I wanted this fic to be humorous, with Daiba being an idiot while not being overly annoying, and have Harlock being kind of fatherly. Hmm I think I got the Daiba being an idiot part down. By the way, does he actually drink in the show? I really don't remember. Let's just pretend he doesn't. So anyway, I've got more to whine about, but I'll save it for the end because this is already way too long. Thanks for reading. I hope you don't completely hate it.
Daiba hated bars.
Sure, he hated some things more and some less, but bars were different. They were just about the only thing he wouldn't voice his loathing for when the topic came up. Not too surprisingly, the topic seemed to come up often on a ship that was seemingly filled with drunks, which was why he wasn't too keen on sharing his opinion of them. He really didn't need to feel any more out of place on the ship than he already did.
It wasn't as if he didn't have an acceptable reason for hating bars, like people often said when he talked about other things he hated. The problem was that every time he stepped anywhere near one of the cursed structures, he would end up in some sort of mess. He was already a magnet for trouble on his own, but it seemed to him bars managed to strengthen his trouble-attracting abilities tenfold. It was as though every time the crew stopped by one during a supply run or some sort of break on a peaceful planet, there would be a fight he would get dragged into or an explosion he narrowly avoided. They weren't even always his fault. It wasn't as though it was particularly difficult for him to get into a bar either, though he tried to avoid that as it tended to cause even more trouble. Most planets didn't have any sort of drinking laws or didn't follow them, so generally anyone old enough to know how to say the name of an alcohol was old enough to get drunk.
Except, the fourteen year-old had never had a drink. He had been told many times by his father to stay as far away from the stuff as he could. When Daiba asked why, the professor would launch into some long spiel that would quickly cause the boy's eyes to glaze over. He could remember something about genetics and brain types, but whatever it was, it had kept him from ever feeling a desire to drink. Even when he boarded the Arcadia he still found himself avoiding the alcohol that seemed to be surrounding him at all times.
So naturally, on their latest supply run he had been all too happy to just stay on the ship. At least, he would have been had Kei not dragged him along with the rest of the crew saying something about him "needing to get out and socialize more." He wasn't sure what she was talking about, because he considered himself plenty social. He could only guess Kei was just doing one of those things women do that made no sense. Whatever it was, he had ended up at the bar and she was nowhere to be found. He was slightly worried that she had some sort of horrible plan set up for him, another one of those women things.
Through an attempt to avoid dealing with his drunken crewmates and stay out of trouble, he had ended up sitting at a table in the darkened corner of the rundown bar next to his stoic captain, who, Daiba was positive had some sort of immunity to alcohol. The teen had long since lost count of exactly how many glasses of wine the man next to him had downed, but the only changes in his captain's demeanor were the occasional brow-raises at his crew's drunken antics. They hadn't said a word to each other.
By this point, Daiba was an odd mix of bored and paranoid like he had been winding up a jack-in-the-box for hours. He was just waiting for the ax to fall and for everything to go to chaos. He jumped harshly when the sound of shattering glass was heard above the commotion of the bar, but he seemed to be the only one to notice and the drunken men continued as before. However, he found himself jumping slightly again as silence of the man next to him was broken.
"Daiba, it's great that you're not drunk or off causing any trouble, but you look like you're about to kill yourself," Harlock said evenly, somehow reading Daiba's expression without ever looking at him. "Is something wrong?"
Daiba thought Harlock didn't sound particularly concerned despite his choice of words. He glanced up toward the man, his eyes lingering for a second on the scar that marred his captain's cheek before darting away. "No, not really," he mumbled, unsure of exactly what to say.
Harlock waited a moment for a proper response before raising an eyebrow in a silent warning gesture that Daiba had learned to recognize.
"It's just- I'm worried something bad is going to happen."
"And if it does, we'll handle it then. So unless or until something happens, you can calm down a bit. It's good to be prepared for danger, Daiba, but this is a peaceful planet. We've been here many times before without any problems," Harlock responded. His voice and expression had yet to change.
"Here," the captain continued calmly when he didn't get a response from the teen, "you can have this if you want. I've had enough." The blond looked near terrified as a glass of wine slid toward him.
"What?" he finally managed after a long moment. "I don't really, uh- I mean is it okay…?"
"Why wouldn't it be?" Harlock asked before pausing, still keeping his eyes locked forward onto nothing.
"Have you never had a drink before?" the man finally asked, and Daiba could have sworn he sounded almost amused.
"Well, of course I've… okay no," the teen muttered in response. He could feel his face heating up. "My father didn't really think too highly of it," he continued. "B-but it's not like I couldn't have had something if I'd wanted to," he stuttered while looking away. The captain's distant eye seemed to soften a bit.
"Calm down, Daiba. There's nothing wrong with not having had alcohol before. Everyone who drinks has had a first time doing so, so there's no need to get so defensive. There's nothing wrong with being sober either, so you don't have to drink it if you don't want to."
