Category: Werewolf, Modern Day AU, Still have powers, humour
Summary: Charles moves into a new neighbourhood and makes a couple of new friends - most of all Erik and Erik's doberman: Sherman - who's a terrible chatterbox, but Charles wouldn't miss it for the world. He's getting information about his hot neighbour from the closest possible source.
Notes: Original long list of prompts posted by Thethoughtrepository on tumblr.
The prompt was: "alternatively, i find you to be really superduper adorable and whenever i come over your little dog goes off on rants to me about the cute embarrassing stuff that you do when you're home alone and honestly I wake up every day for these chats"
♦ Part 1 - Du Riechst So Gut
♦ Part 2 - Pack Mentality
Word count: 4,535
AO3: Should you want to tell me whether you liked the story or not, feel free to use the link to AO3. Here you can also download the story in your favourite e-book format.
Charles had had his worries about moving into a neighbourhood where he would be living door to door with people who might figure out what he was. However, staying at the old mansion had even less appeal - especially once Raven had moved out, insisting that she wanted to attend university in California.
It had been tempting to convince her to stay, but Charles knew her well enough that he could imagine it driving them much farther apart than the physical distance from Westchester to California would.
As it were, he had found a nice house in Scarsdale, moved in and found his time divided between the cycle of the moon, writing on his book and various articles - not to mention the whole new experience of people watching.
Due to his sensitive nose and ears, not to mention his telepathy, he had bordered on overloading the first few weeks. At least until he had finally found the balance that would allow for him to deal with all the new input. Compartmentalization was a beautiful thing when done right.
It didn't hurt that his neighbours were quite nice - especially the tall drink of water who would walk his doberman every morning before heading off to work. The doberman had initially been wary of Charles, but once it had realized that Charles was top dog and not a threat, it had started greeting him on the street. As had its owner.
Erik. With a sharp k at the end. Charles quite liked the crispness of the name. A good man, if Charles was to believe the chattery beast of a dog. And he was going to, because dogs rarely lied.
In the beginning, Erik had seemed a little standoffish, but according to Sherman, the doberman, he wasn't used to being around other people outside work. And actually, he was warming to Charles a lot faster than Sherman had seen him do with anyone else.
Sherman was a bit of a chatterbox, but Charles was interested enough to engage him in conversation when Erik wasn't looking. Erik merely thought Charles was good with dogs.
Normally, Charles wasn't all that interested in people - Raven had always joked that she was the only reason one couldn't call him a recluse. And with her gone it had probably been a real threat. What set Erik apart, however, was the fact that he smelled terribly good to Charles, who wasn't stupid. It wasn't just the general scent of a person, musky, a little bit of supposedly perfume free deodorant. If Charles was being honest with himself, it was the kind of scent that he would love to bury his nose in. Right there, where Erik's neck and jaw met.
He could have dived into Erik's mind and gauged if he would be open to Charles making a move, but he quite found he liked the slow burn of getting to know someone. He was also fast becoming addicted to Sherman's sharing of information.
Apparently, Erik liked to speak with Sherman. Sharing day-to-day going-ons at work, but also what he thought about Charles. And according to Sherman, Erik rarely spoke of people, so the doberman had taken notice when this had happened.
Through two months, Charles had taken to visiting Erik nearly every other night, playing chess with him, talking about literature and human rights, or rather, mutant rights - and much to Charles' delight, Erik had been completely open about his gift. Charles had shared his own, at least his telepathy and Erik had been impressed. Charles was still gearing up to sharing the 'other' gift with him. Baby steps, he kept telling himself.
Walking up to Erik's front door, he stopped, hand lifted to knock when Sherman trotted around the corner, tongue lolling and ears perked.
"Hello, Charles-alpha," Sherman greeted with his customary huffs-whines, "Erik-alpha is in the shower - he took me for a run-walk-fun-play in the park."
"Aren't you the lucky one," Charles said with a small laugh, letting Sherman nose at his hand. And the thought of Erik in the shower, washing off the lovely scent of sweat... he cleared his throat.
"You just have to ask him," Sherman said with another huff. "He was talking about how cute you were again today," he shared. "I do not understand human courtship. Anyone, even with a blocked nose, would be able to tell that you like him too."
"Well, yes," Charles said with a cough, feeling his face heat a little. "Human courtship does escape me as well. And I still haven't told him what I am."
Sherman sat down, looking a little confused. "Erik-alpha is very accepting of different-unusual."
"I gathered as much," Charles agreed, opening the door. "But it's a bit of a big thing to share."
