leandraholmes: (Charles Eric Kiss)
[personal profile] leandraholmes
Title: New Year, New Beginning
Fandom/Pairing: X-Men: First Class, Charles/Erik
Genre: Romance
Rating: NC-17
Word Count: 8,442
Summary: Sequel to A Christmas Carol. On New Year's Eve, Charles reflects on the events of the previous days. For the new year, there's only one more thing he asks of Erik.
A/N: Many thanks to my beta reader yourareunearthlything. And a happy New Year to all of you!

Charles knew, somewhere in the back of his mind, that he shouldn't succumb to the cozy drowsiness that had settled in; there was something important happening tonight, but he was too far from being fully awake to remember. It was nicely warm in his room, the radiator turned up to full heat and a thick woolen blanket wrapped around his lower half as he had slumped down in the big wingback chair, his feet resting on the matching stool. He had been reading a book – 'The Naked Sun' by Isaac Asimov which Moira had given him for Christmas – but the dim lights and the comfortable warmth had made him sleepy after a morning of activity.

Ever since he had woken up on Christmas morning to miraculously (or scientifically quite explicable) feel his legs again, it had taken him a lot of remedial gymnastics and quite some effort to regain control of the muscles in his legs again. And he was far from being fully back to his previous fitness, but he welcomed every small improvement patiently and gratuitously each day.

It had been odd, that morning, when he had woken up with Erik lying next to him, to reveal the fact that the mental blockage that had tricked his body into believing to be paralyzed had, indeed, been broken. He had still felt a little embarrassed, as if this all had somehow been his own fault, which he rationally knew it wasn't, but there's just that thing with emotions that they're hardly ever rational.

What had helped him quite easily overcome said embarrassment was the joy and relief he had first seen on Erik's face and later on each and every one of the others' when he had, supported heavily by Erik but nevertheless on his own legs, entered the living room that morning. There had been hugs and tears from Raven and Moira, wide smiles and shoulder pats from Alex and Sean, and something that had gotten into Hank's eye that had made him growl somewhat grumpily. A lot of laughter after that, and the most beautiful Christmas-slash-Winter Solstice (though four days late, technically) celebration Charles could remember. Because, for the first time in his entire life, Charles had a whole family, not just parents that had brought him into the world but were too busy to truly care for him, or a step-father that cared even less and who was, in fact, easier to handle if he didn't care at all. Not just Raven and him celebrating a lonely Christmas morning and wondering what it was like for people who got together siblings, cousins, aunts and uncles, and everyone else they called their family. Now Charles knew, and though he was not related by blood to any of them, he couldn't have wished for more.

The fact that Raven and Erik had come back, however, was the greatest gift he could have received, and he even found himself thinking that he could have coped quite well, lived happily if only that had been given back to him and not also the ability to walk. In fact, he was pretty sure. The body could adjust, difficult as it may be and still would have been for a long time, but the feeling of having lost the two people that meant most to him, of possibly always wondering whether it hadn't been, at least partially, his own fault, was so much worse. After all, guilt and regret could stay with someone forever.

These past six days, it had been easy to let go of that, too. It felt like nothing more than a vague reminder of a distant, surreal past, as if waking up from a nightmare that lingered on in one's consciousness but lost its gruesome impact with every waking minute. Although he would have expected it, neither Erik nor Raven, nor he, himself, had felt a great urge to discuss the events of the past in detail, to talk all misunderstandings and differences out. It was like at that moment when they had returned everything had fallen back into place, had started to make sense again. For all three of them.

As he had learned later on, though, that epiphany had happened for Erik a little earlier already, and in the most unusual way. To this day, Charles could not explain the story any more than Erik could, and it was entirely possible that the 'ghost' had been a real being, and just as possible that it had all just been a figment of Erik's imagination. Though how, in the latter case, he could have seen things that had actually been happening remained a complete mystery.

Either way, it didn't matter. None of which lay in the past really did anymore, and Charles found himself as content and happy as he hadn't been able to imagine before.

The calm and serenity that had settled over his mind had therefore taken over his body as well, and he found himself drifting into deeper sleep, willing to just give in. Then, the faint clicking of the door and equally soft foot-steps slowly pulled him back from that state, on the very brink of sleep, and he blinked his eyes open with slight reluctance. Immediately, a smile formed on his lips when he saw the tall figure standing in front of him, leaning against one of the four bedposts. Hands in the pockets of his beige slacks, his signature black turtleneck on, Erik looked down at Charles and smirked softly.

“I found the book rather interesting and thrilling. I'm surprised it made you fall asleep.”

Charles snorted softly at that, forcing his eyes to open wider as he looked down at the book in his lap. “It is. I'm just really turning into an old fart that needs a nap in the afternoons.”

