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Night holds no Redemption

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Charles stood propped against the bar, drink in hand. For a moment he studied the mirror, obscured by rows and rows of bottles with different coloured liquids inside. It didn't show much of the bar or its patrons, but enough if you looked closely and knew what you were looking for. To Charles it confirmed what he had been suspecting for several minutes now.

He dragged his fingers through his brown hair, making sure it didn't obscure the view. Maybe he should cut it, just a bit, despite Logan insisting it made him look softer and more vulnerable. He raised his glass and drank the rest of the whisky in one go, tilting his head back for good measure.

He felt the eyes on him, along with a spike of interest. It came with the familiar haziness that surrounded every vampire's mind.

Putting the glass down, Charles then turned in the general direction of the vampire. He took his time, let his eyes roam over the bar's other patrons, as if he were checking them out. He licked his lips, tilted his head to the side and let his eyes dart back to his target – who was hooked.

The vampire was looking straight at him.

Charles looked away, then back, venturing a coy smile.

He contemplated biting his lips, but apparently he had already done enough. The vampire was coming over, getting up close and right into Charles' personal space.

"Hello, may I buy you another drink?"

Charles wanted to get it over with quickly. He looked up at him, as if he was thinking about the offer, then let his gaze wander down the other's body, the tight shirt and trousers outlining his body nicely, making it not hard for Charles to feign interest. He looked up again with a grin. "Thank you, I think I had enough to drink. But I could do with some fresh air. Would you like to come along?"

The vampire's eyes widened for a moment, as if he couldn't believe his luck, though it quickly was replaced by a cocky smile. "Sure."

Charles pushed away from the bar and let the vampire slide his arm around his waist, even leaning slightly into the touch, as they walked outside.

'Got him. We're coming out.'

'I'm waiting in the alley, behind the dumpster.'

Charles steered the vampire along, right into the alley where the light from the street barely reached.

"I must admit, I lied when I said I wanted some fresh air."

The vampire grinned. "How naughty of you."

"Mhm, so how about you put me on my knees and show me how to use my mouth for something better?" He pushed the vampire against the wall right beside the dumpster. Luckily he was rather willing to cooperate. Quickly, Charles undid the vampire's trousers and pulled them down to his knees as he went down as well.

'Logan, now!'

It happened quickly. Logan charged out of hiding, metal claws ready. Charles threw himself against the vampire's knees, trapping him between his body and the wall. He heard his surprised screech, but before he could react and bolt free, Logan's claws had cut through the vampire's neck, decapitating the creature. The screeching stopped suddenly and the body imploded in a cloud of dust.

Charles screwed up his face and sneezed. He scrambled up onto his feet, trying to shake dead-vampire-dust from his clothes.

“Come here.”

Charles let Logan take him at the elbow and steer him away from where dust-motes still danced in the air. But his face already felt gritty. He blinked carefully.

“Wait.”

Charles held still while Logan brushed his hands through his hair to shake out the dust. Charles felt his nose start to itch again, but before he could sneeze Logan used a soft cloth to wipe his face off any remaining dead-vampire. Then he ran his hand through Charles' hair once more. Smugly Charles felt sure that Logan arguing for Charles to keep his hair long had more to do with him liking it that way than it making him better vampire-bait.

“This was quick. Should we call it a night or try and catch another?”

Logan shrugged. “You did most of the work, making this an easy catch, so I guess it's up to you – though I thought he wouldn't fall for that line.”

Charles smiled, all innocent. “What line?”

Logan did fidget. “You know, the one about...putting you on your knees...”

Charles laughed. “Oh that one. Couldn't let him go for my neck straight away now. And he seemed to like the idea of my mouth around his cock for starters.”

Logan frowned. “Is that how you used to work on your own before? 'Cause then it's surprising you haven't gotten yourself killed yet.”

“Oh my distraction plans have always worked perfectly. Perhaps I should give you a sample or two, just to boost your confidence in my abilities, since it seems Moira wants us to work together permanently now.”

Even by the bad light Charles could see Logan's face growing darker, and though he wasn't peeking, he could hear the argument of yes and noes erupting in Logan's mind. For a moment the image of grabbing Charles and pulling him in for a hot, searing kiss, sealing that naughty mouth shut, had the upper hand. Then it was drowned out by the fact that Charles was someone who Logan was working with, and NO!

Charles hid his disappointment behind a smile, as Logan pulled out his phone and checked it. Maybe next time he would point out that 'no' wasn't a valid argument. But he could give him a list of why an after-work-hookup with sweaty sex would be very much a 'yes'. Even if it meant for Charles to admit that he had listened in on Logan's thoughts.

“Speaking of Moira. She sent information of two more possible vampire hunting grounds. There is a playground, with teenagers hanging out in the evening. In the last two weeks three seem to have gone missing after last being seen there.”

