There is something wrong with Erik.
“Sean,” Erik says, his expression grave and serious. He claps two large palms on Sean’s shoulders and Sean suppresses a wince. “Have I ever told you how much I love you?”
Sean stares at him, waiting for the other shoe to drop. This has to be some kind of training exercise, right? At any moment Erik is going to elbow him in the jugular and tell him that only the strong survive.
“….no?” Sean says carefully, tensing his body in preparation for the inevitable roundhouse kick.
“So much,” Erik slurs, hauling Sean in and clasping his head to his chest, stroking a heavy, clumsy hand through his hair. “My precious baby bird, ready to fly.”
In the corner of the living room Charles is dancing in a way that seems more rooted in arm waving than anything else, proclaiming every song on the ancient gramophone to be his absolute favourite. Alex and Hank are sitting on the couch watching him with barely concealed horror on their faces.
“Erik come dance with me!” Charles exclaims, swaying from side to side, “this song is my favourite!”
Erik releases Sean and makes his way over to Charles, where they engage less in dancing and more in sloppily sticking tongues in each other’s mouths.
Sean sits down next to Hank.
“Um…what is happening right now?”
“Charles is tanked,” Raven says, turning a page in her book, her legs draped over the arm of the heavy wingback chair by the fire in a way that makes all the boys sit up and pay attention. “They’re both tanked, though I didn’t think it was possible to get Erik drunk.”
The needle on the gramophone clicks over to crackling static as the record ends. Charles pushes away from Erik mouth and says,
“Oh! This is my favourite song!” waving his arms above his head. Erik smiles at him fondly.
“You’re such a good dancer Charles.”
Erik stumbles away from him to give him room and collapses onto the couch, wedging himself between Alex and Hank and slinging his arms around their shoulders.
“You guys are so great. You guys know how much I love you, right?”
“Um,” Alex says.
“What?” Hank says.
“You’re a beautiful, special boy Hank.” Erik pats him firmly on the cheek and dislodges his glasses. “Don’t ever let anyone step on your rainbow.”
“Oh Erik.” When they look up, Charles has stopped dancing. His hands are clasped together and his eyes are shining with unshed tears. “That was very beautiful my friend.”
“Charles,” Erik gasps, his own eyes brimming. He attempts to stand twice before Alex hauls him to his feet, and then he crashes into Charles the two of them weeping and kissing each other messily.
Charles hands go for Erik’s belt and with surprising ease he gets the buckle undone in record time.
“Um,” Alex says.
“Wait,” Hank says.
“Should we go?” Sean asks Raven who looks up from her book and says,
“Atta boy Charles.”
By this time Charles has nearly gotten Erik out of his pants and the boys decide, yes, it’s probably time to go.
When it becomes clear that they are indeed going to have sex in the family room, Raven sighs and bookmarks her novel, swinging her legs off the chair.
“I was at the best part, Charles, Jesus.”
“Yes, this is definitely the best part,” and she flees before her mind is irreparably damaged.