Chapter 1: A drink of water coz my lips are chapped…
And as I always say; ‘The Grim Reaper once had a heart’
“It’s not fair though!” Raven all but yelled, throwing a tantrum at the doctor who stood at the foot of Charles’ bed, holding a clipboard file and her pen in hand.
Charles sighed out tiredly and caught his sister’s flailing arm by the wrist. “Raven calm down, please. Doctor Moira is only doing her job. She is not the one who gave me the cancer and she’s certainly not the one who makes the chemo medicine.”
Raven huffed and looked to him, softening her features. Charles was right, doctor Moira wasn’t the cause of his blood cancer, but she still thought that two months left to live was bullshit.
“But Charles this is bullshit really,” she argued angrily. Doctor Moira didn’t take offence when a dirty look was directed at her.
Charles chuckled and looked to the doctor. “Thank you, Moira. We’ll talk after visiting hours,” he said to her. The young doctor nodded and turned to leave the room, not missing Raven’s angry gaze that would have lit her up on fire on the spot.
Charles looked back to his little sister after the doctor left and smiled weakly at her, trying to reassure her without having to say that he was feeling fine right now. “I understand that you’re angry about this, Raven, darling but there is nothing more the good doctor can do. Two months is only a rough estimation measured from the rate the cancer is eating my cells. The chemo only slows it all down but it is still here and I’m still not going to make it even if I live for five months or whatever,” he explained, licking his dry lips.
Raven, noticing this, quickly grabbed him a glass of water from the bedside table and handed it over to him. Charles took it eagerly and gulped down the cool liquid, quenching his thirst and reviving his chapped lips in the process.
“But it’s not fair, Charles. This isn’t how it’s supposed to be for you,” his sister said after taking the glass from him and placing it back on the table.
Charles sighed sadly. Raven was right; it wasn’t fair but there was nothing more he could do. He was dying from blood cancer and he couldn’t even stop it even if he had prepared. It had attacked him out of the blue, two years ago whilst at a conference. He had passed out in the middle of his genetics speech when a blood clot formed around his chest, causing an asthma attack that freaked out the entire room.
He had been rushed to the hospital by his three companions at the conference; Logan, Hank and Alex. Charles woke up a while later and he was told that he has blood cancer. It was a devastating blow to hear those words out of the doctor and it was even harder for his friends to process that.
Charles fought tooth and nail to conquer it, going for chemo and keeping active. But every time he would get close to a breakthrough, his body would reject the next round of chemo and his confidence took a hit, pushing him to a point where he closed himself off from the world.
He left his friends and colleagues to look after the children who studied and lived in his mansion which he had renovated into a school for precocious children. He had graduated at a very young age in Columbia University, receiving a PhD in the study of Genetics and what a joy it was for him.
Now he didn’t have any of that joy in his life since the diagnosis and Raven was shooting him worried looks every now and then.
“Now,” he said, ignoring her look and settling back onto the pillow, “…did you bring my chess board and pieces?”
Raven raised a questioning eyebrow at him before pulling the board out of her satchel and handing it over to him.
“Yes, professor I did,” she teased, reaching back into the bag to pull out a small silver case which housed carefully carved chest pieces that Charles had gotten from an old Jewish lady who was selling them for a dollar, just to send her son to school with a good lunch.
Charles—at the time—was 22 years old, on his way to class, on a very good day. He did not have any money on him but he had a healthy lunch Raven had made for him. He gave it to the old lady and politely rejected the chess pieces. But the old lady insisted that he take them, trusting Charles to take care of them because he looked like the kind of a person who knew the value of things. Charles accepted them with a polite thank you and had held on to them all of those years, always wondering if the lady’s son had made it well in life.
Now here they were, resting on the dark padded foam of the case. Each one was solidly heavy, made from a coppery looking metal that shone nicely under the hospital lighting. Under 13 of each of those pieces, were carved perfectly in detail, the letters ‘LHEEEIKNRSRHR’. The other three had crowns engraved on them. Charles could never figure out what the 13 pieces spelled out but he kept the chess pieces with him, treating them like a prized possession of his collection. They always made him feel some kind of a way and he had never played with them with anyone, somehow feeling like they wouldn’t understand their significance.
But now as he held one of them in his hands, he had a feeling that someone worthy would come around and play with him, someone who understood value at a deeper level like he did. Perhaps that person was here at the hospital. Perhaps it would be a visitor or a patient, or a doctor, Charles didn’t know.
Raven rolled her eyes at his gleeful look that really said ‘my precious’ as he looked at each piece in the case.
“Did you bring the flyers too?” he asked, not even looking at her (still admiring his precious).
Raven took them out along with her stapler. He then acknowledged her and looked at one, admiring the silver and grey colours. This was not some kiddies’ poster but a significant flyer that had a clear message for anyone who would be interested in reading it;
Worthy chess opponent needed. Call the number below.
“Oh it’s wonderful Raven, thank you,” Charles beamed at the font and design around the flyer. Raven couldn’t help but smile at his child-like excitement. He then asked her to hand the flyers out to anyone and everyone she met and staple the others around the hospital block to get more attention.
He only had two months to live and this was the last thing on his bucket list.
Surely there had to be a worthy opponent out there somewhere right?
He was late… again.
And this time, he knew that he was going to be fired. He could feel it deep in his gut. He sprinted for the elevator after skipping over a fallen broom, but the doors closed at the last second, travelling up to the 9th floor of the ten storey building. He sighed; he was supposed to be going up to the last floor –such a shame.
He dashed for the stairs and suddenly slipped, launching right into the air and landing back down on his left hip with a loud smack. The floor was wet, he hadn’t seen the sign yet he was pissed off at the find the person responsible for this wet floor to yell at. Said person was nowhere to be seen.
He groggily got up after realizing that nobody was going to help him up and tried to clean his suit off the wet dirty patches on the side of his trousers and elbow. But it was no use, his dark-grey suit was ruined. He ignored the stares he received and dashed for the stairs once more, ignoring his sore hip bone.
Halfway up the first set of stairs, he heard the elevator ding. Dammit! He couldn’t go back now, he had already pumped himself up about the stairs and he didn’t want to go back down to get intimate with the cold hard floor again.
He dashed up the stairs, skipping two to hurry up. His hip was really sore, but he had to get to the 10th floor and he only had about 25 seconds left to make it to his office and pretend he has been there, working.
And after seconds of ‘dashing’ he made it to the 10th floor, where the first person he met face-to-face was his boss. Shit! Panting like a dog, he quickly tried to regain his breath. He opened his mouth to explain himself but the man standing before him with the name tag written ‘Shaw’ on it said, “You’re fired Lehnsherr” with a bored expression and Erik Lehnsherr was pushed aside.
This was the worst day of his life.
He cleared his office out of his personal belongings; grabbing his small pot plant, the picture of his mother, some books he read during lunch time, and stationery. His fellow colleagues watched him from behind their desks. Some were actually happy that he was leaving but of course they wouldn’t dare say it or show it, not while Lehnsherr was still in the building.
He soon finished and made his way out, leaving his key with Shaw’s assistant; Emma Frost who smirked at him and waved goodbye when he decided to take the damn elevator down to the ground floor, where he continued to receive looks of shame from everyone.
There was nothing he could do to save his job. Sebastian Shaw was a man who looked down on people who were slackers. He considered late-comers to be the worst because every cent counted in his company and one late-comer was always the result of losing millions.
“Out of all the days,” Erik muttered to himself as he made his way out of the tax company property. His hip was surely broken by now so he changed direction and headed for the hospital, hoping that it was just a bruise and nothing more.
He was looking down at his box of belongings, looking at the picture of his mother who smiled back at him. She was his biggest supporter, his rock and his only family since his abusive father was killed during the war. Erik had worked hard to give her a better life when they moved away from Germany, but she was stabbed to death nine months later for having nothing to give to the bunch of thugs who had seen her with his lunch box earlier.
It was a horrific day for Erik because he had enjoyed his chicken mayonnaise sandwich with the bottle of water and an orange. He had later thrown up that food when the police told him about the death of his mother. He was numb for an entire two weeks; even at her funeral which was the worst because he didn’t have relatives to help bury her and so he had buried her with the money meant to pay his school fees, alone. He never finished his degree in accounting but he was lucky enough to get a job at the tax company he was just fired from.
This was the end of the line for him. He had nothing to live for. All he has now is last month’s payment in his account and once it is finished, he won’t be able to buy food, clothe himself, or even pay his apartment rent. He was rather thankful though that he didn’t marry and have any children to take care of, because what would he do if he did?
He was so lost in thought that he didn’t notice the pole in front of him. He bumped box first into it, falling back from the force of suddenly stopping and landing on the concrete paving on his buttocks.
“AH FUCK!” He howled out in pain as his hip was affected first and he cursed this horrible day, wondering if things could get any worse.
“Oh gosh, sir, are you okay?!” a young lady asked, running over to him and setting a small stack of papers down next to her feet. She helped put his belongings back into his box and offered him a hand to help him up.
“Ah, I’m okay, just clumsy,” Erik replied wincing as he was straightened up carefully. He looked to the young lady who had helped him up and she was quite beautiful. Said lady is gazing back at him with wide eyes, checking him out for any injuries.
