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Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Wednesday Briefs: One Long Drink

Somehow, through the grace of the writing muse, I have returned with another part of the Washed Right Out series. Unfortunately, it's another bloody side story. I hope y'all like it anyway, though. It features our protag, Riley, and his uncanny colleague, Eren. I'd say that as long as you know who these men are, you are good for reading this story. Chronologically, it's a bit funnily placed. Just pretend it's set sometime in the real early part of the series.

One Long Drink. Word prompt: "You know what cures a headache, right?"
Eren was the one who took Riley out that Friday night, to a small bar only a few blocks from work where the hipsters sold their experimental brew and the music was live and incoherent.
"Let's have a drink."

Riley stared across the table.
"I'd rather not."
"It'll be fine, it'll be fine—just take this."
A long, tall bottle was pushed across the table, roughly.
There was the sound of liquid tumbling over ice in a glass.
"I'm not in the mood right now."
"It'll be good for you, promise."
"My head hurts."
"You know what cures a headache, right?"
"Not booze."
"Booze. Yes. Drink. Now."
"Eren"
"Riley. Rilo? Rilo Pad? We're at a bar, and I'm paying, and I know you took two extra strength aspirin an hour ago, so they should have kicked in by now."
"...Rilo Pad?"
There was the sound of a bottle being closed, followed by a long gulp of alcohol.
"Like Brillo"
"I know what a Brillo Pad is."
There was a pause.
"It's abrasive," Riley continued.
Another pause, followed by a boisterous laugh from Eren.
"Hey, Riley. Guess what?"
"What?"
"My husband sent me this totally adorable cat video at work today, wanna watch?"
"Um, all Kibo watches is Maru videos, right? I've seen 'em all."
"Oh...."
"Are you pouting?"
"No!"
"Dude, I'm looking right at you, that is a legit pout."
This was followed by a short, childish silence.
"Still pouting."
"Drink your weird drink, Rilo Pad," Eren said with a snort.
"You're the one who ordered this!"
The bottle of super-filtered honey lemon bacon pepper vodka still sat between them. The light of the bar passed through the bottle in murky waves.
"It's fun. We're having fun. It's fun to try new things with friends."
"Why isn't Kibo here trying new things?"
"We were here last week. It didn't end well."
"Are you guys okay?"
"I dunno. Are you guys okay?"
Riley grabbed the glass filled with the super-filtered honey lemon bacon pepper vodka on the rocks and downed half of it in one gulp.
His face turned red as he gasped.
"Shit."
"Well, that was an interesting response."
"We're having couple stuff," Eren said, responding to the question and not the comment.
"What kind of couple stuff?"
"The kind of stuff that makes you want to drink but not to break-up via text," Eren said.
"It's complicated," he added, in a voice that suggested even that was a more involved answer than he wanted to let on.
Eren shook his head. There was the sound of the bottle cap being unscrewed, followed by the sound of liquid sloshing over ice in a glass that was half empty.
"Everything’s complicated," Eren said. "Everything good, everything bad. It doesn't matter."
"What matters?"
"Now. Right here, right now."
"That's deep, work friend."
"I'm a complicated man and no one understands me but my, well, man. Let's toast to it."
"To what, the present?"
"Sure thing, man. To the here and now."
They held up their glasses under the dim lighting until the bottoms clinked together.
"To the here and now," Riley and Eren said in unison before getting wasted on overpriced artisan vodka and having to call a taxi home.

That night, Jonathan stood over Riley's sleeping form as it lay sprawled on the couch, too exhausted to find his way to a proper bed, and threw a blanket over the other man's body before turning out the lights. He tried not to think about why his boyfriend smelled like pork fat and citrus.

Here are the other folks who are flashing this week: