|ᴇʀɪᴋ (metalize) wrote in valloic,|
@ 2020-11-10 09:43:00
|Entry tags:||!action/thread/log, marvel: erik lehnsherr, marvel: rogue|
WHO: Erik & Rogue
WHAT: Having an Important Talk about sharing space, and some curry
WHEN: Monday evening
WARNINGS: The curry is spicy but the people keep it PG
|It had been some time since Erik had been in a relationship - and that was a fact. He wasn’t really the ‘love ‘em and leave ‘em type, not anymore, though he certainly had his fair share of encounters while doing so much traveling throughout his Nazi-huting days (though being in solitary confinement for ten years really did nothing for his love life, admittedly). Then he met Magda and they settled in a small Polish village off the beaten path, so beautiful with its rural magic, floral-decorated houses, grazing deer, and stunning yellow fields where farmers chopped wood and tended to chickens. Vallo wasn’t that, but he was actually settling into the idea of settling down - Rogue and Anka Irene meant so much to him, and he thought it was near time to ask about combining their households. |
The ‘would you like to live with me?’ talk. Did people even ask that question anymore? How was it supposed to go? He knew a lot of things but admittedly he was rusty on aspects such as that.
But he tried his best to allow for an atmosphere that would be appropriate for having that talk. He arranged for Anka Irene to play with a friend (her best friend), and he asked Rogue to come over around seven because he had something for her. That something being dinner, and he was a surprisingly decent chef. The secret to his cooking was that he did a lot of simple things that packed a punch - a lot of things that you could make in only one pot. This time he'd done a coconut chicken curry in a pressure cooker - which meant making dinner was quick, and all the flavors sank into the chicken so well; the part that took the longest was preparing the spice paste, since there was a range of ingredients there.
Definitely chiles. He liked spicy food and he knew Rogue did too. Not enough to burn off the tastebuds, but there was some heat to this dinner.
He was in the process of making rice to go with everything, and doing about six things at once as well, so once he was sure the rice was indeed on track he popped open the lightly sweet Riesling he’d selected to go with the meal. After rummaging for the corkscrew using his powers since he couldn’t remember where he put it - he was just a little nervous, please forgive him.
Things had been going well and Rogue knew that when things were going well in places like Vallo that something was going to change. She just never knew if it would be the good kind of change or the bad. There was never really a way to stop the bad from coming--all of them were at the whim of whatever had brought them there and could just as easily take them away again, but she hoped it was the good sort that was curling its way through her bones.
She was happy with her life in Vallo, with the friendships she’d formed and the job that she’d managed to get for herself. Anka Irene was thriving in this new environment where the little girl didn’t have to hide who she was with the friends she made, powers able to be out in the open and shared. Getting to be a mermaid for a day or seeing a unicorn or dinosaur every so often was just an added bonus.
Plus Erik was in their lives again and that was always a good thing when that happened. There was no guarantees with how long any of them would stick around, but Rogue had long ago learned to hold on tightly to the moments they did get instead of worrying about the ones they might not get to embrace. Life passed one by if they only worried about what might not happen or in the case of places like Vallo, worried about when someone might disappear next.
Erik arranging for Anka Irene to have a playdate and inviting her over definitely had all of the ingredients for some good news or new beginnings starting that night, but there was still that uncertainty in the back of her head, not quite sure which shoe was going to drop here. The smells that wafted from his apartment though as she rapped twice on the door were certainly inviting though and that piqued her hope up just a little further.
Ah, right on time. Erik gave the rice another fluff, then closed the lid of the cooker before going to answer the door. “Come on in,” he greeted, a rare smile on display - one that showed all his teeth for a moment, the kind that meant genuine happiness was peeking through rather than anything forced (and he rarely smiled as it was). He ducked and kissed her too, a proper hello, sweet as a sugar cloud - but maybe there was some spice there too. Because overall Erik was about as sweet as a shot of vinegar, even if he had his moments. Usually only around her and Anka Irene anyway. “You look nice.”
For him it was a dress shirt and pressed trousers, everything clean and free from the dust and dirt and oils he encountered during a day at the smithy - it felt nice to come back to the apartment and shower everything off, then prepare dinner which was rather fragrant, if he did say so himself. “I hope you’re hungry - I made a lot of curry,” he shared, moving to pull out a chair for her at the dining room table.
“I ain’t never gonna turn down some curry, especially if’n I didn’t have to be the one makin’ it,” she told him as she followed after him, taking the seat he’d pulled out. Rogue had settled on a green dress--might as well go for the signature color--with three fourths sleeves and a long skirt, though the back plunged low. She’d done her hair up in something like a bun but not quite and settled into the seat before taking another deep breath.
“It smells delicious, hopefully it’ll taste just as good,” she teased, well aware that it would probably be even better than it smelled. Erik could cook, which was nice. Even though she was also a decent cook it was nice to have someone else to cook for her and not be eating dinosaur shaped chicken nuggets for dinner for once.
