This is another night, another session, more of what Charles calls "play" and Erik thinks is anything but.
"On your knees, then," Charles says, and Erik folds up, because there's no other option. Charles doesn't give him a choice, not when they do this; Charles runs the show, Charles does everything, Charles takes everything, mind included.
Charles is the one to open his own pants, letting them fall around his thighs, pushing his boxers down carefully over his hard, heavy cock. Erik opens his mouth and leans forward, but all he does for a moment is lick gently, lapping at the head, toying with it. Charles is in that kind of mood, then, of a mind to play around, to take it slow.
It isn't long until he forces Erik to take him into his mouth, sliding inside; the force of his mind is so much greater, so different from a simple hand on the back of his head. There's no fighting it, no pushing back. Charles moves his hands behind his back, just for the look of it, and then he starts moving Erik's head, nice and slow, long strokes, a little sloppy; that's Charles's favorite, Erik has learned, the way he tries to do it when Charles gives him a choice in the matter.
"Look up at me," Charles says, as if Erik has any other choice, and he tips Erik's face upwards, looking him in the eye. Charles is smiling, as he always is, but there's that heat, that certainty behind it, the knowledge that there's nothing Erik can do about it, the thrill that it gives him to be completely in control.
Erik doesn't know what he looks like, if his emotions are just as close to the surface. There's a fear in it, for Erik, one that goes deeper than sex; if Charles can do this to him now, then Charles's promise to stay out of his mind is just a courtesy, something Erik could never hold back, never fight against, no matter how much he wanted it.
It's frightening, very frightening, but in this place, right here, there's a thrill to that too.
Tears are prickling at the corners of his eyes, because Charles isn't holding back anymore; Charles can push back his panic, keep him breathing carefully as he shoves his dick all the way into Erik's throat, make him swallow around it. It's filthy and degrading and Erik makes the worst sounds when he does it, but that's when Erik really wants to moan, wants to show how much he needs more.
He doesn't get much, tonight; when Charles pushes him away, he does it with his hand, not bothering with his power. "Onto the bed," Charles says, and it's strange that he's the one who sounds hoarse, not Erik.
He makes Erik crawl, and that's not new; Erik is almost getting used to it. Charles loves to see it, if the way he handles Erik's body is any indication; Erik feels more like an animal than ever, like some jungle creature, the way Charles puts all his muscles into it, making him stretch for it.
He makes it to the bed and climbs up onto it; Charles wants him on his hands and knees, his thighs spread wide. Charles is behind him in an instant, pushing them a little wider. He kisses the nape of Erik's neck before he presses inside, where Erik's already slick and ready for him.
No matter how ready Erik is, it doesn't really matter; Charles can do something to him that makes everything sharper, twist something in his head and prevent him from thinking his way out of it, stop him from mitigating the pain of when Charles pushes his way into Erik's body. It satisfies Charles's unspoken sadistic streak, the one that they're probably better off not talking about.
It hurts; Charles is all the way inside of him, and Erik can feel it very clearly, the length of Charles's cock in his ass. It doesn't make it worse, somehow, though it doesn't exactly make it better; it just makes him feel more connected to Charles, more profoundly taken, more profoundly his.
Charles starts to move inside him, thrusting in slowly at first, though his rhythm is ragged, uneven, like he's having trouble holding back. Erik knows that feeling; if Charles would let him, he'd come right now. Charles isn't going to, though, and Erik knows it. Charles will hold him off as long as he cares to; Charles will prevent him entirely if he feels like it, send him away hard and wanting, and Erik won't do a thing to stop him, won't even be able to.
Charles is breaking him down, little by little; he puts his hand around Erik's throat, not choking him but holding him fast, pushing in harder, deeper. It's easier still, then, the edge of danger coming closer, the feeling of being Charles's, completely. He's doing this because he doesn't have a choice; he's an object to Charles, something cherished but undoubtedly made to be used.
Charles is still moving, and Erik can hear him in his head, «want this, want you, all mine, give it up», and Erik wants to give it back, wants to say that that's all he really wants. He tries to think it as hard as he can, and the way that Charles bites him on his shoulder says that Charles hears him loud and clear.
Erik's body moves; he goes down on one shoulder, reaching to stroke himself. He's insanely grateful that Charles is actually going to give it to him tonight, allow him to come; Charles isn't even really making an effort to hold him off, making him move fast, his hand tight around his cock. And then Charles is right there, suddenly, his voice filling up Erik's mind entirely, «now, do it now, do it for me» and Erik comes, harder than he thought he'd ever be able to, hard as Charles has taught him he can.
Charles doesn't bring him out, not right away, letting him have it for a little while longer, letting him stay like that, safe, cared for, disconnected, insulated. It's so good, just to know he can be something else for a while, give it up to someone else, offer himself like that.
