An internet romance was never something Erik thought he'd find himself waist deep in. He was charming, attractive, and relatively smart; there was no reason for him to turn to the vast web for a partner.
Well, honestly, it hadn't been intentional. Three years ago, Charles had merely messaged Erik in regards to reading over one of his stories and beta'ing it. They'd gone from roleplaying, to something that Erik liked to think was a steady, albeit nonphysical, relationship.
"Do you work tonight?"
Erik peered into the half-empty package of saltine crackers before taking a bite out of one and chewing loudly into the phone. "Yeah, but they cut it by two hours," he said, wincing at the way every drop of moisture was sucked from his mouth and groping for his cup. Charles tutted and sighed, the phone chirping loudly as he texted someone while keeping Erik on speaker.
"How many have they cut this week? Ten hours? They know you're a student, right?" Charles asked, his voice dry and irritated. Erik sipped his water, wishing terribly that they had at least something to mix with it before his tastebuds withered away from disuse. He sighed, rolling up the crackers and standing to return them to the barren pantry.
"Yeah, but I don't think they really care, to be honest." Erik opened the fridge, staring at the shelves dully and then shutting it again. "Fuck, I'm still hungry," he griped. Charles' end of the line rustled before there was a huff of breath (most likely meaning Charles had flopped onto his bed) and Charles was humming thoughtfully.
"Did you try any of the food banks?" Charles asked softly. Erik smiled, mostly because there was no one there to witness it, and tried not to tease Charles for having done his research. Erik was well aware that Charles was oblivious to the issues of college poverty or anything of the like, given that he lived solely on his inheritance and attended school on full scholarships.
"Yes, but they can only give you so much. I'm pretty sure Pyro's been sneaking munchies when I'm at work." Erik mumbled, a coil of irritation shooting through him at the mere thought. He left the kitchen, grabbing his water off of the counter on the way and traveling back to his bedroom.
"I really don't like him." Charles pointed out, "I know he's your best friend, but he's an unmitigated arsehole."
Erik crinkled his nose, wanting so badly to point out that Charles' posh was coming out, and instead slipping into his room and using his foot to close the door. "Well.... he's like cigarettes. Really bad for you, but you can't help but love them."
"I love you." Charles sniped, huffing. Erik sat on his bed, sadness stirring low in his belly. He grabbed his laptop, flipping it open and listening to the old model whirr as it woke from sleep mode.
"I love you, too. However," Erik mumbled, typing in his password, "You aren't here, and I do require some companionship besides your wonderful self."
"I'm not blaming you for-"
"I miss you," Erik interrupted, setting his laptop to the side and laying back on his bed with a heavy exhale. "I miss you a lot, and I know I talk to you every day, we roleplay and we're constantly in contact, but I miss you so much because I feel like I've been waiting my whole life for you to come home."
There was silence on the other line for a few moments, and Erik fidgeted. He never knew when he was saying too much, still trying to decipher what sounded better typed, and what needed to be spoken out loud.
"Erik..." Charles croaked weakly, "You're... I miss you too."
Erik closed his eyes, clenching his jaw to try and will away the ache in his joints and then sitting up to log into messenger. "I'm online now. Did you want to roleplay? I had an idea for something Johnlock."
Charles huffed, laughing softly on the other line. "That sounds lovely." Erik's messenger pinged as Charles sent him a smiling emoticon. Erik returned it with one of the odder ones he'd seen floating around tumblr.
"Ok, I'm going to hang up then. Love you."
"Love you, too."
The thing about Charles, one of the many that Erik loves, is that he's kindhearted - but he isn't stupid. He doesn't try to throw his money in Erik's face, and trusts Erik to take care of himself. He's spent the past three years talking to Erik nearly every day - knows more about Erik than anyone in the world, despite the fact that they've never physically met.
He also knows when enough is enough.
Erik groaned, the chime of the doorbell snapping him out of his sleep. He rolled over, lifting his arm to blearily stare at his watch. Technically, he didn't need to wake up until around noon in order to catch his first class of the day, but it seemed as though whoever was at the door had decided that 9am was a perfectly reasonable hour to tear Erik from dreamland.
Erik slipped out of bed, shuffling out of his room and to the door in only his boxers. Fuck the neighbors, he hadn't gotten off work until two in the morning and he could answer his godamn door in his godamn boxers if he motherfucking well pleased.
Erik opened the door, staring down at the UPS package sitting innocently on his doorstep. It was a good foot wide, as well as deep, and had Charles' ever-illegible scrawl all over it.
"Th'fuck?" Erik mumbled, grabbing the package - a decent weight - and walking inside with it. He went for his phone first, grabbing it off his bedside table and sliding it open to shoot Charles a quick text message while he carried the box into the kitchen. Two months ago, he would have set it on the table, but they didn't have a table anymore, since Erik had decided to sell it to buy groceries, shampoo, and toilet paper.
His phone pinged with a smiley face from Charles and Erik shot him another message of inquiry while rooting around the kitchen for something pointy. The entire place was a disaster, given that Erik was too busy to clean and Pyro was usually too high to do anything other than make a mess.
He exchanged another text with Charles, realizing that he would have to dig in the sink for anything that could cut through the half-foot of duct tape Charles had apparently swathed the box in. He rinsed and dried off the least food-encrusted knife he could find, breaking the edges of the tape and then opening the box to see a mound of balled up grocery bags.
"The fuck?" He repeated blankly, pulling the bags out of the way to reveal a veritable gold mine of foodstuffs. "What the FUCK.... holyshitohmygod." Erik whirled around, diving for his phone on the counter and fumbling to text Charles again. It wasn't long before he was dialing his boyfriend, food spread all across the counter as he attempted to inventory everything they'd gotten.
"I love you." Was the first thing Erik said when Charles picked up. Charles laughed, sounding utterly delighted.
"I love you, as well. I take it you're happy with the gift?"
"You didn't have-"
"Yes I did. I'd rather have a boyfriend that hasn't turned into a Dragur by the time I get to hold him in my arms." Charles teased. Erik bit down on the slightly hysterical laugh he could feel bubbling up inside of him, transferring the macaroni boxes into the pantry.
"I can't believe you just pulled a Skyrim reference on me," he whined. Charles laughed again, and Erik could feel himself tearing up because he suddenly wanted so, so badly to hold Charles tightly and never let him go.
"Well, I used to be funnier, you know. Until I took an arr-"
"Don't you dare." Erik snapped, and Charles burst into another trill of delighted laughter. Erik knew he was smiling like an idiot, and this knowledge was verified when Pyro sleepily entered the kitchen and gave Erik a disturbed look before noticing all the food on the counter and Erik transferring a box of brownie mix into the pantry.
"Wh- did you go grocery shopping? I thought your pay got cut."
Erik shook his head, lifting the phone to indicate that he was talking to Charles. (Because, honestly, Charles was the only person he'd willingly talk to over the phone.) Pyro's eyes went wide and he grinned knowingly, moving to inspect the pantry and instantly shriek about the oreos and macaroni he found within.
"It sounds like Pyro is awake." Charles said lightly. It was so familiar that Erik wished Charles was standing before him so Erik could drag him in for a kiss before trying to draw another chuckle from his mouth just so he could swallow it with his own.
"Yep." Erik replied instead, grabbing the bag of apples he'd found at the bottom of the box and setting it next to the microwave. "Hang on." Even if they'd technically been together for a little over two years, Erik didn't particularly want to dump his feels onto Charles with St. John in the same room. Charles instantly understood, and from the clicking and mumbling broken by a soft chuckle on occasion, Charles had decided to entertain himself on a meme site.
It took Erik a few minutes to put everything away, taking care to stuff a few things on the top shelf of the pantry where Pyro was unlikely to notice, and then return to his bedroom.
"Okay, sorry." Erik shut his door as Charles informed him that it was 'quite alright, love.' Erik shook his head, dropping onto the bed face-first with a wheeze when he knocked the air out of his lungs.
