A chuckle sounded from somewhere in the back of his throat, enriched by the sight of her shameless drinking. Not that he expected her to sip it, or to leave it untouched for the sake of conversation, but the vigor with which she took her shot pleasantly surprised him; it was almost friendly, and something familiar. “I have another to spare,” he joked, setting his shot glass down on the counter at his side. “and you aren’t seeing what I’m seeing~” Which, he decided, was a very pretty, rum-fueled woman.
Aracelis laughed a little. She poured herself and Francis second rounds. They talked for a few minutes more about insignificant things. Ari opened up to him, and it felt good. She hadn’t been open with anybody except her brother for a long time. After about a half an hour, Ari felt compelled to tell Francis what had been bothering her earlier. “Franny, I slept with your sister,” she said frankly, swirling her rum. “I felt like it’d be odd starting something with you after having that with her.” She looked away, a little apprehensive for his reaction.
He was unsure what to say at first. The present shot of rum had a particularly hard time going down, but he was not certain whether it was because it surprised him that his sister managed to bed Aracelis, or because he managed to get her to open up to him. He made a soft sound of understanding that lumped up in his burning throat, and paid an intense attention to the craftsmanship of his shot glass for an extended moment out of courtesy for her; he figured she would be quite flustered with the statement, and offered her some time for her assumed blush to fade back to the alcohol-pink they had both developed. Finally, though, his eyes darted up to her’s, and he said, “I admire your faithfulness.”
A wave of relief flooded Aracelis. She had feared that Francis would be angry. She supposed she wouldn’t be angry if their situations had been reversed. She smiled a little weakly and sipped her drink. “I’m hardly faithful, am I?” she said. Ari could hear the bitterness creeping into her voice. She didn’t want to be that way in front of Francis, but she couldn’t help it. Sometimes the alcohol brought it out in her.
He nearly choked on the new shot he had taken the liberty to pour himself, a laugh rising in his throat; sputtering with alcoholic amusement. “I-” he took a moment to clear his burning throat, wipe a tearing eye, before responding with a flushed humility, “I don’t really think I’m the correct person to have a discussion with on this…” He smiled at her - it would have been terse if the alcohol had not eased his whole body, almost indefinitely - and attempted the shot again. When he withdrew from his glass, however, his face had turned moderately wry in spite of itself. “Faithfulness.”
Aracelis laughed and knocked back her shot. The drink went down much easier now that she had gotten what she had to say to Franny off of her chest. She listened to what he had to say and contemplated it, silently, for a moment. An idea wandered into her mind, and it was so unlike anything that she had ever said to anyone before that she was tempted to blame the drink. Despite how appropriate it seemed to the situation, it took her a few minutes to find the courage to voice it. “Maybe we could try being faithful to each other,” she said quietly, fighting to keep eye contact with Franny.