It was a clusterfuck of catastrophic proportions.
Never before had Charles found his life so completely consumed by turmoil- each day an unparalleled melodrama of his own making.
There was that phrase- ‘Don’t shit on your own doorstep’, but instead Charles was essentially fucking on his own doorstep, along with every room in his house…
“Oh God… Oh God… Oh shit, stop- STOP”.
Charles lifted his head from where it was resting against the mattress, eyes darting towards the door in front of him in a panic and heart racing for reasons other than the fact that he was currently being penetrated…
They were supposed to have time. The house was supposed to be empty for hours- it was the only reason Charles why was even willing to entertain the idea of having sex in the middle of the afternoon with his mother’s boyfriend. Well, that and the fact that it felt just so damn good, in spite of the obvious moral consequences.
“What is it?” Erik murmured from where he knelt on the bed behind Charles, hands grasping Charles firmly on the waist.
“Shit, I think she’s home early. Oh fuck, this isn’t good- we need to stop”.
“Are you sure about that…?” Erik asked. Charles couldn’t see Erik’s face, but he recognised the mischievous tone in his voice- swiftly confirmed when Erik pulled out like he was going to heed Charles’ words before he pushed his thick cock back inside more forcefully.
“Fuckkkk!” Charles exclaimed, crumpling forward on the mattress with the force of the thrust and finding himself incapacitated for several moments as Erik followed up with a series of deliberate slow drags of his cock, making Charles feel every inch.
“Erik, ah! Fuck, Erik- stop, oh God…” Charles trailed off, succumbing to nothing more than frantic moaning as Erik rocked his hips forward in earnest, just beginning to pick up speed as Charles reached behind and grabbed Erik’s wrist- digging his fingernails into the skin.
“Erikkkkkkk”, Charles hissed. Charles could feel Erik smiling, so he made a gesture with his hands- holding his thumb and forefinger an inch apart in a sign that meant ‘I’m this close to using my telepathy on you if you don’t fucking stop what you’re doing’. It was a warning Charles had threatened more than once, and Erik always listened.
“Killjoy…” Erik muttered, ceasing to rock forward but not removing his cock.
With his focus once again restored Charles used his telepathy to search through the many rooms of the mansion, locating his mother downstairs in the kitchen.
“What’s happening?” Erik asked, thumbs rubbing against Charles’ back in circular motions as he continued to hold him.
“She’s looking for something- her purse. I think she’s… no, she’s got it- she’s leaving. Thank God…”
Charles let out a long sigh, resting his forehead down on the mattress as relief washed over him at having escaped yet another close call.
“So we’re alone again?” Erik asked.
Charles managed a slight nod.
“Excellent…” Erik murmured. Charles was just about to tell Erik that this was absolutely definitely the last time they were going to do this when Erik began to move him- grasping Charles on one leg and using it to turn him over onto his back, all whilst keeping his cock imbedded in Charles’ ass.
Charles let out a strangled noise when it happened, trembling as he felt Erik’s member perform a full rotation inside of him- the head of Erik’s cock rubbing across Charles’ prostate and unleashing a spasm of pleasure. His eyes were rolled back into his head for a moment but eventually everything came back into focus, and Charles looked up to find Erik leaning over him, smiling widely in the ridiculous way he often did.
“We have to stop this…” Charles said weakly.
“Mm-hmm…” Erik replied, reaching to grasp Charles’ ankles and positioning them so they rested on his shoulders.
“I mean it, Erik- this is the last time”.
“Okay…” Erik nodded, leaning forward and using his weight to angle himself tighter into Charles’ body.
“Seriously, Erik- we can’t…” Charles pleaded, resting his hands against Erik’s chest and half-considering pushing him away. In response Erik leaned down, bringing his face close to Charles’ and capturing his mouth with a simple kiss.
“Whatever you say, Charles”, Erik murmured against Charles’ lips. He withdrew slightly afterwards, looking down at Charles as he rocked his hips forward in his first deliberate thrust.
Charles groaned as he felt Erik’s cock slide along his insides, closing his eyes involuntarily. When he opened them again Erik was watching him carefully.
“I hate you…” Charles murmured.
Erik smiled. “I know”.
How had it come to this?
Charles’ life had never exactly been simple- what with first discovering he was a mutant and then losing his father at a young age, but there had at least been a semblance of stability to begin with. He had a respectable job as a professor at the local university. He had loving friends and a sister he was very fond of. Perhaps the only downfall was his relationship with his mother which had never exactly been great… She’d always been distant when Charles was growing up, more so after his mutation had manifested, and when Charles’ father had died she’d withdrawn into herself completely- preferring the company of a glass of chardonnay than that of her own son.
