Vignette #9: Birthday

Summary: A late night bottle of wine can go a long way.

Sorry for the wait! Enjoy!

"Are you sure this is a good idea?" Millie calls softly, watching her friends worriedly as Christopher pours over the endless selection of bottled wines.

Conrad, at least, seems to share her trepidation, although Christopher waves her off guilelessly. "It's no trouble at all. Now, I have not much experience with wines, but I have heard that older wines tend to taste finer…"

He continues to ramble to himself as Millie glances around. "Oh, just hurry!" She snaps finally, and maybe she's actually gotten through to him, because he finally selects a bottle.

"This'll do." He says superiorly, as if it were the wine he always was intent upon. Millie rolls her eyes, but refuses to answer as they creep back up the stairs.

"Really, it's the adult's fault." Christopher had told her when he was trying to convince her to go along with his scheme. "A birthday is meant for celebrations, not for hours of boring lectures."

Somehow, he had roped them both into his idea. After taking the wine, they flee back to Conrad's room, Christopher grinning gleefully as he conjures three wine glasses, although Millie has to get the silver bottle opener.

She pops the cork, and Christopher pours himself and Conrad full glasses, while Millie insists on only a bit. She hasn't had much experience with alcohol, the most being a few sips of champagne Elizabeth had snuck her at Christmas last year, but she's well aware of the effects it has had on the adults.

Because it is his birthday, when Christopher raises his glass, she toasts it. Both he and Conrad drink the liquid happily, while she suspiciously sips hers. It leaves a trail of tingling warmth down her throat as she swallows.

With each drink, her vision blurs a little more, but she knows her own inebriation is shallow compared to the others. While she stops after her glass, they down the rest, and she watches with amusement as their words slur more.

They laugh loudly and with a drunken glee, as their eyes take on a new shine while cheeks flush with the warm glow wine so often lends its drinker. They stay up well past midnight, talking about nothing, really, but enjoying every minute of it.

Finally, Conrad confesses he feels too tired to continue. Before Millie or Christopher can stop him, he passes out on his bed.

Laughingly, Millie lends a shoulder for Christopher to lean on, ignoring his heavy breathing, laced with alcohol. She leads him stumbling down the hall towards his own room, fruitlessly trying to shush him as he giggles madly at every rug he trips over or every piece of furniture he manages to bump.

Finally, and with much effort, she manages to deposit him into his own room, although she sighs as he takes the floor for his bed. "No, Christopher." She explains as calmly as she can. "Don't be a lump. Come on, off to bed."

She manages to get him on the covers, but being the diva he is, he insists on getting changed into his fine pajamas. Exasperated, she grabs his pajamas and sets them at his side, waiting for him to get changed.

Finally, he rolls over and tugs at the edge of her dress. "Are you going to spend," hiccup, "the rest of the night here?"

He looks at her with a strange look she's never seen before. In the haze of his drunkenness, something sharp and unexpectedly clear in his gaze pierces her.

For a moment, she freezes, caught in the depth of those eyes. Then he hiccups loudly, and the spell is broken. Feeling her irritation return, she sighs. "Goodnight, Christopher." Is all she says.

Yet, just before she goes, she stops to press a light kiss to his temple.