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colourful, hills

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The Blind Leading The Blind...

I don't know where the muses take me, I only know that I like it!


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X-Men Fic - Charlotte Francine Xavier, Part Nine
colourful, hills
blind_author
Title: Charlotte Francine Xavier
Rating: R/NC-17.
Disclaimer: I do not own these characters, and am making no profit from their use, more's the pity.
Warnings: Genderbend, violence, disturbing images, references to the Holocaust, references to past child abuse and graphic sex (with light bondage) in this chapter.  I delve into the darker implications of telepathy here, so please heed the rating – both of the fic overall and of the individual chapters.
Parings: Erik/always-a-girl!Charles
Summary: Written for a kinkmeme prompt that wanted to see the events of the movie if Charles had been a woman.  This story will also wander into psychic-bond trope territory, as well as being a shameless fix-it fic.  Just so everything’s clear up front…

Part One
Part Two
Part Three
Part Four
Part Five
Part Six
Part Seven
Part Eight
 
 
Part Nine
 
Learning Process
 
“The secret of success is learning how to use pain and pleasure instead of having pain and pleasure use you.”
-Tony Robbins
 
--
 
The day is busy, with Charlotte urging Sean to control his vocal chords to hit different pitches, coaxing Hank into running with her and letting Alex set fire to the underground bunker (she makes a mental note to buy more fire extinguishers).  Even Raven is training – lifting weights and walking about the house with faces not her own, trying to imitate inflections and mannerisms along with physical appearance – and Erik…well, Charlotte has a theory about Erik’s power, which she’s hoping to put to the test one of these days.
 
The point is, she can see the paths they need to take to improve themselves, to strengthen their control and heighten their abilities, but she can’t say the same for herself.  After all these years, she’s accepted that her control is as good as she can make it.  She’ll never be able to entirely silence the whispers and flashes of the minds around her, and as to power…
 
She can erase memories or dig them from people’s heads, alter perceptions or eliminate them entirely, compel someone to do something entirely against their nature when she doesn’t just take over their body and manipulate it like a puppet.
 
The only arenas in which Charlotte can grow more powerful are those she absolutely refuses to practise with.  It’s true that at times she’s wondered idly if she could induce a heart attack or a stroke, but she’s not eager to find out.  Once, when she was young and panicked, she managed to induce a coma that continues to this day; she hates to think what she might be capable of now if she truly attacks someone’s mind.
 
Perhaps she should settle for overseeing the other mutants’ training, but she doesn’t want to – it feels uncomfortably like stagnation.  So if there’s no real way to improve her telepathy without harming the minds around her, she’ll just have to choose another route to self-improvement.  Maybe she can learn how to fly a plane?  Or some battlefield medicine?  Because at this point, Charlotte has accepted that this is going to turn into a fight, much as she might wish otherwise.
 
She’s dredged up some medical texts to get her started, and is on her way back to her room to read them.  She’s just passing the living room when a whisper of anger/hate/indignation/how dare he? brushes against her mind.  She knows it’s Erik – everyone’s mind feels different, and only Erik is that loud, that strong – and she leans into the room, curious about what’s got him so worked up.
 
He’s in front of the mantelpiece, staring narrow-eyed at the picture of Charlotte’s mother and Kurt Marko on their wedding day.
 
Erik’s eyes slide towards her as though he knew she was there, even though Charlotte’s certain she didn’t make a sound.
 
“They look happy,” he says, his voice flat yet somehow seething.
 
Charlotte nods.  “Strange, isn’t it?  That they could look so happy when they very much were not.”
 
Erik glances back at the picture again, and Charlotte can feel his mind grappling with the question of why her mother married Kurt in the first place.
 
“My father had just died,” she says.  “And I don’t think she really understood how to be on her own – in many ways, she needed to be married.”
 
Kurt had cured her of that rather quickly, though.  When he died, Charlotte’s mother simply crawled into the bottle and only emerged for public appearances.  Meaning parties and charity functions, of course, not Charlotte’s graduation or Raven’s birthday or anything along those lines.
 
Erik is still eyeing the photograph, and Charlotte can feel his confusion at the fact that it’s still there.  That she hasn’t torn down and burned anything that bears Kurt Marko’s face.
 