"Did I wake you up with the care-package?" Charles asked, though it sounded suspiciously like he didn't actually feel much guilt over it. Erik groaned dramatically, rolling onto his back. He kept his head turned to the side, leaving his phone laying on his cheek and ear so he could rest his hands on his belly.
"Yes, and I'm going to go back to sleep in a minute." Erik replied, already feeling his previous excitement start to drain into a lonely, tired ache in his bones. "Wanna talk to you for a sec, first."
"Of course," Charles replied instantly, "I expect you to be well fed before you go to class today, though. If you don't, I'm going to send more food until you take the hint."
"Charles, don't you dare." Erik warned, closing his eyes sleepily. He was rather certain that, if in person, he would sound much less menacing when one coupled his growling voice with the sleepy flutter of his eyes and the purse of his lips trying to hold in a yawn. "Now and then is fine, but I'm no-"
"I know, darling." Charles reminded Erik happily, "I'm just teasing."
The fight fell out of Erik in an instant, and he brought his hand up to hold the phone in place as he rolled completely onto his side and curled up. "I'm sorry, I'm just tired." His arm stretched out, catching the pink tale of the stuffed albino rat that Charles had sent him for his birthday the year prior. ["Honestly, Erik, its a Sprague Dawley. There happens to be more than one type of lab rat."]
He threaded the tail around his fingers, playing with it idly as Charles spoke up with a heavily sarcastic drawl. "Oh, I'm afraid I can't forgive you. It is completely unacceptable for you to feel tired after having been woken up early after you worked all night and had classes before that. Apology not accepted."
"Sometimes, when I'm not wishing you were here so I could kiss you, I wish you were here so I could punch you in the face." Erik grumbled. Charles' laughter was like a chime of bells, happy and light, washing over Erik and warming his heart. He breathed in deeply through his nose, lungs expanding with the oxygen as he gave the rat's tail a tug so he could drag it into his chest and curl around it with a yawn stifled into its synthetic fur.
"Go to sleep, text me when you wake up?" Charles changed the subject easily and Erik nodded - despite the fact that Charles couldn't see him.
"I will. Love you."
"I love you too, Erik."
In reality, there was the very strong likelihood that Erik and Charles could have met at any time. Charles attended NYU and Erik wasn't far, a hop away in Pittsburg working full time and attending school part-time to get in his last few classes before he graduated. The reason they had agreed not to meet was mostly on the grounds that it would be more painful when they were apart if they knew what it was like to be together.
Erik, of course, couldn't wait until the day he graduated. They'd discussed a sea of opportunities until Charles - after more than a year - convinced Erik to move into Charles' apartment with him as soon as the degree was put into his hands. It would be easier, given that Charles was twenty and only on his second year towards a PHD, and Erik was 24 and just months away from finishing his engineering courses.
Erik was always secretly terrified that maybe Charles wouldn't love him as much once they were together, but he knew Charles felt the same and could only hope that translated into them simply being meant for each other.
The steady, unchanging beeping in his ear made Erik wonder if maybe someone had activated his old clock alarm while he was sleeping. He inhaled sharply, forcing his eyes to open and wincing at the amount of crust that had collected in the corners. He tried to bring his arm up to wipe at them, but there was a painful tugging in his arm.
Confused, Erik stared down at the cluster of IVs in his hand and arm. "Whuh?"
He looked up, staring around himself at the hospital room. He felt hazy, pain lancing up and down his very bones. That was when he realized that half the right side of his body seemed to be encompassed in casts. "Huh?" Erik tried to wriggle the two fingers that weren't broken, eyes flickering from the cast on his wrist that extended up his forearm, to the giant one covering from his thigh to his calf.
"I'm so confused." Uttering a single sentence was murder on his painfully dry throat, sending Erik into a series of coughing fits that made his ribs flare in agony. He choked, crying out and stretching against the bed to try and ease the pain, to force his breathing calm while still coughing.
The door opened and a nurse walked in, her face breaking into a lovely, excited smile at the sight of Erik. "You're awake! Your friends will be very happy to hear this." She bustled over, reaching into her scrubs to pull out a small light. Erik tongued at his cracked lips, wetting them as she held each of his eyes open and inspected his pupils for dilation.
"Can you tell me your name?"
Erik snorted dryly as the nurse started to ask him a ridiculous amount of questions, answering each one correctly, until he didn't.
"Can you tell me the date?"
"Sunday, November 17th."
The nurse shook her head while checking the fluids in Erik's IV. "Its Thursday the 28th."
Erik felt like he'd been punched in the gut, the air leaving his lungs and refusing to come back. The nurse hurried to his side, rubbing his back soothingly and going off into details about comas and car accidents and how lucky Erik was that he'd been wearing a helmet because most motorcycle accidents end in death.
"What's the last thing you remember?"
Erik didn't even remember leaving the apartment that day.
"I told my roommate, St. John Allerdyce, uhm. We needed to pay the bills or everything was going to get shut off." Erik stared down at his casts, brows furrowed and trying to remember how the conversation had even ended.
The nurse didn't seem as bothered as he was, patting Erik's hand and removing the IV drip that was keeping him sustained during his week-and-a-half coma. She continued talking for a few minutes, but Erik's ears were ringing so much that he barely heard her mentioning that she was going to call St. John.
"Wait," he blurted, head whipping around (and spinning violently) to look at her with wide eyes, "Can... can you tell him to bring my laptop?"
The nurse glanced down at Erik's mangled right hand for a split second before resuming eye contact and smiling. "Of course, sir."
Pyro showed up three hours later with Erik's laptop under one arm and a bag of McDonalds in the other. The sight and scent of fast food was enough for Erik's stomach to lurch painfully in hunger as Pyro set the bag on his knees. He watched Erik fumble with his good hand with bloodshot eyes before laughing, apologizing, and proceeding to set out the burger and fries on Erik's lap.
"Can you boot up my laptop?" Erik croaked, stuffing a handful of fries into his mouth with a hungry grunt. Pyro did so, setting the old computer on his thighs as Erik ate like a starved man. (which really, he was.)
"So uh. They shut off our phone, cable and internet. I had them cancel your insurance since your bike is trashed aaaand I sold the microwave."
Erik choked on a mouthful of burger, coughing and struggling to breathe. "What?" he rasped, setting his food down to stare at his roommate in horror. Pyro typed in Erik's password with a shrug.
"They wanted us to pay some of the medical shit that your crap insurance wouldn't cover." He explained. Erik sat back on his bed, slowly bringing a french fry to his mouth as everything sank in.
"Did you tell Charles? What about my mom? Please tell me everyone doesn't think I'm dead." Erik couldn't recall the last time he'd gone more than a day or two without talking to Charles in some way, and the last thing he could remember saying to his boyfriend had been something about feeling like he was starving to death.
"The wife and mother have been informed of your predicament. I didn't tell mama-bear our address, 'cause I didn't want her crying all over me while you were in a coma. Sorry, no offense. I don't do feelings." Pyro clicked around on the computer as Erik finished off his burger and fries, reaching soda cup Pyro had stuck between his knees.
"Mamma's gonna kill you," he pointed out, slurping on his soda, "Charles probably will too,"
Pyro scoffed, moving Erik's trash out of the way and setting the laptop on his knees. "They don't have an internet connection here, so your wife and mother are going to have to wait."
Erik groaned, shutting the laptop and ignoring the irritated look that Pyro shot him. "That was the only reason I wanted it. Can you at least ask the hospital to call them?"
"You're pretty godamn needy for a guy who just woke up from a coma," Pyro sniped, pushing himself up out of his chair regardless and returning Erik's, 'Fuck you!' with a flipping of his middle finger.
He returned not much long after, sighing and flopping down into the uncomfortable hospital chair. "Mama bear has been called, but long distance calls cost extra, so Charlie was a no-go, mi amigo."
