Feb. 25th, 2004 02:56 pm
almost_russell: (Guitar)
[personal profile] almost_russell
Stepping from the bus, Russell couldn't quite believe it was less than a month since he had originally arrived in this place. Swinging his rucksack over his shoulder, he headed for the diner, looking forward to a cup of Martha's strongest coffee and a plate of whatever was cooking. He smiled at her as he took his seat in the window, and she came right over.

"Usual, honey?"

"Yeah Martha, thanks."

"Russell, what happened to your face?"

He had forgotten the fading yellow bruise on his left cheekbone, glad she couldn't see the one on his ribs which was considerably darker and still fairly painful.

"Nothing serious, just a slight disagreement with an old friend!"

Which was the truth.

Within five hours of arriving at Dan's, he and Jeff were tanked up. It only took a couple of snide remarks about Lesley, and Jeff was on his feet, fists bunched, insults flying. Dan had thrown them both out into the yard, and left them to it, too used to the old routine to be concerned. Insults were exchanged and fists flew, occasionally even landing a direct hit, but not often.

It had always proved to be a great way of working through any aggression there was between them on the road and after getting sufficiently drunk, it didn't even seem to hurt that much, usually. This time, Jeff had managed to get a few good digs at Russell, but it had still been Jeff that had left with a black eye.

Twenty minutes later, Dan pulled them apart, sat them down, and stuck a bottle of Jack between them. Half an hour after that, they were finishing a joint, and laughing together, swearing they wouldn't ever let a woman come between their friendship. Of course, that only lasted until Jeff sobered up the following morning, remembered what Russell had actually said about Lesley, and left, swearing never to speak to him again. Russell had felt guilty this time, because for once, it wasn't Jeff he was mad at.

Another couple of days hanging out at Dan's, and he had felt the need to come home. Home? He still wondered at the fact that this place was the only place he had felt like calling home in a long time.

Martha put a steaming mug of coffee down in front of him, and he sat with his hands around it, staring out of the window. He had avoided thinking about Beregond while he was away, but his thoughts had turned in that direction once he was on his way back.

Either his former friend had turned from nice guy, well, nice program, to total asshole in the space of a few hours, or the transfer had gone wrong. He plucked the disc in it's case from his rucksack, and tucked it into his shirt pocket. If he was right, Beregond was on the disc, and something else was walking around in his body.

Now, he just had to decide what to do about it.

Date: 2004-02-26 06:55 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] guide-beregond.livejournal.com
Smith had amused Beregond for a while, but eventually the program's dry, logical humor began to bore the man. Beregond had left that workspace, and wandered around town for a while. A few hours amusement came from shopping - a task made much easier when one didn't bother with niceties such as actually paying for things. A few bits of fine jewelry, and oddly enough, a handful of gourmet dark chocolate had managed to land in his coat pockets.

Coffee sounded good about now. He passed a few upscale shops, chuckling. He'd rather have a plain, bad cup of coffee with Russell, a man he found very amusing and rarely boring. That's what Bergond needed right now. To be amused by Russell. And he knew where the man liked to spend much of his time.

He pushed through the diner door, grinning when he saw Russell already settled in, sipping coffee. The man was so predictable.

"Hey, lover. Want some company?" Beregond slid into the booth before Russell could even answer.

Date: 2004-02-26 07:04 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] almost-russell.livejournal.com
Russell didn't even hear the door open, he was so deep in thought, then suddenly Beregond was sitting in front of him, smirk on his face.

"Short answer, man? No!"

He was about to pick up his rucksack and leave, when he remembered the disc in his pocket, and knew he needed to know more about whoever it was sitting opposite him before he could decide what to do.

"And don't call me that."

Date: 2004-02-26 07:15 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] guide-beregond.livejournal.com
Beregond ignored the 'no', and waved for the waitress. "Is that any way to treat a man who brought you chocolate?" Bererond rummaged in his pocket and pulled ouot the small box, sliding it across the table. If Russell needed to be seduced all over again, that might be a fun afternoon's diversion.

"So, what should I call you, then? Honey, Sugar... Tiger? Thought maybe you and I could go outside for a smoke, and talk... or something." He smirked as he said the word 'something'.

Date: 2004-02-26 07:26 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] almost-russell.livejournal.com
Russell raised an eyebrow at the box being slid across the table towards him, then burst out laughing.

"You're kidding me, right? You buy me chocolates and expect that to make up for you being a total asshole? Oh man, that's so funny!"

After letting the laughter run it's course, his face became serious.

"Don't push me, Beregond. Going anywhere with you for anything is not an option."

Date: 2004-02-26 07:38 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] guide-beregond.livejournal.com
"Fine, then. We can stay right here." Beregond's foot has searched under the table, until he finds Russell's leg, and he nudges it lightly, stroking ankle against ankle.

