For a moment, Spock continued to stand where he was, looking at the spot where Jim had lately been.

A most unusual reaction.

For him, anyway.

Spock was well aware Jim was an uncommonly handsome human male. There was not a thing wrong with Spock’s eyesight.

But he had just had a very strong reaction to the unexpected appearance of Jim’s pectoral muscles. His mouth was dry, his pulse raced, and there was an uncomfortable tightness in Spock’s trousers that could quickly become embarrassing if Jim noticed.

He was fairly convinced that Jim shared his romantic interest, but that did not mean he would appreciate a Vulcan in heat attacking him.

Spock turned and went into the kitchen. Jim’s coffee had finished brewing so Spock made himself busy by pouring Jim’s coffee and making his tea.

It was only a few more minutes before Jim appeared on the edge of the kitchen. He’d chosen a sweater himself, this one red and decorated with a big gold package tied with green ribbons.

Jim laughed when he saw Spock staring at him. “The ugly Christmas sweater, right? I actually bought this the other day, you know, when I thought Mom was coming, and since I already bought it, I decided to just wear it instead of returning it.”

While Spock very much preferred Jim’s bare chest, he decided the sweater was not all that bad. “It looks good on you.” He handed Jim the coffee mug.

“Yeah? Thanks again for this. Sorry I conked out on you last night. It’s been kind of a wickedly stressful week.”

“Has it?” Spock noticed that Jim leaned against the doorjamb, his feet bare of socks or shoes.

“Yeah, you know finals and then trying to get ready for the holiday, seeing Bones off, thinking Mom was coming.” He shrugged.

“I am certain you did well on your exams.”

“I hope so.” Jim smiled. “Shall we have our breakfast?”

“Certainly.” He followed Jim to the table and they spread out the croissants for eating. “What are your plans for today?”

“Oh nothing, really. I kind of kept it all open to let Mom decide.” Jim sighed as be picked up a big buttery looking croissant. “I feel stupid now.”

“There is nothing stupid in being hopeful, Jim.”

“I guess. But I know better, you know? Or I should have. How about you?”

“No specific plans.” Spock hesitated and then said, “My mother had wished for me to come to Vulcan for the break.”

“Yeah? What happened? Stuff at the Academy kept you from going?”

“In a manner of speaking.” Spock did not know if he should admit to Jim that he was the reason for him staying but he did not want to lie either. Vulcans did not lie. “I stayed because of you.”