Spock met Jim at a restaurant across town not that far from the department store where Jim worked. There was still so little he knew about the younger man. The truth was Spock found his extraordinary masculine beauty quite intimidating. He had never known someone as attractive as Jim. And Spock had grown up feeling somewhat awkward, anyway, considering he was not fully accepted by either Humans or Vulcans. This had bothered him in a way it did not seem to bother Vanik. 

But in any event, because he was still quite shy with Jim, Spock had failed to learn much information about Kirk.

Jim already waited at a table when Spock arrived, though he stood up as Spock approached.

“Hi Spock. You’re a little late. Thought maybe I’d been stood up.” He smiled though and retook is seat as Spock sat himself down. 

It was not like Spock to be late and he said so, “I do apologize for my tardiness. It is uncommon.”

Spock would not explain that he had taken extra time to assure his appearance would be appealing.

“It’s okay,” Jim assured him. “Just glad you’re here. I’m always half expecting that you won’t show.”

Spock frowned slightly. “Why would you expect that?”

Jim smiled somewhat wistfully. “Well. It’s pretty clear that Vanik wanted us to get together. He pushed you into this with machinations. Would you have asked me out if he hadn’t orchestrated things?”

He believed in honesty. “No.”

That wistful smile deepened. “So you see.”

“While it is true I would not have asked you, it is not because I was not interested in you.”


Spock could not meet Jim’s gaze. “Quite the opposite. I find you most compelling.”


His gaze rose and met those startling blue eyes. “I…do not do well in personal interactions.”

Jim smiled. It was not at all mocking or even amused. It was…gentle. “You mean you’re shy?”

“Yes.” He felt his ears warm. “Yes.”

“You have nothing at all to worry about, Spock,” Jim said then. “I find you compelling too.”