There are some things Charlotte will never be comfortable talking about, but telepathy is different.  It’s so much more intimate than verbal communication, and Charlotte has already confessed things to Erik via telepathy she doesn’t think she could have spoken aloud.
 
I don’t hate him, she tells Erik quietly.  I did, when I was younger, but now…
 
She shakes her head, moving to stand beside Erik and stare into the framed photo.
 
It probably helps that he’s dead, she muses.  That I don’t have to worry about running into him on the street one day or what have you.  And in the end, he saved my life.
 
Erik’s confusion ripples over her like a chill wind, and Charlotte lets him see the gatehouse that used to stand at the entrance to the property.  Two stories high, but old and all-but abandoned, the exterior maintained for appearances while the interior layered with dust and spider webs.  She lets him see her explorations there, tentative and curious, the way she slept there, sometimes, when the razor-edged press of minds from the mansion grew too much for her and she resorted to distance to blunt them.
 
Through her, he knows that she woke one day to oven-like heat, to thick smoke pouring up from the stairway, to a fire that was already consuming the ground floor.  Charlotte had tried to run down the stairs, but the flames had turned her back, had tried to climb open the window, but age had sealed it shut.
 
Charlotte remembers the smoke choking her, remembers gasping for breath even though there was no clean air to draw into her lungs, but she maintains a careful distance from Erik’s mind so he won’t feel that.  She just wants to give him the information, not to drag him into her memories.
 
She had curled up on the floor, eyes watering, mind slowing as the smoke got thicker and the house began to creak and grown, and then…then Kurt had been there.
 
She shows Erik her hazy impression of Kurt picking her up, using his elbow to smash the window, calling down to fire-fighters on the ground below who were holding a net stretched between them.  The ominous crack from the old beams above them, the heat warping the wood until it could no longer hold up the heavy tile roof.  Kurt looking down at her, his face settling into resolve, determination…
 
Then the swift rush of clean air as she was flung out the window, landing in the net as the roof of the gatehouse caved in, crushing Kurt Marko beneath it.
 
So I don’t hate him, she whispers into Erik’s mind.  He saved my life.  And that taught me a very valuable lesson.
 
“What lesson?” Erik asks, his voice rough.
 
That there’s a difference between knowing a mind and understanding it.  Everything I ever learned about Kurt Marko tells me he should have left me to burn…but he didn’t.  And I’ll never know why.
 
Maybe it’s her own arrogance talking, but it’s her ignorance that most disturbs her.  She doesn’t exactly mourn Kurt – she might not hate him anymore, but she still can’t be sorry he’s gone – but she does wonder sometimes about that final choice.
 
Erik’s thoughts are a bubbling morass of anger/indignation/hatred/resentment, the feelings jagged and bitter like chewing shards of glass, and Charlotte has no idea why some part of her finds it comforting.  Perhaps because very few people have ever been angry on her behalf – angry at her, yes, but at her treatment by teachers and professors and so-called peers?  Most of them seem to think it’s what she deserves for choosing such an ‘unfeminine’ and ‘unnatural’ path.
 
Raven is her staunch defender, of course, but that’s different.  They both know what it’s like to be neglected, they’ve both had to deal with Charlotte’s mother’s drunken tantrums and sober viciousness.  Besides, she’s Charlotte’s sister, and familial ties aren’t easily broken.
 
Erik, on the other hand, has seen and suffered far worse.  Yet the mere concept that she might have been mistreated makes him furious – a bright, blinding explosion of it, like the retort of a gun.
 
Instinctively wanting to soothe him, Charlotte leans close and rests her hand on his arm, her mind brushing gently against his with a pulse of comfort/contentment/it’s all over now.
 
Erik’s thoughts are still a thorny tangle of viciousness towards Kurt Marko, but now there’s a layer of bewilderment/resentment/she never makes sense/will I ever understand her?/will I have the time to understand her?.
 
“What are you doing with that?”  he asks, glancing at the anatomy book clutched in Charlotte’s hand.
 
It’s a blatant attempt to change the subject, but Charlotte lets it pass.
 
“Well, everyone else is so busy, improving their control, their strength…” she shrugs.  “I wanted to learn something useful, and first-aid seems a good idea.”
 
Erik raises an eyebrow.  “So you thought you’d start off by reading an anatomy book?”
 
“You have to start with the basics.”
 
