Title: "Technique"
Fandom: Dead Poets Society
Pairing: Neil [Robert Sean Leonard]/Knox [Josh Charles], (implied Todd/Charlie)
Author: MonaR. (aka Mona Ramsey, aka Mona)
Story #: 484.
Series: Well, yeah.
Webpage: the bare skeleton of one is at:
Rating: PG-13.
Warnings: Not terribly explicit slash (m/m) content between two 17-year-old boys.
Archive: Yes to The Marrow of Life only.
Notes: I don't use betas. :( Any mistakes are solely my fault and the fault of my *#^&@ spellcheck. ** is used for emphasis, // for thought. Any weird characters should be hunted down and killed.
Feedback: Yes if you're moved to write me by the story, no if you think that *unless* you write me, I won't write any more stories. Anyone with even a glancing knowledge of my posting history (this *is* my 400-and-something-th story) knows that isn't true. Feedback is gratefully accepted and responded to whenever possible. Flames are buried in the backyard, along with a few skeletons.
Spoilers: If you haven't seen the movie - why not?
Summary: Knox is going to a party with Chris! Only first, he needs help with his kissing technique.

{Oh, man. Helen threw a bunny at me before I was awake. Mean Helen. :( No molasses cookies for you.}

by MonaR.

"All I'm saying is that you could use some practice." Charlie Dalton threw the butt of his cigarette into the fire. "You don't want to kiss her like you've never done it before, do you? She'll be turned off before you can even get to first base."

"I am *not* kissing you, Charlie, and that's final." Knox Overstreet rolled his eyes, and looked around at the rest of the group of boys for support. The entire Dead Poets Society was assembled around the fire. "How hard can it be to kiss a girl? I've done it dozens of times."

"We're not talking about the peck on the cheek you give your Aunt Martha on holidays, Knoxious," Charlie said. There was general laughter from the other boys. "You kiss her like *that*, and it'll all be over before you even get started. Look, you may only get one chance - you've got to make sure that it counts. You want her to remember you, don't you?"

"She already remembers me," Knox said, with a grin. He rocked a little on the balls of his feet. "She invited me to the party, right? She was *thinking* about me."

"So she knows your name. Big deal."

"Charlie, leave him alone," Neil said. "If you're looking for some action, why don't you get your own girl?"

"Hey, don't shoot me for wanting to help a fellow member of the Dead Poets Society out." Charlie lit another cigarette, and took a drag. "Let him go in there and make an idiot of himself. It's no skin off my teeth."

Knox took a look at Neil, and then at Charlie, and sighed. "Fine. I'll kiss you. But it doesn't mean anything."

"Of course not. This is purely in the name of science." Charlie handed his cigarette to Meeks, who held it with two fingers like he was afraid it might bite him. "Come on, then. Show me what you've got."

There were a few giggles when Knox stepped forward and planted a hasty kiss on Charlie's lips. Before he could draw away again, Charlie grabbed him by the arms and held him there for a few seconds, but Knox finally managed to wrench free from him.

"Hey!" Knox coughed and sputtered. "Now I know what they mean about kissing an ashtray. Don't you have some Binaca, or something?"

Charlie, meanwhile, was shaking his head. "Knox, Knox, Knox."

"What?" Knox asked, warily.

Charlie put an arm around Knox's shoulders. "My boy, there comes a time in every man's life when he must seize the day. For some, it means their first pair of long pants; for others, it's their first drink. In your case, I speak of only one thing." He paused for dramatic effect. "The tongue."

Knox wrenched away from him. "I am *not* tongue-kissing you, and that is *final*."

Charlie was laughing. "Fine. So tongue-kiss someone else." He looked around the group of amused boys. "Assuming, that is, that any of you virgins - "

"Oh, like you aren't one, too," Neil said, derisively.

Charlie ignored him. " - has ever actually used your tongue to do more than lick a stamp." He pointed at his roommate. "Cameron, kissing your mother doesn't count."

There were hoots and hollars, and Cameron flushed bright red. "Why, you - "

"Don't give him the satisfaction, Cameron," Neil soothed him. "He's just jerking your chain, as usual."

"So?" Charlie rubbed his hands together and waited for someone to volunteer. "Who will it be?"

There was a general shifting of eyes as the boys glanced at one another, and then away. Charlie grinned at Todd, who flushed, and bent his head further over the book of minutes.

Finally, Neil sighed and said, "Oh, all right, I'll do it." He stood up.

Charlie looked at him in surprise. "Since when has your father ever let you off your leash to go out with a girl?"

