"Goddamnit, just throw your stuff in the back of the van!" Nix calls out exasperatedly. "It's either me and Dick or Ron and Lip, so take your pick."
"I do not want to be in a van with Spooky Speirs for three hours," Babe states, grabbing Eugene by the wrist. "We're going with Winters and Nix."
"God, Web! We're going for a week, not for a year!" Liebgott complains as he lifts his boyfriend's second camping backpack into the back of Speirs' van. "What the hell did you bring?"
"Books, Joe. I plan to read by the lake."
Joe snorts. "You didn't need to take the whole library."
Webster sighs, resting his hands on his hips as he turns to look at Lieb. "You brought your guitar."
"Yeah, but that's for singing campfire songs and shit. You know Babe's gonna make us do that. I just brought the essentials."
Web furrows his eyebrows. "The essentials?"
Lieb smirks. "Ya know, sleeping bag, lantern, matches, condoms, the essentials."
"Please pitch your tent on the other side of the campsite, thank you very much," Luz comments loudly, having caught the last bit of their exchange. "There are no walls to drown out the noises of hate sex."
"Who's having hate sex?" Skip shouts over to Luz, and David groans.
"Is that even a question?" Malarkey asks his friend, who shrugs along with him.
"Please, no hanky panky in my van," Nix remarks, looking pointedly at Web and Lieb. "We don't need a repeat of last summer's beach trip."
"We're going with Speirs and Lip," Joe replies, and Nix sighs exaggeratedly.
"Well, then it's not my problem."
Harry climbs into the chair behind Winters' driver's seat. "Remind me again why the girls couldn't come along?"
"Yeah, Fran would've loved to go camping," Bill comments as he plops down next to Babe.
"Since when has there ever been girls allowed on our annual bros vacation?" Babe points out. "And I'm sorry we aren't tent buddies anymore. For the third year in a row."
"You should be. It's not like I practically raised you or anything."
"C'mon, Bill! You'd ditch me for Frannie any day," Babe reasons. "And likewise, I'd ditch you for Gene."
"Yeah, yeah. Whatever."
"Besides, you've got Buck. And he and his girl broke up, so ya don't have t' hear about her all the time."
"What about me?" Buck flashes his million-dollar grin as he climbs into the van, sitting next to Harry and turning around to face Bill, Babe, and Roe.
"Just tellin' the boys that I'm stuck wit' ya again this year," Bill teases, earning a light laugh from the blond. "We're just gonna stay up all night planning our strategy for the water gun battle."
"Yeah, I hear Harry's brought quite the armory," Buck nudges the distracted man next to him. "Right, Harry?"
"Huh?" He looks up from his phone, probably texting Kitty. "Oh, yeah. Lots of machine guns. Brought some grenades too."
"I heard Speirs brought a tank," Tab comments upon entering the van with Shifty following right behind him. "At least, that's what Grant said."
"A tank? Hell yeah," Skip exclaims, reserving a bench for Malarkey and Penkala. "I want to fuck shit up."
"No one would let you drive the tank, Skip," Malarkey says, scooting over to make room for Penk. "Hey Nix, how many people does this van hold?"
"Twelve, but you can double buckle."
"Hey, got room for one more?"
Alton More peeks his head in the car, and Malark shrugs. "Not really, but come on in."
"Thanks. I don't think Speirs wants to see my face for three hours."
"He still mad about photography?" Buck asks amusedly, and More rolls his eyes.
"Honestly, it's kind of ridiculous. He still got a 95% in that class and it doesn't even matter. It's not important to his major."
"But you got a 96%," Skip notes. "And you were partners."
Alton shrugs, a sly grin growing on his face. "Hey, the professor just liked me better. Speirs can't stay bitter forever."
"I wouldn't put it past him," Babe adds. "That man can hold a grudge like no other."
"Nah, he's gone soft because of Lip," Tab remarks.
"How many do we have, Lew?" Dick asks, sliding into the driver's seat.
"Thirteen including you and me," he answers, and Dick rolls his eyes.
"What did I tell you about over-seating?"
"It's only by one! And besides, you're not going to make More ride with Speirs, are you?"
Winters sighs. "Guess not."
"That's it, we'll be alright. Let's get moving; I want to see Ron's face when we beat him there."
The ride is almost entirely uneventful, save for a few very rambunctious renditions of Taylor Swift songs (courtesy of Skip and Babe, mostly) and a few failed name ideas for the van group.
