Title: If Ever
Rating: R for some not-too-graphic first-time sex.
Word Count: 5,196
Summary: we’ve all seen that deleted scene, right? The one with Erik in The Dress? Here’s what might’ve happened after that.
Disclaimers: characters belong to the Marvel Universe, and I play with them out of love. Title, opening, and closing quotes from The Foo Fighters’ lovely “If Ever.”
if ever you think you’re not the one
I’ll remind you
if ever you think you’re about to run
I will find you
come on to me, just let it go
if ever you think you’re not the one
I’ll remind you
The mission was going well so far, if the term well could be stretched to cover champagne and laughter and shared beds at an entirely unsubtle strip club. Angel had agreed to come along with them; Charles, radiating glee at this initial success, went off to make a call to the CIA, and probably put two dozen passersby into a better mood along the way.
Erik waited until he was distracted, and then snuck around the corner and caught up to Angel before she left. He had a question for her.
She actually smiled, when she saw him appear beside her car, and didn’t appear intimidated by him at all, which Erik found both refreshing and, if he were being honest with himself, slightly irritating. The streetlamps formed little haloes on the pavement around them, like spotlights. Erik moved sideways until he ended up in a shadow. He was just more comfortable there. Less conspicuous.
Angel raised her eyebrows at him. “Where’s your other half, handsome?”
“On the phone.” Since when was Charles his other half? And, perhaps more importantly, why did that assumption not bother him at all? “I have a … a question for you.”
“What did he make me look like?”
Angel started laughing. “You didn’t see? Really?”
“He did not give me that particular pleasure.” Erik tried for an appealing look. It was difficult, since his usual methods of getting information out of someone involved much more pain. “Please tell me.”
Angel was still laughing. “So you can get revenge? Darling?”
“Something like that.” Revenge, perhaps. But not the kind he usually practiced. Darling, indeed. Charles deserved everything Erik had in mind, and probably worse.
“Happy to help, then.” Angel beamed at him, conspiratorially, and started talking. Erik listened—she had a good eye for detail, especially involving color and fabric—and memorized, and made plans.
After a few minutes he spotted Charles returning, the streetlights catching in the spill of his hair; Angel saw the direction of his suddenly distracted gaze, and waved him away. “Go on. Enjoy yourself. I’ll catch up with you two later.”
“Thank you,” Erik said—the words, rarely used, felt strange in his mouth, but Charles was a bad influence on him—and ran back around the building with barely enough time to look like he hadn’t just run back around the building.
Charles eyed him quizzically. “Have you just been lurking out here, waiting for me?”
“I’m good at lurking.”
“It’s top among your myriad astonishing talents, I’m certain. Dinner? Back at the hotel? We have an early flight to Los Angeles in the morning, apparently.”
“Lead on, then.”
“Try not to lurk along the way. You’ll scare the pedestrians.”
“Such a waste of my astonishing talents.”
They fell into step crossing the street, matching strides despite differences in leg length. Just something that happened naturally. Like the way Charles put a hand on Erik’s arm for balance when hopping over debris on the ground. Everyone did that, right? The warmth of Charles’s hand shouldn’t stay on his mind at all, much less seep through layers of jacket and shirtsleeve and into his skin.
Their hotel offered up a monument to faded glamour, in the form of red velvet, wood paneling, and wrought iron. It sat proudly beside shiny new high-rises and defied the progressive march of time.
The place had been all the CIA could—-or, more likely, would—-pay for; Charles had grumbled a little, but Erik didn’t mind. Earlier, while Charles had been checking them in, he’d rested a hand on the aging iron sweep of the staircase banister, and it had welcomed him.
He let Charles walk a little ahead of him by the simple expedient of pretending to tie one shoe, and cornered a bellboy, who had made the mistake of asking whether he needed anything and now looked like he regretted it. Too bad. Erik could use help for what he had in mind.
He finished his very specific list, and pinned the bellboy under the microscope of his gaze. “Any questions?”
The boy definitely looked like he had questions, but he was only eighteen or nineteen, very young, and no competition at all for Erik’s best intimidating glare. “Um. No. Sir.”
“Good. As quickly as you can.”
“Um. Yes. Sir.”
“Shouldn’t you be going?”
The boy practically ran for the safety of the front desk. Erik waited for a second, observing the frantic gestures as he demanded a phone book and started making calls. Charles, halfway into the hotel restaurant, turned around and came back down two steps. “Aren’t you coming?”