Erik shrugged faintly and pushed himself off the bedpost, crossing the short distance between them and, carefully pushing Charles' legs to the side of the stool, sat down on its edge. “You're fulfilling the perfect stereotype of an Oxford professor,” he said, hinting at the conversation they'd had last night, picking up one of their previous ideas about turning this place into a school for mutants. Making plans with Erik just like then, to start a life together full of purpose and meaning and common goals, after all, had sweetened the joys of reconciliation even further.

“Well, I'm not bald yet,” he joked back, “and I also don't fancy smoking a pipe, but I do suppose my affinity for tweed and woolen cardigans somewhat supports the stereotype.”

Erik chuckled softly and leaned in a bit, one hand on Charles' lower thigh, thumb stroking gently. No matter how innocent and soft the touch was, it automatically sent pleasant shivers down Charles' spine. “Not bald yet?” Erik asked, his brows rising up a little. “Is there a genetic predisposition for baldness in your family or are you planning on a drastic change in hairstyle?”

“Not that I'm aware of,” Charles replied, letting out a soft laugh as well. “And good God, no. Why, though? Would you mind?”

It was meant as nothing but cheerful teasing, though the answering look he received from Erik was far more serious than Charles had expected. “No.”

“Good to know,” Charles replied, despite his genuine gratitude nonetheless with an amused smile on his lips as he sat up a little straighter and placed his own hand above Erik's.

“In the first case,” Erik amended. “In the second I would deem you insane.”

“Thank you. I think I had enough of that lately,” Charles replied very quickly after he saw Erik's eyes widen for the fraction of a second. He squeezed the hand beneath his and felt, whatever tension may have risen in Erik at what he could have believed to be a faux pas fade instantly.

A few things had changed between them, after all. Erik seemed a little more cautious, even reluctant to make remarks of the kind that had been usual between them, and he was also quite cautious and reserved in other aspects of their interactions.

Charles leaned forward then, gently tugged on Erik's hand to pull him closer and bring their lips together in a gentle kiss. A kiss that made those shivers run further over his skin, warm and cold at the same time with the tingling of anticipation as he deepened the kiss. He brought his other hand up to Erik's neck, fingers running through the short hair at the back of his head. Lips parted, sliding against each other, Charles could not help the soft moan that escaped him and was caught by Erik's mouth, and he tried to pull the other man closer still.

But Erik broke the contact, leaned back again. “You do know that we have a New Year's party to attend? I actually just came up to wake you. Dinner will be ready soon.”

The next sigh that left Charles' lips was of slight exasperation, not arousal, but he tried not to let it surface too much. Instead, he crooked his neck and smirked, briefly running his tongue over his bottom lip that still felt warm and moist from the kiss. “How soon?”

“Little under an hour,” Erik replied, and Charles let his eyebrows rise up in question, that smirk still on his lips.

“You know, there's a lot we could do in little under an hour,” he said, his voice deliberately soft and low as he leaned forward again, his hand grasping the front of Erik's turtleneck to pull him closer again.

“Charles,” Erik let out a breathy chuckle. “I doubt that's a good idea.”

“Why not?” Charles pressed on, not yet allowing the exasperation and also disappointment to stir before he had heard an explanation. “And you don't even know what I had in mind. We could improvise a little, given the shortness of time. Though...” He let out a soft sigh, allowing the question and the possible answers and implications to fully form in his mind. “You do want to sleep with me at some point, don't you?”

“Of course I do,” Erik replied, his brow furrowed and tone ever so slightly affronted. He did pull back even further, though, leaning back and letting his hand fall back onto his own knee. “Just not now. Moira and Raven have been cooking for hours. If we don't get there in time they'll have our heads. And you know, especially Moira can get quite feisty.” A humorous remark to camouflage his insecurities; Charles didn't need to read Erik's mind to realize that.

He let himself sink back against the armchair again, letting out another deep breath. “Well, I'm just asking, because, so far, you haven't made any advances.”

“Well, you were quite busy with... with your workout and everything. And in the evenings you seemed rather tired. Or afternoons,” Erik added with a not quite genuinely amused smirk.

It was one of those things that weren't really alarming until they came up for discussion, though Charles already had a vague idea what may be going on in Erik's head, therefore finding it not all too difficult to remain calm and optimistic through this.

“I'm not asking what you thought I may want or not. I'm asking you what you want, Erik. Because I'm not so sure at this point if you do.”

Now it was Erik who let out a faint sigh, breathing through his nose as he leaned to the side, lower arms on his knees and gaze averted for a moment before he looked back up at Charles. “Well, I...”

“Yes?” Charles urged on, though gently, seeing discomfort on the other man's features. That fact had not changed, so far; Erik had never been one to easily talk about his emotions and innermost thoughts on matters of this sort.

“I don't want you to think that it somehow has to be this way. That I only came back because I thought you'd walk again. Or that I'm only waiting for you to... to be as you were, so that we could... That I'd only find you desirable then.”