"Professor Sobel's Nightmare Come To Life."
"Lucky Number Thirteen."
"At Least We're the Van Without Web and Lieb."
Skip snorts. "Dick and His Dicklings."
"For Pete's sake," Dick sighs defeatedly, running a hand through his hair.
"God, that one is great," Nix laughs, barely able to control himself. "Am I your number one Dickling?"
"Lew," he pleads weakly, glancing over at him tiredly. "Shut up."
They arrive at the campsite an hour later, thoroughly exhausted and ready to stretch their legs. Much to their delight, however, they seem to have beaten the other van.
Sure enough, the identical silver van pulls in next to theirs just three minutes later, the doors opening before it is even parked.
"Jesus Christ," Toye grumbles, practically falling out of the van. "Georgie, we are riding with Winters next time."
"Aw, c'mon. I like riding with Lip!"
"I can't fuckin' deal with the two of them goin' at it," he complains gruffly, grabbing his and George's bag out of the trunk.
"We can kick them out of the van for the ride home."
Martin and Randleman exit the van next, Bull obviously listening to Johnny's rant about, most likely, Web and Lieb.
"They're like children! We need to split them up on the way home."
Bull shakes his head amusedly. "You say this every year," he drawls, patting Martin on the back. "And every year, they complain more when they're apart."
"And you guys get Webster every year," Perco comments, jogging to catch up with them. "I was stuck with Liebgott last year, and his whining made my ears bleed."
Alley, Sisk, and Grant soon emerge with their bags, looking no worse for wear. It's likely that they're used to the usual Web and Lieb Show, seeing that Alley and Skinny are two of their closest friends.
Lip catches up to Winters and Nix, Speirs following close behind. "Hey guys, how was your trip?"
"Fine, and yours?" Dick replies simply, and Nix makes a mental note to share about "Dick and His Dicklings" later.
"Oh, the usual. Webster and Liebgott arguing half the time --"
"-- and making out for the other half," Speirs finishes, looking slightly smug. "I scared them with the horn. Twice."
Carwood stifles a grin. "You can take them on the way home."
"Uh uh, the boys in our van will not agree to that," Nix informs. "They've named themselves. Dick and His Dicklings."
As he emphasizes the name with a flourish of his hands, Dick blushes. "Courtesy of Skip Muck."
Lipton chuckles slightly. "Figures."
Web and Lieb finally join the group crowded in the parking lot, bags in tow. "Are we setting up by the lake again this year?" Web asks excitedly, already making plans for his lawn chairs.
"I think so," Dick nods, looking over at Nix. "Lew? This is your family's campsite."
He shrugs. "Yeah, uh, set up wherever. It's just us this week."
"We're setting up under the big tree this year. Three in a tent in the summer does not allow for comfortable nights," Penkala laments, already jogging down to the big oak tree providing the coveted blanket of shade.
"Perco, I'm sorry, man, but I've gotta abandon you as tent-mate," George apologizes, and Frank shrugs. "Eh, it's alright. Hoob's gonna be joinin' me tonight."
"Hoobler's coming? I thought he has a broken leg," Web asks, and Frank nods.
"He does. But he told his Ma that he's going to some summer classes at Toccoa for the week, so he's driving over here once he escapes."
"He's driving?" Lipton interjects worriedly. "Isn't it his right leg that's injured?"
"He says he can drive alright."
"Dear God," Lip sighs, walking over to join Ron in pitching their tent.
Chapter one, done! Next chapter will involve the otps trying to pitch their tents, and it goes better for some than others.
Chapter 2: The Nature of Sunset Lake
Sappy lake romance is all that this chapter is. So much fluff.
I don't know why this chapter turned out to be so romantic and sappy, but I kind of love it.
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
"This shouldn't be that hard. We've got to be doing something wrong," Web sighs exasperatedly, staring defeatedly at the jumbled mess that should be their tent.
"No shit. Now, maybe if you'd help —"
"Maybe if someone hadn't thrown away the instructions, we'd already be done!" David protests, crossing his arms as Lieb drops the tent posts he was holding.
"I threw them away three years ago, Web! You'd think we knew how to fuckin' do this by now!"
Webster sighs. "You know what? Fine. I'll climb inside and hold up the tent. You string the posts through without poking my eye out."
"What difference would it make? You've already got one up your ass," Joe grumbles, earning a scathing look from his boyfriend.
