SLIDE SHOW

--click--

"I want to be fucked."

The thought comes out of nowhere, just a flash of desire, and Charles Xavier puts his fork down. He waits, careful not to survey the table. There will be more and there ismore.

"Is that so much to ask? I want a man inside me, moving oh so slowly. I want to close myself around him. Throw my head back and feel my thighs get wet. Yeah, I want to be fucked."

Thin thread of longing, but hot and shiny with want. Charles Xavier knows that were he to trace it telepathically, he'd find its source glowing like a lightbulb. But he doesn't have to; from across the table, he can see the loss of focus in her long eyes and the slight widening of her nostrils as she loses herself in dreams of what cannot be.

He takes another bite of green asparagus and ventures a longer glance at his students. Ten days on watch and watch and strain is starting to show. In the face of danger, there are none better than his X-Men. It is routine, necessary, mind-numbing routine that wears them down. They are free spirits, chafing against confinement. Perhaps he should let them out to play tonight. The benefits may well outweigh the risks. And it will amuse him.

He clears his throat and heads turn to him like flowers to sunlight. The action never fails to move him. Even Nathan does it, although he is among the last.

"Take the night off," he tells them. "Security is downgraded to level four."

Tired faces light up, with a few notable exceptions.

"Sir," Bishop says, reproaching him for this breach of security protocol.

Nothing is more important to Bishop than security. The calculated slowness with which he puts down his napkin, reveals how offended he is. Nathan says nothing, but the formidable shields close. Opposite him, Elizabeth Braddock wraps herself in shadow and silence as well. Charles Xavier will not force them, and so cannot do anything for them.

"Steady, soldier," he says and although he looks at Bishop, he means all three of them in different ways. "I won't stand between you and your duty."

That throws them and names and faces that mean nothing to him invade his mind. A woman with cornflower blue eyes in the rain, another one whose face is masked by warpaint and blood, green curls slick with blood under his fingers.

Then the images are gone. Charles Xavier puts his hands together and does what only he can do.

The reason he is the most powerful psi on the planet is that he is the master of hormones. The slightest mind-touch sets off a biochemical cascade reaction, which then propagates and amplifies itself throughout the neuronal pathways. The released pheromones affect anyone standing nearby as well. Charles Xavier can make you want, body and mind and if he's giving them the night off anyway, why not make sure it's worth their while?

--click--

"There was an Ewe had three lambs and one of them was black."

Charles Xavier is a pragmatic man, even literal at times. He does not think of his students in the abstract terms of prodigal sons and daughters, orphans of the atom, fighters for justice and freedom. They are Jean, Scott, Henry, Bobby and Warren to him. Nor does he believe in applying generalities to any given situation. But tonight, three of his< X-Men has refused the comfort he might give them and are wandering alone.

"The one was hanged, the other drowned, the third was lost and never found..."

He can't help worrying. Nathan keeps his own counsel these days. He touches base for a couple of days each month, then leaves again with no word to anyone. Bishop is hardly any more visible, guarding the outer perimeter day and night. He has stopped asking for permission, doing what he think is needed instead. Elizabeth Braddock goes to England, pretending to visit her brother and comes back with psionic scarring only matched by Nathan. Charles Xavier wonders if there is any coincidence that these three know more about the future than the rest of them together.

Unlike the shepherd in the Bible, he does not have luxury of being able to leave the other X-Men and go looking for the lost ones. But with the nursery rhyme running through his mind, he stays up to see how the night pans out. That is the least he can do and, he reminds himself, it is also amusing.

--click--

Hank and Cecilia:

It is too much to hope that he'll slam her up against the wall or take her from behind on one of the small cots. They will, maybe, brush against each other in passing, apologise, then think about it for days. How soft and warm his fur was. How her tattoo disappeared in under the white scrubs and how he'd like to trace it with one large, blunt-clawed finger. She doesn't know that Trish never could bring herself to go to bed with him. He doesn't know that the guy in the tattoo parlour took a bottle to her.

