Previous Next

Good Food, Good Conversation, Great Friend

Posted on Sun Oct 10th, 2021 @ 3:06pm by Commander Samantha Howard & Commander Jonathan Grayson

Mission: Breen in Paradise
Location: Jon's Quarters.
Timeline: After Dinner with a Friend and befoe Dinner for Two

Jon had left Sam and headed back to his quarters to begin the meal he would fix for them. Lamb chops, baked potato, string beans possibly a salad and wine.

He got right to work prepping the lamb. Making sure he seasoned it without making it spicy but then whoever heard of spicy lamb chops? Once that was done, he started on the string beans and baked potatoes. He wanted everything to be right. Sam had no idea how important she was to him and how much it meant to him to have her in his life.

He got out a bottle of red wine and placed it in the fridge to let it chill. All he had to do now was oversee nothing burnt.

Sam left sickbay at the end of her shift, heading back to her quarters and running a shower. 10 minutes later she stood in front of the very limited wardrobe, looking at the selection within and wondering as to the tone of the evening. Something casual, yet not too casual, friendly but not suggestive. She mused over the options.

As dinner cooked and he checked to make sure nothing was in danger of burning or bubbling over, Jon took a quick shower and then changed into charcoal slacks and a red shirt, with black shoes. "I think this works." He said to himself as he looked himself over in the mirror

The bottle of wine came from the chiller in her quarters - a crisp white with a light finish that would go with most meals. She had no idea what Jon was making but to be honest she really didn't care if it was cheese on toast, it would be the time spent with a friend who had seen the same horrors she had over the last few months. A kindred spirit almost.

She left her quarters and made her way to his, detecting the smell of something cooking escaping into the corridor. With a wry smile she pressed the door chime and waited.

Jon was putting the finishing touches on the meal when he heard the door chime. "Right on time Sam." he muttered as he went to the door. Opening it he smiled at her. "Right on time, come on in Sam. have a seat. Would you like something to drink?"

Sam looked around Jon's quarters, she had visited him before but had not really taken notice of the space. For some reason she was drawn inside and into his personal space, looking at the items here and there an noting what he denoted as special to him.

"Huh? Oh sorry something to drink would be lovely" She regained control of her senses and turned her attention to the man in front of her.

"Well, have a seat, take a load off and I'll fix you something. Any preference?" Jon asked. He noticed Sam looking around the cabin. "Something you are looking for Sam?"

"I've been in here half a dozen times and I've never really taken notice of what you have displayed, what you deem special" Sam mused, wandering around and looking at the books and items on display.

Jon chuckled, Then by all mean Sam, have a look." he answered cheerily. As his eyes went to the walls and some pictures of him and Essie. Awards and commendations he had earned. along with pictures of various locations he and Essie had visited on vacation. There even a picture of him, Essie and Sam on shore leave in front of a bar all smiles. Happier times. A bookcase took up one whole wall, filled with classics and a wide variety of other genre. Westerns, military history, biographies.

She rang fingertips along the lines of book, the scent of old paper bound with leather permeating the space around the bookshelf. It was a smell she had always found intoxicating, as though the books were a lure just baiting her, taunting her to reveal their secrets in her mind.

" You have a lot of books" She said in a whisper as she breathed in the scent.

"I like to read Sam and you are free to borrow any of them." Jon said simply as he came to her with two glasses of red wine. He handed her one. "See what you think of that."

She took hold of the glass, swirling the rich liquid around to release the aroma, having know real idea what she was doing but having seen it done a few times in wine tasting. Bringing the glass to her nose she carefully inhaled the scent, resulting in a sneeze. Not the impression she had wanted to give. Seeing Jon's expression she dissolved into laughter.

"It's sneezeworthy! I'm sure it will taste fine" she managed once she had calmed.

"Well, we know one thing. It passed with a sneeze of approval." Jon bantered back to her. He felt so relaxed. so at ease with Sam. No reason to put on airs, he could just be Jon and not Commander Grayson and he was glad for the reprieve. "Dinner is almost done. Just a few more minutes." He told her. "Lets sit down." He gestured towards the sofa.

"It smells divine" The scent coming from the cooker was amazing and reminded her of how long it had been since she'd eaten anything not replicated. Too long.

Following Jon she settled at the table, taking the occasional sip of wine and watching him expertly work the kitchen.

Jon was comfortable in the kitchen, he felt entirely at ease as he moved around it. It wasn't an area of mystery or shrouded in darkness. It was an area that allowed him to escape and expand his culinary talents. It was especially rewarding when he could cook for loved one and friends. '

He prepared the plates placing lamb chops, baked potato and string beans on each and he turned back to Sam and walked to the dining room table, "I hope you like it Sam. Save some room for dessert." He commented as he placed the plate in front of her before he moved to sit down.

