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With Abandon

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“Cooking is like love; it should be entered into with abandon or not at all.”

- Julia Child 

 

Charles grabbed Logan by the burly arm and hauled him over to a glass case of waiting pastries, not caring at all that Xavier, with his perfectly coiffed hair and slightly oversized cardigan, and Wolverine, with his cigar and broad chest of plaid, looked positively ridiculous together. An absurdity only compounded by the fact they were touring a bakery. "Look at this, Logan! It's an earl grey cupcake with an ermine milk frosting, doesn't that sound lovely? Like breakfast in a pastry."

 

Logan squinted down at the cupcake and sniffed in displeasure, "What in the hell is an 'ermine milk'?"

 

Charles cocked his head to the side, "You know, I actually don't know. But it looks lovely."

 

Logan snorted which, when he wasn't deriding Charles' common sense, was really as communicative as Logan ever got. Sometimes Charles suspected that Emma had assigned Logan to be Charles' bodyguard out of the vain and desperate hope that he might accidentally teach Charles the benefits of stoicism. A ridiculous thought on Emma's part, but still, Charles rather enjoyed Logan's company so he wasn't complaining. Logan's impressive ability to heal meant that his body was almost constantly regenerating itself, preventing Charles from getting a clear read on the man's thoughts. Charles enjoyed the freedom that came from not having to police his gifts, and when he wasn't thinking rather pointedly that Charles was a gullible idiot, Logan was surprisingly fond of Charles in return.

 

"I must say," Charles wondered, "given Raven's predilection for things based in vegetables, I was surprised that she recommended a bakery at all, let alone one that seems to rely so heavily on white flour and processed sugar."

 

"She didn't send you here for the food, Charlie." Logan grunted.

 

Charles looked up from his favorite chocolate cake (a solid block of cake filled with caramel and sweetened condensed milk then topped with a thick whipping cream) and asked, "Why else would she be so determined that I should come here?" 

 

Logan rolled his eyes (his go to expression when he didn't understand how a telepath  could be quite so naive) and nodded at the narrow archway leading to the back room of the shop where the actual baking occurred. 

 

Charles shuffled over to have a clearer view of the room in question, not blessed with Logan's height. If asked, Charles could've said that everything in that room was metal, from the ovens, to the unlabeled storage containers, to the long counters impeccably kept, free of stray spills or traces of flour. However, it was only a lifetime of pretending he was listening to what a person was saying rather than what they were thinking that would've let Charles disguise the fact he wasn't really paying attention to any of that, he was staring at the baker. 

 

The man was, well, the first word that popped into Charles' head was 'delicious'. (A pun for which he blamed his natural preference for conceptual symmetry.)

 

The Baker was tall and broad shouldered, with a rather ragged pair of jeans clinging to the narrow lines of his hips and his strong thighs. The man was hand-whipping eggs on a strange rhythm, and Charles noticed the iPod tucked in the Baker's back pocket, a white cord running up under his tank top where it was safely out of the way. Charles determinedly didn't stare at the way the Baker's muscles flexed while he worked, or how a streak of flour had somehow found its way across the Baker's cheekbone, highlighting the sharp features and making him look almost feral despite the domestic setting. The Baker looked utterly at peace, measuring and stirring with a zen sort of focus while he bobbed along to the music only he could hear.

 

Logan smacked Charles on the back of the head, a sign that he had been staring too long. Charles blushed and twisted back to the utilitarian display case and found Logan already waiting at the counter with Charles' cupcake and a smirk. Charles cleared his throat and stuck out his chin like he wasn't mortified at all, and strode up to the counter. "Aren't you going to get something, Logan? I saw a beer and bacon cupcake over there."

 

The brown-haired girl behind the counter just grinned, "It's cool, Professor. Everyone has that reaction to Erik while he's baking."

 

"That is a small sort of comfort I suppose." Charles smiled, always pleased when someone called him Professor rather than whatever codename the PR department was spinning this week. 

 

"I mean," the girl continued, "he's got that whole dark and broody thing going on, but he bakes. It's impossible to refuse." Charles could feel the girl's bald sincerity, so solely concerned with making Charles smile that he could ignore that she was talking about him like he was a teenager nursing a crush on the captain of the rugby team rather than the unofficial head of a country.

 

The girl all but shoved the cupcake and it's rather battered plate to Charles, "Here you go!" 

 

Logan quirked his eyebrow in amusement and Charles assumed that Logan had asked for the cupcake to go since they were already running late and the girl had the counter was willfully ignoring that request.

 

Charles just smiled genially, "Thank you, my dear."

 

"Kitty," she grinned, "I'm Kitty. Well, Shadowcat, but… yeah, Kitty."

 

Charles kept his smile in place, "And I'm Charles. It's a pleasure to meet you."

 

"You too." Kitty's smile was blinding, and despite the scolding he would no doubt get from the other members of the Triumvirate for being late yet again, Charles took a seat at one of the small tables beside the window... then shifted to a different seat when Logan gave him the same bemused look he always did when Charles forgot that he was the leader of a country, not a professor, and somewhere out there were people who'd like him dead. 

 

Charles sunk his fork straight through the plump frosting and to the moist cake, taking an obscenely large bite, only to moan when it hit his tongue. Kitty giggled at such a sound coming from the typically posh Professor, and Logan very pointedly thought that they needed to get Charles laid if that was the sort of reaction he had to cake.

 

Charles thought peevishly back to him about the blissed out expression that Logan had had just moments before when he'd spiked his black coffee with the flask he kept in his pocket, but Logan remained uncowed since he'd long ago lost his ability to be embarrassed while Charles still had his propriety fully intact. 

 

They were both too consumed with their own guilty pleasures and mental snarking to notice the way Kitty ducked through the back door and lobbed something at the Baker's head, frantically waiving him out front when he glowered at her for interrupting his work.

 

Charles took another bite, humming in pleasure and slowly dragging his lips along the fork to seize every last morsel, when he was interrupted by a pulse of pure shock tinged with no small amount of lust. Charles looked to the door, and there was the Baker, staring at Charles with cheeks flushed and lips parted, and Charles couldn't quite help some lust of his own.

 

Charles swallowed his bite and licked his lips clean, buying himself time before saying, "Hello." The Baker just kept staring, so Charles stumbled to his feet and took the few steps to the counter, "Your food is delicious." 

 

Not quite sure he wanted to know what would be in the psychic echoes that came from the skin to skin contact of shaking hands,Charles instead pressed his hand to his chest and said, "I'm Charles."

 

"I-I know who you are." The man replied, with no definitive emotion to the statement.

 

"Ah, yes… well," Charles stumbled out uncomfortably, only to be interrupted with, "I'm Erik."

 

Charles smiled brightly, "Hello, Erik. And the cupcake is truly delicious. Actually, everything here looks delicious."

 

Erik's slightly dumbfounded expression turned pleased, "I'm glad you think so." They both paused, that awkward moment when you're trying to come up with something new to say and Erik continued, "Especially since you've got the earl grey cupcake, usually people have objections to that."

