[fic] x-men: first class - it's a disaster (but that's all right) - charles/erik
Word Count: ~3300
Summary: Charles attempts to help Erik improve his cooking. Nothing quite goes as planned. Second fill for this kink meme prompt (domestic cookery fail).
Note: For purposes of this story, neither of them can cook, even if it is contradictory to some part of comic canon.
It turns out that the most difficult part of life in the mansion isn't the training regimen; instead, it's the task of keeping everyone fed and happy whenever either he or Erik is in charge of preparing a meal that's more complicated than sandwiches or cereal. Charles can partially understand why this is a problem. He likes to think of himself as an adequate, if imperfect, cook, but Erik – for all his other impressive and occasionally unnerving skills – proves abysmal when given free reign over dinner.
This becomes something worthy of intervention after a particularly bad mishap – a “stew” which appeared to be cans of something processed and unidentifiable mixed with cans of what may have once been tomatoes. Erik isn't bothered by the result, perhaps inured by this point to whatever he inflicts upon himself.
Moira and the children have escaped for the evening to dine elsewhere, so Charles has the chance to intercept Erik in the kitchen. He has come armed with recipe cards. Erik glances at him and says, “I'm in charge of dinner tonight.”
“The others have decided to try one of the restaurants around here,” Charles says, though there aren't too many to choose from. “I thought we could prepare something together.”
Erik regards Charles warily; Charles can't imagine why, and Erik keeps his thoughts close. “I can manage on my own for the two of us.”
“I know you think you can –” Erik frowns, Charles continues, “– but there's some advice I can give you to make things … easier.” Other descriptives come to mind, such as “edible” and “at least tolerable”, but those seem too harsh.
Erik laughs at first, but soon realizes Charles is serious. He shoots Charles a disbelieving but vaguely amused look. “You actually think you're better at cooking than I am.”
“Well, yes,” Charles says. He is and that much should be obvious. “I know I have areas in which I can improve, but still marginally better.”
Erik shakes his head. “After that congealed thing you made last week, you really aren't in any position to provide advice.”
“It was a pudding. It's supposed to be gelatinous,” Charles says dismissively. He looks at Erik and smiles brightly. “We can try something new tonight. I think it will be quite enlightening.”
Erik looks exasperated, mentally tossing a single word Charles' way: hopeless, but there's a flicker of warmth behind it that removes any potential sting. Maybe this will at least prove a point, follows shortly and Charles presses a kiss to the corner of Erik's mouth. That's close enough to agreement for him.
The first recipe calls for diced red peppers, so Charles lets Erik do that while he sets water to boil. Erik grabs a cutting board and floats one of the knives over to begin. Charles watches him surreptitiously while washing some potatoes. Already, there's something for Charles to correct. “That isn't dicing,” he says.
Erik continues, replying absently, “Yes, it is.”
“No, it isn't.” Walking over to Erik, Charles holds out his hand. “Knife, please.”
Erik rolls his eyes, but turns it in his hand to offer Charles the hilt. “This should be good,” he mutters, sarcastic.
“Thank you,” Charles says, accepting the knife to demonstrate the correct method. “This is dicing.”
“You're just slicing it up.”
“No, I'm dicing it. You were just cutting cubes out of the pepper.”
Erik huffs. “That's what dicing is,” he says.
“No, that must be called cubing, or something.”
Charles can tell Erik's not convinced. He's about to say something else, but Erik stops him with a question. “Does it really matter?”
Charles thinks about it, since he isn't certain if it's simply a matter of aesthetics, or if it will impact the final product. “Yes. No. I'm not sure.”
“Then I'm going to keep doing it my way,” Erik says.
Charles manages to burn the boiled potatoes. It's Erik's fault; the subsequent argument over sautéing became more involved than the one about dicing and escalated to a point that they left to consult a dictionary. Charles (erroneously) assumed everything would be fine if left unattended for a short while. However, upon returning to the kitchen, Charles discovers this is untrue. Most of the water has evaporated and parts of the potatoes are now stuck to the bottom of the pot.
“It wasn't supposed to do that. They've been immersed in water, and we weren't gone too long,” Charles says, appalled.
Erik surveys the damage. “You also forgot to peel them.”
Maybe they'll still be salvageable. “That was on purpose,” Charles says; it wasn't, but he won't admit that to Erik. This is evidently unbelievable anyway, judging by Erik's dubious look.
