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“Mommy, Sean won’t give me my mask!” Angel whined, running into the front hall, where Charles was trying to force Raven into a coat.

 

“Angel, darling, for the last time, I am not your moth-,” Charles started protesting only to break off in shock as Angel hauled off and punched a taunting Sean in the stomach, resulting in a loud wail from the small red headed boy.

 

“Angel! Why would you do that?! You know better young lady,” he scolded. He was completely overwhelmed.  Being alone with four children on Halloween night was suddenly very daunting.

 

“But he took my mask!” Angel pouted, lips trembling and tears beginning to swim in her eyes.  Charles didn’t even know why she needed a mask in the first place. Her costume was some kind of green forest fairy, complete with wings and a magical sparkly wand. It was fine all on its own, but she had insisted on a mask as well.

 

He sighed, running a hand through his hair wearily, watching Raven out of the corner of his eyes as she tried to shrug out of her coat, “Sean, give Angel her mask back. Angel, you apologize for punching him, and Raven you put that coat back on this instant!”

 

These orders were instantly met with groans and grumbles, and Charles was about to burst into tears from sheer irritation when the doorbell rang, distracting them all.

 

“Trick or Treat!” Darwin yelled, running into the room with a sandwich in his hand.

 

So that’s where he’s been, Charles had time to think before Darwin had pulled the front door eagerly open, all the kids crowding around to see the person outside.

 

“Hey kids,” Hank said, pushing past them into the house, “Hey, Mister X, sorry I’m late. I rode my bike over and there were kids everywhere.”

 

“Completely understandable,” Charles responded with a shrug and a smile. “I just really need your help gathering the children so we can go before it gets to be too late.”

 

“Mommy!” Angel’s familiar whine broke through Charles’ determined mental planning and he fought the urge to flinch, both at her casual use of the title ‘mommy’ and wondering what possibly could have gone wrong now.

 

“Yes, love?” He turned and saw a crestfallen Angel on the verge of tears, pointing one small finger at her wings, one now mysteriously bent inwards. “Oh, sweeting, how did you manage . . .” instead of completing the question, Charles beckoned her forward and knelt down to look at the mangled, glittery wing.

 

“I-It’s broken,” Angel sniffed, “And E-Emma’s gonna laugh at me because her costume is pretty and mine is ugly.”

 

Once again fighting the urge to scream, Charles hushed the girl and raised his hand to smooth the bent wires.

 

“No it isn’t, sweetheart. Your costume is very pretty, no one will laugh at you. Now look at that, all better.” She touched the wing tentatively before grinning and throwing her arms around Charles’ neck.

 

“Thank you, Mommy!”

 

Charles sighed. “Couldn’t you at least call me ‘Daddy’?”

 

Before she could run off, likely to torment the boys some more or try to ask Raven about the latest middle school gossip, she cast him a humoring smile. “No, Mommy. You’re mommy!” Then she was off, giggling like the little terror she could be.

 

Just when Charles was starting to think the evening was settling was, of course, when it was time to go, which brought on a whole new kind of chaos.

 

“Wait, we made a costume for you!” Darwin half yelled excitedly, and before Charles’ could tell him that no, it was time to go, he had run off down the hall, arms holding his black cape out behind him.

 

Trying not to laugh at the wooshing noises escaping the boy’s mouth, Charles turned to Hank inquiring, “Hank? Who are you supposed to be? You look like you do everyday.”

 

Hank tugged on his lab coat a little self consciously, before shrugging, “I had Bio 3020 today and we were doing a lab that required our lab coats. Since I already had it with me, I thought I’d go as Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.”

 

He was still laughing at Hank’s decision when Darwin came ‘flying’ back into the room. He stopped laughing immediately, however; when he saw what Darwin had in his hands.

 

“What is that?” he asked tenderly, trying to keep the panic out of his voice and off his face at the sight of the lacy apron that loudly proclaimed ‘World’s Best Baker’.

 

“It’s your costume, silly,” Angel giggled, at the same moment Sean said rather pointedly, “Darwin, Batman can’t fly.”

 

Darwin looked at Sean, clearly affronted, and donned a frown so large Charles actually worried about his face rearranging itself to constantly have that expression. “Yeah he can!”

 

“Nuh-uh.”

 

“Yeah-huh!”

 

“Nuh-uh!”

 

Yeah-huh!”

 

“Nuh--”

 

“Boys! Enough!” Charles massaged his temple, taking the apron from Darwin and putting it on without an argument, deeming it easier to deal with the embarrassment and perhaps slip it off later than another round of arguing with children.

 

“Oh my god, Emma’s waiting, can we go?” Raven’s almost overly-inflection-filled voice brought Charles back into the situation at hand, reminding him not for the first time why he so strongly opposed the friendship between her and Emma Lehnsherr. Frost, a small, snotty voice in the back of his head corrected, and he sighed. Of course, he always forgot the girl went by her mother’s surname, or perhaps it was one she’d made up, he could never be sure.

 

It made sense in his mind, though. Not wanting to share a last name with a man like Erik Lehnsherr who insisted on riding ridiculous motorcycles around and wearing leather jackets like he was a man much younger and not one with two near-teenage children, it made sense though, seeing as--

 

Charles,” Raven was rolling her eyes, and Charles began to look up, preparing to chide her about a jacket again when he noticed lumpy protrusions on her chest.

 

“Raven . . . what are those?” He reached out a tentative hand and poked at what seemed to be an enlarged breast.

 

“Charles!” She screeched, covering her tissue-stuffed chest as if he had out and out groped her bosom.

 

“Raven . . .”

 

Something in his voice must have resonated within her, because the girl sighed.

 

“I’m Lara Croft, y’know, Tomb Raider? Big boobs? So I stuffed, duh.”

 

“Take those out.”

 

“But Charles, it’s for the costume!” 

 

“I don’t care. You are not going to go around like some, some sexualized statistic. Take those out.”

 

“But--”

 

“Now.” The look on his face had her scrambling to the bathroom, but being a teen and all she couldn’t just give in gracefully, grumbling about annoying adults the whole way down the hall.

 

“And throw the new tissues away that are in your pocket,” he demanded, when she joined them again. She was looking rather smug, and he knew she wasn’t going to give in that easily.

 

“Charles, c’mon! It’s just tissue!”

 

“All right. Everyone outside. Now. Before I go crazy and turn into Freddy Krueger,” Charles groaned, rounding them all up and pushing them through the door.

 

“Everyone knows the rules, right? Stay together, don’t wander off with anyone you don’t know... Did I forget anything?” he asked, doing a head count and already coming up one short.

 

“Don’t take candy from strangers?” Angel suggested helpfully.

 

“Hank, have you seen Sean? He’s in a Flash costume,” Charles turned to the other man, alarmed when he only received a shaking head. How had they managed to lose a kid that fast?

 

“It’s Halloween, dummy,” Raven snapped, still fuming about the whole stuffing issue, Angel’s eyes immediately tearing up, “If you don’t take candy from strangers, where are you going to get it?”

 

“Halloween is not worth it,” Charles sighed.

 

Never again. Next year, he would rent a few children’s Halloween movies and pass out candy from the house, like they’d done last year. Except last year, Raven had convinced Hank to let them watch an R movie and that had naturally resulted in every single child crawling into his bed in the middle of the night. Either way, these kids would drive him crazy.

 

Charles rubbed two fingers against his temples and was preparing to ask Darwin to fetch Sean when a pasty blur skidded to a stop on the front walk. Sean’s flash costume was pooled around his ankles, leaving him bare to the world save for his lightning bolt briefs, his freckled face a bright red.

 

“Mom, can you zip it?” He asked pathetically, kicking at the ground with a spandex-encased foot.

 

“Sean, get over here,” Charles hissed, trying not to let his mortification show as he beckoned Sean over. The little boy shuffled over, obediently pushing his arms through the sleeves and letting his ‘mother’ zip the back up and secure the mask. “Please refrain from running outside in your underwear in the future, alright?”

 

“M’kay mom!” Sean gave him a bright smile and Charles found it impossible to be too upset with the child.

 

“Charles,” Raven groaned. “Come on, Emma’s been waiting.”

 

“I am sure Emma will survive while we get your sib--the others, situated.” He glanced up over the hedge to the Lehnsherr home, watching as the front door opened, spilling warm light onto the walkway before Erik and his children walked out. “See? There they are now, no need to be, what’s the word, huffy?”

 

“Oh my god Charles you’re so old.” She rolled her eyes and stomped toward the end of the pathway.

 

Emma sashayed down the walk like she was an Italian model, white go-go boots reaching up to her thighs, a few inches down from the hem of her obscenely short, form-fitting dress. If not for the fluffy white wings and halo, Charles wasn’t sure he would know what exactly she was. Unlike Raven, Emma had successfully made it out of the house with a tissue-enhanced bosom. As usual, Charles credited that to Erik Lehnsherr’s poor parenting skills.

 

Alex followed behind his sister in a considerably less revealing devil’s outfit, a collared crimson cape knotted at his throat and a plastic pitchfork held loosely in his hand. A deep scowl had affixed itself to his face, almost perfectly mirrored on his father’s. Erik looked about ready to yank out every last lock of his carefully-slicked hair, his light eyes narrowed and swirling with distaste.

 

“Good evening, Mr. Lehnsherr,” Charles called out, walking to meet them at the end of the driveway, “We won’t be gone too late, so I’ll have Alex and Emma back at a decent time.”

 

Erik looked at him confused for a moment, and Charles was desperately hoping his dislike hadn’t slipped through that obviously.

 

“I’m sorry, Mr. Xavier, I am not sure what you mean,” Erik quirked an eyebrow, his hands resting in his pockets.

 

“Please, call me Charles. I meant Alex and Emma are coming trick or treating with us right?” he prompted, eyes following the children dragging Hank across the street to start the night.

 

“Yes. As am I, Mr. Xavier,” his neighbor replied putting an emphasis on his last name. Charles mentally groaned.

 

Halloween was quickly becoming his least favorite holiday.

Chapter Text

Charles Francis Xavier. Erik knew his type. The man who played the loving parent in the eyes of the public but did a complete one-eighty as soon as the doors were closed. The man who took in children with no parents, whether that be in the literal or metaphoric sense, for the sake of monetary gain and to propagate an image of someone he wasn’t.

 

Likely for the sake of some woman.

 

Men like him were always doing things for women with no regard for the children he was hurting by his actions. Erik had seen how Charles was with the children when he thought no one was looking. The children who became attached to him, dared to call him “mother.” He’d seen him, denying the boys and girls who loved him the right to call him a parent, snapping at them.

 

Don’t call me ‘Mommy’.” he’d said to Angel, abruptly cutting off her sentence. Erik could still remember her crestfallen face, and his blood boiled at the injustice of it all.

 

And now he had to spend Halloween night with him.

 

“Mommy, Darwin said flash isn’t even that fast,” the red headed kid who always came over to play with Alex whined.

 

“Sean, I am not you’re mother,” Charles sighed laboriously, then turned to Erik, “Excuse me a moment, I’ve got to go sort these two out.”

 

He watched the shorter man walk quickly ahead and bit back an angry response. The poor kid had nobody, was it too much for Charles to let the boy be happy? All of these kids obviously adored the man and he apparently couldn’t be bothered to return an ounce of affection.

 

“Sorry about that. Sean and Darwin are always at it,” Charles explained wearily as Erik caught up to him, and the children took off again, dragging a harried teen dressed as a scientist along behind them.

Erik didn’t bother giving a proper response. He was too angry about this whole situation. For the sake of neighborly politeness though he found himself giving a noncommittal grunt. A grunt that sounded a lot angrier than he had intended.

