Title: A Lifetime of Kisses
Rating:Mild R
Summary:Erik remembered every kiss in his life, from his first, to his very last.

A Lifetime of Kisses

Erik remembered every kiss in his life.

The first began of course, with his mother. Earlier, happier times, of warm lips pressed to his cheek, a warm motherly smile brightening the day, and warm arms engulfing his small frame. Everything was warm, the kisses were of love and protection, of a time living peacefully and unhindered by war.

"My love, my little Erik."

But no kiss held more love and protection than the one pressed to his temple on the day the Nazi's came, a still warm but now trembling hand grasping his own tightly.

There were no smiles now, no warmth as his mother was ripped away from him in the freezing rain.

He thought he had another chance, for those small few seconds in time as his mother was brought into Schmidt's office, her now rough and cold hands cupping his face, her cracked worn lips forming the most beautiful smile, a hug, so brief, so loving, but ripped away once again before she had a chance to kiss his forehead.

He never got to feel his mother's lips against his skin again, to feel the love pour through them, to feel with that one gesture how everything would be all right, how nothing in the entire world could ever hurt him. To feel protected.

But the smile was gone, the lips still where she now lay on the floor.

He never felt protected now.

He still received kisses to the forehead, but not from her. They had been replaced, replaced by the dry thin lips of Schmidt, of false love, of a love for his mutant abilities, not for him. Hours upon hours of experiments, of pain, of closing his eyes tightly shut and trying to remember the warmth he once felt, the fatherly grin, the motherly smile, and not of the bile that rose in his throat when Schmidt would kiss his forehead. Kissing him saying how brilliant he was, how strong he was, how they would change the world together.

"I love you so very much, my little Erik."

Restrained against that cold hard table, tear tracks down his cheeks from the pain, fear making his body tremble. This was not love.

This was darkness.

As he grew, years later, in his search for Schmidt and the other Nazi's that stole his life, Erik's body had its own urges for the touch of another. It was normal. He was only human after all. An ironic saying really.

His mind was focused on finding Schmidt, but every now and then he indulged his body in the pleasure of another. It didn't matter what gender, because it wasn't important. They were just there to rid him of this biological urge so he could move on with his search, his reason for being alive. He barely remembered their lips, whether soft and supple, or hard and demanding, they all blurred together as one. None of them were important. Warm perhaps, but not important.

But then came Charles.

He'd never seen a man with such naturally red lips before; they were almost mesmerising to watch. Drawn up in that quirky smile, pressed together in concentration as those aqua eyes would scan over their game of chess, glistening with beer from his glass before that pink tongue would dart out across them to wipe them clean.

Charles had been drunk when he had first kissed Erik.

He was leaning heavily against him as he stared bleary eyed up into Erik's own far more sober eyes. Charles was smiling, grinning almost, celebrating the fact their search for fellow mutants was going so well. Without a word Charles had leant up and pressed those red lips to Erik's, still and unmoving, more leaning on him and not having the energy to move. It wasn't exactly the most erotic of kisses. He hiccupped half way through, collapsing into giggles onto Erik's shoulder, whispering something along the lines of:

"I think I like you Erik."

Erik stayed with him in the same bed that night, in the hotel room they'd booked in Georgia. Nothing sexual, he wasn't going to take advantage of his one and only friend while the man was evidently half-dead with alcohol, snoring softly against him. Both were still fully clothed, but they slept anyway.

When the morning came and Charles' hangover pounded the memory of kissing Erik back to the front of his mind, Charles had lay there on the bed feeling incredibly awkward. Erik was still laying next to him, staring down at him now with an amused smirk to his own lips, watching as the realisation of what he'd done cross Charles' face. Charles tried to apologise, smiling and laughing nervously at the things he did when drunk, but Erik didn't want him to say he was sorry. He leant down, pressing his lips to Charles' to shut him up.

He tasted of stale beer and morning, but that didn't matter, because it was Charles, it was his red lips, and they were perfect.

The kisses that followed in those next months, it wasn't a motherly feeling, it wasn't a one-night-stand where the kisses meant nothing, this…this was an entirely new feeling, one he had never experienced. His heart had never beat as fast as it did when kissing Charles Xavier. This wasn't just a body to use once and discard, this was a body, a soul, a mind, that for the first time made Erik want to be gentle, to run his fingers through those soft locks, across the pale skin, across those red lips that spoke of calm and peace and;

"I love you Erik".

Those forever rosy lips, ghosting across his skin, sending shivers of pleasure and need running through Erik's veins. Those lips would press against the tattoo on his wrist as if the very act itself would remove it. The tattoo was a mark of ownership; the kisses were a mark of ownership.

Erik loved the kisses.