" What I get dessert as well?" Sam smiled as Jon returned with dinner, placing the wine glass down in front of her and regarding the place with an appreciative eye. " Why didn't you tell me sooner you were a good cook?"

"You sure do Sam." Jon answered with a grin. as he sat across from her. "This is the least I can do for you Sam. You have done so much for me, given so much of yourself to help me." He took a sip of his wine. As to why I didn't tell you sooner. It just never came up."

There was a sombre moment as Sam realised the exact reason it had never come up sooner. Jon had been engaged to Essie, they were so much in love and she was merely a friend to both of them. "Well, we're here now and that's all that matters" She raised her glass "To friends"

"Indeed we are Sam." Jon said warmly. "And if you wouldn't object, I'd like this to be a weekly occurrence for us. To just get together and talk and relax. It's something I think we can both use." He finished as he raised his glass. "To friends. May they never be forgotten."

" Never" The words echoed as they took a sip of the wine, Sam settling back against the chair and regarding the man sitting opposite her at the table. She could see why Essie was drawn to him, handsome but troubled. Simple enough to live with but complex enough to keep the relationship interesting. She blushed a little at the thought then turned her attention back to the meal to recover her composure a little.

"Shall we?"

Jon smiled at Sam, noticing just how soft her features were but underneath those soft features was iron, Sam was a brilliant doctor and as tough as they came. He had no qualms having Sam by his side in the toughest of situations, She had proved her metal on one then one occasion. A man could be very happy with Sam in his life.

He nodded, "Lets, I want your honest opinion Sam. What do you think?"

She took a few bites, sampling all the major components of the dish both together and on their own. It was an explosion of flavour, a conglomerate of balanced and refined textures and flavours that delighted the palate and satisfy the belly.

"It's the best meal I've had in a long time, and that's the honest truth. The company aint half bad either" She flashed him a wry smile.

Jon nodded gratefully, "Glad to hear that both the dinner and company made the grade. I have to say from my perspective, the company in outstanding. Could not ask for any finer."

" You flatter me Jon" Sam blushed, the colour tinging her cheeks a deeper red. " I'm just your usual run of the mill girl who likes to help people. Nothing special here"

"No, I speak the truth Sam." Jon replied honestly. "You sell yourself short. You are a remarkable person and doctor and it's my distinct pleasure and honor to call you friend. Your care and compassion is an example we all strive for but few achieve. You have achieved and I'm a better person for knowing you."

"Now you really flatter me" she blushed again, ducking her eyes slightly "but I'm honoured that you view me that way. I consider you a dear friend as well. We've been through so much lately"

"Indeed we have, a hell of a lot. However we're still standing and still going strong." He took a sip of his wine. "I'll always be here for you Sam. Always." He reiterated. he took a bite of the lamb. "Say, this is good. I was worried it might not turn out so good but this has a good flavor."

" Fresh is always best, when you can get it of course." Sam replied, tucking heartily into the meal. Not only was it amazing that Jon had managed to acquire the fresh ingredients, but the way he had cooked them was something else again. " It's been a rough few months - how are you holding up? Apart from the obvious of course"

Jon hesitated before replying. He didn't want to burden Sam with his troubles. He missed Essie terribly but was slowly coming to grips that she may never recover from the wounds she received. He looked to his friend. "I'm coping Sam." He hedged. He was having trouble sleeping. He gave her a wry smile. "Apart from the obvious. I'm just peachy keen."

She regarded him with a critical gaze, knowing that he was most liking shielding her from the truth.
" You can tell me Jon, I'm your doctor and above all I'm your friend"

"I know Sam and right now you are here as a friend and we're having dinner. "As I said before aside from the obvious, I'm just peachy keen."

She looked at him again before dropping the subject, knowing that it would all come out when Jon was ready - right now she needed to support him in whatever way she could so he could be the best version of himself that he could.

" So... tell me - when did you learn to cook?" She asked.

Jon silently thanked Sam for not pursuing the topic of how he was doing. He wasn't ready to broach that subject not even with Sam at least not yet.

He chuckled at her question about when he learned to cook. I think I was about 10. My mom wanted to make sure I could take care of myself if I didn't meet a nice girl. As I learned, I found I liked it. It allowed me to be creative and test different ways to cook and prepare food. I found it's a good way to relieve stress."

" Your Mum would be terribly disappointed in me then, I fear I can burn water, heck don't even let me IN the kitchen, I may burn it down inadvertently" She laughed, cooking was a skill not seen in everyone in this technological age.