 

The other man stiffened at the noise, and he must have observed the look on Erik’s face because now he was obviously hiding a scowl.

 

“I’m sorry, did you say something?” he asked, placing a strained smile on his face.

 

Yes, Erik wanted to say, yes I did say something, maybe if you’d actually love your kids they wouldn’t act out in anger. He was conveniently forgetting the fact that he did nothing but shower Alex and Emma with attention, and they usually behaved like brats. But that was all their mother’s fault anyway.

 

“I was just wondering why you’re so … mean to your children,” he said semi-calmly, his anger not allowing him to keep his mouth shut.

 

“Excuse me?” Charles bit out, freezing in the middle of the sidewalk, “ What does that mean?”

 

Erik stopped at his side, just in front of the walkway the children had gone up. He turned to face the other man with a look that could simultaneously freeze and burn.

 

“Feigned ignorance isn’t becoming on you, Mr. Xavier,” Erik scowled, his words like needles of ice. 

 

“I have no interest in feigning anything, Mr. Lehnsherr. And I would appreciate you not say such things, especially in the presence of the children. Who I love dearly.”

 

A snort left the skeptical man, who’d folded his arms and stood with his legs apart, glaring down the bridge of his nose at the Englishman.

 

“Did I somehow offend you? Is this out of anger for some perceived wrong I’ve had no part in?”

 

“No part in.” Erik scoffed. “No, I suppose you’ve done nothing to me personally, but watching how you deal with those in your care--”

 

“I love those children as if they were my own.”

 

“Yet you deny them the right to call you ‘mother’. Your hypocrisy is astounding.”

 

Charles stares back at him, incredulous. “I run an orphanage, Erik. I don’t want them to become attached to someone they will eventually lose when they get adopted. I want them to have parents, parents that will be able to take care of them and love them as their own. That’s why I do what I do. To give them a chance. And their attachment to me would simply make...the inevitable, that much harder.”

 

Erik stared at him, slowly but surely processing the words that came out of his neighbor’s mouth. “You run an orphanage...with children that age? Seems a bit optimistic.”

 

“Yes, I like to believe there is a family for each of them. They’re good children, they deserve it.”

 

Before Erik could respond, Angel, Sean and Darwin ran between them and back onto the sidewalk, Sean and Angel clamoring for Charles’ attention, holding out the handfuls of candy they’d received from the last house.

 

“Lookie, lookie,” Angel held out a small, blue-wrapped bar. “I got it for you!” Charles smiled indulgently and slipped it into his pocket, thanking her gently and hanging back to wait for the rest of the children, resisting the urge to sigh as Raven and Emma purposely took their time sauntering down.

 

As soon as they’d moved on to the next house though, he tucked his hand into Angel’s and rushed along behind her to the next house.

 

“Mommy, you’re leaving Mister Erik by himself,” she protested, letting go of his hand and patting it gently, “You should go keep him company. I’ll be okay.”

 

So now Charles had to walk next to the arrogant Mr. Lehnsherr and make nice, even though at the moment he was wishing he was a rowdy teen so that he could egg the man’s house and pass it off as out of control horomones.

 

“Mr. Xavier,” Erik began, clearing his throat, but Charles, who really hadn’t been watching Erik’s mouth for signs of movement, chose that moment to address the Flash now lagging behind them.

 

“Sean, stop eating your candy. You can have a two pieces when we get home, but you know that you of all people do not need too much sugar. I’ll never get you to bed,”  he said.

 

He looked a bit disappointed when Sean immediately agreed with a cheerful ‘okay’ and skipped ahead to catch up to the others.

 

“Mr. Xavier,” Erik tried again, this time succeeding because there are no children around for Charles to scold, “I’m sorry. It was wrong of me to assume such a thing about you.”

 

He sounded as if he was choking on the words, but he managed to look sincere.

 

“Yes, well you know what they say, when you assume you make an ass out of you and me,” Charles tried to joke lightly, hoping to maybe salvage the situation, not wanting the night to get worse. As if that was even possible.

 

“You must admit, I did have a bias for my suspicions,” his neighbor continued and this time he was sounding defensive.

 

“I do not have to admit anything Mr. Lehnsherr,” Charles quietly snapped back, not wanting the children to hear their bickering, “My actions do not have to be justified to you.”

 

Erik watched the man pinch the bridge of his nose, eyes fluttering shut.

 

“You are right, Mr. Xavier,” he apologized again, “I’m sorry. Perhaps my behavior can be overlooked as Halloween horror, or something like that.”

 

“Has your Halloween really been that horrible?” Charles raised an eyebrow, looking at him curiously.

“Yes. Moira brought Emma her costume without my approval, and Alex pitched a fit because Emma wouldn’t let him be Batman. It has been a terribly frightening night.”

 

Charles chuckled at his words, causing Erik to look at him questioningly, “What’s so funny?”

 

“Just your choice of words. It is after all, Halloween, my friend.”

Chapter Text

“Mommy, mommy, wake up! You’re going to miss the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade,” shouted a shrill voice in his ear and Charles decided instantly that this was not one of his favorite ways to be awoken.

“Okay, Angel, okay, give mommy five more minutes,
please
,” Charles groaned into his pillow, hoping that the acceptance of the word would surprise her enough that she would go away. He succeeded, five seconds later the weight settled on his back was gone and he heard small feet go flying down the stairs.

“Mommy just called himself Mommy!” Angel’s voice floated back up to his room and Charles drifted back to sleep with a smile on his face.

“Are you serious, Moira? I don’t want that man around my kids!” Erik’s angry voice drifted through his open window.

“Well, you get no say in the matter! You gave up any right to that decision when you agreed to a divorce,” a woman’s voice shouts, so naturally Charles is curious to see who could strike such a chord in the stoic man and he rolls out of bed, slinking over to the window.

“A divorce that I have no regrets about asking for, Moira, because you are such a bitch,” Erik hissed at the dark haired woman, leaning into the window of a flashy sports car.

“Erik, please, not in front of the children,” Moira sighs, looking as if she is going to deliver crushing news, “Shaw is moving in... And we both think it would be best for all of us, if you gave up your guardianship of the kids.”

“What?!” Erik yelled, Charles jumping at the ferocity of his tone, “Moira these are my kids, not
fucking
Shaw’s! Who the hell does he think he is making decisions like that?!”

“Mommy, Sean spilled the eggnog all over the kitchen!” Angel called worriedly from the doorway. Charles was sure he was going to have a heart attack any day now with the way his kids always snuck up on him.

“I’m coming, I’m coming,” he muttered distractedly, wishing he could stay and spy - no, politely listen from a safe distance to Erik’s conversation with his ex-wife, but he knew if he didn’t go downstairs right now the children would end up in the alcohol like they had last year.

Sure enough, when he entered the kitchen Raven was rummaging through the off limits, always locked  liquor cabinet.

“Looking for something, Raven?” he asked mildly, crossing his arms and leaning against the cabinet. He almost smirked when she visibly jumped, but years of dealing with Raven had taught him that if he gave an inch, she’d take a mile.

“No?” she said and she pulled an innocent face as she backed out of the cabinet, closing it with her foot.

“How did you get in there? It was locked,” Charles prodded.

“She made me do it, mommy!” Sean hiccuped from the floor where he, Darwin and Hank were trying to clean up the spilt drink, “She said if I didn’t sneak it out of the library she’d take my G.I. Joe's away!”

Raven stomped her foot an angry pout on her face, “But it’s not fair! You always put a little alcohol in your egg nog, why can’t I have some too? I’m not a kid you know!”

“Yes, you are,” Charles replied, fighting the urge to go crawl back in bed. Someone should have told him how hard it was to raise a pre-teen.

“Am not. Emma’s parents even let her have wine with dinner!” Raven protested, or whined, Charles wasn’t really sure which as he took the key and relocked the cabinet.

“Do they really?” he inquired, raising an eyebrow, slipping the key into his pocket. He wasn’t surprised in the least. He could totally see Erik giving his spoiled children wine with their meals.

“Well, not her dad. But her mom and her mom’s new boyfriend do,” Raven relented, accepting defeat.

“Speaking of Emma, I’m sure she’ll be over here shortly yes?”

“No, they’re spending thanksgiving with their mommy,” Sean said sadly, “I wanted to watch the parade with Alex, but he said they have to go to their mom’s and sit at the table like adults all day.”

“What a shame,” Charles murmured, half-distracted and thoughtful. His mind moved at a mile a minute and he moved on autopilot as he cleaned up the children’s mess before rushing back into his bedroom, pulling open his armoire and looking at the choices. However, instead of changing, he opted to instead pull on a powder blue cardigan over his white t-shirt and slip on a pair of slippers Sean bought him last Christmas.

“I’m going over to the Lehnsherrs’, Darwin’s in charge until I get back!” He called as he bounded down the stairs, almost a little too enthusiastic.


What
?” Raven screeched, “but I’m older!”

“No arguments!” The front door banged shut behind him, cutting off whatever the oldest girl had been about to say.

He crossed through a small opening in the bushes the children frequently used instead of taking the longer, albeit more decorous, walk down his driveway and up Erik’s. It wasn’t until he’d reached the front door he even considered what he was doing. Asking
Erik Lehnsherr
over for Thanksgiving with his children. It seemed almost mad even to him, but before he could talk himself out of it, Charles found his fist rapping on the front door.

“What do y--oh. Good morning, Charles.” Erik looked surprised to see his neighbor, eyebrows flying up. “The kids aren’t here so...”

“I know.” Erik quirked a brow. “Raven told me.”

“So you’re here because...”

“I wanted to invite you over tonight. For Thanksgiving dinner. It’s a night for family and since you can’t be with yours I would--the kids would--love it if you shared it with ours.”

He considered for a moment, eyes narrowing and finally taking in Charles’ appearance, making the shorter man suddenly self-conscious and hyper-aware of himself. His hair was still somewhat sleep-tangled and a ruffled mess on his head, shirt wrinkled and pants a touch too low-slung for the task at hand. Not to mention the color-clashing cardigan. And the slippers, of course. Fuzzy and warm, the type one wore only when alone, certainly not for when inviting one’s snobbish neighbor to Thanksgiving dinner. But suddenly Erik was smiling, that unsettling curl of his lips, exposing far too many teeth for a human being and crinkling his face in a way that was half disturbing and half endearing.

“Will you be dressed like that the whole time?” He asked with a smirk, eyes lingering on the pale strip of skin that was exposed between the waistband of his pajama pants and the hem of his shirt. Charles flushed and ran a nervous hand through his hair.

“O-Of course not! These are my pajamas, completely informal, not at all appropriate for a
dinner
, what kind of example would I be showing the children? I simply rushed over before--”

“I was just teasing you, Charles.” Erik put a staying hand up and Charles felt himself blushing, partly at the ramble and partly at the way his name sounded on Erik’s lips.
Charles
, drawn out a beat longer than necessary, accompanied with a quick sweep of those intense eyes along the curve of his form. “I’ll be over in a bit.”

“Wonderful.” Charles made a vague motion with his hand and scuttled away from Erik’s front door, the blood rushing in his ears almost drowning out the sound of Erik calling “I can help you cook” from the porch. Once again, he made that waving gesture of ascent and tried to control his pace as he moved through the bushes and back to his own home, feeling Erik’s eyes lingering on him the whole way.

***

“Erik is coming over,” Charles announced once he gathered the children and got them as settled as they would be. “I’m going to take a shower and I want you to let me know when he arrives if I’m not already out by that point, okay? Also, everyone get dressed and try, please I’m begging you, not to get your clothes mussed once they’re on. Okay?”