Every word, every breath that fell from those lips drove a hunger so fierce Erik almost felt himself lose control. Charles was the most exquisite person he'd ever met; he gave him a love he never once thought he would experience. The parental kisses were gone, the false love from Schmidt was gone, the frequently shared and equally meaningless love from strangers was gone. All Erik could see was Charles. All Erik could see was those lips.

But he kissed Raven. It was only the once, but she needed to see how perfect she was in her blue form. It was how she should be, she needed to know someone could want her in that form, to prove to her that hiding was wrong, that self-acceptance was everything, and that no matter what Charles said about hiding in that dull human skin, Raven was perfection.

She represented the mutants he knew were everywhere, hiding in plain sight, afraid of the humans, when it should be the humans afraid of them. Charles would disagree. He always disagreed, but somehow, that just made him more attractive. Erik was constantly challenged by the person he loved; it was a game, a chess game, which mind would convince the other first about their ideals.

Still, no matter how perfect Raven was, it was only those red lips that he ever wanted. The lips that would press so softly against his own, the caring gentle Charles that was equally shared with the passionate demanding Charles. Those lips would be starved for attention, and Erik would feed them, kissing them deeply and just as hungrily, two sets of hands fumbling quickly with each other's clothes, trails on the floor as they found whatever happened to be the nearest horizontal surface. The gasps that would fall from those lips, oh the words, words no one but Erik ever got to hear. Those lips would be on fire, not warm, but searing hot, just like the skin beneath him. Two bodies melding together, lips panting against each other, gasps and cries and the shout of Erik's name before a silent scream, that searing hot body arching beneath him, head thrown back, the heat on Charles' cheeks making them almost as red as his lips.

Every time it would always be over too soon, every time was not enough, every time he would press those kiss-swollen lips to his own harder and deeper, not wanting this burning heat to disappear, not wanting the body and soul and mind beneath him to cool.

Charles was the love of his life.

He wanted him by his side for the rest of time.

Surely deep down, despite the differences, they wanted the same thing.

"I'm sorry my friend, but we do not."

The heart Charles had given him broke at those words. Those red lips were trembling, was it the pain of the bullet? Was that single tear an escape for the white hot streak of agony in his back? No.

Because Charles never cried unless it was for Erik.

Those rosy lips were pursed together, holding back more tears for the man cradling him in his arms. Erik was numb, barely any recognisable expression on his face. Those lips that had said nothing but kindness and encouragement, that had shown him nothing but love and affection, had ripped it all away using only eight words.

He gestured to Moira. He looked to Raven and those with his same ideals. He left.

He never got to kiss his mother goodbye.

He never got to kiss Charles goodbye.

But no…no, not this time. He would not go through this again; he would not lose someone he loved without at least saying goodbye. His one brief chance with his mother for a final kiss had not come to pass, those guards tearing her away from him. But there were no guards here, no one to rip Charles away from him at the last moment.

Erik was in charge.

He went back to the mansion several months later. Dark and silent, a wheelchair by the side of the bed, Charles' new lower ground bedroom a little smaller than the one they'd spent so many nights together in. Charles was asleep, and even in the dark his lips stood out, lying on his back, evidently more comfortable than trying to move his immobile legs to another position on his side.

Erik had wondered all this time if Charles could still be in love with him. He doubted it, he was the one to cripple him after all, something Erik would never forgive himself for. Charles didn't need to be awake for this, he didn't want to know if he hated him now, he didn't think he could stand to know. Ever so slowly Erik removed his helmet, holding it in one hand as he quietly leant over Charles' sleeping form.

Never had he given such a soft kiss, never had he been more gentle, never had he even known the word delicate was in his vocabulary, but that's just what this kiss was. He didn't want to wake him, this was how it should be, and yet never more than in that moment had he wanted to just throw his ideals away, to forget everything that had happened, to crawl into that bed and deepen that kiss, and never stop kissing him.

"Goodbye…my Charles."

Barely a whisper, barely a sound, barely a brush of lips against lips, yet those words etched themselves onto Charles' skin; at least Erik liked to think so.

He'd done what he came here to do, he'd had his chance, he'd said his goodbye. He held the helmet back above his head.

/Goodbye, my Erik./

Erik looked back down. Those red lips hadn't spoken, that chest still rose and fell slowly, those eyes remained closed. Was Charles awake? Or was he hearing things? He watched, perfectly still, helmet still poised above his head. He watched, as for the briefest of moments, the tiniest of movements happened at the corner of those lips. A hitch, gone the moment it came, the very hint of a smile.

Erik placed his helmet back on. His heart elated. His throat constricting.

He left.

Not once did he ever kiss anyone again, because it was only those red lips, the ones that it seemed would always love him, despite knowing they would always be apart, that matched so perfectly to his own.

The End