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little traumatized you'll be hearing my voice
He honestly thought he was Erik the first time he saw him at a distance. Not that the two look anything alike on closer inspection, and Charles isn’t too proud to admit that wishful thinking, particular the wishful thinking of a telepath, may have lent itself to the mirage. Regardless, the man was there again on the fringes of Charles’ conscious mind. Thankfully no one else in the mansion had noticed or contact would have been made prematurely. As it was, Charles knew that this individual was circling, biding his time. Until what, he wasn’t sure. There was nothing for him to detect from the shadowy figure dancing at the boundaries of his thoughts.
Hank had given him the increasingly familiar look of sympathy when Charles announced casually at dinner that he would be taking an evening stroll around the property alone. Granted, stroll was no longer the correct term. Semantics.
This time he actively put out a signal, sweeping the grounds with a touch light as the breeze.
Something fluttered like a banner of vivid color seen from miles and miles away. Charles zeroed in before something quick as a whip snapped out and severed the contact. Blinking, brows knit with growing concern, Charles began to head in the direction of what he guessed to be the estate’s mysterious visitor. He didn’t end up having far to go, up ahead his path blocked by a tall, thin figure. Obviously waiting.
“What else can you do?” A voice like an exhaled breath curled along the air, matched with a striking face peering through a frame of jet-black hair. He was staring at Charles, his eyes fiery green and glowing with an ethereal light.
“I’m afraid I must ask first if you intend any harm,” Charles diverted pleasantly, moving steadily closer to the other man. The air outside was crisp and cold, biting through the thin blue cardigan he wore over a cotton button-up. Standing across from him looking thoughtful, the tall man was wearing what appeared to be a medieval inspired outfit, strapped with leather and heavy metal plating.
“No,” he said smoothly, eyes flickering over the human. He had been wounded in battle; Loki could feel the difference between having something from birth and earning it later in life. “I merely have a curiosity.”
Charles could tell that whoever this man was, he was cautious. But not for any comprehensible reason, because Charles could sense the power as it pressed in subtly the way it felt when standing in a thick fog. Underneath the exterior countenance there was a low thrum; the feeling of a subway clacking through the tunnels beneath your feet. He smiled. “My name is Charles Xavier. If I can help in any way, I will do my utmost.” The man seemed pleased by that answer and Charles relaxed.
“I have been visiting a short time,” he began vaguely, “Traveling. Out of the hundreds of millions of people on this planet, Charles Xavier, there are some lights that burn a little brighter. You, you’re one of the bright ones.”
He took the time to feel amused by something that could be considered a pickup line in any other situation. “I’m sorry if I was too forward before. When I receive visitors, I’m afraid it’s usually more formal.”
His eyes narrowed a fraction. “You’ve been aware of my presence?”
Shrugging amiably, he estimated, “For at least a few days.” The man was looking closer at him now; traces of real interest etched into his entirely too fine features. Charles smiled demurely.
“What are you then?” he asked bluntly. Xavier chuckled at the question, which Loki supposed might be a bit more forward than Midgardian scruples allowed. “What magic allows you to see so far, and even touch my mind as you did?”
“A mutant,” Charles answered warily, not glancing back at the mansion. He didn’t want to give any indication that there could be anyone else back in the house in case the man wasn’t yet aware. Keeping his eyes firmly locked with the alien green orbs peering down at him with grudging wonder, he added, “It’s genetics. Not magic.”
“Hmm,” Loki answered thoughtfully. “More science then.”
Charles corrected, “Nature.”
“You think it is natural on this planet to read minds and play with metal?”
His blood ran cold. Metal. Why metal? “As natural as it was for the first microorganism to climb from the sea and breathe on land,” he suggested. “I’d be happy to explain the theories over tea perhaps, Mister...?” He left the hint hanging in the air, but the man didn’t take it.
“You hide. Why?”
“I’m sorry?” The man was looking into the sky, the line of his jaw standing out as he clenched his teeth. Charles resisted the urge to notify the kids of anything. Though of course if he contacted them at all it would be to urge them to evacuate. Then they would undoubtedly come stampeding out in the new suits Hank had manufactured not a week after... after Cuba. The man was staring at him and the hairs on the back of Charles neck stood on end.
“Is something troubling you, mind reader?” His voice was light. Blue eyes snapped up to him and Loki kept his expression blank.
His eyes narrowed and he reached tentatively out, coming up against a strange, roiling mass of racing thoughts; much faster, more vivid than the average mutant or human mind. Charles felt like he was standing at the edge of a void. He withdrew. There was one thing he gleaned – surely with permission – and it was a single name. The unsettling legitimacy of the power behind that name caused raking chills to claw down his spine, left to coil unpleasantly in his stomach. “Loki,” he breathed. Being a man of science, he certainly didn’t acknowledge the mysticism, but he did understand the origin of self-assigned names for mutants and the habit that they proclaimed the powers a mutant had. “The God of Mischief.”
“How boring to only have one ability,” he drawled, stance suddenly more aggressive. A shallow, vain part of him adored to hear his name roll off the tongue of a mortal. And Xavier was a pretty creature; Loki wasn’t beneath admitting. “And yet, that still makes you a member of the strongest race on the planet. Again, I ask you, why do you hide?” He loomed over the man confined to the chair, lip curling at the physical flaw. “Even you, bound to that chair with dead limbs, could easily rule these mortals.”