Charles had stopped trying to form a relationship with his mother a long time ago, and in time they had come to exist as familial strangers- two people living in the same home but barely communicating other than the occasional cordial word. It suited Charles fine- the mansion in which they lived was vast and expansive, and it meant that Charles could sometimes go days without bumping into his mother. But what he couldn’t seem to avoid though was crossing paths with the various suitors she entertained over the years…
Sharon Xavier was never one for spending time in her own company. She liked to be entertained. She liked to be fawned over. Charles could remember from an early age seeing his mother getting dressed up each night- her blonde hair neatly styled, red lipstick lining her lips, an impeccably pressed smart dress covering her slender form. At first it had been Charles’ father who she’d hoped to impress; now it seemed to be just about anyone…
Over the years since his father had died, Charles had become accustomed to seeing his mother in the company of numerous men. It wasn’t much of a surprise really- the Xavier family were incredibly wealthy, and naturally that meant Sharon was never short of eager companions.
Charles had stopped warning his mother about the men after her money a long time ago, and had even ceased using his telepathy to scan through their minds when he first met them. It stood to reason that Sharon was grown up enough to live with her own mistakes, and she had made her feelings about Charles using his telepathy to interfere in her life perfectly clear more than once.
And so, Charles had tried his best to just keep out of his mother’s affairs altogether- exchanging little more than amiable small talk with any of the men he encountered. At least, that was always the arrangement, until the day he met Erik…
It was a warm Saturday morning, and Charles was sat at the table in the kitchen, still dressed in his pyjamas and absently reading through the morning paper as he waited for the kettle to boil. There was little sound other than the faint noise of birds chirping outside and the low hum of music playing, and Charles got the distinct impression he wouldn’t be seeing his mother until late into the afternoon at least... He’d heard her come in some time around three in the morning- rousing slightly from sleep at the sound of stumbling outside in the hallway before abruptly rolling over and attempting to go back to sleep. Such excursions were now commonplace, and Charles found it was best to just ignore them.
There was a song Charles liked playing on the radio, and he found himself humming quietly under his breath as he rose from his seat at the sound of the kettle boiling- his enthusiasm for the music turning into a little dance as he crossed the room towards the counter. As Charles reached the stove he lifted the kettle off the boil and placed it on the counter before turning around, still moving to the music, and abruptly freezing in place.
“Don’t mind me, carry on- I was enjoying it”.
Charles balked at the sight of a man standing in the doorway, watching Charles with an easy smile on his face, wearing only a pair of blue jeans.
“Um…” Charles started, before quickly running out of words to follow up with. Luckily it seemed like the stranger was happy to do the talking for them both.
“Are you making tea?”
Charles only gave a small nod in response before moving back from the counter as the man approached from across the room. Resuming his position sat at the kitchen table, Charles watched as the stranger moved over to the counter and reached into the kitchen cupboards- removing two cups and starting to make the tea.
“I’m a friend of your mother’s”, the man said. ‘Erik’, Charles realised, pulling the name from the man’s surface thoughts. Well, he was certainly unlike any of his mother’s usual ‘friends’...
Charles sat at the table quietly, eyes roving in an assessment of Erik as he moved around the kitchen. He looked to be closer to Charles’ age than Sharon’s, which immediately made Charles think ‘gold-digger’, though he kept the assumption to himself. There were other observations too which Charles didn’t vocalise- the man didn’t need to know what Charles thought of his messy auburn hair or his warm eyes or his defined jawline or his broad shoulders or his impossibly slim waist…
“What should I call you, anyway?” Erik asked, pulling Charles from thought.
“Whatever you’d like”, Charles muttered.
Erik gave out a short laugh. “Okay, Schatz. Are you always so unfriendly?”
“Sorry, I just don’t think I’ll ever get used to the sight of strange men appearing in my kitchen”.
“Oh, I’m not that strange…” Erik replied with a slight smirk. “Do you want some tea?”
Charles nodded briefly, and Erik reached into the cupboard to select another cup.
Charles was absolutely, definitely not interested in this man or getting to know more about him, and it was purely incidental that he found his power reaching out in the next moment- idly flitting across Erik’s mind and pulling just one small piece of information out. Of course, the specific fact that Charles happened to glean turned out to be very interesting indeed, and Charles couldn’t help starting to laugh bitterly as a result- causing Erik to tilt his head to look at him with a bemused expression on his face.
“You’re a mutant?” Charles asked incredulously.