Erik smirks, and she feels a tingle of amusement radiating from his mind.  Then it’s washed away by a surge of determination/resolve/this needs to happen.
 
“There’s another skill set you need to learn even more urgently,” he says, his voice now rather grim.  “Come on, I’m going to teach you to shoot a gun.”
 
As he finishes the statement, a gun sails in through the open door, summoned by Erik’s powers.  Usually, Charlotte would have worried about a gun free-floating through the mansion, but she supposes it would be effortless for Erik to keep it from firing.
 
She’s rather more interested in what he’s just promised.  “You really would?”  And in a rush, Charlotte realises that’s exactly what she needs – physical defence is one area in which her skills are sadly lacking.  “Erik, you’re a genius!”
 
Now it’s Erik’s turn to blink in bewilderment, and Charlotte knows he was expecting a very different response from her.
 
Not going to argue about your telepathy being the only defence you need? he thinks pointedly.
 
Shaw’s helmet has proven telepathy isn’t infallible, she responds.  And even though bullets won’t work against him, they might help against the next one.
 
Erik nods, and Charlotte can see that his mind has been running along similar lines – that where there’s one helmet, there could be others.
 
Follow me, she says, placing the book down on a side table before moving towards the door.  I think my father had a shooting range somewhere at one point…
 
--
 
Erik had been expecting Charlotte to resist being taught how to handle a firearm – it’s a tool of violence, and Charlotte is always so adamantly against violence that he’d been sure she’d hate the idea from start to finish.  He hadn’t been planning on backing down, of course, no matter what she said; bullets might be no use against Shaw, but he needs to know she can give the next psychotic bastard who can block telepathy something to think about, at least.
 
But Charlotte’s defied his expectations (as she’s been doing since they met), and is turning out to be a very quick learner.  Though perhaps it’s because he urged her to go into his head and draw the knowledge of how to shoot straight from his mind.
 
More than that, Charlotte actually seems to enjoy handling the gun and would probably be quite happy to continue indefinitely.  But Erik calls a halt when he notices her unconsciously flexing her wrist between rounds as though it’s getting tender, muscles and tendons unaccustomed to the weight and to compensating for the recoil.
 
And then Charlotte apparently decides kissing him is an appropriate way to express her gratitude.  Her lips are dry and slightly chapped from the cool wind, and he can feel her affection breaking over him like firecrackers, snaps and flashes of warmth with each kiss.
 
Erik’s no telepath, and he sometimes has difficulty interpreting the feelings and sensations he gets from Charlotte.  But a stray comment here and there has told him that most people are unnerved and frightened by her telepathy, which is probably why she seems so thrilled whenever Erik welcomes her into his mind.
 
When he’d asked her to bring her shields down, she’d seemed so amazed, so wondering, and almost afraid, as if she wasn’t sure she really wanted to know what telepathic sex was like.  And when she’d finally let her telepathy go, she’d seemed half-dazed, almost drugged, and Erik might have been worried if he hadn’t been able to feel her pleasure and relief at not having to suppress and smother her power.
 
Charlotte’s still bubbling with happiness/satisfaction/pride as Erik shows her how to take the gun apart.
 
“You’re very enthusiastic for someone espousing the virtues of non-violence,” he says, feeling a kind of tolerant amusement for the way Charlotte is treating the gun – as if it’s a new and delightful theory about mutation that must be examined in every conceivable way.
 
“I’m learning,” she beams at him.  “I was little envious, you know – everyone else is busy learning and improving themselves, but what was I doing?  Standing around offering encouragement and helpful suggestions mainly.   I started really wanting to learn something new myself.”
 
Erik wants to ask what Charlotte thinks he’s learning, but suspects he already knows.  And that he’s been slowly learning it since he met her.
 
At least he feels marginally more satisfied now, some part of him eased now that Charlotte knows how to shoot a gun.  Even if it won’t be much use against Shaw.
 
It’s strange that it’s more automatic to call him Shaw now, and Erik wonders what that means, if it even means anything.
 
Charlotte’s looking at him with dark, serious eyes now, and he suspects she’s gleaned his thoughts.  It might be a side-effect of knowing a telepath, but his mind feels constantly open, as though some part of his brain is attuned to her like a radio, just waiting for her to make contact.
 