“Oh Erik.” Now the slight exasperation that Charles felt was underlaid with affection, and he leaned forward again to grasp one of Erik's hands, caress it and pull the other man closer to him again. “I know that you don't. You know... for someone always acting so tough you're quite considerate of other people's feelings.”

He saw Erik frown and had to chuckle. “With slightly unideal tactics but nonetheless considerate.” Charles was quite used to this kind of effect on the behavior of the ones around him. It wasn't always pleasant to see them tip-toeing around him, but he understood that it only happened out of concern and uncertainty. While nobody wanted to hurt him or make him feel less capable – specifically while he had still been in the wheelchair – they had done exactly that.

“Well, at least you appreciate my efforts,” Erik said somewhat self-ironically, and Charles chuckled again.

Sliding to the very side of his seat, Charles motioned for Erik to sit next to him. An arm wrapped around Charles' shoulders, Erik complied until they sat, slightly squeezed and tangled up but comfortably enough for Charles to enjoy the closeness. Enjoy it more than he had anticipated, though the arousal that had stirred a moment ago was gone, making room for gentle longing as he rested his head against Erik's shoulder.

There was still something, however, that made Charles ponder, though he didn't exactly feel like he needed be assured of it but rather that Erik might need to assure himself. And so he asked, “you would have wanted to be with me then? Even if I had been paralyzed for life.”

It was more a statement than a real question, and so Erik didn't seem taken aback by it. Nevertheless, he lifted his head to look Charles in the eye, the expression on his features as solemn and earnest as it ever could be. “Yes, I would have.”

And nevertheless, it was good to hear it. Charles smiled before he leaned in and kissed Erik again, gently and without the impatience of rising lust. “I knew that.”

“Good,” Erik replied, a lot more at ease now. “Though I must admit... no.”

“What?” Charles asked, another chuckle coming over his lips with the question. This new and slightly insecure Erik was rather adorable.

“Well, I'm glad that you can walk again. I have no idea how a number of things would have worked otherwise. Though I'm sure we would have figured it out.”

“I'm glad as well, so that makes two,” Charles replied. How could he ever hold it against Erik to feel that way? “So, since we don't have a whole lot of things to figure out first, you do agree that an hour would have been enough?” he asked, teasingly and saw Erik roll his eyes faintly.

“You're really not letting that go, are you?” Erik, his amusement returning now, said and untangled himself from underneath Charles' upper body. “It's only a bit more than half an hour now, so I suggest we leave that for later.”

Charles couldn't help the grin from spreading on his lips as he leaned back to get a closer look at Erik without having to strain his neck all the time. “Is that a promise?”

“If you want it to be, then yes, it is a promise.”

Despite the danger that another kiss would now cause the tingles to return and that warm feeling of impatience and tension spread through his middle, Charles leaned in and brought their lips together once more. And this time Erik returned it with equal devotion, though both men did not allow the kiss to turn too intense, for precisely that reason.

Finally, Erik drew back again, though slowly, almost reluctantly this time, and he smiled before he patted Charles' knee twice and rose from the armchair. “Come on then. We can help set the table. If the girls let us enter the kitchen, that is.”

When Charles got up from his seat as well, he gladly accepted Erik's arm, though he did reach for the cane that leaned against the side table so he wouldn't need someone supporting him all night. “There's no way that we could, you know, squeeze it in this year, still?”

Erik chuckled at that as he led the way to the door. “I'm afraid you'll have to wait until nineteen-sixty-three.”

“Fair enough. It's only six more hours.”


Both the dinner and the party afterward had been lovely. Moira had really outdone herself with the pork roast and a variation of sides, and surprisingly it had been Sean who had helped her most in the kitchen while Raven had been busy with the dessert and little assistance from Alex. Hank wasn't allowed to touch the food – something about him losing as much fur as a cat in spring, and Raven didn't fancy any hair in either the tiramisu or the pudding, and least of all on the lemon meringue pie. Charles actually wouldn't have minded one or two desserts less, because by the time they had tried them all he was very much inclined to just collapse on the spot, never to move again. Luckily, the rather horrid herbal schnapps Erik had picked up in a small European imports shop in Ossiring had helped a little, though for a few minutes after drinking it Charles had already thought the only possibility for improvement might have been delivering all the contents of his stomach to the toilet. It would have been rather pathetic to vomit from eating too much and just one schnapps. At his age.

A few hours later and with midnight only a couple of minutes away, however, all that was forgotten. Hank and Sean even talked about having some of the canapés that waited in the fridge to be eaten later, after the fireworks, but Charles already knew he'd politely decline.

It was cold outside that night; the grounds were still covered in white although there had been no new snowfalls the previous four days. There was hardly any wind, though, and so the crisp cold felt anything but uncomfortable when Charles wrapped his coat a little tighter around himself and pulled the thick woolen scarf up to his chin. His back and side felt cozily warm, which may have been due to the fact that Erik had a hand around his waist to support him standing up, and Charles felt safe and secure with the knowledge Erik would not let him fall.

