musamea: (Magneto Somber)
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[livejournal.com profile] npkedit asked for a post-Negotiations scene in the timestamp meme. This one ran away from me a bit and ended up longer than the original ficlet. Oh well.

Erik/Charles, Scott and Jean. Warning for implied sex.


Charles is out when they return home from the doctor's, so he eats supper with the children and then sequesters himself in his office with James Joyce and a full bottle of cognac. He leaves the door open.

When Charles knocks an hour and a half later, the bottle is significantly emptier and Erik has been on the same paragraph of "Counterparts" for twenty minutes.

He looks up to see Charles framed in the doorway, the hallway bright behind his body. His lover is wearing an immaculately pressed suit and a contrite expression.

Erik marks his page, shuts the book, and places it on his desk without a word. The cognac in his glass glows like rich amber in the light of his lamp. Finally, he says, "You've spoken to the children?"

"To Jean." Charles taps two fingers to his forehead to indicate the method of their communication.

"And?"

"And I'm not sure if you want me to apologize for what Scott went through in the exam room or what you went through while waiting."

He notices that the hallway light turns the toes Charles's shoes into mirrors and the very tips of his ears golden. He thinks that this is a silly thing to notice right now. "Both. Neither. I'm not exactly in the mood for apologies."

"Ah." He watches as Charles's gaze takes in the bottle and the glass. A telepath should know better than to say what comes next. This telepath does know better. But Charles also knows him, knows this isn't a game, even if their words are light. And he accepts the challenge, picks up the gauntlet, walks right into the trap with a smile that threatens to make Erik weep with its sincerity and trust. "What are you in the mood for, then?"

"Come here," he says, with a voice that just might leave a bruise. "Close the door behind you."

-----

Jean never bothers to knock and Scott's always thought that one day this impetuousness is going to embarrass both of them. That's why he has a habit of going into the closet when he changes. This evening doesn't bring that inevitable doom, however. He's sprawled belly-down on his floor, piecing his radio back together, when Jean hurtles through his door and jumps onto his bed.

"Ever heard of knocking?" he asks, looking at his screwdriver instead of at her.

"Please." They've had countless versions of this conversation, and he knows she's rolling her eyes at this point. "I'm a telepath. If you're naked, I'd know."

"Do you make a habit of sweeping a room for nudity before you barge in?" He finishes with the last panel and sits up, facing her.

"Only in hopes of catching Dr. Lehnsherr one of these days." She waggles her eyebrows at him.

"Thank you. I now need to go bleach out my brain."

She throws a pillow at him with her TK. "Eunuch."

He catches it right before it smashes into and overturns his toolbox. "Electra complex," he retorts, with a meaningful cough. He tosses the pillow back.

She laughs. "Since when did you become a Freudian?"

"Since I decided today that I'd rather be subjected to meaningless psychobabble for hours than doctors who just don't know how to shut up. Present company excluded, of course."

"Of course," she echoes dryly. "He was pretty terrible, huh?"

Scott mimics the man's voice. "'Oh, but of course some people believe that immunizations heighten one's risk, so you might just catch the flu anyhow, son, har har har.' I'd like to heighten his risk of getting blasted through a wall." He mimes tearing off his glasses. "I haven't caught even a cold since my mutation manifested. And besides, I wasn't even getting a flu shot!"

Jean's doubled up with laughter when he finishes his rant and it takes her a minute to catch her breath. "You're just mad since he wasn't gentle with the needles, and the tetanus shot probably hurts like a bitch right now."

"Just a bit sore." His left shoulder does hurt, but he's not about to let the future Dr. Jean Grey know that he can't handle a shot. "Don't ever be a doctor like that, okay?"

She gets off the bed to whack him with the pillow this time; a solid thump right on the top of his head, but still controlled enough to leave his glasses in place. "I think I can safely promise you that I'll never turn into that," she says. "If I do, consider yourself honor bound to blast me through a wall." She drops the pillow next to him, then sinks down on top of it as she marches on to a new topic as easily as she marches uninvited through his door. "So, why'd you do an autopsy on your radio?"

"Just wanted to figure out if I could make it recharge its own batteries." He flicks the power switch on and pushes it over to her. "Wanna pick a station?"

-----

Charles stretches beside him, a subtle shifting of bones and muscle that he'd miss if they weren't still half-tangled together. He runs a finger around a bitemark on Charles's shoulder that he doesn't remember giving.

"Feeling a little fierce, were you?" It takes his pleasantly hazy mind a minute to comprehend Charles's words.

He's feeling too sated at the moment to push himself off the floor and respond sharply. Besides, he thinks the cognac's not the sole reason he hears a thread of approval run beneath the note of amusement in these words.

"Sterile, antiseptic rooms devoted to medical advances aren't exactly my environment of choice," he murmurs, but there's no edge to his voice.

Charles turns toward him and presses a kiss into his collarbone. There's a history that they share, the one he lived, which Charles knows from years of projected nightmares and one particularly bad argument when Erik had pulled out his mental trump card. But neither speaks of it now, and Erik is glad of it. This careful touch of lips to skin is the closest to an apology that he wants or needs to go right now.

When the silence grows too long and threatens to break with the weight of things unsaid, he nudges Charles with his hip and adds, "Of course, flat on my back, staring up at the ceiling of my office, is not exactly ideal either."

Charles smiles. "And here I was, grateful that we are not too old for such spontaneity." He props himself up on one elbow to look at Erik and lifts one eyebrow.

"Well," Erik concedes, "I might be persuaded to repeat this escapade every now and again. Though-" he hastily amends on seeing Charles's smile grow larger, "I absolutely forbid you to make visiting the doctor a prerequisite."
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