"You like this ass."
Lieb nods. "That I do."
David climbs in the tent, holding up the material as Joe begins to set the poles in place. "Just hurry up, it's already hot in here."
"God, you are so whiny!"
"Trouble in paradise?" Skip asks Malark as he props himself against the free next to him, having just come from the showers in the only building on the property.
"Oh, the usual. But hey, Nix said that the showers are working this year! Clear water and everything!"
"Thank god," Penkala groans from the other side of Skip. "The lake did not do a good enough job last summer."
"Eh, it wasn't the worst. It could've been a saltwater lake," Don comments, and Muck nods.
"Yeah, or it could've been infested with poisonous water snakes."
"Gene? I still don't understand how to do this," Babe sighs, looking helplessly over at his boyfriend who had just returned from grabbing the sleeping bag he left in the van. "I jus' can't get my hands to work right."
Eugene smiles softly. "Let me."
Babe watches in awestruck wonder as Eugene properly completes the tent within five minutes, making the process look swift and easy.
Another smile tugs at the corners of Roe's lips. "'S not that bad. Jus' gotta know where to put everythin'. My Mama used to take me camping all the time."
"Well, at least let me decorate the inside. I brought a bunch of pillows," Babe suggests, nodding over towards his over-stuffed bag. "And some battery-powered Christmas lights."
Eugene lets out a small laugh. "Christmas lights?"
Babe blushes, glancing down at the bag. "I was thinkin' we could put 'em at the top of the tent. Make it look like stars."
"Je t'aime beaucoup," Gene sighs, earning a glowing smile from the redhead, having been with Roe long enough to pick up some frequently-used French phrases.
They did, in fact, string the Christmas lights across the ceiling of their tent, filling the space with fluffy pillows and soft blankets. With the soft glow of the white lights and the comforting invitation of each other's arms, Babe and Gene settle down for a short nap.
Meanwhile, Dick and Lip are throwing wood into the fire pit, preparing to roast marshmallows as the sun goes down. The sounds of laughter echo from the lake, where a group of the boys inevitably already jumped in.
"They're so cute," Lipton comments with a soft smile, adding another log to the growing pile of wood.
"Who?" Dick asks, glancing over at him.
"Babe and Roe. Look at their tent."
Dick can't help but grin as he notices the twinkling lights coming from inside the tent, obviously a string of Christmas lights adorning their ceiling. "They're perfect for each other."
Lip chuckles. "Do you find it funny that the number of couples increase with each year we come here?"
"No," Nix interjects, sliding his arms around Dick's waist from behind, pressing a kiss to the back of his neck. "It's called Sunset Lake. Very romantic."
Normally, Dick would quietly ease Nix off of the PDA, public affection not being his favorite thing. However, in the peaceful stillness of the fading sun and the calmness of the lake, he finds that he doesn't care. "I don't think the lake is bringing everyone together, Lew."
He raises his eyebrows. "It brought us together, didn't it?"
"Just because we had our first kiss here doesn't mean it brought us together."
Lew snorts. "That's the exact definition of bringing people together. Besides, it worked. Hello six years."
Dick smiles. "It's been that long, hasn't it?"
"What, you're already getting tired of me?" Nix teases, letting his arm slide around Dick's waist as he moves to stand next to him. "I thought you had another couple decades left in you."
"Mm, we'll see," the redhead hums, his eyes dancing in the light of the fire that Lipton had quietly lit just a minute prior.
"Is it about ready?" Ron asks softly, nudging Lip lightly as he joins the three of them around the flames.
He nods. "Just about. George has the marshmallows, right?"
Speirs nods. "Let's hope he didn't eat them all."
"I brought extra," Nix comments with a grin. "Never trust Luz with sugar."
A loud honk of a horn breaks the quiet from the parking lot, a lanky figure with a boot on one leg stepping out of the car.
"It's Hoob!" Malark shouts, jumping up and waving at his friend. Hoobler waves back, waddling swiftly down the hill to greet them.
"You didn't eat all the marshmallows without me, did you?" He asks, and Malarkey laughs.
"No, you're just in time. But I wouldn't have saved you any, so you're lucky."
Hoob grins. "Such a good friend."
Frank calls over to him from across the campsite, standing by a half-finished tent. "What took you so long?"