“Okay, which ones do we shoot first?”

“It's still a few more minutes until midnight, Sean,” Alex replied, the two of them and Hank still busy setting up a selection of fancy fireworks.

Charles had spent most of his New Year's Eves in a big city – New York was always especially exciting at the turn of a year – but he didn't mind the fact that they'd only see a few small colorful displays somewhere in the far distance. If at all. It was nice to watch cascades of gold and red shoot over the sky, but it certainly wasn't the most important aspect of a New Year's celebration.

“I know. I'm just asking so I know which ones to light first.”

“Those four to the left,” Hank said. “And I'll be lighting the ones to the right. Then we'll move outside in.”

“Shouldn't I be doing that?” Alex suggested. “You might singe your fur.”

Hank growled.

“Okay boys, enough with the fur jokes and puns,” Moira reminded them. “Alex, you can help me pour the champagne.”

“Wait, are we going to shoot the fireworks first or drink?” Sean asked, scratching the back of his head after he had set up the last of the skyrockets.

“Hm, actually we should have the toast first,” Raven replied.

“So maybe, Hank and Sean can shoot the first two instead of four on each side at exactly twelve o'clock – by the way, who's doing the countdown?”

“I can do that,” Erik offered, and when Charles turned his head to look at him he saw the same amused smirk on Erik's features as he, himself, must have been wearing.

“Ah, good. Good,” Sean replied. “Okay. And then we toast, wish everyone a happy New Year and continue with the fireworks?”

“Yeah, that was the idea,” Alex replied.

“Does it really matter that much?” Raven asked with mild exasperation.

“Well yeah, of course it does!” Sean replied and Alex nodded vigorously, folding his arms in front of his chest.

“One more minute and thirty seconds,” Erik announced and the boys scattered back to the fireworks hastily, before Alex seemed to realize that he was actually supposed to pour the drinks.

Moira and Raven had set up a small lawn table with glasses and two bottles of champagne – one bottle may not be enough for seven people – and so, Alex quickly opened the first one, then the second, almost pouring half of the contents onto the ground which resulted in eye-rolling and laughter from the others.

“I'll just give you two your glasses already,” Raven said as she walked over to Erik and Charles. “How long?”

Erik frowned as he couldn't turn his left wrist anymore with the glass in his hand and the other still wrapped around Charles.

“I've got it!” Alex shouted, reflecting the overall excitement at getting everything right “Fifteen seconds.”

Charles chuckled again as he held up his glass and watched the hasty turmoil around him. He let his gaze drift back to Erik once more, and then, lifting his free hand to his temple, thought: Do I get a New Year's kiss?


Erik looked at him, confused.



“Eight... Seven.”

Hm, maybe when nobody's watching?

“Six... Five.”

No reply from Erik yet, no verbalized thought either, and Charles didn't poke any deeper into the other man's mind.

“Four... Three.”

They know anyway, don't they?

“Two... One...”

I think so.


Two fireworks zoomed into the air as the glasses held by Moira, Alex and Raven clanked loudly. Sean and Hank followed, but instead of walking up to the others just lifted theirs before lighting two more fireworks that exploded noisily into sparks of red and green in the sky.

The two women came up to Erik and Charles, and they clinked glasses, wishing each other a happy New Year as well while the three boys just toasted to them from the distance, too occupied with the fireworks already and a set of sparklers Alex was now lighting. A minute later, everyone stood at the balustrade again, ooh-ing and aah-ing at the pretty display of color illuminating the dark blue above.

“Happy New Year,” Erik said softly, close to Charles' ear.

“Happy New Year,” Charles replied and, briefly checking that the other five were, indeed, preoccupied, turned his head.

Erik's lips were warm and soft on his own as he leaned down, the touch gently lingering. Just a brush of lips against lips, affectionate and sweet. Warmth spread through Charles, and even when they broke the kiss somewhat reluctantly, that feeling remained, making his knees weak in a way that was entirely pleasant as he leaned against Erik's chest and let himself be held by the firm embrace.

And when he watched the others – Moira and the children – he knew he truly had everything he needed to be happy. It was going to be a wonderful year, indeed.


The door wasn't even fully closed when Charles turned in Erik's supporting embrace, digging his fingers into the front of his turtleneck to pull him closer and kiss him hungrily. The kiss hardly lasted two seconds though when Charles stumbled slightly and Erik had to hold him upright, struggling against the shift of weight.

“Was that one long drink too many for you?” Erik asked teasingly when Charles released a soft chuckle, reaching for the door frame to support his weight some more while he was leaning on Erik's shoulder with his other arm.

“I can hold my liquor as well as you do, thank you very much,” he replied with mock affront in his tone, though the expression on his face was gentle as he looked up at Erik, his blue eyes shining dark and warm in the dim light of the room. “I suppose I've just been up and around for a little too long. I'm afraid I need to sit down.”