Charles decides to proceed onward. “Cut up this onion,” he says, moving to retrieve one. He tosses it to Erik, who catches it easily.
“Goddammit. Why the hell did anyone think it was a good idea to use a vegetable that burns your eyes?”
“They make things tastier,” Charles muses. “They're also full of vitamins and –” he breaks off mid-sentence as he looks over his shoulder and sees Erik glaring at him, or at least trying to glare at him.
The effect is ruined with the way Erik's eyes are watering up, which takes any edge off his ire, even if it's a purely physiological response. Erik curses onions for a moment longer under his breath as Charles brushes away the tears forming against Erik's will. Sighing, Erik tolerates this. He won't acknowledge that he finds the physical contact soothing, but he relaxes the longer it lasts. Charles' fingertips slide along Erik's jawline coming to rest upon the back of his neck, thumb brushing idly against warm skin.
“It's still pretty fucking ridiculous. They make you cry,” Erik says, once he's recovered some of his dignity.
Charles gives Erik a small smile. “It's a chemical reaction. When you cut the onion there are enzymes then free to–”
The words are cut off with Erik's lips. It's become one of Erik's tactics, if they're alone and Charles seems about to deliver a scientific explanation that he hasn't asked for, which amuses Charles to no end. He likes kissing Erik, so he isn't about to complain. I assure you, I really don't want to know, Erik thinks.
It's quite interesting, Charles returns, but leaves it at that to instead kiss Erik back.
There is a small fire on the stove top. It may be mostly Charles' fault. No, it is entirely his fault, he's forced to admit. One of the dish towels came too close to an open flame, but he managed to extinguish it by dropping it in with the spaghetti before it became anything serious. Nevertheless, it's embarrassing.
“Really, Charles, I am learning so much from you,” Erik says drily.
“I was right about sautéing earlier,” Charles counters. “And I've made you stop trying to cook everything at the same time. In the same pan.”
“Even though it's less efficient.”
Charles doesn't wish to go back to that topic lest he loses any of the ground he has gained. “Baking. We should try baking,” he says, unwilling to admit defeat.
Erik lets Charles have control over preparing the batter for biscuits while he disposes of the eggplant mess. This came about when Erik kept adding more olive oil whenever the eggplant absorbed it until he had gone through half a bottle. Erik had at least owned up that wasn't the intended result.
Charles doesn't think baking is too complicated. It's mixing things together then putting the final product in the oven. The recipe makes use of specific, consistent measurements, for which Charles is grateful. Once everything has been thoroughly combined, Charles takes a piece of dough on one finger and presents it to Erik. “Try this,” he says.
Erik regards Charles as though he's giving him something fatal rather than something probably delicious. “You should try it.”
“If I do and say it's good you're not going to believe me.”
“That isn't incorrect,” Erik says reluctantly. Charles waits patiently.
Erik steels himself and complies, his mouth warm and familiar around Charles' finger. Charles could have become quite distracted, if it were to last for longer than the briefest moment. Erik grabs the milk and drinks it straight from the bottle, which makes Charles frown, remembering deeply ingrained reprimands about proper behaviour. “At least use a glass,” Charles says.
Erik grimaces. “Couldn't wait. It was that bad,” he says.
It must be an exaggeration, since there's not much needed for sugar biscuits – flour, milk, butter, sugar, and an egg. “That can't possibly be true,” Charles says.
Erik presents a dollop of the mixture as Charles had previously. “Find out for yourself,” he challenges.
The drawback to that is that Charles instinctively doesn't think Erik is lying. Charles considers delving into Erik's mind for confirmation, but refrains. He pokes the wooden spoon in the bowl trying to figure out what could have gone wrong. “I'll take your word for it,” he says evasively.
“No.” Erik smiles and somehow his expression is the opposite of reassuring. “It's better if you experience it.”
Because Erik will hold it against him otherwise, Charles does, and so much salt. The assault to his taste buds hits like a punch. He grabs the bottle of milk from Erik and takes a large gulp. Erik's smile widens, a little too self-satisfied, bordering vindicated. Then again, Charles might have felt the same way if he weren't the one responsible.
“All right, I'm doing this again,” Charles says, determined. Erik decides to make toast for them both, which is admittedly a better idea.
