Title: Mistletoes - A Dream I’m Told
Author: The Artful Dodger / dodger_sister
Fandom: The X-Men (First Class)
Category: Angst, Romance, Holiday
Characters/Pairing: Charles/Erik, Raven & Co.
Spoilers: For the end of First Class.
Summary: A Christmas past and a Christmas present.
Word Count: 757 words.
Date Written: 12/23/14
Disclaimer: The X-Men are not mine. I wrote this fic, just for fun. It’s the holidays, don’t sue!
Feedback: Bring it. dodger_sister / TheArtofDodger@comcast.net
Author's Notes: Part of my Mistletoes ‘verse, all written as holiday gifts for my Flisties. I just couldn’t find a way not to make this angsty - these boys breed angst - but at least there was some holiday sweetness too.
Dedication: For ceitfianna, who asked for Charles/Erik, recovery. It really is mostly all your fault that I love these two as hard as I do! Merry Christmas, darling!
There’d been a holiday - one perfect holiday - before.
In a different year, a different time, a different life.
Raven and Hank had bought a ridiculous amount of decorations and set about hanging them up - some in places that only Hank could have possibly reached. Everyone joined in a bit, all bringing their own selves to it, a mix of them all throughout the house. And then one of the ‘kids’ - as Erik called them, though with affection - had hung a mistletoe over the archway into the common room.
When Charles had caught Erik passing under it, he had only raised an eyebrow at his friend and received a raised eyebrow and a smirk in return.
It had stayed there, on the archway, until Christmas Eve, when it had suddenly appeared in the doorway to Charles’ study. He and Erik had been heading in for a last game of chess before retiring for the evening, when Erik had stopped suddenly in front of Charles and tilted his head upwards. Charles had followed his line of sight to see the mistletoe hanging there.
“Raven,” he’d muttered under his breath and Erik had just laughed, before turning to face Charles with that same damned smirk on his face.
“Oh, alright then, if we must,” Charles answered, but it was all mock-grumble and Erik had pulled him in before he had even finished the words.
It had been slow, barely there at first, and then Charles had tugged Erik forward by the front of his shirt and that was all Erik had needed. He’d cupped Charles’ face in his hands and moved from soft and sweet to fast and hard, wanting, craving. Taking in what Charles had to give him and then more on top of it all.
They’d shut the study door behind them and ignored Raven’s knowing looks in the morning.
But that had been so very long ago, it seemed now.
Now the house was nearly barren, the few remaining of them walking on tiptoes around him, as he could no longer walk at all.
There were others, new people, new faces, and Charles was sure they were the right ones to be by his side, but they weren’t the ones he wanted there. No Raven. No Erik.
The decorations went up again, but only in the common room this year. Hank didn’t ask for more and Charles didn’t offer him the permission. He focused only on his strength, gaining back what he could, expanding the walls of his mind to make up for what he could not.
It was from this - this new stretching and moving of his mind - that he felt that first single tug.
‘It is nothing,’ he told himself and ignored it.
Though it was Christmas Eve again and he could think of nothing but Erik then, he knew there was no chance that Erik was thinking of him. At least, it made it easier to believe so.
Still the tugging came again and at last, a very short while before midnight, he found himself staring at Cerebro and allowing himself to dream. He slipped into the device and let his mind run free, swirling across the open world, darting past mutants and human alike, searching for that one red, glowing ember that was burning at him from inside.
When he found it, it was like a cool breeze on his face and the voice of Erik in his head, saying, “I knew you’d come, old friend.”
There was a dark room, wooden paneled walls and nothing else for Charles’ to see save for the mistletoe hanging over Erik’s head. Whether it was real or projected there by the two of them, he had no idea.
“One for the spirit of the season?” Erik asked him and the knowing smirk had Charles joyous, sorrowful and both at once.
“I didn’t take you for the festive type,” Charles told him then, but let himself imagine leaning up, reaching for Erik, let himself imagine the tilt of his own head.
Erik met him halfway, met him with an open mind and a soft, sweet taste of his lips. It lasted but a moment in time and went no further, but when Erik pulled back, it was his eyes that had Charles knowing this was the last time they would meet like this.
Still, he said, “Until next time, then.”
And when he slipped Cerebro from his brow, he still had the taste of Erik’s lips lingering on his own.