Janos whines while bouncing the toddler on his knee. The boy, now six months old, laughs and tries to bite into a multicolored ball.
“Puppy dog eyes do not work on me, especially not when they are swollen and bloodshot.”
He's pregnant with the second one and it shows. The original plan was for Emma to come by and take care of AJ for the night but a quick Instagram check revealed, that she was currently in the South of France. Apparently her fathers third wedding was more important. And Steve Rogers, now Frost, was a stunning bride. Why Janos asked her in the first place was beyond Erik's comprehension anyway.
“Come on, it is not like I want you to raise him. We just want one night to ourselves before she arrives. And don't give me “You should have thought about that before” - speech. Some people want kids in their life. And yes, I do realise the irony of my statement given what I've just asked of you.” Erik rolls his eyes and holds his arms out. He knew from the start how this would play out eventually.
“Hand him over.” “Are you... Really?” He takes the little boy and looks around in the apartment.
“Where is it?” Janos looks confused. “What?”
“The over-night bag you've clearly prepared in advance.” His friend wants to say something in his defense but instead just points behind the couch.
“Thank you so, so much. I owe you.” “The manual is in there as well, I presume?”
“Manual? He is not a household appliance.”
This is the moment, Azazel junior decides to puke all over Erik's shirt. After his stomach seems to be empty, the tiny nuisance has the audacity to give him a toothless smile.
“The lid on your blender is broken.” Janos has enough common sense to suppress the laughter and get him a wet towel and another shirt. The only one that fits him is a black, tight tee with the word “Superstar” written on it in pink glitter. Of course it is, because in the world of Erik Lehnsherr, no good deed is left unpunished.
“Need a ride?”
Erik doesn't even look at the guy in the car before he hisses a cold “Fuck off!” in his direction. After getting cat-called - with a freaking baby strapped to his chest - for the fourth time, he was done with being polite.
“I don't think that is an appropriate way to talk to your boss, Erik.” Tony grins and rolls the window down.
“I suppose it's not. But I had a rough morning.” He finishes lamely and points to the sleeping child.
“I can see that. It's amazing how quickly they deliver them these days. And you've already lost all the baby weight. But I must say, I'm a little disappointed that you didn't even ask me to be the godfather.”
Tony Stark: playboy, billionaire, philanthropist and bad joke aficionado. Erik sighs and gets in the car. He figures one drive without a child seat will go over a little smoother with police, than a strangled construction worker, who thinks his ass looks nice.
“It's Janos' and Azazel's.” “And you take it out for a test run?” Tony maneuvers the Stark mobile - because nothing in this car was remotely ready or affordable to be put in a Prius - through the midday traffic.
“Test run?” “You and the professor, you do think about kids, right?”
Oh God, not this again. Even though Tony wasn't asking in a creepy way like Sebastian did, it was still uncomfortable.
“No.” He blankly states and stares at the top of AJ's head.
“Shame. I think you would be good parents. Charles is a great guy and the two of you could deepen the gene pool. All those shallow dives I took over the years... I'm lucky I didn't crack my head open.” The sound that leaves Erik's mouth is more of a snort than a laugh.
“So you think we should procreate so you can... Cliff-dive?” “I was thinking more of my grand-child. Well, if my daughter chooses to give me one someday.”
“Your... You have a kid?!” Thanks to the internet, everything there was to know about Tony was public domain. But that?
“Oh yes, although she is 27 now. And this is obviously classified information.” “Uhm, sure, right.” He pulls up in front of Erik's apartment building and opens the door with the push of a button.
“Take care, Erik.” “You too and thanks for the ride.” Tony nods and drives away.
Charles arrives about two hours later, with some take-out and stops dead in his tracks when he sees Erik on the couch and AJ sleeping on his chest. He looks up from his book and waves.
“Hey, how was your day?” “Not as eventful as yours by the looks of it.”
“Oh, I'm babysitting for Janos. Last chance for a romantic getaway.” “Okay, what does he have on you?”
“Fifteen years of friendship... And maybe a photo of me in a neon speedo.” Charles smirks and sits down next to him.
“A speedo, huh?” “Not in front of the baby, Herzblatt.”
After putting AJ down to sleep, they enjoy their dinner and a somewhat normal conversation about Erik's teams advances in the lab. Then the elephant in the next room makes itself known with a wailing cry.
“I go.” Charles returns with him a few moments later.
“You were bored in there, right little guy? Uncle Erik was just talking about how brilliant he is. Yes, in a few years, I can stop my research and live off of him. That's the dream, right there.” He winks at Erik and
proceeds to fix a bottle for the baby.
“The dream?” “Yep, I'm gonna be your trophy husband.”
“We're not married, Charles.” “Details, darling.” When AJ is fed and back in bed, Erik is still sitting at the table.
“Are you thinking about your formula again? It will work, eventually.” “Hm?” Charles puts his hand on his shoulder and gives him one of those smirks, that always lead Erik to put more of his pheromone blocker on.
“Like I said, you're brilliant. You'll get it done soon.” “I didn't freak out.” The professor looks at him confused.
“I never said you did...” “No, when you said husband. I... I stayed calm.” The confusion doesn't leave Charles' face. For someone with an IQ rivaling Hawking's he could be a blockhead sometimes.
“I,” Erik points to himself. “Didn't. Freak. Out.” And then it hits Charles - thankfully - because Erik was one step away from drawing up a chart.
“Oh.” “Yes.” “I see.”
That did not sound reassuring at all. But before Erik can laugh it off, or do the sensible thing and drink until the humiliation is scorched from his memory, Charles kisses him on the neck and puts his
hand on his chest.
“Sure?” He whispers against his pulse and after Erik grabs his hand and nods, Charles' teeth sink into the same spot that the crazy wannabe vampire bit the night they first met.
“We can not tell Janos, that we did this, with his son in the next room. And stop licking my neck.” Charles puts the bandaid on the wound and gives him a peck on the cheek.
“So the old myth about marking would make your mate docile is utter bullshit. Who would have thought?”