--click--

So tired, she thinks. Her shields are gossamer and cobweb; there is nothing more to draw from. She can barely manage to sit there and not listen to all the fucking going on. The Professor still takes a no for a no, which is nice, considering that he could make her want to go to bed with any X-Man or X-Woman if he wanted to. But he does not do that, she reminds herself, which is why she will always be awake and drinking in Westchester instead of in the Brighton safe-house.

She takes another big swig of limoncello and studies her reflection in the dark window. In this light she looks her real age and more. She should stop smoking, should definitively stop drinking out of the bottle of what is very expensive Italian imported alcohol. The STRIKE neurosurgeon warned her about that the last time...No. No use going down that track. It's difficult enough to keep climbing the slippery slope as it is. She doesn't need to remember.

The sound of someone walking into something catches her attention. There is Nathan, shields up, which is why she couldn't detect him, but what good are shields if you're so tired you can't walk without bumping into doorways? He thins them out and she does too, automatic courtesy, but also because he's the other telepath not playing along. She wonders briefly what kind of self-delusion it takes for Jean to let the Professor flip her brain switches, before turning her attention back to Nathan. He is rooting through the fridge, thinking about politics and singularities, but then a certain frivolous thought crosses the surface:

"I wonder what it would be like to fuck her," he thinks, yawning like a lion in the afternoon.

She is tempted to laugh, but she seems to have forgotten how. She sends back:

"Would you like to know?"

There is nothing soft or alluring about her words, they are sharp and bitter just like she is. It's more of a challenge than a question and of course the Askani'son doesn't back away from a challenge. He closes the fridge door and considers another pair of purple eyes, but not for long.

"Show me," he says flatly and the golden warmth that is Nathan reaches out for her, not so much breaching her shields as flowing through them, past them, and touching her beyond the buzz of alcohol and Gitanes.

--click--

Logan:

It was never about the sex for him, not with anyone. Honour had a lot to do with it and fucking was usually out of the question. He relieves himself as he would taking a dump -- he brings his own magazines. The faces and bodies are generic Asian and if some of them would be younger than Jubilee and Amiko, it's not his fault.

--click--

She thought perhaps he'd like to fuck her right there, against the fridge or the kitchen table, so when he bends down to kiss her, she is surprised. His cheek is rough with stubble, but his mouth is soft. He works her lips open, deepening the kiss. Their front teeth slide against each other briefly before she decided to give into it and opens up.

Was it just physical, she would be ashamed. The inside of her mouth is dry, her lips chapped and she knows her breath is bad. But Nathan is all around her, infusing her with warmth and life and she's been cold for such a long time now, it's easier to lean into it while it lasts.

A little teeth, a little tongue. She tilts her head to improve the angle. More than a little tongue now.and her vulva contracts almost painfully. Nathan is breathing faster, too. She slides her tongue past his, moves the action into his territory, licking and thrusting in precise patterns of movement. He tastes of coffee, tartly, but not unpleasantly so.

She doesn't remember rising, but she's on her feet now, pulling him closer. His hands slip in under the old terry robe, stained with old hairdye and new liquor. These are hard, callused hands trying to be gentle. Encountering the scars, they hesitate and anger rises within her. She doesn't need him to be gentle, doesn't need pity for what's been done to her or what she's done to herself.

His cock is hard against her thigh, which pacifies her a little. Not a pity fuck then. It doesn't stop her from pushing him up against the wall. She thinks she could bounce him off the wall, probably put him< through it and hell with the consequences.

As it turns out, he comes off the wall just fine by himself, with a snarl worthy of Logan and the bared teeth to go with it. She's right in his way and the force of the impact send them both careening. They barely miss the kitchen table, only thanks to telekinesis, she's sure, chairs are crashing to the floor in their wake, they're off-balance, staggering and falling, then they are not and she has to giggle, the situation is so absurd.

A second before she realises Nathan is laughing with her and that neither of them has let go. The chairs right themselves. She is backed up against the window, the glass pane cool against her spine. Half of Ororo's potted plants are hanging suspended in the air. As she watches, they float back to the windowsill where they are supposed to be. One particularly nasty-looking cactus, which resembles a malignant growth more than anything else, wobbles a bit. She shakes her head no. Nathan's eyebrows rise.