"Hi, Charles," Erik said, rubbing his hair with a towel, the rest of his long, lean body, unfortunately encased in a loose fitting jogging suit. He had been heading through the hallway towards the kitchen. "I swear, some days I think you understand what Sherman says."
Charles opened his mouth to reply, knowing full well that Sherman's supportive woof was meant to spur him on to share that he did indeed understand and more importantly, the hows and whys of this ability.
"Is something wrong?" Erik asked when Charles failed to say anything.
"You should tell him, Charles-alpha," Sherman urged.
"Do you understand him?" Erik asked curiously. "A secondary mutation, maybe?"
"Not so much a secondary mutation," Charles said, making a face. "But I do get the gist of what he means."
Charles didn't miss the annoyed huff from Sherman when Erik merely shrugged and lead the way into the living room, Charles following behind.
"You should tell him, Charles-alpha," Sherman whined as he trotted after them.
Yeah, Charles was well aware that at some point Erik would probably find out and that might do more harm than good to their friendship. But for the time being, he wanted status quo - he wasn't ready to give someone else that much power of knowledge over him.
He was damned lucky that Erik didn't understand what Sherman was saying, though.
Charles should possibly have known that the nice, slow pace of life in his new neighbourhood would not stay like that forever. He would have liked to just go on with writing his articles, his book and running into Erik as often as he could manage it.
Of course it was partly the full moon to blame. And part bad luck - of the wrong place at the wrong time variety.
It was a nice morning - late January - and Charles had let himself get carried away by the sharp scents in the air. He was still a little away from his own home, but wasn't too worried about running into anyone on the paths through the woods that ran behind the area.
Which of course meant that he should have. Paying attention to any scents out of the ordinary was what he should have been doing. Unfortunately, the scents that he should have picked up were only out of the ordinary for the place, and not in general.
Breaking through the underbrush, Charles had two paws on the path before he realized his error. Right in front of him were two familiar shapes. In his wolf shape he was honed for the hunt, but dealing with a human that he had come to care about...
Much to Charles regret he did not get a moment to think, before Erik spotted him, pulling Sherman back - although the doberman merely huffed, having recognized Charles. The primal fear in Erik's eyes made Charles ache for a moment, then it was gone, replaced by an adrenalin rush, and Erik lifting up his hand, gesturing.
At first Charles was unsure why, then metal from what had probably been a streetlamp crashed through the trees. The next few moments were absolute madness. Erik was trying to hurt him with the metal bits, and Sherman was dancing around, trying to break his aim - and Charles was completely frozen by the display - the incredible display of power combined with his senses enhanced by his wolf shape.
Right up until a piece of metal connected with his shoulder, burning hot pain as it sliced through flesh. At this point, Charles' instincts took over and he bolted through the trees, every cell in his body focused on the safety of home.
He did not slow down until the basement access to his house closed behind him. Sinking to the floor, the transformation began and Charles curled up, panting for breath and whimpering with the wound to his shoulder.
So not such a great morning afterall. Two hours later Charles had managed to get up from the basement, dress his wound and make a cup of tea. At least the metal had not bitten through anything important, and the skin was mending quite well. Another day or so and his shoulder would be back to normal.
"Should teach me not to dawdle when the moon goes to bed," he muttered to himself. Or maybe pay more attention to what might be a danger and not linger on how magnificent Erik had been. How, when he'd used his powers, it had filled Charles' nose with the most interesting metallic scent.
A low growl escaped Charles without his intent and he had to laugh at himself. Really? He'd been in danger and his body had apparently decided that nothing was more alluring.
Charles sipped his tea, then set the cup down, staring at the backdoor of the kitchen. Ah well, he should probably have seen this coming. Getting up, he winced as the move pulled at the mending flesh. Opening the door he watched Sherman trot through, ears slightly back as if a little unsure.
"I won't harm you," Charles assured the doberman. "I am quite sorry for the fright I gave you this morning."
"I wasn't afraid you might harm me, or Erik-alpha," Sherman rumbled as he sniffed his way around Charles. "You are hurt."
"Ah yes," Charles admitted, letting the door swing shut, quietly standing there until Sherman had assured himself that Charles was indeed alright. "I heal quickly."
"Charles-alpha, you could have been hurt worse."
"Yes," Charles agreed. "And that is why we won't tell Erik about this." He could just see how badly this could end.
"Charles-alpha can not keep this a secret forever," Sherman argued, sitting down and watching Charles with his head cocked.
