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before | after

Title: Old Metal (Blood, Memory and Rubber Ducks)
Author: pprfaith
Summary: Erik is a vampire. Sookie Charles is a telepath. Any questions? A X-Men: First Class/Southern Vampire Mysteries Fusion.
Rating: R
Warnings: Vampires, violence, not-actually-sex, sort-of-slash, allusions to bloodplay, crack, rubber ducks, crack and vampires.
Disclaimer: I do not own any of the characters of background information in this work of fiction. They belong to the people who invented them, none of which are me.
Beta: vesselandpestle listened to me moan about the cracky idea and then encouraged it to the point where it took over my brain. In retaliation I made her beta. Somehow I don’t think she’s very discouraged.
A/N: Spawned by one thought. One. Single. Thought: One of them is called Erik and the other is a telepath. This applies to ____________. It all went downhill from there. Please let me know what you think.

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Old Metal (Blood, Memory and Rubber Ducks)

+

Erik was bored.

Not the kind of bored that happened in a lull between things to do, but the kind of bored that made him raze small villages to the ground and set things on fire for fun. The kind of bored that took months to build up and usually ended in fantastic displays of senseless violence on his part.

The kind of bored he hadn’t been in decades.

But there was nothing to do. Since they’d come out of the coffin, much of a vampire’s regular hide-and-evade maneuvering had become obsolete. He was Sheriff of his Area, which, while not always a pleasant job, meant that few people were stupid enough to mess with him. New York City was firmly under his thumb and all upstarts met with a swift end. The day to day trappings of running the vampire portion of one of the busiest cities in the world were taken care of by Emma, his childe and one of the most frighteningly efficient and ruthless people he had ever met.

And that was a compliment.

Except for the part where Emma’s competence left Erik with nothing to do but sit around his club, watching the vermin and waiting for something interesting to happen. May you live in interesting times was supposed to be a curse but, by the gods, tonight it didn’t feel like one.

The throb of some techno New Age crap was making the walls around him vibrate and the dance floor was filled with sickly pale, badly costumed fangbangers, their eyes on the prize, one and all. The problem was that he was the prize.

Lounging on the throne Emma had insisted on installing on a raised dais by the far wall of the club, Erik was playing the part of the vampire prince, decked out in leather, fangs extended, glowering at everyone. It should have made the masses flee in terror, but in this day and age, people actually thought it was hot. Didn’t realize he could kill them with a flick of his wrist. Or they did, and still wanted him. Wanted the thrill of being close to danger, wanted to play the game.

There was only ever one winner when playing with vampires.

Idiots.

Boring idiots. At least a good mass panic would have been entertaining. There had been a brief fight the night before that had looked promising, a smack down between one of his vampires and a shifter, who had, for some reason, thought it was a good idea to hang out in a vampire bar. The fight had been interesting, but far too short. The shifter had mostly dismembered the vampire in under two minutes. The undead idiot was now healing in a coffin below the club while the shifter was locked away until Erik felt like finding out who she ran with and negotiate compensation, which was tedious and annoying.

He sighed, not for the first time tonight, and Emma smacked on the arm with lightning speed. “Stop sighing,” she snapped, flipping her long, blonde hair over one shoulder. “You’re supposed to look intimidating.”

“They’re too dumb to be intimidated,” he informed her, kicking at a man in black velvet who was crawling up the steps of the dais, begging Erik to make him dinner. The man crashed onto the floor with a thud and immediately returned for more, nicely illustrating Erik’s point.

“It’s part of the job,” Emma said, coldly. She had absolutely no sympathy for him, seeing as how she was forced to wear black while working at the Hellfire Club. Emma hated black with a passion. If given a choice, she always wore white. Since a white leather didn’t fit the vampire stereotype, she went with black for the club and hated every second of it. And because she was an uppity brat with no respect for her elders, she took it out on Erik by being an unsympathetic, raging bitch.

“You’re exaggerating, darling,” she told him, smiling widely. “I take my mood out on everyone equally.”

Erik snorted, “That’s why I’ve had to replace three bartenders this year alone. You either run them off or stake them.” It was getting hard to find new people willing to work here, too. “And stop reading my thoughts.”

She snorted elegantly into one black glove and rose from her seat on the arm of his throne, excusing herself with a bow that was purely for show. “I’ll be up front, seeing if I can make anyone piss themselves.”

Erik fought back a grimace. As much as he loved his childe, there was something seriously wrong with her.

Oh, come on now, she laughed in his head as she made her way through the slobbering masses, You love me exactly as I am. And unlike you, I never get bored.

Brat, he shot back, sounding fond rather than scathing, as he meant to. And I’d rather be bored than watch humans defecate out of fear of your fashion-induced wrath, thank you very much.

She sighed mentally. No sense for adventure, she lamented and shut the door between their minds, leaving him alone again. Alone and bored. Emma was usually better at distracting him, even if she had to resort to stripping herself naked in his office and sitting on his paperwork. But lately… she was in as much of a rut as he was, he knew. Even after three hundred years, she still slipped sometimes, projecting her thoughts and emotions at him.

Her gift of telepathy had all but disappeared when he’d changed her, but within her bloodline, it worked perfectly. Since that bloodline was Erik’s bloodline and thus very short, it wasn’t much use, though. He had turned her, originally, because of her telepathy and been more than a little angry when the talent had all but faded away during her change. The blonde had been Erik’s last ditch effort at trying to find out if it was at all possible for gifts to translate into vampirism and she’d disappointed him badly.

All she retained of her former gift was the ability to communicate with those she shared blood with, a very strong glamour, and the occasional glimpse into a stranger’s thoughts. Other vampires were completely blank to her. She loved it, saying Erik’s killing her had saved her life, since her telepathy had all but driven her mad in her human life. Erik hadn’t been as enthusiastic to find her skill lost. For a few years, in the beginning, he’d seriously considered staking her and being done with it. But Emma, sneaky bitch that she was, had made herself irreplaceable by being efficient, smart, ruthless, and delightfully wicked when she wanted to be.

