Everyone from Hank to Raven and Alex has warned him and Erik still hasn't forgotten Emma's words either. 'Just you wait, Xavier is so damned likable even you will cave.'
So yes, everyone's warned him that Charles is cute, but no one's warned him that he's also more than decent looking, that his smile reaches the eyes and oozes sincerity (and not the false kind that sets Erik's teeth on edge).
And apparently, everyone forgot to mention just how much of a flirt he is.
It's Raven's 25th birthday, and she wants to make a party of it, not just because the girl loves a good party, but because her brother's finally returning from Oxford where he's been studying and then teaching for nearly eight years.
So no one can blame Erik for thinking that Charles would be a drolly dressed professor, who could bore the room to sleep.
No, really. Because the moment the guy steps through the door, Erik's first thought is of how he wouldn't mind a piece of that. Second thought is pretty blank, because Raven, who's speaking with Emma and himself, lets out a high pitched squeal and runs over to him, throwing herself into his arms.
"Ah, the prodigal brother returns," Emma muses, but Erik can tell that her smirk is already half a smile, and not one of her superficial ones either.
"That's the professor?" Erik asks, and he wants to kick himself for sounding so disbelieving.
Emma is, of course, as observant as always and the grin she shoots him is positively predatory.
'Oh,' Erik thinks to himself, 'I'm dead.'
'You got that right, sugah,' she tells him gleefully.
"Stop reading my mind," Erik hisses at her, trying to find the right expression as Raven drags Charles through the room towards them, only occasionally detouring to speak with some of the other guests.
"Then stop staring at the poor boy as if you want to strip him naked and have your wicked way with him," Emma says with a less than ladylike snort.
Erik looks down at the floor, focuses on putting up every mental wall Emma has ever taught him to create.
Which of course backfires magnificently.
Because not only did no one tell him that Charles was hot, young and drew everyone's eyes... but no one's warned him that Charles is also a telepath - and a hell of a lot stronger than Emma. And apparently, putting up walls like Erik's just done, is the mental equivalent of standing up and yelling for attention.
Erik looks up to find Charles studying him with his head cocked, while Raven is obliviously trying to introduce him to Mrs. Caruthers, who in turn is trying to get Charles to notice her daughter.
Which fails miserably, because Charles is obviously busy staring at Erik.
Erik just wants to sink into the floor and he's considering getting out via one of the terrace doors, when Emma steps forward and waves openly at Charles.
It's a regular thing that Erik wants to strangle Emma, it's just how their friendship works, but it's been a while since he's actively contemplated outright murder.
Erik takes a deep breath and watches as Charles all but drags an exasperated Raven along, heading straight for Emma with a huge grin on his face.
"Emma, my dear old friend, looking as gorgeous as ever," Charles said, taking her hand and bringing it to his lips.
"As smooth as ever, my dear Charles," Emma said warmly, "Oxford has treated you well."
"Ah, England is perfect for my pasty complexion," Charles said with a wink.
"Don't be silly, Charles," Emma all but coos, "you look devastatingly handsome tonight." She turns her eyes to Erik, barely hiding a smirk. "Does he not, Erik?"
Erik takes a deep breath, having no idea what the hell to say, but Charles turns, letting Emma's hand slip from his and saves him. Sort of.
"Well, I may be alright looking," Charles says, giving Erik an appreciative onceover, "but I seem to have managed only second place tonight." He holds out his hand. "Charles Xavier," he says.
Okay, so not saving him at all. Erik curses silently, but he still reaches out to shake his hand. "Erik Lehnsherr," he replies, because anything else would be rude. Not that Erik normally cares, but this is Raven's birthday and this is her brother, no matter how hot, he's off limits because he's Raven's brother.
Charles raises an eyebrow. 'I think you might want to shield a little more, if you can, his voice rings inside Erik's head. 'Unless you want me to overhear your thoughts, of course. You're a little loud.'
Erik swallows hard. Of course he's a fucking telepath. Erik just can't seem to catch any breaks these days.
Raven watches them both, and Erik notices the look she exchanges with Emma, before rolling her eyes. He does not want to know what that was all about.
He gets an inkling a moment later, when both Emma and Raven look meaningfully downwards. That's the point where Erik realizes that he's still holding Charles' hand, or Charles his. He's still a little unclear who's failed to let go.
