“Do you like to stargaze?” The question came from Mira, standing on his left, just moments before they were called to the table. Cyrille looked down to the slighter youth a moment and then back up to what little of the sky he could see out of the window.
“There’s less lights here, back at my house, the area was so brightly lit that I couldn’t even make out the brightest of stars in the sky. There’s still plenty of lights out here but they’re a lot dimmer so you can see more. I remember, as a kid, when we were out there in the middle of nowhere, that I’d love to just stare up at the sky while I was just flopped out on the ground. It was so dark out there, not a single light, the view was breath-taking. Starry nights are just one of those things we should cherish.”
“I don’t much recall ever looking up to the sky, guess we were too busy with the rest of everything to really worry about that.” Mira shook his head and Cyrille slipped his arms around those shoulders to lead him towards the table.
“If you two don’t hurry up, you won’t anything to eat!” Eoghan’s amused voice came to them as they were entering the dining room.
“You’re still putting the food on the table, Eoghan, I don’t imagine they’ll be missing out on much.” Quentin, settled next to Yael, of course, chuckled and Eoghan rolled his eyes, sticking his tongue out as he did. Mira looked briefly between the two and laughed as he settled down into one of the empty seats, Cyrille sitting down between him and Agni, of course.
“And they weren’t the last ones to sit down so I think your point isn’t valid.”
“You guys are all ruining my fun, what did I ever do to the lot of you?”
“You mother us.”
“You feed us.”
“Gave us a roof.”
“Keep us warm.”
“And you teach us to be sassy.”
“Wait, what? I did not teach any of you to be sassy.”
Laughter erupted all around the table as finally, Lex himself sat down at the table.
“So I know that last week I said we were visiting Africa and eating purely African meals but when I saw the watermelon at the store, I couldn’t help myself. With the new year coming in, I’d told myself that we’d pick places in the world and we’d find what was native to that area and prepare meals with that but I guess I got us started early. Most everything that’s on the table is native to Africa, a few small things here and there aside. Enjoy the meal.”
It did turn out that the meal was enjoyed by all parties though a few items were requested more than others, as it usually happens. Discussion flowed easily, mostly about what was in that bowl or what was in that one. At least at the beginning of the meal.
“I heard you two talking about stars while you were joining us at the table, want to tell us more about this particular discussion subject? Or why it came up?”
Mira looked up to Cyrille and then back across at Eoghan who did look to be genuinely curious. He shrugged gently. “I just noticed that Cyrille seems to spend a lot of time looking up to the sky in the evenings and I was curious.”
“So you watch him.”
“What? No! I mean I- no.” Mira blushed, the colour burning itself deeply into his cheek and he shook his head. Cyrille laughed, shifting just so under the table, touching their knees as if to comfort him.
“I do stare out the windows a lot. I love looking at the sky. Back at the house, the lights were so bright I couldn’t even make out a hint of what was out in the sky, it’s a little darker here and I already see so much more. I’ve always been fascinated with the sky and it’s not hard to notice that about me even without watching me.”
“Don’t tease my brother, Eoghan, that’s not nice.” Agni managed those words between two bites of the watermelon salad. He’d never had any before in his life but now he was discovering that he might just have to try to make a habit of trying to buy the watermelon itself, it was light and delicious, just a little sweet.
“While I appreciate you defending my, err, honour, Agni, you shouldn’t talk with your mouth full.” Mira’s blush was beginning to lessen now though he still was mostly staring at his plate.
“Can’t stop me.”
Cyrille lightly bopped Agni on the head. He kept his voice gentle, amused really as he mock-chastised the teen. “Probably can’t, you’re right but it’s not exactly pleasant to see you chew your food this way, close your mouth while you do chew.”
Agni blinked and he was the one to blush somewhat this time, he swallowed his bite and mumbled a quiet, “Sorry guys.”
“This meal is absolutely delicious, Eoghan, you’ve outdone yourself again.” Yael broke through the amused chuckle of their little gang, Eoghan turning to him with a light nod of his head and a smile at the compliments.
“I’ve found out that I like discovering new things and I like any chance I get at trying out new recipes and helping others discover new things with their tastebuds.”
“And here I thought you mostly liked sausage.” All eyes turned to Quentin’s innocent—though hardly innocent—face. He blinked all around and grinned brightly. “I’m not even going to apologize for that one, you guys. I spent five years of my life getting to know this guy before I met Yael, so, honestly, I’ve heard more about certain, particular things than anyone else in this room.”
All eyes then turned to Eoghan who blinked, looking baffled more than anything else. Lex was the first one to break the silence, he laughed, the sound bright and clear. Some might have been offended by what was being discussed but he saw no point to taking offence for that kind of thing, it was pointless. It was more amusing than anything else and the thought that Eoghan might have discussed their sex life with the only real friend he might have had during their time apart didn’t bother him one little bit.
“All right, let’s move away from our personal lives and back to the fact that this is a great meal and that I honestly think I’ll be stuffed until way late tomorrow, I might not even be done digesting all of this by then I ate so much.” He had eaten more than he usually ate but he blamed the watermelon salad. Anything that had watermelon in it he could hardly keep his hands off. It was a good thing it had been the biggest bowl on the table. While a hot meal would have been nice considering the weather, this mostly cool, with hints of hot meal had been perfect.
“A toast to our masterful chef.” He rose his glass, nothing more than carbonated water. They usually kept to non alcoholic drinks during their meals seeing as two of their guests still were underage. No one really complained.
Glasses went up all around, clinking gently together. Eoghan murmured a quiet thank you and the comfortable quiet of a good meal being eaten and appreciated settled on their little group once more.
Eventually, when all plates and most bowls were empty, they each got up, moving to get the clean up process started without anyone really having to ask who would help or who was washing the dishes. This had become a community work, almost and everyone helped in their own way, be it through taking dishes into the kitchen, washing them, drying them or putting them back where they belonged in the cupboards.
Collaborative efforts always did get them to their movies faster, after all.