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Love is…

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“Love is…”
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“For food, we’ll have the Raalon and the steamed Ulabon fish parcel. To drink, please, bring some water with two glasses,” Neroon requested from their waiter not even having once looked at the menu. After a short pause and a look at Marcus’ tilted head he added “And some fermented white Lingon for my companion. This will go well with the fish and is not too heavy for lunch.”

+++

The first time Neroon had ordered for him at B5’s equivalent of a coffee shop without asking, Marcus had been irritated. Of course, he’d known that Neroon sometimes could be an arrogant and pompous prick. Though ordering for him like he couldn’t speak for himself still had felt like an inconsideration that Marcus at that time wouldn’t tolerate. Not wanting to offend Neroon directly but trying to give a hint with a verbal sledgehammer he’d launched into a quite verbose soliloquy – starting with a history of emancipation – while they waited for their order.

Neroon had blinked in surprise at the obviously unexpected topic of conversation. After a while Neroon had shrugged and just said “I thought that was what you’d wanted and what we came here for.”

Of course he’d wanted the hot cocoa! And of course that hadn’t been the point. Marcus had left it at that because their beverages had just arrived and well, hot chocolate topped off with some cream and a dusting of cinnamon… He’d been properly distracted by that and later by Neroon’s quite accommodating treatment of him.

+++

The second time it happened they were having dinner at a lovely little Minbari place. Neroon had just ordered two plates of the same dish for the both of them, again without conferring with Marcus. Marcus then deliberately changed the order with a polite interjection and a beatific smile towards their waitress. “Oh, I think I’d rather have the Glomo Flarn, please; if you don’t mind?” he’d chosen the first thing on the menu his eye had fallen on. Neroon had just smirked in answer to the glare that Marcus had sent towards him after the waitress had left.

When their food arrived, well, to be honest, Marcus had just ended up shoving his unappealing and very green meal around the plate and eyeing Neroon’s food like a starving man. After a while Neroon had just exchanged their plates and pressed a small kiss to Marcus’ hand.

Naturally, the food on Neroon’s plate was quite delicious. Although Marcus felt a little too proud to admit it out loud, the all but licked clean dishes probably spoke volumes. Neroon thankfully hadn’t said anything and Marcus, feeling a little shy – or maybe embarrassed, had just squeezed Neroon’s fingers.

+++

The third time they were eating out, Marcus decided to avoid the whole mess of feeling patronized when Neroon ordered for him, excused himself and went to the bathroom. Nobody would know that his lover had a weird fetish or something to order for him. When he returned there was some spicy tea at the table and soon after some kind of hot and hearty stew in a bowl was placed before him. Strangely enough, he actually looked forward to taste it.

After the meal, Marcus felt pleasantly warm and full. He hadn’t even known that he’d been that cold from their little holiday hike in the snow-covered mountains.

+++

Somehow, since the third time is the charm, Marcus had given in after the holiday hike-and-stew incident and even made a silent game of it. He’d try to throw Neroon off by laying out a red herring or sometimes huffing or hmming at Neroon’s order. But with very few exceptions – Marcus guessed a bit of trial and error was allowed - Neroon usually ended up ordering just the right thing.

+++

He’d never found out why Neroon did it. It certainly wasn’t a Minbari thing to do and Neroon hadn’t explained himself. Marcus had accepted Neroon’s quirk anyway since it seemed to be one of Neroon’s ways to show him that he cared.

But sometimes… he just had to poke Neroon amicably, “I’m not sure I’m in the mood for fish today…”

“I know. But I think you will like the Ulabon fish parcel. This fish is more like poultry, a rather compact meat compared to other fish. And I hope, when you open the leaves of the parcel, that all the aromas will just put a smile on your lips.”

Of course Neroon was right and when the fish parcel arrived the smells made him smile and his mouth water at the same time. With closed eyes he inhaled the delicious smells once more and then he looked at his husband. “Thank you, Neroon.”

 

THE END