Title: Ermentrude’s Whiskey
Author: zahra (email@example.com)
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
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
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
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
They’re all memories not worth forgetting.
And they all reek of whiskey just like his grandmother, Ermentrude.