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[personal profile] monstrousregiment
Title: Brief Lives (10/?)

Author: monstrousreg

Word count:  2401

Warnings:  POSSIBLY TRIGGERING. Mentions of domestic and sexual abuse. Violence. Read with care.  

Pairing: Erik/Charles.


Erik thinks he's going to seduce, interrogate and murder some nondescript CIA intelligence agent, and winds up biting more than
he can chew. Charles is not keen on being murdered, he doesn't favor interrogations, and he's certainly not willing to be seduced. That he's not cooperating is midly put.   

Notes:  Unbetaed, and stuff. Guys, sorry it took me so unforgivably long to update this thing, I didn't have a chance on Saturday after all and I don't have internet in my new apartment yet. It's dirving me insane. I'm at a Starbucks right now. I'll try to update on Monday or Tuesday.
Fucking Lj is fucking with my format again, I'm going to have to fix it by hand. YOU GUYS MUST KNOW THAT I LOVE YOU otherwise I wouldn't bother.

Erik finds Charles in the study. He leans his shoulder against the doorframe and asks, “How do you want to do this?”

Charles gives him a sideways look.

“Are you going to ask me if I wrote a will?” Erik asks, amused.

Charles snorts inelegantly. “You don’t own anything.”

Erik shrugs. “Some clothes, a gun.”

“A coin,” Charles says, eyes flicking down toErik’s right pocket.

Erik levels him with a look. “One that goes to ground with its original owner.”

Charles pulls a face. “I’m not a metal-bender. How am I supposed to kill someone with a silver coin?”

“Not my problem. If you have to figure that out, I’ll be dead.”

“Precisely. You’ll be dead—you’ll never know whether I used the coin.”

“I’ll know,” Erik replies, coming fully into the study. “So, what happens now?”

Charles rubs his forehead tiredly. “I’m fatigued—it’s best we do it tonight, while I’m off center.” He sighs. “In any case, there would be no point in delaying it. Were you to make it through this miraculously unharmed, you will need some time to adapt.”

“Your faith fills me with courage,” Erik says dryly.

“I could make you think I believe it’ll be fine,” Charles quirks his mouth in an almost-smile. “But once we’re in the middle of it, you’ll know it was a lie.”

“It wouldn’t be the first time you’d lie to me,” Erik says lightly, coming closer.

Charles blinks. Then, “Oh. Raven. No, I suppose not.”

“Why didn’t you tell me?”

“You didn’t need to know, and I didn’t trust you then. I was testing the grounds, seeing how you reacted to things. I didn’t want to give you information you might learn to use against me.”

“I can use anything against you,” Erik said quietly, stepping even closer, dangerously close to breaching Charles’ precious personal space. Charles stood his ground, and Erik knew he wasn’t going to back out this time. “How close you’ve let me get, Charles. Hasn’t it ever occurred to you that I might yet betray you?”

“The only thing you want more than me right now is Shaw’s death,” the telepath replied calmly. “That works out for me, it turns out, as the only thing I want more than his death right now is you. We make a pair, and not an unlikely one.”

Erik hums thoughtfully, reaches forward to tuck a stray lock of dark hair behind Charles’ hair, daring to brush his fingers over the delicate shell. Charles shivers but doesn’t flinch. Erik waits, but there’s no immediate pain. Perhaps the touch has been too innocent and brief. Perhaps Charles is too tired to retaliate, or has no intention of doing so.

“How should I do this?” Erik asks softly. 

Charles closes his eyes. “Take your shirt off. The more skin we touch, the better. I’ll sink right into you. It’ll be painful—for both of us. I’ll probably struggle. You’re stronger than me physically, so you’ll have to wrestle me down. I don’t know if I’ll have a mind to restrain myself, so you’ll have to focus on your body, try to keep us together, while I try to…”

He trailed off, shaking his head.

“While I try to keep us both sane, I suppose. It should be—your mind, Erik, is a very strict place. But mine is fractured and compromised of jagged edges and broken shards. I’ll need to fit my mind around your angles and organize it according to your thought patterns, but I won’t be able to make it quickly enough that it’ll be a seamless transition for you. You’ll get lost in me first, and then I’ll try to revert the process. In the beginning, expect to blur into me, like we are the same person, two halves put back together.”

