“Papa!” Wanda shrieked, wriggling madly in Charles’ arms to be let down. Charles lowered her to the floor as quickly as possible, his other hand holding gently to Pietro’s small fingers as the boy continued to obliviously ramble on about a boy in his class that could turn green. Erik had less than two seconds to poke his sewing needle into the strawberry pincushion next to his thigh before his daughter was running into his legs and wrapping her arms around them with a wide grin.
Erik smiled, reaching down to pet a few auburn locks of hair from Wanda’s face as Charles locked the apartment door behind himself. “Wanda got an ‘A’ on her test today,” Charles said, turning to Pietro and helping him struggle out of his Captain America backpack. (Erik himself hated the thing, but Charles had insisted that Pietro was entitled to his own choices of school paraphernalia, no matter how bad Erik was convinced they were.)
Erik glanced down at Wanda, grimacing at the way her fingers were twisted obliviously into the fabric of his cape and putting on a smile. “An ‘A’, huh?”
Wanda nodded, giving Erik’s cape a tug that had Erik wrenching it back to keep her from wrapping it around her body like a blanket - as she was prone to do. Wanda pouted and Erik shook the cape out, draping it over the back of the couch tenderly and then reaching out to lift Wanda into his lap. Wanda wriggled, leaning against Erik’s chest and stretching her legs out so she could withdraw a crumpled bit of paper from her pocket. Erik plucked it from her proudly presented fingers and unfolded it. It was easy to tell her high grade, going from the bright pink ‘A’ in the corner and three animal stickers surrounding it.
Erik put on a happy, excited face like Charles told him was essential to helping develop a child’s sense of pride. (Apparently, Charles was convinced that Erik internalized his feelings too much and would make the children feel unwanted. Charles didn’t seem to realize that no child should feel unwanted if allowed to wear a Captain America backpack or use his beloved cape like a blanket.) “Good job, Wanda!” He said.
Wanda beamed and squealed when Erik hugged her tightly, rubbing his nose onto her soft curls and giving her sides a quick tickle. She kicked away from her father, sliding off of his lap and shrieking when Erik reached out to tickle her again, running into the kitchen where Charles was having Pietro help him make dinner.
Satisfied at having driven his daughter away without actually making her feel unwanted like Charles liked to accuse him of doing, Erik grabbed his cape and resumed sewing it.
“Again? Didn’t you just fix it a few days ago?” Charles called from the kitchen, peering over the island divider that separated the two rooms. Erik glanced up at him and then back down at his cape.
“If I could buy another sewing machine, the thread would be sturdier.”
“Erik, darling, no thread could withstand the bullets you seem to allow law enforcement officers to shoot at you.” Charles pointed out, stirring the pasta alfredo he was cooking as Pietro seemed to remember that his papa was just in the other room. Erik barely had time to wrench his cape out of the way before Pietro was taking a running leap at him and hitting him in the gut.
“Pa-peeeeee!” Pietro cried, standing on Erik’s thighs and wrapping his arms around Erik’s neck. “Daddy said you have an alter ego! Do you have an alter ego?” Erik wrapped an arm around Pietro’s back, using his free hand to try and sew a little more, fumbling with the needle while patting his son between his tiny shoulder blades.
“Yes, darling,” Erik responded, allowing Pietro to rub his face along the curve of Erik’s jaw and giggling when the stubble tickled his skin. The idea of his father being anything other than his father had Pietro hopping with excitement, his feet stomping somewhat painfully on Erik’s thighs and coming far too close to his groin for Erik to feel comfortable. Erik grunted, giving in and putting down his needle to put both hands under Pietro’s arms and heft him up, standing and then adjusting the boy on his hip. Pietro squirmed, and then allowed Erik to hold him to his side as his father crossed the living room and into the kitchen.
“Papa, are you a superhero?” Pietro asked, bouncing his feet in a habit that they’d noticed had started forming most recently. Charles knew the twins had latent mutations, and with the way Pietro’s attention span shot from one thing to the next, Erik wasn’t sure he was ready to find out what his son’s capabilities would be.
