A Basement Gym: The Small Hours




Erik's chin reaches the bar with ease, as if he were standing on tip toe. His triceps bulge with the effort and it burns. Pleasantly. Sometimes the CIA sponsored a place with a gym and sometimes not. He wonders if Charles notices how parallel this circumstance is to his mood.



Charles. Erik pauses, and swings his legs up so that they are perpendicular to his trunk, feeling the slithering heat in his abs as he holds them taught. His heartbeat quickens.

The telepath had been sleeping for two hours now. He knew this, because he'd seen the long brown eyelashes flutter, then fall, flutter, and then fall for longer in his peripheral vision as their owner fought a valiant battle with boredom and fatigue over fresh genetic publications. At least, that's what he thought he'd said...Erik had been…distracted.

By the blue eyes.
And the tweedy trousers.
The parted lips.
The hair.


Erik grunts out the nice round number and drops to the mat below, feeling flushed but not from the exercise. He runs a hand through his hair to straighten it, then leans against the wall and nurses a water bottle, not really thirsty…but loath to go back upstairs.

This hotel had a gym…and their room had one king sized bed.

They'd laughed about it when they saw, Charles putting forth his tremulous little chuckle and raising one eyebrow before flopping down with his duffel and digging through for an unhealthily large pile of books. "I hope you're not one to steal the covers; my feet are like blocks of ice!" It had been cavalier …casual.

But then they'd both chosen their sides, and stayed as far on either end as possible. They spoke, joked, were companionable…but never looked at each other straight. And then he'd gone to sleep. Above the covers. In all his silly clothes.

Erik runs a towel along the back of his neck, and crushes the plastic between his palms.

It's not that he was shy. In rare moments of reflection, (when a small victory or a sudden surge of manic energy gave him the courage), Erik knew he was a natural extrovert. A flirt even, like his father…but he was not his father. He had not even managed to keep his family name.

He was Erik Lehnsherr, created by Schmitt, forged anew in pain, molded from steel, run by gears like clockwork. Erik did not have friends. He had marks. He fucked, but did not have "lovers." There was no "sexual tension," because when he wanted something, or someone, he took it-…them. And that was that.

Erik stands, and arches his back in a long, languid stretch, hoping this will resolve the kinks in the shoulder blades. He tries not to think of soft white fingers folded delicately across a cardigan-clad stomach, and just how apt they would be for the purpose. He tries to tell himself that when he does go upstairs, he will sleep, and if he can't, he'll shake Charles awake and force those red lips to accept a bruising kiss…and the rest of it. He tries to believe that, should the gears turn that direction, the tension will be gone, and the other man's rage…his pain, (or his pleasure. Erik isn't sure…) will not matter to him.

He tries.
He fails.
And the next morning, when Charles Xavier asks about the dark circles under his eyes, he lies and makes sure he sounds pleasant doing so. The telepath liked to worry.