“I’m fine, really,” Erik insisted, taking his box from her.
“You don’t look so fine and from the way you’re standing, I can tell that something hurts,” she said, noticing the small grimace he tried to hide. Erik held a hand up to stop her from touching him. “I’m fine, I was just on my way to the hospital for my check up anyways, so, don’t worry yourself, thank you for helping me though. I’m Erik, by the way.”
The young lady smiled and picked up her flyers, handing one to him, then she says, “I’m Raven. And while you’re in there, you should see my older brother Charles Xavier. He’s looking for a chess mate.”
Erik read the flyer then he looked back at her, eyebrows furrowed in confusion. He wanted to ask if her brother was about to die soon but he thought better of it and instead he replied, “Uh…well, okay. I’ll do that after my check-up. Thank you, Raven.”
He now limped into the hospital, placing the flyer in his box and closing it up.
Raven continued on down the road handing the flyers out to everyone she encountered. Erik was curious to meet her brother, perhaps the man would really be a challenge and that would actually be enough for him to calm down from the morning he’s had. He shrugged after a while and continued on into the ER, the door automatically opening for him.
Not a single one of everyone in the hospital knew how to play chess. And those who did, were beaten after five moves or less.
Charles was rather annoyed at that, wondering if some of the people who came were really there to play or just really see if the great Professor Charles Francis Xavier is really bedridden in the hospital.
At least the last person left him some cupcakes to have; Dr. Moira. She had flirted with him through the entire game and it had only been 20 seconds. Charles had politely rejected her, stating that he’s gay and she wished him luck in love after checking his pulse and drip before leaving him with the cupcakes. She may have lost both the game and Charles but she was really nice.
Charles had played with the plastic pieces with every one of his opponents. None of them had the special aura about him or her to play with the one he valued most. He had a feeling that said person was close by but he couldn’t really put a finger on who it could be.
He sighed out and lay back on the fluffy pillows, soaking in the rays of the morning sun blazing through the window on his right side. He was going to be here until the day after tomorrow, so he accepted the boredom and placed the chest board on the small table by his side. He took this quiet time to think about his students back at the mansion and he smiled at some of the memories he had created with them until he was drifting off to sleep when he heard a small but solid knock on his door.
Instantly, his heart shot up and he grabbed the small case with the chess pieces. Whoever was behind that door was the one he had been waiting for. He could feel it in his bones and the feeling was exhilarating!
“Come in,” he replied loudly, watching the door handle turning. This was it, this was the very moment he had waited for all those years ago. The person on the other side was the one.
And the one was a tall, slender with broad shoulders, short ginger hair and a ginger goatee man. He had grey-blue eyes that complimented his almost pale skin and those lips, gosh do they look kissable!
Charles felt like he was in a dream. He soaked in everything about the man, from the black turtle neck, brown leather jacket, brown slacks and suede-brown chukkas to the way he awkwardly stood half-way into the room. Charles stared at him for a moment until he realized that those perfect lips had moved. The man was saying something, what was he saying?!
“Uh… I’m sorry. I must have the wrong room then,” the man said, turning to leave. Charles all but jumped out of the bed, colliding with the man against the door, slamming it shut with his back. He was about neck-length shorter than the man but that was okay, because he could smell his cologne; rich, deep and mixed with the man’s natural musk, or was it all his natural musk.
Oh how he wondered.
“You’re the one!” Charles finally said, pulling back to allow the man to breathe. The man’s cheeks were dusted with a shade of red and Charles cleared his throat at that, blushing along.
“I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to do that. And I meant you’re the one I had been waiting for.” He explained.
“I’m Charles Xavier,” he added, sticking his hand out for the man to take. The man took it and shook it gently, careful not to hurt the patient who stood before him in a hospital gown and his whole naked backside, presented to the long mirror behind him. Charles caught the look in his eyes and looked back.
“Oh God!” He gasped, blushing furiously and pinching the gown closed. He backed off to the bed and the ginger man smiled shyly. “I’m Erik Lenhsherr. One of the nurses saw your flyer in my box and thought I was here to challenge you,” he explained himself, standing rather awkwardly at the door. When Charles got over the embarrassing moment, he offered Erik a seat that was placed next to his bed. Erik accepted it but he first opened the door and grabbed something from the ground, bringing it in. Charles raised a curious eyebrow at the box but he didn’t pry as Erik set it down under the chair.
“Just a couple of my things from work,” Erik clarified and he settled down on the chair, carefully.
Again, Charles raised an eyebrow and this time he had to ask, “Are you okay?” Erik nodded. “Yeah, I just bruised my hip at work. Doctor said I’ll be fine as long as I keep still. I then decided to come on over here, since your sister, Raven—if I recall correctly—helped me up after I bumped into a pole. She handed me your flyer,” Erik answered, lounging back on the chair to accommodate his hip.
“Oh you met Raven! That’s wonderful and I’m glad she helped you,” Charles said, getting into bed and grabbing the glass of water by his table and gulping down the contents. Erik waited for him to finish and he asked with a curious tone, “Um—Charles, what are you in for if you don’t mind me asking?”
Charles set the empty glass on the table and looked to him with a soft smile. “Blood cancer,” he answered bluntly, grabbing the chess board and silver case. There was no reason for him to lie. “Bone Marrow to be exact,” he added quietly. Erik was silent for a moment then he finally spoke up, “Wow, that’s a lot to take in and it must truly suck. Is that why you’re looking for a chess challenger? Got a bucket list to finish?”
Charles looked to him, eyes gleaming. Hearing Erik talk about his condition so lightly was like a breath of fresh air. He was so glad that he had finally found someone who didn’t pity him and say sorry about his condition because there was nothing they could do about it. Erik Lehnsherr was truly the one he had been waiting for.
“Yeah, right on the dot, see, I’ll be dead soon so I figured that I should complete the last thing on my list. I’ve always wanted a worthy rival to really keep me on my toes and when you walked in, I just knew that you’re the one. I have these chess pieces which I value. I have never let anyone play with them, because nobody would understand the value of them except the previous owner, myself and you. So, now that you’re here, I can finally take them out!”
If he wasn’t feeling tired, he would have waved his hands excitedly as he spoke.
Erik grinned and Charles noticed his smile right away, loving it. It reminded him of a shark and he muffled that thought back down, opening the silver case so that the game would begin. He pulled out the first chess piece from the case and Erik gasped out loudly, eyes growing wide.
“My King!” he whispered.
“Uh, no lady, I’m not here to see Charles Xavier. I hurt my hip really badly an hour ago, so I’m here for the doctor, please, I feel like I’m bleeding on the inside,” Erik said for what seemed to be the hundredth time.
The nurse finally wrote down his information and sent him along with an intern who took him to a doctor.
“Good morning, I’m doctor Moira and I’ll be taking a look at you. Hopefully this is the first and last time since some injuries actually lead to death,” the young doctor said, trying to break the ice. Erik wasn’t too sure about her when he was approaching her but now that doctor Moira was talking—talking sense that is—Erik felt a little at ease, sensing Moira’s experience.
“Well hopefully. I’m Erik Lehnsherr,” Erik introduced.
The young doctor smiled and led Erik into the x-ray room, had him remove his watch, chain and any other metals that would potentially disrupt the x-ray machine.
Erik complied and did so slowly, careful not to damage his hip further with any quick movements when he took off his belt.
“So, Mr Lehnsherr, how exactly did you hurt your hip?” doctor Moira asked, double-checking the machine just to make sure that her patient wouldn’t be set on fire suddenly. She always checked the machines and tools she worked with, always looking out for the safety of her patients.
“I slipped on a wet floor and landed on my side,” Erik answered, looking over at the young doctor who gestured to him to sit on the bed and take off his shirt.
“Oh, that sounds awful. May I touch you?” she asked, inching closer and snapping on some surgical gloves. Erik gave her permission with a curt nod and doctor Moira gently touched his bruised hip, humming as she pressed gently to determine if the hip was broken and if there was any fluid blocked up in there.
“It seems,” she started, pressing a little more until Erik groaned in pain, “that you are not bleeding internally at least. But I can feel that your bone is askew slightly from here,” she pressed a little behind Erik’s side then let him go.
“Let us see what the x-ray says though and I’ll give you the verdict,” the young doctor said, gesturing for Erik to lie back on the bed.
It took fifteen minutes for them to finish and doctor Moira gave him the results. Thankfully it was just a bruise so she set him up with a couple of prescriptions to aid in his recovery and sent him on his way.
Erik was just about ready to leave when the nurse from before spotted him once again and asked if he would go to Charles now that he had been helped. Erik found that rather odd but he noticed that she had said that to another guy too who was holding one of Raven’s flyers.
Exactly who is this Charles Xavier and what was so intriguing about him to such a degree?
He decided to find out for himself and asked the nurse to show him who this Charles Xavier is. The nurse—who introduced herself as Emma Frost—led Erik to Charles’ ward, smiling the whole way. She had the other man wait for his turn outside and Erik stood at the door, wondering what Charles might look like. Perhaps he had short white hair and a shaggy beard.
Well it didn’t matter because after he knocked and Charles Xavier responded for him to come in, he just froze halfway through the door.