She was, for lack of a better word, a friend. Childe, yes; minion, yes; second in command, yes; but above all that, she was his companion through the lonely, boring decades. Usually. Tonight, she was failing spectacularly.

With a grunt of frustration, Erik kicked the genuflecting man at his feet in the face for the third time that night and then stood, stepping over the dazed human and making his way toward the back, where his office lay. At least there he could put away the fangs and stop playing Dracula. Maybe he’d even find something productive to do. Gods knew, at this point, he was just about ready to do paperwork.

Voluntarily.

+

An hour later Emma burst into his office like the furies of hell were after her, almost taking it off its hinges. Erik put down his pen, folded his hands and looked up at her, face politely mocking. Emma didn’t get excited over anything, far too attached to her Ice Queen image. “Yes?”

She was bouncing on her heels, frighteningly enough. “I found something to entertain you,” she said, her voice in that place between excited and trying not to sound like it.

“If you’ve rigged another bet to make Azazel dress in a tutu and sing Cher songs for an entire night, I will set you on fire myself.”

She flapped a hand at him and he growled. “Please,” she snapped, airily, “The secret of a great performer is to never pull the same stunt twice.”

He raised his eyebrows at her, the picture of restraint and poise. He knew she didn’t buy it, but she knew him well enough to realize he was one annoyance away from putting her perfect ass through the wall just for kicks.

“Alright,” she caved, rolling her eyes. Where had he gone wrong in raising her? “There’s a human here to see you.”

The eyebrows climbed higher. “And this should interest me why?” Humans wanting to see him came cheaper by the dozen. Hell, most of the patrons of the club came to gawk at him. Erik Lensherr, Vampire Sheriff of New York City. There were enough rumors about him circulating to keep Hollywood afloat for a year. Everyone wanted a piece of him, the Germanic warrior become vampire prince.

Emma’s smile turned wicked as she took a few steps closer, leaned across his desk and whispered, wickedly, “Because this one has the Packmaster’s brother for a bodyguard.”

Erik fought to keep the surprise off his face. Victor Creed played bodyguard for no-one, except his brother. He was vicious, more wolf than man, and old enough to be able to swat most supes like flies. He and Logan, his brother, had held the pack that ruled New York State for almost a century. They were not to be messed with. Even Erik tried not to poke them with sticks. They had no trouble with each other and he liked it that way. The weres had the countryside, the vampires had the city and any night they didn’t run into each other was a good night. For Creed to escort a human to Erik’s door…. Emma was right. This did interest him.

“Send them in,” he commanded. “And tell Creed to wait outside.”

Emma’s smirk was icy and sharp, promising trouble and looking forward to it. “Of course, master,” she drawled and with a dangerous twist to her lips, exited.

+

Erik didn’t have to wait long. Five minutes later he heard steps in the hallway leading to his office and Emma’s thoughts reached him before she did. Creed agreed to stay in the club without a fuss. Didn’t seem concerned at all. Theories?

How a three-hundred-year-old vampire could sound like a teenage gossip queen inside Erik’s head was one of the great mysteries of the twenty-first century. Either there’s more to the human than we know, or Creed doesn’t actually give a fuck. I vote for the second. Now bring me my entertainment.

For a split second Erik could have sworn he heard a male chuckle echoing on the link between him and his childe. But the phantom was gone before he could fully grasp it. He paid no further attention to it because Emma finally opened the door and ushered in Erik’s visitor.

The man was… stunning, in short, and not just because he smelled divine. No; curly hair, bright blue eyes, red lips. He should have looked boyish but didn’t, wearing his late twenties with grace. He held himself straight, head high, shoulders squared, but not like he felt threatened. This was a man entirely comfortable in his skin. A rare thing, these days, to find anyone at peace with themselves. This modern age left too much time for doubt and self reflection and it made people into wrecks.

Apart from his pleasing looks – beautiful, oh, Erik loved beautiful things, the man also smelled heavenly and had a heartbeat as steady as a drum. It didn’t speed up when he looked at Erik and it didn’t jump when Emma threw her maker one last smirk and slammed the door behind her, leaving him effectively trapped with a thousand-year-old vampire.
Interesting. Fascinating. Not boring.

Erik’s fangs had descended the second he’d smelled the human, old paper and sunlight, and he flashed them now, unashamed and greedy. The human tilted his head and smiled, hands buried in the pockets of his tailored pants.

Delectable.

Absolutely delectable.

Erik wanted.

This man. Naked and bent over his desk, preferably letting blood. In his head, Emma laughed like a hyena.

He raised his hand, waved it at the visitor’s chair on the other side of his desk. “Please,” he said, fangs still peeking out between his lips, “Take a seat, Mr…..”

“Xavier,” the man answered, stepping forward. He smelled neither nervous nor afraid. His heart went like the beat coming through the walls, thump thump thump, steady as the world spun on its axis. “Charles Xavier. Call me Charles, please, Mr. Lensherr. Thank you for seeing me so quickly.”

He sat comfortably in the chair, leaning against the backrest properly. Most humans tended to perch at the edge of the chair, ready to run at a moment’s notice. As if it would save them. Erik’s smile grew wider. Charles, was it? People, sane people, at least, kept as much distance between themselves and vampires as they could. First names were closer than anyone wanted a vampire.

“It’s no problem,” Erik placated. “And please, if we’re being friendly, call me Erik.”

Oh, and they could get very friendly, Xavier and he, if given the chance. Xavier’s lips twitched as he arranged himself in his seat.

“Can I offer you anything to drink?”

Erik himself had an untouched bottle of True Blood standing at the edge of his desk. It was mostly for show, since he despised the stuff viciously. But it put his human employees and business acquaintances at ease. Somehow the synthetic blood allowed them to convince themselves that he was not going to cross the desk and drain them dry on a whim.

