It had been Charles's idea to share a room. One with double beds, thankfully. Not that he would have minded sharing a bed with Charles, but the burgeoning attraction Erik felt for Charles would have made things awkward, to say the least. He's not sure how much, if any, of it Charles's has picked up on. For a telepath, he's surprisingly oblivious. Erik isn't used to guarding his thoughts. His usual stoic demeanor had always been enough of a wall between him and the outside world, so it's strange for him to have to go further than that, to guard what he thinks as well as his expression.

Still, he can't help the surprise that flits across his face the first night of their trip when Charles casually starts stripping five minutes after they enter the room. They'd been driving for hours, putting as much distance between themselves and DC before stopping for the night and all Erik wanted to do was go to bed. He'd stepped into the bathroom to brush his teeth and emerged to find Charles with his shirt off, busy undoing his pants, a pair of pajamas laid out on the bed next to him. Erik promptly found more things to do in the bathroom until he deemed Charles decent enough.

He can tell already that the trip is going to be a test of his resolve. It's hard to resist sneaking peeks. Charles obviously doesn't mind Erik looking, otherwise he would have waited until the bathroom is free but Erik doesn't trust himself not to act on his urges. There's only two ways that would end, neither of them good. Either Charles would reject him, which would add a whole new layer of awkwardness to their trip, or he wouldn't and Erik isn't the type that can give Charles the relationship he'd eventually want.

Erik isn't the type to form attachments. He prefers one night stands in foreign cities where the other person doesn't know his real name, let alone where he'll be heading in the morning.

It's better for them both if he just buries his feelings and ignores his attraction. They won't be on the road that long. Erik can handle it.

Erik can't handle it. Charles is driving him insane. When they'd first set out, Charles had nothing planned beyond that they should go. Erik rents the car, arranges the itinerary, and books the rooms - all paid for by the government, which is a bit of a relief since Erik's finances are thin and Charles seems like the type to squander money and never hold on to it for long. Charles doesn't complain about Erik's insistence on driving, but he does impose a ridiculous amount of stops, often with only offhand explanations. Lost child. Roadwork ahead. Really good pie.

He would ask how Charles knows but the answer is obvious. He's scanning, looking for mutants and picking up an excess of nonsense in the process. Still, it's hard to complain when every place they eat is the best in town and Charles always has a card handy to foot the bill. The fact that he doesn't even look at the check before handing over his card is a bit worrisome, but Erik just assumes it's a bad habit formed by years of parental leniency and the assumption that Charles's parents, or in this case the CIA, will foot the bill.

They do find a few mutants along the way, ones they're meant to meet and ones they aren't. It's more misses than hits but by their fourth stop they've got one on the plane back to the CIA with papers and a call to Agent MacTaggert to get the boy through the front door.

When they stop for the night, Charles claims the shower. Erik takes the opportunity to change and is waiting on his bed with a book open when Charles walks out in only a towel. It's a very small towel, slung low over his hips. Charles is still mostly wet and Erik can't help but follow the progress of a few beads of water as they curl down Charles's back and disappear into the towel.

Charles has a remarkably nice ass and Erik has spent a considerable amount of their trip so far not staring at that ass.

Whatever Charles came out looking for is not in his bag, which isn't surprising since Charles is a slob and the contents of his bag are currently strewn across the room. Erik's bag sits neatly packed at his bedside, ready in case he needs to bolt at a moment's notice. Charles's bag always starts that way and then ends up exploding onto every available surface. He's mostly certain Charles isn't even conscious of the mess he makes, he just does, as if messiness is his secondary mutant power.

Erik chokes and drops his book when Charles bends over to retrieve his missing shirt from under the bed. Charles shoots him a glance but Erik has his face buried in the book as if it'd been there the whole time. His head doesn't move until Charles disappears back into the bathroom. Charles leaves the door ajar and Erik can hear the towel hit the floor as Charles goes completely nude. Erik stays frozen to his spot, aware that if he looks up, the large mirror on the opposite wall will show him part of the bathroom.

