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Author's Note: Written for the the Star Trek (2009) kinkmeme.
The Benefits of Pragmatism
One of the things Chris loved about her was how competent she was. She was a brilliant captain, a skilled hand-to-hand combatant, and one hell of a dancer.
However, she couldn't cook worth a damn.
"I think they're burning," Pike pointed out as the sautéed onions began to smoke.
The captain of the Yorktown scowled at the onions and garlic cloves which were sticking to the bottom of the pan. "I can see that."
Pike leaned against the kitchen island, unable to keep the corners of his mouth from twitching. It was almost gratifying, to find out there was something out there that she couldn't master the first time she turned her hand to it.
"I mean, there's 'caramelised', and then there's 'charcoal'."
"I am trying to adjust the temperature on this ancient relic—"
"It's called a stove."
"I am aware of that, Christopher."
"Okay, and now they're on fire."
"I once piloted a shuttlecraft through an ion storm, on manual control, while only half-conscious from blood loss."
"I know. I was there."
Over two plates of broiled salmon, steamed asparagus, and garlic mashed potatoes—all of which, in the end, Chris prepared while she was handed the all important task of laying the table and opening the wine—she just couldn't let it go.
"I'm just saying, there are more important skills."
"Than being able to feed yourself without nearly burning down the building?"
"It was only the protective hand cover."
"The oven mitt."
"Yes. That. I'll buy you a new one. I'm just saying—you're laughing at me."
"Yes. Yes, I am."
She continued to scowl. He reached across and refilled her wine glass.
"It's okay. I love you anyway."
"You're never getting laid ever again."
"Oh, I don't know about that."
"Really? And what would lead you to that conclusion, Admiral?"
"How do you feel about flourless chocolate cake with cinnamon-spiced ganache?"
There was silence, and her shoulders slumped in defeat.
Afterward, wrapped in the quilt from the back of the sofa in front of the fire merrily blazing away in the stone fireplace that dominated one wall of the living room, she licked the last trace of chocolate for the corner of his mouth delicately.
"So, did you actually bake—"
"I'm not going to tell you."
She pillowed her head on his chest while he stroked her dark hair back from her forehead.
"As you say, it's a useful skill." She let her hand trail down his chest to disappear beneath the quilt. "And so long as one of us can cook, we'll never actually starve."
His breath hitched as she acquired her target. "That's a very pragmatic way of looking at it."
"I thought so."