nekosmuse: (Default)
nekosmuse ([personal profile] nekosmuse) wrote2012-02-03 01:49 pm

Fic: Love's Own Crown (18/20), Charles/Erik. XMFC (non powered, modern AU)

Title: Love's Own Crown (18/20)
Authors: nekosmuse wrote the prose, afrocurl the poetry
Series: The Sonnet Series (aka the sequel to An Ideal Grace)
Rating: NC-17
Pairing: Charles/Erik
Fandom: XMFC (non-powered, modern AU)
Summary: Follows An Ideal Grace, in which Charles and Erik navigate the complexities of their new relationship.

Back to chapter 17

are we
the sum of



are we
something else


carved into

not chipped
away from
cold hard

Labels, by Erik Lehnsherr, November 2011


Remy LeBeau's office building looked different under the dim light of an overcast sky. There was something almost menacing about it; an impenetrable fortress that loomed, illusion giving it height, its four floors becoming twenty, dwarfing the surrounding high-rises. Charles shivered and pulled his coat tight; turned to stare through a siren logo, into the ground-floor Starbucks, the space awash in sickly yellow light.

They were supposed to change their clocks this weekend. The daylight wouldn't last the week.

"We don't have to do this, you know," Erik said.

He was standing next to Charles on the sidewalk, their cab having long since departed. Charles tugged his collar up, released a breath and stepped forward. Erik moved with him, perfectly in sync, their shoulders brushing as they headed inside. Beyond the doors, the illusion broke, the tiny hallway no more than a hallway; the elevators unassuming sets of dented metal doors.

"This is stupid," Charles said as they rode up to LeBeau's floor. "I should be happy. Most people would be happy."

Erik didn't say anything, but he shifted closer, Charles automatically leaning into his warmth. He didn't pull away, even after they left the elevator, arm coming around Charles' shoulders to keep him close as they navigated the halls.

LeBeau's door was open, the man spilled into his chair, feet propped on his desk, an open file spread across his lap. He glanced up as soon as he heard them, grin spreading across his face. He gestured them inside with a flick of his wrist, swinging his legs off the desk, planting them on the floor and then leaning forward in his chair. Red rimmed eyes watched with excited anticipation as Charles and Erik arranged themselves into the cramped, angular space. LeBeau's office was not designed for three people.

They didn't remove their coats.

"It be good you come," LeBeau said, pushing a bowl of Halloween candy across the desk. Charles declined with a shake of his head. Erik ignored them completely. It was the same bowl from their last visit, and Charles suspected not a single candy had been added or removed since then.

"I'm assuming you've gotten a hold of all the relevant wills and think we have a case," Charles said. There was no other reason he could see for LeBeau to have contacted him. The process from here, he knew, would be long and arduous. Part of him still didn't want to set it in motion.

The chairs set aside for LeBeau's visitors were hard, molded plastic, set side by side so that whenever Charles moved he brushed against Erik. He did so now, more for the reassurance than anything. Erik pressed back and then, after a moment's hesitation, reached down to place a hand on Charles' knee. He squeezed.

Across the desk, LeBeau's smile grew teeth.

"There be no case," he said, and then slid the folder he was holding across the desk. Inside, held together with a large binder clip, was an obvious photocopy of a will. Charles was startled to see his father's name as the testator. Beneath it another document, likely his mother's will, along with Charles' crumpled letter and several envelopes. "The money already be yours, mon ami."

Charles frowned, because that wasn't right. He shook his head. "No, they cut me out."

Erik was watching him--Charles could feel the prickling heat of his gaze--but Charles ignored him in favour of catching LeBeau's eye.

"They cut me out." It somehow felt important to reiterate that fact.

LeBeau's expression shifted, becoming somewhat apologetic. Charles frowned. He finally relented and glanced to Erik, but Erik was now watching LeBeau, expression slightly horrified. Charles glanced down at the table, watching the folder slide away, LeBeau drawing it back across the table.

"This be your father's will," he picked out the document in question, "and aside from a few property here and there, a couple of funds and insurance policies, he leave the entire estate to you, not your mother. Your mother was named trustee, until you turned eighteen, then the balance, including his share in the company, the Westchester property, a New York penthouse, and a London flat, all transfer to you."

He slid across the deeds in question, but Charles could no longer see them. His vision had gone grey and foggy, like he was swimming underwater, sea salt stinging his eyes.