Erik turned completely, leaning back against the counter and folding his arms as he stared at Charles.
“Yes… How did you know that?”
“Does my mother know?” Charles asked, before quickly coming to a realisation and smiling once more. “No, of course she doesn’t- she wouldn’t be seen dead with you if she knew”.
“And why’s that?”
“Because she hates mutants”. Charles was pretty sure that was the case, though many times he had considered whether it was just purely himself that his mother abhorred, rather than his mutation.
“You seem to know an awful lot about me…”
Charles ceased smiling, leaning back in his chair and fixing Erik with what he hoped was an assertive gaze. “I’m a telepath”, he replied.
Charles felt like he knew what would happen after he’d made the declaration- he thought that Erik would immediately panic and withdraw from the situation, as was usually the case. But to his surprise that didn’t happen- instead Erik’s face split in an impossibly wide grin that was half-captivating and half-menacing.
“You’re a telepath? That’s amazing”.
Charles shrugged, but he was secretly pleased by Erik’s appreciation of his mutation. Erik continued to grin at Charles for a moment before his expression softened, and he turned his attention back towards making the tea once more.
“Are you going to tell her?” Erik asked eventually, still facing away from Charles.
“Are you?” Charles replied, staring at Erik’s back. There was what appeared to be a shrug in response, and then Erik replaced the kettle he was holding before gathering the cups.
“I’ll see if it comes up”, Erik answered, turning back towards Charles. He crossed the room with two cups in one hand and one in the other- placing a single cup down on the table in front of Charles and giving him a final considered look.
“See you around”, Erik said with a soft smile, before he turned and wandered through the kitchen door out of sight.
It was amazing how such a simple first encounter could ultimately lead to so much chaos…
Everything that happened after that appeared to Charles as a series of moments, each one sending him down a path that would ultimately lead him into Erik’s arms.
In the weeks that followed, seeing Erik became almost unavoidable. For all intents and purposes Erik appeared to move into the mansion, as near enough every morning Charles would awake to find Erik there- often in the kitchen before Charles arrived. Charles’ mother continued to enjoy her long lie-ins, so it was usually just Charles and Erik alone in those early hours. At first Charles continued to remain cagey around Erik- suspicious of his motivations and just generally wary about anyone his mother chose to spend time with- but eventually he found himself warming to their new houseguest, though he made great efforts to ensure Erik didn’t realise this.
Most weekends Charles and Erik would sit together in the mornings and play chess as they waited for the rest of the house to stir. It had become something that Charles just expected- like he knew Erik would be waiting for him, and it was a mutual arrangement neither of them questioned. Sometimes they would talk as they played- often about their mutations, not that Charles was interested in such information of course... Okay, so maybe he was a little bit interested, but it was purely for scientific reasons. It’s not like Charles was listening to Erik talk and thinking ‘Ohmygod that’s fascinating, let me open my legs so I can hear you better’. No, Charles’ curiosity about Erik was purely professional of course- just an ingrained attentiveness that came as part of being a genetics professor.
Still, regardless of his reasons for being interested in Erik’s powers, Charles loved learning about them nonetheless. He was mesmerised upon discovering that Erik could move and control metal at will- everything from the smallest paperclip to full sized vehicles. Erik showed off his powers for Charles without hesitation- once using them to dissolve one of Charles’ chess pieces into a small puddle of molten metal- and Charles tried to shoot Erik a disapproving look when it happened, but he knew his smile had betrayed him.
On those occasions it was easy for Charles to forget Erik’s real reasons for being at the mansion, but it was never long before the illusion was shattered. Sometimes Charles’ mother would join them in the kitchen earlier than usual; her intrusion a sobering and disappointing reality. Her presence never lasted though- she was usually still incapacitated by alcohol at the time and unsteady on her feet, as evidenced by the time she tried to make herself a drink but only succeeded in smashing a glass on the floor.
When it happened Charles rose to help his mother but only ended up cutting his foot on a piece of broken glass, so he was forced back into his seat as Erik took Sharon back upstairs. When Erik returned Charles had removed his sock and was gingerly inspecting the injury, but he stopped when Erik knelt down in front of him. Charles held his breath as Erik began to carefully clean and dress his cut, one hand gently resting on the curve of Erik’s collarbone to seek balance he suddenly sorely needed. To Charles it was like time had slowed down in that moment, and it wasn’t the only occasion where he found himself spellbound in Erik’s grasp.