Small, frail looking with pale skin that made those dark-blue eyes stand out perfectly, Charles Xavier was one hell of a looker, sick as he is, Erik thought.
“Um, hello. I’m looking for Charles Xavier. I was told that he requires a challenger,” he said, breaking the silence. But Charles Xavier was staring at him as though he was a deer caught in the headlights and didn’t know which direction to jump to.
“Uh… I’m sorry.” He said, unsure what to do next. “I must have the wrong room then,” he said and he turned to leave but was suddenly pushed against the door by a stumbling Charles Xavier who was much shorter than him. Erik could smell the rich aroma of the shorter man’s hair and he guiltily inhaled it quietly, enjoying the scent.
The shorter man pulled away at once, “You’re the one!” he all but yelled and quickly cleared his throat, his cheeks dusted red from blushing. Erik blushed too but he tried to hide it as best as he could. He wasn’t sure why he blushed but perhaps it was because Charles Xavier had called him the ‘one’.
But Charles Xavier quickly apologised, clarifying what he meant by calling Erik the one. He introduced himself as Charles Xavier, solidifying Erik’s suspicions of the man and he stuck out his hand to be shaken. Erik complied and as he did so, his eyes happened to look into the mirror far behind Charles, which shared the shorter man’s naked backside at the opening of his hospital gown.
He smiled shyly, noting how perfect that lush ass looked, but Charles caught his look, gazed back and blushed furiously, pinching his gown closed and backing off towards the bed to save the last shred of his dignity.
“I’m Erik Lehnsherr,” Erik introduced himself, clearing his throat. He explained how he had come to know about Charles and the blushing man offered him a seat by his bedside, noting how awkward Erik felt just standing against the door.
“Oh, um, thank you. Could you excuse me for a moment please,” he said, opening the door and grabbing his box. He set it down under the chair he was offered by Charles and he settled down, explaining what the box was for when Charles had raised a curious eyebrow but did not ask.
Sitting down was a little painful for Erik but he managed well and nodded that he was okay when Charles asked after hearing his almost silent groan. “Yeah, I just bruised my hip at work. Doctor said I’ll be okay as long as I keep still.”
He recalled of how he then made his way over here and spoke about meeting Raven who had helped him up after his second accident outside the hospital. Charles eyes lit up at her name and he got into bed.
Erik quietly watched him gulp down a glass of water and he wondered what Charles was in for. Perhaps he had been in an accident or perhaps he had food poisoning. Whatever it was, he looked as though he was recovering but Erik was too curious for his own good and he asked anyways.
“Blood cancer,” Charles answered without hesitation, smiling as though he wasn’t in any danger. Erik felt his heart skip a beat in fear and he wanted to apologise for asking, but something in Charles’ eyes told him different and he understood that sometimes, patients didn’t like to be pitied, so he calmly spoke up again, asking him if his cancer was the reason why Charles was looking for a challenger.
He received an appreciative look from Charles and he explained his story a little more, telling Erik about the chess pieces he valued so much and felt that Erik was worthy enough to play with them. On his lap, rested a small silver case that Erik assumed housed these pieces and Erik grinned at Charles’ excitement when the smaller man opened the case and pulled out a chess piece that Erik instantly recognised.
He gasped out loudly as a rush of memories washed over him, causing his heart to clench harshly in his chest. The first thing he felt was pain, absolute pain and it crushed his chest until he was unable to breathe properly, suffocating from what he thought he was over but really wasn’t. He remembered his mother and his home back in Germany. He remembered the nights he had spent creating each chess piece, listening to the soft hum of his mother’s voice as she worked in the night by the fire place, sewing Erik a jersey for the harsh winter which was to come in the following month.
He remembered everything just by looking at this piece and the only words to fall past his lips were all he could manage, as a solid lump formed in his throat.
“Er—excuse me?” Charles asked, giving Erik a confused look. He looked to the chess piece held gently between his fingers then back at Erik who was gazing at it with a mixture of surprise, sadness and confusion.
“R,” Erik said, edging closer with his chair. He reached his hand out slightly, “May i? I believe there’s the letter ‘r’ written underneath it,” he explained. Charles tilted the piece upside down and sure enough, there was a capital ‘R’ neatly chiselled.
He handed the piece to Erik and took out another one which Erik took eagerly and he started re-arranging the letters to spell out ‘ERIK LEHNSHERR’.
“You’re the owner of the chess pieces, which means…” he trailed off, thinking about the old Jewish lady who gave them to him, “—the lady who gave them to me is your mother!”
A gasp left Erik’s lips and he looked at Charles, blinking rapidly, fighting his sudden tears. “My mother gave these to you?” he asked hoarsely. Charles nodded carefully, alarmed by Erik’s sudden change in demeanour.
“It was eleven years ago. I was on my way to class and I met a Jewish lady on the side of the road. She offered to sell me the pieces for a dollar so she could be able to buy her son a good lunch for when he would be off to campus. I refused the pieces and instead I gave her my lunch box since I didn’t have any money on me. She insisted that I take the pieces, that she trusted me with them because I looked like a person who understood the true value of things. I accepted them and left for school. I never saw her after that and I hoped that her son had made it in life. Since then, I kept the pieces safe, hoping that one day, her son would find them.” He finished the last sentence quietly and Erik was now looking down at his lap, his knuckles going white from holding the king tightly.
“That was your lunch…it was perfect. I was so happy to finish it. I was in college and I was studying to be an accountant. I never got to finish my degree, because…” he paused, halfway, tears staining through his pants on his knees. He got up rather quickly and caught himself.
He couldn’t talk about this, not when he still felt absolute pain when he thought about his mother.
Charles was already throwing back the covers of his blanket, swinging his legs off the bed but Erik shook his head to stop him.
“No, please, I’m sorry, Charles… I have to go, I can’t do this,” he said, placing the king piece on the bed and leaving. Charles wanted to run after him, to stop him, to comfort him but he knocked over the chair Erik had been sitting on, knocking the box underneath it over and the contents spilled out onto the cold floor.
In haste, Charles crouched down and began picking up everything. The first thing he picked up though, was the picture of Erik’s mother, smiling back at him, eyes bright and filled with happiness. She was nothing like the Jewish woman he had met. Her eyes were hollow and filled with pain.
What happened to her? Where did all the happiness from the picture go to?
He sat down on the floor and he went through each item curiously, noting that everything was as significant as the picture and the chess pieces. Charles figured that Erik must have really valued everything in his life.
He finally finished looking through the box and got up from the floor, his bones feeling a little stiff and cold. He needed to get back into bed, or doctor Moira would have a fit. He placed the box under the chair and gently packed the chess pieces back into the silver case, slipping them inside the box before closing it. They belonged to Erik and Charles didn’t mind giving them back, for he knew that Erik needed them more than he did because they carried a part of him that was different from the person he is now.
Charles got into bed with a heavy heart and he sunk under the covers, laying his head down on the pillow. He thought about Erik the whole time, until he fell asleep and dreamt about nothing.
Erik ran until his lungs hurt. He didn’t care about his hip, didn’t care about anything. His heart was bleeding right now, from all the memories of his mother, his beloved mother who hustled her ass off just to make sure Erik had everything.
She died a painful death, on the same day she had hustled for Erik.
He felt sick and he fell to his knees on a patch of grass at a park, no longer fighting his tears.
Those chess pieces held so many memories.
Memories of living in Germany under an abusive father, they held memories of Erik’s loneliness; for he never made friends. They were everything to him and he thought he had lost them when they had moved to the United States but his mother had kept them safe. And then she gave them to someone who understood true value.
How did she know that Charles would keep them safe?
He took in a couple of deep breaths to fill his lungs with and he looked up, watching the world go by at a quiet pace. He wiped away his tears and got up, dusting his knees off and straightening up. He was afraid of seeing those chess pieces again; afraid that they would break him down once more.
He slowly started walking back to his apartment but he then realised that he had left his apartment keys in the box he was carrying and the box was with Charles Xavier back at the ER.
He couldn’t go back there. Charles already has bigger problems to deal with rather than to hear about Erik’s pain. He changed direction and walked back to the hospital, formulating a plan to get his box back.
He reached Charles’ room and knocked lightly, leaning his head near so not to miss Charles’ voice when he would say ‘come in’. But it was quiet and Erik quietly pushed the door to open, finding a sleeping Charles who didn’t move even in the slightest when Erik pushed the door a little more and it creaked. He inched inside and spotted his box under the chair. He crept in slowly until he reached the chair and he slowly grabbed for the box, careful not to make a sound.
He scooped it up and turned to leave, but he didn’t take a step. Instead, he looked to the sleeping form of Charles and sighed out softly. Charles Xavier was the last person to see his mother alive; he was the last person to see what the colour of her eyes were before they stabbed her. He was the one she trusted to hold on to Erik’s memories, but why. What did she see in those ocean-blue eyes?
He gave in to his curiosity and sat back down on the chair, placing the box on the floor. Perhaps Charles would enlighten him on what had happened, perhaps Charles had seen a little bit of her happiness when he gave her his lunch. Whatever it was, Erik needed to know, so he sat back in the chair and soon enough, he fell asleep.
