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Literature / Mix Beer With Liquor And You Will Get Sicker

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Mix Beer With Liquor and You Will Get Sicker is an ongoing Web Original romantic fiction written by Locked Box and first posted in 2011 on Archive Of Our Own and Adultfanfiction. It follows the convoluted events that arise after the protagonist, Lauchlan Huxley, awakes with a pounding headache and another man curled into his side. The events that follow turn his life upside down, dredge up a landslide of emotions he was not ready to deal with and generally make his life a misery. Yet, somewhere along the line, he finds the time to fall in love.

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The story is Not Safe for Work, considering it has adult content (an explicit sex scene and a nightmare-inducing gory scene).


Mix Beer With Liquor and You Will Get Sicker contains examples of:

  • Achey Scars: Lauchlan's scars ache in the cold, and when he's reminded of the incident that inflicted them. This is lampshaded when Lauchlan remarks that he knows the pain is just in his head, but he can't seem to convince his body of the fact.
  • A Date with Rosie Palms: Lauchlan has one in chapter 14, thinking about Corbin.
  • Anguished Declaration of Love: Lauchlan tries this in chapter 16 but doesn't quite get through with it. Works out better in the final chapter.
  • Apologises a Lot: Lauchlan to a T. Corbin even comments on it; "I swear every other word out of your mouth is bloody 'I'm sorry.' It's almost starting to lose its meaning," to which Lauchlan promptly apologises, though he was tactful enough to rephrase himself. He later learns to answer Corbin's outbursts with "alright" instead of "sorry".
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  • Bastard Boyfriend: Corbin admits to having one in his youth, describing the unnamed man as liking his partners younger than was savoury and that he liked to use his wealth and power to manipulate and intimidate people, his lovers especially so. Corbin rather flippantly claims that the relationship was only ever sexual, and that he saw through the manipulation and got the better end of the bargain, leaving the man without giving him any satisfaction. Though, he may not be quite as unaffected as he lets on, since he tends to react aggressively when people try to give him things, or treat him chivalrously.
  • Beautiful Dreamer: Subverted, to an extent. Lauchlan watches Corbin whilst he sleeps and remarks that Corbin seems much less intimidating this way.
  • Bedmate Reveal: When Lauchlan wakes up with a stranger in bed, he cannot see much more than the latter's hair at first and assumes the person cuddling up to him is a woman. He's pretty shocked to learn otherwise.
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  • Can't Hold His Liquor: Lauchlan rarely drinks and gets drunk notoriously easily. This leads to a bout of Hangover Sensitivity.
  • Caught with Your Pants Down: Subverted and lampshaded. Lauchlan is found by Corbin in compromising positions several times, but Lauchlan is never actually masturbating. Lauchlan remarks that this is becoming a particularly humiliating trend.
  • City with No Name: The city the story takes place in is never named, though it is undeniably British.
  • Comfort Food: Lauchlan and porridge.
  • Compassionate Critic: Corbin often berates Lauchlan for showing more compassion than is deserved. This is justified when Lauchlan realizes that his soft-handed approach to leadership has been taken advantage of, to the point where the children have formed what amount to gangs and terrorize one another.
  • Cry into Chest: Played with. Lauchlan reaches emotional rock bottom, resulting in him curling into the foetal position and breaking into tears. Corbin manages to un-curl him and tries to embrace him by holding his head to his chest, but Lauchlan ends up dragging him into his lap in his desperation.
    • Later played straight with reversed roles, as Corbin tells Lauchlan about his dead sister; Lauchlan holds him while Corbin finally mourns after years of suppressed feelings.
  • Cuddle Bug: Lauchlan doesn't often receive physical affection, but when the opportunity arises he's very, very happy to take it.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Upon getting to know each other, both Lauchlan and Corbin have to deal with a lot of emotional baggage that they didn't really want to stir on in years.
  • Death Glare: Corbin is a master of the deathglare, and unleashes them to great effect.
    Corbin [levelled] Lauchlan with an irritated glare, the one that usually meant that someone had performed an impressive feat of idiocy.
  • Eye Scream: Lauchlan lost his right eye in childhood. Unfortunately the incident that injured it didn't remove it completely, and the remains had to be enucleated. Without anaesthetic. While Lauchlan was fully conscious and watching.
  • Facepalm: Corbin is driven to facepalm many times over the course of the story. He's particularly prone to the nose bridge pinch.
  • Forced into Their Sunday Best: While not 'forced', Lauchlan hates wearing his best clothes. He describes himself as thuggish and lopsided in them, and compares himself to a circus animal stuffed into human clothing for the entertainment of the crowd.
  • Forceful Kiss: Corbin plants a prolonged goodbye kiss on Lauchlan in the first chapter. It's a more gentle approach than most examples of this trope, but at that point, it's still unwelcome affection for Lauchlan. Though, in Corbin's defence, he's not quite sobered up and isn't exactly happy about his own behavior once he is.