Fools.

“No, thank you. Your lovely Miss Frost already offered.” Charles smiled. “Although I believe her offer was supposed to be reciprocal.”

Erik snorted. Of course Emma couldn’t pass up a chance to try and get a bite out of the first interesting thing that had happened in months. He would have to make it very clear to his childe that this one was off limits. She could have the fangbangers, but this one, this one was for Erik.

“Very well then, Charles. What brings you to the Hellfire Club?”

For the first time, a flicker of unease crossed the man’s face. Erik catalogued the reaction as Charles’s gaze suddenly flicked up to meet Erik’s own before he abruptly schooled his face into the smooth mask he’d worn upon entering the room. Interesting. Maybe it was living with a partially functional telepath, but that had looked almost as if…

Holding himself intentionally still, Erik imagined a slew of more and more gruesome scenarios, all starring the human, his blood and Erik with his teeth buried in various arteries. Xavier bent backwards over the desk, Erik’s face in his neck. Xavier pressed against the wall, Erik holding him there with an arm across his chest, teeth in his wrist, sucking him dry. Nothing. He added sex to the mix, stripping the man bare and wrapping his legs around Erik’s waist, bending him over the desk and sinking into him from behind, blood and sex and violence. He spread the Xavier of his imagination out on the floor, spread eagle and with a dazed look on his face, hovered over him, licking, nipping, biting, leaving a trail of fang marks and bruises in his wake. Every debauchery he could think of, every split second idea that had crossed his mind when he’d first laid eyes on the man. He paraded them all through his head, a slow motion movie reel of the wicked and divine.

Nothing.

Not even a flicker.

Maybe he’d been wrong. Or maybe….

Rubber duck!

Xavier blinked.

And then grimaced as he fell right into the trap.

“You’re a telepath,” Erik concluded, smirking broadly. That was why Creed had folded so easily. He was, quite literally, only a thought away.

For a second or two, Xavier looked put-out bordering on angry. Then he relaxed into his chair, very deliberately and, with an almost wry expression asked, “Rubber ducks? Really?”

Erik shrugged, unapologetic. Unorthodox had always worked for him and it hadn’t failed tonight. “I found out what I wanted,” he said out loud, redundantly, since the man was probably still reading his thoughts.

He supposed he should have been angry at the intrusion, but really, a fully functional telepath? In his Area? Wanting something from him? He could work with this, especially since he had never again found another telepath after Emma. Until tonight, it seemed. Oh, the possibilities.

Several centuries with Emma had taught him a thing or two about keeping his thoughts shielded, too. There would be no secrets pulled from the dark recesses of his mind tonight, if that was the man’s goal. He didn’t think so, though. Not with the pack’s protection given to this human. Psychic, technically. Not entirely human after all.
Psychics and elementals tried to pass themselves off as human, but really, they were as far from homo sapiens as shifters and vampires were. They just didn’t look like it.

“My sister,” the man suddenly said. Changing the subject, Erik thought. He’d allow it.

“Yes?” he prompted. “What can I do for your sister?”

“It seems she is currently in your custody. I would like to get her back.”

For a moment Erik stared blankly, then he remembered the shifter girl in the cage in the basement. The one who’d raised hell the night before. He remembered her only vaguely as young, blonde and stubborn as hell. Her scent was nothing like Xavier’s and neither were her looks.

He raised a questioning eyebrow. “I’m assuming you mean the shifter that caused an uproar in my club and dismembered one of my men last night?”

The telepath winced, obviously unaware of the circumstances of the shifter’s detainment. Erik bit back a smirk. The girl had had a friend with her, a dark skinned, dark haired beauty who’d stood out in the crowd. Her eyes had been the yellow of a bird of prey. Erik had let her go to assure whoever was responsible for her would know who to negotiate with for the upstart little girl. Apparently the friend had gone to the telepath. Fortuna was smiling on Erik.

“Raven is… young,” Xavier hedged. “And still somewhat in her rebellious phase. I’m afraid my refusal to let her go out as often as she wants to has led to her coming here.”

“You’re not blood related,” Erik states, apropos of nothing. Keeping the other man on his toes.

The human blinked again. He looked adorable. Like one of the kittens Emma secretly looked at when she thought no-one was watching her at her laptop. “No. Raven is an orphan. I… adopted her, for lack of a better word. She is my charge, which is why I am here instead of the Packmaster.”

Yes, that, and because the Packmaster coming here for a recalcitrant teenager would have caused a political incident between shifters and vampires, something neither side was keen of. Erik knew, however, that Logan was of a similar mindset as him. Just because you didn’t want war didn’t mean you wouldn’t make it when it became necessary. No backing down, no compromises. This incident would have meant war if the Packmaster had come here and taken responsibility for it.

But if a family member came, it could all be brushed aside quietly. Erik would get his compensation – and oh, he knew exactly what kind of compensation he wanted from Charles Xavier – and the psychic would get his snotty little sister back. By sunrise they’d all be happily lying in their beds and everything would be all daises and puppies.

Still, Erik was mildly surprised that the girl belonged to Logan’s pack at all. True shifters didn’t generally run with weres. Unusual. Unexpected. Useful for Erik.

Xavier cocked his head to one side, rubbing at his temple with two fingers. “You are a very pragmatic man,” he observed, having apparently followed Erik’s thought process.

“I sincerely hope you are, too,” Erik answered. Then he stopped playing and got down to business. They both knew why they were here. There was little point in dancing around the price they both knew Erik would ask. Telepaths were so, so rare, and so very coveted. For one to fall into Erik’s lap like this, practically gift wrapped by none other than his own family…“You read my thoughts. You know what compensation I want for the safe return of your sister.”