"He leave your mother close to ten mil, but the rest be yours."

"I don't understand. That's not what happened," Charles said. The hand on his knee squeezed a second time. Charles glanced over. Erik's expression reflected horrified comprehension. Something wet and hot trailed down Charles' cheek.

"That not be what they told you happened, but it be what should have happened. I'm sorry, mon ami, but you been played."

He meant fraud, Charles knew, but as soon as the thought occurred to him he was shaking his head. His mother might not have loved him--might not have cared if he existed--but she didn't hate him; she wouldn't have done something like this to him.

"No, you're wrong," Charles said again, because surely there were rules and regulations in place to ensure stuff like this didn't happen. "Wouldn't my father's lawyer have stepped in? Wouldn't they have done something to prevent this? Surely someone was paying attention."

He almost laughed, even as he said it, because he knew how easy it was for things to get lost in the shuffle. There were a lot of years between five and eighteen. Still, he couldn't bring himself to believe his mother would willingly deceive him; would lie to him and hurt him--he'd almost had to drop out of school after she'd cut him off--and for what? Because she wanted to blackmail him into heterosexuality? Or was it worse than that? Had she simply been so overcome by greed that she'd willingly pushed aside her only flesh and blood?

He refused to believe that. If what LeBeau was saying was true, then it was somehow Kurt's doing; not his mother's.

LeBeau was now flipping through several additional documents. He handed across a single page, the name of his father's law firm bolded on the page, but beneath it, a single, familiar name: Kurt Marko was listed as acting lawyer.

"What?" Charles got out before he registered what he was seeing.

According to this, Kurt Marko was his father's lawyer.

"No, he was my father's business colleague," Charles heard himself say, though he wasn't aware of having spoken. His father had left his half of the business to Kurt; that is what Charles had been told. I promised your father I'd take care of your mother, and you, he'd said shortly before marrying Charles' mother, like marrying her was a chore; a promise he'd intended to keep.

Was it all a lie? How far back did this go?

Oh, God; was Kurt somehow involved in his father's death?

Something ugly settled in Charles' stomach, bile inching its way up his throat until Charles thought he might be sick. The sight of LeBeau's Halloween candy, glaring reds and obnoxious yellows, caused his stomach to lurch, Charles standing abruptly. The chair he'd been sitting in skittered back, only Erik's quick grab saving it from toppling over.

Both Erik and LeBeau were watching him now, LeBeau cautious, like Charles was a startled horse, about to bolt from the room; Erik with rising panic.

"I need," Charles got out, LeBeau moving swiftly to pass across a steel waste basket, Charles immediately clutching it to his chest. He vomited noisily into it.

It was some time before he came back to himself, his vision clearing as the world came back into focus; like the echo of a heartbeat, the din of voices, the mechanical slide of a photocopier, and the incessant honking of traffic all flooded his ears. He became aware of Erik standing at his side, his hand nestled between Charles' shoulder blades.

"You okay?" he asked when Charles glanced up. Charles nodded, Erik taking the basket, setting it on the floor beside the door. He walked Charles back to his chair. LeBeau offered over a packet of Nibs. Charles accepted them gladly. Instead of taking his seat, Erik crouched at his side, one hand braced on Charles' shoulder, the other on Charles' knee.

"Sorry, I..." was as far as he got before LeBeau held up a hand.

"It happens," he said.

Charles nodded. "So what now?"

There were a dozen other questions he wanted to ask, like why his father had trusted Kurt--why he had blindly accepted Kurt's advice, without ever once thinking to question it, but Charles already knew the answer. His mother used to tell him he was exactly like his father, her voice filled with scorn and distaste when she said it. He realized now that part of what she'd meant was that he was too trusting; Charles wouldn't have thought to have questioned a supposed friend's intentions either.

"Now Remy take care of this. We won't be able to recover what was spent, but we can put a stop to the spending and retrieve the assets. We'll have to involve the police, and then we be looking at fraud charges. It not be easy, and it take some time, but Remy will sort it."

Charles gave a stiff nod, and when LeBeau didn't add anything further, he stood, Erik rising gracefully to his feet. He hovered, falling into step at Charles' side when Charles turned to the door. Charles paused next to the waste bin, but LeBeau called out, No worry, Remy take care of it, so Charles left his vomit where it was and strode into the hall. Erik followed like a shadow.

