Set: post-Face of Evil Length: 400
Author: ALC Punk!
Title: Making Friends
"Are you sure about this, Doctor?"
"Very! It's very relaxing!" He called from somewhere outside her quarters.
Leela rolled her eyes and decided to suffer in silence. She picked up the fragile cup he'd brought her, ignoring the plate (he'd called it a saucer) beneath it and sniffed. It didn't smell bad, but then, neither had Raschet Juice, and even Caleb had said that Raschet Juice was like drinking vomit.
Tentatively, she took a sip, then waited for the inevitable bad taste.
It didn't arrive. It was good. Surprised, she stared at the milky brown substance for a moment longer before taking another sip. This time, she was prepared for the flavor to tickle its way across her tongue.
He'd been right. It was good. She almost scowled at the white roundeled walls around her. The Doctor loved being right. He would lord it over for weeks and weeks, and probably make her feel stupid every time she asked for another cup.
With a click, Leela set the cup down onto its saucer.
She considered her options. The Doctor had tried to explain how the food machine worked, earlier. And she thought she knew. But then, the food machine wasn't a weapon. Weapons were easy. Mostly, you pointed them and pulled a trigger. Or slashed with them and cut. Machines were different. Machines were Tesh things, and to be avoided (except that was old superstition, and she was breaking free of superstition).
The solution was to find out if the machine would make tea without the Doctor's help. Leela nodded once, decided, and then drank her tea.
A few minutes later, she wandered down several corridors getting a little lost before rediscovering the mess hall. The Doctor was nowhere in evidence, for which Leela was grateful. She approached the machine and studied it for a moment, trying to remember the sequence of buttons the Doctor had used.
It took several tries and then she grumbled, "Machine, you will work. I want tea." She slammed a fist onto the panel.
Magic words. Or perhaps, she had simply hit the right buttons. A cup appeared, a saucer beneath. The brown liquid was slightly milky. Leela picked it up and took a careful sip. She smiled. "Good machine." She patted it and smiled, "This will be our little secret."
Cup in hand, she wandered back to her quarters.
She didn't get lost once.