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The cool air outside was a welcomed embrace on his sticky skin. Everything felt on fire - his lungs due to the smoke machines lined up all over the club - and his skin due to hours spent bracing himself against people and being moved around with the crowd.

The Hellfire club was a nightmare in Charles' opinion, and he hated absolutely every single second he spent there. It was too crowded, the music too loud and not nearly audible over the sound of tens of people shouting with joy or singing along. The floors were sticky and the bathrooms unbelievably dirty, he couldn't understand how the couple of teenagers he stumbled upon, dared to hook up in a filthy place like that.

After being coped up in his apartment, eating take out and loosing hours of sleep because he was working on his thesis, a fun night out seemed like a good idea. Raven declared that they had to celebrate getting his PhD, but her definition of fun wasn't exactly matching his. Charles expected to go at his favorite pub, having a couple of pints and maybe play some rounds of drunken darts, but Raven wasn't having any of it. It was something special, they needed it to celebrate properly.

So she took him to the Hellfire club because apparently the guy she's been seeing nowadays was the co-owner of the place. That Azazel figure was a 6 feet piece of burly Russian man with too dark hair and a peculiar sense of humor. He wasn't the right choice for Raven, in Charles' humble opinion, but he knew better than to mingle in his little sister's love life.
He tried not to complain while she ravaged his wardrobe for suitable clothes that would get you fucked in a dirty alley and left it like that, mainly because he was extremely tired after presenting his thesis in front of the Columbia committee and after months on working tirelessly on it. They gathered his friends and left for the club a little after eleven, it was now two in the morning and Charles wanted nothing more than to go back to his apartment and crawl into the bed to sleep for weeks. He knew that Raven and their friends were not ready to leave yet, but it didn't mean that he had to spoil the fun for everyone. He was going to catch a cab home and promise to meet them for dinner or brunch sometimes in the current week.

Having his mind made up, he moved to circle the club to the main entrance, after he exited the club through a narrow door that Azazel pointed out for him as a means to escape.

The thump of the music was awfully loud, even outside, and he was walking with his eyes downcast trying not to step on a dead rat or other gross things you could find on the floor of a club ally. He didn't noticed the side door opening with too much force so he slammed into it unceremoniously.

"Ow!" Charles yelped, clutching his head because it took most of the hit.

"Are you okay?"

The deep, velvet-like voice belonged to the most beautiful man on the planet, Charles was sure of it. He was towering above him, his shoulders so wide that they blocked most of Charles' vision. The dimly lit alley somehow managed to do the man justice, his pale-blue eyes flickering agitated in the low light.

"I'm fine." Charles mumbled.

He hoped that the man wasn't drunk, or he wasn't looking for trouble, because Charles was no match for a guy like him. Seriously, what kind of douche-bag wears a jacket with the hood up in a club? A creeper, most likely.

The man's lips stretched in a smile, showing off a set of pearly (way too many) white teeth, his laugh echoing in Charles' ears.

"That's not a nice thing to say to the guy that kicked you in the face with a door."

"Oh Lord, I'm so sorry." Charles said embarrassed, blushing to the roots of his hair. "That's such an awful thing to say, I didn't mean it."

"It's alright. I'm sorry for kicking you in the face."

"Ah, no harm done. Are you trying to sneak out of the club?"

The guy looked bashful, casting his eyes down before mumbling:

"Not really my scene."

"Mine neither. My sister dragged me to celebrate and I fucking hate this place. It's filthy and sweaty and the music here is horrible. I was expecting something much more lighter, to be honest. Oh, there I go, rambling again. I'm sorry, I'm sure you have more important things to do than listen to me talk. I'll just be on my way."

The guy laughed again, he had an amazing laugh. Charles could imagine himself listen to it everyday.

"Are you going back in? You said you didn't like it."

"Oh, I don't. I just wanted to bid farewell to my sister and our friends before taking off. I endured too much of this place."

The guy seemed to contemplate on his answer, and Charles was ready to take off after several seconds of silence passed, before the guy's voice stopped him.

"Would you like to get something to eat?"

"Excuse me?"