 

"Good heavens, why?" 

 

"It's tea." Erik shrugged.

 

"And what's wrong with tea?" Charles asked, affronted on behalf of the cupcake. 

 

"It's generally not considered suitable cupcake material." Erik teased, relaxing the more he got Charles to talk.

 

"Then they're fools. What reason would you have for baking something if it's not suitable?"

 

Erik cocked his head to the side, mentally measuring something before he replied, "My mother."

 

Charles felt the shock from Kitty, like she'd seen Erik have this same conversation before and yet this was a wholly new response. Charles leaned up against the counter with a questioning look in his eyes and Erik continued, "My mother loves tea, but I can't brew her a cup to save my life. So, rather than continuing to destroy kettles, I started putting tea in other things for her."

 

"Would your mother happen to be British?" Charles grinned. 

 

Erik smiled, "Nein. Meine Mutter ist Deutsch."

 

Charles pursed his lips, general cognates and enough time with foreign dignitaries letting him parse out that Erik's mother was German before he replied, (in truly horrible German), "Und, vows etes Deutsch?"

 

Erik furrowed his brow, obviously trying to translate before realization passed over his face and he started to laugh. (Charles felt the obvious shock from Kitty, but far more subtle, and curious, was the surprise from Logan. Charles filed that away to think on later.) Between laughs Erik stumbled out, "Most of that sentence was French, Charles."

 

Charles blushed crimson and groaned, "Well, that was… mortifying." Charles meant it. One never liked to humiliate themselves in front of a handsome man who sounded positively devilish in his own language; but the sound of Erik's laughter coupled with the genuine amusement rather than scorn that Charles could feel dripping off his mind was enough to dull the embarrassment.

 

"And on that horrible note, I really should be going. It was a pleasure to meet you Erik, despite the butchering of your native tongue." Charles stretched out his hand, ignoring the slight tremble to it, and ignoring the way Erik's shirt tugged tight across his chest while he wiped his hands along his torso to remove any flour before he took Charles' hand in reply. 

 

"The pleasure was all mine, Charles. I assure you." 

 

Emma stormed into the bakery and forcibly implanted in Kitty's mind the suggestion that Erik had sent her away for the night. The girl tossed on her jacket and called out, "Night Erik!" before she left, not seeing an enraged Emma Frost, Chief of Genosha's Security Force at all. Erik poked his head around the door and rolled his eyes, "You know Emma, I do actually need Kitty to get her work done."

 

"You employ Kitty because you hate talking to people." Emma paused, "Though I suppose after today that should be in the past tense."

 

Erik quirked an eyebrow being deliberately obtuse, "Are you firing Kitty?" 

 

Emma hissed, "Charles was smiling, Erik"

 

"Oh, how terrible." Erik snarked, reading back into his kitchen.

 

"Don't you sass me, Erik Lehnsherr! He's the leader of the whole damn mutant world and you've been flirting!" Emma shouted, following him.

 

"Of course I've been flirting, have you seen him!" 

 

"Of course I've seen him! Have you taken complete leave of your senses!" 

 

"What's wrong with a little harmless flirting?"

 

"Harmless flirting! Charles Francis Xavier, head of the Genoshan government, face of the mutant movement, and quite probably the most powerful mutant in the world was smiling!"

 

Erik slammed some bread dough in a pan, "You shouting it over and over again isn't going to make me understand why Charles being in a good mood is a bad thing."

 

"Xavier is never in a bad mood, but when a stressed, overworked Charles Xavier is in an effortlessly good mood, not at all pained by the fact that we're making him lead a country rather than teach, then people notice!" 

 

"So what if they notice he's happy?"

 

Emma transformed her hand into diamond and slammed it down on the table, forcing Erik's attention to her with a jarring clang. "You came to Genosha as a last line of defense against the assassins who are gunning for Xavier. You set up your little shop because you thought no one would suspect the stoic baker of being our own special breed of security. And now you're throwing the plan out the window and calling all the attention to you that you were supposed to avoid." 

 

Erik turned back to his baking and asked, "Tell me, Emma. What about 'stoic baker hitting on the hero of the mutant' species screams 'secret security' to you?" Emma glowered in reply and Erik smirked, "Exactly."

 

Emma moved before Erik could react, wrapping her diamond hands around his throat and slamming Erik against the wall, "Erik, are you flirting with Charles as part of your assignment?" She hissed.

 

"You've done worse." Erik grated out.

 

"Not to Charles."

 

"Didn't you think he was just a pretty face?"

 

"That was until I had a conversation with him." Emma pressed harder against Erik, "Lehnsherr, are you seducing him as part of your assignment?" 

 

"And if I am?"

 

Emma had taught Erik to shield his mind herself -- he was too dynamic, too important to the mutant cause to let him run around with his mind open to any passing telepath -- and being the one to teach Erik to construct those shields meant that Emma knew the back door. Other telepaths would try to force down Erik's walls (sheer stupidity when dealing with a man as stubborn as Erik), but Emma knew to wriggle through the cracks, the flaws in construction that always came with sheer, brute strength. Erik knew she was sneaking and tossed up mental shields and traps to throw her out of his mind, but moving like an arrow Emma found her way to the clear, glowing thoughts of Charles that were wrapped around Erik's core like a quilt, warming his soul with comfort where just this morning there was nothing but the steadily burning fire of rage.

 

Back in her physical body Emma felt the pressure of Erik's metal cracking into her diamond, more than able to permanently damage to her, and Emma retreated. She dropped Erik and pulled back in shock, "You're… how is that even… you. hate. everything."

 

Erik forced her back and shouted, "I don't know!"

 

Emma was still too shocked to process properly and just kept rambling, "You like him. Not even 'like' in the way you like Logan because he's ruthless and strong. You like Charles warm, and soft-"

 

"Yes, Emma! I've got it!" Erik snapped.

 

The reality of the moment crashed down on Emma and she started to giggle, "You're in love the Professor."

 

Erik just stared at her, not sure whether being outed so quickly after developing the feeling was more mortifying than the sound of Emma actually giggling like a woman. "It's really not that funny."

 

"You're Magneto!" Emma shouted with a laugh. "You're the secret leader of the mutant rebellion! Half of the world's governments think Genosha made you up to be our own version of Robin Hood! And you've fallen in love at first sight with the leader of Genosha." Emma's hands flew to her mouth as she gasped at whole.other thought, "I beg of you Erik, let be there when you tell the PR department, they'll expire from joy."

 

Erik backed away, mildly terrified, "Why in the hell would they be happy about it? I'm wanted for dead in half a dozen countries and the rest want me in prison to experiment on me."

 

Emma cooed and patted Erik on the cheek, "Oh, you idiot. You're Genosha's two founding fathers and you're smitten. This is a goldmine. They'll make movies about it."

 

Erik collapsed against the table and groaned, "I hate you. And I'm not in love."

 

Emma ran her fingers through Erik's hair, "Sure you're not, babe."