There was also the time Charles chased a particularly bad day at work up with copious amounts of whiskey, until he found himself lying on the sofa in one of the living rooms and drifting into an unconscious state. His memory of the next passage of time was hazy at best, but there was a dim recollection of being pulled into Erik’s arms and carried to bed. Charles remembered the scent of Erik from where his face was pressed into Erik’s neck- the sweetness of cologne on Erik’s skin. He remembered Erik laying him down gently on the bed in his room. He remembered Erik removing his shoes, as well as his trousers- which seemed somewhat unnecessary but Charles wasn’t in a state to complain. He remembered Erik covering him with a blanket before leaving the room; the sheet feeling like a barrier between them that Charles increasingly wanted to tear down.
But although Charles sometimes found himself wishing he’d met Erik under entirely different circumstances, he never did anything to act upon his desires. Erik was his mother’s boyfriend, that was a fact, and Charles simply needed to stop thinking about all the enticing ‘what-ifs’. And so, he made up his mind to forget about Erik, and to start dating.
Well, that was the intention, but then Charles found himself on the night of his mother’s birthday party without a date to distract him, and desperate measures were required.
Calling his best friend Hank a ‘desperate measure’ wasn’t entirely fair, but Charles couldn’t help but feel more than a little bit pathetic at having to ring Hank and ask him to come to the mansion to pretend to be his date. Fortunately Hank agreed, though he didn’t exactly know that Charles was planning to use him as a boyfriend-shaped distraction.
Charles spent most of the evening sat next to Hank much closer than he usually would, working hard to give the impression that Hank was someone he shared intimacy with, and he couldn’t help but feeling slightly satisfied when he caught Erik watching them both at more than one point during the night.
As was customary, Charles’ mother enjoyed her birthday in blistering fashion, and by the time the party had wound down and the guests had started to leave she had already been poured into bed. Charles had retired some time earlier and was already dressed in his pyjamas, but he ventured back downstairs after the last guest had left to give the house a final check. He found Erik sitting on the sofa in one of the living rooms, and instantly walked over to sit next to Erik when beckoned.
Charles felt like he could feel the space between the two of them, tense and tantalising and heavy with promise. Erik’s touch was light on the back of Charles’ neck- fingertips tracing lazy circles across his skin- then his hand was running through Charles’ hair, then he was leaning closer and Charles was closing the gap between them without thought or reason, because Erik was there- warm and gorgeous and everything Charles knew he shouldn’t want.
The initial kiss was tentative. Erik’s lips were soft and contrasted by the roughness of his stubble, and he tasted like whiskey. Charles opened his mouth only marginally; the concession recognised as Erik immediately slid his tongue past Charles’ lips- exploring the space inside as his hands began a similar excursion. Charles found himself pushed back against the sofa as Erik roughly nudged his legs apart and settled in-between them; pressing the full weight of his body against Charles’ own, his hard cock making itself known in an instant.
“This is wrong…” Charles thought, but he didn’t vocalise any objections, even as things progressed at a somewhat fevered pace. He found himself completely complaint- simply lying back against the side of the sofa as Erik withdrew to reach down and pull Charles’ pyjama bottoms off in one swift motion. It was dim in the room so Charles heard more than saw Erik fiddling with his belt buckle afterwards- undoing his jeans and edging them down to expose his hard cock- a formidable shape that Charles wished he could see more clearly.
There were further fumbling sounds that Charles recognised as Erik reaching into the pocket of his jeans and retrieving a small bottle of lube, and in that moment Charles realised how premeditated this act was, and that perhaps he wasn’t the only one who had been wishing there was something more between them. Erik squeezed some lube into his palm before discarding the bottle and beginning to stroke his hard length- using his other hand to briefly brush lubed fingers across Charles’ entrance; a slightly selfish lack of preparation that Charles didn’t comment on- not when in the next second Erik was leaning forward, angling his cock into position and beginning to push inside.
Charles immitted a low groan; the sound dragged out of him as Erik’s cock slid inside- the sensation a rich pleasure bordering on pain as Charles’ body only marginally adjusted to accommodate Erik’s thick length. Erik’s mouth was warm and wet as he exchanged occasional kisses with Charles as he rocked forward- his movements forced and assertive, causing spasms of pleasure to pulse through Charles as the head of Erik’s cock brushed against his prostate.
“I bet it doesn’t feel like this with that boy of yours, does it?” Erik murmured.
There were a couple of moans from Charles with a ‘no’ in there somewhere, but other than that coherent thought was impossible. It had to be, because if Charles allowed himself to think about anything other than Erik’s cock sliding into his ass or Erik’s mouth brushing against his lips or Erik’s hands gripping his waist then he would realise what an enormous fuck-up he was making of his life and he would have to stop.