"My mom wanted to know why I was taking a sleeping bag to Toccoa," he replies, beginning to walk over to him. "I told her we were doing a wilderness survival day to see if we could be like the dude in Into the Wild."
"Well get over here and help me with our tent; I'm too short," Perco commands, clapping his friend on the back when he arrives.
Lip sighs in relief. "I was sure Hoob would kill himself driving here."
"The kid's resourceful," Nix comments shrugging over at him. "Should we call them for marshmallows?"
"Let them have a little more time to get settled," Dick answers, lounging back against the weathered wooden benches that have withstood years of wear. "Webster and Liebgott just finished putting up their tent."
"Why doesn't that surprise me?" Nix asks, settling down next to him. "At least you didn't have to help this year, Lip."
Carwood chuckles. "Yeah. They've grown."
"Baby steps," Speirs adds, and Lip nods. "They've reached the point of irreversible codependence."
"Ah, that's when you know you're in it for the long run," Nix winks, earning an eye roll from Dick. "Platonically or romantically, that is."
"They're almost disgusting," Ron remarks, watching as Lieb sneaks up on Web, who is standing at the edge of the dock. With a shout of surprise, Webster plummets into the water, having been pushed in by Joe.
"They're in love," Lip smiles, watching as David runs out of the water, chasing Joe until he catches him in an exaggeratedly wet hug.
"When did you become so sappy?" Nixon laughs, and Lipton blushes slightly.
Dick grins. "I think it's just the nature of Sunset Lake."
Marshmallows, campfire songs, and snuggling are all to come in the next chapter. I also can't help but be in love with Babe and Gene's Christmas light tent :)
Chapter 3: Campfire Canoodling
Beyond the marshmallows and ghost stories, a new couple enters the scene...
I had severe writer's block for this chapter, but I love where the ending took me *new pairing alert*
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
Gene and Babe never fall asleep, instead they just cuddle and talk quietly until the call for roasting marshmallows rings out.
"C'mon, Gene, let's go make s'mores."
"Don't wanna," he mumbles, curling himself farther into the redhead's body. "You're better than marshmallows."
"Better than chocolate?"
Gene nods, pouting up at his boyfriend. "I love you."
Babe sighs happily, leaning down to place a sweet kiss on the smaller man's lips. "Let's go make s'mores, then we can come back here and make out and go to sleep."
"Love youuuu," Babe croons, pressing a kiss behind Eugene's ear as they begin to walk in the direction of the fire.
Luz and Toye are the next ones to arrive, George's arms overflowing with bags of marshmallows. One bag's already open, and George is laughing at something Joe said through a mouthful of marshmallow.
A shirtless pair of Web and Lieb run up next, David settling on the ground between Joe's legs, Liebgott's hands immediately running through his boyfriend's wet hair. Web grabs two sticks, roasting a marshmallow for each of them as he sighs contentedly.
Once everyone arrives and all of the ingredients are rationed out, the laughter and conversation echoes out from the large group.
"Mal, buddy, another s'more," Skip nudges his best friend, opening his mouth wide. Malarkey grins, feeding him another melted mess of chocolate, marshmallow, and graham cracker. Penkala snorts, and Skip holds out his hands to show him.
"'M too sticky," he mumbles through a mouthful of s'more, pressing his marshmallow-covered fingers together as proof.
"George, careful of the fire!" Lip calls out to the brunet who is currently concerned with catching all of the marshmallows Perco and Hoobler are throwing into his mouth, barely noticing his close proximity to the blazing flames.
"Jesus Christ, Georgie, you're gonna get yourself killed," Joe sighs exasperatedly, snagging his boyfriend by the shirt and pulling him out of harm's way.
"Aw, c'mon! I was going for my personal best!"
"And you're making tonight my personal best for the amount of times I've saved your life, you idiot," Toye scolds fondly, dragging George into his lap. "You already burn enough in the sun; you don't need the fire to help you."
Luz scoffs, smacking Joe's chest in mock offense. "Don't go shaming my pale skin, 'cause you'll never get to rub sunscreen on me again!"
"You like it more than I do."
George merely shrugs, a mischievous smile on his lips as he bites at the toasted marshmallow Toye offers him wordlessly.
"Shit, Bill, I burnt this one again. 'Ere," Babe sighs, shoving his charred marshmallow in his best friend's face. Bill rolls his eyes but accepts the stick nonetheless, swallowing the last of the burnt s'more he had just finished.
