Where: outside, and on the Lino
What: Bernadette can't even handle wine-tasting
Skald blustered about the courtyard in such a way as to make smaller, more timid peasant folk scatter out of his way, grumbling under his breath. "Why is there no decent blacksmith here?" he asked himself out loud. "With all the fighters around you'd think somebody'd know how to sharpen a sword! Baaahhh..."
Bernadette found herself lost and confused coming back from the traders' post. She had wanted to get Kyle a nice bottle of wine to have with dinner and was somehow convinced to have a few samplings to see what she might feel he would like but even the few sips she has was enough to inebriate her completely, especially considering she never drank. She stumbled her way through the courtyard, looking for where the ship was docked but all she could see was several ships and she couldn't tell one from the other.
Coming up behind Bernadette, Skald spotted his daughter's bright uniform in an instant and was all ready to yell and surprise the crap out of her when he realized she was weaving somewhat erratically. Toning down his greeting somewhat, he still called out, "Hey, Bern! What's the story, today?"
Hearing her father call out from behind her, Bernadette froze but not before wobbling a little. Turning around to glance at him through droopy eyes, she smiled nervously. "Ah, I'm just ... heading back to the ship. I'm rather ... sleepy ..." She sighed, glad she pulled that off just fine, when she suddenly hiccuped.
Skald came right up to her, hands on his hips, and stared down for a long moment before bursting out laughing. "Are you drunk?" he crowed, a bit loudly.
Bernadette blinked for a few moments before groaning in realization that he recognized her intoxication right away. Lifting her hand to her face to smack herself, she only ended up smacking her face into the bottle she purchased for Kyle. "..."
That only made Skald laugh harder, doubled over with a slap of his hand to his knee. "Bernadette Egan! I swear..." He caught his breath and shook his head. "You're killing me here, you know that?" He pressed a fingertip to his daughter's chin to lift her face, so he could examine her expression and smell her breath. "Well, you don't reek of rum, that's a good thing. What in the world happened here?"
She looked up at her father as he lifted her face by her chin, a groggy expression on her face and hiccuped again. Mumbling, she replied, "Well, my tea wasn't spiked again at least, thank the gods ..."
"Spiked tea, eh?" Skald shook his head again with a cluck of his tongue. "You better not make that same mistake twice. Come on." He moved in to take her by the shoulders and haul her along with him, brooking absolutely no argument. "Let's get you back to the ship to sleep it off. I'm not letting you try to get up the ramp yourself, you'll end up in the lake."
She didn't protest and let him lead her along towards the ship, hiccuping now and then and mumbling about how it already happened twice and having already fallen in the frozen lake before. However, she stopped in her tracks when she realized something. "Wait. I have to give this to Kyle. Where is he?"
Her father just kept shaking his head as they walked, bracing her so she wouldn't wobble off in the wrong direction. When she yanked him to a stop, he faced her sternly. "Oh, no. Kyle can wait. You need to sober up first, I won't have you wandering around here drunk off your low-tolerance butt."
"But ..." Now she protested as she held up the bottle of wine again. "But I got this just for him. It's quite tasty ..." And Bernadette hiccuped again. "It'll be good with red meat, the trader said. And white wine will be good with dessert ..."
Skald patted her on the top of the head. "I'm sure it will, but you're not in any shape to be eating anything right now, let alone red meat. Unless you feel like giving the crew a refresher course in swabbing the deck?" he teased, grinning dangerously. "Kyle's not going anywhere, you can see him when you've got a clear head again."
Pouting at first, she sighed and relented as she didn't really have the energy to protest much further. "It's probably for the best ... that I don't go see him right now ..." Bernadette picked up her feet again and began weaving off course slightly. "This ... this is why alcohol is not good ..."
Skald grabbed her by the back of her vest and steered her back under his control, lest she tumble down the stairs. "Oh, no, alcohol is great," he chuckled, "in moderation. You gotta start out easy, a little at a time. But you, my dear, have no stomach for it whatsoever. Your brother and I better keep an eye on you with all these fiesty young men around spiking tea and whatnot."
Another hiccup escaped her lips as Skald pulled her back on course and she nodded. "I only had a few sips of each wine ... But apparently, that was more than enough for me. You and Ferid don't need to ... worry, however. I wouldn't let ... anyone touch me, even in this state."
"Yeah, and I'd like to see you fend them off in this state," Skald said with a short bark of a laugh. "A little here, a little there...yep, that's all it takes, and look at you."
Frowning now, she drunkenly shook her head, glad at least that they were by the ship now. "I could still take care of myself just fine. I have plenty of knives on me, remember? I would ... cut them where it hurts ..." Bernadette paused just a moment before giggling.
Skald snickered, putting both big hands on her shoulders to make her walk in front of him up the embarking ramp to the deck of the ship. "Do you even know where that is? Heh! I bet your mother told you, didn't she. Gave you all the best moves to stop a fresh suitor dead in his tracks."
The young Vice Captain halted again, turning around abruptly to poke her Admiral father in the chest. "I'm not 12 nor am I that naive. Of course I know where that is. No thanks to you or Mother, thank the gods."
"Oho?" Skald looked suitably surprised. "And just where did you pick up that knowledge, missy? On the streets or on the ship?" His lip curled in a wry grin that he failed to stifle. "You're just making my imagination run wild now."
