1628, Earth Season, Fertility Week, Windday
Near Aldu-Chur, in the Healers’ Camp after the battle. Berra is still very drunk. Her friends keep a watchful eye. Follows after She’s Souced and continues in Sleeping It Off.
Post Epic battles lead to epic hangovers (Session Sartar Arc 2).
When Varanis returns, she’s also made an attempt to scrub her face. Given the amount of blood and mud there was, she hasn’t had much success. While the healers had tried to clean her up before letting her back into the fray earlier, she’d only permitted a cursory job. So her hair, face, armour, and padding are still a mess. It’s quite likely the padding will need to be completely replaced.
Nevertheless Finarvi managed to dig up a smile for her. “You’re looking better. How about something hot to eat or drink? I can bring it back while you stand guard, if you like.”
“No need,” Maalira says, levering her way through the tent flap via the medium of hips and elbows. Her hands are full of tray, and the tray is full of steaming clay vessels. No two vessels are the same size or shape. “I brought… everything… I think,” she adds.
Berra, now on the floor, is covered by a blanket. Her breathing is even and deep, verging on snoring.
Maalira looks at her with narrowed eyes. “It probably won’t break my vows if I get someone else to slap some sense into her,” she mutters.1It probably would.
“Gnhyeh?” says Berra, in her sleep.
“And the bison you rode in on.” Maalira manoeuvres the tray onto a table.
Berra hiccoughs in answer.
“She could at least have SHARED,” Maalira complains to the tent at large.
From a little further down, behind a curtain, comes the groan of someone else waking to pain. A voice hushes them, but it is enough to make Berra jerk into movement, if not actual wakefulness. She seems to be mostly asleep, but she is also reaching for her sword.
It is not helping the Humakti that she is lying on the scabbard.
“Berra, what are you doing?” Maalira sounds exasperated.
That makes Berra roll over onto her back to blink up at Maalira. “Unnerattack?”
“No, no one is under attack.”
Berra lies back and considers that for a moment. “I got drunk,” she explains. Perhaps she thinks that it is not obvious.
“We noticed. Stop trying to get at your sword.” Maalira steps a little closer, perhaps considering confiscation.
“I like my sword,” Berra says. She is lying too much on it to really have it be taken away easily. There might be wrestling.
“You can like it just fine without drawing it. Drunk people don’t get to play with sharp things.”
“She’s call’ Win’Tooth. I wwestled a dead man for her.” Berra looks around as if for the sword. She might just have turned the corner from getting more drunk to getting less drunk, or she might be awake for some reason only she could understand. She still looks very much worse for the wear, where the wearing was done by someone in a bear-skin cloak.
“And once you’ve had a nice sleep and are no longer drunk, you can play with Windtooth all you like,” Maalira says in a soothing voice.
“I don’t play with sowerds.” Berra’s voice is too slow, almost lazy, almost tired. Still very very drunk, but at least not slurring right now.
Maalira looks at her for a long moment, then rummages in her scrip, pulls out a waxed cloth bag, and sprinkles something from it into a tiny cup on the tray. It has stopped steaming. She picks it up and takes it to Berra, crouching beside her. “If you drink this, you will feel a lot better,” she suggests.
Varanis has been silently glowering. She continues to do so as Maalira works on getting Berra to behave.
Berra does her best to get up, or at least to sit up. She looks at Maalira with a smile, and reaches out a hand for the cup, then forgets about it and pokes Maalira’s knee with her forefinger instead, and giggles.
“Berra.” Maalira is trying not to laugh, trying to sound firm, and failing at both. “If you do that I will fall over. Drink this.” She puts the cup almost in Berra’s hand.
Berra takes the offered drink. “I got a pretty lady’s cup,” she says. More giggling.
Maalira snorts. “Just drink it, you daft duckling.”
Berra kisses the edge of it, then sighs, and drinks. “I wish I could get it,” she says. “Pretty. I wouldn’t tell you if I hadn’t had a lot to drink.”
Maalira pinches the bridge of her nose, sighs, and sits down on the grass next to Berra. “Yes, it’s a very pretty cup,” she says innocently of the glazed clay vessel.
