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All the King's Man: Part 5

Title: All the King's Man
Fandom: X-Men: First Class
Pairings: Charles/Erik, Charles/Emma, Charles/Other(s), Azazel/Raven, Sean/Moira, possibly others.
Warnings: Courtesans, mpreg, anatomical impossibilities, dubcon, Shaw is always a douche
Summary: Erik is the king of Genosha, Charles is the son of Brian Xavier, a former merchant who has since died. Charles' stepfather, Kurt, has designs on marrying Charles off to a business associate, but Charles takes matters into his own hands and enters into life as a courtesan in Erik's court where he comes to Erik's attention.
Work will eventually get up on AO3 if you want a download. Mostly unbeta'd at present

~14~


His days became a bit better after that. He loved Erik, and whether Erik would tell him so directly or not, Erik loved him and seemed to be pining for him. It was... rather sweet in a way that made Charles feel appealingly warm and happy. The letter that came in return to his declaration was short and to the point.

I love you. I can't imagine anyone I would love more.

The warm, melted feeling lingered all through his next trek through the jungle.

Two days later, as they'd gotten back from a shorter expedition into the wilderness to get two of their herbs, he got a letter from Emma that reported Erik in better spirits. Emma's knowledge of the political details was sketchy at best, but she knew the attempt to remove Kurt from Klettgau had not yet been executed and that the Princess was quite nervous. There was apparently a concerted effort now to marry off the remaining courtesans in the palace and poor Logan was having none of it.

Charles knew little about the man; as far as he could tell, Logan had worked in the Genoshan military before being outed as an omega and he was largely hoping to return to his commission through his time in the palace. He had no desire for a marriage. He almost sent Erik a note to let the poor man just stay single, but he figured he could leave that in Emma's hands since she appeared to have become the slightly Charles-like influence in his ear to counteract the more bellicose and irrational Shaw.

Sometimes the letters he received from Erik were tense and terse, other times they were lurid, and yet other times they were just detailed and meticulous. If anything the frequency made him feel a touch guilty at his several day-long forays into the wilds where he couldn't send letters daily.

Moira's correspondences were fewer and farther between, although Lord Cassidy did respond; Charles had seen the letters, awkward declarations that he missed Moira and little else. Charles knew Moira wanted more; that seemed to be the bane of their existence at the moment. Still, Moira was slowly becoming much more handy with negotiating and bargaining, her Asante creole was getting much better and she seemed to be enjoying herself.

"I don't know why I thought this wouldn't be fun," Moira said to him - using her newfound skills in Asante as they trekked back from their latest exploration in the jungle.

It had been almost four weeks of trading and talking and learning. Moira's creole was hardly fluent, but they'd spent so much time in Asante territory that she was getting quite good with all the basics if not any of the nuance yet. Additionally, years at court, if only spent in the kitchen listening to gossip, had made her much better at understanding the complicated - and yet sometimes ridiculous - motivations between inter-clan feuds; Charles' intellectual knowledge of the history, and Moira's occasionally more practical knowledge, meshed well. Charles was getting better, but he'd last been on a trading expedition when he was eight, and a few months with Emma couldn't make up for years of having an ear to the ground in the palace.

"Because most people don't think walking through the jungle with a pack and a machete, eating snake and mangoes, is much fun. It's why Cain and Kurt will never replace dad at the game."

"You should replace them," Moira said, immediately.

"I... I want to return to Erik." He felt a bit bad, saying so, because he knew Cassidy had been far less forthcoming with romance and declarations than Erik had been, but he burned for Erik. It had been weeks since he'd lain with anyone and he missed Erik terribly. "I don't know what form our future will take but I want him by my side."

Moira nodded, silent, and Armando and their new guide politely ignored the conversation they could easily overhear, talking about something else entirely up ahead of them. "I think I might like to keep doing this."

"Get a little ship... fly around... trading things..." Charles thought about it, thought about everything else he also wanted from his life... "Maybe we could." It wasn't as though Erik was likely to change his mind about bastard children any time soon, or would keep him from being able to travel. A month or two away from each other every year might do wonders for their life.

"Really?"

"Why not?" He considered the practicalities. "We'd need a proper ship, one that we own, a crew, all of that costs money, but we are already doing quite well at this. The Princess' son will continue to need medicine and expeditions to the south. Someone will need to be here, regardless."

"Perhaps the Princess would fund it herself." Armando interjected into their thoughts. "You are trading, yes, but you are also doing the King's will, and the Princess'."

He had a point. "There is always a danger in being beholden to one king or one line," Charles said, completely serious and well meaning.

Moira just snorted. He responded - rather maturely - by sticking out his tongue. "He does have a point..." Moira said. "We're here on behalf of the King as much as on behalf of you."

Charles mulled it over silently. They were here on Erik and Raven's behalf. Too much in that direction and you were little more than a merchant at the direction of a king, buying and selling goods because Genosha needed coffee or did not want mangoes, and that road was a difficult one to walk. It was far too soon to be concerned about that, however.

"Something to consider when we get back."

Eventually, finally, they had collected all the herbs that Charles needed - and perhaps a nice silk outfit because Erik had asked - and they were almost ready to go home, all that remained was for Charles to learn the process from the medicine men and they returned to the original tribe, and Charles spent a whole day learning how to cut the herbs properly how to sweat some of them and mix others, and under the watchful eyes of the tribe he was finally ready to go home. Of course they had other ideas.

He was an omega, of course, and some of the tribes were a bit more conservative. They were concerned by his unwed status, and it was only after Charles assured him that he had a lover - and that lover was nearly as good as a spouse - that they desisted in attempting to send him away with charms for attracting a mate. It was obviously something of an exaggeration but they were very concerned. After that, however, they decided he didn't need charms to attract a mate, but instead charms for getting pregnant, so that was how he ended up on his back being painted with plant dye on his stomach.

Moira found him like that a few hours later. "What in the world?"

The dye was setting and Charles just rolled his eyes. "Never say no to a gift, unfortunately. Apparently I will most certainly have an alpha male son now." He sighed and Moira snickered at him like a traitor. "You're evil."

"No, no, I look forward to the king's response when he hears you will undoubtedly bear him an alpha son, that should be fun." She sat down next to him and stroked his hair. "At least it will wash off before you get home."

