Chapter 1: I hate you(r pretty lips)
Erik most certainly wasn't going to look up. He knew what he'd see, knew his self satisfied smile. Everyone thought Charles Xavier was a lovely, nice, man, but Erik knew the truth. The man was the antichrist, a bastard, a good oldfashioned asshole.
"Lehnsherr! Xavier, my office, gentlemen."
Erik didn't move at first. What the hell was Mactaggert up to?
Mactaggert motioned for them to close the door behind them and then leaned back in her seat, eyeballing them both. "Your respective partners are currently down and out-"
"No," Erik said, glaring at her sourly.
Mactaggert gave him a less than impressed look.
"No, no, no," he continued. "So much nope, boss. Not gonna happen."
"Do let her finish, Lehnsherr," Xavier said drily, taking one of the two seats on the their side of her desk.
"Fuck you, Xavier," Erik growled at him, "I am not working with you."
"What makes you think that you're getting a choice?" Mactaggert asked.
Erik opened his mouth to answer, but then shut it again. He'd save his ammunition until she gave them the case. Then he'd tell her no.
"I have a rather delicate case that a lot of people would like to see blow up in our faces, and just as many would prefer we either leave alone or at least handle with discretion."
"And you're including him?" Erik said, pretty much simultaneously with Xavier
Mactaggert smirked. "I need two people who are good undercover and while you're both a couple of competitive assholes, you are also very good at what you do."
Erik couldn't help straightening his back a little at this, ignoring the barely whispered 'so easy' from Xavier.
Erik didn't answer, just felt out the earring that Xavier was wearing and heating it just enough for Xavier to curse and touch it.
"That's quite enough, gentlemen," Mactaggert scolded them. She waited for them to start acting like adults for once. "I need two gentlemen who can fake a relationship in a high profile gay country club."
"There's such a thing?" Erik asked at the same time as Xavier said: "Hellfire."
Mactaggert nodded. "Yes."
Erik made a face. So rich, gay men - he'd occasionally run into that type at the clubs he sometimes visited, and he'd never been particularly impressed by them. Not that Erik was normally impressed by other people; there was a reason why he rarely pulled - not for the lack of interest from others, but he had standards. Intelligence was pretty high on that list and as pretty as some of those guys had been, he had yet to make conversation with them that hadn't felt like mind numbing stupidity and in most cases it meant Erik wandering off after less than two minutes of talking.
"I know you've both got other cases, but this involves blackmail and a lot of goodwill would come of it if we nip this in the bud before it blows up all over the media.
"I've turned down invitations from them a couple of times," Xavier admitted.
"I thought you might," Mactaggert said with a wry smile. "And I think you should apply for a membership."
"What would the reason for my change of heart be?" Xavier asked, curiously.
"You're running for office," Erik said before he could stop himself.
Mactaggert raised an eyebrow at him. "That's not a bad idea, actually."
Xavier pursed his lips and Erik most definitely didn't stare at them. "I take it the delicacy in the case lies in the victims so far being people in high places." He held up a hand. "I'm not dismissing it. It's actually the kind of thing I could do - or that my stepfather would consider a thing I would do, simply to annoy the crap out of him."
"With your family name it would make sense," Mactaggert agreed. ""And Lehnsherr here would be the perfect arm candy." She paused and shot him a stern look. "As long as he doesn't open his mouth and spout his usual mutant supremacy shit."
Erik had opened his mouth to disagree with her, but promptly shut it, glaring at Xavier for the giggle escaping him.
"Xavier is a sure name for this mission," Mactaggert warned them. "I can probably find someone else to partner him with for this. You're not irreplaceable, Lehnsherr."
"He's not taking this thing down without me getting some credit as well," Erik growled.
They both beamed at him and Erik wanted to rage at them. He fucking hated the both of them.
Mactaggert got to her feet and stopped them before they left the office. "Gentlemen, as much as I a aware of your scoreboard on cases solved, as it takes up enough wallspace, I want you to solve this for the sake of the case - and for god's sake, try to be discrete!"
When they both looked at her like they had no idea what she was on about, she shook her head. "Just don't blow anything up, don't kill anyone, just keep the property damage to a minimum, preferably non existent."
They both nodded and left her office. Erik tried not to shove Xavier out of the doorway while they were in their boss' sight.
"Maybe for once we can work on a case together and get it done so we can both go our separate ways," Xavier said quietly as the door to Mactaggert's office fell shut behind them.
"Anything to avoid having to work with you for a longer period of time," Erik said with a low growl. "I think the worst part will be acting as a couple with you."
"We don't have to be a perfect, lovey dovey couple," Xavier said with a wink as he turned to look at Erik. "When you think about it, it will just add the extra tension to our relationship, and give the Hellfire club something to work with if they want to incriminate me. If we're cordial enough in public but drop enough hints that you're only with me for the money, and the possible fame, if I run for office."
Erik pursed his lips. "Deal," he agreed. And it pained him to admit but - "And we need to sit down and figure out a full cover story."
"Pick us up some lunch, Lehnsherr," Xavier said with a smirk - give me twenty minutes to find us a meeting room. Not to mention some contact info at Hellfire" He turned to wave at Erik, who was tempted to warp that damned earring just because Xavier annoyed him.
"Oh, and Lehnsherr?"
Erik turned enough to look at Xavier.
"I'll make sure the room's soundproof, just in case."
And the asshole had the audacity to wink at him. Annoying, little shit, Erik fumed to himself as he went to get something to eat for them. If he could, he'd find something spicy and disgusting for him - just because he could.
