“And what can I get you, sir Maurits?” Rombald had pulled out two more mugs for Maurits and Joost. They were celebrating Samira’s name day at the inn, and Thomas and Samira had already run off with their beers to have a nice chat together. The twins had declined the invitation, and so Maurits and Joost were left on their own. Maurits looked at his younger sibling, then back at the bartender.
“Do you have anything… fruit based?” Maurits asked, trying to avoid any alcohol.
“I’ve got apple cider?” Rombald looked under the bar and held up another bottle when he saw Maurits’s disgusted face. “I’ve also got Perry, if that’s more your thing. Made out of pears.”
“Yes, we’ll take that, thank you!” Maurits smiled.
“And I’ll take one too!” Joost yelled, holding his mug up in the air in enthusiasm. Rombald looked at him in confusion, but filled the mugs anyway. It wasn’t a very popular drink, so he still had a lot of bottles left, and if he could get rid of them to these two, that would just be a lucky break.
As soon Joost tasted the drink, he immediately spat it back out.
“Ew! Gross! Maurits, this doesn’t taste like pears at all!” he said, looking at his brother with an offended look on his face. Maurits took a tiny sip, and then a big gulp.
“It tastes good enough for me. Besides, it’s this, or milk. That goes for the both of us, by the way, Rombald. Don’t give us anything besides those two, no matter how much my brother may beg for mead or ale, or any other drink that sounds manly to him.” he aimed the last part at the bartender, who simply nodded. Joost huffed.
“Fine. I’ll take some milk then!”
They spent the rest of the evening chatting, buying a new drink every now and then, and making some talks with the locals in the bar as well. Joost had left Maurits a while ago, and had been chatting with Thomas and Samira for a while. When he returned to the taproom, he was growing tired. The milk hadn’t exactly been cold, and it was late, so he wanted to go back to the Belfort and go to sleep. He was shocked however, when he saw Maurits. His older brother was laying over the bar, looking almost passed out. Joost poked him to see if he was awake.
“What the fuck?” Maurits immediately shot up, apparently not asleep but merely lazy. Joost was shocked at the vulgarity that just left his brothers mouth. Maurits saw his brothers face and replayed his words in his head.
“Oh god, I said fuck didn’t I? I’m so sorry! And I did it again just now! Oh fuck, our parents are never gonna forgive us, Joost, we’re doomed! Please forgive me?” he asked, slurring almost everything. At that moment Rombald returned, carrying a new bottle of Perry. When he saw Joost, he looked relieved.
“Ah, sir Joost! Thank heavens you’re here! Your brother has been harassing patrons for the last thirty minutes or so, and I couldn’t get him to leave. He kept asking everyone if they had seen his whistle! The vulgarity...”
Joost took another look at his, now lying again, brother.
“I’m not gonna be able to get him out on my own, but I’m gonna get help. Keep him here for a second, will you?” He dashed out of the room to fetch Thomas, but before he went through the door, he turned back.
“Did you give him anything besides the pear stuff?” he asked, accompanied by a yawn.
“No sir, only Perry. About five bottles of the stuff by now too.”
Thomas had, of course, drunk a few mugs of beer, but nothing too much. Just enough to get a little tipsy. Samira had joined him, and now they were in a constant state of laughter, laughing about everything from a spider on the window, to ridiculing Count Olaf. The night was going great, and now that Joost had gone home, they wouldn’t be bothered anymore, as Maurits knew to keep his distance.
“Thomas? I need your help.” Thomas turned around to face his little brother, standing next to their table once again. Thomas groaned and slammed his head on the table, but Samira looked concerned.
“What’s wrong, Joost?” She asked, as Thomas got back up, sitting with his back turned slightly towards Joost, as to indicate his disinterest.
“Well, uh, I think Maurits is drunk?” Joost whimpered, not knowing what to do. Thomas immediately shot back to Joost.
“Drunk? On what? Didn’t he ask the bartender for something non-alcoholic?” Thomas said angrily.
“I don’t know, okay? He apparently only had that gross pear drink, Perry or something, and now he’s drunk.” Joost yelled back, not appreciating his brother’s anger. He didn’t have anything to do with it anyway, so why would Thomas get mad at him?
“Oh no.” Samira whispered. “Joost, how much of the Perry did he have?” Joost started counting on his fingers, but quickly ran out of fingers and asked for Thomas his hand. Samira’s face grew more and more concerned with every finger.
“Fifteen!” he finally answered, glowing with pride. Samira groaned.
“What’s wrong sweetie? Nothing wrong with pear juice, right?” Thomas asked.
“That’s not pear juice, that’s pear cider. There’s a reason I told them to only drink milk.” Now it was Thomas’s turn to groan. He stood up and walked past Joost, whose face was starting to become filled with realization, and into the taproom, where he found the middle brother lying on the floor now. Another empty mug stood on the bar. When Thomas leaned over Maurits, Maurits’s face flashed with recognition. He stretched his arm out and slapped Thomas, but he was too drunk to actually hit him, so it was more of a weird, drawn out cheek-pet.
“Thomas, you’re a terrible brother. I said words in front of Joost.” Maurits slurred, and Thomas removed Maurits’s hand from his cheek.
“We all say words in front of Joost, Maurits. It’s called talking. Now get up.”
“Nononono! You don’t get it!” he said as he started to sit up. He motioned for Thomas to come closer, and then proceeded to whisper. “I said bad words. Realll fucking bad words.”
“I’m sure this has traumatized him for years to come. Do you need help?” Thomas continued, as he saw his brother trying to grasp the edge of the bar.
“I’m… what’s the word again? Fine, yeah, I’m fine.” He reached for his cup, and turned it over. He was noticeably disappointed when he saw it was empty.
“I want another one, Thomas, fill it!”
Thomas sighed. “I think you’ve had enough. Also, you ruined my date, and yes, I am holding you accountable.” Thomas gave up on Maurits helping himself up, so he pulled his brother of the ground. When he almost immediately fell down again, Thomas hoisted him onto his shoulders and kicked the outside door open.
“Joost, pay the bartender and hand Samira her coat. We’re going home.”
Maurits had already fallen fast asleep before they even fully left the inn.