And then, just because he could, he revived the image of the telepath bent over the desk, panting, sweating, mewling as Erik molded himself to his back, teeth sunk deeply into his neck, feeding…

Charles shot him an irritated look, a blush creeping up his neck, blood rushing under his skin, close and tempting and not nearly as red as his lips. Then he caught himself and his expression turned resigned. Pity. Erik had hoped to surprise the man. He wondered, idly, if it was possible to surprise the man. He sincerely doubted it. Even the rubber duck trick had only worked because it had come from a vampire. Stereotyping was such a wonderful thing when it came to hiding what his race was really capable of. As long as the humans thought of them as archaic, old-fashioned, and stuck-in-their-ways relics of a bygone age, with a one track mind for blood and sex, they wouldn’t look any closer.

“Yes,” the human finally admitted after a lengthy pause.

Erik steepled his fingers, rested his chin on top, and waited, expectantly.

“You want me to work for you.”

The statement was bland, but Erik couldn’t quite help the shiver that passed down his back. Beautiful, skilled, useful and his. Greed, yes. It had always been his favorite of the Christians’ deadly sins, so very inherent in a vampire’s nature. Taking was what they did and Erik wanted this telepath.

He would have him.

“Your sister injured one of my men gravely. She destroyed furniture, scared away customers and almost shifted in my club.” Always best to start with the facts and then some fast thinking. “For her return to you and as compensation for the damage she did, you will utilize your talent in my employ for the next twelve months exclusively.”

And once the telepath was introduced to the vampire community, he’d have little choice but to remain associated with Erik if he wanted to remain safe. This world, once you entered it, did not let go easily.

Apparently Xavier was either naïve enough to believe he’d get away clean or arrogant enough to think he could survive on his own because he shook his head and rebutted with, “Three months. And I will not employ my ability in a way that will lead to another’s death. Regulated working hours, since I do have a day job and compensation for over time and dangerous situations.”

Arrogance. Definitely, brilliantly: Arrogance.

“Six months, you will employ your ability in whatever way I tell you to. Three hours from sundown, daily and no compensation. In case it had slipped your mind, this is you offering me compensation.”

“My sister has neither crippled your man, nor caused any death or permanent destruction. I replace what she cost you and only work three days a week, three hours from sundown.”

“Five days a week, five hours and we have a deal.” Erik was sure he’d already won, but Xavier shook his head yet again, stubborn.

“Impossible. I have two dozen children under my roof. Three days a week, three hours. I cannot offer you more.”

“Tell me why you have Victor Creed babysitting you and I’ll consider it.”

Silence fell between them, sounding large after the rapid fire negotiation. The telepath held himself tightly coiled, his mind moving at lightning speed behind his calm façade. He still didn’t smell of fear, his heart was still a drum, but he was… uncomfortable. Not used to not having the upper hand, probably. Erik repressed a smile. As a telepath, the man was probably used to getting his way. But in this case, there was only one way. Erik had the leverage and there was no way around that.

“I tell you and we have a deal, no further consideration.”

“Aye,” Erik agreed, quickly, smirking again. He had what he wanted. Six months to wrap the telepath into a web tight enough to hold him. Asset, power, and finally a way to find –

He swallowed the thought with all haste and leaned forward slightly, waiting.

“You could say the pack and I are neighbors. We share estate outside the city. I am a friend of the pack and Raven runs with them on the full moon.”

“Logan does not make friends easily.”

Narrowed eyes. The expression was far from threatening. “I have my uses, as I know you are aware.”

“You dislike being an asset to the supernatural,” Erik observed, taking perverse pleasure in riling the human up. He looked so pretty when he flushed a lively red. So very entertaining. Sure, Erik would rather there had been a different reason for the high color, but he took what he could get.

“I dislike the way those in power think they can use my kind as tools to apply to their problems. That dislike is not restricted to the supernatural, I assure you.”

Slowly, Erik rose from his chair and rounded the desk, looming over the man on the other side. He leant down low, his hands on the back and one arm of Charles’s chair. His nose almost touched the man’s temple as he closed his eyes and inhaled.

Old paper and sunlight and, now that he was so close, power. Such power. A fully functional telepath. Intoxicating. “And who,” he asked, his voice barely more than a whisper, “has tried to apply you, Charles?”

Instantly, the telepath shut down. His expression grew pleasantly bland, his back straightened, his hands tightened on his thighs. Oh, yes, someone had applied him, alright.

Erik took his small victory and backed off, opening to door to holler into the hall, “Emma, bring the shifter brat!”

Then he slammed the door shut again and returned to his seat, a study in casual relaxation. He had what he wanted. They sat in silence for long minutes, waiting. Charles was relaxing bit by bit until he looked entirely at ease once more and Erik watched him, making a point of cataloguing every inch of the man’s body at the very forefront of his mind. Smooth hands, elegant jaw, pale neck. All the places to bite and suck, all the hollows and planes to worship. He was a vampire, after all, and not ashamed of his cravings.

So he pummeled the telepath with his dirty thoughts. Apart from a strict refusal to meet his eyes, Xavier didn’t react at all. Frustrating, really. Erik pouted.

+

The girl came flying into the room with enough force to make the door bang off the wall. She flung herself at her brother, hugging him tightly, mumbling all sorts of thank yous and sorries into his ear as he stood, wrapping his arms around her and rocking her like a father would a daughter, rather than a brother a sister.

Erik watched impassively from one end of the room while Emma remained standing in the doorway, watching just as intensely. How quaint, she thought, but Erik could hear the envy under her words.

Do you need a hug, childe of mine? he mocked, knowing she could hear the sincerity in his offer, disguised under sarcasm as it was. He hated her for that sometimes.

She smiled mockingly and the siblings parted. The telepath brushed a strand of hair behind her ear and smiled at her, friendly but sadly. Disappointed.

