Title: Just One Dance

rating: T (rating will chance in later chapters)

pairing: Erik x Charles

summary: AU. Victorian Era. When his little sister gets an invitation to an old family friend's estate, young Charles Xavier goes along as Raven's escort, where he meets Erik Lehnsherr, who is as mysterious as the estate he calls home. (based loosely on Jane Eyre with Michael Fassbender and the multiple Victorian fanvids on Youtube. Will have many references to Jane Eyre and a few to other Marvel Universes)

LXLXLXLXL Ch. 3: In Which Heat is Inspired XLXLXLXLXLXLXLXLXLXLXLXLXLXLX

Charles woke the next morning wondering if the almost-kiss he and Erik had shared last night had been a dream. He slowly touched his lips. They burned. No, Charles decided, it hadn't been a dream. He grinned and hopped out of bed, yanking off his clothes from last night and changing into a clean set, combing down his hair with his fingertips.

Charles waltzed down the stairs the next morning despite the brilliant headache that bubbled behind his eyeballs. Raven was already at the breakfast table, eating porridge and reading a novel, no doubt filched from Mr. Lehnsherr's great library.

"Good morning!" Charles quipped as he sat down, pouring a bowl of porridge for himself and sitting across from his sister. Raven looked up, cocking a blonde eyebrow. She slowly took in Charles' half giddy expression, and his wild hair. Without breaking her sleepy expression, she said,

"You kissed him didn't you?" A smile betrayed her tone, and she dropped her book, leaning forward as if conspiring with her brother.

Charles took a sip of coffee, and smiled coyly. "Not quite actually." Charles leaned forward. "He's quite an odd fellow, Erik."

"Erik is it? Tell me everything." Raven said, smiling.

"I'll leave it up to your lovely imagination, sister." Charles said, taking another sip of coffee. "Now, if you excuse me, I'm going for a walk." He stood and hurried towards the door.

"A walk to find Erik!" Raven shot at her brother's retreating figure, laughing.

Charles waved her off, laughing along.

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Charles did indeed walk about the grounds, but did not find Erik until he wandered into the vast library. Erik was sitting on one of the little couches, reading some novel which age had worn away the title.

"Good afternoon, Erik." Charles said politely, sitting in the chair opposite. Erik glanced up.

"Good afternoon Mr. Xavier. Did your room suit you?" he asked.

"Quite well, thanks." Charles smiled, knowing how his eyes enchanted if he smiled just so.

Erik looked up again, not affected it seemed by those eyes. "I'm glad." Erik looked back down at his book. He clicked it closed suddenly, and stood. "Now," Erik adjusted his waistcoat, "if you'll excuse me." He turned on his heel, and left, leaving Charles shocked and alone in the dark library.

Charles stayed in the library for a moment, and then left, wandering again. He saw Erik several more times over the day, but every time they saw each other, Erik managed to find something that needed his attention.

Charles was getting frustrated. He was used to flings and relationships hidden under shroud of darkness and shame, but to be ignored completely was simply ungentlemanly. Charles huffed, thinking of that as he wandered down the corridor that evening after a rather boring day trying to entertain himself. He turned the corner of the hall towards his bedroom and froze.

There was Erik and Raven, standing close together. Erik had a smile on his face, and they were talking in low voices. Raven giggled flirtatiously in the half gloom, and Erik chuckled. He stroked a stray lock of golden hair that lay against Raven's left bosom, letting it trail through his long clever fingers. Raven blushed, and looked down. Charles took a step backwards, and the floorboards creaked tremendously, betraying his position. Erik looked up sharply, and his eyes met Charles'. Erik's deep green eyes bore into Charles like two twin green flames, and Charles coughed. Raven flushed even harder.

Charles steeled himself, and then rushed forward, brushing past Erik as he went to his room. Charles glanced up at Erik as he passed, and narrowed his blue eyes slightly. He knew his cheeks were burning.

"Good evening, Mr. Lehnsherr." Charles murmured. "Good night, Raven. Sleep well."

Charles slid into his room and shut the door with a thud. He heard Raven and Erik moving on the other side of the door. Charles leaned against the door face towards the ceiling, trying to decide whether or not his emotion of this moment was anger or despair. He heard a murmured word from Erik, and then felt the thud of his feet disappearing down the hallway.

"Charles?" Raven's small voice sounded on the other side of the door. She wrapped softly on the door. "Charles?" she asked again.

Charles did not answer, but went to his bed, undressing as he went. Dressed only in his thin undergarments, he crawled under the covers and lay under them for a long while, trying to sleep. He heard the nightbirds shrieking somewhere, and he turned over, trying to block out the haunting noise.

The old mansion creaked around him. Imaginary footsteps trailed overhead, and a bit of dust fell from the ceiling, but Charles refused to pay it heed. Curling tighter under the blankets, he convinced himself the noises were simply his imagination.

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Charles awoke with a start some hours later, frightened for some reason. He was frozen in his bed, over sensitized to the point he was afraid movement might awaken whatever terror had woken him. Just as Charles was content to believe it was some forgotten nightmare that had woken him, he heard it.