Charles woke up shortly after to the sound of light snoring. His heart skipped a beat when he saw Erik fast asleep on the chair, head leaning on one side against his shoulder. His arms were crossed over his chest and he looked as though he belonged there, waiting for Charles to awaken, waiting.
Charles stared at him for a long time, soaking in the man’s features closely. He felt a sharp pain stab at his heart when he thought about his cancer for he would have surely followed his curiosity for this man. But alas, he couldn’t be happy, for he did not wish to give false hope to anyone if he was going to die soon, so he ignored the feeling that was beginning to stir in his heart and he laid his head back down on the pillow, recalling a short line in a poem he had once read.
For how can he fall for someone he had just met and would lose quickly? What goodness would come out of falling for someone who was also falling in their own world?
Erik chose that moment to open his eyes and Charles faced the full brunt of the feelings running through his entire body.
There was no way he could avoid the connection between them, they would be fools to do so. So Charles smiled softly and Erik smiled back just as softly.
They did not need to speak to know what the other was saying and that was how they became friends.
The poem Charles is recalling is called ‘Corners of a mountain after the edge of the cliff’ by a good friend and fellow writer of mine named Inali.
And that is all I have for today. Don’t yall forget to leave a comment about what you liked and disliked.
Thank you for reading! You are appreciated! - Yoshiaki
Chapter 3: Baby I'm just soggy from the chemo
I apologise for any grammatical errors. English is, was and never will be me first language.
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
“Careful!” Erik growled eyeing doctor Moira’s intern, Sean Cassidy who had accidentally poked Charles’s wrist, two inches away from the intended vein.
Cassidy swallowed hard and quickly apologised, terrified of Erik even though he had never seen the man lift a hand up at anyone. He wasn’t the only one terrified of the man, Hank—one of Charles Xavier’s students and scientist— secretly was too and a number of people outside the Xavier mansion feared Erik for no particular reason other than his sense of humour and that shark smile of his that could have perhaps been saying ‘I’ll-eat-you-alive’.
Charles loved that smile and he would sometimes sic Erik on his misbehaving students just to teach them a lesson. Erik called him mean for that but he was always happy to do as Charles asked, because Erik was in love with Charles and was falling even harder every day after Charles miraculously passed his two-month mark of living. Erik had been on top of the moon when Charles’ cancer responded to the new chemo doctor Moira had introduced from overseas but there were after effects of course. Charles would feel weak for 72 hours before recovering and he had to take a single dose every two weeks since his cancer was stubborn. So now here he was, taking the second dose of the third month after escaping death.
“I’m s-sorry m-m-mister Lehnsherr,” Cassidy stuttered, poking through the right vein. Charles bit back a laugh and shook his head a little. “Don’t worry yourself, Sean, Erik won’t do anything. He’s just concerned for me,” he explained to the intern then turning to glare at Erik who didn’t even bat an eyelid at that. He sat back against the mountain of pillows that Erik had arranged for him on his bed and he let the drug flow into his entire body. Erik held his hand through the entire process, rubbing circles over Charles’ wrist with his thumb. Ever since Charles had been released from the hospital and back to the mansion, Erik had been holding his hand as a way to tell him that he cared and would always be here for Charles. He had memorised the feel of Charles skin by now and he always felt content and at peace when doing so. He soaked that feeling up every time, remembering the very moment Charles’ had told Erik about his mother just before she died. Erik had cried bitterly at that and Charles had held him the whole time, whispering words of comfort in his ear until Erik fell asleep from exhaustion.
“And we’re all done for this month,” doctor Moira announced, bringing Erik out of his thoughts and back to reality where Charles was squeezing his hand a little too hard. He looked to the smaller man in alarm. “Charles, what is it?” he asked, eyes roaming over Charles’ body in case Charles pointed out his pain instead of speaking. “I’m fine…” Charles responded softly, allowing his body to sag as the drug made him weak. “…please stay,” he muttered and Erik hummed in understanding. He had Raven escort doctor Moira and his intern out of the mansion and slipped into bed next to Charles’, pulling the covers over them and laying back on the pillows. Charles hummed softly and snuggled into the larger man, laying his head on his chest and draping his arm over Erik’s side as though to keep him from escaping.
“I’m not going anywhere Charles,” Erik promised, running his hand into those floppy brown locks, loving their softness and cherishing every strand. He meant what he said; he wouldn’t leave Charles no matter what. He had moved into the mansion after Charles insisted when he had failed to pay his rent and lost his apartment. Charles didn’t pity him or take him in because of that, but he had insisted because Charles said he needed him there, to take care of the students. Erik knew that Charles was silently asking him to stay because he needed him more than the students would. So Erik stayed and he bonded with the students and the small group of teachers.
“I know. But you are also free to leave if you wish,” Charles whispered against the man’s chest, soaking up his warmth. “I know, Charles. But I’m still not going anywhere.” Erik replied and with that, Charles fell asleep.
Erik was making his way over to his office when he saw Charles in the kitchen, struggling to reach the box of cereal that was all the way up in the high cupboard.
He stood at the doorway, leaning against the frame and watched the blue-eyed professor, hopping up a couple of times to reach the box. He was adorable like that, his white t-shirt riding up as he stretched out his arm to reach and that revealed his lower back, making Erik swallow and try to look away. But he couldn’t, he was entranced by the skin tone, loving the curve of his hip and the more he struggled. “Urgh!” Charles cried out in frustration and went to go grab a broom, but he was suddenly stopped by Erik’s chuckle and he glared at the man.
“You know,” Erik begun, walking over to him in his cat-like manner, “that this is the same glare you gave me when you lost your queen to me at the hospital, and do you want to know what I thought at that moment?” he asked, smirking as he grabbed the cereal box. Charles pouted; he wasn’t in the mood for guessing right now. “What?!” he demanded and reached for the box but Erik hid it behind his back causing Charles to collide with his chest making Erik bump into the kitchen island table. He looked up into Erik’s eyes and Erik’s breath caught. There was a moment of silence between them and Charles tilted his head up a little more just as Erik tilted his head down, closing the gap between them.
“Professor, professor!” a student yelled, running into the kitchen. Charles pulled away from Erik, blushing, and he braced himself to catch the little girl who ran towards him but she side-stepped him and wrapped her arms around Erik’s leg. Erik raised an eyebrow and then chuckled when he saw the look of disbelief on Charles’ face. Erik shrugged and picked the little girl up so they could be face-to-face. “Hello, Jean. What’s the matter?” he asked, furrowing his eyebrows comically to lift her spirits up.
Jean was Erik’s top student, excelling in her lessons and always finding ways to get through to him without trying much. He related to her in so many ways and they had bonded over their connection making them close. She would sometimes sleep in his bed when she had nightmares and Erik would always sing her a lullaby in German, comforting her in the way he knew best, just as his mother had done for him when he was little.
“Jubilee is being mean to me again! She pulled on my hair and called me a ‘bloody crayon’,” the little girl explained, sniffling as the tears ran down her now red cheeks. Erik frowned seriously now and hugged her briefly. “I’m sorry my Fire Bird. Don’t cry anymore. How about we go to Jubilee and talk to her about this so we can understand why she said that.” He said and he excused himself from Charles when Jean nodded to his suggestion. He never put her down as he made his way over to Jubilee’s room where he knew she was hiding and Charles watched him with an affectionate smile.
“You know it’s rather strange that you and Professor Erik haven’t hooked up yet,” Raven said, walking into the kitchen with a sneaky smile, and Logan following right behind her, nodding his head in agreement. Charles groaned and walked back into the kitchen to make his cereal.
“Don’t start any trouble Raven, please,” he answered, sitting on the stool.
Raven shot him an innocent look. “What? I was just saying…” she trailed off, grabbing two mugs out of the cupboard for herself and Logan.
“What Raven is saying is that she sees two people who like each other and would be good together if they just kissed already,” Logan explained grabbing the hot tea pot from the stove. “Or have sex…” Raven added, trailing off to a whisper.
She shrieked out in surprise when Charles hit her with his teaspoon at the back of her head and she turned around to glare at him. Her glare fell when she saw the livid look in Charles’ eyes and she sobered up from her playing mode.
“Char—” she tried but Charles cut her off, slamming his hand on the table.
“You don’t know what it feels like!” he snapped, looking to the two adults angrily. “You think it is so easy to just let someone into your life when you’re me? I mean for crying out loud Raven, I’m dying. Don’t you think that it hurts me every night to be close to someone I love and wish to be with intimately but I can never be?” Raven swallowed and looked down at her feet, ashamed. Logan was the same but he continued to stir his drink. They hadn’t considered his feelings when they mentioned that and now they understood how Charles felt. “I can’t…” he trailed off, running out of breath. “I can’t be with Erik, Raven. He doesn’t deserve to have his heart ripped out of his chest when I die. But then again, I’m already too late because I know he loves me too and I can’t stop him, even when I try.”
He turned and left the kitchen in haste, ignoring the dizzy feeling that overcame him. He spotted Erik down the hallway talking to Alex and Darwin whilst holding Jean in his arms. Erik caught his movement out of the corner of his eye and he looked to him, smiling. “Charles,” he called but his smile died instantly when the professor swayed a little. “CHARLES!” Erik cried out, placing Jean down and running over to Charles who fell backwards. Logan caught him just as he was about to hit the hallway table with his head and he slid on his knees, saving the professor.