“Victor is waiting in the bar. Find him, go home.” He stopped for a moment, eyes flicking to meet Erik’s gaze, then around the room, as if considering something. Finally, “I’ll follow later.”

Erik felt his eyebrows rise unbidden. He had expected the Xaviers to try and make their exit together. The deal was made, Erik’s end upheld. For tonight, there was little more to discuss. Not only was Xavier a man of his word, but Erik had no worries whatsoever about the man escaping him, should he try to. Their business transaction was done. For the telepath to agree to remain behind, and without his bodyguard or sister… Interesting. Confusing. What did he want?

The girl grew wide-eyed. “No, Charles, you have to come with me. Everything’s fine now, isn’t it? We’re going home?”

She looked fragile, after twenty-four hours in a cage, her make-up destroyed, her hair a mess, her sexy dress rumpled and torn in places. Someone had given her an overly large t-shirt to put on on top of the dress. She looked like the poster child for a party gone wrong and Erik saw what Charles had meant when he’d called her young. Not quite a teenager anymore, but not far beyond it either. And still utterly childish in mind, if not in body or mannerisms. She carried the adorable cluelessness of the puppy she probably turned into, even though she tried to be a kitten. A sex kitten, to be exact. Her contradictions did nothing for Erik, unlike those of her brother, who seemed both arrogant beyond measure and stronger than he looked.

“You are going home, taking a shower and getting something to eat. I will follow as soon as I’ve finished discussing my terms of employment with Mr. Lensherr.”

Their discussions, as far as Erik knew, were already done, but he said nothing. Only details left to clear up. The girl took half a step away from her brother. “Employment? Charles, why are you working for the bloodsuckers?”

She sounded angry, surprisingly. Stupid girl.

Big brother shot Erik a look over her shoulder. His voice was calm as he said, “These are the terms of your safe return, Raven. Actions have consequences.”

He sounded like he’d said that many times before. The blonde’s face grew stormy. “But they can’t do that! I mean, they can’t just… where’s Logan?”

“Logan is at home, where he should be.”

“But he could get me!” Anger now, mixed with fear. Maybe she was beginning to understand the consequences her little fit of belated teenage rebellion was having. Erik watched silently, letting the drama unfold. If she’d been his responsibility, he’d be carrying her out of here in a sack and locking her into the basement until she learned her lesson. But she wasn’t his and really, her stupidity was helping Erik out greatly. They could take all the time they wanted.

Xavier, on the other hand, seemed to have had enough. He didn’t raise his voice but there was a definite tinge of annoyance in it as he spoke. “And cause a war in the process? Actions, Raven, and consequences. You acted, I pay the consequences. Now find Victor and let him take you home. I will follow.”

He stressed the last part, probably in an effort to calm her down, but she would have nothing of it, whirling instead to shout at Erik, her eyes flashing canine yellow, “You can’t do that!”

Apparently, the girl didn’t learn very well. Xavier tried to grab her by the shoulder to pull her backward but she evaded him with a shifter’s reflexes and rounded on him. “Charles! You can’t! This is going to turn out exactly like Kurt and – “

The room turned cold from one second and the next. So cold, that Erik actually looked around for a physical cause, until he realized that the cold was artificial. The telepath was projecting it into the room like ice water and from the looks of him, not even intentionally. Raven had gone as white as the newly dead, hands clasped in front of her mouth.

Whoever Kurt was, his name worked like a magic spell.

She opened her mouth, apology plain on her face, when Xavier raised one arm, pointing at the door. His face was calm, but his voice as icy as the cold he was projecting. “Out.”

She went, without a word, almost running from the room. Emma waited a beat, then went after her, leaving Erik alone with the telepath, who looked like he’d just seen a ghost. And his heart… oh, the thump thump thump had turned into a staccato rhythm, fast as a rabbit.

Kurt, Erik thought, loudly, expecting – wanting - anger. Picking at things until they unraveled was a favorite pastime of his and this one… this one would unravel to prettily.

What he got instead was blue eyes full of memories of horrible things. Xavier closed his eyes, inhaled deeply, and stopped projecting. Warmth returned to the room – had never really been gone. “I apologize for my sister,” he said, still gathering himself, using the words carefully, trying them out. “She is an advocate of the freedom of my people and she doesn’t take well to me being under anyone’s command.”

“She needs to learn when to shut her mouth,” Erik observed, not entirely kindly.

The telepath didn’t look pleased with the statement, but he didn’t protest it because Erik was right. He returned to his seat, rubbing at his temple again, as if staving off a headache. Then he raised his head, looked Erik flat in the eye and said, “Your mind is a fascinating place. I’m afraid I’ve never encountered one as old as you. Did you know you think in layers?”

Erik was about to tell the telepath to get the fuck out when the man changed direction abruptly, offering, apropos of absolutely nothing at all. “The children living with me are all psychics and elementals.”

“Fascinating,” Erik drawled, having no idea what the other man was getting at and starting to become annoyed. Goody-two shoes made him itchy, and this one didn’t even blush very well. Xavier shifted a bit in his seat, forwards, closer. He looked intent.

Maybe the change in subject wasn’t as random as Erik thought it was. No, this was important. This was why the psychic had remained behind, alone, and doubtlessly there was a point in there, somewhere.

So Erik sat back and waited. It occurred to him, as he folded his hands across his stomach, that it had been decades since he’d had a conversation like this, a match on equal footing. Even with Emma, conversations always carried the tinge of master-childe, and they usually degenerated into snipping very quickly. But this man, this human, was too arrogant to be cowed by everything Erik could have done to him in the blink of an eye. He looked at a thousand-year-old master vampire and saw an equal.

He was as arrogant as he was beautiful and Erik found that simply thrilling, really.

Or perhaps, a voice that was not Emma spoke in his head, it is not arrogance but knowledge that makes me so bold.