"I know," Charles agreed, sitting back down. "But I don't think Erik is in any mood to learn about this anytime soon. I must have given him quite a fright."
"You did," Sherman agreed, "but he may wonder-suspect as he kept asking me why I had tried to stop him - and also he spoke about hunting-defending the community."
"Hmm," Charles hummed, frowning. That could very well become a problem - if Erik thought he had to protect the neighbourhood from a threat. This may very well force his hand. Maybe go as far as moving away.
The sound of the doorbell tore him from his thoughts and Charles gestured for Sherman to stay while he walked out to see who was at the front door.
"Have you seen Sherman?"
Charles stared at a rather disheveled looking Erik, his voice almost had a touch of panic to it. Before Charles could say anything, Erik carried on.
"I can't find him, and after running into a ... I don't know, a wolf, maybe, I have no clue what it was, this morning, and now Sherman is missing and maybe he's..."
Apparently two things registered in rapid succession with Erik. 1. Charles bandaged shoulder and sling to keep it in place and 2. Sherman trotting up behind Charles in the hallway.
And Charles could fairly see two and two becoming four.
"Perhaps we should continue this conversation inside," Charles said with a sigh, standing aside to let Erik in. Erik, who stood frozen to the spot. "Erik?"
"I wounded the creature in the left shoulder..." Erik trailed off, staring at Charles' left shoulder. "Sherman wouldn't let me pursue it when it ran off."
Sherman whined and huffed behind Charles and Charles bit back a snarled demand for him to shut up. It wasn't Sherman's fault that he had been careless. Still, a low rumble did escape his throat, but as his eyes were still on Erik, the man of course took it the wrong way.
Erik stepped back, slowly, eyeing Charles warily. "Sherman! Heel!"
Charles sighed heavily. Hoping to do this in private was obviously in vain. And Sherman wasn't making it any easier, with his whines and not moving from his spot behind Charles.
"What have you done to him?" Erik asked him, glaring at Charles.
"I haven't done anything to him," Charles said, feeling more than a little insulted. "I would never."
Erik stared at his shoulder again, then gestured at it. "It was you, wasn't it?"
No reason to try to close the stable after the horse had fled. "Yes."
Erik stared at him, the look in his eyes indecipherable. For a moment it seemed he was going to step forward, a threatening set to his shoulders, then he shook his head. "Well, if he won't come, there's nothing I can do, is there?" Erik turned on his heel and left, only stopping once, at the road in front of Charles' house. But he didn't look back, just walked off, towards his own home.
"You should go," Charles said quietly to Sherman. At the inquiring whine from Sherman, Charles shook his head. "No, I'll be fine. I heal quickly."
Sherman pushed his nose against Charles' hand and then ran off, after Erik.
Charles rubbed his forehead. He was getting a bloody headache and it was all Erik Lehnsherr's fault.
For the first week after Erik having figured out what he was, he had stayed away from Charles completely. Sherman had come by a few times, apparently to share Erik's mutterings with him, but mostly, Charles had the feeling, to make sure that Charles didn't feel too hurt about the abrupt cold shoulder from Erik.
The mutterings, under any other circumstances, would have amused Charles. According to Sherman, Erik spent an insane amount of time walking in circles and muttering about Charles - instead of using that pent up energy and taking Sherman on the really long walks.
And Erik's mutterings weren't just that. Because Sherman was a god damned chatterbox and according to him Erik swung wildly between cursing Charles and sharing with Sherman just how crushed he felt because he truly liked Charles. As in really liked Charles.
At this point Charles had stopped Sherman and sent him home again. There were things he shouldn't hear from someone else, least of all Erik's dog. Because that was just weird.
A couple of times, Charles could have sworn he caught Erik's scent in the streets when he was out and about. And twice he was sure that Erik had come as far as his front porch. Quite frankly, Charles was beginning to wonder about the wisdom of waiting for Erik to make a move. Even if it was the only way. He had to give Erik the time and space to do this by himself.
Two weeks in and Charles caught Erik's scent at the same moment as the doorbell rang. Charles rolled his shoulder - he no longer wore a sling but the thought of Erik made it feel twitchy.
Moving to the front door, Charles drew a deep breath, opening the door and meeting Erik's eyes. He didn't say anything, just waited, slightly discomfited by Erik's intense stare.
"I can't even tell," Erik finally said, barely blinking.
Charles fought the urge to roll his eyes. "It's not like we wear a brand announcing our heritage," he said evenly.
"Do you howl at the moon? Do you hunt? Kill?" Erik asked, eyes narrowing.
