Disclaimer: I do not own X-Men. Marvel does.

iPod Challenge: Write a drabble for the first 10 songs played. No changing songs – you have until the song finishes to write.

Rating: M overall for mature content and language.

Ten Crimes of Humanity

Promises - Nero

Music blares loud enough that, if you could feel anything, you would be screaming from the pain of your eardrums bursting.

As it is, you're just high enough to feel only the edges of anything realistic. You're fucking fine with that.

Visually, the club is as you expected – glaring strobe lights that flash technicolor faster than the blurs of speeding cars down a highway, dark walls with a floor whose color doesn't matter, tables pushed into the shadows to be free of the dancers packed close enough together to probably qualify as an orgy. The drinks are colorful and apparently cheap, as everyone has one or five in their hands as they grind against whoever gets their hips close enough.

The music is almost predictable – techno, rhythmic, enough beat to match a pulse – but the lyrics are a shade of confusing, darker than the cheery pop stereotypically associated with a place like this. Rock lyrics twisted into electronic beat, tricking people into dancing to the thinly-veiled truth of their existence. You should write that down when you get home (not that you'll fucking remember because that joint seemed like a far better investment than another night spent hunched over paper with nothing but past voices whispering shadows in your ears).

You appreciate that. A lot. That's why you're pushing Alex's pleading away and agreeing to stay … the surprised look on the kid's face is, of course, a bonus.

Drink ordered, resting against the bar, you don't even contemplate dancing (what the actual fuck, really, just go fucking have sex already), until you see him.

Small, lithe – you don't even notice him until he's turned towards you, writhing pleasantly in a downpour of celebratory silver glitter that sticks to his mousey brown hair like raindrops. His eyes are out of place amongst his features – an unfiltered, unpolluted ocean of blue that seems both triumphant and wrecked as they fall on you with a playful glint. Black denim for pants and a white t-shirt, he's not dressed like the others and in that way, he shouldn't be appealing, but he jerks his chin in invitation and you're moving toward him.

Your hands span unnaturally thin hips on instinct and his lips quirk up, just enough. He's pale; they stand out like temptation yet other than your hands, neither of you touch.

"Charles," he greets over the climax of the song, hips swinging slightly in the downfall. His arms drops around your neck, his wrists crossing behind your neck. You feel the brush of raised, bumpy skin; a scar you have a matching one of on your own wrist, straight down. You can't help but smile back, dark and dirty and his eyes are knowing.


Rnw Y – Linkin Park & Backyard Bangers ft Phoenix Orion

Hood up, head down, Erik moved swiftly across the cement, spray-cans tucked safely away in the pouch of the over-large black hoodie. He tensed as a siren wailed below, fading away as the car raced by.

It wasn't as if he were in danger of being caught; the roofs of the building in the city were always empty.


He stopped in the center, bathed under the beaming glow of the moon as he withdrew his supplies from his pocket. The moon was brighter tonight than any he could remember experiencing in the damned city, the smog seeming to have been bullied away, as if the white globe herself approved of what he was doing.

Erik uncapped a can – bright unrelenting blue – and hesitated.

Graffiti was vandalism. Vandalism was illegal. Then again, so was shooting someone in the back as they tried to spare a fight, leaving them to die alone on expensive foreign floor as you walked away.

Unless, of course, you had enough money and power to buy off anyone who actually believed in justice.

Rage building inside, he pushed down the trigger of the can.

There were hundreds of flat-roof buildings in the city. There were only thirteen that surrounded the governor's own building, forming an imperfect but surrounding circle around the elegant structure.

He crossed them all, each design identical to the last to the finest detail, the image imprinted on his heart heavier than the lead of his life. And now to the rest of the forsaken world that had abandoned the only one who had ever given a damn about it.

Hank was waiting for him as he dropped from the fire escape of the final building, tucked into the shadows of the inconspicuous delivery van parked easily in the alley. The twenty-year-old took the cans from Erik as efficiently as before, replacing them with a cell phone he was quick to put to his ear.

"Yeah." He murmured into the mouth piece, just in case. But it was Raven's voice that answered back, just as soft and cautious as his, but with a hard edge she had always held over her brother.

"He's asking for you. He knows something's up and he's worried. Are you done?"

He smiled, just a little. Worried. Of course he was.

"I'm done," he assured, sliding the van's door shut and hopping into the passenger seat. Hank wasted no time in starting the engine. "Tell him I'll be there shortly." He ended the call without another word.

In the morning, while spotting for traffic jams, the news helicopter would spot thirteen perfect depictions of the face of Charles F. Xavier atop thirteen buildings, perfectly surrounding the office of Governor Kurt Marko, each staring up at the city with unblinking, unforgiving blue eyes, "truth" elegantly written beneath all. Hours later Xavier would be released from the hospital into the hands of his sister and never arrive home.

That afternoon, both the governor's office and his home would erupt in an explosion that would wreck the city.

And Erik, Charles asleep on his chest in the back of Raven's car, would smile at the report.