"Jesus, Babe! 'M gonna turn into a fuckin' marshmallow at the rate you're feedin' me."
"I don't like my marshmallows dark," the redhead replies, glancing down at the perfectly golden-brown marshmallow Eugene is holding out to him. "Goddamn, now that's how ya make a marshmallow."
Roe chuckles, waving it in his boyfriend's face. "Eat it. For the price of one piece of chocolate."
Babe grins, breaking off a piece from his bar. "And a kiss for a tip."
Gene blushes slightly at the soft press of lips against his, but it's only for a fleeting moment and the smile lighting up Babe's face doesn't even compare to the way his hair shines copper in the firelight.
Babe then feeds the smaller man is coveted piece of chocolate, grinning once again at the contended expression the treat causes.
"You two are gross," Skip complains, about to receive another s'more, this time from Penkala. "Disgustingly cute."
"Says the guy being hand-fed s'mores," Lieb points out, and Babe nods in agreement.
"Hey, don't act like we're the gross ones," Malarkey defends. "You're the one practically licking chocolate from Web's face."
Joe smirks at that; he did let his tongue swipe over a small spot of melted chocolate on David's cheek when he thought no one was looking. "I was just cleanin' him up. Being helpful."
"You do that a lot?" Hoobler sniggers, and Lieb flips him off unceremoniously.
The entire group turns their attention to a now-blushing Shifty Powers, his squeal of delight much louder than he originally anticipated. "Uh, um, thanks for the marshmallow," he continues softly, his hand drifting to the sweet treat smeared across his face.
Floyd looks giddy yet absolutely mortified, a combination of emotions that has Dick nudging Nix subtly, sharing a knowing glance.
George Luz, however, not-so-subtly wolf-whistles, causing Shifty to bury his face in Tab's shoulder, effectively smearing sticky sugar across his shirt.
Lip clears his throat, taking pity on the embarrassed pair. "How about we tell ghost stories?"
"Yes!" Webster cries, launching into an elaborate horror plot that makes his boyfriend groan exasperatedly.
By the time Web's done with his story, Babe's curled up in Gene's lap, practically shaking. The rest of the group lounges lazily, unwilling to admit that David's story had been enough to shake them up a bit.
The only two who seem unaffected are Luz and Toye, merely because they had started making out halfway through the story and never stopped, the rest of the group too enraptured to even look their way (aside from Dick and Lip, who figured it was a lost cause anyway).
Now it was the two of them who were receiving various catcalls, but the worryingly voyeuristic streak in George is running at maximum power, and he just grins into the deep, borderline obscene kisses he shares with Joe.
They are then ordered to "Get a tent!" by Perco and Buck alike, and Joe promptly picks up George and carries him down to their tent, everyone else silently deciding to avoid the area around tent for the next few hours.
"Bunch of fuckin' animals," Bill mutters, shaking his head.
"Hey Dick, it's forecasted to rain tomorrow," Nix comments, leaning over to show his boyfriend his phone.
"How the hell do you have service?" Ron asks, bewildered, as the campground is known for its notoriously bad reception.
Nix shrugs. "It doesn't look like storms, though. Just heavy rain."
Dick nods. "Good. That means we don't have to sleep in the showers this year."
Two years ago, there had been two days out of their week-long trip that were ruined by horrible storms, and the group had to sleep in the only major shelter on the grounds — the showers. With no privacy and the first summer of the Webster and Liebgott Show: Couple Edition™, it was an experience no one wanted to relive.
Lip yawns, patting Ron on the knee. "I'm going to bed. All the traveling made me tired."
Speirs nods. "I'm tired too. Let's go."
As the sky grows darker and night falls, the boys slowly drift back to their tents, saying their respective good nights.
"'M so sleepy, Floyd," Shifty murmurs, drowsily leaning into Tab's side, his eyes drooping shut. "You smell good."
Floyd chuckles. "You're really tired, Shift. Let's go to bed."
"'M too tired to walk."
Tab sighs, but not without an affectionate smile. "Hop on."
The smaller man grins, wrapping his arms around Floyd's neck and his legs around his waist, Tab's arms settling under his knees.
"Thanks, Tab," Shifty mumbles into his back. "You're a real gentleman."
"And you're an evil manipulator who uses his southern charm to get what he wants."
Shifty laughs quietly. "Yeah, yeah. It only works on you."
"While I don't think that's the case, it's a nice thought."
