A/N: I would just like to say before I get this show on the road that 1) this updating schedule is going to be more relaxed than the last one, all apologies: I'll try to update every Saturday.

Mutti, heute solltest du lächeln,

wenn ich zum Traualtar geh.

Erik rested his chin lazily in the cup of his hand and stared out of the thick port-hole window as he caressed his spare fingers absent-mindedly over Charles' palm. He tried to remember if he had told Azazel that the phone bill was due on the 2nd, or that Sean couldn't work the night of the 22nd and hadn't found anyone to cover him yet, if he had seemed ambiguous enough on what to do with the cat.

There had been a stray cat haunting the café for the past few weeks and Erik was trying to strike an ambiguous line between complaining about it constantly but not quite so constantly that anyone at the café felt the need to do anything about its presence. As far as any human being was aware, Erik referred to it only with great annoyance as "that cat." In actuality, when he knew for absolute certainty that he was completely alone, he jovially called it "Charlie"—something his boyfriend had actually once elbowed Erik for calling him (followed by profuse and even tearful apologies). He also gave it tuna and blamed it on the soft-headed florist next door.

Despite all the perks of this trip it had one serious drawback: no one would be around to give Charlie his tuna.

Well, maybe more than just one serious drawback, he thought as he tried to ignore Charles beside him giggling with his new flight-attendant friend. The man really was incapable of not making new best friends every damned place he went. Erik swore he was an eccentric collector, trying to get one of everything. This should take care of Flight Attendant Friend, Erik supposed.

He was used to ignoring worse from the cafe, though, so he simply closed his eyes and delved into a happier place:

He sucked on the inside of his mouth and could still taste Charles there. His scalp was still sore from where the smaller man had been driven to yank on his hair in that certain frenzy of violence that only sex could send him to. He wasn't certain what their capabilities towards lovemaking were going to be once they arrived in Germany, so to be on the safe side he had decided to suck Charles absolutely dry before they left, and the smaller man had energetically and vocally agreed with that decision.

Only when the other man was sighing into his ear did he realize the loquacious flight attendant had left to complete her duties.

"You have got to stop making those deliciously pleased sounds," the brunet huffed as he laid a pleased kiss to Erik's jaw. "if you expect me to refrain from dragging you into a membership in the Mile High Club."

Erik frowned and sat back in his seat.

"I don't understand why you're so interested in having sex in minuscule, tinny port-a-potties, in front of all and sundry," Erik argued. They had been arguing about this a lot lately.

Sex in the amphitheatre he could get behind, or that submarine they had sight-seen at in the fall, but he really saw nothing sexy about fucking in bathrooms, shower excluded.

"Maybe I'll have you convinced by the trip back," Charles sighed, ever hopeful.

Erik didn't bother to crush those hopes by assuring the younger man that there was simply no possible way that was going to happen.

They moved on to other, even more detestable topics of conversation.

"How do you think Raven's doing?" Charles asked anxiously for the hundredth time since they'd left her and Azazel at the airport drop-off zone barely an hour ago.

Charles had spent the two minutes it took to get their bags from the car apologizing and pleading with his sister to not feel abandoned over Christmas. Erik had spent it upbraiding Azazel about the cafe: don't forget to give Janos the spare key, don't forget to take care of time-sheets, don't forget-

"Please, stop this," Azazel had finally been driven to growl, face devil-red. "I really will impale you."

Raven hadn't said a word, only glared and kicked the ground and pouted like a preteen. If Azazel was going to impale anyone, it should be her. Even Erik's threats of bodily harm hadn't been enough to prevail upon her the importance of her refraining from making her brother miserable by showing off how unhappy she was about being left behind for the holidays.

"Why can't I come with you?" she had whined to Erik when he "pretended" to choke her into compliance back at the house. Her pathos left no room for self-preservation.

"Are you seriously asking me why you can't come to my house in Germany to meet my mother for my Jewish holiday?" he had growled back.

She saw no ridiculousness in this situation and nodded tearfully. He had tossed any tactfulness to the wind-that was Charles' concern-and knocked her once on the side of the head, too lightly for her to complain to her brother over it.

"I'm not dating you, you idiot. My mother couldn't care less about meeting you."

She had started bawling immediately, great globbing streams of tears, and because crying always made her more wrathfully violent, she had started hitting him hard enough to bruise so that he had actually had to shout out for Charles to call her off. He knew better than to reply to her violence in kind. Charles was a dear, but he would do nothing but straight murder Erik for laying a harsh hand on his sister.

