Revenge Is A Beverage Best Served Chilled
"Sumia, you ditzy klutz!"
"I'm sorry! I didn't mean to...!"
"Do you have any idea how long I've been looking forward to giving that cake to my brother?!"
Lissa's finger pointed furiously at the cake spilled on the floor. What had once been a beautiful work of art was reduced to a slushy pile of white icing and brown debris, resembling a pile of Pegasus droppings. The end result of an hour of hard work, wasted in a matter of seconds thanks to Sumia's "boots".
Sumia's hand went for the coin purse tied to her belt. Her face flushed of colour.
"H-here! I have money, I think I can cover the cost of the ingredients!"
"I don't want your money, stupid! I can't buy the feeling Chrom would have had when I surprised him with that cake!"
The jittery Sumia stepped back. Her eyes wide with pleading, akin to one being confronted by a man with a cowl and a very large axe. "Well, um, c-can't we just bake him a new one? I'll help you, if you..."
"There isn't time! We're moving out in fifteen minutes! How am I supposed to bake a new cake by then?!"
Sumia was about to answer the question by sugesting pausing time, in frantic desperation for a solution when Chrom entered the cook house.
"What's all the yelling about?"
Lissa pointed at Sumia as she turned to face her brother.
"Well, I was going to surprise you with a cake I made for your birthday, but Fumble McStumbles here knocked it over and completely ruined it!", she barked. Her tone changing from that of a parent scolding a child to that of a sibling reporting the crime to a parent, hoping to invoke their special tear-inducing brand of justice.
Sumia's pretty face was already on the verge of opening up the waterworks. Her hands clasped tightly together as she looked pleadingly at the siblings.
"You have to believe me, Lissa, I'm really, really, truly, madly, deeply, sorry." She gave a weak sob as a tear escaped her eye. "If I could fix it with money, I'd give you everything I have on me. If I could make it up to you by apologising, I'd apologise as much as it took."
Unfortunately for Sumia, there are times when "sorry" just isn't good enough. When annoyed by people who think that just saying "sorry" gives them a free pass to be as stupid and reckless as they like, hearing that word can actually do more harm than good.
"There is nothing you can do to fix this, Sumia! Gods, you are such an idiot!"
"That's enough name calling!" Chrom snapped, taking up his duty to enforce justice. "Sumia has apologized! Don't be bratty!"
Lissa's blood boiled at a dangerous temperature. She should have known that Chrom would be on Sumia's side. Sweet, perfect, pretty Sumia who couldn't put a foot wrong, despite her inability to make it through a day without falling down.
The Shepherds began their patrol in a chilly silence. Usually, when starting out a routine patrol, the shepherds were in reasonably high spirits. This was unfortunately, not the case on this day, with the two most cheerful members of the group having dark clouds above their heads. Lissa usually kept everyone's spirits up with jokes and merry quips. Alas, she was still fuming about that blazing row in the cook house. By the time they reached the next town for a short break, Lissa's mood showed no signs of improvement. The frustration of all her hard work going to waste and the one responsible for it receiving no punishment enveloped her soul. She sat against a tree and opened her gourd for a quick drink. Then, upon remembering that it was her turn to refill the gourds, decided to make it a long drink. She might as well empty it, if it was going to be refilled again anyway. By chance, she heard the macho buffoon Vaike and the butch tomboy Sully having a macho, butch conversation about the manliest of leisurely pursuits- alcohol.
"Let me tell ya, Sully, I've been waiting for this! That tavern by the corner of the main street finally has it in stock!"
"What, that super strong rum you've been going on about all week?"
"Exact-a-mondo! Surviving a night off that stuff is, like, the ultimate challenge for a hardened drinker like me!"
"Ultimate headache, more like."
"Come on, you sure you don't want to have a couple of shots later? I bet I could drink you under the table!"
"Alright. I've got leave tomorrow. Consider you're challenge accepted, blondy!"
This discussion peaked Lissa's interest. She had seen Vaike drinking several times during their time as shepherds Vaike was thankfully a pleasant drunk and his binge drinking didn't usually cause too much trouble. It is however because of that, that Lissa knew that white rum is a clear liquid. Very difficult to tell apart from water, unless you have time to smell it. Finally, Lissa knew how to get even with Sumia.
The first phase of the operation was to go about refilling the gourds. She filled them up with clear, cool, refreshing water. However, there was one that she only filled halfway. This was the special one that she was saving for Sumia. Phase two of the master plan was to simply play the waiting game (though I personally think chess is a more constructive way to pass the time and is much more fun). As they had an hour before they had to head out again, it took some patience to wait for Vaike to return to camp with a huge bottle tucked under his arm. Now came the most difficult part of Lissa's dastardly scheme- getting Vaike away from that bottle long enough for her to execute stage four of the plan.
She followed him at a distance, until he was just outside the tent and had put his things down. Then it was time to strike.
"Hey, Vaike, do you have a minute?"
"Sure, what's up, squirt?"
Well, I need some help taking down the women's bath tent, but my hands are full with handing the gourds out. Do you think you could help out?"
Lissa knew this to be an offer that Ol' Teach couldn't refuse. Dismantling the women's bath tent offered a chance of a sneak peak of the attractive ladies that use it. And if Vaike was caught peeking, he could just say it was an accident and that Lissa had asked him to help.
Now that Vaike was out of the way, Lissa seized the bottle, opened it up and topped Sumia's water gourd with the powerful white rum. Thankfully, it was a very large bottle, so Vaike was unlikely to notice half a glass missing. Now all she had to do was distribute the gourds to the platoon and wait for the fun to begin.