"Actually it can last a few weeks if it's not scrubbed constantly." It was considered bad luck to do so, actually. "I'm sure Erik will think it's funny."

Moira gently scratched her fingers against his scalp. "I think there's something Sean's not telling me."

"Like what, love?"

"If I knew then it would have been because he was telling me." She shook her head. "No, there's something going on, perhaps he's already married, he said something about moving into the palace of all things, though. You'd think maybe he'd want to start a family, not stay there."

Charles waited, but Moira didn't seem to have anything else to say on the matter. "Well, Emma informed me that apparently Logan 'cleans up very nicely'. I'm not sure what to do with that."

Moira's eyes grew wide. "Could you imagine their children?"

"No. I don't want to." They would somehow be both blonde and furry and even the men would need constant depilatories to manage their over-abundance of hair.

The two of them giggled for quite some time, until Charles' stomach was aching from the strain.

"I don't want to go home," Moira said.

Charles did, desperately. "We'll be back in a few months at the latest. You can't run from it forever."

"I know." She stroked his hair, face somber, for several minutes, neither of them saying anything. "I'm a touch jealous. I wish I weren't, but I am."

"I understand, love." Moira had worked so hard, and as much as she'd prepared herself for what seemed to be happening it still hurt. Cassidy was a fool. "Come here." He gave her a tug, and she laid down beside him, not touching the dye on his belly, just throwing an arm over his chest and the two of them stayed curled like that. "When you're a Merchant Princess at my side he'll rue the day."

She laughed and kissed his cheek, but he could feel the wetness that she left there. "When are you done with that dye?"

"Just a bit longer, then we'll go home."

It didn't take much longer, thankfully, and they got back to Asante to a few more letters, none of them with anything particularly interesting to say. Everyone sent their own letters back on the final flyer and they were up in the air soon afterwards. The flyer wouldn't be coming back, as it was too risky to land on a moving ship with the model they had.

He found he felt a bit silly like that, with the weird brown doodles over his belly, but he enjoyed the pleasant thought of Erik and the idea that Erik might actually like their meaning. He doubted it, Erik seemed so... fastidious about the act of avoiding bastards. He didn't hound Charles for it anymore, or watch him like he had their first nights together, but he made it clear it was expected that he have his moon tea and avoid a child. It wasn't a happy or productive thing to think about. The idle thought bloomed into something more distressing when he considered the idea that plans of a 'brood' would necessarily be curtailed by Erik if he chose to have no one else in his life.

Dwelling was counterproductive, however, so he did his books, discussed with Moira where they could sell or offload some of the goods, which merchants in the city of Genosha would be most interested in getting which wares. The two of them used it as a crutch, Charles to avoid dwelling on one of the issues in his life, Moira to avoid thinking of an entirely different issue.

The feelings that came over him as Genosha - and the palace - came into view were a bit obscene; he felt a bit desperate, the hot flare of love and lust settled into his belly, he felt warm and tingly and achy. Home. He felt like he was coming home. He wondered if it always felt like that, if his father felt this when he was coming home to Charles' mother during happier days when she'd been less drunk and more a mother. Brilliant and pleasant thoughts of Erik meeting him at the docks and sweeping him off his feet, pressing him against one of the dock's support beams, hands all over him... it was a warm thought.

Sadly the docks were empty. Pack of herbs flung over his shoulder, he headed out into the port and saw almost no one, far fewer people than he would have expected. Moira stood behind him, frowning.

"Charles?"

He shrugged. "Start taking care of the offloading, love. I--" He hated thinking something so cliched as that he had a bad feeling, but he did, the streets felt too quiet. "Is that alright?"

She gave a quick nod and a shove on the back. "Off you go, you have herbs to deliver and a king to seduce."

In spite of his promise to come home in kohl and silks and perfumes he was mostly just wearing kohl around his eyes and some rather un-daring pants and a loose shirt. It wasn't quite so sexual as the harem omegas in some parts of the south, but he thought he looked delectable. The natural heat of the south meant the clothing was either layered for sun protection, or loose and breathable to allow what little breeze was available to cool the body, especially on the coast. The shirt was a bit looser than anything Genoshan styled - not tailored and tight in the waist - it just hung loose around him and his shoulders did not fill the shirt out and it left his neck and collar on display.

The trip to the palace was less quiet; there were people buzzing about enough that Charles was not overly worried, but he'd been out of communication with Genosha for three days and a lot could happen in three days.

A hush filled the streets right by the palace, and Charles walked up, hesitant and nervous now. There were four guards outside the entrance he usually took.

"Is everything alright, sirs?"

One of the guards eyed him, almost annoyed. "No entry."

"I see." He frowned now. "Not even for me?"

"What's so special about you?"

"Charles, Charles Xavier?"

Another one of the guards finally seemed to be looking at him, shocked and then nervous. "My apologies, you weren't expected until tomorrow."

He walked through the small open door, one of the guards trailing him for no apparent reason. "Has something gone wrong?"

"Beggin' your pardon, but it's not for me to say."

"Is the king quite alright?" That was his first real fear.

"He's a'ight, it's the prince, little Kurt. There was an attack not four hours ago."

Charles' blood ran cold. Kurt. He was-- well Charles didn't know the boy, but he couldn't imagine he deserved anything that he was going through right now. He was a pawn, in all honesty, a bargaining chip that Charles had found Erik to assure the good behavior of Raven and Azazel, perhaps to even keep the Klettgau emperor in check from open war. If the Prince died here, under Erik's watch, it would be a disaster for their diplomacy.

"Take me to him right away!" Charles demanded, never mind his station and the guard's and that he really was more a guest in the palace, and he certainly was not someone who should be addressing a guard that way.

"That's where we're going, sir."

"Well we must go faster, there's not a moment to waste."

The guard started to hustle, Charles almost running after him. He could only hope that his herbs, and the knowledge he learned in the south, would be enough.

~15


The sick room was stuffy with burned incense and chanting, Charles was not ill and he thought he might become ill just from the oppressive stench. Henry, his dear friend, Doctor Henry McCoy, was standing awkward to the side, a few bandages in hand and obviously unable to get close to Kurt to practice any medicine. The little ring around the Prince consisted of the Cardinal, a scepter clenched tight in his hand, the Queen - Edith, Princess Raven and Azazel, and some courtiers he did not recognize. They were all so caught up in their praying that they did not even seem to notice him.