"Oh, no, I mean I could try it," Daiba practically whispered. His face burned.
"Go ahead then if you'd like to," Harlock drawled, gesturing lazily to the glass. "It's not particularly good, but I've had worse."
"Uh, thanks then…I guess," the teen said uncertainly as he raised the dark liquid up toward his face.
"So?" Harlock questioned, giving a small, sideways glance. "What do you think?"
"It tastes sort of like… rotten juice?" Daiba offered uncertainly, frowning at the glass in his hand as he felt a rush of warmth throughout his body. However, his face still managed to feel much warmer as he glanced up to see his captain smiling at him. He knew that sort of smile – the one given to children when they say naïve things.
"Yes, I suppose that's about right," the man said still smiling as his eye traveled back to stare ahead and began to once more take on its far-away look.
Glancing back down at the wine, Daiba wondered if it would be considered rude to not finish it. After a moment's deliberation, he decided it wasn't that bad so he might as well, besides there wasn't much left. He didn't find it particularly enjoyable, but it was at least tolerable, and as he continued to drink, he found that to be more and more true.
Harlock held back a cringe as he heard the glass Daiba had been holding fall over on the table with a light clatter. Glancing over, he found himself shooting his hand out to keep the teen from having his head in an unpleasant meeting with the floor. The captain managed to latch onto his crewmember's black collar and yank him back up before any sort of harm could occur.
"Ow," Daiba murmured distantly. His head rolled lazily as though he was out on the ocean, and his eyes followed his head's unsteady movements while blinking unevenly.
For a moment Harlock could only stare in disbelief. The wine had such a low alcohol level, which was why he had allowed the teen to have it in the first place.
"Are you alright, Daiba?" he finally asked, though he already knew the answer to his question.
Daiba blinked his eyes a few times in surprise as though he didn't realize his captain was there holding tightly to his jacket collar. He lolled his head to the side in an attempt to turn toward Harlock. "Mm fine. 'S there 'ny more wine? Stuff's not s' bad once you get used t' it," the teen slurred, his eyes shifting to search the table.
Still keeping his hand on the heavily leaning blond's collar, Harlock brought the other up to rub beneath his dark bangs in preparation for the headache he knew was coming. "Only you, Daiba," he muttered tiredly through a small sigh. "Only you could manage to get this drunk from one glass of cheap wine."
"Wha? Mnot drunk," Daiba responded with a confused frown as he snaked a hand out toward the wine bottle on the table.
Removing the hand from his forehead, Harlock snatched the bottle away from his drunken crew members reach. "Yes, you are, so how about we head back to the ship before you make a complete fool of yourself."
Instead of responding, Daiba placed his chin on the table in a huff and stared up between furrowed brows at the wine in the older man's hand. Harlock, however, was not in the most patient of moods. After pondering the effectiveness of slapping someone as drunk as Daiba, he set the bottle back onto the table, stood up and roughly jerked on the fabric in his hand. The stunned drunk threw out his arms in an attempt to stay upright as he was pulled up, managing to land a hand on his captain's shoulder in order to steady himself.
"Alright, how about we get going then?" It wasn't a question, and even in his drunken state, Daiba was able to notice. He allowed himself to be led, or more accurately dragged, out of the warm, crowded atmosphere of the bar and into the cool quiet of the night.
The Arcadia was stationed about a mile away, which Harlock imagined could pose quite a problem with his crewman's limited walking ability. The rest of the crew could be just as drunk if not more than the youngest member was currently, and they would be able to make it back to the ship like it was a sixth sense. He severely doubted Daiba could do the same.
The captain was forced to a halt as Daiba tripped again, and this time was unable to regain his footing. Harlock finally let go of the jacket's collar only to wrap his hand tightly around more of the pink cloth at the younger's forearm, halting his progression to the dusty ground. Daiba's knees dangled inches away from the dirt, and he brought up a limp hand to rub roughly at his face beneath the mop of blond hair.
"Still sure you're not drunk?" Harlock offered with a small smile as the teen used his hand to push his face toward the talking figure above him.
There was an unintelligible grumble in response before Daiba relented with a sigh. "Mkay, m'be a li'l."
The captain shook his head slowly. "Of course, only a little."
There was a short span of silence between the two as Daiba attempted to regain a standing position only to waver on the edge of falling once more. This led to Harlock calmly lifting the teen off the ground by his arm, so he could return his feet to the ground evenly, though Daiba looked a bit green afterwards.
"Mkay, warn me nex' time you're gonna do th't."
Harlock frowned. Things weren't progressing quickly. If the blond wasn't so much shorter, Harlock could have just thrown one of his arms over his shoulder. There was another, much simpler option, but… "Daiba, you're going to have to cooperate with me, because I'm not going to carry you."
"N why th' hell would you?" yelled the suddenly offended teen. "Don't need you to," he continued as he wrestled his arm from the captain's grasp and started forward. Harlock thought it was actually a valiant effort on the other's part. Daiba even managed five or six fairly straight steps before tripping over his feet, luckily landing on his knees before his face followed them to the ground.