 

A long day at the office, followed by dinner with the Wakandan Ambassador/Prince, followed by sleeping through his alarm and an early morning meeting meant that Charles didn't make it to his new favorite bakery for breakfast like he'd planned. However, he was determined to seize control of his day and take an extra long lunch filled with sugar and Erik's smiles that didn't seem to know whether they wanted to be baffled or charming.

 

Idle thoughts about that smile were precisely what distracted Charles from the arrival of Raven. 

 

Charles still dearly loved his sister, but in the short year since they'd both risen to the top of the Genoshan government it had become more and more difficult to put aside their philosophical differences.

 

Raven, or Mystique as she insisted on being called, was an ardent believer in mutant superiority, which collided rather publicly with Charles' policy of tolerance and integration. Raven had moved beyond agreeing to disagree with him and had become rather vocal in her derision for Charles' platform, despite the fact she still showed up at his office without announcing herself and behaved as though the speeches she gave calling Charles 'naive' and 'foolish' wouldn't change their relationship. Raven was new to her spot in the Genoshan executive branch (a leadership of three mutants known colloquially as the Triumvirate), and Charles knew she was just trying to cement her spot and secure a future election by playing to the fears of those who found Charles too tolerant. 

 

(In the few years since Genosha had won its independence Charles was the only politician to retain their seat through all the elections. One of the seats seemed to pass back and forth between Scott Summers and Ororo Monroe like a game of catch, while the third seat was up for grabs every election season.) Charles knew his sister, knew she was cunning and would do almost anything to achieve her goals, and he had to admit it that trying to divide the electorate was a rather clever plan. It didn't make the matter less painful though.

 

"Hello, Raven." Charles smiled when Raven burst through his door without knocking, Charles' poor, frazzled secretary stumbling along behind her, trying to give Erik some notice of arrival. Charles gave the girl a gentle mental pat for the effort and smiled at Raven, "How are you doing this morning?"

Raven dropped down in the chair across Charles' desk, kicking her feet up on Charles' the smooth surface and completely ignoring Logan slouched in the corner. (At the beginning Raven had flirted profusely with Logan, trying to get a rise out of the man. Charles did not want to know what sort of violence had happened between them to make that stop.) 

 

"Splendid, Charles. Just splendid."

 

Charles put down his paperwork and quirked an eyebrow, "I don't think I've ever heard you use 'splendid' before, dear. I assume something of particular brilliance happened this morning?"

 

"Absolute, delicious, brilliance."

 

Charles Francis Xavier was not considered a genius for nothing. 'Delicious' sent his mind straight to earl grey cupcakes, to Erik's forearms, to Charles' instinctual and inappropriate reaction to the mere sight of Erik, to knocking politely on Logan's mind and asking whether or not Raven smelled like Erik's bakery. Logan gave a mental grunt in the affirmative, and before Charles could turn on his filter he shouted, "You sent me to that bakery to scope out whether or not the baker was secretly a creeper?"

 

Raven narrowed her eyes and dropped her feet to the floor, "Did you read my mind?"

 

"I got a nose, kid." Logan interrupted. 

 

Raven huffed, embarrassed she had jumped to the wrong conclusion but unwilling to apologize, "You are the best creeper detector, Charles."

 

"You didn't think perhaps that might be the sort of information I should be aware of before you send me into an establishment?"

 

"He wasn't going to do anything to you." Raven scoffed. "Today is the first day I've even seen him come out of the back."

 

Charles quirked an eyebrow in interest, then leaned back in his chair when Logan sent him a very pointed thought about playing it cool. "So you've never talked to the man?"

 

"Of course not. I'm a highly respected member of the community, I can't hit on the guy until I know he's not a creeper."

 

"Raven, you're naked."

 

"What does that have to do with anything?"

 

"I thought that high standing members of the community were supposed to wear pants." 

 

Raven rolled her eyes at him as though there was some important detail that he'd missed and went for the door. "Thanks for scoping him out Charles, I appreciate it!" 

 

Charles sat there in dumbfounded silence for a moment before he dropped his head to the table. 

 

"Huh." Logan grunted. 

 

"Shut up." Charles moaned. "Shouldn't you have been able to tell that she wanted me to determine whether or not he was datable material?"

 

"And how would I be able to tell that?"

 

"I don't know, smell or something?"

 

"You remember that you're a telepath, right? You can pick that stuff out of her head."

 

"She's my sister!"

 

"Hey Charlie, all's fair in love and war, or some shit like that."

 

Charles popped up from the table, "Are you honestly telling me to hit on the man my sister fancies?"

 

Logan shrugged, "Why not."

 

Charles stared at him like he was insane, "Because my sister fancies him."

 

Logan raked his fingers through his hair like he couldn't even believe he was participating in this conversation. "Charlie, I want my cupcake." 

 

Charles furrowed, "You want… your cupcake?"

 

"Yup. So, are you gonna sit in your office for lunch, or are you coming with me while I get my cupcake?"

 

Charles hesitated and Logan continued, "Though if you stay here and your baker boy asks me about why you didn't come with me, I will have to tell him that you've passed him off to your sister, who he's never talked to."

 

"Well," Charles hesitated, "If you're going anyway." 

 

Logan tossed his hands in the air and stormed for the door with Charles scampering along behind him. Considering the sensation of flabbergasted irritation streaming off Logan at why Charles wasn't just fighting for what he wanted rather than rolling over, Charles decided now was not the time to idly ramble like he usually did with Logan.

 

The walk to the bakery was quick at Logan's pace, and the moment they stepped through the Kitty sighed in gratitude, "Oh I'm so glad you're here. When you didn't turn up for breakfast he started getting-"

 

"Kitty, I need more eggs!"

 

"Irritable." She gave Charles a sympathetic smile before shouting, "Erik! You've got company!"

 

Something smacked down on the counter in the back and Erik grumbled loudly enough that Charles could hear him clear from the door. "You know I don't-" Erik stepped around the door and stopped as he just stared at Charles, "Oh. You're here."

 

Charles gave a small smile, "Yes, I'm afraid I slept through my alarm this morning and work demanded my presence."

 

"Late night?" Erik asked, trying to sound relaxed.

 

Charles relaxed at the Erik's attempts to thwart his pings of jealousy, "A meeting with Wakandan Ambassador. He's an interesting man, though I feel like not unlike a third wheel when I'm at a meeting with him and with Ororo."

 

"They're, uh…" Erik trailed off and pulled a face in place of whatever euphemism he was looking for.

 

"Yes, I feel quite the cross between older brother and Regency era chaperone when they're together."

 

Erik laughed, the last of the tension finally leaving him. "Regency era chaperone? Charles, what have you been reading?"

 

"Nothing scandalous my friend, I assure you. It does no good to not to think about such things if Emma and her spies can find them in hard copy anyway."

 

Erik grimaced, "She does have a gift for rooting though people's privacy."

 

Charles stepped close, "I'm sorry, is something wrong?"