"I went to a cousin's wedding last summer, and there was this bridesmaid who was my age, and - " Neil shrugged, but he was grinning. "We snuck off behind the tent after the dinner was over."

"Why, Neil, you've been holding out on us." Charlie slapped him on the back. "If you do, as you say, have some experience with the fairer sex, then you can give Knoxious here some pointers." He backed away. "Gentlemen."

Neil started to laugh nervously when Knox walked towards him purposefully. "Sorry, sorry," he said, and sobered himself to submit to Knox's kiss. It lasted just slightly longer than the one with Charlie.

"Well?" Charlie asked.

"Um, well - " Neil thought for a moment. "No, I definitely didn't feel any tongue."

Charlie turned to Knox. "What gives, Knox?"

Knox groaned. "Okay, I don't know how to do it, I admit it. I don't know how to tongue-kiss. Are you happy?"

"Well, you just - you're kissing her, right, and you just put your tongue - " Neil attempted to explain it to him, and then just grabbed the other boy and kissed him, parting his lips and swirling his tongue inside Knox's mouth. "Like that," he said, a little breathlessly, when he let Knox go again. "Only, you know - *more*."

Knox looked stunned, and he licked his lips nervously. "Oh, okay. I get it now. Thanks." He went back to his seat in the circle.

"You're welcome," Neil said.

Charlie started clapping. "Gentlemen, I give you the new, improved Knox Overstreet."

"Shut up, Charlie," Neil said, as he went back to his seat. He was grinning, though.

Knox sat down and didn't say anything for the rest of the meeting.


The meeting broke up just after midnight, and the boys filed out of the cave. Neil was the last to leave, except for Knox, who was dawdling, still quiet and obviously unhappy.

"Knoxious?" Neil waved Todd and Charlie on ahead, and turned back to his friend. "What's wrong?"

"Nothing," Knox said, miserably.

"Come on, Knox," Neil said, rubbing his hands over his arms. "It's freezing out here, and I'm tired. What is it?"

"I'm never going to be able to do it," Knox said, finally. "Charlie was right - I'm only going to get one chance with Chris, and I'm going to blow it. I'm never going to be able to kiss her like that."

"It's not that hard," Neil said. "Just do it like I did it to you."

"Did you do it like that the first time?"

"Well, no," Neil admitted, "but - "

"Exactly. I'm going to go to that party and I'm going to kiss her and make a fool of myself, and then Chet Danburry and his friends are all going to beat me up, and I'll just be this idiot with a black eye who doesn't know how to kiss a girl."

Neil chuckled, but stopped when Knox gave him a look of pure misery. "Okay, look - the party's not until Friday, right?"

"Yeah. So?"

"So, we'll come back out here tomorrow night and practice kissing. And we'll keep doing it every night until the party, if we have to."

"Really?" Knox looked incredulous at the suggestion. "You'd really do that for me?"

"Sure," Neil said, with a shrug. "I've kissed you once already, so what will a few more times hurt? Don't worry about it. By the time Friday comes around, you'll be an expert kisser." Neil grinned at him. "Chris won't know what hit her."

Knox was bouncing again, elated. "Oh, Neil - I could - "

"Kiss me?" Neil laughed. "Save it for tomorrow, loverboy. Now let's go back to school before I get frostbite on my lips."

"Neil, you are *the* best friend - "

"Yeah, yeah." Neil shook his head. "You do realize that if anyone finds out about this, *I* will be the one giving you the black eye, right?"

Knox crossed his fingers over his chest. "Hope to die, Neil." They started to walk out of the cave. "So, how are you going to get out of the room without waking Todd up?"

"Oh, that's not a problem. I think he's got a weak stomach, or something - practically every night he gets up at eleven or so and goes to the bathroom, and he's in there for an hour or more before he comes back."

"Huh," Knox said, thoughtfully.


"Oh - Cameron was just telling me that Charlie sneaks out every night we don't have a meeting, too. You don't suppose that they're - " The boys looked at each other. "Nah," Knox said. "I'm sure it's just a coincidence."

"Yeah, right," Neil laughed. "Like they'd come out here without telling us."

"Right," Knox agreed. "Thanks, Neil. You are *completely* saving my life, here."

"Don't mention it, Knoxious." Neil clapped his friend on the shoulder. "It's my pleasure."

The End
{Hey, I didn't say it would be a *long* story. Whaddya expect from an hour's writing after three hours' sleep? I'm going back to bed.}

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