Charles has a secret life.
During the day he's a bookish, absent-minded English professor wearing cardigans and leading young vulnerable minds through the nuances of Blake and E.E. Cummings and Ginsburg. When he goes home and sits at his laptop, avoiding having to read a million papers that offer the same basic take on T.S. Elliot's The Wasteland over and over, he becomes Professor Smut.
"Professor. Smut?" Moira asks, one eyebrow cocked in total amusement. "Really? Considering it’s you, I would expect something more, um, literary."
It’s his weekly Friday afternoon cocktail hour with his best friend and Charles seems to have decided to turn it into True Confessions and tell her about his secret online life. They are sitting in his cluttered apartment, Charles in the worn wing-backed chair he’d stolen from the Xavier estate and Moira stretched out across his couch, balancing a glass of wine in her fingers. They’d just spent the last half hour bitching about their department head, Dr. Summers, and yet another of his idiotic initiatives when Charles decided to change the subject and tell Moira about Professor Smut.
"No!" Charles gasps, "I can't even hint at my real life. What if a student figures it out? I can’t even imagine."
"What about the professor part?" Moira intones, her mouth twitching, as if she’s pointing out the obvious, which she kind of is. Okay, he’s not really keeping the boundaries that strong. But he really LIKES Professor Smut. It has a certain je ne sais quoi about it.
"Well..." Charles hems and haws, "that part is pretty vague, don’t you think? I mean aren’t there lots of professors out there?"
Moira rolls her eyes. "So what's the TV show? Is it that medical drama everyone seems to be watching?"
"God, NO!" Charles cries, mortified that anyone thinks he would be remotely inspired by glorified portrayals of doctors and ripped from the headlines storylines, "It’s Bent! Haven't you heard of it? It's on BBC." As if a decent pedigree and not being on a standard network improves the fact that Charles has just told his best friend that he's a 34 year old gigantic fanboy. It’s really okay. It’s on BBC. Well, there you go. That makes this entirely NOT embarrassing.
Bent. It's one of the hottest shoes around for the geek contingent. John Bent is a brilliant detective and a genius. He solves crimes using his intellect and with the help his friend, Kennedy Watson. Charles has been watching since the first series and it’s on it’s fifth now. It hadn’t taken him long to move from watching to immersing himself in the fandom, completely shipping Bent and Watson, otherwise known as BentSon. Because, really, it was obvious they were in love and wanted to bang each other.
“It’s brilliant, Moira,” Charles says excitedly, with the same tone he might discuss queer beat poets while drinking coffee in a cafe on a dark and rainy afternoon.
"Bent is dark and tortured, and drinks too much. He’s always on the hunt for the man who killed his family, Sebastian Shaw. And Kennedy is a great foil to Bent’s driven personality, kind of a regular chap. This actor, Erik Lehnsherr, plays John Bent, and he’s amazing. I mean, perfect casting. Tall and he has this square jaw and these ice blue eyes that seem to look through everything, and I don’t think anyone can play tormented like E. L. I mean, there was this episode where he got close to Shaw, only to have him slip away, and I can’t tell you how amazing...I mean, just the way E. L.’s jaw twitched spoke volumes, and the chemistry between him and Cassidy….”
Charles’ voice fades as he notices Moira has gone from just staring at him to looking somewhat worried, like she needs to call the insane asylum or something. Maybe she does, because Charles is absolutely crazy for Bent.
“E.L.?” she says slowly.
“Sorry, Erik Lehnsherr.”
“I take it you’re a fan.”
“I’m not just a fan, Moira my love, I’m pretty much crushing like a sixteen year old girl.”
“Oh. My. God,” Moira gasps as if she’s hit her limit, “Charles Xavier! You have a doctorate in English Literature from Oxford of all places. You’ve published several books that are used in classrooms all over the world. And now I find out that you are also a rabid fan of some television show and go by the moniker Professor Smut. I can see why you don’t tell everyone this.”
Charles grins widely, “Yeah, not the best first date material.”
“Not ANY date material,Charles. This needs to stay in this room.”
“It might get worse,” Charles mumbles a little, not quite sure why that he wants to tell Moira all of his transgression. “I might...maybe...kind of...well, I might write fanfic.”
“Oh dear god, I don’t think I want to know what fanfic is,” Moira says, taking a sip of the wine she’s been holding. “Please, let my brain remain ignorant of whatever you’re going to tell me. Please.”
“And I might write slash.”
“Well, it’s fanfic with a romantic relationship between two men.”
Moira blinks, “Well, that’s the least surprising thing you’ve told me tonight, Charles. I mean, you are a giant fag, so I’m not surprised that you write about the fags too.”
“I am only letting you get away with the fag comment because you’re of the tribe, Moira,” Charles smiles, “and it's true. Anyway, it’s obvious that Bent and Watson love each other. I mean, you should see the way Bent looks at Watson, and one time when he thought Watson had been hurt, it just killed me, and he yelled out his name with such anguish. Anyway, it’s actually not typically queers writing this stuff. It’s mostly straight women. I actually don't know if any men are reading what I write.” Charles pauses to catch his breathe, and Moira is still looking at him like he’s insane, “And speaking of the queers in love, don’t you have a date with that Betsy person?”
This comment earns Charles one of his throw pillows tossed in his general direction.
“Asshole. I think you mean Elizabeth, my girlfriend of two years. Yes, she’s meeting me for our monthly trip out to Costco to enact the fucking gay agenda by buying a large amount of toilet paper, if you want to call it a date.”
And this is why Charles loves Moira. Not only is she the only other queer in the department, when pushed, she’s wicked funny, and she puts up with him and all his insanity,
“So since this is true confessions time, Professor Smut, is there anything else I need to know.”
“Well,” Charles says quickly.
“Oh, why did I ask,”
“I might also write erotica.”
“Ahhhhh!” Moira covers her ears with her hands.
“Two men fucking their brains out.”
“Charles! I am out of here.”
Moira says her goodbyes and kisses Charles on the cheek, telling him she’ll see him at school on Monday, where they’ll pretend they are actually boring English professors who take their jobs of educating the masses very seriously. When she’s gone, Charles goes back to his computer and pulls up Tumblr. He reblogs a few Bent gif sets, then searches for the tag #erik lehnsherr. Charles peruses the pictures, staring at the actor’s strong jawline, the way the corners of his eyes crinkle, those thin lips, and he wonders if Erik Lehnsherr kisses well. He bet he does. And maybe he likes Chinese takeout just as much as Charles, and he bets if they somehow met they’d so hit it off, because surely Erik Lehnsherr has a thing for intellectual geeks with unruly hair who are just a tad on the short side. He think Erik Lehnsherr would think Charles fit nicely against him, tucked into his shoulder, and they would make a very nice couple.
Crushing like a sixteen year old girl is right. Jesus, Xavier, this isn’t real life. Erik Lehnsherr isn’t going to kiss you. You should just hit up OK Cupid and find a real person who will.
But still. Those eyes.