And he feels so ungrateful for thinking it's not enough anymore.
Charles catches him at it immediately, just as Erik feared; he's frowning, but he's still careful, lifting away from Erik by degrees instead of pulling away from his mind all at once.
"Tell me," Charles says, and his voice does not invite dissent.
Erik rubs his forehead with one hand; he already knows he's too far down not to answer, but he's back enough that he's going to regret it. "It isn't me."
Charles is looking at him curiously. "In what sense?"
"I can't get to-" he waves a hand; they both know what he means- "without you holding me down, and you already know I don't mean physically. It isn't me doing it. I can't." It's out there, between them, but Erik doesn't feel any better for having said it.
"If that is true," Charles says, and he's giving Erik that look, the searching one that he has even when he's trying deliberately not to read someone, "what does it matter?"
He wants to shout it does, it does, it does; even though he's not, it feels like Charles is being deliberately stupid, like he's just not catching up, seeing what's so obvious to Erik.
When- always when, never if- he loses Charles, no one else will be able to take his place; Erik will never be able to have this again. Before, he could have withstood that, but Charles, Charles has made it complicated. He's created a problem and become the solution, all at once.
He can't fathom telling Charles, what Charles's reaction would be. He imagines cruel words, the kind that Charles would never say; it would be all Erik could think about, if the situation were reversed, the idea that he was paving the way for his own replacement.
It's the stuff underneath that that bothers him more; if he has to be coerced, if he can only be forced to get what he wants, to be what he wants, then he hasn't really done it at all.
"Erik," Charles says softly, insistently, not letting him get out of it.
His mouth feels dry when he speaks. "You'll just have to look."
Charles nods, and then he's pushing in, untangling the mess in Erik's head. He glances past the implication that this has to end; there's no point in fighting about that, not when Charles is just as sure that it won't happen as Erik is it will. There's a danger in this for Charles, because his mind is open to Erik as much as it's the other way around; Erik can see, for an instant, how he feels slighted by idea that Erik thinks he could be so cruel.
But he's pushing and he's pushing and he shoves it all out of the way, getting down to the heart of it; he sees it clearer and sharper than Erik can, the fact that Erik doesn't trust either of them, not like he feels he should, not like he wants to.
Erik waits for the sting of Charles's disappointment, the twist of pity; all he gets is Charles's warmth, that irrepressible confidence that never leaves him, the insistence that everything he wants can happen. For all that Charles has been spoiled, at least it's given him this; maybe he can hope enough for both of them.
Charles eases away from him. "I'll just have to show you then, won't I?"
"Show me what?" he asks.
Charles shrugs casually. "If you want to try it, I certainly don't mind."
"Without your powers?" Erik says cautiously, not quite believing him. It's not that he thinks that Charles is lazy or isn't dominant; it's just that Charles is very heavily reliant on his mind. He's never really tried anything else, which hasn't been an issue or a problem up until now, not with how well things have been going.
Charles gives him an amused, smug look. "Are you implying that I'm not up to the task?"
"No offense," Erik says, which is not a no.
"Say the word," Charles tells him seriously. "Please believe me, Erik. If you want this, I will make it happen."
Erik purses his lips. "I'll try," he says, which is not a no either.
It's a few weeks later before Erik gets around to it, a few weeks in which Charles doesn't pressure him at all, where they mostly do whatever they feel like, sexually speaking.
But then, one day, he's just right there, needing and wanting, ready to give it a shot.
Erik knocks before he opens Charles's door; if Charles can be polite enough not to go digging around in his mind, Erik can be polite enough not to throw his door open whenever he feels like it.
Charles is sitting on the bed, taking his socks off, of all the mundane things. "There you are," he says, smiling broadly, but it falls a little when he catches Erik's expression.
"I'm ready," Erik says quietly.
Charles doesn't stop and confirm, ask him to repeat himself; he knows how much Erik hates that. He nods. "Let's begin, then."
Charles shuts his eyes; Erik can feel the instant when he very carefully, very consciously shuts it all down. Charles's power is constant, an inquisitive thrum in the background of Erik's mind, not reading, only reaching, checking; it's so everpresent that it's only remarkable in its absence.
Erik knows that it's going to be different; his first clue, probably the worst thing, is that Charles isn't smiling. That so rarely happens that it makes Erik worried, legitimately worried, in a way that isn't entirely about the game they're playing here.
Charles stands up. "Get on your knees," he says sharply.
"What makes you think I'm going to do that for you?" Erik says, pressing back.
"I don't have to think," Charles says. "I know."
"You can't, not without," Erik trails off meaningfully.
Charles shakes his head. "I don't need that. I know it just from looking at you."