"I mean, you plan on leaving, right? And I'm hungry. And I happen to know the best diner in the whole New York that's open 24/7. Could be fun." the guy shrugged, seemingly not bothered by the idea of spending time with a stranger. A stranger he met in a dirty alley. Charles squinted his eyes, assessing the guy with a look.

"You're gorgeous, but you're a stranger, might as well be a serial killer."

The guy flashed his teeth in a smile again, shaking his head and offering Charles a hand.

"Erik."

"What, no surnames?"

"You're kind of an arrogant bastard, aren't you?"

"Takes one to know one."

"Erik Eisenhardt, pleased to meet you."

Charles shook his hand with a smile.

"Charles Xavier."

"Now that we're not strangers anymore, would you like to get out of here?"

"Let me just go tell my sister that I'm leaving."

 

Raven, of course, didn't like that he was leaving already, but she was kind of buzzed, leaning over Sean and Moira to give him a crushing hug. He promised to catch up with them when they'll wake up from their hangovers. Thankfully, none of them wanted to leave too soon so no one offered to catch a ride with him. It was good, considering he hasn't told any of them that he was going to leave with a guy he met five minutes ago that could possibly drag him somewhere in the woods and murder him in cold blood. At least Charles saw his dream fulfilled, he got his PhD, now he could die a happy man.

He sneaked through the same narrow door, finding Erik leaning against the wall. He straightened up when he saw Charles, offering that blinding smile with too many teeth.

"Ready?"

"Lead the way, Sir Erik." Charles replied, and Erik took his hand, intertwining their fingers together to guide him to the parking lot. Charles felt himself blush. It was a bold move, yet he didn't not like it. Erik was hot, might as well and try to end the night with a bang.

Literally.

The parking lot was almost deserted, and Erik dragged him to the only motorcycle parked there. It was a beautiful thing made of shining steel and a leather seat, a vintage one by the looks of it that might have costed a small fortune.

"Are we getting on that thing?" he asked, horrified.

"It's the easiest way to get there quickly, plus I'm not going to leave my baby in the parking lot of a club that has drunk people stumbling out here looking for trouble." Erik replied, faking a gasp.

"Have you been drinking? I'm not getting with you on that thing if you've had even a drop of alcohol. I love life."

"Want to check?" the other man shot back flirty, biting down on his lip. "Are you blushing? I can see you blush." he added after a moment of silence in which Charles felt his face heating up.

"Just answer the bloody question, Erik."

"I swear on my life I only drank a bottle of sparkling water. I may look crazy, but I'm not. I'm not going to put your life in danger."

The thought reassured him, and he nodded, still huffing when Erik clapped his hands excitedly and pulled a helmet out of the seat, pushing it on Charles' head.

"You look adorable."

"Fuck you."

"I love a man that's not afraid to curse."

"Ha ha, are we leaving or what?"

"Sure, let me get on and then I'll help you. Let us hope your jeans won't split open, they look really tight."

"They make my ass look great."

"To be honest you kind of have an amazing ass." Erik bit back, throwing a wink in his direction before putting on his helmet and getting on the motorcycle.

He helped Charles up, demonstrating how to keep his legs and advising him not to resist if Erik had to lean. He promised to be careful and not drive too fast, but if Charles wanted him to slow down he just had to tug on his jacket.

"Now, you seem to be the proper, British gentleman, but you'll have to come a little closer and put your arms around my waist and hold tight if you don't want me to lose you on the streets."

Charles rolled his eyes, even though Erik couldn't see and he plastered himself over Erik's back, hugging his waist as tight as possible.

"Are you trying to kill me?" Erik asked, voice muffled by the helmet, but Charles could still hear the hint of amusement in it.

"Just drive the bloody thing, I'm getting hungry."

"Hold tight, Lord Xavier, you might be in for the ride of your life."

God, but Charles really hoped he wasn't in for the last ride of his life.

 

"That was probably the most dangerous and fun thing I have ever done in my entire life!" Charles shouted joyfully, getting off of the motorcycle. He took off the helmet, blowing a strand of curly hair that fell on his forehead. Guessing by Erik's smile, he was happy with Charles' answer. He took off his helmet as well, and Charles was kind of jealous how good the guy looked even after spending twenty minutes with that thing on - his hair had that sexy little ruffle that Charles desperately wanted to achieve.

