A/N: I suppose it had to happen eventually. I write gag shorts and omake for Phantasy Star, for Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha, for My-HiME, and for Kannazuki no Miko, so it was only a matter of time before GrimGrimoire joined the parade. I dedicate this collection, though, to the fine folks at AnimeSuki's "Exiled to the Couch" group: deathcurse, Fuyu no Sora, yuiseppe, spawnofthejudge, Moczo, and Laith. I wouldn't have done it without you! (In other words, blame them! ^_- )
The Mai Universe "Carnival for MUses" project presents monthly fic/artwork challenges for My-HiME stuff. The prompts for March-April 2011 were "rain" and "hangover." I participated in that and wrote a fairly serious and angsty one-shot. This...is not particularly serious or angsty.
I have to say that I find it inherently funny that my very first GrimGrimoire omake features Hiram and Opalneria, who are...generally not humorous. But hey.
~X X X~
Hiram Courvoisier, third prince of the kingdom and student of necromancy, groaned heavily as he staggered into his bedroom. His head was pounding, and he figured that his magic specialty had suddenly become useful in day-to-day life because his mouth tasted like something had crawled in there and died.
It was a good thing, he decided, that the wedding was taking place at sunset. He didn't think he could make it before noon. All he wanted was to fall into bed for at least six hours. He wasn't going to bother taking his clothes off; even removing his boots would have seemed like too much work if it hadn't been that he'd been walking on and through enough things that he didn't want to think about that he wasn't letting the soles come anywhere near the bedcovers.
He dropped into a chair and began to lever his boots off. With luck, he'd get at least a few hours of quiet before he was forced to resume his public face.
"I cannot believe what I witnessed!"
Apparently, his luck was not in.
"The very highest gentlemen of this kingdom, including royalty, indulging in debauchery as would put Sodom and Gomorrah to shame!"
Opalneria Rain, formerly Hiram's mistress in the master-apprentice sense, currently so in the more colloquial use of the word, had used her magic so that she appeared to be close to her lover's age so they wouldn't appear so mismatched. Having the youthful face of a nineteen-year-old, though, did not disguise the tone of voice of a woman who'd lived for over a century.
"I cannot believe that you would join in such a thing, Hiram," she snapped. He wondered if it was that century of experience that allowed her to hit exactly the right tone to send a spike of pain through his head from one temple to the other.
"I had to be there," he said. "It was my brother's bachelor party. I'm going to be standing up with him at the altar."
"Presuming any of you can stand at all. The bride and her attendants may have to carry you men to your places."
"The toasting," he allowed, "may have gotten somewhat out of hand."
"The last one I heard was when they drained a glass to the health of the bride's seventh cousin twice removed."
"You almost have to be impressed with Derek Marassou," he said, perhaps unwisely. "In that state of intoxication, it's not everyone who would even remember that the bride had a seventh cousin twice removed."
Opalneria arched an eyebrow, but couldn't hold the stern-teacher look for more than a couple of seconds before smiling. Taking this as a signal that his doom was not imminent, Hiram pressed on into waters where he otherwise would not have gone.
"Besides, isn't everything you're talking about why ladies don't attend bachelor parties? I mean, the whole point is to show the groom that if he keeps on with the single lifestyle that he'll be dead from overindulgence within a year so he doesn't get cold feet. You shouldn't have even been there."
"Leaving you free to indulge yourself for the night in gluttony, intemperance, and licentiousness?"
Hiram's eyes widened.
"Licentiousness? Opalneria, that's completely unfair. You can't complain about lustful debauchery when you performed the striptease! I thought old Baron Tanquay was going to die a happy man right at the table when you did that part with the veil and the fan."
"Oh, did you enjoy the performance, then?"
Hiram was still young enough to blush. The witch's smirk grew into an indulgent smile.
"I thought that you did, from the way you were staring."
"I just don't understand why you did it," he said with a trace of resentment. Her dance had pretty well turned his bones to water, in fact, but a good half the wine he'd downed after it had been to try to take his mind off the fact that it was his lover they'd all been looking at.
She sat down in his lap, swinging one leg over his thighs so she was facing him.
"Because, Hiram..." Opalneria wound her arms around his neck. "...I didn't wait over a hundred years to find love just to have you stare like that at some other woman's breasts." She leaned forward and kissed him, very warmly.
Hiram realized almost at once that he'd been quite wrong about how tired he was.