Erik doesn't know what to say for a moment, but Charles isn't done. "I've made this very, very easy for you so far," he tells him. "I haven't given you a choice at all, have I? You've made me do all the work for you." He crosses his arms over his chest. "Now you're going to do for me."
Erik swallows. "I don't know what you mean."
Charles snorts. "Of course you do," he says. "You've been awfully lazy, and I'm not going to stand for it. You're going to do what I want, or you're going to leave. It's as simple as that."
"What if I say no?"
"There's the door," Charles says, pointing. "But if you leave, you leave for good. I won't allow you a second chance."
Erik licks his lips, wondering if that's actually true, wondering if Charles is really that serious; he has no idea, no way to begin knowing. With nothing coming off of Charles, no pleasure and no hatred, he's flying blind.
Charles is still staring at him, waiting. "I haven't got all night," he says, and Erik still doesn't know how he's going to respond, what he should say. While he's still running it through, Charles turns away from him, going to sit in the armchair in the corner of his room. He sits and waits, still frowning at Erik, his expression hard and dark.
Erik takes a breath, and before he can think about it anymore, he crosses the room and kneels in front of Charles. He's going to do this, because the alternative- there is no alternative. Charles isn't controlling him this time; Erik is controlling himself, and he'll be damned if he's going to let himself screw this one up, not when he's so close to having what he knows he wants.
Charles is smiling now, but it's grim, satisfied, more about triumph than mirth. He leans down, grabbing Erik by the hair and pulling hard, tugging him up to kiss him harshly, biting at him. Erik makes a noise into his mouth, one he's sure Charles hears, one of capitulation.
Charles lets him go, suddenly, pulling away from him and unlacing his hand from Erik's hair. Just as suddenly, he hits Erik across the face, hard enough that it stings. "That's for wasting my time," Charles tells him. "In the future, you're going to do what I tell you when I tell you, aren't you?" Erik's not caught up yet, his mouth dry; Charles raises his hand again. "I asked you a question."
"Yes," Erik says quickly, trying to get his head in the game as fast as he can.
"Good," Charles says. He's looking down at Erik with disdain, like Erik isn't even worthy of sitting at his feet, and good god, Erik wants so badly to be worthy.
"The question is," Charles says, "what are you going to do for me? You certainly owe me for making me do all this work."
Erik looks up at him, and he doesn't know what to say. "Anything you want," is what comes out of his mouth, because it's true, because it's the only thing he can think about doing, the only thing that feels right.
"Exactly," Charles says, and that grim satisfaction is back on his face; Erik is starting to like it, seeing him that way. "No matter what I ask you for, you're going to let me."
"Yes," Erik tells him.
"That wasn't a question," Charles says, raising an eyebrow at him. "I already knew that was true." Erik doesn't respond, not when he just got in trouble for that, not when Charles is almost certainly testing him.
"Get undressed," Charles says, waving a hand at him, and Erik stands, stripping quickly, dropping his clothes before he can think better of it, let anything go wrong. "Get the vaseline," Charles adds, and Erik is just about to walk when he catches himself; he gets down and crawls instead, over to the nightstand where Charles keeps it handy. He leans up and retrieves it, and he's suddenly struck with a problem; there's nowhere to hold it. He can't crawl on only one hand, and it'll only roll off if he tries to put it on his back.
He takes a deep breath, and he puts it in his mouth, crawling back to Charles, kneeling again and offering it to him. Charles is looking at him in amazement, pupils blown, like it's just too good; Erik isn't the kind to blush, not ever, but there's heat creeping up him, from his chest into his face.
"Open it," Charles says, and his voice is starting to go a little hoarse, the way it is when he's really excited; the cap is metal, but Erik opens it with his hands, carefully avoiding using his powers when Charles isn't, refusing to take that advantage over him, one he hasn't earned or been given.
"Get yourself ready," Charles tells him. "Two fingers. Don't stop until I say."
Erik smears the stuff onto his fingers; it's awkward to get them to the right place, get them inside, but it feels so good, better than it does alone, better because Charles is telling him to. There's something dirty about it, even more than usual, because he's having to do this on the floor, not even offered the courtesy of a pillow or a rug, because he doesn't deserve even that.
He can only work his fingers in shallowly, but soon he's biting his lip and trying not to moan, not sure if Charles wants to hear it, wants to know what he's doing to him, how badly he wants it.
"Ask me for it," Charles says, staring down at him. "Tell me how much you need it. You won't get it until you beg me to shove my cock up your ass."
"Please," Erik says, because he can't help it at all; even the sound of his own voice is devastating, just goes to show how far down he is, how much Charles has taken him over, made him his. "I need it, please, I can't- I can't- don't make me-"
"Why do you need it?" Charles says. "Tell me why you're going to let me do it."
Erik swallows. "I- for you," he manages. "Because you want me to. For you."