"Charles," he said when they reached the elevators. He sounded so very far away.

Charles turned towards him then, reaching out then to grasp Erik's coat, fingers fumbling with the fabric. Immediately Erik's arms came around him, Charles falling into Erik's solidity, tucking his head beneath Erik's chin.

"If it's all right," Charles pulled back, "I'd like to go home."

Erik nodded, and then guided Charles into the elevators.


There was no one home when they finally made it back to the apartment--Raven was out with Azazel and wouldn't be home until later. Erik left Charles standing inside the hallway to head into the living room and turn on some lights. When he returned, Charles was still staring at his feet. He hadn't spoken on the cab ride home--and Erik still loved that home now included Charles. Very carefully, he reached out and caressed the side of Charles' face, tilting his jaw up so that he could catch Charles' eye.

"Hey," he said, drawing Charles forward. Charles came willingly, until he was once again standing in the circle of Erik's embrace.

He'd long since dismissed the idea of being able to take care of Charles' financially, but he could take care of Charles like this; offer Charles the comfort he so clearly needed. For the longest time Charles merely rested against him, forehead pressed to Erik's clavicle. Eventually he released a shuddering breath and stepped back, offering a weak smile that didn't quite touch his eyes. Erik reached for Charles' coat.

He undid the buttons, one by one, Charles standing mute before him, watching with trusting, tired eyes. When Erik was finished, he slid the coat off Charles' shoulders, carrying it with him to the closet. He wasn't nearly so careful removing his own.

Charles was still standing where he left him, so Erik slipped his hand in his, Charles' skin still rough from its time in the sling. He pulled, Charles coming willingly, into the living room where he sank gratefully onto the couch, Erik slipping beside him.

"Are you hungry?" Erik asked, partly because they were on their own for dinner tonight, but partly because cooking was something Erik could do for Charles, and now more than anything he wanted to do something; to be given some task that might end in Charles coming back to him.

"Not really," Charles said, leaning into Erik's shoulder, Erik shifting to bring an arm around the back of his neck. Charles sank into his embrace.

The silence that passed between them was by no means tense, but it was awkward, Erik uncertain how best to breach it. The problem was that he didn't know if Charles was upset over the money--if he was worried Erik was upset over the money--or if it was the revelation that the last twelve years of his life were a lie.

"Do you think she knew?" Charles asked, which rather answered the question.

Erik swallowed against the sudden lump in his throat. The memories he had of his mother were sparse--though growing in recent weeks--but nowhere in them could he even imagine her doing something like this. It ought to have been impossible; surely a mother's duty was, first and foremost, to her child.

"I doubt it," Erik said, cautious, but honest. "He was probably manipulating her, too." It seemed more likely; from what little Erik had heard of Charles' step-father, the man could easily contend with Sebastian Shaw for asshole of the year.

It was somewhat startling when Charles relaxed, melting into Erik's side, his relief palpable. He ran the back of his hand under his nose then, rubbing against it, sniffing loudly as he did.

"Yeah, yeah," he said, and then let out a little laugh. The sound cut through Erik's chest, half desperate and half hysterical, like it was either laugh or burst into tears and Charles had chosen laughter.

It occurred to Erik that perhaps Charles needed a distraction.

"Stay here," he said, releasing Charles to slip off the couch. Charles sat up a little straighter, looking momentarily confused. Erik held up a finger, waiting for Charles' nod before padding down the hall and into the office. He'd forgotten entirely about the set, something he'd picked up from a street vendor over the weekend, when, in his boredom--and desperation for Charles to come home--he'd let Raven nag him down to the Greenmarket.

He wasn't gone long, but by the time he got back Charles was just coming back from the kitchen, bottle of wine and two glasses in hand. Erik inclined his head, earning a shrug. "We need to stock your kitchen with some proper scotch," Charles said. Erik laughed.

"I tend to prefer martinis."

That earned him a smile, as well as a raised eyebrow, but Erik was more than willing to be made fun of if it improved Charles' mood. He watched as Charles settled on the couch and then set to work uncorking the wine. He didn't glance up until Erik slid down beside him, handing over the folded wooden box. Even without opening it, it was obvious to see it was a travel chess set. Charles' eyes grew wide.

"I promised to teach you my moves," Erik said, remembering back to that day in the park, Charles still off limits; the way Charles had leaned into him, chasing a kiss that Erik wished now he'd let happen.

