“Happy New Year!” The entire room was cheering and Aiden looked over at Emmett with a big smile before the two embraced, connecting their lips for a long, loving kiss. Aiden loved how he and Emmett could kiss a million times, and each one would still be just as special as the first.
“I love you,” Emmett yelled over the loud cheering, and Aiden felt his heart flutter happily. “I’m gonna go get us some sparkling cider. It’s kinda hot in here.”
Aiden nodded in agreement, and he wished he felt more comfortable in fewer layers of clothing. His great aunt’s house was huge, but with three dozen people, it was starting to get a bit crowded and overwhelming. Not to mention, anything below 80 degrees was too cold for her, so everyone at the party was beginning to break a sweat. To get away from the crowd, Aiden moved over to the wall to wait for Emmett. Aiden was feeling beyond grateful that his boyfriend had attended the party with him, as he knew he would probably have had a panic attack by now if it weren’t for Emmett staying by his side the whole time.
Moments later, Emmett came back, holding two glasses of sparkling cider. Aiden gladly took one and took a sip, instantly grimacing at the taste. “This tastes like it’s as old as my great aunt.”
Emmett chuckled and he slid down the wall, gesturing for Aiden to do the same. Once they were on the floor, sitting shoulder-to-shoulder, Emmett began to inspect his own glass. “Yeah, I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s been in her fridge for a few decades, based on what I saw in her fridge earlier when we were helping her set up. There’s ranch that expired eight years ago.”
Aiden shuddered but took another drink of the cider anyway because it was at least cold. Aiden regretted it almost instantly, as he suddenly felt strange. It was indescribable, really, and he wasn’t sure what was happening. He looked over to Emmett who was taking his first sip of his drink and frowned when his boyfriend’s expression changed.
“Shit,” Emmett said softly, looking over at him. Aiden could see the look of panic on Emmett’s face, and he wasn’t sure what was going on.
“What?” he asked slowly, setting his drink down on the ground next to him. “Emmett, what is it?”
Emmett seemed lost in thought and he sniffed at the cider before running his hand through his hair. “Aiden, I’m so sorry. The labels must’ve gotten mixed up. How much did you drink?”
Aiden wasn’t sure why Emmett seemed so freaked out. He also wasn’t sure why his brain felt a little fuzzy. “Uh…” he began slowly, looking at the glass. “Two drinks. They were big, though. I was thirsty..”
“I should have smelled them first or something.” Emmett’s tone was apologetic, and Aiden wanted to ask why, but then his boyfriend’s hand was on his cheek and his head was being turned to look him in the eyes. “Aiden, it wasn’t cider, it was champagne. I’m sorry. The table had a note that said it was cider, but some dumb kid probably switched it. How are you feeling?”
Aiden swallowed thickly as panic began to rise. He had never had alcohol before, and he never had planned on it. He wasn’t sure how to respond, but then he saw how guilty Emmett looked and he shrugged, hoping to pass it off like it wasn’t a big deal. “It’s not your fault,” he said softly, closing his eyes as the room began to spin a bit. “I feel all fuzzy.”
“I could have smelled them,” Emmett protested. “And fuzzy like what?”
Aiden contemplated Emmett’s question for a moment. “I dunno. Weird. I don’t like this feeling, Em. I just had two drinks…”
“Champagne hits you pretty quick since it’s carbonated. That’s the whole point. It’s supposed to make you feel ‘bubbly’.”
“You don’t seem bubbly,” Aiden protested as he leaned against Emmett’s side affectionately.
“Because I drink,” Emmett pointed out as he wrapped his arm around Aiden, pulling the boy closer. “And you’ve never touched alcohol before, so my tolerance is different than yours. I felt it when I first took a drink and I could taste it too. Really, sweetheart, I’m so sorry.”
Aiden waved away Emmett’s apology, knowing there was nothing that could be done about it now. “I don’t think I’m drunk or anything. Just…fuzzy.”
Emmett nodded slowly, but Aiden could feel the grip on his shoulder tighten for just a moment. “Yeah, it’ll wear off soon.”
Aiden nodded and closed his eyes again, feeling himself relax against Emmett’s body. The light-headedness was wearing off, but it was starting to be replaced with a rolling feeling in the pit of his stomach. Without any warning, a belch escaped him, and he instantly put a hand to his mouth, pulling away from Emmett. “E-excuse me. Sorry, Em. My tummy is feeling kinda bubbly now.”