"Hey, it's not like I'm goin' around seducing everyone!"
Floyd snorts. "That's not what I mean. You're just well liked, Shifty."
"Do you like me, Floyd?"
"Would I be giving you a piggy back ride if I didn't?"
Shifty blushes. "Guess not. Just wanted to hear you say it."
They reach their tent by the lake, and Tab bends down to allow Shifty to slide off of his back carefully. He notices his downcast eyes and pink cheeks, and stops him by the shoulders.
"Hey, Shift," Floyd remarks softly, taking his chin in his hand. "You okay?"
Shifty nods, but the light doesn't meet his eyes. "Yeah. Thanks for the piggyback ride, Tab."
"Hey," he continues, not letting him duck into their tent. "I like you a whole lot, okay?"
A wide smile breaks out across Shifty's tan face, the blush in his cheeks growing stronger. "Really?"
Tab takes one of Shifty's hands in his, bringing it up to his lips to brush a soft kiss across the back of it. "Yeah, I do. But I also really like sleep, so can we discuss this in the morning?"
Shifty nods happily. "Yeah, okay. I'm gonna sleep real well tonight."
Floyd grins. "Me too."
I am absolutely in love with Tab/Shifty right now, but I also need to get my Luztoye fill in. I'm really into that pairing right now.
Chapter 4: Rainy Mornings Alone
It's that classic "rainy day, stuck inside" situation for all of our favorite couples. Fluff and suggestive situations are (of course) the results.
We get it; it's raining and you're all alone in your tent... enjoy.
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
Carwood hums, digging around in his backpack for extra batteries. "Nix said it was supposed to."
"You're wearing my sweater."
"I'm cold," Lip protests, finding the plastic bag he is looking for. "And you stole all the blankets last night."
"It's kind of hard to steal blankets in a sleeping bag," Ron mutters under his breath, but pulls his boyfriend back into his lap anyway. "You're so cute."
"And you're distracting me when I'm trying to fix our lantern," Carwood remarks, though a slight blush rises to his cheeks. "What do you want to do while we wait out the rain?"
"Did you bring your knitting supplies?"
Lipton stops putting the batteries into the lantern. "You want to knit?"
Ron nods, a soft smile gracing his face as he draws circles on his boyfriend's back. "Teach me. I want to make you the best scarf you've ever owned."
"You're a fuckin' sloth," Joe grumbles, but wraps his arms around George nonetheless. "We have this whole tent, and you lay on top of me."
"I will never, ever pass up an opportunity to lay on top of a naked Joe Toye," he replies, grinning cheekily down at the larger man. "And you're stuck with me; it's raining."
"There are worse people to be stuck with."
"Good to know," George pecks Joe's cheek before rolling out of his arms, grabbing his backpack and retrieving a deck of cards. "Wanna play?"
"We should put pants on first?" Joe suggests, more of a question than a statement. Luz smirks, rolling his eyes as if it was the most ridiculous thing Joe's ever said.
"C'mon, it's just us. Unless you want to play strip poker or something," he teases, shuffling the cards nonchalantly. "Your move, Toye."
"Just deal me some cards, George," he sighs, propping himself up on his elbows. "D'ya have any food?"
"Do I?" asks Luz, upending his backpack, dumping out bags upon bags of candy, chips, fruit snacks, and cookies. "I also have cereal, but no milk. I guess it's breakfast time if you want that."
"Nah, just throw me a chocolate chip cookie," Toye replies. "You go first."
"Breakfast in bed?" Tab smiles groggily at the granola bar being held out to him by a blushing Shifty. "I could get used to the Shifty Powers treatment."
"I'd normally make waffles," he rambles, grabbing a granola bar for himself after Tab takes his. "Mama's recipe. It's really good, but no one can make them as good as her."
"You don't give yourself enough credit, Shift. I'm sure yours are just as good."
"No, really," he retorts. "I'll tell Mama to make them when you come over — if you come over," he corrects awkwardly, looking anywhere but at Floyd. "You can if you want."
Talbert grins, brushing his hand across Shifty's. "I'd love to. But first, I want to talk about last night."
"Okay?" Shifty squeaks, looking beyond flustered. "I'm sorry if I made a mess of things; I was just really tired —"
"Can I kiss you?"
Shifty's eyes grow wide. "What?"
"Can I kiss you?" Floyd repeats with a smile, gauging the other man's reaction as he brings his hand up to gently cup his cheek, leaning in carefully.