A murmur of consent went around the room and Charles nodded once, turning and heading off to the bathroom.

The moment he stepped in the shower, he relaxed. Tension that always lurked in his shoulders seemed to dissipate beneath the steam’s loving fingers and the scalding water which turned his flesh an angry scarlet. He tried to push the way Erik looked at him out of his mind: appraising and oddly...hungry. No, that was a silly word to use for a facial expression used when looking at another person. It stumped him, but lest the healing powers of the shower go to waste, he tamped it down and focused on the sprinkling of the water, the way it sounded raining against the curtain or glancing off the porcelain tub to burble down the gleaming silver drain. Focused on the way it felt hitting his skin and slipping down in rivers to his toes and washing away the perpetual stress of raising orphans, each with their own specific set of needs, desires, likes, food allergies and everything that came with raising a child.

After the fact, Charles wasn’t sure how long he stayed there in the water, leaning against the wall, not even bathing yet. By the time he got out, however, there was an almost eerie quiet in the house. He attributed it to the children getting dressed and wrapped his robe a little looser than he normally would if they had been out and about playing. Smiling to himself, Charles made his way down the hall, figuring he would grab a cup of tea before he started getting ready in earnest, his damp feet leaving slight footprints in his wake.

Downstairs was almost completely silent, and Charles had to take a moment to bask in it, inhaling deeply as he stepped into the kitchen. Something between a gasp and strangled noise of embarrassment left Charles’ lips as he realized there was someone else there. And not just a regular “someone else,” no indeed. Erik Lehnsherr was standing calmly in his kitchen tossing an apple lazily between his obscenely long-fingered, large hands. Looking far too attractive, as well. His hair was combed back as usual, but instead of his usual turtleneck he wore a white button-up, though the term “button-up” was used loosely considering--at least in Charles’ eyes--more buttons were free than done up.

“E-Erik,” he managed to get out around his embarrassment, eyes taking in his fitted slacks and the not so subtle--no, Charles. He shook his head and forced out a smile one should only show to doctors they don’t trust. The other man smirked at his embarrassment and set the apple down, pushing off the counter he’d been leaning on and drawing himself up to his full height.

“Hello, Charles.”

“The children we supposed to, erm, tell me when--when you got here. I apologize for being, uh, rather, heh, indecent.”

“No apologies necessary.” His voice was low and thick, like molasses dripping down Charles’ body along the line Erik’s eyes drew. It made him squirm involuntarily, made him vulnerable and unaware, so when Erik began edging closer he didn’t register it until he was forced to look up to see the other man’s face.

“Erik you’re awfully, erm, close.” Charles’ voice was practically a squeak, and Erik grinned again, showing off his unnatural teeth and leaning closer.

“Then...” he let his fingers drift into the loops for the robe’s sash and his mouth was too close to Charles’ ear, his breath warm against it. “tell me to move.” When he spoke, those teeth brushed Charles’ earlobe, and he shuddered, swallowing audibly and trying in vain to calm his thumping heart.

“Erik...”

“Yes, Charles?” Erik’s nose skimmed Charles’ ear, then his jaw and cheek up into his hair where he felt the gentle press of lips, disturbingly light for everything he thought Erik to be. And those hands, gods those
hands
had spread themselves out on his narrow hips and his fingers tapped lightly against him, sending jolts of an emotion Charles couldn’t immediately place through his spine. The scene felt equally domestic and erotic, and he couldn’t tell which was the dominating force. Couldn’t tell his mind to drag itself away from the points where Erik was touching him, and gather itself within the safe folds of rationality it normally resided in. But his body was not rational. His reactions were not rational. He leaned into Erik and inhaled the heady scent of him, clean but masculine, slightly edged with coffee and something that could only be Erik, as Charles with his wide knowledge of scents could not place it.

“God, Charles,” Erik murmured, drawing him closer and burying his face in Charles’ hair. “You smell amazing.”

Under any other circumstances, Charles would have laughed, but he couldn’t, the sound died before his vocal chords could comprehend its formation. Tentatively, he rested his hands on Erik’s waist, slowly slipping them around as Erik drew him even closer, not trusting his voice to respond with something not completely lewd and
not
Charles Xavier-like. In fact, he didn’t trust himself at all in that moment, not with the pressure of Erik’s mouth on his head, trailing down to his face, crossing his forehead, down the bridge of his nose, along his cheekbones and--

“Moooooooooommyyyyyyyy!” Angel’s call was foretelling, and Erik and Charles jumped apart, each busying themselves with completely mundane tasks, Erik began peeling the apple he’d been holding and Charles snatched the kettle from the stove to fill it with water for the tea he’d put almost completely out of mind.

“In the kitchen!” Charles’ voice was much throatier than he expected, and he cleared his throat before trying again, though by that point she was already in the kitchen in her new dress, eyes gleaming with joy and the desire for praise.

“Mommy, Mommy look--Mommy...why are you all red? Did Mister Erik put a tomato on your face?” She cast Erik a dark, serious look, stern in a way only children can be. Charles laughed nervously and nodded.

“Yes, dear heart. That is exactly what happened.”  

Chapter Text

“Mom, Raven ate the last dinner roll!” Sean whined, interrupting another unsuccessful attempt to not stare at Erik.

“Raven, please, be polite! We have a guest,” Charles scolded, good naturedly taking the untouched roll off of his own plate and placing it on Sean’s, “There you go, Sean. You can have mine.”

“I want one too!” Angel pouted, watching Sean happily tucking into his food again.

“Angel, darling, you already have a roll right in front of you,” he sighed, biting back a smile when he saw the grin on Erik’s face out of the corner of his eye.

It was so strange. Ever since they had shared such a close moment in the kitchen earlier, Charles was acutely aware of every emotion that flitted across the other man’s face, aware of every minute movement the man made. Even now, when he glanced Erik over the rim of his cup, he could see the wistful look in the other’s eyes.
He must miss his kids, Charles realized belatedly. Being alone wasn’t an option for anyone on the holidays as far as Charles was concerned but he couldn’t imagine having to be without his charges either. He would ask Erik to stay for a bit after the children had gone to bed, he decided, for a night cap. And maybe if Erik wanted they could talk. Or continue whatever had started in the kitchen that morning.

“Are you okay, Charles?” Erik asked concerned, noticing the red flush that had begun to climb up his face.

“Yes, yes, I’m fine. Just put a little too much pepper on my mashed potatoes,” he quickly said, busying his mouth with another unneeded sip of his water.

“Mommy, you didn’t put any pepper on your mashed poatoes! Just gravy,” Angel protested, swirling her food around her plate with her fork.

“Angel, eat your food,” Charles reprimanded gently, hoping no one would notice that he hadn’t answered her accusation.

And then his attention was right back on his handsome neighbor.

Belatedly he noticed that Sean and Darwin were both scarfing down their food as quickly as possible, glaring at one another every once in a while.

“Darwin, Sean, what on earth are you two doing? Slow down,” he said a little too late, because Darwin had just inhaled a large chunk of stuffing and instantly began choking.

Charles was bounding around the table, frantic when Erik calmly said, “Darwin, drink some water and cough, you’ll be fine. Charles, please sit down, the boy is okay.”

Charles was about to glare at Erik, while still manhandling Darwin, when the boy coughed as commanded and was immediately fine.

“What was that all about?” he frowned, crossing his arms, and tapping his foot, hoepfully conveying that he was not amused.

“We were racing,” Darwin explained slowly, eyes glued to the table.

“Yeah, Darwin told me he could eat faster than me, and get pie first,” Sean bit out, sticking his tongue out at Darwin when he thought Charles wasn’t looking.

“All right. Bed. Bed for the both of you, go and don’t play like that anymore it isn’t safe,” Charles ordered, watching them slouch out of the dining room and up the stairs before he resumed his seat.

“Can I be excused?” Raven asked, trying to make her face perfectly innocent.

“Why?” Charles asked, quirking an eyebrow.

“I have to talk to Emma. I have to tell her how weird it was that here dad was here all day talking with my dad, and cooking with him,” she dramatically moaned, practically skipping out of the room when Charles gave her an exasperated nod. He didn’t even blink an eyelash when Angel followed stealthily after her, probably planning to eavesdrop on the other line.

“Well, Erik, I guess it’s just you and me left. Care for some desert? Or maybe a drink?” Charles smiled winningly, trying not to let his mind wander when he said the word dessert.

“Dessert, perhaps,” Erik consented, clearly not having the same qualms about wandering minds as Charles. He fixed the shorter man with his increasingly familiar, rakish, shark-like smile and made his way into the kitchen, Charles trailing as if the German were some hyper-sexualized take on the pied piper. “You’re in a house full of children, what did you prepare for tonight?”

“There were a few pies and some ice-cream,” Charles attempted to keep his voice level, therefore speaking in a voice far quieter than he normally would have.

“Mm, what kind?”

“Pumpkin, apple, cherry and pecan pie and...vanilla and chocolate ice-cream. Does anything strike your fancy?” He tried--and yet again failed--to ignore the slow-burning gaze raking up and down his body.

“Pie. Pumpkin, preferably.”

“Ice cream?”

“No, thank you.”

“Whipped cream? The children decided to be, what was the word, ‘creative’ and make their own.”

“Alright.” Though Erik didn’t doubt the possibility it could make him a very sick man, he didn’t want to insult Charles or the children he cared for so deeply. Smiling, the Englishman turned to cut off a slice of pie and added a generous helping of the fluffy white cream, setting it on the island alongside a fork and a glass of milk.

“Enjoy,” he said brightly, pulling out one of the stools and settling in it comfortably, trying not to stare too intently at Erik as he ate. Midway through the slice, he paused, his gaze locking immediately with Charles’ a flicker of amusement flashing through his pale eyes.

“W--” before Charles could fully register what was happening, Erik had smashed a good few fingers of pie into the corner of his mouth. He flushed and blustered a moment, attempting to get out a mixture of indignation, confusion and something he couldn’t quite place. But all that came out was a pitiful, “Why?”

“Icing on the cake, so to speak,” Erik responded almost too quickly, as if he’d been considering the proper response for awhile.

“Wouldn’t it be the cream on the pie?” Charles asked, furrowing his brows, and Erik rolled his eyes.

“It’s a figure of speech, Charles. It doesn’t really matter the kind of food or topping, either way I’d want to eat you with no utensils.”

Charles’ cheeks turned an unflattering beet red and he spluttered a few moments before falling into silence, the mush of pie still lingering on his face like a testament to Erik’s lusty come-ons. Once more, before he could say anything, Erik managed to hush him, this time with a finger pressed against his lips.

“Shush, your logic doesn’t suit the situation.” With that, he tugged Charles around the island and almost into his lap, grinning and combing his fingers through the somewhat mussed waves of hair. Slowly, as if coaxing a frightened animal, he hopped down from the stool and pushed Charles onto the island, almost evening their eye-levels. The stuttering of his heart was audible in the otherwise silent kitchen, and Erik smiled, a shark scenting blood.

In the same casually erotic manner as that morning, Erik skimmed his nose up the front of Charles’ shirt, up to the lilywhite expanse of his throat, lips just barely ghosting over the hollow, enough that his warm breath sent chills scampeirng up and down Charles’ spine. By the time he finally reached the pie, Charles could feel his carefully manicured pretenses trembling like his idle hands, like the few breaths he managed between high-pitched, improper whimpers.

“Erik,” he breathed, just as those sinfully teasing lips parted and his tongue breached the pie’s edges, just barely slipping beneath the corner before retracting.