Instead of using his hand to, again, keep Daiba from the ground, Harlock placed it lightly against his mouth it an attempt to hold back his amusement. He might have actually been worried about the lack of movement from the teen, if he didn't hear the rather colorful slur of words being muffled by the dirt.
He made the few short steps to stand at the fallen teen's side and pondered his options as he stared down at the still unmoving Daiba. The blond's curses trailed off, and he turned his head to rest on its side. He exchanged a single-eyed stare with his captain for a long moment before his face broke into an unsteady grin.
"You wear a cape," the teen said suddenly as though the statement was hilarious.
For a moment Harlock had no idea how to respond. He wasn't entirely sure what Daiba was getting at. "And?" he finally decided on.
"Ss funny," Daiba slurred while continuing to grin. "Wha's it even for?"
"This coming from the person wearing all pink," Harlock responded calmly.
The teen's smile wavered into a frown. "S'nothin wrong with pink, an m' shir's white."
Harlock had to smile. "Are you just going to keep lying there?"
"No," Daiba growled, slowly dragging his hands up toward his chest and placing his palms flat against the ground. He pushed himself up at a near excruciatingly slow pace as Harlock looked on with interest. Arms finally straightened, he brought one foot forward to place on the ground. After straightening his leg a bit, he brought the other foot forward slightly behind the first. He paused awkwardly for a moment before finally taking his hands off the ground. He wavered for a moment before steadying himself. Once certain of his balance, he turned to look at his captain, a triumphant smile across his face.
"Yes, that's very good," Harlock said obviously not impressed. "But how are you planning to get back to the Arcadia?"
"Eh," Daiba answered with an unsure frown as he turned his eyes to search the ground for help.
Harlock stood and waited calmly until the blond looked toward him uncertainly – eyes locked on a black cloaked arm. The teen glanced away before throwing his left hand out to grab onto the arm he had been looking at. The man watched curiously as Daiba stepped closer, wrapped his left arm around the other's right to grab it below the elbow, and brought his other hand up to latch on above the other. He did everything while staring red-faced at the ground, which didn't surprise Harlock. The position may have been the easiest way for them to both walk, but it made Daiba look like a clingy girlfriend.
"S'rry," the teen muttered. "This's kinda awkward, but 'least you don' hafta carry me."
"You mean at least I don't have to leave you here?" Harlock asked calmly.
"Er, yeah," Daiba mumbled, ducking beneath his bangs. "Which leg'll you start on?"
"Mkay," Daiba responded. He stared at his feet in concentration. "Say when."
Progress wasn't exactly fast, but it was progress. Daiba was managing to do a fairly decent job of walking, though he would trip every now and then and Harlock would have to stop so he could regain his footing.
After about thirty minutes, they were closing in on the Arcadia, and Daiba was beginning to loosen his grip on the captain's arm out of exhaustion.
"Five more minutes if you don't trip anymore," Harlock said after having to stop for the second time in a row for Daiba to regain his footing.
"M tired," came the teen's quiet protest. His eyelids drooped heavily.
Harlock sighed with a frown. It was obvious Daiba wasn't going any farther like this. Despite what he had said before, Harlock wouldn't leave his crewman behind. It was in part his fault the teen was drunk, so it fell under his responsibility to get him back to the ship. So he decided to continue his trend of doing the opposite of what he had said previously.
Harlock took his left hand and gently pried Daiba's fingers off his arm. The nearly asleep teen didn't offer any protests even as he began to fall forward, but instead of hitting the ground again, Daiba landed against his captain's back, his head falling over the man's right shoulder. Harlock placed the other's arms over his shoulders before grabbing each of his legs and picking him up. The man imagined the teen would be thoroughly embarrassed had he been completely conscious.
"Thought you weren' gonna carry me," Daiba slurred tiredly.
"I'm not, but that's because you aren't likely to remember this in the morning."
There was a pause as Daiba attempted to process what he had been told, but he eventually decided to just give up and go with whatever was happening. "Mkay, 'night Captain."
"Goodnight, Daiba," Harlock said quietly. He paused for a moment before adding, "I suppose I should stop by the infirmary and get you some painkillers. You're going to need them for tomorrow."
The only response he got was soft, even breathing against his ear.
Hmm would Harlock ever actually carry Daiba? More importantly would he ever let Daiba drink? Eh, who cares? I didn't get any sleep last night, so Daiba is channeling me at the end there. Kei is channeling my dad. Also, I have no idea what wine tastes like nor have I ever been around any drunk people. I'm actually only a little older than Daiba (maybe that's why I seem to be one of the few people that doesn't want to kill him every time he opens his mouth), so I asked family about all that and those were the sorts of things I was told.
On a more important note, thanks bunches and bunches to all of you who reviewed my first fic. I was so nervous about posting it, but you all were awesome and I love you.