 

Erik shrugged it off, "I doubt there's a mutant on the island who hasn't had a run in of some kind with Miss Frost." 

 

Charles laughed, "'Run in' yes, that's probably the most polite way to put it. I do adore Emma, but she's got a gift for finding the cracks in a man's mind."

 

"The stories say you're more powerful than she is."

 

Charles shrugged and gave his standard response, "Who determines what 'power' is." Erik gave Charles an indulgent smile like he didn't believe a word of it and Charles replied, "No, it's true. Is it just sheer brute strength, or does defense play into it? I may have greater reach, but Emma won't ever get shot. And I may go deeper than Emma, but you have to admit, people would be more likely to give up their information to a woman who looks like her than a man who looks like me."

 

"I highly doubt that." Erik grinned.

 

Charles didn't realize it, but while he'd been talking to Erik he'd slowly been working his way forward to the counter, where Erik was quietly reeling him in with his wicked smile. Charles thunked up against the counter and looked down to notice that he'd crossed the room unawares, and the multiplicity of possible meanings to his little explanation suddenly hit him. He looked up at Erik with a blush and Erik's smile turned from charming to triumphant. Without looking away from Charles Erik announced, "Take lunch, Kitty."

 

"But Erik-"

 

"Take. Lunch."

 

"Right. You wanna go get a burger, Wolverine?"

 

Logan grunted something unintelligible and stepped straight around the counter and into Erik's space, a hair's breadth between them while the two men glowered at one another. Charles felt vaguely like he was watching a nature documentary about wolves and whatever alpha male communication they do instead of telepathy. Finally Logan took an obnoxiously long sniff at Erik's neck and pulled back with a smirk. Logan smacked Charles on the shoulder, "Have fun Charlie." before he followed Kitty out the door. 

 

Erik flicked his wrist and the door locked behind them. Charles quirked an eyebrow and asked, "Telekinesis?" 

 

"Of a sort."

 

"Well that's delightfully vague."

 

Erik leaned forward, "Trust me Charles, vague is not my intent." Erik stretched out his hand, "Come sit with me. I'll feed you cake."

 

Charles reached out, but he paused, his hand floating in the air above Erik's while he brushed past Erik's mind, looking for any hint of Raven.

 

Erik quirked an eyebrow and said, "It would probably be more efficient if you asked." 

 

Charles had the grace to flush in apology, "I'm sorry, it's just, is there anyone else? Anyone else you have, or intend to have, taken in back for cake?"

 

Erik leaned a little closer to make sure Charles understood, "Kitty hasn't even been back here, Charles. I tend to avoid people."

 

Charles felt the truth of the statement and dropped his hand into Erik's, letting himself be dragged around the counter.

 

Erik thought that perhaps he might have a streak of sadism he hadn't known about. 

 

Really, what else could be the reason for specially making Charles a red velvet cake to stain his already plump lips while Charles worked at that fork like he intended to swallow it whole. Erik silently thanked Emma for relentless training in mental shields, although he didn't think she'd meant for him to use it this way. Erik worked on frosting cupcakes for the afternoon rush while he pointedly didn't look at Charles' mouth. 

 

Charles hmm-ed again at what Erik hoped was the last of his particularly delicious bites, then full on groaned as a test of Erik's will. Erik twitched at the noise, accidentally driving the tip of his pastry bag straight into a waiting cupcake. Erik paused, willing himself not to curse and draw attention to himself, but Charles' snickers gave the game away.

 

Slowly and deliberately Erik set down the pastry bag and turned to Charles with a bland expression. "You've been doing that on purpose."

 

"No," Charles snorted, "I always make pornographic sounds when I'm eating." Erik glowered at him and Charles smiled, "Oh come now, you were ignoring me for frosting, what would you have me do?"

 

Erik tipped his head in concession and flicked his fingers, ripping Charles' plate and fork out of his hands. "Hey, I wasn't finished with that." Charles had followed the plate with his eyes, and so was unprepared when Erik sunk a hand into his hair and pulled Charles' lips to his. 

 

Erik's kiss was fierce, taking advantage of Charles' shock to seize control of the kiss and bend Charles back, spine to the table, and tease open Charles' lips. Contrary to popular belief, Charles was not a wilting flower and came quickly back, pressing himself along Erik's front and kicking a leg around Erik's thigh to tug him off balance and bring Erik's bulk down on him.

 

Erik smiled into Charles' mouth and ran a possessive hand down Charles' ribs and under his bum, lifting Charles to the table for better access. Erik settled between Charles' spread thighs and in a fit of restraint eased up on the kiss, gentling his lips so the kiss had some finesse. Charles seemed to catch the meaning and unclenched his hands from their stranglehold on Erik's shirt and started to run them up and down Erik's chest in a move he supposed was meant to be soothing rather than the painfully arousing it actually was. 

 

Charles ever so slowly started to lean back, his gentle kisses pulling Erik with him so Erik was braced over Charles on a kitchen table before Erik even registered that he'd moved. "No, no, no, we can't."

 

Charles wove his fingers through Erik's hair and pressed a gentle, teasing kiss to Erik's mouth before he leaned back, all mussed hair and smiling with kiss-bruised lips still stained with Erik's red velvet. Charles didn't say a word, fully aware that he didn't have to when Erik lunged forward and started devouring him again. 

 

They went on for a few more kisses before Erik scrambled back off the table and Charles huffed, "Why are we stopping?"

 

"Because Logan will gut me if I take you on a table."

 

Charles shifted, more lounging back than actual sitting and 'hmm-ed' in supposed thought for a moment while he ran two fingertips along his own collarbone, dragging open his shirt. He looked up at Erik through wide, half-lidded eyes, the picture of debauchment, and asked, "Does that mean we're finding a bed?"

 

Erik grabbed Charles by the thighs and pulled him to the edge of the table while he muttered, "How in the hell do you make everyone think you're the perfect little untouched academic?"

 

Charles chuckled and planted a solid kiss on Erik before he pulled back to mutter, hot breath in Erik's ear, "Because the good people of Genosha don't like to touch me."

 

Erik groaned the lunged for Charles again, embracing a few more seconds of frantic kissing before a forceful pound hit the front door. Erik pulled back, burying his face in Charles' neck and groaning, "It's Logan."

 

Charles nuzzled Erik's temple and muttered, "I'll take care of that."

 

"How?"

 

"I'm perfectly capable of making Logan think he's a fiver year old girl until I've finished with you."

 

Erik smiled into the hollow of Charles' throat, pressing an open-mouthed kiss there and making Charles squirm before he replied, "And when people figure out that your chief of security has lost his mind everyone else will join him."

 

Charles groaned, knowing that Erik was right. "We could be quick about it."

 

Erik raised his head and gave Charles a slow, chaste kiss. "No, when I have you it's going to on a bed, and without half the country waiting at the door."

 

A week of furtive lunches stolen from Charles' hectic schedule (for which Erik entirely blamed Emma) later, Erik and Charles still hadn't found a bed. Erik however, had finally gotten word about the assassin he'd actually come to Genosha for.

