Alcohol, noun. A colourless volatile flammable liquid which is produced by the natural fermentation of sugars and is the intoxicating constituent of wine, beer, spirits, and other drinks, and is also used as an industrial solvent and as fuel.
By definition, alcohol is a clearly harmful substance, and that is no joke. Especially when you make the stupid decision to steal it from your parents, hoping they won't notice, and then walk around the streets still holding the bottle in attempt to get to your boyfriend's house without a bus and hang out with him and his sister while intoxicated.
Sadly for Maxie, he didn't particularly care about the consequences of his actions and did exactly that anyway. It also didn't help that the type of drunk Maxie happened to be wasn't exactly easy to hide. This being because he became immensely out of it and loopy.
How he even managed to make his way to the Starr's house in the first place is a mystery to everyone, himself included. But, by some miracle, he was able to get there eventually.
He walked up to the door and knocked on it, laughing for no good reason at the sound leading to him having to lean against the wall in attempt to keep himself upright. Not long after, Chrissie opened the door in her pyjamas (a plain white sweater and some blue shorts) with her hair down, which made sense due to how late it was. But what didn't make sense, at least to Maxie at the time, was the look of utter confusion on her face.
"Maxie? What are you doing here so late?! And why do have a bottle of alcohol in your hand...?" She asked him, at first kind of annoyed but slowly easing up as she really took in his current presence.
"I don't have alcohol in my hand..." Maxie said, clearly in some sort of daze, before lifting his arm in front of his face and seeing the bottle there. "Oh, wait. Yeah I do," he continued, bursting into laughter at the realisation and almost falling backwards from it.
"Whoa!" Chrissie practically yelled as she quickly grabbed Maxie's arm to ensure he wouldn't fall. 'OK, he's obviously drunk. That's just great!' She thought to herself.
She took a deep breath to try and calm herself in advance for the task at hand, getting some sense out of Maxie. "Maxie, I will ask you again and this time I expect an answer. What are you doing here?"
"I came to see you, obviously!" Maxie slurred in excitement, saying it like Chrissie already knew he would be there despite the lack of warning in advance.
"Really? Just me? Not your boyfriend. You came to our house at-" she stopped for a moment to look away at the clock before continuing "about half 10 at night, with alcohol on you, to see your future sister-in-law?"
"Sister-in-law..." Maxie repeated, clearly fascinated by the term in his drunken state. "I like that." He said simply, before stepping in the house and tripping on his own feet in the process causing him to fall onto Chrissie.
"Hey... you're really good at catching things." Maxie said before laughing at nothing again. Chrissie just rolled her eyes and slowly walked the two of them over to the couch. Thankfully, her parents were already in bed, so there was no need to worry about them getting in the way for the rest of the night.
Once they got there, Chrissie slowly put Maxie down in a lying position and put a cushion under his head, then took the bottle away from him. He made a small grunt in disapproval as a response, but overall it didn't do much to damage his overwhelming joy.
She went to put the bottle in the kitchen, but stopped and turned around when she heard his voice calling out to him from behind her.
"Hey, Chris! You have really soft hair," Maxie said, almost in amazement, with a genuine-ish looking smile on his face. Chrissie gave him a small nod back to him in thanks, a smile of her own slowly growing and eyes slightly brightenting at the sentiment.
She then turned back around and put the bottle on the kitchen counter before grabbing a bucket from underneath the sink for Maxie to throw up in if needed. She walked back over to the couch and placed the bucket next to his head, then went to close the door that had been left open the whole time.
"Maxie, I'm gonna go and get David from upstairs, ok? Please don't move." Chrissie said as calmly and softly as possible so she wouldnt somehow scare him.
He simply laughed again and gave Chrissie a basic "sure" in reply. That was all the approval she needed, and she took off to David's room afterwards.
When she got there, she was glad to see that her brother hadn't went to sleep yet, though was already in his pyjamas (black pants and a long sleeved red shirt) much like herself.
At the noise of the opening door, David turned around to see Chrissie stood there and his face fell instantly as he sighed in resignation. "What do you want?" He asked, getting right to the point in his mind.
"I want you to come downstairs with me." At David's questioning look she continued, "Maxie just got here and he's drunk out of his mind, I'm not dealing with that alone. Besides, he's your boyfriend, not mine." Chrissie said back, tilting her head to the side as an action that would hopefully get to him to follow.
Although still confused, David stood up and followed Chrissie out of his room and downstairs, only to find Maxie still on the couch and trying to kick his shoes off.
"Here, let me help with that," David said, walking over to the end of the couch to take of Maxie's shoes for him. A task that proved quite difficult as drunken Maxie didn't like staying still, apparently. It only got worse when he noticed who it was trying to take them off.
"Davey!" Maxie said in a childlike manner, emphasised by the grabby hands he started making in David's direction like that would help summon him to his side. It did work though, after David had finally gotten Maxie's shoes off and put them on the floor.
David then sat next to him on the couch, lifting his own legs onto it as well while being careful not to hit the bucket on the floor in fear there would be something in it. Based off of the smell and the fact that he couldn't see anything from where he was sat assured him it was empty, which was right, but he was still cautious anyway.
"Hey Max. You feeling good?" David asked, cupping Maxie's face with one of his hands and looking into his carefree eyes with his own pair, full of worry.
"I'm even better now that you're here..." Maxie said affectionately, throwing his own arms around David's chest and hiding his face in the crook of David's neck, clinging to him as if he was a teddy bear.
Chrissie stood back and just watched the two interact from behind them, making a mental note in the mean time to try and wake up early the next morning so her parents wouldn't find Maxie asleep on the couch when eating breakfast.
