lifesmarvels: (dear life are you serious merlin)
[personal profile] lifesmarvels
Title: Right behind that boulder in the middle of the forest
Fandom: X-Men: First Class
Pairing: one-sided Erik/Charles
Genre: Alternate Universe
Rating: PG
Warnings: Some blood
Word Count: 830
Summary: Erik is bound to the stream by the powers of Zeus.

Disclaimer: I don't own anything, least of all copyright to these guys.
Author's note: Fill for [ profile] au_bingo for the prompt "Ancient Civilizations". You get Greeks, because I like Greeks.

Erik isn’t someone people pray to. He’s not someone heroes fall in love with either. He’s a nymph. He’s a male nymph to boot. It’s a rare thing, but it happens, mostly because Zeus gets his kicks off changing some harmless Germanic boys into fucking tree spirits. Or water spirits like in Erik’s case. The point is, Zeus is a fucking asshole with sadistic sense of humor and Erik is stuck as a water nymph until someone will fall in love with him or some other nonsense. It’s not like anyone crosses near his stream, far away from the path as it is.

Well, of course that is, until the day that they do.

Erik is sitting on a rock in the middle of his stream, splashing his feet in the water mindlessly when he first hears it. It sounds like a hunt, only there is very little game to be hunted in the woods around him. So he jumps in the water and swims to the boulder he can hide behind and peers from behind it. There seems to be a group of men on horses, pursuing someone. They seem to be getting closer to their victim when the man, because Erik can see now that he is decidedly male, trips and falls into his stream. Erik immediately can feel the complete terror the man is feeling, and underneath a wave of grief and sadness and it makes him want to close his eyes and weep.

He’s not really sure why he does what he does next, but it’s a pure instinct. When one of the pursuers gets off his horse and reaches for the man in the water, Erik raises his hand and makes the water dance in dangerous whirls and waves, cutting the hunting party from their game. The only calm place is the one when the, shocked and puzzled now, man is still standing. The men ride away, calling about wrath of gods. As if, Erik muses. It would be much easier if he was actually a god of some kind, he’d probably be able to free himself.

He could of course use the situation to actually break his enchantment, make the man fall in love with him. The only problem being that no one mortal could actually see him. The only thing they saw was his stream, and if they were lucky, sometimes the blurry reflection of his figure in the clear water.

The man seems to be sitting dejectedly in his water, as if he’s not going to move anywhere, and Erik uses this time to peer at him closer. The tunic he wears is torn and splattered in some placed with blood from scratches along his arms and legs, but the material seems expensive and there are ornate weavings near the sleeves and hem of it. The other thing that makes Erik think the man is from a rich family is the shade of his skin, pale as if it didn’t see sun much. Erik will have to make sure to ask the nearby tree nymphs to shade the man from Apollo’s rays if he doesn’t want it to change. And he doesn’t, it looks beautiful contrasted with dark locks on the man’s head and his crimson lips. But his eyes- His eyes are the color of Erik’s sacred waters and he can feel himself falling looking into them. Never before has he felt such an instant connection to anyone.

He walks closer, sure that he won’t be spotted and falls to his knees in front of the man. He really is beautiful. Erik’s heart clenches at the thought that he won’t ever be able to try his chances with this man. Not while he’s a sprite like now. He sighs and washes the man’s injuries with gentle hands, ignoring the puzzled stare and the man’s attempts to spot his helper, because he won’t. The impromptu bath seems to exhaust the man and he slumps forward, his eyes falling closer. He falls asleep, sitting in the stream like that. Fool.

Erik gathers him in his arms and carries him off to the biggest boulder, the one creating a little shaded clearing between water and the rest of the forest. He puts the man gently on the grass and calls for Angel, the sprite of the closest willow, to help him mend the man’s clothes. She listens to the story and by the end she’s looking at him with something akin to pity in her eyes, and Erik sets his jaw and looks away stubbornly. He doesn’t need pity or anything else. It’s not like anything is going to change his situation anyway.

The man wakes up when they’re almost gone and Erik can swear that for a moment he looks as if he sees them. He puts his hand on the man’s brow and whispers to him to sleep, that he’s safe, they’re going to take care of him. And the man does. 

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