“Tastes better on you,” he rumbled appreciatively before diving in for another taste, taking more with him but still pulling back to whisper in Charles’ ear just how delectable he found the mix of flavors. Charles’ breaths shortened, it felt as if the closer to his mouth Erik got, the more likely it was he might go into cardiac arrest.

But his caged bird of a heart survived until that tongue was mapping out the hills and valleys of his lower lip, just barely dipping past with the teasing skill of an old pro.

The ball was finally in Charles’ court, and he knew he had to move just right lest he lose that moment suspended in time like a pendulum finally stilled. His inhalation was sharp and short, and then they were kissing. There was an edge of clumsiness, the familiar unfamiliarity of forging territories that held the feeling of deja vu at every turn. They melted into a conglomeration of teeth and tongue, of hands and too much fabric and unspoken promises of things neither had the right to.

Erik’s fingers skated up Charles’ thighs and made themselves explicitly familiar with his torso, the unseen smattering of freckles that kissed the curves of his shoulders and pert, achingly pink protrusions of his nipples, straining outward, begging wordlessly. And Charles...Charles melted beneath the turtleneck-loving man’s touch and the pressure of his questing, greedy mouth. He bloomed like morning glory in the dawn light, a creature responding to the lightest nudges, a lusty marionette who knew only the direction Erik pointed him.

But who was he to complain?

“E-Erik,” he gasped, legs wrapping around the tree of a man’s waist of their own volition, eyes finally fluttering open, pupils devouring the soft blue of his irises, lust dancing in their dark depths.

“Yes?” Erik’s voice was low and hoarse, his own eyes entranced by Charles’ every action.

“My room. Second floor. First on the right. Now.” There was no argument from either of them as Erik lifted Charles from the island and more or less dashed, as quietly as possible, through the rooms and up the stairs, their positions making it impossible for their erections to go unnoticed.

The bedroom door swung shut behind them and Charles was more or less tossed on the bed without a thought for his back. Erik got busy tugging off his button-up, likely losing a few of the little buttons in the process, while Charles got rid of his own shirt and cardigan, scrambling up to the headboard and leaving space between his legs for Erik to crawl between.

“Look at you,” he murmured, previously slicked-back hair a ruffled mess, strands brushing across his forehead. The predatorial smile was back with a vengeance, widening when his teeth met Charles’ waistline, when the smaller man shuddered like a leaf in a hurricane. And there was that tongue again, drawing whorls and zig-zags and double-lines up Charles’ torso, occasionally pausing to abuse the flesh and chuckle when he got his desired reaction.

“Erik, please.” Charles gasped out as Erik’s wandering mouth finally reached his. His beautiful predator smirked and nipped his lip before responding with a tender,

“Perfection.”

“If you don’t fuck--”

“Mommy?” A crack of light filtered in through the slight opening and Charles shoved Erik away so violently the taller of the two nearly fell off the bed before righting himself, diving under the blankets and attempting to look innocuous.

“Yes, Sean?” Charles attempted not to groan or sound bitter as the little boy pushed the door open in earnest, standing there in his feetie-pajamas and rubbing at his teary eyes. “Sweetling, what is it?”

“I h-had a n-nightmare,” he whimpered, running to the bed and flinging himself on it, scrambling into Charles’ lap and clinging to him tightly. Charles, of course, attempted to arrange the little boy so that his still semi-there erection didn’t make the situation any worse than it already was.

“What about, love?”

“A g-giant shark was e-eating you Mama!” He wailed, hugging Charles tight enough to bruise.

“Do you want to sleep with me?” Was the only solution he could come up with, then, glancing at Erik, quickly tacked on: “and Mister Lehnsherr?” Sean looked at him suspiciously, but assented, wiggling out of Charles’ grasp muttering about grabbing his blankie and running out of the room.

Charles was opening his mouth to apologize when an argument conducted entirely in whispers began in the hallway.

“No, you ask,” Angel whispered furiously.

“But guys, it’s a slumber party! Mr. Lehnsherr’s staying the night too, and they were fighting over the pillow, so I think we should all bring our own,” Sean whispered back.

“There’s enough room for all of us, right?” Darwin’s voice joined in.

“ Yeah, we all slept in there before, ‘member? That time when Raven made us watch that movie about the clown?” Angel prompted sleepily.

Charles had tossed Erik a t-shirt, donning one himself, before sneaking closer to the door to listen. He was confused for a moment when he heard another door opening down the hall.

“What are you all doing out here in the hallway? I’m trying to talk to Emma, and I can’t concentrate with you chipmunks out here chattering away!” Raven growled, ever the teenage queen.

“We were just going to join Mommy and Mr. Lehnsherr’s sleep over,” Sean sniffed.

“What?!” Raven half yelped, half whispered, “Charles and Mr. Lehnsherr are in the bed together?”

“Where else are they going to have a sleepover? Duh,” Angel giggled, but Raven had already withdrawn back into her room, agonizing quite vocally to Emma.

“All right guys, ready?” Darwin asked, sounding like he was ordering troops into battle.

There was a mumble of yeses, and Charles had point five seconds to bound back to the bed before three children came rushing into the room with their assorted pillows, blankets and stuffed animals.

And that is how a Thanksgiving that was looking way, way up ended in small hands, feet and body parts tangled into chaos between a stewing Charles and Erik.

Chapter Text

Charles opened his eyes slowly. One at a time.

The little hands on his bedside clock revealed the time to be ten ‘til eleven, and he jerked up with a start. Most days, Charles slept until six, rising before his six-oh-one alarm to begin preparations for the day. If not, Raven’s seven am alarm clock would get him rolling out of bed and into overdrive. Even on the weekends, he was a notoriously early riser, and if not he woke with the children.

However, this day, the house was silent as a tomb. He slid out of bed and all but ran through the halls, calling the children’s names. Given the date, December 7th, he’d expected to awaken to the clamoring of little hands and feet as the children climbed into bed with him to present him with burnt breakfast drowned in whipped cream and syrup and arts and crafts presents made in their classes. He still had Sean’s macaroni portrait of their little family from last year framed in his office alongside several other colorful family portraits crafted by his children.

But this year their rooms were empty. The same going for the living room, kitchen, bathroom and all other plausible haunts the younglings frequented. It wasn’t until he skirted to a stop in the dining room that he noticed a note in Raven’s looping hand.

“Went over to Mr. Lensurr’s 2 hang out w/ Alex & Emma

Love, Raven”

Charles heaved a sigh of relief before chuckling at the girl’s atrocious spelling and unnecessary shorthand. He couldn’t be sure if this was a sign the children had forgotten his birthday or if their absence was a gift.

Either way, Charles decided not to question it and walked about the surprisingly clean house at a leisurely pace, stripping off his pajamas as he went and hanging them over his arm. It would be a perfect day to finally use those bath candles Hank bought him as an early gift, figuring he could “use them” given his high stress levels.

Not ten minutes later, he was slipping into lavender-scented, tea-infused bathwater, sliding down until he was completely submerged in the warmth. Charles stifled a moan as he felt the knots from the past week or so beginning to come undone. After Thanksgiving, Raven had made a point not to allow him and Erik to be alone together, and when he asked her about it she’d muttered something about “shameless playboy, poor Emma” as she retreated. Which meant they’d never been able to talk about what happened between them that night or where that left them.

It wasn’t accurate to say it had made their relationship awkward, but there was a definite amount of unresolved sexual tension that floated between them, and Erik had been the subject of more than one of his depraved fantasies. Having four children, most under the age of ten, in one’s care didn’t lend to a particularly active or adventurous sex life like the one he’d enjoyed in his “tender” youth before deciding to put his otherwise wasted wealth into a useful cause and opened his little orphanage.

Erik was his first potential lover in years, and it was nice, if nothing else, to feel as if the layers of tweed and argyle patterns hadn’t made him completely undesirable.

He stayed in the tub, mulling over whatever came to mind at the moment until his fingers and toes had shrivelled impressively and the bathwater could barely be called lukewarm. His skin smelled of lavender tea and, at least in his mind, felt as smooth as newly spun silk. In a warm, fuzzy haze, he traipsed back into his room, pulling on his ever-sensible white button up and cardigan with a freshly ironed pair of slacks and his most comfortable pair of loafers.

If any, this would be the time to fetch the children.

Charles brushed his damp hair back and strolled out of the house with a smile curving his lips, whistling cheerfully to himself, tuneless, simply whistling for the sake of whistling. He crossed through the hedges, twirling onto Erik’s driveway and all but skipping toward the door.

Which was when he saw the woman.

She was of a medium build, mousy-haired and entirely forgettable save for her facial expression. The woman had somehow blended the expression of having just sucked a particularly tart lemon with grudging affection. The outcome was neither attractive nor desirable, and were Charles not one for not saying anything unless the words were nice, he would have pointed this fact out to her. As it was, he simply smiled pleasantly and chirped out a bright “good morning.”

“Hello.” She nodded curtly then raised a brow. “And who are you?”

“Charles Xavier, I live next door. And...you?”

“Moira Le--Shaw. Moira Shaw, soon-to-be Shaw that is, currently MacTaggert. I’m--”

“Erik’s ex-wife, yes, I know of you.” He forced his smile to remain amiable and Moira’s lips pursed into a thin, white line.

“Emma’s spoken of you. You run that orphanage for unwanted children.”

“Yes, I run an orphanage.”

“How...nice.” She crinkled her nose as if scenting something rotten and smiled rather unpleasantly.

“Yes, they’re all lovely children.”

“That’s nice. So you and Erik, I see.” She raked her eyes up and down him as if sizing up competition.

“Yes, thanks to the children we’ve grown friendly.”

“‘Friendly’.” Moira’s repetition was flat and she looked skeptical.

“Indeed. Erik is rather charming.”

“Yes of course, he always has been. A player if you ask me, his strings of lovers in tow.”

“I see.” Charles nodded slowly, hardly able to envision Erik as such.

“And it seems you’ve fallen into his...trap.”

“If you want to see it as such.”

Moira’s expression twisted into one of disgust. “Watch out for my ex-husband, he’s a love ‘em and leave ‘em type.”

“I can formulate my own opinions, thank you.” They exchanged parting nods of acknowledgment and went their separate ways, Charles up the walk to the front door, Moira to her expensive car. He heard the sound of tires squealing as the front door opened just enough for Erik to slide out and close it behind him.

“Happy birthday, Charles,” the taller man breathed, crowding Charles against the door and easily stealing his breath with several well-placed kisses. When he finally pulled back, Charles was flushed and gasping, his knees weak and seeming to have all the substance of marmalade.

“Th-Thank you, Erik.”

“Your children have been at my house since five o’clock this morning,” he announced conversationally, brushing Charles’ hair back behind his ear and kissing the lobe gently.

“So sorry, Erik. They really don’t understand the concept of ‘decent hours’ yet.”

“You owe me.”

“Naturally.” Charles huffed and managed to slip out of Erik’s grasp. “But later.”

“Tease.”

“Unless you want to--”

“Charles!” The door flew open to reveal a toothily grinning Raven. “Happy Birthday, come on in!”

She paused a moment, eyeing their proximity suspiciously, but was distracted as the rest of the kids came filing out onto the porch crowding around the two men.

“Mommy, we made you a cake!” Angel cooed, wrapping herself around Charles’ leg and patting him affectionately.

“Angel, it was supposed to be a surprise,” Sean pouted and then wrapped himself around Charles’ other leg.

“Well, he was going to find out anyway, jeez, Sean,” Darwin mutters, eyeing Angel’s quivering bottom lip. Everyone knew that once she got started there was no stopping, and for the first time in a long while Charles was glad it was his birthday because it meant they would try not to argue for once.