He didn’t want to stop.
When they finished Charles was weak and trembling and aching- feeling empty when Erik withdrew his cock and moved away on the sofa.
“I hate you…” Charles whispered.
Erik glanced back over to Charles as he did up his jeans.
It was easy not to think realistically about what he was doing whilst in such close proximity to Erik, but as soon as Charles separated from him the reality was sobering. This was evident the next morning, when Charles awoke to feelings of wear- a dull ache in his ass that was only slightly more enjoyable than uncomfortable, sparse bruises on his hips and waist from Erik’s fingertips, friction on his face from where Erik’s stubble had brushed against his skin.
Charles inspected himself in the bathroom mirror as he waited for the shower to warm up; each mark on his body- both physical and mental- a symbol of his betrayal and selfish actions.
This couldn’t continue. They needed to stop.
“We can’t do this again…” Charles protested meekly, lying back on the mattress and looking up at Erik.
“Again? We haven’t done this before”, Erik replied evenly, climbing onto the bed on top of Charles and coming to sit just over Charles’ bare stomach. Charles instantly moved to rest his hands against Erik’s thighs, his fingertips tracing Erik’s skin in absence of thought.
If anything was going to make Charles curb his behaviour, this was surely it. When he’d slept with Erik a couple of nights previously he’d been drunk and it was dark, and it had been easy for Charles to not fully comprehend his actions giving how hazy and confusing the whole situation was. Now though, there were no blurred lines.
Charles knew from the second his mother had said she was heading out for the day and Erik had declined to accompany her that this was where they were going to end up. Well, maybe not in this exact position…
Words were barely spoken between them. Charles had excused himself to go to his room, and then half an hour later the door was unlocking and Erik was entering- striding across the room as Charles jumped up from his seat to meet him. There were mouths and hands and gasps and moans, and then Charles found himself lying naked on the bed with Erik sat over him- his hard member resting against Charles’ bare stomach as Charles looked up in reverence. It definitely wasn’t dark in the room this time- Charles could see Erik so clearly, and his eyes were drawn instantly to Erik’s cock- long and pink and perfect, and suddenly much more important to Charles than his morality.
“Open your mouth”, Erik instructed.
Charles did, but initially only to offer a few words of mild protest.
“Erik, we can’t…” Charles murmured.
Erik reached down, using his thumb to trace a line along Charles’ plump red bottom lip as his eyes followed the movement.
“You don’t want to?” Erik asked softly.
Charles gave out a slight whimper, which wasn’t exactly a refusal because- yes, he did want to. Even though he knew he shouldn’t. Even though he knew it was wrong. In spite of everything, Charles wanted nothing more than to take Erik’s thick cock in his mouth and taste it.
Erik edged forward, sliding one hand to cup Charles’ jaw and using the other to grip the base of his shaft as he angled it towards Charles’ eager mouth. Charles’ eyes continued to be locked with Erik’s as Erik brushed the head of his cock against Charles’ mouth, smearing Charles’ lips before Charles opened up at last.
Charles closed his eyes, feeling Erik’s massive cock stretch his lips as it slid inside- edging deeper and deeper until Charles felt the head bump against the back of his throat, before Erik withdrew once more.
“Schatz, open your eyes…”
It was almost faithful the way Charles did as instructed- how he opened his eyes to see Erik’s face tensed with pleasure, seeing Erik smile briefly before he began to fuck Charles’ mouth in earnest. In that moment he knew he would do almost anything Erik asked- a dedication bordering on dangerous when there was so much at stake.
When Erik drew close to release Charles braced himself as he waited for Erik to come in his mouth, but it didn’t happen exactly like that. Erik was breathing hard and groaning as he thrust forward, but as he reached the brink he withdrew his cock completely- using one hand to cover Charles’ eyes and the other to jerk his cock until he came over Charles’ mouth in hot spurts. Afterwards there was a satisfied hum from Erik bordering on a soft laugh, though Charles still couldn’t see his expression.
“I hate you…” Charles muttered.
A more defined laugh came in response. “I know”.
In the months that followed Charles conducted most of his arguments in his own mind. All the things he should have said to Erik he said to himself- how they shouldn’t be seeing each other, how it was wrong, how they were both morally corrupt and perverse individuals. All the internalised conflict meant that such words weren’t often vocalised when he and Erik were actually together, freeing up their time for more carnal acts…
Most days Charles tried not to think about the situation too much. As always he didn’t see his mother often, which meant that he was spared from being reminded of what a terrible person he was. Well, most of the time. There were a few occasions when Charles was made to face reality- like when his sister Raven visited and Charles was forced to go out for dinner with the whole group. Family gatherings could be awkward at the best of times, but social occasions where your mother’s partner is obsessively thinking about fellating you? Nightmare.