“Charles? Charles!” Erik called, scooping the now-frail man into his arms. He looked up at Logan and the gruff man didn’t need to be told twice to call doctor Moira. “Get the kids back into their rooms,” Logan barked out at Alex and Darwin. Raven was already beside him, face scrunched up in absolute worry as she half-ran down the hall to help Darwin and Alex guided Jean back into her room as well as usher the other students who had come out when Erik was shouting Charles’ name.
“Doctor Moira is on her way,” Logan reported to Erik, reaching a hand out to help him off the floor.
Erik nodded a silent thank you to the gruff man and he brushed Charles’ hair out his face. He was about to accept Logan’s hand when suddenly, the smaller man began to twitch uncontrollably in his arms.
“Oh no…” Logan whispered in shock. He knew what was happening and he hoped that doctor Moira made it in time.
Charles was having a seizure.
“Then why the fuck isn’t it working!?” Erik yelled at doctor Moira, careful not to tighten his grip as he held Charles’ hand.
“I don’t know, that’s why we took some blood samples to find out Mr Lehnsherr,” the young doctor explained, grabbing her clipboard and flipping through it.
Erik was about to shout at her, to blame her instead of blaming the cancer when Charles groaned and opened his blue eyes.
“Charles…” Erik whispered, running his fingers through the professor’s hair to comfort him in some way. The seizure Charles had was so violent it knocked him out for 12 hours, making Erik the most violent man in the entire universe. Doctor Moira was the only person who got close enough to be heard and take blood samples. Erik tolerated her but he still glared at the young woman.
“Erik… let Moira do her job please,” Charles whispered, his voice sounding very frail. Erik bit the inside of his cheek to keep from speaking. He nodded and sat by Charles’ bedside, watching Moira write down her report and then excuse herself to talk to her intern.
“How are the children?” Charles asked, trying to avoid talking about his condition. He didn’t want to know what was wrong with his body anymore; he was tired, tired of worrying.
Erik must have sensed that because he answered his question, assuring him that everyone was fine and they had sent him get well soon gifts which were lined up by the window. There were teddy bears, cards, balloons and even flowers. Charles smiled at that.
“I miss them.” He confessed sadly, closing his eyes tiredly.
Erik squeezed his hand lightly. “They’re only one door away, my friend,” he responded, reclining against the mountain of pillows so that Charles could lay his head on his lap as he fell asleep.
Erik watched over him the whole time, his heart breaking a little more. There was no way around this; no matter how much progress Charles was making with the chemo, there was no way he could escape the end. It would eventually come and Erik would never be prepared, no matter what he did.
Doctor Moira came back with the results after using Hank’s lab downstairs and Erik felt his heart sink even further down his chest when she told him what had happened.
Why was life so cruel to the best people? Why did Charles have to suffer so much, at such a young age too?! No, life is unfair and it was taking away the people Erik loved most; his mother and now, Charles.
He grabbed at his chest hard, right where his heart was pounding away painfully, wrinkling his t-shirt that Charles had bought for him when they had gone shopping for new clothes since Charles lost a bit of weight.
He gripped the t-shirt tighter as his tears threatened to spill out and he took in a couple of deep breaths, the pain searing through his entire body numbing him. He felt like vomiting and he turned his head to face the floor, unable to look at Charles who was sleeping peacefully.
Charles wasn’t getting better… and there was nothing Erik could do, even when he had promised Charles that he would do everything for him.
Charles wasn’t getting better.
A month that followed after that, Charles was beginning to lose his hair. He didn’t panic, didn’t scream, didn’t tell anyone, until Erik found his hair all over his turtleneck after spending a day out at the back of the mansion with Charles, watching their students enjoy the sunny day.
There was nothing doctor Moira could do anymore and Charles had assured her that everything would be fine. The female doctor had cried in his arms after he made the decision to stop the chemotherapy. Her intern Sean had balled like a baby, receiving a hug too.
Charles had laughed at them and wished Sean a happy relationship with his girlfriend, telling him to appreciate her because life was a mystery and the Sean had cried harder at that.
Erik would have rolled his eyes at that but he just let the boy be. He understood his pain; Charles was such a great soul that he had befriended everyone even at the hospital.
They got back home to the mansion and talked to everyone about Charles’ condition. It wasn’t the easiest thing in the world and Erik had spent his nights awake, comforting every student, no matter their age. Darwin was the first to cave in and vent to Erik. The night ended with him crying in Erik’s arms and Erik had held him tightly in his arms, his heart breaking even more.
The teachers; Logan, Azazel and Janos, did their best to cope with the situation but Erik could tell that they were struggling on the inside. He did his best to stay out of their ways, trusting them to be able to take care of themselves.
Then there was Raven.
She was constantly quiet, refusing to speak to the rest of the adults. She pretended to be fine in front of the students but Erik could feel her pain every day. He would sometimes hear her crying alone in her room at night. For Erik, it was hell to see her like that. He had grown attached to her ever since he moved into the mansion and to see her falling apart broke him constantly, even when Charles was still alive and right there in the mansion with them all.
“Alright, that’s enough now!” Charles yelled out one evening, getting up from the couch. The entire school family had been watching a movie and now the credits were rolling and Charles was rather sick of hearing someone ask him if he was fine when he would cough or sigh. So he decided to talk to them before they went to bed after the movie.
“I know you all care about me but your worrying needs to stop. I understand that you are all sad and I admit that I am much upset about this too. But there is nothing anyone of us or the doctor can do. I know some of you cry at night, wishing that the cancer would stop and go away,” he said.
“Char—” Erik was about to say but the professor cut him off with a harsh glare, those brilliant blue eyes filled with a determined fire.
“Especially you, Erik, all of this worrying needs to stop. You all need to look forward to tomorrow rather than to worry about this old man here,” he gestured at himself with a smile. “I love you all and I appreciate you all so much. So please do something for me in return, promise me that you will remember me as I am and not the cancer that’s within me. Remember to take care of each other as you are all brothers and sisters. Promise to be there for each other and do not,” he looked at Jubilee now, “tease each other. Okay?” he asked softly.
There were a few nods here and there but nobody really voiced their agreement.
Erik stood up abruptly and stormed out of the room. How could Charles be so calm about this?! He was pissed off and the only place he could go to, to calm down was Charles’ study where the chess table laid on the desk, in the middle of two comfortable armchairs. He heard Charles bid everyone a goodnight and heard them shuffling out of the room to get to bed, each one promising Charles that they would do their best. Jubilee went along with Jean to go sleep in her room; they would comfort each other.
Erik ignored the chess set and went to go stand by the large window overlooking the back yard. He was tense everywhere and he ignored Charles when the professor walked into the room and came to stand behind him.
“How can you be so calm when you’re suffering so much on the inside?” Erik asked, not wanting to hear Charles whisper his name in such a way. He hated how weak he was for Charles, he hated how easily his harsh demeanor would turn into a puddle of soft fuzz when those blue eyes looked into his cold grey ones.
“Because if I’m not calm, then they will fall apart before me,” Charles whispered, inching closer. He placed his hand on Erik’s back and felt him tense up at his touch.
“Don’t… Charles, please don’t,” the taller man whispered through clenched teeth. He was very close to crumbling apart.
“Erik, please… look at me.”
Erik stood still for a while as a silence fell over them. All that could be heard was their breathing and Erik finally turned around to face Charles, grey meeting blue. And the world stopped moving around as their feelings aligned at that very moment.
Erik had dreamed of this moment since the very moment he watched Charles asleep at the hospital shortly after meeting him.
“Forgive me, Charles,” Erik whispered and he closed the distance between them and kissed Charles.
And I leave you once again, grateful that you got through this chapter.
Thank you for reading! You are appreciated! - Yoshiaki
Chapter 4: If you say goodbye today, I'd ask you to be true
“Erik…” Charles whispered, closing his eyes as Erik closed the gap and kissed him. His lips were warm and soft.
Kissing Erik was like watching a meteor shower; magical enough to give an individual goosebumps. That is exactly how Charles felt and he didn’t deny Erik when the taller man slid his tongue across Charles’ lips, asking for entry.
Charles opened his mouth and the kiss deepened. The older man pushed his tongue in exploring his thoroughly as though he were memorising every inch of Charles’ mouth. He wrapped his arms around the smaller man’s waist and pulled him closer, unable to get enough of Charles’ taste as he kissed him.
He had always wanted to do this, had always wanted to taste Charles, to know him intimately beyond the point of their friendship. But the most important part about this moment was that Erik wanted Charles to know how much he loves him, how he will never leave Charles’ side unless Charles himself asked.
He broke the kiss so they could breathe. He rested his forehead against Charles’ own and they both broke into a smile together, embracing the connection between each other.
“I’ve always wanted to do that, ever since I first met you that day at the hospital,” Erik confessed softly. Charles chuckled. “I guess great minds think alike,” Charles said and he grabbed Erik’s wrist and began to pull away towards the door.
“We should go to bed,” Charles explained, noticing Erik’s confused look which then changed into a look of understanding.
