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“This is important.” 

“Yes, Grand-Mère.” 

“I mean it, Lili, cherie. And I wish you had worn something other than jeans.” 

“You told me that, at least, like, fourteen times. And the jeans are fine; I am just gonna get dirty.” 

“You’ve been counting?” 

“I started to after a while. It’ll be fine. Stop, just, just stop.” 

The older woman backed off. Her husband put a hand on her shoulder. “Lilienne, c’est assez.” Lilienne, it’s enough. The three of them stood in a small room just off the cafeteria at Lili’s high school. 

Je sais que, mais ….” I know that, but …. Both grandparents looked concerned. 

“Not you, too, Granddad,” Lili O’Day said, looking at her grandfather. 

Richard Ducasse bit down on what he was really going to say, and instead opened with, “We just want this to go well. I saw you kept the lobsters alive just fine.” 

“The fishmonger taught me,” Lili explained. “I didn’t need a tank, ‘cause I only got them yesterday at the New France Market. You keep them in the fridge, near the back, and they just sort of go to sleep in the cold.” And terrify anyone reaching for chilled orange juice if they weren’t expecting a curious antenna moving a little. Lili chuckled a little, recalling her grandmother’s surprised yelp. 

“And it seems as if you have everything with you,” he commented, nodding at a huge crate she was holding with both hands. 

“Yes, Granddad.” 

“Don’t forget how important this is,” Lilienne again reminded her. 

“Fifteen,” Lili replied, rolling her eyes, just like the teenager she was. 

“Charlotte Lilienne O’Day!” came a voice over the intercom. 

“I guess I’m on,” Lili replied, stepping forward. 

Bonne chance,” her grandparents both said. Good luck

=/\= 

Lili carried her burden behind the cafeteria into the school’s large industrial kitchen where there was a Vulcan woman sitting by herself in front of a small table. “I am Miss Aviri,” she stated. “And you are Miss O’Day?” 

“I am.” 

“You understand that if you can create something impressive for me, I will seriously consider you for the Mars Culinary Institute. I do not come to Titan often. And I will tell you right now that you have the worst grades of anyone who has competed today.” 

“Yes, ma’am.” Lili successfully avoided reddening, but gulped just the same. 

“You also have the beginnings of a criminal record for, let me see,” she consulted a PADD, “something called joyriding.” 

“I returned the car and the charges were dropped.” 

“I see. And not wearing a toque, how interesting. The cap you are wearing, is that a favorite team?” 

Lili was dying to put down her stuff and take off her Titan Bluebirds baseball cap, but then she remembered – don’t touch anywhere near your hair. “They’re the local team. But they’re perpetual cellar dwellers, uh, ma’am.” 

“I see. And what are you making today? You may place your items on the counter.” 

“Thank you. I am making lobster en croute.” 

Before Days {Star Trek Enterprise Prime/Mirror Universe fan fiction}Read this story for FREE!