March 6, 2010: My way of trying to make up for "Going Down"? *sweatdrop* Still sorry about that, BTW. Really almost a "Plot? What Plot?"... but manages to avoid it just barely. ^_~

Warnings: Still slash. ^_^ *coughs* No more dipping. This one's a pretty solid 'R' for some very intense smooching and a bit of making out. Enjoy?

White Boys
by Renee-chan

Berger laughed, low and quiet, as the corners of his lips stretched upwards in a smug, self-satisfied smirk. Claude merely rolled an eye open at the sound and snorted, "What are you laughing at?"

The younger man leaned down over the newest addition to his Tribe and let his smile widen, "Life, man. It's a beautiful fall day -- the birds are singin', the flowers are growin' and the sun is bright and warm... and all these drone worker-bees just duck their heads down and move along by like it's got nothin' to do with them. I pity 'em, man. Pity 'em."

Claude's mouth thinned, prepping to pull down into a frown, no doubt. The other boy was far too serious, far too often. He'd stumbled across the Tribe about a month ago while running from an argument with his parents. Apparently, he'd dropped out of school and his dear father didn't approve. Berger didn't see what the big deal was -- school, that is. He hardly ever went, himself, and it wasn't like his parents even cared. But apparently, it mattered to Claude Hooper Bukowski. Jesus, that was a name and a half. Somehow, though, it suited the older boy from Flushing. On him, a name like that made sense. Berger lifted a finger and lightly tapped Claude's nose, "Shouldn't make faces like that, Claudio. Might get stuck that way."

And... there it was. Full on frown. Claude hadn't quite made up his mind about him, Berger could tell. They'd been drawn to each other from day one, but neither had yet figured out exactly why. On the surface, they were nothing alike. They had no common hobbies, except getting high. They had no common background, except a contempt for the establishment. They had no common interests... except Sheila. On the surface, there was nothing they had to talk about, no common ground from which to build a friendship... but somehow, they had. Berger knew himself well enough to know where his strengths were, and more important, where his weaknesses were. And he was smart enough to recognize his perfect complement... in Claude. Unfortunately, Claude didn't know himself nearly so well as Berger did, so he didn't see what Berger saw. Fortunately Berger, contrary to popular opinion, had an abundance of faith... and he had more than an abundance of it in Claude. Someday, he would see. Berger was sure of it.

After a moment of frowning up at the other boy, Claude finally sighed and pushed himself up into a sitting position, "You know, this world needs 'worker bees', too, Berger. Without them, it doesn't function."

Berger plucked a tuft of grass from next to him and idly tossed it in Claude's face, then snorted out a laugh as Claude irritably batted it away, "Lighten up, Claudio. I didn't bring you out here for a lecture, man. Just wanted you to see..."

"See what?" Claude grumped as he brushed the grass out of his hair.

Scooting closer, Berger looped an arm around the other boy's shoulders and leaned in close, "See what you're not. See why you dropped out. See why you don't fit in with them... why you do fit in with us. You're not a worker bee, Claude." Leaning in even closer, Berger planted a gentle kiss at the underside of the taller boy's jaw, "You're a butterfly."

Claude jerked in Berger's embrace, stunned by the simple truth of that statement. He turned to look down at Berger, that shock easily visible in wide brown eyes. Berger didn't wait for him to voice another objection. He lifted his other hand off the ground and slid it along Claude's jaw and into the hair at the base of his neck. Gently massaging, he used that hand to pull the other boy closer. He kept waiting for that moment when Claude would break out of his hold, push him away, demand to know what he was doing... but it didn't happen. Berger's tongue darted out to wet his lips, hardly believing that Claude Hooper Bukowski was going to allow him this. He'd hinted, flirted, tested the waters often enough... but he'd never pushed, never gone beyond the safe touching, kissing, embracing that any of his Tribe members engaged in with any of the others. Not with Claude.

Heart thrumming in his ears, Berger forced his eyes up to meet Claude's, silently asking if this was OK. Maybe Claude just didn't realize what he was angling for... After a silent moment of communion, Claude made an irritated noise and closed the remaining distance for him.