The second go is better despite Charles' growing frustration from all of the collective mishaps. This translates into him getting flour all over everything within a six inch radius of the bowl, including himself. He turns to find a towel when he catches Erik watching him with a strange expression.
“I tried the dough. It's much better this time,” Charles says, in case that's the reason for the look. Erik doesn't immediately respond, and Charles at last asks, “What? I promise, it's perfectly fine.”
Erik shakes his head minutely, awareness coming back to focus. “You're a mess,” he says.
Charles blinks. Momentary exasperation dissipates as he laughs and runs a hand through his hair before he remembers that he shouldn't. Erik smiles as though he can't quite stop himself from doing so. It's rare to see Erik so carefree and Charles selfishly wants to hold onto this as long as he can. His heartbeat quickens, all the more so when Erik approaches and places a hand on his hip. “The entire kitchen is a disaster,” Charles says, but he's not as concerned as he should be.
“Not as bad as the time with Sean, Alex, and the sherry vinegar,” Erik says, idly. Besides, you look... adorable, follows a second later.
The sentence is edged softer, a warm thread that Charles' mind catches unbidden and brings a light flush to his face. He should be indignant – he's too old for a word like “adorable” to apply to him – but he can't be when Erik is regarding him in an unguarded way he doesn't fully believe himself capable of being. Charles resists the urge to point this out, because if he does it may unravel.
“I suppose you have a point,” Charles says instead.
“About everything? Are you admitting I'm right about your cooking ability, or lack thereof?” Erik asks.
Charles looks bemused. “We're both equally terrible; you're not better.”
Grinning, Erik kisses him and Charles reciprocates. If Erik demands Charles' full attention (he always does) boundaries become less definite. For a moment, Charles glimpses how he looked just now, sleeves rolled up to the elbows, pale skin dusted whiter – primarily his arms, but also one of his cheeks, his chin, and somehow his forehead – and the ridiculous partial fingerprints on his shirt and trousers from various, thoughtless gestures. I didn't mistake salt for sugar, Erik thinks.
What remains of the flour on his hands now ends up in Erik's hair and the back of his shirt as Charles draws him closer. Erik uses the start of movement to urge Charles back until he bumps into the kitchen table, Erik's hands steadying him as he sits on the edge of it. Charles splays his legs so Erik can stand between them, the contact of their lips not breaking for a moment. Desire grows, an overwhelming force now shared and amplified between them. His fingers curl tighter in Erik's hair, the action drawing forth a groan that sends a shiver down Charles' spine. Thinking has become more difficult, but he manages, stubbornly, It's an easy mistake to make.
The kiss breaks and Charles has to remember what it is to breathe. “The containers were clearly labelled,” Erik mutters, voice gone rough.
Instead of speaking, Charles sucks on Erik's lower lip. He's rewarded with something close to a growl and Erik's fingers press upon his hips hard enough to bruise. Tugging Erik's turtleneck free Charles slides his hands beneath the thin fabric, searching out the places he's discovered as Erik's most sensitive, tracing gently over old scars. Erik starts to remove Charles' shirt, closer to tearing it off since Charles is fairly certain he loses a button or two in the process. The fabric bunches around his elbows, but he doesn't yet free his arms. Erik nuzzles against Charles' neck, sucks on his pulse-point. The scrape of teeth against his skin draws forth a needy moan. Biting the inside of his cheek, Charles tries to pull Erik closer, his body arching toward him. Want you.
I know, Erik thinks, and Charles reluctantly withdraws his hands from Erik to shrug out of his shirt and lift his arms so his undershirt can follow. The kitchen is still warm from their failed cooking attempts and Charles feels hotter still as Erik's hands move over his bared skin. Charles hasn't managed to get Erik's shirt off by the time he can feel Erik undoing his belt buckle and unzipping his trousers with his powers, his fingers sliding over Charles' ribs. There's a cautionary voice reminding him that they shouldn't be doing this in the kitchen, but the logical part of his mind points out that getting to a bedroom requires time wasted moving. Then Erik's hand is around his cock and every thought whites out for a moment so he can just feel.
Charles reclines back on the table, knocking a bowl of fruit onto the floor with a clatter. He's propped on his elbows, flushed and breathing hard, legs spread. Erik's gaze moves over him and somehow he even makes that a possessive act that makes Charles harder and sharpens the ache of wanting. You're wearing too many clothes, Charles thinks.
