The sky burned;
a searing, scorching blue that devasted the countryside, eradicating every other colour that bloomed beneath it. The plains rolled past them, bright with grass and corn, but washed out and desaturated by the sun as it stretched its influence across the world, wrapping its bleaching arms over everything it reached.
Everything was all presspresspush, forcing its way against the back of Charles' retinas and it was all he could do contain the ominous pressure of a looming migraine, to stop himself projecting onto Erik in the seat next to him. The struggle caused pain to bloom, caustic and neon bright beneath his hooded eyes, darting across the front of his skull like a brand.
They had been driving for what felt like an eternity, the world unfolding before them in a constant, unchanging horizon; it was easy for Charles to imagine that they were caught in a loop, a never-ending spiral, doomed forever to drive the same patch of empty, hapless American countryside.
He pressed his fingers into the groove between his eyebrows, where the delicate plate of his upper nose met the thick bone of his squama frontalis; he dragged the pads of his fore- and middle finger across to meet his eyebrows, and then down to pinch the bridge of his nose. The tips of his fingers dug into the corners of his eyes.
Erik was watching the road and watching Charles simultaneously; Charles didn't understand how the actions were physically possible without telepathy. He would have to ask Erik to show him, one day.
"How can you tell?" he said, drily. The corner of Erik's mouth curved upwards, and he turned the wheel. The car pulled over to the verge, the gravel crunching audibly beneath the tyres, and Charles glanced over at him, curious.
"Out," Erik said, instead of explaining, opening his door with a flick of his wrist and a slap on Charles' knee.
Charles was no more enlightened, but he dutifully stepped out of his own door and joined Erik around the front end of the car.
Erik, it seemed, had stopped the car with no more intention other than taking in the vista; which was fair enough, Charles considered, seeing as Erik didn't really have the chance to do so whilst driving. And the view itself was undoubtedly beautiful: clean, unspoilt nature spreading out in front of them for as far as the eye could see – or the mind could reach: Charles could feel no human minds against his own except for Erik's, picking up only on the alien buzz of animalistic thoughts, their shape strange against his mind.
He leant back against the front grill, watching the firm, broad planes of Erik's shoulders as he stretched and settled his spine.
"We’re going to fall behind schedule," he said.
Erik turned, and stepped over to him. "You'll be no use to anyone when we meet the next one if you've got another migraine."
Charles was about to protest, to insist that thank you, but he had better self-control than that; but Erik cupped Charles' face in his hands, his fore fingers touching the outer corners of Charles' eyes, and pressed his lips to the centre of Charles' forehead.
Unconsciously, Charles leant into the embrace, and felt the hard, smooth touch of Erik's teeth as he smiled.
"Thought we were going to fall behind," Erik said, as Charles shifted forwards and nudged Erik's face into the appropriate position with his nose.
Charles hummed, neither agreement nor disagreement, and kissed him.
He had intended it only to a be a brief touching of lips, a recognition and thanks that Erik was trying to relieve his headache; but Erik's hands were still on his face, and he tilted his chin up to gain a better angle to slide his tongue between Charles' teeth. Charles grumbled a little; a token protest, seeing as how he was happily tangling his tongue with Erik's.
Erik pulled away, smirking, and pushed his fingers up into Charles' hairline when he began to complain at the loss of contact; the pads of his fingers pressing firm against the delicate skin of Charles' scalp. They sparked nerve ending as they dragged towards Charles' crown, sending delicious shivers thrumming down Charles' spine, and he leant forwards into Erik's palm, tilting his head down so that the other man had better access. He could feel Erik's fond amusement, a gentle pulse of emotion through the physical connection, but he couldn't find it within himself to be annoyed when Erik dragged his fingernails outwards from the hollow at the base of Charles' skull.
He slid his hands around Erik's waist, fingers catching loosely on the cotton as Erik pushed his thumbs into Charles' temples and circled, slowly.
“I think you're enjoying this a little too much,” Erik said, drily; and clearly Charles' slowly building arousal had been leaking through their connection because, when he raised his head to quirk an eyebrow at Erik, the corner of his mouth was curved in that wry, self-amused smirk of his, and his pupils were a little more dilated than Charles would have considered normal.
“Not possible,” Charles replied, and pushed upwards to kiss Erik again, open-mouthed and lazy. Erik nipped at his lip, pushed him back up against the car until Charles was sitting on the bonnet, legs open around Erik's knees. "On the car," Charles said, raising an eyebrow. Erik didn't reply, rubbed his thumb against the fly of Charles' trousers so that the metal hummed against the growing erection. "It's a rental," Charles pressed, although he wasn't resisting, shifting his legs wider and watching as Erik moved his thumb up and down his fly.
"Not like we're going to stain the seats," Erik said, pointedly, and Charles – even now, even with Erik's hand on his crotch – still managed to blush, remembering when they'd fucked in the back seat of their last car, the close space making it awkward and the condensation causing the glass to slip beneath his hands.