'Till I Collapse – Eminem

Rage Beat – Gravitation soundtrack

"Mr. Lehnsherr, please."

Erik paid no attention to the pleading of the man – McCain, McMillian, McCoy? whoever, managers never lasted long with him anyway – merely pushing him aside as he neared the recording studio, heedless of the red light glaring warningly over the door.

Anger and raw emotion was still thrumming through his veins, his own studio agonizingly empty from the lyrics he had been throwing into the mic just minutes ago. His mind was like exposed livewire, spitting sparks of violence he wasn't channeling and that was … never a good thing. Not when he was like this.

He had been fine until the damn reverberations of the other recording room – fucking pop music – had shook their walls and his own concentration.

He could feel Alex behind him – left his guitar to follow him, loyal little fuck that he was – tense and waiting, and shoved open the door to reveal, interrupting the four people inside.

For a second, everything was silent.

And then chaos erupted in the form of a slim blonde woman with fiery eyes and a mouth more foul than his own.

"What the fucking hell?" She stood before him, blue guitar flashing from its strapped position across her chest – he could feel the heat of her breath. "You sonuva bitch! What the fuck is fucking wrong with you? Cerebro has this studio booked fucking solid for the week! Get the fuck out, do you have any idea how hard it is to get this fucking song right, for fuck's sake!"

Erik's head was pounding. He was vaguely aware of Alex bellowing at someone else at the drums in the corner, and them yelling back, and McCoy (McCoy?) loudly apologizing to some other man with "Darwin" (what?) and this stupid bitch in front of him was screeching, and he just wanted some fucking silence for his fucking music and fucking hell-


Silence was instant, and Erik blinked. That wasn't his voice.

A boy (man?) pushed forward, wearing some sort of glittering jacket that should have pissed Erik off but didn't, head bowed away as he turned towards the girl.

"Raven, honestly, that language is unnecessary," he scolded softly, sounding paternalistic. "And Sean," he continued, not turning, "the doctor said no talking at all, why on earth are you screaming at that man? Darwin, isn't this door supposed to be locked to keep people from coming in during recording anyway? And you, who are you and how may we help you?"

He finally turned, and Erik found himself pinned under the weight of intense blue eyes that were a mixture of curious and kind that seized his breath. The fury of the song froze in the lock, the poisonous voices instantly dying away as the younger man stared at him, his own brows furrowing in surprise.


Closer – Nine Inch Nails

Heavy breaths against sweat.

"Give me a drag," Charles whispered, nipping at his jaw, nails scrapping down his chest. Erik chuckled darkly, but obediently pulled the cigarette from between his teeth, holding it to Charles lips long enough for the younger man to suck in one mouthful of nicotine before taking it away to replace it with his own tongue. Charles moaned, their tongues tangling in a sea of smoke as he moved his hips again – Erik barely stifled a groan of his own against the slide of tight heat.

Tangled together on soiled, destroyed sheets – Erik's free hands brushed against Charles' scars while Charles' hands traced Erik's thick tattoos. Sebastian would be home soon, would come straight to his room, would see the boy he had tried to beat down in high school in bed with the man he beat every day. Because that was all this was supposed to be – a revenge fuck where Erik would win.

That was weeks ago.

"Come on, Erik." Laughter against his neck and another bucking of hips.

Sharp teeth glinted in the yellow light as Erik bit down hard on Charles' neck and rammed forward. Smashed the cigarette out on the pillow at his back, burn left behind as Charles burrowed in closer, whimpering against the pleasure and the pain.

So maybe there was a little more to it now.

Erik would still win.

Can't Hold Us – Macklemore & Ryan Lewis

His smile was so wide his jaw ached. He couldn't stop.

Ahead, Raven and Alex were laughing as they danced together down the busy sidewalk in the middle of New York City, Hank tapping rhythm against his hips as Sean sang a wordless tune to give them music. Angel and Darwin danced on either side, cheerfully smiling as they handed out flowers snatched from Angel's garden to the scowling spectators who eyed them like they were the most insane, useless people on the planet.

It was the most unconventional thing in the world.

But they were far from useless.

Erik tipped his own top hat from his head towards one particular older woman with a little girl clutching her hand, bowing in exaggerated flourish, withdrawing a yellow flower from his own pocket in presentation. The child squealed in delight, taking the offering carefully with a smile as wide as his own, protesting loudly as her mother dragged her away in disgust.

"I never!" She growled, but his smile only grew.

"Even life has a first time," he quipped gently, winking at the little girl before continuing his walk, securing the grey hat back on his head.

Raven and Alex had started singing, horribly off-key but uncaring, their eyes bright as they swung around in random moves. Some people had started smiling, some changing their direction to follow them, just to watch and see. It was almost hard to remember that these kids had been so hollow not long before, sent to their home with labels of "troubled", "anti-social", "mentally disabled", broken and just living to die, told they could be nothing more. Fucking society.

A nudge to his shoulder; he saw Charles out of the corner of his eye, blue hair and vivid as his eyes.

