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Amuse Bouche

Posted on Fri Mar 5th, 2021 @ 8:33pm by Ensign Viradi & Staff Warrant Officer Maven Standiford & Antonio Purosangue

Mission: Side Posts
Location: Arboretum, Deep Space Twelve

Viradi rejoined Standiford after mingling a bit at the reception. The Yeoman wore a peculiar expression behind her mug of coffee.

“Everything ok, Maven?” He asked

“The USS Nogura has been recalled to duty, effective immediately.” She said, evidently disappointed.

The Angeleno’s normally upbeat vibe was momentarily dampened. The day’s work was all for nothing. He looked around at the beautifully decorated greenhouse, with most of the tables undisturbed, and food nearly untouched.

“That’s such a waste. I mean, I know we feed it all to the replicators but...all that effort.” He said.

Standiford nodded slowly, her expression growing stronger across her face.

“I feel especially disappointed for the chef. That food must’ve taken days to prepare. And rumor has it, it was all real food, not replicated. He was trying to impress the Captain.” She said in a slightly melodramatic tone.

The science officer nodded along, not quite discerning her meaning. He followed her gaze until it reached a tall, slender physique draped in black slacks, a crisp white shirt and white apron. A swath of wavy black hair signaled the upper end of nearly two meters of personhood.

Viradi pried his eyes away to see Maven staring at him with a Cheshire Cat grin, and suddenly understood her expression.

“Isn’t that a shame for him, Viradi? We should really make an effort to see he doesn’t feel too discouraged. I’m feeling a bit tired, myself. But perhaps you’d be willing to go and...sample his wares?” Standiford said, pouring it on at this point.

The Angeleno’s ears were nearly crimson in his blushing at this point. He rubbed the back of his neck, a nervous tick he wasn’t even conscious of. He went to speak again and instead was met with empty air where the Yeoman had previously been standing.

“Damn it, Maven…” he cursed with a smile.

He crossed the distance to the buffet area and picked up a plate, having no idea what the food was he was choosing. Still embarrassed from his conversation with Standiford, he avoided eye contact with the statuesque chef. He was nearly certain his earlobes would catch fire for how warm they felt.

Chilled crustacean appendages were laying on a bed of ice. Perhaps rather than speaking to the man, he could just use one to wave and then go and die of embarrassment like he desired.

“Is the food not to your liking?” He heard in a thick accent he wasn’t familiar with.

Viradi’s throat bobbed as he swallowed. Of course he had to have an accent…

“The food looks lovely. I’m so sorry that the Nogura crew will be missing out on such a delicious meal.” Viradi said. Switching the plate to his non-dominant hand, he offered the chef a handshake.

“Ensign Viradi, science division. Nice to meet you.” He said.

“Nice to meet you too, Ensign Viradi Science Division. I’m Antonio Purosangue.” Said the chef, rolling the R of his surname elegantly.

A nervous chuckle escaped the science officer, who immediately wished that a black hole would open up and send him into the sweet caress of oblivion.

He stuffed one of the canapés into his mouth in its entirety, putting a hand in front of his face in embarrassment. The Italian’s eyebrows darted upwards in surprise.

“Shrimp Diavola...dusted with Bajoran paprika, extremely spicy.”

“It’s delicious.” Replied the now-perspiring Angeleno.

Antonio laughed and passed the man his glass of Spanish Cava.

“Please, allow me to choose for you. Something to cool the palette.” He offered.

Viradi drained the glass of sweet, slightly effervescent wine before nodding his assent. Antonio chose a piece of red watermelon garnished with goat cheese and tomato sofrito.

“What is it?” Questioned the science officer.

“It’s called an Amuse Bouche. It means...mouth amusement”

Viradi nearly choked trying not to laugh. “I’m so sorry, it’s just. Why does that sound so sensual?” He asked, taking to proffered food.

“Food can be extremely sensual. The warm embrace of cinnamon, the sweet kisses of fruit. The intense passion of chocolate. What is more intimate than that which we consume?” Antonio asked.

Rather than replying, Viradi tried the appetizer, which was nothing short of sublime. Fresh and bright, yet creamy and rich.

“That’s outstanding!” He said earnestly.

“Thank you, though I worry it was all for nought.” Antonio confessed.

Viradi finished the morsel before speaking again. And then it struck him that Antonio had given him the cup he had been drinking out of. The realization hit him like a wave. A welcome sensation.

“Oh, don’t say that. I’ll make sure the Captain knows what she missed.” He said, with a wink that was something less than subtle.



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