"Good bye, Erik," Charles grit out, slamming the door shut, completely surprised and annoyed that Erik would even ask this. How bloody rude.
He could tell that Erik stayed outside the door for another moment, before hurrying off.
Charles didn't see Erik until it was nearing the full moon again. Charles had been wondering if he should reinforce the basement and lock himself up for this one. To avoid Erik. Then again, he hadn't done anything wrong. Why should he be the one to adapt? Of course, if Erik started telling other people... People were always so terribly fearful of the supernatural.
Mid afternoon the doorbell rang again and Charles sighed heavily. This close to the full moon his own temper was a little less in his control and he wasn't sure he wanted to deal with Erik.
"May I come in?" Erik asked stiffly. His body was tense and his whole attitude screamed unease.
"Why?" Charles asked, though he did consider it.
"I need to talk to you and I don't think we want to do it on your front porch."
Charles pursed his lips, then decided he could be the better man, trust where Erik obviously didn't. Turning around, he walked back into the house, leaving Erik to follow if he so chose.
The front door closed with a 'click' and Charles could tell by the quickening of Erik's breathing that he had done so from the inside. At least that was a positive sign. He hoped. It could also mean that Erik just wanted privacy to kill him.
A moment's worry and Charles brushed his mind across Erik's. All he got from his surface thoughts was confusion in layers.
At his own feelings.
Charles pulled back. He had his ethics and as long as Erik wasn't as such threatening his life, he didn't want to break them. At least hostile thoughts tended to drift to the surface, making it easier for Charles to adhere to his own rules.
Charles was almost at the kitchen door when Erik spoke. "I grew up near Schwarzwald. We heard things in the night. There were rumours. Have you killed anyone? Do you hunt people's pets? Do you eat humans?"
It took Charles a moment to take the whole rushed sentence in and anger rushed through him, his patience and self control already worn thin. Had it not been so close to the full moon, he would have laughed it off and told Erik to bugger off.
Slamming Erik up against the wall, Charles took a moment of glee in the way Erik's eyes widened in fear, the way it tainted his scent. Pushing forward, he held Erik in place, the oncoming full moon lending him more strength than normally. Leaning his face in close to Erik's, he growled, letting go of some of his self control.
Taking a deep breath to ask Erik just what the hell he wanted, he caught the scent of something entirely not fear. Looking down, he realized that Erik's hands were fisted in Charles' shirt. Pulling back enough to look Erik in the eyes, Charles let out his breath slowly.
The sound of Erik's heartbeat was loud in his ears, combined with that damnably enticing scent of arousal.
Hours. He had a few hours before the moon would be up. The calculation was harder to do than he liked to consider. Charles twitched, trying to think through the urge to rip Erik's clothes off and have him right there in the hallway. Ever the glutton for punishment, Charles buried his face in Erik's neck for a moment, feeling his body go still against Charles'. Then he pulled back, carefully unclenching Erik's fingers and stepping away from him.
Erik looked wrecked. His breathing was heavy, his eyes wide and pupils blown. His normally impeccable clothes were askew, rumpled. He made an aborted attempt at reaching for Charles.
Charles backed up against the opposite wall, slid down to sit on the floor. His heart was still beating far too fast and his instincts were still screaming at him to take Erik. Leaning his head back against the wall, eyes closed, he forced the animal part of his brain to back off.
When he opened his eyes again, he found Erik had done the same, sitting down against the wall, staring at Charles with a confused look.
Charles barely had to brush over Erik's mind to understand why he looked like that. "Do not tempt me," he said with a sigh. Leaning his head back again, he stared up at the ceiling. "At any other time of the month, I would gladly follow through, but not today. You're obviously not thinking straight and I do not have half as much self control right now as I would need to carry on."
Erik made a rude noise. "I know what I'm doing." He paused for a moment, then another, annoyed noise escaped him. "I think."
Charles grinned, but did not look at him. There was a small spider wandering across the ceiling. A focal point for Charles. "You just asked me the rudest questions ever and made it sound like I was a threat to everyone alive."
"I spent the past month trying to convince myself I didn't want you," Erik said.
"Not doing a particularly good job, are you?" Charles asked sarcastically.
Erik snorted. "No, not really. I've always fancied myself the kind of man who would accept anything and anyone, no matter how otherworldly. Apparently I've been a bit of a hypocrite."
Charles shrugged. "Not arguing with you there," he agreed. "Though I was considering telling you - at some point. Sherman kept pushing for me to do so."
