Randomly meeting with your ex-boyfriend always seemed to leave the once-couple with questions about how things could have worked and why they decided to split up.
Randomly meeting your Alpha ex-boyfriend that was also the father of your children, unbeknownst to him of course, having him pull you into a bone-crushing hug, chat while your kids played with his dog, then suggest you should stop by at the barbecue he was throwing for the Fourth of July because it was America's day, and also my best pal's birthday, was worse.
But no, seriously. It was just Charles Xavier's luck.
"Someone decided to dress up for this thing." a voice called from the doorway of the closet, amused and high-pitched and annoying. "Are you trying to seduce someone, Professor?"
"Raven, shut up." he deadpanned, making his sister laugh before she was sick of watching him throw shirt after shirt on the floor and mess up the neatly pressed pairs of trousers. She walked next to him, sighing dramatically, something about the lack of taste in men's fashion.
She chose a pair of skinny-fitting cream-coloured pants and a very loose and most certainly see-through blue shirt, throwing them in his direction.
"Want a pair of American flag panties, too?" she asked sweetly.
"I'm British, darling."
"What a buzzkill! The twins are all set, by the way."
"Thank you for your help."
"You should see them, I colour coordinated their outfits and took like a shitload of photos to print of them. They're adorable."
"I know." he said fondly, changing quickly in the clothes Raven chose for him. They looked incredibly good on him, even if his hair was all mussed up.
"Don't you dare comb that hair, Charles Francis Xavier!" she warned though gritted teeth. "It looks sexy. It's the I woke up like this, flawless hair. It's the sex hair!"
"I haven't had sex in like three years."
"You practically morphed into a virgin again."
"Really funny, Raven. I don't have the time."
"Of course you do, you're simply an idiot. You don't have time for sex, but you've had the time to grow a beard."
Charles winced, rubbing mindlessly at his chin, feeling the scruffy hair there.
"It's called I don't have time to shave in the morning and at night I'm too tired to do it beard, Raven. I case you didn't notice I have a pair of five year old twins, not exactly the easiest task there is. I'll just keep growing it until I start to look like a hobo."
"Well I think you should keep it. You look hot. Plus, chicks dig the whole beard thing. Guys too. In fact... I have this colleague. His name is Sean..."
"Not interested." he cut her off abruptly and Raven groaned, following him out of the closet.
"You're never interested!" she shouted accusingly after him and Charles rolled his eyes discretly.
"Usually the fact that I'm an unmated Omega with two children tends to put suitors off, Raven."
"He said that the kids were adorable!" she protested loudly, sprinting after him on the hallway of the Westchester mansion.
"Quit showing pictures of my kids to every guy you know. I'm not that desperate to get laid."
"Daddy, what does laid means?" a fragile voice asked and when he turned in the direction of the sound he found Wanda and Pietro, holding hands and both wearing blue, red and white clothes. Wanda had silver stars pinned to her auburn hair. Charles would have scolded Raven for thinking that she could run around and play dress-up with his kids, but the twins were the cutest sight for the sorest eyes.
"It means that someone needs to put your Daddy to sleep every night, sweethearts." Raven announced smugly, hiding a smile in that voice.
"Oh." Pietro replied carefully before sharing a grin with his sister. "Then you need to get laid every night, Daddy."
"See? Even they know that." Raven protested.
"Let's go, kids. Don't mind your aunt, she doesn't know what she's talking about." Charles muttered and he sent the twins down with Raven before he remembered to grab a few things from their room.
A few toys, some colouring books, some elastic bands for Wanda and a change of clothes for each in case someone has an accident. They still wanted to share a room, even if the mansion was big enough to fit snugly at least four or five families. The thought of Wanda and Pietro being so close to each other made his heart squeeze with love, they reminded him of Raven and himself when they were little.
He threw the backpack on his shoulder before joining the kids and Raven downstairs. They were whispering amongst themselves, but stopped doing so when he entered their visual field. Charles ignored, but scowled at Raven nevertheless.
"Ready to go, my loves?"
