When Jim came out of the kitchen, he looked crestfallen all over again which was really tugging at Spock’s emotions, his heart, if he must admit it. If Spock could do anything it would be to put a smile back on Jim.

“Are you all right?” he asked, stopping himself from calling Jim an endearment neither of them was ready for.

“Yeah. I don’t have any tea. Sorry.”

“It is not a crisis, Jim. My apartment is near, I will get some. The pizza has been ordered and should be here soon. I will return in a moment.”

When he got to his own apartment, he saw on the PADD he had left there, his personal one, rather than his Academy one, that he had a message from his mother to contact her when he had a moment.

He contacted her after locating his tea.

“Oh, Spock! There you are.” She smiled at him. She had removed her customary headscarf and was brushing her brown hair.

“Mother, it is pleasing to see you.”

“And you. I wondered if you had a chance to think about coming to Vulcan during the winter break. You did advise you were considering it.”

Spock hesitated and then nodded. “I have thought about it, and, I admit, I had intended to make the arrangements to go.”

“Oh! Great.” Her smile widened.


“Uh oh.”

“I have met someone.”

“Met someone?”

“Indeed. And I find that I am needed here in San Francisco, after all.”

“Oh.” Her smile faded. “Must be someone very important to you, Spock.”

“I believe that he could be, yes.”

‘What’s his name?”

“Jim. James Kirk.”

She nodded. “I have heard that name somewhere.”

“His father, George Kirk, he—”

“Oh, yes, of course. I know now. That poor boy. Very well, Spock. I understand.”

“I do apologize, Mother. If you want, I can change—

“Oh, heavens no. Just keep me posted.” She smiled again. “Talk to you soon, Spock. I love you.”

She was gone before he could reply, not that Spock was certain what to reply or ever was, really. Mother was human and given to frequent expressions of her affection.

He turned and left his apartment to return to Jim’s. He smelled the pizza as he approached. Jim was opening up the box that lay upon his dining room table.

“I apologize I was longer than I anticipated.”

Jim turned, smiling. “It’s all right. I’m glad you came back though.” He laughed. “I was beginning to wonder. But since you already paid for the pizza…which hey. I invited you to dinner, so I should have gotten it.”

“It is a small matter,” Spock assured him. “Just as the tea was.”

Jim nodded. “I drink coffee for the most part, so I just, I’ve never had it here. And Bones doesn’t drink it either.”

“We can leave this box here, for the future.”

Those blue eyes lit up again, all sadness replaced by hope and eagerness. Spock found himself glad he had spoken the words.

“Yeah. Here. Let me get you a slice of pizza. Then I’ll make your tea and we can hit the tree.”

Spock’s brows furrowed. “Hit—”

“Decorate it.” Jim laughed.

It was a more genuine laugh then Spock had heard all night. It caused a fluttering in his side. And though he did not like to disappoint his mother or miss out on the chance to go home, Spock was glad he was not going to Vulcan.