Erik scowled, grunting and struggling to push himself up out of his hospital bed when he realized that he was hooked up to a catheter. He hissed, yelping and falling back against the bed. "Oh my god," he groaned, "could this day get any worse?"
"You could still be in a coma."
"Fuck you, again."
Erik loved his mother, with all of his heart, but he knew not to rely on her before he’d hit eighteen, given that he would have never left the nest and been happy sitting on her couch all day and eating latkes until he burst. Edie was a whirlwind of a woman, kind and gentle, but fierce nonetheless, even as she burst into the hospital room two hours later with a loud sob of Erik's name, arms flying around his head and dragging her son's face into her bosom with a relieved cry.
"Hi m'ma," Erik mumbled against his mother's chest, ribs aching from the strain of the position he'd been forced in.
"My little one, I have been so scared! Your awful friend would not give me the hospital and I could not find you. Your mother has been out of her mind!" Edie cried, accent thick as she started to pepper the top of Erik's head with kisses, stroking her fingers through the short locks at the base of his neck.
"M'ma, h'rts." Erik mumbled, squirming and wincing. Edie gasped, letting go and causing Erik to flop against the bed.
At least they'd taken out the catheter before his mother had shown up.
"My poor boy," Edie said, tearing up as she reached out to keep petting Erik's hair and stroke her knuckles down his cheek, "You're so thin, my baby." Leaning down, Edie pressed a kiss to Erik's forehead. "I will take you home, you'll stay with mama until you are better, eat more, too." Cooing, Edie continued to kiss Erik's face and hair while the nurse rolled in a wheelchair and stopped it by Erik's bed.
"Mama, have you talked to Charles?" Erik asked, leaning heavily on the nurse for support as she helped him off of the bed and into the chair. Edie tutted, brushing Erik's dirty bangs from his forehead and nodding.
"I told him I would take you home, he told me to fatten you up! I like your boy, when are you going to marry him, again?"
"Mama, gay marriage isn't even legal here." Erik muttered, groaning in pain as the nurse helped him get his feet settled onto the pedals of the wheelchair. Edie, looking cross, shook her head and flapped a hand around.
"Nonsense, go to New York! Later, later, you can't get married looking like a mummy! Come on, I'll take you home - home home, not to that rat hole you call an apartment." Edie rambled, walking with Erik's laptop bag on her shoulder as the nurse pushed his wheelchair out of the room.
"Can we stop at the library or a cafe? I have to email Charles." Erik glanced over his shoulder as Edie nodded, reaching out to fluff and then smooth down Erik's hair while they stood in the elevator.
"Of course, he worries just like I do. Poor boy must have chewed his own nails off by now, I'm sure." Edie said, a gentle, happy smile on her face. Erik, flustered, sunk down in his wheelchair as much as his ribs would allow. "They have given me a prescription for your medicine, we'll take it to the pharmacy and go to the library while we wait, hm?"
"That sounds good, thank you, mama."
"Of course, baby," Edie crooned, dropping down to kiss Erik's head for the umpteenth time as the elevator pinged and opened on the lobby floor.
It took a little strategy to get Erik in the back of Edie's car and strap him down with one seatbelt across his torso and the other around his thighs, his casts making it hard to move around much.
By the time his prescription had been dropped off and they had pulled into the public library's parking lot, Erik was jumping out of his skin with anxiety.
That was when he realized that they had no wheelchair, and his entire right leg was in a thigh to ankle cast, as well as half of his arm. Determined, Erik made it halfway out of the car before his mother realized his intentions and began shrieking and shoving him back in.
"There are wheelchairs in the library! You stay! stay!" Edie pointed a finger at her son, repeating the action and glaring when Erik squirmed. She didn't move until Erik flopped uselessly across the back seat, and then whirled around to fetch a wheelchair from the library. Erik, impatient, grabbed his laptop and put it on his stomach after a large amount of awkward fumbling, booting it up and praying the library's wifi extended to the parking lot.
He wiggled, just the tiniest bit, in excitement when his laptop connected to the library's public internet, logging into his messenger in a heartbeat. Every second of panic that he'd been building up to left him with a woosh of relieved cheering when he saw Charles online, Charles, who was already IMing him frantically.
ERIK. ERIK OH MY GOD. PLEASE TELL ME ITS YOU.
hey baby <3
Erik winced, trying to juggle the laptop and type with his good hand as he heard his mother approaching with the wheelchair.
;-; ohmygodErikassdflkasdjfasdlfkasldf asdlfkasd I've been so scared what the fuck are you okay,am dsfasdlfasdf *clings*
"Erik! Get off computer! I didn't go and get the wheelchair for you to sit there and decide to play on that thing in the car!" Edie snapped, popping her head through the open back door and whapping Erik's good leg. "Tell your boy you are alive and get out of the car!"
Erik, ignoring his mother and smiling as stupidly as one could when having a laptop on your cracked ribs was involved, continued to talk to Charles.
im at the library, mama picked me up. im sorry i scared you, i love you.
"Erik! I will tell Charles horrible baby stories and get out pictures to email him if you don't get out of the car!"
Erik wheezed, shrieking when Edie leaned in and snatched his laptop away. "Mama! I was talking to Charles!"
Edie, undeterred, grabbed the laptop bag as well to shove the computer into it. "The faster we go inside, the faster you can talk to Charles again." She huffed, a hand on her hip and the other holding the wheelchair steady. Erik pushed himself off from the back seat, sliding out of the car and grabbing the roof to pick himself up and plot his body into the wheelchair in one fluid movement.
"Why could you not do that before, I don't know." Edie muttered, giving Erik's head an affectionate push and handing him his laptop bag as she closed and locked the car. By the time she turned around, Erik's laptop was out again and on his thighs as he struggled to type in his password with one hand.
"Erik, you cannot ever say anything to me again about my soap operas being cheesy," Edie teased, pushing his wheelchair towards the library.
"Mama, I've been in a coma, and Charles was worried." Erik muttered, willing his laptop to load from sleep-mode faster. Edie agreed with him dismissively, smothering a fond smile as they crossed the parking lot. Erik signed back into his messenger just as they were entering the doors, struggling not to drop his laptop from its crooked position on his cast while he was bombarded with offline messages from Charles.
I love you too, god, I've been so worried. your asshole roommate wouldn't answer my messages and then your phone was shut off and your mother just emailed me back the other day.
Erik? adfaksdjfadf noo Erik come back! ;w;
I know he's your friend, I didn't mean to make you mad, its just that he was completely ignoring me and I was terrified and all he told me was that you were in a coma and I didn't know what to do.
Erik, feeling horribly guilty, typed up a quick reply while the IM box told him that Charles was typing.
im sorry mama took the laptop so we could get into the library. just a sec babe lemme get to a table ok? im not mad at you, either.
It took a good minute to transfer to a table and get his laptop plugged in. Edie spent another few minutes fretting over whether Erik was comfortable or not before she forcefully and loudly kissed his forehead three times and then wandered off to use one of the library's computers to check her email and ebay bids.
Erik wasted no time in assuring Charles that he was alive and as well as one could be when covered in casts and in constant pain when he moved too much. They chatted for nearly half an hour before Edie was back, looking pleased with herself as she pulled out the cheap cell phone Erik had encouraged her to buy a few years prior.
“Pharmacy called me, your medicine is ready. I’m taking you home, I will feed you and if you are good, I will let you call Charles, yes?”
Erik was torn between wanting to continue IMing Charles, or possibly talk on the phone with him in just a few hours. He gave out a pained sigh, and turned to his laptop.
I gotta go, we gotta pick up my meds and I’m going home with mamma. I’ll call you on her phone in an hour or so, ok?
Okay, and god bless your mother. She’s a wonderful woman. <3
if not a bit smothering… >___> but yes, I’ll see you soon, ok? Love you <3 <3
Smothering is good, sometimes. I won’t be able to talk in three hours or so, if you could call me before that, I would be very delighted. Love you toooooo. ;m; stay safe asdlfkjasd <3 *hug*
Erik shut his laptop before his mother could look any more impatient, grinning sheepishly and making the woman roll her eyes and go to unplug Erik’s laptop and help him pack it up.