Erik reaches back and pulls his sweatshirt over his head, together with his t-shirt. Charles, more hesitant than him when it comes to nudity but thoroughly determined to do this, shrugs out of his sweater and gets to work on the buttons of his shirt.

“You’ll want to take off the gloves,” Erik says lightly, eyes dancing over Charles’ lean form as the shirt parts open. There is no denying Charles is exquisite.

Erik drags his eyes up with some effort only to find that Charles is blushing.

“You heard that, then?” Erik asks, rueful.

Exquisite,” Charles mumbles mockingly.

“You don’t take well to compliments, hm?”

“Not ones that imply I am effeminate.”

Erik laughs, and then stops short when Charles shrugs out of his shirt completely to reveal pale, square shoulders and a tones
chest that tapers down to trim hips. This is the first time Erik has seen Charles’ bare chest without the impediment of a bandage, so it’s also the first time he sees the stark black letters of the tattoo. His throat goes dry.

“Oh,” Charles stops.

“You said he never hurt you,” Erik rasps.

“I said he never hit me,” Charles corrects coolly. “And in any case, it didn’t hurt, because he did it while I was drugged
and unconscious.”

It’s a seal, a neat black line encircling the initials S.S., and it’s been tattooed right in the center of Charles’ upper abdominal muscles, directly below the body of the ribs, under the tail of the Xiphoid process. Erik hates it with a sudden, burning passion that boils like acid in the pit of his stomach and creeps up his veins, clawing up his throat like warm bile.

Charles calmly, methodically, unclasps and removes his leather gloves, as if using the action to ensure he avoids meeting
Erik’s eyes.

“It’s of no consequence,” he says faintly. “And you are the first person to ever set eyes on it anyway—besides Raven, that is, who actually saw it done. She told me little of the process.”

Erik swallows convulsively.

Charles consciously relaxes his shoulders, fingertips skimming absently over the ink of the seal, before he forces himself
to relax his arms as well, loosening his muscles.

“As I said, I will probably struggle, so—“

“Charles,” Erik interrupts, reaching out his right hand. “Stop stalling. I think we’re both ready.”

Charles smiles crookedly. “I don’t. Let’s find out.”

He collides with Erik’s larger frame with a violence that implies if he didn’t give himself the momentum, he would never have been able to do it. Erik’s has a fraction of a second to form a vice around his back with his arms and think about how smooth his skin is before
everything tilts and smashes into a storm of mindless, soundless, incomprehensible agony.

At first everything whites out. Maybe he screams. Distantly he can tell Charles is physically struggling, but he was right—Erik is much stronger, he’ll not be able to free himself unless he uses a cleverly thought technique, something that is currently well out of his reach. Maybe it’s Charles that screams.

Yes—Charles definitely screams. He screams and then he whimpers. Or not—he’s not whimpering now. But he whimpers when Kurt
Marko hits him the first time, a close fist across a child’s chubby cheek. He whimpers helplessly in terror as the German soldiers storm their house above the nook in the floor where they are hiding—no. Wait.

Yes. He reaches his hands and the gates bend down, eager to please his demands. He’s thirteen and Shaw looks at him with his
cool blue eyes and asks The girl? And Kurt answers I don’t know if she has any powers, but the boy, the boy’s the one you really want. Shaw says Yes and then he says I will count to three, and you will move this coin.

His mother dies when he turns ten, in a drunken car accident, and she dies when he turns thirteen, in a dim room in a concentration camp. His father died when he was too young to remember him and was buried in the family crypt, and he died in a concentration camp and lies
somewhere beneath the dirt in an unmarked, mass grave, but he knows where his mother is buried because he dug the grave himself.

He can feel the pain of broken nails digging out dirt, and his mother on the ground beside him but she’s not—because he never saw her body, Kurt identified it at the morgue.

He’s sixteen the first time Shaw takes him, and he makes him bleed. That night Raven curls around him in the bed and cries and cries and cries, but his eyes are dry as the desert, as dry as when he drug his mother’s grave, as dry as when he plunged a knife through the guard by the door and escaped, finally finally finally free, out into the night never to be seen again until he was a man and he wanted revenge, until he was a man and had built a safe haven for children that needed him.

He has a seal in his chest and keeps a coin in his pocket and everything inside him wants Shaw dead, with a startling ferocity like the enraged outburst of a dying star, with enough heat to consume the world.