"So where does Erik live?" Raven asked, following them outside in the parking lot. He chose to take Raven's sleek black Mercedes today, it was finer than his Range Rover.
"I don't remember exactly. Some fancy neighbourhood in the Upper East Side, I put the address on the GPS."
"Alright, try and have some fun, yeah? You told me that there were going to be some kids around as well so you won't have to worry about the kids."
"I always worry about the twins, Raven."
"Of course, well, while you're out there barbecuing with your engaged ex-boyfriend and celebrating an unknown person I'll be at Alex's party doing keg stands, so peace out." she grinned, kissing him softly on the cheek before moving to enter the house.
"Try not to ruin anything or wake us up when you get back!" he shouted after her and she flipped him the bird discretly.
He smirked, strapping the kids for the ride in the backseats and taking his place behind the steering wheel.
He couldn't believe he was doing this, Charles thought while the kids chatted happily in the backseat. When he moved back to Oxford six years ago he never imagined that he'll ever return to Westchester. He never imagined that he'll ever run into Erik Lehnsherr again...
...or go to his stupid party.
When they've met in the park, Charles was so shocked he barely managed to whisper a salute. Erik looked as good as the day he left him, maybe even better, the years only sharpening the perfect cuts of his gorgeous face, and upon seeing him again he realized that he never really got over his love for Erik.
He simply tucked it in the corner of his mind and his heart.
And how could he? When he had the most precious things in the world to remind him of the love he threw away so efortlessly? When he found out he was pregnant with the Alpha's children he almost went mad with worry. Now, thinking back at his stupid 24 year old mind, he couldn't exactly say why he ran away from Erik. Why he hid the fact that they were expecting babies. It wasn't like Erik was going to tell him to give them up, or leave him like Charles did.
He was still a kid at that age, the Omega thought bitterly. Such a fool and scared kid. How would his life have been if he never left? If he told Erik about the pregnancy. He knew how much Erik loved him, and how much Charles loved him in return. They were each other's it and he'll forever damn the day he decided to break both of their hearts beyond repair.
Charles smiled sadly for himself. Damaged beyond repair was his heart, Erik's, apparently, had enough time to heal, to find the love again. He was a happily engaged man, as he told Charles in the park. A woman, a beta woman named Magda managed to put his heart back together and teach him how to love again, and Charles was eternally grateful for her. He wanted, and needed Erik to be happy.
How could Charles step over his happiness once again? He couldn't do that to Erik. Couldn't come back barging in his life and announce him that he was the father of the most incredible kids. Erik was engaged, happy. That Magda woman seemed lovely, from what he's heard from the Alpha. If he found out, Erik would break things off with her and pursue an engagement with Charles, because it was the moral thing to do. Because he wouldn't want those kids to grow up without their other father like he did.
The thoughts were making Charles dizzy and he couldn't believe when the voice on the GPS announced him that they arrived, pulling in the driveway of a beautiful two-story house. The exact thing that Erik would love and want for his family, it had a lot of personality and Charles has only seen the outside.
"Come on, darlings, we're here!" he exclaimed, trying to sound cheerful when his insides were melting with worry.
He helped the twins get out of the car and locked it before walking towards the door. He didn't have time to knock, for the door opened revealing Erik in a V-neck green T-shirt that made his eyes pop and a pair of black jeans. He beamed at the three of them.
"Saw you come in, nice ride."
"It's Raven's!" Charles waved the compliment with a blush. He was pulled in a quick, but tight hug, before all Erik's attention went to the kids.
It was ridiculous how easily the kids took to Erik. They weren't shy people, but they were pretty intimidated by strangers, and wary around them and Charles figured that it was a trait they took from him. They warmed up slowly to the people they didn't know.
But with Erik it was a different story.
Erik was probably their favorite person in the world, besides Charles of course, and they've only met him once. He didn't know how good Erik was with children and couldn't remember if they even discussed the posibility of having some of their own when they were together. Erik valued kids as tiny, helpless humans. Adorable; yes, but still tiny and helpless. It seemed ridiculous how utterly smitten he was with the kids, putting Pietro on his shoulders and Wanda on his arms and chatting animatedly with both of them.
