Chris follows close behind Cory, sliding his driver’s license back into his black leather wallet with a satisfied, if somewhat anti-climatic, sigh. He keeps his head down as they head to two stools at the far end of the bar. Dim light diffuses through mismatched black and red lamps, and tiny candles twinkle on the low tables opposite them, where couples lean in close and laugh over ice-frosted glasses. Chris slides onto the shiny wooden stool farthest from the door and surveys the rows and rows of multicolored glass bottles. He glances at Cory with wide eyes that look like a bit of uncertainty and a lot of excitement. Cory smiles, lays one hand at the small of his back for the briefest of moments, and signals for the bartender.
“So what should I have, oh wise one?” Chris asks, bumping his shoulder up against Cory as they wait.
“Well. I always liked whisky. Canadian whisky is awfully good. You’d probably like it mixed with something, but I am not going to sit here and watch you make a good and decent person mix Diet Coke into Crown Royal,” Cory teases him, still nudging him in the shoulder until Chris drops his jaw in mock offense.
“I have very sophisticated tastes, thank you very much. I like mimosas...I like champagne and wine. But all I know about liquor is margaritas and cosmopolitans...blame Sex and the City for that.”
“Oh I do. Among various other crimes against humanity...ok, so. Ginger ale, you like that? Like the spicy one craft services has sometimes, like I brought you when you had the flu...hi,” Cory finishes and smiles at the bartender, who is setting two cocktail napkins in front of them. “It is this young gentleman’s 21st birthday,” Cory explains with a knowing grin at the bartender.
Chris blushes a little and kicks the toe of his shoe at Cory’s ankle, but the bartender is cute and affable, and he relaxes right away. “I do like ginger ale, thank you for the suggestion...so, Canadian whisky and ginger ale, yes?” Chris looks at Cory for reassurance and his boyfriend beams at him with the stupidest look of pride or whatever you call that on his face. Chris rolls his eyes and hopes Cory can refrain from patting him on the head every time he orders a drink.
“You got anything better than Crown Royal?” Cory asks, looking at the bottles and realizing he doesn’t know a lot of the newer labels and brands.
“I do, got a small batch back here called Royal Canadian. Good stuff. And I’ve got Bundberg ginger beer,” cute bartender says, taking a pop-top bottle from the chiller and pulling down a highball glass.
“Perfect.” Cory smirks over at Chris and they watch him pour the dark honey-colored liquor into the glass. He pulls the funny little tab off the metal top and fills the glass the rest of the way with the dark, spicy brew, flicking his wrist with a little flourish to finish.
“Happy birthday...first one’s always on us,” he says with a charming smile at Chris before turning to Cory, who has that stupid look on his face again and Chris is really excited about this drink.
“And for you?”
“You got, hmm, Clausthaler maybe?” Cory asks, thinking this is definitely the kind of place, in the kind of city he can ask for some esoteric German purity law brewed non-alcoholic beer and get it.
“I do. Want the bottle or a glass?” Bartender asks with a lingering gaze that is definitely bordering on flirting now and Chris is sure he recognizes them. He can’t bring himself to worry about it though.
“Oh, bottle. Definitely.” Cory takes the ice cold bottle that is slid toward him with a wink and a “thanks, man.” He lifts the bottle thoughtfully, pausing before turning his entire body away from everyone else and toward just Chris. Chris lifts his glass likewise, and can’t help but smile at the look on Cory’s face.
“To...the Canucks?” Cory starts, with a slow, easy grin and Chris loves him so much.
“No, Monteith. Um. To me? Hello, my birthday,” Chris laughs, holding his drink and hoping his hand isn’t shaking.
“Always to you. To...us.” Cory quirks his mouth a bit at the corner.
“Better. To us.” Chris lifts his glass a little and goes to clink it against Cory’s bottle, but misses when Cory leans over and kisses him just on the corner of his mouth.
“Happy birthday. I love you,” he whispers and sits back to take a long sip of his fake beer, watching as Chris blushes and looks around a little nervously out of habit. He laughs and swirls the drink around, finally taking a cautious taste of it and smiling at Cory over the glass.
“Oh my god that is delicious,” Chris practically purrs as the spicy flavor of the ginger beer and the smoky sweet whisky pour over his tongue.
“Right? We Canadians make good booze.”
“I’m going to have to demand whisky in my contract negotiations now. I’m going to be that guy.” Chris laughs, taking another drink.
“Stumbling around causing scandals and throwing bottles at assistants,” Cory adds, swallowing his own sip of not quite beer.
“Mmm I am definitely overdue for a good scandal now that I’m 21, don’t you think?”
“I do think. Let me taste your drink.” Cory says with a twisty smirk, setting his bottle down. Chris hesitates, a little confused because he knows Cory doesn’t do that, not even a sip.
“Uhhh...k?” Chris begins and Cory takes the glass from his hand. He promptly sets it down on the bar, puts one foot on the floor and half stands, half leans over Chris and takes his face in his hands to tilt him up and kiss him again, for real this time. Chris gasps as his lips part automatically and Cory swipes his tongue between them, the warmth of Chris’s mouth cooled in spots by the iciness of his drink. Chris sighs against him, pressing in as close as he can without coming off his barstool, opening his mouth for Cory to taste and just letting him kiss the flavor away.
Cory pulls away, cheeks a little flushed and licking at his lips, looking smug and deeply satisfied and Chris just has to bask in it. “Wow,” he looks around the room, perhaps for some kind of nod or recognition that holy hell that looked like an awesome kiss. It really was.
“Mmmmm...tasty drink.” Cory tilts his head and picks up his own beer.
“I don’t...I don’t think anyone even noticed, is the problem.” Chris bemoans, as even the cute bartender has turned his attention to some patrons at the other end of the bar. “That is a damn shame. How am I supposed to create a scandal when no one even notices a kiss like that?”
Cory bites at his lip, and Chris is ready to take him home and claim the rest of his birthday presents. “We’ll just have to try harder.”