Charles checked his watch. It was midnight. “I guess it's too late for that now. What's the other?”

“Another club, recently opened. It's called Hellfire. But we should get backup for this one. There have been people disappearing in groups. Nothing decisive points to the club, so the police isn't zeroing in it yet and Moira will keep it that way until someone from the NIB had a chance to check it out. Sounds like there is more than one vampire, maybe a nest of - “ Suddenly Logan was picked up by an invisible force and thrown against the wall. He hit it with a sick crunching sound. Charles whirled round, trying to spot their attacker. He cast out his mind, but before he could find anyone there was a fluttering sound from above. Charles jerked up his gaze, just catching a glimpse of a billowing cape, before someone grabbed him from behind and pushed him against the wall opposite from where Logan had fallen.

The air got knocked out of him and the world went black for a moment.

As his vision swam back into focus, there was a face just inches from his. Pale skin, a row of teeth with sharp fangs glistening, dangerously close to his neck and pale grey eyes boring straight into him.

“Hello, Charles.”

“Erik...” Charles tried to twist free, but the vampire held both his wrists in a vice-like grip.

“So good to know you remember me. Do you also remember what I promised you?” Erik leant closer, his lips brushed against Charles' cheek.

The touch sent cold fear down Charles' body, wrapping around his heart and squeezing painfully.

“You betrayed me, Charles. You left me there to rot.”

The sound of Logan moving, and thinking his name penetrated through the panic . 'Charles, Charles...'

He had to stall. He could do that - talk. “What should I have done? You nearly killed me!”

“I offered you to join me!”

“You knew I could never become - “

“-a monster? Is that all I am to you, Charles? Is that all I ever was?”

Charles squeezed his eyes shut, though it didn't help shut out the pain. Through it all, he became aware of Logan getting back on his feet. But Erik noticed too.

He let go of one of Charles' wrists, using his body to keep him immobilised against the wall. All it took was the flick of his hand and Logan was shoved hard against the wall. Effortlessly he kept him pinned there.

“Interesting friend you have there. How quaint. Really all his bones are coated in metal. What interesting possibilities this opens up.”

The moment Erik was distracted Charles tried to get at the wooden stake, hidden in his boot. He strained to reach down with his free hand, but Erik still had him immobilised with his body – just like he held Logan with his powers. And after he had finished with Logan...

Charles had to believe Logan could take everything Erik could do to him. He had seen him heal from being impaled after a vampire thought it would be funny to do to him what he did to them. But then none of the vampires had ever had the power to rip out bones from his body, and that's what Erik could do.

Charles tried to reach for Erik's mind. He knew it was futile, a vampire's mind was out of his reach, but he had to try and get Erik away from Logan - and himself. “If you try and prove a point that you are not a monster, then let us go, Erik.”

Erik kept his arm outstretched, keeping his powers focused on Logan, but he turned back to look at Charles. “Really Charles, you used to be better at making an argument. Have you lost your edge?”

Charles was beating and scratching at the wall around Erik's mind, trying to find a way in. “I never -”

“What? Never thought you would see me again? Well you should have killed me when you had the chance.”

“I should have - “ Charles tried to state it calmly, though his voice betrayed him, dying down to a whisper. But he knew Erik could hear him regardless. “But I couldn't. After all that happened, after all you – we both did, I still couldn't.” Without meaning to Charles' put his free hand against Erik's face.

Erik looked surprised, stricken, the expression so much like when they first met, that Charles had to struggle to keep clawing at his mind. “I never wanted it to end this way.” Tears stung in his eyes.

“Neither did I.” For a moment an expression of pain flitted over Erik's pale face, making him look almost human.

Suddenly something of Erik's mind became solid to his touch, giving Charles the needed purchase. He plunged forward, stumbling into darkness. For a moment he despaired. There was nothing here he could take control of, no thought he could hold and mould. Then he sensed it, the vibrations all around him and he reached into them.

'Let go!'

There was a loud growl and thud, as Logan dropped to the ground, pulled himself up and advanced, claws drawn. Charles let go of Eriks' face and pushed away, pulling the stake from his boot. Through the distance it was harder to keep a hold on Erik's mind, buzzing like a hive and just as hard to contain.

Erik stood frozen, except for his eyes. He was watching Charles, fully aware of what happened, and he didn't even look angry.

'I'm sorry...'

Before Logan could reach them Charles drove the stake right into Erik's stomach. The pain flared up between the link connecting Charles with Erik and Charles let go. Erik screamed and staggered away, bent forward, hand griping the wood impaling him.

Charles was pushed back by Logan. He staggered, the aftermath of Erik's pain still pulsing through his body, his scream buzzing along his nerves and fell to the ground. He couldn't see past Logan, but heard Erik's cape flutter as he took to the air and disappeared into the night.