“Yes.” Now a manager had gotten involved, and they were both on the phone. The boy was taking notes. Erik decided it was probably safe to leave.
The restaurant might be a little shabby, like the rest of the hotel, but it was an elegant kind of shabbiness. Antique glass lamps warmed the room; the solid wooden tables needed no ornamentation, and the wide windows offered a view of the nightlife, just in case, for anyone who needed it. And the hostess smiled at them, genuinely, when they entered.
“Is the CIA paying for us to have dinner, then?”
“Well…let’s say that we do have a food allowance, yes.” They followed the hostess to a table at the back, near a window. Outside, the city lights glimmered like a fairy tale. The waiter came by, and they both ordered without looking at the menu. Predictable. Comfortable.
Erik thought about Charles’s answer. “Are you paying for us to have dinner?”
“I’m . . . paying for whatever isn’t covered by our food allowance.”
“So you are.”
“Please don’t worry about it.” Charles ran a finger along his water glass, catching the condensation on his fingertips. “I don’t mind.”
Erik wanted to argue that that wasn’t the point, but he was distracted by the shine of water on skin. Charles looked at him, and smiled. “Earlier, did you actually call me ‘vicar’?”
Erik shrugged. “It seemed appropriate at the time.”
He could still taste the champagne, he thought, running through his veins, charging the air between them with a bubbling, imminent sensation. He contemplated taking a sip out of Charles’s water glass, just so that he could put his fingers in the tracks left by Charles’s hand. He picked up his own, instead, and drank out of that. It wasn’t the same.
Quiet conversation surrounded them, drifting up from the other tables, over from the front desk. Their table had a little tealight in the middle, in a red ceramic candleholder. It made an oasis of old-fashioned light around them, in contrast to the electric dazzle outside on the street.
Charles went back to tracing designs in the condensation. His hand, in the candlelight, sat centimeters away from Erik’s. “It seems we’re headed to Los Angeles, in the morning. I’ve never been there, have you?”
“No.” Mexico, yes. About an hour south of the California border. But the sunkissed expanses of Los Angeles or Malibu were worlds away from Erik’s own experience of beaches. Mostly those had involved unsavory cantinas and a lot of weaponry.
He tried to picture himself in a bathing suit, and failed completely. Then he tried to picture Charles in a bathing suit. This image proved to be much more interesting.
Charles had kept talking—something about piers and Ferris wheels—but he stopped and regarded Erik suspiciously. “You aren’t actually listening to me, are you?”
“Of course I was. Did I hear you mention cotton candy?”
“You can’t possibly fool me by looking innocent, Erik. I’d love to know what you were thinking.”
“Still no peeking allowed.”
“I’m buying you dinner. And champagne, earlier.”
“What a difficult date you are. Usually I don’t have to work this hard, you know.”
Erik, who had just picked up his water in order to stop himself from reaching for Charles’s hand, almost dropped it. Date? A joke, or something else?
Charles gazed at him across the table, but didn’t add anything else, as if waiting to see what Erik would do, or say. The moment crystallized around them, full of possibilities and suggestions inspired by the candlelight.
Rather mundanely, the waiter came back at that point, bringing food. There was movement out in the lobby, too; the bellboy had finished taking notes and was heading for the door. He glanced into the restaurant as he passed by; Erik raised an eyebrow at him, and he dove for the exit.
Charles watched this byplay, obviously fascinated. “What did you say to him?”
“I sent him on an errand.”
“What kind of errand?”
“Did you just refer to yourself as mysterious?”
“No. I said my errand was mysterious. Are you going to eat that?”
Charles brandished a fork over his chicken teriyaki protectively. “You ordered steak. Hands off my pineapple, you grammatical pedant. You know I could find out.”
“Yes, but you won’t.” Erik held Charles’s fork out of the way without touching it, and stole both chicken and pineapple, triumphantly. Charles stared at him, obviously torn between amusement and annoyance and frustrated curiosity. Apparently the annoyance won out, because the next thing that happened was a sudden pain in Erik’s left shin.
“Did you just...kick me?”
“You know I could take away all your utensils…”
“And I could make you believe yourself to be a squirrel. In the middle of the restaurant. Also, you owe me at least three bites of steak.”
“You were counting?”
“Of course I was.” Charles eyed him through the candlelight, with what was, suddenly, clear and unalloyed affection. “Look, would you like half of this? I can’t finish it, anyway.”