Charles couldn’t even pretend to be surprised when Erik followed him into the bathroom, he simply allowed himself to be led into one of the bathroom stalls and positioned up against the wall- looking down as Erik somewhat hungrily pawed at Charles’ trousers and withdrew his cock, closing his lips around Charles’ member without preamble and making Charles give out a surprised shout. The feeling of Erik’s warm mouth around his cock was heavenly, and it wasn’t long before Charles found himself teetering on the edge of climax- eventually shooting his load into Erik’s waiting mouth with a barely muffled groan.
“I hate you…” Charles mumbled afterwards, gazing down at Erik and running his fingertips through Erik’s hair.
Erik let Charles’ slowly softening cock slide from his mouth before giving Charles an affectionate smile.
There were a few occasions when Charles at least made a good show of resisting Erik- once he even managed to refuse Erik’s advances for a whole week, though the intense and longing looks Erik gave him during that period made Charles physically ache for him in response. During the moments when Erik was able to get Charles alone the protests continued, but then Charles found his objections abruptly shelved the minute his ankles were resting on Erik’s shoulders.
The whole arrangement continued to be undeniably exciting, probably because it was all so fucked-up and reprehensible. But it wasn’t just the sex though- Charles liked Erik, even if he was sometimes stubborn and hard to deal with. They had a lot of conflicting ideas, particularly when it came to mutant rights, but over time Charles found himself actually enjoying debating with Erik, rather than considering such discussions a chore.
Charles tried not to notice how, as their conversations began to change, so did the nature of their intimacies. It was around two months in when it became undeniable though.
It was night-time and they were alone- all ecstasies hushed and quiet in the space between them as they tried to conceal their passion. Erik leaned back against the headboard, breathing hard, body flushed and warm with perspiration as he held Charles around the waist. It was different- Charles knew it- the way he and Erik looked at each other now in the afterglow of orgasm. His hands were in Erik’s hair, fingertips tracing across Erik’s scalp as he gazed into Erik’s eyes- the feeling of Erik’s cock slowly softening inside him causing Charles to moan softly. He didn’t know if it was his telepathy or if there was just something in the air, but Charles could feel Erik’s warmth and affection washing over him, and he knew he felt the same way, though he wouldn’t dream of saying it.
“I hate you…” Charles murmured, each declaration becoming less convincing than the last.
In response Erik placed one palm on Charles’ chest over his heart.
“I know”, he replied quietly.
Charles didn’t know anymore. When it started it had been simple- carnal and exciting and simply just sex, and nothing else. It was a secret only they could know; a confidence shared between lovers, excluding all others. Their affection was classified and clandestine, and although the moral repercussions of their actions weighed heavily on Charles he felt like he could bear it, because every night he could lay with Erik and bury the secrets he carried within his skin.
Each day Charles worried that they might be discovered, but he never considered that it would just end for an entirely different reason.
It started with absence. Charles entered the kitchen on one weekend morning to find Erik just simply not there. It wasn’t too unusual- occasionally Erik arrived later than Charles did- and so Charles just carried on as usual; filling the kettle and setting it to boil as he gathered two cups, one for him and one for Erik.
Twenty minutes later and Erik still hadn’t arrived, and Charles was beginning to have doubts.
Charles felt his mother crying before he heard it- his telepathy reaching out as he walked along the hallway towards her room and picking up on distressed emotions. His sister Raven was leaning against the doorway outside their mother’s room, whilst inside there were sobs and the occasional muffled shout. It made Charles’ head hurt- the feeling like pressure forming between his temples and making his eyes sting.
“Erik’s gone”, Raven said simply, absently plaiting her blonde hair.
“Gone?” Charles replied, feeling his heart drop into his stomach. “What do you mean, gone?”
Raven shrugged. “He’s just gone. He left this morning- took all of his stuff with him”. She glanced back inside the room, before frowning and looking over to Charles. “Can you do something? You know I can’t deal with her when she’s like this”.
But what could Charles do? What words could he offer to express his regret? What would be the point in offering sympathy when the person he felt most sorry for was himself?
Charles felt the world fall away- everything he’d built with Erik seeming like a paper house that crumpled quickly under the weight of reality- nothing more than a child’s toy when exposed to the harsh light of day.
How could he have been so stupid? He knew he should have known better.
