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Underneath Your Tide

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There are many ways in which Xavier has ensnared his lover, but the psychic cords-- so lately humming, held in waiting for Erik's reply-- are by far among those shackles dearest to the prisoner himself. Erik adores them, is in love with them because they are Charles. Just as any metal Lehnsherr manipulates becomes a proxy of himself, so too does the telepath's mutation blur the line between corporeal reality and the oft-dismissed metaphysical. In another era, Erik would have been considered a practitioner of dark magics-- damned for the perception of one identity, if not the fact of another. But, while stones might have been cast in his direction, too-- ah! It was far more likely Charles would have been a god.

(and you could be, still. I would be your priest as well as your general, neshama, mein schatz…)


It's a gift so powerful, at once elusive and omnipresent, that it is difficult to conceptualize. The CIA had seen, at best, a sort of organic 'battery' for McCoy's installation. At worst, they had dismissed 'mind-reading' as an outworn parlor trick. Even Erik hadn't truly understood just how vulnerable they all were; that it was less a strain for Xavier to hear and more a constant effort to single something intelligible out of the cacophony or
(sweet, transient relief)
hold it entirely at bay. The body that makes love to Lehnsherr is, in moments like these, betrayed as merely a handsome vessel-- marvelous architecture which the professor chooses to inhabit.


Charles' psyche holds Erik just as one would cup and shield a drop of dew. The cords multiply exponentially to form this cocoon, coalescing into a handful of thicker tendrils which dart, viper swift, down towards Erik's entrance. He would gasp at the sophistication of the sensory input, but the resulting wave of pleasure is so intense that for a moment he can not cry out, blink, or manage a single breath. To be penetrated by these bonds, fucked by their velvet texture and unyielding gentleness is not the sort of fantasy Erik could possibly conceive of consciously, let alone admit to. But there's no need, is there? Charles has been practicing, working through the mechanics during their separation. His conquering liebling has found another glittering piece of darkness, and made it fact.

Such brilliant, miniature stars flare before him right now, obscuring Erik's physical sight. Unconsciously, perhaps even due only to Charles' prompting, he takes a breath so deep and sweet it tastes as though he has just burst up from the depths. Over these sounds-- the tide of his blood in his ears, the white breakers of his own breath-- the echoing bursts of those stars preside. Within all of this, a still small voice speaks. The absolute reign of calm:

"So good for me, my love. Yes. Yes, you may."

And so Erik does, carried swelling and away in that glowing ecstasy, existing in one long moment during which he knows and chants only Charles' name.



By the time the bonds are finished having their way with Erik

('Their fill,' Charles corrects him at one point, after the second or third in this round of orgasms. Erik is vaguely surprised his lover has found a coherent thought upon which to comment, as he writhes in his snare of pleasure. If rationality remains afterward, it flees with Xavier's next words; 'They're hungry, my love. They've missed you just as much as I have, and we could just eat. you. up.' The somewhat predictable follow-up of being deep-throated by the professor is all the more Earth-shattering for the vigorous fucking of those invisible cords, working in tandem.)


he is a shivering wreck. He has drawn Charles into his lap; is holding and being held. It is a powerful position, reminiscent of the comfort he received after that first unconditional surrender to this beloved conquerer. As usual, Xavier has made use of the additional height from his perch, drawing Erik's head to rest under his chin. They press together, warmth and skin in such sensitized tandem that they almost share the same pulse.


It seems that these times as though the older mutant is briefly endowed with his lover's unique sight as well. Not the complicated, thorn-spangled web of telepathy, but Charles' perception of living-- of color, feeling, and of Erik himself. Despite the shadow cast by Cuba, Xavier's world is still arrayed in heraldic dyes, banners of shimmering thread that change even as one beholds them. There's a voluptuousness to experience, a willingness to see and feel all, despite the strange echoes and angles of the world. Optimism like the faded inks of illuminated manuscripts; erudition spread as the doors of Oxford's libraries thrown wide; devotion and affection of all forms rendered in tapestried hues.

Charles is easy to imagine amongst medieval stone towers-- or ivory ones, at least-- laden with embroidered hangings where the whispers of the world try to creep in. There is one panel in particular Erik recalls from his own patchwork education of the primary, classical, rabbinical, and the particular flavor learned at the executioner's knee. Where did he see it? No matter. It is a woven illustration, a labor of threads like brush-strokes. A white unicorn, kneeling within the confines of a fence over which it could easily leap. Yet it stays there content-- perhaps blissfully collared, if Erik's memory serves.