Erik hiked his leg up to his waist, and Charles obligingly hooked it around, running the inside of his foot against the back of Erik's thigh; a twist of his wrist, and Charles' trousers undid themselves so that he could shuffle them down to his knees, and Erik could press his thumb against the crease of Charles' arse.
"Fucking boyscout," Erik said, grinning as he pulled the Vaseline from Charles' trouser pocket and slicked his fingers.
"Stop complaining," Charles said, his back arching as Erik circled his hole before pressing one long finger inside. "And hurry up, if you don't mind. I'd rather not scar some family driving past."
Erik snorted, and slid a second finger in to scissor inside him. "I'm sure you could take care of that," he said, crooking them to make Charles bite his lip and jerk himself down onto them. "You wouldn't want to be sore, now, would you; not with us driving all day."
"Leave your damned logic out of this, please," Charles said. "Just –"
"You need three, at least," Erik reminded him. "So goddamn tight, Charles. Can't take me without at least three."
"Narcissist," Charles said, and squirmed as Erik inserted a third finger, fucking him on his hand.
"Realist," Erik countered, and grinned at the look of Charles' face as he withdrew his hand to drop his trousers.
"Come on, Erik," Charles said, pushing him forwards with his heel at the base of Erik's back, forcing him deeper faster than Erik was going. "Come on, come on; we're on a schedule, remember."
"Pushy for a bottom, aren't you?" Erik rolled his hips, drawing back out and pushing back in with long, even strokes. Charles pushed back, forcing Erik to speed up, digging his nails into Erik's wrist where it was braced on the lip of the car to cause him to snap his hips forward.
"Never heard you complain yet," he said, panting slightly as Erik finally, finally obligued and started to fuck him properly, a rapid, hard rhythm that had Charles hook his other leg around Erik's waist and press the heels of his hands against the car, scrabbling for purchase.
Erik bent down, twisted his head to bite the inside of Charles' exposed thigh above where his trousers were digging into the soft flesh.
"Fuck, Erik," Charles said, obscenity spilling from his mouth unchecked. "Come on, damn it; come on."
"Easy, Charles," Erik said, grinning down at him, wide and flashing all his teeth.
Charles gripped tighter to him, lifted one hand from the car to wrap around his own erection, flushed and leaking against his shirt as Erik snapped his hips up and caught his prostate. His hand was damp with sweat, from the heat of the car and the feel of Erik inside him; but even so, it was drier than he would have liked, the friction burning slightly as he twisted at the head, coating his fingers with precome.
Erik was watching him, eyes fixed on the movements of his hands and the way his cock disappeared inside Charles with every thrust; Charles would never get over the expression on his face, like Charles was more than he could ever have expected.
"Please," Charles said, rubbing his thumb against the slit and sounding far more wrecked than he would have liked, after so short a time. Erik's eyes met his own, and Charles couldn't help but see the latent distrust there. Erik still wasn't comfortable with Charles – with anyone in his head, and Charles tried to keep out; but this was different, sex already a basic violation of personal privacy and one that Charles willingly, enthusiastically accepted.
"Charles," Erik said, and there was warning and defeat in his tone. "Charles, I don't –"
Charles nodded, lifted his gaze to the open, vast emptiness of the sky and curled his back away from the car. Erik's fingers gripped at his hips, fucking him harder as he approached his orgasm, and Charles shuddered as he felt it, despite his best efforts at keeping out of Erik's head; the skin contact causing his mind to brush over the edges of Erik's consciousness without meaning to.
Erik's hand, still slick with Vaseline, wrapped around Charles' and tugged harshly at his cock, twisting the head and causing Charles to bang his skull against the bonnet, the dull metal thud vibrating longer than it should as the metal around Charles hummed beneath him.
"Come on, Charles," Erik said, mimicking Charles' tone from earlier. "We're on a schedule, remember?"
"Fuck you," Charles said, arching as Erik hit his prostate again; and, feeling Erik's amusement and arousal pressing against the edges of his mind, he came, spilling semen over his shirt and their joined hands. Erik fucked him solidly, several short, sharp thrusts until Charles felt hot wetness inside him.
When Erik pulled out, chest rising and falling rapidly as he caught his breath, Charles could feel it slipping out of him, oozing out and sliding between his cheeks. He squirmed, unhooking his legs from Erik's waist and sitting upright, tugging his trousers back up. He was going to have damp trousers until he could shower, and the realisation was clearly at the forefront of Erik's mind as well, because he looked irritatingly pleased with himself.
"Narcissist," Charles said, again. Erik kissed him, an open press of mouths and a quick flicker of tongues.
"Never heard you complain," he said, and grinned.
and Erik let him in, allowed Charles to slide into his half-dreams of blood and screaming to move the nightmares aside and fill his head with gentle thoughts of bleached yellow stalks and bright blue cornflowers, and rolling, endless roads to nowhere.