Uncommon Dazzling Ships 233 members · 410 stories
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You're in school for a decade, learning the curriculum-mandated things they're going to test you on, and then you're out into the world and quickly realising you don't know shit.

How to fill out a tax return, how to iron a shirt, how to maintain a car, how to unblock a drain, how to wire a light switch...

But at least you're not doing most of those things every day. Cooking, on the other hand? You've got to eat. Ready meals are expensive, takeout even more so, and going out to restaurants even more than that. And eating well enough to not die from diet-induced medical issues would be really nice.

Which brings us to adult cookery classes. One evening a week, a group of people convene at a metallic, restaurant-style kitchen at the local cooking school, and, after a quick catch up, get briefed on what they'll be cooking this week. There'll be some detail of the dish's origin, some instructions and warnings of potential pitfalls, some ingredients they haven't tried before... and then they're off!

Everyone gets their own burner and square of worktop, just like on TV chef competition shows, while the teacher wanders from table to table, advising, tasting, and helping out. Maybe they all eat together at the end, or maybe they each have a meal to take home with them.

And this is the setting for our story. One or more sirens, and one or more characters of interest among the other participants - or even the teacher themselves. Something I like about this setup is that it's filled with characters from a wide range of adult ages. Sure, there's Fluttershy at 18 getting the knowledge in before heading off to college, but there's also Cheerilee at 30 realising she can't live on junk food forever. There's Spoiled Rich at 40 trying to provide herself not just with a hobby, but a reason for her increasingly-distant husband to want to keep her around. Cranky Doodle at 50, after a warning from his doctor about cholesterol. And there's Grand Pear at 70, determined that, if he has to be living alone now, he'll at least be living and not merely existing.

So the pairing opportunities this setup offers are varied and unique. I first thought of it last month as a potential scenario for Adagio x Celestia, and must say I still love the thought of it as a setting for that ship. There's also the appeal of the situation itself, in how it starts with a bit of socialising, and then splits off to everyone doing their own thing. It's not like a book group, all sitting quietly while each takes a turn talking. Everyone is in charge of how much or how little they interact with the others. And you can have rivalries without it needing to be expressed through insults or fisticuffs. No need to go directly head to head, the proof will be in the pudding.

I should probably note that, cooking being a supportive, necessary skill that is nonetheless often thought of as menial, Sonata seems the obvious choice here. That's why I think it'd be so great to see it with one of the other two instead.

Here are some rules! Or guidelines, at least - who are we to tell you what to do?

There will be:

No maximum word limit! :yay:

No minimum word limit, aside from fimfiction's thousand-word standard! :pinkiehappy:

No rating restrictions! :moustache:

No prizes! :trollestia:

No SunDagio! :raritystarry:

No AriNata! :rainbowderp:

No SonPie! :pinkiesad2:

No time limit! :trixieshiftleft: ...I mean, it'd be nice to get it done this month, but, given the above thing about no prizes, if it takes you longer then it takes you longer... However, if you get it submitted this month then we'll read it and talk about it and shower you with praise, whereas by next month we'll have moved onto a different area of focus.

Special bonus points if this week's special guest chef is Saffron Masala.

And that's it!

You say no SunDagio, yet ship Adagio with the avatar of the sun? Curious! :trixieshiftright:

Gotta say Luna and Sonata is tempting here.

Or maybe Aria is there to get to play with sharp knives and a carmalizing torch.

Group Admin

When they write 128 Adagio x Celestia stories and stuff them with all sorts of problematic relationship vibes then we might have to think about banning that pairing too!

Luna and Sonata could be a lot of fun, actually. Luna goes to these things to get away from chaotic students, not to end up next to an adult one she has no control over. I think sharp knives could happily be the thing that talks Aria into at least trying it once. Sharp knives and a motive for carrying them nobody will question.

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