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growing older (getting softer)

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“Pass the salt, could you?” Erik asked, not looking up from the conversation he was having with Azazel but holding out his hand for Charles to place the salt shaker in. Azazel was explaining, in quite vivid detail, the latest shenanigans that little Kurt had gotten up to, a smile stretching his face and showing off his sharp canines. It made Erik’s own smile incredibly soft, remembering the caged animal Azazel had resembled following Shaw’s death. 

He was interrupted by the feeling of Charles’s hand sliding into his own as his husband linked their fingers together. Erik’s arm was pulled down until Charles could rest their now-joined hands on his lap, patting them with his free hand briefly. Erik, tilting his head in question, looked over at Charles with a frown. 

“I think that there’s quite enough salt in the soup already, my love,” Charles calmly answered the silent question, a serene smile on his face as he continued to sign with his left hand. Janos was signing quickly with both his hands, and whatever he said caused Charles to let out a bark of laughter that always made him look the most beautiful man Erik had ever seen, and for a moment it distracted him from his outrage. 

He was not one to forget easily, however, and he quickly gathered his wits to muster up his darkest frown. “What the hell are you talking about, Charles?” 

“Don’t give me that look, love,” Charles scolded, taking a sip of his soup with a satisfied noise. As he was swallowing, he added, And please try not to cuss at me in front of company. You know how that makes me feel.

Sorry, Liebling, Erik thought back, squeezing his hand. He did know that Charles didn’t like to be scolded in front of company, something leftover from the days when he was still a child under his mother’s care. However, I do want to know why you won’t pass me the salt?

Charles chuckled—which was quite rude in Erik’s opinion—and gave him a fond look that Erik had long ago learned to read as my husband is an adorable idiot. Which was even ruder, and Erik sent him an unimpressed look right back.

“My love, you are not getting any younger,” Charles’ voice was quiet, but not nearly quiet enough when he followed the words by patting Erik’s stomach. “You are much softer than you used to be and you need to begin watching what you eat. Your veins aren’t going to work as well as they did when you were in your prime.”

“I—I’m softer?!” Erik cried in outrage, the metal utensils bouncing against the table as his anger spike sharply. “And what do you mean ‘in my prime’? I’m in my prime right now!” 

“Of course you are, Erik,” Charles told him patronizingly as he took another sip of his soup. For a moment, the only noise coming from their table was the whooshing of Azazel’s tail as he signed something to Janos, and then Alex snorted, which caused Azazel to snicker, and then Janos guffawed.

Erik sent them all a dirty look, and nodded politely at Darwin. 

Never one to lose, Erik waited until Charles was taking a sip of his soup and then let a dirty grin fall over his face as he said, “You were hardly saying I wasn’t in my prime when I was fucking you into our mattress this morning.”

He watched with a very satisfied smirk as Charles’ face quickly flushed red, his embarrassment helped along by the way he was violently choking. Erik manoeuvred his hand out of Charles’ suddenly iron-tight grip so he could rub Charles’ back, masking his face in concern even as he held back a wince at the sharp scolding Charles was giving him in his head. In retaliation, he conjured up the memory of fucking Charles into their bed that very morning and pressed it against the feel of him in his mind, smirking when he began choking again. 

“Oh hey, did Alex and I ever tell you that we set a date?” Darwin interrupted loudly, which was enough of a distraction to pull the interest of Azazel and Janos—or they were just being polite enough to pretend they were interested and give him and Charles the illusion of privacy. 

Not that they needed it since Charles was still yelling at him about what was and was not appropriate to say in front of company as if Erik wasn’t a grown adult. Finally, Charles stopped his rant and ended it by giving Erik a dark look, but he still took Erik’s hand and intertwined their fingers together when he offered it, even if he dug his nails into Erik’s palms.

Charles cleared his throat once, twice, and then a third time before he sent Erik the deadliest of glares he’d ever seen on his husband’s face, and then turned to Darwin to politely ask, “So, when is the wedding?” 

Yes, Erik was definitely going to count that as a win.