the other man’s mind and found chagrin, consternation, and endless amounts of disapproval for the fact that the balls were made of plastic and therefore immune to Erik’s power.
"None of that, now, Erik," said Charles, swimming through the balls, half sinking, half staying abreast of them. He could just barely make out the back of Erik’s head looking quite dour as it rose above blue and yellow balls. With a great push Charles leaped forward, arms thrust out, and clapped his hands against Erik’s back, shoving the other man forward.
"Charles!" roared Erik, sinking through the balls despite his flailing efforts to stay afloat. Charles gave another great push and did a belly flop on the balls, sinking through them until he was suddenly straddling bony arms and legs. He pressed through the balls until he and Erik were face to face.
The look on Erik’s face was so deeply irritated that Charles burst out into laughter, which echoed weirdly among the plastic. The funny noise had Erik’s lips twitching at the corners, though his eyes were still stony blue. Charles kept chortling, and almost against his will Erik started laughing, too — softly at first, then progressing into chuckles and then into full guffaws. Charles wriggled closer to the other man, pressing their bodies against each other, and gave Erik a full kiss over his laughing mouth.
"All right, Charles," said Erik begrudgingly, wrapping his arms around Charles and returning the kiss. "I concede. A giant ball pit can be rather amusing after all."
Title: Mortuis, Vivit
Genre: AU with powers, zombie AU, Cherik, action, angst, hurt/comfort, violence, death
Warnings: Zombie-grade violence with great detail; death; sexin’; cursing, angst.
Chapter 7: Cursus
Erik is tired of fighting.
It’s a thought that has never before occurred to him. When he escaped the camps, he embarked on a ceaseless journey of movement and stalking, hunting, killing. He reveled in his work. It had become his sole comfort to him, a way to soothe the many agonies buried deep within him.
Now he fights, and the only reason for it is locked in an iron collar, moaning incessantly in his ears, clawing at him more weakly by the day.
“Charles,” he says today, as he has said for the past four days. “You are Charles Xavier, goddammit. You’re a man. Wake up. Wake up.”
Erik flinches as his mind curdles with violent hunger. Charles is still a telepath, even when locked in the grip of a dead mentality, and he can still receive and project with astonishing clarity. Thankfully, he does not appear to be able to control Erik in this state; Erik supposes that a conscious will is necessary for mind control. But receiving the images in Charles’ mind is a form of torture that Shaw would have been pleased to use.
Erik shakes the images away. He does not know what to do, and the feeling is unsettling in a way that makes his stomach ache. He is a man of action. This sitting and hoping is a foreign, nihilistic exercise and the waste of it makes him sick.
He rummages through their supplies. He cannot pretend to himself any more that they can simply wait out Charles’ latest fugue. They need to move, or they will die of thirst.
He moves more slowly than he would like. The days of little food are beginning to take a toll on him. Erik knows his reaction times are dulled, that if a horde were to happen upon them, he would not be at his best. They need to leave now, or never again. And looking into those blue eyes, no matter how wild, Erik knows he cannot make a choice that leaves Charles with only certain death.
So it is that he packs the scant contents of both packs into a single bag, and straps the weapons to himself in a familiar routine that today is muddled. He swallows, then reaches out his hand to call the metal in Charles’ chain. It leaps to his hand gratefully, and before the terrible simulacrum of Charles can leap to bite him, Erik pulls the chain, jerking Charles viciously to the side.
Summer in upstate New York was a cruel thing, Charles thought ruefully. He sighed. In an astonishing oversight, the library had been built on the third floor. He could have collected the books he wished to examine and taken them down into the cool bunker underground, but he would have had to make several trips in the heat, in which case staying upstairs in the first place was the most appealing option.
So he sat there in one of the plush overstuffed chairs, feeling a little foolish in his undershirt and a pair of shorts, and still feeling dreadfully hot. The air lay thick and heavy on him. Even with the windows open, the world outside refused a breeze.
A knock at the door to the library had him stirring from his reverie. He looked toward the door, moving sluggishly through the humid air. ”Who is it?” he called.
Erik poked his head through the doorway, his face shining with sweat. He, too, was stripped down to a thin white undershirt and flimsy shorts. ”How can you possibly concentrate in this hellishness?” he asked dryly.
"One does what one must," said Charles, though it was with the weakest enthusiasm that he turned the next page in the heavy genetics tome.
"You could have at least asked me for a little help," said the other man, a wry grin twisting his face.
"How do you figure?"
Erik stepped into the room, pulling up the chair next to Charles and settling into it. He nodded to the metal bookends keeping the books separated and neat, then gestured. Five of the bookends flew out to hover above them as Erik lazily twirled a finger. The brushed steel that had looked so modern — something Erik had suggested, instead of the baroque wooden bookends that had been there for ages — now seemed to melt and flatten above their heads, transforming now into a familiar shape. The new fan whirred merrily above them, sending a blessedly cool stream of fresh air down into their faces.
"Better?" asked Erik. His lips pulled back into a smile, revealing a long row of gleaming teeth. His eyes, so often cold, were now quick and playful.