 

On an otherwise pleasant afternoon word came to Erik through Gambit dropping by the bakery. As usual, the boy toured the glass cases full of baked goods before he stopped in front of Kitty with a lecherous smile and asked whether or not Erik had finally caved and made him some 'genuine, Louisiana King Cake.' Kitty would blush, say no, and in between bouts of leering at her Gambit would sigh and say he'd just take a double slice of Lady Baltimore Cake then. Kitty would bend over to fetch him two slices and while he was staring at her behind Gambit would toss a card to the back room. 

 

As usual, it all went according to plan and Erik plucked the card out of the cork board tacked to his back wall (the one Erik insisted Gambit hit if he didn't want to be dragged in back to repair the damage his cards did otherwise). Scratched in Gambit's messy scrawl along the card's border was, Sab wants you at the beach at dusk. 

 

Erik snorted in amusement as right on schedule the card disintegrated in Erik's hand, the residual energy from Gambit's power acting like a timer and destroying the card before anyone but Erik had the chance to read it.

 

Erik milled about the back of the shop, putting things in the fridge, or rotating them earlier to the ovens while he wound down the clock. He didn't anticipate spending long with Sabretooth, who was usually even more taciturn than his brother, but it never hurt to be prepared. 

 

At sunset Erik roamed down to the beach, letting his metal sense guide him to the slab of ruthless muscle waiting for him on the rocks. Erik stood out of claw range and waited for Sabretooth to do the speaking. The other mutant waited several minutes before he muttered, "I'm supposed to take out James so their other guy can kill Xavier." 

 

Far too much time with the Howlett brothers was the only reason Erik knew 'James' was Wolverine, and not for the first time he ignored the urge to ask for their history. "Of course," Erik grunted instead, "there are two assassins. Because that's not overkill."

 

"Considering I'm here not killing James, two was probably a good plan."

 

"Considering it meant killing James I'd think you'd jump at the opportunity."

 

Sabretooth grunted something indistinguishable, and Erik waited again. After several long minutes of watching the waves roll in and melt out Sabretooth muttered, "I owe you a debt. Letting you save the man who makes you smell like that pays it."

 

Erik actually turned to face Sabretooth to ask, "Smell like what?"

 

"Happy." Sabretooth grunted, like he found the whole thing distasteful. 

 

Since he probably did, Erik let it go at that and asked, "Who's the other assassin?"

 

"Hell if I know."

 

"How am I supposed to stop them if I don't know who they are?"

 

Sabretooth shrugged, "That's not my problem."

 

Raven Darkholme had not risen from her place as Xavier's blue sister' to one of the leaders of Genosha without being a smart woman. So when Charles came back from his lunch looking thrilled with the world and everyone in it, despite the fact he had flour in his hair, raised her suspicions. 

 

A change of skin and staying upwind of Logan while she followed Charles the next time he went to lunch was all she really needed to discover what was going on. (After all, Charles going into the bakery while the store was closed then coming out with sweaty sex hair told all the story she needed.) 

 

Raven had dropped by the new bakery at the insistence of one of her informants who insisted that Erik Lehnsherr was a mutant she needed to see. She'd adopted the guise of a brunette girl, slightly younger and slightly plainer than the girl working the counter. Raven had declared her cupcake delicious (which it was), and assumed in a questioning tone that the baker was a thermokinetic who used his power over heat to control the baking process. Kitty had smiled conspiratorially and said, "Actually he's telekinetic."

 

Raven had gone back over the next few days, each time wearing a different skin and observing the baker more than the goods and decided that Erik Lehnsherr was one of the most talented telekinetics she'd ever seen. His fine control was stunning, and he only ever bothered to use his hands, or even look at what he was moving, when there were other people watching, a habit most powerful mutants developed to downplay their skill around others.

 

Most interesting of all was when Emma dropped by and glowered at Raven's disguise as though her presence in the shop was interrupting something. Yes, there was something special about Erik Lehnsherr, Emma didn't talk to mutants who weren't. 

 

Raven had sent Charles to the Baker in the hope that Charles would pick up something interesting, and she had faked an interest in the man to induce Charles into telling the truth. And now, Charles was skiving off work to make out with him. 

 

Yes, there was something special about Erik Lehnsherr. 

 

However, according to her operatives, all Lehnsherr did was bake all day and then sleep in the little apartment above the shop at night. The only breaks to that schedule were visits from Charles and a weekly trip to the grocery store for ingredients.

 

So when Lehnsherr roamed down to the beach while he was supposed to be working, Raven took it upon herself to do the tailing. Imagine her surprise when Erik went straight to a waiting Sabretooth, one of Genosha's most wanted. Raven watched them chat, irritated that both men were facing the ocean so she couldn't read their lips, and watched them part company with polite nods.

 

Raven sauntered up the hill back to the government offices and went straight to Charles' office. Charles' secretary popped up from her desk the moment Raven stepped into the waiting area, "Miss Darkholme-"

 

Raven strode right past the girl, "No Cory, this is important." 

 

"But Miss Darkholme-" Raven shoved open the door and Charles called out, "Don't worry about it, Cory dear."

 

Raven slammed the door behind her and Charles quirked an eyebrow, "Is there something bothering you?"

 

Raven went straight to Logan and slapped him across the face, something she was not afraid to admit she'd wanted to do for quite some time. "What kind of security officer are you!" she demanded. 

 

Raven pulled back to strike again, but for the first time in years, Charles reached out with his mind and stopped her from moving. She turned to shout at him for touching her thoughts in such a way, but the fury in Charles' eye stopped her. "Raven, an explanation would be best."

 

Had Raven been less furious herself then she might've delivered the news more gently, but as it was she spat out, "Erik Lehnsherr is a spy."

 

Rather than freak out, Charles paused, then leaned back in his chair, completely zen, and asked, "What makes you think that?" 

 

"Intelligence gathering is what I do, Charles." Raven derided.

 

"Really, I was under the impression your job had ceased to be intelligence gathering and was now meant to be the smooth running of a country."

 

"Charles," Raven scolded, leaving her place in front of Logan and dropping down on his desk. "I'm not trying to be cruel, Charles."

 

"And I'd simply like an explanation for your assertion."

 

"He's been consorting with Sabretooth."

 

"Show me." Charles demanded, and for the first time in a long while Raven remembered why people were so taken with her brother. Raven thought very specifically of following Erik to the beach and seeing him in his pleasant chat with Sabretooth, all while devoutly not thinking of all the plotting she'd been doing before. 

 

Charles was on his feet in a heartbeat and out the door, and not even the glare that Logan gave her promising disembowelment for this could stop her from following. 

 

Emma had felt the strong and steady beat of Logan's mind twice before, each time when the shit was about to hit the fan in a way Logan didn't think he could stop alone. To feel it from across the government building when there was no alarm blaring was frankly one of the more terrifying things she'd experienced since the revolution. Emma caught up to a furious Charles at the building's exit and plucking the whole mess of the matter from Raven's mind was the work of a moment. (Charles may respect the wish of staying out Raven's mind, but Emma had no such compunctions about doing it on his behalf.)

