Some jokes just aren’t funny. As a demigod of mischief, Elias could attest to the fact that not everyone knew where that line was drawn. There was an art to it, a skill in doing no real harm with a trick. Sure, his trickster side sometimes almost went too far. Sometimes the temptation grew to cause more trouble than anyone deserved. But he never actually crossed that line, not when he was in control.
When the fellow at the bar raised his glass in a fake-drunk salute, Elias’ trickster side perked right up.
Eral always talked a big game. Proportionally, he could outdrink almost anyone, and that was really impressive. Still, even he had his limits. Even Eral the arbor pixie could drink until he forgot he was only six inches tall. He didn’t exactly need liquid courage to mouth off to people, either.
Elias was several seats away, but suddenly felt drawn to move closer. He extricated himself from the small group of lively people he’d been chatting with and headed for the belligerent pixie.
He was steps away when the smug man sitting nearby grabbed Eral in a fist. By the look on Eral’s tiny face, the grip was much harsher than necessary. His leafy wings buzzed to life, blurring uselessly.
Not funny already.
Wings and struggling and protests ignored, the man grinned and moved to dump Eral right into his drink. Before he could, a strong hand caught his wrist and locked it in place.
He looked up at Elias, but his scowl quickly became a mask of shock. The telltale blue glow reflected in his eyes told Elias why; apparently his intuition for mischief was as correct as ever.
“I think we both know you were about to take your prank too far,” Elias greeted, keeping his iron grip steady. “So I really hope you aren’t planning to make excuses after you let the pixie go.”
He slipped his other hand underneath the suspended pixie, and the man took no further convincing to release his grip. His fingers practically sprang open, dumping a very winded Eral onto Elias’ hand.
The stranger couldn’t even finish his reedy complaint before Elias shoved his arm away and backed up. A small blue spark jumped from his hand to the stranger’s arm just before he turned away; the guy wouldn’t be able to touch anything at all without a little static for at least a day.
That was funny. And a light punishment, considering.
“Eral, you alright, buddy?” Elias asked as he ducked outside into the late evening, away from the bright lights and raucous noise of the pub. His hand was close to his chest to block the breeze while his friend sat up and oriented himself on his hand.
Eral rubbed at his eyes and his wings buzzed irritably, but he didn’t move to hop off his perch. “I coulda handled that guy myself!” he complained, pointedly patting a hand over the hilt of a tiny rapier at his hip; the first attempt missed and he scowled up at Elias’ bemused face. “I was ready!”
“Ready to take a swim, looked like,” Elias shot back. If Eral could bitch, he was probably fine. The grab might have bruised him, but he’d be okay.
Eral threw him a rude gesture. “Whatever. Get back inside, that guy made me drop my drink an’ I wasn’t done!”
Elias smirked and lifted his hand to his shoulder to let the pixie settle there. “Fine, but I’m gonna chaperone you for the rest of the night.”