Erik stood in front of him, after securing his motorcycle, and tucked his hair behind his ears.

"You look absolutely adorable." he muttered between themselves and Charles bit down on his lip, flustered. "Even more so when you blush."

"Then stop making me blush."

"And miss the chance of seeing that adorable face? No way."

"If you're trying to seduce me, I want to tell you that it's working."

"What a reassuring thought." Erik replied, a smirk curling the corner of his mouth. Fuck, but he was gorgeous. Still a serial killer, probably, but nevertheless gorgeous.

"What can I say? I'm an attention whore. Give me some compliments and buy me food and I'm yours."

For a second Charles was mortified of the thing that came out of his mouth, but thankfully Erik found it hilarious, and soon they were laughing like idiots in a mostly empty parking lot - the sign with the name of the diner flickering annoyingly in the dark.

"Then I shall offer you a thousand more compliments, but first, I need to feed you. What was that saying? The way to a man's heart is through his stomach?"

"If you happen to be good at sex I might marry you on the spot." Charles said cheekily, letting himself be pulled towards the door of the diner. Erik turned his head just a little, just for Charles to see a devilish smirk cross his features.

"You might find out soon." he winked and Charles barely stopped himself from swooning. He felt good, flirting with this guy and spending his night (early morning?) with him. Much more fun than the Hellfire Club.

"And you might find out that I have a third date rule."

Erik grinned, opening the door to the diner, but not quite getting in.

"Can we consider this a date?"

"You haven't even asked me properly!" Charles laughed, shaking his head.

The man straightened, bowing his head a little to catch Charles' eyes. Erik had a smoldering look on his face, a fire burning mockingly behind his unusually beautiful eyes. He was looking at Charles through his lashes, and it was the first time Charles felt like there was no one in the world but him.

"Would you like to have breakfast with me sometime?"

"I'd love to." He didn't hesitate to answer and the responding smile on Erik's face made him grin like an idiot. Suddenly he was being tugged inside the diner, towards the booth at the far end of the place.

"Look at that, we can have breakfast, and our date, right now!"

"You're ridiculous."

"I hope in a good way."

They smiled at each other, and Charles replied.

"That, my friend, we'll see."

 

His sleep was disturbed by the most obnoxious sound in the world. The doorbell ringing constantly, making Charles' ears pop. He groaned, opening his eyes and taking in his surroundings. He was alone, of course, and a glance towards the clock told him it was a little over eleven in the morning. 

Who on Earth dared to wake Charles Xavier so early after he finally managed to get rid of his thesis!?

The ringing continued, as if the person on the other side of the door kept their finger glued to the doorbell. Clearly that person wasn't taking into consideration that he might be gone, or asleep, or doing a thousand other important things besides opening the door. Grumbling for himself, he got out of the bed, swaying on his feet because of how fast he stood up, and put on his fluffy bunny slippers that Raven gifted him as a joke, and hurried to answer the door.

Of course, it had to be his little annoying sister on the other side of the door. Looking fresh and not even a little bit hungover, despite the amount of alcohol consumed last night.

"Finally!" she huffed, pushing him aside to enter the apartment.

"Raven..." Charles roared, clenching his teeth and his palms. "You have a fucking key, Raven! Why did you have to ring the bell and wait for me to answer when I specifically gave you the fucking key so you could enter this apartment anytime!" by the time he was finished, Raven was already making herself comfortable, not bothering to take off her shoes, although he told her many times to do that.

"Because I love to torment you, brother of mine." she replied sweetly, flicking her hair back over her shoulder. "Why are you still asleep? You probably got the most hours of sleep compared to the rest of us. The rest of them left at four in the morning, and me and Azazel at almost seven because he had to lock up and I was staying over at him. You left at two."

"Excuse me for trying to catch up on the many, many sleepless nights I've pulled during my research." he said, checking his jacket for his phone. He pulled it out, noticing various phone calls from Raven and a few texts saying that she was coming over, and two from an unknown number.