After a short conversation between the boys, David stood back up, clearly tired, and said he would be heading off to bed. Maxie quickly got upset at the idea, so before leaving the room David gave Maxie a quick parting kiss. "I love you, Maxie. He said and took off back upstairs.
On his way up, a very slurred yet clear, "No, I love you!" was shouted up to him, making David smile stupidly until he crashed into bed.
While David went back to his room, Maxie turned his attention back to Chrissie, who had since sat across from him on the couch. "Why aren't you going to bed?" He asked curiously, the pure joy of his drunkenness slowly wearing off.
"I don't know. Maybe I'm just not tired." Chrissie replied, but she yawned not long after completly voiding her statement.
"Yes you are. I can tell. So why aren't you going to bed?" Maxie retorted, looking more serious now.
Chrissie sighed in response. She really didn't know why she wasn't leaving. Taking a wild guess at the reasoning for her own actions, she said, "I guess I just don't want to leave you alone right now. Not while you're like this."
"I'll be fine on my own, Chris. Just go to bed."
Chrissie would be lying through her teeth if she said that she didn't think that was really sweet of Maxie, but she subconsciously couldn't stand the thought of leaving her friend in such a state.
She eventually settled on saying, "Tell you what, Maxie. I'll go to bed when you fall asleep. How about that?"
Maxie waited for a moment before replying with, "But then I won't know if you're lying or not." His eyes slowly dropping as it became more and more apparent that he would pass out at any moment.
Chrissie's heart dropped at that. The sincerity in Maxie's voice despite him being so loopy just minutes earlier really struck a chord with her somehow.
"Look... I promise I'll go to bed for your sake after you go to sleep, ok? I just want to make sure you'll be fine first."
And with that, Maxie smiled at her once more before finally closing his eyes and letting his head fall onto the cushion. It wasn't long before Maxie's small snoring could be heard, the steady rhythm almost lulling Chrissie to sleep where she sat.
She slowly got up from the couch to not disturb Maxie and went upstairs to her bedroom. However, before going to bed, she picked up one of her blankets and walked back downstairs with it in her arms.
When she got there, she walked back over to the couch and carefully put the blanket on top of Maxie's sleeping figure. After she was happy with it, she stepped around the bucket on the floor and placed a light kiss on the top of his head. "G'night, Maxie" she whispered, mostly to herself knowing the boy probobly couldn't hear her.
Afterwards, she quietly went upstairs once more and practically threw herself into bed, going to sleep as quick as possible to hold up her promise.
The following morning was interesting for Chrissie and Maxie, to say the least. The bonding time they had the night before was not something Chrissie would forget, but with Maxie being drunk the whole time she suspected he wouldn't remember most if not all of it.
But she didn't have time to worry about that. At that moment her main concern was making sure that she was awake and downstairs before her family so they wouldn't be concerned about the hungover teenager sleeping on their couch.
That was why she had set an alarm to wake her up at 6 am, which thankfully did go off. That didn't stop her from being anymore annoyed at having to be up so early, and trying to wake up Maxie in such a state would be even more of a task.
She begrudgingly got out of bed and turned the alarm off before it woke up anyone else in the house, then went downstairs as quietly as possible. It didn't suprise her to see Maxie still sound asleep on the couch just as she left him.
Chrissie walked over to the couch and crouched down in front of the sleeping boy in front of her, then started to try and shake him awake. "Hey... Maxie... you gotta get up now." Chrissie said softly, as if it would disturb him less.
Although it did help a bit to not have to be woken up with something loud in the morning, not being able to sleep off the hangover he now had was something not in favour of Maxie at that moment. He started groaning at whatever it was in front if him, hoping it would go away so he could go back to sleep. But, when he finally managed to get his eyes open and noticed Chrissie in front of him, it did help to comfort him.
"Hi Chris." Maxie said to her, his voice coming out really gravelly as it would naturally but even worse now from the alcohol he had the previous night. "What time is it?"
"Just after 6 in the morning. I didnt want to wake you up way too early but I also know that my parents would question why you're here if no one else was with you." Chrissie answered, slowly standing up again.
Finally deciding to get up, knowing he wouldn't get back to sleep now, Maxie sat up, but did so too quickly for his hungover mind which only made it worse.
Seeing the issue, Chrissie started walking to the kitchen saying, "I'll go get you some toast."
"Toast?" Maxie questioned, looking at her like she was insane.
"Yes. Toast. It helps with hangovers, trust me. And I also need to get some coffee for myself, I cannot deal with being awake this early in the morning." Chrissie replied in complaint, which Maxie just laughed at. Thankfully, it wasn't as loud and full of joyful insanity as his laughing the last night was, which Chrissie took as a good sign that the alcohol had actually worn off.
After a few minutes, she returned to the living room with a cup of coffee in one hand and a plate with two slices of fresh toast in the other. "I didn't know if you wanted it buttered or not, so one is and one isn't." Chrissie said as she handed Maxie the plate and sat down next to him.
"Thanks, Chrissie." He said back, graciously taking the food from her.
"It's no big deal." Chrissie said, shrugging of the thanks as she took a sip of her coffee.
"No. Really. Thank you. Not just for this morning, but last night as well. It was really cool of you to stay with me." Maxie said as heartfelt as possible, looking at her with a loving look in his eyes and the same sincere smile he had shown right before falling asleep the previous night.
That caught Chrissie's attention, and she put down her drink then returned the smile to him like it was nothing. Because to her, it truly was.
It wasn't long after that before Maxie put down his food and surged forward, enveloping Chrissie in an unexpected but accepted hug which she lovingly gave back.
"You're a really good friend, Chris. You know that?" Maxie whispered to her. She didn't answer back. Just smiled and hugged him even tighter.
Some people would say that giving Maxie alcohol was a bad thing. But if Chrissie was getting free hugs and compliments out of it, how bad can it really be?