Something for Everyone : A Challenge of Five Series for Valentine’s Day
The pungent, burnt smell that assailed Captain Blue's nostrils when he opened the door was his first clue that something was wrong. Lieutenant Green's dejected expression as she leant on the kitchenette counter with her chin in her hands was his second—and rather upsetting—clue. "Honey, what's wrong?" he asked, covering the distance between the alcove and the counter quickly.
Green sighed, giving him a sad look. "Since I didn't have time to get you a Valentine's Day present this year, I thought I'd at least make you a home-cooked meal so that when you came back from duty today, you'd feel as if you would enjoy something more special than the usual canteen food. I was going to dress nicely so that it would look like we were on a normal date, but while the chicken was cooking, there was an emergency. I thought I was going to be able to come back in time because it wouldn't take long to fix... it was too late when I returned and it was ruined." She angrily wiped away a tear. "I wasn't able to salvage anything and make a meal out of it, so now all that's left is potatoes, bread, a stupid salad and dessert, and now the place stinks to high Heaven!"
Blue put an arm around her shoulders and kissed her temple, unable to hold back a little smile. He noted the small table setup close to the window—she had even managed to get a bottle of wine—and felt a burst of love beyond words.
She wiped her eyes again and leant into him. "I was tying to figure a plan B to fall back upon, but I don't have all that many ingredients left. I was about to return to the canteen and get something quick to prepare and make a mad dash back... probably make some pasta, and get dressed in the meantime so you would still get your homey welcoming. But now you’re here early, nothing is ready, I'm not dressed, and my surprise is ruined!"
He kissed her again. "Well, arriving here and finding you only wearing a robe is a really nice surprise. And there's wine on the table, and you say the dessert was saved, so all is not lost," he said, trying to cheer her up.
"Caramel swirl cake isn't very substantial, especially since I made it in the toaster oven and it's not all that big."
"Sounds delicious, though!"
She sniffed softly and he left the counter to find a box of tissues. "I'm just really disappointed because I wanted it to be special and I wanted to look pretty and everything," she said, blowing her nose. “Now you’re just stuck with Dismalia the red-nosed chef wannabe, her Eau de Smoke perfume, and her messed up robe.” She pulled on the garment to reveal a brownish stain on one side that didn’t look as if it would ever come off. “Happy Valentine’s Day.”
He looked at the stain, then at her eyes, and they stared at each other for a little while. They didn’t know who began laughing first, but the mood in the room improved immediately.
Once they sobered up, he approached her and took her face in his hands. "You are beautiful. You could be wearing a sack and I'd still think you're beautiful. But tell you what: since you've invited me on a date, I need to go and get presentable myself. I'll go take a shower, change and get ready to come back." He smiled. "And since it's a really important date, I'll take my time to look as nice as I can. That way, you can still prepare your dinner, and get all prettied up. Is an hour enough, or maybe an hour and a half?"
"An hour should be fine," she replied, smiling a little.
Blue ran his thumbs over her cheeks. "Despite the burned chicken and the stink and what else you may believe, I really appreciate the attention." He leant his forehead against hers. "You told me once that now I had someone to come home to.” He gestured towards the kitchenette and the table setting, "This means a lot to me. More than you think."
He cleared his throat a little suspiciously and kissed her before leaving. Falling in love again... she thought as she watched him go, then went to put on jeans and a sweater to go down to the canteen and set her plan B in motion.
A little over an hour later, Blue came back, wearing a jacket and shirt over jeans, clean shaven and carrying a small box. He actually rang the buzzer at the entrance of Green's quarters instead of coming in right away; since this was a date, he had to act his part.
She opened the door with a smile, exclaiming: "Wow, you're so handsome!" before beckoning him inside.
There was a pleasant aroma of cooking in the room, and she looked gorgeous in the dress she had changed into. She went back to the kitchenette one moment to look at her dish, then came back to him. "It's almost ready. I gave the canteen staff my best pitiful look and they gave me pork medallions, so I whipped up a mushroom sauce with some of the cream I had kept for the cake and... " She stopped in mid-sentence and winced. "The wine might not be right anymore."
"It's going to be fine. How did you get that, anyway?" he asked.
"I'm not going to reveal my secrets," she said, smiling impishly.
He pouted, but didn't insist. Instead, he handed her the small box.
"I get a present?" she exclaimed.
"Well, it's Valentines' Day."
She opened the box and found a small metallic dolphin attached to a chain. "A tea infuser? It's beautiful! I love it."
"It's only part of the present. I thought you might want to go see the real thing next time we have leave time? It’s just that I don't know when that'll be, so I couldn't make arrangements."
“I would love to go with you. It’s a great idea!” She stared at him for a short moment as if she was considering something. "You know what? I was wrong about you. You are a romantic hero."
“I’m a wha—?” he began in a confused voice, but she cut him off by kissing him soundly on the mouth as a thank you, and then returned to the kitchenette counter to see to her cooking.
~ The End ~
Author’s Notes and Disclaimer:
Green’s mention of Blue’s status as a romantic hero comes from my story Coming Home, where she thinks he doesn’t look like one when he sleeps, and doesn’t act like one when he’s comforting her. Which doesn’t mean he’s not her hero still.
Thank you Caroline Smith for beta-reading this story and helping me improve it, I like it much better now! Any remaining mistakes are mine.
Chris, as usual, a big thank you for hosting this author’s slowly increasing collection of stories on your site.
Disclaimer: Thank you Gerry and Sylvia Anderson and the CGI team for creating such a beautiful playground! The characters are not mine, I'm borrowing them and playing with them, and having loads of fun writing the stories. No profit is intended from this.
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