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Title: A Bit of Fun 3/4
Fandom: XMFC
Pairing: Charles/Erik, side Hank/Raven
Rating: PG-13 (for kissing, language, some violence)
Length: 2,628 words (this part)
Prompt: http://1stclass-kink.livejournal.com/7761.html?thread=15005265#t15005265
Summary: Charles is Erik's forever - the man he wants to spend the rest of his life with and can't imagine his future without. So why is he saying that Charles is nothing more that his temporary bit of fun? (Hint: Modern!AU with Mutant!Erik and Human!Charles.)
Previous: A Bit of Fun 1/4 ) A Bit of Fun 2/4 )

"That, or Raven's brother is just really good in bed," Sean says, punching Erik playfully on the arm.

Erik glares daggers at him.

"Do not speak so disrespectfully," Erik orders angrily. "Charles is the man that I want to spend the rest of my life with. The man that I want to wake up to every morning, and go to bed with every night. To have and to hold, in sickness and in health, and all that fucking rubbish that I didn't believe in - for that twenty or so year period between when my father had my mother killed for insurance money and when Charles walked into my life. It doesn't matter that he's human, and if anyone's the better man between the two of us it is Charles."

Alex and Sean are looking at him like they've never seen him before - or maybe they think he has been possessed by a demon or replaced by a pod person or something. But Erik doesn't care - because it is the truth. He loves Charles, and he isn't going to let Sean talk about him so disrespectfully.

"Oh, Erik..." he hears, just before he feels a familiar body press up against his back, arms winding around his waist. "Oh, I... I love you, so much."

Erik turns to return Charles's embrace, to see those baby blue eyes look up at him in such adoration.

"I do love you so, Charles," he murmurs softly, before dipping his head to catch those tempting red lips with his own.

It is the first time he has said those words since his mother's death, and he cannot think of a more perfect moment or a more perfect person to share it with.

Charles's watch brushes against the side of his face as Charles buries his fingers in Erik's hair. Erik wants to give Charles a ring to match that watch, so everyone will know that Charles is his, forever. The watch - the watch is a promise from Erik to Charles, just for them - but a ring would be for the world to know, to see.

To see that Erik wants Charles by his side, forever. That Erik wants Charles by his side, and he wants to stand at Charles's side. That he wants Charles to be his, and that he wants to belong to Charles.

Charles breaks their kiss with a smile, nuzzling into Erik's neck a bit before pulling back, opening his mouth to say:

"Erik, get showered and dressed. You are taking me to lunch."

Why is Emma's voice coming out of Charles's mouth?

Erik opens his eyes, disoriented and confused. Charles - Charles disappears, turning to smoke and stealing out of his room like a bandit in the night, taking Erik's heart right along with him. Charles's watch is on his wrist, pressing against his temple. Charles's shirt is bunched in his other hand, forgotten and left behind by its owner but more precious to Erik than any diamond or gold, though his scent no longer permeates the fabric. Erik wants to go back to sleep, wants to return to his dream.

Wants his dream to be reality, and reality to be nothing but a bad dream to be forgotten the next morning in the warmth of Charles's arms, his smile, his eyes.

Those ridiculous chocolate-chip Mickey Mouse pancakes that Erik always used to tease Charles for making, watching from the table as his lover got flour all over the place. Charles just smiled and laughed and took his teasing good-naturedly, promising to clean up - but Erik would always help afterward, because he couldn't resist the syrup-flavored kisses he would get in reward.

"You really are pathetic, Erik," Emma sighs, shaking her perfectly coiffed head at him. "It's been three months. Barring a miracle, divine intervention, or you getting up off your ass and putting yourself out there, he's not coming back."

"I know," Erik whispers.

He knows, oh how he knows. Three months of dreaming of Charles, only to wake up to a nightmare. Three months of wondering how much longer he will hurt like this, of wondering if Charles is hurting just the same. Hoping that he is, and then feeling awful about it - because Charles is truly too good for him, and is probably hurting and hoping that Erik is happy and has forgotten all about him.

Three months of hoping Charles hasn't moved on yet, because each day without him just makes Erik more convinced that he never will.

"Erik!" Emma snaps. "Your little pity party is over. Get showered and dressed. You are taking me out for lunch."