To Erik's horror, it looks as if Charles is considering lifting his hand to press his lips to that as he's just done to Emma. He pulls his hand back with a little more force than planned.
'Spoilsport,' Charles tells him.
Erik shoots him a less than sincere smile.
"Aren't they adorable?" Emma asks Raven with a deep sigh, voice honey thick.
"Absolutely," Raven replies, a wide grin on her face.
Erik shoots the both of them an acidic glare. Charles isn't helping, because he just smiles fondly at them and gives Erik a smug smile.
"Erik here is one of our most achieved representatives of the Mutant cause," Raven tells Charles and Erik is a little surprised at the pride he can hear in her voice. He's just used to working for what he believes in, he's not in it for the praise.
"Well, it's either that or launching a terrorist attack on Capitol Hill," Erik tries to deflect gruffly.
"I do hope you're joking, my friend," Charles says, shifting to give Erik his full attention.
"Only partly," Emma says with a laugh. "The urge to tear the place down around the ears of the politicians is always there, isn't it, Erik?"
Erik shrugs. He's not going to make it sound more glamorous than it is. "The urge is there, yes, but I have better self-control than that."
Charles raises an eyebrow. "With the need for self-control like that, I take it you could tear it down around their ears?"
Erik could just tell him, but before he can stop himself, he's zeroed in on every bit of metal on Charles, watch, cufflinks, necklace, zipper in his pants; and tucks. Not enough to pull Charles off his feet, but enough for the other man to feel the pull.
"Metal? Magnetism?" Charles' eyes light up.
"Oh, here we go," Raven sighs, gesturing to Emma. "We may as well leave them to it, because there's not stopping my dear brother now."
"I remember," Emma says airily, but Erik doesn't miss the wink she throws his way. "I believe we should make the rounds, Raven, it's your birthday and everyone else should be interested in you and not your brother."
"You wound me," Charles says evenly.
Erik can tell he's not at all wounded and his attention is soon turned back to Erik full force. And it packs a considerable punch.
"Let's step outside," Charles says, gesturing for Erik to precede him to the terrace doors.
Erik has no idea what possess him to just agree, but he does. The icing on the fucking cake is walking outside with Charles who is suddenly guiding him with a hand on the small of his back.
Torn between fighting it off and just... allowing it, Erik ends up just walking a little faster until he can stop outside and turn around, losing the weight and warmth of Charles' hand.
What he gains instead is Charles walking into him and Erik catches him before he ends up on his ass.
"Steady there, Professor," he says, feeling less caged in now that he's outside and Charles does feel good in his arms, just the right height and build for Erik's taste.
Charles steadies himself, ducks his head for a moment, rolls his shoulders and then straightens up. He does not, however, take a step back.
Of course Erik is too stubborn to do so either. So he ends up looming over Charles, which he doesn't mind too much, really, but he lets go of him, because there's close and then there's close. He knows they're visible from the inside and Emma and Raven do not need any more ammunition to shoot him down.
"So, you control metal," Charles says, eyes alive with pure enthusiasm. "Any metal? Is it magnetism, can you feel the Earth's magnetic field?"
Erik rolls his eyes. "Easy, Professor, no, not all metal, and yes, I'm aware of the magnetic field."
"Charles, please," Charles says, waving a hand as if to dismiss his title.
"Oh no," Erik grins widely and he knows, from Raven and Emma both, that he looks more than a little deranged and a lot dangerous when he does that. "I think I'll just keep calling you Professor, Little Professor, even."
Of course it doesn't work on Charles. "Really," he says scrunching up his nose.
And Erik does not, at all, consider that endearing.
"I'm not as little as you may think," Charles continues with a wink.
Erik blinks once. Twice. "Did you just make a really bad penis joke?" he asks before he can stop himself.
Charles, of course, not expecting to have his bad pun called, flushes deeply red and apparently Erik's self-control is shot to hell by this. He reaches out and runs the pads of two fingers across Charles' cheek. He can feel the heat of the blush.
Coughing to cover the noise escaping him, Charles takes a small step back and gets himself under control, which Erik thinks is a shame.
"So, you're aware of the magnetic field, do you think you could influence it? Not that I'm asking you to mess with it, but theoretically? And what about your awareness of large cities? Can you feel all the metal used in construction? And..." Charles goes from zero to sixty in three seconds flat.