“Oh…yes, all right.” Truthfully, it was less about the chicken teriyaki and more about the fact that it was on Charles’s plate and making Charles happy, and Erik, irrationally, wanted to be a part of that. Wanted to insert himself in the middle of all that happiness and get Charles to look at him.
“We should really just order one thing and share, if you’re going to eat half my food—every single time, don’t think I haven’t noticed—in any case.”
Wasn’t that something couples did? Erik had very little experience with social niceties, but he was fairly sure that sharing a single entrée counted as intimate. “If you like.”
“Next time, then.” Charles’s tone turned it into a promise, not to be doubted. A covenant between them. They were going to share food. It felt like some sort of arcane ritual, binding them together. Did Charles hear that, too? Or was that thought only in Erik’s head, hiding in the same space in which he kept the memory of each time Charles had smiled at him?
The bellboy came running back into the lobby, awkwardly balancing a large bag. Good. And surprisingly fast. Hopefully he’d managed to obtain everything on Erik’s list.
Holding the results of his efforts, he hovered for a minute, looking worried, before spotting them in the restaurant. “Thank you,” Erik said politely, which seemed to terrify the boy even more. Charles leaned around him, and added, “He’s really harmless,” but that didn’t appear to help.
Charles observed, as the boy retreated, “I hope you tipped him well.”
“You really aren’t going to tell me?”
“Will I approve?”
“Will you…I think so, yes.”
“So you are going to tell me.” Charles moved his own plate to the middle of the table, making it easier for both of them to reach. The steak sat off to the side, mostly forgotten. Erik couldn’t quite bring himself to regret this.
“You really are a difficult date. Did you want that piece of pineapple?”
“No, you can have it.” Charles had said date again. Erik tried, without much success, not to smile too broadly through the rest of dinner.
Afterwards, by some silent consensus, they wandered up to the room. The night was still relatively young, but they had to be on a plane for California in the morning, at an hour that Charles had labeled “positively unholy.” Anyway, somehow neither of them seemed to be in the mood to go out: the shared elation of a first success still hung in the air, but that was a feeling they shared only with each other. It was their success, no one else’s, and the world didn’t need to intrude just yet.
Charles seemed content with the way the evening had progressed, which was a little surprising, considering the stories Erik had heard—from others, and from Charles himself—about Oxford and bars and flirting. But he leaned next to Erik comfortably in the elevator, and when their elbows brushed, he smiled, just a little, as if that was all he needed. Erik smiled back. He had plans.
The only word that came to mind, when looking at their room, was brown. Brown carpet, brown walls, brown lamps, brown blankets on the two twin beds. At least the sheets were white, and looked freshly washed. Erik wondered if ease of camouflage, or just an attempt to disguise poor housecleaning, had been uppermost in the minds of the designers.
Charles sighed. “I miss my bed. This feels like we’re trapped inside an acorn.”
“Something woodland, anyway. You know what I mean.” Charles flopped down across his bed, stretched an arm into his suitcase, and came up with a large book, and notepaper. “Oh, the joys of being an expert in one’s field…”
“I rarely know what you mean.” Maybe Charles had forgotten about the contents of the bag. Erik attempted to hide it behind his back, and edged toward the tiny restroom. “What are you working on?”
“A book review. It’s supposed to be for a new journal of neurobiology. The deadline was two weeks ago, but I’ve been a bit distracted.”
“No doubt they’ll forgive you. Is it any good?”
“No. I’m not certain he entirely understands the function of DNA. Or, for that matter, the function of a book. Where are you going with that?”
“The restroom, Charles. Clearly.”
“If you’re not going to tell me what you’re up to, I’m going to pretend I’m not interested.” Charles turned a page, too quickly to have actually processed anything on it.
“Perfect. Read your terrible book.” Erik shut the door on Charles’s glare, and studied the contents of the bag. Everything he’d requested seemed to be there. The difficulty lay in figuring out how it all went together.
Several complicated minutes later, he eyed himself in the mirror, and decided that that was as good as it was going to get. Some part of him couldn’t believe that he was about to do this. It was certainly something that would never have occurred to the person he’d been several short weeks ago.
But it would make Charles laugh. Somehow that had become very important in an astonishingly short time. He knew it would make Charles laugh, because they had a similar sense of humor, which was surprising since Erik had never thought of himself as having a sense of humor at all.
