Vi always hated parties. Too official for her liking, nobody she would ever spend time with would show up on such an occasion.
The festivity was held in the main town hall. The room itself was neither to big nor too small and fit roughly 300 people.
Its left side was decorated with antique stained glass and lead to a sizeable balcony which a view of Piltover.
Hanging on the right wall were portraits of Piltover´s finest, each one a masterpiece on itself.
On the far end of the hall was the table of honor against a backdrop of colossal brass gears.
These gems of Piltoverian engineering were turning for a hundred years now without fail.
Vi could think of roughly a bazillion places she´d rather be right now, including the Shadow Isles. And the Void. Especially the Void.
The only reason she was attending this bullshit was at the moment delivering an acceptance speech for her appointment as the Head of Piltover´s Police Department.
Caitlyn was wearing overknee leather boots and extremely short white pants under which the straps of her garter belt were showing. Her dark blue double-breasted jacket was cut remarkably low.
It was basically another proof that the former sheriff had the biggest breasts in all of Piltover.
Vi snickered. Piltover´s designers were a bunch of twisted perverts, not that she would mind.
The sight of Caitlyn wearing that… thing was an appropriate reason for enduring all things party-related.
Next to Caitlyn sat Ezreal. Vi was amused when she saw that Taric had sat down beside him.
To Caitlyn´s right was Jayce, that squeaky clean hero of Piltoverian spirit. She felt a little sting of jealousy in her heart. Everyone knew that he and Caitlyn were dating.
To the very right of the honor table was Heimerdinger with his crazy haircut. Rumor had it that there were many yet-to-be-discovered species living in his hair.
Only Heimerdinger would actually know the truth, though.
"…great responsibility, but also a grand opportunity to demonstrate the best of my abilities. I assure you I will serve and protect each and every day the state and the people of Piltover.
" Finally, I express my gratitude to all people who made it possible for me to be standing in front of you all today and accepting this new challenge. I would like to thank statesman Eldin Hawke, who did not hesitate in appointing me to direct Piltover´s Law Enforcement.
"I would also like to thank special people and colleagues."
Vi pricked her ears at the mention of the last word.
"You have inspired me over the years to be involved, my dear parents. Without your unwavering support for me I would not be where I am today.
"My gratitude not only goes to you who supported me, but also to those who provide aid to Piltover and the safety of its citizens.
"To our revered inventor Heimerdinger!"She rose her glass. "Piltover would not be the city of Progress without you.
"At last, a toast to the Law Enforcements most valuable ally and hero of Piltover: Jayce, Defender of Tomorrow!"
She started applauding and the rest of the audience joined in, albeit Vi found herself clapping dispassionately. While Jayce accepted Caitlyn´s praise as if he took it for granted, she felt traited.
Not a mention, the smallest of thanks, or a SINGLE word to her, who Caitlyn had been working with on a day-to-day basis for the last year. Zilch, nada, niente.
Vi slammed her hand onto the massive oak wood table. "Ungrateful bitch", she hissed.
She got up from her seat and headed directly to the conveniently placed bar. It was of course empty, since every potential customer was still supposed to listen to Caitlyn´s Oh-so-important speech.
She approached the bemused barkeeper.
"Sorry, we´re not supposed to open until the formalities are over," he told her in a well-chosen tone of cordiality. Not something she wanted right now.
"You know.." – she over-accentuated each word deliberately – "if you won´t get me a fucking drink in the next fucking seconds, your fucking head is gonna meet that fucking bar in front of you."
The barkeeper sighed.
"Well, I suppose we´re open now, ma'am."
"And don´t call me madam. Ever. Again."
"All right… Sir." That flattered Vi´s ego and she sat down.
"What is it going to be, then?"
She didn´t consider for long. "You have Noxian Firewater?"
The barkeeper chuckled appreciatively. "Noxus… where everything is strong. Especially the alcohol." He left to fetch a bottle of the desired liquor and returned shortly after.
Vi nodded. He then filled the glass and handed it to her. Piltover´s enforcer promptly took a big mouthful.
"That lovesick?," the barkeeper asked sympathetically.
Vi´s stomach seized up. "Well, I´m not lovesick," she managed to reply immediately. Pleased with how confident she sounded, she emptied her glass triumphantly.
"That came out too fast," he chuckled, while refilling her glass.
"As if," Vi snorted dismissively, but nevertheless continued staring at her amber drink. Everything was better than meeting the eyes of the barkeeper. Looks reveal.
"It´s the sheriff, isn´t it?"
She was struck by lightning, electrified.
No, not Caitlyn, not her, how would he know… I am too obvious, must not tell, must lie, be strong, invincible-
The pink-haired woman slammed her left fist onto the bar counter, making the glass clatter.
He didn´t even blink.
"I am far from being a genius… but there is no need for intellect to see that you have an impressive crush on that woman."
Vi had no time to counter, as applause started filling the hall. It seemed "the formalities" were over.
While people started to make their way to the bar and other catering available, she quickly snatched the Firewater from the dazed barkeeper and left for the balcony. Vi had no need for people right now. Or ever.
The barkeeper was slightly disgruntled that the Enforcer had just taken off with his sole bottle of Firewater. However, he had no intention of wrenching it from the hands of an even more disgruntled woman who could easily beat him to a pulp.
Best to hope that nobody would be asking for exactly that liquor. It was ghastly anyway.
The first customer had found his way to the bar.
"Say, do you have Noxian Firewater?"
Well, d'oh. He went on with his routine anyway, smiling broadly.
"Ah Noxus… where everything is strong. Especially the alcohol." The barkeeper sighed.
"I´m afraid we have just run out of stock."