They had forgotten to shut the blinds completely last night, a thing not altogether too surprising, considering Charles’ proposal of “a quick after-dinner drink” had turned into “a quick chess game” which had finally, finally turned into Erik’s tongue plundering Charles’ mouth as the latter tried wildly to divest both himself and Erik of their pants simultaneously. The kiss (and what followed) had been building up between them for weeks, since the second Charles had wrapped his arms around Erik in the icy waters of the Atlantic. Once the tension was broken, it was relief to let their emotions pour out of them like a dam finally bursting.
Which was why Charles was uncharacteristically happy when he was woken by the sun that shone over the hotel parking lot slicing into their room and directly onto his eyes. Yes, it was ungodly early, but his muscles had that pleasant kind of ache from the activities of the night before, and his mouth still felt kiss-bruised.
Plus, he realized quickly, there was a tall, lightly slumbering German still radiating warmth in the spot across from him. He and Erik had fallen asleep spooned together in the slightly-small bed, Erik’s knees tucked behind Charles’, the both of them on their left facing away from the window. Charles must have flipped over in the night, but Erik hadn’t, and as such, the sunlight was only hitting him on the back of the head, not disturbing his slumber at all.
Charles snorted lightly at the sight of Erik completely dead to the world.
Then he paused. He looked a little closer.
The lines that normally etched themselves deeply around Erik’s eyes and forehead were smoothed out in his sleep. His thin lips were parted slightly, a quiet rush of air escaping them rhythmically as his ribcage expanded and contracted. Charles watched the motion of Erik’s breaths jostle the thin sheets pulled high on his waist ever so softly, before following the line of Erik’s torso up until it was crossed by a long lean arm that flopped into the middle-space between them, reaching toward Charles unconsciously.
The fingers on that hand were rough and calloused. Charles knew now just how right they felt moving against his smooth skin, coaxing and fighting for dominance, long and beautiful like the rest of Erik.
Charles didn’t know how long he’d been staring. He followed the arm back to Erik’s torso, trailed his gaze along the defined chest marked here and there now with bites and kisses, up the elegant neck, around the curve of the jaw, to where Erik’s long eyelashes were fanned against his cheekbones.
How had Charles not noticed how long Erik’s eyelashes were before now? It seemed impossible he could have missed them after weeks of seeing Erik every day, eating almost every meal with him, and playing chess with him every night. But missed them he had.
Charles had a sudden fierce desire to reach out and run his fingers over Erik’s sharp cheekbones up and around his ears, to trace the normally firm line of his lips until they quirked into a smile, to trace the marks his own lips and teeth had left against that broad chest, to take each one of those brilliant, long fingers and work the joints of them, to learn exactly how they curled around his own, warm and rough and perfect.
But he didn’t reach out for fear of disturbing Erik. Erik who didn’t trust anyone and who was sleeping completely soundly next to Charles, trusting and honest and open.
The sun hit Erik’s tousled hair and glinted off of it, picking out highlights of lighter brown amid the auburn. Charles let out a breath he didn’t know he’d been holding, and finally Erik stirred, eyelashes fluttering gently before the lines around the eyes and on the forehead returned as he scrunched his face against the sun.
Erik rolled further away from the light and closer to Charles, letting out a quiet, unhappy noise from deep in his throat. He lifted the arm stretched in between them and hooked it behind Charles’ back, pulling him close and burying his face against Charles’ hair.
Charles smiled, feeling like his face might split in two from the force of it. He slid a hand into Erik’s hair, mussing it up even more and scratching his fingertips lightly over his scalp.
Erik moaned again, but it was not completely in protest this time.
“Forgot to close the blinds last night,” he mumbled, his voice rough as it rumbled out of his chest.
“Mmmm,” Charles hummed in agreement.
They were silent again a while longer. Charles thought Erik had fallen asleep until he felt soft kisses being bussed against his hair, trailing down gradually onto his cheek before Erik finally leaned down to press his lips firmly against Charles’ red, red mouth.
“Good morning,” he whispered in the scant space between them when they pulled apart again for breath.
“It is, isn’t it?” Charles replied, and pulled Erik back to him.