Berra giggles again. “You said cup.”
Maalira turns around to look at Varanis. “Is that actually a euphemism in Sartar, or is she just at the making-things-up stage of drunk?” The Vingan shrugs.
Berra looks unrepentant, although at the point where she might say more she remembers she has a job to do, and drinks more of the medicine.
Finarvi rubs his face, saying nothing, and excuses himself to step outside. Before he reaches the tent flap he pauses, takes one of the steaming cups from the tray with a nod of thanks to Maalira, and flees.
Maalira nods back at Finarvi just before he makes his escape, then turns back to Berra. “Drink all of it,” she encourages her.
Berra says, “I’m hungry. My belly hurts.”
Maalira goes to the tray and comes back with a bowl of clear bone broth. She offers it to Berra. “Your stomach is currently extremely angry about how much you drank,” she says patiently. “Broth will help.”
Berra looks at her cup, still half full, and reaches to pour it into the broth. She commits to it pretty hard.
Maalira grabs the cup, and Berra’s hand, with her free hand. “No, finish that first.”
Berra tries to move her hand gently away. Maalira gets an appealing look.
“Drink the medicine, there’s only a mouthful or two left, and then you can have broth.” Maalira takes her hand away.
Berra does as she is told, grimacing. “Every time I see Harrek something stupid happens,” she tells the little tent.
“Yep.” Maalira agrees. “Perhaps remember that the next time he offers you a drink?”
“He did’t offer,” Berra explains like it is very important. “He’s Harrekg. He gave me a drink.”
“He gave you several drinks,” Maalira corrects her.
“That too. In a wooden thing. Barrel. You shouldn’t beer in put in…” Berra trails off. Words have eluded her.
“He nearly killed you with his generosity,” Varanis says at last. “I… rahdhdheh,” she makes an inarticulate sound of rage. “I shouldn’t talk right now,” she says after a few deep breaths.
“Din’ understand you,” Berra says helpfully.
“It reeks of puke and gore in here,” the Vingan says by way of reply. “Like the battlefield.”
“I din’ get to fight. Had…” Berra concentrates for a moment on not making it smell more of puke, and this time manages it.
“Drink some broth,” Maalira tells her. She turns to Varanis. “You’re still covered in… stuff,” she says. “One of the big jugs on the tray has warm water, and there’s some cloths on the small table. Why don’t you freshen up a bit?”
“I rode… Sky Bear out of Hell,” Berra says. “Wan’gonna tame it.”
“Uhuh,” Maalira says. She does not sound convinced.
“Be bad to tame it,” Berra says, turning a bit so she can lean back against the low bed she should be sleeping in. “Ver’ bad.”
“Do you want help getting back into the bed?” Maalira suggests.
“You goingna warm it?” Berra gives Maalira an amused look up and down.
“You’re plenty hot enough already,” Maalira says patiently.
Berra manages to slide up part of the way, and then collapses onto the grassy floor again. “Moving is harrr….”
Maalira appears to be wrestling with a decision, as conflicting expressions are passing over her face. She gives a little shrug, gets up, and holds out a hand to Berra. “Come on, I’ll help you up and into bed *so that you can sleep*.”
Berra tips over her soup as she reaches for the hand. It’s not because she lunges for Maalira – she just forgot she was holding it on her lap. It falls onto, and into, the grass.
Maalira sighs audibly and manages to catch Berra before she ends up in the soupy grass.
Berra nearly does tumble, and then lets Maalira help her up onto the bed. She does not try to pull the White Lady in with her, at least. “Thankgyou,” she says, and reaches for Wind Tooth, picking up her sword without even really looking to see where it was. Humakti, sword. Sword, Humakti.
“You’re welcome. Get some sleep!” Maalira perches on the edge of the bed, possibly to stop Berra rolling out again.
Berra puts Wind Tooth beside her, and takes a deep breath, and then goes out like a dropped lantern. Asleep just like that.
Maalira mutters something that sounds suspiciously like “thank fuck for that”.
Continues in Sleeping It Off
- 1It probably would.