“All right, let’s see this cake, everyone inside. Come on, off of my body parts,” he ordered gently, pulling Angel up and away, settling her on his hip.

Charles was really, very proud of his ability to mask his emotions as they entered the kitchen and he saw what appeared to be a misshapen, discolored brick sitting on the stove.

“See?” Sean grinned, pointing to said brick, “I wanted to make you a carrot cake, but Alex wanted to make a chocolate cake, so Mr. Erik said we should just mix them together.”

“Did he now?” Charles tittered, shooting Erik a look and thinking of rescinding his earlier offer.

“Yep, and me and Emma are going to frost it as soon as it’s cooled off. We got the good frosting, Charles. You know, the kind with the sprinkles?” Raven assured him.

Charles decided that just this once, he would ignore the use of his first name, amused to see Raven look slightly shocked that he hadn’t said anything before turning back around and resuming her preening for Emma.

“But it’s taking foooooorever,” Angel moaned, tugging on Erik’s sleeve, “Do you have a game we can play?”

“I just might,” Erik said crouching down to her height, and heaven help him but there was affection in his voice, and Charles just wanted to march across the room and be taken right then and there. But he hadn’t given any of the kids the birds and the bees talk yet so it probably wasn’t one of his better ideas.

“Mommy likes to play that old people game,” Angel whispered loudly in his ear, “The one where you have to make big words with those wooden pieces?”

“Scrabble,” Charles supplied helpfully. He was trying to practice that thing called self control he was always lecturing Raven about by not giving Erik bedroom eyes in front of the children. Thinking about the fact that Angel had basically just called him an old man helped to rewrite his mood rather quickly.

Upon hearing the name, Erik brightened suspiciously. Charles might have even said he had a twinkle in his eye, if he were to put it in lovey dovey terms. Which he wasn’t.

“I’ve got that game. Everyone meet me in the den in five,” Erik chuckled and practically dashed out of the room, leaving Charles to narrow his eyes after him.

In retrospect, Charles should have known to be suspicious of whatever it was that Erik was up to, because obviously the man had no shame. Considering the way he never appeared to be flushed or anything of the sort, or the way he unabashedly tried, and succeeded, to seduce Charles should have tipped him off.

As it was they all ended up on their knees around the small living room coffee table, crowded over the ancient Scrabble board.

“I’m going to play on Emma’s team,” Raven announced smugly, looking to the other girl for her approval. When Emma nodded primly, Raven’s face broke out into a grin before she quickly schooled it back into what Charles thought of as her haughty teenage face.

“Can I be on your team too?” Angel asked excitedly, trying to dash past Erik to sit beside the two girls.

He smiled, sticking out an arm and catching her easily, “I wanted you to be on my team!”

Angel sighed dramatically and nodded, curling into his lap while Charles shot a look at Raven that clearly spoke of later discussion for the face she’d made at Angel’s request. Charles was doubly surprised to see Emma receive the same look from her father.

“So Alex and Sean on a team, then Darwin with me. Shall we begin?” he proposed and the game was underway.

About half an hour later, Charles made the mistake of using the word fell. Erik’s turn was next and that was when the reason for Erik’s deviously seductive smiles and come-hither winks was revealed.

“Fell- asheeo, fellatio. Erik, you silly daddy, that is not a word,” Angel protested, smacking at his arm.

Charles couldn’t even process that she had just called Erik daddy, because he was still stuck on the fact that they were surrounded by children and Erik had used the word fellatio in scrabble. Fellatio.

“Mommy, what does fellatio mean?” Sean inquired, resting his chin in his hand in thought, “Is it a type of falling? Like, ‘Oh, I fellatioed down the stairs last night’?”

“No, Sean dear, not like that all. Please don’t use that word anymore, okay?” Charles pleaded, fighting the urge to laugh at the boy’s simple logic and sending Erik a nasty glare, “It’s a grown-up word and Erik promises not to use grown up words anymore, right Erik?”

“Of course,” Erik agreed amiably, and Charles missed the conspiratorial wink he shared with Angel when she giggled about the crossed fingers he was hiding behind her back, because he heard Sean singing something nonsensical and extremely alarming under his breath to the tune of Brother John.

“Fellatio, fellatio, la la la, la la la, fellatio down, fellatio down, dum dum dum, dum dum-,” and on he went, smiling all the while unaware that next to him Charles was turning a very alarming shade of red.

“Sean. Stop. Please,” he almost begged, because he could see Alex beginning to look interested enough to join in and then it was only a matter of time before they had a whole room full of children singing about the kinds of things he wanted to do to the man responsible for all of this.

“Sorry mommy,” Sean frowned, patting his arm apologetically. Moments later he was humming the tune to himself and Charles could only hope he was using the original words in his little head.

Charles sighed, shaking his head and consulting with Darwin on what their next word should be, ignoring Erik’s toothy, self-satisfied grin.

“We don’t have many tiles, so ‘an’ is our best bet.” The boy frowned but Charles squeezed his shoulder gently.

“Slow and steady, my boy. Calculating. That’s how one wins Scrabble.” Charles strategically placed the ‘n’ on a double-points space, using the ‘a’ in Erik’s ‘fellatio’. “Raven and Emma, you’re up.”

The girls put down ‘roof’, high-fiving each other, followed by Alex and Sean’s less inspired ‘or’. Erik and Angel’s turn came up and Charles stiffened, watching Erik contemplate his tiles before murmuring something conspiratorially to Angel, casting knowing glances at Charles every couple seconds that he didn’t trust.

“We’re going to forfeit this turn and draw out four new tiles.” Erik announced, shaking the bag showily before holding it open to Angel. The girl shoved her little hand in and dug around determinedly, clearly looking for certain letters, and Charles almost said something, but knew Angel would only feel bad. Stopping whatever Erik was planning couldn’t be worth a blow to Angel’s self-esteem...could it?

She drew out the tiles with a pleased smile, organizing them and giving Erik a bright grin.

For the next few turns, strategizing his and Darwin’s words, Charles forgot about the sly glances Erik kept shooting him.

That was, until, it got to him and Angel. Charles was busy tallying the mid-game scores when Raven made a noise of protest. “Is that even a word?” she demanded, pointing a shaking finger at the word ‘RIMMING’ screaming from the board.

“Erik Lehnsherr!” Charles’ voice came out several octaves higher than usual, heat flooding his cheeks and neck in a rush of blood, want and shame.

“Why does Daddy Erik keep using weird words?” Sean demanded. “If he used that and fellatio--” he pronounced it ‘fell-ah-tee-oh’--“why can’t I use ‘spork’?”

Charles sighed, massaging the bridge of his nose.

“While Erik’s words are...strange, they are words. Spork, however, is a nonsense combination word.”

“But Mommy.”

“No ‘but’s, we are using the king’s English and though I may not agree with Erik’s...choices, they are valid. Spork is not in the dictionary and therefore not valid.”

“But Mommy, that’s not fair.”

Charles arched a brow and regarded Sean down the bridge of his nose before calmly shuffling the titles. “I never claimed to practice ‘fairness’ by your standards. However, I am your mother and you will respect my decisions. End of discussion, I do believe it’s Raven and Emma’s turn.”

Sean pouted spectacularly but accepted that when Charles donned his ‘Mommy look’ there was no winning or arguing that would do anything aside from earn one The Stare which only mothers knew the secret to achieving. Somehow the combination of raised eyebrows with disbelief and really are you going there? topped off by slightly downturned lips with a tiny purse when on a mother was infinitely more potent than when attempted by anyone else. Even a father.

After what Charles mentally filed under the “Depravity Spat,” the game flowed easily, with only two quickly resolved arguments over the spelling of ‘recognize’ and whether or not ‘bollucks’ was an acceptable word. The board became near over-crowded and they were on their last turn when Erik showed off his flair for sullying the good name of Scrabble.

With a winning smile, he slapped down ‘NAL’ after an ‘a’ in ‘jazz’ effectively spelling out ‘ANAL’ across the top of the board.

“That is enough,” Charles snapped, flying from his seat. “Erik. Kitchen. Now.”

And once in the kitchen, there was a hushed rant about what was and wasn’t appropriate in front of the children that may or may not have been followed by a short but intense make out session, that of course was interrupted by six hungry children clambering nosily down the hallway towards them in search of cake.

Chapter Text

Christmas Eve had been exhausting, and coaxing all of the children to go to sleep had sapped all of Charles and Erik’s energy. Or so Charles had thought, but when he rolled over in the middle of the night searching for Erik’s warm body, he almost rolled completely off the bed.

“Erik?” he questioned the air quietly. When his only response was light breathing scattered throughout the room, he sat up and peered around the room, counting the four little bodies spread around the floor.

Another sleepover, but this time Charles had tactfully suggested they build a fort on the floor, lest Erik crawl down to the foot of the bed again while they were all asleep and then force his way back up between Charles and the edge.
“Mommy, is it Christmas time yet?” Darwin asked sleepily from the floor, stirring and Charles chuckled quietly, patting his head soothingly as he snuck past, “No dearest, go back to sleep.”

He padded down the hall to Raven’s room where the two girls were sleeping, too cool to join the rest of the family, wondering if Erik had maybe gone to check on them. But there was no Erik in there either, just Raven and Emma sprawled out on the floor in front of the television, some annoying teen pop singer flashing across the screen.

Charles promptly turned it off, certain that no boy’s voice should be that high even before puberty, then one at a time carried the girls over to Raven’s bed. While he was carrying Raven, she even snuggled a bit closer, and he almost teared up at the way she looked so peaceful when sleeping. This little girl who had been with him since she was seven, who had changed his life in a million little ways, and now wasn’t cool enough to call him mommy like she’d used to.

“Night girls,” he whispered in case they were half awake, kissing each on the forehead, before backing out of the room, pulling the door shut behind him.

“Erik?” he called a bit louder once he’d reached the bottom of the stairs. There was a flickering light coming from under the door to the living room, which Charles assumed was the fireplace because the lights on the tree didn’t flicker quite that rapidly.

However, only silence greeted his slightly raised voice, and Charles sighed, pushing the door open and letting it swing shut behind him. At first, he didn’t notice anything out of the ordinary, the fireplace crackling merrily, tree twinkling pleasantly, the bulbs reflecting the room in different holiday hues.

It was only due to one of said bulbs that he noticed the form beneath the tree, all neatly wrapped around the perimeter like one of the presents. Erik’s bare chest was sparsely haired and gleamed with a light sheen of sweat in the firelight. His long legs were casually crossed beside him and his head was supported by one impossibly well-toned-but-not-overly-beefy arm. And that smile, all of those teeth sparkling like an animated character as he grinned at Charles, his hair slightly rumpled as if he’d just worked out beneath the one thing Charles never expected to see on Erik Lehnsherr: an ostentatious, shimmery gold bow. He wasn’t sure if this stemmed from the man’s personality or his stout refusal to participate in any Christmastide activity on the grounds of his own religion. He wasn’t sure he could keep track of the times he’d heard “Charles, I’m Jewish” in the past two days alone.

E-Erik, what are you--Erik, what if one of the children had seen?” He noticed that the man was holding a present box conveniently over his genitals, but that didn’t change the mental scarring he would have to try and soothe if one of them had come downstairs for some water and mistaken the lit fireplace for Santa or something in that realm.

“Well one of the children didn’t see, so we’re good.”

“Erik Lehnsherr--”

“C’mere.” Charles stared at him, finally making a slow exodus from the doorway to where Erik was laid out like a Christmas turkey ready to be--no, Charles thought firmly, tamping the thoughts down and sitting in front of him.

“What exactly are you doing in front of the Christmas tree, naked, with a present?”