Erik bit back on his instinctive reaction, which was to lunge across the desk and rip the man’s throat out for invading his mind so, for being so blatant, and asked, “Is it?”

“I protect the children,” Xavier said, blatantly ignoring the question. “from those who would use them for their skills. We are in a precarious situation since the population at large has become aware of the supernatural. Humans see us as freaks and would use us for our abilities only, while supes see us as humans and also wish to use us. We belong nowhere and have no-one to protect us.”

“Heart wrenching, I’m sure,” Erik droned, still waiting for that point.

‘Kurt’ then, would be someone who had used Charles Xavier. Vaguely, Erik wondered if Kurt had been a human or a supe.

“A human,” was the prompt – and annoying - answer, delivered in a flat, deliberate tone. The tone of someone who’d survived to remember. Past a certain age, it became a conscious effort not to sound like that. Hurt. Scarred. Jaded. Erik hadn’t thought the little telepath had it in him. Delectable and tortured. “My stepfather, in fact. He thought my ability would profit his business.”

“Did it?” Erik didn’t think so.

Xavier’s expression remained the same but his sky blue eyes got hard. Hard and cold, glass and crystal and ice, almost as good as a vampire’s stare. Powerful. Knowing. It was answer enough for Erik.

“Why should I care about your problems?”

Head tilted to one side, the telepath looked curious. Curious and very sure of himself. “Because it’s your problem, too,” he said, like Erik should have already known that.

Erik didn’t bother to hide the blatant you think so? on his face. “How so?”

“You’re one of us.”

The reaction was instantaneous and far too fast for the human eye to follow. Between one blink and the next, Erik had the human pinned against the wall like a fly, his forearm pressed against the man’s thudding pulse, his thigh wedged between Xavier’s to curb any attempts to get away. He slammed his free hand into the wall by the man’s head, leaning in close, hissing, “Who told you that?”

The human made a little choking sound, like he didn’t have enough air to speak. Erik didn’t bother easing up on his hold. The telepath had other ways of speaking and he’d better use them fast, or all bets were off.

You, resounding in his head, too loud, like the stress was making it hard to focus, to regulate the telepathy. You’re the most powerful elemental I’ve ever seen.

Was, Erik thought, old regret, old hate, old anger, old helplessness rising in him like the tide. Was and now is no more. The power had gotten him killed and when he’d risen from the grave, it had been gone. Powers never really survived the change. He’d tried, one last effort, with Emma, but her gift had left her almost as surely as his had left him. Only, unlike him, she’d never mourned the loss. No, death was the end of all gifts.

You don’t believe that anymore than I do. Louder still and it jarred him long enough to look at the man, the actual, physical man in his grip, and find his lips turning blue. He was killing him. He was killing the telepath. He eased up a bit and Xavier gasped gratefully, drawing great heaving breaths.

Erik watched for a moment, distantly amused by the fragile human’s struggle, and then tightened his hold again, reiterating his earlier demand. The blind rage that had come with his surprise had faded, but he was still getting answers.The telepath laughed, sounding raspy, “You did.” Ever since you realized what I am, your own power has been at the back of your mind, hovering. I can feel it, like quicksilver, moving inside of you. It’s still there, buried so deep, along with the memories.

The memories. Gods and devils, the memories. Erik shook his head like a dog, trying to get rid of them, but the images rose in his mind, unbidden, unwelcome, and, he realized as he felt his stance falter, his grip slip, conjured by another’s power. His memories. Someone else’s control. He struggled, but he might as well have been trying to catch water. An ocean full of it.

The telepath was reaching into his mind, far beyond his surface thoughts, far beyond the farthest place anyone had ever touched, flooding them, drawing out things that were a thousand years forgotten.

That night.

Flames and screams and the cries of the children. They’d been so small, barely five, his children, his beautiful, perfect children. Twins were bad luck but neither he nor his wife had cared. A boy, a girl, each a perfect mixture of their parents. They’d died screaming. And his wife, his beautiful, beautiful wife, her eyes wide with tears as she wrapped her arms around their children, tried to keep them safe. She’d looked at him, at the monster he’d become, with nothing but forgiveness in her eyes even as the fire had eaten her whole.

His parents. His father, old and weathered like a tree, but so strong. Not strong enough. Not nearly strong enough against the monster. Mother. Kindest of all women. Warmest and brightest.

All dead. His ancestors, his wife, his descendants. His entire family, his entire line, erased in one night.

Fire.

And he’d stood by and done nothing, screaming, screaming, screaming for his maker to let him go, to stop, please stop.

No mercy. Fire.

A thousand years later the memories brought him to his knees.

Vaguely, a million miles away, he was aware of Emma crumbling in one of the backrooms, overwhelmed by his grief, as paralyzed as he was.

Oh, a voice said, too loud, too close, filling up all Erik’s crevasses and corners, Oh, my friend, I am so sorry for what was done to you.

Done to him. His life robbed from him, stolen in the night because his power, his ability to move metal had intrigued his maker. He’d died in agony and risen in chains, less than fifty steps from his home, from his family.

And his maker, the monster that killed him, the fanged beast, standing at the open doorway, torch in hand. Inside, Magda and the children sobbing, his mother praying, his father struggling against his bindings, screaming for Erik do something, to help them.

Help them.

His maker had smiled, lopsided and cruel. There’d been blood on his fangs.

“I know the power is still inside of you. Free yourself and they’ll live.”

Break the chains. Move the metal. Save them.

They’d all died screaming.

They’d died because he hadn’t – “Stop,” Erik bit out, tasting blood where his fangs had pierced his lips, tasting grief and failure and hate.

Stop!

He lunged for the telepath again, flung him to the floor like a ragdoll, sat on his chest, hand wrapped around that long, pale, fragile neck. “Stop,” he hissed again, unable to think, to speak, to move beyond the memories. He would kill this arrogant son of a fucking bitch for digging into his skull, for bringing up what was best forgotten, for doing this to him, causing him pain, leaving him in agony. He’d kill him, rip out his throat and drink his blood, shred his corpse and –

You couldn’t.