 

Emma forwent regular speech, knowing that she would be shouted down by Raven and her 'proof' the moment she opened her mouth (and forcibly stopping the girl from speech would only prove to make Charles even more furious). Straight to Charles' mind she said, Charles, it's not- and the man shut her out completely. Apparently Charles wasn't in the mood to hear from anyone but Erik.

 

Charles stormed all the way to the bakery and Emma cast out with her powers to keep them from being noticed. (She shuddered to think what would happen if the whole of Genosha got a firsthand glimpse at Charles Xavier losing control.) Charles tossed open the door to the bakery and Emma quickly pressed on Kitty's mind that now was the time to be anyplace that wasn't here. 

 

Erik heard the ruckus and came around the corner, knife in hand and flour up to his elbows. Emma pursed her lips at the apparently vain hope that Erik might look befitting his status for a change. Erik dropped the knife to the counter and asked, "Something wrong?" 

 

Logan spoke before any of them, "Raven thinks you're working for Victor."

 

Erik snorted, "Sabretooth would sooner gut me than work with me."

 

"And yet," Raven interrupted, "you spoke with him today without being gutted."

 

"Because he owed me." Erik shrugged. "Sabretooth hates having debts."

 

"And what could a baker possibly have done to earn Sabretooth's debt?"

 

Erik looked at a still not speaking Charles and gave him the answer, "The government had him in a cage. I broke him out."

 

Raven snorted, "And how would you find yourself in a position to do that?"

 

Erik calmly stuck his hands in his pockets and replied, "It's what I do."

 

"Rescue known terrorists?"

 

"Protect mutants. Ferry them here. Stop the men who would harm our people."

 

Raven laughed and jumped straight to the heart of the matter, latching on to the stories of salvation from oppression the mutants spread. "You honestly expect Charles to believe that Magneto came to Genosha to open a bakery?"

 

"No," Erik spat through gritted teeth, "I expect him to believe that I came here to hunt down whoever was trying to kill him."

 

"And why would you need to be here for that? Isn't that was Genosha's security force is for?" Raven sneered.

 

"He's the best." Emma interrupted. 

 

"What about-" Raven tried to continue and Emma interrupted, "Anyone you name, he's beaten. There is no one better at this than Erik Lehnsherr. No one."

 

"That's not possible. We've got half a dozen telekinetics on this island with added secondary mutations!"

 

"It's very difficult for any secondary mutation to beat you when you're ripping the iron out of someone's blood." Erik snapped.

 

Charles cleared his throat, and everyone stopped moving. "Magneto is metallokinetic, not telekinetic. I've seen you move things that aren't metal."

 

Erik slowly moved his hand and a ceramic plate came floating off the shelf and into the blank space between Erik and Charles. Erik twisted the plate so Charles could have a clear view of the bottom of the dish while a fine dusting of metal floated off the bottom. Without warning the plate crashed to the floor, suddenly without anything for Erik to hold on to, and the metal powder coalesced into a miniature metal ball that he floated over to Charles.for.examination. "Everything in this shop is coated with the metal dust." 

 

"And outside?"

 

Erik reached into his pocket and pulled out three marble sized metal balls and explained, "These are always with me." Erik floated them up out of his hand, slowly rotating them in a perfect orbit between him and Charles. Charles watched intently as the three balls melted into nine, then each divided into three of their own and became twenty-eight, became eighty-four, became two hundred fifty two, until Erik and Charles were surrounded by a constellation of glinting metal fragments orbiting them as stars. Charles reached out and ran his hand through the gentle touch of the metal and it suddenly coalesced, wrapping around Charles' hand like a ribbon before it settled on him like a glove, bending with him. Charles felt the metal rippling around his hand, slowly gathering itself in, back to the three metal balls that settled in his palm. 

 

The display had been beautiful, the technical precision of it perfect, and that more than anything told Charles that Erik truly was metallokinetic. 

 

Raven broke the silence of the moment, "Metallokinetic or not, that doesn't make you Magneto."

 

"Have you heard of another metallokinetic?" Emma snapped.

 

"That doesn't meant they don't exist!" 

 

Without looking away from Charles, Erik said, "Emma, show Charles the truth."

 

She paused, "What memory do you want me to show him?"

 

"Whatever memory you think will tell him who I am."

 

Charles felt Emma push forward a bright ball of memory and without waiting for anyone to think better of it Charles poked the memory with his mental fingers and was instantly overwhelmed. Only another telepath could parse through the rush of information, the blinding flow of panic of Emma being tortured by another mutant, then experimentation by humans, and the joy of being broken out by the man who moved metal. She shared with Charles an overview: Erik's belief that there was more power to be had in a name than in an actual person, the fear and hope he could bring if people thought more of him as a spirit than as a man, and weeks ago, a message from Erik, warning Emma he would step on to Genosha for the very first time because he'd heard tell that someone was coming to kill Xavier, and Erik couldn't let that happen.

 

Charles slipped out of Emma's mind and took a moment to get his feet back under him, then stepped straight into Erik's space, wrapping his arms around the baker and pressing his face into Erik's chest, just feeling Erik's heart beat under his cheek. 

 

Erik froze at the reaction, then decided not to question his good luck and pulled Charles closer, burying his face in the other man's hair. He didn't want to interrupt the moment on the off chance that this was just Charles' particularly cruel way of saying goodbye, but Erik had to hesitantly ask, "Charles?"

 

Charles all but keened into Erik's breastbone, and Erik ran his fingers through Charles' floppy hair and whispered, "What's wrong?"

 

Emma, sly vixen that she was smirked, "Communicating telepathically with another telepath is an all-encompassing experience." 

 

Erik furrowed his brow in confusion and Logan relied with a smirk, "She outed you."

 

"Outed… oh, she told him I love him. Then why is he sad?" Erik asked like he wasn't terrified.

 

Charles tilted his head back and looked up at Erik, "Not sad, overwhelmed."

 

Erik pursed his lips, "Why?"

 

Charles gave him a gentle smile and unfurled his mind, wrapping it around Erik's. There was absolute stillness for a moment before Erik was pulled with Charles back to the first moments of their meeting. Charles had been overwhelmed by the mental presence of him, very nearly weak in the knees from the rush of mental compatibility. Charles had been taken with Erik from almost the same moment he'd first seen Erik smile. 

 

"So, you're not mad I didn't tell you?"

 

Charles laughed, "Erik, you've been hiding that you're Magneto, I can't imagine a time when that would be bad news."

 

"Charles," Raven interrupted, her tone far more in control than when she'd started, and reminded, "we do have to be getting back to the office."

 

Charles pressed a gentle kiss to the corner of Erik's mouth, "She is right. The last thing we need is extra attention." 

 

Erik pressed a far more thorough kiss to Charles' lips and replied, "You'll be back after work?"

