He is generally melancholy and despairing @tyelperin
1 Title and summary from Mary Shelley's Frankenstein (letter 4).

The toll his academic career is having on his life is so monstrous Victor might as well accept it as a physical presence and call it Adam. It's destroyed everything he loved, leaving only guilt and discontent in its wake. Yet there is, he reasons, something to work for still. Bleak as his days may be, he has a future. He still has hope.

Victor looks out the window of his office within the walls of Ingolstadt's Technical University and sighs. Yes, of course. He might as well keep nursing the flame of his foolish dreams as long as he still has a place in that institution. Though his is not an office, not really, it's kind of the department's storeroom.

Busy as he is dwelling on his own thoughts, it isn't until the door opens and his doctoral advisor strides in that Victor doesn't sit in front of the four enormous desks that are (the department's) his table and slaps his notebook on it.  Waldman doesn't seem to notice, nor care about, his rushed actions or that he was until then indulging in his own misery instead of working.

Busy as he is dwelling on his own thoughts, it isn't until the door opens and his doctoral advisor strides in that Victor doesn't sit in front of the four enormous desks that are (the department's) his table and slaps his notebook on it.  Waldman doesn't seem to notice, nor care about, his rushed actions or that he was until then indulging in his own misery instead of working.

"Victor, how's it coming along? Any questions?"

One and only one, he'd like to say, and it involves whether or not he'll ever stop feeling like an idiot. Though that being an improper question to make, he keeps it to himself and stares resolutely down at his notebook, which he hasn't opened yet.

"No questions, no. I'm working through the last book you gave me," the last of, maybe, a hundred. Victor, for once in his life, wishes that was an exaggeration. "Do you think, maybe, I could work on my project at a more sedate pace this year?"

Waldman chuckles, bless his soul despite the deep dread the sound unleashes within Victor.

"Oh no we cannot possibly afford that, Victor. We're way behind the others as it is."

The others, who have a two years head-start on him. And that would be such a rude thing to say, quite the opposite of the image he wants to build in academia. So he, once again, bites his tongue as he opens his notebook and gazes down upon the thousands of scribbled lines in his own undecipherable penmanship.

One doesn't know how long and oppressive a silence can be until one has to pretend to be working on what one's supposed to in the same room as one's doctoral advisor. Not that Victor's particularly rebellious, he's just found that his academic interests clash with those of his advisor. It's not a bad thing, he tries to tell himself sometimes, it's enriching. Truly, a variety of views can elevate his thesis above all that's been written before on the matter.

If only he cared about his advisor's objectives and standpoint, that'd be marvelous. He does not, is the problem, and finds himself fascinated with tangents and byzantine discussions of the most peculiar kinds. A misfit within academia. Tragically enough, Krempe was right and he's to stay in the margins of everything that's considered scientific and true.

"You're very quiet today, Victor. Any ideas to share?"

Victor startles, knocking his knee against the table and cursing under his breath.

"Just feeling a bit under the weather is all."

Waldman hums in understanding, which is kind of aggravating. "I see. You do look unwell. Take care of yourself, yes? I have to get going now, see you tomorrow?"

There go his plans of staying home the next day. Wallowing in his grief, no doubt. He can do that at college, it's no big deal.

"Of course," he says, and Waldman nods and leaves the room. Victor waits for his footsteps to retreat before flopping on the table and heaving a long, tortured, sigh. "Of course, I will be here. Victor Frankenstein never has plans, nor does he have friends or a family or a life."

What he does have is a headache the size of the building and he indulges in the feeling of wood and paper, cool and soft, against his face. Which, of course, proves later to be a mistake. As is most of what he does. For as he steps out of the building he runs into no other than his friend Henry Clerval, and he starts laughing the second he sets eyes on Victor.

"Holy shit. Did you fall asleep on your notebook?"

Again, is what he doesn't say.

"No," Victor lies. Henry raises his phone to his face and Victor sees his own reflection. The words Prometheus?????? idek something about agency maybe are printed over his left eyebrow in blue. "That was a rather clever idea once."

"I don't doubt it."

"What are you doing here, anyway? This is no place for a sensitive soul," he rubs at his forehead as Henry quirks an eyebrow his way, both walking away from the door and hopefully out of campus. As is, it's only giving Victor grief.

"Well, I came to pick you up since you decided that you don't own a phone anymore," Henry's stare is harsh, which is something that Victor knows he deserves. Though he doesn't grasp why it's a thing of such entity. He just stopped looking at it since it was distracting and he had some things to work on, that was all. "Afraid of how your sensitive soul was taking to being all by itself, if it would be too lonely. Perish the thought."

Victor scoffs yet is grateful for his concern. If he was carrying his phone he'd check it, then, but it's back at his apartment and it's been staying there under an opened copy of Fear and Trembling for at least two weeks. He left it there knowing himself and his tendency to check his texts every five minutes, all too aware that he would be too busy to touch that book whether he wanted it or not and hoping to forget the phone's existence altogether.

It worked, albeit too well.

"Thank you, I guess," he says, and Henry pats his shoulder, which shouldn't make him feel giddy and warmer than a pleasant summer afternoon but it does.

"Have you been sleeping?"

"Yes?" he tries, although to no avail. Henry knows him well enough. "No. Not much. Does it matter?"

"Does it matter, he says. What do you think," Henry doesn't wait for an answer, pointing a finger at Victor's chest. "No, don't you dare answer. I know what nonsense can come out of your mouth. Keep it to yourself."

Victor is only half listening. There's this thing that Henry does that drives him half mad, which is being nice to almost everyone under the sun. It makes him very hard to read, which to Victor spells trouble since he's been looking at Henry's hand since he pointed at him. Where the boundaries lie between them, what is permitted and what isn't, how would Henry react if he were to take his hand.

He reckons that all those questions would be way easier to answer if Henry didn't tend to niceness. Then again, he probably wouldn't love him as much or at all if he didn't, either, so Victor isn't sure he'd want him to lose that particular trait.

"Victor?" Henry says, and he snaps out of his reverie and looks up at his eyes. He's staring at Victor, eyebrows drown together in worry. "You must be faring worse than I thought if you can't even focus on a single sentence."

"It's nothing you should be worrying about," he answers, and Henry doesn't seem to believe him for a second. "It's true. How are you doing?"

"Me? Okay, I guess. Not much to do without you or Elizabeth around," Victor nods and in a rather rare display of bravery and poor judgment does something stupid, foolish and mad that he recognizes as a mistake the second it's done.

He inches just the littlest bit closer to Henry and grazes his hand with his. Subtly. As subtle as he can be, anyway, which isn't much in certain settings. The romantic one being notorious for his unsubtleness. Henry, to his credit, doesn't flinch nor stumble in his speech. He turns his head Victor's way as he walks and speaks, looks at him out of the corner of his eye for the briefest of seconds, and without losing a beat links their pinkies together.

i own seven (7) editions of frankenstein, have been obsessing over it for years, and i figured it was about time i wrote something it was fun, playing with my style and the way the characters talked i gave victor a degree but he has to work for that doctorate
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