downplaying: ((( the current picture )))

[Title:] für elise
[Prompt:] Innocent
[Summary:] What if... Vincent and Claude had gotten children.

The watch on the nightstand reads 03.14 when Élise starts crying. “Your fucking turn,” Vincent mumbles, rolling over on his side, leaving Claude to get up and blindly make his way to her cradle near the foot of their bed.

She stares up at him through the darkness when he leans in to pick her up, her crying ceasing momentarily. As he adjusts her weight, she’s so light in his arms and he rocks her gently while heading for the kitchen where her bottles are stored.

“Hey little one,” he says in a low voice, smiling. “Don’t mind us, okay?”

downplaying: ((( ascending )))

[Title:] fool me once
[Prompt:] Hurt
[Summary:] Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice...

Jean-Baptiste leaves Claude’s apartment in a huff, waving one hand in the air melodramatically and muttering in Luxembourgish under his breath. The door closes behind him, cutting off the stream of words that Claude doesn’t understand anyway, leaving the both of them alone. Jean-Baptiste on one side, Claude on the other. Claude sits down on the nearest chair, running a hand through his hair and sighing. Loudly. There goes. Another relationship. Because his man couldn’t keep his dick in his pants.

And when looking at himself in the mirror later that night, the only reason provided is his own face.

downplaying: ((( simply the best )))

[Characters:] Vincent & Claude
[Date:] 13.02.2014
[Summary:] Happy birthday, birthday boy.

It's been a long week. God, it's been long... Too long. He's been to New York on behalf of Le Monde, to cover the opening of a new wing at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, a wing dedicated to traditional and contemporary African art. He has talked to everyone and their mother, if they were of even the slightest relevance to the collection. University professors, artists, museum directors, sponsors, you name it. Yes, he's been around. And all the while, Didier has been with him, knowing quite a few of the contributors and having sponsored the transfer of several native pieces from Senegal. Heaven knows, he loves Didier, but the man can make for very taxing company when you catch him in a sour mood and he's been in a sour mood from the first Senegalese piece was revealed to they went their separate ways at the airport earlier today. It has been very obvious that he'd been much less impressed with the Americans efforts than Claude who has given the exhibition good reviews overall.

Finding his keys blindly, he unlocks the front door, stepping inside mostly without paying attention to anything around him except for the handle of his suitcase and his coat, hanging over his other arm. It's an act of supreme balance, preventing either Socrates or Plato from escaping out the door before he can close it behind him, while at the same time stopping his coat from sliding down or his suitcase from slipping through his fingers. Which is probably the reason why he doesn't notice either the little bows around their necks or the bells attached at first. Because really... under any other circumstances... He puts the suitcase down, hangs his coat away and finally straightens up fully, looking down at the cats. Unable to notice anything but the light red (almost pink) bows. Poor cats. Next thing he notices is the amount of candles lit all around the hallway - and the kitchen and beyond the kitchen, the living room. Candles everywhere, but no husband in sight.


There's the lovely smell of food cooking, so his man has got to be around here somewhere. Doing God only knows what.

downplaying: ((( wrapped in sheets )))


n. 1. care or concern for someone or something

the art of coming home
is one I never mastered
but you return
day after day

I have waited for many
and most didn’t come
I have been waited for
and still I went away

you have been running all your life
but in front of this word you stop
the art of coming home
is one I never mastered
you, however, you return
day after day, you return

does it mean that you care?
or does it mean that I do?

- From A Poetry Collection, Claude Bérubé

downplaying: ((( today's news )))

[Characters:] Vincent & Claude
[Date:] 07.03.2009
[Summary:] And time for leftovers.

He got up at six. To shower. Check his emails. Write a few notes on the newest announcements from French Parliament – nothing interesting today, not as of yet, but it’s still early and the French are quick. It can change in a matter of hours. For now, though, he’s off duty, cooking eggs and making coffee in the kitchen that’s really too tiny for proper food preparation. He isn’t expecting Vincent to stay forever, of course, but if the man wants a cup of coffee and a slice of baguette with scrambled eggs for breakfast before leaving, Claude can provide. If he doesn’t… Well, that’s his choice and his loss. Claude’s baguettes are homemade and his scrambled eggs are Michelin star-material. All of it his mom’s recipe, after all.

