downplaying: ((( drinking buddies )))





[Characters:] Claude & Jean Louis
[Date:] 31.12.2017 / 01.01.2018
[Summary:] Oh God, they are so drunk.
__________

[He's drunk. So drunk. He's not stupid, he feels it in his fingers, he feels it in his toes... Nevertheless, he abandons Vincent in Mireille's otherwise wholly engaging company, in order to cross the room to where Jean Louis has just poured himself another shot of their most expensive whiskey (a gift he's brought himself) and sit down next to the other man. Vincent's boss. Their once so highly profiled State Minister. Icarus fell, huh?]

You better have brought us something good.

[He gestures to the bottle of whiskey, half-empty already next to Jean Louis' full glass.]
downplaying: ((( 2 in a series of 3 )))





[Characters:] Vincent & Claude
[Date:] 03.06.2010
[Summary:] You don't get closer than this. Not to anyone. Not to yourself.
__________

[Claude is sitting up in bed, popped up against the headboard with a (still unpublished) book in his lap - a poetry collection that Didier has sent his way for a friendly review before it hits the streets. He reads over the various contributions with a slight frown on his face, concentration drowning out all other thoughts than those concerning the poetic composition of a French-Senegalese vocabulary.

He saw his doctor yesterday, though, did Claude - to hear the results of the various tests and blood work he's had done over the past couple of weeks. All clean, of course. Not that he'd expected anything but, but even so. Some things aren't worth throwing caution to the winds for and STDs definitely count amongst them.

Besides, if he's (they're) going to start practicing unprotected sex... It better not be on Vincent's account.]



downplaying: ((( bowing down )))





[Characters:] Vincent & Claude
[Date:] 22.12.2016
[Summary:] It's a question of cause and effect.
__________

[He isn't exactly seething inside (anymore), but he definitely isn't pleased. If Vincent hadn't been so God damn attached to his job, Claude would have contacted the high and mighty Jean Louis Duroc himself and asked for an apology. In written form. Claude might not be all that active in the journalistic world anymore, but he still has all his contacts left and someone would be bound to find it an interesting angle - homophobia endorsed in the State Ministry of Luxembourg. Again, if Vincent wasn't so bloody dedicated to his new position as spin doctor for the State Minister. Claude couldn't do it to him. Not even if it's right. Not even if he'd really like to.

So instead he undresses quickly, to the sound of Vincent showering. Chases the cats out of the bedroom before crawling under the covers, Plato bouncing for the door and Socrates following after at an entirely unhurried pace as is his style. His groove. Claude loves that cat, it's so damn relaxed. Relaxing. There's nothing better than the evenings when it crawls up onto his lap and deems him worthy for pillow, purring gently and inviting a scratch on the head and some heavy (cat) petting. Well, maybe sex is better, but that falls under another category and involves different parties.

... Great and now he's horny, too - on top of being irritated.]
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.

"Vincent?"

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


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: ((( 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.]



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Claude Bérubé

December 2015

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