"Hank?" He whispered the question to his friend.

"I'm sorry, Charles, but the Cardinal..."

Charles' eyes swept the room, he saw Erik in the corner looking stern and ridiculous and angry. He hadn't even noticed Charles' arrival, either. He hurried over to his king. "Erik, we must air out these rooms, Kurt will not get better this way!"

"Charles?" He could hear Erik's voice break, and a moment later he realized that Erik must have been crying recently. Erik grabbed him around the waist and kissed him, needy and desperate, as though they had been away for ages - which was true, but unhelpful. Charles pulled away.

"Erik, love, I will... kiss you and make love to you and anything else you want but we must save the prince and it cannot be done with this non-medicinal incense and chanting. Please?" He rubbed a hand over Erik's cheek and kissed him again, soft on the lips.

"Out!" Erik bellowed, breaking whatever chanting Shaw had been in the middle of. "There's no point to having an herbalist and a doctor here if we will not use their services."

"Thank you," he whispered in response.

Shaw glowered. It seemed to Charles that he might have been angry with Erik, but he took it out by glowering at Charles instead. That was marginally safer, Charles supposed. Charles was not an especially godly man, but he mostly understood the allure and he made his services at least monthly. The Cardinal, however, did not seem to agree with Charles about his state of grace. Charles believed the Cardinal thought his chanting would help, but it would do nothing without medicine and science to back his faith.

The Cardinal pressed a hand to the Queen's back and started to guide her from the room. Edith looked at him, again, also displeased, and Charles held his head high. He did not care what the woman thought of him, he was going to save the boy.

He stepped away from Erik and headed over to the vacated space beside Kurt. As he left his fingers trailed along Erik's arm and he wished he could just melt into him, forget the world and just hold onto his ridiculous and beautiful and wonderful man. It was not to be, however. Hank took to the windows and flung them open, letting in light and air. Charles took Raven by the shoulders, very lightly.

"Princess, could you please come up to his head? Just touch him there on the hair. We will need to have access to the rest." He felt awkward now, and ridiculous, dressed as he was, but he was not going to let it deter him. "Hank, bandages?"

The doctor headed to his pack. Charles returned to the table as well, setting down the pack and starting to work on herbs.

"He's still bleeding," Hank said. "Thankfully."

"Thankfully?!" Raven's voice shrieked through the room.

Hank stuttered. "A-a-apologies, Princess; I merely meant he still has blood to bleed. The wounds did not break the skin as much as they might have."

"Oh," she answered, looking abashed.

"Princess," Charles said, she turned to him. "It is best that the boy is relaxed, I can see him panting. He must be calm."

She did her best to go about soothing, Hank began to attend to the cuts and bruises that were welling in the boy's chest, he was splotched red where blood had come under the skin but not broken through. Charles began to cut his herbs, preparing them to his notes. Erik was at the periphery of his vision, pacing, and then standing beside him, fingers flexing to touch where Charles could see them.

It was easy to feel a bit of pity for Erik's position, truth to tell, Charles really just wanted Erik on him, inside him, panting on his neck, but that was beyond inappropriate, there was a little boy who might be dying. He reached out and put one of Erik's hands on his own shoulder, and then took the other to wrap around his chest. "Don't be inappropriate, but I like feeling you here with me."

Erik hugged him, and then kissed his temple softly before he behaved again. His fingers were still a distraction, though, but Charles mostly ignored him, checking his notes before continuing.

"I missed you."

"Me too." He wasted a few moments to squeeze Erik's wrist before returning to his cutting.

Erik leaned in, mouth only an inch or so away from his ear. "I love you."

Charles nearly cut himself from the distracted warmth of his king's words. "I love you, as well." The declaration earned his ear a kiss.

"Charles." Hank interrupted their moment together. "The boy is still too panicked, breathing too hard, his heart is racing and he's wasting blood."

That brought a new seriousness to Charles' movements. "Love?" He turned to Erik. "Can you help?"

Erik's eyes widened and he shook his head. "I'm not good with children!" He hissed.

"Just talk to him, tell him a story, sing to him, hold his hand, tell him it will be alright." Charles stroked a hand across Erik's cheek, amused by the way his eyes were wide and panicked even at the very idea of it. "You'll do fine."

"I--" His jaw tensed. "I suppose if I intend to have a brood I should at least learn how to treat them." Erik turned and headed over to Kurt, the king taking up position beside Kurt's frail little body on the bed. He touched the boy's knee, very gently. "Kurt. It... is going to be alright. You have the very best of doctors working on you."

Charles thought he was the one who wanted a brood...

Still, he turned back to his cutting, a sweet, low voice coming from the king as he sung something like a lullaby with words Charles couldn't listen to while paying attention to his cutting. He ground some of his herbs and mixed them, and then ground them again. Made the paste like he was supposed to, and then added even more herbs and a few oils. The process took longer than he would have liked. While he worked, Hank bandaged the boy tightly and gave him drinks that would help keep his blood from becoming too thin, sugar juices and blended eggs and other items.

When the boy's breathing finally slowed and he dropped off to sleep, Erik let go of Kurt's hand and returned to Charles' side.

"He's sleeping."

Charles nodded. "Thank you. You're surprisingly good at that."

"I suppose I might not make a horrible father."

"I already told you that you would make quite a good one, a few weeks did not change my opinion."

The air stayed somber, and when Charles had finally finished his concoction they roused Kurt for a few moments to get him to choke down the medicine before he seemed to drift off again.

"What is the exact action of the medicine?" Hank finally asked, the boy was asleep, his bandages complete, and he'd eaten as much as possible.

"The tribe there said there are certain elements of the blood that create scars and close your cuts when you are injured, this is meant to enhance them. If given to someone with a poor heart, however, it can be dangerous and cause a block of some kind."

Henry nodded. "I hope it works as promised."

Charles did as well. "Hank, could you please see to it that the Princess and the Ambassador get something to eat? I will watch over him."

They did not want to leave, of course, but Raven was obviously not coping well and it would likely do her some good to take time away from watching Kurt's slow, labored breaths, the way he shifted uncomfortably in his sleep and Charles lightly pinned him to keep him from thrashing and injuring himself further. He truly was a beautiful boy, his skin a touch dusty, like his father's but his hair light and blond and quite angelic. Erik sat down behind Charles, fingers touching low along his back, firm and not overly arousing. He must have noticed the way Charles' back had grown tense and so he massaged gently.