“If it doesn’t I’m going to be pretty embarrassed,” Erik chuckled, but no, he was - relatively certain that this came out alright (he’d taste-tested as he cooked, which was what you were supposed to do). In the kitchen, he scooped some rice out onto plates and then added curry on top of that. If nothing else, it was colorful - very red, probably because of the chilies (and the curry paste too, that didn't hurt). He brought those plates to the table, and poured them both glasses of wine. And spoons, that was the definitive answer - there was some debate about fork vs spoon but he chose spoon all the way. Or hands, if you were in India and it was Indian curry - this one was more Thai-based.
Then he sat, when everything was perfect and all set and he'd just - unfold his napkin and place it on his lap, because he had manners. While trying not to be too anxious, heart doing a pound against his ribcage so hard he thought it might end in a bloody mess.
“How was your day?”
Rogue was trying not to be amused by the anxiety that she was picking up on from him. He’d gone into quite the bit of detail and precision with the table settings and food appearance--which didn’t surprise her. Erik was precise and calculated in most of what he did. It was still something to watch that play out again in the littlest of details, ones not associated with every day matters instead of the world altering ones that had once been the case.
“Nice and unexciting,” Rogue told him. “Just how I like it.” That definitely hadn’t always been the case. She’d been a pretty big adrenaline junkie once upon a time. You had to be when you were an X-Man. But her three year old was all the excitement she needed nowadays, constantly keeping her on her toes. “Business as usual at the DOA and then lesson plannin’ is a peace of cake at this point.” Even if she didn’t have access to the plans she’d already done for various language studies back in Tumbleweed. Maybe Vallo would gift her with that next.
“What about you, hon?”
Nice and unexciting was how Erik tended to like it these days as well - after the debacle with the Phoenix, and losing Raven and both his right-hand people who helped him establish Genosha, he was tired. He wanted to settle down again and simply live his life, this time without having to constantly look over his shoulder, wondering if the time would come when everything would fall in on itself. Yes, he’d been happy in Poland with Magda and Nina, but his past caught up to him eventually - it always did.
At least in Vallo, he didn’t have to be concerned with that. “It was good, I got a lot of work done,” he said, sipping from his wine glass. He was no sommelier but he picked up notes of apple and pear; it would be refreshing with the curry and, speaking of, he dug his spoon in to give it a try. “I might need some help with lesson plans though,” he admitted. “I haven’t taught languages...well, ever. Not in a setting like an actual school.” Nina had been bilingual, but that was different.
Now that he and Rogue were teaching languages on Friday mornings, he went into the smithy later on in the day - but he found teaching very fulfilling, and the fact that it was only one day a week fit nicely into his schedule. “I’ve also noticed that, while it’s gotten a little cooler on the main island here, Genosha’s temperature is still balmy,” he went on. “I’ve thought about - perhaps hosting some kind of event? For the winter. A beach party, or a bonfire? Do you think people would be interested in that?”
He assumed so, since everyone seemed to like parties here - but he wanted to see what Rogue thought. She’d tell him if it was a bad idea.
“We can definitely work on your lesson plans then,” Rogue offered. She’d been teaching for years now--in these AU worlds and back home in her home world with Logan’s version of the school and a few other incarnations of it before then. “The classes are pretty small so that makes it a lil easier to adapt things as you go as well.”
She considered his idea about the event at Genosha as she took a bite of the curry, giving herself the time to enjoy the dish and the flavors that she could taste. “I reckon people would definitely be interested in some sorta shindig. Long as you send out invites, have some food, music and drinks I’m sure it’ll go over pretty well.” The nice thing about places like Vallo was the community that formed between everyone who came in through the Waypoints. That sudden arrival linked them all, giving way to a certain camaraderie that couldn't be replicated elsewhere.
And people just liked an opportunity to cut loose and have fun for a bit.
Considering that living in Vallo was both stressful and rife with opportunities, Erik thought that doing what he could to appreciate the camaraderie was important - the highs were high but the lows were really low, and while he hadn’t lost anyone particularly close to him yet (he didn’t have many close to him but the ones who fit the distinction, he would be incredibly upset if they vanished), he saw how disappearances affected some people.
Maybe that’s why the celebrations weren’t lacking. To help continue to bolster spirits that were unexpectedly slashed.
“I think I can handle that,” he promised, and if he sounded amused at the idea of hosting a party - well. Erik just wasn’t usually the sort. “At the very least, the promise of food ought to get people to show up.” He’d try to be creative with it too, and was more than okay with the idea of sharing Genosha - he already was, and it seemed to be going well. It helped that his home made from the hull of a ship was magically warded; he and Rogue and Anka Irene were able to pass the threshold, but if he wanted to host another guest he had to adjust things a little, which was fine.
He swiped the napkin over his mouth, twisting the cloth in his hands a little. “There’s something else I wanted to talk to you about as well.” Much more important than parties.
“Food’s a real good way of bringin’ everyone together.” It seemed to be the one universal thing that spanned all different sorts of worlds and time periods. Almost everyone had to eat and getting together to eat with someone else was usually an enjoyable event. Except for those times it wasn’t, but a party wasn’t something that was forced on anyone either.