The shepherds began their march back to the capital. Lissa kept an anticipating eye on Sumia. It was a hot, clear blue day, so she'd have to take a drink sooner or later. It seemed like ages, but it was actually only fifteen minutes before Sumia reached for her gourd, opened it and lifted it to her unsuspecting lips. She reacted to the unusual taste but shrugged it off. Lissa felt a relentless and incredibly powerful urge to snigger.
Time passed. It was a quiet, peaceful patrol. The shepherds approached the capital, sipping their water as they walked. However, their ears were soon greeted by a strange sound. Sumia began singing a rather peculiar aria.
"Let's take a chance and let it sound,
our adventure fanfare all around,
take your dreams and make them true,
because Mad King Gangrel smells like pooh,
He is death to every plea,
and he acts just like a child of three,
Let's make a list of all the things
we can do to get rid of his grin,
Sometimes you'll find somebody being a jerk,
there is no reason our scheme will not work,
Bandits and ruffians are in all our lives,
let's go beat them up and have a good time."
Some of the others laughed and joined in. Lissa had to turn her head away and avoid eye contact. She had the biggest laugh of the whole party bursting to get out. It seemed that the alcohol was taking effect. The march continued, with further sipping of water and Sumia reaching greater levels of mental incompetence. The shepherds returned to their barracks while Chrom went to put the weapons away.
Sumia stumbled into the barracks. Mirabelle, the haughty healer had just finished taking stock of the rations began her daily violin practise. When Mirabelle began practising one of the more jovial tunes, Sumia started raising her legs in tune with the song. She started jumping around the room and clapping her hands. Most of the group was laughing at her giddy antics (with the exception of Mirabelle who was displaying impressive concentration on her music making. In a corner, the magical boy Ricken looked up from the book he was studying. His mistake? Making eye contact with Sumia. Upon seeing his face, she put on a fawning smile, as if seeing a small puppy wagging it's tail and laughing. She hopped over to him and grabbed hold of his hand.
"You wouldn't turn," hic "you wouldn't turn down a dance, would you, Ricky?"
Before the confused boy could answer, Sumia picked him up and started twirling him around. Vaike of course gave an excited (and rather inappropriate) old lads cheer, encouraging Ricken to take full advantage of the situation.
"L-let me go! It's embarrassing!"
She pulled him closer, in a bear hug and his face made a humorous clunking sound against the plate armour covering her chest.
"I'm just trying to make a poor little boy feel like a knight in shining armour! Doesn't that make you happy?"
The obvious answer to this would have been "not really". Being called a "little boy" was something that always got Ricken's back up. True, being small in stature, younger than the other shepherds and of the male gender, there wasn't much else that he could be called. What made it worse was being held like this and listening to the others laughing at him.
When he was finally released, red-in-the-face Ricken made a quick exit. Lissa sat in a chair admiring the hilarity that spawned from her prank. Though she did feel a tiny little bit sorry for Ricken being reduced to a figure of fun.
Being deprived of a partner wasn't enough to ruin Sumia's drunken fun. She continued, skipping and twirling. Some of the others started clapping in tune to her dancing and cheering "Go, Sumia, go!".
Her dance moves soon became sloppy and her face was covered with a film of sweat.
"Oooh, it's...hic...so hot in here! (hic) Someone open a window!"
She unbuckled the straps on her chest plate and the armour came tumbling off. Mirabelle, looking up from her playing gave a startled yelp and dropped her violin. The men in the crowd starred, completely speechless. As Sumia was fairly tall, with a nice face and a slim figure, she had accumulated several admires among the soldiers and the townsfolk. All of the boys were torn between gawking like idiots at Sumia's lovely figure, or doing the gentlemanly thing and turning their eyes away. Seeing her flashing like that, Lissa felt that things had worked out even better than she had planned.
But then, evidence against that reared its ugly head when Sully went over to Sumia and told her that maybe it was time to settle down.
"Okay, okay, settle down! You're getting carried away!"
"Carry...* hiccup* away...? Ohhhhhh!" Sumia's face light up as her arms draped around Sully's neck "Sure, you c-can c-carry me away."
Sumia hopped into Sully's arms. On a reflex the knight's arms shot out to catch the airborne damsel. Their eyes met. On Sumia's reddening face was a look of intoxicated tranquillity. As if she was losing herself in the moment of being carried like a princess. On Sully's reddening face was a look that seemed to say- "What the £$%^&* is going on?"
Lissa felt anxious. Fooling around with someone who is known to have a firey temper usually ended up with bones being broken.
It was at that moment Ricken made his return with Chrom in tow. He pointed, worriedly at Sumia, still being carried by a baffled Sully. Chrom raised an eyebrow and went over to them. Sully made eye contact and dumped Sumia into Chrom's arms.
"All yours." she said
"What is going on?" he asked
Sumia looked up into Chrom's eyes.
"Aw...how wonderful! Two Chrom's!" She wrapped her arms around his neck, completely love-struck.
She moved her head closer to Chrom's. His cheeks flushed brilliant pink as the crowd sniggered. He removed his arm from under Sumia's legs and stood her upright. She swayed back and forth like a wind chime. Then Chrom's jaw dropped as an unpleasant idea hit him.
"Wait, tell me the truth!" he said before he sniffed Sumia's breath, "have you been drinking?!"
It didn't take a genius to figure out the answer. Especially when the girl emptied her stomach all over him. The crowd roared with hysterical laughter as Sumia slumped to the floor, finally comatose.
"Oh gods!" Chrom yelled, kneeling down next to her.
Seeing her brother worrying like that was proof enough. This time Lissa was certain that her prank had gone too far.
"Someone, help me carry her to a sick bed. Lissa, could you use a stave on her?"
"U-um, yeah, sure!".said Lissa. She picked up her staff and followed Chrom to the sick bed. She felt like empting her own stomach because when Chrom found out what had happened, Lissa knew that she was going to be in very deep Pegasus dung.