quinara: Approaching Black Mage from FFIX. (FFIX black mage)
[personal profile] quinara posting in [community profile] queerlygen
Title: Stroper Stew
Creator: [personal profile] quinara
Universe: Final Fantasy IX
Type of work: 1300 word fanfic
Contains: What might be referred to as 'fantasy violence'.
Summary: A Qu and xyr chocobo take on the world, one meal at a time.
Notes: [personal profile] angelikitten's fic left me completely in the mood for some more FFIX Quina!fic, so for the roadtrip challenge here xe is with Bobby Corwen, the cute little baby chocobo from the Black Mage Village. I'm using the sex-neutral pronouns [personal profile] angelikitten used in xyr fic, because I have no preference of my own.

Stroper Stew.

Precariously perched on the back of the chocobo, Quina tried to reassure them both, “Iifa Tree is scary place, Bobby Corwen, but we find delicious food here.”

“Kweh,” squawked Bobby Corwen, not entirely convinced.

They’d been on the road for a week now, cheerfully exploring the Outer Continent in search of adventure and food. Of course, Quina had been travelling for a lot longer than that, restless ever since Garnet and Zidane’s wedding, because xe knew that learning the Way of the Gourmand was not a task you could ever fully complete. But xe’d been missing xyr companions and the good ideas for food they’d sometimes had, so xe’d been really glad to get to the Black Mage Village and find Bobby Corwen wanting to join xem on an adventure. He’d always smelled so delicious, after all; Quina was tempted to eat him once the adventure had finished.

“Is that stroper there?” Quina pondered aloud, pointing with xyr fork through the mist. Xe thought xe could see something moving, but it was hard to make out.

“Kweh…” mused Bobby Corwen, skipping from one root to another with a quick ruffle of his feathers, while Quina clung on tight. It was exhilarating, this hunting out food.

“I ate stroper once,” xe commented, patting xyr stomach with the memory. “Big thing take lot of munching: very bitter, stringy.” Not to mention the very scary spell it gave xem.

Turning his head over his shoulder, Bobby Corwen clicked his beak, wondering why they were bothering if that was the case.

“Don’t like softs,” Quina continued, checking xyr bag to make she they had some. “Think little bit in a stroper stew taste good – put in gysahl greens –”

Bobby Corwen chirruped, ruffling his fluffy yellow wings again. He liked gysahl greens.

“Gourmand can no always cook what xe likes,” Quina scolded, waggling xyr tongue and thwacking Bobby Corwen lightly with xyr fork. “Must be inventive, try new things.”

“Kweeeh,” Bobby Corwen cooed resignedly, looking down quickly before he skipped them onto another root. After all, he’d left the Black Mage Village to explore the world; he could eat all the gysahl greens he wanted back at home.

There was still some movement in the mist, but it seemed to be approaching them now, so Quina hopped down from Bobby Corwen’s back, soothing him before the fight began. Xe didn’t want the delicious-smelling chocobo to get hurt, after all. “Remember, Bobby Corwen, use a soft I get petrified.” Xe rooted through their bag, pulling out a squashy black hat and fixing it around the chocobo’s ears, straightening out the rim. “Petrify scary, though, so you use Dark Hat,” xe said. “Make you be jelly.”

“Kweh.” Bobby Corwen tried to look confident, but he was beginning to get a little worried. Monsters usually avoided chocobos, but that was out on the plains; here in the Tree he knew the stroper would come for him as much as it did Quina.

They waited and sure enough, after only a few moments, the stroper galumphed their way, scenting the air with its tentacles as it came at them, tall and wriggly, its body like the trunk of a tree from the Black Mage Forest. Quina was ready for it though, and xe got in the first move, charging forward between the waving tentacles to stab it viciously with xyr fork. The tines dug into the monster’s bark-like hide, causing the stroper to cry out with a guttural gurgle and momentarily curl in on itself.

