It had started out innocently enough: a few extra banknotes slipped into Sean's hand for a midnight pizza order; a bottle of his own whisky because the kids weren't permitted to leave the property and so couldn't get their own - and Charles would have been apoplectic if he'd walked in on the sort of drinking games they liked to play.
Before Erik knew it, he found himself bundling the debris of some nameless antiques into the bottom of the trash - never to be seen again - after Alex had come to him, too anxious to face Charles' disappointment.
"Thanks a million, man," Alex had blurted thankfully on that occasion. "Charles would've killed me."
Erik had rolled his eyes but refrained from asking why me?
The truth was he already knew, although he didn't like to admit it to himself. Telepath he certainly was not, but you'd have to be a fool to miss the way the kids looked up to and respected Charles as a leader. The man was just…honourable. He managed to be nurturing while pushing everyone to the limits of their abilities in the interests of bettering oneself.
Erik knew he was nothing like that. The kids had feared him at first, he knew - and he'd liked it that way. They were insidious, though; they'd wormed their way into his life as he watched them train and struggle and bond. He cared about them; God help him but he did. He didn't know how to show it, though, and of course they'd sensed that somehow - damned intuitive children - and they'd started coming to him with questions and requests they would never have taken to Charles, knowing he would come through.
"…Erik?" Hank peeked around the doorframe, sounding sheepish. Erik looked up from his book, sighed, and waved the kid in.
"What is it this time?" Erik tried for an aura of annoyance, and cursed himself when he couldn't keep a fond tone from softening the question. It seemed to bolster Hank's confidence anyway, as the kid stepped forward and shoved his hands into his jean pockets nervously.
"Uh…it's Alex, but…well, it's probably better if you just come see for yourself."
Erik opened his mouth to demand something more than that, but Hank had already turned and retreated, leaving Erik no choice but to grumble to himself, set the book aside, and follow.
Hank led him out a side door towards the mansion's stand-alone garage, and as they approached, Erik's stomach began to sink. There were a number of expensive cars housed in there, classic as well as new, and among them, Charles' favourite: a 1948 Jaguar XK - a beautifully slim-lined, silver-coloured sportscar kept in immaculate condition.
They rounded a corner and Erik saw the problem immediately: two of the cars had been parked on the pavement leading up to the garage as repairs were going on. Naturally, one of them was Charles' beloved Jaguar; and naturally, it was the one with the ripped fender and singed hood cover. Alex was standing next to it, anxiously chewing at a hangnail and staring intently at the car as though he was trying to wish it better.
"We weren't even anywhere near it," he hastened to explain, as Hank and Erik walked up, "we were over there in the field, because we -" and a shifty glance at Hank told Erik it had really been all Alex's ridiculous idea, "- we were testing out the suit in a different environment, you know, and it just got out of control, and some wind…"
He trailed off at the look on Erik's face as the older man circled the car slowly, taking in the damage.
"This is Charles' favourite car," he finally said.
"We know," replied Hank, morosely.
"That's why we came to you first," Alex put in. "We thought, maybe, you could help us? So Charles won't find out?"
Erik rolled his eyes; something he was becoming quite proficient at these days. "I can fix the fender, and the other…assorted dents. But the scorching? That you'll have to come clean with."
It was simple enough to raise his fingers and mend the bent and twisted metal back into its proper place. He left them, discussing how best to tell Charles about the rest, and headed back up to the house.
Erik was sipping at a glass of scotch when Charles entered the study, carefully closed the heavy oak door, and took a seat in the armchair facing him. Erik took a long moment to stare into the amber liquid, tilting the glass this way and that between his fingers, before resting it on the chair's wide leather arm and looking up, finally meeting the gaze Charles had been leveling at him since he walked in.
"We need to talk, Erik."
Charles' voice was earnest but firm, and Erik decided maybe he'd save the obvious breakup joke for later.
"I'm sorry about the car," was what he finally said, "I fixed her up as much as I could."
"I'm aware," Charles responded dryly. "And I appreciate your efforts, but that is not precisely why we're having this chat."
Erik steepled his fingers under his chin and peered intently at Charles, waiting.
"My friend," Charles finally began, "we, as the eldest - and, actually, the ones responsible for these remarkable young people - have a duty to provide an example that they can aspire to."
Erik groaned. He felt a speech coming on, and the fibers of his turtleneck had suddenly become itchy and hot, irritating his neck. "Charles, really, do we need to do this now?" he asked plaintively. "I was enjoying a peaceful drink. Perhaps it's Alex and Hank you should be talking to…"
"I've already spoken with them," Charles interrupted. "I also took a quick peek into Alex's mind and confirmed my suspicions that you have been giving them a helping hand in a number of little forays into irresponsibility."
