Ermentrude's Whiskey

Author: Zahra

Rating: PG-13

Disclaimer: all belongs to Joss

Summary: There's nothing that whiskey can't fix.

Dedication: To my brightest Larstar, Happy Belated Birthday.

Notes: Special thank you to Y for beta duty.

Lar's Birthday Improv: bitter, shame, whiskey, tender.

Improv #43: beam, color, dead, fairy


Wesley's grandmother believed that there was nothing in this world that a drink couldn't fix. That there was nothing that vodka couldn't correct, gin couldn't alleviate and scotch couldn't rectify. Alcohol to make everything clear.

From the bottom of a cut-rate bottle of Maker's Mark, Wesley could be inclined to disagree. However, he's also confused his palate with countless bitter American whiskies like Jim Beam, so he may not be the most capable judge.

It may be the fumes. Or it may be that Wesley's just stupidly drunk.

Whatever the case, it can't help that he's surrounded in by countless empty bottles and drained glasses, and an apartment that smells like the inside of a pub, only with less stale cigarette smoke.

It's strangely amusing that Wesley's drinking is interfering with his domestic responsibility. He supposes it's a sign of his serious deterioration in personal standards. Personal hygiene.

He's not a very good drunk, he's known much better.

For example, his grandmother was a lovely drunk. A lovely, impossibly rich, blue-blooded drunk. She always kept an impeccable cellar, and an amazing stash under the floorboards. Of course, she liked her whiskey, and was willing to invest in it.

One to drink and one to keep.

Wesley's been too busy drinking his stash to think about cultivating it. He's taking a more immediate gratification approach to life since The Incident. Less planning and more day-to-day. More 'drink now and then drink more later.' It's not as though he has anything, anyone, to sober up for. Not anymore.

Wesley's grandmother also claimed that whiskey had medicinal properties, that there was nothing that whiskey couldn't cure: broken bones, broken homes. Broken hearts. But Wesley's been trying to mend his broken something for the last three months and he's not getting anywhere but pickled. His skin has taken on a decidedly ashy-green color and the stubble that he finally shaved off has grown back with a vengeance.

He knows there have been countless nights that have looked far, far better from the bottom of a bottle of Laphroaig or Connemara; and perhaps that's why he's sitting around, waiting for that to happen now. Maybe that's the reason that Wesley's waiting for that whiskey-induced hallucination that will solve his problems. Solve everyone's problems.

Wesley's waiting for that Dutch courage to come with a little Irish assistance. But in the meantime, he's attempting to replace his need for instant gratification with his need for instant mindlessness. Blankness.

A whiskey-induced blackout of all his thoughts.

Only it's not happening. He's still thinking. Still drinking.

The scar on Wesley's neck is still tender. Still red and itchy but sometimes when he mixes his medication with his whiskey he forgets. Just for a second. He forgets about babies and boyfriends and lawyers with noxious perfume and expensive conditioner.

But those seconds never last long enough, and those few minutes don't stretch into hours. So Wesley drinks. Heavily. And often he lifts snifters to his grandmother's memory and wishes she could see her grandson now. He thinks she'd probably join him.

Either that or kick his arse back to Oxfordshire in disappointment. But such is life, and she won't be the first person that Wesley has disappointed. The first person he's shamed. Of course she probably wouldn't have minded having a fairy for a grandson, but he thinks she might've taken umbrage with the way he lost his boyfriend.

Yes, that was probably not the smartest move he's ever made. And no, that particular honor does not go to shamelessly shagging Lilah Morgan either, although that's another brilliant reason to open a new bottle.

Just something else to drown in his sea of single malt regrets.

Single malt, grain, American, Irish, Scottish. All the whiskey he can find and all the bitterness available for nine ninety-five plus 8.25 tax. Not bad for ten o'clock in the morning and just like the television advert says, Wesley's done more before nine a.m. than most people do all day. He's certainly done more traveling at any rate, and there's no way that his grandmother wouldn't appreciate his United Nations approach to drinking. A hand-made glass blown in Morocco, a particular whiskey from Ireland, and her completely British grandson getting completely pissed in Southern California.

Seeing the world without leaving the block.

Wesley's grandmother always said that he was destined to travel but he knows that this probably isn't what she meant. All the same, it's not a bad trip considering he only had to go to the off-license on the corner. But then again, they're not called convenience stores in this country for nothing.

And a great convenience they are too. A store that can get him this drunk this early in the morning by providing something legal, yet deadly. A place that can kill him outright if he plays his hand just right.

That might be the clearest thought he's had in a long time.

Only now Wesley's not sure of his grandmother had it right or not, because he's several drinks into his bender, and there are a lot of things that are apparent to him and none of them are clear. They're all distorted and nebulous. They have angry faces and limp eyes and strange orange manicured fingernails.

They're all memories not worth forgetting.

And they all reek of whiskey just like his grandmother, Ermentrude.


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