Those Who Can't, Teach

BY : Citizenjess
Category: X-Men - Animated Series (all) > Slash - Male/Male
Dragon prints: 1058
Disclaimer: I do not own "X-Men" or any characters therein. I am not making any money off of this story.

Before Apocalypse, Charles Xavier could never have predicted that his life would be so utterly idealistic. There are still hardships, of course - new threats to mutantkind to deal with; a strange, ominous feeling he gets whenever he looks at Jean Grey - but somehow, he feels like he's better able to handle them, having landed on the other side of Armageddon as he seems to.

A soft snort causes him to glance down at his side, where the sleeping face of Erik Lehnsherr, nee Magneto, catches and holds his attention. It's rare to see the other man looking so vulnerable, though Charles has to admit that it's been happening more and more frequently these days. He knows, too, that he's not the only one who has changed in the wake of their latest shared battle: Erik is happier now, less rigid. Charles can see it in his face even when he's awake, has noticed it in the set of his shoulders, his relaxed gait. Even so, it still manages to surprise him that the other man so readily took him up on his offer to move in; it hadn't, after all, been the first time he'd broached the idea. "You would entrust your precious X-Men's impressionable young minds to me?" Magneto had mused at the time. Then he had kissed Charles, long and hard, squarely on the mouth, and that had been that.

Incorporating him into life at the mansion had been almost suspiciously easy. For one thing, Erik had a lot to offer as a teacher, with an appreciation for physics and foreign languages, on top of his considerable metal-manipulation abilities. There was also the generally unspoken addition of Erik to Charles' bed, which, privately, was his favorite part of the other man's now-full-time residence at the Xavier Institute for Gifted Youngsters.

More often than not, Erik is awake long before Charles deigns to rejoin the land of the living each morning. On this particular instance, however, Charles finds himself staring affectionately down at the other man's sleeping form, a small smile curving his lips. It's things like this, these small moments of domesticity, that makes Charles think that all of the terrible things that have happened between himself and Magneto over the past couple of decades were, if not worth it, then at least easy enough to forgive.

The blanket they've been sharing has slipped to Erik's hip, showcasing an elegant, leanly-muscled frame, as well as the other man's morning arousal. Grinning wickedly, Charles palms Erik's erection, eventually curling his fingers around it, pumping gently. A short time later, Magneto's eyelashes flutter, and he stares, groggy and unfocused, up at his lover. "Ch-Charles," he mumbles, and there's a faint flush on his cheeks, now.

"Ssshh," Charles murmurs, and continues masturbating the other man. Erik bites his lip and grips a little at the sheets, his knuckles starting to turn white. "Charles," he shivers, quite a bit more coherently, and groans when Charles successfully brings him off. "What was that for?" he asks, licking at his dry lips.

"Just saying 'good morning,'" Charles replies sunnily, and then he's bundling himself into Magneto's arms. "Should have thought of being on the same side years ago," he moans in between slow, languid kisses, and Erik smiles against the side of his face in agreement.

*

He makes a point to sit in on or even strategically pass by Erik's classes from time-to-time, if nothing else, to see how the other man interacts with his students. On one occasion, he wheels himself by the large room that Erik has recently appropriated as his own. Most of the students seem to have filed out, though a small handful remains - mostly girls, Charles can't help but notice. "Professor Magnus," one of them, a young woman with face spikes, wheedles. Two other female students flank her, forming a small cavalcade from which Erik cannot easily escape. "We were hoping you could go over Coulombs again. We just really want to make sure we understand them." They may or may not be batting their eyelashes at this point.

"Sure." Erik proceeds to re-explain the concept, seemingly unaware of, or at least, unaffected by the collective attention being paid to his backside - in their defense, Charles thinks, Erik looks quite fantastic, dressed down in a pair of well-worn jeans and a maroon sweater - as he finishes scratching a few formulas onto the blackboard behind him, talking all the while in a smooth, brisk tone.

Eventually, he turns back around, and disappointment flashes briefly on the girls' faces. Finally, the ringleader pipes up anew: "Oh, we get it now. Thanks!" The besotted girls take their leave, all giggling into their hands as they brush past Charles, no doubt to compare notes on Professor Magnus' behind. Gradually, Charles heads into the classroom himself. Hearing the light sounds of his wheelchair on the plush carpet, Erik turns and smiles at him.

"I fear the knowledge you are attempting to bestow on these children is not as popular as contemplating ... what was it again? Oh yes, how many reps you must do on a daily basis at the gym."

Erik finishes erasing the board and lightly dusts off his hands. "My dear Charles," he smirks, drawing closer. "You wouldn't be jealous, now, would you?"