('Yes. Collared in blue, I believe,') Xavier sends, though it is not so much expressed in words as in his own internal snapshot of the same piece. He lifts a finger to caress along Erik's new finery, blaming Lehnsherr when the older man complains of lazy metaphors. ('You started it, love.')

There is a rippling, half-formed thought flowing beneath such humor, the swish of a night-creature's wild tail; 'And who is the captive of whom?' It fades before it can even cast a shadow, and who knows who it actually belonged to. There are times Erik is uncertain as to whether particular insights are generated by himself, Charles, or the… togetherness of them as a whole.
_That_ notion is rewarded with a kiss.


Chuckling indulgently, Charles leans away just enough to reach for the goblet of Tokay abandoned nearby. Erik responds to this with a faint, needy little noise, nuzzling against that delightful pulse as soon as his lover tilts back again.

"We should eat, my dear," Xavier says patiently, after a few more unprotesting moments in Erik's embrace. "I brought something down earlier-- time seems to have gotten away from me."

Reluctantly, Erik releases the telepath, slumping bonelessly against the divan. He's lost track of the number of orgasms he has experienced tonight and, though his throat now reminds him that a drink of water *would* be nice, he still feels half caught in the wine-dark world of Charles' caresses.

Though the professor is scarcely across the room, the all-too-familiar prickle of shame is-- as always-- hot on the former assassin's heels. His lover was right earlier, of course. Neither Erik or the boy-corpse within know how to grapple with praise. For too long was 'kleiner Erik Lehnsherr' reshaped by pain alone, messily restitched by animal responses of pain/punish and the 'reward' of neglect. The default, despite the rationality of adult intellect, always edges back towards

(bad, monster, failure, specimen, thing)

'wrong', further compounded by the years during which the standards never stayed the same long enough to allow for 'success'.


Despite wanting to be good for Charles, a part of Erik will always feel

(pathetic, broken, you did surrender, you _did_…)

reproach for himself, afterwards. The professor returns, bearing a small plate of fruit, cheese, and a little pile of sliced turkey folded like thin scraps of fleshy satin. He has a glass of water for Erik as well, setting both burdens on the low table.

"You're rather prepared," he grumbles. Yet, as soon as the telepath is within reach again, Lehnsherr has his hands on him. The relief is as ridiculous as it is potent.

"You've taught me the virtues of preparedness," Xavier teases gently. "I feared we wouldn't have much time to indulge, but Hank and Alex have promised to oversee the children's morning activities."

"All they've wanted to do the past few days is play in the snow-- even the older ones," the metal-bender says distractedly. It is a puzzling concept for him, the festivity cold precipitation engenders. He is also more than a little preoccupied with what has, in the last year or so, become quite a luxury: 'alone-time' with his young man.


Erik does not begrudge a single moment he and Charles have dedicated to shaping the future of their kind, but it's impossible to deny the satisfaction he feels in being the sole focus of the professor's attention. A double-sided echo, both of those days spent on the road recruiting, and of that timeless, ember-gilded period as Erik recovered from the stand-off with Shaw. Though never truly at use with perceived inaction, by his own impetus or otherwise, but he still treasures the memory of his neshama's coaxing hand; that dream-cycle of a sage's occultation, during which he was Charles' beloved, transgressive secret.

His return to life in the upper mansion was couched as a reunion with the X-men after brief, self-imposed exile in South America. The pretense of physical journey, to replace the circuitous metaphorical wanderings Erik undertook in his own heart and mind. He firmly resists the belief in miracles even now, as reluctant to acknowledge his oasis as he was unable to resist the pillar of fire that has led him hence.

('No one could break you. Erik, Erik... I don't want you to break. Just... bend.'

And how he had bent, to eat from that gentle palm, to lower his head in supplication and rest against those firm thighs. The snare of caresses about his neck and shoulders belonged to one awed by the weight he had carried. Who, knowing the vulnerability that comes with such strength, wished to ensure Erik never again labored under his burden alone.

'Our love-making was such a shadow, before.')



