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Breakfast of Champions

Posted on Sun Jun 12th, 2022 @ 8:19am by Leiddem Kea (*) & Jeassaho Kea (*) & Delaney O'Callaghan & Laurier Cami & Curtis Vaan

Mission: Adrift
Location: Temporary Galley
Timeline: MD04, 0700
2182 words - 4.4 OF Standard Post Measure

"Okay, I'm all for being adventurous, but cabbage for breakfast?"

The clatter of Delaney's tray onto the makeshift table that had become a crowd favourite did very little to take Curtis' private reverie into consideration. To her bleary-eyed reckoning, he was just the first arrival, having beaten her and Leiddem by what looked like only a few minutes unless he was already onto his second coffee. Having left the Betazoid back surveying the food options, a rather dishevelled Delaney scooted onto one of the empty crates and huddled both hands around her own mug of coffee as the crisp chill of the cargo bay presented as several degrees colder than the tent she'd been burrowed inside all night. The two dubiously-billed 'vegetable fritters' sat unappreciated on her plate; once her appetite awoke, there was very little Delaney wouldn't try at least once, but evidently her stomach was still back in bed.

"My grandma swore by cabbage," Curtis responded. "Of course she was an angry, crazy old woman, so she could've been swearing by cribbage for all we knew." He poked at the food. "Now I'm wondering if it was the cabbage that made her that way..."

Leiddem wandered over already half eating the vegetable fritter that he had on his plate. He had grabbed two mugs of coffee knowing he needed the caffeine. “This is good.” He said by way of greeting to Curtis.

"Ah. Nothing like the bitter taste of ground beans to take away the taste of fried vegetables..." he declared. "Come on, get it down yer," he added, pointing at Laney in a manner not unlike his dear departed grandmother.

Delaney screwed her face up over the steam rising from her mug. "What is it with grandmothers and breakfast foods that give you indigestion for the rest of the day?" She afforded the limp offerings on her plate a dubious grimace. "Mine swears by porridge, which would be fine if she actually knew how to make it properly."

Leiddem shrugged at everyone not enjoying the food. He found them palatable and could not understand the reservation. “Come on, it’s good.” He indicated his half eaten plate and the fritters that he had covered in sweet chilli sauce.

"It probably is good but first thing in the morning?" Squinting a sleepy eye at him playfully, Delaney reached over to scoop a dollop of sauce from his plate and added that to the taste of burnt coffee beans in her mouth. Then, reaching back, she pulled up the blanket she'd dragged over with her so that she could huddle beneath it to wake up. "At least it's hot food. I swear, after all this is over, I am taking a bath and never leaving."

"Stop shouting..." grumbled Cami, hair still a frizzed-up mess and her eyes betraying the minimal sleep she'd had. "Yes: I'm a total lightweight. No: I don't regret it. And yes: I see you two there..." She poked at Leiddem and made a very deliberate act of inserting herself in between him and Delaney with a mildly satisfied expression in spite of her mild hangover.

Caught between defending Laney and also maybe slightly punishing her, Curtis cleared his throat and quickly moved to change the subject. "So! Where are we all headed this fine morning then?"

Being practically sat on by Cami might have been alarming if it had been close to the first time. Delaney, who shared a similar lack of concern for personal boundaries, had piggy-backed the smaller woman through numerous girls' nights, and the intrusion now only gave ample opportunity to elbow her in the side for being a pest. Not one to be thwarted, Delaney leaned heavily against the other woman's arm and rested her head against Cami's shoulder, intent on snuggling someone if her preferable target was now out of reach. It was unusual for the redhead to present as anything less than full-voltage, even first thing in the morning, which suggested there hadn't been a whole heap of sleeping to her previous night.

"There's probably a mess in the chapel to clean up." She'd left early, but it seemed reasonable guess. "Other than that, the possibilities are endless. Maybe I'll follow Cami around all day and sing to her."

“Jeassaho cleared it up before going to bed.” Lieddem commented shifting just a little to allow everyone a bit more room. He turned and nudged Cami before smiling brightly at her. “I am going no where other than staying here to defend the indefensible.” He said softly already knowing that he was the rescue party if any thing went wrong.

"See, now why can't I stay here with this big, strong man to protect me..." she slipped an arm around Leiddem's, simultaneously poking her tongue out at Delaney.

"You guys are sick. First the vegetable breakfast and now public displays of affection..." Curtis made a 'sick' face of his own. "Not sure which is going to kill me first."

An overstated deadpan couldn't decide on a target. Between Cami's antics and Curtis' ceaseless capacity to find fault, the only viable retaliation seemed to be silent protest. Or not-so-silent, as it turned out. Picking up her fork, Delaney stabbed it into one of the fritters and took infinite delight in the way the metal scrapped across the cutlery in a high-pitched squeal. For all she knew the younger woman was just trying to get to her, it wasn't so much jealousy as just a very tired lack of appreciation for weaponising Leiddem that left her mute. She didn't own the guy, after all. Using him to get a rise out of her was...

She really needed more sleep.

"The vegetables. Your immune system won't understand the goodness." Leiddem commented dryly as he finished up his food looking happy with what he had, had. All it needed was rice and it would have been like boot camp. He looked at Cami and then Delaney and rolled his eyes. There was nothing to be jealous over, Cami was more like a sister than anyone else on the ship excluding his actually sister.