“I wanted to give you your present early.”

“What happened to Mr. ‘I don’t celebrate Christmas, bah humbug I’m a Jew’?”

“Late Hanukkah gift. Though I suppose since you’re Christian...” he shrugged.

“I’m not Christian, really, more agnostic but I feel Christmas is an important facet of the childhood experience, a time of warmth and forgiveness and--”

“Shush, you’re ruining the mood.” Never breaking eye contact, Erik sat up, pulling a concealed bottle of scotch from behind a rather large box he knew for a fact was a new teddy bear for Angel, along with a single glass.

“Just one?”

“We’ll share. You’ve never seemed to mind placing your lips near mine before.” By the pinking of Charles’ cheeks, Erik knew his words had their proper affect.

“I suppose we could share,” he consented finally, watching Erik break into the bottle and pour a healthy amount into the delicate glass. The tall man swirled it thoughtfully, still staring intently at Charles, before taking a long sip and passing it to his enraptured companion.

“So what did you get me?” Charles asked conversationally, enjoying the pleasant burn as the scotch spilled down his throat.

“Well you’ll have to open the box and see now won’t you?”

“Mm or you could tell me.”

“That ruins the point of a present. I have it here, you open it, then you, you know, say thank you and whatnot.”

“Shall I give you yours too?”

Something in Erik’s smile made Charles slightly uneasy, but he didn’t have the courage to question it. “I rather think that can wait.”

“Oh...okay. Hand it here, then.” He held out his hands expectantly, raising a brow when Erik shook his head and crooked a finger.

“No, you come to me.” His voice was positively dripping with sensuality that sent a stream of blood rushing south. Charles swallowed thickly and scooted forward, staring at the package in Erik’s lap.

“May I--?”

“No, open it where it is.” The smile had grown impossibly wider and Charles contemplated turning tail and running in the other direction. But his fingers were already fumbling with the ribbon. It was one of those where the parts of the box were wrapped separately, and he could simply take off the colorfully wrapped lid to see what was inside.

Cautiously, as though he expected a snake to leap out and bite him, Charles peered into the box, almost breathing a sigh of relief when he realized it was full of balled up, green tissue paper. With the eager joy of a child, he began pulling out the little paper balls and tossing them over his shoulder. Given the width and depth of the box he figured the present should be somewhere around four inches from the bottom, almost directly in the middle. Instead of dealing with the paper, he thrust his hand in, rifling around until he found...something.

Whatever the “something” was, was strangely fleshy but also hard, slightly slick to the touch, cylindrical. When realization of what it could be dawned on him, Charles’ face quickly shifted from surprise to disgust to mortification, where it remained.

Erik you did not,” he pulled out the rest of the paper to reveal, as he thought, Erik’s cock nestled among holiday tissue paper. And what a cock it was. Charles wasn’t sure whether he should faint, run, or fall prostrate before this shameless man.

“Merry Christmas, Charles,” Erik grinned and winked, carefully guiding the box off and into the fireplace while Charles stared on, frozen in shock. And then Erik Lehnsherr was sitting very much naked in front of him, eyes smoldering with thinly veiled lust.

“S-So um...what’s the present?” Charles smiled awkwardly and Erik groaned, grasping a handful of Charles’ sleep-rumpled hair and dragging him forward into his lap, demanding use of Charles’ lips. Erik tasted of scotch and the gingerbread cookies he’d refused to help make earlier but eaten at least half of. He resisted all of three seconds before kissing back with all of the pent up ferocity from each encounter curtailed by the arrival of one of their needy children.

Charles’ legs parted to straddle Erik, knotting his fingers in the other man’s short hair and holding their faces together, kissing him until neither could breathe. Even when he pulled away to gasp air into his burning lungs, Erik gulped in a large breath before assaulting Charles’ neck, just above where he would be able to cover with anything but a scarf. Those long fingers made short work of the buttons on his pajama shirt and drifted lazily across the newly exposed skin before tugging at the drawstring of his sensible flannel bottoms. Charles moaned as Erik’s teeth latched onto one pert nipple, abusing the hardened nub with the viciousness of the shark Charles often suspected he was.

“Oh god, Erik,” he trembled but otherwise allowed himself to simply feel instead of participating as actively, just enjoying the gentle roughness of Erik’s touch, his bruising grip when he lifted Charles by his hips and deposited him on his back beside the fire. “The children--”

“No. Charles, I am not stopping. If the children come in, I am not stopping. I will fuck you in front of them if they come in, I. Will. Not. Stop. I’ve been blue-balled one too many times, and if I don’t have you now I may go on a rampage.” This little speech was punctuated by the unceremonious ripping off of Charles’ pants and boxers in one go, leaving him exposed to Erik’s hungry eyes.

“Charles...” he ground out, hands slipping up his quivering legs, past where he was now silently begging to be touched, along the slight definition of his abdomen to lace together behind his neck. Erik was comfortably between Charles’ legs, smiling and kissing a wet trail up and down his abdomen. “Remember Scrabble?” He asked politely, chin resting just below Charles’ collarbone, staring up at him earnestly.

“How could I forget?”

“Remember the words?”

“Good god, of course I do.”

“Recite them to me, in order.” He sat back, head cocking to the side.

“Um...it was...‘fellatio’...” the moment he said the word, Erik licked a thick stripe along his erect cock, and Charles whined.

“And after that?”

“Erik, please--”

“And after that?”

“‘R-Rimming’,” a flick of that lewd tongue against his obscenely pink entrance that made him bite his tongue to keep from shouting. “Erik.”

“And the final...?”

“‘A-Anal.’ Oh god, Erik, it was anal.” A finger brushed against the tight hole.

“Mm...a good order, I think.” And then he was taking Charles into his mouth, and the Englishman forgot whatever retort he’d been concocting and he was digging his heels into the rug, biting into his hand to keep from screaming. Erik somehow managed to look horribly cocky even holding Charles’ cock in his mouth, letting the head hit the back of his throat, pushing forward until his nose became intimately acquainted with the chestnut curls of hair, and Charles fought the moan threatening to rip out of his throat.

Erik’s head bobbed, making sure Charles hit the back of his throat with every intake and Charles couldn’t remember ever feeling so horribly turned on and so very close to coming in such a short amount of time. In fact, when Erik hollowed his cheeks, he lost it, the noises muffled by his hand as he came down Erik’s throat.

“O-Oh god, Erik, you should have w-warned--”

“I like the way you taste.” Erik shrugged and placed a light kiss on Charles’ bruised lips, just enough to get the slightest taste. “On to part two, then.”

Before Charles could argue, he was being flipped onto his stomach, legs spread wide. Erik’s thumbs pushed and held his ass cheeks apart and suddenly Erik’s warm breath was blowing against his entrance and Charles shivered. This was a new experience, so he wasn’t sure what to expect, and certainly wasn’t prepared for the way Erik’s pointed tongue invaded him. It was warm and wet, circling the puckered spot and pressing past the trembling muscles.

It was with the type of surety only a man like Erik could possess while doing something so nearly taboo that his hole was more or less fucked by the man’s tongue. Plunging and sliding in and out, widening and sharpening, questing and seemingly longer than he’d initially thought. Charles’ breaths came in small pants and he could feel himself hardening again, loving the way that curious muscle felt inside of him. It’s a muscle, you can control it, echoed in a dim part of his mind, but was quickly drowned out by the tides of lust and need that threatened to consume him.

“E-Erik, please. Erik, god,” he hissed as something that made his vision fuzz was brushed. “Erik, I need you, please.” The response was whispered so quietly Charles only recognized it by the hiss of air against him.

“W-What?”

Beg for it.”

“Erik, I--hnn!

Beg.”

“Erik, please, Erik I need you to fuck me, please. Be rough, I don’t care, I need you.” This seemed to satisfy Erik, who flicked his tongue once again before pulling away and rolling Charles back onto his stomach, surveying what his actions had done to a very flushed, breathless Charles.

“Perfection.”

Without another word, he turned and reached back behind Angel’s teddy bear box, coming back with a bottle of bright green lube. He popped the cap open and the unmistakable scent of kiwi floated out as he squirted a generous amount into his hand.

He paused.

“What’s wrong?”

“I could have sworn I put condoms back there...” Erik’s brows furrowed and Charles nearly kicked him.

“Erik, I do not, excuse my language, give a fuck right about now. If you don’t...I...fuck.” Then, softer, he added: “I trust you.”

That was all the reassurance Erik needed before slicking his painfully erect cock and slipping two fingers into Charles’ slightly-prepped hole. Charles’ quiet urging made him go a little faster, a little rougher than intended, but soon enough he was ready enough for Erik to slip in with only slight exhalations of pain coming from Charles.

He paused, waiting for the slender creature to adjust to his size, waiting for that quick nod. And when it came...

Erik pulled back slowly, almost pulling out completely before snapping his hips forward. Charles let out a whimper and something like a groan he quickly hid behind his hand, along with most of his face. Erik pressed Charles’ knees back further, spread his legs wider, hovering over him, pulling his hands away and trapping them above his head.

“I want to see you,” he grunted, “I want to hear you.”

All Charles got out in reply was, “harder” and who was he to argue? Erik pulled back and thrust in almost violently. His pace hinged on Charles’ expression, the cadence of his moans, faster, always faster, until he was moving almost animalistically, still pinning Charles’ arms down. Moans spilled from his lips like water from a spring and had the children not been completely tuckered out from the day’s activities, Erik would have worried about them waking up and worrying their beloved mommy was in pain.

But, as it was, the only one who enjoyed the needy, breathy sounds of Charles’ pleasure was him, hitting that sweet spot that made Charles let out a near-scream, made his vision wash out almost completely. For all Charles’ extensive vocabulary, Erik managed to reduce him to only knowing his name and a few swears. That curling of burning had started up in Charles’ stomach when they heard the shuffling.

Erik froze mid-push, eyes narrowing as Charles’ widened. There was a steady clomping of sleepy feet on the stairs and Charles let out a murmured “no,” looking around the room wildly as small feet shadowed the bottom of the door. They paused there for a moment, and Erik sank down until he was nearly flush with Charles’ body, before reaching out his disgustingly long arm and snatching a throw blanket from off the couch and tossing it over them.

The door opened slowly and Sean shuffled in with Angel in tow, both rubbing their sleepy eyes and stumbling past the men as if they weren’t there, straight into the kitchen. Erik smirked, finishing his movement until he was fully sheathed in Charles, who bit back the loud noise his vocal chords trembled with. He focused, instead, on the sounds of the children moving about in the kitchen, likely getting water, or milk if Angel had had a nightmare.

It was a long two minutes of waiting, hoping this wouldn’t be a tale for therapists one day, which Erik decided to exacerbate by continuing at a torturously slow pace.

Stop,” Charles hissed, to which Erik pressed their lips together, licking into Charles’ pliant mouth and showing off yet again the type of things he could do with that tongue of his.

The kitchen door opened again and Charles froze, biting down on Erik’s tongue until he pulled back. Sean held Angel’s hand protectively, pulling her behind him, moving as if he knew what was happening and was trying to prolong the anguish of having Erik still inside of him.

Which was, of course, when Charles’ sensitive nostrils had to act up and make him sneeze. It was soft, but enough to draw the children’s attention to their intertwined bodies.

“Mommy?” Angel asked, rubbing her eyes again.

“Hello, sweetie.”

“What’re you doing?”

“We...we’re, uhm, Mr. Lehnsherr and I are--”

“Cuddling,” Erik provided. “Mommy and I are cuddling. Now run along to bed or Santa won’t come.”

