A Tale of Partying

Hermes was afraid. Very afraid.

His companion was on the floor, hands clutching at her sides, and grinning for particular reason. She had been like this for the past fifteen minutes and the entire time Hermes was beginning to grow uncomfortable at each passing moment. Her eyes were becoming increasingly drowsy and every so often Hermes had to shout to keep her concious. His engine would rumble in frustration at the fact that he couldn't do anything to help her except watch.

"Kino! Get up!"

There was a painful metallic sound in said person's ears. Moaning, her hands searched for a pillow of some kind to block it out, but only skated along a flat wooden surface. It took a few moments to realize that her face was planted into the hard, rough floor. Steadily, she got onto her knees and attempted to make her way towards the bed in front of her. However, it appeared that putting one foot in front of the other was not as simple as it was three hours ago. She was feeling a lot happier than usual, even though she was sprawled on the ground once again. Kino giggled.

"This is so not like you," Hermes said, "To think that you've degraded yourself to this kind of state."

There was only a groan in response.

"I'm even surprised you even managed to stand up."

Another uncharacteristic giggle. "Hermes?"

"What is it, Kino? And no, I can't carry you to your bed."

There was a long moment of silence. The motorrad waited for his master patiently.

"Did I tell you I think you're awesome?"

Hermes sighed. It was going to be a long night.

Earlier this morning...

Kino blinked at the slight abusurdity of what the wooden sign read. "...Interesting."

"The Land of Partying?" Hermes suddenly said, "That's something you don't see everyday. Are we seriously going to stay there, Kino?"

"Why not? We've already come this far." Kino responded and readjusted her seat before starting up the motorrad's engine. Together, the young traveller and her partner sped down the gravel leading into the country. Even from a distance, they could already see how lively the country as they watched balloons of many bright colors emerge from behind its country's walls and into the sky. It almost looked as if the sky was covered in colorful gumdrops.

"It's funny, you were never the partying-type Kino." Hermes remarked, "So it'll be priceless when I finally get to see you play musical chairs!" The motorrad's engine rumbled with childish laughter at the thought of Kino fighting for a chair whenever the music that played came to halt.

Kino rolled her eyes, "What makes you think I would even do that?"

"Well," Hermes started, "If all the people do in that country is party. Then surely you'll have no choice but to participate in at least one of their events. Even if it's embarassing."

"...I suppose," Kino said slowly, not liking what she was getting herself into the more she thought about it, "Then I'll just have to be careful and stay on the sidelines as much as possible, huh?"

Hermes didn't hear her. He was too caught up in seeing Kino act like anything but her usually cool and well-composed self. It was an opportunity that was too good to pass up. "I wonder what you'll be doing. Maybe Pin the Tail on the Donkey, or beat up a pinata, or a sack race, or-"

"Hermes..."

"Or maybe even strip poker!"

"That's it. I'm turning around."

"W-wait! Kino, I was only kidding! Don't go back!"

Passing the country's inspection and settling at an inn was simple enough. But deciding where to go next was another thing. Every direction the two companions looked in always had some kind of event going on that it was almost impossible to know where to start. But you would always find people laughing and dancing no matter which way you looked. It was rather comforting to the young traveller to see a country in such high spirits after the last few countries they had visited.

"Hey look!" Hermes cried as Kino pushed through the large masses, "It's a casino!"

Ahead of them was a large building with several blinking lights hanging from it despite the time of day. They could hear upbeat, jazz-like music playing from inside along with excited shouts and laughter.

"Hmm, maybe we could get something to eat there," Kino said as she pushed Hermes toward it.

As the course of the companions' day went by, Kino found herself sluggishly slouching on a bench by evening with Hermes at her side. The young traveller's legs were beat as she and Hermes had only covered a small portion of the country's events. But what was even more exhausting was seeing that the people around didn't look anywhere near as tired as them.

"So what next Kino?" Hermes finally spoke. Kino looked at the motorrad as if it were crazy. "What? There's so many other events we haven't seen!"

