Soulmate AU: You get cravings for whatever your soulmate eats.
When you were a kid, the cravings were a big issue, mostly because you couldn’t figure out what you were craving. This wasn’t an uncommon problem in young children. After all, a little girl from South Africa isn’t likely to recognize the taste of the smoked elk meat that her North American soulmate is eating. But you almost never recognized your cravings. Yes, sometimes you recognized bread, but you could never find the right bread. Sometimes you recognized salad, but you could never find the right mix of greens. It was like your soulmate was eating food from another planet.
As you got older, it got easier. You got better at ignoring the unstoppable cravings, and at finding close substitutes. More foods in your soulmate’s diet were recognizable to you as the years went on. A sudden and ongoing craving for jelly babies left you terribly pudgy during your tween years, only for the craving to suddenly stop when you hit thirteen.
It was frustrating, but it was fine. What worried you was how you would sometimes go a whole day without any cravings at all, or sometimes three or four days. You would forget to eat on those days if you weren’t careful. Being a slave to your soulmate’s overwhelming eating habits for your whole life had left you without much of an appetite of your own. You worried that he might have an eating disorder, or that he was living somewhere where there wasn’t always food to be had.
Other than that worry, it was bearable. You adjusted. You reminded yourself to eat even when he didn’t. You didn’t let yourself be too bothered when you craved foods that didn’t seem to exist on Earth. You lived, you ate, and so you sometimes worried, but for the most part, you did alright.
But then the bananas happened.
It just happened every once and awhile at first. Bananas became more common in the diet, and at first, you didn’t mind. At least it was healthy instead of jelly babies.
It didn’t settle with that, though. You got to the point of craving bananas five, six times a day. Had your soulmate moved to a banana farm? It was getting ridiculous. You had to carry a banana with you every time you left your house.
And then it got worse.
You woke up in the middle of the night, craving bananas. And you couldn’t even be sick of them, either. Your soulmate wanted them, and therefore, so did you. But why wasn’t he getting sick of them? It was ridiculous. Could people get sick from too much potassium? Were you going to start turning yellow, like people who ate too many carrots turned orange? Were you going to start getting sick from eating in the middle of the night so often?
You took appetite suppressants that were made just for soulmate cravings, and they helped, but there was nothing that ramped down the need for bananas.
All in all… your soulmate was driving you crazy, and you hadn’t even met him yet.
You saw him in the park.
Itchy with cravings, you were fishing a banana out of your bag, when you caught sight of a man sitting on a bench.
Eating a banana.
Lots of people ate bananas. Lots of them, right at this very moment, were eating bananas and giving their soulmates banana-cravings just like the ones you were getting. But you were looking at one of those people, and you knew that this particular banana-eater was yours.
You immediate reaction to the discovery was to turn tail and run, forever becoming a lonely, crazy old cat lady, rather than face the man who was going to love you and cherish you forever.
Who came up with that? you thought, staring at him. He was wearing a leather jacket, and even from as far away as you were, you could tell that he was a big man. Bigger than you, anyway. Broad-shouldered and long-legged. It was intimidating. Who the heck thought it was a good idea to have people drawn to each other like this? We meet and ride off into the sunset, just like that? He’s never met me, but I’m gonna walk up to him and he’s gonna love me and I’m gonna love him, no doubt about it? Just like that, no slow-burn build-up? Whose idea was this?
The more you thought about it, the less scared you were, although you were still plenty scared. But more than you were scared, you were frustrated. Why?
You marched across the green field, frustration and fear warring with each other as the invisible bond between you and him dragged you forward. When you reached him, you dropped your open bag to the ground in front of him so that he had a perfect view of a notebook, a cellphone, a pen, and three stupid bananas.
“You.” It was the only word you could think to say. It was the only word that you could manage to say.
He blinked (gorgeous, bright blue, expressive, crystal-clear) and tossed his banana into a nearby trashcan without even looking (that shot would’ve made jocks jealous). The biggest grin you had ever seen on anyone crossed his face and he eagerly jumped to his feet. "You!“
He looked and sounded so happy (just to see you, oh wow, that look was just for you, no one had ever looked half so happy to see you, ever) you almost awww’d. But you had a bone to pick.
"You jerk,” you snapped, stepping closer.
A fleeting look of incomprehension crossed his face, followed by hurt. His grin faded. “What?”
“The bananas, mister,” you said, poking him on his jumper-covered vest (purple, you noted against your will, frustratingly pleased with how the color complemented his light tan). "Hardly anything other than bananas for six months because of you!“
"I…” He squared his shoulders (broad, very broad, strong, good for holding onto when you kiss him, but- gah, no, no kissing, not now), defensive of his taste in fruit. "I like bananas. Bananas are good.“
Whatever. He could act innocent all he wanted. You weren’t done. "Jelly babies made me fat when I was a little girl.”
At this, he visibly grimaced (he was older than you expected him to be, but not so much that it was a problem, and the slight creases of age only served to make him look more distinguished). “Oh- ah, yeah, sorry ‘bout tha’.”
“And what about the rest of it?” you exclaimed, throwing your hands up in the air. "All those crazy foods that I could never find! What was all that?“
He didn’t answer that one. Instead, he fiddled with the edges of his leather jacket, nervously eyeing the toes of his boots. "Aren’t ya… at least a little happy t'see me?”
All the frustration was snuffed out like a candle, and you were suddenly disappointed with yourself for being so harsh. He wasn’t what you had expected at all, but your soulmate bond told you that he was perfect. And he was perfect, in a strange way.
“Yes.” His head snapped up at your answer. “Yes, I am very- ah!”
He had stepped right over your bag and grabbed you, lifting you up into a spin. You laughed, startled, gripping his shoulders for balance as he grinned up at you, even happier than he had been before.
Oh, you thought, enchanted by blue eyes that made you ignore a big nose and enlarged ears. You could only see the best of him, and the parts that weren’t the best… well, you loved those too. He really was perfect.
“Very!” you blurted out, trying not to shriek with laughter as your soulmate held you up. “Very happy to see you, I am, I’m sorry!”
He set you gently on the ground and kissed you without any hesitation, and that was perfect too.
“But we gotta come up with some sorta compromise on the banana thing!” you blurted out when his lips pulled away from yours, and he laughed.