|Moment of Awesome - Hank McCoy/Beast: Quentin Quire takes Hank to his first nightclub. Which happens to be a gay nightclub.
At first it seemed his dance partner was going to respond by either tripping over himself or fainting right on the spot, but somehow Hank managed to pull himself together. "This is just all very new to me," he told Quentin, his chest rising and falling with the deep breath he took to steady himself. "Patience would be appreciated while I, er, find my feet."
"It's just dancing. It's not like we're doing shrooms." Although that would be fun, Quentin mused. Still, for Hank's sake, he dropped his hand from the taller man's chest and put a little more space between them. His other hand remained on Hank's back, though. "Okay, think about it this way. Music is math with sound. The beats come at regular intervals. Shit's measured in hertz, like all other kinds of cycles. Make sense?"
His companion nodded, his gaze going a little farway as he tuned into the music, doubtless listening for the beats and cycles that Quentin had pointed out. Unsurprisingly his movements almost immediately became less stiff and self-conscious; they were by no means artistic but he at least looked less like he was being held on the dance floor upon pain of death. His hips even began to sway, helped along by Quentin's hand at the small of his back. "There's actually a very interesting cross-rhythm to the chorus of this song," Hank observed.
"Is there?" All this shouting over the music to hear each other was hurting Quentin's throat, and besides, the DJ was now playing the new Hayley Kiyoko, which demanded complete attention. They continued to dance, Quentin feeling at home on the floor, Hank not quite so alien anymore. He was not such a lumbering hulk after all. As the track changed again, Quentin spun around and pulled Hank's arm around his waist so now Hank was holding Quentin close. The psi looked over his shoulder and grinned, grinding lightly against Hank's hips.
He caught a glimpse of bright blue eyes widening in surprise - but Hank didn't pull away. After a moment Quentin felt another oversized hand come to rest on his hip, both keeping Hank in rhythm and ensuring that Quentin didn't grind too intimately.
Quentin played nicely, keeping that bare minimum space between them and not daring to move Hank's hands while still tutoring him on club basics. Not for the first time, he yearned for his full powers back, just to know what was going on in the other man's head. What was going on underneath that blanket of apprehension?
Whatever it was, the psi figured it could use another drink after all. When the track changed again, he started to push away from the floor, and beckoned Hank to follow him back to the bar, where it took an unnecessarily long time to call the harried bartender and order a pair of Manhattans. "This" — Quentin handed one of the glasses to Hank — "Is considerably different from round one."
Hank took a sip. "Oh, now this is spectacular," he said, blinking in surprise. Another sip. "This I like."
"The appropriately named Manhattan. Should have figured you for a whiskey man. Just don't become one of those assholes who makes a whole thing about it. It's fine, but it's not the only alcohol around."
"Somehow I doubt the likelihood of that happening. This is illegal," Hank pointed out, "and besides, I can't imagine making a habit of this sort of evening. Not that it isn't novel and enjoyable, but I think it's clear that I don't exactly fit in here."
"Oh, sis." Quentin patted Hank's shoulder and shook his head in mocking frustration. "If I teach you anything tonight, besides how to move, it's that everyone fits in here. It's the whole fucking point. Clubs have been the center of queer life for a hundred years for exactly that reason. And for real, have you seen the way guys've been looking at you here?"
Hank shifted uncomfortably. "I've noticed the staring. It's difficult not to. That's what I'm talking about." He dropped his voice until it was barely audible above the music from the dance floor. "They know I'm a mutant."
The last time they'd had this conversation, Quentin did all he could to push Hank in uncomfortable directions. Trolling was safe in Hank's lab. But he looked on the verge of a panic attack now, and not the virginal anxiety he has displayed on the dance floor. Quentin's hand ran down Hank's arm and rested on his hand. Not like Quentin was a particularly big man to begin with, but Hank's hand made his look positively childlike. The absurdity made the psi let out a little laugh.
"Maybe they do, or maybe they're looking at you like this 'cuz they want to fuck you."
The only real response to this was a hefty gulp of Manhattan; only once Hank had choked that down could he brave a glance around the room. Sure enough there was more than one pair of eyes on him and Quentin, but the longer Hank dared observe the more he noticed the lack of disgust in his fellow club-goer's eyes - indeed, they looked quite friendly, in a slightly hungry sort of way. One of them even went so far as to catch his eye and tip his head towards the entrance to the toilets, a signal that took the normally quick-witted young man a moment to parse. "Oh my stars and garters," he muttered, turning back to Quentin with burning cheeks. "You may well be correct."