(A/N Um, yes. So this is yet another one-shot character study. *facepalm*. Nah, I actually have been wanting to write this for an extremely long time. Title and quite a few lines, and complete inspiration credit goes to Loudan Wainwright and his beautiful song White Winos, which, seriously, just look it up. This was actually going to be a songfic, but I promised myself I would not write songfics, so. Also: please tell me what ~vibe, ~mood et cetera you get from this. I had a specific one in mind, and really need feedback with this. I hate the ending, as per usual. And I use a ridiculous amount of line breaks, tell me if it works or not. All mistakes are mine. )
When Jim was a kid, Winona liked to drink whenever she was home. Not the way Frank liked to drink, or the way Jim would come to, but she enjoyed being mellow and relaxed, sitting out on the screen porch steps, watching the sun set, delicate hand clutching a glass of white wine, or a beer bottle, or very rarely, red wine.
Jim had always joined her. He had sat as close to her as he dared, watching as the sun disappeared, content to listen to her talk about her latest mission, her worries and concerns, and eventually- his father. With each glass she'd reveal more and more, until, eventually, she'd stop.
Jim was never disillusioned about Love the way same kids were.
He had seen the destruction, the pain, the never ending suffering his mother had gone through. That was the kind of love he knew- the kind of inevitable pain you would go through. His mother's drinking could attest to that, each empty bottle a dead soldier, George Kirk's memory a never-ending war.
His mother would sometimes drink four glasses, even five- but never more than that. She wasn't trying to get drunk, she was just- trying to be able to look at Jim. She was trying to take the edge off of seeing him, get the lovely glow of alcohol and dulled memories.
Eventually, starting when he was barely ten, she'd let Jim have a glass of white wine. He'd get the glow too- a feeling of melancholy and happiness all at once, and he almost understood his mother's nostalgia then.
Jim can only remember three, maybe four times when his mother drank enough to get drunk, it was always with red wine. Jim hated it- instead of a nice glow, it would be a searing hot look in his mothers eyes, and Jim would feel inexplicable nervous. She would get closer to him, arm wrapped around him like a boa constrictor, and eventually, Jim would bolt- it was just too much.
They never talk about, and eventually the look would go away, or at least Jim learned to ignore it.
Later in his life, when Jim is a fully grown adult, he'll occasionally indulge in white wine. He's not much of a wine guy- offer him any and he'll most likely give you a wry, almost uncomfortable grin, and politely decline. Even more rare, he'd have a glass of red wine, when he was with a woman that he wanted to take to bed, his eyes glowing hot as he moved in closer.
He almost never sees him mother these days, hasn't seen much of her since he was fourteen, but he's finally busy, and has an actual excuse now. He has a ship to run. A crew to take care of, all reasons to keep him from drinking, or seeing his mother.
On the day of his father's death, on his 11th birthday, they sat out on the screen porch, but it felt- different. Odd. She was drinking whiskey, a rare occurrence in it's self. But she was- drinking with vigor, desperately.
She was trying to erase her memories, not dull them.
His mother was so desperate to live, desperate to forget, she broke her careful limit of five. She'd cried then- tears running down her face as she pulled him closer. She hadn't tried anything though, and he wondered if red wine altered her mind that much, or if it was simply the only way to lower her inhibitions.
Jim helped her up, as she desperately clung to him, and helped her stumble to bed. Carefully kissing her forehead before tucking her in, and wishing himself happy birthday.
Much, much later in his life, when Jim is on shore leave for his 35th birthday, he comes to see her. She's at the old house, sitting on the screen porch, white wine in her hand. He sits next to her, and for the first time since he was a kid, they talk. She gingerly pours him a glass of the white wine, and they talk.
They talk about her childhood, recap Jim's career, and finally when they get to Jim's father, he switches to beer. It's so much harder to talk about George Kirk than Jim remembers. If anything, his mother seems much more comfortable with talking about him, the feral look no longer entering her eyes. She comments how much he looks like his father, and they carefully avoid red wine for the rest of the night.
The next day, on the actual day of his birthday, he's goes out and gets drunk on whiskey alone.
When Winona is dying, and Jim comes to see for the last time, he brings her a bottle of red wine. She looks at him, tears in her eyes, and pours them two glasses with shaking hands. Holding the red wine in the same delicate hand she did his whole childhood, she tightly grasps his hand with her other.
"Thank God we stuck to white wine," She mumbled, the red staining her lips. Later, when they've drank nearly the entire bottle, she caresses his face in a way that's reminiscent of the burning type of glow. "George..." she mumbles sleepily, and the wine glass falls out of her hand, red staining the floor.
Jim never drinks red wine again.