Bars, Brawls and Babysitting
Crossover with Avengers

Pairing: Charles Xavier/Erik Lehnsherr
Category: Crossover, Alternate Universe - modern setting,
Rating: PG13
Summary: In which Erik needs a bloody keeper and Steve fails miserably at babysitting duty.
Series: Mutant School AU
Part 1 - Training Session
Part 2 - You know what they say about assumptions...
Part 3 - Never judge a book by its cover (or Charles by his sweet disposition)
⋄ Part 4 - Bars, Brawls and Babysitting
Part 5 - 11 days, 8 hours and 12 minutes
Part 6 - Classes Neither Erik Lehnsherr nor Charles Xavier are allowed to teach
Part 7 - Who'd Have Thunk
Part 8 - Oral Proficiency

Notes: Apparently this AU series keeps coming back to haunt me LOL
Word count: 5,651

"Really, Erik," Charles says, obviously trying to sound chastising, "we're a good half hour late because you had to fool around this morning."

"I didn't hear you complaining," Erik replies evenly, leaning back against the metal paneling of the lift. It had been a nice morning, a very nice one indeed. He catches Charles opening his mouth to argue and pushes not just images in HD quality, but hi-fi ,surround sound as well at Charles.

Charles' eyes seem to cloud over a moment, his lips stretching into a soft grin. "Really, Erik," he says, shaking his head, tugging him in for a quick kiss as the lift pings and the doors begin to slide open.

Erik only reluctantly lets go of him.

For a secret facility, there are very few people paying any attention to them once they have passed the first two security points on the ground floor and they've been told to take the elevator all the way to the top floor. Of course, Charles seems to know where he's going as they walk through a vast office landscape and Erik knows it's because he's tracking the mind of the man they are here to meet.

Coming up to a door on the far side of the room, with the letters N. F. written on it, Charles shoots Erik one last warning look, which Erik just brushes off. He knows that Charles is wanting him to keep a low profile. If Charles had had his way, Erik wouldn't even be here with him.

'That is so not true,' Charles argues as he knocks on the door and patiently waits for the 'come in'.

'No, because both Brian and Logan told you, you weren't going without backup,' Erik projects at him airily. And it's true, they are the leaders of their mutant coalition - and they are right. On occasion.

'You only agree with them when it suits you,' Charles teases him.

Erik doesn't get to answer as the door is pulled open and he follows Charles inside.

"You're late, Xavier," is the first thing they hear and Erik catches himself staring. He did feel the mass of metal through the wall as they approached, but he wouldn't have guessed that they'd be dealing with Ironman. Erik seriously doesn't like the guy - has never met him, but he knows from Logan that the man can be a bit of an ass. Possibly Logan had called him a major pain in the ass. Erik hadn't been paying that much attention at the time, as he'd been busy watching Charles coaching a couple of the youngest pupils around the running track.

'Be nice, Erik,' Charles tells him. "Tony, hi," he greets, amusement trickling through to Erik and the familiarity does little to help Erik relax. Figures that Charles would know Tony Stark personally.

"Half an hour, Charles," Stark says, the faceplate sliding back to reveal the man's face. "Don't tell me. You got tied up."

"No," Charles tells him as he walks past and allows Erik to enter, "just handcuffed a little."

Erik can't help the shit-eating grin forming on his face, nor does he want to as he passes by a slightly gob smacked Tony Stark. Nor can he help his attention dividing between the rest of the room and Charles' rear.

'Stop ogling my arse,' Charles tells him, belying his demand by putting a little extra swing into his hips as he walks confidently across the room to shake hands with Nick Fury, who's watching it all with an air of annoyance.

Erik recognizes it as a look that fairly often crosses both Brian Xavier's and Logan's faces when they deal with Charles.

'No, only when it's the both of us, love,' Charles laughs in his mind.

"Nick Fury, a pleasure to meet you," Charles says, just the right side of friendly and unthreatening.