"Don't," she breathes. "Very expensive. Special import."

Nathan rolls his eyes. Well, it's difficult to say what his bionic eye does, but his human eye does anyway. Barely a shrug, she feels it more than she sees it, and the cactus settles. There is sweat beading on his upper lip and she wants to kiss him again. This time it's as perfect as any movie kiss, long and slow.

"Let's do it right," he says after they come up for air. "My room."

--click--

Rogue:

Her face is blank, the pleasure anonymous. Her index and middle fingers fit snugly into her shallow grove. On a good day, she can put her ring finger on the very edge of it. There are certain pressure points to be found and she has had plenty of time to find them. In a minute, she'll get up and wash her hands once, twice, many times. She'll scrub and scrub with her magnolia soap until her fingertips are raw and red. The smell doesn't go away. Nothing goes away, ever.

--click--

But what is right, really, in this particular situation? She suspects that right would involve awkward apologies and slinking away to separate room. Right could not be to wrap herself around him, arms circling his broad neck, legs locked around his waist, and let him cup her buttocks in his hands. Certainly not to let him rip the ratty tee in front and nuzzle in the cleft between her breasts, while they are still in the hallway.

He fumbles with the key and the palmlock and she hopes he won't be as clumsy later. Once the door swings open, they tumble inside to make their way to the bathroom. They have both spent significant amounts of their lives in barracks, sharing showers and washrooms with other operatives; there is no self-consciousness in either of them as they undress.

The bathroom is in apricot. The colour and the muted lights are kind to her complexion, but it seems to be the wrong setting for the Askani'son. She can't even imagine what Domino would say about this, except that it would be scathing and scatological. Nathan turns around to get the water running. She gets a good view of his ass, which is as tight and muscular as you would expect.

She lets the robe fall to the floor, pulls the ruined t-shirt over her head. Nathan struggles with the cufflinks, they are tight and his left hand isn't as good as his right. The shirt is a nice one and she won't let him ruin it. She takes his wrist in both hands, lifts it to her mouth and closes her eyes. While she loosens up the stubborn cufflink by touch only, she sucks his fingers, first light as a kiss, one by one, then all of them and so deep that she almost gags. He tastes of salt and trace amounts of RDX. It will be days before he can scrub it out of his skin. She does not mind, she has fooled around in the engineer ranks enough to not be put off by explosives or an RDX headache.

Into the tub now, water pooling around their calves and knees. As always, the water pressure is unreliable, but the spray is strong enough that she does let her hair out. Steam clouds the air. Nathan's hands are full of lather and he begins washing her, which feels like an oddly clinical thing to do. He pays particular attention to her breasts, though, and her nipples grow hard and tight. She returns the favour, grabbing the base of his cock with soapy fingers and giving him a handjob interruptus. Interrupted because Nathan moves and she bangs her head against the showerhead. For a moment, she cannot understand how either of them ever survived a battle and she prays the skin hasn't broken. Head wounds tend to bleed a lot and somehow she doesn't think blood would be a turn-on for him.

Unbidden, he probes the back of her head, both inside and out, and she can hardly distinguish between the different sensations. It tickles and itches and there is pressure, as if she was holding back a sneeze. He withdraws his hand, sniffs his fingers and tastes them, which you do when someone might be bleeding underwater, but she wishes he hadn't done that. For the first time she thinks that maybe this wasn't such a good idea.

The thought goes away as the shower spray hits her between the legs. She twitches, before she can stop herself. How did he know? Perhaps the same way as he knows how to put both hands on her hips and hold her so she can't move while the showerhead dances over her clit. Oh, screw how. Screw reproduction. This is good.

--click--

Ororo and Remy:

He talks to her in the patois, thick syllables falling from his lips like honey. She will tell him, yes, Remy, before he sinks to his knees and worships her. Nose butting insistently against the hardness of her pelvis as his tongue slides in and out of her. Tight white curls against his face. The black and red eyes are open all the way and if she'd ask him, he'd tell her anything, but she shakes and shudders and sees him not.