 

"I promise." And with a peck, Charles was gone.

 

Cory looked up when Charles stepped into the waiting area, ready to ask the Professor how his strange departure from the office had gone, then caught sight of a furious Raven coming along behind him and decided this wasn't the best time to ask. Apparently Xavier anticipated the fight would be so terrible that he'd sent Logan off to fetch him tea. 

 

She gave the Professor a sympathetic look and reached into her desk drawer, flicking the switch on the psionic shield that she kept reserved for just such occasions as these. The shield would block out all the noise and psychic energy the siblings were about to unleash in one of their epic battles of will. Charles gave Cory a grateful smile before he slipped into his office while Raven completely ignored the secretary and stormed in behind her brother with a slammed door. 

 

The moment the door closed behind Raven and completed the psionic shield, Cory's expression smoothed into blankness. Her guise as the slightly bumbling, but still terribly loyal secretary to Charles Xavier was one she'd ably worn for months since Xavier's original secretary had been conveniently promoted. 

 

'Cory' could sense the emotions of others and had patiently waited for the moment when she could lock Xavier behind the psionic shield with someone who's emotions were spiraling out of control. Had Xavier been a less powerful telepath 'Cory' simply would've reversed the shield's polarity so the emotions they were emitting would be turned back on them until they snapped under the pressure and did something unforgivable. However, Xavier was strong enough to know that his mind was being tampered with, making that not an option. Instead, 'Cory' turned the shield up to its highest setting and stood to lock the waiting area door that led to the main hall before she turned back to Xavier's office to kill them both. 

 

XXXXX

 

Emma watched with no little amusement while Erik all but danced around the back of his shop, humming to himself while he baked something with an obscene amount of layers. Erik had slipped beyond happy and gone straight to euphoric, and despite all she would protest to the contrary, a happy Erik was a thing of beauty. Already she was drafting the press release to announce Erik and Charles' inevitable elopement. She didn't particularly believe in stable, committed relationships (having been experimented upon by her last boyfriend), but Erik and Charles were so spectacularly odd together that she thought they just might work.

 

Erik went from slicing perfectly even layers of cake with his powers while he whisked the frosting by hand one moment, to collapsing with a pained gasp the next. 

 

Emma didn't bother to respect the boundaries of Erik's mind and dove straight in, finding the aching, dark corner where there used to be soothing light. Erik got ahold of himself after the initial shock and looked to Emma in horror, "Charles."

 

XXXXX

 

Cory stepped inside Charles' office and he took advantage of the respite from yelling to ask, "Yes Cory, what is it?"

 

"Now isn't the best time, Charles." Raven snapped.

 

"Standing here so you can shout at me for telling you the truth doesn't take precedence over actual business, Raven."

 

"I am terribly sorry, Professor." Cory interrupted. "But it's not technically a matter of business." Cory flicked out a psionic dagger before either sibling had a chance to react and sent it straight for Xavier's chest. 

 

Raven grabbed Charles and hauled him down, dropping him behind the massive oak desk where he could be out of the way before she leapt over the desk with a flip and went straight for the assassin. Cory hadn't been sent on this mission because she was an amateur, and she spun out of the way, calling up another psionic blade, this one longer, and swung it at Raven while she was still in her jump.

 

The laws of physics demanded that Raven continue to fall in the direction she was moving, which would carry her straight into the psionic sword, but as with so many mutants, the laws of the natural world didn't seem to apply. Raven twisted back mid-flight and out of the way of the blade, kicking out her leg and catching Cory in the face. Cory spun around and struck out again only to freeze when her hand was run through by a shaft of metal. 

 

Cory screamed and whirled around, face to face with Charles' Baker. Cory sneered and summoned up another blade, only to find her hand forced into a fist by unflinching metal. She flipped backwards and went straight for the desk, intent on at least achieving the death of Xavier, even without the alibi. Cory went crashing to the ground mid-jump, dragged down by her belt buckle. Cory reached out with her mind to attack in a new way, and found herself tucked in an unflinching little mental ball by Xavier. From one moment to the next she lost control over her limbs and felt the gentle glide of Xavier's gift sift through her mind in search of details. 

 

Xavier softly turned her over, still refusing her the use of her limbs, and announced, "Her name is Kwannon, though she goes by Revanche." Xavier paused, "She has been waiting for someone to lose their temper with me so she could implicate them with my murder."

 

"That bitch was going to pin your murder on me?" Raven asked, trying for furious but more horrified than anything.

 

"I believe this instance would have been murder/suicide." Xavier replied in a detached tone, still sifting.

 

"Why?" Frost asked, and Kwannon assumed the woman had come in with the Baker. 

 

"The standard claptrap about my views posing a threat to the cause of mutant superiority." 

 

"Charles-" Raven went to interject, but Emma interrupted, "Considering one of them just tried to kill your brother Mystique, now is not the time to be defending their opinions." 

 

From the corner of her eye Kwannon could see Charles look over to the door and finally piece together who had saved the day. "Not that I'm not thrilled by your excellent timing Erik, I am a little curious how you happened to find you way here at the perfect moment."

 

"It was the psionic shield." Emma interrupted. "You haven't been behind one since you took up space in Erik's mind, and when the shield cut it off he felt you go dark."

 

Charles' eyes widened, "Oh dear."

 

The Baker, Erik she assumed, said in an amused voice, "Are you lamenting that I felt you go dark or that I was in a position to do so?"

 

"Probably should be the latter, but I'm afraid I can't quite bring myself to regret that."

 

Kwannon had a clear enough view of Charles that she could see the ridiculous smile that spread across his face at whatever the Baker was doing. Xavier moved out of her field of vision and toward the Baker was the last thing she saw before Frost sent her to sleep. 

 

 

Charles had had quite enough for the day, and between Emma's tap dancing and Logan's glower he was safely swept away to Erik's apartment. Logan entrusted Charles to Erik's care with a strange blend of smirk and glower while he went out to make sure Kwannon had been acting alone. (Charles thought that under the circumstances Erik might've been insulted on behalf of his intelligence gathering, but being ordered to get Charles behind a locked door and not open it seemed to quell the offense.)

 

Erik ushered Charles straight into his shower (with superb water pressure that Charles suspected came from Erik's power) and refused all Charles' advances. Though 'refuse' might not be the best term for it. The moment the apartment door closed behind them Erik had picked Charles up (no powers involved) and pressed him down to the couch, draping his sturdy weight over Charles and gently kissing him, as though he wanted proof the other man was still with him.

 

Charles had stroked Erik's mind with gentle, reassuring fingers, drawing Erik closer to him in every way. After a few minutes of slow and steady kisses, that stayed the same pace no matter how much Charles pressed up against Erik, the Baker pulled back. Erik buried his face in Charles' neck and muttered, "You're going to kill me."

 

"Really? Because I'd assumed from the fact that we're both still clothed that you seem to be unaffected."

 

Erik snorted out a breathless laugh and slipped off Charles and held out a hand to help him to his feet. "You've just had a traumatic experience."