It’s eight, now. So, dressed in a bathrobe, he brings a simple tray with him into the bedroom, turning on the radio as he passes it on the shelf – some soulless pop music filling the silence and drowning out the sound of Vincent’s breathing. “I’d have picked you for an early riser,” Claude says, putting the tray down on his own side of the bed. Two cups of coffee, one basket of bread and a plate of eggs. He’s not particularly hungry himself, but he might grab a bite. For the sake of Vincent’s company, more than anything. If Vincent’s willing to provide that in return.

downplaying: ((( pastel colours )))


see you soon
you who are not my country of origin
i pack the few things that belong to me
and head for the airport

i won’t be gone for long
so let us not say goodbye
at the airport

i promise i will return to you soon
i promise that i will come back
but not to here
to this airport

i will return to the warmth of your dark skin
and to the feel of your sandy garments
i will go down to the harbour
from where no aeroplanes fly
and see

before africa’s feet lies the world
not before this insignificant airport

- From French-Senegalese, Lau de C

downplaying: ((( gentleman )))

[Characters:] Vincent & Claude
[Date:] 06.03.2009
[Summary:] It's time for desserts.

His apartment is on the ground floor, so they don’t have to climb more than half a flight of stairs to reach his front door, the dim illumination of the light bulbs above their heads casting shadows on the walls. An army of black queens, so to speak. He refrains from casting a glance at Vincent over his shoulder. They’ve just spent the past two and a half hours together, he’s had plenty of opportunity to look at him. If Claude isn’t completely mistaken, he’ll soon see much more of him as well, hopefully to get a taste and a feel… Stopping in front of the door to his apartment, he rummages through his pocket in search for his keys, frowning slightly. There’s a click as the lights go out, leaving the two of them in a pleasant darkness – moonlight pouring in through the windows of the hallway.

downplaying: ((( mr trench coat )))

[Characters:] Vincent & Claude
[Date:] 04.03.2009
[Summary:] Neither of them is particularly objective in their judgement of the other.

[Lunch break.

It's been a long couple of hours to get through, what with the course participants consisting mainly of women under the age of 30, but Claude's group has worked surprisingly efficiently, getting a head start on the subject of objectivity in the press - under much discussion. He has left the three girls to their free time gossiping now, retreating to his seat further back in the room. To his vacuum jug of coffee and his daily edition of Le Monde.

Luc, the other Luxembourg Daily journalist present, will just have to seek him out if he needs him.]

downplaying: ((( always on the go )))
[ quick data:
♂, born 13.02.65
full name: Claude Laurent Bérubé
town of birth: Paris
country of birth: France ]

by education:
1995: PhD of Journalism – Université Libre de Bruxelles, Belgium
1993: Master of Journalism – Cheikh Anta Diop University, Senegal
1991: Bachelor of Journalism – Sorbonne University, France
1983: Finished Lycée, Baccalauréat (L), France

by occupation:
2010: Freelance
2005: French correspondent, Luxembourg Daily, Luxembourg
1995: Journalist and African correspondent, Le Monde, France
1992: Intern, Le Monde, France
1986: Personal assistant, French Embassy, Senegal
1985: Secretary, French Embassy, Nigeria
1984: Librarian, Université Félix Houphouët-Boigny, Ivory Coast

by publication (in selection):
2025: The Ladies' Man, author
2017: Behind Every Great Man, author
(biography of Mireille Duroc)
2011: A Poetry Collection, author
2010: The Little House on the Savannah, author
(biography of Edith Allard)
2005: Sold Out, author
(biography of Désirée Muller)
1999: Did You Hear, Monsieur Cazal?, author
(anonymous biography)
1992: Scenery, co-author
(under the pseudonym, Lau de C)
1987: French-Senegalese, contributor
(under the pseudonym, Lau de C)

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