Jon chuckled, "I don't she would be at all." He countered. "I can help you learn Sam at least not to burn water or burn down the kitchen. You may find you like it." Jon offered as he took a sip of wine and another bite of lamb.

" I'd like that" Sam replied quietly, slightly embarrassed by her inadequacy in the 'home front'. " Are you sure you're up for it? I mean burnt water is pretty terrible"

"It will be a challenge Sam however I think I am up to it." Jon bantered back to his friend. "And I think you just might surprise yourself as well with the talent you have."

" I don't know about that, you may wish to insure your kitchen against accidental incineration" Sam laughed.

Jon laughed at the statement. "You should have seen Essie in the kitchen she....." He stopped as his choked up at the thought of Essie and the tears threatened to start again. He cleared his throat and managed a smile. "You about ready for dessert Sam?"

She noticed the emotion and laid a hand on his, offering support during this moment. These were moments that would not be uncommon and would catch either of them unawares and when they least expected it. Sam had lost her best female friend, and Jon his partner. They were hurting, but at least now they could talk once again as friends.

"You never mentioned dessert, I should have brought my second stomach" she quipped as she cleared the plates.

Jon gave Sam a soft, grateful smile for her friendship and support. His eyes brightened at Sam's comment. "I just hope you like it. I don't make it too often but this is a special occasion. So sit right there and I'll be right back." Jon replied as he rose from his chair and headed back into the kitchen to retrieve their dessert.

Sam took a moment to wander around the large quarters, wine in hand as she contemplated all that was on display or not as it it was in some instances. Jon was a private person but tidbits of things important to him were displayed with honour.

As Sam wandered the quarters, Jon was busy with their dessert. He had prepared Cherry Jubilee for them. He had just finished flambéing it and smiled in satisfaction as he brought two plates to the table. "Sam? Dessert is served. I hope you like it."

" Hrmmmm?" She had returned to the bookshelf and ran her fingers along the leatherbound spines of the books, inhaling the scent of ink on paper and the memories it stirred.

Jon smiled at his friend. "I said dessert is served." He saw her fingers resting on the spine of some of the books. "Sam, take some of the books to read.... please."

Sam took a moment before returning to the table, nose still full of the 'old book smell', it was almost intoxicating. The scent quickly disappated once she caught a whiff of the dessert now sitting proudly on the table. It appeared Jon was quite the chef indeed.

" What is this delight that you have presented?" She asked with a quirky smile.

Jon smiled in return. "Ah, my dear Sam. This is Cherries Jubilee and I hope it meets with your approval. So dig in and tell me what you think."

Sam looked at the serving on her plate and raised her spoon, giving Jon a mock wary look before digging in indeed. True to its predecessor it was splendid and most pleasant indeed.

Jon chuckled at Sam's look. "Well Sam, what do you think? Yay or nay on Cherries Jubilee?" he asked even as took a spoonful of the flavorful dessert into his mouth.

" Oh it's definately a yay. I may have to hire you as my personal chef, you're turning me off replicated food" Sam quipped as she quickly cleaned off her plate.

"A position I would be most happy to accept Sam." Jon replied honestly. "please have some more. There's plenty left."

" Oh no I'm definitely filled to the brim, I'm not sure I'd fit into my uniform if I ate any more" Sam politely declined, setting her cutlery neatly on the plate. "Besides, I think I'll be rolling back to my quarters instead of walking as it is"

Jon grinned at Sam's comments but wasn't about to be discouraged. "Not hearing that Sam. Going to give you some Cherries Jubilee to take back to your quarters. You can have if for a snack on another night."

" How about tomorrow night, and you can bring it?" She knew it was a forward suggestion but she'd had a few glasses of wine, was comfortable in his company - so why not?

"Sounds like a plan to me Sam." Jon replied. He liked Sam and he enjoyed spending time in her company. She was attractive and intelligent, had a great sense of humor and he was totally at ease in her presence. "What time would you like me to come over?"

"I finish on duty around 1800 hours, so may 1900?" She offered raising an eyebrow and seeing how he would respond. She wanted to continue to explore their friendship and wondered where it may lead them ultimately.

"1900 hours it is Sam." Jon replied with a smile. Make sure you save some space for dessert." He reminded her as he truly enjoyed his time with Sam. He was lucky to have her as a friend.

"Sounds great, I'll see you then" Sam rose, clearing the plates and setting them in the recycler. "I should be getting back to my quarters. Thank you very much for dinner. I really enjoyed it"

She rose and gave Jon a hug before heading out of the door and back to her quarters.


Previous Next