Title: Of Chess and Wine
Fandom: X-Men First Class
Rating: Mild R I think, nothing too heavy.
Over one of their many games of chess, Erik ponders what exactly it is about Charles that makes him want to never leave his side. Set some-when during them finding mutants.

Of Chess and Wine

The rich smell of red wine was in the air as two familiar souls once again sat poised in opposition, one dark brow furrowed in concentration over the carved wooden black chess pieces situated in front of him, the other leaning back casually in the soft cushioned chocolate brown armchair, one leg crossed over the other, a large glass of red wine held in his hand like a whiskey glass.

Charles swirled the contents of his glass, his pale blue eyes flitting from his opponent to the wine and back again. With a rather cheeky flare in those eyes, he slowly and as casually as possible, raised his free hand to his temple.

"Keep your hands where I can see them Charles," Erik stated, not moving his eyes from the Knight he had now decided to pick up.

"I have an itch." Charles stated innocently after a short pause, two fingers poised barely an inch from his temple, causing a flicker of dark yet amused eyes to look up at him, before Erik took the Knight and placed it it's few squares up and to the left. Erik leant back in his chair, a brother of the one opposite, and fixed Charles with a look of complete and utter mistrust. The hint of a smile tugging at the corner of his mouth however did lessen the effect.

Charles' own smirk grew wider, before placing only one finger to his temple and scratching, his own stare fixed on Erik trying to cast an absolute innocent truth that really, he was only going to scratch his head.


"If you're trying to cheat at least I know I'm winning." Erik replied to Charles' innocent stare, a stare that he didn't buy for one minute.

Charles' smile turned into a juvenile grin, and he hurriedly placed the wine glass on the small side table beside him, uncrossed his legs and leant forward over the chessboard, an eager glint in his eyes.

Erik had been about to reach for his own, considerably more full, glass of wine when he stopped for a moment at the joy emanating from the blues eyes in front of him. The light from the large fireplace flickered in Charles' eyes as they roamed over the board, and Erik could practically see the calculations whizzing through them for future moves.

It was in quiet moments like these, where the students were in bed, the rush and hard work of training for the day was over, and where no radios or televisions bothered their minds with political issues, that Erik's mind always came to rest upon Charles. His mind always seemed to be on Charles when it wasn't filled with everything else going on his life…with Shaw. It was so strange, to have found this small adorable little light, when all his life he'd only known of the terror and darkness that Shaw had brought him. He wondered how and when Charles had become such a large part of his soul, of his own mind, and how such a pampered little rich boy could ever have become the most endearing person to him in his life. How could someone who had barely known any true hardship at all have connected so fully, so completely, with a tortured soul like Erik's? Why didn't Charles annoy him? Sure they had their differences, opinions of the world and the way it treats mutants were extremely divided, but yet he still did not hate him. He couldn't hate him. For all the ways in which Charles tries to get him to see the world how he sees it, to be part of something Erik feels is wrong, it never annoys him.

Erik found himself silently chuckling at a thought that just passed through his mind, taking a large sip of the wine from his glass. Perhaps it was the wine talking, but Erik had come to the conclusion that Charles had another mutation that he wasn't even aware he possessed. At least, he assumed it had to be a mutation, because Erik had never met anyone quite like Charles, someone who was loved by everyone, and in turn loved everyone else. He had to have a mutation that made him instantly likable to every other person on the planet.

The pub landlord for example, where the occasional evening was flitted away in ales and whiskeys amongst the two friends, seemed to go out of his way to ensure Charles got the faster service, greeting him with a wide grin and friendly welcome every time they entered the building. The mailman, who had probably barely spoken four words to Charles pass "Have a nice day", always waved if he happened to see him, that same friendly grin on his face. Even random people on the street seemed to have a simpering look in their eyes as Charles would walk past them, noticed especially when the two of them were out locating fellow mutants, Charles concentrating on finding them and oblivious, or at least appeared to be oblivious, to the girls giggling and looking back over their shoulders at him.

Charles was a man indulged in all the good sides of life, ignorant to the perfect world that has always surrounded him, and yet here Erik was, sitting in this huge decorated living room in this huge old mansion, large hot flames licking up the chimney beside them, the half moon shining brightly through the yet curtain-drawn windows, playing chess with a man who by all rights he should detest. So really, there was no other reason than a yet undiscovered mutation.