"Isn't it better this way?" Xavier asks presently, tone no less dreamy for the shadows stirring below the deeper flecks in those rich eyes. Not regret, precisely, and certainly not remorse. Simply a vein of pure gold remaining, trapped within the adamant his lover has become. "Dearest-- my dearest-- now there's no need to hide, for either of us." He strokes Erik's hair, holding his lover's skull as one might a delicate chalice, studying the older mutant's face as though the mind behind it had not been divined long ago. How easy, even from the first, to get lost in that vivid regard! The fight is not-- perhaps never truly was-- about wresting free of one another's grip, but rather only of proving how inescapable is the hold.

"We do hide, though," the former assassin murmurs, sentiment slipping between his lips like some sour drink. "All of us." 'Der emes kumt aroys vi boyml afn vaser' his mother used to hiss at his father, late at night-- but only when Erik was very young. There came a time when the truth was so evident and grotesque that it did not need to be spoken. Why bother, why borrow trouble?

"Wise words," Charles says, embrace tightening for a moment. "In regards to truth, and borrowing trouble. Don't fret about Trask, my love. The thought of mutation as a modern phenomena hasn't even coalesced in his mind. With a failed weapons demonstration, he won't be able to fund the research needed to investigate simple avenues, let alone the undertaking he would need to reach anything substantive. Hank and I have been subtle, but we've made a concentrated effort to move away from anything that could expose our kind. Academic vogue," this said with the disdain Charles reserves for the particularly petty aspects of university life, "has been trending that way already-- they want to believe that perceptible evolution always requires millions of years. Our leap forward is unconceivable, despite the implications of epigenetics and radiation research."


While he had not been thinking of Trask in particular, Erik does have the grace to look caught. The intricate spheres of his mind had indeed returned to old tracks, despite the torpidity floating so indulgently through his veins. The thought of himself and Charles, here in their precious bubble of night, led easily to thoughts of an equally rare morning during which the professor might indulge his preference for slow, lazy wakening. The task of rousing Charles in place of an alarm clock would be quite pleasant for Erik, as well, but there's a disquiet that gathers in the metal-bender when world feels too peaceful… too safe. The time to anticipate attack is when every front seems serene.

('I don't think having to reinforce the south wall counts as 'peaceful', precisely,') Charles chides, providing a clear image of the guilty parties-- Angel and Janos, of all people-- making an effort to look contrite even as they hissed at one another in Spanish.

That must be conceded, along with the fact that any ill-moods, colds, or weather-related restlessness could make it difficult for Hank and Alex to keep order quite long enough to reach morning snack time. Lehnsherr foresees a hoard of frolicking, snow-drenched children (and young adults who damn well ought to know better), resulting in sodden coats, mittens, and other such paraphernalia. Not two days ago, he had to stretch the wire screen in front of the fire place to accommodate the myriad garments that needed drying, and he wouldn't put it past Johnny to try his hand again at speeding things up-- no matter what warnings the pyrokinetic may have been given.

('Wool does go up awfully quickly,') Xavier's mental amusement always feels like the brush of a feather. "('Luckily, we don't have any sheep about for Johnny to set ablaze.')

"You could certainly keep them on these blasted grounds." In the spring, Erik will no doubt be leading a small troop of young mutants out to assist with gardening chores. Tom, of course, will offer to help. Always looking for an ingratiating angle, Betsy's human, and the metal-bender knows already that he will grudgingly have to accept. One half-pleading, seemingly resigned look from his lover will see to that.

And there it is. "Oh, you needn't be so hard on him. Betsy's very much in love with him and, while her telepathy isn't as advanced as her psychokinesis, she's strong enough to sense any duplicity."


That Charles would catch any traitorous thought long before she could remains unspoken. Lehnsherr has mostly resigned himself to the fact the mansion is so… inclusive. In this case, tolerating Lennox is better than having a squadron of humans from some lawn service milling about. That, Erik would not stand for-- no matter what the professor can make them ignore or forget later.

Xavier's sidelong glance would be coy if it weren't so penetrating. "He knows you don't like him."

"I'm perfectly polite," Erik mutters. Next he'll be expected to issue an invitation, rather than simple acceptance, in the name of 'team bonding' or some such nonsense. If he could bottle the sheer power of those cerulean eyes, he likely could rule the world, sans telepathy or other powers for that matter. He's heard the children fussing at one another often enough before, during, and after some escapade-- 'Don't make a mess! The professor will be disappointed at you.'

"Is it that bad?"

There's a ready answer for that, "Unequivocally. And you know it."

To which Charles responds with his own token grumble, itself quickly dissolving into a murmur of satisfaction as he begins suckling a bruise on his lover's collarbone.