Charles wondered if both the kids and the Alpha felt the deep connection between their beings. If Erik felt that those kids were his flesh and blood and if Wanda and Pietro were aware that the missing paternal figure in their lives was the Alpha they so desperately clung to in that very moment.
"Did you have a pleasant ride all the way here?" Erik asked, moving them into the hallway, then the living room. Everything was so neat and comfortable. And expensive, Charles noted. Erik was truly one succesful architect.
"Yes, it was nice seeing the places, really. I have to take the kids on a trip someday. We didn't really have the time with all the unpacking." Charles lied, in reality he didn't remember anything from the ride, following the Alpha into the kitchen that led to the garden. People were mingling around, laughing and chatting.
"Mama, look who's here!" Erik shouted once they were outside and the dark-haired woman that was setting a vase of flowers on the long table, turned in their direction.
"Charlie?" Edie Lehnsherr asked, eyes doubling in size. "My boy, it's really you?"
"Totally me." he laughed, cheeks warming with a blush when he noticed that people were staring at them. "Hi, Edie!" the Omega saluted, moving around Erik to pull the woman into a hug.
"I can't believe this!" she giggled, looking at him from arm's length, smoothing a hand on his hair, grazing his cheek lovingly and picking up immaginary hairs off his shirt. "Look at you, Charlie. You look like a disaster, but oh, I've missed your beautiful face, Liebling."
Charles laughed again, kissing her fingers and then her cheeks.
"Mama, these are Charles' children. Wanda and Pietro." Erik interrupted, gesturing to the twins that were still clinging to him.
"Children, mein Gott!" Edie grinned excitedly. "Would you look at that. An adorably pretty young lady and a cute and brave young boy."
"Kids..." Charles prompted them.
"Hello, Ma'am!" they mumbled shyly, exchanging polite smiles with Edie. "Thank you for welcoming us." Wanda continued and Pietro nodded his approval.
Edie all but melted into a puddle on the floor.
"So sweet and so polite! Although, I didn't expect less from you, Charles."
They were soon meeting with the rest of the party. Emma Frost and her fiance Azazel. Some guy named Logan Howlett and his wife Jean along with their little girl Laura. Ororo and Hank, their college friends which Charles was so happy to see again! And there was the famous Captain Steve Rogers, Charles heard so many great things about him, the man was a war hero! and his husband Bucky Rogers-Barnes with their adorable kids Natasha and Clint.
"Imagine this, it's Steve's birthday." Erik whispered in his ear, making Charles chuckle. The most patriot person in America happened to be born on the fourth of July, it was quite hilarious.
"Happy birthday, Steve!" Charles congratulated him, shaking his hand. The man had a firm grip and a gorgeous smile. "Thank you for your service."
Steve's eyes softened at that and Charles' heart squeezed. People don't really say that to army veterans anymore.
"Thank you. It's nice to finally meet you in the flesh!" he chuckled, throwing a teasing smirk in Erik's direction.
"In the flesh?"
"Oh yeah, doll." Steve's husband chimed in. He was setting the kids up with toys, Wanda and Pietro slipping easily in a friendship with Natasha, Clint and Laura. All five of them were sharing toys and playing with dolls and monster trucks. Bucky's arm sneaked around Steve's waist, placing a soft kiss on the Captain's cheek before smirking at Charles. "Charles this, Charles that. Let me tell you, you're even more adorable in person."
Charles blushed and Erik growled under his breath.
"Uh, thank you?" Charles asked, somewhat awkwardly, making the couple laugh.
"Don't mind him. His mouth is bigger than his dick and his trying to compensate." Erik muttered, ripping a giggle from Charles.
God, a giggle. What was he, twelve?
"Oh, sugar, I assure you it's not. Like, it doesn't begin to cover it..." Bucky replied, throwing a flirty wink in his direction.
"True that." Steve said under his breath. "But seriously, it's really nice to meet you. Buck, come on, let's check on the kids."
He not-so-subtly dragged Bucky to the screaming children, leaving Erik and Charles alone in a somewhat tense silence. The Alpha was the first that broke the silence.