Charles didn’t even attempt to comfort his mother, much to Raven’s annoyance. Instead he dressed quickly and left the house, heading towards Erik without thought or reason, like he had done so many times previously. Although Charles had never purposefully pried into Erik’s mind before he had gleaned certain facets of information over the past few months, such as the knowledge that Erik owned a small shop where he sold furniture- the items crafted entirely from metal courtesy of his mutation.
It was still early when Charles arrived at Erik’s shop and the shutters were still closed. Charles rapped on the metal shutter and waited impatiently for a response, using his telepathy to search inside and instantly locating Erik- the recognition bittersweet and stirring.
When the shutter slid up Erik’s eyebrows immediately rose in surprise as he took in the sight of Charles standing in front of him, and he reached forward to grasp Charles on the arm firmly before starting to pull Charles down the path away from the shop- gesturing with one hand as he went and causing the shutter to drop back into place.
“Look, I don’t know how you found me here but this isn’t a good idea”, Erik started.
“Why did you leave?” Charles blurted out.
Erik didn’t respond, he just kept his grip on Charles as he guided him further away from the shop, and Charles got the distinct impression that Erik was keeping something from him. They’d shared so many secrets together, Charles just hadn’t considered that Erik might also have some of his own. But the second he used his telepathy to flit through the shop Erik owned and the apartment above it- finding two presences there and realising who they were- he knew that Erik had been more dishonest than Charles had first thought.
“You’re married????” Charles hissed, wrenching out of Erik’s grasp and turning to face him- blue eyes burning with outrage and indignation. “You’re fucking my mother, and you’re fucking me, and you’re fucking married?!”
“How did you--” Erik started, but then he must have remembered who he was dealing with. “Charles, it’s not what it looks like…”
“Are you fucking serious? You’re married, Erik. You’re married and you have a daughter, and you never told me any of this. I knew you were a lying bastard, I just never imagined you were capable of this level of deception”.
Erik grit his teeth in annoyance. “Come on now, I’m not the only one who’s been dishonest here…”
“Oh, don’t try and fucking deflect blame onto me. I know what I did was wrong but whilst I may have been lying to my mother I never once lied to you- not once, not ever”.
“Charles, it’s not what it seems…”
“Oh, fuck off…”
Erik drew closer, reaching to grasp Charles on the upper arms firmly- holding him in place.
“Charles, would you just listen to me? Magda and I are separated- we have been for the past several months- but last night she called me and told me she wanted to give things another go, and I knew I needed to try for the sake of my daughter. Surely you can understand that?”
Charles paused, mouth opening but little sound escaping other than a slight whimper. He regarded Erik’s face- mouth set and determined but eyes warm and open. Erik was telling the truth, Charles could tell, but the realisation wasn’t comforting because he knew it meant a very real end to their… whatever it was they had between them.
“You could have told me…” Charles murmured, dropping his gaze to stare at the ground.
Erik’s face softened as he moved one hand to gently cup Charles’ jaw.
“I know, Schatz. I wanted to tell you, but things were already so complicated between us, I just didn’t want to make anything worse”.
“Well that worked out really well…” Charles muttered, and Erik laughed softly.
When Charles looked back up Erik was smiling, but the expression was sad.
“I don’t want to stop seeing you”, Erik declared.
Immediately Charles shook his head. “I can’t keep seeing you if you’re married. What we were doing before was bad enough, but now- knowing that you have a wife, knowing that you have a daughter… I can’t do it, Erik”.
“I don’t want to stop seeing you”, Erik said with more certainty, stepping closer to Charles and holding his face with both hands. He looked down at Charles’ mouth- flushed and red- and Charles subconsciously pursed his lips like he was trying to hide how much his mouth broadcasted his desire.
“We can’t…” Charles whispered.
“You’ve said that before”.
“Yes, but this time I mean it. You said you wanted to make things work with your wife for the sake of your daughter, so I think you need to try. Properly try- without me”.
“No…” Erik started, but Charles was already pulling out of his grasp and stepping a couple of paces away. He watched Erik as he withdrew- heart aching for all things exquisite and forbidden- finding himself lost in Erik’s eyes; the connection he’d felt all those times he and Erik had shared intimacy spilling out into the daytime hours.
“We can’t”. Charles said simply. “I won’t”.
“Can we at least stay friends?” Erik asked desperately.
Charles smiled, but the expression was bitter. It’s doubtful he and Erik were even friends before, but if that’s what it was there was no way it could continue now. It would be too hard.
“It won’t work”, Charles said, shaking his head.
Erik regarded him sadly in response.