They picked up Erik’s medication and returned to Edie’s small townhouse in record time. (Which had nothing to do with Erik arguing that ten miles over the speed limit was completely acceptable.)
Erik couldn’t deny that he felt nostalgia when Edie helped him hobble up the small steps with the crutches that they’d picked up at the pharmacy. His insurance hadn’t covered a pair at the hospital, but they gave a discount at certain pharmacies, according to Edie and her shark-like saving skills.
Edie wasted no time in forcing Erik to lie on the couch, heating up a piping serving of beef goulash that she had saved from the night before and bringing it out to him with his medication. Erik took the painkillers as quickly as possible, his stomach aching for his mother’s cooking.
Edie handed him the remote for her small television, satisfied to see her son with such a ravenous appetite, and gave him a wet kiss on the temple and a fluff of his hair.
“I’ll be doing some laundry, let me know when you want to call Charles, yes?”
Erik waved a hand about, gesturing for her to wait until he was done with his latest mouthful of goulash and then swallowing painfully. “Can I call him now?”
Edie laughed, patting Erik on the head. “Not until you finish eating, sweetheart.”
Erik pouted, and then ate another spoonful of food while he struggled to handle the remote in his broken hand. Edie hissed, wrenching it away and turning the television on.
“Days of our Lives?” Erik whined, “Can’t you at least put on Passions? They have a monkey.” Edie laughed, but looked sympathetic.
“They cancelled that show years ago, baby.”
Erik’s eyes widened, looking horrified at the mere concept. “They kept General Hospital, though!” He shook his head, “Why does this always happen, mamma?” Erik asked his goulash, taking another bite while Edie flipped through the television stations and settled on a rerun of Golden Girls that was playing on the public station.
“We live in a cruel world, baby, and I‘m afraid your love for Betty White is the only cure,” Edie muttered sympathetically, handing Erik the remote and retreating towards the small laundry room on the other end of the house.
Erik finished eating soon enough, and called for his mother and her cell phone until she came in and looked ready to throw the thing at him.
“What was it that your friend said to you once?” Edie sniped affectionately, handing her cell to him, “Do I need to call the crying ambulance?”
Erik snorted, flipping her phone open. “it’s the wah-mbulance, mamma.”
Edie shrugged flippantly, kissed Erik on the head, and disappeared once more. Erik dialed Charles’ number from memory, wiping bits of food from the corners of his mouth as the painkillers finally started to kick in. Laying back against the couch, Erik got comfortable just as Charles answered the phone.
“Erik!” Charles breathed, sounding delighted. Erik couldn’t help but grin, putting the TV on mute.
“How did you know it was me?”
“Area code,” Charles answered flippantly, his voice muffled with the cacophony of background noises.
“Where are you at?” Erik asked, his body starting to tingle and a swell of medicated giddiness bubbling inside of him.
“I’m out on an errand, is all. I’m going to have to hang up soon, I’m afraid. Until then, how are you feeling?”
“I’m awesome,” Erik said, watching the television with minimal interest. Charles chuckled, wind rustling loudly on his side of the line.
“I’m guessing they gave you painkillers, then?”
Charles laughed again and Erik grabbed the sofa pillow behind his head to hug it loosely and wish that it was Charles. They talked for another few minutes, mostly about how Charles had been, and speculation on Erik’s financial situation.
“Erik, darling, I have to go. I’ll talk to you soon though.” Charles sounded remorseful, and Erik couldn’t help but feel the same as he gave an over-dramatic sigh into the phone.
“I suppose I’ll have to deal with it.”
“Hush, you.” Charles snapped, sounding amused nonetheless.
“Love you, too.” Erik responded, and Charles chuckled, returned Erik’s love, and hung up.
Erik closed Edie’s cell phone, resting it on his stomach and taking the television off mute so that he could try and understand what was happening.
He drifted off at some point during a commercial break, and snapped into wakefulness when the house phone started shrilling loudly. Erik grunted, struggling to push himself into a sitting position as his mother shrieked from across the house.
“Don’t you dare answer that phone, boy!“ His mother came into the room, finger already out and pointing at Erik from where he was still trying to sit up as his head spun in disorientation from all of the painkillers. “Stay on the couch!"
Erik sat back obediently as his mother bustled into the kitchen to answer the phone, and then up the stairs to talk to one of her book club friends or someone from the poker group she played with on weekends.
“My mom has more of a social life than I do,” Erik whispered to himself in horror , staring at the bottom of the stairs. He shrugged, halfway to lying back down when the doorbell rang.
“Erik! Get the door!” Edie yelled from upstairs.
“Make up your mind, woman,” Erik growled, arms flailing when he couldn’t find his balance. He used the back of the couch for leverage, cast-trapped leg wind milling before he could find the ground. His vision swam, and Erik started to laugh in confusion when his hand knocked the remote control off of the couch.
“Good God,” he breathed, bringing a palm up and swinging it up and down to watch the image trails. Sitting up had made the painkillers hit him full force, and Erik had to remind himself that someone was at the door before he could muster the energy to grab his crutches and stand.
“By the time I answer the door, they’re not going to be there anymore!” Erik cried, hoping his mother heard him.
“I don’t care! Answer the door!”
Erik muttered curses under his breath, stopping to remember how to stand up straight and then heading for the front door at a painstakingly slow pace.
He opened the door, staring blankly at Charles, who was looking at Erik with an expression crossed between giddiness and disbelief, pulling his cellular down from his ear.
Obviously, whatever they’d given him had hallucinogenic properties.
Erik kept looking, waiting for Charles to turn into a delivery man or one of his mother’s friends, and then blinked before he brought a hand up and waved it between the both of them. Dropping his arm, Erik noticed that Charles now looked distraught and bemused at the same time as he shut his phone and pocketed it.
“Charles?” Erik croaked, remembering that speaking was something most people did when meeting the love of their life in person for the first time.
Charles’ face screwed up and his shoulders shook with the strain of holding in what was possibly a high-pitched squeal. Instead, his face turned blotchy and he released a half-sob of joy.
“I’m tripping balls,” Erik gasped out, reaching forward and poking Charles in the collarbone. Charles shuffled forward, making Erik’s arm slide up and over his shoulder as he gradually brought his own arms up and walked forward until he was standing against Erik’s chest.
Charles sobbed again, gingerly holding Erik in a loose embrace and then shoving his face into the taller man’s clavicle.
“I was so scared! It took so long to get ahold of you, and then I didn’t feel any better, even when I knew you were okay! I know you don’t like surprises, but your mother said it was okay, and I just really wanted to see you - and it was her idea, you know - a--”
Erik grunted, leaning up against Charles and hugging him back to the best of his ability. He tilted his head down, lips brushing windswept chestnut hair before he kissed Charles on the temple.
“Charles,” he murmured, feeling Charles shake against him, “Charles, its okay. Come inside.”
Charles pulled back, apparently over his emotional fit and laughing out a sob as he wiped his eyes. “Okay,” he choked.
It took a lot of awkward movement to get Erik turned around as Edie came down the stairs, a knowing grin on her face.
“Erik! I told you to stay on the couch!” Edie snapped, though she didn’t look particularly angry. Erik, however, was far too drugged up to catch the tease, and instead stared at her blankly.
Charles made a noise of surprise, hands flying into the air. “Your mother is right! Why on earth did you answer the door? You’re in no condition to be moving around!”
Erik’s mother laughed and shared a smile with Charles as they both hustled Erik back onto the couch.
“I see you found the house just fine,” Edie said to Charles as they arranged Erik in a sea of pillows. Charles nodded, putting a cushion pillow behind Erik’s head and staring down at him like Erik was the best thing since Nutella.
“Yes, thank you for the directions, Edie.”
