Prompt: Drunk girl/guy
Characters: James, Cesare, Bernd, & Amber
Word count: 2716
Rating: PG 13 for underage drinking
Summary: Bernd has too much to drink at Amber’s and James’ birthday celebration…
Author’s note: Please note that Amber & James belong to Kat & I’m just borrowing them.
James, at six foot two inches, had no trouble at all scoring a couple of six packs of beer. He liked to think his blue Mohawk made him look older than his eighteen years, but his height, build, and his air of someone not to be trifled with, had the girl at the checkout counter forgetting to card him. Well, that and she thought he was cute, so she flirted shamelessly with him. It also helped that James flirted back, much to his friend Cesare’s disgust. He dumped the bags of chips and pretzels on the counter and walked away. James might look like an adult, but Cesare, despite his faint mustache, still looked like a teen. The last thing they needed was getting carded by the cashier and thrown out of the supermarket for being underage and trying to buy beer. The cashier was so taken with James that she barely noticed Cesare. He rolled his eyes and shook his head in disgust as stood near the exit.
They were on their way to meet up with Bernd and Amber in the park, where they planned on drinking some beers and watching the fireworks when it got dark as they celebrated James’ and Amber’s birthday. Since it was a first date of sorts between James and Cesare, the latter was anxious to get out of the grocery store and start the date. So while James was busy paying the cashier, Cesare walked over and stuffed each of the six packs in a paper bag, covering them with the bags of chips and pretzels they also bought.
“Here,” Cesare said, handing James a bag. “And let’s go.”
“Yeah.” James took the bag and left the store with his friend. They headed over to the park.
“Hey!” Amber stood up and waved at her brother and Cesare.
“We’re over here!” Bernd climbed onto the picnic table and waved his arms.
Amber rolled her eyes. “Get down, before you fall and get hurt.”
Bernd shrugged and did as he was told. He glanced over at the cake box. Under his younger brother’s careful supervision, Bernd made a birthday cake. It was a bit lopsided, but he was proud of the dark chocolate confection he decorated with green coconut “grass” and gummy worms. He couldn’t wait to stick candles on it and sing “Happy Birthday” to them. He was sure they would love it along with the sandwiches he made and the fixings. Besides a small container of plain potato salad, there was a large tub of Vati’s special potato salad that Amber loved. He had also thrown some cans of soda in the cooler just in case James and Cesare could not get the beer. They were all under age and while Bernd was the oldest at nineteen, he looked even younger than his fourteen year old brother, something that never failed to annoy him at times.
“You get the beer?” Amber stared up at her twin as if daring to him to say “no.”
“Yeah.” James shrugged with a slight smirked, downplaying his success.
“Awesomeness!!” Bernd grinned. While his father let him have the odd glass of beer since he turned sixteen and allowed him to drink beer while visiting relatives in Germany, Bernd was supervised while doing so. What he was planning to do with his friend had the flavor of forbidden fruit as well as a way to experience all the parties on campus he had heard about, but never attended.
Amber did find it cute that Bernd was buzzing with excitement over something that she found was no big deal. She and James were no strangers to drinking, but she never had with Bernd before, except for a drinking party James had tried to start in high school that Bernd had not made it through the first beer and that summer she had accompanied his family to Germany on a business trip of Vati’s. She chuckled softly. If her memory was correct, Bernd had gotten pretty wasted when they went to the biergarten. Amber wondered if they were going to relive that moment. She remembered spending most of the night in the bathroom with him, rubbing his back as he threw up, torturing him awake with loud noises, and cuddling him afterwards as he dealt with a hangover the next morning. She was amazed too as all that was from a single glass of beer that he never finished. This is ought to be good… she mentally snarked as the guys got out the beer.
James pulled a beer can off the plastic ring and handed it to Amber. He pulled another one off and handed it to Bernd. He pulled off two more, giving one to Cesare, keeping the other for himself. He opened it and holding the beer can aloft, he said, “Happy birthday!” James drank some and sat down at the picnic table with the others.
“Happy birthday!” his sister and friends chimed in.
Bernd lifted the tab and opened his beer can with a metallic click and psst of air. He grinned and drank a mouthful. The cheep beer tasted just as bitter as he remembered, if not more so, but at least it was cold. Bernd continued to drink along with his friends. By the time he had reached the dregs in the bottom of the can, he had a pleasant buzz going.
Amber opened the bag of chips. She helped herself to a handful and munched on them, washing each mouthful down with a sip of beer. They only had three beers each as they only bought two six-packs, so she wanted to stretch things out and make her allotment last the whole evening. She noticed James and Cesare seemed to be doing pretty much the same thing as her. Bernd on the other hand, was already on beer number two.
