Pairing: Cherik – ErikxCharles

Warnings: homosexual themes and sex, slash/lemon, AU universe, violence, abuse, swearing

Disclaimer: I don't own X-Men First Class (or any other part of the X-Men franchise)

A/N: After leaving this story unfinished for years – I finally finished it! I also revised a lot…. Looking at stuff you wrote too long ago hurts your brain.

Chapter 1

(Charles' POV)

He absolutely had to find his stepbrother. Unfortunately for him, there was no trace of Cain anywhere. Charles had been talking too long with Erik after school and now he was late. He had missed the time he was supposed to meet up with Cain. Although they typically walked the whole way home, he was pretty sure his stepbrother had mentioned taking the subway home to save time. He still had a social life after all.

"Cain!" he called a third time. Still no reply.

He sincerely hoped Cain hadn't really left without him or he would be in a lot of trouble when he got home. He turned left and made his way through the tunnels. There were fewer people than ordinarily down here. Usually he would have to fight his way through tons of stressed commuters not wanting to miss their trains, but today there were only four people not including himself.

It really shouldn't be that hard to find somebody with so little people around. Where had everybody gone? He called again. Still nothing.

An uneasy feeling made him start running and turn to the right. He was going to be in so much trouble. He scanned the tiny crowd in front of him and paused.

A large man, leaning against the tiled wall, stared back at him with what appeared to be both concern and curiosity. With his wild hair and buff exterior, the man made for an intimidating sight. Charles felt uncomfortable under the man's intense gaze and quickly hurried away to continue the search for Cain.

As he reached the next platform, a sign informed him that the next train south was to arrive within five minutes.

"Wrong," he mumbled to himself. Wrong platform. He would most definitely not find his stepbrother here. Walking back to the stairs, he pulled his phone out of his pocket and dialed Cain's number once again.

"The number you have dialed is not available. Please try again later."

Well, it was worth a shot, he thought and put his phone back. He heard footsteps behind him and stopped abruptly. It would seem he wasn't as alone down here as he'd initially thought. A strong and unnatural uneasiness spread within him and he began walking again, faster this time. Something felt wrong. Something felt wrong all the way to the core of his soul.

The corridor ahead was just as empty as the last one with just one major difference; it was a dead end. He tried calming himself down, telling himself that he was acting paranoid and had nothing to fear. Other people were allowed to walk down here as well. Didn't mean they were going to hurt him.

Then the footsteps from behind were getting closer and he felt his palms get sweaty. No, he should be afraid. Every instinct in his body told him so. A sharp and distressingly familiar ache in his chest amplified his panic.

Not now, he thought and cursed the timing of his chest pains. The footsteps were getting close, close enough that he could now tell there were more than one set of them. Maybe they'd realize it was a dead end sooner than Charles. Then maybe they would turn back.

They didn't.

He'd reached the end now. The dead end. There was a door marked 'Authorized Personnel Only'. It was locked. He turned around slowly. The pain in his chest worsened and he whimpered internally. It had never been this bad before. Combined with his rising feelings of panic, it almost completely immobilized him.

It's going to be okay, he soothed himself. It'll pass. The pain will pass. Just like always.

Looking up, he saw two people clad in black; a slender blonde woman and a horrifyingly red-skinned man. The woman eyed him with little interest but the man grinned evilly and made Charles feel that his panic and paranoia truly was justified.

"Told you I found one," he laughed triumphantly. "An early stage, but still useful."

The woman nodded. "Congratulations. You've managed to track the most obvious scent in the world. How very impressive," she sneered and flipped her long hair back.

"Maybe if someone had bothered telling me how they smell in the first place, we would have caught some more," he hissed.

The woman didn't answer. She kept her gaze locked on Charles. Then she extended her hand towards him in what one might have viewed as a friendly gesture had her fingernails not suddenly grown to the length of her forearm. Charles was frozen in place. The pain in his chest intensified at the sight, and he could barely breathe anymore.

"Let's get this over with," she said as her crimson nails now resembled long talons. She pounced.

That really should have been the end of him. But out of instincts he didn't know he possessed, Charles put one hand to his temple and stretched another out in front of him, as if guided by the raw panic still pumping adrenalin through his system. A warm sensation spread through his head. It felt as if his consciousness was spread across two minds rather than one. The woman screeched and clenched her head in agony.

Shocked at the way he felt her pain, Charles pulled both his hands to his chest and saw the woman lying in a fetal position on the ground. The red man's eyes turned deadly and red claws sprung from his nails as well as he snarled and pounced.

A terrified shriek escaped Charles' lips as he closed his eyes and braced himself for the blow. It didn't come. He heard no other noise than the sound of his own heartbeat in his ears. He opened his eyes and saw the man lie bloody next to the woman. Charles stared at the two in stunned silence before a rough hand grabbed his wrist and dragged him past them, away from the dead end.

"You alright?" growled the voice of the man dragging him. Charles recognized him as the large man from earlier. He wondered why the man wasn't freaking out. Charles felt like freaking out. He felt like freaking out a lot.

"I … don't know," he answered shakily as he was pulled upstairs and away from the subway. Charles finally realized that they were leaving the place and tried to pull the other man to a stop. An impossible task when the man was so much bigger than him.

"Wait! I can't leave," he tried. "My stepbrother might still be down here somewhere. I can't just leave him!"

"He's got a better chance of surviving if you're not there," the man said gravely. They made their way outside and into a larger crowd of people. The man sped up, forcing Charles to run in order to keep up.

"How?" he asked. Even though Cain was rather large in size, Charles had a hard time picturing him actually fighting those strange people in black.

"Because you're their target." The man wore a tormented look on his rough face.


"Yeah," the man said as he dragged Charles through the nearby playground. "Well, not just you. They've probably caught my scent now as well."

Charles tried understanding the man's words but it was all happening far too fast and it honestly just wasn't making that much sense to him. His breathing became shallow but the adrenalin kept him running. Fifteen minutes later they finally stopped running and the man let go of Charles wrist. The skin underneath the hand had turned red and Charles rubbed it gingerly. Could have been worse. Had been worse.

"I suppose, I should thank you," he said with a cautious smile, turning towards the intimidating man, "for saving my life".

"No problem," the man shrugged and sniffed their air around them like a big dog.

"I'm Charles, by the way," he said, thinking it odd that he didn't that the man who'd just saved his life was a total stranger. The man eyed him warily.

"Logan," he answered and checked the surroundings again. "We should get you home."

Charles shuddered. He was going to have to return home without Cain. There were definitely going to be consequences.