“Alright.” All teasing forgotten, Erik wrapped one arm tightly around Charles' waist and helped him walk across the room, straight to the bed when Charles directed him there with a nod of his head instead of to the armchair. When Charles sat down on the edge of the bed, Erik knelt at his feet, starting to untie his shoes and help him out of them, quite thankful for the fact that he was looking down instead of into Charles' eyes. “If you want to go to sleep instead of –“

“Erik,” Charles interrupted him with a slightly admonishing tone. “I'm alright, and I really want this. Just don't expect any acrobatics from me tonight,” he finished with a chuckle while his hand reached down to gently caress through Erik's hair, lingering on his cheek to make him look back up at him.

A mixed feeling of relief but also uncertainty had taken hold of him, though the first definitely seemed to prevail. Erik had longed for this day – or rather night – to come for a very long time as well, but, added to what they had earlier discussed, he could not deny his worries.

Before, their lovemaking had often been a little rough, playful and rather hasty at times, which was probably quite typical of the initial phase of discovering a lust and passion for each other. Though Erik had nothing to compare it with; he had never had anything that could even remotely be called a relationship before. Tonight, however, he would need to take care of Charles, be more gentle and tender, and in an odd way that prospect frightened him a little. He wasn't sure if he was even capable of being tender.

Tender was exactly the word that came to his mind when he saw the expression on Charles' face, the intense but gentle gaze from deep blue eyes, full and almost ridiculously pink lips slightly parted and oh so inviting. Erik got back up and leaned forward above Charles, one hand on the mattress as he let their lips touch once more, and he felt shivers running from the base of his neck down his entire spine, accumulating in his midst as the kiss became more intense and, yet, still was surprisingly chaste. Maybe he could do gentle and tender after all, he thought, as they both sank onto the mattress slowly.

Charles' hand, warm and firm, ran up Erik's arm and to his shoulder as the kiss continued. The lips underneath his parted, and Erik felt the tips of their tongues touch. Just a soft contact as their lips slide against each other, warm breath caught by the affectionate kiss, a breath that turned into a soft moan from Charles when Erik shifted his position above him, sliding one knee between Charles'.

“Let's get out of these,” Charles barely more than whispered as one hand reached for the lower part of Erik's turtleneck, pulling it out of his slacks and up his back, and although his fingers were warm, Erik could feel further shivers creating goosebumps on his skin where they touched him, tickling slightly on his sides. He sat back on his heels, allowing Charles to pull the item of clothing over his head and be tossed to the floor, and a second later, Erik started opening the buttons of the dark blue cardigan Charles was wearing.

“My, Charles, you're almost like a late Christmas gift,” he remarked dryly as he fought with the lowest button that seemed slightly entangled in a thread of yarn. “Are you doing this on purpose?”

“Yes, I felt terribly bad about not giving you anything you could unwrap,” Charles replied, a giddy chuckle bubbling from his chest that made the words stumble in his throat.

Erik scowled, though inwardly amused. After the cardigan came the shirt, and Erik was almost tempted to simply rip it open but just so refrained from doing it. Instead, he placed gentle kisses on every inch of exposed skin, first feeling Charles' pulse against his lips, then the few fine hairs on his chest and finally the hollow of the bellybutton, and the tremors of pleasure making the muscles in Charles' stomach twitch.

“I suppose you won't be needing these either,” Erik said with that faint amusement as he opened the belt. As he pulled Charles' slacks off to let them fall onto the floor with the other pieces of clothing he breathed in a little deeper and licked his lips, seeing the outlines of Charles' slowly hardening cock in his white briefs. It had been so long. Two months and five days, to be exact, and Erik began to realize even more with each passing second how much he had missed this. Not just for the sheer physical pleasure, but for the delight of all those little sounds, the look on Charles' face, the feeling of being so close in every regard, so close as he had never felt to any other person before or even could have imagined. It all started to come back now with each item of clothing removed, each tremble and each sound, and it almost threatened to overwhelm him with a heavy, bittersweet but wonderful weight in his chest. It was true what they said, that you only could come to fully appreciate something once you had lost it. But in this case, luckily, Erik had gotten it back.

When his own slacks were gone, they slid further up on the bed, and Erik came to rest above Charles, propped on one arm as they resumed their kisses and gentle caresses, drawing out each second of it even though Erik was aching with impatience. Aching so bad that, when Charles reached up and cupped the hardened bulge in his briefs, Erik almost had to draw away as a shuddered, almost growled breath escaped his throat.

Charles, who seemed still much more controlled than Erik, chuckled faintly and sat up again, reaching for the drawer of the nightstand. “I suppose we'll be needing this,” he said and brought forth the small jar that had often found its good use those months ago.

