Moira doesn’t meet the mysterious boyfriend for an entire month after Charles starts going out with him.
“You’re being squirrelly,” she tells Charles one afternoon. “Is this because I freaked out when I saw the blood all over your sweater? Because I calmed down, remember?”
“You stole his contact information from me and tried to find his apartment so you could beat him up,” Charles replies as he flips through a stack of crayon drawings. “And that was after I explained that it was his blood and he hadn’t hit me. Also, how could it have been my blood when I didn’t have a scratch on me? Really, Moira, pay attention.”
“I worry,” Moira says vaguely, and Charles scoffs at her. “No, seriously, when can I meet him? You’ve been awfully tight-lipped about the whole thing.”
“It’s new,” says Charles, which Moira translates as “we haven’t passed the can’t keep our hands off each other stage of the relationship yet.” And that apparently is that, except Moira still has the slip of paper with Mystery Guy’s name, phone number, and address scrawled across it stuffed in her pocketbook somewhere.
She Googles Erik Lehnsherr that night, discovers that he’s working for development contractor that deals mainly with...something something engineering. “Dear god,” she says to her cat (who is trying very hard to stretch herself over Moira’s hands and the keyboard, “who knew words like these even existed?”
“Mrow,” the cat replies.
Moira nods. “Too true,” she says.
Moira wanders over to the coffee shop near the daycare the next afternoon while Charles is minding the children during their nap and taps the phone number for Erik’s office she’d gotten off their website into her cell. She pauses. “This is probably a really bad idea,” Moira tells the woman pouring her coffee.
“Lots of things are bad ideas,” the woman says. “Lots of people still do those things.”
“Excellent point,” replies Moira, and she hits the send button. The phone rings three times before someone picks up on the other end.
“Coulson Engineering, how may I help you today?” The voice sounds excessively bored, almost to the point of apathy.
“May I please speak with Erik Lehnsherr?” Moira asks.
“Oh, uh,” the receptionist suddenly sounds a bit panicked, “just - just one moment, okay? Jesus -”
Moira pulls the phone away from her ear as loud hold music unexpectedly deafens her. “Weird,” she says. “Wonder what that was all about.” She sits down at a table and sips at her coffee, waits for someone to pick up again. A minute goes by, and then another, and another, and Moira is almost finished with her drink by the time the line clicks to indicate her call has come off hold. Finally.
“Hello?” It’s a man’s voice, slightly accented.
Moira clears her throat. “Uh, Erik Lehnsherr?”
“No, this is Azazel, his associate. Erik is...preoccupied at the moment. Is this a project-related call?”
Moira blinks, thrown off her game. “No,” she says, “it’s actually a personal call. I’m Moira MacTaggert, a friend of his boyfriend’s, and, well -”
“Boyfriend?” Moira can practically see Azazel’s face lighting up with glee. “Erik never told me he was seeing anyone. Not that he says much of anything besides the odd curse here and there, really, but boyfriend, seriously?”
“Uh, yes, really.”
“Fascinating. I suppose you’re calling to threaten him?” Azazel asks.
“Well, yes, but how did you know?”
“I know Erik Lehnsherr, that’s how I knew. But this is positively delightful, and I will happily embellish and pass on your threats to him immediately.”
Moira grins, despite having no idea where this conversation had gone wrong. “Excellent,” she says, and she proceeds to explain in great detail every awful thing she will do to Erik should Charles be hurt in any way, shape, and/or form.
“You have quite a vivid imagination,” Azazel informs her. “If I wasn’t already seeing someone, I’d ask you out for coffee.”
“That’s frightening,” Moira says, “but thank you? Nice speaking with you.”
“You as well,” says Azazel. Moira hears him sing-song, “Oh, Lehnsherr!” as he hangs up the phone. She wonders, briefly, if she should be worried about retaliation but decides that Azazel was probably joking about telling Erik all of her threats (which included vivisection and plague, among other colorful ideas). Moira shakes her head. No, it’ll be fine, she tells herself.
She wanders back to the daycare center to relieve Charles and starts to tell him about the weather when she notices his frown. “Are the kids okay?” she asks.
“Moira,” Charles begins, “tell me you didn’t just call Erik’s workplace and threaten him with castration and various other forms of torture.”
“Uh,” Moira says.
Charles covers his face with his hands and sighs. “Oh, Moira,” he says.
A man walks in to the daycare’s reception area just after the last kid has been picked up by its parents. Moira is picking up the toys around the playroom while Charles arranges for a new child to start the following week; it takes one look for her to know, instinctively, that this is Erik Lehnsherr. Shit.
It’s your own fault, Charles’s voice floats through her mind.
You’re an awful person, Xavier. “Hello,” Moira ventures. “Uh, you’re Erik, right?”
The man glares at her. “Yes, as matter of fact,” he growls. “And thank you so much for calling my office this afternoon. Moira, is it?”
Oh god, he’s actually going to kill me, Moira thinks desperately.
Just then, Charles emerges from his office and steps into the playroom. Erik’s facial expression immediately softens, as if he can’t help it, and he grins like a it’s fucking...Christmas come early, or something. It’s - well, Moira admits she’s rather charmed by the expression. “Hello, Charles,” Erik says, the adoration in his tone almost palpable. Charles’ response is to beam at him and bestow a short kiss on Erik’s lips.
Moira gapes at them. She opens her mouth - then shuts it, unsure of what to say. When she opens her mouth again, all that comes out is, “Christ, you’re giving me a fucking toothache.”
Erik whips his head back around to glare at her again, but Moira waves a hand at him angrily. “Don’t even,” she tells him. “I saw that smile - you aren’t fooling anybody, Lehnsherr.”
“I don’t know what you mean,” he replies. “And don’t think I haven’t forgotten all those things you told Azazel.” Moira sees Charles hide a smile behind his hand.
“Whatever,” she says. “Go have wild monkey sex, or whatever it is the two of you do. I’ll lock up here.”
Erik splutters as Charles takes his elbow and steers him out the front door. “Good night, dearie,” Charles calls over his shoulder to her.
“Night,” Moira returns as she signs “I’m watching you” to Erik. Moira watches them until they turn the corner and then, smiling uncontrollably, returns to straightening up the room.