They made it to Charles’ bedroom and the smaller man locked the door behind them. When Erik was about to ask why he did that – since Charles would keep his door unlocked in case the younger students needed him during the night – Charles merely kissed Erik and pushed his jacket off his shoulders.
Erik broke the kiss and looked at Charles alarmingly. “I want you…. Erik,” the smaller man whispered, knocking the air right out of Erik’s chest. He was not ready for that.
“Please… I want you,” he repeated, the tips of his ears turning red. It took quite a lot of courage for him to say that and Erik was still staring at him in disbelief, unable to process what Charles just said to him.
Charles looked down in disappointment and went over to the bed and sat down. “I’m sorry, Erik, I didn’t mean to throw that you. I know I probably don’t even look appealing, with my hair falling off and stuff,” he apologised, eyes down. That snapped Erik out of his little world of disbelief and he came to stand before Charles and pulled him up to stand. He cupped the smaller man’s chin with his fingers and made him look up at him.
“Do not apologise, Charles. I want you too, I’ve always wanted you and I’ll always want you. It’s not even about losing your hair, I swear,” he whispered.
“I just don’t want you to do this without really wanting to.”
Charles smiled shyly and bit his lower lip.
“I do want this, with you. I’ve never…” he trailed off, blue eyes looking to the side as his cheeks turned red. Erik then realised what that meant and he kissed Charles’ forehead.
“Oh, Charles, you don’t have to be shy about that. We don’t have to do this if you don’t want to,” Erik said, wrapping his arms around Charles’ waist. Charles’ blue eyes peered up at him and he leaned into Erik, whispering against his lips, “I’m yours Erik, have me as you please,” he said and Erik kissed him passionately.
He pushed Charles’ jacket off his shoulders and turned them around so that he could sit on the bed. He had Charles stand between his legs and he ran his hand up under Charles’ jersey, feeling the skin there and humming in pleasure.
“Strip for me Charles, I want to see you naked,” he said breathlessly and Charles obeyed him, pulling his jersey up off his body. He was wearing a white t-shirt underneath and Erik slid his hand up a little more so he could run his thumb over Charles’ nipple. Charles gasped and tilted his head back, exposing his neck. Erik licked his lips, wanting to leave marks on it so that Charles would shyly cover them up in a turtleneck.
“Erik… you’re distracting me,” Charles moaned, looking down at the taller man. Erik pulled back his hand and allowed Charles to continue stripping. Erik sat back and watched him lustfully, biting back a gasp when Charles exposed his upper body to him. Charles may have lost weight in the last months but he wasn’t bony, he was just lean. His pale skin looked much better but what really had Erik were those erect pink nipples. They were begging for attention and oh did Erik want to give them the attention.
He pulled Charles towards him and kissed his bellybutton, making the smaller man gasp and run his hands through the older man’s auburn hair.
Erik continued to kiss him around his belly whilst unbuckling his belt and he pulled away so that Charles could take them off, along with his boxers. Erik gently pushed him back a little so he could take a good look at him and his breath got caught in his throat.
“You’re magnificent, Charles, oh come here!” he exclaimed, reaching his hand out and the smaller man shyly came closer as Erik stood up before him. He slowly ran his hands down Charles back and squeezed his lush ass, loving how soft those cheeks felt under the pressure of his slightly calloused hands. He pulled Charles closer and kissed him senseless, rutting against him so that he could feel him.
“Oh Erik,” the professor sighed out breathlessly.
Erik scooped him up and turned around so that he could lay him on the bed and he pulled back to pull off his shirt and trousers all in one go, eager to feel Charles bare skin on his own bare body.
He joined Charles on the bed and kissed him once again, pushing him down so he could be on top of him. Their erections rubbed against each other and Erik gave a guttural groan that sent shivers up Charles’ spine.
“Lube… lube is in the drawer,” Charles said, titling his head back as Erik kissed his collarbone.
“Don’t worry about that right now,” Erik said in-between kisses, sucking on Charles’ neck. He wanted to enjoy Charles first, savouring every inch of him before making love to him. He wanted to adorn Charles, to worship him, to taste all of him.
Erik took his time to mark-up Charles' neck, nipping and sucking on the tender flesh as though he were a wolf eating its prey.
He wasn't too gentle but he was on guard, waiting for the moment Charles would say stop if he wasn't sure.
His one hand was playing with Charles' nipple, teasing the pink nub with pinches and pulling. He loved how softly Charles moaned, throwing his head back and arching into Erik, their erections rubbing against each other.
Erik was as hard as steel but he wanted this evening to last forever, so he ignored his aching member in favour of kissing down Charles' body. The brunette moaned out breathlessly when Erik kissed past his navel and his breath hitched when the taller man licked over the head of his hard cock, precome dripping down that perfect shaft. Everything about Charles' body was perfect; from the tips of his ears and down to his toes, Charles Xavier was just perfect. He was beyond what Erik had ever imagined him to be when he had stood by his hospital door the day he had met him.
"Still with me Charles?" He asked, kissing down the hard shaft and fondling Charles' balls with his other hand. He played with them just as he played with his nipples and Charles was a moaning mess under his skilful hands.
"Erik...Erik!" He cried out, feeling something heavy settle in his gut.
Erik kissed the head of his shaft again and then sucked the head slowly, finding the perfect rhythm with both his hands and mouth.
"ERIK!" Charles breathed out, wrinkling the bed sheet underneath him with his hands. His knuckles turn white instantly and the feeling in his gut tightened even more.
"You're getting closer Charles..." Erik said and he went back to sucking the head a little roughly. He loved the taste of Charles against his tongue; a little salty but with this fresh taste of a very sweet fruit.
But what was even better, was the taste of his cum down Erik’s throat. Charles was too busy whimpering to form a sentence, therefore, he could not warn Erik that he was coming but Erik already knew because the smaller man tensed up and cried out Erik's name a couple of times whilst trying to breathe.
Erik swallowed every drop as if it was water and he pulled back slowly to kiss the tip of Charles' shaft, appreciating him.
"You're magnificent Charles, did you know that?" He asked but he wasn't expecting an answer.
Charles merely whimpered tiredly, coming down from his high and slowly letting the bed sheets go.
Erik noticed that and he chuckled lightly before kissing his way up to the brunette's lips and rutting against him, making him grow hard again.
At this point, Erik's mind was screaming on behalf of his cock for him to fuck Charles. But Erik hushed those screams up when he finally opened the drawer by Charles' bedside to get the lube.
He looked down at the smaller man and smiled down at him affectionately, popping the cap and pouring a generous amount on his finger. He let that finger slide up from under Charles' shaft and then he slid it down over the rim of the smaller man's ass.
Charles automatically grabbed the bed sheets again and his rim clench around nothing, making Erik’s mouth water.
It was such a beautiful rim; pink and all puckered, just waiting to be stretched.
He let his finger slide over it again and then he drew circles around it, watching it clench and unclench.
"Erik, please!" Charles almost chewed him out, his blue eyes snapping open to glare at Erik.
"Be patient, Charles," he said in an amused tone, "we've got all night to enjoy each other and I'm going to take as much time as I need to enjoy you thoroughly."
He smirked and just as Charles was about to protest, he pushed his finger inside Charles' rim, causing the professor to cry out and inhale at the same time. His eyes clenched shut and Erik hissed out a sinful moan.
He hadn't even pushed his finger all the way through and already, Charles was sweating, already clenching the bed sheets and already dripping precome all over his belly.
"Ch-Charles, I need you.... Oh Mein Gott I need you to relax," Erik struggled to speak. He was already delirious from the feel of Charles' rim clenching around on his finger and he was fighting not to come, choking the head of his cock with his other hand.
"Charles..." He whispered this time and he leaned down to kiss him, trying to distract him.
It worked and Erik pushed his digit all the way through, thrusting slowly.
"Oh Erik..." Charles whispered; his voice heavy with pure lust. He couldn't even think straight, loving the feel of Erik's digit thrusting into him.
He was breathing erratically now, unable to comprehend how his heart was still beating.
All he could say was Erik's name and it sounded like harmonious music to Erik's ears because the taller man started thrusting his digit faster and Charles was chanting his name, voice going hoarse the more his volume grew.
Thank God his room was soundproof because he could swear that he was noisier than a pretentious prostitute and Raven would never let him live it down if she heard ever heard him.
"I need you to relax Charles because I'm going to add another finger and it might hurt a little." Erik warned him but was also asking for permission to add a second digit.
Charles nodded and the second digit was added, stretching him a little more. It was slightly painful but Erik kissed him through it and gently thrust his fingers.
Since Charles was new at this, Erik really wanted it to be special for him, so he avoided Charles' prostate and would save that up for when he would penetrate him with his cock. He wanted to hear Charles scream his name.
He soon added a third and fourth digit, satisfied that he had stretched the blue-eyed professor enough and he pulled his fingers out slowly.
The tip of his cock was now red; angry and deprived of coming. But now was the time for Erik to do what he had dreamed of almost every night spent away from Charles' bed and whenever Jean wasn't around. Now was the moment he had waited for and ignored in favour of taking care of Charles first.