He can’t help but wonder what will it be like when this ends – will his mind feel constantly empty and alone, calling out for Charlotte even long after she’s gone?
 
“I’ve been meaning to talk to you about something,” Charlotte says quietly, biting lips that are still slightly swollen from kissing him.
 
The hesitant, almost frightened expression on her face is beginning to make alarm squirm along the back of Erik’s neck.
 
“I’m not sure how interested in me Shaw is, or if he even knows we’re here, but if he does come here, and we can’t stop him…” she takes a deep breath, as though steeling herself for his reaction.  “You have to let him take me.”
 
Erik’s sure he misheard that – he must have.  She can’t possibly be serious.
 
I’m perfectly serious, she insists, a steely flash of determination/conviction/protectiveness accompanying her words.  Under no circumstances are you to get yourself killed for me.
 
But it’s perfectly fine for her to submit to torture and experimentation in the name of protecting him?  Fury and indignation rise up from Erik’s gut, so quick and vicious they nearly choke him.
 
“Hypocrite!” he spits.
 
“This isn’t up for negotiation, Erik!” Charlotte snaps, looking irked.
 
As though she honestly thinks she can persuade Erik to step aside and let Shaw take her as Frost’s replacement, to be warped and broken into his pet telepath and sex slave.
 
It’s not happening.  If Shaw takes Charlotte, it will be because Erik is dead.  It’s really that simple.
 
Erik sets his teeth, and tries to keep his voice level.  “Why is it acceptable for you to sacrifice everything for our safety, but not for us to protect you?”
 
“Because it makes sense to delay the confrontation with him as long as we possibly can, and if I’m all he wants-”
 
“Then he’ll have to go through us to get you,” he says flatly.  “Every single one of us would fight to protect you, Charlotte – don’t pretend you don’t know that.”
 
Raven will defend her adopted sister to the death, without question or hesitation.  Moira and Charlotte have become friends, and Erik knows that anyone wanting to harm Charlotte will have to go through the human woman first.  Hank seems a little in awe of her, but honestly delights in having someone willing to chatter endlessly with him about books and science and the possibility of rebuilding Cerebro.  Alex respects her because she doesn’t take any of his shit, because she knows how to turn his sometimes sharp teasing right back in his face, and he listens to her where he would have dismissed a weaker-willed person.  Sean trusts her, is willing to try outlandish ideas if Charlotte endorses them, because he knows she’ll never willingly let him come to harm.
 
They all care about her, and if it ever comes down to it, every single one of them will put themselves between her and Shaw, without hesitation.
 
Charlotte looks devastated, and Erik knows she followed every thought that just crossed his mind.  Only Charlotte would look so upset at the idea that people are willing to shield her from a very real, very dangerous threat.
 
At least Erik now has some idea of where this martyr-like attitude comes from.  Charlotte’s mother did not defend or protect her when she was a child, and on some level Charlotte still seems to believe herself unworthy of the protection that should be her right.
 
I never want to see any of you hurt because of me, she admits.
 
And we don’t want to see you hurt, Erik replies, one hand cupping her cheek, urging her to look him in the eyes.  Don’t deny us the privilege of protecting what we care for.
 
Charlotte looks floored, and there’s nothing coherent coming from her mind – just a stream of amazement/discomfort/surprise/affection/longing.
 
It makes Erik feel almost uncomfortable, as though he’s tipped his hand somehow, and he leans back, letting his fingers drop from her cheek.
 
Charlotte smiles gently, the smile that seems to say she sees everything he is and accepts it, even treasures it.  The smile that always makes Erik uncomfortable, because he isn’t what she thinks he is, can’t she see?  One day, probably one day soon, he’ll fail her or break her heart and then she’ll stop looking at him like that and the absence of that smile will be like scraping his skin raw on hot bitumen but he never asked her to smile like that in the first place, goddamn it!
 
With most people, you have to earn their trust.  Charlotte trusts you first, and then you feel obligated to live up to it.
 
“Well, now that I can shoot a gun,” Charlotte begins, in what Erik suspects is a deliberate attempt to divert his thoughts.  “Could you possibly teach me some unarmed combat?  I’ve afraid I never learned that, either – I was rather too reliant on my telepathy.”
 