Charles' eyes lit up. He grinned. "Oh, Erik," he said, and then, "I am going to kick your ass."

Erik couldn't help but laugh at that, even as he retrieved the set from Charles' hands and began setting up the board.

"We'll have to buy a nicer set, once we have a bigger place with more room," he said, registering then that it was the first time he'd mentioned getting a bigger place. He glanced over to find Charles watching him with a soft smile on his face.

"Not too much bigger," he said. "I like it here. It's cozy."

It was Erik realized, though he knew eventually they'd end up stepping on each other's toes; he'd prefer to avoid that before it happened. Rather than say as much--rather than ask after Charles' supposed New York penthouse--he leaned back, gestured to the board, and said, "Your move, genius." It earned him another of Charles' genuine smiles.

They played--two matches, because Charles lost the first and demanded a re-match. After he lost the second time--and Erik had tried to let him win, but Charles had called him on it, so there was little Erik could do save up his game--he conceded defeat, promising to brush up on his strategy.

"I fully intend to trounce you next time," he said, and Erik believed him; he really did. He suspected there was nothing Charles couldn't do if he set his mind to it. Charles was easily the most determined person he had ever met--except perhaps Raven, but Raven had always hated chess.

"Do you feel like eating?" Erik asked, after they'd drained the wine, mind foggy after so much alcohol on so little food. He hadn't eaten since lunch. Charles, who was nestled against Erik's chest, grunted something that might have been a yes, or might have been a no, so Erik reached into his pocket and withdrew his phone. He ordered them Thai.

He tossed his Blackberry onto the coffee table when he was done. It collided with the chess set, knocking over Charles' king. Erik watched the piece fall; it rolled off the board and onto the table, rocking back and forth until it came to rest next to Charles' empty wine glass. Warm breath ghosted over his neck.

It was somewhat surprising to try tilting his head only to find he was unable to move, Charles' nose pressed against the underside of Erik's jaw. He nuzzled forward, lips dragging across the scruff of Erik's neck. Erik arched into the sensation, letting out a strangled little moan at the feel of Charles' tongue. Charles chuckled.

"I just ordered food," Erik said, though he made no move to pull away. Charles scrapped his teeth across Erik's Adam's apple, the sensation eliciting a shiver.

"I don't care," Charles mumbled into Erik's skin. His hands had come to Erik's shoulders, but rather than drag him forward--something Erik now expected, Charles seeming to enjoy being trapped beneath his weight--Charles pushed him back, until he was trapped against the couch, Charles sliding immediately onto his lap, until he was straddling Erik's knees, the position changing their heights, so that now Charles loomed above him. Erik shivered again for an entirely different reason.

There was something desperate--and just a little bit vicious--in the way Charles was mouthing Erik's neck. He was using his teeth more than he usually did--Charles was usually so very, very gentle. Not that Erik was complaining; he liked it, a good deal in fact, but it was somewhat surprising, especially given how languid and relaxed Charles had been during their chess match.

Charles had reached Erik's ear; had taken the lobe into his mouth and was sucking noisily on it. He released it with a wet pop, shifting forward to brush his lips against the shell of Erik's ear. "She would have hated this, you know," he said. It took Erik's lust-addled brain several minutes to catch up with the conversation, during which Charles added, "It would have killed her to know that I'd fallen in love with you; that I intended to spend the rest of my life with you."

He shifted then to nip at the tip of Erik's ear, nose nuzzling into Erik's hair, even as Erik processed the sudden change in topic. He wasn't sure what to focus on first; the fact that Charles wanted to discuss his mother while they were having sex, or the fact that Charles had just offered to spend the rest of his life with Erik.

The latter won out, Erik smiling broadly, grin stretching across his face until it physically hurt; and even then he kept smiling.

He had no idea if his mother would have liked Charles--but of course she would have; who didn't like Charles?--or even if she would have accepted Erik's homosexuality. It wasn't something he thought of often--being gay--it was just something he was, in the same way that he was a non-practicing German Jew or a poet or a professor. None of it described who he was; they were only labels, things Erik had left behind the moment his parents had died.

"Come here," he said, drawing Charles away from his neck. He maneuvered him until he could seal their lips together, kissing Charles like he'd spent a lifetime waiting to do so--and in so many ways he had--trying to convey everything he felt through that single kiss.

