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Sheathed

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Some days, Erik feels like a tiger in a pit, or a shark in a net. Other days, he feels like a sword, rusting unused in its scabbard.

He's spent most of his life on the move, hunting - and if he stopped anywhere, if he stayed anyplace for any length of time, there was always a purpose to it, something he was waiting on.

He's used to waiting, but not used to doing it without knowing what he's waiting on or how long he'll be at it. If he'd thought about it before, he'd have said he'd be done with that, the waiting, by now. That he'd have some purpose, some new goal to work toward.

He's not used to standing still.

*

It's easier when he keeps busy, but that's harder on the weekends. Charles insists that weekends actually resemble weekends now: no structured training scheduled for anyone (not that Charles' definition of "structured" resembles anything), and Charles sleeps in.

Most weekends, Erik can handle it that Charles stays in bed until noon, or one, or even two. But the weather's turned, and it's drizzling out; and while Erik can handle being wet, and he can handle being cold, he loathes being wet and cold. It's almost as bad as being hungry, and so he's passed up his run this morning in favor of eating Charles' food, pacing through Charles' halls, flipping through one of Charles' books.

Finally, Erik just can't take it anymore, and goes back to Charles' room (their room). Charles is in the exact position he was when Erik woke up this morning, lying prone on his stomach with his face pressed so firmly into his pillow that it's surprising he can breathe. His feet stick out from under the covers at the other end.

Not for the first time, Erik wonders why he doesn't hate Charles. Charles is the kind of man who's either too incompetent or too lazy to so much as iron his own shirts (if Erik had to bet on which it is, he'd bet lazy, considering Charles' arguments, 'Most of us can't make the iron move of its own accord' and 'the practice will be good for you' for why Erik should be the one to do it.).

Erik should have no use for a man like that. He has no patience for sloth in others when he's never allowed for it in himself. And yet.

"You should get up," Erik says.

"Mmmm," Charles says into his pillow, Too comfortable. Sorry.

Erik considers his options. The first is to rip the covers off Charles to force him awake - but he knows from past experience that that won't end well. Charles handles being suddenly cold with less grace than Erik handles anything (Erik handles everything with a fluid, dangerous grace, long since cultivated to perfection), and as amusing as that is some days, Erik doesn't feel like fighting today.

The second option is much more promising.

Erik begins to undress, pulls his shirt off first, folds it and sets it on Charles' armchair before continuing. He goes slowly and deliberately, knowing that as much as Charles complains about Erik's fastidiousness at times, he enjoys a show.

Though a show would require Charles to have his eyes open, which he doesn't. Erik frowns at this observation.He strips out of his khakis and underwear without bothering to be sensual about it, then walks over the bed, lifts up the covers and slides in.

It's warm under the blankets, warmer still the closer he gets to Charles. The heat radiates off him, inviting. Erik lays his hand on Charles' back, in between his shoulder blades, then leans in until his lips brush Charles' ear, and says, again, "You should get up."

"Mmph," Charles says, and doesn't move.

Erik rolls his eyes, then takes the lobe of Charles' ear into his mouth and sucks on it pointedly, making sure to breathe even louder out his nose than he needs to, knowing how quickly and well Charles typically responds to that. He even growls a couple of times, knowing Charles likes that at least as much.

"Mmmm," Charles says, as Erik begins to rub his back as well, Lovely, that's lovely.

Erik keeps on with it, Charles shifting only minutely under his hands as he continues giving off "Mmm"s and Oh yeses, along with the occasional flash of sensation, heat and air and noise in his ear, the friction of Erik's palm up and down his back, the way his face has actually melded into, become one with the pillow, how lovely it all is -

It occurs to Erik that Charles really isn't going to get up.

Well, no. More comfortable now. Think I'll stay just like this, if you don't mind.

Erik does mind; and if he were unaffected, he'd get back out of the bed right now in disgust and go find something else to do (regardless that there is nothing to do). But Erik is far from unaffected, and he has no intention of running off to finish by himself anywhere else, now that he's started here.

"Mmm," Charles comments, That's good. Erik takes Charles' ear in his teeth. That'sbetter.

Erik scrapes Charles' ear between his teeth until he gets bored of it, which, since he has more patience with indulging Charles when Charles is helping, doesn't take long. Then he lets it go, ignoring Charles' protest of "Mrph," and What no cold, and kisses the back of Charles' neck, then pulls the blanket over his own head and begins kissing his way down the soft line of Charles' spine in the dark.

He ignores Charles' suggestions, a slower here and an ohhh, a little to the right there, until he reaches the sensitive spot above Charles' tailbone, where he lingers - not because Charles requests it, not because Charles demands it, but because Charles doesn't say anything about it other than to grumble something wordless into Erik's head that might have been Fine be that way I don't care if he'd bothered to put it into words. How he can be lazy enough not to use words when he doesn't even have to move his mouth to speak them, Erik doesn't know, but he finds himself grinning against Charles' skin, and gives Charles what he knows Charles wants, lavishing attention on that patch of skin, licking and sucking and biting at it, until Charles' "Mmmm"s into the pillow have turned into groans.

