In Vino Familia
Part 5 of a JP/Collab from @Xandrya, @Gunther, @wanderingwolf, and @sail3695
At the Doc’s comment, Cal couldn’t help but notice she’d dove headfirst into the party spirit; that made him smile. More than that, it meant he needed to catch up. After a trip to the bar, Cal returned to the crew with a round of shots of something called ‘Synthquila’, one for each of them with an extra for himself.
“If it’s advice you’re lookin’ for, I’ve heard one or two of these will help your game after a certain point. But I’m no doctor,” he flashed a wink as he set down the tray of shots. “Here you go,” Cal placed a shot in each of the women’s hands, before joining Hook with a pair of shots; his last catch-up shot sitting lonely on the table for his return.
Joe took one of the shots and knocked it back without a problem. He was starting to feel the alcohol and it was making him very happy. He had a big smile on his face and could quite easily be talked into dancing or singing if that should be the case.
Abby looked into the amber gold what swished in the shot glass. She’d read in one ‘o’ her books that drinkin’ was akin tah datin’. “Dance with the one who brung ye,” said tha old prospector from “Gold Fever.” Not much of a yarn, but seein’s she had scant experience with both booze and boys, the girl took tha old man’s wisdom for true.
Took two on board, she ruminated on the vodka that now held a two tah one lead over rum in ‘er bloodstream. Might’s well give ‘synthquila’ a try. The deckhand lifted ‘er shot glass. “We toastin’ anythin’?”
The crew wasn't slowing down any, that was for sure. She nodded as a thank you as Cal handed her the shot, a small smirk forming from his comment. Staring at her poison, Alana attempted to remember the last time she'd had this much to drink, and how she'd felt then. But her memory wasn't the best right now, so she looked over at Abby and raised her shot glass as well.
“To a night we hopefully don’t forget…”
Strand raised his glass, "And to a mornin’ we hopefully will... Don't s'pose you got a cure for hangover?" he asked of Hook by his side.
“The best way to take care of a hangover the next morning is bah consumin’ two or three shots of hard liquor, Cap’n!” Joe stated matter of factly with a smile. Then he tossed back another shot of rum followed by several gulps of beer. He smacked his lips and let out an exaggerated yet satisfied sigh. The ground did start to swirl a bit. He knew he was entering his happy drunk phase.
“No truer word’s ever been spoken,” Cal replied to Hook’s sage advice and knocked back the first shot, grinning at Joe.
Hook’s smile had spread. It was one of those contagious smiles that let everyone know Joseph Hooker was not just in a good mood, but a great mood. The music playing on the jukebox was getting to him. He started singing along.
Abby tapped ‘er glass down on tha pool table’s edge, then raised it to her lips. Smooth, was all she could think as it slipped right down easy like. Hook’s singin’, Cap’n an’ Doc was makin’ secret eyes fer one another, an’ if tha racket comin’ up from below told true, Yuri jest got beat at arm wrestlin’. She leaned on a handrail, crooked little smile teasin’ as she watched ‘er shipmates. “This is what it’s like,” the girl rekindled ‘er musings from last night, ”bein’ from someplace.” Jest ‘cuz that place moved twixt worlds in tha black didn’t make it no less home…long’s these folk was on board. “I won’t fergit,” she answered Doc’s toast in a whisper, afore joinin’ in tah sing with Hook.
Hook's response elicited a laugh from Alana. He was throwing 'em down like juice, which Alana found impressive in its own sense. Once they got to singing and whatnot, she placed the empty shot glass down on the table, the aftertaste a tad unpleasant but not long lasting. Looking over at Cal, she walked to his side and noticed the additional shot glass. "Trying to play catch up or just showing off?"