Charles responded with enthusiasm, kissing Erik back like there was nothing he'd rather be doing. He nipped at Erik's lips, tongue snaking its way inside, body pressing against Erik's until Erik was trapped against the couch. They had at best twenty minutes before their food arrived, but Erik suspected the buzzer was going to go unanswered. Charles seemed intent on having sex--food or no food--and Erik was starting to think this was more than just a wave of sudden horniness.

It still somewhat amazed him how quickly he was able recognize Charles' moods.

He did his best to distract Charles from whatever it was Charles was running from--Charles sought comfort and distraction from sex in the same way Erik did from running, so Erik, at the core of it, understood this. It made him a little uncertain about boundaries, but if this was what Charles needed, then Erik was more than willing to provide. Besides, it was hard not to get swept up in the kiss; hard not to grow aroused beneath Charles' wandering hands, Charles firm and insistent, tugging at Erik's shirt like if it didn't remove itself immediately, Charles intended to rip it from Erik's body.

"Easy," Erik said, pulling back. He ignored Charles' huff of impatience, pulling the shirt over his head, tossing it past Charles where it landed on the floor with a soft thud. Charles' hands came immediately to his chest. He traced fingertips over Erik's chest, then up to his shoulders and down his arms.

"I tried, you know," he said, sounding distant. Erik hummed his confusion, already working on the buttons of Charles' shirt, fumbling slightly when Charles began tracing light patterns inside the crook of Erik's elbow. "To find women attractive. I thought, maybe, if I met the right woman, it would work for me, and then maybe she'd love me." He laughed then, dismissing the statement, but Erik didn't miss the slight hitch in his breathing. "They're pretty," he said with a shrug. "Aesthetically, they're pretty, but I never wanted to fuck them. She didn't even thank me for trying."

Erik freed the last of Charles' buttons, letting his shirt drape open, hands slipping inside to settle against his hips. Charles curled into the sensation, leaning forward until their chests were flush. His eyes fell closed. Erik had no idea what to say to anything Charles had just told him, so he remained silent, tilting his head to grant Charles access, Charles once again mouthing at Erik's neck.

There was something in the glide of his hands across Erik's torso--soft and reverent, yet desperate and needy--that told Erik the opposite was true of men; or at least, Erik. Charles traced absent patterns against the hard lines of Erik's chest; the firm expanse of his abs, fingers curling around Erik's biceps. He didn't put a lot of work into his physique, but running kept him lean, his metabolism doing the rest. Whatever it was, Charles seemed to approve, touching now like he fully intended to memorize every inch of him.

He was biting at Erik's jaw now, occasionally tilting his face to run his cheek along Erik's scruff. Eventually he made it back to Erik's ear, again tracing its shell with his nose, Erik half expecting another mother-related confession. Instead Charles said, "Can I fuck you? I think I'd like to fuck you," like Erik would ever refuse such a thing.

He nodded, and then, when Charles made no move to pull away, said, simply, "Yes."

Charles sagged against him--though with relief or something else, Erik didn't know. He pulled back after a moment, catching Erik's eye before issuing a firm command to stay put. He slipped from Erik's lap then, practically dashing down the hall and into the bedroom--their bedroom--Erik picturing Charles going straight for the medicine cabinet, where they kept the condoms and lube. While he was gone, Erik checked his watch, gave up their delivery as a lost cause--they'd have to re-order, and get charged double for their trouble--and then quickly stood to shuck off his clothes.

If Charles wanted to fuck him on the couch, who was he to complain? So long as they cracked a window and cleaned off any stains, Raven would never know.

Charles returned, condoms and lube in hand, panting somewhat as he skidded to a stop in front of the coffee table, eyes growing wide when he registered Erik's nakedness. He had a towel draped over his shoulder that he took off now and tossed onto the couch. He licked his lips and then stepped forward, setting the condoms and lube down on the table, before skirting around it, already letting his shirt slip over his shoulders as he settled next to Erik's slid. He ran a hand up Erik's leg, fingers brushing against Erik's inner thigh.

"Is here okay?" he asked.

Erik nodded, and then, because he wasn't entirely certain, asked, "Where do you want me?"