How surprised those kids had been to see caretakers such as them waiting at the front door.

"Careful, Erik," Charles teased with a grin as Angel ran up to them. "You're smiling."

Erik just shook his head, biting the bar in his lip as Angel hopped on his back, belting out music of her own as they neared the rest of the group. He balanced her easily, laughing as Darwin tucked a flower graciously into Charles' scarf with a wink.

God, did his face really hurt.

I'm in Here (Piano/Vocal version) – Sia

The walls are white. His clothes are white. He's alone.

His voice is hoarse. He's been screaming for such a long time.

Or a short time.

What day is it?

They say he's sick. That he's broken.

He wasn't alone before they came.


You're not in love with him, Charles. Mother. You're sick. It's a sickness. It's wrong.

I'll fix it.


"Is anyone even out there?!" It's nothing more than a whisper.

His throat burns and he coughs to stop it.

Blood hits his hand.

No one sees it.


There's yelling. Arguing.

Heavy pounding on the walls that make him flinch.

The door opens hard, slams into the wall and back again.

And then there are arms, strong arms, tight around him.

"Charles, Charles. It's okay."



He wakes up screaming.

It hasn't been enough time; he can't help it.

Tonight, as every night, Erik is beside him, quick to grab him, quick to hold him.

"Don't scream Charles," soft, soothing against his ear. "I hear you. Shhh. I hear you."

All Gone (Aftermath) – Last of Us soundtrack

The city is swollen with smoke and spores.

People who were healthy and alive are now infected or dead on the street.

The military spares no possibility. You're either guaranteed or you're dead.

On the bus they've been crammed into, Charles is tucked into his side, asleep. They both wear passing marks.

He glares at anyone who looks like they will say a word.

The zombie apocalypse, and somehow homophobia is still a thing.

He wonders if he can get away with calling them infected and killing them for it.

Magneto – X-Men First Class soundtrack

The instrumental rock music cracks like thunder over the speakers as the one the crowd calls "Magneto" steps out from smoke of the fog machines towards the metal cage in the center of the stadium.

The roar of support and approval is deafening.

"Do you really think your toy can beat mine, Sebastian?" Marko jokes to Shaw from their seats in the high box. The other man spares him a sporting smile with eyes that glint malice.

At the cage, as Magneto enters, his eyes lock with that of the foreign contending X, his metal collar a contrast to the other man's fiber optic shocker.

Someone has to die in this sport.

X's eyes flick minutely up to the high box before returning to Magneto's. They both smile.

Erik, X greets. The hardware of his collar is metal.

Charles, Magneto returns gently, teeth gleaming.

Well, someone still will, at any rate.

Love Lockdown – Kanye West

He's sitting in a diner, hunched in the corner over his mug of coffee long cooled, when the shadow falls over him.

The stranger is panting, out of breath, and angry.

Charles fidgets in guilt. They've never physically met, but…

The stranger throws his hands down on the table. The silverware jumps, a grimace crosses Charles' face, and the countdown on the back of the man's hand hits ZERO.

"My name is Erik," the stranger gasps out, still trying to catch his breath. He can feel the anger stirring from him, and it sets his body on edge. "Are you done running now, Charles?"

Dammit, Raven.

He looks down and doesn't answer.

Erik doesn't sit.

Into Dust – Mazzy Star

Ashes fell from the sky like snow that wasn't cold.

Even if you were still breathing, if you couldn't recognize the sensation of chill, you were already dead.

Cardinal rule number no-one-fucking-knows-but-remember-it-anyway of I'm-About-To-Fucking-Die.

Names were obviously not a top priority of anything.

Except for his.

"Erik." A hand on his neck, another on his chest. "Hold on!"

If someone was telling you to hold on in the middle of a war zone, letting go was the best for both of you. You were already dead and they weren't.

Rule number what-the-fuck-ever.

"Charles." He tried to say, but wetness came from his mouth instead. That … wasn't great.

Something punched his chest. Hard.

"Erik! Do not do this! Not now!"

… Letting go was the best for both of you. You were already dead and they weren't.

"Ch-." He didn't even get to try again. There was a whistle of laser blast, a startled little sound.

Something laying on top of him.

Charles' stunned, satisfied eyes inches from his own.

If you're unfortunately lucky enough, you won't have to die alone.

Rule number Most-Important-Thing-Ever-Who-Numbered-This-Shit.

Erik's fingers twitched against his vest; he could feel the footfall of approaching enemies he hadn't got to kill.

He felt the ring – thin stubborn metal between his fingers – and pulled it out with a harsh jerk, slipped it onto Charles' finger with a razor, bleeding smirk.

His lover's eyes wide with realization. The brush of blood-stained kiss as the boots stopped just next to them.

If you can, go out with bang, and go out with many. Just because you're dying doesn't mean you should be lazy and let everyone else die as well.

Number whatever-it's-common-fucking-sense-when-I'm-About- To-Fucking-Die.

They exploded together.