Erik closes his eyes and sighs. He doesn't feel like going out (he never feels like going out anymore, not with the Charles-sized hole by his side and in his heart) but he feels like arguing with Emma even less. Surprisingly, she has been the one to stay by his side, as most of their mutual friends side with Raven. The ones who don't - who see humans as inferior and think Erik hasn't done anything wrong - don't understand why Erik is in mourning.

Emma knows what Erik has done wrong, but she hasn't abandoned him yet.

Yet.

"Erik, I can feel the self-pity coming off you in waves, even without telepathy. If you aren't ready in the next ten minutes, I'm going to take your credit card and treat myself without you," she threatens.

Erik would actually prefer that, but he drags himself out of bed anyway, stumbling to the bathroom for a quick shower.

*****

Emma makes him take her to a little out of the way cafe, definitely not her usual fare - nowhere near expensive enough. But the place has atmosphere, and Erik doesn't bother asking why she chose this place over one of her more typical restaurants.

They seat themselves at a little table in the corner, and Emma makes him sit with his back to the room. It makes him antsy, not able to see threats if they should come - when they should come. But honestly, he trusts Emma well enough to know she has his back. And with her telepathy, she has always been better at identifying and assessing threats.

Emma orders a glass of wine. Erik orders tea, made just the way Charles likes it. Liked it. Erik wonders if his tea preferences changed at all, though Charles steadfastly ordered it the same way the entire six months they dated.

"Erik, this isn't healthy," Emma chides him, weirdly gentle - almost as if she thinks he will shatter if she is too harsh with him. "You don't drink tea."

"I like the smell of it," he protests. It is the truth - he cannot stand the taste of it, not really, but the smell of it reminds him of Charles. The only time he ever liked the taste of tea was the hint of it he would catch in Charles's mouth when they kissed.

He wonders if someone else is tasting those lips now.

"You're like Bella Swan in New Moon. 'The hole! The hole!'. Charles doesn't make a very good Edward Cullen - he left you for his own good, not for yours. Also, he doesn't read minds, and he has a heartbeat. So please, try to stop acting like a moody teenage girl," Emma complains. "You are giving me a headache."

Erik pushes his tea to the side, staring down at the cheap tablecloth.

"Why'd you pick this place, anyway?" he asks, deciding that he might as well try to hold a decent conversation.

Emma smirks, leaning back in her chair.

"Raven recommended it to me. She says that it is Charles's favorite new cafe. He comes here for lunch every Saturday with Raven and Logan," she tells him, her voice a silky purr that usually has every straight male within the vicinity ready to cream his pants.

Thankfully, Erik isn't straight. And it is her words, rather than her tone of voice that concern him right now.

"But... today is Saturday," he points out.

"It is also lunchtime," Emma agrees.

Erik goes to push his chair back, intending to leave this fucking little cafe now before Charles comes and... He can't move. Nothing, except his eyes, which he locks onto Emma's diamond gaze. She is holding him still, holding him here. Here, where Charles can walk in anytime.

Erik slumps, and Emma lets him, because she knows that he will not try to make his escape now.

"Why?" he asks her. "I... I can't see him."

"Raven is as tired of Charles's moping as I am of yours," Emma informs him, smiling sharply. "I want to see - and hear - how he reacts when he sees you."

"Emma..." Erik protests, but it is too late. The bell above the cafe door jingles, and Erik turns to see Charles for the first time in three months. Raven is at his side, along with that man Erik met at Charles's apartment - Logan.

Charles is smiling up at the man, his blue eyes sparkling just a bit. Not as much as they used to, but sparkling just the same. Charles is paler than he was, if that is even possible, and he looks even smaller. He's lost fifteen pounds, perhaps, and they were pounds that he couldn't really afford to lose. It makes him look frail.

Erik just wants to wrap him up in his arms and never let him go.

Charles goes to turn his head to say something to Raven, but he stops dead when he sees Erik. His eyes widen, and his face pales even further.

Raven's eyes catch his as well, and she loops her arm with Charles's and pulls him along - towards their table.

"Hello, Emma. Erik," she greets with a cool smile, her favorite blond persona firmly in place. Charles just stands at her side silently, his eyes darting everywhere but at Erik.

"Raven. What a surprise!" Emma replies ironically. "Pull over a table and sit."

Logan looks between the two women, growling under his breath before pulling a nearby table and two chairs over for them.

"I want no part of this, Raven. I told you it was a fucking stupid idea," he nearly whispers, though of course Charles can hear him.

"I... what?" Charles says. "What - what idea was this? I..."