--click--

For someone who was actually brought up in the desert, Nathan is not dealing very well with the heat. It could be the steam or the fact that she licked her way down his formidably muscled chest, made a short stop to explore his navel and then followed the trail all the way to the tip of his cock. This is where she is teasing him now, her tongue darting in and out. Nathan won't open his mouth to gasp or moan, but he can't stop his face flushing or the shivers that travel up and down his long body.

She takes her time. Due to an exceptional joint and muscle arrangement, she can sit seiza forever if she has to, which is very useful for going down. Nathan growls out something that clearly ends with "so help me God" and she smiles to let him know she isn't intimidated, then takes him into the mouth all the way. Slides his cock past her lips, slow and tight, lets it touch the inside of her left cheek, then the right. Would give a little teeth if she knew him better, if she knew his preferences, but she doesn't and he is where he should be now. Deep-throating and concentrating on it, she barely registers the touch on her breasts, her chin. She keeps her lips tight around his swelling shaft, imagining a kiss, that is how she was taught.

Pleasure is leaking out of him. His eyes are half-closed and almost dull with desire. She can feel his need and when he starts bucking, she is prepared. Breathing easily through her nose, she moves with him. He stiffens, makes a noise that's almost a cry, jerks and spurts into her mouth. She clamps down hard with her lips on his cock, to keep him from withdrawing. His cum tastes of oysters, Channel variety. Last time she had them was in Bretagne six months ago, right before Brian had to come airlift her out of there.

She swallows once, twice and resists the urge to wipe her mouth. Nathan's eyes are not quite focused yet, but when he looks at her, there's something in them that can only be described as tenderness. She has no idea what she has done to deserve that.

--click--

Jean and Scott:

She's riding him, going down on him, working so hard. Her red hair falls around her, smelling of strawberry like a little girl's. He knows he mustn't say her name, mustn't say her name, but he always does when he comes anyway. Her face crumples and she gets off him, her movements choppy and graceless. Holding her only makes her cry, so he won't. He'll wipe himself off and go into the bathroom so she can pretend to sleep when he returns. With her back to him still, he'll mouth the name that isn't hers again.

--click--

They make it to the bed somehow. The linen sheets are worn and soft, no starch. Housekeeping changes them every day. The letter X is obvious in the monogram, but the other initials are more difficult to work out. She knows that soon they will be trying out every position that ever occurred to man. For now, they are both content to just lie there and be.

They are telepaths, not empaths, and thought patterns are different from emotions, which by the way, do not have patterns at all. Lying there, she can feel the random drift of surface thoughts across their mutual interface. It is quite like watching clouds or running water, only better. It is, also, the reason blocks and filters exist. To disregard this basic safety protocol is irresponsible, she knows, only it feels very good and does little harm in a controlled environment. Now, his intent to touch and he does; even with shame speeding her reaction she is not quite fast enough to intercept him.

Anywhere but there, she thinks and seizes him by the wrist. The strength in his bionic hand is such that it could snap her arm like a twig. She feels the T-O virus writhe under his skin, burning with heat and malice. It must hurt, she thinks. It must hurt him very much. More than the twinges she gets when she reaches too far, too fast or crawls across a muddy field on elbows and knees. Perhaps he tastes blood in his mouth, the way she does when the still fragile lining of her stomach and esophagus rips. And when he does, she can bet that he swallows and pretends nothing is the matter.

With that thought in her mind, his hurt, not her own, she takes his hands, the hard and hot one, the calloused but softer one. She kisses them, like a blessing, guides them down jawbone and chin, the hollow base of throat, the gentle curve of her breast from shoulder and on down. She lets go there and waits to see what he will do.

The scar starts at the breastbone. Her midsection is a mass of scar tissues, uneven ridges, some still red and puckered, others fading into silver. But there is no hesitation in him to indicate revulsion or horror. The strong hands rove her scars, explore them gently, follow the highest ridge all the way to the groin and she understands that nothing else she could have done would have pleased him as much.