"Don't mind them. Especially Bucky. They're really out-going and they are used to speak up their mind, but they mean well. And they are the best friends and the best couple there is." he was telling Charles.
"Oh no, they seem great! Natasha and Clint are adorable too. What's surprising is how many Alphas and Betas are around here. Bucky and I seem to be in minority." he laughed, rubbing the back of his head.
"We tend to get along pretty well, even though our group consists mostly of Alphas and Betas. Poor Bucky was the only Omega around, I guess he's happy that you've showed up."
"Where's your fiancee?"
Erik jumped suddenly, like he forgot about that minor detail.
"Oh, she went to pick up her parents. Should be here soon. In the meantime, lets get you a drink."
"Where's the fun in that?" Erik laughed, grabbing a cold bottle of sparkling water and throwing it in Charles' direction before fetching himself a beer.
"Believe me or not, having a pair of hyperactive twins is really life-changing and it drains you of energy. A beer would simply put me to sleep."
Erik shook his head still laughing.
"Not the Charles Xavier I know. The one I know is used to doing keg-stands at frat parties." the Alpha teased making Charles groan.
"Ugh, don't remind me. Do you remember Alex Summers?"
"Sure, Raven's classmate, right?"
"Yup. Well, she's at a pool party at his right now, probably doing the keg-stands you're talking about."
"So that's why you didn't bring Raven." Erik concluded. "It makes sense, who would choose a barbecue over a pool party? We should head over there soon."
"That party will be filled, mostly with people in their mid-twenties, are you sure you could keep up?"
"Are you implying that I'm old?"
"I'm implying that you're thirty." Charles snorted, taking a sip of water.
"Hey, you're thirty too!"
"I'll be thirty in three months, Erik."
"It doesn't matter, you already feel thirty."
"Oh please, I feel forty-five." Charles rolled his eyes with a giggle -
(seriously, enough with the giggles)
before Edie's voice cut through the sound of the other people.
"Erik? Do you think the kids would want a snack before dinner is ready?" she shouted in German and to Edie's delight and Erik's shock it was Pietro that replied.
"Ja, wir wollen." while Wanda translated the question and the answer to the other three children.
"Ah!" Edie clapped excitedly. "Sprichst du deutsch, Liebling?"
"Ein bisschen." Pietro replied timidly. "Daddy hat mir und Wanda gelehrt."
"Wunderbar! Erik, go get a snack for these little five cuties." she ordered, before sitting on the grass in the middle of the children and ignoring the rest of the world. Charles chuckled while Erik rolled his eyes, Edie has always been fond of the kids, and it appeared that the five kids accepted her easily in their games, offering her toys.
"Come on, I'll help you." Charles offered and Erik nodded reliefed. Poor guy probably didn't know what five and six years old kids snacked these days.
The Omega inspected the fridge. It was well-stocked on fruits, vegetables and bio dairy products so it was easy for Charles to pick some baby carrots and celery as well as green apples, strawberries and apricots.
He found a packet of string cheese and grape popsicles in the freezer so he took those out as well.
"Jesus Christ, Charles. Are you really going to give the kids celery and carrots?" Erik groaned.
"Of course, it's a healthy snack, something that would keep them half full at least until the dinner is ready. Do you have any crackers?"
"Let me look, but really, I wouldn't eat that. The carrots maybe, but not the celery."
Charles laughed cutting up a piece and holding it to Erik's mouth when the Alpha returned with a box of crackers. "Eat it, you're going to love it." said Charles. "It's green, it's healthy and crispy."
"And it tastes like celery." Erik grimaced biting softly on the vegetable.
"I take it you're still not eating the green stuff, yeah?"
Erik gazed at him with a fond look in his eyes, and Charles blushed under his eyes.
"Still not too fond of peas and green beans. I love the broccoli now, though, but I'm still trying to decide if I love or hate that kale stuff."
"You're basically a giant child." Charles muttered under his breath. "The kids have a bit of a problem with the green things as well."
"They know their stuff."
