Short chapter but it’s something to move the plot into the next part I’d like to happen
When Spock had not seen Jim for two days, he walked over to Jim’s house himself.
After ten minutes of waiting after he knocked, Jim opened the door. He looked a little beat up, a little worse for wear, and pale. He wore a t-shirt and jeans.
“Hey.” Jim looked back in the house and then back at Spock. Then he stepped outside and closed the door behind him. “Hey,” he said again.
“You have been hurt.” He felt like he was stating the obvious, but Jim’s appearance disturbed him.
“Yeah.” He moistened his lips. “Got into a fight with him.”
“He struck you?”
“It’s fine, Spock.”
“It is not fine.” Spock made a move forward, but Jim put his hand on Spock’s arm.
“Can we just…go somewhere?”
Spock drew himself up and stared into Jim’s blue eyes. “Where would you like to go?”
“The city? Walking? I don’t care. Anywhere but here.” Jim’s hand on his arm dug in but it was not painful. “I’m glad you came. I wanted to see you but—”
“You did not want me to see you in this condition.”
“Yeah. My family’s fucked up, Spock. I just wish he’d disappear.”
“I will take us in my hover car into the city. Lunch perhaps?”
“Sure. But I have to…get my additive. I have these problems. I’ll tell you later.” He moved to go back into the house and Spock wanted to stop him, because he did not like the idea of Jim returning here. But he didn’t. He let Jim go.
Fortunately he came out a moment later and Spock led him back to his own house to get the hover car.
Jim was quiet on the ride into the main city and he did not comment when Spock pulled in front of a vegetarian restaurant.
“Is this acceptable?”
“What?” Jim’s gaze cleared, and he nodded. “Yes. Yes. Sure.”
After getting a table, Jim leaned back and gave Spock a strained smile. “So, um, I guess I should tell you about Tarsus.”
“Tarsus? You speak of Tarsus IV.”
“Yeah. I was there.”
“I don’t really talk about it. A lot. I mean I see doctors. There’s one here in the city. She thinks, I don’t know, that I’m unstable or whatever.”
“You do not seem that way to me,”
Jim smiled. “Thanks. Anyway, um, I got poisoned by the fungus. A lot of did. The ones that survived. So I have to add this to stuff before I eat.” He shrugged. “No big deal.”
“I think that it is, actually, a big deal.” Spock found himself reaching for Jim’s hand and also feeling glad when Jim gave it to him. “If you ever desire to talk to a non-judgmental party, I am here to listen.”
“I-I appreciate that.” Jim’s smile widened. “This almost feels like a date.”
Spock felt his cheeks heat. He looked down at his menu. “Do you think?”
“Spock. Is it?”
His gaze rose to meet Jim’s, held those blue eyes. “Would you like it to be?”
“Never mind that. Would you?”
Spock gave a simple nod. Then he saw Jim’s cheeks turn pink. He nodded too. And Spock let out the breath he was holding.
“Then it is a date.”
“Our first, huh?”
“Unless you count sharing a bed last night.”
Jim grinned. “Totally counts. In a platonic way.”
“I am sorry he hurt you,” Spock said softly. “And I do not want him to hurt you again.”
Jim nodded. “We’ll work it out, Spock.”
“We will. Okay? Let’s just, let’s just have our date.”
Spock dropped it for now because he had to. But he did not want to because he could not stop thinking about Jim being hit. Hurt. It was wrong. And Spock could not just sit by and let it happen.