“You didn’t have a good time,” Jim said as they left the movie theater, glancing at the Vulcan walking in sync beside him.

“I did not say that.”

“You never laughed or even cracked a smile.”

“Was I supposed to?”

“Come on, Spock. That movie was a comedy. I laughed my ass off.”

Spock stopped suddenly on the sidewalk and turned to look behind Jim. “It appears your ass is intact, Jim.”

Jim laughed. “God, I can’t believe you just said that.” He grinned. “So you did have a good time?”

“While the movie lacked the entertainment value for me that it seemed to have for you, I found the experience gratifying.”

“Me too. Damn, I don’t want this night to end. I wish there was somewhere we could go.”

“I know of an all-night place for tea if you are amenable.”

“Yeah? You bet I am. That sounds great.”

And he felt a little floaty as he walked beside Spock for about three blocks. When they stopped in front of an apartment building, Jim gave Spock a quizzical look.

“My apartment is the all-night tea place.” His cheeks were very slightly green.

Jim nodded. “That sounds great.”

Spock made them tea, an orange spiced flavor, and they sat at his dining room table.

“You do not mind having tea here?” Spock asked.

“Mind? Of course not. This is great. And the tea is good too.” If he had butterflies, he ignored them. Okay, not really, but he tried.

He’d been so surprised when Spock had accepted his invitation to the movies. Something he’d thrown out at the spur of the moment when Spock had noticed Jim staring at him one day in the Academy’s cafeteria.

“I anticipated you’d be more of a coffee person, Jim.”

“I love coffee. But I love tea also. I like them both. Why only like one when you can like them both?”

At the quirked brow he received in response Jim thought maybe he answered wrong.

“That’s-that’s just for beverages. By the way.” Jim felt his face heat. “In case you were wondering.”

“I see.”

“Well. Not only for beverages. I mean I like both guys and girls, too. Anything really.” God, now he was babbling. “But not more than one at a time. If that’s what you thought.”

Spock tilted his head. “I had not thought that far ahead, actually.”

Jim swallowed tea too fast and burned his tongue, but he forced a smile. “Right. I should probably, you know, go. Movie tomorrow? You can pick this time.”

Spock nodded and rose. “I would like that. I should walk you home,” he said when they reached the apartment door.

“Nah. Because then who would walk you home? And then we’d have to go back and forth, walking each other home, and we’d never make it where we were supposed to be. Where’s the logic in that?”

“When put that way—”

“You didn’t think I could be logical.”


Jim laughed. “See you tomorrow, Spock. And goodnight.” He thought of something. “Hold up your hand.”

When Spock did, Jim touched his index and middle fingers to Spock’s.

“That’s right, yeah? A Vulcan kiss, right?”

“It is not exactly a kiss. It is a rather intimate way of holding hands between mates.”

“Oh.” Jim bugged out his eyes and dropped his hand away. “Sorry.”

Spock’s lips twitched. “You owe no apology, Jim. Goodnight.”

And for the first time, well, in ever, there was a bounce in his step going home.