The Alpha and the Omega were still bantering lightly, making jokes while cutting up the snacks for the kids. It was nice. It was just like the old times when they would sit in the kitchen in their old apartment trading stories about their respective days and making dinner.
"So the kids know German, huh?"
"Yeah, I've been practicing my German after I left and after they said their first words I kept switching between English, German and a little bit of French. Read somewhere that it's good to talk to them equally in other languages if you want them to know other languages-"
"Hi!" a voice cut Charles off, making the both of them turn in that direction. It was a woman, probably in her late twenties-early thirties, and by the smell she was emanating she was a Beta. Charles felt his limbs grow heavy so he gripped the knife he was holding tighter. Dread filled his stomach for he knew exactly who that beautiful woman, standing in the doorway was.
"Magda!" Erik exclaimed. "You're back."
The woman smiled and crossed the space between them, hugging Erik's waist and going on her tiptoes to place a soft kiss on his lips. The fire burning mildly in Charles' veins exploded, but he willed himself to calm down.
"Yeah, got caught in a bit of a traffic, I swear everyone's headed to the beach, or out of town. Thankfully, we weren't stuck too much on the way here." She turned around Charles, a huge smile on her lips before extending a hand in his direction. "I'm Magda, I don't think we've ever met."
Charles gripped her hand, placing the knife down on the cutting board.
"Charles Xavier, it's really nice to meet you, finally, Magda. Erik's been telling me so much about you."
Magda's smile dimmed, her lips getting caught between her teeth and her eyes flaming with something unknown to Charles.
"Oh, so you're Charles."
Has Erik told anyone about him? First Steve and Bucky, and now Magda.
Steve and Bucky knowing about the nature of their relationship wasn't much of a big deal, in fact. It made him feel like it wasn't such a big deal that he mended ways with his former lover. Magda on the other hand didn't make him feel that way. It made him feel dirty, like he was trying to steal her man from under her nose, sitting there in their kitchen with the said man and cutting vegetables with him. He was intruding in her safe heaven.
"We were making a snack for the kids." Erik answered awkwardly. Charles sympathized with him. He was basically trapped between his former lover and his new one. It was hella awkward!
"Oh, so James and Steve are here already?"
"Jean and Logan too, with Laura. And Charles bought his kids."
"You have kids Charles? How adorable! How old are they?"
Charles could feel that the woman was trying to make polite conversation, although she looked like she wanted to be somewhere else in the world. Erik went back to finishing the snacks.
"I have twins, Wanda and Pietro. They barely turned five, almost two months ago."
Magda hummed and Erik finished with everything, giving Charles one of the plates and him taking the other one along with Magda's hand. The three of them went back in the garden. The boys and Laura were playing fetch with Erik's dog Poppy while Natasha and Wanda were talking softly to each other.
"Kids, come on, snack time!" Charles shouted after them and it appeared that only Natasha and Wanda heard him. They repeated Charles' demand to the rest of the kids before quietly standing up and making their way over. Wanda's eyes lit up and before Charles could fully prepare himself she was already climbing her way up in his arms, pulling at his shirt.
"How's my little monkey, hm?" he asked her. "Oh, my love, who braided your hair so beautifully?" he noticed the simple, yet stylish braid that kept all of Wanda's beautiful curls out of her face.
"Natasha did, Daddy!" she told him excitedly. "I told her you couldn't braid my hair."
"Hey, at least I tried."
"And you pulled my hair in knots." Wanda remembered him teasingly, looking like Erik more than she ever did. "Her Papa taught her how to braid. And she also taught me a few words in Russian, I tried to teach her some in German and French as well."
"Aren't you smart and wonderful little girls?" he replied fondly, kissing his daughter on the cheek and ruffling Natasha's hair lovingly.
Charles didn't even notice the way Magda was analyzing their every move, and he completely forgot about her when he saw Erik coming to the table with Laura on his arms, Pietro on his shoulders and Clint gripping a muscular thigh with his little arms and legs. Pietro was jumping up and down excitedly on his shoulders, messing Erik's hair with his hands. Erik's grin was huge and blinding while Pietro talked, switching between British English, rapid-fire German and suave French, sometimes Clint would say something in Russian that made him laugh. It was the most endearing sight.