He breathes a quiet, nearly inaudible sigh of relief when Charles emerges, blessedly clothed. Erik appropriates the bathroom for himself, taking his bag with him. The water is cold when he steps in the shower, the door locked securely. He doesn't touch himself though he desperately wants to. As the chilly water washes over him he tries very hard not to think about the way the towel had clung to Charles's hips or what was hidden under it.

He's only marginally successful but the cold water succeeds where his mind fails, leaving him chilled and aching but unaroused.

He's not sure where Charles finds the travel chess set. He merely appears with it one evening, along with a bottle of high grade scotch that's of less dubious origins since their hotel shares a parking lot with a liquor store. It's an expensive scotch, one the CIA definitely didn't pay for, but Erik isn't about to question its origin or the legality under which it may have been obtained.

In retrospect, chess is a bad idea because it forces him into close proximity with Charles. Their fingers brush accidentally during setup and teardown. Each touch sends a small shiver of want up Erik's spine and then he has to sit through the entire game until he can accidentally touch Charles again. Charles promises not to cheat but even without the extra insight Charles is surprisingly good. Erik's victory is hard won and he actually has to pay attention to what he's doing, which is hard when Charles is so close.

It only makes him want Charles more. As they travel Erik begins to see more of Charles's personality. They could be equals. With Charles at his side he would be unstoppable. Those thoughts are almost more damning than his attraction because it makes him want to give in. He could make Charles love him. He could bind Charles to him and then Erik wouldn't have to leave because Charles could come with him.

He knows it'll never work but it makes his fantasies during his cold showers so much better.

Their tenth stop is a strip club where Erik spends more time fantasizing about doing Charles on the heart-shaped bed than looking at any of the ladies, including the one with fairy wings. They have more than a few drinks from the bar while talking with the young lady, who thankfully agrees to head off to DC. Erik has a firm grasp of his own tolerance for alcohol. He sips his drinks and paces himself, never letting himself get beyond a light buzz.

Charles gets trashed. It's not obvious how far gone he is until they head to the car. Inside, he'd been a bit looser, a bit happier. He'd kept leaning in and touching Erik, which should have been a sign that he needed cut off but instead it'd left Erik considerably distracted. Charles nearly falls over when they stand up to leave. Erik saves him from a brutal meeting with the floor and wisely decides not to let go until he navigates Charles to the car and has him safely fastened in the passenger seat.

Getting him into the hotel is worse, since suddenly Charles finds something utterly hilarious. Erik starts counting in German because he isn't sure whether Charles can control what he picks up at this point and now would be a really bad time for him to find out about Erik's little crush. He plans to put Charles to bed and then find another hotel room, possibly on the opposite side of town, where Charles can't hear how badly Erik wants him.

His plan lasts about five feet inside the door when Charles turns on him and presses a very wet kiss to Erik's lips. He freezes. Charles leans in to him, either from a desire to be closer or the simple inability to hold himself up. Erik's back presses against the wall and he feels completely trapped. He holds his hands out to his sides, very carefully not touching Charles as Charles molests Erik's mouth.

For a drunk, Charles is surprisingly good. His tactic shifts three times before settling on one that makes Erik weak in the knees. He trails his hands down Erik's arms to pull Erik's hands in, placing them firmly on his hips in a manner that leaves little doubt to his intentions.

"Charles," Erik tries to say. It comes out muffled.

No talking. The words appear in his head and they sound so much like Charles that he has no doubt where they came from.

We shouldn't do this, he thinks back, since his lips are busy.

Charles shifts closer and a burst of images flood through Erik's mind. The towel. The cold showers. Their fingers brushing. It'd all been on purpose and Charles knew he'd noticed. Charles knew and he'd been waiting for Erik to take advantage of the obvious invitations. Then Erik hadn't and Charles had gotten upset and when he got upset he drank and then they ended up where they are now.