That brought a smile to his face. “Showin’ off? Now why would a Captain need to go and do a thing like that? Au contraire, I’m just doin’ my best to catch up, but just so’s I know how far I’ve yet to go, how many might that be?” He asked, finger wrapped and poised around the shot glass a–glimmer in his eye. “By the way, looks like you went easy on Hook; s’at ‘cause you made another win-win wager I ought to be jealous of? Just for the record.”
"Oh I don't know, that'd be between 2 and 20, somewhere along there..." she shrugged playfully, unable to detect the slightest hint of inebriety as them two interacted. And of course, once more he had managed to catch her off guard. Alana's jaw dropped in response, paying him back with a playful shove. "So you think a girl like me would have multiple wagers of that kind floating around simultaneously?" Alana looked him in the eye as she posed the question, eager for his response.
Cal evened up her gaze with one of his own, “I see no reason a strong, vital woman such as yourself shouldn’t keep her options open.” He offered a smug grin that touched his eyes as he followed up with, “Well, well! Looks like I’m behind by quite a few.” Strand raised a hand to the bartender with the universal sign for another round.
It wasn’t just Alana’s gaze that set him in a proper mood; tomorrow he had a clear direction in a job from Hafez Nadal. That direction would see the China Doll to her next port and keep her flying with all the supplies he’d been neglecting for the last two legs. That alone was enough to set a smile on his face.
But there was more than that now, standing among his crew. He wouldn’t cast himself as a sentimental man, but this bunch had surely grown on him. The one within arm’s distance even more so.
"You've got the talent for leaving a girl speechless, that's for sure," she retorted, poking him in the chest with a finger. "I can only imagine how much more of a handful you'll be once you stop babying the drinks." Alana leaned to one side to use the table as support, briefly looking over the rest of the crew and contemplating getting herself some water.
Joe listened to the song come on. He had heard it before and thought he knew the words well enough to sing. He started in when the song played,
“Well, in the North of Cackalacky,
way back in the hills.
Me and my ole paddy and had him a still.
He brewed white lightnin' 'til the sun went down
And then you'd fill him a jug and he'd pass it around.
Mighty, mighty pleasin',
paddy's corn squeezin'
Sh, white lightnin'”
He didn’t know all the words, but did his best, “Well, the "G" men, mmm…mumble mumble mumble.”
He did seem to know the verses a bit better, “Well, ah asked my old paddy why he called his brew
White lightnin' 'stead of mountain dew.
ah took a little sip and right away ah knew.
As my eyes bugged out and my face turned blue.
Lightnin' started flashin', thunder started clashin'
Sh, white lightnin'
Well, the "G" men, "T" men, mmm…mumble mumble mumble.” More indiscernible sounds. A lot of this next portion of the song got lost in shoults and mumbles that resembled the song the singer was singing.
“The "G" men, "T" men, Sh, white lightnin'” then he fell quiet for a few seconds and gave a shout, “Woop! Woop!” He raised his beer into the air and took another swig.
Joe Hooker was one man of many talents, but surely as the black was wide singing half-pissed weren’t one of them. That didn’t keep that infectious grin of his from passing along to just about anyone laid eyes on him, including the Captain.
At just that moment the jukebox switched up its rhythm to play something a little slower. A group of bearded men sang at full volume near the bar, and Cal raised his glass toward his crew.
The Captain’s baritone rose steadily as he intoned the first bar. “Of all the money that e'er I had, I spent it in good company…” Eyes met eyes as the group circled up, Hook, Alana, and Abigail. From the bar, the bearded men’s rendition of the soft and willowy tune took on a boisterous male bravado that Strand heartily obliged in, wrapping one arm each around each of the three.
“Of all the comrades that e'er I had, They're sorry for my going away…”
The bartender, watching the group around him degenerate into loud and cavorting fancy, stood up on the bar and placed hands around his mouth to project a warning:
“Last call on the deck!” to which the rowdy group of men only raised their glasses higher.
To that Cal assented with an emptying of his own glass, “C’mon you three, I conjure we ought to see how many pieces Yuri got himself into this time.”