"I suppose now you think that you’re earning your keep," said Charles. "Seeing as you’re being so helpful and all."
"No, no," said Erik seriously. "I know I need to do rather more than that."
He leaned over and pulled Charles’ face close to his, meeting his lips with a kiss that was full and hot and wanting. Charles moaned, closing his eyes and savoring the sensation of Erik’s wet mouth on his. The book in Charles’ lap clattered to the floor, as up above the fan’s cooling breeze wavered.
"Ah… perhaps you should put that down for the moment," said Charles, glancing up to see the fan wobbling madly in midair. "Concentrate on… other endeavors."
Eric gestured slightly and the fan made a hasty landing on the floor. Charles didn’t notice what happened to it after that, as he was too busy climbing over his chair and onto Erik’s lap, sweat and humidity and stickiness be damned.
Perhaps, he reflected, before Erik tore his undershirt off, summer wasn’t so bad after all.
Fewer clothes to get in the way.
that Erik/Raven kiss still feels like it came totally out of left field to be honest
I love Raven, and I know her sexuality is an important part of Mystique, but I think it would have been a better choice for Erik to give her his little pep talk and then send her on her way without a kiss, but both of them clearly friends
also it makes it easier to write Charles buggering Erik two seconds later
(because dammit I still persist in loving top!Charles in this fandom so there)
Title: Mortuis, Vivit
Genre: AU with powers, zombie AU, Cherik, action, angst, hurt/comfort, WIP
Warnings: standard zombie-grade violence described in great detail, also some sexin’ and cursing.
Length: 7200~ words in 6 chapters, WIP. Previous chapters here: http://fanfoolishness.tumblr.com/post/26156011225/zombie-cherik-fic-returns
Chapter 6: Janus
Erik’s nerves are raw. The moans of the undead wear on him, even when they’re at a distance; hundreds of yards away is close enough to run his mind ragged. Hearing them in his ears from only a few feet away is enough to make him want to kill.
But it’s Charles, trapped by his telepathy, making those hated sounds. Erik lifts his hooded eyes to watch the other man, a feeling of nausea rising in his chest. Erik had taken the old crowbar and formed the unwarped part of it into a collar, which now sat loosely around Charles’ neck. It’s old and grimy, and leaves a ring of grayish dirt against the skin of the other man’s throat. Luckily Erik had led them to a small cabin in the forest, using his magnetic sense, and the people who had owned the place had had a dog. Charles was now chained to the wall furthest from the door and window.
Charles is settled back on his haunches, like an animal, like a predator. His pupils stare but only vaguely; they don’t seem to focus on anything in particular. He’s still filthy from their flight through the forest, his face spattered with blood and what Erik guesses is bile. And he sits there groaning, red lips parted obscenely to produce the sound.
Erik understands, mostly, what has happened. The same thing had happened at the house at the lake; there had been a horde, they’d been fighting, and suddenly Charles had turned on Erik, his jaw working, teeth snapping. Erik was bitten twice on the forearm before he flung Charles back into the other room of the house. It had taken him hours to destroy the horde alone, shooting them through the window, sending his weapons out to work on them. When it was over, he had warily gone back to Charles, his heart in his throat, blood crusted on his arm. He did not feel feverish or sick, the way that bitten people they had seen before acted. It just felt like a normal bite, a little sore, a little tender, with no deadly infection coursing through him. But yet Charles was still behind the door, growling and scrabbling at the walls instead of simply turning the doorknob and walking out.
That was when Erik had been slammed with a wave of violence that was achingly bright and realistic. Erik could taste blood in his mouth, feel the way flesh gives way to teeth, feel chunks of it choking in his esophagus. Charles’ power had been twisted by the overwhelming feel of monsters broadcasting their mad hunger, overwhelmed by the sameness of the creatures’ projections.
It took two days of Erik shooting straggler creatures out of the window before Charles came to his senses. In that time Erik had had to pin Charles against the wall in the other room, fighting off the other man’s pawing hands to dribble water from a bottle down his throat. The constant moaning was dehydrating him rapidly. Erik tried leaving bread on the ground, but Charles had ignored it. So Erik stayed in the main room alone, while Charles groaned and scrabbled at the walls in the other room, incapable of opening the door. Erik tried to talk to him, at first, but could not bear to hear the answering gibbering noises from the Oxford-educated man. He retreated into a state of silence, waiting, scarcely moving so as to avoid startling Charles.
A bleak morning dawned, the weather as drab and muddled as Erik’s thoughts. Chief among these thoughts was the one he tried to suppress, and kept failing at; the idea that Charles might never come back from this psychotic break. He tried stuffing his brain with other thoughts, memories of better times with Charles, before somehow the dead could walk and hunt and kill. It felt like an empty exercise, but for scattered moments, at least, he could lose himself in a chess game, or a bottle of wine, or the bedroom.