“Not while we're still in our underpants,” Erik replied, pushing the impatient shivers in his body to the back of his mind as he rolled onto his side to pull down his own briefs first and then do the same with Charles'. As he sat back again on his heels, he let his gaze roam down Charles' now completely naked body, taking in the sight of him just as he could observe Charles doing the same. His own erection was painfully hard by now, but still he leaned forward and placed a trail of kisses onto Charles' chest once more, traveling down.

“Erik, you...” Charles hissed out a breath when Erik's lips reached lower still, one hand on the other man's hip, thumb brushing through the coarse hair. “You don't have to. I'm quite ready for –“

“What if I want to?” Erik asked, noticing how low and raspy his voice sounded as he looked up into Charles' flushed face, his head lowering, mouth opening and tongue darting out to run it slowly up the entire length.

Charles gasped.

Erik didn't plan on going through with this until the end; he was much more aroused and in need to finally get some attention as well. But he enjoyed hearing those gasps and whimpers from Charles, seeing, when he let his gaze wander up, how he bit his lower lip as he looked down at Erik with glazed eyes. He had always enjoyed this, even the first time he had awkwardly attempted it without really knowing what he had been doing, though at least he had been able to use his experience of being at the receiving end of this as reference.

It was easy, therefore, to concentrate on what he was doing and forget his own needs for a few moments, even easier when he had to smirk around the hard flesh in his mouth as Charles released another trembling sound.

“Okay, Erik tha – That's enough. Stop,” he gasped and Erik let his mouth slide down and back up again one more time, placing a soft kiss on the head before he crawled back up, a content smile spreading on his lips.

“You're impossible, you know that?” Charles asked, amused but face still flushed and voice breathless.


“Because you know that makes me completely and utterly crazy. And I'm afraid I would be of no use afterwards.”

“Hm, well, I can't have that,” Erik said softly and placed another kiss on Charles' lips, gently first but feeling his impatience grow again. “Turn on your side,” he said, having wondered about a position that would be most comfortable for Charles. On his hands and knees – though the image immediately sent shivers straight to his groin – would require too much strength, and Erik on top may still be too straining for the still not fully recovered muscles in Charles' legs and hips.

Charles didn't seem to object; he rolled onto his side, though his head was turned as far back as possible, obviously not wanting to lose sight of Erik. It was impossible to resist kissing him again at that point. Kissing him even while Erik reached for the jar of jelly and unscrewed it with one hand. Then, his fingers coated with the creamy substance, he pushed Charles' upper leg forward a bit to allow him better access, and Erik could feel the almost nervous shivers of anticipation run through his stomach, his heartbeat going faster when he felt for the tight puckered muscle with his index finger. He teased it gently, placed another kiss against Charles' neck before he slid his finger in, carefully. Charles' muscles tightened around the intrusion at first, but after a few deep breaths he relaxed and Erik slid his finger further inside, soon followed by a second.

He was reminded of the first time they slept together, though with the haste of desire, fueled by a few too many drinks, they had hardly taken their time then. And instead of the jelly, which they had bought later, they had had to make do with handful of spit and the fact that their need for each other had drowned out any pain or discomfort. The morning after, however, had been quite different. At least for Charles.

But now, Erik knew what to do to avoid such results and to increase the pleasure for Charles, and even though it had been over two months since they had last done this, it started to feel just like yesterday. Especially when Erik turned the angle of his hand and crooked his fingers forward and Charles let out a shuddered moan in pure delight. A third finger slid in without much effort, and he thrust them up a little harder, receiving slightly panted breaths from Charles in response.

“Erik...” he sighed, turning his head again and wrapping his arm around Erik's neck as he was leaning over Charles on one arm. The kiss they shared hardly lasted a second, interrupted by Charles' need to breathe and bite his lower lip again, face screwed up in the sweetest combination of pleasure and ever so slight, exquisite pain. “I think that's enough. I want... God, Erik, I want you so much,” Charles moaned and dug his fingers into the back of Erik's neck, their foreheads touching.

Erik couldn't have waited much longer even if he had wanted to. His erection was throbbing with need, and a tension had spread through his middle that made it difficult for him to stay still or stay patient. He sat up just once more and reached for his underpants that were still lying at the foot of the bed, to wipe his hand on them. Just a brief interruption until he positioned himself again, half behind, half above Charles, his weight supported on on arm while his other gently guided the upper leg forward. He took one of the two pillows to put it underneath, though it would probably not stay there for long anyway.

Then, finally, he took his free hand to guide himself to Charles' ass, holding the other man's gaze, getting lost in those deep blue eyes as he pushed in with one slow and fluid movement.

Charles immediately gasped out again, and his eyes fell firmly shut, his head rolling back to the front as he was catching his breath. Erik could hardly mind. His own eyelids fluttered as he slowly accustomed to the warm tightness around him, that amazing and unique feeling he had missed so much.

“God, Erik,” Charles breathed out and for now remained on his side, head on the pillow. Just his hand reached behind him to grasp Erik's hip, pulling him in even deeper.

