The Soup Can Simmer


Ava_icon.gif Nicolae_icon.gif Princess_icon.gif

Summary: Princess visits Ava, is fed by Nicolae, and gets a new name. Also there is naughty.

Date It Happened: December 4, 2001

The Soup Can Simmer

Ava And Nicolae's Apartment

The apartment is filled with the smells of Nicolae's latest culinary effort. Perhaps surprisingly, that's a good thing. He's in the middle of adding carrot and parsley root to a pot of goulash soup that's been steadily boiling since shortly after he got home this afternoon. He stands in front of the stove in sweat pants and a wifebeater with his hair, which has been getting progressively shaggier over the past few weeks, pulled back in a short, curly tail at the back of his skull. He hums under his breath as he works.

Ava is particularly proud of this feast; as that seventy or so bucks she got from Seth and Dan are responsible for the ingredients and - this she was most proud of - a modestly decent set of cooking pans for Nicolae. This may seem like something silly, but in actuality, such a gift to someone who is even the least bit culinarily inclined is often considered quite considerate. And he'd been so pleased. Ava sits in the front room of their small apartment, cross-legged with fingers curved in a cup shape in front of her. A small, glowing blue shimmer of energy dances between her fingers, and she watches it, fascinated. It offers her quiet, crystalline whispers; she pays attention raptly.

It's a long way from the townhouse in the harbor area to the apartment complex on Skid Row, but that's what public transport is for. And even though he's just a cat, "Princess" is a very very smart cat. He knows buses and what they do and where they go. And being a cat, he doesn't have to pay fare. It just takes a kind, if not bemused bus driver. So with a merry jingle of pink bell, the longhair calico bounces up the fire escape and plops himself down just outside the window of the apartment, where he starts up a loud chorus of pathetic meowrling. Foooood plz.

It's a long way from the townhouse in the harbor area to the apartment complex on Skid Row, but that's what public transport is for. And even though he's just a cat, "Princess" is a very very smart cat. He knows buses and what they do and where they go. And being a cat, he doesn't have to pay fare. It just takes a kind, if not bemused bus driver. So with a merry jingle of pink bell, the longhair calico bounces up the window and plops himself down just outside the glass, where he starts up a loud chorus of pathetic meowrling. Foooood plz.

Truly, Nicolae has been uncharacteristically chipper since the apartment got some decent cookware. It's not the sort of thing he thinks about, given the spartan conditions he would still accept as perfect adequate if not for the notion that Ava requires (in his inflexible opinion) a greater degree of comfort on account of being a girl. But since they're there and everything, it was no dent in his masculinity to make use of the pots and pans to exercise his long dormant cooking skills. This was a favorite when he was living with Ava and her family-one of the first indications they received that he was good for more than just scowling, brooding, and butchering things under the pretense of protectorship. His skill with a knife crosses disciplines quite handily, as evidenced by the neat, even chunks of vegetables being added to the soup. He looks over at Ava at around the time the noise from outside becomes impossible to ignore, and his brief grin gives way to a confused look of consternation.

Ava blinks in surprise at the sound, and with a few more whispered words, dismisses the little bit of light. Rising to her bare feet - she's in one of Nicolae's t-shirts, over-flappingly large on her much smaller frame - she pads over to the front door and cracks it open. "Princess?" she says in surprise, gazing at the calico.

"Miaowrrr." Scratchscratchscratch. Ohhhh the patheticness of the "Princess". When he's let in, however, the noise ceases immediately and is replaced by a deep booming purr as he winds his way between Ava's ankles. PRRRRPRRRRRPRRRR k foodz. And off he trots, straight into the apartment like he owns it, bumping himself against furniture and whatever else is within his path (which, it should be noted, is leading straight to the kitchen).

Loath to abandon his 'post' at the stove until dinner's at least ready to simmer, Nicolae wastes only a moment on apprehension when Ava lets the cat inside. His head is full of 'what-ifs' involving potential maneating cat demons in innocuous calico guises and other such paranoia, but he's where the knives are and quick enough, he trusts, to dispense the bloodshed if that is not, in fact, a harmless stray cat. He shrugs and heads back to his soup as he asks, "You know this cat?" He won't be surprised when the cat comes into the kitchen. That's what they do. "I've never seen it before." There've been a few other strays outside over the past few months, none making any noteworthy impression beyond 'oh hey it's a cat-and not a maneating cat demon'.

"He's from across town." says Ava. Her tone is ride with suspiscion as she closes the door. "He belongs to that man. The one who wanted to call me. Except he's a jerk." Okay, first - a male cat called Princess? And second…she met this guy again how and when?

