sirona_fics: (charles/erik)
[personal profile] sirona_fics
A pinch hit I wrote for [livejournal.com profile] secret_mutant this Christmas! :)

Title: Part of the path of joy
A Gift For: [personal profile] fengirl88
Characters/Pairings: Charles/Erik pre-slash, Logan
Rating: PG-13 for language
Length: ~1,200
Summary: Erik lets himself live in the moment, for once. For the prompt, What happens after the scene with Logan in XMFC.



"Go fuck yourselves," the thick-set, belligerent mutant says; Erik is all set to argue, to explain, yet again, what it is they can do, what they can offer him, when Charles raises an eyebrow at him and nods his head at the door.

The metal welded to the man's skeleton sings its siren song to Erik; he desperately wants to scratch the surface, see what it looks like, the strange load to it that he's never felt before. He thought he had seen, tested, tasted every variation of known metal out there, but this -- this is something brand new.

"Why did you pull me out?" he demands when they step outside the dive bar, blinking into the sudden sunlight. "I though we had him."

"I can't see his mind, Erik," Charles says, shaking his head ruefully. "Whoever he is, he is immune to my telepathy. I didn't want to risk it."

Erik stares at him for a moment before blowing out an exasperated sigh. "Yeah, yeah, the damned CIA. One of these days we're going to have to ditch them, you do realise."

Charles shrugs, looks up with eyes creased into slits, a much brighter blue than the washed out colour of the skies over Washington. "Indubitably. For now, though, they're our best bet at finding our people."

That's not true, and they both know it. Sure, it might take them longer, but Charles' power is immense, far more breathtaking than any mutation they have come across so far -- at least to Erik. But the CIA have Cerebro, and Charles isn't going to leave them of his own accord. Erik will never forget the look in Charles' eyes the first time the helmet had descended and the electrodes had fired up -- it had been like watching that first breath of air hit a drowning man; felt like it, too (Erik should know). He still doesn't like it -- which is stupid. He's only there until he picks up Schmidt's scent again, and then he's off, blue eyes that see straight to the core of him or no.

"So we're just going to leave that guy?" he asks, just to make sure he gets what Charles is saying -- Charles has a way of surprising him when he least expects it.

"For now," Charles says, a sly note to his voice.

Erik looks at him for a long moment before the obvious solution dawns. "You know how to find him again, don't you?"

Charles smirks; smug should not look so damn good on him. "I know the shape of his mind now. It's unique; I'm pretty sure I could find it across half the country if I needed to."

Erik nods to himself, satisfied he's got the gist of it. It would have been good to have Metal Guy on their side in the coming altercation, but if he can't be controlled -- well. Too much of a loose canon, even if he must be magnificent in a fight.

He sighs, lets the thought go like he's trained himself to, shakes it right out of his head until there's only the familiar silence -- complimented, as it always is these days, by the hum of Charles' subtle presence in the background. Erik refuses to let himself acknowledge just how much he likes it there; it's dangerous, and it detracts from his mission.

"What now?" he asks, content to let Charles direct their steps to the next target.

Charles, however, does not appear to have the search for others on his mind right this moment. He stretches, shoulders thrown back and neck twisting from side to side until it cracks. "It's almost six o'clock," he says when he has shuddered, muscles loosening once again. "Let's stay here tonight, get on the road again in the morning. It's been too long since we've had a proper night's sleep -- the bed in that last motel almost crippled me."

Erik would normally argue, but his back is feeling stiffer than normal today, true enough. The thought of a big, soft bed almost undoes him.

"All right," he concedes. "Sure, we can do that. Do you want to go out for dinner?"

Charles moans, an obscene sound that makes something low in Erik's gut tighten without conscious thought. "Proper food," Charles says, in the tones of one saying 'take me now'. Which is not at all what Erik is imagining falling from those full, red lips of his. Really.

He swallows fitfully. "Right. Proper food. What are you in the mood for? Italian? Chinese?"

"I love Italian," Charles says, smiling dreamily. He licks his lips, small, pink tongue darting in and out. Erik bites the inside of his cheek and clenches his fists in the pockets of his trousers to stop himself from hauling Charles closer and tasting them. Then Charles' eyes open wide, all that blue, goddamn it that is a dirty move. "Oh," he says, turning them on Erik; they should be labelled as weapons of mass destruction, Erik grouches to himself, helplessly drawn to them, to Charles. The man should come with a warning. "Since we're taking a break tonight, how about a game of chess in the fresh air? We could go sit on the steps by the Lincoln memorial, there's a lovely view of the park and the Monument."

Erik is supposed to say something, he thinks muzzily, eyes trailing over the fetching flush to Charles' cheeks... Oh, yes. "Sounds good. I'd like that."

"Then it's a date," Charles says cheerfully, and Erik makes a valiant effort to ignore his choice of words as well as the enthusiasm in his voice. Charles doesn't mean what Erik wants him to mean, he tells himself firmly. "I'll get the chess set from the car. It's not a long walk from here, and to be honest, I'll enjoy stretching my legs."

And what legs they were, Erik muses as he nods and makes sure to reinforce his mental walls, because the last thing he needs is Charles picking up on those kinds of thoughts. His weakness is embarrassing enough as it is, unacknowledged.

They walk in silence, and Erik lets himself enjoy the moment for once, the weak sunshine on his face, the mild breeze bringing with it the lingering scent of autumn. So it's not what he might have wished for, when he made his way into the country -- but what he has found more than makes up for it. He had never in his wildest dreams imagined that he might be anything more than Frankenstein's Monster, an aberration of Schmidt's creation. For the first time in a long, long while, Erik lets himself believe in a brighter future, of drawing others like them close, around himself and Charles, forming a little makeshift family for themselves.

It's a new concept to wrap his mind around, this not being alone thing. But as he looks at Charles strolling happily at his side, so content with the world that Erik feels an echo of it deep within, he thinks that yes, he could get used to this.

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