"Wwwwelll... okay." Mike put the glass in his claws to rest on the table to begin speaking. "It, like... started when I sneaked outta the house... because I thought you weren't going to like that I wanted to be a Rescuer, mom... sorry."
"Khahaw... don't worry Mikey-boy, I did tha same thing when I was yer age. Anyways..." Syrup lounged back on the chair, placing her feet on the table, while she continued to guzzle down the whiskey.
"Well... so like, I came to Tao Village... and, ugh... Everyone was so mean to me. PK--"
"That purple lizard girl, right? The one with that huge ice dragon n' all?" Syrup stopped nursing the jug for a very brief moment to interrupt Mike.
"Yeah, her! K-kheh... her... she swindled me of all my money. And then left me to deal with Devonshire and... agh, that's right..." Mike started fussing, bringing up bad memories already.
"Hey now... things di'int havta be all bad, right? What about that... er, Chill fella'?" Syrup had to rescue Mike before he descended to sadness.
"Oh... him... yeah, Chill, Chill, Chill!! Aughhuaaaa..." Mike slumped his head on the table surface in protest to his mother's words.
"Wha! Whassa' matter, Mikey-boy?!" Syrup tapped on Mike's back with a single claw.
"N-nothing... it's nothing, except like... Chill was this guy I looked up and... hey, remember waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay back when I was a kid and Maple was... well, you know..." Mike raised to an upright position to make a gesture with this claws to that of an oval.
"When she were only an eggy, naw', even before that! I know what yer gonna tell me... Chill was actually that Minccino who saved ya when you were stolen from me back then, ain't that right?"
"Huhwhawhaaa... how'd you know that mom??"
Syrup took another quick guzzle from the whiskey jug. "Shuckles, even if I di'nt go to school or anythin' back then, it ain't THAT hard to put two an' two together! ...hic!"
"Yeah... yeah! Of course you knew that!..." This was the first he ever heard of this, actually. "A-anyways! So like, yeah... I was so surprised to see him there, he was my hero! Of course I looked up to him, and that stunt he pulled... it's what made me want to even be a rescuer at all!"
"Yeh yeh... an' if I weren't so fulla Maple back then and saved ya myself, I bet you would be singing a diff'rent tale now, but anyways..." Syrup gestured her claw to have Mike continue on as she continued drinking.
"W-well! So like... like... Chill wanted to start a Rescuer's Guild in Tao Village and I was like oh my gosh yes of course I want to be the co-leader, working with you! And he said something like, yeah bro!! Bro... man... if he really was a bro... I'unno, 'cuz like..." Mike started to fidget in his chair. "Like, after a few days he told me he wanted to set an allowance for me so we can save money. Sure, I said! And then the next day as I ate nothing but noodles I see him prancing around the village wooing every girl with his glinty... glint in his eyes... Wait, I'm not even sure he has eyes. Whatever, point is he got every girl in the village, bought them whatever they wanted like dinner, while I get stuck with gruel and nothing... ...waaaaaaaaa..."
"What is it this time... Mikey-boy?" Syrup was somewhat annoyed, not at her son's tears forming in the corner of her eyes, but at the fact that she drank the jug empty. "I was sure I had more 'round here..." Syrup got up from her chair to open the cabinet right next to the table.
Mike laid his face straight down as best as he could on the table surface, even if his snout wouldn't permit it. "Mom... you know how you wanted me to find the love of my life and get together and have children of our own, right?"
"Mm-hmm~" Syrup continued to rummage through the cabinet.
"W-well, do you think it's possible that I'll never find that someone special in my life?"
"Yess...." Syrup was happy as she plucked a glass bottle full of a differently colored liquid. As she turned around, she was surprised to see Mike silently sobbing. That was when after a long delay that it finally hit her. "Oh! Oh nnononononono I di'nt mean that, Mikey-boy!" Syrup quickly went behind Mike and started rubbing at his back in order to calm him down to at least stop him from crying pathetically. "C'mon, there's never a never... ever! It all starts with feelins! Did ya have any feelins' for somebody back over there?"
"Almond..." Mike sniffled.
"Who?? I... that sounds strangely familiar... Almost like somethin' from a ransom note or somethin' from the menu..."
"She doesn't matter anymore. She's gone now. Left after stealin' my hat and then I got it back..."
"Khahaw! I told ya that hat's lucky!! Well, except for that one part anyways..." Syrup went back to her chair to start on her next container of alcohol. "...but, I think yer not a one-lady man, yannow? Isn't there anyone else?"