In the months that followed, Charles thought of Erik often. It was almost unavoidable at first- his thoughts drifted to Erik every time he played chess or made a cup of tea or looked at his bed. He thought of Erik every time he heard his mother cry.
The mansion was a miserable place with two broken-hearted Xaviers inside, and what’s worse is Charles couldn’t even begin to express the reasons why he felt the way he did. Of course, Charles and his mother had never exactly been close so it wasn’t like much was expected of him anyway, but it was still hard to see her so upset and not be able to help, and the feeling only got worse when she became ill.
It happened almost overnight, it seemed like. One day she was fine, the next she was dying. Charles was rendered numb in response- the feeling deeper than sadness; an instant sensation of loss even before she was gone because the outcome was a certainty from that very first day.
Charles’ sister Raven moved back into the mansion, and between the three of them they tried their best to work through their emotionally-stunted family dynamic and to help each other cope. When his mother died Charles finally told her he was sorry, but he never explained what he was apologising for. Maybe there was more than one reason to regret, after all.
Raven remained living in the mansion for the next several months. She’d always been stronger than Charles, and she helped him as he drank too much and refused to shave or even get dressed most days. Charles supposed it was just another chapter in his life he would need to apologise for later.
Eventually, one day, Charles was pulled from the pit of despair he’d made for himself. It was something very simple- Raven had commented that she needed a new lamp for her room, and Charles had immediately put down the glass of whiskey he was holding- rising from his seat and practically running upstairs to his room. He showered and shaved before getting dressed and exiting the room, only pausing downstairs briefly to press a quick kiss to Raven’s cheek before he left.
When Charles arrived at the shop is was just beginning to get dark, and part of Charles wondered if he was too late, but as he stepped closer his mind instantly lit up in recognition of the familiar presence inside, though he didn’t get much further than peering through the glass door.
Erik opened the door and a surge of warm air rushed out, washing over Charles and making him want to step closer to Erik to bathe in the perceived security of his presence. Instead Charles remained where he was, eyes roving in assessment. Erik looked the same, but slightly different- hair a bit shorter, more stubble than usual. He was wearing a red check shirt and even from a distance he smelled amazing, and the scent brought back memories that Charles couldn’t help but smile at. He wanted to press his face into Erik’s neck and breathe him in, but that wasn’t what he was here for.
“I need a lamp”, Charles said.
Erik chuckled softly in response. “Okay… Please come in”.
For the rest of the evening Charles and Erik talked. At first conversation was awkward and stilted- topics staying pretty close to the matter in hand before they invariably drifted. Eventually Charles told Erik about his mother passing and even though Erik didn’t really say anything he reached out to squeeze Charles’ hand, and that gesture was enough. Erik told Charles about his marriage- how he and Magda were still trying to work things out, but it hadn’t been that successful so far. Charles feigned disinterest at that, but he couldn’t deny the burning ember of excitement that sparked in him at the news.
Before Charles left they each made a promise- that they would try and be friends after all. Charles was somewhat doubtful if it would ever work, but he knew that he wouldn’t be able to go another year without seeing Erik, so it was worth it just to try.
In a while, the pledge became reality. In happened over dinners and days out and more chess games- their interactions were platonic but real, and in time Charles and Erik really did form a friendship. As a friend, Charles consoled Erik as his marriage ultimately failed, and although he wanted desperately to comfort Erik in other ways he never tried anything. In fact, nothing at all happened between them- not for several months, not until the day Charles helped Erik move into his new apartment.
It had taken a while for the paperwork to come through, but finally Erik’s life with Magda was fully separated. He was divorced, and he had sold his shop and moved into a new residence across town- a two bedroom apartment with a spare room for when his daughter came to visit. Charles helped Erik carry boxes and furniture upstairs all day, until eventually they were finished and they both collapsed on the rug on the floor of the living room, surrounded by boxes and half-unpacked items.
Charles lay next to Erik, one hand absently tracing through Erik’s hair as they gazed at each other, the situation seeming familiar but still so different. When Erik leaned closer Charles didn’t withdraw- he fell into Erik readily as they hastened into a long-awaited kiss.
They had sex on the floor of the living room- Charles laid out under Erik, legs and arms wrapped around him and mouths tightly pressed together. Charles held onto Erik fiercely, feeling like he had something in his arms that he’d be missing for so long- something that he never wanted to let go of again. When they finished Erik remained lying on top of Charles for a while- gazing down at him as Charles ran fingertips up and down Erik’s spine.
“I love you”, Charles murmured eventually.
Erik smiled softly. “I know”.