He turns seventeen and he is free. He turns eighteen and for his birthday Shaw drugs him and when he wakes his chest burns and Raven is rubbing soothing ointment into his reddened skin, dark ink beneath her fingers, and his eyes are dry as the desert.

He’s nineteen and he’s killed the man that told the German soldiers that they were Jews. He’s nineteen and Azazel is Shaw’s newest fascination, a man grown, in perfect control of his powers. Azazel likes Raven, and he’s kind enough with both her and her brother. Azazel is afraid of  him, in a way he is too intelligent to attempt to hide.

He lives with Azazel for a year. He meets Azazel only once, when they run into each other hunting down a Nazi agent and the mutant escapes him before he can kill him.

He goes to Argentina, to the picturesque little mountain-top town of San Martin de los Andes. He’s never been to South America
below Brazil.

He’s twenty years old and in Shaw’s bed, and he’s bleeding again. A puff of red smoke and Azazel grabs his wrist, a puff of red smoke and they’re in a hospital, a puff of red smoke and Azazel is gone, and he never sees him again. He doesn’t see Raven for a week, when she comes find him in the hospital and she says I’m saying with him until you kill him, we need to keep a track of his movements.

He goes to the FBI and tells them what he is, what Shaw is and what he plans to do, doesn’t tell them what he’s done to him. He thinks Moira is nice enough she quickly falls for him but he ignores it. He doesn’t bother deleting the feeling because if she likes him, she’ll keep him safe.

He finds Nazi gold, forged from the spoils stolen from his people, he tries to sell it to a banker, he gets his information and leaves. A year later he decides he’s not all that magnanimous, comes back and kills him in his bed.

He goes to Oxford and he goes to Munich, simultaneously as the timelines begin to overlap. He’s studying genetics in Oxford and he’s on a plane en route to Russia. He’s in Venice enjoying the sun and he’s in the gardens outside Xavier Hall, watching a car go up in flames and
hearing the screams of a man trapped inside, and his eyes are dry as the desert. His hand aches a little where Raven clutches at him.

He’s in Argentina again, in Villa Gesell drinking beer and killing his tormentors and he’s in a seedy little student bar in Oxford getting drunk because he’s achieved his PhD in a record time of three years. He’s twenty even, he’s twenty three.

He’s in Oxford, he’s in Oxford. He’s looking for a CIA agent, he knows there’s someone looking for him here in this bar and oh—his mother, she was murdered—Shaw, Shaw again, always Shaw.

He loses track, everything blurs and distorts, a kaleidoscope of images and sounds and smells he’s seen, heard and smelt and has never seen, never heard, never smelt.

Things begin, slowly, to fall into place. A voice says yes—it’s been like this all along. But he says no, it’s like this—the gates bend over, eager to do as he commands them. Shaw says, I’ll count to three. He digs his mother’s grave. He’s seventeen and he’s free.  He’s nineteen and he’s killed the man that told the German soldiers that they were Jews. He’s been to San Martin de Los Andes and Villa Gesell.

The rest is not his. 

His name is Erik. He is not Charles Xavier.

Yes. That makes sense.

He awakens, slowly, gradually, and begins once again to feel his body. He blinks blearily down, realizes he’s on the floor, sprawled half over another limp body. On shaky arms he pushes himself up, remembering.

Charles is on his side, having somehow in the struggle managed to put his back to Erik’s chest. He’s limp as a dead man, and when Erik grabs his shoulder and turns him on his back his eyes are half-open but empty. Erik feels a tendril of horror and then is calm, feels reassured. Oh. Charles has momentarily shut down, but the damage is not permanent. He’s simply—regrouping, you could say.

Erik glances down at his arms. He’s covered in scratches. The skin’s been broken in some places. He looks briefly down—yes, there’s some blood on Charles’ fingers. Erik leaves him on the floor and goes to the ensuite bathroom to wash his arms and hands, white at his face streaked with tears. Then he comes back, gathers Charles’ body into his arms and takes him to the bed. Charles’ eyes are open and vacant, lashes heavy. Erik brushes the tears in his cheeks tenderly away, but they keep coming, soaking into the cloth of the pillow.

There is much skin to touch and explore, but all Erik wants to do is sleep.

He nearly sleepwalks four floors down to his bedroom, collapses into the bed and knows no more.

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December 2011

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