Charles woke to soft dawnlight streaming through the windows of the suite he shared with Erik, and he took a moment to savor the sight of the man beside him.
By day, Erik was all harsh angles and steely reserve; only in sleep did his softest edges appear. His lips were curved in a smile, and Charles couldn't help but wonder what he dreamt of. He didn't peek, though.
Erik's auburn hair was tousled, trying to curl, and his lashes formed feathery bronze semicircles on his tawny cheeks. The sheet had slipped down, displaying broad planes of muscle, quiescent now, the tensions of everyday life held at bay in sleep.
Even the nightmares were largely gone now, after more than a decade of hard-won peace. They'd built a life together, and slowly Erik had learned to look past the fear and anger.
He'd nearly left a dozen more times in their first six months together, rage still driving him, guilt still wracking him. Charles had seen it in those pale eyes, the haunted look every time Erik's gaze (or his metal-sense) had fully registered the wheelchair.
And Charles himself had nearly sent him away at least that many times, not because he blamed Erik, which he didn't, mostly, but because he had feared Erik had stayed only out of that guilt. Charles had been so angry at the world then, still grieving hard the loss of his legs, having no strength for Erik's bullshit.
But somehow they'd woven their way through the minefield, held on to each other, found peace together. Opened the school together. Erik had proved to be a good teacher, tough but fair, though his methods were sometimes unorthodox. Still, the students loved him more than they feared him, mostly.
Physically, he hadn't changed much in a dozen years, Charles marvelled as he gazed at him. A few fine lines on his face, the first threads of white in his ginger hair.
Charles kissed his shoulder, watched as Erik's smile broadened. Yet he didn't wake.
Everyone always thought Erik would be an early riser, awake the moment his feet hit the floor. He was so disciplined that surely it had to be so. But the truth was Erik dragged himself to consciousness only reluctantly, painfully. Charles had long since recognized the necessity of keeping a coffeemaker with an automatic timer in their suite, though he himself loathed the smell, especially first thing in the morning.
Though there was one other way to wake Erik up, a far more pleasurable one.
Charles pressed a kiss to Erik's lips, threaded his fingers into the short plush of auburn curls, held the kiss until one aqua eye blinked open. Morning, love.
Erik's mind was always open to him now, a symbol of just how deep the trust between them had come to run. His thoughts now were still muzzy, sleepy, but his mind radiated love and contentment. Morning, he managed. Coffee?
I had something else in mind. Charles kissed him again, slow and deep, and Erik responded sleepily.
Charles' hand went to his hip, pushed against it.
Erik groaned, rolled on his side, displayed a truly magnificent morning hard-on.
“Well, hello, gorgeous.” Charles wrapped a hand around it, stroked it lazily, rubbed his thumb across the slit.
Erik's head was thrown back, exposing the fair, stubbled skin of his throat and jaw.
Charles nipped and nuzzled along Erik's jawline as his hand found a rhythm, gradually increased in tempo.
Erik's eyes were fully open now, though not entirely focused. “Mein Gott, Charles.”
Charles' free hand cradled Erik's balls, stroked the velvety sac with his thumb.
Erik was panting, moaning, on the edge.
Charles nipped Erik's ear, and Erik came. “You're so easy,” Charles murmured.
Erik just looked at him with a goofy grin on his face. “Coffee?” he asked, happy and hopeful and still a bit groggy.
Some things never changed.