He breathes her name and then no more words as he pulls her closer and kisses her hard. His cock butts against her clit and she grows warm and wet. She can't hold back a moan and he smirks, lifting his hips and thrusting ever more insistently. Let me in, his eyes say. Open up for me. The idea of adding the word bitch to his plea is buried pretty deep down, but other things are not. A black silk scarf. Knee-high boots with wicked heels. A gun the size of a grenade launcher. Domino.

She does not take offense at any of this. She wraps one leg around his waist and rocks against him. Lets him in, lets her lips close around him. When she first came to live in this body, she discovered a few unpleasant anatomical differences between Kwannon and herself. For one thing, that size matters and that while the previous owner of the body might have enjoyed Matsuo rubbing her tiny slit raw and dry, she did not and neither did some of her more considerate lovers. Others she could fool, tapping into their pleasure. She thinks of it as sharing an orgasm rather than faking one, but Nathan is much too perceptive to let her get away that. He is a considerate man. A good man, who thinks she is a good woman or, at any rate, a good soldier.

He moves inside her and she bites her lip, aching with desire. Touch me, Nathan, she doesn't say, but he knows anyway. It could be him saying it, the reciprocation is that strong. Their hands and mouths work in perfect synergy, their bodies move together as one as they shift and change positions. They are both drenched with sweat, sopping wet, and she thinks, absurdly enough, of marine mammals and their slow deep

underwater rolls.

She is wide open to him now. Each thrust sends a shock throughout her

entire body; it could be pleasure or it could be pain. All she knows is

that she does not ever want it to stop. And now now now, the colours

spiral and explode all the way into white and she cries out when he

does, unable to hold it back, unable to hold anything back from him.

--click--

Warren and Bobby:

Boys in the attic, reclining on soft pillows. Bobby may have danced for Warren earlier, but what is certain is that he runs a small ice cube around Warren's nipples, watching them stiffen. From the sweat coating them both like a thin film, it seems they've been working hard for their post-coital bliss, no matter who ended up fucking who. The first time they did this, they used Tiger Balm for lube and both were sore for days. Warren laughs softly and brushes a stray feather over Bobby's thigh. Soon they'll talk about debts and markets, stocks and bonds, because that is their private code, their language of love.

--click--

Some colour is bleeding back into the monochrome. The sepia tones are first, then the reds. The blue is last and with it comes awareness of Nathan's arm flung across her chest, the sheets twisted inbetween her legs, her damp hair soaking the pillow. The taste of him is still in her mouth, the scent of him in her nostrils.

He turns his head towards her and mutters something in Askani'. Although she does not understand the words, something stirs in her subconscious. The Askani' language affects the mind on visceral levels. It can be used to bind and bespell, like magic, and it is deeply suggestive. What is, is, but what is spoken in Askani' comes to be more often than not.

"Little sister," he seems to say, although less charitable interpretations might be along the lines of 'comrade in arms' or 'fuckbuddy', "I could use someone like you."

He means that his anti-Apocalypse network could use her, which is not quite the same thing. She understands this and other things as well. That he cannot offer her a better deal, just a different one. That his wish to keep her close, and maybe safe, has little to do with her and that a wish means nothing at all in the war he is fighting. She knows what it comes down to, what it always comes down to in the end and she shakes her head no.

Nathan looks at her, long and hard, but says nothing more. His hand comes up to touch her face, resting hard knuckles against her cheekbone as if trying to memorise angles and planes, shapes and texture. She knows then, with the certainty of pre-cognition, that he doesn't expect to see her again.

She should get up and check the next mission specs. Maybe call Tactical HQ or Irina, who is waiting in Moscow. But she is so tired and it's easier just to close her eyes and not think about the long Russian winter that lies ahead. And Nathan's arms are around her; she is safe. She leans back into his chest with a small, contented sigh, and they settle down together to watch the last part of the show.

--click--

Xavier:

Cain was his first, he thinks. Cain said it wasn't so. You weren't supposed to do this and not with your brother. But it was obvious that he wanted it again. Same with Erik. Yapping and yapping about wife and family, even while they were jerking each other off. He has only found one way to shut Erik up, ever. With the electrodes on, he can be there again, feel Erik's hands on dead and senseless limbs, hear the words Erik spoke afterwards, before it all fades to black.

--click--

FIN