He looked at the mirror again. He seemed to be discovering new things about himself all the time, and it was oddly liberating: he could be someone else, the kind of person who would. . . well, who was about to walk out into a hotel room dressed like this. . . and have fun doing it. Fun had been largely a foreign concept, until he’d met Charles Xavier in the middle of the ocean.
Speaking of Charles, it was time to see what would happen.
He opened the door. Charles looked up, obviously intending to say something, and dropped his book.
Erik grinned, and turned in a circle, very carefully, making sure Charles got the full effect, from sequined mini-dress to boots to wig. “What do you think? Close enough?”
Charles seemed to be frozen in place; he hadn’t even blinked. Erik made his way over to the bed, bent down, and picked up the discarded book. “Don’t you need this?”
“I—I—oh God, Erik,” Charles said, and burst out laughing. Erik sat on the edge of the bed and watched with satisfaction. Charles laughed the way he did everything else, with completely abandoned enthusiasm. His whole body shook with it, and his hair fell into his eyes.
Oh, Erik…I’m so sorry…
“Don’t be. I’m not.” Erik examined one leg critically. “Well…perhaps I’m sorry you thought about fishnets. I really don’t think I’m a fishnet person, Charles.” This sent Charles back into helpless gales of laughter, which Erik regarded with some pride. Job well done.
You really don’t mind?
Do I look like I mind?
Well, no…you look…oh, Erik, come here.
Erik kicked off the boots, which were too small anyway, and stretched out on the bed next to Charles, who rolled over so that they were face to face. There really wasn’t much room on the twin mattress; Charles’s blue eyes sparkled at him from inches away. Erik, you’re amazing.
Erik shifted a little, uncomfortable with that evaluation of himself. I am not.
Oh, yes, you are. You did this just to make me laugh?
Rest assured, Charles, you are the only person for whom I have EVER considered wearing fishnet stockings.
Charles was still smiling. The echoes of laughter danced in his eyes, and around his lips, and Erik thought about kissing him, and tasting all that happiness. And then hoped that Charles hadn’t caught that one, because, honestly, that was just embarrassingly sentimental.
“Can I try something?”
“Of course,” Erik told him, and thought, of course. Anything you want, just smile like that again because of me.
Charles leaned forward, and kissed him.
Somehow it wasn’t even surprising. It just felt right, as if they’d been headed there all along.
After a second, Erik heard, in his head, Oh, so THAT’S why you keep stealing my food! And Charles started laughing, still kissing him, and Erik found himself laughing too, sprawled out across the tiny bed in a ridiculous outfit with the warm weight of Charles in his arms. He felt spectacular.
I think you feel spectacular, too, Charles observed, and the kiss got a little deeper, heat sparking up between them. Erik slid one hand up under the silk of Charles’s shirt, feeling smooth skin against his fingertips. Charles tipped his head back, and let Erik’s lips follow the graceful line of his throat, down to the delicious sweep of skin that disappeared beneath his open shirt collar. He could feel the beat of Charles’s pulse against his mouth, quick and excited, like hummingbird wings, and the heat of Charles’s hands against his own skin, reaching out to touch him in return.
And then Charles started laughing again.
Sorry, sorry…never imagined I’d say this, Erik, but…your, er, hair is tickling my ear…
Erik growled, yanked the wig off, and threw it across the room. Neither of them bothered to check on where it landed.
Can I take the rest of this off, too?
The terrible fishnets were the first to go. Then the dress. Erik watched Charles watching him, framed against the yellow lamplight and the warmth of the room. Spectacular, indeed. Charles looking up at him with wide eyes and just-kissed lips was the best thing he’d ever seen.
Charles grinned, as if he’d heard that. “I feel overdressed.”
“I can fix that.” The buttons on Charles’s shirt had decorative metal flecks; he tried for control, but a couple of them went flying anyway. One bounced behind the bed.
“Sorry about that.”
“Oh, don’t worry…I’m not.”
Erik knew that this was true, because he could feel everything that Charles was feeling, all anticipation and excitement and desire and the slightest edge of…trepidation?
He paused halfway through removing Charles’s pants. “Charles…you have done this before, correct?”
Charles, without bothering to sit up, raised one eyebrow at him. “Definitely not a virgin here, Erik, please go on…”
“With men, Charles. Have you done this, before, with men?”
“Yes…” Well, some. Only a little bit.
Erik kissed the inviting stretch of pale skin across one hipbone, because it was in front of him and because he could. You cannot have had sex with men “only a little bit,” Charles.