Logan sighs, glaring at Raven before pushing Charles down into one of the chairs he pulled up.

"I can't stay for this fucking train wreck. Call me later," the man orders Charles, before turning to Erik. "The threat still stands."

Then he stalks out of the cafe without another word.

"That's Logan," Raven says helpfully before taking her own seat. "Did you guys order yet?"

"Just drinks," Emma replies. "And look Charles, Erik already ordered you tea."

Erik looks down at the tea, thankfully still reasonably hot, and pushes it in front of Charles.

"Where's your drink?" Charles asks, expression blank. "And how did you know I was going to be here?"

"I - I didn't," Erik admits - and then he decides to be painfully honest. "I always order your tea because it reminds me of you. It... it smells like you."

"Oh," is all he gets in response.

Erik is scrambling for something to say when the waitress comes back to give Raven and Charles menus and take their drink orders. She just raises her eyebrow when she realizes Charles has Erik's drink, but she refrains from making any comments.

Then she leaves, and Erik is left scrambling once again.

"How do you know Logan, Charles? He has a very interesting mutation," Emma breaks in, shooting him a sharp glance and giving him a mental nudge. He knows he is wasting his chance, he knows. But he's not ready. Erik's been waiting for this opportunity for three months, but he never really figured out what he would do if he ever got it.

"Um... he's Raven's friend, really," Charles replies, focusing on Emma and quite obviously doing his best to ignore Erik.

"Come now, he seems terribly fond of you," Emma says with a small, secretive smile.

"Charles wasn't scared of Logan, the first time he saw his mutation. It made Logan respect him," Raven cut in. "Now, is that enough small talk for you, Emma? I would really like to get to the part where Erik begs for forgiveness."

"So impatient," Emma sighs, shaking her head in exasperation.

"Erik doesn't beg for anything," Charles tells his sister. "I really don't know why we are here. Erik and I are over. It's been three months. I'm sure... I'm sure he's already moved on. Can I leave now?"

"Would you like to feel what Erik feels, Charles?" Emma asks him, staring him dead in the eye. "That is how I got your sister to agree to this lunch. She is terribly overprotective of you, and would rather castrate Erik than let him hurt you again. Raven still hasn't forgiven him, of course, but some things come with time."

Raven snorts.

"I'm never going to forgive Erik, but if he gets his act together enough to make Charles happy again, and he doesn't screw up again, maybe I will eventually stop threatening to castrate him," she says archly, but there is a light in her eye when she looks at him that lets Erik know she is completely serious.

"You can do that?" Charles says, completely ignoring Raven's statement to focus on Emma. "Just... project his feelings into my head?"

"Yes," Emma replies confidently.

"You wouldn't mind?" Charles turns to ask him, and it is the first time he has spoken directly to Erik since the waitress interrupted them.

Erik swallows heavily, thinking about all his hopes and fears and feelings being wired directly into Charles's head by Emma. Just the thought of it leaves him feeling open and vulnerable. But... but this might be his only chance to get Charles back. It has been three months, and he has somehow survived them without Charles by his side, but he has certainly not been living happily. He cannot even imagine reaching a level of contentment without Charles.

And he's never been very good with words. If Emma can do this... if Emma can use Erik's feelings to convince Charles to come back...

It will be worth it.

"I want you to know," Erik tells him, simply and honestly.

Charles looks at him, searching his face for something Erik doesn't know - but he seems to find it, because he turns back to Emma.

"Here?" he asks curiously.

"It will only take a moment," she replies.

Charles takes a deep breath, reaches over to take Raven's hand in his own, and nods.

"I'm ready," he murmurs softly.

Emma smiles at him fondly, and gentle as he's ever seen her, reaches forward to brush Charles's hair back from his face. It is an action Erik has completely hundreds of times before, sweet and intimate. It burns, to see someone else do it to Charles, even though he knows Emma has absolutely no designs on him.

"Oh," Charles breathes out. "I didn't... I didn't know."

There are tears pooling in the corners of his eyes when he opens them, fixing those beautiful baby blues on Erik.

"I... I need to think," he says, nearly apologetically. "I need..."

"Whatever you need," Erik tells him.

Charles pushes his chair back and practically flees from the cafe, Raven following quickly behind him.

"Well, that went well."

Sometimes, Erik wonders whether he should just murder Emma and get it over with, because he knows it is going to happen eventually.

Next part: Fic: A Bit of Fun 4/4 )



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