Mess hall. Hoshi sidles up to Reed with her tray and asks if he would mind if she joined him. Reed, who's totally preoccupied with his cannons, gestures for her to sit before going back to his Indiglo pads. Hoshi sighs dramatically and says, "This is the first chance I've had to eat all day." Not a very healthy habit, that. Reed rubs his eyes and agrees. "I haven't set my foot outside the armory since 0700," he mumbles. "How's your ravioli?" Hoshi asks. Malcolm tells her it's fine, and tries to retreat behind his cannons. "Nothing like a nice plate of pasta," Hoshi comments. Too bad for all the slash-ites on my forums -- Malcolm's not eating manicotti. Hoshi and Malcolm sit in silence. Hoshi takes a few more bites of food, looks around, raises her eyebrows, and tries again, "You know, I used to love to cook but I never get a chance to any more the way that Chef protects the galley." Reed doesn't look up. Hoshi barrels along: "One of these nights I should fix something myself." Still not a twitch from Reed. And I thought the British were so polite. Hoshi clears her throat, and Reed snaps his head up. "I'm sorry," he says, trying to pay attention. "You'd love my enchiladas," Hoshi says. Is that where her delicate-as-a-rhino-giving-a-manicure "finesse" comes in? "Enchiladas?" Reed inquires, feeling as though a lot has gone on in this conversation without his knowledge. "Well, if you don't like them, I can fix something else," Hoshi suggests. "What's your favorite food?" Reed chuckles uncomfortably and says, "Uh, I appreciate the offer but it really isn't necessary." He looks back down at his work, and Hoshi looks as though she's starting to get indigestion. She asks if he doesn't get a little tired of always having to eat what Chef prepares. Reed responds that he thinks Chef is a "fine cook." "Oh, don't get me wrong, he's terrific," Hoshi says. "It's just that dinner in the mess hall can lack a certain personal touch. I've got a hot plate in my quarters," she finishes casually.
Now that got Reed's attention. He sort of does a visual stutter -- not quite a double-take, you understand, just a stutter -- and looks at Hoshi. Hoshi eats her food and gazes complacently at him. Reed chooses his words carefully, saying, "That's very flattering and -- I'm just not sure it would be appropriate." Hoshi doesn't know what he's talking about. "Well, um, we work together and, uh, it just might be a little awkward, serving on the same ship," Reed says. "What does that have to do with --" Hoshi starts to say, and then the scales fall from her eyes. "Oh!" She covers her mouth and muffles a laugh. Reed is still very engrossed in his work. You know, if she was asking him out, the least he could do is give her his full attention when he rejects her. Hoshi scrambles to explain, "No, I didn't mean to imply anything other than making dinner, Lieutenant," putting a bit of the miffy into her voice. And I know she's not miffed that he's turning her down, just that he's such a thickie. Hoshi stands up, and finally Reed acts like a gentleman and jumps to his feet and stammers, "Then it's my mistake, Ensign." Hoshi picks up her tray and says it was her fault. There are a lot of stilted sentences from both of them. It's really quite a realistic scene. For once. Reed tries to tell her to stay and finish her dinner. "No, no, no, no. You've got a lot of work to do, so --" Hoshi says, and leaves. I'll bet she and Mayflower got a good chuckle out of that. I wish they would show a scene like that. With one of the crewmembers actually saying something like, "God, I was so embarrassed when Malcolm thought I was asking him out and then he was so embarrassed that he was wrong -- and it was just too funny!" as she and Mayflower paint each other's toenails.