Edie echoed her name, incredulous, “None of that name nonsense, boy!” She reprimanded, waggling a finger at Charles. Erik watched Charles stand up straight, and ginned madly at the priceless look on his face when Edie dragged him into her arms and smothered the top of his head in kisses.
“Mama, he needs to breathe.” Erik pointed out after a prolonged moment. Edie gave Charles a tight squeeze, swaying him back and forth and then releasing him with a grin. Charles looked rather debauched and stunned at the same time, his hair in even more of a disarray than before. Edie reached out, smoothing Charles’ hair down and then moving to kiss Erik on the forehead.
“No sex,” She harped, and then flounced back upstairs.
Charles watched her go before looking down to see Erik smiling at him fondly.
“What just happened?” Charles stage-whispered. Erik gave him a dismissive shrug and then reached up, fingers wiggling (well, the ones in the cast, not so much) at Charles. Charles’ face lit up and he knelt down in front of the couch, leaning forward and wrapping his arms around Erik in a hug.
“Can you help me upstairs? I want to show you my old room,” Erik said, nuzzling Charles’ neck and kissing the lobe of his ear. Charles didn’t let him go immediately, holding Erik as tight as he dared and breathing in the scent of a sterile hospital and days of sponge-baths with surgical soap. He finally pulled back after another few seconds, staring down at Erik until he could convince himself to stand up and help Erik into a sitting position.
It took a fair amount of struggling to get Erik upstairs, and they ended up having him sit on each step as Charles helped Erik push his bottom up onto the next one. By the time they were in Erik’s room with the door shut, both boys were panting heavily from the exertion. Erik flopped back against his bed, beckoning Charles over with an excited, albeit drugged, glint in his eyes.
Charles climbed up onto the bed, laying down beside Erik and slinging an arm over his torso. Erik struggled to get on his side as best he could, cast-laden arm resting on Charles’ hip.
“Hi,” Charles whispered, staring up at Erik with a tiny smile. Erik returned it with one of his own, leaning forward until their foreheads bumped gently.
Charles surged forward, mouth catching Erik’s in a clumsy kiss that made Erik huff in surprise. The reaction was instantaneous, Charles reaching out to clutch the side of Erik’s head while Erik shifted, lips parting eagerly.
Charles wriggled closer, his knee nudging its way between Erik’s thighs while Erik suckled his upper lip, nipping it and then kissing him again.
Charles’s mouth stretched into a grin before he had to break off the kiss to release a rather girlish giggle of joy. Erik glanced down at him, somewhat numb from the painkillers, and Charles shook his head before burying his face against Erik’s throat.
“What’s wrong?” Erik asked, the hand trapped under Charles’ head rising to pet his hair. Charles shook his head a second time, clinging to Erik.
“M’happy,” Charles mumbled, voice muffled by Erik’s clothes.
Erik bent his head down awkwardly to kiss Charles’ hair, grinning as his chest started to swell with elation. “Me too,” he murmured, eyes falling shut as he drew in a deep breath. Charles seemed to get control over himself after another moment of chuckling, and he shifted to start kissing Erik’s neck sloppily, slow and languid. Erik’s skin tingled, and he released a pleased sound deep in his chest, shoulder dropping and chin propping itself on Charles’ head to give him more room.
“Mmh, you taste like hospital.” Charles muttered, inhaling deeply and sucking under Erik’s jaw. Erik couldn’t help but feel the slightest bit uncomfortable, and he tried to pull away when Charles snagged him even closer and gave his throat a sharp bite.
“S’fine, I don’t care.”
“I’ve been in a coma for a week, Charles. I must taste awful. At least let me take a shower.” Erik protested, squirming whenever Charles ignored him and rubbed his lips and cheek along every inch of Erik that he could reach.
“Nope, its sponge-baths for you, for at least a couple months.” Charles said cheerily, pushing himself forward and bringing his knee higher so that his thigh pressed up between Erik’s legs. Erik stiffened, sucking in a sharp breath through his teeth.
“Fuck, Charles, not cool.” Erik whined, gasping when his only response was a powerful upward press of Charles’ leg.
“I regret nothing,” Charles teased, pulling back with bright, happy eyes to give Erik a proper kiss. “Though,” another kiss, “It will prove to be a challenge,” Charles rubbed their lips together and kissed him a third time, “to ravish you like this.”
Erik had no idea how he was supposed to react, but his body seemed completely on board for the idea, because he felt his cock starting to twitch to life when Charles started a rhythm with his leg.
“I will kill you,” Erik hissed, groaning and biting Charles’ bottom lip in retaliation. Charles chuckled, fingers ghosting down to grab a fistful of Erik’s bottom and haul him closer.
“Been waiting years to do this,” Charles breathed. Erik, head muzzy, gave an aborted attempt at climbing on top of Charles before he realized that his entire right leg was completely immobilized in its cast, and his arm wasn’t faring much better.
“This isn’t fair,” Erik complained, flopping back onto the bed and glowering. Charles laughed, sitting back and then staring down at Erik’s sprawled body with a grin. Erik watched a myriad of expressions cross Charles’ face before he reached out and brushed his knuckles over a pale, curving cheek.
Charles turned his head, kissing Erik’s palm and then reaching forward to snag his shirt and tug it. Erik sucked in a sharp breath, eyes wide as Charles eagerly rucked the fabric up until it was bunched under his arms.
“Oh, that’s quite nice.” Charles breathed, a low hum escaping him before he bent down and pressed a kiss against the flat skin just below Erik’s navel. Erik tensed, his good hand moving to bury itself into Charles’ hair and stroke his scalp.
“Much better than I could have imagined,” Charles purred under his breath, mouth kissing every inch of skin he could find, touching down anywhere his nose had previously. Erik, completely out of his element, floundered with what he should do, and then flopped his head back onto his pillow and stared up at the ceiling. Charles mumbled endearments into Erik’s flesh, palms rubbing up and down his sides with gentle care to cause any further pain.
“Charles…” Erik said softly. Charles picked his head up, lips red and hair mussed. Erik pointed to his mouth and Charles’ curious look dissolved into one of delight. He crawled forward, perching himself right on Erik’s crotch and giving it an experimental grind - grinning wickedly when Erik bucked - and then bent down to snatch Erik’s mouth with his own.
Erik brought his arms up to wrap them around Charles’ shoulders, his cast bumping awkwardly against his good hand as he tried to ignore the dull throb of pain in his body as the medication started to wear off.
“Anything we’ve ever roleplayed,” Charles murmured, sucking on Erik’s tongue and then nuzzling their mouths together, “We’re going to do.”
Erik paused, and Charles pulled back to look at him innocently. “All of it?” Erik echoed in disbelief. Charles laughed, nose crinkling before he shook his head.
“Most of it,” he amended. Erik sighed in relief - he wasn’t really looking forward to public sex any time soon, nor did he want to really indulge in some of Charles’ wilder kinks - like gunplay - just yet.
“For now,” Charles added, laughing at Erik’s expression and bending down to kiss the gobsmacked look right off of his lips. “I’m going to rock your world.”
“More than getting hit by a car?” Erik asked dryly, smirking at the dirty look Charles shot him and shrugging helplessly. Charles reached down, taking Erik’s left nipple between his fingers and giving it a painful twist that had Erik hissing and arching off of the bed.
“That wasn’t even funny, Erik. I was going out of my mind for an entire week.” Charles chastised, releasing Erik’s nipple and giving it a loving flick that had Erik shuddering beneath him for a completely different reason.
“I’m sorry, I love you.” Erik said softly, reaching up to stroke the side of Charles’ face affectionately. Charles gave him an unhappy pout, but allowed Erik to tug him down into another kiss. It wasn’t long before Charles was starting to roll his hips, pressing down into each upward jerk of Erik’s body, until Erik’s gasps of pleasure became ones of pain and he was groaning and gently pushing Charles away.
“Meds wore off,” Erik explained sheepishly, wincing when Charles lurched away with a horrified look and quickly scrambled off of him.