"What happened to him?" Charles finally asked when the couple had left with Hank.

"He was pushed," Erik said, blunt. "There are some welts, not unlike the size and shape of hands around the boy's upper arms. It seems likely he was picked up and lifted, taken near the stairs and pushed. He was lucky to have not just broken his neck."

"You poor boy," Charles said. "Everyone using you as a pawn, but who would do such a thing?"

The question was rhetorical, but Erik answered anyway. "I'd been thinking on it. I think they must want Klettgau to make war on us. Why else hurt the prince? He's not likely to see the throne, there's three Princes ahead of him in line, at least."

Erik pulled his lip lightly while he thought, his brow furrowed.

"You are rather attractive when you're pondering politics, Highness." Charles didn't look over at Erik, coy, or anything, it was just a statement of fact. He wet a cloth and carefully wiped away the sweat from Kurt's brow. "Someone who was willing to kill a boy to do so. Cold hearted."

"Politics, Charles."

"Would you kill a boy, a little child, to accomplish your goals?"

Erik was silent for far too long, but he eventually brushed a finger to Charles' neck and then took the cloth so he could wipe the boy clean instead. "If I would have before, I cannot imagine doing so now." Erik wiped the boy's hands as well, and then set the cloth down and they huddled together, sides pressed together, warm.

"The goal seems to be to see your dynasty fall," Charles said, quietly. "A bride to give you sick sons, a child murdered with you to blame..."

"But the marriage was organized by the Cardinal, he has served my family faithfully, first my father and then me, for over twenty five years." Erik shook his head. "No, he is blameless, so there must be some other factor at work here. Perhaps it is the Klettgau Emperor himself, he offered me Raven; he could have sent an assassin." Erik sighed, wrapped an arm around Charles. "I have missed you. I need your input and your insight."

"That is why you have the Cardinal and your mother; she was regent for many years, I'm certain she's more than aware how to run a country." He yearned to be that for Erik, the wise voice that would keep Erik from making the big mistakes; Erik let his passion rule him, and this series of events could not have been leaving him calm. Charles stroked his ear softly. "I love you."

"I want you, Charles. I want you by my side, not the Cardinal, not my mother, I want you."

Would it could be so, but Charles closed his eyes and nuzzled Erik's ear but he knew that what Erik said could never come to pass. "I am just a merchant and a courtesan."

"Brilliant, compassionate, wise, and beautiful." Erik kissed his forehead in return. "Would that I could have a consort half as good as you."

Would that he could have Charles as his consort. Charles thought he heard that in Erik's voice, but thinking about that was madness. Charles did not know the rules on that. Emma had explained it lightly in passing, the Church - in the form of Cardinal Shaw - would need to bless any union; that was why he had selected Raven. "You will find him, eventually, or..." His voice hitched. "Or you can have whoever is best politically and I will be by your side."

"You would give up everything, a legitimate family, a husband or wife, the finery you deserve, all of that, for me?" Erik's voice was soft, barely audible between the wind near the window and even Kurt's soft breathing.

"Children though?"

"Yours?" Erik asked.

"Yours," was Charles' only answer.

"Oh." Erik fell silent, fingers stroking along Charles' side. "Yes. As many as you want. A brood around the palace, ill-behaved little monsters, to take after their alpha, brilliant little angels when they are in your sight."

Charles smiled, biting his lower lip to keep the grin from becoming manic. "I'd like that. I think--" He looked over at Erik, a bit tentative now. "Moira and I found a great deal of fulfillment in trading and making deals out in the wilds of the south. I know she would like to return and... I would like to as well, if only because Kurt will need medicine constantly to keep this from happening again." Charles did not say something like 'if he recovered', he was a realist, but he lived in a happy world where sometimes the best outcome could be achieved with hard work and a lot of luck. He wanted Kurt to get better, and hopefully it would come to pass.

"Abandoning me with your children while you have adventures with a pretty little omega?" Erik's voice was light, but still held some sort of edge.

He couldn't tell from Erik's tone how he meant it, and he bowed his head. "If you don't allow it then..."

"Oh, Charles. I could hardly tell you no, and it will be needed."

Hope, true hope, not a fool's hope, something he'd not felt in quite some time, suddenly seemed like it was in reach. Children, an alpha who loved him, a place in the kingdom, his father's trade back, Moira at his side as he headed south and expanded his business... It sounded like an amazing and perfect dream that he could actually touch.

"Thank you."

Pure bliss could only last so long, Charles had to get up, check on Kurt's temperature and the look of his bruises, they were slowly purpling, which was actually a good sign, and he fed the boy more of the concoction and wiped his brow and settled him to lay back down, brushing his hair out of his eyes and looking down at him. He was such a sweet little boy, beautiful and exceptional and perhaps someday he would even be wise.

Erik sang the boy gently back to sleep, and Charles thought he might have fallen just a bit more in love with him after that.

Hank returned over an hour later, the Princess and Ambassador in tow. He checked the boy's pulse, his breathing, his color, his temperature, and everything else he could think to check. "It's not quite a miracle, but I believe the worst of the danger has passed. Some of the tinier cuts have even started to close."

"That normally takes days..." Raven said, and then she hugged Charles, just crying into his shoulder. "Thank you, thank you. It's... it's magic and I would give you anything just... thank you."

Charles pressed his fingers lightly into her back. "Hush. It was the right thing to do, and I promised you I would."

"I..." She laughed, one of those uncomfortable, watery sort of laughs that came out more like a bark than a proper laugh. "If His Majesty will allow it, I would say I was yours to command."

"It is unnecessary, but thank you, Princess. Raven." He hugged her closer and kissed her forehead, almost like a sister more so than a Princess. Even Azazel did not seem to mind the affection; between two omegas it was not considered particularly threatening. "Hank, do you need a rest?"

His friend shook his head. "You should go, Charles, you look very tired yourself."

"I feel rather fit, Hank," Charles said, finally breaking away from Raven and dabbing her tears dry.

Erik stood and looped an arm around Charles' waist. "No, I think the doctor is right, you need a rest."