He rolled his shoulder, sure that he could still feel some of those bruises, days afterwards.

"She'll get over it," he assured. He was certain that Azazel wouldn't mind helping get her over it, so long as sex was still a great way to distract someone, and Erik well knew that it was.

"I'm her only family," Charles started up again, and Erik was sure that he could sprout the rest of this monologue by heart, so he tried.

"And you've never been apart for the holidays before, except for that one time when she wanted to do the Winter Soltice celebration with her Wiccan friends upstate and wouldn't let you come. And even when Reed took you to Majorca in college you insisted that he invite Raven, too," Erik said, and would have continued, but Charles clapped a rueful hand over his mouth and said to him, extremely seriously:

"I really do not appreciate that, Sharky."

Erik blushed-Charles only pulled out the shark references when he was really fed-up with him.

He pushed Charles' hand from his mouth and wrapped an apologetic arm around the man's shoulders, pressing him close to his chest despite the absolutely huge arm rests they had in first class, and affectionately buried his nose in Charles' trimmed hair.

"I'm sorry, dove," he murmured. "I know it's hard."

Charles squeezed him back and pulled away enough to kiss him softly on the mouth.

"Thank you. I'm sorry I referred to you as a murderous ocean stalker."

Erik smiled and would have leaned in those extra few centimeters to kiss him all over again, but someone was hemming their voice clear, and it seemed especially demonstrative.

He looked up just in time to see the burly woman in the second row giving them a dirty look before turning away like a coward.

"Is it still the Mile High Club if we do it right here instead of the bathroom?" he questioned, glaring daggers back at the woman who was now pretending to read the safety information. He hoped they crashed simply for the chance of seeing her properly terrified. He took that back immediately though, rubbing Charles' thigh. He supposed technically it wasn't worth it.

The brunet did his best to further distract his boyfriend from his new murderous vendetta against 2-C: The Homophobe Toad.

"Are you excited to see your mother again?"

Erik recognized what the cunning man had done, but couldn't fault him for a job well-done: it was impossible to carry out a vendetta while thinking of his mother, so long as the vendetta did not include his mother.

"Yes, of course," he grinned, and Charles smiled back sweetly in what Erik acknowledged was his most innocent visage.

"And your aunt?"

Erik grimaced and turned away with a growl. "She's not my aunt."

"Erik-"

"She's technically my father's sister, all right, I'll grant you that-but they were estranged and I've hardly even seen her my whole life. Plus, she's feeble-minded," he accused.

"Erik!" Charles balked.

"Well she is," Erik grumbled unhappily. "She's lucky my mother is so dear and took her in at all-she didn't have to. And now what? My mother does all the work for two people because Irena can't be bothered to take care of herself-or work for herself!-or pay for herself!"

"Your mother likes the company," Charles sighed, sitting back again.

"Some company!" Erik scoffed. "Conversations with her amount to scrounging around for a topic she can't burst into tears over."

"She lost her brother and her husband all in the same year," Charles reasoned. Erik would never have told him the sad woman's history if he had known the brunet would use it against him in arguments. He must have done it back when he was a novice in the art of arguing with Charles.

"Her estranged brother. And it was a marriage of convenience," Erik argued back. It was useless; Charles was incapable of putting stock in so pessimistic an assimilation of the facts.

"I'm sure she still loved her husband, Erik. And the estrangement probably made it even worse, what with the lack of closure," Charles reasoned. Erik gave up; he had grown very adept at doing that when it came to arguing with his boyfriend.

"Believe what you want, dove," he condescended to get in the last word and took out a book as they finally got ready for take-off.

When he realized his book was actually boring (Charles had gotten it for him; it was apparently about young boys during the Holocaust who were friends against the odds. "I thought you liked books about Jewish history," Charles complained. Erik struggled manfully not to roll his eyes) he tossed it away and turned to his boyfriend.

"I'm going to sleep. Wake me up when the food comes?"

"Yes, dear," Charles nodded over some papers he had brought to grade, and then glanced at him jealously. "How do you fall asleep on planes?"

"I can fall asleep anywhere. I have absolute will-power," he said proudly, settling back and putting his feet up.

"This must be how annoying it is when I talk about never getting hangovers."

Erik grinned. "Wait until I brag about it a few more hundred times, then you'll know my pain."