Noah tries to make breakfast for his most recent fling.
|Prompt: Subvert a romantic cliche.
Word Count: 803
Noah stirred the contents of the pan, humming to himself. Last night had been worth celebrating and, even better, he still had some aviamorph eggs that hadn’t spoiled in his refrigeration unit. Eggs were a rarity out here in the black to begin with, but aviamorphs tended to go sour very quickly. These were still fresh and he flipped over the omelet of cheese and egg and an edible fungus—at least, Amadi had promised they were edible; Noah hadn’t tried them yet himself and if anyone was going to lie to poison him, it was Amadi—while waiting for his companion to get out of bed. “What are you doing!?”
Ah, the lady’s dulcet tones. Noah put on his best smile as he turned the omelet out onto a plate and held it out toward the Titanescan. “I made you breakfast.” Her wide jaw was pulled into an expression that looked more like Terran disgust than anything close to grateful and Noah’s swagger faltered. “Wait. There’s no way you’re vegetarian. I thought Titanescans were obligate carnivores.”
“We are,” she snarled and shoved the plate roughly back toward him. “We also lay eggs, you pallid excuse for a Jopi.”
“C’mon, baby,” sighed Noah. He put the plate aside and he was discomforted to realize he couldn’t remember the Titanescan’s name. Something flowery. Ivy? Carnation? Damnation? Shit. I’m so screwed. “These are aviamorph eggs. Have you ever seen an aviamorph? Stupidest things in the galaxy. They drown if they look up during a thunderstorm.” Violet? Violent? Azalea? “I was trying to do something nice,” he added.
The Titanescan turned on him and shook a long index finger under his nose. Noah tried to focus on her face instead of her handsomely pendulous breasts which were still uncovered or the size of the claws on the end of her fingers. If they laid eggs, why do they have breasts? Did they nurse their babies after they hatched? “Something nice,” she growled, “would have been waking me up and asking what I wanted for breakfast instead of assuming you knew my dietary restrictions and requirements.”
“Look,” Noah sighed and let his hands drop against his sides. “I’ll admit, I screwed up. I was trying to do something nice. On Terra, it’s considered kind of… romantic to make your date breakfast the next morning.”
She studied him for a moment, then sneered. “To prove he stayed the night and didn’t slip out through a handy porthole?”
“No!” Noah paused. “Okay, so maybe that’s why we think it’s romantic. Still.” Pansy? No, definitely not. Rose? Mum? … wait. Mums. Chrysanthemums. “Chrysanthi!” he blurted.
She stared at him and nodded slowly. “Yes. That is my name. Good job remembering.” Noah felt his face flushing in shame. “Why bother with romance, Spellmeyer? It isn’t as if you expect to see me again. There will be no long courtship filled with walks on the beach and giggled secrets in the dark.” She leaned close into his face and hissed, “Why bother?”
Noah swallowed hard. He remembered all over again how easily a Titanescan could snap a Terran in half if she felt like it. “Because I had a good time last night,” he finally managed in a small voice. “I wanted to thank you for that. I hope you enjoyed it, too.”
Chrysanthi’s stony expression softened a little and she leaned back on her heels, hands on her muscular hips. “I did,” she sighed quietly and Noah gave her a hopeful smile. “I enjoyed spending the night here, at least until the infanticide for breakfast.”
“It’s a sterile egg,” Noah said, waving his hand at the plate on the counter behind her. “No death was involved!” When she snorted at him, he added quietly, “I’m not a complete barbarian.”
“You’re welcome to eat it yourself,” Chrysanthi replied, more humor in her voice this time. She bustled around his ship’s small kitchen, turned up the heat on the pan again and dropped what looked like a three-inch sirloin steak into it. It sizzled and immediately the ship filled with the smell of cooking meat. “Or you can wait and share this with me.”
Noah’s mouth watered at the smell and he watched her taking spices from his spice rack and throwing them at the steak recklessly. “I don’t remember stocking vobarian steak.”
“It’s mine.” Chrysanthi sniffed briefly, then added a little milk from the bottle in the cold unit. “I brought it with me, in case breakfast was something you indulged in.” She grinned at him and Noah found himself smiling back. “It may not be as romantic as fetal birds but we have a tradition of cooking in the morning for our partners, too.”
“Still sterile,” Noah reminded her and started eating the omelet himself. “It wasn’t a very good omelet anyway.”