He should say no – maybe if he rations the time spent in Charlotte’s company, it won’t be quite so painful when he finally has to go cold turkey.  But she just looks so damn hopeful…
 
“Fine.”
 
Her smile is so wide and bright it looks painful.
 
--
 
Charlotte may not be formally trained, but she’s quite a scrapper, bringing the same determination to a spar that she brings to almost every aspect of her life.
 
Erik’s spent the better part of the afternoon showing her holds and blocks and throws and pins, with emphasis on what will work best when dealing with an opponent taller and heavier than yourself.  Now they’re rolling around on the floor of what he suspects used to be the drawing room as Charlotte attempts to put what she’s learned into practise.
 
Erik might have actually enjoyed a chance to work out some of his frustration, if a new source of frustration hadn’t begun clamouring for his attention partway through.  He’s rarely in this amount of physical contact with someone unless he’s either trying to kill them or having sex with them.  And since he certainly isn’t trying to kill Charlotte his cock has decided, all on its own, that sex must be in the immediate future.
 
“Are you all right?” Charlotte asks when they break apart, with a rather pointed glance towards his crotch.  “Do you want to take a break?”
 
“I’m fine.”  He should be able to fight regardless of distractions, and while this is the first time this particular distraction has been a problem, he should be disciplined enough for this not to make a dent in his concentration.
 
She grins, her expression teasing.  “Are you sure you don’t want to forfeit?  That looks painful, and I could give you a hand.”  Her grin stretches wider, a hint of mischief colouring her eyes.  “Or a mouth, if you’d rather.”
 
Erik launches at her, determined to have her pinned to the mat within two minutes.  Because she needs to know not to let her guard her down, of course, and certainly not because those words and the curve of those flushed red lips are sending pornographic images reeling through his head.
 
Charlotte goes down easily – she’s no match for Erik when he tries to bring her down rather than just batting her across the mat and deliberately giving her as many openings as he can, and she’s laughing too hard to even try to fight back.  There’s a flicker of spite in the way Erik pins her wrists on either side of her head, straddling her thighs and using his weight to keep her pressed to the floor; for a moment, he rather resents that she seems so at ease with this, that she can kiss him and laugh with him and joke about sex while his intestines seem to be tying themselves into knots and half the time he has no idea what to do or say.
 
But perhaps that’s just Charlotte – she loves the unplanned and unexpected, while for Erik, unplanned and unexpected things usually end with him bleeding.
 
“You win,” she concedes, still breathless with laughter.  “You win.”
 
Erik’s preparing to make some kind of sarcastic comeback when Charlotte arches beneath him – deliberately, provocatively – rubbing the cradle of her pelvis against his erection. 
 
“And to the victor, go the spoils, yes?”  Her voice is so saturated in invitation he doesn’t need the lust/desire/thrill/daring that curls around his mind like woodsmoke, and Erik’s irritation is thrown off-course so thoroughly that for a moment he’s left blinking down at her, unsure of his next move.
 
He’s still pinning her wrists with his hands, and anyone else would have been nervous, held under him like this, but Charlotte trusts him so completely she didn’t just dismiss the idea that he’d hurt her, the thought never even formed.  There are no questions or doubts or worries – her mind is all welcome and daring and yes yes yes/come on, Erik/play with me.
 
Erik knows he won’t be able to do anything Charlotte doesn’t want – if he frightens or hurts her, she can just reach into his mind and stop him in his tracks.  Perhaps he shouldn’t find that reassuring, but he does.  There is literally no way he can ever overpower Charlotte Xavier.
 
At least, not if she doesn’t want him to.
 
The only reason he could bring her down is because she didn’t use her telepathy to stop him.  The only reason he’s still pinning her is because she’s letting him, which is bewildering, incredible…and somehow very, very arousing.
 
It’s the work of a moment to extend his power and lock the door.
 
Charlotte’s smile is different now, sensual and somehow languid, and it only grows wider as Erik bends the weight stand into a fluid, shimmering line of metal and weaves it around her wrists.  He’s hesitant at first – not quite sure if this is really what she wants, but then she’s in his head again, all lust/affection/trust/desire overlayed with eager encouragement.
 
Last night, the sex had been almost desperate, some part of him not entirely convinced she wasn’t about to change her mind and shove him away.  But now she’s pinned underneath him, her wrists bound above her head, and she’s clearly not going anywhere in a hurry.  Now, Erik is perfectly content to take his time.
 