“Slow down!” Cesare said. “No one’s going to take it away from you, Bernd.” He shook his head. Someone’s looking to get wasted in a hurry…
“You’re going to get wasted,” James said. He grabbed the bag of chips from his twin and handed it to Bernd. “Eat.”
Bernd made a face and shook his head, regretting it as it made his head spin. “Not hungry.”
“You’re going to get sick if you don’t eat, Bernd,” Amber said. “Remember what happen that summer we went with Vati on his business trip?”
Bernd’s cheeks heated up. “Fine!” He grabbed the bag and ate a couple of handfuls of chips. He belched loudly. “Happy?” Bernd smirked.
Amber shrugged and drank her beer. She really was not happy about Bernd’s behavior, but she did not want spoil the mood. “Hey! Stop hogging the chips!” Reaching into the bag, she took out a handful of chips and ate them.
“I’m sharing!” Bernd leaned against her, holding the bag so she could get more chips if she wanted. He closed his eyes. He was dizzy and his stomach was starting to violently protest each new mouthful of beer. Unwilling to be seen as a lightweight, Bernd was determined to keep pace with his friends. He snickered at the thought of outpacing them.
“What’s so funny?” Amber smiled at him.
Bernd cracked open his eyes and stared myopically at her. God she’s beautiful… He smiled back at her. “You’re really cute… no, beautifully cute!” Bernd tried not to giggle. He failed miserably.
“Oh-kay,” Amber said. She was mildly amused. She knew he liked her a lot, but he had never said anything like that before. Must be the beer talking…
“Very very beautifully cute,” he said in German, the words coming out somewhat garbled. He grinned at her.
Despite having no idea what he said, Amber chuckled.
“Isn’t she beautiful, James?”
“If you say so, Bernd,” James replied. He had always thought of Bernd as his boyfriend, so hearing him gush about his sister was as annoying as it was hurtful, especially since Bernd always said he loved them both equally. James quietly huffed to himself, and leaning in, he met Cesare halfway for a kiss.
“Yeah,” Cesare said when he and James came up for air.
“See? Everyone says you’re beautiful, Amber…”
James glared at his sister. He turned his attention to Cesare, determined to ignore Bernd and Amber.
“No more beers for you.” Amber reached for the beer can the same time Bernd did.
Their hands met and Bernd sighed. “Love me too?”
Amber nodded. “I’d love it if you ate your sandwich and some potato salad.” Against her better judgment she kissed his cheek. She gave him a slight push, hoping he’d take the hint and sit up.
Bernd listed away from her. He closed an eye and reached for the cooler. Bernd missed it and nearly face planted into the picnic table. He giggled as he found his close call extremely funny. Putting his head down on the picnic table, he laughed himself silly.
Amber sighed. It was almost her birthday and she wanted to enjoy it, but concern over Bernd kept the pleasant buzz at bay. She reached for the cooler and opened it. She kicked her twin under the table.
“Hey!” James glared at her.
“Dinner time,” Amber said. She took out the paper plates and box of plastic forks from the shopping bag she had brought. Amber handed them out. She plunked some napkins on the table, before taking out a sandwich for everyone and the potato salad. While James and Cesare were eating, she fixed a plate for herself and Bernd. She gently nudged him. “Eat.”
Bernd looked blearily up at her. “Okay.” Grabbing his sandwich, he took a bite out of it. The chicken salad did not sit well in his stomach. Wanting to please Amber, Bernd ate it despite his queasiness. He desperately wished the park would stop spinning as he eyed the mound of potato salad, Amber spooned onto his plate. He poked it with his fork while everyone else ate. Bernd scooped a bit onto his fork and ate it. While it tasted delicious, his stomach still protested. Setting his fork down he put a hand on his belly when his stomach clenched. Waves of nausea rolled over him. “I don’t feel good…”
“Shit!” Amber groaned softly. It was the biergarten all over again.
Bernd scrambled to get up and away from the table. He tripped, twisting his ankle. Hobbling painfully away, Bernd headed as far away from the others as he could. He retched a few times, before everything came up. He spat as another wave of nausea hit him. Bernd got sick again.
Amber hurried over to him. “You okay?” She rubbed his back.
“No…” Bernd moaned softly.
“You want to go home?”
“No… I just want to lie down for a bit. Then I’ll be better.” I hope…
“Okay. Why don’t we go back, and finish eating, and then we’ll find a good spot to watch the fireworks. You can sleep it off until it starts, okay?”
