A Thin Line

A/N: For Allexxiell, who told me that often the biggest enemies are the best lovers. It isn't much, but perhaps that darker/more complicated story is within me somewhere. Until then, enjoy. For the rest of you, venture into this odd pairing. I promise, they never disappoint.

They have always said there was a thin line between love and hate. She never believed them. There was no line. No line to cross, or to refuse to cross. No matter how hard she tried, she never did find the line. Therefore, she firmly believed there wasn't one. Because if there had been, she would have never have crossed it.

None of that mattered anyway. If she truly hated him, there would have never been a first time. Or a second. Or third. Or whatever number they were on now. If she truly hated him, she would have killed him instead of kissing him. If she truly loved him, well, that was another matter entirely, wasn't it? Love or hate. Why did she have to choose? No, there was no choosing. They were here, together, for better or worse.

"Ororo."

Perhaps it was for the worse. Your sworn enemy should never call you by your given name. He shouldn't whisper it in your ear in the early morning light. He should fear your name, fear the storm within you. But instead, he embraces it; finds release in it. And that makes you hate him a little less. Never before has a lover felt the hurricane and held on like he does. He calls for a storm and he gets one.

"Erik."

That's not what they call him at home. That isn't how her students see him. Sometimes she will hear them whispering in the corridors of tales of the great Magneto. The Professor's nemesis. They dream of fighting him. She dreams of making love to him. But they can only see Magneto, not Erik. She never corrects them, though. She could, couldn't she? Make them see the man beneath the helmet.

"You could stay, you know."

His fingers traced over the skin of her back. He was detouring from their normal routine. It was just sex. No love, no hate. And it was good sex: powerful and fulfilling. Maybe it was their rivalry that led to the passion. And such passion it was. But it was just sex. So why was he offering this to her now? Why change what worked? She could barely wrap her head around the sex. She didn't have time to analyze his actions now.

"You know that will never happen." And she left.


She was on the balcony of the X-Mansion now. Home, she was home. Her family greeted her with smiles. They talked about their normal days and she listened with envy. She wondered what they would do if she told them what she had just done. She wondered if they would feel betrayed to know of all the times she left home to be in his bed. That she wanted to leave home to be in his bed; that she enjoyed leaving home to be in his bed.

But they never suspected. And that's what killed her. Of all the people who called this place home, she was probably the last anyone would expect to find in Magneto's bed. Was it because they believed her incapable of that kind of betrayal- all 'good' and no 'evil' within her? Perhaps. Maybe, they even believed she would not be the type of woman to separate sex and love. How wrong they were. But she wasn't sure that it was 'evil' that kept her coming back for more.

"Ororo."

A different voice called out to her this time. The hum of Charles Xavier's wheelchair broke the silence of the day. They often talked here, out on this balcony. Her friend, her beloved friend. She had tried to tell him so many times, but she never knew where to begin. It would be easier if he would just read her mind. But he would never betray her that way. He wasn't like her.

"Charles."

There was no thought of a line with him. She loved him, just as she loved every other soul in the house. So why did she awake this morning in the warm arms of Erik instead of her soft bed beneath his roof? She thought herself a strong woman, but she wasn't strong enough to walk away from Erik. She needed to tell Charles before it became a problem. Right now, she could tell him. While it was still just sex. Before she figured out if the line existed.

"Is everything alright?"

It was a simple question, one she didn't know the answer to. It had felt alright last night. Better than alright in fact. He knew where to kiss, where to touch, how to hold her. And it seemed she could do the same for him. They found something between them that neither had felt before. But when had it stopped to being just sex? It was slowly dawning on her that they had become more than that. Lovers, even.

"I don't know."

That damn line that didn't exist was haunting her. If it really was there, she would have found it. She was smart enough. No, those two feelings were completely separate. Love and hate. Maybe she had never been capable of hate. Perhaps fate should have it that it had been love all along. Love from a distance, admiration at first. Then passion found them. She needed him. Maybe she could love Erik and hate Magneto. But that would mean there was a line. A line she would have to cross.

There was no line between love and hate. Ororo knew this to be true. Because she was in love with Erik- and she hated it.