Warning for intoxication, mild groping.

Whiskey

Sometime just after his fourteenth birthday, Fandral became beautiful.

It happened overnight; when he had gone to bed, he had been a gawky, beak-nosed youth prone to stuttering, and what had walked out his bedroom the next morning had been a lithe, grinning imp of a man, who'd promptly begun flirting with every single thing that existed under the sun. Given that this included his two best friends, who had for years operated under the impression that they were dear, humble Fandral's guardians against a world of bullies and harsh tutors, there had been many uncomfortable weeks of adjustment required.

At eighteen, Fandral was still beautiful, and an affectionate drunk. Currently, he was sitting in Volstagg's lap, nuzzling his neck and making wordless, happy noises.

Volstagg, older by a few years than both his friends, rolled his eyes at Hogun's glare. "I wanted to cheer him up. He's been moping all over the place since that nymph swam away. I thought some elf whisky would be just the thing."

He threw back another mug of the perfume-scented liquor, and slammed it back down into the table as Fandral purred beneath his chin. The rest of the bar was populated by elves, who were pressed against the walls and eyeing them with the look of butter-yellow ducklings into whose pond three belching, warty toads have just hopped.

"As a general rule," seethed Hogun, who propensity towards loquaciousness grew in direct proportion to how angry he was, "I try to keep Fandral as far away from perception-altering substances as possible. For Bor's sake, Volstagg, he's bad enough when he's sober, what were you thinking…?"

By 'bad enough' Hogun meant 'wanton enough.' Fandral believed his body was a gift that should be shared with the world, and when he was drunk, the world grew to encompass all sorts of fascinatingly horrifying things. The last time, he'd attempted to seduce the barmaid. Fair enough, except that they'd been drinking in a bar that bordered on Niflheim, and the barmaid been a several centuries older and several centuries deader than Fandral. Hogun had pulled Fandral from her arms before they'd gotten past the first layer of clothing, and Fandral had remarked afterwards that her kisses had tasted, 'like sweet, wet loam', and that her skin had been, 'soft, Hogun, soft as a maggot's.'

Fandral did not discriminate when he was drunk. On any grounds.

Which was, in fact, one of the reason his companions loved him so- such purity was a rare gift- but Hogun felt that such a universal lack of bias all but invited the world and its wife to take advantage of their beautiful, honey-tongued comrade.

And the thought of anything taking advantage of Fandral made Hogun… irritable. Among other, darker things.

Volstagg fixed him with a beady stare. "He's a grown man. A grown man who is faster with blade and with bludgeon than any of us. A grown man, I may point out, who saved your head but three days ago. He can take care of himself, grim one. Stop mollycoddling."

In a low voice, he added, "He's also hard as a rock and humping my leg under the table. I haven't decided what I want to do about that yet."

Now that Hogun looked closer, he could see the pink flush on Fandral's cheeks, hear the breathy moans he was trying to stifle by burying his face in Volstagg's neck.

"Oh, for…

It was a testament to the breadth of Fandral's love that he could spare enough to shower upon two such low-born, ugly bastards as they, thought Hogun, as they attempted to extricate Fandral with a minimum of accidental groping.

"My loves," sighed Fandral, as they dumped him in the goat-drawn cart which would be carrying them back to Asgard in the morning, in amongst several dozen crates of prunes which the impoverished king of Alfheim had given them as a reward for their services defending his borders. "My dear hearts. Let us sing together."

"No," said Hogun, crossly, lifting his friend's legs so they didn't dangle off the cart. "You are feckless and foolish."

"Kiss me, then, gloomy Hogun."

"Gloomy Hogun, whose gloom would be much alleviated if his battle brother would teach himself the virtue of restraint, finds he will have to decline."

"I shall kiss you, then."

He did, very quickly, on the nose. Drawing back- flopping back, really- he muttered, "Dear, dear Hogun. So good to me. To me and for me. I shall love you both all my days."

"And we you," grumbled Hogun, as Volstagg took up the reigns and spurred the goats into action.

Fandral blinked hopefully up at him. "Can we have sex now?"

"NO."