Charles Xavier, the man the world couldn't help but love.

"You have that look in your eyes again." Charles said warmly, picking up his wine glass and returning to his cross-legged, casual position.

"And what look might that be?" Erik inquired, his own eyes now hovering over the Bishop that had just taken one of his pawns.

"The look that says if you could read minds, you'd be reading mine like a book right now."

Erik glanced up at him, eyes hovering there for a minute drinking in the tousled hair from the days training, the white shirt with the top button un-done, and the open cardigan now falling loosely over his right shoulder, apparently gone unnoticed by the slowly turning drunk Charles, if the redness to his cheeks was anything to go by.

The already warm room felt just that little bit warmer.

"And what would I find in there if I could read your mind?" he asked, moving the same Knight to take Charles' Bishop.

Charles didn't answer for a moment, which made Erik look towards him as he picked up his own wine glass again. Charles was fixing him with a half-lidded stare, the firelight dancing off the shine on the wine glass as Charles' index finger and thumb casually moved slowly up and down the stem of the glass on the table.

Erik's eyebrows rose rather rapidly at this motion.

"Oh…lots of things...lots of things about you." Charles eventually replied, not removing his stare from Erik's eyes, before that childish grin once again came onto his lips and he ceased his sensual touching of the glass to look back down at the chessboard.

Erik quickly took a much larger gulp of wine.

He would admit that a lot of Charles' charm does come through his looks, Erik had been very serious when he had called him an adorable lab rat, and perhaps that is the initial reason to why people seem to fall for him so easily. Any gender, any age, it didn't matter, people always loved Charles at first sight. Had Erik really fallen so effortlessly for those charms like everyone else? Never in his life had he thought of anyone as a friend, and yet Charles became a constant companion barely a few hours after meeting, an ache that would swell at the thought of being apart from him, which was the main and big part of the reasoning why he didn't leave this place back then.

But it was far more than that. Perhaps the looks and mannerisms reeled people in, but there must be something else about him that made people continue to love him, made the feelings of friendship so strong and unwavering for Erik himself.

Spoilt and rich, tortured and poor, these two didn't mix. He just didn't understand what was so attractive about Charles Xavier.

"Do elaborate, I'm intrigued to know what goes on in that busy brain of yours, especially in regard to myself." Erik smiled, the most relaxed smile he could muster considering the rather interesting thoughts of how attractive Charles looked that were going through his mind.

Charles moved a pawn one space ahead, before sighing dramatically and flopping back against the chair again, his cardigan falling even further down his shoulder, "Well, for a start I believe you have one of the grooviest mutations I've come across."

Erik can't help but smile into his wine glass, "That really is your favourite word isn't it?"

Charles smiled at him, that endearing bright smile that matched the brightness in his eyes. Damn those charms. "I'm serious, had someone with your mutation appeared thousands years ago, where metal hadn't even been invented, what use would your power have had? Nature is an amazing mistress, to know what the modern world is changing in to, and giving her dominant species the ability to harness the strengths of that world. Your mutation especially shows what nature can prepare herself for, and that, yes Erik, is groovy." He tipped his wine glass towards him in gesture, a sweet smile to his lips, before tipping his head back and swallowing what little remained in it.

Erik's eyes involuntarily watched the Adam's apple bump up and down as Charles swallowed the red liquid, his throat visible and bare, right down to the triangle of skin where the shirt fell apart and the top button lay un-done.

Erik could feel a heat rise to his cheeks that had nothing to do with the wine, and he looked away down to the chess board, regaining himself, before moving a pawn of his own forward two spaces.

"Why Charles I do believe you are flirting with me." He mocked, a small smirk to his lips. That was after all just the type of line he spouts to girls in the pub.

Charles poured himself a half-glass of wine into his empty glass, that same happy smile to his lips as he watched the wine pour from the bottle, "I flirt with everyone Erik what makes you the exception?"

The comeback didn't shock Erik at all, because that was just like Charles. But to be honest, Erik could think of several reasons why he should be the exception to Charles' flirting. The main one being that when he does flirt with him, no matter how apparently innocently to anyone around them, Charles always projects straight into Erik's mind all the activities they've done together in the bedroom just to catch Erik off guard.