Twice, then. And we were both very drunk the first time. Do that again, please?
Erik kissed the other hip this time, and thought about that answer. What about the second time?
Mmm…well, I was still curious the next morning, and he was still quite attractive, and very lonely.
Erik kissed him again, because that was such a Charles reason to do something. Thinking a little bit about himself, and a lot about other people and what they needed.
Also, he thought I had beautiful eyes.
Erik grumbled something inarticulate into Charles’s stomach. I could have told you that.
Yes, but instead you put on a dress and fishnet stockings. Which is certainly impressive, as grand gestures go. Weren’t you in the middle of something?
Erik went back to the pants; Charles obligingly lifted his hips to make things easier. Are you saying that you find me impressive?
Erik stopped to gaze at him, arrested by that statement. He’d been expecting some sort of witty answer, not simple honesty. “I’m not—you—really?”
“Yes. In every conceivable way.” Charles’s gaze flicked downward. Including that one. Speaking of which, please continue. Now. Or I really will make you think you’re a squirrel the next time we’re at dinner.
“Well, probably not…” Maybe fishnets again, though. That seems to have worked out rather well.
No arguments here. Charles, naked against the crisp white sheets, looked like everything Erik had never known he wanted. And right now he wanted. He’d never slept with a virgin, though; he hoped he knew enough, could do enough, to make everything all right. To make it perfect.
I told you, I’m not a—
Charles, shut up.
Charles blinked at him, more amused than offended. I do know where everything goes, you know.
Twice, you said. That barely counts. Charles still sounded far too articulate; clearly something needed to be done. Erik had several things in mind, but opted for the one that he hoped would have the desired effect most quickly.
Well, that seemed to work. He’d have to remember that.
Much better. Erik paused, just for a second, to look at him. Charles had closed his eyes, but he opened them as if he felt the touch of Erik’s gaze. Behind him, the light fell through the patterns of the lampshade and decorated his skin with warmth and shadows. His eyes danced, offering joy, offering trust, offering himself, freely, without reservation.
Erik breathed in, and out, and went back to what he’d been doing. It was a poor return for everything he’d just seen, but it was what he could offer. Besides, he wanted to hear Charles make that first astonished sound again. He moved fingers, experimentally. Charles gasped.
Is that all right?
Yes—! Charles lifted his head to look at Erik, panting a little. But I suspect I should be doing something for you.
Oh…if you’re sure.
Erik had never been more sure of anything in his life. He knew, without asking, that Charles could feel his certainty; it hummed through his veins like the iron in his blood. Echoed in Charles’s thoughts, it came back magnified a thousandfold.
Charles put out a hand. Touched him in return. Fingertips, warm and graceful, moved across Erik’s skin; Charles might be the less experienced of the two of them, but he could tell exactly what felt good, where Erik wanted him, and just that touch felt better than anything else, ever, in the world.
Actually. . . You might need to stop that, unless you want this to be over far too soon.
Amusement flickered through his thoughts; Charles wasn’t hurt by the request at all. He could probably tell exactly what Erik was feeling, how close they both were. Erik, I want you.
I know. I want—hold on. Erik glanced around the room, a little desperately. They needed . . . something. The acorn-colored walls and open suitcases gazed back complacently, providing no help at all.
Charles figured out what he was looking for, and offered, “I think I saw a bottle of lotion earlier. On the shelf by the sink…”
“One second.” Because he was still watching Charles, he almost tripped over the pile of discarded clothing on the way back. Damn fishnet stockings.
“Again, sorry about that.”
“Sorry is not a word I want to hear right now, Charles.”
Erik nudged an elbow into Charles’s ribs. “Stop that.” Where were we?
I think you were about to do something interesting.
“I certainly hope so.” The tiny bottle of lotion wasn’t perfect, but it would work. Next time they’d be more prepared.
Charles looked a little surprised. “Next time?”
Erik stopped, arrested mid-motion. There had to be a next time, surely? This couldn’t possibly be the only time they’d get to have this, not when they’d just found each other. Once would never be enough, for him; he knew it in his bones. But maybe something wasn’t working; maybe Charles hadn’t liked something he’d done. He would know, if Charles wasn’t enjoying himself, wouldn’t he?
Erik! Stop worrying. Charles tapped his fingers against Erik’s arm. They felt warm, and insistent.