He had not seen one of the undead for over six hours, and began to hope that the horde had been destroyed. He had just settled down onto the shabby settee for a much-needed nap when the doorknob on the door to the other room twisted, and Charles stumbled out, tears running down his face.
“Erik,” he gasped, and his voice was ragged sandpaper. “Thank God. I thought something had happened to you.”
Erik stood and carefully guided Charles down to sit, settling beside him. He was shaky with relief, a feeling that was foreign to him. “Charles, I –“ He didn’t know what to say, so he swept the other man into an awkward embrace, then held him out to look at him. Charles looked dreadful. Drool and blood had dried on his stubble, his hair was missing chunks, and his arms were covered with scratches. His fingernails were worn down to nubs, his fingertips raw from the flesh being scraped away on the walls. The two days without food left him looking even thinner than weeks of short commons had left him.
“Where did you go?” asked Erik quietly.
Charles looked baffled for a moment. “Go? What do you mean? I should ask you the same –“ Then a shadow crossed his face, and with it, a painful realization. “Oh, God. Oh, fuck.” He began to tremble, and Erik hurriedly grabbed the tattered blanket that lay on the floor, pulling it around Charles’ shoulders.
Charles licked his lips, which were dry and cracked despite Erik’s attempts to keep him hydrated. He spoke in a halting voice, so different from his usual self-assured tone. “I think I see what happened, now,” he said dully. “It’s – it’s this.” He gestured vaguely at his temple. “This bloody mutation. When I was a little boy, I – sometimes found it difficult, to remember who I was, when there were all these other voices shouting in my mind. But I learned to control it. Humans and mutants… they pose no problem. But these…”
Erik could think of nothing to say. Even without a telepathic connection he felt the other man’s shame rolling off of him in waves; shame at being overmastered, shame at his loss of control. So instead of saying anything, he just inched closer to Charles, then brought one arm up to rest around his shoulders.
“But you’re all right now,” he said gruffly.
“For now,” said Charles. “For now.”
Erik shakes his head, startled out of his memories by another rattling moan from Charles. Charles had come out of his fugue on his own at the lake house, but here they are now, supplies low, half of the horde still out there. Erik had simply taken Charles and fled once he understood the situation. Charles might fool a human or mutant observer, but he has no doubts that the dead would still see Charles as one of the living, nothing more than meat. He couldn’t hope to protect both a ravening Charles and himself, so they had fled, Charles staggering at his side.
Now they stare at each other, ten feet of space separating them, enough space so that even with Charles stretching out to his full length and wheeling his arms, he still can’t reach Erik. Erik’s chest feels dull and heavy, watching Charles claw uselessly at the air, saliva coating his face, those goddamned moans so ugly and strange.
“Charles. Charles. Charles,” Erik says sharply, again and again. He thinks of all the things that make up the other man: brilliance, telepathy, a good heart, rubbish flirting, chess skills. He wishes, not for the first time, that he could send these things directly into Charles’ mind to negate the filthy residues of the dead. Remember what you are!
But that’s not his gift. He can only think these things hopelessly, longing for them to reach the other man, with no real way to tell if his thoughts are being received at all.
Charles sags against the wall, slumping back to a crouching position, his head lolling on one shoulder. The posture is so unnatural and uncomfortable that Erik knows his thoughts are merely echoing in an empty room.
Erik remembers what it was like to be alone before. His ruthless hunts had brought him a hollow joy, enough to keep him moving. Exacting revenge was the only thing he knew to do for that boy in a doctor’s office, long ago. He thought it was enough. Until he met Charles.
Charles, who had seemed like just another stuffy academic who didn’t know how to handle his liquor. Erik had given him one glance and ignored him, instead choosing a booth in the back of the bar, waiting for the man whose father had been an officer in the camps. The man never showed, and somehow Charles found his way to Erik’s booth, rudely sliding in to the seat across from him, carrying an English beer for himself and a German brew for Erik.
“I don’t want company,” said Erik flatly, ignoring the beer.
Charles’s ruddy face contracted into an expression of keen insight, something that looked out of place on a man who appeared to be on his ninth drink. He licked his lips carefully, then said, “You’re like me, you know.”
“Do enlighten me.”
Charles lifted a hand and settled it beside his temple, smiling devilishly. You see, you and I, we’re something different, he said, but the words were inside his head, and Erik recoiled instinctively.
“What the hell –“
We’re mutants, you and I. You have a way with metal. I have a way with minds. Quite fascinating, isn’t it? I’m so bloody excited I can’t stand it. And by the brightness in his eyes, the glowing smile, Erik could see the other man absolutely meant it.
That was the last time Erik’s tightly ordered world of hunts and planning made sense. Suddenly there was a world where he was not alone. At least, that was how it was supposed to be, until the dead began to move.
Erik sighs, turning away from the foul caricature of Charles, his eyes suddenly stinging. He shakes his head and swallows. “I’ll keep trying,” he says, in a low voice that is swallowed up by Charles’ heavy breathing. He looks out the window and sees the first of the shambling horde making its slow, painful way out into the clearing.
“I’ll keep trying.”