Exactly like what he was doing right now, as he watched Charles look at him through the corner of his smirking eyes, just as Erik's own eyes fell instantly shut, inhaling a shuddering breath at the images being produced behind his eyelids.

His bedroom, Charles', it didn't matter which, but all the nights they had spent in each other's arms flashed before him in seconds. All the memories of Charles splayed out beneath him, naked and hot and demanding, skin burning to any touch Erik would give him. Sweat dripping from his brow into his scruffy hair, those pale blue eyes darkened to almost just black pupil's, staring up at Erik with such desire, such want, yet such tenderness, a tired but excited smile to his lips at what they were sharing. The fingernails that would scrap down Erik's back, the legs that would grip around him like a vice, the groans and cries of his name that sent shivers down Erik's spine as the pale body beneath him would arch beautifully into rapture.

Charles may need to place two fingers to his temple to read minds, but he had no need for them just to project his own thoughts, and he would always project those memories, detailed and deliberate, which was a nightmare in public as it caused Erik to lose concentration for the smallest of moments and momentarily make him look like a love struck puppy wanting nothing more than to hump it's master leg.

It was not a look that Erik appreciated being thrown in to, and apparently he had that look right now, because Charles was sniggering madly at him, trying and failing to keep it quiet.

For a psychic Charles had the most awful ability at hiding his own emotions.

Or maybe that was just when he was drunk.

Erik tried to glare at him once the erotic memories had faded from his eyes, but this just made Charles giggle even harder. Erik really hoped the small twitch of a smirk wasn't visible on his lips, because he had suddenly thought that perhaps this was the reason he was so attracted to Charles. Not just the charms, not just the first ever friendship, not just the teachings of how to calm his mind and control his powers, but this, this living, this relaxing, fun and teasing, it was all something Erik had never experienced. This love Charles gave to everyone around him was intoxicating, but it was a special love he gave to Erik, the only type of love he gave to anyone.

There had been no love for Erik since his mother, and any thought of love or care for another person had been stripped away from him when she was murdered. But then in walked (or swam) Charles Xavier, taking over his life, pushing back the darkness that had consumed him for so long, giving him these moments of peace, of what a normal life should have been.

There was something else Charles always projected in those flirtatious moments. Not just the sex they had shared, but the small and gentle kisses Charles would place across his lips, cheeks and his eyes after their time together, a small endearing affection that had a calming effect on Erik far greater than the telepathic "Calm your mind". Alone with Charles like that, his gentle breathing and warmth of skin filling Erik with a need so dearly required and yet never gained till now, it just made the darkness in his soul be completely obscured by the brightness lying across him, sleeping peacefully.

There was nothing calmer than this.

That was why he was attracted to him, that was why he cared so much, that was why he loved Charles. A pampered, spoilt, rich, flirty, damn irritating as hell for all the goodness he holds in that small frame, lucky little mutant he may be, but Charles had the heart and soul of the person Erik had wished that small boy back before the camps had turned out to be.

Being close to Charles was the closet he could get to that little boy, to a life he may have had. Charles was giving him everything he had ever needed. Charles is everything he had ever needed.

Would it last? Who knew, Charles and his yet undetected mutation attracted a lot of people to his side. All Erik knew was that right now…

"It's your move." Erik said darkly as Charles seemed to give no signs of stopping giggling, staring elated and cheekily into Erik's own deadpan features, knowing exactly what he had just done to him.

The giggles eventually faded but the mischievous smile did not, and for only a brief moment did the two of them stare at each other before Charles suddenly rose from his chair, wine glass still in hand, and walked a little away from the chair before turning back to Erik.

"Where are you going?" Erik asked, suddenly bemused at Charles' walk to departure.

"You said it was my move." He said quietly, before that endearing smile returned, "I'm moving to the bedroom."

The alluringly glint in his eyes made the heat on Erik's face rise even further, and this time the smirk could not be hidden.

"Heh," Erik took his own glass and stood up from the chair, walking to Charles' side and sliding his fingers through Charles' own, "That's a good move."

The End