"I had to use the force to get these guys moving." He told Charles and the girls breathless.
"The force..." Laura whispered under her breath, elbowing Clint lightly and both of them sharing a giggle.
"Come on, everyone. Wash your hands and then you can snack."
"I don't need to wash my hands, I wiped them on Erik's head." Pietro laughed making the man gasp in horror.
"How could you? I trusted you!" Erik replied mockingly, making his little boy laugh.
Charles shook his head fondly, watching the two of them interact.
"Come on, my love."
"In a minute." Pietro and Erik replied and the sharp intake of breath coming from behind Charles, probably from Magda, made him realize that he hadn't heard wrong. Erik replied to his term of endearment. The Alpha didn't seem to notice, simply taking Pietro from his shoulders and into his arms and taking him to the kitchen to wash his hands.
He couldn't look Magda in the eye, and when he turned around he saw Bucky giving him a smirk and a thumbs up.
Charles was staring openly at the picture on the wall. It was hard not to. That was one of the best memories he's ever had with Erik. Raven snapped that photo of the two of them, with the camera he and Erik gifted her for Christmas, almost seven years ago. The last Christmas Charles and Erik spent together.
He remembered everything as if it happened yesterday, back in Westchester, a Christmas spent with all of their friends. After sharing presents and drinking too much eggnog, Alex suggested that they should go play in the snow outside. Raven brought her camera, deciding that she should start using it for she loved it so much.
Erik and Charles were sitting on the sideways, watching as Angel, Alex, Sean, Hank, Ororo and Moira were throwing snowballs at each other. Raven was snapping pictures of them, declaring that she was perfectly satisfied with the quality of the camera before thanking Erik and Charles again. The couple were huddled together for warmth, under a hideous blanket that Erik thought to snatch before going outside.
Charles remembered how he heard the shutter of the camera going off in the exact moment when he said something funny, making Erik laugh. The sight of Erik laughing was enough to bring him to his tip toes, and he placed a kiss on laughing lips that tasted of snow, cold and warmth and eggnog. Raven continued to take pictures of them kissing like that, he's seen all of them. Hell, he still had all of them, but he felt Erik. That one was his favorite picture of all time as well.
It didn't explain why the picture was framed and was hanging in Erik's and Magda's living-room, though.
"You know" someone spoke from behind him, and when he turned around he realized that Magda, somehow, managed to sneak up on him "I'm really thrilled that I got to finally meet you. I wanted to meet you in person, see how the person that Erik still mourned after all these years seems to be in real life."
"Erik doesn't... he stopped crying after me a long time ago. He has you now."
"Yes." Magda chuckled bitterly. "He does, but you know what he doesn't have?" At Charles rised eyebrows she finished simply: "You."
"I guess you don't know what it feels like to love someone who doesn't love you back as something more than a friend. Of course you wouldn't, you have all the love and devotion my fiance could ever give, while I'm standing behind, scrapping for leftovers. I don't blame you, I don't judge you either. I simply don't understand... You broke his heart, why couldn't he simply let go?"
"For all it's worth, I couldn't either, and I was the one who left." Charles barely managed to whisper.
Magda laughed, a bitter and harsh sound that ripped something from Charles' chest. It was pain. Magda was in a lot of emotional pain. She looked at Charles, a few tears escaping her eyes and her lips trembling in a half grimace-half smile thing.
"You don't know what it's like to live up to Charles expectations. The muttered sweet German words that turn into ashes when he realizes that you don't speak German, and you won't reply back as Charles. The photos and the little things from you that he carried after him every time we switched homes. Old, battered things that were not useful, but they were from Charles. The whispered name in his sleep and the smile he always has whenever he passes a picture of you. For a while, I thought you were dead! I had to coax the truth out of him and it turned out you just left him and didn't look back twice. So yeah, you have no idea what it feels like to be the second choice for the man you love."
Charles thought he knew, apparently, after all these years he was still in Erik's mind and heart.