Try me, Erik thought, the haze of rage and bloodlust still too heavy to understand the implications of what was being said.

No, came back and he released the human, stood up and back, six feet away, his hands by his sides. It wasn’t his doing. It wasn’t what he wanted. He wanted to wrap his fingers around that neck and squeeze until something popped, wanted to sink his teeth into warm flesh and drink until there was nothing left to drink. He wanted to rip and tear and rend in revenge for drawing out these memories, for making him weak, for knowing.

His family was gone, his power was gone, his life was gone and the only two people left alive on this earth who remembered were he and the monster that had done it. And that was still one too many. The telepath had to die.

It was… so much. Too much. A fully functional telepath. He didn’t quite understand all that entailed until now. He tried to take a step forward but didn’t move, tried to raise his hand, nothing.

It’s not arrogance, the telepath whispered through his mind, still lying flat on the ground, relearning to breathe. He had his mind under control again, a trickle instead of an ocean, quiet, quiet. All the power dammed away and concentrated on Erik like a laser. I know that you can’t harm me. If I let you go, will you -

Yes,” Erik hissed, the word nothing but sibilants around his fangs and fury.

The psychic sat up, one hand at his throat, rubbing away red bruises. “I’m sincerely sorry, my friend, but ever since you found out what I am, the memory of all that happened has been hanging at the edge of your mind, teasing. I saw your power and I saw him.”

There was absolutely no need to clarify who he was. Maker. Monster. Torturer. Master. Sebastian.

Erik hadn’t laid eyes on the monster in six hundred years, hadn’t even come close to finding him in almost three hundred, and yet the mere thought of the name sent a shudder down his spine and pure hate surging through his frozen veins.

He could almost feel the human latch onto those numbers. Emma, he thought out loud, That’s why you turned Miss Frost. So he wouldn’t get her.

No. He’d turned Emma because he’d known Sebastian was close by, somewhere in the same country, and he’d needed her to find him. Insane and human she would have been useless. He’d hoped…but talents never carried over into death. Death was the end of all gifts.

“Is that what you tell yourself?” The voice was raspy, broken from Erik’s rough treatment and it sounded all the more real for it. He almost wished the telepath would get back in his head instead. Nothing he said in there seemed as real as the raspy voice out loud. “He had his eye on her. When you found her, you turned her to spare her your fate.”

A wordless snarl was all the answer could muster.

“I propose a change in our deal, or, if you will, an entirely new deal.”

Erik was still immobile, but he could raise his eyebrows and sneer. Didn’t the telepath know he was dead as soon as he let go? He couldn’t hold on forever. And even if he could make Erik forget, someone would remember. Emma… The man was as good as dead.

“Help me protect my children. Help me protect our kind. You know what it is like to be used. You, too, have been, applied, as you put it. Help me. Together, we can make a safe haven for our people and maybe, one day, change the world for them. For us.”

Idealist. Dreamer. Arrogant naiveté. For all the man’s power, for all his brilliance, he was still a fool if he believed the world could ever be more than it was, a cesspool of hate and war games.

Xavier shook his head, sadly, disappointedly. “Help me, and in return I will help you. I’ll find your maker for you, no matter what I have to do, no matter how long it takes. That is what you really want from me anyway, isn’t it? To find him so you can have your revenge. I’m more powerful than Miss Frost. I can find him no matter where he hides.”

Erik faltered. His dreams were foolish, but if the telepath voluntarily helped him… In the end it came down to whether or not he still wanted his creator dead more than anything else and the answer was, as it always had been, yes. Getting to keep the telepath after it was over was a bonus that paled in comparison.

The man was in his head again, following his thought processes, because before Erik could speak, he asked, “If I let you go, will you be calm?”

He considered for a moment. Revenge on this man for conjuring the memory or revenge on the man who’d made the memory? There really wasn’t even a choice. With a deep breath, Erik reigned himself in, fangs slipping away. Calm, calm, calm.

Xavier nodded and the next second, Erik could move again. He took two quick steps forward and crouched down in front of the human, daring, stupid, naïve, brilliant and powerful. Compared to this man, Emma’s powers had been child’s play. And now… now he was at Erik’s disposal.

Sebastian would die. Finally, finally, a thousand years too late, the monster would die and Erik would be the one to make it so.

“I extend my protection to your little club. You find my maker for me.”

A nod. Xavier blinked up at him, unafraid. Thump thump thump, again. Erik understood why there’d never been real fear. Once, Erik had been able to decide entire battles on his own by using his powers to turn the fighters’ weapons against themselves. Once, he’d thought he could spin the world off its axis if he so pleased. This man, this telepath, actually could.

And he was Erik’s now.

“Equals,” Xavier said, answering his thoughts, or simply clarifying. “Partners. I am not your pet, nor your tool, Erik.”

His name on the telepath’s lips was magic, too. Kurt. Erik. Sebastian. Charles. Names had power and Erik was old enough to remember that. For a long moment they stared at each other, motionlessly. Then Xavier offered, “I think I can help you access your ability, too.”

Sweetening the pot, offering what Erik had dreamed of in his dreamless death for a thousand years: the return of the song of metal and ore. Perhaps he was lying. Perhaps he wasn’t.

He still got his revenge and a telepath out of it and who knew, if those children had useful abilities… In any case, the days of boredom were over.

Flicking his tongue across his newly lowered fangs and smirking in blatant invitation, Erik offered the human a hand to help him up.

Charles raised an amused eyebrow and Erik let another image dance across his mind: Sex, blood, skin, sweat, ecstasy. Partnership.

No flinching.

The telepath accepted Erik’s hand, asked, “Deal?”

Erik pulled hard enough to topple the other man into his chest.

“Deal.”