"Those are harsh words, Russell. I showed you a good time, I know you enjoyed it! And I thought we were friends. So I was hungry and wasn't in the mood to cuddle. Bit thin-skinned, aren't you?"

Beregond took the coffee brought to him, and dismissed the waitress with a wave.

Date: 2004-02-26 07:52 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] almost-russell.livejournal.com
Even such a small amount of physical contact jolts through him like a shock, and he pulls his foot away. He did enjoy it, that's part of the problem. Jeez, he could have done without this today! He watches Beregond's rudess towards Martha, which helps bring him back to the task at hand. Perhaps he's going to have to play nice for a while.

"Friends. I suppose we are. So, man, whatcha been up to lately?"

Date: 2004-02-26 07:58 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] guide-beregond.livejournal.com
"I went and saw Smith for a while. That's got to be the funniest program I've ever met! But he got boring after a while, wasn't in the mood to do more than lecture me and scowl a lot. He thinks I'm damaged from the transfer. Idiot can't even see that I'm improved. Tried to explain that to him, but he's too dense to see it."

Since you're not eating the chocolates, I drag the box back over, and rip into it. You can never have too much chocolate.

Date: 2004-02-26 08:06 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] almost-russell.livejournal.com
Russell nearly chokes on his coffee. Smith thinks that Beregond is damaged?? Nice of him to share! Russell now knows exactly where he's headed after this.

"Exactly how are you improved?"

Reaches over and pulls the chocolates back towards him, picking out a truffle, and biting into it.

"I thought these were mine!"

Date: 2004-02-26 08:18 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] guide-beregond.livejournal.com
Chuckling, I watch you eat the chocolate, remembering other things that mouth of yours is good for. "They were. Thought you weren't interested in anything nice and tasty from me, though."

Shrugging, Beregond flicks the box with his fingers, snapping them, watching the box careen back to bounce off of Russell's coffee cup.

"I'm happier. Less bothered by stupid things, worrying about what others think of me. I used to feel guilty about a lot of things, and THAT error's been corrected." Snorting, I drain my cup. "And remember how I used to think I loved Smith? MAJOR improvement to have that insanity out of my head!"

Date: 2004-02-26 08:30 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] almost-russell.livejournal.com
Notices the lecherous look on your face and tries to shake off the mixture of creepiness and arousal it brings to the surface.

"Chocolate I'll take." Catches the box.

"Have you ever thought you might have come back defective? Think about it, why don't you care how you made me feel the other night? Why are you being rude to people?"

Date: 2004-02-26 08:38 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] guide-beregond.livejournal.com
Genuinely puzzed for a minute, but not overly concerned, I think about this.

"You're not hearing me. I don't FEEL defective. I feel good. Free. And that's what matters. That I get what I want, I'm satisfied. Everyone else is welcome to do anything they want, I really don't care."

Leaning back, crossing my arms behind my head, grinning, stretching my legs and finding your ankle with mine again. "What's important is what makes me happy. How you felt is your own business, I can't be bothered with trying to understand what makes you tick inside. You feel good outside, though, and -that- I find very interesting."

Date: 2004-02-26 08:48 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] almost-russell.livejournal.com
Russell sighs, looking at his one-time friend.

"So, as long as you're happy, you don't give a damn about anyone else? Beregond, that's not you! You cared about other people, you would never have intentionally hurt anyone. I think you lost your morals in the transfer ... I know you lost something in the transfer ..."

Pulls his foot away again.

"And will you please stop doing that??"

Date: 2004-02-26 08:56 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] guide-beregond.livejournal.com
"We're starting to talk in circles, and that's boring. Yes, something happened in the transfer. lost something, found something, I don't care, but something did change."

"And I'm glad it did. The only thing I don't like is that it's looking like I don't have a chance of getting laid around here today." Beregond pulls his foot away, shrugs, and gets to his feet.

"Give me a call when you're up for some fun... Tiger."

Laughing, Beregond slides from the booth, and as he passes by Russell's side of the table, he reaches to run his fingers quickly through the man's hair, then strolls out the door.

Date: 2004-02-26 09:06 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] almost-russell.livejournal.com
Russell watched as Beregond got up to leave, the feel of his hand in his hair making him shiver, and he really didn't want to analyse why. He called Martha over so he could pay the check, which he realised Beregond had left him with, and gave her an extra large tip.

"Sorry about my ah ... friend. He's not feeling himself today."

"I noticed honey, I think he was more interested in feeling you!" She winked.

With a pained look on his face, he picked up his rucksack, checked the disc was still in his pocket, and went in search of Smith.


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