Author's note: This is an HIMYM AU where the XMFC characters take the place of HIMYM characters (NOT a crossover, but a fusion). Charles is bi!Ted and Erik is gay!Barney.

This should be readable without knowledge of HIMYM, but is probably funnier if you're familiar with it. Additionally, if the Charles and Erik characterizations seem off, it's because there is definitely some Ted in this Charles, and some Barney in this Erik (YMMV very much when it comes to whether these guys are in-character or not. LOL).

1. Haaaave You Met Erik (2007

Charles has been drinking and he really needs to go, and he's trying to, but the guy at the urinal next to his is making it hard. He's thinking really loudly about Charles' dick, things along the lines of Not as big as mine, but still: nice, and it is really, really not easy to take a piss with some guy doing a running commentary on your equipment. Normally Charles keeps the whole telepathy thing at a really low volume because other people's minds are either boring or super uncomfortable like eighty-three percent of the time, but he's a bit inebriated and has less of a handle on it than he usually does, and this guy's thoughts are blaring.

"Dude!" Charles says. "Will you stop it? I'm trying to take a whiz here, you're making it kind of difficult."

"Stop what," the guy says. To the unknowing he might appear not to be looking at all, but Charles knows damn well he's still peeking out of the corner of his eye.

"Dude, I'm a telepath. I can hear you."

"Oh. Sorry," the guy says, and finishes what he's doing because apparently he's one of those guys who can pee anytime, no problem. He zips up and turns to face Charles, who's still trying to go and giving a mental pep talk to his little guy ('come on guy, do you really want to be responsible for the death of my bladder, really now'), and says, while still looking at Charles' dick, "Hey, do you want to get a drink sometime?"

What he means by this, Charles has the misfortune to know, is 'Do you want to go back to my place, fuck like bunnies and then never see or contact each other again? I'm hot, you're adorable, it would be pretty awesome.' Which is so not what Charles is looking for right now.

"I'm not really in the market for that, thanks," Charles says. "Also, I'm straight."

He actually isn't, precisely; he did the whole bi-curious thing back in college, which was okay and all (and sometimes way, way more than okay if he's honest with himself), but he's recently - as of tonight, actually - decided that what he wants is to meet the right girl, marry her, move to the suburbs and have 2.5 kids and all that jazz. Not that he couldn't do all that with a guy, but he's lazy at heart and figures it'll be a lot easier to accomplish the kids thing with a partner whose parts together with his parts are actually capable of producing children.

"Are you planning on doing anything with that, or are you just going to wave it around all night?" the guy asks.

"Dude," Charles says.

So Charles finally gets dick-watching-guy to leave, and five minutes after that he manages to go - though in fits and starts because he has performance anxiety like whoa now. When his bladder is finally, blessedly empty, he heads back to the booth. The gang still hasn't shown up; and sure, maybe Moira had to work late or something, but he still can't figure out how Azazel and Raven are never on time even though Azazel is a freaking teleporter.

(Actually, he has figured it out, he just pretends he hasn't because the pictures; the pictures that come into his head thinking about it. Ugh.)

"What are you drinking?" dick-watching-guy asks, as he slides into the booth across from Charles.

"Nothing else for the rest of the night," Charles says. "Also, I already told you, I'm straight."

"Yeah, whatever," dick-watching-guy says with a dismissive handwave, entirely as though he didn't have a succession of at least twenty different fantasies involving Charles' dick like ten minutes ago. "So, what do you do?" He says this with a quizzical expression, like he's not used to making small talk with people he wants to sleep with - which, considering that he is, in fact, almost as hot as he thinks he is, is probably pretty close to being the case.

"I teach high school. English," Charles says.

"Ohhh, like Stephen King," dick-watching-guy says, perking up. "Carrie was fucking awesome. The only thing that sucked about that book was that the heroine died at the end."

"...Um, okay, moving on," Charles says, wondering where the hell dick-watching-guy came up with that particularly bizarre connection from. "No, not like Stephen King because I just teach and um, I really have to tell you that your opinion on Carrie is really, totally just wrong and - you know what, what do you do?"

Dick-watching-guy produces a pair of shades from somewhere and puts them on. He leans forward and whispers, in a way that would actually be kind of a turn-on if he weren't so clearly a sociopath, "I'm James Bond. I kill Nazis."

