A/N: This is a short oneshot for Order of the Stick (because I was inspired and OotS needs more fanfiction). This was beta'd by Martin III, so we owe him many thanks.


The lips had tasted like wine. Not that cheap stuff, either. The kind where you can practically taste the grapes, sun, and care poured into it. Elven wine.

Not that he was really the type to get sappy about that kind of stuff, mind.

He had been completely hammered. He had barely known what was up and what was down. All he had known was that it was midnight, the New Year, the time to kiss. And, of course, he grabbed the one person he genuinely wanted to kiss and did just that, completely ignoring all the reasons he had not done so before. Belkar wasn't the type of halfling to avoid taking what he wanted unless there was at least one serious concrete reason to do so. Even then, he rarely resisted temptation. But, in this particular case, he had resisted temptation ever since he found out what he was tempted by. And ale had destroyed all his reservations.

Belkar, when he was later reflecting on the incident, was surprised that he wasn't slapped and pushed away. Or had some horrible spell immediately cast on him. Or that there wasn't even a muffled protest.

No. For a brief moment, Vaarsuvius, the infuriating, insufferable, androgynous, but weirdly attractive and captivating elf, kissed him back. Their tongues touched tentatively, and suddenly, all he could taste was wine. And he would have been perfectly happy if that was all he ever tasted again, despite the fact he usually hated wine.

There was heat. Maybe it was from tenseness, fear, hate, or passion. But Belkar knew it was there. The elf's hands were squeezing his elbows tightly, hard enough for knuckles to go white, and there still was no push against it. Vaarsuvius was actively allowing this to happen. Perhaps… inviting it?

It was then that the alcohol decided to make him pass out. He was glad in the morning. No telling how far he would've gone or what he would've said.

---

Belkar would never claim to be the smartest halfling, but he wasn't stupid. He knew he wasn't the best with people, but again, he wasn't stupid. As soon as he woke up the next day, his memory of the kiss crystal clear despite his hangover, he did the smartest thing he could think of. He pretended to have totally forgotten.

Vaarsuvius hated him. Loathed everything about him. The elf had never made an attempt to hide it, so Belkar was well-aware of this. That, and there was the issue of Vaarsuvius being married. The mage had every right to be furious with him.

And furious V was.

Eleven explosions, a fire trap, and a wild muskrat enchanted to hump his foot. And that was just the beginning. If Belkar had been more optimistic, he would have guessed that Vaarsuvius was trying to convince them both that there was no tension besides that of hatred between them. But Belkar wasn't optimistic. In his mind, the elf was doing nothing more than retaliating violently to the perceived physical violation.

He had expected nothing less. That was why he had resisted temptation, after all.

Belkar wasn't one to get hung up on someone. He knew it when a person practically slammed the door in his face and screamed no. And he may have been a completely unrepentant psychotic mass murderer, but there were some lines he wouldn't cross. If Vaarsuvius didn't want to be kissed or touched, Belkar wouldn't do it.

But still… he remembered the taste of wine. And sometimes he took just a shade of hope that maybe, just maybe, something would happen and he would be allowed to taste it again.

After all, V did kiss back.