Unknown Number (3:45 a.m.)
I had a great time with you, hope we could do this again soon. Maybe dinner tonight? Promise not to take you again at that diner.

Unknown Number (3:47 a.m.)
Oh, this is Erik by the way. Hope you'll still remember me when the morning comes. ;)

Charles smiled, clutching his phone in his hand and adding the number in his contacts. After a little debate with his subconscious, he added a heart after Erik's name.

Charles (11:32 a.m.)

How could I ever forget you, Erik? :P

Charles (11:32 a.m.)
That was cheesy as fuck, I'm sorry, I couldn't help myself.

Charles (11:33 a.m.)
Good morning, by the way. I would love to get dinner with you and I have no plans tonight, so whenever you're free is good.

"What is that?" Raven's voice pulled him out of his reverie. Charles looked up at her, frowning.

"What is what?"

"That on your face?"

"Where? Must be sleep marks, I've had my face in the pillow the whole time I slept."

"No, no. That on your face is a huge smile. I'm not used to seeing it."

"Ha ha." Charles deadpanned, rolling his eyes.

"Who are you talking to?"

"No one."

"You don't smile at your phone while typing because you're talking to no one. Tell me!"

"Raven, love, is really none of your business."

"Chaaaarles! Why must you always keep me in the dark?"

"Because it's my business that you're currently in, and you don't belong in my business."

She squinted at him, gritting her teeth in annoyance.

"Tell. Me."

Charles smiled indulgently, slipping his phone in the waistband of his pyjama pants.

"Sorry, love, can't do that. I'm going to shower, would you like to have brunch together?"

She huffed, crossing her arms over her chest and muttered a petulant fine. Charles made sure to take his phone with him to the bathroom. He didn't want to have Raven snooping around through his messages.

 

 

Weirdly enough Charles wasn't feeling even a little bit nervous about his date with Erik, mainly he was super excited. He couldn't wait to be in his company again. Erik was a wonderful person, thoughtful and caring, and he looked at Charles in a certain way that made his blood boil. Like he was the only guy in the world, just the two of them, wrapped in a tight bubble with no means to escape to the outside world. He brought out a side of Charles that not even him knew he had! A fun, reckless side, passionate and flirty, the total opposite to the shy, mumbling, genius of a boy that most people never spared a second look.

They agreed to meet at the restaurant, despite Erik's effort to convince Charles to pick him up. He almost gave in, when Erik texted him the address of the place, noticing that it was three or four blocks down his apartment building, he could walk there.

He arrived with ten minutes to spare, but Erik was already outside, leaning on the building, his hood pulled over his head once again, but somehow still looking deliciously stunning.

"Hi!" Charles said cheerfully, startling Erik.

"Oh." was all Erik replied for a second, taking Charles in. "You look fantastic."

"And so do you." came the response, blushing under the heated gaze of blue-grey eyes. He was so focused on Erik that he didn't notice the single red rose until it was right in front of his face.

"This is for you."

"Oh, Erik, thank you. No one gave me flowers before."

"Mama always says that it's not right to go to a date without offering a flower, no matter how small it is."

"Your mother sounds like a lovely woman. Shall we go in?"

Erik's answer was to take his free hand and lead him inside the restaurant.

They had the best time together, both of them ridiculously loud but shy, stealing touches under the table and sparing loving looks. It was a nightmare for the server to take their orders, but they managed somehow. Charles forgot how wonderful it was to go out with someone you like. He forgot that a date should be fun and silly, but through out the night Erik kept reminding him that. They split dessert, feeding each other bites of chocolate cake, and pressing soft kisses against blushing cheeks. Charles felt like his heart was going to burst out of his chest. 

They left the restaurant laughing at their ridiculous clothes, too shabby for a place like that, and how they've managed to disturb every other patron in the restaurant.

"Do you know how to play chess?" Charles asked him, slipping his fingers in Erik's palm once they were outside.

"As a matter of fact, I do. And I'm also very good at it."

"I have a set at my apartment, would you like to play a few rounds with me?"