Erik was quiet for a moment. Then pulled his long legs up, sitting cross legged, watching Charles with curiosity. "I'm not just imagining it, am I? You do understand him?"
"Oh yes, and your dog is a chatterbox, Erik," Charles said with a laugh, finally relaxing a little.
"You're not really a danger to me, are you?" Erik asked.
Charles focused fully on him, Erik twisting to get onto his hands and knees, closing the distance between them. Involuntarily, a warning growl escaped Charles. It didn't escape Charles' notice that a shiver ran through Erik.
"Currently," Charles said acidly after a steadying breath or two, "I can make you no promises - you pissed me off, you got me worked up and it's a full moon tonight, Erik." The latter was added with a drop of Charles' voice.
"Oh," Erik all but breathed, now so close to Charles that he could feel the exhalation of air against his face.
"Don't start anything you can't finish," Charles growled, grabbing Erik and all but slamming him into the floor, moving swiftly to straddle his waist.
Erik arched his back, partly to rub against Charles, partly to try to buck him off. "Who says I can't finish it?"
"Cocky," Charles sneered, grabbing Erik's head and holding him still as he leaned down, biting into a kiss that he had meant to be quick and sharp, but ended up deep and wet.
Erik dug his fingers into Charles' thighs, right underneath his arse and it was the famous straw that broke the camel's back, because Charles lost his tentative control, ripped the front of Erik's shirt to shreds - which only seemed to turn Erik on even more. Coupled with the enticing scent of Erik's arousal it would have been impossible for Charles to stop himself. At this point he didn't even want to, could find no reason to stop.
ShIfting, Charles shoved one thigh in between Erik's and ground down against Erik's thigh, rutting like an animal in heat. He lost himself in the taste of Erik, their kissing turning even messier, and Charles thought distantly, that he might've bitten a little too hard into Erik's lower lip, because he could taste the metallic tang of blood.
With the full moon drawing nearer, Charles was incapable of stopping. Taste, scent, feel and Erik trying to keep pace with him every step of the way. And failing spectacularly by coming hard, breath stuttering and Charles all but curled around him, sinking his teeth into Erik's shoulder while riding Erik's thigh to the brink of pain as his jeans were too tight and too rough against his own erection. Finally his own release spiralled out of control and Charles could focus on nothing but the sheer pleasure of coming.
Nuzzling against Erik's neck, Charles breathed in slowly, revelling in the scent of sweat and pheromones.
"Ow," Erik muttered, rolling his shoulder as much as he could.
"I didn't break skin or bone," Charles muttered sleepily. He didn't say 'payback's a bitch' - not because it wasn't the truth, but because he couldn't be arsed.
"No, but it's going to bruise," Erik replied, not sounding half as worried about it as Charles thought he might should.
Charles sighed deeply, rising up on his hands and knees, looming over Erik who made no move to get out from under him. "You should go home."
Something shuttered in Erik's eyes and Charles huffed out an annoyed curse. "I mean you should go home, clean yourself up - and we'll have breakfast in the morning if you want. The moon is full tonight and it will be up in less than two hours." He watched as it dawned on Erik that Charles wasn't just kicking him out for the sake of kicking him out.
Charles got to his feet and offered Erik a hand up. Which Charles was glad to see was accepted without any hesitation. It took a moment before Erik let go of his hand. Rolling his eyes, Charles pulled him in quickly, kissing him lightly at the corner of his mouth. "Give Sherman my best and I'll come by tomorrow morning when I get back."
Erik nodded silently, turning to leave, then stopped and looked at Charles with a shyness that Charles hadn't expected. "Won't you be tired after being out all night?"
Charles closed the distance between them, leaning into Erik and not hiding the predatory grin. "A night out during the full moon always leaves me restless and energized in the morning, so I suggest you get plenty to eat, plenty of rest. You'll need your stamina." Charles was amazed to watch Erik's pupils dilate again. "Go," he growled in a low voice. "I don't normally hunt humans, but for you I might make an exception."
Erik shivered, but his hesitant grin turned wider. "I'll see you in the morning, then."
Charles just pointed at the door and watched as Erik all but strutted out, his shirt in tatters, looking every inch like he'd been shagged on the floor by a beast. Shaking his head, he tried to keep from smiling, then decided as he was alone, who cared, and allowed himself to laugh out loud while stretching his arms above his head, feeling his spine ache with the first signs of the change. He always looked forward to the run through the woods under the moon, but for once he knew he wouldn't linger when the moon went to bed. He had more important things to do, more enticing bed-mates to pursue.