+

Later, almost dawn, Erik sat at his desk, a metal pen held between his fingers, bent almost in half. He’d found it like that, after the telepath had finally left.

Bent. Curled. Twisted. He hadn’t done it. Not with his hands.

With his mind.

But that was impossible.

Death was the end of all gifts.

I told you. a voice, unfamiliar but known, laughed in his mind. Buried, not
lost.


Arrogant, he thought, receiving only laughter in response. In his hand, the metal of the pen sang and Erik almost – almost – heard it.

He closed his eyes.

+

+

Oh god. *ducks*

+



+

Now with sequel: Deep Sea (Eggs, Wolves and Rubber Ducks).

Comments

( 84 have spoken — speak )
Page 1 of 3
<<[1] [2] [3] >>
mremre
Jul. 31st, 2011 07:26 pm (UTC)
EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEee ::dolphin noises::

This is FANTASTIC! I hope desperately that a whole 'verse of bunnies is multiplying in your brain, and I pray that they bite you into submission. THANK YOU!!
pprfaith
Jul. 31st, 2011 07:32 pm (UTC)
I think you're the first person to ever explicitly wish me rabidly aggressive killer!bunnies.

Thanks anyway. ;P I'm glad you like it!
(no subject) - mremre - Aug. 1st, 2011 10:11 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - pprfaith - Aug. 1st, 2011 02:21 pm (UTC) - Expand
blumvale
Jul. 31st, 2011 07:32 pm (UTC)
this is absolutely amazing! PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE tell me there will be more of this!! I need more like I need air!!
pprfaith
Jul. 31st, 2011 07:39 pm (UTC)
Probably. My beta might brain me if I don't write more...

Thanks!
(no subject) - vesselandpestle - Aug. 1st, 2011 02:39 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - pprfaith - Aug. 1st, 2011 02:57 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - vesselandpestle - Aug. 1st, 2011 10:30 pm (UTC) - Expand
(Deleted comment)
pprfaith
Jul. 31st, 2011 08:14 pm (UTC)
Thank you.
_profiterole_
Jul. 31st, 2011 08:17 pm (UTC)
This is epic! :D
pprfaith
Jul. 31st, 2011 08:23 pm (UTC)
Thanks!
calligrafiti
Jul. 31st, 2011 08:52 pm (UTC)
Great fusion! Love the ducks. While I read the True Blood books, I haven't gotten around to watching the show yet. Michael Fassbender is now playing Northman in my head.
pprfaith
Aug. 3rd, 2011 08:04 am (UTC)
Don't watch the show. It ruined everything for me. Apart from making Godric Erik's maker (who is way cooler than the one on the books) everything is just... lame.

Thank you very much for reading!
karaq
Jul. 31st, 2011 09:05 pm (UTC)
You can't stop here! You just can't!
(Awesome story, especially considering how much I despised True Blood) More please. :)
pprfaith
Aug. 3rd, 2011 08:05 am (UTC)
True Blood is horrible. I'm completely with you there. But the books were awesome, up to a certain point.

Thank you very much for reading.
dharkapparition
Jul. 31st, 2011 10:49 pm (UTC)
*twirls you

This was so much better than I had imagined. Flawless integration.
pprfaith
Aug. 3rd, 2011 08:05 am (UTC)
Thank you! *bows
avictoriangirl
Jul. 31st, 2011 11:44 pm (UTC)
This is awesome as hell. Please tell me there will be more? *begs prettily*
pprfaith
Aug. 3rd, 2011 08:05 am (UTC)
Yes. More. Eventually. (That means soon.)

Thank you.
grey_bard
Aug. 1st, 2011 12:32 am (UTC)
This was unpredictable and absolutely wonderful. I loved it!
pprfaith
Aug. 3rd, 2011 08:06 am (UTC)
Unpredictable is good! Yay! Thank you!
nathcoelho
Aug. 1st, 2011 01:11 am (UTC)
this have a sequel? because, really! i need more! *_* awesome!
pprfaith
Aug. 3rd, 2011 08:06 am (UTC)
This will have a sequel. Thanks!
elizabethisboss
Aug. 1st, 2011 01:24 am (UTC)
I cannot even begin to say how happy this story made me. PLEASE SAY THERE'LL BE MORE BECAUSE THEIR RELATIONSHIP HAS SO MUCH POTENTIAL IT BURNS ME!
pprfaith
Aug. 3rd, 2011 08:07 am (UTC)
THERE WILL BE MORE.

That okay? Thank you very much for reading.
aesvir
Aug. 1st, 2011 03:01 am (UTC)
Holy crap. This starts out in familiar True Blood territory and just becomes more intense as it goes along!
pprfaith
Aug. 3rd, 2011 08:07 am (UTC)
Thank you! I was kind of scared I was moving too far from canon. Good to know it worked. :)
krisomniac
Aug. 1st, 2011 05:16 am (UTC)
AIEEEE!!!

SO So fantastic. The FIt of these 'verses, your VOICES, OMFG, Erik's in particular, was such a perfect blend of BOTH Eriks.

I cannot even begin to. That was so very many kinds of awesome.

Ohhh, and if there was more to this world, I would be so very ecstatic.
pprfaith
Aug. 3rd, 2011 08:08 am (UTC)
Thank you very much!
beren_writes
Aug. 1st, 2011 11:23 am (UTC)
Superbly done ... absolutely wonderful.
pprfaith
Aug. 3rd, 2011 08:08 am (UTC)
Thank you!
skadihelias
Aug. 1st, 2011 11:31 am (UTC)
Oh.

My.

God.

Please tell me you're gonna write more of this verse?

Please?

Pleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeease?

;____________________;
pprfaith
Aug. 3rd, 2011 08:09 am (UTC)
Thank you. Love the icon. And yes, there'll be more. I have been peer pressured into it...
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this girl

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too many words

the past

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