title: hoist the colors!
word count: approx. 1255
fandom: X-Men: First Class [movieverse]
characters: Charles Xavier, Erik Lehnsherr; Sean Cassidy, Armando Munoz, Hank McCoy, Alex Summers, Raven Darkholme, Angel Salvadore
notes: After being struck with an urge to write more smitten!Charles and smitten!Erik, I wound up taking requests on Twitter for some prompts. This one came from Nie, who asked for something I'd never written before: XMFC pirates!
The words of Charles’s speech were still echoing around the deck when there was a sudden flash of lightning that seemed to rend the world itself in half, a great silent shattering in the cloud-wracked sky overhead.
He could feel his own hair waving, static electricity running from one member of his crew to the other, and they were all standing so closely together that they were almost an unbroken line of light - but the spark, when it came, flashed out when he reached for Erik’s shoulder.
The boys laughed, and Sean almost fell over, and the great blue macaw that sat atop his red-haired head like some violently clashing hat squawked indignantly and fluttered into the air, enraged, finally settling down on Armando’s broad shoulder.
“Sorry,” Charles said, trying not to blush, he was the Captain of this ship, and pirates did not blush thank you very much.
But there was a very faint red flush in the first mate’s ears - Charles knew exactly where to look, and there, there was pink in his earlobes, just around the gold of his earrings.
Charles took a very deep breath and looked back to the rest of his crew - to Hank with the gunpowder smudge across his cheek, to Raven who was idly hiking up her skirts to reveal that she was wearing breeches underneath, to Angel who was stroking the butt of her shotgun, to Alex with his ever-present box of matches.
“You know what to do, but before I scatter you to your tasks you ought to know, every single one of you,” Charles said, more quietly, more seriously. “You are a damn fine crew and you are all the best and most loyal of sea dogs, and I would not be half as good a Captain if I were on a far better ship with none of you in the berths.”
“Too modest by far is our Captain, is he not,” Erik drawled.
“Yes,” Raven and Angel shouted.
“Because who else would have found each and every one of us and sweated and toiled to make sure we were the best?”
“The Captain!” the boys chorused.
Charles couldn’t help but stand up a little bit straighter, but pull his coat a little bit tighter, because they were all looking at him, ready for orders, ready to fight.
And he could give them that, at least.
“Looking glass, please,” he said, and Erik smiled that hunter’s smile of his and handed him the polished brass and Charles held it to his eye. He could see the ships on the horizon: and they were going to cut that arrogant brotherhood down to size today, and they were finally going home.
“Positions,” Erik called, and the crew scattered with a whoop and a cheer, and out of the corner of his eye Charles could see Sean and Armando legging it up the masts, could see Hank pushing barrels out of the way to clear the decks.
“You’re still with me,” Charles said, afterwards.
Erik smiled and crossed his hands over his broad chest. “Where else would I be, Captain Xavier,” and he said that title simply, teasingly, a plain statement of fact. “When a man receives a chance to do what he’s always been made to do, and when he serves with a fine crew and a good and brave captain - well, a man would like to stay, and hope to remain of use, and serve.”
Now Charles knew he was blushing - damn his fair skin - but he returned the praise with equal fervor. “The honor is mine, Mister Lehnsherr.”
Gunpowder and blood on the air, grit and copper on his skin, and the cries of men and women fighting for their lives.
Thank goodness the rain had stopped - but damn this heavy clinging mist that made it hard to see.
Charles ducked under his opponent’s blade and whirled and lashed out with his left hand and the woman went down screaming, blood gushing from her throat, and Charles completed the turn to make sure none of it got on his coat. It was a good coat, and he wasn’t interested in Raven yelling at him because blood was so hard to get out of the lovely material.
A heavy warmth at his back. He didn’t have to lean over to know who it was who was fighting to protect him. Erik smelled like rum and lemons, and he was moving them carefully along the deck as the fighting continued all around them, and it was just enough time for Charles to reload the pistol in his right hand, which was already a job and a half in dry weather - and was downright risky in this damp.
He reached up and tapped Erik with the flat of his sword when he was done. “Thank you, now shall we find the enemy captain and deal with him?”
“He’s being protected by his lieutenants, as you well know,” and Erik was pointing with the longsword in his left hand.
Charles scoffed quietly. “You and I can take him out and you know it. We’ve only been getting ready for this moment for so long.”
“And I would not be alive to do this without you, Captain.”
“We are about to give up our lives, perhaps, and you are still not calling me by my name? If anyone else here has the right of it - “
“Then let me do this, Charles - and you may haul me in for mutiny if it offends, but please, let me, because - “
And Charles was suddenly looking up, up, into determined blue-gray eyes and there were huge hands on his shoulders, pinning him in place, and the look on Erik’s face was the look Charles had seen in his own little looking-glass every time he woke up from dreams of the first mate, from every time they saved each other’s lives, from the very moment he plunged into the sea after a man who seemed so hell-bent on giving his own life for the sake of revenge -
But this was Erik kissing him, and Charles groaned deep in his throat, never wanting him to stop, wanting so much more than this, even in the heat and fire of a fight for their lives - wanting it so much more because they were right in the thick of it, and the crew was only going to distract their enemies long enough and they still had an enemy captain to kill.
Charles growled when Erik pulled back - and put the back of his right hand against Erik’s nape and pushed up into his mouth again, kissing him with everything he had, and when they both stepped away at the roar of a cannon being fired he knew he looked fierce and undone, as much as Erik looked wrecked and like he’d come home.
“I didn’t know.” And Erik was reduced to simple words.
“I had only hoped,” Charles said.
“When we’re done here. And I promise you we will have words.”
“And you are a Captain who keeps his promises. I will hold you to that, Charles,” Erik said.
Charles merely smiled, and dropped back into fighting position, and nodded toward the enemy captain. “Come dance with me among these dogs, Erik.”