A Deeper Season (X-Men: First Class fanfiction)

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Fanfiction
Title: A Deeper Season
Author(s): etirabys
Date(s): December 14, 2011
Length: 36367
Genre: slash, AU, No Powers
Fandom: X-Men: First Class
External Links: offline

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A Deeper Season by etirabys is an X-Men: First Class non-powered AU in which Erik Lehnsherr is Charles Xavier's teacher. It was written for the first round of X-Men Big Bang and posted on the Archive of Our Own. LiveJournal user yellow_tuna created the art for the fic: on livejournal, on tumblr

In April 2015 etirabys announced that she would delete all her XMFC fic from AO3 because "I don’t like those stories anymore."[1]

Summary

The story takes place over the course of an academic year. Erik and Charles accidentally run into each other at a gay bar and eventually start sleeping together as a matter of convenience. Both characters are deeply messed up; Erik's mother is dying, and Charles would rather spend his free time picking up older men in bars than be at home. Period-appropriate homophobia is discussed. The story is full of angst and has an ambiguous ending; Charles leaves for Oxford, but writes Erik a letter, leaving open the possibility (at least in the optimistic reader's mind) of a healthier relationship between them in the future.

Author's summary:

(nonmutant AU) Charles Xavier- rich, introverted, and academic- begins his senior year of high school in 1962. Erik Lehnsherr, despite his own efforts, is the first person to properly reach out to him. Both are astonished to find a human being on the other side.

He still had those sharp cheekbones and those weird stony eyes and neatly parted hair. The line of his mouth when someone asked a stupid question remained unchanged. Yet Xavier caught himself watching the man's hand as Lehnsherr wrote down a formula on the board, wondering where it had been. He'd never known someone before finding out they were queer. It was- startling, actually. Lehnsherr didn't look like a fag.

But then again, neither did he.

Reactions/Reviews

I could wax poetic about this fic for hours. It is also another Teacher!Erik and Student!Charles which is yet another thing that I just can’t get enough of. But, not only is the writing amazing, it has two of the hottest sex scenes I have ever had the pleasure of reading. It is another historical AU and I must warn that it contains period accurate Racism, Antisemitism, Homophobia, and Classicism which means there are a moderate amount of slurs in it. I also must say it isn’t a ‘feel good’ fic, and is very bittersweet and realistic but that really only adds to how good it is. A definitive must read.[2]
I have been reading a lot of good XMFC fic these days. Thanks to all you good folks who write, read, and rec it.

I just read A Deeper Season by Etirabys, a fic in which Erik is a teacher at a private school for one year, and Charles is an isolated senior student. I really enjoyed it. (Here I talk about the story, with some spoilers)

They have a relationship despite Erik's reservations, and that in itself is part of the appeal of this story-- Erik knows he should resist, he knows it's inappropriate, but there is something about this person, this relationship in particular that keeps drawing him back. There is some fear of discovery but it's minimal compared to Erik's self-imposed boundaries, and the crossing of them. It is a battle of willpower and "should" versus lust and love, and in this case the main barrier is that one of them is a teacher and the other is a student; these characters are pretty comfortable with their own queerness: it's different boundaries that they are pushing. It is that push and pull of boundaries that I found particularly appealing. This one character, Erik, is dealing with shame and sexuality along an axis that is not queerness (although he is queer), and he is navigating and surviving that, and he comes out OK.[3]
This fic is extraordinary and beautifully written. Charles is at a high-end school, but has a lot of problems at home with his dysfunctional family, so spends a lot of time in bars getting picked up and fucked by older men. One day, Erik (who is one of Charles’ teachers) shows up there. Cue attraction and moral dilemma. Erik tries to help Charles and their relationship deepens.

I can’t really do the plot justice here - just read it.

Approx 36k words with a bittersweet ending.[4]
Such a beautiful story. It's silent but full of emotions, just like the Charles in this. Low-esteemed!Charles always hid his real feelings, those not so pleasant ones, such like anger and sadness and loss. He would listen to his friends talking, smilingly, give a response here and there. But if you squint hard enough, you may find he was heartless in all of them. He had his problems, his never-sober!mother and his sometimes-violent!stepfather. He also had a stepbrother who didn't hurt or harm him in any way though hated him nonetheless. It's like his heart was gone with his father. He felt unwanted in every way and put up a poker face, but deep inside, he craved for love and touch. Hence why he went out to a gay bar and gave his all to a stranger after getting hit by his stepfather one night. It's when murmured endearment like "such a good boy" that he felt LOVED. Now he sounded like a problem kid but all of these were hidden under the surface then slowly revealed, piece by piece by Erik. Erik was a decent man, moral and righteous. He would never lay a finger on his student but he met Charles, he should know it better not to get himself involved. But the ending. OMG. You can't just end it there!!! TT______TT I can't stop leaping toward the possible ending that Charles didn't send the letter out and Erik will never meet him again. It's likely they won't cross line ever again and move on with life, like each other was just someone can only be mentioned in memories too personal to share with anyone. Oh my. *sob* [5]
An amazingly beautiful, true to being queer in the sixties fic. Beware, it’s an age-diff fic, which isn’t my thing, but this one is entirely worth it.[6]
(etirabys’ XMFC fic is no longer on ao3 but has been uploaded in mobi and epub by Cesare)

(nonmutant AU) Charles Xavier- rich, introverted, and academic- begins his senior year of high school in 1962. Erik Lehnsherr, despite his own efforts, is the first person to properly reach out to him. Both are astonished to find a human being on the other side.

Ending’s Comment: Spectacularly written and packed with emotional punches to the gut. I can’t recommend this fic enough, but warning… it’s PAINFUL. I was in tears every time I thought about it for nearly two weeks, so if angst isn’t your thing, approach with caution.[7]

References

  1. ^ untitled Tumblr post, Archived version, reblogged by Cesare April 10, 2015.
  2. ^ Tumblr post by mindsovermetals, Archived version, August 12, 2014
  3. ^ sasha feather. Rec: A Deeper Season, XMFC, Archived version, Dreamwidth post, 15 December 2011.
  4. ^ Tumblr post by slash-fanfic-recs, Archived version, 20 May 2012.
  5. ^ "Corona S's List: Teacher/Student".
  6. ^ "fanfic recs". Archived from the original on 2017-10-07.
  7. ^ Tumblr post by endingthemes, Archived version, posted 30 April 2015.