"Does he know?" Magda asked finally. "Does he know that the kids are his?"
Charles' body stilled, his watery eyes dried suddenly and his mouth parted in shock. The Beta woman was offering him a gentle smile that soon turned into a gracious laugh. She wiped at her tears gently with a napkin, all the while muttering to herself. Charles was too dizzy with the sudden rush of blood to hear anything. How did she know?
"It's so obvious. Those little kids are the spitting image of him when they were his age. Edie showed me some pictures. If Erik hasn't noticed by now, then he's the most oblivious idiot there is."
"Will you tell him?" Charles whispered making the woman frown.
"It's not my place to tell him, Charles. I was just pointing out the obvious. And I was barely curious about why you didn't say anything to him by now."
"Because... because he's happy. He loves you, I know he loves you in some way. I'm not going to stomp all over his happiness again. I want him to have the best things in life, I'm done ruining his heart."
"I think you should tell him, Charles. No matter what's between the two of us. He deserves to know, but rest assured, I won't say a thing until you're ready."
That day at the barbecue changed the dinamics of Charles' life. Erik started to become a permanent presence in his and the twin's lives. He was there when the kids started pre-school, he was there for Charles' birthday, and some other important events in their day-to-day life. Somehow he was the missing piece of puzzle that they needed to make their lives whole. How could Charles ever think that Erik would cast him away? How could he think that he wouldn't love the kids, when he was already worshipping the ground they were stepping on? How could he think he'll never forgive Charles, when the Alpha looked at him like he hanged the moon on the sky?
Those were some questions that remained unanswered because someone was banging their fist on the front door of the mansion quite loudly. Charles sighed, putting down his book and his cup of tea and exiting the library. A quick glance at the watch on his wrist indicated that it was a little after midnight and he really hoped that the person banging on the door wasn't Raven. He told him to take her keys at the pub, so she won't disturb the sleeping kids.
He opened the door, snuggling further in his comfy sweater and yelped loudly when a flash of lightning illuminated the person on his doorstep.
"Erik?" he asked, his voice barely a whisper above the sound of the heavy rain hitting the ground. "Come on in!" he ordered, placing a hand on his forearm and gripping him tight to pull him in the house. "Are you out of your mind? What are you doing all the way up here? In the rain? Look at you, you're soaked!" Erik swayed a little on his feet, a drowsy smile curling his lips, before his face crumpled into one of pure agony. "Erik? Are you drunk?"
"Magda broke off our engagement."
Erik shrugged, worrying his lips between his teeth before his shoulders sagged and his head fell to his chest.
"I don't know why everybody keeps leaving me." he whispered and Charles inhaled sharply, swallowing the knot in his throat he tugged Erik forward in his arms, not caring about his wet clothes.
"Come on, my love, let's get you warm first, then we'll talk."
He ordered Erik to take a hot shower, to prevent any cold, while Charles looked for clothes. He found a pair of cotton-soft sleeping pyjamas that were too big on Charles now, but were awfully comfy during his pregnancy, and one ugly-Christmas sweater that would fit Erik just perfect. He offered a pair of his underwear and knocked on the bathroom's door.
"Yeah?" shouted Erik above the water falling. He stopped the shower for a second. "Charles?"
"Yeah, it's me. Um... I'm going to come in and put your clothes somewhere, okay?"
"Okay." Erik agreed, before turning on the shower again.
Charles took in a deep breath, willing himself to keep his head down and not look in the direction of the shower, clearly those glass doors weren't shielding Erik too much.
"I left them on the side of the sink."
"Thank you." Erik said, before Charles left quickly.
He waited impatiently for Erik to finish his shower, and he occupied his spare time by making a fresh pot of tea and checking on on the twins. They were sleeping soundly, and Pietro, Charles noticed, has joined his sister in her bed, curling protectively around her. Clearly Wanda got scared during the storm so her brother came to her rescue. The sight was so sweet, it melted Charles insides.
Without meaning to, his steps led him to the library, he knew that Erik would most likely look for him there. A bunch of thoughts were swinging in Charles' head. Magda broke of their engagement. Magda has had enough. Did Erik really sought comfort in Charles?