As Erik scowled, Charles eased himself out of the chair and began pacing thoughtfully, making a slow half-circle of the room. Erik sipped at his drink cautiously and watched - wishing, and not for the first time around the enigma that was Charles Xavier, that he could just have the minutest trace of telepathy, in order to turn the tables and for once know just what on earth the man was thinking.
"I think," continued Charles at length, "you know full well how I feel about you doing these things. Yet I also understand why you do it, and I wouldn't think for a minute to ask you to stop." He stopped, smiled briefly at Erik. "You wouldn't be able to keep from indulging them for long. I don't need to feel it in your mind; it's plain to see how you care for them."
"Well, that's a relief," Erik muttered wryly. "So if you know, and aren't planning on asking me to stop, what happens next?"
"I thought I would demonstrate the principle of indulgence, and perhaps, if we're lucky, you'll come to your own realizations on the benefits and dangers thereof."
"What the hell are you on about, Charles?" Erik was well and truly confused, not a little bit wary, and was starting to flush uncontrollably on account of his turtleneck's increasingly constricting grip. Embarrassed, he took a gulp of his drink and set it down on the table, reaching up to adjust his sweater.
Charles had circled far enough that he stood behind Erik's chair and out of sight. When he reached down and placed his hands on Erik's shoulder, the man jumped slightly, and Charles grinned to himself in satisfaction.
"It's quite simple," he explained, squeezing Erik's shoulders gently. "I'd like you to place your hands on the chair's armrests. Further, you're not to remove them unless I explicitly ask you to. Do you understand?"
"You're a kinky bastard," Erik can't help but declare in awe. It takes him a second to notice that even though he was trying to make light of Charles' request, his fingers had wrapped around the armrests, gripping firmly, and his stomach flipped nervously as he sat still and straight. He wasn't used to this new, powerfully in charge side of Charles; despite his sudden anxiety, he felt a thrill of excitement.
Charles ignored him anyway, and spent a few moments massaging Erik's shoulders with his thumbs; watching as he noticeably relaxed. He expanded his movements down over Erik's collarbones, drawing concentric circles through the fabric of Erik's turtleneck in slow movements that eventually spread across Erik's chest.
"You're quiet," Charles remarked eventually, drawing his hands back up and patting Erik on the shoulder before stepping away and circling back to reclaim his seat across from his friend.
"You're telling me not to move and lovingly caressing my upper body," Erik replied with a smirk. "Thought I'd enjoy it while it lasted."
"Mmm," Charles agreed, "You're always so tense. I wanted to make sure you're relaxed."
"Relaxed for what?"
Charles leaned forward, his gaze so intent that Erik shifted uncomfortably beneath his gaze, feeling like a specimen under observation.
"What are you feeling right now, Erik?"
Erik frowned. "You're a bloody telepath, Charles, you know exactly what I'm feeling."
Charles grinned. "But I want you to tell me."
As Charles spoke, Erik felt tendrils of a presence touching his mind, and knew that he was meant to feel them - a silent message that Charles was listening in, and would know if he lied or omitted anything.
He shivered, even though the room was remarkably warm. "I'm feeling…well, rather naked, actually. I'm feeling cornered and trapped but it's exciting, and I want to see where you're going with this. And - but damn it, Charles, you can feel all this anyway - I am incredibly horny. This turtleneck's far too hot and I think I might be slightly drunk."
"Take your shirt off, then," was Charles' only response. He smirked as Erik was quick to obey, throwing the offending garment to the side, and rested his chin on his hand to gaze appreciatively at the flush spreading across Erik's skin. "Aren't you going to say 'thank you'?" he asked, finally.
Erik's discomfort and uncertainty was delicious. "Thank you," he muttered hesitantly, and licked his lips.
Charles drummed his fingers against his chin and looked Erik up and down. "Would you like to take anything else off?" When Erik hesitated, Charles continued: "Your pants, perhaps? Yes…I think you'd like that." Then, raising a finger in warning before Erik could react, "Remember to ask permission."
Erik stood, slowly, his eyes locked on Charles'. He seemed to be getting a hang of the situation, the telepath thought pleasantly, feeling a flare of playful defiance from the man's mind. Erik stepped forward, as close as he dared without a direct invitation, cocked his head to the side and tucked his thumbs behind his belt demonstratively.
"May I?" he asked, a daring smile dancing in his eyes that caused Charles to shift in his seat as his growing erection made itself known. Knowing he could bring out the submissive in Erik was one thing, but it was these small bursts of his typical arrogance and brashness that made it so truly rewarding.
