Author's Note:

Almost-but-not-quite fluff—pretty pointless. Just a shot at what Thrawn might have thought of caf. Enjoy!

==A Little Cup of Caf==

Thrawn eyed the dark, steaming liquid as Captain Voss Parck poured it into a plastifoam cup. "What is that?" the alien asked.

"Caf," Parck replied simply. "It's a strong-tasting stimulant drink."

"Ah," Thrawn said with understanding. "My people have similar drinks, some slightly… addictive. Is this caf addictive?"

Parck seriously considered the question. "On a psychological level, I would have to say yes—similar to the way in which we grow addicted to a certain food when we've eaten it often enough. I don't believe the body itself develops an addiction, though."

Thrawn nodded speculatively, accepting the cup Parck handed him. "Thank you." He took a sip— And blinked. "Forgive the sentiment, but that is rather… vile."

Parck couldn't help a short laugh. "It's an acquired taste, Thrawn. Most people don't have an appetite for it straight off. Perhaps a little creamer would help."

Thrawn eyed the human officer. "'Creamer' lessens the bitterness?"

"Most definitely," Parck assured him, pouring a generous amount of creamer into Thrawn's cup.

Thrawn arched an eyebrow but took another sip. Swallowing, he nodded. "Better, thank you. Although I doubt that I'll acquire this taste."

"Some people don't," Parck said easily. "But it does come in handy when you need a little energy during a midnight shift."

"Understandable," Thrawn conceded, taking another sip.

Years later, Parck—now demoted to Commander—was finishing his dinner in the senior mess hall aboard the Star Destroyer Admonitor when Admiral Thrawn strode into the room. "Good evening, Admiral," Parck greeted.

"Good evening, Commander," Thrawn returned courteously, stepping over to the caf dispenser.

Parck's eyebrows lifted in polite surprise as his commanding officer began to pour himself a cup of caf. "Sir, you're not going to drink…"

"Commander," Thrawn's voice interjected, as smooth and calm as ever, "not a word." His glowing red eyes dared Parck to challenge him.

Parck simply smiled and saluted, then strode out of the room.

Well, would wonders never cease? Thrawn really had acquired a taste for caf, after all.