Category: AU, still have powers, modern setting, Dorks in love, IKEA trips, established relationship
Summary: There's a true and real danger in entering any IKEA, anywhere in the world. Erik's worries are valid, you know.
♦ Fic-A-Week Project 2014 - Week 23
♦ DIY for Mutant Rights Fighters Part 4
Notes: Written for Smitty's birthday 2014 - for we have had the hunch that maybe one day she and I shall turn around a corner in our respective IKEAs and meet each other.
Word count: 1,112
"It's fucking L-Space," Erik muttered under his breath.
Charles considered hiding the fact that he was rolling his eyes, then decided against it. Even threw in a mental variation of it. "It's IKEA, Erik. Not the Library of the Unseen university."
Erik glared at him. "I didn't mean that it was part of the library's L-Space. I meant that IKEA has its own."
Charles tried not to respond, but gave up fairly quickly as they walked down among the tall shelves of flatpack furniture. "Its own what?"
"Its own L-Space," Erik replied, continuing walking down one aisle, stopping, stepping back and heading for the next.
Charles checked his phone and the app Raven had informed him he'd need today. He'd scoffed, but right that very moment, he made a mental note to buy her a bottle of good wine - because she'd been right. He continued past the aisle Erik was heading down, aiming for the next one.
A moment later, Erik appeared behind him, huffing with annoyance, using his powers to levitate the flatpack from the shelf onto the cart. It floated decidedly lopsided, but managed to land on the cart - undamaged.
"Damn it - wish they'd pack the metal in it more evenly," he grumbled.
Charles refrained from commenting. Erik could be temperamental on a good day, but IKEA seemed to bring out the worst in him.
"So, L-Space," Charles said, slipping the other half of the flatpack down onto the cart. "In what way?" If he kept Erik talking, maybe they could avoid property damage. Also, it would serve as entertainment. Charles had never really managed to convince Raven or anyone else for that matter, of why he liked spending time with Erik. Why he liked working alongside him as they did odd jobs around the school. It wasn't that they couldn't pay their way out of it, but both men enjoyed the manual labour on occasion.
One thing he'd never share with his sister, though, was that it was sort of his and Erik's version of foreplay. They rarely managed these bouts of fixing and tinkering at the school without ending up hot and sweaty - and the IKEA flatpack furniture solutions were brilliant for getting the adrenaline going. For a couple of smart guys like Erik and himself, it all tended to deteriorate quickly when involving IKEA instruction leaflets.
A trip to IKEA might be taking it a little too far, though. Charles could tell that Erik was genuinely annoyed and that it didn't help that other patrons were staring more than a little at his display of power. However, Charles felt no fear from them - most of them seemed impressed and more than a little envious at Erik's ease of using his gift for menial tasks. Charles wasn't above beaming at them, clearly displaying that 'why yes, he's with me' attitude.
Erik turned around, stared at him and then just shook his head. "Gloating again, Charles?"
"Just doing the proverbial marking of territory," Charles said lazily, maneuvering the cart towards the next aisle.
"As long as you don't pee on me to prove your superiority," Erik replied with a shrug.
"Please, I'm well more sophisticated than that," Charles said with a laugh, checking the app again.
Erik snorted but refrained from commenting. "And I'm sticking with my L-Space theory," he continued. "I'm sure every IKEA around the world is connected in some way. You walk down one aisle, turn the corner and come out at the next aisle in another IKEA, hence the L-Space theory."
Charles just stared at him. "You seem to have given this some thought."
"Hear me out," Erik said, gesturing as he followed Charles down the aisle. "The original L-Space definition is knowledge = power = energy = matter = mass and mass warps space - connecting all the libraries of the Discworld. IKEA's much the same, except you substitute knowledge with flatpack furniture and power is the hold that IKEA has over people - The energy is the energy created from thousands of shuffling feet as people move through the pre-set outlay of any IKEA, anywhere - like water on a prayer wheel."
Charles stopped. Really, he hadn't expected it to get this much out of hand. "Well, you've clearly given it a lot of thought."
Erik beamed at him.
"That wasn't necessarily a compliment," Charles continued with a sigh.
"No, but seriously," Erik said, "if all IKEAs are connected, and so much energy is produced, it does indeed create a strange and dangerous place - for all we know, we could be in Germany right now."
Charles rolled his eyes. "Everyone is thinking in distinctively English sentences. American English," he quickly amended as Erik was gearing up for an argument and Charles could tell his next claim would be Britain, Australia or Canada.
"We may have walked through an Italian IKEA without noticing," Erik muttered under his breath.
Charles bit his lip to keep from laughing. "Well, if it is such a strange and dangerous place, I suggest we be done and get out of here." He pointed up at the last flatpack they needed and Erik pulled his tricks again, this time the transfer from shelf to cart was more stable.
"Does that app of yours show the way out?" Erik asked, grabbing the cart with his powers while putting his arm around Charles' waist - mock protectively.
"Dork," Charles muttered under his breath, pointing up at the sign above. "Check-outs are that way. If you go get the car, I'll take care of our purchases - and we can make a quick getaway before we're sucked into undiscovered country."
Erik snorted and squeezed Charles' arse, who in turn let out a rather undignified sound for a schoolmaster of a prestigious school to make. 'Now who's the dork?
'If I were you, I'd make a run for it, arsehole - or you might yet lose your boyfriend to the vast Swedish L-Space - I might come out wearing yellow and blue if that happens,' Charles replied, rubbing his offended cheek.
"Perish the thought," Erik said with a raised brow, "that old genetics t-shirt you're wearing is enough as an eyesore as it is."
Charles sent Erik the equivalent mental feeling of getting his arse slapped and pinched in retaliation, only managing to make the other man jump a little and lick his lips calculatingly.
Unrepentant, Erik just crooked his finger, slipping the car keys from Charles pocket with ease. "See you in a bit - watch out for any shifts in language and mentions of köttbullar."
Charles rolled his eyes again - pushing the cart towards the check-out. Maybe he should dawdle a bit and tell Erik he'd ended up in Spain or something.