AN: Well, looks like I'm officially out of fanfiction retirement. Here's the inevitable Erik/Charles pairing, inspired by XMen: First Class. My priority in fanfiction is to pin down and stay true to the characters, and Erik especially is a delicious challenge in that regard. Read and review! Even if you hate it, I welcome constructive crit.

Rated M for later smut. Yeah, I do it up right yo.


Sean smiled triumphantly and folded his arms over his chest as he recited the figure, taking in the impressed gasps of his friends. The game had been Raven's idea, for outside of training and chess, there was little to do in the old-fashioned and until-recently-empty mansion, and the group of teens weren't mad for the latter like Erik and Charles. The shape shifter in question laughed a full yet feminine laugh of disbelief, and punched Sean playfully in the shoulder.

"No way. At once?"

Hank gave Sean a rueful look and pushed his glasses farther up his nose, moving unperceptively closer to Raven. "Yeah come on Sean, you're supposed to tell the truth."

The newly-christened Banshee shrugged, and downed another shot of the whiskey they had purloined from the cellar during a stretch of free time in between drills. "Swear to fish. It was an old abandoned mental ward, a little ways into the woods by my house. I broke 51 windows at once, but to be fair I had to climb a tree to get the range."

Alex, who had been doing push-ups, paused and looked up at the sonar mutant from the floor. "Hah, I bet that freak show gets you real far with the ladies."

"Only the opera singers….so yeah. Not that far."

Raven, who was well into her second screwdriver and feeling flirtatious, stretched languidly on the parlor couch and sighed. "Come on, enough of these truths, isn't someone going to dare? Someone dare me."

Sean was about to open his mouth and flat out demand that she make out with Hank already when a stern, familiar voice interrupted his thought. "I dare one of you to steal Charles's booze…oh. Wait."

The professor stepped out of the doorway and into the light. Everyone except Raven cringed, wondering inwardly how long he'd been there, for even though he was only six years older than Alex, he gave a disturbingly paternal vibe and was sort of a buzz kill. Only the shape shifter knew what an act it was, knew how hard he was trying to be a good example and a leader.

She rolled her eyes, and poured him a glass of whiskey. I love you to death, Charles, but do I really have to tell everyone about the yard of ale you downed before meeting Moira? Outwardly, her smile was sweet, angelic even. "Drink?"

The professor raised his eyebrow and accepted the glass, but did not take a sip. "Why thank you, so thoughtful. Now I highly suggest you all go and get your rest. We're practicing agility tomorrow, and I'm not going to tolerate anyone pleading hangover."

Alex sprung to his feet and gave Charles a frat-boy grin. "I don't know man, I'm feeling good. Why don't you play a round with us?"

Hank nodded and shifted awkwardly over on the couch to make room. "Yeah, truth or dare is pretty timeless, but umm, don't ever play it in the lab with a bunch of socially-starved physicists. Scary."

Charles declined the seat, electing his favorite armchair instead, and winked. "I'll mark that down. And I would, but I'm two drinks behind, at least, and otherwise engaged. Have any of you seen Erik?"

"Come now, Charles." Everyone in the room started as Erik's languid baritone sounded out from a nearby corner. The metal manipulator, who had been reading silently in a straight-backed chair obscured by the dimness and an ostentatious houseplant, stood in one graceful movement and revealed himself to the unobservant band. "We all know you don't need to see me to know that I'm here."

Charles, who had indeed sensed his friend's presence long before he'd even tread the correct hallway toward the parlor, beamed from ear to ear like a dolt, then quickly checked himself. Erik had a way of…exaggerating him. In general. "Yes well…polite to ask." He muttered, and then literally shoed his students out of the room. When he was sure they had gone (and left the alcohol), the young mutant relaxed his shoulders and let out a small, weary groan before downing his shot in one neat swig. His second smile was much more controlled.

"I'm surprised you were able to concentrate at all with that prattle going on. Truth or dare. Really."

Erik spanned the room in three long strides and took the seat across from Charles, chess board in hand. As he went about deftly setting the pieces, the telepath took the older man in, and felt a small clench in his chest area, just below the burn of the whiskey and above the fluttering in his stomach. Damn it all…

Charles Xavier had stopped dismissing Erik as "just a phase" a fortnight ago, at least. Even if he had been able to rationalize his consumptive physical attraction into simply a jealousy for the other man's strength (and the effort had been made), he could not explain away this…wound. Not the right word…but that was the word nonetheless. A chest wound…a heart wound. A yearning. Charles could not deceive that emptiness;…he could not deceive himself.


"Hm? What?"

The telepath, startled out of his reverie, responded too quickly, and bit his lip in self-reproach. The only thing within his control, at this point, was whether or not his friend discovered his embarrassing…predicament, an eventuality he was determined to prevent at all costs.

Erik leveled his hazel eyes at him; twin lasers that held him, fused with him, as surely as the fledgling cerebro. The thin, pale mouth turned slowly upward in a smirk. "I am intrigued by their game. For one thing, Raven is no bore; her sense of fun is good enough for me. Now, from what I gleaned, the premise is simple. One person asks another if they would rather answer a question under an oath of truthfulness or complete a dare the other devises. Am I right?"

Charles swallowed and folded one knee over the other in a fantastic performance of nonchalance. "Yes but it's silly! I should hope everything you say to me ordinarily is true, just as I expect you wish of me. And the dares…we're training for World War III for God's sake! If we're afraid of anything, it won't be a fear conquered on a whim in my living room."

Erik reached across the chess board and commandeered Charles's empty jigger as well as the whiskey bottle on the adjacent side table. For a brief moment, their fingers touched along the glass, and the rare physical contact sent a shudder up the young telepath's spine. His hands are so rough…

The metal manipulator poured his own drink and downed it, then poured another to sip more slowly. Those deliciously calloused fingers toyed with a black pawn as he responded, one green eye still appraising his friend. "Of course. But then, we won't be asking ordinary questions, will we? And I'm not looking to scare you with my dares, so much as amuse myself."

Charles grimaced, but it was good-natured. "You are an utter cad. But fine, why not? I always win in chess anyway."

AN: So. What questions/dares should they ask each other? :P I have some ideas/an outline obviously, but I'm open to imaginative suggestions. ; ) (Which of course, requires that you ReViEw).