"Mr. Xavier, Mr. Lehnsherr," Fury greets, shaking their hands in greeting.

Erik grudgingly finds he likes the man if for nothing else, because he meets their eyes, he shakes their hands and he doesn't seem one bit afraid of them. He gets the tendril of agreement from Charles, letting him know that his surface scan of Fury has set off no warning bells.

"You seem acquainted with Mr. Stark," Fury says. "We're a few Avengers members short of a full team at the moment," he continues, but points to the side. "Not that he needs much of an introduction," Fury states, "but this is Captain America."

Erik takes a deep breath. He wasn't going to walk right up to the man, but...

'It's alright, Erik,' Charles' voice soothes his mind. 'I think you should talk to him, he'll like that.'

Erik isn't even going to ask Charles how he knows.

'Logan likes him too, and that's a glowing recommendation ,' Charles continues.

Erik falls back after the introductions. He doesn't go over to stand next to Rogers, who is not in his costume, but still exudes the kind of authority and quiet strength that is a trademark of Captain America. Erik will keep a low profile, because Charles is here for Nick Fury to pick his brain. He's a geneticist and apparently SHIELD and the Avengers have come across some information that they can't figure out - and it's related to genetics experiments. Erik's not here to help, he's here to watch Charles' back.

Besides, he likes working with Charles. Brian and Logan rarely let them, mostly, he thinks, because they're an item and because Logan claims they're ten times as bad when they're together than they are apart.

Erik hides a smile. Logan is, of course right.

Looking over at Charles, Erik frowns. He really doesn't like the way Stark is so damned familiar with Charles, dwarfing him when he's wearing that metal...

Erik doesn't even think about it before he pushes Stark backwards. Not enough to be obvious, but enough to make him take a step backwards.

He stops as he can tell Charles is frowning. Wouldn't want his boyfriend to know what he's doing. It's enough that Charles occasionally tells him he's terribly possessive of him. Of course, ninety percent of the time, it's gasped out during sex whenever Erik decides he needs to stake his claim physically.

This time Charles doesn't just frown, he turns his head just as Erik pushes Stark a little harder. Away from Charles.

Charles is wearing this look on his face that Erik knows all too well. It's the one that tells him Charles is on to him and that he'll put a stop to Erik's antics (Charles' words for it) whether Erik wants him to or not.

Just to be a contrary asshole, Erik projects at him how he'd like Charles to punish him for this. He does better than one might think, because for a moment, Charles' speech falters.

"I believe this is all fairly straight forward," Charles says, raising his voice a little. "I'll need to go through the all these files and it shouldn't take me more than maybe a couple of hours. Erik, my friend, I'm sure you'd be bored just sitting around waiting for me, so why..." he trails off for a moment, then smiles lightly. "I remember coming past a bar just around the corner from here, go make fun of their lousy beer and I'll come find you. The more quiet it is around here, the quicker I'll be done," he puts in before Erik can argue with him.

Still, Erik's not leaving Charles alone with anyone here, especially not...

"Mr. Stark has projects he needs seeing too," Fury puts in, voice cold and hard. "Mr. Rogers is available if you want company."

Erik might just like him for that alone.

"I wouldn't mind a beer," Rogers says, from where he's been watching the whole thing with a barely concealed smile.

'Go ahead, he seems to like you,' Charles tells him. 'God knows he doesn't know you well enough to dislike you yet, love.'

Erik shoots him a venomous glare, though he knows from the wave of fondness from Charles that he's not quite up to his usual level of menace.

'Erik, please, I meant it. I want to go back to the hotel and do unspeakable things to you before we head off home, and the sooner I can get through these files, make my recommendations, the sooner we can get back to that.'

Erik licks his lips and he doesn't miss the heat in Charles' eyes. He knows he's right, of course he is. It doesn't mean Erik has to like it.

"I don't have anything..." Stark begins, then trails off. He shoots Charles a surprised look, then nods slowly. "You don't have to protect me from your boyfriend, Charles, I can take care of myself."