Caught off guard by the unexpectedness of Claude's cooperation, Berger, for once, didn't know quite what to do. As a result, that first kiss was... calling it awkward would be kind. Only a last minute shift on Berger's part enabled them to avoid bruised noses, but that same shift nearly caused some bruised teeth. Finally, after a little more embarrassed shifting and some more irritated muttering, Claude leaned back and picked up his own hands to grab onto Berger's face and hold it still. With a quietly huffed out laugh, Claude used his grip to tilt Berger's face to the appropriate angle and leaned in again. This time they managed to get their lips lined up appropriately, at least. Unfortunately, they forgot to take into account that with Claude's hands on Berger's face, no one was bracing their weight. As lips touched and Berger let himself melt backwards... there was nothing to stop him from pitching over.

With a startled yipe, both boys tumbled over into the grass, Claude sprawled on top of Berger, both more than a little disgruntled by the upset. They stared at each other for a good thirty seconds, then both broke up into hysteria-tinged laughter. Claude buried his face in Berger's stomach, hands fisted in the fringe of his vest. Berger was just glad that the normally-far-too-serious Claude could find some humor in the situation.

Once they'd calmed down, Berger shifted them around so that Claude was laying back in the grass with Berger resting his weight lightly on top of him. Turning his most brilliant smile down on the older boy, he waggled his eyebrows, "Third time's the charm?"

Claude just smiled in response and nodded. Raising his hands to once again cup Berger's face, he guided the other boy's lips down to meet his. Berger couldn't help but smile into the kiss as they finally got it right. Lips slid over lips and tongues darted out in light flickers just to taste, to flirt, to test.

Berger pulled back, once again meeting Claude's eyes with a question... Is this OK? Claude's warm smile was all the answer he needed. This time when he leaned in, he took control of the kiss from minute one. He could feel the startled stillness in Claude's body as he took that control, but didn't pause to allow the older boy time to overthink it. Swiping a gentle tongue along Claude's lower lip, he silently asked for entrance. He could almost see the struggle Claude had with himself over it, but in the end, he conceded with the first battle barely even staged. Still, Berger was a polite visitor, teasing his tongue along the roof of Claude's mouth, fluttering lightly against the older boy's own tongue, tickling the sensitive skin at the base of his teeth. In this, as with nothing else, he could be patient.

Sure enough, after the first few teasing touches, Claude hesitantly began to return the kiss. At first, he just pressed back to meet Berger's tongue as it dipped into his mouth, then eventually grew bold enough to chase it back into Berger's and return the favor of those initial teasing strokes. After giving him a few minutes to adjust and relearn the way of it, Berger started upping the stakes, almost violently sucking Claude's tongue into his mouth one moment, then stabbing his own into the other boy's the next, twining their tongues together in an intricate dance.

It was heady... almost addictive. Berger had the sudden startling thought that he could lay here all day, just kissing Claude. If he'd known it was going to be this nice, he'd have done it ages ago. Reluctantly, Berger pulled his head back, breaking the kiss to look down at Claude and try to gauge the other boy's reaction. Claude's eyes were dilated, his breathing a little ragged. Berger couldn't help another smug, self-satisfied smirk at the thought that he was the one who had done that. He was the one to break that iron-clad self-control. Those thoughts were almost a headier rush than the kisses had been and he couldn't help a self-deprecating laugh at his own foolishness.

Claude's eyes slowly refocused, dropping to rest on the mouth that had been so thoroughly plundering his a moment ago. With a gentle smile, he asked again, "What are you laughing at?"

Leaning down, Berger planted a single, chaste butterfly kiss to the corner of Claude's lips before answering, "Myself, man. Every time I think I've got my reaction to you pinned down and classified... I go and screw myself up."

One long-fingered hand raised off the ground to ghost along Berger's cheek as lips lifted into an almost impish grin, "And how are you reacting to me, now?"

Berger's smirk widened as he pressed his hips down against Claude's, "How do you think?"

Claude's eyes dilated again and his cheeks flushed a rosy pink. He said in a very small voice, "Oh..."

Berger laughed as he bent down to press an open-mouthed kiss to the juncture of Claude's neck and shoulder before raising himself back up to meet that dilated gaze again, "Thing is, Claudio... I know how to get what I want. Always have. I'm pretty sure you were straight when we met, and I've already got you half-convinced that you're not anymore." As Claude opened his mouth to voice a protest, Berger took advantage to plunder said mouth again. When they broke for air, he continued, "I know how to make you want me, Claudio. I'm good at that. Just ask anyone in the Tribe. Problem is... I don't know how to make you want to keep me. And I think that may be what I want."

