Short Story – If I Were Sober

Another short story with Damen and Cecil.  Damen gets drunk and yells at Cecil a bit.  That’s essentially the whole thing.  Content Warning: Alcoholism and strong profanity.

All characters belong to me.

Damen! Damen, come on, where are you?” Cecil stopped at the corner of the street and glanced into a small pub. He saw a man bent over the bar that looked rather familiar, and he went inside. He approached the man slowly and slowly laid a hand on his shoulder. “Damen?”

Damen stirred under his touch and glanced up, his gray eyes somewhat glassy. “Oh, it’s you. What are you doing here?”

Looking for you!” Cecil said, latching his arms underneath Damen’s. “Come on, let’s get you home.”

What’s the point?” Damen muttered, staying firmly in his seat. “I don’t have anywhere to go tonight.”

But it’s Christmas! And you have a daughter!”

She’s at her aunt’s, I thought you knew that. I had to work overtime so I sent her there.”

Cecil frowned and slowly sat down next to him. “Doesn’t look like you’re working overtime now.”

Fuck off, Cecil,” Damen hissed as he gripped a beer bottle and began downing it. “I don’t have time to hear any of your sermons tonight.”

Cecil watched him for a moment in shocked silence, then frowned and said, “So you have time to drink your life away but none to go see your daughter, is that it? What’s your problem all of a sudden?”

You are,” Damen growled. “Ever since you came along, my life’s been a living hell.”

Oh, please. Things have been going better for you since I came.”

Oh, really?” Damen turned an glared at Cecil. “Have you been living inside my head recently? No? Then you can’t say that one way or the other, can you?”

But… but you have a daughter,” Cecil started. “You’ve been wanting to spend more time with her, and you have, haven’t you?”

That isn’t the point.”

Then what is the point?”

The point is every single time I see you, every goddamn time I see your face, I want to rip it off with a scalpel, and I’ve come very close to doing it on occasion,” Damen snarled before returning to his bottle. “Fucking angels… why don’t you just go back to heaven where you belong?”

You’re not being yourself,” Cecil said with a frown. “You’re drunk. You don’t mean what you’re saying.”

Oh, really? It seems like when people say things out of term from being drunk, they mean exactly what they’re saying, it’s just they never had the balls to say it out loud, or they were being too polite.”

But…” Cecil sat there for a long moment in silence, breathing softly, then whispered, “But I thought I was your friend.”

Friend?” Damen snorted. “I don’t have any friends.”

What about Jack?”

Ha. Right, that washed up old scientist? He doesn’t even understand the meaning of the word friendship. Not like I see him often anyway… not after Caroline and Mia both died…” His expression became absent and the grip on his bottle grew looser.

Damen, come on, we need to go home.”

Then go,” he muttered.

I said we. That’s a plural. It means you and I. Dr. Damen Black needs to go back to his home with his dearest friend Cecil. Okay? I think you’ve had enough.” Cecil reached across the bar toward the bottle and slowly slide it out of Damen’s reach. “Do you have a coat?”

Damen shook his head lightly. Cecil nodded then stood and pulled Damen to his feet, letting him lean against himself as they walked out the door together.

Where’s your car? I’ll drive.”

You don’t even know how to drive.”

I do too!” Cecil circled around and found a small parking lot behind the pub then found Damen’s car. He pulled the keys out of Damen’s pocket and unlocked the doors, then helped Damen get into the passenger seat, buckling him in, then got into the driver’s seat himself.

As the car stared, Damen muttered, “Don’t crash.”

I told you I know how to do this,” Cecil said with a frown.

Where’s your license, then?”

Cecil didn’t respond and drove away toward Damen’s house. As he drove, he murmured, “Do you drink often?”

Damen took a moment to respond. “No, not often. I used to… but Caroline asked me to stop.”

So, what, now that she’s gone it doesn’t matter anymore? You’re just going to defile her memory like that by breaking your promise to her?”

It’s not like that! It’s-”

No, it’s exactly like that!” Cecil said, sounding angry himself now. “If someone you loved dearly made you promise to stop doing something like that and you do, but you start again after they’re dead, that’s a horrible thing to do to them! What would she say if she could see you now? I mean, look at yourself! It’s Christmas Eve and you’ve sent your only daughter away to her aunt’s because you decided to get tanked after working overtime. What would your wife say if she were still here?”

Damen fell silent and didn’t say anything. The rest of the trip home was quiet. Cecil pulled the car into the driveway and took Damen into the house and up to the bedroom. Damen collapsed into bed and moaned faintly.

I’m just gonna go, then,” Cecil said after a moment, but then he heard quiet sobbing. His eyes grew wide as he watched Damen’s pillow grow wet.

I’m sorry,” Damen said through shaky sobs. “I’m… I’m so sorry, Caroline.”

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