“I’ll go get you more!”
“Charles, wait- “ Erik protested, reaching out and snagging the corner of Charles’ shirt to stop him. “I have to take it with food, and mama’s making dinner soon. I can wait a little while.”
Charles looked skeptical, but allowed Erik to pull him back onto the bed until they were lying beside one another again. He sighed, snuggling up into Erik’s chest, after tugging the hem back down to his hips, and pressing his forehead against the sharp jut of Erik’s collarbone.
Filled only with the hum of the air conditioner and their breathing, the room was silent and comforting. Every now and then, one of them would shift or take a deep breath before settling down again, and Erik marveled at the feel of Charles’ heartbeat thudding against his lower chest.
Charles made a soft, distressed sound in the back of his throat and Erik glanced down. Try as he might, Erik was unable to see his expression through the mad fluff ball that had become his boyfriend’s hair.
“What’s wrong?” Erik asked softly, pressing a kiss to the crown of Charles’ head and resting his lips there. Charles made another obscure whimper, holding Erik as tight as he dared when his shoulders began to tremble. Startled, Erik pulled back to try and get a look at Charles’ face, only to have himself dragged closer by Charles’ vice grip.
“Charles?” Erik asked, a slight edge of panic in his tone. Charles exhaled with a quick burst of air and instantly sucked in another breath - just like Erik did when he was trying not to cry. “Charles, what’s wrong?”
“I thought you were dead!” Charles blurted, clinging to Erik so much that it was somewhat painful. Erik wheezed, but held down his complaint in exchange for returning the embrace. “I thought you were dead, and I never got to see you, not once! I was so scared, Erik! I felt so stupid for thinking it was a good idea to wait to see you until you graduated! I - I didn’t know what to do!” Charles’ voice cracked sharply, his last word breaking off into a higher, airy pitch before he sniffed and swallowed down a sob.
“Oh,” Erik said stupidly, guilt eating away at him when he knew there wasn’t really anything he could have done about it. Charles keened, this time unable to bite back the onslaught of tears, his fingers buried in the back of Erik’s shirt and stretching the fabric as he tried to get that much closer to him.
“Charles, I’m okay. Its okay - we’re okay. Its fine,” Erik hushed, feeling Charles struggle to get his breathing under control as the first sob wrenched itself from his chest.
“What if I’m dreaming?” Charles moaned, “What if you’ve really died and this is just some elaborate coping mechanism that my brain has conjured up to keep me from suffering a mental breakdown? I don’t wanna-”
“Charles!” Erik cried, starting to panic because he didn’t deal with crying people, and he didn’t want Charles to be sad when everything was okay. “Charles, calm down. Everything is fine, nobody’s dead - except my motorcycle.”
Charles’ sob took on a strangled pitch before it became a broken laugh. “You’re horrible at comforting people,” he whimpered, tears absorbed into Erik’s shirt as he sniffed again. Erik chuckled, palm running a soothing line along Charles’ back and shoulders, cheek pressed into the disarray of his hair.
“I know,” Erik admitted awkwardly, shrugging as Charles’ death grip started to loosen. Erik pulled away a little more, reaching down with his good hand to push Charles’ head up by his chin. “I also can’t sing very well, and when we go grocery shopping, you have to let me line up everything on the belt or I will be very cross for at least an hour.”
Charles blinked, brows furrowed in confusion and his lashes clumped together from tears. Erik bent forward, kissing the crease between Charles’ eyebrows. “I’m just letting you know when we shop together for the first time.”
Charles sniffed, smiling timidly, and Erik moved to kiss him, only to be met with a grimace as Charles rolled away abruptly. “No, wait. My nose is running, I need a tissue.” Charles protested, a weak desperation in his voice. “My eyes are ruddy, too. I’m sorry, I just…” Charles trailed off weakly, rolling off of Erik’s bed and making a beeline for the bedroom door so he could clean himself up.
“Where’s your bathroom?”
Erik sighed, laying back against the bed. “Charles, I don’t care if you’ve got a runny nose or your eyes are bloodshot. Come back here.”
Charles laughed, nervously, and shrugged. “I’ll be just a second,” he pleaded, and then scampered out of the room before Erik could really protest.
Erik reached his casted arm slowly for the door, wiggling his fingers and breathing out an over-dramatic, “nooooooo!” to himself, mostly for his own amusement, and then dropped his arm back onto the bed. He stared up at his ceiling, and then over to the bookshelf stuffed with Gundam toys and Zoid action figures.
Now that his medication was starting to wear off, the situation struck him with blinding clarity.
Charles was here.
Erik made a hoarse, gurgling noise of elation before he grappled around for a pillow and shoved it onto his face to hide his stupid grin. He rubbed his face against the soft material, squishing it down until he could barely breathe and let himself chuckle softly. The entire day was horribly overwhelming, waking up to find he’d missed over a week of his life, and then to come back to the comfort of his mother’s home. Charles showing up at the doorstep was icing on the cake, like waking Christmas morning to find yourself a millionaire.
Erik picked up the sound of voices downstairs, most likely his mother chatting up a storm with Charles, and brought the pillow down from his face to hug it loosely. He was given a few minutes to himself before the bedroom door opened and Charles came in with a tray stuffed with two plates of food, rolls and two cans of soda. Erik’s face lit up, nose bombarded with the orgasmic scent of his mother’s cooking, and he struggled to push himself into a sitting position with a pained wheeze.
“Stop that, let me at least put the food down and I’ll help you sit up. Your mother also gave me your medication and uhm, dessert?” Charles reached into his back pockets, the air filled with the crinkling of wrappers as he pulled out a swiss roll from each one. Erik, if possible, looked even more excited at the prospect. Charles burst into a fit of surprised laughter at Erik’s expression, and set the snack foods on the night stand. He helped Erik sit up against the headboard and handed him the tray of food so he could crawl onto the bed and snuggle up close to Erik’s body.
“This smells delicious, Erik, your mother -”
“…mamma… is an excellent cook.” Charles struggled with his words, unused to such an endearing term for a parental figure, but the way Erik beamed at him was worth it. Erik gave a nod of approval, taking a plate of piping hot chicken and wild rice from the tray and setting it on his lap.
“Oh, wait!” Charles blurted, flailing a hand and then reaching for the small paper cup in the corner of the tray. He handed it to Erik with a rustle of pills, popping open Erik’s Dr. Pepper (he’d gotten Cherry Cola for himself) and handing that over as well.
“Take these first, so I can suck you off later without any problems,” Charles said, a wickedly mischievous smile on his face when Erik choked mid-swallow and barely was able to gulp his drink down before he was coughing violently.
“Wh-what?” Erik gasped, wiping his mouth and wincing at the pain in his ribs. Charles gave him an innocently confused look, gesturing for Erik to hurry and take his medications.
“Did I stutter?” Charles asked sweetly, reaching up to snag Erik by the chin and drag him down for a quick kiss. “Hurry up, darling. I’ve got to make the next few hours last me the rest of the year.”
Erik couldn’t help but stare, not when Charles just seemed to become more and more perfect with each passing minute. Charles grinned, reaching out and snagging the pill cup, lifting it to Erik’s mouth. Erik’s lips parted obediently, letting Charles dump the painkillers and inflammation-reducers past his teeth before following up with a swig of his soda.
“Excellent,” Charles chirped, turning and grabbing his plate of food. “I’m almost afraid to eat,” he confessed, lifting his first spoonful to his mouth and inhaling the scent. “Because that means it’ll be gone soon.”
Erik huffed a laugh under his breath, giving in to the impulse to peck a quick kiss to Charles’ temple.
Eating was a simple affair, both boys wolfing down their food with gusto before Charles leaned over to the nightstand to grab both snack cakes. Erik tried to take his own, but Charles leaned away so that he could open one of the swiss rolls and lift it to Erik’s mouth.
