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Summary: Less than three hours after joining the crew of the Daedalus, Hermiod was already contemplating the severity of the black mark that shirking a diplomatic posting would leave on his record.

Categories: General
Characters: Other
Genres: Character Study, Friendship, Humour
Warnings: None
Chapters: 1 [Table of Contents]
Series: None

Word count: 646; Completed: Yes
Updated: 12 Jul 2007; Published: 12 Jul 2007

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Story Notes:
Written at the request of plsteward, who asked for an Asgard being introduced to Earth food.


Humans are weird.

It was the first thing Thor had told Hermiod when breaking the news that he'd been assigned to the Daedalus liaison position. Or at least, it had been Thor's first piece of advice. His first words had been to request that Hermiod sit down.

Thor had been correct in his assessment, of that Hermiod had no doubt. Less than three hours after joining the crew of the Daedalus, Hermiod was already contemplating the severity of the black mark that shirking a diplomatic posting would leave on his record. He continued that line of thought right up until something landed on his console. He stared at it for a moment, attempting to discern its purpose. When that failed to prove inspirational, he moved his attention to the human engineer standing beside him. When she failed to react to his attention, he cleared his throat.

She - Thor had been rather adamant about the importance of remembering human gender distinctions - looked up, startled. "What?" Her facial coloring lightened. "Oh, God, I forgot something, didn't I? I'm really sorry, this is my first time working hands-on with Asgard engines, and I always invert the power-consumption equations when I get nervous, and..."

Hermiod blinked, and raised a hand to stop the stream of sound. "The most recent batch of equations were within acceptable parameters. I merely wished to inquire about this." He held up the object in question.

"Oh. That's one of my jelly beans."

Hermiod blinked again. It was, after all, his people's unconscious reaction to unexpected news, even if it had been formalized into a sub-dialect within the Asgard language seventeen generations ago.

"Oh! You probably want to know what it's doing in the engine room, don't you? I swear, I don't normally eat down here, but it's your first day, and I was nervous, and when I get nervous I hiccup, and sometimes the jelly beans help prevent it."

"So it is a...foodstuff?"

"Foodstuff. Yes, it's a foodstuff." She fidgeted, pulling another of the objects from her pocket and ingesting it.

"These...'jelly beans'...they are commonly ingested by humans?"

"Yeah, I mean, everyone eats them now and then. Or, well, almost everyone. I mean-"

"Doctor Novak. Is there anything in this...'jelly bean' that could be considered toxic to an Asgard?"

She blinked, and Hermiod tried not to read too much into the length of the action. "No. I mean, I don't think so. I don't really know very much about Asgard physiology. For all I know-"

Hermiod nodded thoughtfully and ingested the 'jelly bean', closing his eyes in contemplation as he tuned out the doctor's commentary. It was, for lack of a better descriptor, strange. Solid exterior, soft interior, and an odd secondary sensation - perhaps what the humans called 'flavor'. Satisfied with his analysis, he reopened his eyes to find Doctor Novak staring at him, hands moving anxiously through a series of repetitive patterns. "Are...are you all right?"

Hermiod cocked his head to the side. "My condition is satisfactory."

"Did you, uh, like it?"

"The sensation was not unpleasant."

Her lips curved upward in the expression Thor had explained meant a positive disposition. "Really? I mean, no one else likes the buttered popcorn! Do you want another?" She held out a handful of the off-white 'beans'.

Hermiod selected a second, before turning his thoughts back toward his own work. "What I wish, is to have these diagnostics completed before the next sleep cycle. Is this feasible?"

She shrugged, popping a bean into her mouth and chewing. "We can try. Might be a late night, though."

Hermiod gave her the blink-of-resignation. "That is...acceptable."

"Okay! So, if we start here..." Hermiod turned back to his console, slipping the bean into his mouth and sucking on it as he pulled up the secondary schematics. Humans might be weird, but that wasn't necessarily a bad thing.

~ Finis ~