Charles looks like he's about to smack his own forehead. "Tony," he says in a pained voice. "I really don't want him to rip you apart, so trust me, for the sake of all of us involved, just shut up and let me handle this."

Tony looks annoyed, but he eyes Erik with a different kind of interest, laced with more than a little appreciation, before he winces, then glares at Charles.

Erik is pretty sure he hears the words "Possessive assholes," but he might be wrong. As it is, he's startled out of his focus on Charles by a big hand landing on his shoulder.

"I don't know about you, but with all the testosterone in here, I could use a beer," Rogers tells him, and he's obviously trying very hard not to laugh out loud.

'Charles?' Erik wants to, he'd be lying to himself if he claimed the opposite, but there's still Charles to think of.

'Go, Erik, please, and not because you spoil my focus, because you do, you know that, I can't focus with you around,' Charles all but begs, 'but because I know you want to spend a little time fanboying him, so go talk, see for yourself that he's a nice human being.'

Erik sighs deeply. "Is there any chance that they might serve real beer and not what you Americans seem to think passes for beer?"

"Only one way of finding out," Rogers replies with a small smile.

Erik nods. Still, he's possessive enough to walk over to Charles and kiss him goodbye. Thoroughly. He doesn't miss the muttered "fucking children" from Fury, but he doesn't care one bit about that. Mostly because Charles tastes fantastic and it's never a bad thing to kiss him. He can't quite help himself, nor does he really want to, so he raises one hand and runs it lovingly trough Charles' hair. It's a caress instead of the possessive move that Erik aimed for.

However, the wave of happiness and fond exasperation he gets from Charles is so worth the slip.

'Slip my arse,' Charles snorts, letting Erik go with a quick squeeze and pat to his backside.

Erik allows himself a wide grin, knowing that most people find it unsettling, but not so secretly, Charles finds it hot.

Erik strides out the room, through the door that Rogers is holding open for him. He knows Charles can reach him across the city if need be and Erik knows that Charles knows he'll tear the city apart to get to him if need be.

It's possibly part of why Logan and Brian are reluctant to pair them up on missions.

"So, where are we going?" Erik asks, because if he doesn't break the silence, he will go crazy. With Charles around he can focus on him, well, can't help but focus on him. Raven still calls it their honeymoon phase, but Erik has long since just accepted that it's Charles fault.

Most things are if anyone asks Erik.

'No one asked you, love. I've got the innocent act down to an art,' Charles laughs in Erik's head and just like that, Erik relaxes. Just because Charles isn't there for him to watch, he's always there anyway.

He looks up to find Rogers giving him a strange look and Erik does something he normally wouldn't. He actually explains. "It's handy to have a boyfriend who's a telepath and capable of having multiple conversations at once."

Rogers actually smiles at this as if it's the most natural thing in the world. "It must be nice," he says, "having someone like that."

Erik clears his throat and nods. He's normally far more careful around strangers and doesn't volunteer information like that. Normally.

"There's a bar around the corner," Rogers says as he headed into the elevator and Erik follows him. "It's the one Xavier mentioned."

"And the beer's drinkable?" Erik asks, hoping for a positive answer.

"I think so, but you'll have to judge that for yourself," Rogers says with a laugh.

Erik allows himself a small smirk. He doubts it very much. Most of the time American beer is barely palatable.

Actually, the bar isn't too bad, but the beer is and much to Erik's delight, Steve, because it's been Steve after half a beer, decides he knows another, better bar.

Bar number two is no worse than the first, and at least it has a variety of imported beer. Erik is a little envious of Steve putting away the beer like it's water. Which he tells him.

"Well," Steve says with a sigh, "most of the time it's great, but occasionally, I'd have liked to get roaringly drunk, but it's not like I can switch it on and off."