Charles nodded, and watched as Erik deftly removed his belt and stepped out of his pants. His hands dangled awkwardly at his sides as he stood, clad only in a pair of black cotton briefs.
He licked his lips and thanked Charles again, unbidden. That brought a grin to Charles' lips; he got to his feet to stand before Erik. Wordlessly, he reached out and stroked Erik's nipple with the pad of his thumb: it stood stiffly at attention, and he gave it an experimental pinch between his fingers.
Erik hissed, but didn't move. He was suddenly very conscious of the way his cock was straining visibly against the fabric of his briefs.
Charles reached for Erik's chin, gripping it firmly and turning his face left, where an opulent walnut desk stood. "Your choice: desk, or - " and Erik allowed his gaze to be redirected to the far side of the room, " - bookshelf." The bookshelf was long and low, ending just below hip level, and was topped with a scattered assortment of framed photographs, tumblrs of scotch, and small figurines.
"Desk," said Erik, without hesitation.
"Impeccable taste, my friend. Let's get you over there, bending over, if you don't mind."
For a moment Erik just stared at Charles with a quiet intensity, as though he was considering an alternate course of action, but Charles returned the gaze calmly and finally Erik relented. In a few long strides, he reached the desk and bent, stiffly, to place splayed palms on the desk's unyielding wooden surface.
Charles approached from behind, and placed a soothing hand on the small of Erik's back as though to calm a nervous stallion. His other hand reached around and cupped Erik's telltale bulge, squeezing reassuringly. Erik responded with a strangled grunt.
"Charles…" he began, barely louder than a whisper.
"Shh." Charles moved his hands to Erik's hips and tugged gently at the briefs, pulling them down slowly so that Erik was completely naked. Cupping his ass in both hands, Charles pressed on, "Spread your legs for me, Erik."
"Charles…" Erik's voice was strained this time, wracked with increasing desperation. Nevertheless, he found himself spreading his legs, unable to keep from arching his back a bit to press his ass more firmly against Charles' grip.
Charles responded by spreading Erik's cheeks and bending down so that Erik could feel his breath hot on his skin.
"Stay still for me, Erik," he said. "Can you do that?"
"I hate you," Erik moaned, letting his head hang down between his shoulders weakly.
"I'll take that as a yes." With that, Charles' tongue flickered out and Erik moaned at the sudden wetness as Charles worked his tongue, mercilessly teasing all around his tight hole. Erik trembled, cursing, but managed to stay still through Charles' thorough exploration.
Charles finally backed off, patted his ass reassuringly, and stepped around the desk so they were face-to-face, Erik craning his neck slightly to look up with a strange mixture of wariness and need.
"You're doing very well," Charles murmured.
"Charles, I want…"
"I know what you want. Be patient, my friend."
Charles ran his fingers through Erik's hair contemplatively for a moment. Then, grasping tightly, he pulled back and watched as Erik's eyes widened and his breath hitched in his throat.
Holding him firmly in place, Charles bent and pressed a kiss to Erik's lips; deceptively tender and soft, he tasted his fill, unable to stop the moan slipping out when Erik responded with furious passion. The man was perfect, glorious in his nakedness and his raw desire and beautiful submission.
Charles told him so after he broke the kiss, confessing all the adoration he knew Erik had sensed but had never heard put into words. As he spoke, he withdrew a blindfold from his pocket, soothing Erik with his speech while obscuring his sight.
Erik balked a bit at that, shaking his head irritably after Charles tied off the blindfold.
"What are you doing?"
"Just trust me. You do trust me, don't you?"
Erik bit his lip and gave a jerky nod.
"Good." And then Charles moved quickly, because even though Erik was blindfolded it didn't take the man long to realize that Charles was binding his wrists with lengths of thick rope - hempen rope which was firmly attached to the desk's wooden legs. His ankles were soon similarly tied; no metal in sight.
It didn't take long for Erik to panic. "What the hell, Charles -"
Charles stroked his cheek and sent him a mental wave of calm. "Remember what I said when we started. There's a lesson here, Erik. I'll leave you to consider what that might be; don't worry, though, I'll be back eventually. And maybe if you ask nicely, we can finish what we started."
Erik strained his neck around helplessly, straining to see through the blindfold's unyielding fabric. He suddenly became intensely, aware of his neglected erection and his complete inability to do anything about it.
"Charles? You can't do this! …Charles!"
By the time Charles returned, Erik had decided he had learned a lesson, and was more than willing to let Charles finish what he'd started.
He didn't even complain when the blindfold stayed on.