Charles paused then, catching Erik's eye, expression searching. He must have found what he was looking for, because he nodded, and then grabbed Erik's hand, tugging until Erik took the hint and allowed Charles to maneuver him over the edge of the couch. Charles ran a firm hand over Erik's ass, Erik twisting to glance over his shoulder, arching an eyebrow because he was fairly certain Charles had just petted him.

"Sorry, you just have a really fantastic ass," Charles said, laughing then, a little nervous, which was so unlike him that Erik instantly relaxed, no longer feeling like he was playing some strange part in a ritual Charles seemed bent on acting out.

"You like it," he said, wiggling his hips a little, which caused Charles to laugh outright--otherwise Erik might have been mortified by the action.

"I like it," Charles said, and then, without warning he climbed onto the couch, leaned forward and bit one of Erik's cheeks.

Erik cursed, and then surged forward, away from the hurt. Charles chased him, soothing the stinging with his tongue, Erik instantly forgiving him for it; forgetting it entirely when Charles' tongue traced across Erik's cheek. He'd showered this morning, but that was a long time ago now, Erik trying to shy away, but Charles seemed determined, hands coming up to hold Erik in place, fingers curling around the front of Erik's hips even as his thumbs pulled at the sides of Erik's ass, cheeks spreading under the pressure.

Charles nosed his way inside.

They'd done this several times now--and every time it was overwhelming, but he still loved it. He loved it now, especially when Charles emitted a tiny growl, like licking Erik's asshole was the best thing he'd done all day. It was still a long time before Erik relaxed into the sensation, body clenched tight while Charles tried to press his tongue inside. When it eventually breached, Erik immediately rocked back into the sensation, feeling incredibly desperate; and incredibly alarmed by how fast he'd become so desperate.

It was almost a shame that was the moment their food chose to arrive.

"Ignore it," Erik said at the sound of the buzzer. Charles chuckled, the sound vibrating through him-- straight to his dick like Charles laughing with his tongue in Erik's ass was enough to make him come. It wouldn't have surprised him if it had.

Erik was vaguely embarrassed by the disappointed moan that passed his lips when Charles withdrew.

"I'm still not hungry anyway," Charles said.

He reached for the lube on the coffee table then, the buzzer ringing a second time before it fell blissfully silent. Erik turned to stare over his shoulder, watching as Charles coated two fingers, Charles glancing up to catch Erik's eye before bringing them to Erik's hole. Erik gave a brief nod.

Charles didn't hesitate. He simply pushed, two fingers sliding inside, Erik grunting at the intrusion.

The burn of it faded away soon enough, becoming a steady pressure that sparked pleasure in some distant part of his brain. He screwed himself down onto Charles' fingers, earning a hum of approval that made him feel all the more wanton for the attention. Charles took his time stretching him, thrusting his fingers in and out, eventually adding a third, scissoring them now. When Erik glanced back over his shoulder, he found Charles intent on his task; eyes wide, pupils blow, bottom lip caught between his teeth.

Erik moaned, which seemed to be Charles' cue to withdraw his fingers.

He pulled them out with a wet pop, and then reached for the box of condoms on the table. Erik released a breath, shifting against the awkward slick of the lubricant. He turned again to glance over his shoulder when he heard Charles' belt.

He'd forgotten Charles was still wearing pants. The sudden image of Charles behind him, half dressed, fingers buried in Erik's ass, made Erik flush all over with heat and something he thought might be shame--though it certainly felt much more pleasant. His skin felt oversensitive, like a single touch might set him off, Erik in danger of coming against the couch's arm long before Charles slid inside.

He balanced himself on one arm to reach between his legs and squeeze the base of his cock. It did little to ease his arousal; especially not once Charles settled behind him, condom covered cock brushing against his hole. The feel of Charles' pants brushing against the backs of his legs was enough to startle a moan.

When Charles' hands settled around his hips, Erik immediately thrust back, Charles slipping against him, missing him entirely, brushing against the backside of Erik's balls. "Easy," Charles said, an exact mirror of how they'd started this, so Erik chuckled--a little desperate sounding he was sure--and waited patiently for Charles to line up and then slip the head inside.

Erik immediately lost his patience. He slid back even as Charles inched forward, Charles hissing at the sudden movement, going deeper than he'd obviously intended, because the grip on Erik's hips tightened perceptibly.

He bit off a curse, holding Erik tight until whatever was stopping him subsided; then he released his death-grip, hands smoothing down the line of Erik's hip as he shifted forward, bottoming out, body pressed tight against the curve of Erik's ass.