Silence gathers around them in easy mists, a lapse in conversation that is by no means uncomfortable. A log pops once, twice, in the fireplace as Erik stares unseeing into the flames. For a little while, Charles seems content to share their embrace, nuzzling and petting absently at his lover's hair, but the gentle chiming of the room's single gilt-and-brass clock seems to act as a short of cue.

Without warning, the younger mutant rocks forward-- a playful attempt to overbalance them both back prone onto the divan. Or cause them to fall off, Erik thinks wryly, almost certain Charles was and is depending on his reflexes to save them both. The instinct is there and ready, one of the many reasons the metal-bender refuses to play-wrestle with the younger students. In one smooth twist, he has Charles underneath him, pinned hip to hip with those lovely wrists shackled by Erik's larger hands. Xavier blinks up at him, utterly unrepentant, even as his captor loosens his grip in self-conscious solicitude.

"Tighter," the telepath demands. And, to the unspoken concern about leaving marks, "Leave them then. Who'll see them under my 'ridiculous sweaters', hmmm? Who'll know but you, how you've decorated me with your own hands?" The mischievous smile melts into something softer as the professor begins to wriggle eagerly, nudging one of his lover's thighs between both of his own. Charles is a branding heat, heavy and half-hard, with the remnant moisture of Erik's own come still lingering in the secret places between arsehole and cock.


"Liebling." Lehnsherr tenses the muscle, nudging his knee forward to provide more access for however his lover may wish to use the form still half-trembling with exhaustion. It occurs to him, as Charles comes to full attention against him, that it is impossible to tell how many (if at all, after the first) times Xavier was physically gratified while he busied himself with Erik's tender torment. Questioningly, he searches the face now flushed with returning fervor. Such neglect certainly deserves dedicated penance.

"Oh, no you don't," comes the reply, as those swimmer's legs clamp him closer, ensuring that Erik is now the beneficiary of their bodies' friction as well. "You're not getting out of this." The older mutant is still so sensitive, so used, that each little moment of pressure or delicious scrape of hairs results in tremors that threaten to break apart body and will. Stubbornly, he remains braced, though even the darkness behind his own eyes seems vertiginous. He hardens in spite of himself, unsure if the effect is actually slow or simply feels so through the agonizing rapture.

"I can't," he says, knowing he was almost coming dry at the last, pleasured beyond endurance. Despite the clock's chiming, he has no idea what time it is, and he doubts Charles knows either.

Firmly, almost soothingly, "You will."

Lehnsherr shudders in helpless, fearful delight. Then, contradicting both words and the exhaustion of his own form, "Oh, yes…"

"Oxford-style, do you remember?" Charles asks, winking in an obscene example of multitasking.


Erik remembers. Lake Vermillion, Minnesota; eponymous light leaking in sparse drops through the closed shades, dimming as the sun sank and Erik fused the doorknob in triumphant anticipation. Charles had gambled on a scientific pass, but it had been implicit in the atmosphere between them that he needn't have cobbled one together at all. The first time, grappling with one another, already drawing lines in the sand and daring the other to cross. He'd asked Charles to stay out then, but not before their minds touched briefly. Having tasted that, wanting to take the telepath's body by storm in retaliation, how could Erik resist the chance to tease his lover about the limitations of boarding school groping?

('Not _that_',) comes the almost desperately impatient dismissal. ('How you held me down, how you seemed…')

Ah. Knowing which performance he's being asked to repeat, Lehnsherr gives a resounding encore to ensure the remaining 'afraid I would disappear' is never thought, let alone said.


Whatever name they want to hang on it, the present erotic tussle that follows will never be a highlight of their stamina or inventiveness. The older mutant can barely contribute to the well-worn motion, serving mostly to anchor as their merged forms are carried by slimmer, bucking hips. Neither one of them needs much to push the line of pleasure-pain over that of endurance, and their bodies bow-- in physical surrender or at Charles behest, Erik honestly can't say. His hands, clenched so tightly about his lover's wrists that he can feel the chorusing pulse of wrists and cock, ache as Xavier comes hot against him, evoking little more than a thin drip in return. He lets go carefully before collapsing, mindful also not to rest his full weight on the professor, stretching his sore fingers with vague guilt. They've made quite the further mess of themselves, and Charles will have his marks, that much is certain.


