Love Spoons In Space
It was a day like any other aboard the starship Bouquet of Jellyfish. The ship’s mixed-species crew was going about their lives in deep space. Two Armorlites dominated in the sports arena, a Hard Skin won a promotion in the command center, and a human declared undying love in the manner of his ancestors: with an intricately carved wooden spoon that he had made himself.
His love was reciprocated. There was rampant hugging in the hallways, and approval from the various onlookers.
One of these onlookers was Galaeyue, a Frillian who thought it looked like a fine idea. She hurried off in a flutter of green and pink fins to do something similar. It was almost mealtime; perfect.
Some minutes later, all of Galaeyue’s human friends in the cafeteria were bemused to find her appearing to hand them a plastic spoon from the buffet, with all the air of a child handing out valentines to the entire class.
“Oh, thank you.”
“I’ve already got one…?”
Galaeyue waved off the thanks with visible joy, breezing right by the confusion, and ended her rounds at one particular table. There she dumped twenty-three spoons, five forks, and seven chopsticks.
“Bwuh?” Nina said around a mouthful of synthbeef. The clatter drowned her out.
Galaeyue stood there with a proud smile and a flare of her head fins. She waited expectantly.
“Thank you,” Nina said, nonplussed. “I shall treasure it forever.”
Galaeyue made a happy squeal that was just this side of too high to hear, fluttered some more, then hurried off.
Nina looked around the cafeteria to find more confused faces aimed her way. “Uh, anybody know what that was about?” she asked.
“Oh!” exclaimed Anna, from several tables over. “Love spoons!”
The man at her side made a similar noise. “Did she see us, and not understand?”
“I think so,” Anna said. For the edification of the room, she explained, “Dylan gave me a love spoon just a little while ago — It’s beautiful! Thank you! — I think Galaeyue may have seen, but not gotten the full context.”
“Ah,” Nina said, looking at her pile of spoons.
“I’ll go talk to her,” Dylan volunteered. “Don’t want to make this any more embarrassing.”
“Thank you,” Anna said, while Nina nodded along. He left, and the cafeteria resumed its regular chatter.
Nina ate a bit more slowly than she had been.
There were no more incidents with spoons for several days. Dylan said that the Frillian had taken the news well, and the crew at large put the incident behind themselves. Even Nina.
Then Galaeyue appeared at the door to her quarters, holding the most beautiful spoon Nina had ever seen.
It was iridescent metal, worked all over with the finest of details, and the bowl of the spoon was shaped into a heart. Frillians didn’t use heart imagery.
Nina looked up from what was very clearly a human love token, made with Frillian materials.
“I know now that wood is traditional,” Galaeyue said. “But there isn’t any more to be had onboard. There is plenty of scrap metal, though. I hope it’s good enough.”
“Gala, this is amazing,” Nina said, accepting the spoon. It had a pleasing weight to it, and shone with many colors. “You made this yourself?”
“Yes!” Galaeyue said, her fins vibrating with excitement. “I did research. It was meant to be special.”
“It definitely is.”
“It also has a homing beacon in the handle.” Galaeyue pointed.
“A what?” Nina found the panel that slid aside to show a tiny screen with two glowing dots.
“So we can always find each other,” Galaeyue explained. “I made two.” She pulled out an identical spoon, and suddenly the two dots made sense.
Nina wrapped her in a fierce hug. “I love it, and I love you,” she said. “I was hoping you meant it that way.” She pulled back with a sly grin. “Do you need any more human-style kissing lessons?”
Galaeyue’s fins wiggled happily. “I would like to say that I’ve been practicing,” she said. “But I understand that that would be rude. I have been thinking about it a lot, though.”
Nina laughed and pulled her inside, letting the door swing shut. The entire ship would be happy for them, when they got around to telling everyone.