“Really?” Erik asked, his voice flat, but amused. Charles gave him an imploring smile, squishing part of the cake against Erik’s mouth until he opened it and allowed Charles to feed him. He’d barely swallowed his last bite before Charles was pushing himself upwards to lick and kiss away the bits of chocolate on the corners of Erik’s lips before sucking his bottom lip between his teeth with a pleased hum.
“I like them much better like this,” Charles mumbled into the kiss. Erik, flustered and more than a little aroused, reached up with his good hand to pull Charles forward for a deeper kiss. Charles huffed, turning his head so that Erik was kissing his cheek. “No, not yet, its your turn!”
Charles held up the other swiss roll and Erik’s entire body flared with a surprising burst of heat, watching Charles unwrap it and hand it over, mouth opening expectantly.
Erik took the treat, bringing it up and letting Charles lean in a tiny bit to take the first bite with a low rumble of satisfaction. He licked his lips, chewing and then biting off another bit with a grin. Erik couldn’t stop staring, the first waves of numbness hitting him from the painkillers when Charles took the last bite, teeth and lips scraping Erik’s fingertips before he licked a bit of cream off of Erik’s index finger.
“Mmh, I underestimated these things, they’re very good, I must-” Charles’ words were cut off by Erik’s lips pressing insistently to his own, mouth parting obediently as Erik kissed him with a sudden fervor. Charles, eager, shifted to get a better angle before he was quickly climbing back onto Erik’s hips, letting Erik hold him steady with a wide palm encompassing his torso and his fingers buried into the short strands of Erik’s dark blonde hair.
“I’m sorry,” Charles gasped into the kiss, nipping Erik’s mouth and then kissing the corner before dropping his head into the crook of Erik’s neck. “I’m not normally this bad, I just…”
“I know,” Erik said softly, rubbing Charles’ side, “I know exactly what you mean. We have to make it last, after all, right?”
“Excellent deduction, Watson,” Charles chirped, pulling back to smile with relief. Erik shouldn’t have been as turned on by the idea as he was, but he couldn’t help to do anything except rake his nails gently along Charles’ back.
“Thank you, Sherlock, I’m happy to know my wit is appreciated by someone so intelligent as you.”
Charles pupils went from normal to dilated in a second, and Erik had less than that to take a breath before he was being kissed within an inch of his life.
Erik inhaled sharply through his nose, mouth parting to keep up with Charles’ sudden vigor, wishing he wasn’t half-mummified in casts so he could roll them over and pin Charles’ small body underneath of his own and make him a helpless, writhing mess.
Instead, he settled for coaxing Charles to scoot back and lean forward so that their crotches pressed together, sending sparks through his body. Charles gasped softly, thrusting down before he adjusted their positions until he was all but draped on top of Erik.
Erik’s cast-encompassed hand came up, fingertips brushing Charles’ jaw and tucking a few wild locks of hair behind his ear as they continued to kiss.
“I love you,” Charles breathed, nosing his way down Erik’s jaw line before latching his mouth at the dip where neck met collarbone. He nipped, sucking the skin apologetically before licking away beads of sweat that had started to form on the surface. Erik opened his mouth to return the sentiment, but it came out as a soft groan of medicated pleasure when Charles pressed his body down and gave his hips and thighs a slow, flexing grind into Erik’s body.
“I don’t want to leave tomorrow, I want to stay here,” Charles paused to nibble Erik’s skin, intent on marking every inch possible, “I want to take care of you, I don’t want to let you out of my sight. I want to stay here, with you and your mother,” Charles mumbled, oblivious to the way Erik’s eyes widened comically at his words.
“Mamma….” Erik breathed, realization striking him. Charles hummed his agreement, hips rolling and starting up a slow rhythm that nearly made Erik forget what he was thinking.
“Yes, your mother is wonderful,”
“Mamma said no sex,” Erik blurted, “She’ll kill us if we do!”
Charles pulled back, face flushed and lips red. He furrowed his brows in confusion. “She was serious?”
Erik nodded remorsefully, feeling helpless as Charles never once stopped the rocking of their bodies. Charles gave a soft, but fond, sigh and pressed a hand to Erik’s chest for leverage, his back arched as he pushed himself into sitting up, using his knees and hips to keep thrusting down against Erik.
“Erik, you’re twenty three, you can’t honestly think your mother is going to care if you have sex in your own room?” Charles muttered, delighted to note that Erik was struggling to form a proper argument when Charles was rutting up against him so nicely. Erik grasped Charles’ thighs, his good leg straining to try and buck up into the hot, firm friction of the body above him. “See? She won’t even know, not if we’re quiet.”
“But Charles- “ Erik started to protest, not wanting to see the disappointed look on his mother’s face were she to find out he’d broken one of the only house rules she’d ever set down. His mother was the only person in the world (besides Charles ) that could make Erik feel guilty over absolutely nothing, if she wanted. Charles shushed him, reaching out to pinch Erik’s lips closed.
“Ah ah, not a peep.” Charles breathed, grinning and bending down to replace his fingers with his mouth and giving Erik a slow, teasing kiss. Erik struggled to keep his breathing normal, body hot and head pleasantly buzzing. He kissed Charles for a few more seconds, shuddering when he realized how close he was getting to making a mess in his pants.
Charles, apparently, was hitting the same point as well, because his hips stuttered before stopping completely and tearing a soft whine out of Erik that was smothered with a kiss. Erik sucked Charles’ upper lip into his mouth, satisfied with the soft smack of flesh that came when he released it while Charles’ hands seemed to have a life of their own. Erik had a split second to take in what was happening before Charles was no longer on top of him, but instead moving around awkwardly, trying to maneuver Erik’s cast-clad right leg, and his left, so that he could fit between them.
“Charles, ohgod,” Erik croaked, eyes crossing when Charles’ mouth pressed an open, wet kiss to the outline of his cock, hard and pressing insistently against his trousers. Charles suckled for a second, lips rubbing up and down his length as his fingers fiddled with Erik’s fly.
“Charles, I don’t even have any-”
“Shh,” Charles breathed, grinning as he parted Erik’s trousers and stared with wide eyes down at the thick, and very obvious, shape of Erik’s erection through his briefs shorts. “Good God, Erik.”
“I honestly, you know, I thought you may have been exaggerating a bit when you told me the measurements,” Charles confessed sheepishly, bringing a wide palm down and rubbing Erik through his underwear. Erik’s hips twitched, sending a pang of numbed pain through his bad leg, but he couldn’t stop the sudden and startled laugh that escaped him.
“Did you really?” Erik asked through a chuckle, though it quickly turned into a groan when Charles nuzzled against his crotch. His hand flew up, covering his mouth and trying to remember that he was in his twenties and he shouldn’t be this horribly aroused by a bit of frottage and foreplay.
He was pretty sure that only Charles could ever do this to him.
“Just a bit, I swear,” Charles shot back, eyes wide. “It just seemed a little too good to be true, what with you already being so perfect.”
Whatever Erik had planned on saying, utterly escaped him whenever Charles’ fingers hooked the elastic of his underwear and tugged them down just enough to expose Erik’s cock. Charles’ eyes went wide, face breaking into an excited grin as he licked his lips and smirked at Erik.
“Oh, I’m going to have fun with this, aren’t I?”
Erik awoke to a dull throbbing of pain in his ribs and wrist, and a warmth pressed up against his side. It took him a moment to orient himself, and he opened hiseyes to blearily look down at the top of Charles’ head. He couldn’t help but feel amused at the way Charles had squished his face between Erik’s arm and chest, nose somewhat crooked and making each whuff of breath come with a tiny, whistling exhale.
Erik brought up his arm, mentally wishing that it wasn’t half trapped in a cast, and used the edges of his fingers to stroke some of Charles’ hair off of his forehead before using his fingertip to smooth down the fine hairs of Charles’ left eyebrow. Charles inhaled sharply, instantly waking, and flickered his eyes open as he breathed out, head sliding up until he could look at Erik with a soft, sleepy smile.