Hank looked down, almost blushing. "Yes, bed rest."

"But I'm perfectly..." Oh. "Yes. I think I will go do that. Um... if I might be so bold as to ask Your Majesty to see me safely to my chambers."

Erik, of course, ruined absolutely any tact the moment had by just saying outright: "My quarters are closer." And then, really, there was nothing for it. He blushed slightly, and the rest of the occupants of the room looked to be stifling laughter, and Erik dragged him bodily out of the room and down the corridor towards his chambers.

~16~


Erik had him in the room and pressed up against his door in a matter of minutes. The hot weight of Erik pressed against him triggered something deep and primal in him, something not quite forgotten after five weeks out of Erik's presence. If anything, the absence had made him all the more hungry for Erik's lips, for his hands. The king leaned in, nipped hard against his neck, enough that it would bruise, before he whined and pulled back.

"I'm sorry..." His hands didn't seem sorry, pressed as they were on Charles' belly, creeping lower, while Erik's eyes all but devoured him. "I was going to be gentle, make love to you, take you slowly."

As appealing as that was, Charles realized that he did not think he could stand for that slow stripping, a sensuous mouth around his cock, all in anticipation of Erik finally fucking him. "Come, take the edge off, and then we can reacquaint ourselves properly. I want you as much as you want me."

With a soft push - insistent but not enough to bruise Erik's feelings - Charles maneuvered them around so that Erik's back was against the thick wooden doors that stood at the entrance to the king's quarters. "Charles..."

Erik's tone wasn't warning, but it did hold a slight edge, Charles ignored it, falling a bit roughly to his knees. It was a bit inelegant, but he wanted this, desperately. He attacked Erik's lacings, tugged at them as purposefully as his slightly lust-addled mind could manage. It took longer than he would have liked, but he was urged on by Erik's hand, reaching down and rubbing his thumb down Charles' throat, fingers brushing softly over his jaw.

When Charles' fingers finished their task, he nudged the breeches down and just looked. Erik was always attractive to Charles, and he'd had the king inside him more than enough to become well familiar with the king's... girth and length, but there was something uniquely pleasant about such an up close view. He licked his lips - heard the answering groan as the king thudded his head against the hard wood doors - and then leaned in to press a very chaste kiss to the tip.

He'd never done this with Erik, of course, but he was more than ready to try. It could have been over quick, a hot, slick heat for Erik to thrust into and spend himself, but Charles was not Erik's concubine or even truly his courtesan anymore, he was Erik's lover. As the man's lover, he was going to make this good for both of them.

So he reached out, gently took Erik in hand, fingers ghosting back over the man's balls and then closed his lips around Erik's tip, sucking gently. Erik whined. Charles eased off, licked his lips again and pressed back in, sucking harder this time.

"Charles." Erik made his name sound like he was a deity, being beseeched for absolution. He slid his mouth down along Erik's length - almost half of him inside Charles' mouth - tongue pressed wet along Erik's underside.

What surprised him most, as he slowly drew off, lips popping as he did, was how wet just the simple act of having Erik in his mouth was making him. He was never unaffected by Erik, always warm and ready, but his body had already started to grow wet from it, without Erik touching him.

"Love you," he said, softly, before sliding back down again.

"So much," Erik answers. His fingers on one hand tangle in Charles' hair, the other stroking Charles' cheek gently. "Beautiful. Perfect."

Charles sucked in again, and Erik trailed off into a bout of incoherent mumbling and whining. It was such a thrill, usually it was Erik unmaking him, making him gasp with incoherence or whine with need, but right now he had His Majesty right where he wanted him and it was intoxicating. He should do this more often...

The thought was interrupted by Erik thrusting wildly into Charles' mouth and him realizing he actually had to pay more attention. Charles put both his hands on Erik's hips, pinning the king to the door and sucking in earnest now. He couldn't take Erik in completely, but he tried his damnedest, throat stretched uncomfortably for a moment before he had to ease off, sucking again.

"Charles."

He recognized the pained gasp for the warning it was and eased off enough to not choke on Erik's hot semen as he came, swallowing somewhat inexpertly, and then gently licking the rest from Erik before he rested his head on Erik's lean thigh. Erik's fingers stayed gently twined through Charles' hair.

"You taste wonderful."

Erik just laughed and stroked Charles' hair gently.

They rested like that for long enough for Charles to start to develop a crick in his back; he tried to stretch, whimpered slightly, and then leaned back on Erik's thigh, giving the stretching up as a lost cause.

"Are you alright?"

"Just my back." He laughed. "And my knees." He straightened up and then stretched properly. "Apparently I'm unused to that position."

The silence in the room was comfortable, and Charles felt Erik stand from where he'd been resting on the door, the two of them stretching out the kinks that had started to attack their backs and legs from the strain of their position. A lazy sort of familiarity covered the room. Charles had thought, perhaps, with so long away it would be strange or awkward to be back in Erik's arms, but if anything it felt right in a way he hadn't even expected despite the romance of the idea.

Erik slowly started to unbutton his shirt and led the way to the bedroom, not to display himself, or to be sensual about it, just the casual work of stripping, unhurried. It felt... married. Charles turned away from the uncomfortable thought. They were a touch like two husbands, one long away, but the innate comfortableness settled over them and they just... were. Charles shucked his pants and flattened them out where time on his knees had wrinkled the silk, and then he set them neatly over a bench.

"I did not get a chance to ask," Erik finally said. "How went the trip south?"

The change in tone that shifted their familiarity from bed to everywhere-but-bed was comfortable to Charles. He liked both sides of Erik, but his question reminded him that the king loved him in his entirety, not just for the pleasure he brought Erik physically.

"Very well, actually. A few of the tribes remembered my father and they were most happy to work with me." Charles smiled, it was wonderful, really. "Apparently they like my eyes, think they are very trustworthy."

"That's not why I like your eyes, Charles."

He blushed, but Erik couldn't see, unless the color managed to creep down his neck. "Well, we've made some contacts. I think we'll be able to have even more luck next time; I got a better fix on the markets and what they are interested in right now. Moira and I will be handling the sale on this side soon." He shucked his shirt and set it over the bench as well, feeling weirdly self-conscious of the colored swirls across his belly.