"Of you, or of the students' free show?" Charles asks, mock-innocently. An image comes to mind, then, the memory of Erik helping him to desecrate ("break in," Erik had insisted smugly as he'd helpfully tugged Charles' pants down and off) the desk in his study. It had been one of several occasions when Charles had brought up the possibility of Erik coming to teach at the mansion, though at the time, Erik had simply snorted while rutting against his lover. "I'm no teacher, Charles," he had laughed, and then he'd hissed against the side of the other man's face, "I'm just fucking one." Smirking himself now, Charles pushes the image into Erik's head. Slowly, both men's gazes slide to Erik's own large, oak desk.

"I don't have another class for an hour, you know."

"I'm quite aware of that," Charles replies, a little breathlessly. The classroom door slides shut of its own accord, the lock clicking firmly into place.

*

"Chuck, we've gotta talk."

Charles stuffs the note from Erik that he's been reading and re-reading for the past hour into the top drawer of his desk. "Logan," he greets, perhaps a bit too enthusiastically. "To what do I owe the pleasure?"

"It's uh, about Magneto."

Charles pastes a dumb smile on his face. "Ah, yes? What about him?"

"Guy's a dick."

Charles' expression flags just a bit. "What did he do this time?" he asks, wondering if this is going to end much like a conversation from the previous day, wherein Scott had complained to him that, for all of his intelligence, Magneto was not particularly good at relaying information to his students. In return, Magneto had reminded Charles in no uncertain terms that "you know how I feel about Scott," and had then griped for 45 minutes about how exasperating it was that none of Charles' students appreciated super string theory the way he thought they should.

Judging from Logan's expression, it is going to be almost exactly like his conversation with Scott. "So he's teaching the kids about velocity the other day, and asks if I can come in for a demonstration. The next thing I know, I'm being thrown around the room like a rag doll by my claws for twenty minutes. Do you know how many of those laughing little punk-asses I wanted to punch in the face, but couldn't?" Logan rants, and then supplies the answer of his own accord: "A lot."

Charles concentrates on looking conciliatory. "I'm terribly sorry that that happened, Logan," he murmurs, laying on the charm thickly, albeit while continuing to finger the note from Magneto beneath his desk, folding and unfolding it lovingly. "Of course, when I see Erik again, I will be sure to discuss this unfortunate transgression with him."

Logan looks skeptical. "Uh-huh." Then, as Charles' eyes proceed to glaze over a bit, he continues ranting: "I know the guy's on this big redemption kick at the moment and all, but that doesn't mean I won't throw down. It's bad enough he's never not in the teacher's lounge when I stop by, drinking up all the coffee. He never makes any more, either."

"Mmm, right," Charles murmurs absently. Glancing down, he sees Erik's neat scrawl on the note left on his pillow this morning - "you have a pretty nice cock. Love, Erik" (there's even a little caricature of said cock) - and poorly hides a smile.

"... and it's like, what kind of ego do you have to have to call yourself the Master of Magnetism? Isn't that something we should get to decide? I swear, he's really cruising for a ..." Logan trails off, and then reaches out and grabs up the note before Charles has time to pull it away. His eyes darken as they skim over the words, and then he hands it back to Charles, who accepts it wordlessly, unable to meet Logan's gaze. "Don't be that guy, Chuck," Logan mutters, and then he takes his leave.

*

Erik joins him in his study later that evening, ostensibly, to pare down a stack of ungraded student work together, though Charles knows well enough from experience that their shared evenings tend to de-evolve into drunken merriment, among other things. "I put out a suggestion box today in the common area," Charles is saying, watching as Erik expertly mixes up one of what promises to be several batches of vodka martinis for the both of them. "I thought it might give students - and faculty, I suppose - a chance to voice complaints or suggestions in an anonymous, safe, constructive manner."

Erik hands one of the glasses to Charles, and takes a long sip out of his own. "Has anything come of it yet?" he asks.

Charles holds up several small slips of paper. "I think some of the female students are trying to petition for you to teach a sex-ed class; there were three separate suggestions of that nature, and a fourth that simply said, 'I want to sit on Professor Magnus' face.' So I assume the creator was of the same general persuasion."

"Yes, I don't suppose that last one was from Wolverine," Erik deadpans.

Charles' snort at this is far less dignified than he means it to be. "You really ought to be nicer to Logan," he suggests. "I'm sure he would follow suit if you made the effort."

"I'd rather have him sit on my face."

Charles fights a losing battle not to giggle again. "Honestly, though, Erik. Suppose you were to co-run a weekend outing together. Your collaboration skills would need to be in tip-top shape to survive leading a group of mutant youth into the wilderness."