"Okay?" he asked.

Erik was tempted to simply nod, but instead he got out, "Yeah," which seemed to be all Charles was waiting for, because he immediately pulled back and then thrust forward.

The force of it stole Erik's breath, but Charles didn't give him a chance to catch it, pulling back again, only to thrust forward. There was something ruthless in the snap of Charles' hips--and to Erik's surprise he found himself getting caught up in it. Charles was usually so careful, so precise; it was as startling as it was arousing to have Charles give in to his need; to have him pound into Erik like Erik was the only thing tethering Charles to the ground.

It didn't last particularly long, Charles building a rhythm that didn't allow Erik to catch his breath, driving in and out with abandon, fingers curled around Erik's hip bones, holding him firmly in place as Charles fucked him against the side of the couch. Too soon he was stuttering, thrusts becoming erratic jerks that did nothing to push Erik over the edge on which he was teetering so precariously. He moaned and jerked back, wanting more contact, more pressure, more everything. Charles let out a particularly loud curse, hips pressing forward so hard it drove his cock deep inside, nothing between them save a thin piece of latex--and even that Erik wanted gone.

Another two thrusts and Charles trembled against him; his entire body going taut, shaking uncontrollably as he rode out his orgasm. When it was over, he sagged forward with relief, driving a little deeper, Erik in his desperation immediately pushing back.

It seemed to get Charles' attention, because he immediately tensed, and then, careful to remain seated inside, reached around to wrap a hand around Erik's cock. Erik almost sobbed with relief.

"Sorry, sorry," Charles was saying, but Erik shook his head, the apology not needed, Charles' hand, still slippery with lube, sliding easily against Erik's dick.

It wasn't long before Erik was coming, a couple twists of Charles' wrist and Erik was undone, Charles catching what he could, keeping most of it from the couch. Charles waited until the last of the aftershocks were over before removing his hand. He reached for the towel, wiping away Erik's come before carefully setting his hands on Erik's hips. Slowly, he withdrew. Erik whimpered at the loss.

"I'm so sorry," Charles said, ignoring the condom and their nakedness to pull Erik to him, Erik shifting back so that he was seated half on the couch, half sprawled across Charles' lap, Charles already nuzzling into his neck. "I'm so sorry," he said again.

"For what?" Erik asked, because he honestly didn't know."

Charles pressed a kiss to the juncture between Erik's neck and his shoulder. "I didn't mean to be so selfish."

And was that what Charles was worried about? Erik shook his head.

"You told me once I could take what I needed from you in bed. Why wouldn't the same be true for you?" he asked.

For a long time Charles didn't say anything; he merely clung to Erik, pulling Erik impossibly close as he breathed against the side of Erik's neck. It was some time before he spoke, and when he did, it was to say the last thing Erik was expecting him to say.

"My mom died, Erik."

There was very little he could say in response to that, so Erik drew Charles close, wrapping his arms around him until there was nothing between them; not even a sliver of space.

They stayed that way for a long time, Charles' chest hitching every so often, until the hour grew late enough that Erik began worrying about Raven--she'd kill him if she came home and found them like this on her couch. Fortunately, before he could suggest moving to the bedroom--perhaps pausing for showers--Charles' stomach growled. Erik pulled back and between them. He caught Charles' eye. Charles, whose eyes were red-rimmed, wet tracks tracing lines down his cheeks, shrugged somewhat sheepishly.

"I think I might be hungry now," he said. Erik chuckled.

"Let's get cleaned up, and re-order our food," he said.

The smile Charles gave him was oddly grateful, though Erik wasn't entirely certain what he'd done. He supposed it probably didn't matter, so long as he'd done it.

On to chapters 19/20 + epilogue

(Anonymous) 2012-02-03 07:18 pm (UTC)(link)
Ooch, poor Charles. Such a difficult life. Glad Erik was able to make things better.
pickleddeath: (Default)

[personal profile] pickleddeath 2012-02-06 06:15 pm (UTC)(link)
Time for poor Charles.
I really liked seeing their roles reversed in this chapter. Erik is usually the one with the bipolar moods and the needy attitude who's overcautious about sex. It was nice to see Charles displaying those characteristics in this chapter. I feel like we're moving towards them finally reaching a really balanced relationship.
Also, that poor delivery man. He is going to be so pissed.