He went to grab the condom from the drawer where the lube was stashed but Charles stopped him by grabbing his wrist and their eyes met, making the world die around them again.
"I want you raw, Erik. Want you to come inside of me," Charles said, blinking those ocean-blue eyes shyly.
"Fucking hell Charles!" Erik hissed through clenched teeth, choking his cock once again to stop himself from coming.
"Please don't say another word or I'll come," he said and Charles went quiet, eyes still intently looking at Erik. The German calmed down enough to let go of his cock and he kissed Charles passionately, lubing himself up and Charles' entrance.
He lined himself up against the rim and pushed in the head of his cock carefully.
The two men both groaned out at the same time; Erik, because there was nothing he could compare to how tight and incredible Charles felt around his girth and Charles because he had never felt such intense pleasure before.
"Ah! Erik!" He moaned sharply, arching his back and digging his nails into the German's back.
"Liebling!" Erik hissed, biting on Charles' neck when he finally slid all the way in. He didn't move a single inch, wanting Charles to adjust to him until he asked Erik to move.
"Please..." The brunette whispered, gripping Erik harder. "Please don't stop," he said and Erik obeyed his command, thrusting slowly at first then finding a good rhythm that wouldn't hurt Charles. His length wasn’t anywhere near average which is why he was a proud German with a huge cock that filled Charles whole, each movement in and out felt and memorized. Erik was so magnificent at this that Charles couldn't get enough of him, even though he was getting all of him.
Erik began picking up his pace once he was sure Charles was used to him and he placed both of his legs on his shoulders so he could get a deeper angle up that lush ass. He thrust two times and aimed for the brunette's prostate, making Charles' entire universe stand still in an instant.
Erik's name had never sounded this better from those red kiss swollen lips and the German was sure that his back was now bleeding from how tightly Charles had raked his nails down his back. There were tears in Charles's eyes and Erik kissed them away, slowing his pace down to allow the smaller man to exhale and breathe properly.
"Stay with me, Charles," he said, voice hoarse.
In this moment, in this evening, Charles wasn't sick from cancer. He was just Charles Xavier, Erik's lover right now. He wasn't worried, scared, anxious or angry. He was Erik's lover, happy and wanting and that was all Erik could ever ask for.
He picked his pace back up again when Charles begged him for more and he attacked that prostate, groaning against Charles' ear, loving the moans that fell out of the professor’s mouth.
Their very souls were so connected that they both confessed their feelings at the same time, moaning each other’s name out.
"I love you, Charles," he said, getting closer to his climax.
He fisted Charles' leaking cock and the smaller man whimpered, crying helplessly.
And Erik came undone before him, his heart pounding away in his ears and his hot seed shooting deeply inside of Charles, the pleasure intense.
He rode it out along with Charles second climax of the evening, painting their chest with thick ropes of hot sticky cum and the German fell on the smaller man, careful not to crush him under his limp weight.
He was dizzy from the orgasm and so was Charles who kept whispering Erik's name as though it were a prayer and when they finally calmed down from their high and Erik slowly pulled out; both of them winced from the loss of the other.
Erik rolled off of him and got up from the bed, still trying to calm his breathing.
"Erik..." Charles called out drowsily but Erik hushed him up with a kiss. "I'm just going to get a wet towel to clean us up," the taller man said and he disappeared into the bathroom, returning with a wet and warm cloth to intimately clean his brunette lover who was fighting to stay awake.
Erik wiped himself down and dumped the towel in the basin, returning to bed where a tired blue-eyed angel waited for him. He pulled the covers over them and lay back, pulling Charles up against him so he could lay his head on Erik's chest.
"Erik..." Charles started but Erik kissed the top of his head and then whispered, "Sleep now, liebling. We will talk tomorrow."
Charles snuggled up against him, his leg on Erik's leg and his arm across his side, never wanting him to leave.
"I love you…" He whispered and when Erik replied, Charles was already asleep, probably having a good dream by now.
“Are you sure you want to do this professor?” Scott questioned, raising a curious eyebrow, making him look much more adorable.
Charles smiled and looked around the room at everyone. They all had their heads shaved in honour of Charles losing his hair up to the point of wanting to shave it. The only people who still had their hair were Erik and the rest of the teachers. Charles had asked them not to do it since he had seen Raven bald and didn’t want to spend his days laughing uncontrollably.
“I’m quite sure, yes Scott. So let us get it over with so we can finally go to the theme park,” Charles answered. There were cheers all around in the living room and Erik turned on the shaving machine. Charles took a deep breath and gave him a thumbs up to go ahead and Erik started shaving his head, careful not to press his hand down too hard.
The children chatted amongst themselves, eager to see how Charles would look without his usual floppy brown hair.
It took a while and Erik finally finished, dusting the professor’s head off with a small brush and moving out of the way so that the students could get a good look at Charles.
There were gasps all around and Jean piped up with her tiny voice; “You look perfect professor!” Everyone agreed with their own compliments and Charles blushed, looking to Erik who winked at him and went back to cleaning the shaving machine.
“Thank you, everyone, now… I believe I promised us a trip to the theme park. Get your jackets quickly and make your way to the mini-buses,” he announced and the children scattered happily, Jean remaining behind to kiss the left side of Charles’ bald head. “Your eyes look brighter now that you have no hair professor,” she said and she looked up at Erik expectantly.
“What’s the matter my Fire Bird?” the German asked, raising an eyebrow. Jean frowned and placed her hands on her hips. “You’re supposed to kiss this side of the professor’s head,” she said, pointing at the right side of Charles’ head.
“Ahem…” Logan coughed, breaking into a smile and walking out of the room to assist the students. The other adults chuckled and left too.
“Well if you don’t kiss him now, someone else might take your place and I wouldn’t like that at all,” Jean muttered, puffing her face up as though she would start throwing a tantrum. Erik nodded and leaned over Charles’ head and kissed on the right side. Charles was as red as Jean’s hair now, suddenly shy and he looked up at Erik only to be met with his lips on his own briefly before the German pulled back and packed up the shaving machine in its box.
Jean smiled at them. “Now the professor is as red as my hair,” she commented and left them alone to go get her jacket.
“So I guess everyone knows that we’re together now,” Charles muttered, getting up from the couch and dusting the rest of his hair from his shoulders. Erik helped him. “We’ve always been together Charles, of course everyone knows.”
They cleaned the couch off and went upstairs to grab their jackets, hand-in-hand and every student who met them along the way, smiled at them.
“See, they all approve,” Erik said opening Charles’ room door for him. Charles shook his head slightly and chuckled. “Yes they do,” he answered and they grabbed their jackets.
The theme park was alive with happiness, the students were everywhere in tight groups, looking out for each other as the teachers had instructed. Logan was watching dirt bike racers, smoking his cigar and having a drink, Janos was with a couple of students, eating exotic food and Azazel was having the time of his life, riding on the roller coaster with Raven and two other students.
Erik and Charles were with Jean at a ring booth and Erik won them a stuffed bunny and a tiger. Jean went for the tiger and Charles got himself the bunny, squeezing it to his chest gratefully, his blue eyes shining. Erik had kissed him briefly and they went on to have cotton candy. After that, they went over to the Ferris wheel and Jean asked to go with Janos when they met up with his group. Erik had taken her tiger and left with Charles to go ride the Ferris wheel.
“How are you feeling?” Erik asked, lounging back and enjoying the view. He rarely asked Charles that question because he was trying to worry less about him as he had requested.
Charles leaned into him and sighed out tiredly, “I’m tired, but I can manage. I don’t feel much pain anywhere and my headache is calm tonight.”
Erik kissed the top of his head and chuckled. “Your head is cold; do you need a hat?”
“No, thank you, I like the cool air since I’m a little nauseous.”
“Nauseous? Charles I thought I asked you to be honest with me when I asked how you’re doing. This is exactly why I worry, because you hiding things from me and that makes me wonder what else is wrong,” Erik scolded, tightening his arm around Charles’ shoulder to pull him in closer.
“I’m fine, Erik, I won’t throw up so suddenly. The cold air is helping so calm down.”
“Hmm, okay Charles.”
They fell into a silence and enjoyed the ride.
They spent the rest of the evening with the students and got home safely, Erik ignoring Charles’ most of the time.
They got everyone to bed and Erik stayed up in the study, not ready to talk to Charles after being brushed off by the bald-headed professor who insisted that he was fine but had thrown up in the restroom after riding the Ferris wheel.
Charles found him and stood by the door, watching him. He didn’t like it when Erik was upset with him because he didn’t have much time left to leave things complicated. He walked over and came to stand behind Erik’s chair.
“I’m sorry I wasn’t completely honest with you, Erik. Sometimes it’s hard for me to see the look of worry on your face because it’s like you go numb and I worry if you’re ever going to be okay the day I die,” Charles whispered. He placed his hands on either side of Erik’s head and massaged his neck.
“I know it’s hard but please don’t be mad at me, I don’t want us to be like this. I don’t want to die knowing that you were upset with me.”
Erik stopped his hands and got up from his chair. He came around it and pulled Charles into a hug. “I’m sorry liebling. I care about you too much not to worry. I just want make sure that you have everything you need. You don’t deserve to keep quiet with your pain, that’s why we’re together; to share each other’s pains,” he said. They remained like that for a while and eventually went to bed, where they told each other how much they loved one another through a passionate embrace, Charles moaning Erik’s name softly into the night.