  • Friendship as Courtship: Played with; Lauchlan and Corbin did already have sex before they really got to know each other, but Lauchlan's realization that he's fallen in love with Corbin dawns after months of them building a friendship on a fairly platonic level.
  • Gentle Giant: Lauchlan is described as being 6'2" tall, broad shouldered and has prominent facial scarring and is soft-spoken and kind-hearted to a fault. He adores the draught horses he cares for, and will normally put their own needs before his own.
  • Guilt Complex: Lauchlan has the mother of all guilt complexes. He holds himself personally accountable for the wellbeing and happiness of people who don’t even like him, and seems to believe anything done purely for pleasure on his part is an act of selfishness, a trait he loathes and believes will cause everyone pain. As a result, he rarely even considers his own emotional wellbeing and actively represses his own desires and emotional needs.
  • Hard Head: Well and truly averted. Lauchlan has to take a hard blow to the head, which results in a concussion with several days of pain, dizziness, and nausea, not to mention fever because of the infected wound that needs to be cleaned and sewn, and Corbin frets himself silly over him.
  • Help Mistaken for Attack: Lauchlan comes to Corbin's house and finds the door kicked in; deeply worried, he goes in to look after Corbin, who notices someone sneaking through the dark hallway and assumes the burglar who was in his home earlier has come back for another try. Lauchlan has to learn the hard way that Corbin is quite a nasty batsman when he feels threatened; leads to a lot of guilt on Corbin's behalf the moment he realizes his mistake.
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: All of the chapters, and the story itself, are named after idioms and sayings that usually relate closely to the chapters content. For instance, chapter one is titled A Can of Worms, and sure enough one whopping, metaphorical can of them is opened during the chapter.
  • Incompatible Orientation: Seems like poor Theresa has a crush on Lauchlan.
  • In Love with Love: Lauchlan believed himself to be in love with Ida, a woman who had left him, but as he begins to explore his sexuality, he realized that he had not loved her that way, and in fact, could never feel anything for her beyond loving the idea of her. Finally having answer as to why his relationships keep on falling apart, this revelation is surprisingly comforting.
  • Insecure Love Interest: Lauchlan is in a near constant state of guilt and insecurity over the story's course, blaming himself for each and every emotional hiccup their relationship endures.
  • Kavorka Man: Corbin, by his own admission, had been around the block a few times before his relationship with Lauchlan. Though he's not much to look at, his actions certainly attest to having considerable prior experience.
  • Kindhearted Cat Lover: Lauchlan adopts an alley cat that had taken refuge in his house. She is jokingly referred to as a "stray infestation."
  • Kids Are Cruel: Finch is a renowned bully and terror at fourteen years old. He and his sycophants threaten violence on children up to five years younger than they are, steal their wages and play cruel pranks when on the clock.
    • Also reflected in the nameless street urchins. They decide that it would be great fun to torment a pair of Lauchlan's horses by throwing snowballs and whacking them with sticks. This hits something of a nerve in Lauchlan.
  • Lie Back and Think of England: Subverted, justified and gender switched. Lauchlan goes into his relationship with near to no knowledge of male to male relations beyond tab A goes into slot B. He actually believes that the dominant partner will be the only participant who feels pleasure, and resigns himself to performing this trope. Thankfully, Corbin is quick to disillusion him.
  • Massive Numbered Siblings: Good god, Corbin — the trope is Played for Drama for all it is worth. By the time Corbin left his family, his mother had given birth to sixteen children altogether (some of them twins) and had no intentions of stopping this business anytime soon. Corbin recalls that they basically lived like animals, extremely poor, constantly hungry or sick, and each of them a working hand as soon as they were old enough to walk. The last straw was when his favorite sister Eloise died of a disease, his mother got a new baby a few weeks later and named the new child Eloise, in the process basically just stopping to think about the first.
  • Mercy Kill: Camilla (one of Lauchlan's favourite horses) broke a leg by stepping into a hole. Lauchlan is forced to sell her to the knackery, and she’s shot minutes later with Lauchlan still in earshot.
  • Must Make Amends: Lauchlan physically hurt Corbin during their drunken misadventure (probably due to his complete lack of experience with male-on-male sex), and has been trying to make up for it ever since. Curiously, Corbin doesn't even seem to care, and brushes off Lauchlan's concerns and apologies. Lauchlan keeps on trying regardless.
  • Nervous Wreck: While outwardly composed (at least most of the time) Lauchlan is almost always stressing over something. He usually internalizes his worries and manages to work through them, either by repressing them, or replacing them with larger fears, but he does have his limits, to the point of suffering a serious panic attack.
  • No Social Skills: Lauchlan is often bewildered or completely ignorant of social nuances and cues that play out right in front of his face. Word of God has it that he is on the autism spectrum.