Chapter 2: I hate you(r ridiculously blue eyes)
On the cusp of entering the playing field that is the Hellfire country club resort, Erik finds himself in slightly deeper waters than he'd expected.
I may still be ready to keel over in the middle of busy work, but if I promise myself 1K-ish writing sessions, I may get through this with my sanity intact (or at least partly in one piece).
The resort was in many ways what Erik had expected; kitch and full of idiots with too much money.
He made a face looking at the bed. King sized? More like battlefield sized, as it took up nearly a third of a not small hotel room. "Don't tell me the department sprung for something with a bed big enough for us to sleep with yards between us," he muttered.
"Hmm?" Xavier put his bag down on one side of the bed and turned to him. "No, Hellfire upgraded us for free when my name came up."
Erik half expected him to sound posher, more entitled than he did. But if anything, Xavier's expression was one of resignation and annoyance.
"Most people would love to have what you have," Erik said, feeling more ill at ease than he'd expected. He'd thought he'd get enough chances to rub Xavier's face in it, enough chances to make this the only time they'd ever partner.
"Oh, they are more than welcome to it," Xavier replied, putting his clothes away in the huge walk-in closet. Erik waited for him to finish before doing the same.
"And don't mention the department, Lehnsherr, unless you're a hundred percent sure we're not bugged," Xavier admonished inside Erik's head.
Erik made a face. Reaching out, he felt for the telltale technology of listening devices or cameras. He drew a deep breath and shook his head before putting what he'd been taught from working with telepaths before, to good use. "Unless it's a hundred percent ceramics or plastic, there are none. Not even the usual wires and they can't make those out of plastic. Yet."
There was a short burst of pleasant surprise from Xavier and Erik most certainly did not preen at this. At all.
"You are rather good at this, and I promise you, I won't go digging anywhere I'm not welcome, but this is the safest way of communicating the more ...sensitive issues." Xavier raised an eyebrow.
"If we must," Erik muttered. "Unless of course there are other telepaths listening in."
Xavier frowned, then shook his head. "No one that strong in the vicinity. A few empaths. I would think they'd be expecting me to shield us both - if for nothing else than keeping the secrets around any information regarding me running for office."
"Are you shielding us?" Erik found himself asking curiously. Xavier rarely used his abilities in the line of work, he knew. Mostly because it could put into question any information he might get from a suspect. Erik was torn between hating and being impressed that Xavier conducted all interrogations wearing a suppression collar. Even he had to respect Xavier for wanting to get the perps, the price being him wearing a collar. Didn't mean he had to like it, though. It was just another way of them bending to the will of baselines.
"Of course I'm shielding us, do you think I trust anyone around here considering our case?" Xavier asked drily. Then he huffed and shrugged. "I don't like the suppression collar anymore than you do, but if I want to do my job and make any accusations stick, I have to play by the rules."
"You said you weren't digging," Erik pushed at him, harsher than he'd intended. He considered pulling up any and every techniqued he'd ever learned when it came to shielding himself from telepaths. Even if he suspected none of them would work against Xavier.
Xavier winced. "You think very loudly, asshole."
Oddly enough, the rudeness of Xavier's reply made Erik smile. "Just keep it that way."
Xavier rolled his eyes, but he'd lost the pinched look that Erik hadn't quite picked up on at first.
Erik wondered how far Xavier could shield him, then realized that he wouldn't be wandering too far from Xavier's side anyway. One, the man might solve the case without Erik, and two, the whole idea of their undercover assignment was to pose as a couple. Maybe they should have practiced a little beforehand, because Erik wasn't entirely sure if he could act all lovey dovey. Taking a deep breath, he walked over to Xavier and crowded close. To his surprise and a little delight - that Erik would never admit to - Xavier didn't even blink, let alone step back.
Xavier tilted his head back a little, the height difference more pronounced with them this close. His eyes were far too blue for Erik's liking, as if he was wearing contacts - maybe he was. Erik squinted and looked closer, a move that had Xavier fighting off a smirk.
Erik made a face and leaned closer. He could feel the heat from Xavier's chest, less than an inch from his own. Well, if he couldn't do this, there was no way they could act a couple. Even Xavier's warm breath against his lips was distracting.
Xavier rolled his eyes and before Erik could stop him, he'd grabbed Erik's head, tilted it down and pressed his lips against Erik's.
Maybe Xavier had intended the kiss to just be that, a quick press of lips, but of course Erik's hindbrain decided that this was a competition - or that would be forever Erik's excuse - because a split second later, Erik pushed Xavier's mouth open with his tongue and went to town, his fingers digging into Xavier's sides in a way that couldn't be anything but painful.
A moment later, they all but stumbled apart. "Right, maybe no PDAs that passionately when we head out to mingle," Xavier muttered, sounding more than a little breathless.
Erik might have thought to feel victorious if he hadn't been busy trying to get his brain back into working order. Current status: lack of oxygen and low on blood flow.
"Let's get this job over with, huh?" Erik muttered, heading towards the door, then stopping just short of it. As much as he didn't want to get too near Xavier again - and not because something might happen! - he knew they had to act the couple to a certain extent or it wouldn't work.
"Yes," Xavier agreed, joining him at the door, taking a deep breath before slipping his arm through Erik's, his entire demeanor changing in the blink of an eye. "Let's mingle with the commoners, darling."
Erik rolled his eyes. This assignment couldn't be over fast enough.