He was so trapped in his own head that he didn't hear the sound of the door opening and closing and Erik's bare footsteps approaching him.
"Hi." the Alpha whispered, making Charles snap his gaze to him. He looked adorably devastating, with his auburn hair curling wet on his forehead and that ugly sweater being a perfect fit. Charles opened his arms, an invitation for Erik to join him on the couch, and the Alpha did. Going straight for Charles' arms, he curled himself around the Omega, breathing in the familiar and comforting scent.
"I'm so sorry, love." Charles whispered, kissing the shell of his ear briefly. "Do you want to talk about it?"
"What's there to say, Magda broke off the engagement, she's moving her things out of my house as we speak. I couldn't be there, I had to get out."
"Did she give you any reason?"
"She says that I'm still in love with you. That I don't see her as something more than a best friend and that I've proposed because it was the time, not because I felt it..."
"Did you?" Charles whispered, pulling back to look Erik in the eyes. He was so sad, it broke the Omega's heart.
"I don't know. I don't fucking know! At that time it seemed like a good idea, I wanted her to be my wife. I could see myself spending a quiet, comfortable life with her, but then I've met you in the park, you were back! It was like my wildest dream coming true."
"Oh, Erik, this is all my fault." Charles whispered for himself, shaking some tears out of his eyes.
"How could you say that?"
"I was the one who left, Erik. I was the one that dumped you and never looked back and now we're together again and it seems like I can't stop hurting you. I'm basically the reason why your marriage is ruined. I didn't want that, I wanted you to live a happy, healthy life!"
"Yes, you left me. Yes, you broke my heart and yes, you came back and we reunited, but you didn't force me to start loving you again, Charles, not when I never stopped doing that."
"Erik..." Charles whispered, looking down at his lap. "I need to tell you something and you might hate me for it."
So he told the Alpha everything. The reason he left, pregnant, scared and out of his mind. Giving birth to Wanda and Pietro and everything that's been in between that moment and the present. In that moment Charles hated himself with a fierce passion. He was never good for Erik; Erik who was kind, sweet, gentle and sometimes foul-tempered, but always meaning well. Erik who would sacrifice his own happiness for Charles' good. Erik who got dumped by the two most important people in his life, the one that still loved Charles even after all these years.
Charles Xavier didn't deserve Erik Lehnsherr.
He couldn't even hope for forgiveness, they were way past that.
As he finished talking he didn't even have the power to cry, he just stood there petrified, while Erik paced the library back and forth, the silence a heavy blanket on the Omega's shoulders.
"I don't even know how to react, Charles." Erik said, rubbing furiously at his face. "Part of me is overjoyed, because I always got this feeling around the twins, like they somehow belonged to me. Part of me hates you for keeping us apart all this time when we could have been happy. Part of me loves you so much that I feel like I'm breaking from the inside and another part wants to strangle you to death."
Charles let out a wet laugh.
"It's not like I don't deserve the last thing. I hurt you too much. I don't deserve having you around me." He took a deep breath and stepped towards Erik, taking one of his hands in his. "Look, I know it's too much to take in and I want to give you the space, to think this over. The kids don't know about their other father, not yet anyway, but I think they had the same feeling around you. Take one of the guest bedrooms, I don't want you driving back at your house at such hour, plus, you're still drunk. Think this over, and we'll talk when you're ready? If you're not here in the morning I'll understand and I'll expect nothing for it. You stood waiting for me all this time, let me do the same, yeah?"
Erik nodded and Charles felt like he could breathe again.
The next morning Charles was finished with the kid's breakfast, when he heard the footsteps pacing the living-room. He ruffled Pietro's hair and skipped out of the kitchen to find Erik there, still dressed in those ridiculous pyjamas and looking wide awake.
The Alpha stopped mid-step, turning to look at Charles with a small smile on his lips.
"So, when can we tell the kids?"
Charles bit his lip, grinning and stretched out a hand in Erik's direction. Now, he wanted to shout. The kids were more than ready to meet their other Papa.