Erik nods. It's not that he enjoys getting drunk all that often, but there's been times where he's found alcohol a way to dull emotional repercussions at least for a little while. To imagine to never have it work... and with some like Steve, what he's seen both during the war and now... Erik clinks his glass against Steve's in a silent salutation to past losses and pains and Steve gives him a small, commiserating smile.

Bar number three is... alright. And they end up there because apparently Charles is too busy to come find him and the meeting drags out, so there is a reason for going to bar number three. They've tested the variety in bar number two and now they want to see what the third bar has to offer. Also, Steve's never been before either, so it's unknown territory to the both of them.

"Last attempt," Steve suggests, putting a hand on Erik's shoulder as he lists a little to the right. He's sure it's the floor that's uneven. They find a small table in the back and Erik sits down heavily while Steve gets the first round.

"Local microbrewery," Steve says as he puts three different bottles down in front of them each.

Erik smiles widely. He likes Steve, he really does.

"So, now that you're sufficiently plied with alcohol," Steve says with a small grin, "are you going to tell me why your boyfriend asked me mentally to take you out for a beer?"

Erik snorts as he pours his first beer, a nice dark stout, into the glass. "Charles is always worried I'll get into trouble when I have nothing to do."

"And is he right?" Steve asks curiously. "I mean, I know you were pushing Tony around, but there are days where most of us want to do that - you just didn't have to touch him to do it."

Erik laughs. "He's right, and I'm a possessive asshole on a good day," he shares with Steve. "But that's okay, because while you might not notice at first, so is Charles."

"Better at hiding it, I take it," Steve states, taking a long, appreciative drink of his beer.

"He may appear innocent, but friends and family can tell you it's mostly an act."

"You like it, though," Steve says quietly.

Erik's grin softens a little. "Yeah, I have a pretty powerful partner, he's the kind of friend who will be with you all the way, and have just as much fun as you are."

Steve nods. "Must be nice to have a telepath for a boyfriend - you won't have to talk about your feelings either."

Erik snorts. "Not if your boyfriend is Charles Xavier, he'll make you talk anyway." He's wondering if there's something there that he should notice in Steve's behavior. Almost wistful. Then again, he is lost for a moment in his own thoughts. While Charles will make him talk on occasion, they haven't made any promises to each other. Quite frankly, on a good day, Erik just takes it as silent agreement that there will be no one else, ever. On a bad day... well, he doesn't really doubt himself and if he ever does, all it takes is seeing the heat in Charles's eyes whenever he looks at him.

Steve grins and tilts his newly filled glass to clink it against Erik's. He takes a sip and looks down at it. "This isn't actually too bad."

"Had worse," Erik agrees with a grunt. "Within the last three hours or so."

Steve snorts and puts his glass down. "I like a good beer, but you seem to be on a crusade against most American labels."

"I don't get to rant about bad beer all that often ," Erik admits, "Charles prefers scotch or wine, but he occasionally lets me badmouth generic American beer because I let him rant about his hatred for Lipton Yellow Label tea."

"So it's a thing," Steve agrees.

Erik grins, and he knows it's softer than he intended.

"I'm surprised, if the professor is as possessive of you as you of him," Steve says, "that he suggested you and I go for a drink."

Erik's grin widens when he realizes that it sounds really nice when people use Charles' title like that. "He does trust me most of the time," Erik says, then his smile fades a little. "He also wanted to give me time to talk to you. In many ways I wouldn't be here today if not for you."

Steve makes an inquiring noise as he pours his second beer, the foam expanding upward to stop just under the rim.

"I'm Jewish, like my parents and their parents before them," Erik says quietly. "My grandfather and grandmother came to the States during the last days of the war... they were in Dora-Mittelbau."

Steve looks down into his beer. "I never felt as if I did enough before I... ended up being frozen for decades."

Erik stares at him. What the hell can he say to this guy who's a living, breathing legend? Taking a deep breath, he tries: "Do we ever feel like we do enough for our causes, the things and people we believe in?"

Steve looks up and Erik knows that there is no such thing as the right thing to say, but he just came close enough.