Kitchen = foodz. Nicolae = cooking foodz. Nicolae = BFF. "Princess" expresses this by twining himself around Nicolae's ankles, still purring loud enough to wake neighbors. ilu strange man pet me love me feed me.

A sharp intake of breath does an adequate job of conveying Nicolae's distaste for the entire subject. "The one with the cane?" he asks tensely. He looks down at the cat, giving Princess a brief warning glare before returning his attention to the pot. "If you are up to something," he mutters to the animal, whom he can suspend disbelief enough to allow for the possibility of being some kind of demon-thing, "you are going in the pot." He does not dissuade the calico from rubbing against his ankles though. Rather, he slides a cutting board off the counter and sets it down, offering up the scraps of beef that didn't make proper cubes for the stew.

"Yeah." She moves into the kitchen, leaning in the doorway. The shirt rests just above her knees, but from the way she leans, it cinches a little up along one thigh. "He's pretty clever if he got all the way across town, but he doesn't seem like a familiar or anything like that. He just…followed me home, I guess. Turns out the guy lives near one of my cross-town clients. He was pretty insulting though, so walked off on him." She doesn't mention it was Nicolae who he was insulting, even as she watches Nicu feed the calico. "You know he's never gonna leave now, right?" She grins. "We should name him, while he's here. Calling him Princess is just cruel. He can have one name while he's here and then another when he's with jerkface."

Beeeeeeeeef. "Princess" ceases covering Nicolae's pants with long hairs that show up on any shade of clothing (calicos are just so special that way) and sets upon the beef scraps ravenously. It's not toonaz, but it will do. Nicolae has now become NICE BEEF MAN.

Indeed, the plight of the male cat with a womanly name rankles Nicolae in ways that the ideas of it being a familiar sent to spy on them or, as he's not quite ruled out, a demon, do not. "If he doesn't leave," Nicolae posits, "then he's not stuck with such a crap name." Ava's least favorite client simply reminds Nic of the people in the old country who treated their 'lessers' like garbage. He lacks any other perspective, or the inclination to gain it. Besides, cat. Nic doesn't get to deal with animals that aren't trying to kill him very often. He reaches down to let his hand hover over the cat's head, but waits until he's done eating before attempting to scratch the feline's ears. "Andrzej," he says. "That will be his name." He stands up to give the soup a stirring, and grins as he lets himself be distracted by Ava under the pretense of waiting to see what she thinks of the idea.

And everyone knows it's because he likes it when she wears his shirts. "Andrzej," she repeats thoughtfully. "What does that mean?" She walks over and bends down to pet the cat while he eats for a moment, before rising from her spot next to Nicolae and abruptly lifts two fingers to gently chuck his chin in her direction for a kiss she has to go up on tiptoe for, right over the spot where the cat is chowing, sandwiched between their feet.

"Princess" is fully engrossed in food. But then food is gone. And then he gets earrubs, which brings the purr back to his throat. But then the earrubs are gone. So there "Princess" sits, licking his whiskers and grooming his face, perfectly oblivious to the tonsil hockey that may or may not be occurring directly above him. Prrrprrrrrrprrr.

Nicolae likes his shirts on her for lots of reasons. It's worth trusting the soup not to burn for a moment so that he can cradle Ava's cheek as he bends to oblige her request. A purr of his own issues up from deep within the young man's chest as he cleanses his palate with that deep, lazy kiss, and then settles back to grin as he answers the question. "It means 'man," he replies. "Warrior." He glances down at 'Princess' with a grin and an approving nod. "If he made it all the way here, he is not—" Suddenly Nic reconsiders where he was going with that, and deftly (harharhar) changes the subject. "Are we sure he's not a demon?"

Ava looks down at the cat. "I don't think a demon would consent to letting someone call him 'Princess' and wear a tinkly bell collar. But you never know. He hasn't tried to eat us, even if we've managed to get conned out of food." Oddly, she doesn't mind being taken for a mark in this context. She nudges the cat with the arch of her foot and considers Nicolae, idly wondering if the soup could simmer.

"Andrzej" lets out a little 'prrt?' when he's nudged and eyes the foot warily. SCUSE ME WTF U DOIN'? When there are no further attacks on his person, the cat licks his whiskers a few more times before getting to his feet and rubbing himself along one of Ava's legs. o hai thar bare leg. Then he trots off toward the rest of the apartment, because surely there is some sort of comfortable place to rest there.

Nicolae seems to be on the same page as Ava. "You have a point," he concedes readily as he reaches over to turn down the burner. It'll thicken without his help. He spares a glance toward Andrzej, noting without surprise that the little lord is off to survey the rest of his domain. While he considers Ava considering him, he reaches for a lid to place upon the pot and confers wordlessly with a slight bounce of his eyebrows. The soup can simmer, yep.

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