Blinking, it took her a few moments before she realized what exactly they were discussing and she turned a brighter shade of pink, which she wanted to blame on her intoxication. "Well, yes, working on a ship with all men and dealing with pirates all the time. You're bound to learn a few things, despite your protests ..."
"Hehehehehh...." Skald couldn't contain his chuckles. "Oh, so it's pirates you're learning these things from. Like....that Sigurd fellow, hm?"
Bernadette turned even redder before smacking Skald on the arm. "No! Just because he's a pirate didn't mean he wasn't a gentleman. He would never have done such a thing." She huffed and turned back around to head to the cabins, but too abruptly and nearly lost her balance again.
Skald lunged and grabbed her just in time. "Not so fast, there!" There was really only one thing he could do, so he bent and picked her up over his shoulder, leaving her dangling off his back like a sack of grain. "I won't have you falling overboard, kiddo, not if you've gotten in the habit of doing it."
She gasped as she was lifted her straight into the air, throwing her over his shoulder. Squealing now, Bernadette wriggled and kicked, trying to get free. "Father, I am not a child! Put me down right now! I am not going to fall overboard again. That was an accident the last time."
"It always is," Skald grunted, dutifully carrying her up the rest of the ramp and across the deck toward their cabins. "No accidents this way. I'll get you to your room right quick." He completely ignored the protests as well as the gawking looks from the crewmembers they passed, striding boldly across the length of the ship.
After struggling for a bit longer, Bernadette finally gave up and sighed again, allowing him to carry her to her room. Cradling the bottle of wine to her chest, she relaxed on top of his shoulder, her eyes drooping even more as the steady movement of his steps was gradually rocking her to sleep. She let out a small yawn, trying to blink herself awake again.
Crewmen scattered out of the way as Skald traipsed up to their cabins and kicked open the door to Bernadette's, finally setting her down on her feet, ignoring the wine bottle bumping against his head. He straightened up and looked her over. "Now. Are you gonna be all right, or do I have to tuck you in and read you a story, too?"
Bernadette gasped a little, afraid that the world was spinning too much as he set her down after some time of being in the air. After a moment or two of blinking and trying to gain her footing again, she nodded and smiled sheepishly. "I wouldn't mind being tucked in or a bedtime story either. Knowing you, you always have the most far-fetched tales ..."
Laughing a little, Skald took the bottle of wine from her and set it in a nice, safe place before bundling her behind the changing screen to get out of uniform. "Then get yourself ready, crawl into bed, and I'll do my duty," he said proudly. "S'what your ol' daddy is for, after all."
She quickly got changed then, as much as possible in her state, and stumbled back out in her nightgown and right into her bed. Crawling underneath the covers, she pulled them underneath her chin and waited for him to sit and begin, smiling drowsily.
Skald pulled a chair over and heaved himself into it, swiping his cloak out of the way with an arm. "Let's see, now. Which one should I tell? Aha. Once upon a time, there was a pirate. A big ugly pirate with an eyepatch, but he only had it because eyepatches were all the rage, he could still see out both eyes."
Bernadette blinked as Skald began the story, before breaking out into hysterical giggles. "It almost sounds like Georg, except that he's no ugly pirate." Sighing contentedly now, she smiled from behind her covers. "And what did the big, ugly pirate do?"
"Well, the big ugly pirate sailed all over the Southern Seas, looking for a port, but no one would let him land the ship because he was a pirate," Skald recited smartly. "But then, one day he was sailing past the old Nest of Pirates cove and he saw a beautiful mermaid waving up at him from the rocks. 'By golly,' he thought, 'a friendly face at last! I'll follow the mermaid and put my ship up here!' Because there was a typhoon coming, you see," he added suddenly. "And he had to find a place to ride it out."
Nodding again, Bernadette was already half-asleep as he continued the story. She smiled stupidly as she began dreaming about a big handsome pirate instead who rather resembled a certain silly blonde knight. "Kyle ..." She murmured, giggling every now and then.
Skald ignored the randomness and soldiered on, completely making it all up on the spot. "Well, the mermaid swam off, and the big ugly pirate followed, closer and closer to the rocks. She was just so pretty, he couldn't resist, and he just knew in his heart she was leading him to a safe place. Because that's what mermaids do, right? So he followed her, and just when he thought he was saved, BAM!" He pounded his fist into his other hand. "The ship struck the rocks and everybody fell overboard and died."
Curled up comfortably under the covers, she let out another soft sigh of contentment, murmuring in what was now an apparent sleep. "Oh Kyle ... Mm, yes." Bernadette giggled again. "Nice, nice ... Mm, no, you look better ... as a Queen's Knight ... No, don't take off your clothes yet ..."
Skald's eyes went wide. It was one thing to tease his daughter about such things, it was quite another to play witness. He jumped up out of the chair so fast he knocked it over and backed toward the door, gritting his teeth in the hopes he hadn't woken her up. He was perfectly content to leave her with her dream, he just didn't want to hear any more about it.
Bernadette didn't seem to stir, despite the racket of the chair falling over when Skald knocked it down. Her murmurings and giggles began to die down some, until only her soft, steady breathing could be heard. She was smiling softly as well, having quite the peaceful and enjoyable sleep, completely unaware of anything she babbled about or her father's discomfort.
Breathing a sigh of relief, Skald pried open the door and slipped out, closing it securely. He found the nearest crewman and stationed him there. Nobody was going to disturb his daughter's rest, not now, not ever. Straightening his tunic, he clasped his hands behind his back and went off whistling down the hall.