"Probably not," Steve admits, "and if we ever do, I think it would be time to find another cause to fight for." He pauses then nods and takes another drink of his beer. "Because that's the moment when your heart isn't in it and when the fire dies..."

"You do the cause more damage than good," Erik finishes for him.

There's a loud boo from the bar and Erik looks up for a moment. The only other people currently in the bar are four drunk patrons who are watching football on the TV over the bar. He is about to turn back to Steve, when he notices one of the men drunkenly throw his bottle at the bartender, who, as far as Erik can tell, is not to fault for the ball having been dropped on the screen.

Narrowing his eyes, Erik changes channels with a soft flip of the wrist.

Just because he can.

There is a moment of silence from the bar, then a roar of anger when the TV displays an episode of Desperate Housewives.

Erik takes another swig of his beer and catches Steve looking at him oddly.

"Did you just..."

Erik grins. "Sorry, Charles does tend to say that I have a rather juvenile sense of humor, and they seemed to need something less emotionally volatile than football."

Steve blinks up at the TV.

"According to Charles, Desperate Housewives is very calming to watch," Erik says, keeping a straight face, even when Steve levels a disbelieving look at him. Erik considers the TV show pretty soothing too, but that might have more to do with Charles insisting on using him as a pillow while watching it rather than the show itself.

Another roar from the bar makes the two of them look over again. Of course, this time it seemingly has developed into an actual fight, one guy punching another and of course the drunk getting hit, stumbles backwards and lands halfway across their table.

Erik gives his beer a longing look, as it lands on the floor completely wasted.

"Gentlemen," Steve begins, putting a hand on the man's arm, trying to right him, get him off the table and back onto his feet.

And Erik just knows things are going to go to shit a split second before the universe proves him right.

The asshole still halfway across the table takes a drunken swing at Steve and it only goes downhill from there. Erik's wobbling to his feet and curses himself silently for actually drinking as much as he has, because he can tell his center of gravity is off.

Of course his powers are humming underneath his skin, every little piece of metal singing to him and Erik, as he mostly does, acts on pure instinct. One of the other men at the bar has turned towards them as well, raising his pint glass to throw it at them - it's possible if Erik doesn't do anything, he won't hit shit anyway, because he's swaying on his feet, pretty damned drunk.

However, Erik is who he is and he breathes in deeply, feeling his power roar through the metal rod that curves around the full length of the bar. A moment later, it's wrapped around the man who drops his glass and gravity pulls him to the floor where he sits on his ass with a stupid expression on his face.

It's a coincidence that Erik sees the flash of a cell phone being held up and he realizes just what kind of stupid things could happen if any pictures might make it out of the place. Most of all, he knows what will happen if any of it makes its way back to Logan and Brian. If Charles is a master of projected disappointment, it's nothing compared to the combined 'powers' of those two.

Unfortunately Erik's attention is taken up by sending out a magnetic pulse that takes out the phones and he doesn't see one of the other drunk idiots, throwing a punch. His power wobbles out of control for a split second and sparks are raining from the TV over the bar.

Erik growls and staggers back, blocking the next hit and taking down the man with a well placed punch.

He can taste blood and just knows, as he blocks someone else's punch, that Charles will be really disappointed, but what the hell? Erik's out, having fun, he is, he realizes a split second later, literally back to back with the legendary Captain America and even these drunk assholes can't wipe the maniacal wide grin off his face.


Erik staggers back, realizing that his fist is aimed at Steve and not one of their opponents. He doesn't even manage to stop the swing, but having his fist caught in the palm of Steve's hand is a little like punching a brick wall.

"Fucking hell, what do they feed you?" Erik gasps out, trying to pull his aching hand from Steve's grip. It was already sore before he hit Steve's hand, the knuckles bruised.

"I'm sorry," Steve laughs, steering Erik back a few steps to sit him down on a three legged chair. He turns the table the right side up and Erik puts his hand down on it, cradling the one that's still throbbing like crazy.