"The only event I want to go to is the one where we go to sleep." Kino stated, "I'm exhausted."

Hermes made a small 'hmph' noise as Kino got up and started making their way back to the inn. "Party popper."

Kino chuckled, "You mean party pooper?"

"Uh, yeah. That's what I meant."

15 minutes later...

Kino shuffled into the room with an oversized mug in her hands and took a seat at a small, red couch that was included with the room. She let out a sigh as she stared down at it.

"Took you long enough," Hermes said as he watched his friend frown at the drink, "What's wrong with it, Kino?"

"Nothing, " Kino responded, "I'm just a bit surprised that they don't sell any water at this time."

"Is something wrong with not having water?" Hermes asked, wondering why Kino was being a bit picky of what she was drinking.

Kino let out another sigh, "There's nothing but alcoholic beverages at this time." she explained.

"Oh, really?"

"Apparantly so."

"You don't like alcohol Kino?" Hermes asked innocently, obviously unaware of the effects it could cause if one did not handle it very well.

Setting the down drink in her lap, Kino looked at the motorrad with a blank expression. "To be honest, I've never tried it before."

"You've eaten a lot of weird-looking food in the past," Hermes pointed out, "Why's this any different?"

"Because I'm aware of what I'm getting myself into."

"But it's just the two of us."

Kino paused for a moment. Her friend had a point. If anything were to really happen then at least she would be inside this room with only a motorrad as her audience. Besides, how bad could drinking actually be as long as she controlled it? Taking the cup into her hands, Kino took a sip of the clear beverage. The bitter taste came as a bit of shock, but after a while it didn't really seem to matter anymore.

"This is really beginning to taste like water..." Kino thought as she stared down at it.

Hermes watched silently as his companion's sips grew larger every time she drank. In fact, it was almost to the point where she seemed to drink it so casually that he began to wonder if everything was alright. When the motorrad voiced this, Kino didn't seem to hear him. It went on like this for another hour or so before Hermes realized that something was definitely wrong.

"You're turning pink," Hermes said slowly, "Are you alright?"

Kino's mind was buzzing so loudly that Hermes' words only to came to her as incoherent sounds. Stop, just put the drink down before you cause youself some misery, was what the sensible part of her brain told her. But another part of her, the undeveloped and nearly non-existant part that made her somewhat of a hedonist, told her to just indulge herself in this strange happy feeling she was getting from drinking. Unfortunately, Kino listened to the latter.

"Hey Hermes," Kino finally said, grinning, "Wa-watch this!"

If Hermes was able to look away, he would of done so. But since the poor motorrad was only able to face what was in front of him; in this case a drunken Kino, he could only watch as the disaster unfolded.

The young traveller, with arms extended in front of her, began to walk towards the wall across from her. It was clear that she had lost her sense of balance sometime ago before toppling over on the floor. She giggled for no reason.

"Kino you're a mess," Hermes said, "Seriously."

"You're so silly Hermes." Kino laughed before rolling on her stomach to make a snow angel.

"Uh, Kino. That's not how you do it. And that's not even snow."

Little did Hermes realize that he and Kino were going to be like this until morning. All he could was watch as his normally stoic companion make a fool of herself until sleep overcame her.

The next morning...

"Hermes?" Kino suddenly said as they were speeding down the road, leaving the country. She had a tiny headache upon waking up and the entire time had said nothing to the motorrad until now.

Hermes grunted, "Yeah?"

"I'm sorry about last night," Kino said, feeling a bit guilty at the thought of something she had no memory of. She honestly had no recollection of the events and could only assume the worse since Hermes had not said a word as well.

"It's okay," Hermes said, "You did look pretty funny."

"Remind me to never do something like that again." Kino sighed as she stared at the road ahead.

"Yeah," Hermes rumbled with laughter, "After all, you were never really the partying type."

At this, Kino couldn't help but laugh as well.