"We're still on the second date, didn't you have a third date rule? Isn't it a bit prematurely to invite me home?"

Charles rolled his eyes.

"To play chess, you idiot. Nothing else."

Charles' words made something on Erik's face shift. His eyes darkening with a sort of guilt and shame and his lips pulled back in a grimace.

"Is there something wrong?" Charles couldn't help, but ask.

"I... hope you don't think that I asked you on a date just so I could sleep with you. I really like you and I enjoy your company very much. And well... as cheesy as this sounds, I want you to be happy and I know that I can make you very happy."

Charles beamed up at him, getting on his tip toes to press an urgent kiss on Erik's lips, soft and over too soon, but it still left the other man with a dumbstruck expression on his face.

"God, you're adorable. Now, chess?"

"Sure, lead the way." Erik muttered, blushing to the roots of his light hair.

 

That second date made something shift between them and soon, Charles and Erik, found themselves in a committed relationship of six months. Charles had to admit, it's been a good few years since he had a relationship that lasted that long. Being with Erik made him feel like a total different person. He was fun, sexy and outgoing. Even his friends and Raven noticed the change in his behavior. They didn't meet Erik, there was plenty of time, of course, and Charles was pretty sure that both of them were in for the long run, so there was no need to rush and complicate things with unnecessary meetings.
Charles took little time to recoup after his doctorate. Six months after his PhD was final, he had a full-time teaching position at Columbia. It was like he was living his dream - he had the job of his dreams and the best boyfriend in the world.

"Earth to Charles!" someone snapped, and suddenly he remembered that he was out, getting lunch with Raven.

"Oh, I'm so sorry, love."

"Jesus, you've done this every time I've met you in the past couple of months. Haven't you finished your honeymoon phase? When can I meet this Erik so I can kick his ass for stealing my brother from me?" she asked, pouting like the spoiled brat that she was.

Charles laughed, leaning over the table to press a kiss against her cheek.

"Soon, love. Probably. I don't know, we haven't discussed that aspect of our relationship yet. We both have only one important person in our lives. For me it's you and for him it's his mother. You can see why everything has to be perfect."

"God, I spend so little time with you nowadays that I honestly can't wait for you to start rambling." Raven muttered, throwing her napkin on her empty plate. Her words made Charles feel guilty. Of course, this was his little sister, his rock and his only constant in life. Knowing that he ignored Raven, no..., that he hurt Raven broke his heart. He spent so much time with Erik that he almost forgot his duty as a big brother.

"Please don't look at me with those big, blue eyes! You're going to make me feel guilty for making you feel guilty!" Raven almost shouted, clamping a hand over her eyes.

"I'm sorry, I can't help my self! I know that we haven't been spending so much time together lately."

"It's alright big bro, I know I'm your number one no matter what."

"That's true. And it always will be." he declared solemnly, making Raven smile.

"Now, are you done? We're going to miss the movie if we keep staying here and I really want to see it. I heard a lot of the actors working in the movie got nominated for Oscars."

"I do hope so, darling. You know how much I hate going to the cinema to watch movies."

It wasn't an excuse and Raven knew that. Charles thought that the cinema was a filthy place, full of awkward couples on first dates that would probably never call each other back, the cringe couples that tried to suck each other's faces, never bothering with the film, and the people who talked too loudly, or munched too loudly on snacks, complaining the whole time and glaring when other people tried to shush them. It was a vicious circle.

Obviously, the cinema was packed to the capacity. They had to awkwardly squeeze between people, muttering apologizes until they got to their assigned seats. The movie was 12 years a slave and midway through the film Charles decided that it was a heartbreaking masterpiece. He felt his phone vibrating in his pocket, making him put the popcorn on Raven's lap and try to fumble in his jacket to get it, the name on the screen making him instantly smile.

Erik <3
Enjoying the movie?

Charles was about to reply when he heard the voice. That lovely, raspy voice that he loved to wake up to, tinted with a bit of a Southern accent, but not quite managing to get rid of the German substrate. 

"And that servant which knew his Lord's will... which knew his Lord's will and prepared not himself..."