Erik closes his eyes for a moment, then lets go of his aching hand and reaches into his pocket. Staring at the screen of his cell he sighs deeply. Of course the phone hadn't survived his blast.

He looks up when Steve puts a bottle of coke in front of him.

"I didn't think beer would be a good idea," Steve says with a small grin. He also holds out a bag of crushed ice and a dishtowel. "With compliments from the bar's owner."

"Now how did that happen?" Erik asks, looking around Steve and nearly toppling over on the broken chair.

Steve catches it and keeps him in place until finds his balance back. "Apparently, those guys have been a nuisance for hours, and it's not the first time, and because of you and I, the damage is covered by his insurance."

"And I repeat, 'how'?" Erik lifts the bottle and tilts it at the barkeep who nods and carries on cleaning away broken chairs and tables.

"Even with the lack of evidence," Steve says, nodding at Erik's cell phone while he sits down and wraps Erik's hand in the bag of ice, finishing off with the towel, "the businesses in New York are all insured against destruction wrought by super powered individuals."

"So we get slapped with the blame?" Erik is somehow both surprised because he's never heard insurance could cover this, but he's also aware that this is New York and seemingly games are played here by different rules.

"No," Steve says with a slight flush to his cheeks. "The owner insists that whomever did it, got away." He looks over at one of the unconscious men. "You might want to peel that metal rod off him before the police arrive to take them away."

Erik can't help but grin. He isn't used to the public just shrugging off destruction of private property like this. Charles will have a field day when he figures out, because Erik will occasionally rant about humans being inferior and always the enemy.

Apparently some people can go onto the 'exception to the rule' list. He focuses on it and straightens the rod before reattaching it to the bar.

Speaking of Charles... "We're going to get yelled at in a few minutes," Erik says with a sigh. He can feel Charles in the back of his mind, using his telepathy to pinpoint Erik's whereabouts.

"Yelled at?" Steve asks.

"Well, spoken to in a disappointed tone of voice," Erik corrects himself, but he can't quite help smiling a little.

"Ah, the meeting is over," Steve says.

"Yup," Erik replies, taking a deep drink of the coke.

He and Steve carry on talking about this and that for a few minutes before Erik can feel Charles walking through the door. Erik looks up and while his attention will always be on Charles, he can't help but blink a few times, staring at the man behind him, towering over Charles.

"Steve, I did not want to believe our new friend here when he told me you were in a fight," the man says, stepping around Charles and closing the distance to their table with a few long strides.

Erik realizes who he is, because big and blond and a friend of Captain America can only boil down to one man. Or god.

"Thor," Steve says, getting to his feet and grasping his friend's forearm. "Please, my friend, it was just a bar brawl and I had my back covered."

"A skirmish, then," Thor says, still looking a little put out that he'd missed a fight.

"A skirmish," Steve agrees.

Erik looks away from them and finds Charles in front of him, stepping forward to stand between Erik's knees. It seems he's not quite sober enough to keep track of people at the moment, because he didn't notice Charles moving.

Charles tuts and lifts Erik's fist still wrapped in ice and dishtowel, melted ice water dripping from it. "Really, love, when I suggested you go with Steve for a drink, I didn't mean to go for a pub crawl and start a brawl."

Erik looks up at him and for a moment he just allows himself to get lost in Charles' eyes. And he's definitely not sober if he's getting lost in...

"It's very sweet, though," Charles says, his disapproving gaze disappearing, replaced by the usual way he looks at Erik. Part fondness and part heat. He leans down and presses his lips to Erik's.

Erik is pretty sure Charles only meant it to be a quick peck on the lips, but he raises his uninjured hand and buries his fingers in Charles' hair, parting his lips and pushing his tongue persistently against Charles'. And as always, Charles folds like a house of cards, sucking enthusiastically on Erik's tongue. The broken skin of his lip stings, but he doesn't care about that, the world narrowing down to the feel and taste of Charles.