He opens her shirt slowly, letting his fingertips ghost over newly-revealed skin before he moves onto the next button, watching goosebumps prickle in his wake.  He shoves the fabric aside to puddle on the floor, and for a moment just allows himself to look.  To drink in Charlotte’s bare skin, the way each breath delineates her ribs, her nipples tight and hard beneath the plain fabric of her bra.
 
Erik skims his hands across her chest, down to the soft skin of her belly, watching the muscles jump and tighten under his hand.
 
Erik!”  His name comes in stereo – both a soft, breathy gasp and a whip of warmth through his mind, accompanied by desire/anticipation/joy/please please please!
 
He doesn’t actually unclasp her bra – just pushes it up to her collarbones to bare her breasts so he can cup them in his hands, feel the weight of them in his palms, circle his thumbs around the pink areolae.  Charlotte gives a soft, shuddering sigh, her eyes closing to slits as her back arches, as though she’s trying to push herself into his hands.
 
This is only the second time they’ve had sex, but telepathy makes it breath-takingly easy; Erik knows all the most sensitive places on Charlotte’s body, knows where he needs to be gentle and where she’d like him to be rough. 
 
And the sensory loop seems less disorienting this time, as though his mind is getting a handle on it.  He scrapes his teeth over a nipple and feels the pleasurable sting, but some part of him can say that’s not actually him feeling that.  Perhaps it’s because Charlotte can’t touch him and confuse it – since he knows he’s not being touched, all those physical sensations have to come from Charlotte alone.
 
He unbuckles her belt and pulls her trousers down – Charlotte wriggling and arching in an attempt to help him along, her trust/excitement/lust/affection/yes Erik yes thrumming in the back of his mind.
 
But he deliberately avoids where he knows she wants him, instead stroking random patterns on the sensitive skin on her inner thighs and the groove where her legs join her pelvis.  He strokes his fingers through her pubic hair like he’s petting a cat, and feels a slight sting of rebuke as soon as that thought passes through his head.
 
If you dare make some kind of pussy joke you’ll be very sorry!
 
A burst of amusement wells up in Erik and he presses his face against her belly to try to contain his smile.  But Charlotte’s joy singing through his head isn’t helping him contain his own, and he finds himself laughing softly into her skin, feeling her tremble with the vibrations.
 
He drags his tongue over her skin and into the crease of her hip just because he can, holding her in place as she arches and bucks and writhes, her feelings becoming tinged with frustration/want/get down to business already!/please!/Erik!
 
He’s tied up people up during sex before, but usually those he didn’t trust or when he wanted to fuck but wasn’t in the mood to be touched.  It’s never been like this – an excuse to explore and tease and do his level best to drive Charlotte wild.
 
He mouths at a nipple again, just because he likes the noise she makes when he does that.  The gentle, almost-but-not-enough pleasure ripples through his own body, but Erik’s far from finished.
 
It probably says something disturbing about his psyche that he likes the way she seems trapped, helpless, able only to accept what he chooses to give her.  The fact that she’s not truly helpless only makes it better – he doesn’t have to constantly watch himself, secure in the knowledge that he’ll know the instant he does something she doesn’t like.
 
I don’t think you’re actually capable of doing something I don’t like, Charlotte muses.  But by all means, feel free to experiment.
 
Feeling as though he’s been given permission to push and prod at her boundaries, Erik becomes just a shade rougher.  The kisses along her body turn into bites, leaving scattered red marks that he knows will turn into faint bruises, and still all that comes from her mind is yes/more/please/not actually going to break/Erik!
 
He slides two fingers into her, curling them in the way he knows makes every muscle in her body tighten, enjoying the way her legs attempt to close reflexively, as though trying to keep his hand in place.  His thumb circles her clitoris as he deliberately moves his hand in a pace far slower and steadier than Charlotte would like.  Her fists clench and twist impotently in her bonds, and she grits her teeth as though trying to mute herself, even as soft moans leak past her lips.
 
Erik wants to remove his fingers and replace them with his mouth, feel her clench and shudder around his tongue, but that would mean sacrificing his view.  And the sight of Charlotte Xavier losing control beneath him is not one he wants to surrender any time soon, so he keeps his hand moving and tries to ignore the desperate, pounding need to touch himself.
 