It’s distracting when you worry. Of course I’m enjoying myself, of course you’d know, and of course there’s going to be a next time; I want that exactly as much as you do. Which you also know, if you would think about it. His voice, in Erik’s head, sounded both affectionate and gently impatient; there was no hint of regret or dislike or pain. But can we finish THIS time, first, please?
Erik breathed out, more relieved than he should have been, and let Charles kiss him, gently. The taste of Charles’s skin took away the lingering worry, and replaced it with renewed desire; in his head, he heard Charles’s whisper of yes, go on, I want you, and it pushed him into action, before he’d even made a conscious decision. He flicked open the bottle of lotion with one hand, and tried to be gentle.
Charles shivered; the shadows from the lamp made black spikes out of his eyelashes when he closed them, briefly. Ah…
Are you all right?
Yes… fine… give me a second. Charles managed a smile, with his eyes if not quite with his lips. You’re a bit…large.
I’m… sorry? Erik really wasn’t sure whether he should apologize for that, or not. He balanced himself on his elbows, taking some of the weight off of Charles, and used one fingertip to trace the corner of Charles’s mouth. Just tell me what you want.
Charles turned his head, and breathed a kiss against Erik’s fingertip. And you told ME not to apologize again. . . All right, better. Go on.
Yes, I’m absolutely sure. Charles wrapped both hands around Erik’s shoulders, and tugged him forward, gently. Please.
Erik moved, carefully; after a moment, Charles moved with him. Suddenly, everything fell into perfect rhythm. As if they’d been made for each other, as if they’d always been meant to do this. Nothing else, before or after, could ever compare, except maybe all those next times they’d been promising.
Either of them could have said it. It didn’t matter. The heat built up between them, trembled, exploded like a supernova. Erik tried to keep his eyes open as it hit him, failed, and realized that he didn’t need to, because he could feel Charles all around him anyway, inside and out and laced through every molecule of his being.
He heard Charles laugh, just once, out of sheer delight. Of course Charles would laugh at that moment, spilling over with joy like the birth of a star.
They came back to earth slowly, tangled in sheets and sweat and stickiness. Erik waved a hand vaguely in the direction of the ceiling fan, and it clinked to life with an annoyed metallic complaint.
Very happy, thank you. That was…
Oh yes. Charles tried to push damp hair out of his eyes, and only succeeded in moving it over a few centimeters. So…I think there should definitely be a next time.
Erik grinned down at him, exhausted and utterly content. "Definitely." He started to move, intending to clean them both up, and then paused, watching Charles’s face as he withdrew. But not any time soon. You’re already going to be sore tomorrow.
Charles actually blushed, which Erik found frighteningly endearing. I wouldn’t mind.
Oh, tempting. Charles really wouldn’t mind; Erik could feel the sincerity without even trying. But it still wasn’t a good idea, and he couldn’t imagine causing Charles any unnecessary pain; they had all the time in the world, unraveling before them in every possible direction. They could wait.
Charles sighed, most likely picking up on the direction of his thoughts. “Do you think we can both fit into that shower?”
“I’m happy to join you, but we’re not having sex in the shower, Charles.”
“Oh, all right…starting to suspect you might be right, in any case…” Charles’s expression brightened. “You know, I have a very large shower at home. We could try it there.”
Erik mostly heard the middle, offhand, part of that statement. “Did I…” …hurt you?
“No.” No. I promise. Their eyes met; Erik found himself convinced.
Charles sat up, and eyed the room, now strewn with both their clothes and his own discarded notes. “I think we’ve improved the décor.”
“Vastly.” Erik wasn’t looking at the room.
“I’m not decorative, Erik. Shower?”
Yes, you are. “Yes. In a minute. Don’t get up; I can turn on the water from here. It needs a second to warm up anyway.”
“I am not. Erik, are you trying to take care of me?”
“Oh…all right, then.” You don’t have to, you know. I’m fine. I’m fantastic.
I know you are. I just…He ran out of words. Charles reached over and took his hand. Erik?
I never did mind you stealing my food, you know.
Erik ran his thumb over the back of Charles’s hand, played gently with graceful fingers that welcomed his touch. I know. Steam started drifting lazily out of the shower, waiting for them. “Shall we?”
“Indeed.” Charles let Erik pull him up from the bed and towards the shower, arm around his waist in entirely unnecessary support. Oh! One more thing…
…you’ve never looked more beautiful, darling.
...if ever you think I’m not the one
I’ll remind you
with everything under the sun
stars above you
come on to me, just let it go
if ever you think I’m not the one
I’ll remind you