  • One Head Taller: Played with. Lauchlan towers above his love interest Corbin, who is only five foot tall. Corbin's forceful personality makes him the most dominant of the relationship, and he will often climb or stand on things in order to nullify the height difference during intimacy. Intimacy aside, Lauchlan is often so cowed by Corbin's temper that he forgets the height difference completely. He is often described shrinking down and backing away from Corbin, a subconscious attempt to make himself seem smaller and less threatening.
  • One-Hour Work Week: Carefully subverted. Lauchlan's job as a stable master is an important part of the story. He's described as working from five am to an undisclosed time in the evening and gets the day off on Sundays. This is described as a vast improvement over his previous work as a domestic servant, where he and his family worked from dawn till dusk seven days a week.
  • Opposites Attract: Corbin is 5 ft short, loud, resolute, coarse, cynical and a bit rude, and for whatever reason, he's set his eyes on Lauchlan, 6 ft 2 inches tall, shy, polite, sensitive, lacking social skills as well as assertiveness, very kind and soft-hearted and in some matters almost childlike naive. They do, however, share one distinctive feature: Both have known extreme poverty and have worked their way out of it by their own strength.
  • Out, Damned Spot!: Corbin frantically scrubs blood off his floor for hours after mistakenly hitting someone he thought was a burglar in his home but really was Lauchlan who'd come to look after him. Luckily, nobody was killed during this, but Corbin is so caught up in his guilt loop that he just carries on, not minding that the blood is long gone and that his hands are sore and blistering from the work.
  • Parental Substitute: Lauchlan has a loving and devoted mother, but has had two substitute father figures after his biological father died. His stepfather Theodore was particularly close to him, and taught him to read and write. Percival took him under his wing after circumstances forced him to leave his family, taught him his trade and left him his house after he died. However, this is averted when Lauchlan cannot bring himself to treat Percival as a father when he still loves and respects his stepfather, which becomes a source of guilt after Percival's death.
  • Roll in the Hay: Played straight in chapter 5.
  • Shrinking Violet: Lauchlan is an example of this. He has few friends and limited social skills. His crushing lack of self confidence and guilt complex prevent him from reaching out to those around him, and when relationships turn bad he blames and punishes himself for it.
  • Sir Swears-a-Lot: Corbin to a T. Soft-spoken and polite Lauchlan is pretty staggered by his extensive cussing at first, but he gets used to it.
  • Sliding Scale of Beauty: The characters are all over the place, especially since Lauchlan is somewhat of an unreliable narrator due to his status as a Shrinking Violet. Corbin rests comfortably at level VII, and by all his appearances in art Lauchlan should sit respectably at level IV, but seems to see himself as a level XI. He may well have some level of dysphoria stemming from the Eye Scream incident, and his few, failed relationships.
  • Sliding Scale of Plot Versus Characters: MBWLAYWGS rests firmly on the character end of the scale. There is no driving plot aside from the character's archs, and no conflict aside from what is driven by said archs. On Archive of Our Own it's described as a character study.
  • The Snark Knight: Corbin is fairly mild example. He commonly uses sarcasm, profanity and his generally caustic personality to chip through Lauchlan's acute sense of propriety and shyness. However, he is equally wiling to use snark to deflect and redirect conversation in his favour, drifting into the territory of the Stepford Snarker.
  • Spot of Tea: Tea is drunk relatively frequently, both for leisure and as a remedy for Lauchlan's influenza.
    • Not to mention that when Lauchlan starts losing control of his emotions, the first thing Corbin does is to go and make a strong cup of tea. Lauchlan still has his breakdown, but the tea is much appreciated.
  • Snowed-In: Lauchlan and Corbin are subject to this, though Corbin seems to have taken advantage of the situation in order to have Lauchlan to himself, only to be laid up with hypothermia in the process.
  • Stress Vomit: Lauchlan is prone to this, particularly when something reminds him of his childhood trauma.
  • Trauma Conga Line: Lauchlan seems perpetually stuck in one. So far he's had an eye violently removed and his arm broken, been then fired from his job because his appearance (brought on by the violent enucleation) was too unsettling, he's been shipped far from home simply to make sure he wouldn't come back, becomes homeless and is forced to live in the poor house and later the streets. Even when his luck takes a turn and he's taken under the wing by a kindly mentor, things go wrong, as he's left by his lover and his mentor promptly dies.
  • What Did I Do Last Night?: The story begins in the aftermath of this trope. Lauchlan can remember next to nothing of the events of the night before, mainly that he hurt Corbin in a way he didn't think himself capable of. Corbin seems to have a perfect recollection of the night's events, but has shown no intention of sharing this information with Lauchlan.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Lauchlan has a deep-rooted case of scotomaphobia (fear of becoming blind); if any pointed implement comes too close for comfort, he becomes increasingly distressed to the point of blind, thoughtless panic. He's also rather jumpy when people approach or touch him on his blind side, and forget trying to get him to take off his eyepatch.
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