"Ah, my dear."
"I like that spark in your eyes."
"Why is that? You spark more than any comet flying through the stars."
It wasn't fully understood, but their language was hypnotizing, especially to a child. There was nothing alien about a man and a woman speaking with a deep intimacy. The couple spoke calmly, as if each teasing word were a prelude to something else that about to happen.
Then, there was knock on the door, a shy voice of a girl following. "Um, hello?" After that, the talk paused, and then there was a sigh. A sigh of disappointment.
"Yes?" A man answered. He didn't sound troubled; rather, he sounded welcoming of company. "Who is it?"
"Yes. It's me Atra."
"Oh, it's one of the Tekkadan?" The man sighed, his mouth curling into a wry grin. Below him was the face of his wife, her red lips in a smile.
"It's okay darling," she cooed, "I'm not going anywhere."
"Yes yes. If you escape, I'll have to punish you more." The man said, lifting up from the bed. He closed his shirt, grabbed his signature, white wide-brimmed hat, and turned to the door.
"When you say that, it just tempts me even further."
When the door opened, Atra bent her head back, looking up to the tall stature of Naze Turbine, the leader of the Hammerhead crew. He was also the man who brought in, or inducted, the Tekkadan crew into his family. In other words, Boss Orga was Turbine's brother-in-law.
"Excuse me. Big Brother Turbine? I have a question." The child said. Naze Turbine knew of the connections between his group and Tekkadan via negotiating with Orga, who was the girl's leader. With that in mind, he deeply wondered why Atra alone would come to meet him personally. Especially, a beautiful young cook. Neither of the other members did such, not even Orga's most trusted confidants Biscuit and Mikazuki.
"Yes, what is your question?" Naze asked calmly with a smile. He was deeply curious.
Atra didn't ask immediately. She suddenly assumed a nervous look; her eyes swerved around and she tapped her fingers together.
"Um, you see. Let's see. I think, I think this is the right question." She laughed nervously. "Where do children come from? Or rather, no, that's not it."
Naze's mouth slanted.
"No, that's not it Big Brother Turbine!" Atra quickly waved her hands at Naze's expression. "I mean. What does it take to be together? Say, when is it a good time to fall in love? Or maybe, how do you know? What do you do?"
"Huh, already?" Naze tilted his head. "You're not trying anything are you?"
"What do you mean?"
"No, nevermind." Naze sighed, scratching his head. Behind him, he heard Amida's chortle.
"Hey darling, go answer her," she said.
"Huh? I can't be that candid now." Naze pulled down the brim of his white hat.
"I like how you're being careful, honey." As Amida teased, Naze cleared his throat.
"Say, cook girl. Before I answer, I want to know what's on your mind first. Why are you asking me this?"
"Yes!" Atra nodded her head, let in some breath and then out to relax, and looked up to Naze Turbine with confidence. "I'm asking you because you have children and women. How do you know when to like someone and start a family?" She then paused, and bit her lip. "Does it have to do with hugging and touching? Does it have to do with lips? Also, does it happen early?"
"Phew," Naze whistled at being pummeled by questions. "To be honest, I thought I had to wait a little longer before this." Indeed. His children, he knew, were still in diapers. "By the looks of things, you're getting flustered by love." At his statement, Atra's legs began to shake, which confirmed it.
"I think I got it. I might be able to answer everything in one swoop. So, little miss cook," Naze began, and crouched down to Atra's height level. "I'll tell you that 'love' is okay."
The little girl gulped. Turbine continued and smiled. "Love happens at the start of your life. That is selfless human empathy. Don't do anything that'll make you or anyone else uncomfortable. Each other uncomfortable. Each and other. That includes hugging, touching, and lips. You don't have to think about that now. If you think too hard on it, all the wrong emotions may consume you. Like impatience and jealously."
"Jealously?" When she thought about the word, Atra remembered having a talk with Kudelia in the lunch room, and her cheeks suddenly flushed. She often saw Miss Kudelia and her friend Mikazuki together for some reason. She knew of the mission to escort the noble's daughter to Earth, so it was inevitable for them to be seen together, but there was something else that intervened with her thoughts.
"But when?" Atra asked, gulping down again to stop her nervousness.
"When you're older," Naze's smile has yet to disappear. "That also goes for falling truly in love and to start a family. Trust me. It may seem like a boring answer, but don't forget the empathy part. In this wide galaxy, sometimes it's hard to love everyone and it's hard to be patient. Everything takes steps; there's always trials and tribulations."
Atra nodded her head again. "I see. Patience. Don't do anything that'll makes me or others uncomfortable."
"But, there is something really important that you need in order to have children and a family."
"It's nothing you buy I'm afraid, like some things."
"Naze!" Amida suddenly called out. A funny implication entered her mind as she listened.
"Sorry honey. Don't worry, I got this."
Now Atra was intrigued. "Y-yes?"
"That's right, trust in your mate. I'm sorry. Another boring answer? But it is true. When there's trust, you really like them for sure. It may or may not develop into true love, but learn how to trust early. With it, not only is there approval, there is also belief in one another. It means you're very familiar with each other and are confident."
With that statement, Atra smiled widely. Naze nodded his head, "So start by trusting in your Tekkadan brothers. You're all together here for a reason." At the end of their conversation, Atra felt like a burden was lifted from her shoulders. She thanked Big Brother Naze Turbine and returned to the galley. That's what was thought at first. She turned a corner, waited there for a few moments, and then went back to the couple's room. She closed in on the door while on her tippy toes, and leaned forward - to see if her ears could catch the song of lovers with a deep, thick trust. She closed her eyes to sharpen her concentration, and listen to those first words.
Finally, Naze spoke. "Hey, Miss Cook. No, you can't be taught by eavesdropping."
"Yikes!" This time, Atra scampered away. "I'm sorry!"