Emmett’s green eyes were full of concern again as Aiden slowly removed his hand from his mouth. “Are you feeling nauseous? Or is it just because of the carbonation?”
Aiden opened his mouth to answer but had to quickly bring his hand up to it as he felt another gas bubble work its way up his throat. When it came up, it was wet and Aiden could taste the alcohol again, making him grimace. “I dunno. I feel a little sick,” he admitted as he rested his hand on his stomach.
Emmett nodded in understanding as he brushed back some of Aiden’s blonde hair. “Yeah, I kinda figured. You’ve got the most sensitive stomach I’ve ever seen; I would’ve been surprised if the alcohol settled okay. Should we go to the bathroom?”
Aiden could feel the contents of his stomach shift and he knew everything wanted to come up. “I think I need to – urrp – throw up,” he answered, putting his hand back over his mouth as yet another sick-sounding burp came out.
Emmett stood and helped Aiden up, doing so slowly and carefully in hopes to not further upset Aiden’s stomach. “Can you make it upstairs? No one else is up there and you can have some privacy.”
Aiden didn’t feel dangerously nauseous, and privacy sounded nice, so he nodded, allowing Emmett to lead him to the upstairs bathroom. Thankfully, he wasn’t feeling so out of it anymore, but the sick feeling in his stomach was getting worse with each step, making walking a bit more difficult. It took a while, but they eventually reached the bathroom where Emmett immediately helped Aiden kneel in front of the toilet, just in time for a long, ominous belch to echo through the bowl.
“Excuse me,” Aiden whispered, still feeling as though he needed to be polite about letting his gas up. As he scooted closer to the toilet, Emmett was kneeling beside him, rubbing his back which helped him feel less alone and safer.
Aiden opened his mouth to allow the excess saliva to drip into the bowl. An involuntary whimper escaped as he shuddered, and Aiden knew he was close to throwing up. He gagged seconds later, the movement catching him off guard and jerking his whole body forward. He wasn’t given time to recover before the second one hit him, this time bringing up a mouthful of the alcohol he had just consumed. “Ew,” he whispered, spitting into the toilet. “It burns coming up.”
Emmett reached over Aiden and flushed the toilet while still rubbing his back. “It’ll be over soon,” he promised. “It’s going to be okay.”
Aiden’s body lurched with another harsh gag and tears rolled down his cheeks as more of his stomach contents made way up his throat, hitting the toilet with a horrendous splash. Another heave shook Aiden’s body before he even had the chance to take a breath, though nothing came up. He wrapped his arm around his churning middle and sniffed pitifully as tears began to fall into the toilet. “Don’t feel good,” he whispered.
Emmett’s hand froze for a moment before continuing to rub soothing circles on his back. “I’m sorry,” Emmett responded sadly, his tone full of guilt. “This is on me.”
Aiden didn’t believe that for a second, but he didn’t have time to argue before he heaved again, bringing up a trickle of bile. The taste of stomach acid made him gag again, but he was relieved that he felt empty and significantly better. Emmett flushed the toilet again and Aiden took that opportunity to lean back against his boyfriend, practically crawling into his lap. “I’m sleepy,” Aiden mumbled, rubbing his eyes. Not only was it later than he usually stayed up, but his body was exhausted from being sick. Aiden reluctantly pulled away from Emmett and slowly got to his feet to stretch. “Can we go home?” he asked, turning toward the sink so he could rinse his mouth out with water and hopefully get rid of the acidic taste on his tongue.
Emmett didn’t answer and Aiden faced his boyfriend again, only to see him sitting on the floor with his head in his hands. He didn’t have to ask what was wrong. Aiden knelt in front of Emmett and pulled his hands away from his face, hoping to get him to make eye contact. “Please don’t be sad, Em. I’m okay. You’re probably right about someone switching the signs on the table. I’m not mad.”
Aiden knew at this point, it didn’t matter that he wasn’t mad. Emmett was angry enough with himself to make up for it. Emmett had a tendency to blame himself for everything and could feel guilty about something for the rest of his life. That’s why instead of talking again, Aiden wrapped his arms around his boyfriend – a silent gesture to hopefully bring a bit of reassurance.
Aiden’s body had gotten rid of what made him sick, and he was fine now. However, he knew the recovery time for Emmett would be a lot longer.
Oops. Apparently, I don’t know how to write a drabble.