Erik had never thought that his downfall would be his to-do lists.
His to-do lists and Raven, to be more specific.
His to-do lists were legendary, both at work, and in the home he shared with Raven. They were housemates because it was ridiculously expensive to live in the city and because Erik would probably develop into a recluse if he didn't share a home with anyone.
Edie's words, not his.
Raven had been making fun of him since day one - and Erik was still convinced it was because her survival instincts sucked. Most people found Erik standoffish and a little scary, Raven had gotten in his face right from the beginning. Like Erik said, she had no survival instincts.
So, back to his to-do lists and getting him into trouble.
Erik had a to-do list on the fridge door, a small whiteboard type with a magnetic back piece to keep it in place. A thing that had cracked Raven up when she'd found out which Erik just thought was stupid. It wasn't like he was around to keep it pinned to the fridge door constantly, now was it?
At this point maybe Erik should admit that there was a third element to his downfall.
Raven's brother, Charles. Not that any of it was Charles' fault, not at all! But Raven had introduced Erik to her brother and Erik had realized that he might be more than just a little attracted to the man. As in, very attracted to him.
And of course Raven, the busybody she was, had noticed and decided to do something about it.
Erik didn't have much experience with matchmakers among the few close friends he had, but he was pretty sure Raven was going about it in a really weird way. The first time he'd found his list tampered with, he just thought it was coincidence - a joke from Raven, who'd been out of the house when he'd noticed.
However, every time he removed Charles' name from his to-do list, it would reappear at some point.
He'd tried to ask her nicely, or as nicely as he knew. He'd threatened, then almost pleaded.
It had been mortifying enough when his mother had noticed the name on his list and he'd had to explain to her, that no, he hadn't found a boyfriend. He'd hated himself for extinguishing the look of hope in her eyes.
It was that point that had gotten Raven to stop, at least for a while. And maybe that was why Erik hadn't checked his list, hadn't felt the gnawing paranoia in a while.
Of course Raven had, just for the hell of it, put Charles' name back on the list, and of course Erik noticed this, while Charles was standing with his back to said fridge door, busy debating the newest legislation that would impact mutants with Erik, waving his beer around, enthusiastically defending his own views.
Erik had been about to start on a good rant that would have slain Charles' arguments, but it all vanished from his mind within one heartbeat and the next, as he noticed the list behind Charles.
Shit, Raven had done it again, hadn't she? And she'd added hearts around the name as well. Just when Erik had convinced himself that she was over this childish shit. He very carefully didn't focus on it, didn't focus on the fact that he'd kill her when she came back from Angel's place.
"Are you alright, Erik?" Charles asked, trailing off, as he'd obviously been expecting Erik to pick up the argument and Erik, in his distraction, had failed spectacularly.
"I-" Erik stopped then shook his head. "Sorry, lost the thread there for a second." He quickly turned his argument over in his head and pointed towards the living room. "How about I continue telling you how wrong you are in the comfort of the living room?" Far from the fridge door and the list.
Charles laughed, his eyes fucking sparkling and Erik really hated what that did to him. It was such a cliche that he'd never have used that term about anyone before he'd met Charles. His life had flowed over on cliches since he'd met Charles, much to Erik's consternation.
"Fair suggestion, but you can rant and rail all you want, you won't convince me of your dictatorial world views." Charles made to turn to the fridge. "Let's get another round of beer before, though."
"I'll get it," Erik said, quickly, stopping Charles by putting his hand on his elbow, trying hard not to notice how warm he was under the thin shirt or how well Erik's hand fit around said elbow.
Fucking cliches, Erik's life, yadda yadda.
"If you insist," Charles said with a shrug, but he had that thin worry line between his brows and Erik knew that while Charles wouldn't read him on purpose, Erik could be broadcasting his state of mind quite loudly if he lost his cool.
"And I don't rant and rail," Erik sniffed, keeping an eye on Charles while he wiped out the entire to-do list, hoping that there wasn't anything important on it that he'd end up forgetting. At least the whiteboard maker meant he could easily wipe it off and enjoy the rest of the evening.
Grabbing two beers out of the fridge, he followed Charles into the living room and continued to argue his ideas.
Now, Erik should have maybe realized that Raven was not just a formidable opponent, she played dirty. So when Charles got up to go to the bathroom and afterwards went through to the kitchen to get another round of beer, Erik thought everything was alright, the board was cleaned off and Charles' name no longer on it.
"Erm, Erik?" Charles called from the kitchen.
Erik lifted up his head from where he was contemplating his next argument while peeling off the label of his empty bottle. "Yeah?"
Charles came through to the living room, without any beer and Erik frowned. "I thought you went to get beer?"
