"You need to learn to have fun." Azazel shouted in his year, trusting a red cup of lukewarm beer that smelled like pee in his hand. He took a sip and grimaced, contemplating if Azazel would get mad at him for throwing the plastic cup away. That beer was an insult to his German blood. It was an insult to anyone's blood - even to his Russian friend that didn't really seem to mind the free, disgusting alcohol.
"I don't want to have fun." Erik replied, sagging against the corner of the room, far away from the sticky bodies on the improvised dance floor, or the dumb game of beer pong that only managed to get that disgusting beer everywhere on the people and on the floor. The host is going to have a hard time cleaning everything up. Azazel muttered something in Russian, rolling his eyes at Erik and filling his cup with vodka instead of beer, this time. Erik was grateful, even though cranberry vodka wasn't his scene either. Anything was better than that hot pee-smelling beer.
"But you have to. You've been coped inside the dorm since last Saturday. It's Friday. We have to have fun, I can't hear you grumbling to yourself and sighing pitifully at the walls for hours. It's getting on my last nerve." Azazel complained, making Erik glare at him. He wanted to snap at Azazel, tell him to mind his fucking business and not stick his nose where it didn't belong. On the other hand he knew that Azazel was right. It's been a week. A week since Charles told him, through tears, that he was sick and tired to fight with Erik and always be the one crawling back at him to make peace. A week since he told Erik that he couldn't do it anymore, it was obvious that he didn't care about Charles at all - he loved Erik, really he did, it was the first time he admitted that, but he deserved better than to put himself through heartbreak again and again and again.
At first Erik was pissed, because how dare Charles assume that he didn't care about him or their relationship?
But, by the time Wednesday rolled around the feeling of not seeing Charles and not being able to kiss him or talk to him, fuck, even argue with him, sunk deep in Erik's bones and heart, and since then he'd been sulking around the dorm, harder than before, driving Azazel up the walls.
"I don't understand why you don't go to apologize and make things right." his friend and roommate said, before they left for the party. "It's obvious that you miss him."
"I don't!" Erik snapped, feeling his throat clench with the lie. Azazel simply smirked, showing all of his teeth in an attempt to copy Erik's terrifying grin.
"Of course, Erik. Whatever helps you sleep at night."
It was understandable that he wasn't in the mood to party, he only came because Azazel threatened to throw him over his shoulder and drag him to the party - kicking and screaming. Erik wasn't going to put this above what his friend would do, Azazel was a very determined man.
"Let's go dancing!" he shouted, when the music changed to something with more beat, making the house vibrate.
"Leave me be, Azazel. Go and dance." he replied, turning his back to Azazel who rolled his eyes and took off to the dance floor, swaying his hips and attracting looks. Sometimes he wished to be more like Azazel, so outgoing and mean in the sexy sort of way. Like the bad boys from books and movies.
Instead he was Erik. Lonely, single and always on the edge Erik. Emotionally constipated, his mother, his own fucking mother, once called him. But that was alright, it's not like he needed someone. He's been on his own, without friends or other people to lean on, all of his life. His mother was his only true friend, his constant in life through thick and thin. He wasn't the best at maintaining relationship, Charles was his first one, before him it was a long string of one night stands, faceless and nameless people that warmed his bed and not his heart. His stone-cold heart, he remembered bitterly - something a girl from high school told him when he accidentally made her cry.
Erik shook his head, tilting the glass to his lips and swallowing everything in one go. Fuck, why was he remembering all the shit people said about him throughout his life? Why did he even care? It's not like he was going to have a revelation. Remembering all the bullying he endured in high school wasn't going to bring Charles back. Not that he cared! Not that he wanted Charles back, did he?
For a second he felt good about the situation, before everything came to crush him. Who was he kidding? He wanted Charles back with every fiber of his being.
"At least you don't look better than my brother." someone said and Erik instantly recognized the voice.
She looked stunning, carved out of the cover of some magazine - blonde and fierce and sexy. He had to admit that if he wasn't gayer than the rainbow he would have tried to get her in his bed. They became fast friends when Charles introduced them, something that never happened to Erik before, but somehow they've managed to click. He was used to her teasing and her lame jokes, and he adored her the same way you'd adore your little sister.
Now seeing Raven look at him with fake sympathy in her eyes made him hate the situation a little bit more. It would be so easy to put everyone out of misery and just talk to Charles.
"Seen Azazel around, I take it he took you to the party by force, too?"
Erik felt something in his chest loosen, and when he looked Raven in the eye he saw the fond exasperation there.
"Too?" he managed, not quite sure if she heard him over the loud music.