There was no hesitation anymore. Impossible to resist. Erik pulled out almost completely and pushed back in, slowly still but with each thrust falling into a faster rhythm. He felt the warmth of Charles' back against his chest, saw the firm muscles in his shoulder flex as the hand roamed over Erik's side, and he also couldn't resist leaning in and kissing Charles' neck, gently sucking on the heated skin there and eliciting a low whimper as he bit down softly.

Although Charles had neither his legs wrapped around Erik's body, nor was in a position that allowed him to move much, he rocked back against the thrusts, encouraging Erik with every push, as well as with every sound he was releasing. And how Erik loved those sounds, from the hoarse sighs to those higher whimpers, and to soft cries when Erik let his hips rock forward harder, entering him deeper and deeper, still.

He could feel his own heartbeat quickening with every passing second, that tension in the pit of his stomach making him groan out as well. He was never as vocal and loud in bed as Charles, though he neither could nor wanted to hold back the throaty sounds that escaped him when he felt Charles' muscles tighten around him – deliberately and controlled in each thrust. And Charles turned his head again, stretched his upper body to wrap his arm around Erik's neck once more and steal a kiss between the now faster movements.

Erik knew he was getting close, but he wanted to draw it out, wanted to give Charles the same pleasure he was experiencing. The muscles in his right arm started to tremble a little already, but he brought his left to the front of Charles' body, wrapped his hand around the other man's hard cock, his thumb brushing over the tip to spread the precome over his shaft and slide his hand up and down in synch with his thrusts.

He may have pushed even harder and faster, but the somewhat slower rhythm let him linger in that bittersweet moment, right before the waves of pleasure became strongest, that moment when it seemed almost impossible to let go of the tension, to ever reach that peak that would bring sweet release and bliss. His whole body felt hot, his skin prickling and tingling as he his movements became more erratic and uncontrolled, after all.

Charles bucked into his hand and drew in a hitched breath before he released it as a low, shuddered hum, and that sound alone was almost enough to push Erik over the edge then. What finally did, however, were the twitching contractions of Charles' muscles around him, his whole body starting to shiver and tremble as his cock throbbed with pleasure underneath Erik's touches. Touches that he could not continue any longer when that tension found its height in him and all control slipped from his grasp, his body moving on pure instinct now. He let out a deep, shuddered moan at the same time as Charles came with a final cry, and Erik felt the spasms of his own orgasm pull and push and twitch through him. Until he could do nothing but breathe, collapse forward over Charles' side, breathe in and out as the tremors of ecstasy made him go completely boneless for a few, wonderfully blissful moments.

Eventually, though, he had to move, and as he slid out of Charles' body, a low wince but a breathy chuckle a second later the response, he slid to the side while Charles rolled onto his back. Only their legs where still entangled and one arm square over Charles' middle.

Charles face was still flushed, his hair tousled and a fine sheen of sweat on his forehead, but his eyes had an expression of pure serenity, blue and shining, almost a little moist when he leaned in and kissed Erik tenderly. “I missed you so much, you know?”

“And I you,” Erik replied, finding it a lot easier to make such an emotional confession as he would have thought.

The breathy gasp that followed made Charles' eyes shine even brighter. “I really like the way this year has started out. Promise me it'll go on like this.”

Erik let out a soft chuckle and leaned in to kiss Charles, their lips just gently touching. “Like this and better,” he said, finding it also easy to make such a promise even though one could never know what would happen tomorrow. One thing, however, he was absolutely sure of: he would never leave Charles again, never let himself be sent away or even allow anything to get between them to cause such a rift in the first place. They were past such things, because one thing that Erik had not dared to realize back then was now as crystal clear as it ever could be. Charles was who he wanted to be with, the only one he needed. To him, Charles and everything their life together entailed was home. His purpose, at last.

“But for now, I think we can both use some sleep.”

“Oh God, yes,” Charles said with a chuckle. “And a shower first thing when we wake up,” he added and barely concealed the rising yawn behind one hand.

Erik kissed him one more time and let his mind reach out for the metal in the light switch, pulling Charles closer into his arms. “Good night.”

A new beginning, he thought, as he finally drifted to sleep.


Sunlight streamed through the tall windows of the mansion as Erik made his way towards the backdoor. Somewhere in the distance, the sounds of laughter and childlike calls resonated between the walls, carried down to the lower level. The pleasant cool of the interior was immediately replaced by a wonderful summer's warmth, as Erik stepped outside, his shoes crunching softly on the dry gravel. He turned right to the small patio in the backyard behind the kitchen, though he was not quite sure what had drawn him there... or where exactly the children's laughter came from.

Somewhere in the distance on the lawn he could see two short figures chasing a third, disappearing behind the bushes, and yet another distance further to the left, something zoomed through the air, followed by the sound of shattering glass and a growled, crude curse from a strangely familiar voice that Erik could not place.