A little disenchanted that Leiddem wasn't falling for the bait, Cami let him go. "Get used to eating them for a few more days; we're doing a supply run to the hydroponics bay. Assuming the loss of power hasn't killed everything in there already," she moped.

She wasn't jealous. There was so much rigor around that assertion, bouncing around inside Delaney's head, that the vehemence of her rejection became almost a guarantee of proof. Past experience had gifted her plenty of reason to fall into that rabbit hole, which was exactly why Delaney actively refused to succumb, but there was a weariness to the fact that Cami was just continuing last night's incessancy. Whether people believed it or not, even Delaney felt some nerves about being public and open about the shift in her dynamic with Leiddem and sitting side by side at breakfast, with an intent to make the most of each other's proximity, had been intended as a start. Cami had completely obliterated the effort.

But, apparently Leiddem didn't understand that either, and this entire situation was just fine. Finishing off the first fritter in several bites, Delaney dumped the blanket from her shoulders and took her mug to drain it, rising to stand. "Anyone else want more coffee?"

"By the Prophets, yes," Cami answered, almost before the question had been asked.

"I'll see if I can grab us a pot." Taking her own mug, but leaving behind a puddle of blanket, Delaney extracted herself from her now-pointless crate selection and meandered back towards the serving area.

“Thank you.” Leiddem called after her as he glanced at Cami. “I am sure that the hydroponics is just fine.” It had been four days maximum so it would barely have lost anything yet. “Isn’t there batteries units in there anyway?” He could not claim to have any skill with keeping plants alive she he rarely went down there.

"I don't know...honestly, I've never been in there," she just shrugged. "It's not me going, anyway. So you and I can just stay here and talk about things." She shot another sly look at Delaney as the woman returned with coffee.

It was an effort either entirely missed or, this time, completely ignored. Having negotiated the release of one of the pots of coffee, Delaney returned balancing her load precariously between it and her full mug, and set the former down in the centre of the table before pulling over a crate from a nearby empty table to sit on Leiddem's other side. It also sat her closer to Curtis, which left his plate of toast open for attack.

She chewed on the corner crust of a neatly-cut triangle of slightly-burnt bread.

"What's a bet we get down there and the only thing worth harvesting is the cabbages." Pulling her legs up to sit cross-legged on her new seat, Delaney dipped the other corner of her purloined toast into what remained of the sweet chilli sauce on Leiddem's plate. "I'm the most excited about having to go all that way in the dark in an EV suit, unless you count trying to climb back up with a grocery store strapped to my back." Delaney wasn't normally one to point out the problems but this whole thing was actually insane. She was relatively sure that's why she'd been assigned to it.

“Can make lots with cabbage.” Leiddem said brightly trying to make her feel better about the choices that had been made outside of their control. “And just think it’s exercise.” He added almost wishing it was him but he would just have to make do with his laps of the cargo bay.

"Yay. Exercise." Curtis' enthusiasm was nonexistent. He slid off the crate he was using as a seat. "Sure you don't want to come along, Lei?"

"No because who is going to save your sorry ass when you get lost?" The security crew member demanded with a grin. He would love to go out and play but he knew better than to have everyone go out and then have no one to rescue anyone.

"That's what she's for," Curtis just shrugged, poking Delaney with his foot. "Someone's gotta be the damsel in distress for you to come rescue."

Delaney's expression was pure incredulous disdain. "I'm pretty sure if I ever pulled the damsel card on him, he'd leave me there." The turn of her head fixed Leiddem with a pair of raised eyebrows and a grin that teased at her lips. "You have my permission to rush in and save Curtis when he inevitably ends up surrounded by sentient corn, though."

“I would.” Leiddem agreed with a grin. “Perfect. I also do not think Curtis needs me saving him if you are there though.” Leiddem offered trying to make Curtis feel better. He knew the man had been through a lot, Jeassaho might not reveal everything that had happened when Curtis and Jeassaho had been with Robertson but he knew it had been bad.

"He probably needs you more because I'm there." Delaney, for all her compassion, was not quite so lenient. She pulled a face at her friend and promptly stole another piece of his toast. "Which reminds me," she added, with an inexplicable segue that apparently made sense in her head, "Curtis has ideas for pirate adventure and I got Kali to agree to let us use her likeness for a character." The redhead radiated glee. "This holo-novel is going to end up being an entire trilogy at this rate."

"Huh. Maybe I should insist on that co-author spot then..." Curtis replied.

"Sheesh...get a room already..." Cami grumbled, standing up while attempting to nurse the cup of coffee between two hands. She wandered away, not noticing the flush of Curtis' cheeks.

"I guess we should, uh, go find our EV suits?" he said, trying to rapidly change the subject.

Leiddem nodded with a laugh and rose. “Definitely should. I’ll be … ah rooting for you.” He said brightly, ignoring Cami. He would catch up with her later.

"Was that a vegetable joke?" Grabbing a final piece of toast, Delaney trailed after Curtis, walking backwards for a second to chastise the Betazoid as she went. "When we get back, you're paying for that one." A far more silent exchange passed between them, eyes locked together as Delaney mustered her wits to confront the upcoming expedition. Leiddem knew. All that way in the dark, trapped inside a suit, trying not to flip upside down from the disorientation. She'd told him she'd be fine. She would be fine.

She lifted her hand, offered her open palm as a gesture of farewell, and turned to catch up with Curtis. "Biggest eggplant we find, we draw his face on." She jostled her friend sideways. "Let's find the doc first."

 

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