Charles could lie here all afternoon, letting Erik do just this; Erik doesn't have the patience. And so, the moment he catches the first whisper at the back of his mind about how he should keep it up forever, Erik stops - grinning again at Charles' muffled little sound of protest - and reaches out from under the blankets and catches the jar of Vaseline as it flies toward him from off the nightstand. He unscrews the lid, slicks up his fingers, and, without giving the chill of it any time to wear off, reaches over to Charles' ass (Charles' perfect ass, and Erik can't help but linger over the curve of Charles' buttock with his hand, for just a moment), and sticks one finger in without ceremony or warning, grinning even harder at the way Charles clenches around it, the little grunt he makes into the pillow, the way he can't make up his mind between Bastard, and Ohhh, and goes with both and neither.

Erik lowers his lips to that spot on Charles' back again, and matches the rhythm of first one finger and then two to that of his mouth, and it's not long before Charles, for all his insistence on not putting in a fraction of an ounce of the effort, begins to move under Erik, rutting against the sheets and then back against Erik's hand.

Erik thinks, then, that if Charles would lift himself onto his knees, just slightly, Erik could take his cock with his free hand, and work it with the same rhythm he's using now, bringing Charles to his climax with his mouth sucking at Charles' skin, fingers of one hand inside him and the other hand wrapped around him -

But, work, Charles points out, and far from being further irritated by Charles' incredible sloth, Erik finds himself elated - he hadn't known, he hadn't realized until just this moment, how much he wants Charles like this - how much he wants to take Charles, just like this, lying pliant and vulnerable beneath him the same way that Erik's mind is vulnerable to him every minute of every day.

Erik's own breathing suddenly seems very loud, as if the covers all around him are amplifying the sound, bouncing it back at him.

He pulls his fingers out, reaches into the jar again and runs his slick hand over his cock once, twice; then he positions himself above Charles, spreads him out and sinks into him in one smooth motion. He stays poised like that for a few seconds, taking in the clench of Charles' heat around his cock - so much tighter than around his fingers, so much better - then begins to move.

"Mmmm," Charles says, and moans, and his thoughts then go to flashes of sensation instead of anything remotely like words: and the drag of the sheets against Charles' cock and the heaviness of Charles' limbs and the stretch of Erik's cock inside him spur Erik on at least as much as knowing he's fucking Charles into submission does -

Pfft. Hardly, in among the other things, and Erik falters for a beat and then chooses to ignore that and finds his rhythm again, letting Charles have it harder and faster, giving him something else to think about now.

Charles gets louder, and louder, and even with the volume cut in half by the pillow, Erik can tell he's close; and then Charles comes up for air, turns his head so that there's nothing muffling his breathing or his moans, and he's so loud like this - no louder than he usually is, but the contrast seems to make it something more, this time.

They don't normally orgasm together; once or twice, in all these months, and that's it, Charles tending to lose himself to his climax early while Erik holds off his own, lets it build as long as he can.

But as Erik lowered his hand on a beach in Cuba because Charles asked it of him, now Charles calls for him, so loudly, and Erik can't help but follow him, down, down.

Erik collapses onto Charles slowly, draping over him like (yet another) blanket and gasping for breath. Charles' face is flushed, and he's grinning, though his eyes remain closed (out of laziness or stubbornness, though at this point Erik can't distinguish).

When Erik's breathing calms, he severs from Charles, and rolls away. He watches Charles for a few moments, and then says, "Aren't you going to get up?"

"Not anytime soon," Charles says, and then turns his head so that his face is once again planted in the pillow. I feel entirely too lovely to waste it by getting out of bed.

Erik really can't understand why he doesn't hate Charles.

He intends to get out of the bed, to stalk out of the bedroom, to wander around until Charles deigns to grace him with his company; but before he can throw the covers off, Charles turns his head toward him, opens his eyes and says, "You really don't, do you?"

"...I don't what," Erik says.

"Have the first idea what to do with yourself if you're not fucking, or fighting, or running. If you're not on the move to somewhere," Charles says, peering at him. Erik hates when Charles peers at him like that; he always feels like Charles is seeing too much, seeing right down to the core of him, even though he knows, he knows that Charles doesn't need his eyes to see everything about Erik.

"I never run," Erik says, as if he hadn't thought of fleeing Charles on that beach, hadn't thought of keeping that helmet and walking the other way, finding something else to do, finding somewhere else to be, rather than here, exposed and aimless and chafing at it constantly.

Charles considers him for a long moment, and then: "You're cranky. You need a nap."

Erik scoffs. Naps are for children.

He's about to say as much when Charles smiles, lazily, and says, "That's what makes them so lovely for the rest of us." He doesn't say anything else, and he doesn't give anything away through projecting his thoughts either, but from the way the blanket shifts over him Erik is suddenly certain that if he persists, if he wants it and pushes it just a little more, Charles will get out of bed - not because he wants to, but for Erik.

"I wouldn't be able to sleep. Not in the middle of the day," Erik says, and it's a concession, a softening he can't pretend is anything else.

"Come here," Charles says.

*

Erik wakes up three hours later in bed, alone, with a headache, a sour taste in his mouth, and in the foulest temper he can ever remember being in without a good reason. Meanwhile, though Charles is nowhere in sight, he's present in a contented, cheerful, annoying hum at the back of Erik's mind.

Erik obviously isn't made for domesticity, just as much as Charles obviously is.

He's no more than thought this when Charles' opinion makes its way up the stairs and through the halls and under the door from the kitchen: You only need a little practice at it. And perhaps an alarm clock, next time.