Erik considers this as he pours himself another drink. "I would never co-run anything with Logan," he declares snidely, and Charles smirks.

"You would if I said you were going to."

Erik's eyes narrow. "Is that so?"

Charles gazes up at the other man challengingly. "I'm pretty sure it doesn't say 'Magneto's School for Gifted Youngsters' on the placard out front, after all."

"Hmmm." Striding close, Erik plucks Charles' half-full glass from his fingers and downs the remains in one long swallow. ("Rude," Charles mumbles blearily, albeit still sniggering.) Then, setting both pieces of dishware on a nearby table, he bends so that he and Charles are at eye-level with one another. "Take it back," he murmurs ominously, and Charles blinks, and then puffs out his chest.

"I will not."

"Very well, then." The tickle fight that ensues is merciless and mostly one-sided. "Erik, no, Erik, s-stop, Erik!" Charles sobs and bats uselessly at the other man, until they're both panting and red-faced. "Say it," Erik demands, and Charles hiccups.

"I t-take it back!"

"Good." Erik stops and moves away to replenish their drinks yet again, and then cranes his neck suspiciously when he hears Charles mutter what sounds like 'arse.' "What was that?" he queries, raising an eyebrow, but Charles just grins sunnily at him.

"I didn't say anything. You know, Erik, I've heard that aural hallucinations are a sign of old age. Perhaps you should go see a doctor."

Erik finishes pouring their martinis and hands one to Charles, who continues to blink up at him with his best faux-innocent expression. "Charles, Charles," he tsks. "There are much simpler ways to tell me that you want to play doctor."

Charles swallows his current mouthful. "As much as we would both appreciate that, I'm sure, we really should get some grading done." He picks up a paper from the top of one of his stacks, and skims the first page. "Listen to this," he cajoles, and then recites an excerpt: "'Lancelot is this really ugly dude. He finds the Holy Grail, and also sleeps with his best friend's wife. She's really hot. Her husband is really old, so I guess that's why she doesn't care that Lancelot looks like someone dropped one of those medieval cart things on his face.'" He finishes reading, and then takes a long swig of his drink, punctuating it at the end with a small burp. "I don't even know what I'm supposed to do with this," he sighs. "I mean, can I fail someone on principle for using the word 'dude' in an academic paper?"

"Your students are Neanderthals," Erik agrees sympathetically.

Charles tuts at him. "Ah ah. They're your students now, too," he rasps, and Erik grunts. "What have you got?" the other man queries, and Erik plucks a paper from one of his own stacks and begins to read from it.

"'Projectile motion is like when someone power-pukes straight down off of a balcony, like when Iceman drank like ten gallons of purple Kool-Aid last weekend and got sick and some of it landed on Kitty's head. It was really funny.'" He pauses. He and Charles share a mutinous glance.

"I can't do this," Charles finally intones, slurring a bit, and Erik sighs gratefully and lets the paper flutter to the ground.

*

The "faculty lounge," a closet that Charles has essentially added a coffee maker to, is quiet when Magneto strides in. "Good afternoon," he says breezily, but is not particularly surprised or fazed when nobody responds. At best, Storm and Beast glance at him, Beast inclining his head ever so slightly forward in acknowledgment. Wolverine, too, grunts, though Magneto suspects that it's not meant in greeting. Walking to the coffee maker, he grabs up a spare mug and empties the rest of the container into it. He takes a long sip, and then hears an aggravated sigh coming from Logan's direction. "Can I help you?" he asks sarcastically.

Logan glares at him. "Replenish the coffee pot once in a while, bub, and we won't have a problem."

It's an easy enough request, but something about Wolverine makes Magneto feel petulant. "I'm sure you can handle that yourself," he retorts, and then drains his cup and leaves it on the counter, unwashed, for good measure. "It keeps you busy in-between scrubbing down the Blackbird and shining Charles' shoes," he adds for good measure.

He hears a chair scraping against the floor, and then Wolverine is shoving a claw underneath his chin. "You wanna run that by me again?" Logan demands. Behind them, Beast and Storm watch the exchange warily.

Magneto crosses his arms smugly. "You heard me," he smirks. He hears Hank cough politely and shoots him an irritated glance.

"Maybe it'd be best if we all just sat down and talked about this like civilized beings," Beast says soothingly. Nearby, Storm nods. Wolverine continues to glower. "Be the better man, Logan," Hank continues.

"I will if he does," Logan grunts, but he doesn't retract his claws, nor does Magneto stand down.

"By all means," Erik eventually goads, "listen to your fellow X-Men. No sense in embroiling yourself in a fight that you know you cannot win."

Logan growls again. "You wanna bet on that?"