Erik was having a hard time accepting the fact that Charles’ spine gave out and rendered his legs useless.
Charles had suddenly cried out in pain one morning out in the backyard. The pain was so excruciating that he had started to bleed from the nose when a seizure out of nowhere had struck him and Erik had rushed him to the hospital with Logan. Forty-five minutes later, doctor Moira had come back bearing the bad news.
Erik couldn’t believe it and his heart broke terribly for Charles. He asked if a bone marrow donor was available like he always asked and doctor Moira had shaken her head at that, unable to look him in the eyes.
Charles had spent a week in the hospital before he went for physical training to get used to the wheelchair he was provided with. Erik and everyone back at the mansion had supported him through his training but deep down, Erik was having a hard time accepting. Charles didn’t deserve to suffer like this, he just didn’t.
Erik would gladly shoulder all of Charles’ pain even if it was for a second, he would endure.
So here they were, arriving home after another successful day of training. Charles was tired and he had dark circles around under his eyes. He was now paler than usual and he was losing weight again.
“I think I really need to die sooner so you won’t fuss over me this much,” the blue-eyed professor said, holding onto Erik’s shoulder as he was helped out of the car and into his wheelchair which was up the stairs at the door. Erik had made this one from scratch and Charles adored it very much, abandoning the one provided by the hospital in an instant. It had a nice smooth metal frame and the cushions were very expensive yet very comfortable. The rims were an ‘X’ for Xavier and Charles had kissed Erik senseless for adding that to make it extra special.
“Don’t talk like that Charles!” Erik snapped a little too harshly, making Charles go quiet. He wheeled himself into the mansion and left the German to go lock the car after getting his things and the takeout food for the night.
Erik was upset again and this time, Charles didn’t bother to fix it. He was only trying to lighten up the mood but of course Erik took it in a different way. So Charles spent the rest of his day with Raven and some of the students and Erik had spent his day in the backyard by the pond.
By the time supper came around, Erik didn’t eat instead he went to his room and got into bed, thinking. There was nothing he could do for Charles except be there for him and show him that he loves him.
He was about to go apologise to Charles when the blue-eyed professor knocked on his door and came in.
“I can’t sleep alone you know,” he said, voice soft and tired. Erik swallowed the lump in his throat and stretched his hand out for Charles to take.
“Come here liebling,” he whispered and Charles wheeled himself over via the remote. Erik kissed him and pulled him onto the bed, careful to keep his back as straight as possible. “I love you, you know. And sometimes, your jokes are not that funny, especially the ones about dying,” he said and Charles chuckled softly at that, kissing Erik with all his love.
“You do know that it’s rather difficult for me to get an erection,” Charles said, feeling Erik’s erection press up against his side. Erik kissed him deeply and pulled back to look into those blue eyes that he fell in love with the first time he had seen Charles.
“I don’t care liebling, sex isn’t everything,” he replied and checked if Charles was lying comfortably so not to hurt his spine. Charles insisted that it wasn’t okay and he went to grab Erik’s member but Erik refused. “Charles, please stop. I’m okay,” he protested but Charles gave him a look, one that made his eyes look much more adorable. It was a look he used when he wanted an extra slice of cake or the last slice of pizza off of Erik’s plate.
Erik sighed and allowed Charles’ hand to do as it pleased. He closed his eyes and groaned out softly. He was content with just sleeping with Charles in his arms but he wasn’t about to complain now that he was feeling the pleasure.
Charles jerked him off affectionately, looking into his eyes as he whispered how much he loved Erik. He sped his pace up and Erik came with a soft moan.
“I love you, Charles,” he whispered, catching his breath. Charles smiled and kissed the tip of his nose. “I love you too, Erik,” he replied softly.
Charles cleaned him off with his t-shirt and they fell asleep shortly after, happy to be together, even when life was just so cruel.
Charles passed on two days later in his sleep. He had announced that he needed to take a nap since he was feeling tired and he never came back to the kitchen to continue baking with the rest of the students.
Erik found him on the couch without a blanket and he just knew that Charles was no longer asleep because Charles had kissed him passionately in front of everyone and left the kitchen telling everyone that he loved them very much.
Erik never slept that night, too busy comforting the students.
And so here we are again and our beloved Charles is no more. I’m so sorry Erik.
Also, I have the epilogue coming up very soon, so look out for it.
Mein Gott - My God [oh my God]
Liebling - Darling
Thank you for reading! You are appreciated! - Yoshiaki
This letter isn't meant to comfort you.
Instead, it is meant to make you understand exactly how I felt the moment you walked into my room at the hospital.
I hated you.
You just walked in and I felt so much hate towards you because you made me fall in love with you.
And when you spoke, I hated you even more because I could never get tired of listening to the sound of your voice.
Then you saw your chess piece and I saw the real you; unguarded and up close. The look on your face was exactly the same as your mother's when she gave me those chess pieces; happy.
Then...I stopped hating you right there and then because you showed me something I thought I could never have intimately and I wanted that so bad that if I had died then, I would have been content to have just felt a glimpse of what you felt.
And then, you became my friend and I have never looked forward to the next day like I had when you called me that.
I was ready to die; that's how you made me feel. Every day spent with you was like a preparation for me to die, because you only saw me under all of this cancer and you still wanted me.
You're such a fool, Erik. For falling in love with me, you are a fool indeed! I hate you for giving me everything and more! I hate you for breaking all my walls down and helping me up.
Fuck you, Erik, I bloody hate you! Because i love you so much, I am now afraid to die and want all of you because i can never have enough of you...
You hurt me, you know and I hurt you. I'm not sorry though, I never will be.
So you better cry for me until you feel like dying and i give you my word you'll feel much better after you bury me.
I love you too.
"I love you...Charles," Erik whispered, folding the letter and pocketing it.
It was the perfect letter, arriving at the right moment when Erik thought he was about to lose his sanity.
Losing Charles to the cancer had hit everyone hard, especially Jean who had gone quiet from the very moment she sensed Charles’ silence from her mind. Charles absence was noticeable in every way possible and it was hard for Erik to cope but he had to hold on, for the children.
With the help of Raven and the rest of the adults, Charles’ funeral was arranged within the week and he was buried in the backyard of the mansion, where everyone gathered to pay their respects and talk about how great he was.
Erik never spoke at the funeral. He couldn’t even if he wanted to. But he did as Charles’ letter had advised and he cried, hard.
There wasn’t a dry eye that day, not a single one.
“Hello, Peter and Wanda. My name is Erik Lehnsherr and I’m good friend of Charles Xavier,” Erik said, rolling the ring around his finger which he had received from the letter he got from Charles two days after his funeral.
He was at the hospital as instructed by Charles’ third letter that came from doctor Moira a week after Charles’ funeral. The letter was about the two children in front of Erik and it stated that Charles had given up his two marrow donors to the children because they deserved a chance in life. They were abandoned by their parents four months ago and Charles had spent time with them when Erik was back at the mansion, taking care of everyone.
Erik had seen the two kids at Charles’ funeral with doctor Moira but he never got a chance to speak to them. So now here he was, honouring Charles’ request to adopt them and take them back to the mansion.
Peter was very shy, hiding behind his twin sister who was looking at Erik with wide eyes. They were only nine and Erik couldn’t help but fall in love with them.
It took a little while for them to warm up to him and when they arrived at the mansion, a welcome party was thrown for them. Wanda was quick to make friends but Peter hid behind Erik most of the time. It was Jean who brought him out of his shell and Erik was proud of her for doing so.
And so the weeks turned into months and Charles was missed dearly by everyone. But they were getting better each day and those who used to cry at night were recovering quite well.
At first, Erik never thought he would make it through each day without falling apart, but every day he woke up in Charles’ bed and he would read his letter. That’s what kept him from falling apart, that’s what gave him strength.
And the one thing Erik was grateful for were the chess pieces his mother had given to Charles all those years ago. Because of that, Erik had a better life than before.
He would visit Charles’ grave every morning with Jean who was now coming back to her old self, to tend to the flowers, telling him about their plans for the day and how much they missed him.
And every morning spent at Charles’ grave, Erik would always remember Charles’ words to him the night they played chess for the last time just after Charles had lost his ability to walk.
“Do you know what the worst thing about my cancer is?” he had asked, his blue eyes glimmering brightly under the dim light. Erik looked into them, waiting for an answer.
“It’s leaving you. To me, that is the worst and hardest thing for me to bear; leaving you and the children. Going someplace which people describe as perfect and peaceful. To me, that sounds awful, because I find my time here on earth, with you and the children, much more peaceful and perfect.” And he made his move on the chess board, winning the game.
Erik would never forget that night because that was the night he knew that he could never stop loving Charles no matter what.
“Do you know what the worst thing is about you leaving is?” the German questioned one morning as he cleaned around the professor’s grave and added a new set of flowers, while Jean went to go fetch a watering can.
“It’s accepting that you’re gone.”
“It is rather the look in their eyes that makes you look at life with a new mindset…”
Thank you for reading! You are truly appreciated! – Yoshiaki