“Morning,” Erik croaked softly, the pad of his finger ghosting down the bridge of Charles’ nose. Charles crinkled his nose in response, eyes crossing to watch Erik’s finger before he smiled even more and sat up to give Erik a proper, close-mouthed kiss good morning.
A noise of contentment escaped Erik, hand sliding into Charles’ hair before cupping the back of his skull to keep him in place. Charles grinned against his lips, letting Erik kiss him once, and then twice more, before he pulled away just enough to speak. “Do you have a spare toothbrush? I may have forgotten mine in my haste to see you,” he murmured, lips curling back into a sleepy, sheepish smile. Erik leaned in to rub their cheeks together, pulling Charles down to nuzzle at his throat.
“Mamma does, I’m sure.” Erik released Charles, allowing him to slip out of bed and fumble around for his jeans. Resting back against his pillows, Erik took a second to completely appreciate the way Charles’ boxer-briefs clung to his thighs and bottom, stretching tight when Charles bent down to pull his jeans up.
His ribs were aching, body sore from a combination of just getting out of the hospital, and from some activity from the previous night that had ended with Erik wheezing and needing to take another painkiller. Charles had been ridiculous mortified about it, trying to kiss apologies into Erik’s stomach with red, swollen lips. Erik had ended up needing to distract Charles with his good hand and some well-timed kisses in order to get Charles to relax and enjoy the moment.
Charles crossed back over to the bed, bending down to give Erik another quick kiss and ruffle his hair. “I’ll see if your mother’s-”
“Charles,” Erik warned. Charles sighed, rolling his eyes fondly and tugging on a lock of Erik’s hair.
“I’ll see if mother - I’m not going to call her mamma, Erik, that‘s YOUR name for her - is awake, and get you something to take your medication with. Go back to sleep, hm?”
Erik scowled, “I’ve been in a coma for a week, I could do without sleeping in.”
Charles’ grin wavered, exhaling softly in an almost-sigh and framing Erik’s face with both of his hands. “I just want you to get better,” he said quietly. Erik held Charles’ palms to his face - cast making it a bit awkward - and turned to kiss the inside of Charles’ left wrist.
“You’re here, I couldn’t get much better than that.”
“I blame all the times you want to roleplay sappy fluff scenes that give me the urge to vomit rainbows.” Erik retorted dryly, tearing a laugh out of Charles and earning himself another kiss.
“You love it.”
“Go get me breakfast.”
Charles grinned, yelping whenever Erik gave him a nice swat to the bum just as he turned to leave. The heated look he threw over his shoulder only served to make Erik really wish that he wasn’t covered in restricting casts.
Despite the fact that Erik had explicitly stated his distaste for falling back asleep, he somehow drifted off between Charles leaving, and Charles coming back with a flustered expression and a tray stuffed with two plates full of food.
“Your mother, ah, may have…. erm.. Heard us last night.” Charles muttered as Erik tiredly cracked his eyes open. It took him a second to register what Charles had said, but he groaned in mortification the second that he did. His mother was practically a top-market travel agent with her ability to send you on a guilt trip at any given moment.
“Oh god,” Erik moaned, “There’s nothing I can do about it now….”
“You could eat this food and take your medicine?” Charles handed Erik the tray so that he could clamber up onto the bed and snuggle into his side. “She wasn’t angry, just disappointed…“ He plucked the food from Erik’s hands, resettling it on their laps with a happy noise.
“If you think Reichenbach was bad…” Erik muttered under his breath, reaching out and attempting to stab a forkful of eggs with his unsteady left hand. Charles stiffened, reaching out and stealing a bit of kosher sausage from Erik’s plate.
“That was low, even for you,” Charles muttered primly, taking a huge chomp out of the sausage and then making a face. He chewed slowly, staring at the remainder of it in his hand and then looking at Erik. “This is kosher, isn’t it?”
“Mhmm,” Erik hummed around his eggs, snorting when Charles returned the half eaten sausage to Erik’s plate, and then grabbed his own sausage and transferred them over. “No taste.” He said mournfully, snagging the half-eaten sausage and devouring it happily.
“I think that’s the problem, I’m the only one here with any taste.” Charles teased, grinning to show he meant no ill will and digging into his eggs hungrily.
They talked some about their futures, whether they should meet again before Erik finishes school, how Erik’s going to finish classes with his injuries, Erik’s job and financial situation. It took Charles a long while before he could get Erik to agree to let Charles help out - the deciding factor being that Erik would just be Charles’ live-in maid once he graduated. (Not that Charles would actually make Erik do anything, but Erik was adamant in repaying Charles)
Around eleven, Charles picked his head off of Erik’s chest, where he’d been resting it and rubbing an idle hand along Erik’s torso, and gave Erik a regretful sigh.
“I… I have to leave soon.“
Erik struggled to sit up, only to fall back down when Charles kept a firm hand on his collarbone. “What? Already?”
“I have an exam tonight, I can’t miss it,” Charles explained, looking like it was the last thing in the world he wanted to do. Erik wanted to protest, to tell Charles to screw his test and stay in bed with Erik for the rest of the day, but he knew that couldn’t happen.
Charles gave Erik a weak smile, pushing himself up to steal a sloppy, crooked kiss that trapped Erik’s top lip between his teeth for a split second before he pulled away.
“I’m going to call a cab, we should go sit with your- with mother for a bit - before I go.”
“Okay…” Erik watched Charles stand and stretch, eyes desperately trying to memorize every single second of this moment. Charles grabbed his cell phone, fiddling with it for a moment while Erik pushed himself to the edge of the bed and snagged his crutches. Charles had set them there last night after Erik had struggled to reach them when he’d gotten up to use the bathroom just before bed, and Erik was currently extremely grateful for the ease of access.
His painkillers were beginning to kick in by the time they reached the stairs, with Erik sitting on each step and having Charles help him slide down to the next one. It made him feel detached and lightheaded, and also extremely clingy. They ended up squished together on the couch, Erik’s mother sitting in her recliner as they watched the current remake of The Newlywed Show, though half of Erik’s attention was focused on holding tightly to Charles and getting in as many little kisses and hugs that he could without his mother noticing.
The cab arrived within the hour, a loud knock on the door making both Erik and Charles tense up with impending dread. Edie stood, moving to answer the door with an understanding look, giving Erik and Charles time to stand from the couch and get Erik situated with his crutches. They shuffled to the door at a snail’s pace, taking so long that the driver was waiting in his car with Charles’ suitcase already put in the trunk from where he’d grabbed it from the entryway.
Reaching the doorway, Charles turned to look at Erik, only to have himself crowded up against the frame and kissed with desperation. Whimpering, Charles reached up to fling his arms around Erik’s neck, shaking and holding on tightly. Erik maybe almost felt tears in his eyes, chest aching because he didn’t want Charles to leave, he didn’t want to have to go through months of classes and work and recovery without Charles at his side. He kissed and kissed, dragging Charles back in for more with each attempt Charles made to pull away. Finally, Charles brought his hand up to cup Erik’s jaw, holding it in place and pulling back with a quiet sniffle.
“The meter is running, Erik,” he breathed, pressing one final kiss to Erik’s mouth with a mutter of, “I’m sorry.”
Erik couldn’t stop the broken sound that escaped him, the words ‘please don’t go,’ caught somewhere in his chest. Charles reached up to thumb a tear caught on Erik’s lower lid, smiling weakly. “I love you.”
“I love you too.”
Charles pulled away reluctantly, walking backwards down the sidewalk until he reached the cab and climbed in. Erik didn’t go in the house until he was completely out of sight, heart heavy and eyes burning. He struggled up the stairs by himself, shrugging off his mother’s helping hand so that he could angst in peace.
Flopping on his bed, Erik grabbed his phone, chest twisting at the sight of a text from Charles. Opening it, he bit down on a teary laugh and shook his head.
Sooooo… wanna RP?