Well that’s a lot of ask about fanbook…
Guys it’s not that I don’t ship fanbooks to the US: the books are printed in Taiwan, I have to get them to US first even if I am shipping them myself D:
Funny thing is that I think shipping from US to US is about the same price as shipping from Taiwan to US plus tracking…not to mention shipping around the globe. I was pretty puzzled at that, though Taiwan’s post office is way better and more reliable than US, that’s for sure :(
Let me sort out these things after I actually finish the book LOL
football fic - masterpost
Oh hey, because ikeracity and I can’t stop writing it, I’ve made a masterpost with links to each completed part of our C/E football AU. The most current part is Part Four, which is in progress, but the first three links all lead to a completed, finalized set of reblogs.
You can find it here!
THANK GOD FOR THIS I am dying to read the ones I missed on my dash when I saw more parts today! I hope you guys put it on AO3 or something! IT IS SO GOOD
Guys that motorcycle suit James McAvoy inspired me some Gundam pilot AU
why do I have a fanbook to work on I want to draw all these things
theletteraesc said: IKE I was thinking about the footballAU!Erik and bb Lorna snippet you wrote, Charles would once have been one of England's hopefuls, but a car wreck/training accident/vicious foul during a game knocks him out of commission permanently. He ends up becoming a sports psychologist and ends up working with striker Erik Lehnsherr, insanely talented but no one wants him on their team bc he is a nightmare, and along the way develops Feelings. Y/N.
YES YES YES that completely jibes with my headcanon for that verse. Charles was once touted as a football prodigy coming up through the youth systems, working his way to the top. Everyone predicted that he’d go far in his career, and Charles had so many hopes and dreams about winning league titles and European championships and maybe even a World Cup. But a horrible accident/terrible collision on the pitch derails all those dreams, and once Charles works through his grueling recovery, he decides to become a sports psychologist because he still loves football with all his heart and he’d like to keep close to it.
Enter Erik, who’s brilliant and charismatic and insanely talented but has a history of losing his temper on the field, acting impetuously when he gets frustrated during games, and generally being incapable of functioning efficiently with others in a team. He’s good enough that big clubs are interested but his attitude is a big sticking point. Someone (his agent?) sends him Charles’ way in hopes of getting Erik to focus enough to be able to compete with the biggest names in football. And, like you said, this leads to FEELINGS. :D
BOYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYS <3 <3 <3 <3
Also oh my god Erik would have the most melodramatic protests if a ref refused to acknowledge that Erik was JUST TOTALLY FOULED, and he probably has like ten million yellow cards issued against him for being obnoxious and unsportsmanlike. It’s probably after he racks up yet another red card and a suspension, and his agent Moira tells him she’s not sure she could place him with the most desperate side in the world—and he ends up with custody of his three-year-old daughter—that he agrees to do what Moira’s been telling him to do and makes an appointment with Dr. Xavier.
He wonders if Moira’s trying to tell him something when she gives him Dr. Xavier’s business card. Nearly everyone his age and younger knows about Charles Xavier, golden boy for England’s national side and one of the most gifted players in years, knocked out of the game for good just like like that—one minute he’s jumping for the ball, the next two vertebrae are cracked straight through and he’s never going to play again. It’s like Moira’s saying Be grateful for what you have.
He hates it when Moira sends him these kinds of cryptic messages, but he calls up Dr. Xavier anyway.
Yeeeeesssssssssss, and of course Charles has heard of Erik. He follows football religiously, both because of his job and because his idea of a relaxing weekend is just lounging on the couch watching matches and reading recaps of games he’s missed during the workweek. So when Erik calls his office to set up an appointment, he knows exactly what he’s getting himself into.
Or at least, that’s what he thought. He really hasn’t gotten out much since his accident, and once paparazzi stopped camping out on his lawn hoping to snap a rare photo of him in his wheelchair (honestly, have they got nothing better to do?), he’s been largely left alone. So when he’s confronted with gorgeous, steely-eyed, judgmental Erik Lehnsherr sitting uncomfortably across from him in his office, looking as if he really wants to leap out the window, he’s more flustered than he usually is. When Erik starts warming up to him, when Erik starts giving him appraising looks during their sessions, Charles has a feeling this job is going to turn very unprofessional very quickly. And when Erik brings by a signed Podolski jersey for Charles (who’d once mentioned in passing that he’d love to get his hands on one), Charles knows he’s doomed.