“Okay…” Bernd spat and wiped his mouth with the back of his hand. He wished he had packed a few water bottles along with the cans of soda.
Amber put her arm around him. “Come.” She helped him limp back to the table.
Bernd sat down, and pushing his plate of food away, he put his head down on his arms. He felt miserable and was mad at himself for messing up the party. He moaned softly, wishing the world would stop spinning.
Amber put a hand his back and rubbed comforting little circles on it. “You sure you’re okay?”
Bernd sniffled in reply.
“You don’t sound like it.”
“Yeah,” James said. “If you’re sick and want to go home, we can take you there.”
“Yeah,” Cesare said. He was not happy about the way things were going, but if dumping Bernd at home was the way to get James alone afterwards, he was willing to go for it.
“No,” Bernd hiccupped. “I’ll be okay.” He sniffled again. His depression was rearing its ugly head again and Bernd felt like he was crashing into the ground from a dizzying height. It was all he could do to keep from bursting into tears. “Really…”
“Okay.” Amber gave his shoulder a little squeeze. “We ready to go find a good spot to watch the fireworks?” she said to James and Cesare.
“I think so.”
So while Bernd sat there, feeling sorry for himself, his friends packed everything up and threw out the trash. When he tried to get up, his ankle hurt and he sat back down.
“Let’s go!” James said. He grabbed the cooler and started to walk away. Cesare followed along behind him.
“Come on, Bernd.”
“I can’t, my ankle hurts.”
“James!” Amber said. “Come’re!”
James stopped and turned around. “What?”
“Bernd can’t walk.”
“Sorry.” Bernd sniffled.
“Don’t cry, Bernd,” Amber said softly. “James’ll carry you.”
Bernd perked up a bit.
James walked over to them. “What’s wrong, Prissy?” he said, calling Bernd by the nickname the twins had given him.
“My ankle hurts when I stand up…” And everything’s still spinning too…
He looked so pathetic James did not know whether he should laugh or cuddle his friend. “Let me see it.” Bernd raised his foot as James knelt. He gently probed his friend’s ankle. “I don’t think you broke it.” James grinned. “When you’re wasted and you fall, you don’t really hurt yourself that badly. You kind of…” he trailed off, flailing his arms for emphasis.
Bernd laughed. The way his friend waved his arms around, he looked like a large demented octopus with two… no, four arms. Bernd closed one eye and stared at his friend. The two Jameses melted into one. “That’s better,” he muttered to himself.
“So you want to get on my back?”
Bernd shrugged. “Okay.”
Amber took the cooler from her twin brother. It took a bit of drunken maneuvering, but James managed to get a suddenly very giddy Bernd on his back. They walked over to what they hoped was a good viewing spot. Cesare and Amber spread out the blanket. Bernd gingerly slid off James’ back and collapsed onto the blanket. When Amber sat down, he crawled over to her and put his head in her lap. Everything was still spinning, but the close contact was comforting and he felt a bit better. Bernd closed his eyes and drifted off into a fitful sleep.
James shook him awake when the fireworks ended. “Wake up, Prissy.”
Bernd groaned and opened his eyes. “Why’s it so dark?”
James laughed. “You missed the fireworks.”
“They just ended,” Amber said.
Cesare made a little sound of disgust. “You slept right through them, like you passed out or something.”
Bernd’s cheeks heated up.
“It’s okay, Prissy. You needed to sleep it off.”
“Yeah.” Bernd sighed. He still felt like crap, but at least the spinning stopped. James helped him to his feet and Bernd winced. “My ankle still hurts,” he whined.
“I’ll carry you,” James said. He was glad his friend weighed like nothing, as it was a bit of a walk home, but James still would have carried his Prissy even if he was heavier. The whole drinking in the park was his idea. He wanted Bernd to get a taste of the “campus life” he had been talking about since he had started college way back in September of last year. He hoped Bernd enjoyed it, despite getting wasted and passing out.
Bernd rode on James’ back. His friend’s movements jiggled him slightly. He sighed softly as the nausea returned and hugged James tightly.
James also sighed. He liked Bernd a lot, okay; he had been in love with him since they were four. Bernd promised all the time that he loved the twins the same, but James had a feeling his friend liked his sister more than him. That used to bother him a lot, until he and Cesare had sort of stumbled upon each other. It was not a fix all and they were still trying to figure things out, but it helped. Pushing thoughts about what might have been out of his head; James kept on walking and before they knew it, they reached Bernd’s house.