Erik finally takes a deep breath and holds up his hand. Charles is a bit too enthusiastic for Erik to handle, though 'handling' him is very appealing to Erik.
"I'm sorry," Charles says sheepishly. "Raven did tell me to 'keep a lid on it'," he admits.
"I have to admit I'm not used to being asked about my powers like this," Erik replies. Now that Charles is a little less intense, Erik sort of misses it.
"Occupational hazard," Charles says with a shrug. He looks up at Erik and smiles softly. "I'm a genetics professor, my main focus being the mutated gene that gives our kind such diverse gifts," he explains, "and I've never met anyone like you."
Erik almost pays the compliment back, but bites his tongue at the last minute. He doesn't need to let Charles know...
"It's alright," Charles says, a little flushed. "Your surface thoughts are a little hard to ignore and...," he trails off. "Sorry."
Erik straightens and tries to think of anything but the proverbial elephant in the room. In this case he wonders how many times he's slipped in the minutes he's been speaking with Charles. How many times he's focused on Charles' lips, his eyes and wondered...
Charles flushes deeply.
Erik can't help but laugh at the stupidity of the situation. "Lost your suave, huh?" he says when Charles doesn't say anything. He refuses to be embarrassed by his thought - and he realizes nor should he. He's a healthy man whose tastes swing both ways when it comes to gender.
And Charles isn't exactly hard on the eyes.
Charles goes a little deeper red. "Thank you," he forces out. "Raven did warn me to keep my inner geek under control," he admits.
Erik frowns. "Why would you do that?" He likes this version of Charles better, likes the sincerity of it better.
"She wants me to make a good impression," Charles says, rubbing the back of his neck.
Erik leans nonchalantly forward, enough to tower a little over Charles. "You're making a very good impression on me," he tells Charles, because now that he's found his footing again, he's not going to just let Charles go back to smooch with the rest of the guests.
Charles tilts his head a little, studying Erik, but not moving away. "Am I now?"
Erik grins when he notices that Charles' self control apparently returns now. He actually likes the geeky enthusiasm laced with a little self assuredness.
"Look," Charles says, biting his lower lip, a move that is very much a distraction to Erik. "If I'm not being too forward," he continues, then stops. "Raven's told me enough about you that I've kind of gotten a bit of a crush on the image she's painted of you," the last of this comes out in a rush.
"Has she now?" Erik says, but he relaxes, because he'd like to get to know Charles like Charles apparently knows him. Well, he'd also like to correct whatever warped impression Raven has given Charles, because this is Raven and she's... well, Erik can tell her enthusiasm is a lot like Charles'.
Charles takes a deep breath obviously makes up his mind.
Erik takes draws in his breath, sharply, when his mind is filled with, not questions in the form of words, but with images of Charles and himself in various states of undress.
"A little forward," Erik replies, but he'll be lying if he claims no interest and it takes a lot of self-control to clamp down on his body's appreciation of it.
"I hope you don't mind," Charles says, looking anything but apologetic.
"Well, if I may?" Erik says, putting his hand on Charles' hip and pushing a few images of his own at Charles. A few of them are like the ones he just received, but he puts the visual of sleeping/waking next to Charles, with Charles. Making breakfast with him, for him. Of the both of them in typical date situations as well, dining, theater. Erik knows he's a bit old fashioned in some ways but...
The smile on Charles' face is worth everything.
"I'd like to try that," Charles replies softly.
Just to be a bit of a bastard and make sure that Charles knows what he's getting himself into, Erik projects an image of having Charles up against the terrace doors with all the guests inside. Pants pooling around his ankles, shirt torn half open and Charles panting with exertion.
Charles' smile turns downright dirty as he puts his hand on Erik's hip, mirroring Erik's hand on his own. "That I'd like too," he all but purrs as he steps in close to Erik. "But I fear my sister might never forgive me for pulling a stunt like that in the middle of her birthday party."
"She adores you," Erik mutters, breath brushing Charles' lips. "She adores me too," he continues. "She'll make us pay, but she'll forgive us."
"Uh-huh," Charles replies, completely focused on Erik's mouth.
The mental slap they obviously both receive from Emma a moment later, only makes them lean closer, busy laughing so hard they can barely stand.