Charles has to work to keep this professional, and he tells himself that as long as he doesn’t do something ridiculously stupid, like ask Erik out to coffee or try to kiss him. There’s ethics, of course, and “patient falling in love with their therapist” is a scenario he’s been taught how to handle, but the longer this goes on, as Erik relaxes, remembering what he’s supposed to do is getting harder and harder.
Then, at last, Erik has a game where he doesn’t draw a single penalty, aside from a yellow card he probably got because he’s Erik and not because he actually did anything (Charles was watching, it was a crap call), and Charles is just so fucking happy when Erik turns up at his next appointment, grinning that shark grin and saying something about getting a sportsmanship award, that he’s sure Erik can see the fondness and pride written right there on his face.
"So," Erik says, after the moment fades, although he’s still gazing steadfastly at Charles, "am I reformed?"
Charles hesitates, because Erik’s come a long way since they started working together, and if he says yes, they can wait a couple weeks to be discreet and then go for coffee (and he knows Erik would probably say yes). But then… Erik could say no, or they could go out and it would be terrible because the paparazzi would follow them everywhere, he’d be out in the spotlight again, and be almost everything the tabloids would latch onto: the ex-player in a wheelchair, languishing in obscurity after his tragic accident, on a date with one of the most polarizing, highly visible players in the sport.
And he doesn’t entirely know if he can do that?
It’s been years since the accident but he still only travels three routes day in and day out: from his apartment to the coffee shop across the street for morning coffee, from the shop to the office, and from the office home. He gets groceries delivered because it had been too much of a hassle those early days after his injury, trying to wheel conspicuously through a store with a baseball cap pulled low over his face. He’d been recognized anyway more often than not and despite all the fan support and the kind words of anyone he ran into, he just really couldn’t handle the intense sadness and pity everyone seemed to radiate. So he’s been pretty isolated since, with the exception of his sister and a few choice friends from the old days.
And now Erik’s threatening to change all that. Charles desperately wants him to, but at the same time, he’s not sure he’s ready to give up the easy, quiet life he’s led so far. And besides, one good game does not a successful player make. It wouldn’t hurt to keep Erik on as a client just to be safe, would it? It’s his duty as Erik’s psychologist not to make hasty decisions that would probably just end up biting them both in the asses.
Anyway, Erik’s a minefield for other reasons. He has a daughter, a thoroughly adorable little girl whom Charles has met a couple times, and while Charles likes kids, she’s also Erik’s daughter, and subjected to far too many people making demands on her father’s time and attention. Charles had grown up with that, in the academies and then the national teams, but he’d asked for it—begged his parents for it—and he’d been on the pitch and playing, not a bystander. Lorna never asked for her father to do this, and just one of the many topics Charles and Erik have hashed out is how Erik can be the father Lorna needs and still keep up the career that provides for both of them.
Erik needs to stay focused on her, and on his playing, undergoing the scrutiny constantly directed at him by the press, coping with the often-toxic psychology of league and international play, not trying to negotiate a new relationship with his psychologist. First and foremost, Erik’s Charles’s patient, there’s a duty of care, and Charles can’t, for once, be selfish.
"We’ll see how you do over the next few matches," Charles says, as professionally as he possibly can. He turns his chair around to position himself in his usual place, opposite the chair Erik usually takes when he comes in for his appointments. "Now, Erik, what would you like to talk about today?"
Something flickers across Erik’s face, there and gone before Charles can really parse it. At least Erik sits down, although his shoulders have gone tense and almost hunched, and after a pause, he says, “I’d like to talk about how I remembered my breathing when I really wanted to punch the ref in the face after that card.”
Charles sighs. Small steps, he reminds himself.
They fall back into routine. Erik shows up for weekly sessions, even though Charles tells him that he’s improved enough to only need biweekly appointments at the least. They talk about Erik’s performances, his anxieties, what enrages him, and techniques on how to keep that explosive temper under control. They talk about how to modify Erik’s public persona to engender more support than criticism. They talk about how Erik’s worried about doing wrong by Lorna and how to strike the balance between his career and his family.
Charles is very comfortable with their arrangement. It’s relaxed, calm, easy. He sees Erik often. If he starts feeling a little too friendly toward Erik, if he feels like he’s wavering on that uncertain line between therapist and something more, it’s easy to shut the case file, go home, and distract himself with some hot tea and a dull movie. He’s able to keep Erik at arm’s length, and that’s just how it needs to be.