His heart clenched unpleasantly. “I am mortal,” he stated firmly. “Peaceful cohabitation takes time. It takes tolerance, then understanding and then-“
“Acceptance,” he finished mockingly. Sweeping down so that he was eye level with Xavier, Loki hissed, “You could rule them, fool.”
“We are all people,” Charles snapped, lips pursed as he fought to remain calm while Loki reached out unabashedly with arms like serpents to take hold of his wrists. He gasped, the almost waxy texture of the man’s skin heavy and dominating. It was that moment that he sent a powerful order to the mansion, RUN.
“Ah, you just spoke with someone else,” he purred, running lines of power through Xavier’s limbs, curling up into his mind like smoke filling a room. “Those you love? Other mutants?”
“Stop,” Charles insisted, throwing up the walls and shutting Loki out. His presence was heavy, like the hold on his wrists, pressing and dizzyingly powerful. “Be on your way.”
“Like night and day,” he mused, thrilled by the quickening pulse beneath his fingers, the sound of a frantically pounding heart. “You don’t bite very hard, Xavier.”
“More of a lover than a fighter,” Charles panted sarcastically, starting to squirm as the tendrils of power continued to thread through him. Any attempt at lashing out mentally was met with a scattering storm of deafeningly sharp whispers like a thousand locusts covering a single square inch of ground.
“Ah,” he realized, “That’s the difference. The anger. You don’t have it.”
“The anger?” he croaked, muscles in his neck standing out as he fought to keep the invading tendrils out, not even sure what they were doing. His mind was untouched, there was no pain. It was just a presence, slightly overwhelming, sliding inside his body alongside him. “What anger?”
“The metal bender had so much anger in him,” Loki whispered, watching closely as Xavier seemed to collapse, blue eyes immediately swamped with an unnamed human emotion that Loki didn’t care to investigate. Instead he took the opportunity to give a lasting push, completely overtaking the mutant’s body. He smirked slightly. “Oh, that’s not anger I feel. You have quite the opposite, for him.”
“You met him, you spoke with him,” Charles rattled, twisting as he felt the invisible fingers moving under his skin. “H-how is he?”
An emotion tasting like nectar washed over him by proxy, buried as he was within the mutant’s being. He flinched. “Your race is above this,” he accused, disappointed. “You will never be better than them until you can let go of their arbitrary sentiments.”
“You mean our humanity?” he countered bitingly, sweat beading on his brow while the fingers continued to move and dig through him. “The humanity that saves us from a primal devolution into nothing but a writhing mass of violence and sexual needs.” He panted, moaning as a terrifying surge of pleasure crashed through him, enough that tears sprung to his eyes, “Ah!”
“That’s what you feel for the metal bender,” Loki informed him. “Condensed, delivered all at once. You don’t think this is weakness?” The mortal was thrashing, his dead legs even shifting with the force of his lustful agony. “What are you now?”
Sobbing, Charles tried to curl into a fetal position, his heart fit to burst. Loki’s grip on his wrists felt like weights tying him down. He was distantly aware of the other man moving closer, leaning over him until the strangely sweet breath ghosted across the side of his face like an icy balm.
“This will be your undoing, mutant,” he murmured. With a devastating suddenness he withdrew, leaving Xavier exposed and vulnerable. Cupping the man’s face, he stared into blue eyes, so different from the metal bender. They held hope, optimism, everything foolish and weak. The metal bender, Lensherr, had reflected agony, anger, but there had been guilt there as well. A damning stain across what could have been a flawless spirit. Loki had been disappointed then too.
“I,” Charles started weakly, body still trembling with what had felt like a mind-blowing orgasm turned up to painful intensity, “wouldn’t trade it for anything. Not for anything in the entire world.” Tears broke free from his eyes and slid down his face, but they weren’t of sorrow. “The beautiful destruction of love is ours and ours alone. It is a treasure to be cherished. It may cut us, make us bleed. But if you cannot understand the power, the necessity of a force this powerful, then it is you who is weak.”
Slowly, his expression conveying nothing but boredom, Loki reached out and tangled his fingers in the collar of the mutant’s shirt. He lifted him easily so that his legs dangled off the ground. Xavier’s hands shot to his forearms, hanging onto them for fear of being strangled. Drawing him forward, Loki looked deeply into the mortal’s eyes. In the distance he heard voices echoing around the darkening evening air. Pity.
“Despite your imbecilic ideals,” he purred, “You certainly have a way with words.” Bringing the mortal closer, he leaned forward to capture the man’s mouth in a searing kiss. Weak fingers clawed at his arms, and he cradled the man against him easily, forcing mortal jaws apart to taste the lingering vestiges of the euphoria he’d allowed him. It tasted so sweet. Loki bit at a swollen lip, lapping at the blood that flowed. But this was sweeter. The foundation, the basicness. Growling, he pushed deeper, a primal heat growing at the mewling noises coming from the human. He could hear his name between crimson lips, begging him as he ravaged the young mutant’s mouth.
“Leave them, leave, leave,” he pleaded when Loki dropped him back in the wheelchair, licking his lips like a sated cat. Charles was struggling to catch his breath, doing his utmost to confuse the boys as they raced to find him, sending them the wrong way to buy time.
Loki murmured, “I’ll see you again, Charles Xavier. When the planet is nothing but a writhing mass of violence, was it? Ah, and sexual needs.” He rubbed his thumb roughly across the cut on the human’s lip, earning a hiss from the man.
Stepping gracefully away, he allowed the shadows to consume him with a last feral smile.