Estimated reading time: 23 minute(s)
Hate the Taste (Basira/Daisy) EN
Pairing: Basira Hussain/Alice “Daisy” Tonner
Summary: Hunters turn against each other, partners do not.
Note: Explicit violence, cannibalism, please read the tags and proceed with caution.
For Basira, everything was not tasteless or scentless since day one. Food and beverage once had their identities. She still remembered all the different spices in her parents’ kitchen: cardamon, cinnamon, clove, basil, mint and countless others, confined in little containers. And all the magics they could do to the dishes. Taste and scent. One brought out the other. She also remembered the not-so-fantastic part like the burnt toast, spoiled fermented trash bins in the high summer.
And it was not just only the childhood ones that she could recall. She even remembered that horrible lukewarm coffee in her first precinct, with both smell and taste like a half-watered ashtray. It was not that Met’s coffee got improved through the years though, she just could not tell the taste of it anymore.
She swallowed another bite of her soggy sandwich. Her tongue could still feel its textures: crunchy lettuce and celery, soft fried egg, sticky soaked white bread. Like chewing a wet sponge. It was not unbearable, still, unpleasant. Along with many other little things. Making it harder to get off bed to work.
Basira had doubted it had anything to do with the incident that had her first sectioned. She had talked to the police counselor (who, fortunately or not, sectioned years ago) before, but the shrink only said that it might have something to do with her traumatic experience with Diego Molina, or what happened to her colleague John Spencer.
Nope. You hardly would called a few blisters on fingers as “trauma.” Her ever calm and reliable brain chirped. Knowing your colleague somehow managed to boiling himself to death in his bathtub could do a lot of damage to one’s mental health, but taste is not among them. Correlation, maybe, causality, no.
And it was not like she woke up one day and found all of tastes or smells were gone. At first, she could still get the extreme ones: strong curry, ghost-pepper sauce, honey soaked Baklava, formaldehyde, highly rotten human remains on rare occasions (No, she did not put the last two in her mouth. No plan to try, either.) Later on, it was just nothing. As if all the related neurons decided to go on a long-term strike, except the real doctors all told her that everything from the tests (CT, MRI and other ones with abbreviations she didn’t bother to remember) was normal. Nothing physically wrong with her.
Basira finally had her last bite of the sandwich. She tried to washed it down with the cold coffee, but changed her mind halfway. It was no big deal. Her mind stoically scoffed. At least she got to sit here and eat her sandwich, unlike some other ones who met weird ends.
“Wanna have another round of coffee?” A soft voice said besides her. Another stressor made it hard to come to work. She always had an uneasy feeling when Daisy was around.
Alice “Daisy” Tonner: Her new partner. At the first glance, that nickname just suited her well. She looked lean and delicate. Her sandy-color hair tailed back in a foxtail with a few loose strands framed her small face. She also had that soft, low-rumbling voice, almost like cat purring. “Call me Daisy.” She said it with everyone with an easy, harmless tone.
Yet Basira knew better. Daisy might look harmless and delicate. Daisy was anything but. Basira had heard over gossips about her new partner. They said that she had abandoned her partner to his terrible fate (yet vague about exactly what it was), that she had already made a few kills of monsters (or people), that stay away from her, for your own good.
“Hey, do you want that coffee or not?” This time that voice got a little irritated. But so far, despite her uneasiness, they seemed to get along just fine.
Before Basira could answer, the car radio went on. A attempted suicide at Kensington. The subject likely had firearms.
“Copy that.” Basira replied immediately and repeated the address.
“It’s another weird one, isn’t?”
“I guess so. Sorry Daisy, that coffee has to wait.”
Daisy simply waved and sat in front of the wheel. When she closed the door, A burnt, bitter, and chocolate aroma suddenly hit Basira.
Earthy. Rich. Sharp. Burning all the way down her throat. Like the first gulp of Irish coffee in a dark winter night. Yet before she said anything, Daisy had already started the engine.
That Kensington apartment was hot and humid inside. A/C must had stopped working for a while. The overall scene was like in a cheap B film. Antiques and books were scattered on the carpet. The blood had spilled everywhere. In the middle of the living room, that faceless man was screaming incoherently and waving his pistol all around. His face had already took a few good shots already.
And even in this mess, that whiskey aroma still lingered around her… like a sole focal point in her blank smelling landscape, demanding her attention. Somewhere in her belly was burning. Basira shook her head, steady her sidearm, pointing at that man. (Usually they do not carry their sidearms like their States’ colleagues, but this time they had their permission to do so.)
“Put your gun down, sir.”She warned, feeling a bit stupid at the same time. Could he really hear her in that frenzy? Should she just shot or … ? And shot where? Must be some procedures out there told you how to deal with this sort of thing. She definitely had read it somewhere. Yet her mind was unable to access that part of her inner library. Her mind just wanted to watch this … thing. To see what would happen next. She was not panic, and she could saw it all too clear. She just did not move.
Maybe because Daisy was much faster. She had carried her sidearm as well, but she did not bother to use it. She charged like a cannon ball, grabbed that man’s arm, and mercilessly twisted his wrist to an unnatural angle all in one single moment. A few seconds later, he dropped his gun, screamed with more agony this time. Daisy kicked the gun out of reach. That man did not move anymore. Yet Basira could still hear his ragged breathing. Somehow.
How came he was still alive with that smashed head?
Paramedics came in the next few minutes. They had her deepest sympathy, but at that point, it was not the faceless man who unsettled her. With an inclosed space like that apartment, the presence of that mysterious aroma became even more unbearable. A lingering dull ache was kicking in her stomach.
“You look like you are going to faint.”Daisy softly remarked. They were back in the vehicle now. And it did not help, either. With even smaller space, that aroma was getting stronger and stronger. Did Daisy use some strange perfume?
“I am fine.”Basira lied, “That was just a bit of shock.” Her head was spinning. Partially from the scene in apartment, more from that smell. The previously dull pain in her stomach sharpened itself. It yowled and thrashed and stabbed.
Daisy nodded. “Likely another genuine section case.” She dropped down the window a bit. The air was still and sticky. It did not help much to ventilate.
“You don’t look well at all.” Suddenly, Daisy turned to her again. “You can call it a day if you want. I can deal with it.”
“What? No … no. I just felt a bit … strange and dizzy. Did you use perfume or?”
“Me?”Daisy looked puzzled. “Do I look like the type? Did you smell anything strange?”
So it is not her perfume. Basira thought. Then what is it? Her belly was a twisting mess, but her brain refused to relent. What is it this feeling? It inquired. Did you ever feel the same way before? Think, Basira, think carefully.
“… anyway, I suppose you might want something stronger after this.” Daisy said to her. “Since we are still on duty, can’t get you a drink. Let’s just settle on sugar high then. I know a good place we can drop by before head back to the precinct.”
Basira nodded. Later that day, they sat in a smoothie shop. A/C brought in the blessing cold breeze, thankfully, making that aroma less intense. Daisy asked her which flavor she would like. It did not matter. It was all the same. It was going to taste just like a cup of plain ice sludge. She thought. Still she mumbled something on the menu.
“Thanks.”She said when Daisy passed her smoothie. Their fingers briefly touched. Basira bit the straw.
No luck. Her brain whispered. I told you. Plain ice sludge.
She did not respond. Her body was elsewhere. The place where Daisy had touched radiated a delicious temptation. She wanted to lick her own fingers, if not to bite the other’s. Then she was disgusted by the thought.
You sounds like a pervert. Her brain commented. But you know what? If you desire her, there are always more civilized ways to ask her out instead of mopping around.