Mike tried to think hard to compose a list of names in his head, but it was difficult to do so when one is intoxicated. "Ruben... nah, her head's in the air. Auntie? No... I think she mentioned something about being married. Udon? No, she got mad at me. Merlot... no way, no how, even if she is giant. Uh... oh..."
After about a minute of silence, Mike finally came up with a name. "W-well... there's... PK."
"Oh, that crazy Merchant lizard gal with the giant ice dragon, right? Makes sense, she's a lizzie, yer a lizzie..." Syrup started the fiddle with the fur on the side of her face. "Say... d'jya at least try gettin' her attention? How 'bout that er... tall dragon she had? He seems... nice.
"Oh... Sorbet... He's... something
"Yeah yeah... All dragons are somethin' all right... Large and... ooh~" Syrup giggled with outlandish thoughts.
"Uh, well... as for PK she uh... Ugh man, she's like the hardest to even try. Everytime I try to get her attention she's like... 'Mike you idiot!,' or like 'Mike where's my money!,' or 'Mike no discounts, in fact you pay double this time,' or 'Mike don't talk to me unless you have cake or something,' or 'Mike this cake is so stale what did you even buy a bargain one? Pathetic!,' or 'Gee I'm full that's at least an F- of a cake if I ever had something even worse...' or 'Man Mike this ice cream isn't even five scoops, what are you, a baby?' or 'bend over, this'll hurt you, but in a good way,' or...
Syrup's face grimaced as she got the message: This PK was a dangerous girl and she would break Mike's heart in half quite easily, and it sounded like it happened already. "Say uh... Mikey-boy, ya sure
you like her? It sure sounds like she were steppin' all over ya!"
"W-well... she actually did that to me... once... it felt kinda nice, you know... not like that but... like that, you know
??" Mike started to blush.Oh... I didn't realize that I raised my son to be a wimp in bed... eh... oh... well, I ain't gonna judge him, but I don't think I'll grandkids outta him if he keeps it up.
Syrup could only guzzle more of the alcohol down silently as she thought to herself, but she had to change the subject a little. "...hic! So uh er, Mikey-boy... That PK sounds nice
, but there's others, right?"
"Well... Maybe, if only Chill wasn't like some super duper chick magnet." Mike flumped his own back to the chair's back.
"Yeah, see..." Syrup pointed at Mike. "That ain't gonna flygon while he's disrespectin' you at least. He should at least... cool it! An' let ya breathe a lil', you should talk to him, y'know!"
"Well, it's kinda hard to when Chill... left the Rescuers and made me leader..." Mike tilted his head downward.
"Say... WHAT? Well, I mean maybe that ain't such a good idea to leave while yer appointed leader of the Rescuers, but... him dumpin' the work on you? I'm proud of yer promotion, sure, but... what?? What was so important that he had to leave?"
"Well, his sister got hurt really bad when he was doing business in his hometown, Snowy Village, and now she can't walk anymore.
" Syrup could only drink solemnly to that.
"Well... I feel bad for him, honestly. I looked up to him, even if he was sorta obnoxious at times, but to see him leave like that..." The mood permeating the air turned into a sinking feeling.
If anything Syrup could do, it was breaking the ice. "Well... At least, yer a full fledged leader now... maybe the respect oughta start comin' yer way now, and the ladies too... ehh??? That can't be all bad now!"
"It's.. still the same. Except now I have the pressure of being judged by everyone even more and I still
don't get noticed. Not even PK... waa waa I wish she would say nice words to me at least
once! Oh well, at least she has a tall drink of a teaman that she loves... I envy him."
"Yannow what ya need? Ya need to make yer own respect, with some intimidation! Kinda like how I saddled into Gambitville! I mean, sure, they all called me a maneater for a week or two, but afterwards a lotta men couldn't stop starin' at my beehind..." Syrup snapped her two digits together. "That's it! We gotta find you an outlaw you can hunt and eat, and then
they'll pay attention to ya Mikey-boy!"
"...zzz..." Mike passed out on the table.
"Er... guess that was a lil too much for ya, eh?" Syrup lifted herself from the chair and cradled Mike into her arms, clumsily bringing him to his own room and laid him on his stony bed. "Nighty nighty, Mike." Syrup retired to her own room and fell soundly asleep.
Part 8 of "Reprieve" by