"That's... great." The hesitation in Erik's voice was clear, and the man laughed, rueful and some other emotion Charles didn't quite catch. "I'm sorry, Charles, I feel as though I am asking everything of you and offering nothing in return. I find I want to keep you."

The thought warmed him. "It's enough, Erik."

"I asked the Cardinal..." Erik fell silent again. "I asked him for permission to marry you."

Charles swallowed, throat dry and heavy. "He said no." It was hard not to feel a touch bitter - although Charles tried to avoid such thoughts. He knew Shaw never much cared for him, and he was lowborn. The answer from the Cardinal did not surprise him, sadly. He wanted Erik, certainly, but he knew there were too many steps between the two of them for it to be reasonable. Charles had little dowry to his name, he had skills but they were not in politics, and he would bring no alliances with his marriage if it came to pass. He was a valuable commodity, but not a good spouse.

They still were not facing each other, and Charles hung his head, trying not to think about... everything. Erik was behind him in a few steps hugging him and tugging him so he was tucked in to Erik's arms, snug against his back. "Charles, I..."

"Thank you." He wasn't certain where the words came from, but he found he meant them. "For asking." The knowledge that Erik had considered it, considered the idea of Charles being his consort, made him feel like everything else was just details. He turned and pulled Erik into a slow kiss, warm and slow, his teeth nipping at Erik's lips. "I would have said yes, of course."

Erik hugged him, lips pressed to his neck, head bowed. At first he thought Erik might say something, might give voice to the swirling emotions between them, but he kissed Charles' skin lightly and then pulled away to take him to bed, fingers wrapped gently around his wrist.

"Charles?" Erik's eyes drifted downward, saw the swirl of dyed skin on his belly, and Charles flushed in embarrassment.

Before he had a moment to think, Erik was down on his knees, touching the pattern there. Charles' body responded instantly to the new position, his cock twitching for attention.

"It's..." He laughed, fingers threading through Erik's hair. "You remember what I said they would give me for being an omega?"

"A blessing for strong sons." Erik fell silent, fingers tracing the pattern, followed by lips. "Is that what it is?"

"Yes." He felt hot and flushed just saying it. It felt silly, a quaint superstition that held no root in science.

Erik kissed him just below the navel. "How does it work?"

"It's... just dye. It can't actually..." Erik looked up at him, eyes... sad of all things. "Magic." He raked his fingers through his king's hair, mussed up the short hairs and made them stand up in every direction. "Southern magic to make me fertile and... omega-like and..." He laughed at how foolish he felt just saying it. "Just take me to bed, my king."

Erik stood, scooping him as he went and dragging Charles the few feet to the bed, laying him down gently. Charles spread his legs in lazy invitation even though it would be some time until Erik could take him. Erik wasted no time in settling in between his legs, fingers lightly touching his knees, spreading him, and then running fingers down Charles' pale legs. He was already slightly wet from taking Erik into his mouth, but his arousal was steadily increasing, the slow burn in his belly becoming a nearly painful twist. He whimpered.

"Shhh."

Erik gently stroked him, fingers ghosting up his cock before thumbing his tip. His fingers touched, gently, like he was caressing something fragile and the pressure was not nearly enough. Just when Charles thought he might bite out a demand, that Erik stroke him earnest or suck him, Erik took him and started to touch him more firmly, his hand moving slowly. A moment later a finger pressed inside of him. He bit his lip, not quite able to stop the slow thrash of his legs as he managed something between a pleased writhe and thrusting up against Erik's hands.

"God but you are tight," Erik remarked, probably more to himself, but Charles couldn't help but agree. There had been no one since Erik, not since he left Genosha, not even his fingers, and his body had grown more used to that state. "I'm going to feel like I'm deflowering you."

"Again?" His eyes fluttered closed, remembering their first night together, Erik's frenzied lust and his passion as he took Charles.

Fingers paused, no longer stroking his cock or inside of him.

He pouted, his red lips full and frustrated. "Erik?"

"I..."

Charles' eyes snapped open, looked up at Erik, the king's face was pure shock, jaw slack, eyes wide, gazing down at Charles like he was some mysterious wonder, never before encountered.

"You were a virgin?"

He'd been... rather in the middle of things. Erik's finger was still inside of him, fingers still wrapped around his erection. Charles tried desperately to concentrate. Instead he just bit his lip and nodded.

"You didn't even know me." Erik's voice was nothing short of awed. "I should have done better by you, Charles."

There was no one thing he could say, but Charles reached up his arms and Erik withdrew his hands, the two of them tangled in a hug, Charles' fingers digging gently into Erik's back. "Better than loving me? Better than giving me both the children and the freedom I want? Better than telling me you would make me your consort if you were able? How might have you treated me better?"

"Somehow." The answer was mumbled into Charles' shoulder and he grabbed Erik, rolled them both so he was on top, straddling Erik's fine waist.

"I could love no one better than you, and I could love you no better than I do."

"Fine words, Charles. My Merchant Prince."

Charles smiled, bent his head, and started to lick against Erik's throat. "True words."

Erik reached down - now at slightly worse an angle - and pressed his fingers back inside of Charles. There was no hurry in the way Erik was slowly touching him, pressing inside and letting one finger slowly work him. Erik's other hand sat loosely on Charles' waist, fingers running along the edges of the dyed skin of his belly.

"Why did they paint you?"

Charles huffed. "It's all well for you to talk, you already came once."

Both of them laughed just a little, Charles holding himself up, hands against Erik's chest. Erik didn't let up, however, fingering him while his hand roamed.

"It was either this or something to attract an alpha; I said I had an alpha so obviously the next logical step in the progression..." He bit his lip as Erik rubbed inside of him just right, not too firm, just a light caress that made his body shiver and continue to produce slick.

Erik made a noncommittal humming noise and slid in a second finger. He was lazy about it, and Charles just shut his eyes and let himself feel Erik touching him. A warm, dry hand wrapped around his cock again and Erik started to stroke him again, the double stimulation even more intense with his eyes closed. He loved Erik, loved how much Erik seemed to want to please him, wanted to make him feel so damn good, took care of his body.

His king was teasing, not quite enough to satisfy, but enough to make him ache for more. He pressed a hand low across his belly, pushing as though that would massage away the feeling in his gut, need and want and Erik... he wasn't certain what the sound torn out of his throat was, raw and strangled, but it made Erik quicken the pace on his cock, the tense feeling in his balls cresting slowly.