It takes a few half hearted tries, but Charles eventually breaks their kiss, though he doesn't step back. Nor does he let go of Erik's hand and Erik notices that there's a damp patch on the front of his t-shirt from where the wet towel was held between them.

A clearing of the throat draws both their attention to the other side of the table.

Erik shrugs, because he'll never say he's sorry about showing off his boyfriend in public - not to mention staking his claim. That thought gets him a soft brush of lips against his cheek. Erik in turn drops his hand from Charles' hair and squeezes his backside lovingly.

Charles just rolls his eyes and shakes his head before stepping back, pulling Erik to his feet by his uninjured hand, the rickety chair falling over on the floor.

Erik shoots Steve and Thor a questioning look, but neither of them seem particularly surprised at the display.

"The brother in arms of my brother is my brother in arms," Thor says, sticking out a hand that looks big enough to engulf both of Erik's.

Not that it keeps Erik from letting go of Charles to grip it with the hand that isn't currently throbbing like crazy. "Always a pleasure," Erik replies, feeling the joy leaking through from Charles, who is standing with his back to them, shaking his head as he looks over the destruction and the unconscious men on the floor.

"One, the police are on their way, nearly here, actually," Charles says. "Two, they won't remember who you are, just that they got into a bar brawl after drinking too much."

Erik notices that Steve opens his mouth to ask, but Erik shakes his head and steps over to put his arm loosely around Charles' waist and pressing his lips to his hair. "Thank you and I'm sorry we got mixed up in this."

Charles turns his head. "Thank you for the sincerity on the first and bullshit on the second."

Erik doesn't even try to stop the snigger bubbling in his chest.

"The police are here," Charles repeats. "Maybe we should..."

"There's an exit in the back," the barkeep says, sweeping together a pile of broken glass.

Erik blinks in surprise, but mutters a thank you as they all hurry out.

Exiting from the back alley, they all stop.

"I'm done with the things Fury wanted to know," Charles says, "so I think we should get back to the hotel and have a look at your..." he gives Erik a fond look, "bruises. Then heading back home tomorrow morning."

Erik just smirks.

"Well, if you're ever back here, let us know," Steve says, shaking Charles hand, stepping aside to let Thor do the same.

"We'll have a drink again," Erik says, ignoring the look Charles is shooting him. He shakes Steve's hand and nods. "Thank you for the talk," he says, sincerely.

"Anytime," Steve replies.

"Next time," Thor says, "both Xavier and I will join you."

"Keep you out of trouble," Charles says, leaning against Erik.

And Erik is quite happy about that, because he's still not quite steady on his feet and Thor enthusiastically slaps him on the shoulder, not helping matters of gravity all that much.

"To fight at the side of our friends," Thor says enthusiastically.

Charles just gives up and the look he shares with Steve makes Erik chuckle under his breath. "With pleasure," Charles finally says, shaking his head. "Good day, gentlemen."

Erik and Charles stay where they are, staring after the two men. Erik can appreciate the sight of two well- built men walking shoulder by shoulder down the street and it looks even better when Thor throws his arm enthusiastically around Steve's shoulder, gesturing as he tells his friend something interesting.

"Windows shopping is okay," Charles says, putting his arm proprietarily around Erik's waist.

"Oh, it's a lovely sight," Erik admits, putting his own arm around Charles' shoulder. "But it's got nothing on you, spread out on the bed, naked and waiting for me."

Charles hums under his breath. "I wouldn't mind you making good use of the metal headboard and your lovely abilities with said metal as you did this morning." Then he slips his hand into the back pocket of Erik's jeans.

Erik turns his head and stares at Charles' innocent expression.

"How fast can we get back to the hotel," Erik asks, his voice dropping to a rough whisper.

"How fast do you think we can get a taxi?" Charles asks him, the corner of his mouth lifting just a fraction.

"Taxis are metal," Erik said with a matching smile.

"Erik," Charles begins, then laughs. "Let's go."