Then one afternoon, Erik walks into his office holding an envelope that he passes over to Charles. “I heard it’s your birthday this weekend.”
Charles takes the envelope, surprised. “Who told you that?”
"Right." He and Moira have been friends for ages, and she’ll never waste an opportunity to remind everyone she knows about Charles’ birthday. It had been flattering at first, the first few times friends had brought him gifts and cards when he hadn’t expected any. But now it’s gotten a little tiresome. The fact that she needs to prod anyone at all is just a glaring reminder that without her, people would forget.
He opens the envelope and looks inside.
It’s a ticket. It’s a football ticket to the Hull City v. Sheffield United match.
Charles glances up, confused. “What’s this?”
"I thought you might want to come to my next game," Erik explains. "Come and see for yourself how well I’m doing."
Slowly, Charles closes the envelope again and tries to hand it back. “I can’t, Erik. That’s…I can’t accept that from you.”
Erik gives him a shrewd look. “Why not?”
Why not? There’s a million reasons why not, and Erik must know them. Erik’s not stupid; he must see why they can’t be anything more than doctor and patient, much as Charles might like them to be. And Charles hasn’t been in the public eye in years. Facing the attention of the cameras at a public match…he doesn’t think he can do it.
"It wouldn’t be professional of me," he says. "I—I appreciate the gesture, but it would be unethical of me to accept while you’re still my patient."
Erik nods thoughtfully but doesn’t take the envelope back. Instead, he sits down in his usual place, crossing those long legs of his and folding in on himself. Charles, for a lack of anything else to do, puts the envelope on the side table between them.
"You told me when we first started working together that honesty was important. That I had to be honest with you, but more than that, I had to be honest with myself."
"Yes," Charles agrees. That had gotten him a derisive snort and a muttered German remark that sounded like it might mean touchy-feely bullshit.
"Then shouldn’t you be honest with me?" Erik fixes him with those pale grey eyes, and Charles realizes how a sweeper must feel when he’s got Erik bearing down on him, utterly fixed on the goal. "Or are you allowed to lie to me if it means you get the results you want?"
Charles looks down at his lap, the neat lines of his trousers, his cardigan wrapped around his hips.
"If you don’t want the ticket, fine, whatever," Erik says, in a tone that suggests it really isn’t. "But I want to know the real reason you don’t want it."
On the pitch, Erik isn’t the kind of cunningly, sneakingly dirty player. His hostility is all out in the open. This kind of Erik is new, and Charles doesn’t know whether to be proud or dismayed that Erik can maneuver this well, can push him to a place where he has to confess something he’s held close in all the years since his accident.
"If I go," he says, drawing a breath that’s nowhere near steady enough, "I’m going to have the photogs all over me. Just when you think they’ve forgotten, they remember." He doesn’t entirely know if he has the words to explain it. He’s not ashamed of himself, of his chair, of the life he’s made for himself in the wake of catastrophe: he doesn’t want to be seen, which is different. “I don’t want the speculation. I don’t want the pity, the condescension, the questions. Any of it.”
Erik frowns, his thin mouth lengthening. “We’ve talked about compartmentalizing, keeping the paparazzi out there, not in my head.” He taps his temple. “Why can’t you do the same? Or,” a pause, as if Erik’s considering the wisdom of what he’s going to say, “are you afraid?”
"I’m not afraid," Charles snaps. There’s something of protesting too much in his tone; he is afraid. It took him years, an undergraduate degree and a doctorate, to feel like he’s a version of himself he can live with. Sometimes he’s terrified that self is an illusion, that the truth of him is he’s still that angry eighteen-year-old, just robbed of everything he’d worked for.
"You look like I felt when Moira told me I wouldn’t get my contract renewed if I didn’t go for therapy," Erik tells him. "Like you’ve realized something you didn’t want to realize."
Charles catches himself glancing at the envelope on the table. He’s been to very small matches, local teams mostly, where the people know him and don’t make a fuss. But a premiereship game… His heart thumps a couple times, his body remembering what it had been like to step out onto the pitch and have the roar of the crowd descending on him, then the silence as his mind turned to the game and the work he had to do.
He misses that, far more than he can say. To sit there on the sidelines, wondering if things had been different, if he’d be out there by Erik’s side—or playing opposite him… That’s gone, he reminds himself. But you can still be there, you can still—
"I’ll think about it," he says, and ignores Erik’s satisfied, borderline triumphant, nod.