The noise grew fainter when he turned around the corner into the backyard. The scent of roses and fresh herbs filled the air, and the shade between the wings of the building caused a gentle breeze to cool the heat. His eyes immediately fell on two lawn chairs and a small table between them. And the two figures, distinctively male, sitting on them with their backs to Erik, full gray hair on one while the other was completely bald.

“How long, you reckon, until Logan comes running to us for help?” said the first man, his slightly raspy voice reflecting his age.

“I hope at least as long as it takes Scott, Jean and Alex to come back. I don't quite fancy moving away from here anytime soon,” the bald man replied.

“Not even to fetch the chess set from the winter garden?”

“Chess? Really? Is that all you can ever think of, my friend? I thought we'd be enjoying the fine weather for an afternoon as long as it lasts.”

“I'll stop thinking about chess when it stops being enjoyable. You're still quite good at it for your old age,” the other replied and turned around slightly to reach over the small table and gasp the bald man's hand, holding it in his.

“I'm not quite sure we're still talking about chess, my friend.”

“And I'm not quite sure why you still call me your friend, after all those years,” came the dryly teasing response.

“Because I'm used to it. And you are, you know?” The other man said, gently returning the touch of the hand caressing his. “Who else but someone who is also my dearest friend could have made it possible that we've come this far.”

“You mean coming as far as two old men hiding in the backyard of their house, drinking iced tea? You could have added at least some rum.”

“Let's leave that for later and our chess match.”

Both men chuckled faintly before they let go of each other's hands to lean back comfortably in their chairs. Until the bald man spoke up again.

“You don't mind, do you?”


“Me calling you my friend.”

“No, I don't,” the other replied, a smile clearly audible in his voice. “I think it may indeed be a bit too late to come up with schmaltzy terms of endearment.”

“Too bad. I was just about to call you darling.”

Both men looked at one another and then started laughing, lighthearted, affection clearly expressed in the way they both reached out to grasp hands again at the same time.

“Although... you have called me that on the one or other occasion.”

“I have called you many things,” the second one replied. “But I think it doesn't matter what we call one another. Or if we get married as it is possible now. I think, after almost fifty years we have both known for a very long time how we feel about each other.”

“Would you want to? Get married I mean?”

The other man seemed to ponder the question for a moment, looking at his friend, his lover, before he simply returned it. “Would you?”

“I'd say we have been as good as married for the past fifty years. What is a legal marriage, legal in the eyes of the humans, I may add.”

“You're still making that distinction then?” The other man interrupted, though his voice was free from any criticism.

“Well, you know I've never quite fully agreed with your approach. Though I'm content with the peace we've achieved.”

“It worked out surprisingly well, did it not?”

“It did, indeed. And you were right about a great number of things. However, to get back to marriage by their laws... It is but a certificate on a piece of paper that could never measure up to the profoundness of a bond such as the one we share. I knew I'd spend the rest of my life with you ever since –“

“That New Year's Eve?”

“I was going to say that Christmas, but I think you caught me.”

The bald man chuckled. “I suppose I know you just too well.”

Again, they were silent for a few moments, and it looked like they had closed their eyes, enjoying the calm and warmth of the pleasant summer's day. It was the second man that broke the silence this time.

“Do you think about where we'd be today if you hadn't come back then, sometimes?”

“I like not to,” the other replied. “As any thought about it seems like the memory of a distant nightmare. But there's no need to dwell on the what-ifs when you have all you ever wanted and could hope for.”

“You're turning quite sentimental in your old age,” the second man remarked, releasing a faint chuckle.

“You're rubbing off on me. Took you long enough.”

“Oh, my friend,” the other chuckled again, “I'm glad that some things never seem to change between us.”

“As am I,” the first replied after a short pause. “Though there's one thing that has changed. Or... increased, I shall say.”

“And what would that be?” the other asked.

“The fact that I love you, Charles. A little more every day.”

The other man let out a deep breath, smiling as he looked over. “And I love you, Erik. Even if you've turned into a sentimental old fart.”

“I was going to add even though you lost your hair, but once again you ruined the punch-line for me.”

Both of them laughed again, freely and out loud until the sounds slowly subsided. Their hands, however, remained grasping one another even long after they had leaned back into their chairs, enjoying the silence around them.

And it was time to leave. Erik, the young Erik that had been a mere observer, realized this as something seemed to pull him back, colors and scents and sounds around him fading into a misty gray. For the fraction of a second, he thought he saw a woman with a heart-shaped face standing next to him, smiling, and then, everything was gone.

When he woke up, it was still dark outside, though moonlight streamed into the room, illuminating the shape of the man lying next to him on his side, still half leaned against Erik's shoulder but their arms and legs no longer entangled. Erik just briefly pushed himself up and leaned in closely, letting his hand run through the thick, dark locks.

“You know, I will still love you when you're bald, Charles,” he barely more than whispered before he placed a soft kiss to the other man's forehead.

And sleep settled over him once more.

~ The End ~
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