Erik shouldn't. He really shouldn't because he doesn't want to ruin this. He doesn't want to ruin what they have, even if it feels so good and he wants it so much. He doesn't want to ruin Charles.

Charles makes a little anguished noise and he pulls away. For a moment, Erik thinks Charles understands and agrees with him. He can't help but feel disappointed. But instead of pulling away, Charles drops to his knees. His hands are on, then in Erik's pants before he can really register what's going on. He has a moment to think about protesting before Charles's lips close around him. Charles swallows him down in a single practiced move that makes Erik's head bang against the door as he suppresses a scream.

Suddenly he forgets all of his objections. Charles's mouth is warm and wet and eager. He's practiced. He breathes through his nose, mixing lips and tongue with hands that know exactly where to touch. Erik leans back against the door as his knees go weak. The heavy sound of his breathing mixes with occasional slurps and moans from Charles. He can't help but stare. Charles is making a spectacle out of it, moaning like the whores they'd just visited and making it damn obvious how much he wants it.

Who is Erik to deny him?

His fingers tighten in Charles's hair, pulling him off with serious regret. The look Charles gives him is smug and victorious. He lets Erik maneuver them to the bed, stripping off clothes as they walk. Charles bends over easily. He stretches across the bed to fumble the bedside drawer open, wiggling his ass against Erik's hips as he reaches inside for a tube of lubricant. Erik doesn't want to think when Charles had put that there or how many trips he'd hidden it there, hoping to find use for it.

Charles moans appreciatively as Erik slides a slick finger in, followed shortly by another. Charles opens up for him easily. Erik's knees almost buckle again as Charles sends him a quick flash of exactly what he'd been doing in his excessively long showers. His fingers thrust in hard, making Charles moan and push back for more.

It's too much temptation. Erik pulls his fingers away and slicks himself up. He can feel Charles's anticipation boiling alongside Erik's own. Charles grips the bedspread and shifts his legs apart, inviting Erik in. Erik doesn't hesitate. He pushes in hard and fast, faster than Charles expected if his sudden trembling is anything to go by but Charles doesn't complain. His head falls to the covers and he moans, loud and wanton, his hips rocking backwards as a request for more.

Erik gives it to him. He realizes now that he never had a chance. The deck had been stacked against him. All the time he'd been trying to ignore Charles, Charles had been trying to get Erik to notice him. It'd never been a question of if Erik would lose control, but when. He found that he didn't mind so much, not when Charles was so tight around him and kept making those breathless little moans and kept pushing his hips back to meet Erik's thrusts.

He'd spent so much time focusing on how different they were to realize how perfectly they fit together.

Charles was his balance. The yin to his yang. Where he demanded, Charles yielded. Where he led, Charles would follow. They were a partnership that could work and make them both better than they would be individually.

"Erik. God, Erik."

His fingers tightened on Charles's hips, digging in hard enough that they'd leave bruises. He liked the idea of having his handprints there. It would be a physical mark of his possession, something only for him to see.

Maybe he could talk Charles into getting a tattoo.

"Erik," Charles groaned, loud and insistent, demanding Erik's attention.

He shifted, pushing Charles tighter against the bed until the friction of the covers against Charles's skin did his work for him. Charles's breath hitched and then he was coming, his body tightening around Erik as he moaned his way through release. Erik didn't slow down. He kept up the quick thrust of hips against hips, pushing Charles harder and harder against the bed. He could feel his own release building, like a tidal wave about to crash onto the shore.

"God, Erik, please."

The sound of Charles's voice broke him. Erik gasped as he came, his hips losing their rhythm to jerk erratically into Charles. He sucked in a deep breath and closed his eyes, balancing his hands on the covers on either side of Charles's head while he waited for orgasm to pass.

He opened his eyes. Charles was smiling up at him with his head tilted to the side. "I don't suppose you'd like to share a bed tonight," Charles asked.

Erik couldn't help but laugh. He'd fought so hard just to end up at the place he'd always wanted to be.