"Shhh, shhh," the telepath soothes as their breathing evens at last. Gently, he guides the older mutant up, rearranging them so Erik can curl close in the 'V' of Charles' legs. The tears leaking quietly-- without ceremony but also without shame-- from Lehnsherr's grey-green eyes fall sparsely onto his lover's strong chest, treated with simple, silent acknowledgment by both men.

Erik does not sob. He has spent far too long hiding any emotion to let noise accompany the already rare tears. He is still not even one to laugh unguardedly. It is all the more telling then, what Charles can do to him. Not a reduction or disarmament, but the most patient of coaxings. Having lost all sense of internal sea or sky, the metal-bender simply clings. Charles cradles his head and strokes his hair, but Erik's arms are almost an unforgiving vise, holding on as a child does to one endlessly loved talisman. As if the embrace is vital to maintain cohesion. The younger mutant whispers and croons to him; of how lovely he is, how strong, and so very good. Such praise casts the world in halos more brilliant than those inspired by the most potent drink.

He buries his face in the pale, graceful column of his lover's neck, so he might once more feel the faint thrum of the carotid under his own cheekbone. "I've missed you, love," Charles says again, though they are hardly words Erik will ever tire of hearing. That hum of contentment, somehow accented with the same flavor as Xavier's spoken voice, vibrates lightly. It draws Erik's lips towards his lover's adam's apple, which he laps at with his tongue until the sound is repeated more helplessly.

"What a lovely homecoming," the professor strokes Lehnsherr's hair, letting the bonds soften and melt back into that ethereal mantle of affection. Softer than velveteen lily, crimson where Charles' passion burns through, and so pleasantly heavy. Keeping Erik where he is held, leaving him delightfully lost with his godling.

Sighing, Erik settles down beneath those sensations and against Xavier, with the faintest memory of a time before time. A warm bed, the absence of fear, and shelter from the cold night. The image is not a peace he could ever have known in a visceral sense, as himself. It is too far back-- and dangerous, for offering something other than agony-- and so the weapon that emerged from beneath scalpels and ash has disremembered it. Such faint impressions belong to the boy who was; a creature who would seem entirely theoretical if not for the sway he holds in the unlighted depths of Erik's under-mind. There is little to unite the boy and the man, save the memory of loss… and this: even that stitched-together, half-feral being is not immune to Charles' spell. He would come, though skittish and only reluctantly gentled, to eat out of Xavier's hand.

Mirroring this thought, Erik opens his eyes after a light prod to find his lover is offering a green grape between forefinger and thumb. Obediently, he takes it into his own mouth, making far more contact with the slim, strong digits than is strictly necessary. He can feel the telepath's languid delight but, as closely entwined as they are in the aftermath of such intense coupling, he can also sense the professor's own fatigue and faint beginnings of hunger.


When he rouses himself enough to sit up for a drink of water, Erik does not return to lay his head in Xavier's lap, blissful though the position may be. He catches Charles massaging at his temples between bites of turkey, and quickly replaces the professor's fingers with his own. With a faint groan of relief, Charles leans into the rhythmic caresses. The rest of the turkey is pressed to Lehnsherr's lips as a reward.

"I'm afraid it has been out a little while, now," comes the murmur as those blue eyes slip savoringly closed.

Lehnsherr huffs slightly, unconcerned as he draws the younger mutant towards the crook of his arm. Charles knows very well he doesn't mind; would not, in fact, have likely noticed if not for the professor's remark. Trailing a grape-- this one dark, almost blood-mauve in the firelight-- across those plush lips, Erik watches with no small amount of satisfaction as it disappears. His own hand trembles holding it, every nerve still awash.

"Poor little thing," Charles croons pityingly against his lover's temple. Soft, sweet, with all the guilelessness of one small boy seeking warmth and companionship from another as the shadows of some great forest gather around. Erik savors the feeling despite the fact some of it is play. His professor is a beautiful, inverted woodcut; the comely youth who leads the wolf away from known paths and dens. "You were so dedicated in serving me. I asked a bit much of you, didn't I?"


"Nein," he whispers back firmly. He's lost interest in the food, eating only because he knows Xavier wants him to, that it is part of being good. Every inch where flesh meets flesh is filled with somnolent bliss, and it seems they are both in and around each other. Waves lapping, milk-warm, against a lunar shore. "Like you say." The punctuating yawn is completely unintentional and unavoidable.

"… never ask for anything more than I can give."