"Really?" Charles says before he can stop himself. He can't help it; this guy is super convincing even though what he's saying is obviously total nonsense.

"...Are you sure you're straight?"

"As an arrow," Charles lies.

"If I say 'yes, really,' could I get in your pants anyway?" Dick-watching-guy sounds hopeful and a little sad, and even though Charles figures it's an act he still can't help but feel sort of bad for him. What can he say; it's a good act.

"That's a definite no," Charles says.

"Then no, not really." Dick-watching-guy takes off the shades and gives Charles a disgruntled sort of look. "Please. Idiot."

"Thanks so much for that."

Dick-watching-guy looks at Charles thoughtfully, then says, "You know what you need -"

"Not that," Charles interrupts - though he's got the telepathy thing back under control, he figures it's a safe bet that what dick-watching-guy thinks he needs is not something he so much agrees on.

"What you need - what's your name?"

"Um, it's Charles," Charles says, and immediately wishes he hadn't because dude, this guy obviously does not need any encouragement. "What's yours?"

"Erik," dick-watching-guy says. "What you need, Charles, is what every straight man needs: a gay best friend." He leans forward again, like he's confiding some really great piece of wisdom or something.

"Yeah, okay, and why is that?"

Dick-wa - Erik - makes a face. "Charles. Come on. You're wearing a cardigan."

"Well, you're wearing a turtleneck. What's the difference?"

Erik's eyes narrow and his mouth falls open, like Charles has just said something utterly appalling.

"And anyway," Charles continues, "I already have a best friend. Her name is Moira and she has a gun."

A few minutes later, as Erik is trying to convince Charles to watch him do some sort of magic trick involving knives, Azazel and Raven appear. Like, literally appear in a cloud of smoke that gives Charles a coughing fit, as usual.

Raven is very much blue, equally as much naked, meaning she's either having a very good or a very bad day and feels like flaunting. Or possibly just forgot to put her clothes back on after whatever she and Azazel were probably just doing, and damnit, Charles was trying not to think about that.

"Hey, guys," Charles says, so relieved to be rescued from Erik that he can't even be bothered to sound disapproving about getting an eyeful of his sister's boobs (he tries so, so hard to look anywhere else but at them).

"That was amazing," Erik says to Azazel.

Azazel puffs out his chest. "It was, wasn't it," he says, and Charles just wants to put his head down on his arms and sob. There will be no getting rid of Erik, ever, if he insists on inflating Azazel's already completely out-of-proportion ego.

"Erik was just leaving," Charles says.

But at the same time, Erik says, "Why are you naked?" and oh God, now he's going to get Raven all started.

Azazel jumps in before Raven can speak, completely flubbing her pet metaphor in his haste to help/stay the center of attention. "Would you tell a leopard to cover up its spots?"

"...Only if I wanted to get a panther?" Erik says.

Charles snort-laughs into the sleeve of his cardigan, then tries very hard to look grave and disapproving so that Raven won't murder him with her eyes.

"If she gets to not wear clothes, how come you have to wear them?" Erik continues. "That whole bamf-smoke-awesome thing would be a lot more impressive if you did it naked."

"That's what I'm always saying," Raven says, apparently not even mad about the stupid panther joke.

"Erik is gay," Charles informs her, though she doesn't seem to be paying much attention to him (not that that's unusual, mind), very likely because Azazel is unbuttoning his shirt. "Like, really gay. Like, he doesn't even care about panthers or tigers or whatever, he just really wants to see Azazel's penis right now. I mean, he's looking right at his crotch, Raven, it's so obvious."

Raven's selective hearing does pick up at least some of that, after all; and even years later, the memory of her going all Xena on Erik's ass will never stop being funny.

Erik leaves with some random guy an hour or so afterward.

Half an hour after that, Charles falls in head-over-heels-at-first-sight love with some girl. He won't even remember her name a few weeks from now, but for several hours there he's convinced she's The One. It's fate, it just has to be.

"I think I'm in love with you," he says, up on the roof of his apartment building.

She laughs in his face, then leaves. He never sees her again.

It's just as well. He should have realized: no one meets the love of their life on the same day they decide to start looking.