That seemed to light a fire under the both of them, and Sean was dragging Angel out with a hurried “g’night!” and slamming of the door. Both men heaved simultaneous sighs before Erik ripped the blanket off and tossed it at the couch, resuming his rough, penetrative thrusts with more gusto and determination than Charles had seen in the man up to then.

He managed to wait at least a full minute before crying out with the passion and whore-like-quality of an underpaid prostitute with acting skill. His hands were slapped away before they got even a scant chance of touching his leaking cock, and Erik grinned that shark grin that suggested he was going to do something cruel and unusual.

“You’re going to come from my cock alone,” he announced calmly, grinding out a particularly rough thrust that proved both of their undoing. Charles came between them, coating both of their stomachs and Erik directly into that tight channel, filling Charles with his sticky heat. He rode out the orgasm and pulled out slowly, as if trying to make sure none spilled out.

Instead of immediately collapsing, Erik wrapped his lips around Charles abused hole, and began sucking. The sensation of cum being pulled out in such a manner was enough to make Charles squirm, but his body was already beginning to ache from Erik’s rough touches and violent thrusts, though he was halfway hard when Erik finished and laid him down tenderly. Charles moved to sit up, but was pushed down. Erik retrieved the forgotten blanket and threw it over Charles before sliding beneath it. He turned their bodies so that his back was to the fireplace and wrapped Charles up in his arms, drawing their bodies flush against one another, fitting them into what could be seen as one person, as neither could tell where he ended and the other began.

And even Charles was too contented to argue.

Chapter Text



At first, all Charles’ awareness knew was heat. Burning warmth like a cage that was not only nearly scalding on his bare flesh but impossibly human. His consciousness spread like slow death and he when he finally remembered how to use his eyes, he peeled them back, crinkling his nose when a bead of perspiration rolled down it and into his damp hair.

The “cage” his body had thought itself to be trapped in was, in fact, Erik’s long, painfully warm limbs. Somehow in the night he’d been turned to face Erik and the taller man had cradled him there, arms wrapped tightly around him, their legs intertwined, all while being tucked into the blanket, which was curled around Erik’s feet. He figured the dying fire had warmed Erik who, in turn, warmed him, which was almost certainly confirmed by the amount of sweat on his bedfellow.

The trend of Erik-Lehnsherr-related discoveries continued when he shifted the slightest bit and Erik’s eyes flew open. Charles jumped the most he could in his given position and gave Erik a shy smile.

“Good morning,” he murmured, pushing back a stray lock of hair from Erik’s still-soft, half-asleep face.

“G’morning,” Erik muttered, pressing their lips together in a warm, affectionate kiss that made Charles’ skin tingle from the raw tenderness there. It wasn’t the same chaste kiss that often started so much more, nor was it infused with that fierce desire. There was nothing of the other tips of kisses they’d shared in this. It was the kiss of longtime lovers who were also the best of friends and sought solace and serenity in one another. An achingly familiar, ancient kiss that Charles couldn’t bear to break.

So he let Erik pull back first, watched those pale eyes clouded with emotions that ranged from lust to simple adoration uncomplicated by a long, bitter personal history despite their initial impressions of one another.

“Charles,” he was murmuring, thumb tracing along a dip in his spine, the touch almost painfully reverent.

“Erik.”

“After everything that’s happened, I think--”

A loud, drawn-out, melodramatic retching sound interrupted whatever he’d been planning to say. Both men started, immediately making sure everything was covered, though it seemed that wasn’t what had distressed the boy in the doorway. Alex looked horrified, but also angry. His eyes were narrowed and a glare that could likely penetrate wood sliced into Charles.

“Good morning, Alex.” Erik relaxed, stretching out lazily and looking up at his only son expectantly.

“Morning, Dad,”the boy ground out and Erik sighed.

“Go back up to the boys’ room for a bit, Mr. Xavier and I were having a private talk.” He rested a hand on Charles’ hip, resting his chin on Charles’ under-developed bicep.

“No.”

“Excuse me?”

“I said...” the boy took a steadying breath. “No.”

“Alex Summer Lehnsherr, you go upstairs.
Now
.”

“Erik...”

“Don’t, Charles.”

Alex stamped one foot down, apparently intending to hold his ground. “Why are you doing this to us?” He demanded. “You’re not supposed to like Mr. Xavier! You and Mom promised it was only temporary, but now you like Mr. Xavier and Mom likes Mr. Shaw and you lied! You’re a liar!”

Distress rolled off Alex in waves, his eyes filled with unshed tears he was fighting to blink back, his nose stuffing, and he sniffled. “Why did you lie to us? You said we’d be a family again, but we’re not.”

Erik sighed, tension seeping into and stiffening the gentle position he’d had moments before.

“Alex, you have to understand, this is what’s best for us as a family. Your mom and I...we can’t be good parents to you and Emma together, we’re better apart. That isn’t to say that we don’t still care about each other, or love you any less, but we’re happier, and you and Emma will be too once you accept that. Mr. Shaw makes your mother happy and Mr. Xavier makes me...ecstatic. Sometimes people are meant to be together forever, but sometimes they’re not, sometimes they’re meant to have each other for a time and make something beautiful, then part ways. And that’s how it is for your mom and me. We had you and Emma together, and that’s a testament to our relationship, but it wasn’t in the grand scheme of fate for us to stay that way.”

“Bullshit!” Alex screamed the word, his voice hoarse. “Mom told me, she said getting married means you stay together forever! That you love each other forever! But you stopped loving Mommy and unmarried her.”

A look of startled understanding dawned on Erik’s features and he sighed. “You think I left your mother.”

“I know you did! Mr. Shaw
and
Mom told me.”

Erik heaved a deep, almost pained sigh. "Alex, you have to understand something: your mother and I decided to try being separate together. She eventually was the one who pushed for a divorce, but it was a mutual decision. No one left anyone."

~

“Angel, love, put down your doll and eat your pancakes please,” Charles asked gently, looking over his little brood. He was the happiest he’d been in a while. And he’d be a lot happier of there were not two pouting faces glaring at him from opposite sides of the table.

“Alex?” he prompted, but the small boy resolutely ignored him. Charles could understand where his anger was coming from, and he felt horrible on the boy’s behalf, he really did, even if he felt that anger was misplaced, it was certainly justified.

“Alex, darling?” he tried again to no avail.

“Alex, Mr. Xavier is talking to you,” the other grouch at the table spoke up, dragging his eyes up from his oatmeal to look at his son, who defiantly stared back for a bit before breaking.

“Yes?” he answered, whirling his head around to glare at Charles.

“I was wondering if you’d like to go caroling? Doesn’t that sound fun?” Charles grinned. He would win this kid over, even if he did have to bribe him, because he had already determined last night lying in Erik’s arms that they would be a happy little family.

“Caroling?” Alex echoed suspiciously.

“Yeah, ya know, when you go sing to people? And then you throw snowballs at the girls when they aren’t looking?” Sean laughed, stopping at the stern look on Charles’ face.
“We do not throw snow balls at anyone, Sean, especially not the girls,” he tsked, turning back to Alex, “So what do you think, Alex? Want to come?”

The little boy grinned and nodded, happy expression freezing when he caught a glimpse of his father’s expression.

“Sean, take Alex and see if one of your old snowsuits will fit him, okay?” Charles ordered, shooing them away from the table, the other children scampering along behind them.

“Erik,” Charles said disapprovingly, “Whatever is that look doing on your face? You look like you’ve swallowed a bug.”

“Charles, we don’t celebrate Christmas. How many times do I have to tell you this?” Erik sighed, stealing a piece of deserted bacon of off one of the children’s plate.

“Erik,
you’re
Jewish, not your children, and in case you didn’t notice, you weren’t invited,” Charles smirked, practically running out of the run, hoping Erik wouldn’t come after him with thoughts of revenge.

~

One scuffle, a runny nose and two mitten hunts later, Charles triumphantly ushered all of the children out into the front yard, waving his camera around excitedly.

“Our first Xavier-Lehnsherr Christmas! We need more pictures, Erik, come on,” he demanded, tugging on the others arm, trying to drag him outside with the children.

“No, Charles, you already took a million when the kids opened their presents,” Erik grouched, pulling his arm away and moving back into the house.

“Your father is a grinch,” he said loudly to Emma, hoping Erik could still hear him inside, “Well, come on guys, let’s get a move on. We’ll have hot cocoa and the candy canes off the tree when we get back.”

__________________________


The minute the children and Charles were gone, Erik tugged off the ridiculous Santa hat Angel had shoved onto his head during present time.

“Caroling,” he scoffed. “Really.”

He wasn’t sure how much of his agitation stemmed from the caroling, and how much was residual from that morning’s abrupt one-eighty. He’d hoped to wake up, curled around a very warm, sleepy Charles, kiss those swollen lips breathless, maybe have a quick re-do of the previous night, then lay his feelings bare to the one man who had made his heart stir for the first time in longer than he could remember. Alex’s little outburst, however, had killed the tentative bubble of easy affection between the men, lasting even through the gift exchange and breakfast.

So yes, perhaps he was a grinch, but at least he felt justified.

That aside, he saw no point in caroling if he didn’t know the songs.

On the years Alex and Emma spent the holidays with him, they grudgingly agreed to celebrate Hanukkah and he budged enough to buy a Hanukkah bush for them to decorate, though they still used their garish red and green bulbs with too much garland wrapped around it. His house had been a strictly no-Christmas Zone since Moira moved out when the twins were still very young. And he’d never intended to change that.

And then there was Charles. Somehow, there was Charles. Worming his idealistic, optimistic way into his life and destroying the norms of his existence, trying with his easygoing smile to remake it with a whispered
“together.”

Erik sighed and relocated to the hearth, stroking his fingers along where Charles had been sleeping just hours before. Charles who was the single most exquisite thing he’d ever laid eyes on, even before he realized what kind of man he was. More beautiful than Moira before something twisted into the core of her being and made her the spiteful, sourfaced wretch of an ex-wife she had morphed into. More than any model he’d ever woken up beside. Charles with his horribly misguided fashion sense and security in dressing like someone’s grandfather while looking completely rumpled from running after his children, pulling off the male equivalent of ‘Mom jeans’ without completely destroying the view of his perky little ass. Erik could say with almost one hundred percent certainty that he loved Charles Xavier, and he didn’t want to lose him.

When Moira finally admitted she wanted a divorce, it hadn’t been surprising or hurtful. He was tired of the incessant needling and arguing by that point, and he wanted out just as badly though he would have stuck it out a few more years for the sake of their two still very small children. But Charles...Charles was precious, and he had no desire to lose the man as he had the mother of his children. There was something between them he’d felt last night and on those leading up to it as they grew steadily closer.

It was like Charles had an irresistible pull, like a gravitational hold. He’d watched it work its magic in the few times they’d taken their broods out and watched helplessly as the waitress flirted obviously with the oblivious professor.

Flirted.

Flirting.

Irresistible.

Erik flew off the couch. They would be out caroling in the cold, just Charles and the children, bundled up yet still likely at least facially cold. He knew for a fact there were people on the block who would lust after his Charles, invite him in for cocoa maybe even. And that was unacceptable.

With the speed of a man possessed, Erik threw on his heavy winter clothes and hopped into his thick-soled snow boots. Rushing with adrenaline, he shot out the door like a loosed bullet, pausing to lock it then continuing his run. They’d gone left, that he was sure of, and the sounds of the children’s semi-harmonious singing had yet to reach his ears.

He’d gone nearly two blocks before catching sight of the huddle of a group walking up to Ms. Grey’s porch. Something like jealousy spurted into his bloodstream, remembering the covert looks she shot Charles on the occasions he’d witnessed their interactions, “accidentally” giving him an excuse to bend over, or vice-versa.