She picked up her glass of wine and studied him over it. “Oh?” Rogue asked, taking a sip of her wine as she wondered what exactly he might want to talk about. Especially over this sort of fancy dinner that he’d meticulously planned and prepared.
Yes, well. Now was the time, Erik supposed - he couldn’t get away with pretending like this was nothing, or that he didn’t have anything important on his mind. Amazing how his frigid, iron-clad heart barely skipped a beat when out there fighting for the rights of people like him, mutants who had always been viewed as untrustworthy and probably always would be - but something like this, it had him all over the place.
He’d chalk that up to emotions. They were so complicated.
“These past few months have been wonderful, with you and Anka Irene,” he started, pushing a spoonful of curry around on his plate, mixing it with rice. He didn’t eat it, not yet - he wanted to get the words out first. “But it’s - it feels off, living in separate apartments. I realize you have someone else living with you, since you’re looking after them - so I wouldn’t ask you to move into mine. Though if you think it’s a suitable idea, we could - all share yours?”
The underlying question here was whether or not Rogue would be fine with sharing a room, a bed, since Erik was also aware that hers were all full up. It was a big decision to make, a big milestone for a relationship, to decide to move in together - but he felt as if he was ready, and wanted to see if she was on the same page. If not, they could wait a little longer.
Rogue hadn’t been expecting that to be what he’d wanted to talk to her about but when she thought about it for a moment it did make sense. Things had been going really well for them, as a couple and working together to carve a life out for Anka Irene. They spent a lot of time together and she had found she missed having him around when he wasn’t there. Anka Irene had mentioned wanting him around more, wondering why he didn’t live with them like daddy had used to. But it wasn’t something Rogue had wanted to bring up, not certain it was something Erik would be ready for just yet.
He was right though, they couldn’t move in with him. Not when she had Ochaco to look after as well and wanted the girl to feel comfortable in her space they had carved out in the apartments. But him moving in with them...it was a big step, a milestone that would propel their relationship even further along.
Was she ready for it?
Rogue watched him move his food around with the spoon, knowing it wouldn’t be nice to make him wait too long for an answer. “Guess its a good thing you ain’t got too much stuff and we’re in the same buildin’. Makes movin’ a whole lot easier.”
That was a yes, wasn’t it? Erik’s smile was relieved, pleased as anything - he wasn’t sure what he would have done if this didn’t turn out well, besides feel a little foolish. Sometimes it happened, however. He guessed that he’d just continue on with dinner and broach the topic some other time, but he was glad it worked out.
“I could probably do it in a day,” he agreed in a dusky murmur, leaning over a bit and giving Rogue an actual spicy kiss. He tucked a loose bit of hair back behind her ear, hair that had fallen free from the updo - he met her eyes, a warm and vivid green gaze, and she had a way of softening him. And reassuring him, even without words, that they’d be okay here. He didn’t struggle with some idea that Rogue was in competition with Magda - it wasn’t like that at all. He didn’t feel a sense of betrayal over the fact that he was falling in love with her, didn’t feel as if he needed to keep the hole in his heart that had been suckerpunched there after Magda was killed.
No, he was beyond that. So much loss after Dark Phoenix meant that he wasn’t apt to punish himself in that way - he wanted to be whole again. He wanted the fact that he was being Erik to be more important than being Magneto.
His smile turned a bit devilish then, a loaded gun. “I didn’t make anything for dessert, but I thought I’d offer myself up if you wanted - and we can celebrate.” May as well take advantage of a child-free evening, before they had to go and pick up Anka Irene.
There was something nerve wracking about new beginnings, the uncertainty over how things would play out undoubtedly a factor, but Rogue knew the two of them could make things work if they wanted to. She’d done a similar dance with Erik so many times now that it should almost have been old hat, but it was the differences that she cherished each time. Almost like opening an onion and peeling back all of the layers, never quite sure what one was going to get. Though, thankfully, without any of the tears.
Falling in love again was a rollercoaster ride that she couldn’t seem to get off of, not really wanting to now that she’d embraced the possibilities of what staying on the ride could lead to. And in Vallo, there were so many opportunities for a better life than Rogue had experienced in any of the other places she’d been thrust into and she wanted to see each and every one of them developed hand-in-hand with the man in front of her. With their daughter at their side.
“I suppose that I can accept that in the place of somethin’ sinfully delicious.” As much as she enjoyed her sweet tooth the idea of a child-free evening and all of the possibilities that offered up was infinitely more appealing. Rogue nodded toward her half-eaten meal. “But I wanna finish this first because its delicious.”
“I would argue you’re just as sinfully delicious,” Erik teased, feeling a lot lighter now that they’d worked out the whole ‘moving in together’ aspect. And he could actually finish his curry too, without the butterflies (felt like they had razors for wings) that had been flapping all about in his stomach.
But it was true. What he’d made was delicious, and he’d consider it a good evening all around. To think that there were more in store, in the future, was also a pleasant thought - Rogue and Anka Irene weren’t replacements for Magda and Nina and they weren’t trying to be; he cared about them, the individuals they were. For who they were.
That they’d accepted him too was more than he could ask for. More than he thought he deserved - but he would enjoy it. For as long as this world allowed.