 

Charles made no move to sit up, instead arching his back and stretching his arms back behind his head. Erik's eye twitched and he leaned in half a breath towards Charles before he pulled back and snapped, "No, right now you're taking a shower, then I'm going to feed you, then you're going to bed."

 

Charles smirked at Erik for his attempt at willpower and all but slithered up, coming to his feet deep inside Erik's space. "I concede to both the shower and the eating, so long as you plan on joining me for both."

 

Erik actually had the gall to smirk at Charles before he hefted Charles up and tossed him over his shoulder. "You have half an hour before the pizza turns up. If you're not out by then I'm eating without you." Charles had just stared at Erik like this was not how Erik was supposed to be reacting. In retaliation Charles shimmied out of his cardigan and stripped off his shirt before Erik had the chance to leave the bathroom. Charles put his hands to his belt and stared Erik straight in the eyes while he started to unbuckle. Charles had been expecting Erik to flush at least and at most cave and join him in the shower. 

 

Instead, Erik quirked an eyebrow and joined Charles' hands on that belt buckle, slowly stripping Charles of his last few layers of clothes and never breaking eye contact. When Erik finally had Charles standing naked before him, instead of touching, or kissing, or even taking an appreciative glance, Erik flicked his wrist and turned the shower on full blast and left Charles without a word. 

 

By the time Charles was done with the shower he smelled like Erik's soap and was about ten seconds away from diving into the man's head and finding out just how long he intended to make Charles wait. 

 

Charles tossed a towel low around his waist, not quite willing to roam through apartment room naked when there was a good chance Logan might be there waiting, and stormed out into the living room, only to stop in surprise. While Charles had been in the shower devising new and terrible ways to either get Erik into bed or make him wish he'd never been born, Erik had apparently been planning to comfort Charles about someone trying to kill him. 

 

Erik, the beautiful bastard, had dug a meditation mat out of somewhere and had it spread out in the middle of a sea of candles, just waiting for Charles. Erik looked up a Charles' sputter of shock and a flare of panic flashed across his face, like he'd done something wrong. "Emma," Erik explained, "when things got rough Emma would pull out her candles and meditate. Since she never struck me as the type of person who would meditate of her own free will and choice I always assumed it was a telepath thing and not an Emma thing."

 

When Charles didn't reply Erik started putting candles out, "You don't have to, we can just move straight on to-"

 

"Erik Lehnsherr." Charles interrupted. "If you don't have sex with me right now, I will not be held responsible for my actions." Erik paused and looked around the room, like he'd only just realized that he'd basically laid out a bed for them and surrounded it with candles. In case Erik didn't quite get the memo, Charles dropped his towel and put his hands on his hips as if to say, 'I dare you to walk away. I dare you.'

 

Needless to day, Erik Lehnsherr was not one to back away from a dare.

 

XXXXX

 

Erik woke the next morning to the smell of tea and cake. Specifically a sponge cake. (And yes, he could smell the difference.) 

 

He'd been hoping to wake up with Charles wrapped around him, just like he'd fallen asleep, and spend the morning doing what they'd been doing the night before, but apparently Charles had a different plan. Erik rolled out of bed and tossed on a pair of boxers before followed the smell of cake down the stairs to the back of the shop.

 

Charles was standing at the counter with a wide bowl in one hand and a whisk in the other, locked in a battle of wills with whipping cream. Erik sidled up behind him and wrapped his arms around Charles' trim waist to murmur, "I thought you were supposed to be a genius?"

 

"I studied genetics." Charles huffed. 

 

"This is just chemistry." Erik smirked and plucked the bowl out of Charles' hands with his powers. Another bowl, deeper and narrower this time, came floating over and Erik transferred the cream to its new vessel while letting his hands trace the line of Charles' ribs. "You whip the cream to add air and make it thicken. Without the air, the cream stays flat."

 

"Ah," Charles leaned back against Erik's chest, "that's why you got the deeper bowl, so your whisk would have more surface area."

 

Erik slowly slid his hands up Charles' front, dragging the shirt along with his palms, "Well, you know how I feel about surface area."

 

Charles paused for a moment then started to giggle. "Really? Did you honestly just try and use 'surface area' as innuendo?"

 

Erik reached one hand under Charles' shirt and stroked the smooth skin of his belly, "I seem to recall you screaming about how much you liked the size of my hands last night."

 

"No, I'm fairly certain I was screaming about the size other parts of you." Charles smirked.

 

Erik hmm-ed and nibbled along Charles' neck, finding that spot at the base of his throat that made Charles arch his back and offer up his throat in pleasure. Erik smiled and slowly started to work Charles' shirt up so he could tug it off. 

 

But contrary to Erik's plan, the oven timer went off before he could begin disrobing Charles. Despite the fact that Erik could've handled the oven with his powers and done so without leaving his spot plastered to Charles' back, Charles popped up and darted over to the oven, leaving Erik behind.

 

Charles grabbed a hot pad and pulled the cake out of the oven, turning around to see Erik with his hands on his hips and an expression on his face that demanded, 'are you kidding me'? Charles just grinned, "I thought it might be nice if someone made you cake for a change. And you did save my life after all, you deserve some gratitude."

 

"Actually, I'd prefer you display your gratitude in the way you were just doing."

 

Charles smirked, "You mean standing passively while you feel me up?"

 

Erik put the cake on the counter with his power and wrapped his arms back around Charles, "As a preliminary. I prefer your gratitude to come from all that writhing you do when when you're trying to come."

 

Charles went up to his tip-toes and pressed a gentle kiss to Erik's lips before pulling back with a smile, "After cake."

 

Erik snorted and set the cake pan spinning with his gift. "What are you doing?" Charles asked.

 

"Rapid cooling."

 

Charles just laughed at Erik's impatience and went back to the steady kisses while the cake cooled, more than a little impressed with Erik's ability to make out with Charles while still operating his powers. After several minutes Erik pulled back from the kiss and murmured, "Your cake is done."

 

"Lovely!" Charles pulled away again, but Erik didn't let him get far, his front to Charles' back while he leaned his chin against Charles' temple and watched him finish the cake, all with no kinetic interference. Charles removed the tall cake from its pan and sliced it into three even layers. Charles bent over at a delightful angle to try and get the layers even, and if Erik gave the occasional nudge with his powers to ensure perfection, Charles didn't mind. 

 

Erik pulled out the jam and slid over the bowl of whipping cream and watched Charles slather both in between the layers of cake. Erik pressed a gentle kiss to Charles' neck while he pulled down forks and plate. However, instead of the posh plates Erik had been expecting Charles to serve, the man turned his fork on the whole cake. 

 

Charles held out a thick forkful of the cake and Erik stretched his lips took the bite in the most obscene way he could. Erik hmm-ed at the pleasant taste and Charles pressed a soft kiss to his lips before he murmured, "I think that's enough cake don't you?" 

 

Erik pushed the cake gently out of the way and leaned Charles back against the table while he groaned, "Absolutely, yes."