"Who need to bet when you're the Master of Magnetism?" Then, without using even a wisp of magnetism, Magneto reaches out and slaps Wolverine clean across the face. Behind them, Beast lets out a soft "oooh."

Logan rears back, his eyes flashing furiously. "All right, that's it," he hisses, pulling himself into a full-fledged fighting stance. "You've had this coming for a long time, old man." Behind him, Storm mutters something about testosterone, and then strides quickly from the room to find the professor.

Hank tries again. "Gentlemen, please. There is always another path to victory besides violence. In the immortal words of the Bard ..."

"Shut up, McCoy," Wolverine and Magneto chorus in unison. It's almost enough to surprise them into a temporary truce, and then Magneto thrusts his empty coffee mug into Wolverine's hands. "Now, run along and make more coffee, like the whipped puppy you are," he smarms, and Hank puts his head in his hands and sighs, defeated. "I tried," he murmurs mournfully, and then chaos ensues.

*

If asked, Wolverine has to admit that he did, in fact, throw the first legitimate punch. Still, it hadn't made much of a difference to the throng of students who had quickly turned a simple altercation between two highly respected (depending on who you asked) teachers into a major sporting event. "The Master of Magnetism vs. the Wolverine: Ten rounds! Place your bets now!" Iceman had somehow requisitioned a bullhorn, and seemed to have been at least mildly successful at collecting money - that is, until Charles had rolled up to where the excitement had been raging, upon which the young man had sheepishly handed over the envelope he was holding, and slunk off.

Peering out the now-broken bay window - according to bits of information that Charles had crowdsourced together from his students' thoughts, Wolverine had been shoved bodily through the glass after calling Magneto a "son of a whore" ("my mother was a saint!" the other man had apparently raged) - the professor joins the crowd currently watching his lover and Logan wrestle in the grass, and sighs.

Later, both men sit side-by-side in his office, and Charles tries to concentrate on all of the ruckus they've managed to cause in a single afternoon, rather than the fact that he and Magneto had just "broken in" his new couch the previous day. (They'd both found it favorable.) "I expect more from the both of you," he intones unhappily, looking back and forth between them. "You represent this school and all that it stands for. What sort of message must this sort of thing send to all of the impressionable youth under this roof?"

"That Fat Boy here can't take a punch?" Wolverine snorts. In response, Magneto wiggles his fingers, and Logan begins contorting in his seat. "Keep up your clever barbs, and I'll bend you like a pretzel," Erik says calmly, and Charles pounds at his desk with an angry fist.

"No, you will not." Both men look up again, seemingly chastised. "So help me, I am going to make you work together peaceably if it kills you," he rasps.

Magneto's brow furrows. "Isn't the expression, 'if it kills me'?" he asks politely.

In response, Charles steeples his fingers and smiles darkly. "Not at this school," he smirks, and Erik and Logan both, at least, have the grace to gulp.

*

The week after the students return from their camping trip with Magneto and Wolverine, Charles spends a few minutes after classes luxuriating in his office with a glass of brandy before tucking into the latest additions to the suggestion box, which seems to have grown in popularity overnight.

The first five slips all reflect the female students' continued, and rather aggressive, grassroots campaign to get "Professor Magnus" to teach them about their own reproductive systems - "with in-class demonstrations," one student had helpfully suggested; Charles can't help but notice that the handwriting looks an awful lot like Jean's. The next thing he pulls out of the box is simply a Polaroid photograph of Erik, his arms and face covered in poison ivy sores, an apparent "accident" that someone had seen fit to immortalize forever. By the time Charles makes it to a meticulously drafted, "anonymous" petition to demote Erik from "professor" to "lunch lady" (it had been signed by all of the other teachers, as well as Scott), he sighs and pours himself a second glass of alcohol, sensing the need for it.

The next slip is folded once. Charles opens it, and can't help but grin at the crude drawing of two stick figures - both smiling, one wearing a cape - getting it on bawdily against a boxy piece of furniture that has been simply labeled "couch." Underneath the drawing, Erik has scrawled, "you also have a really nice ass."

Tucking the note inside his desk drawer atop the steadily growing pile of like-minded offerings, the professor is still smiling when he tugs the last paper for the day from the box. The handwritten student essay has been folded several times in order to fit within the confines of the slot cut into the box's lid, and a sticky note has been attached to the front: "Can I still turn this in?" it says. The essay itself is an (extremely late) interpretation of 'The Once and Future King': "'So King Arthur sleeps with his sister, and God thinks that's gross, so He sends them a deformed baby. It's really nasty.'"

Charles just sighs woefully. "Sod it," he mumbles, and then cradles the box gingerly on his lap before wheeling across the room and shoving the entire thing, essay and all, into the fireplace.


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