A giggle. A female giggle, soft and airy wafted through his door from down the hall, barely hearable. Raven? Charles wondered.

Charles rose quietly and lit a candle. Wrapping his dressing gown around his bare shoulders, he opened his door, half expecting to see Raven in the hallway, but the corridor was as black as his own room had been.

"Raven?" Charles asked quietly into the darkness. Nothing. Except the phantom laughter again, coming from down the hall. What prompted Charles to follow he could not say, but he followed the noise, and found himself creeping along the long corridors in the pitch darkness. He rounded a corner and saw a light flickering from under a large door. A door he recognized. This was Erik's room. And the light was no comfortable candle flicker or the gleam of the hot fire in Erik's hearth. This was firelight no doubt, but it flickered dangerously.

Charles opened the door, and immediately he was engulfed in a cloud of black smoke. His eyes smarted, and he saw the flicker of flames coming from where he knew Erik's bedroom to be in his quarters.

Dropping his candle, Charles ran into the bedroom and beheld Erik's bed wreathed in yellow, popping flames.

"Erik!" Charles yelled, leaping forward and grabbing the little basin of water on Erik's bedside table. Erik did not stir in his bed. "Erik!" Charles yelled again, gagging on the smoke. "Erik get up!" he shook Erik, not even noticing the way Erik looked as he slept-peaceful. "Erik!" Charles finally smacked Erik across the face. Charles saw the glint of green eyes flashing open, and then he was shoved out of the way, Erik leaping to his feet, coughing on smoke and ripping the curtains of his bed off their hinges, stamping on them with his bare feet.

"The curtains!" Erik snarled as he hit the curtains against the bed frame, extinguishing the flames that ate at the fine wooden frame. Charles did the same, and within an instant it felt like, Charles and Erik were left panting in a blue haze as a predawn glimmer lit the room in an acrid mockery of dawn fog. Charles stared at the charred bed, and then stared at Erik, who he realized was practically naked. All that Erik had covering his lean body was a thin nightshirt, with nothing beneath it. Charles blushed and turned away as Erik yanked on a pair of trousers. Charles saw a glimpse of the curve of Erik's fine, white backside, and blushed harder, twiddling with the ties of his dressing gown.

"Stay here." Erik said roughly, grabbing a jacket and disappearing out of the door, leaving Charles quite alone in the swirling smoke.

Charles looked out of the window, listening to the footsteps echoing mutely from above him. Everything lapsed into silence for a while and Charles waited, still standing. He jumped when the door swung open again and Erik reappeared, looking haggard and stressed. He pulled back his loose hair from his forehead and then stared at Charles.

"Are you alright?" he asked in a rough, gentle voice. He moved slightly closer to Charles, and cocked is head to one side just a little, eyes burning in the acrid gloom.

"I'm unharmed, thank you." Charles muttered. He would leave now, yes that's what he'd do. "I'll leave then."

He tried to slide past Erik towards the door but Erik half blocked the exit, his body close to Charles'. "You saved my life." Erik said in his low voice, staring at Charles with those deep green eyes like the sea. "That's no small thing. And yet you act like we're strangers." there was a slight question in his voice.

Charles swallowed, trying to keep his voice under control as his heart hammered away in his chest. "We aren't strangers, Erik."

Erik took Charles' hands in his own, pressed between their bodies. Charles could hardly meet Erik's eyes. He knew his face was on fire.

"Then what are we?" Erik asked. "Charles look at me."

Charles looked up, and found his nose touching Erik's. He blushed, and he could feel heat burst in his stomach. Erik released his hands and drew one hand down the strip of flesh between the ties of his dressing gown. His hands were hot, smoldering. Charles sighed, and pressed against the heat. He looks up, and sees Erik's blown pupils, and the scratchy breath in his throat. If Charles had been on fire, it would not be as hot as he was at that moment. Erik's lips brushed against Charles' in a butterfly kiss, and a low moan rose out of some dark place inside of Charles.

A dawn bird sang somewhere in the garden, and a cold breeze wafted over Charles' almost bare skin. This woke Charles up, and he stepped back.

"I need to go." he whispered.

"Why?" Erik asked, making to kiss Charles again.

"I am cold." Charles replied quietly, leaning away.

Erik paused, and then sighed. "Very well." he backed away, and let Charles by. Charles sighed deeply, and scooted past Erik. Erik followed.

"Charles," Erik said at the door. "Thank you." His dark green eyes shone in the dawn light.

Charles smiled slightly. "You're welcome. I'll see you later."

Charles turned and walked slowly down the corridors back to his own quarters, where he slid out of his dressing robe, imagining Erik's hands were undressing him rather than his own hands, and crawled back into bed, exhausted. He was asleep almost immediately, lost in two sorts of heat imprinted onto his skin.

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So there we are. A little more heat :) next up, Mr. Lehnsherr brings some interesting friends to the mansion and Charles finds that he has a rival.