While he was being forced against the wall with no room for escape, the Commander had the chance to learn a few things about his secretary.
The first is that unlike him, Zuikaku cannot hold her liquor well. Or at least the strong ones, because he once saw her downing several cans of beer without any ill effects.
The other is that she’s an aggressive drunk. An aggressive, unreasonable drunk.
“Jinguji-saaaan…you! You~hic~unfair bloke. You turkey. Trying to abandon and leave me alone, huh? Huh? Huh?”
There was an audible noise as the carrier slammed one hand on the wall once again, leaned even closer, and began poking her forefinger over and over against the Commander’s chest. Her speech was drawn-out and slurred, as expected from someone inebriated, while her face was hidden from view, obscured by her disheveled hair.
“…Hey, I just want to go to the bathroom…”
“Lies! You are trying to get away from me, aren’t you? After I decided to humor your endless cajoling and come along with you? Huh?”
Sweating at the brow, the Commander turned to his subordinates who were currently with them at the bar; nobody seemed to care about his troubles, and a lot of them were openly snickering and whistling.
Damn it, you traitors, he grumbled inwardly. Just because we are off-duty…
With that, his only hope now lay with Shoukaku. It was quickly dashed.
“We〜ll〜It’s fine for her to act like this, right? We are off-duty,” the older carrier said—the flushing of her cheeks showing she’s starting to get tipsy—when she saw the Commander’s pleading look directed at her. “And, ah, it’s always good to see Zuikaku being honest. You like honest people, don’t you?
Shoukaku spoke like how she usually did, but her tone carried a hint of enjoyment; the Commander knew right away she wouldn’t be of any help. She wouldn’t help, to be precise.
“Damn it, you are the type to get all sadistic when you are drunk, huh?”
Shoukaku did not deny nor confirm the accusation and simply giggled before she resumed drinking.
Another series of pokes on his chest brought the Commander’s attention back to Zuikaku. She raised her head after that, showing the Commander the determination in her eyes—drunk or not, she will always have it, he realized.
“You. Me. Dance floor. Now.”
Seemingly emboldened by her sister’s words, Zuikaku made her demands clearly known. That didn’t stop the Commander from trying to reason with her for the last time, no matter how futile it may be.
“Uhh, do you think it’s a good idea, being drunk and—”
“Shut up and dance with me,” Zuikaku hissed. Before the stunned Commander could react further, she pulled him away.
As Zuikaku took the lead, the Commander remembered why he was quick to resign himself to her drunken whims, when he once again caught a glimpse of her exposed back, partially covered by her long ponytail—at some point, she had ditched her long coat, and the Commander found out for the first time that she’s been wearing a backless dress all this time; he soon learned he found it immensely attractive.
“Oh man,” he let out a brief, rueful laugh. “I can’t possibly be that simple, can I…?”
The longer the Commander danced with Zuikaku—if their unfocused movements can be called that—the more he could see she’s enjoying herself, even when drunk.
“What’s the matter? Can’t keep up?” She sneered, albeit good-naturedly when she saw the Commander was starting to slow down. She eventually adjusted her pace to match his.
“Well, uh, you sure are energetic tonight. Enjoying yourself?”
“Ooh, am I? I dunno’ why. Hey, hey! Tell me, maybe…?”
“Well…” the Commander paused to do some quick thinking, “I say it’s because…you are here with friends, I guess…?”
“Oh. Hic. That might be tr—true. But hey, Jinguji-san, it could be because of you. I don’t know,” she said as she made an abrupt stop, wobbled a bit, and lightly crashed her forehead against the Commander’s chest. Fortunately, they were near the edge of the dance floor, so the scene wasn’t readily noticeable.
“It’s because of you, isn’t it?” It’s all your fault,” she looked up, showing a rare grin. “…The night is still young, so you better do your best to stay up!”
'…I’m going to regret this,' the Commander realized as Zuikaku seized his wrist and pulled him back to the dance floor.
When tomorrow came, the Commander was sore all over, Zuikaku suffered the worst hangover she ever had, and Shoukaku had quite a bit of fun that day.