He looked up. Erik's text long forgotten, only to come across Erik's face on the huge screen, the lines on his face sharpened by the make-up, and the ginger beard making him look older than he actually was.

His boyfriend was on that screen. On that huge screen.

"Ooh, I fucking love this guy!" Raven squealed in a hushed voice. "He got nominated at the Oscars for this role."

"What?" Charles almost yelled, making a few people turn in their direction to glare. "What do you mean he got nominated for this role?"
"That's Erik Lehnsherr, it's not like he's some unknown actor and I mean he got nominated for this role, I heard he's bloody fantastic. Shut up, already!" she hushed him, grabbing his wrist to keep him from fidgeting.

Erik. His Erik was actually Erik Lehnsherr? The guy he met in a dark alley was some well known celebrity, playing in good movies and winning awards and shit?! What was his life? He knew that Erik was an actor, they've discussed their careers in the beginning of their dating life. But now, to think of it, Erik never said anything more than being an actor and Charles never asked. He never asked if he was a celebrity or if he won any awards for his performances. He thought that Erik never elaborated his career because he never made his big debut, yet, and that made sense for Charles.

But he was there on that huge screen, still talking in that Southern accent and still looking like the man Charles was hopelessly in love with.

He needed a breath of fresh air, so he stood up, almost stumbling over Raven's legs in his haste to get the hell our of the room.

The air was cold and biting, and he regretted not staying long enough to take his jacket as well, but it also helped clear his mind. Yes, fresh air, that's what he needed.

"Charles?" Raven called out "What's the matter, are you okay?"

Holy shit, he thought, where do I even begin?

"Why did you leave like that?" she pressed, putting his jacket on his shoulders. Charles slipped his arms in it, looking at Raven's worried face.

"Would you believe me if I told you?"

She looked surprised by his question, but nodded, a cue for him to continue:

"That actor on the screen. Erik..."

"Lehnsherr, yeah. Did you get a hard-on by looking at him?" she couldn't help but tease.

"No... I'm... I'm sort of dating him?" he asked unsure, cringing at his own words.

Raven frowned, putting two and two together, before she burst out laughing.

"Sure, Charles. Whatever. Are you a closeted fan? Do you write Mr. Charles Lehnsherr on your notebooks like in middle school?"

"I'm serious!" Charles snapped, pulling out his phone to show her the most recent picture Charles has taken of them. It was a selfie they took in bed, both of them wearing huge smiles on their faces, looking messy but incredibly happy. By the way Raven's eyes widened she recognized the sheets on his bed, and the rest of the room that got in the picture.

"That's Erik Lehnsherr."

"Yes."

"In your bed with you."

"Yup."

"Charles, what the fuck!"

"What?"

"Why didn't you tell me that you were dating the Erik Lehnsherr?"

"Uh, because I didn't fucking know?!" he replied, a bit hysterical, taking his phone back.

"How could you not know?"

"He introduced himself as Erik Eisenhardt, he told me that he was an actor but that's pretty much it."

And suddenly everything else made sense.

Why Erik was wearing his hood up like a creeper in the club, the night they met.

Why he would preffer high-standard restaurants. Why he sometimes dressed like the shabbiest person in the world and why he preferred to go out to take a walk in secluded places, or at night when not many people were out in the streets.

Because he was afraid he might be recognized.

Because he didn't want Charles to know that he was a celebrity.

All of this because Charles didn't actually recognized him the first time they've met.

"I'm going to kill him." he said with a finality that made Raven jerk in surprise.

"You're going to see him, aren't you?" she muttered, apparently amused by this.

"Damn right I am." he replied back, flagging down a taxi.

Erik had some explaining to do.

 


It was raining heavily when Charles got in front of Erik's building, paying the cabbie quick and rushing inside, past the doorman that greeted him with a smile and a small wave. He had to wait an eternity for the elevator, but there was no way in hell he would climb the steps to the seventh floor. He needed to hear Erik's explanation, but not so badly that he'd move his ass and jog up the stairs like a half-crazed guy from the movies.