Erik smirks, but he's quick to strip as Charles projects images of what Erik could be doing to him if they were both naked. His own gaze is appreciative, taking in the definition of taut muscle and the easy, self-assured way Erik moves. Charles loves seeing Erik like this, all passion; the darker edges are there, but less prominent. This time with the added bonus of the stray traces of flour in Erik's tousled hair and in random spots upon his skin where Charles had touched him. He finds the appearance oddly endearing and suddenly has a clearer idea of why “adorable” came to Erik's mind earlier.
Leaning over, Erik crushes their lips together, as though he wants to devour Charles, one hand braced on the wooden surface of the table. Erik beckons a container over to them – the vegetable shortening, and Charles can't help but be reminded of his earliest, fumbling days of adolescent self-experimentation.
You're thinking too much, Erik retorts to Charles now as he opens the canister. He makes it easy for Charles to stop thinking again as two long, slick fingers enter him. The sudden action has an edge of pain that still falls on the side of pleasant, and they have done this often enough for Erik to know what Charles can handle. Groaning, Charles rolls his hips to encourage Erik for more, impatience spilling over and magnifying the smug feeling Erik radiates. Charles doesn't care, though, as Erik angles his fingers to tease the spot inside Charles that makes him writhe. He sends the fragmented thoughts of not yet and your cock, staccato demands for more.
Their gazes meet for a split second, lust and something else undefined mirrored in Erik's gaze as much as Charles imagines – confirms – found in his own eyes. Erik withdraws his fingers and slicks his cock, hooking his hand beneath Charles' thigh to position himself. The way Erik fills him is perfect and Charles projects this to Erik, legs wrapped around Erik's waist to pull him deep inside. Erik holds there for a moment, mustering the coordination to kiss Charles, briefly but thoroughly. Charles digs his heels against Erik's back, using that to rock his hips, urging him to move. Erik does slow, steady at first, then faster, for God's sake Erik harder, again, like that at Charles' mental and vocal insistence as Charles switches between the two, distracted and unable to keep track.
The table scrapes against the floor, but is steady enough to not creak under their weight as Erik thrusts into him. It isn't in Erik's nature to hold back, and Charles won't give anything less in return, and when Erik thinks come it sends Charles over the edge, hot and wet over their stomachs, a ragged, nearly incomprehensible Erik torn from him in a moan. Erik slides his fingers through Charles' come and Charles directs Erik's hand to his lips so he can suck them clean, the combination of everything bringing Erik down with him.
Charles' arms are tired and his back hits the solid surface of the table, glad that it's old and heavy, since otherwise it would probably be wrecked, though they have moved several inches from where they started. Erik leans over to kiss him again, gentler this time, but no less claiming than the thought of mine that comes from one of them. Laying there makes him realize, belatedly, that it's rather uncomfortable, especially now that his skin is slicked with sweat and he can't pull Erik down on top of him like he wants to.
Erik uprights one of the kitchen chairs – Charles hadn't before noticed knocking any of them over – and sits down, looking obscenely languid while Charles commits the image to memory. Charles pushes himself up and tries to stand, but it doesn't last long, so he ends up sitting in Erik's lap, smiling at him as Erik quirks a brow in his direction. Charles leans forward to kiss him. “We should clean up,” he eventually murmurs.
“You'll have to regain the ability to walk first,” Erik says, smirking.
Charles laughs and rests his head against Erik's shoulder for a moment. He's lost track of time and the possibility that the others may return soon seems more pressing. Erik's fingers trace down Charles' spine, apparently unconcerned. Charles gets to his feet and tries to draw Erik with him. “Let's at least move things into the sink. Then shower.”
With some reluctance, Erik rises, accepting the clothes Charles hands him. “Fine.”
They dress themselves, make a cursory effort to get the table back in place and pile the sink to overflowing to deal with later. Flour is still everywhere – Charles tries to clean some of it up, but he seems to be making it worse, not better and soon stops. Erik drapes his arm over Charles' shoulders, body
They dress themselves, dressing himself as Charles does the same. He drapes his arm over Charles' shoulders, still giving off warmth and something very close to contentment. Everything is still mostly disarray and the initial goal of the evening remains unmet, but Charles is fine with that as he winds his arm around Erik's waist and leads him out of the kitchen.