Hands grabbed at Erik's shoulders for support as he came, spilling between them and all over Erik's belly, his body shivered as he panted through his orgasm. "Erik..."

Erik dragged him down, kissed him, tongues in each other's mouths after only a moment.

He ended up on his back, Erik over him rubbing his hands down Charles' shoulders, warming him, hot breath on his neck and then lower, wet kisses warming his skin and leaving cool marks when Erik's lips moved on. He took Erik's chin in between his fingers, tilted so that he could look into Erik's eyes.

"My king."

"Yes." Erik didn't even hesitate. "Always. I am yours."

He couldn't breathe, and he shut his eyes so Erik wouldn't see the tears welling there. Erik slid up, kissed the beginning prickle of tears.

"My consort in everything but name."

They were slow with each other, fingers lazily playing across each other's skin, Erik's fingers returning, time and again, to trace the ridiculous pattern that had been painted on Charles' belly and Charles' fingers unable to stay away from the long lines of Erik's throat, his neck, his shoulders, everywhere.

When Erik finally started to grow hard again, Charles rolled the king onto his back and made himself at home astride the man's hips; he rode Erik slowly, hips grinding them against each other, at first inelegant and misaligned before they finally found their rhythm. He could live like this, everyday; Genosha didn't really need a king, he could just have Erik stay inside of him all the time. They fit too perfectly; Charles never wanted to be apart.

He came again, a bit after Erik, and then he set his head down, intent on using Erik as a pillow, but he ended up rolled onto his side, Erik face to face with him under silk sheets, head resting against fluffy pillows. He grinned, Erik returned it, all teeth. His king rubbed soothing circles into his chest, and then low against his belly, before finally pressing Charles face down, fingers working away a month of separation and tension from Charles' spine. He felt... loved, warm and slick and filled and taken and... owned.

Erik kissed his shoulder.

But he knew he owned Erik in return.

Complete.

Comments

( 25 comments — Leave a comment )
obsessionality
Feb. 2nd, 2012 12:37 am (UTC)
ASDFJKLA WHOSE ALTAR DO YOU SACRIFICE AT IN RETURN FOR SUCH AMAZING PROWESS WITH WORDS AND IMAGERY AND IDEAS AND EVERYTHING POWERFUL AND BRILLIANT AND JUST.

Sacrifice my heart at zir altar, please. I wanna be like you too.

<3

amazing work. thank you so much.
pookaseraph
Feb. 2nd, 2012 01:51 am (UTC)
Eeek! Um... THANK YOU! Honestly I just... write, forever. I know that seems like such a bad answer but that's really honestly and truly what I do. It is 100% my only real hobby (outside of like existing in fandom and reading) and just keep plugging!

Hope you enjoy the next parts too, though.

<3
furius
Feb. 2nd, 2012 12:44 am (UTC)
It's a lovely Erik, who is very rare and nonetheless, very true, if only world and circumstances are different. So far, it's a beautiful story of Obstacles. But I'm hoping terribly that Charles does not end up as his historical inspiration.

I've been waiting for this update all week XD
pookaseraph
Feb. 2nd, 2012 01:03 am (UTC)
Awesome! Thank you so much, this Erik... he's not XMFC Erik because taking him out of WW2 especially really changes the man he is, but I think a lot of his fundamental traits have remained similar. That's always my fear with the 'big' AUs, that they become too different. Charles I was very comfortable with, I feel he's very much himself, Erik was the one I get a bit antsy about.

I write happy endings, I really do. Even when they are sad they are happy. I love Obstacles but I'm about overcoming them.

Well here it is! I don't hold out much hope for another part this week but I expect it very very early next week.
quietbang.dreamwidth.org
Feb. 2nd, 2012 01:47 am (UTC)
Oh don't mind me I'll just be over here in awe at this. I AM FEELING ALL THE FEELS, POOKASERAPH, AND ITS YOUR FAULT.
I love him having an opportunity to travel, and do what he needs to, and then return home in time to help Kurt. Kurt, Kurt, Kurt.
:'(
And Erik and Charles and- gah. So good. :)
pookaseraph
Feb. 2nd, 2012 01:55 am (UTC)
How many feels?

I totally know what you mean, Charles got to have... so much! Eee, I love him and his chance to get out in the world and see things he hasn't seen since he was a kid and get back into the game and just be able to have a life for the first time, and then he gets to help Kurt, eee.

And I hope you didn't have to think of frolicking kittens too much!
nerorizim
Feb. 2nd, 2012 02:28 am (UTC)
all of the feelings ;__;

I love this fic so much. The reunion and Erik asking shaw for Charles' hand in marriage, and him being all gentle and tender and augh! Who is cutting onions in here!? ;__;

It's embarassing to say how often I check tumblr for an update notification
pookaseraph
Feb. 2nd, 2012 02:44 am (UTC)
/hugs your feelings

Yesss super awesome tender, I love them, and poor Erik he wants his Charles! No matter the AU he wants his Charles by his side! Sadly Shaw is getting in the way and so fuck him :| They needed some love and fluff before the politics descends on them next week.

Oh... sorry :puts down knife from dinner prep: I'll... stop cutting onions over here.

You could also probably just subscribe to my LJ for now, posts are 99% going to be ATKM until I'm finished. I like to make myself easily stalkable when it comes to fic.
iheartdraco11
Feb. 2nd, 2012 02:38 am (UTC)
THIS IS SO SO SO GOOD!!! I want Erik to tell Shaw where he can shove it and marry Charles. I hope Charles gets pregnant from this...hell I think for just reading this chapter I may just be pregnant cause girl this chapter was hot. I can't wait till the next update :)
pookaseraph
Feb. 2nd, 2012 02:48 am (UTC)
Yay! Erik should, he really should, but Shaw is like... all Cardinal Richelieu and his Prime Minster and shit! Telling him to shove off his hard and he probably knows in the back of his head there's good reasons not to marry Charles. (Happy endings guaranteed though, no worries).