"Yes, he's out on the patio right now. I dragged him out of the dorm kicking and screaming. He's been insufferable this week. I take it, it hasn't been as easy for you as he thought it would?"
"He thought that I would take it easy?" Erik gasped, feeling pain and anger - at himself - bundle in the pit of his stomach.
"I mean, you didn't give him much choice, Erik. It's not like you were always the one to try and make things better between the two of you. When he called me that night he was sobbing, I didn't understand what was going on and as much as I hated, I knew it was something about you. He never called in the middle of the night unless you guys fought." she took a deep breath, shaking her head, seemingly unaware of the sound of Erik's heart breaking in a million pieces. "He was sure it was over. Because he knew that you'll never go to him to apologize, and that shattered him worse than thinking that it was actually over. God, Erik. You've made him the saddest and at the same time, I can't remember a time when Charles smiled so much. He was like a ray of sunshine whenever he was around you. It killed me to see him so down and gloomy."
"Raven..." he tried to say, feeling his throat close with tears. My God, but he was stupid. A giant idiot.
"You're a fucker, Erik." Raven said solemnly, even though her lips were curling in a soft smile. "But I think you might be the answer to all of Charles' prayers."
She patted him on the shoulder, before turning around and disappearing in the mass of people. Suddenly it was too hot for Erik to be inside. Too loud. He had to escape, and mostly, he had to talk to Charles.
The patio wasn't hard to find, of course. It was harder to get rid of Azazel who kept taking Erik's hand to try and get him on the dance floor. Erik cursed at him, in English, in German, in the few Russian swear words he learned from his friend, only making him laugh harder.
"I'm going to find Charles, he's here!" Erik shouted, yanking his arm back, grinding his teeth to stop himself from punching Azazel in the middle of the house.
"Finally, kotik. Go and made up to your myshka." he laughed, pushing Erik in the direction of the patio.
Few people were mingling around the kitchen, couples making out on every surface possible, and one or two odd lonely people in search of a cold drink. When he opened the door and stepped outside, the wind and heavy droplets of rain splashing into him without much adieu, Erik let out the breath he didn't know he was holding. It was nice to take in the fresh air outside, away from the smell of sweat and too many people cramped into a too small place.
Outside it was dark, the fairy lights thrown randomly around the patio didn't offer much light, but it helped Erik's eyes focus on the shadow that was leaning over the railing, unaware of another presence, shoulders shaking (because of the cold?) hard.
It was Charles. Of course it was Charles.
"Charles..." Erik said, before he could catch himself, and the other boy jumped in surprise, turning fast to look in his direction. Oh no, he wasn't shaking because of the cold. He was actually crying. Even from the distance and the dark, Erik could still see how puffy and swollen his face and eyes looked.
"Oh... Hello, Erik." he replied, forcing a smile on his lips. "Enjoying the party?"
"Not one bit." Erik remarked bitterly, taking a cautious step in Charles' direction. "You?"
"Raven made me come."
"I know, she came to greet me and she told me."
For a moment they stopped talking, simply deciding to look at each other and analyze the other's reaction. Erik wanted to scream because of how much he missed Charles. He wanted nothing more than to close the space between them and take the other boy in his arms and never let him go. Finally, after what felt like eternity, Charles spoke:
"Are you alright, then?"
"No. Are you?"
Charles laughed wetly, shaking his head.
"I want to lie to you so badly, but I'm not very good at lying. I'm not. I'm not good at all."
"I can... see that." Erik replied softly, reaching towards Charles, cupping his face in the palm of his hand. Charles let himself be touched, closing his eyes and leaning into Erik's hand. "I'm so sorry, Charles. For causing you so much pain."
"Just, listen to me for a second, alright? I'm sorry, Charles, I really am. I know that I've taken you for granted, that I let you do all the work in this relationship and let you fight for us to be together. It was wrong and it kills me that we had to go over a break for me to finally realize how important you are to me..." he licked his lips. It took one surprised look from Charles, for him to let out everything. "I love you. I'm not just saying that to win you back. I love you, I think I had for a while, but I didn't realize because I've never felt something like this for anyone else. But I do, and I'm sorry if it's too late to say that now. I just wanted you to know."
"God, Erik!" Charles exclaimed, bursting into tears. "You're a bloody asshole." and with that, he leaped in Erik's arms, kissing him with force. "I love you too." he confessed once again, his lips against Erik's, making the other boy inhale the words. "But that doesn't mean that we'll go back to how everything was. You can't ask me to fight alone again, Erik. We're going to disagree in a lot of things, Erik, but we have to work through our issues. Together."
"Together." Erik promised solemnly, brushing his hand over Charles' hair. "I like the sound of that."
The answering smile was one of the most brilliants he's ever seen:
"Yeah, me too."