Their connection ensures he can feel the moment when her heart starts to pound, her breath starts to catch, her muscles begin to flutter, and he yanks his hand away just before her climax begins.
 
Frustration and raw want blister his mind, and for a moment Charlotte actually thrashes beneath him, making a high, keening noise of desperation.
 
Erik feels ridiculously proud that he managed to put the oh-so calm and collected Charlotte Xavier in this state.  He can’t be a good man, he can’t be what she deserves, but this…this he can do.  Physical pleasure is probably a paltry reward for all that she gives to him (acceptance, companionship, complete trust and faith in him, a connection so deep and blinding he knows all that comes after it will be pale shadows in comparison) but it’s the best he can offer.
 
You better be planning on finishing what you started! slices through his mind like the harsh buzz of insect wings.  Charlotte’s glaring up at him as her body winds down from the brink he was dangling her over.
 
Technically, you started this, he points out, pushing his fingers into her again and enjoying the way her mind fragments and scatters, pleasure shivering between them like the aftershocks of an earthquake.
 
Unfortunately, telepathy ensures that he’s teasing himself as much as Charlotte, and Erik’s willpower only goes so far.  He only manages to repeat the process once more (and he needs to think of it as ‘the process’, because if he actually thinks of it as finger fucking Charlotte to near-orgasm this is going to be over that much quicker) before he gives in.
 
He rolls her over, and uses a palm on her belly to urge her onto her hands and knees.  The metal unwinds from her wrists, leaving her arms free so she can brace herself against the floor (and maybe because he’s still rather wary of his control, doesn’t trust himself not to accidentally break her wrists or bruise her and hurting Charlotte will never be a risk he’s comfortable taking).
 
He realises they’re missing something at the exact same moment that Charlotte sends him an image of a condom packet tucked into her pocket.
 
The little plastic square is easy enough to find.  Charlotte’s trousers are still around her knees and her shoes are still on – the laces neatly tied – and it might have seemed ridiculous if Erik wasn’t quite so aroused.
 
Confident are we? he thinks at her, wondering if she somehow planned this.
 
Optimistic, Charlotte fires back, lust/frustration/stop teasing! bleeding around the edges of the words.  And I didn’t want to be digging through my purse again.
 
He can go deeper in this position, and when he slides home in one smooth thrust, Charlotte arches and makes a low, pleased sound that shudders through Erik’s bones.  An impulse he doesn’t quite understand and doesn’t bother to untangle makes him lean over her, wrapping an arm around her to pull her back tightly against his chest, sealing them together as he presses his mouth against the curve of her shoulder, alternately kissing and biting, lips and teeth and tongue moving over smooth and scarred skin equally.
 
Charlotte’s head is thrown back, her hair sliding against Erik’s neck and catching against the faint stubble on his chin.  She’s wet and hot around him, internal muscles flexing, and he only manages a handful of thrusts before they both come.
 
When the spots clear from his vision (it has to be her telepathy that makes it so intense – Erik’s never had an orgasm send him temporarily blind before), he would be irked at his lack of stamina, if he couldn’t feel Charlotte’s pleasure/satisfaction/affection/can’t do that again too soon/you’ll kill me/thought I was having a heart attack towards the end there/I think you’ve broken my brain.
 
He should get up – they’re sweaty and half-naked, curled on their sides in an undignified tangle of clothes in the middle of the room – but instead he finds himself pulling Charlotte closer.  Finds himself savouring the feel of her galloping heartbeat slowing beneath his palm, the sound of her breathing gradually evening out, the scent of her hair as he presses his face against the nape of her neck.
 
Just a few more minutes.
 
--
 
AN: Thanks so much ginbitch, who betas my stuff even when she’s really, really busy.
 
Part Ten


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SO HOT.

I have no more words. Except...HOT!

Well, that and my unabated desire to see Charlotte tie Erik down to a solid, non-metallic surface and MAKE HIM UNDERSTAND. UNDERSTAND THAT HE CAN BE HAPPY AND KILL SHAW AND HAVE CHARLOTTE, TOO! He deserves a good break, goshdarnit!

Yes, poor emotionally-crippled Erik...I can always picture him as being utterly paranoid and kind of self-destructive in his belief that no happiness can last for him.

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