“No, sweetheart,” Erik answered, stepping up next to Charles and using his free hand to sling it around his husband’s waist, leaning down to kiss just behind Charles’ ear. Charles glanced away from the pasta sauce, grinning up at Erik and pushing himself onto his toes to give the man a proper kiss that lasted a few second and ended with the smacking of lips when they pulled away.
“EeeEEEEewwww!” Pietro shrieked, writhing in Erik’s hold. “Kisses are GROSS!”
Erik set him on the ground when Pietro’s toe came far too close to his crotch, and watched their son go bolting across the apartment. Charles sighed, looking as if he wanted to say something to Pietro about running, and then turned to Erik instead.
“Tell me again, why don’t you stop the bullets from hitting your cape?” Charles teased, turning back to the pasta. Erik huffed, wrapping his arms around Charles from behind and hooking a chin over his husband’s shoulder to watch him cook.
“I want them to think I’m bulletproof. Its scarier than just deflecting bullets.”
Charles snorted softly under his breath, the hand that wasn’t stirring the pasta going to pat the back of Erik’s hand. “Of course, darling.”
Miffed, Erik drew back and scowled. “Hey! It helps throw them off detecting my exact mutation, you know.” As he spoke, Erik went back to the couch to sit down, pulling his cape into his lap and trying to find where he’d left off with sewing.
Charles hummed, draining the pasta and letting it sit in the colander for a moment as he leaned against the counter and grinned at Erik. “You know, you could always stop this vigilante business, I’m sure that would help keep the from detecting your mutation.”
Erik huffed, ignoring the sounds of Wanda and Pietro screaming at one another and instead trying not to impale himself with the sewing needle. “M’not a vigilante,” he mumbled irritable under his breath, scowling further whenever Charles laughed under his breath and crossed over to the living room couch.
“Erik, you don’t kill innocent people, and I do think that is a large deciding factor between being a villain and a vigilante,” Charles sat beside Erik, reaching out for the cape and then laughing when Erik reflexively snatched his arms away, holding the cape up by his cheek and looking at Charles with a scandalized expression.
Charles’ smirk remained as he continued talking, “You’re quite vain for a villain, you know.” Charles stretched his hand out, fingers wiggling for a moment until Erik relented and handed his cape over. Charles had been the one who’d taught Erik how to sew, and usually ended up going over half the things that Erik mended and taking the stitches out to redo them with a sturdier hem.
Erik watched Charles quickly move the needle in and out of the fabric, leaning in to his husband’s space and then pressing his cheek down onto Charles’ shoulder. Charles sent him a wash of warmth and affection using a telepathic nudge, and it was enough to keep Erik’s fingers from itching to take his cape back. Instead, he readjusted their bodies so that Charles was leaning into Erik’s chest, and Erik’s arms were wrapped loosely around Charles’ thin waist, chin resting on soft, chestnut waves of hair. Pietro’s screaming grew to a cacophony before it went dead silent, followed by a loud, deafening wail that had their son come running into the room with a tear-streaked, splotchy face and a palm pressed to his forehead. Charles’ eyes went wide and he went to set the cape down, only to have Erik pluck it away and put it safely over the back of the couch.
“Daddy!” Pietro warbled, “Wanda threw a car at me!”
“Oh God,” Erik muttered under his breath as Pietro clambered up into Charles’ lap, curling into his chest and sniffling loudly. Charles scowled, looking around for a box of tissues to wipe Pietro’s nose. Erik saw his eyes hesitate on his cape and pushed Charles off just enough to reach for the tissues on the coffee table, hastily holding the box out to his husband. Charles gave him a small, wicked grin, and then turned to wipe Pietro’s face, tutting and kissing the bump on his head.
Erik looked up over the couch, eyes landing on Wanda, who was standing in her bedroom doorway with watery eyes and a wobbling lip, tiny arms clinging to her stuffed shark.
Sighing, Erik eased himself out from under Charles, pausing to kiss him on the temple, and then went to talk to Wanda.
In reality, he should have known the instant he asked Wanda why she threw the car that she would start crying as well.
Erik had a feeling he wouldn’t be able to finish working on his cape until after bedtime.