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Madamsir Sammieface ([personal profile] angelikitten) wrote in [community profile] angelikittentreats2010-02-20 02:51 pm

Green Skinned Feast: Quina [Final Fantasy IX]

Title: Green Skinned Feast
Fandom: Final Fantasy IX
Cast: Quina, Zidane, Garnet
Rating: G
Summary: There's no such thing as a feast that goes off without a hitch.
Notes: Written for [personal profile] quinara's prompt at [community profile] queerlygen - "There is something extra-special/different about the feast Garnet and Zidane are giving, but only Quina knows why". In the English translation, Quina is referred to as "s/he"/him (other language translations vary), but here I use the pronouns xe/xyr, because that always annoyed me.

The feast marks the anniversary of the destruction of Lindblum, so Zidane personally tends to think it of as a "Sorry our last queen pretty much destroyed your city, hope we can still be friends" feast. It's not really necessary - Regent Cid has never blamed Garnet for anything Queen Brahne did - but inviting the various delegates as an official peace offering seems to be helping both kingdoms recover.

In fact, Zidane can't help but think that everything's going brilliantly, until he finds a piece of slimy grey-green skin in his soup.

He doesn't panic. There are three things that he learnt in his time as a thief that are an essential part of diplomacy: be aware of everything around you, always have a back-up plan and never panic. And so he doesn't. Instead, he hopes that it's a little bit of something that accidentally fell into the pot while Quina was cooking, and xe didn't notice before it was served - after all, no-one else seems to have noticed anything. Which means that all he has to do is push the bowl away slightly, as if he's had enough (which he has, thanks to this), and no-one will know the difference, and the feast will go on as planned.

Zidane puts his spoon down just as Eiko, seated at the top table where everyone can see her in her official position as the Regent's adopted daughter, practically screams before saying: "This isn't frog skin, is it?!"

Things don't improve when the next course arrives. The tables are all covered in a multitude of dishes, all of them containing pieces of grey-green that no-one dare touch. The only thing that doesn't have any grey-green pieces in it is the pasta, but even that has a grey-green tinge to it. There's even some in the Queensmeal, which he can see Vivi, seated a few tables away with some of the Genomes, poking at in something that could be either fascination or fear. Looking to his left, Zidane sees Garnet put on a brave smile, pull the nearest dish towards herself and try to eat, barely concealing her embarrassment as she does so.

The only saving grace is that there doesn't seem to be anything even remotely grey or green in the dessert.


Zidane decides that it's probably best if he goes down to talk to Quina himself after the feast. Garnet has progressed from embarrassed to downright furious - not that he can blame her - and she hates anyone seeing her displaying anger. Anger, after all, was her mother's thing.

It's easier to get hold of Quina after the feast than he thinks it should be. Although xe overlooks everything about the cooking that happens in xyr kitchen, xe has absolutely nothing to do with the cleaning up afterwards, preferring to keep out of the way and plan the next meal.

"I was just thinking," Zidane starts, leaning against the wall. "Maybe you should take some time off. You know, find some new foods you can make, experiment with new flavours..."

Quina almost bangs xyr head on the cupboard xe's looking through. "What you mean, go find more flavours?"

"Well, not everyone likes frogs as much as you do." he tries to explain, but this seems to confuse the gourmand more than before. "I mean, it was nice of you to put frogs in the food for the feast, but..."

"I no put frogs in food!" Quina quickly interrupts, as she puts a jar on the worktop.

Zidane pauses, unsure if he wants to know the answer to the question forming in his mind. "Then... what did you put in everything?"

"Special ingredient from Lindblum. Make people feel at home." Xe explains before ducking xyr head back into the cupboard.

Zidane has to think about this for a moment. Unfortunately, Quina's logic makes perfect sense, even if he has no idea what ingredient xe used.

"Well... next time, ask me about it, okay? Not everyone liked... whatever it was you used." he says, as he starts to inspect the jars and packages on the worktop.

Quina stops looking through the cupboard, so that xe can look at Zidane in shock. "They no like Gysahl Pickles?!" xe asks, taken aback. "But they Lindblum delicacy!!!"

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