The urge to overcome melancholy by dancing.
I am so sorry this took me forever, but between receiving the prompt and now, IRL went a bit up shit creek for me and I lost the writing mojo. But enough of me rambling, here you go keire-ke, not quite what you expected I think, but I hope it suffices.
Thank you to kageillusionz for helping me pick out music.
The muffled warbling echoes through the silent halls of the mansion. Hank knows better now, than to go and check up on the professor - it’s been ages since Charles has responded to that title, but old habits and hope is hard to break.
These are the worse days. No amount of coaxing will be able to pull Charles out of this mood, and Hank doesn’t have the heart to force him out of it. All he can do is hole up in his lab and wait it out.
Perhaps the professor will feel better in the morning.
Perhaps, perhaps, perhaps.
* * *
Charles reclines on the couch, idle as he imagines feeling the serum course through his veins, the clamouring voices - you’d think they wouldn’t be able to reach him, so many miles away from the city without the aid of Cerebro, but no - dwindling down to silence. The smoke curls as he inhales, snaking down to settle in his lungs momentarily before diffusing into his bloodstream allowing the foggy calm to descend over him whilst Bobby Darin croons from the gramophone.
Perhaps Hank should test the efficacy of the serum when paired together with cannabis, he’d be more than happy to volunteer as a test subject. All in the name of science.
He closes his eyes, as the music washes over him, hands tapping out the tempo to the melodies until a particular song comes on.
Somewhere beyond the sea
Raven used to love this song, Charles remembers. It’s enough to drag him out of the stupor to get off the couch, cross the room to turn the volume up higher.
She used to grab his arms and dance with him across the room. She isn’t here now.
But he’s up now and he remembers how she’d grab on to his hands, swinging them about, footwork going from a very bad waltz to just stumbling about the room in time to the music. It’s easy enough to go through the motions again and it’s almost like she’s here with him, sans -her wild laughter.
The track segues into the next track smoothly and if Charles closes his eyes, it’ll be easy enough to pretend that Raven is here with him, in the same room. Dancing to Bobby Darin in their cramped little apartment in Oxford.
He sways around the room, robe swishing around him as he twirls an invisible Raven around the room, maybe if he listens hard enough he can still hear the echoes of her laughter.
I’ve got you under my skin
And with that her laughter turns quieter, lower, a deeper baritone and much more intimate. The soft hands in his become callused, larger, longer fingers encasing his and he remembers broad shoulders as they softly sway to the tune.
He’s across the room in seconds, ripping the needle off the vinyl.
The room is quiet again save for the sounds of his harsh breathing. That golden memory is lost forever to Charles, replaced by another that he refuses to dwell on.
His eyes darts around the room as though chasing ghosts long gone before alighting on the crystal decanter. He grabs it as he stumbles back to the couch, forgoing the matching tumbler as he swigs the amber liquid back. His mother would be appalled at the manner, after all considering it’s age, it’s something to be savoured, not swigged like some sort of beer. Then again towards the end she probably wouldn’t have given a damn, only how high the alcohol content was.
The moment is long gone and the calm fog has dissipated but at least whiskey.
Whiskey, he can always count on to lull him to sleep and forget.