Erik arrived just as the front door was opening, skirting to a stop beside a surprised, rosy-cheeked Charles.

“You came,” he breathed, a smile spreading his lips.

Erik reached out to intertwine his fingers with Charles’.

“Surprise.”

Completely unaware of the adults behind them, the children began to sing after some jostling.



I’ll be home for Christmas

You can plan on me
Please have snow and mistletoe
And presents on the tree

Christmas Eve will find me
Where the lovelight gleams
I’ll be home for Christmas
If only in my dreams


Chapter Text

Charles wasn’t sure if he could hold back a smile any longer. Erik was next to him, their hands clasped tight, echoing every other word the children sang. Ms. Grey was giving him an odd look, but the kids only sang louder covering up Erik’s uncertainties, making Charles give into his grin as he stepped closer to Erik, raising his voice as well.

By the time they’d finished, Erik was red in the face, practically dragging Charles and the children away from the woman’s house, Charles pretending he didn’t notice the way she was practically salivating over their retreating backsides.

“Erik, darling, you did wonderful,” he laughed, tugging his arm back, bringing them to a slow stroll, the children running ahead to play in the snow before they reached old man Stryker’s house at the end of the block.

“This doesn’t mean I like Christmas,” Erik warned. He was staring determinedly ahead, trying not to look at Charles but his eyes kept darting over anyway, taking quick mental shots out of his peripheral.

“Oh?” Charles asked, raising a teasing eyebrow, “then why is Mr. Scrooge out in the snow, caroling of all things?”

Erik mumbled something unintelligible, Charles only catching the words flirting, ass and tart, then he was glaring back at Ms. Grey’s house, a tell tale curtain moving back into place suspiciously.

“I’m sorry, what? I couldn’t hear you,” Charles cooed, tightening his grip on Erik’s arm and moving up onto his tiptoes to whisper into the taller man’s ear and if he snuck in a quick nibble no one was paying them any mind anyway. Except possibly Ms. Grey, and in that case, let her look.

“Charles,” Erik scolded when Charles casually stuck his hand in the other’s pocket,”Stop it, or I’ll march you back to the house right now. I mean it.”

“Are the kids too old for nap time, you think?” Charles smiled deviously, wishing the kids were all still crib age with no cock blocking skills whatsoever.

“We could always slip some codeine in their hot chocolate,” Erik shrugged, ducking away from Charles’ swatting hands, and realizing the children were too quiet. And no where in sight.

“Oh no, no, no. This can not end well,” Charles was moaning as he took off down the street, because a sudden startled yelp had just been issued from somewhere behind Mr. Stryker’s house, and all of a sudden Angel came flying around the corner, tears in her eyes.

“What’s wrong, sweetest?” Charles swooped her up into his arms, soothing his little girl, or at least trying as best he could when he heard more shouts from the back of the house.

“They’re having a snow balloon fight and said I couldn’t play ‘cause I’m too little,” Angel sobbed, struggling to get out of Charles’ arms.

“Hun?” Charles asked confused. Whenever Angel cried she always wanted to be held until she felt better.

“Daddy, make them stop,” she whined louder, rushing over and wrapping herself firmly around Erik’s legs, not falling silent until Erik slowly ran his large fingers through her hair.

“I’ll put them all in time out, how’s that sound Angel baby?” Erik replied, voice as gentle as Charles had ever heard it as he gently untangled her, hoisting her up into his arm, “And we won’t give them any hot chocolate either.”

Charles thought his heart might be melting at how happy he was in that moment. Erik was holding his precious little girl in his arms, trying his hardest to make her happy, wiping the tears from her face while she began giggle, excited about hot chocolate made specially for her.

He found an image floating through his mind of the day Angel had come to him, barely four years old eyes wide and terrified of any movement he made, quiet and withdrawn from the loss of her parents. She was a new person now. They were a family, and hopefully, Charles wouldn’t even allow himself to recognize how much he desired this, someday Erik would be a part of it too.

Another shout caught his attention and he sighed, waving Erik and Angel back to the house before he took off after the commotion, stopping dead in his tracks when he reached the backyard and was hit square in the face with something cold and rubbery.

“What the-,” he began, leaning over to scoop the oddly shaped balloon off the ground only to realize it wasn’t a balloon. It was a condom. Stuffed with snow.

“Oh for the love of-,” he began and was abruptly cut off by another outraged shriek, looking up to find old man Stryker waddling out his front door, walking stick brandished high above his head.
“Damn kids, get out of my yard,” he was scolding, and Charles had seen the glint in Darwin’s eye before it happened.

Now Darwin was usually the good kid but one year Stryker had refused to give him any candy on halloween because Darwin had been dressed up as a mutant character from his favorite tv show since he’d decided it wasn’t appropriate, so the kid had a major grudge against him and before Charles could say anything a condom was flying across the yard, landing with a wet sound on top of the old man’s head.

“Mr. Stryker,” he yelled, rushing towards the man, attempting to reach him before he could figure out what was currently sliding down his face and failing as the man grasped it in his hand, jaw dropping.

“Mr. Stryker, I am so so so sorry! Please forgive my children, I don’t know what has gotten into them,” he pleaded, glaring at them pointedly and nodding towards the road. Without waiting for Stryker’s indignant response he snatched the condom out of his hands and marched in a homeward direction.

They went obediently, silently, knowing they were in massive trouble, but not why, because he heard Sean muttering to Alex, “I dunno why it’s such a big deal, I mean the balloons were already wet in the package.”

Charles managed to spare a moment of warmth for the fact that Erik had cared enough to get pre-lubed condoms as well.

___________________

Charles couldn’t be quite sure how he’d ended up in his current position. The younger children had all dropped off a few hours ago, exhausted from the long day which began far too early for his and Erik’s liking--Erik especially, not used to waking up early on Christmas morning--but Emma and Raven had insisted since they were “older” they should be able to stay up later. As usual, Charles folded like a cardboard box in the rain, even allowing them to put on a movie.

That was how it began, he suspected.

Then, somewhere between the introduction of the protagonist of Mean Girls and the formulation of a plan to take down some nefarious group of teenage girls called the “Plastics,” both Emma and Raven had deserted the couch, squealing about some boy that had called for Emma.

“We’ll be in my room!” Raven had called, Emma squawking something unintelligble, then adding, “don’t come up!” and giggling all the way up the stairs.

So here he was, leaned against Erik watching a group of teenage girls in “sexy Mrs. Clause” (or was it Sexy Santa Clause? He could never be sure with these things) outfits dance about a stage like women twice their age. Erik watched with mild interest that made him sure his skin was slowly turning a bright green.

“Perhaps,” the taller man muttered, stretching his legs out.

“Perhaps what?”

“Perhaps I would be more...inclined to like Christmas if presented with a group of girls in slutty santa outfits dancing and singing for me.”

Charles bristled, moving more out of reflex than rational thought. He slid off the couch with the grace and speed of a garden snake and scurried across the room to the stereo. Erik, it seemed, either didn’t notice or figured he’d gone to the bathroom, because his eyes remained on the screen as if trying to dissect the purpose of the film, and didn’t look away.

All the better for Charles, as he went through the CDs in the carousel until he found the right one. He snatched the remote for the player off the top and took a deep breath, trying to keep an even pace back to the television, standing in front of it and bending over to pause the movie.

“Charles?” Erik’s voice was confused. “Is something wrong?”

Instead of replying, Charles straighted up slowly, pushing his hair back, wondering what exactly the hell he was doing, then praying the children would stay upstairs and asleep. A press of a button and the music started up.

“I don't want a lot for Christmas
There is just one thing I need...”
Charles unbuttoned his cardigan, sliding it down his shoulders and letting it drop at his feet.
“I don't care about the presents
Underneath the Christmas tree”
He turned, trying to avoid looking at Erik’s face right away, lest he lose all courage.

“I just want you for my own
More than you could ever know
Make my wish come true
All I want for Christmas...”
Good lord, why was he pointing at Erik and looking through his lashes? He felt absolutely ridiculous, but Erik. Erik was staring at him, completely enraptured.
“Is...you.”

As the song picked up, Charles found himself inexplicably swaying his hips from side to side, shoulders even getting in on the movements.

“I don't want a lot for Christmas
There is just one thing I need
And I don't care about the presents
Underneath the Christmas tree

I don't need to hang my stocking
There upon the fireplace
Santa Claus won't make me happy
With a--”
wink, “--toy on Christmas Day

I just want you for my own
More than you could ever know
Make my wish come true
All I want for Christmas is you
You baby”
Grinning, emboldened by the way Erik’s jaw had gone slack, Charles twirled around the coffee table to stand in front of his lover, chancing an attempt at one of those dances he saw in those rap videos Raven seemed so fond of for reasons he couldn’t fathom and served only to sexualize the women in them. Not that Erik seemed to mind, eyes darkening with a look he was now all too familiar with.

“Oh I won't ask for much this Christmas
I won't even wish for snow
And I'm just gonna keep on waiting
Underneath the mistletoe

I won't make a list and send it
To the North Pole for Saint Nick
I won't even stay awake to
Hear those magic reindeer click

'Cause I just want you here tonight
Holding on to me so tight
What more can I do?
Baby all I want for Christmas is you
You baby”
Erik sat up straighter, hands reaching out to grasp Charles’ rotating hips, completely entranced for some strange reason.

“Oh all the lights are shining
So brightly everywhere
And the sound of children's
Laughter fills the air

And everyone is singing
I hear those sleigh bells ringing
Santa won't you bring me the one I really need?
Won't you please bring my baby to me?”
When Erik pulled, he came down, knees on either side of Erik’s thighs. The taller let his hands slide from hip to ass and down his thighs to rest at the backs of his knees.

“Oh I don't want a lot for Christmas
This is all I'm asking for
I just want to see my baby
Standing right outside my door

Oh I just want you for my own
More than you could ever know
Make my wish come true
Baby all I want for Christmas is--”

“You.” Erik surged up like a man possessed, pulling Charles down, hands flashing up to his neck and kissing him with a passion like he’d had the night before. It was fiery, bruising and perfect, and Charles barely fought it.

“Song’s not over,” he breathed, but Erik’s growl left him speechless, letting himself fall into another needy kiss.

“God, Charles, do you know how sexy you are?” Erik demanded, cradling his face.

“Are you drunk? That was not--”

“Shut up.”

“Oh, Erik.” He laughed and wrapped his arms around the other man’s neck.

“If Christmas is always like this, I guess I can’t hate it.”

“And his heart grew three sizes that day.” Charles rolled his eyes into the crook of his arm but chuckled good naturedly at his personal Grinch.

Chapter Text

A/N: PSA! Hello there all :) This is not actually a chapter, and that I am very very sorry for, because if I were in your shoes I'd probably be pissed that I thought I was going to be reading a chapter, when I wasn't. So for beginnings, sorry, please feel free to rant at me, but I had to announce this and I didn't know where else to do it so everyone can see it, besides Tumblr and well, even then I don't think everyone would see it. So darling LustMonster is temporarily unable to write and I wanted to let you know so that you were not waiting for the next chapter. I can honestly say I have no idea if or when that will be, but I can not write this without my dahlink and I refuse to because she put so much of herself into this. Every bit of love that made your heart patter? Or every bit of smexy that made you heart race? Yeaaaah, all her. So please bear with us until she is back. Hopefully we will continue. This also goes for all of her other stories, I know she's been working hard on them and she'll post when she can because she adores her readers so much. So uh please be patient and thank you for waiting :)