"Why am I the only item on your to-do board on the fridge?" Charles asked, instead of answering Erik's very good question. "And why is there hearts next to it?"
Erik opened his mouth to answer, then shut it again. The only things he could think of saying were 'I thought I'd removed that!', 'Raven put it there'. What finally came out was just, "Whu" which wasn't even a word and he would be so annoyed with himself not being his usual articulate self but instead he felt the heat of embarrassment colouring his face.
Whatever might have gone through his mind, Charles must have picked up on some of it, because he exhaled softly, a small smile tugging at the corner of his mouth. "Raven."
"I thought I'd wiped it off," Erik said, hanging his head, not meeting Charles' eyes. If he was lucky Charles might put it down to one of Raven's pranks - which it was, but it wasn't as if she'd grabbed the idea out of thin air.
"It's in permanent marker," Charles said, obviously trying not to laugh.
"I hate your sister," Erik grumbled, torn between being glad that Charles took it as a joke and being a little hurt.
"She has a warped sense of humour sometimes," Charles agreed. "But she means well." He stepped forward until Erik could see the tips of his socked feet even with his head bowed. "Why didn't you tell me?"
Erik held his breath for a moment, his mind desperately going through valid replies. "Sheiße," he muttered. "Sorry, you're my housemate's brother and I didn't want to make things awkward between us."
"I should think I'm more than your housemate's brother," Charles said quietly, leaning forward and gently tipping Erik's head back so he could meet his eyes. "I should very much hope that I'm your friend as well."
"What if that's-" Erik cut himself off. Just because Charles was being all empathic didn't mean that he was interested and that Erik should push the issue, maybe making things too awkward between them for them to remain friends.
"Not enough?" Charles finished for him. "Erik, I thought by now that you would feel at ease around me enough to be frank with me."
Erik tried not to feel like a child being reprimanded. Charles had some of the same gifts Edie had, no doubt about it. They were both quite good at calling Erik's shit, it seemed.
It took a moment for Erik to realize what was happening when Charles leaned in and pressed his lips to Erik's. Then finally Erik got with the program and kissed him back. The awkward angle made Charles slide forward and straddle his lap and Erik realized why Charles was such a damned genius.
Charles laughed into their kiss, his laughter bubbling inside Erik's mind as well. Erik huffed out a little. "Tickles," he mumbled as Charles broke the kiss and pulled back a little to look at Erik.
"I'm not going to waste energy on keeping my mind to myself, you know," Charles warned him. "I can do it when we're not touching, but like this-"
"I'm not asking you to," Erik interrupted him. And he really wasn't - when he'd hoped Charles would keep out of his mind, he'd been worried he might realize how Erik felt about him. And that cat was well and truly out of the bag.
"Yes it is," Charles mumbled, more than willingly letting Erik pull him in for another kiss. "Bed?"
"Making out on the couch first," Erik grumbled, sliding his hands down to grab Charles' ass.
Charles keened and ground down against him, causing Erik to buck up. "Raven says you have a rule about no sex on the couch."
"That was a rule put in place for her," Erik said, leaning up for another kiss. He was really looking forward to the sex, but right now he wanted the make-out session. Mostly because it wasn't something he'd done a lot - rarely ever cared enough about his partner to take things slow.
He might feel a little guilty about how he'd treated past lovers.
"You're a petty man," Charles laughed. "She'll either maim you for breaking it or laugh her arse off."
"I don't care - it's her fault for constantly putting your name on my to-do list," Erik explained, nosing his way down Charles' neck to the open collar of his shirt.
"Can't argue with your logic," Charles replied, burying his fingers in Erik's hair.
"Of course not, my argument is sound," Erik replied, sliding one hand up under the hem of Charles' shirt.
"No, I just can't be arsed to argue with you when there are better uses for that mouth of yours." Charles pulled Erik's head back and proceeded to kiss him to the point where Erik felt his spine might have gone liquid and all his blood was pooling in his cock.
"Okay, bed," Erik agreed, grabbing Charles' ass and attempting to stand while still holding onto him.
"No!" Charles nearly shouted, making Erik's ears ring. "Put me down, you oaf," he amended. "I don't want to have to waste time tonight by going into the emergency because you hurt yourself trying to act the strong man."
Erik didn't let go right away, but finally he had to agree with Charles. That would be a waste of time they could use in the bedroom.
"Exactly," Charles agreed, slipping out of Erik's grip and holding out his hand. "Now, bed."
Erik grinned and let Charles pull him towards the bedroom.
The next morning, when Edie let herself into the flat, Erik realized exactly what he had removed the from the to-do list without realizing the night before: breakfast with his mother.