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Title: Five in the morning
Fandom: X-Men: First Class
Pairing: one-sided Erik/Charles
Genre: Alternate Universe
Rating: G
Warnings: None
Word Count: 729
Summary: Five in the morning is the awful time to be awake.

Disclaimer: I don't own anything, least of all copyright to these guys.
Author's note: Fill for [ profile] au_bingo for the prompt "Talk/News Show". Obviously, I chose News Show. Actually, it's all thanks to [ profile] the_me09 without whom it will not exist, because I would not have any idea as to what to write. Thank you, love <3

Erik hates mornings. He always has and he probably always will. He hates the winter ones the most; the ones when he wakes up to world covered in the inky blackness and has a moment of panic that he woke up to early. It’s like the world itself doesn’t want to wake up. It’s dark, it’s cold, and possibly nothing, sans Erik and nightly workers, is awake. Well, and Charles. Seeing as the man needs to be right there with Erik when he plasters the fake smile on his face and greets New York with a cherry ‘Good morning’. Not that it matters how they say it. Looking at the statistics, in the whole state of NY only twenty-something people watch them. Probably only because they have nothing else to do.

See, the thing is, Erik got his journalism degree and theatre courses to be an anchorman on evening news. Nothing more and nothing less, that was exactly what he wanted to do. But somehow for nine years he’s stuck on a program that no one ever sees. He’s been told it’s because he can’t smile, but there are lots of people on evenings that never does and they do well. He could be the one to always tell people about tragedies, he’s good at making serious faces.

Only by now he’s probably too old to be of any interest to the branch to relegate him anywhere. He’s not naïve enough to think that the looks don’t matter in their profession, they do. And his are silently tiptoeing from his life with every year that passes. He looks in the mirror every morning and he sees missed opportunities. He’s turning forty this year and it shows in every line on his face. At least he’s not balding or greying yet.

The missed opportunities aren’t only from his professional life, but he doesn’t think about it or he’d never be able to get out of bed. The truth is, he doesn’t have anything in his life to look forward to anymore. His existence is absolutely empty.

Well, maybe not completely, he muses, answering Charles’ sunny smile when he walks in the studio. Charles is his cohost and has been so for five years now. Before him, it was a kaleidoscope of faces and names that Erik hardly bothered to learn. It’s not like they stayed for long anyway. But Charles clung stubbornly to his position, for reasons unknown to Erik. He knows he’s not a pleasure to be around at any time really, but in the mornings he can be super nasty, so it can’t be because of him. The man is young enough, handsome enough, talented and emphatic enough to get position on the evening news if he only tried.

Erik might have a tiny little crush on the man, which he tries to burrow as deep in his head as he can. He doesn’t necessarily want Charles to leave their program, but he knows it would be better for the younger man to do so. Everyone is here only to get higher on a professional ladder. Well, everyone but Erik, who is a fixed mixture.

He sits down on his place with a sigh and thankfully accepts the mug of coffee Angel gives him. Charles is chattering with sound operator, Sean in the corner, gesticulating lively and smiling widely. Erik doesn’t know how the man can be so cheerful at this hour, but he’s not going to complain. On his worse days this smile is the only thing that makes him try to reign in his temper. It doesn’t always work, but at least he’s trying.

He sighs again and rolls the mug in his hands, making coffee splash across the porcelain walls. He smiles wryly and mutters “Happy birthday, old man.” His forty, he should probably think about changing professions. He’s too old to get anywhere else, even if director Shaw wanted to give him any chances, and he doesn’t want to spend the entirety of his life stuck in the morning news show that no one even watches.

He turns automatically and answers the cheery ‘Good Morning!’ with one of his own, looking in the face of his cohost. He should also probably stop pining for this man and move forward with his life. He’d probably stop missing the smile someday.

It’s time to move on.

A/N.: I also just realized that the amount of angst in my fics reflects my mood almost completely. It's rather uncomfortable realization actually.
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