You will have to wait and see! I did promise some mpreg eventually! Make sure you use internet condoms! You don't want to get unwanted internet pregnant. <3

Thanks so much!
blackstarnebula
Feb. 2nd, 2012 02:48 am (UTC)
I have been stalking this page. This story was amazing. Hope there's a sequel with some kiddies in the works (pretty please).
pookaseraph
Feb. 3rd, 2012 02:24 am (UTC)
Well, we have two more chapters! Or well 'parts' really, first where the rest of the loose ends will be tied up and then we'll see if an epilogue works or not depending on where I end it. From there I have to see how it goes. Thanks!
blackstarnebula
Feb. 3rd, 2012 05:24 am (UTC)
lol oh I thought the complete at the end meant the story was done. I thought it was a bit abrupt but it's your story so I accepted that. Good to know that I was wrong.
pookaseraph
Feb. 3rd, 2012 11:51 am (UTC)
I know touching reunion sex is a good closer but there's too much left un-fixed! As I said, two more parts where I will wrap up more threads. Probably a new post next week, early. I sort of took for granted that people were coming in via the kink meme where I left a note we weren't done yet, silly me.
miss_poste
Feb. 2nd, 2012 03:17 am (UTC)
EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!

LOVE LETTERS! ERIK MAKING INAPPROPRIATE ADVANCES WHILE CHARLES IS TRYING TO SAVE A SICK CHILD! CHARLES AND MOIRA STARTING THEIR OWN BUSINESS! ERIK ASKING FOR PERMISSION TO MARRY CHARLES! ERIK SUSPICIOUSLY LOOKING LIKE HE'S PROMOTING CONCEPTION WITH THE MASSAGES AND GETTING CHARLES TO SLEEP FACE DOWN! ERIK FINALLY KNOWING HE TOOK CHARLES' VIRGINITY AND BEING AWED! ERIK BEING A DEVOTED LOVER INSTEAD OF A KING GETTING HIS NEEDS TENDED!

This chapter glowed golden, as if the longer it went on, the more every word was permeated with love and hope. Charles is beginning to get things he wants, and Erik needs him so badly the story practically vibrates with it.

*wibbles into hanky*
pookaseraph
Feb. 3rd, 2012 02:24 am (UTC)
*puts on squee proof helmet while you finish EEEing*

Yes, poor Erik really wants to have inappropriate advances with Charles, HE MISSED HIM, OK!? Stupid Shaw, turning Erik down ;;; Oh Erik, he decided he wants a broooood, (bonus points because Charles wants a brood and Erik is Charles!Whipped). Once again I've somehow managed to write thematic sex, I think it's a... theme with me.

Well, we do have two more parts, needed to fluff you guys up before more Complications showed up. But you know me, everything works out in the end.

*gets you a few new hankies*
ilykujk
Feb. 2nd, 2012 03:28 am (UTC)
My reaction to this update went from wide smile to ajfosajfasdjf*keysmash*. Ah, all the feelings man, Erik is gone for Charles and vice versa. They're both so happy right now and I just want to wrap them up and keep them like this forever and ever. Is it bad that I want Shaw to be behind everything so he can stop being IN THE WAY of their epic love? Sigh.

And omg, the brood thing, I'll never get tired of it. Erik has already shown he's good with children (Kurt!) and even the Southern tribes are routing for them! I think comic wise, Erik and Charles have like 5 kids between them? That should be about brood sized!

Haha, nevermind my ramblings, lovely lovely work as always! Hope you feel better soon! (yes, totally stalking you on tumblr). Looking forward to the happy endings as much as don't want to see this end. >.
pookaseraph
Feb. 3rd, 2012 02:18 am (UTC)
I do love a good keysmash, means I'm going my job well. Feeelings. They are so gone for each other, both of them, Erik's really taking to his Charles!Whipped status, isn't he? Well you did read the kinkmeme prompt, so... two more chapters of complications, I'm sure something can get worked out.

BROOOOD! It actually depends on where you're looking for kids, because yeah Erik has 4 canon kids and Charles has 1 canon kid, but they have a couple AU kids as well (Xavi for Charles, Charles for Erik, at least, that I know of) so even without totally making up kids it could get all the way up to seven! They're reaching towards baseball team size! And yes, I have a huge kink for adorable-daddy!Erik. See... all my other works, hahaha.

As I said, I make myself easily stalkable! I'm working on drinking OJ and trying to feel better, I want to get this fic finished up and put to bed, not that I don't love working on it, I just like to get things off my plate!
(Deleted comment)
pookaseraph
Feb. 3rd, 2012 02:17 am (UTC)
They are... squeedorable, aren't they? *shares in your bliss* Thank you!
ryahhime
Feb. 2nd, 2012 08:56 am (UTC)
yessssssssssssss
i wish i could more incoherent but this fic is so addictive
pookaseraph
Feb. 3rd, 2012 02:17 am (UTC)
Addictive is good! I love comments, so thank you! Just knowing people are enjoying it is very happy-making.
snowrose
Feb. 2nd, 2012 11:54 am (UTC)
<3
pookaseraph
Feb. 3rd, 2012 02:10 am (UTC)
TY!
shadowserenity
Feb. 3rd, 2012 08:12 pm (UTC)
EEEEEEE. Just found this fic and have spent the last few hours reading and delighting so much in Charles and Erik falling in love and your amazing worldbuilding (Raven and Azazel! King's Disease!).

Oh, Erik's focus on the dye on Charles' belly. He seems to have quite a thing for stroking Charles' belly during intimate moments. Does this mean that since Charles has been away, he hasn't felt the need to take the herbal contraceptive? As much as I want Charles and Erik to end up as royal husbands, I'm like... please give me adorable bastard children!

I'm addicted to this story now. Looking forward to the remaining two parts :).
pookaseraph
Feb. 3rd, 2012 08:35 pm (UTC)
Yay! Awesome. I'm horrid about cross promoting, I know this, but as I said above eventually everything gets on AO3. I need to at least get my ass in gear for a fanfic master post on my LJ, haha. I'm glad you enjoyed their lovestory of love-y-ness. And worldbuilding is my kink.
 
And yes, Charles has been sex-free for a month and didn't bother with taking moon tea regularly due to this (would have been a huge pain to do so in the middle of the jungle anyway). Erik does seem a bit obsessed with Charles' belly, doesn't he ;)? I wish I could do both! I mean either one would work, but they both have their unique charms.
 
Awesome, I hope you enjoy them as much as you've enjoyed the first 5!
( 25 comments — Leave a comment )