Quina ran back and Bobby Corwen ruffled his feathers, trying to remember the magic that his parents had taught him, exactly for occasions like this. Squeezing his eyes shut, he concentrated, before leaping up in the air and squawking, summoning a violent bolt of lightning from the sky. For a moment he thought it was going to miss, as the stroper swept its tentacles in another direction and tried to duck away, but it couldn’t quite avoid the blast, finding itself struck just below its one central eye.

Doing a little dance on the root, Quina cried out, “Well done, Bobby Corwen!” But then xe had to yelp as the stroper came rushing forward, far quicker than xe remembered the monsters were able to, pulling the flat ends of its tentacles together to bash xem in the side. It hurt, quite badly, but Quina was a seasoned adventurer now and xe knew xe could get over the pain.

Mustering xyr energy, Quina prepared to call on a spell of xyr own. Xe thought about summoning the great giant frog to squash the stroper into a nice tenderised squish, but xe thought it would be better for Bobby Corwen to get the experience of monster fighting, the way xe had learned when xe had travelled with Zidane all those years ago. So instead Quina thought back to the tasty taste of cactuar, the taste of pulpy green and water with just a hint of spice from the spines, and then, spinning xyr fork, xe called down a great rain of needles against the stroper, cutting through the tentacles and into its body.

The stroper groaned again, beginning to bleed sap and deathly steam quite heavily now through the holes in its hide. One more spell would fell it completely; Quina knew that if xe wanted xe could eat it right now and it wouldn’t be able to put up a fight.

With a relieved glance to Quina, Bobby Corwen ruffled his feathers once again, deciding to try out a different spell. He called on fire this time, leaping and squawking once more as he let it loose and then watching with wonder as the fireball engulfed the stroper’s body, turning the brown-green skin around its wounds a bright, vivid red and causing the monster to scream with a wild howl. Its flailing tentacles fell from the sky as its tall body bent over itself, collapsing into the space between two roots and no longer disturbing the mist all around them.

“Kweh?” Bobby Corwen asked, peering at Quina from underneath his Dark Hat. He wasn’t sure whether it was dead.

Not answering yet, though xe was feeling strangely proud, Quina hopped over towards the stroper’s corpse, poking it in the side with xyr fork. It wasn’t moving and it smelt good enough to eat. “Time to cook!” xe said cheerfully.




The stroper stew was good. The monster’s flesh was bitter and Death-ridden as always, but seasoned with a soft it tasted warmer – thick and dark and wholesome, with the sweetness of the gysahl greens creating a dish fit for the Queen of Alexandria. Quina made sure to make a note of the recipe.

Dancing from foot to foot with happiness, Bobby Corwen slurped down his portion of the stew, impressed beyond measure by his companion’s cooking skills. He liked gysahl greens, but they always tasted the same; this was something new and different. It was so exciting! And it was the reward for him being brave and magical in front of monsters, just like he’d always wanted to show his parents he could be, like they had been in escaping from the bad people. That made it taste all the better.

“See, Bobby Corwen,” Quina said, patting xyr stomach contentedly. “This why we cook with nasty monsters.”

“Kweh!” agreed Bobby Corwen.

“Go on more adventures now?” xe asked with a waggle of xyr tongue, settling against the tent they’d set up for the night. Xe was rather looking forward to it.

The chocobo squawked again in agreement, eyes alight with the prospect of more food.

Quina grinned. “I so glad I no eat you when you were egg,” xe said. And xe really was.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-02-21 06:58 am (UTC)
angelikitten: Two women making a heart shape with their hands (Love - Satellite of love)
From: [personal profile] angelikitten
AWESOME. I love everything about this, especially the little things, like how xe does spells xe learnt from monsters (something I'd never even thought about before, but makes perfect sense).

Also, you may have given me an idea XD

(no subject)

Date: 2010-02-21 12:25 pm (UTC)
angelikitten: Cat with a halo (Random - Pirate)
From: [personal profile] angelikitten
If it works, it works!

Also, this happened.

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