Eyes uncertain for the first time since Berger leaned in for that first kiss, Claude looked away. Gracious for once, Berger shifted himself to the side to let the older boy sit up. As he did so, he rubbed his hands over his arms as though cold, "What... I'm not sure I know what you mean, Berger."

Throwing his hands up in the air, Berger made an irritated huffing noise, "Hell, Claude! I don't know what I mean." Burying his hands in his wind-blown curly hair, Berger tugged on it in frustration, "You're part of the Tribe now, and that means we belong to each other in that way... but there's something about you, Claude. I want more. I don't know what kind of more... but I want more."

Cheeks reddening further, Claude got out, "What about Sheila?"

Blinking in honest confusion, Berger parroted back, "What about Sheila?"

Claude frowned, "Aren't you dating her?"

"Dating...?" Berger frowned in answer, "Well... I guess we are. What does that have to do with anything?"

Claude gaped for a moment before exploding with, "I know you all have this casual sex thing going on and don't consider it cheating if you sleep with someone else as long as they're a Tribe member... but if you're talking about wanting something more than casual sex... isn't that cheating?"

Berger's frown deepened, "I hadn't thought about it that way." He chewed on the unwelcome thought for a minute as Claude pulled away from him, tucking his legs underneath him Indian-style and wrapping his arms around himself as though for protection. Finally, Berger's smile started to bloom again and he inched forward, teasing Claude's arms away from himself and wrapping them around his own waist as he climbed into the other boy's lap. Wrapping his own arms around Claude's neck, he turned on the full charm of that smile, "What if Sheila didn't mind sharing?"

Really... someone should explain to Claude that if he kept dropping his mouth open like that he was just asking someone to take advantage of it. When Berger leaned back from doing just that, he raised an eyebrow at the older boy as his lips tipped into a lopsided grin. Claude sighed and dropped his head to rest on Berger's shoulder, "I guess if she didn't mind..." His voice almost disappeared into a tiny whisper as he finished, "...then I wouldn't mind, either."

Letting out a wild whoop of joy, Berger bounced up off of Claude's lap and hauled the other boy to his feet, "Great! Then let's go ask her!"

Claude let himself be dragged a few feet before digging in his heels, "Wait! Now, Berger?"

Berger blinked at him, once again the picture of complete innocence. It was uncanny, really -- no one as devilishly mischievous as George Berger should be able to look that innocent. But again, there was that honest confusion as Berger answered, "Why not now?"

Feeling his eyebrow starting to twitch, Claude spluttered, "You can't just walk up to your girlfriend and ask her if she minds you dating someone else at the same time! Berger, you'll hurt her feelings!"

Berger blinked once or twice before slowly commenting, "I wasn't going to ask her if I could date someone else..." Before Claude's confused look could spawn any more objections, Berger finished with, "...I was going to ask her if we could date someone else."

And there Claude went with his mouth dropping open again. Really... you'd think he'd learn. This time the kiss ended with hands having gotten far more daring than they had with the previous few. As Berger shivered from the feel of the other boy's nails digging into the bare skin of his back, he forced himself to pull his own hands out from under Claude's shirt to brace them demurely against the older boy's chest. After a few tries to get his voice working again, he asked, "You were going to say?"

Claude's eyes were once again dilated and took longer to refocus this time. After a moment spent staring at Berger's proudly smirking lips, he cleared his throat, then grabbed Berger's hand and started dragging him out of the Park, "Fuck it. Just... fuck it. Never mind -- let's just go get this over with."

Practically crowing with delight, Berger happily let himself be dragged. Claude might not see it just yet, but this really was for the best. They'd be good for each other. And maybe, just maybe, now that he'd at least convinced Claude to want him... he'd figure out how to make the other boy want to keep him. Because more than anything, Berger now wanted to keep Claude... and Berger always got what he wanted.


Claude: *blinks* What, no comments about chibi silliness?

R-chan: *wince* Well... you almost bit my head off last time.

Claude: *twitch* Well, last time you deserved it.

Berger: *irritated frown* You mean she doesn't this time?

Claude: *sweatdrop* No... not really. I think she gave us some pretty nice fluff this time around.

Berger: But... but... it can't just stop there!

R-chan: *blush* *slightly hysterical* Yes, it can!

Tasuki: *coughs* *pats Berger on the shoulder* Seriously, man... give it up. Nuriko and I have been trying for the better part of 14 years with no success. At this point... I don't think it's gonna happen.

Berger: *slumps* Damn it.

Questions, comments, pineapple?