Plus, he thought, climbing inside the elevator and wrapping his arms around himself to warm his body, he could torture Erik a little bit, make him realize gradually that Charles knew about his boyfriend's occupation. He wasn't mad, that would be a pretty idiotic reason to get angry, and he could totally understand where was Erik coming from. From what he gathered from Raven, his boyfriend was a A-list actor, with lots of fans, most probably, and a mile of papparazzi waiting to capture a wrong move. Charles was thinking how relieved his boyfriend must have been when he didn't recognize him as the celebrity he was.

Erik was a private person, it took some time for him to open up completely to Charles.

Well... not completely, but still.

The elevator doors opened with a bing, and Charles sprinted across the hall to knock at Erik's door. He heard grumbling from the other side and Erik's heavy footsteps coming closer before the door swung open with a what?!

"Schatz?" the boyfriend asked confused before his face broke into a huge smile. He stepped outside, enveloping Charles in a hug.
Despite his thoughts from earlier and his mild-annoyance that Erik never told him about his success, Charles found himself smiling, snuggling closer into his boyfriend's embrace.

"Hi." Charles muttered, his word muffled by Erik's sweater.

"What are you doing here?" the other asked excitedly, letting go just to pull Charles inside his apartment where it was warm and cozy.

"I wanted to see you, if that's alright."

"Of course it's alright, I'm just surprised!" Erik said, ruffling Charles' hair before he took in the state of his semi-wet clothes. "Let me get you something dry, you'll catch a cold."

He was gone in a second, Charles could hear him rummaging through his closet before he returned a moment later with sweatpants and a washed-out hoodie.

"I'm making you a cup of tea." his boyfriend announced, letting Charles change in peace before he joined him in the kitchen.

"How's Raven? Did you enjoy the movie?"

"Raven's fine. I think she went back inside to watch the whole movie."

"Oh, you didn't?" Erik asked laughing, leaving the kettle on the stove for the water to boil and going to gather Charles in his arms once again. He pressed soft kisses all over his face, making the other man giggle with delight.

"Nah, I came here."

"Was the movie that bad? You told me that Raven's been waiting since forever to see it."

"From what I've seen it was absolutely fantastic."

"What movie was anyway?"

"12 years a slave." Charles replied, trying to stifle his laughter when he felt Erik freeze like a deer caught in the headlights. Only this time it was a A-list actor caught in the arms of a genetics professor.

"Oh..." Erik muttered, letting go of Charles to check on the water that was starting to boil. "What kind of tea do you want?"

"Peppermint, please. Have you watched this movie?"

Erik made a weird noise in the back of his throat, before nodding his head almost too fast for Charles to see. The professor grinned, climbing on the little island from the kitchen. His boyfriend still wasn't looking at him, only stole a glance when he delivered the tea before starting to make himself hot chocolate.

"How was it?" Erik asked in a small voice.

"Great, I told you. I liked the characters. The story-line." he paused and smirked behind Erik's back. " The actors, they were fantastic." 

Erik dropped his spoon before turning towards Charles with a sheepish look on his face. 

"You know." he started simply, rubbing at the back of his neck.

"That you're the Erik Lehnsherr? Yes, I do. I almost didn't recognize you on that big screen. With that beard and that accent."

Erik squinted his eyes at him.

"You're not angry?"

"Why would I be angry?"

"Because I lied to you..."

"Yeah well, if I were in your shoes I would have done the same. Raven tells me you were nominated for an Oscar for that performance." Erik blushed, nodding his head. "So you're probably a big deal at Hollywood, it must have been somewhat refreshing when we've met and I didn't cause a scene."

"It was." Erik whispered.

Charles put down his tea and opened his arms, mentioning for Erik to come closer. He pulled him in a hug, forcefully, latching onto Erik with both his arms and his legs, rubbing his palms over his back. He could never be angry with Erik, not with something that involved such a serious thing. Even if he wasn't a famous person, he understood his boyfriend completely.

"I love you." Charles whispered simply, making Erik breathe in deeply.

"I love you too. Thank you for understanding me."

Charles laughed, cupping Erik's face with his hands and kissing him briefly.

"Nice to finally meet you, Erik Lehnsherr."

"Always a pleasure, Schatz."