"Yeah, I mean, yes please."
With all of the sweetness and delicacy he could muster, Tab presses his lips against Shifty's, his hands moving to Shifty's back, pulling him closer ever-so-slightly.
Hands wrapped around Talbert's neck, Shifty melts into the kiss that makes his mind go all syrupy slow and woozy. He's a little breathless when they break apart, and the look in Floyd's eyes knocks the rest of the air out of him.
"I'm gonna take it real slow with you, Shift," he murmurs into his neck, a kiss pressed there making Shifty shiver. "You deserve to be treated right."
"My Mama's gonna be so happy I found such a gentleman," he giggles, carding his hands through the honey locks of Floyd's hair. "But I like a bad boy, too."
Tab raises his eyebrows, straightening up to meet the other man's eyes. "Are you flirting with me?"
"Is it working?" Shifty asks innocently, a bright grin stretching across his face.
"Yeah, it is," Talbert husks, leaning in close to Shifty's ear. "I can't wait to take you somewhere nice; do everything properly."
"Okay," Shifty mewls, his nails digging into Tab's shoulders as he kisses down his neck.
"Not now, but soon. I wanna do this right, Shift."
"You're doin' everything right so far."
Floyd chuckles. "Tell me to stop at any time, alright?"
"It's all new," he murmurs. "Just take it slow."
"We've got all day."
"Morning," Dick passes a sleepy Nix a mug of coffee. "Just like you said it would, it's raining."
"Wonderful," he replies sarcastically, gratefully taking a swig of the coffee. "We're stuck here."
"Hey now, we can work on some summer schoolwork," Winters teases, but gets a textbook out nonetheless.
"You brought along schoolwork?" Lew asks incredulously, then pauses. "Never mind, I'm not surprised. Let's at least strip study."
"Tempting, but no," Dick responds dryly, not taking his eyes off of the book. "You never know who could walk in."
"No one's going to go out in the rain, and besides, they'd at least have the decency to knock."
"On a tent," Dick deadpans, turning an unamused glare on his boyfriend. "Lew, I am not jumping into bed with you every second we're left alone."
"That's what everyone else is doing," Nixon grumbles, taking another sip of his coffee. "You're a killjoy."
"And you're insufferable."
"Ow — Web — fuck, you just whacked my face with your elbow," Lieb mumbles, but despite his annoyance, still grabs his boyfriend's warm body and pulls him closer. "Don't get up; I love you."
"Your sweet words aren't gonna stop me from going out in the rain," David croons, planting a wet kiss on Joe's lips. "I'm going to shower in the rain because I can."
"You're not putting clothes on?" Lieb questions, cracking an eye open in interest.
"I'll wear my swimsuit. I can get clean with it on."
"Or," Liebgott smirks, grasping Web's bicep as he tries once again to sit up from their embrace. "We could sprint to the showers together and then get fully naked."
"As long as I can jump in puddles like I'm five years old, then fine."
"Great. We'll go in ten minutes," Joe grins toothily, smothering Webster's groan with his lips.
"Babe, I swear, I counted the same number. 323," Gene sighs, glancing down at his boyfriend's freckled back. "I don't see any more."
"Gene, I'm sure I got like ten more from bein' out in the sun!" He protests, turning his head to look back at the dark haired man currently straddling his waist. "Be careful of my sunburn."
"I told ya to wear sunscreen, Edward," he scolds, fishing around in his backpack for some aloe ointment. "You burn so easily."
"It's not my fault," Babe whines. "And I put sunscreen on, remember? You put it on my back."
"Hm, I guess that's right," Eugene hums, gently rubbing the cream onto Babe's burnt skin. "Still, I don't think your freckle count has increased."
A sudden blast of muffled music echoes around the campsite, causing both men to jump. Roe shakes his head once he realizes the direction from which the noise is coming from, returning to his work on Babe's shoulders.
"From Malark's tent. They're awake," he explains to a still-confused Babe, who replies with a knowing "Oh."
"And now everyone else is too," the redhead adds with a chuckle, and then a wince. "Ah, Gene, I'm glad it's rainin'. I won't get burnt this way."
"And you won't get any more phantom freckles."
"Hey!" he exclaims, offended. "There has to be more!"
"Then you count 'em yourself."
Welp this chapter was plotless fluff but hey it's cute so I'm not that mad