Charles grins. "That is exactly the right answer." He unzips his fly, easing his trousers down so he can get his cock out, and Erik wants it so much. "Come up here."
The armchair is oversized, and there's just enough room so they can both fit, Erik's knees bracketing Charles's thighs. "If you want it, take it," Charles says, settling back a little, and Erik doesn't wait another second, not when he's so close, not when he needs it this much. It's a little difficult, a little hard to get Charles inside him, but it's so worth it, so sweet, so good when he does it, when he can press down and take him in, let Charles open him up, fill him.
Charles groans, thrusting up into him; it's just a little movement, but it makes Erik gasp. "Ride me," Charles tells him, and Erik is already moving, just like that, because there's nothing he'd rather do, nothing in this world that sounds better. He's pressed up against Charles everywhere, their bodies so close; the fabric of Charles's clothes rubbing against him just reminds him of how profoundly naked he is, how much Charles has taken from him.
Charles slaps his thigh, and Erik wonders what he's done wrong. "Faster," Charles says, the word coming choked off and a little desperate.
He sounds close, so close, which matches how Erik feels; he has no idea how long he can keep this up, only that it's not going to be long. His thighs are starting to burn from the strain, and the way his cock is rubbing up against the smooth, stiff fabric of Charles's shirt is killing him, making him want so much, making it so hard to hold himself back.
Erik is already long since gone, and now Charles is the one losing it. Erik can feel it, feel splinters of Charles's mind coming in, things that don't have names, just hot shards of lust and possession and need lancing into him, lighting up his brain.
"Say you want it," Charles says, grabbing Erik's cock suddenly, his fingers tight around the base, holding him off. "Convince me I should let you."
It's so hard to get the words out, because he doesn't know what's going to come out if he opens his mouth. Charles looks at him, and his face is indescribable, so full of desire. He strokes his hand down the side of Erik's face, and that's when Erik realizes there are tears on it.
"Please," Erik says brokenly. "I want to do it for you. Please- please, let me, I want it, please-"
Charles suddenly lets up on him, stroking his cock hard and rough. "Now, it has to be now, Erik, do it-" and Erik is right there, gone entirely.
He's only there for a split second before everything just goes; he can feel the moment when the seawall breaks, the barrier between Charles's mind and his gives way. Suddenly everything floods into him, everything inside Charles, everything he's been holding back, and Erik is completely overwhelmed, taken down by it. There's lust and satisfaction and pride and so much want; in an instant, Erik can see very clearly what he is to Charles. Erik is everything; Erik is a treasure that Charles wants to keep, wants to guard, wants to show everyone, wants everyone to know is his. Erik is a wonder, something better than Charles ever imagined, something he never thought possible.
And Charles's great fear, underneath everything, the one Erik can look in and see so clearly, is that he can't be everything for Erik, isn't everything to Erik.
That feeling, that pain, lances through his heart, and it only makes Erik need more, need to get closer, need to claim Charles's mouth and kiss him until he just can't anymore. He feels so helpless against it, tries to do the only thing he can, opening up his heart up wide enough that Charles can't ignore it, can't help but see how he really feels.
It's a long time before they come back to themselves. They're both panting, sweat running everywhere, and it takes Erik a moment to realize that Charles is grimacing in pain, his hand pressed to the side of his head. "What's wrong?" he asks, alarmed.
"Need to lie down," Charles says, through his teeth, and Erik rushes to help him, ignoring the twinge of pain as he climbs off Charles's lap. Charles is unsteady on his feet, but they manage to get him into bed. "Sorry," Charles says. "Didn't know- never had to- keep it down-" He shuts his eyes, rubbing his temples.
"What do you need?" Erik says quickly. "Anything, Charles."
Charles shakes his head, opening his eyes again. "Getting better. Just bad for a moment there. It's not hard to keep out of places, but switching it off is apparently a much different proposition." He holds out a hand. "Come here."
Erik climbs in beside him, turned towards him. "If it hurt that badly-"
"Hush," Charles says. "It's not as bad as all that." He blushes. "But, ah, I don't think we can do it again. If the, shall we say, ambient noise of the other residents is to be believed, it was fairly loud."
Erik should be mortified, but he bursts out laughing instead. "That's terrible."
"It should make breakfast much more interesting, I'll grant you that," Charles tells him.
The laughter dies quickly, and there it is, what Erik saw, lying between them. Erik has no idea what to say, nowhere to begin; he doesn't have enough, can't give enough, can't even start to compensate. "Charles-"
He shakes his head. "You don't have to-"
"You must," Erik presses. "You must know I love you."
Charles only nods, but Erik can see it in his eyes, right there; Charles has always known, but Charles has never believed.
Erik doesn't know what to do, doesn't even know what he can do; but by god, he's going to make Charles believe.