Jim squinted against the sun coming from the west. He leaned back away from his mom to see better.
“Yeah? You ready for more chips?”
Chips. Jim loved chips. He started to reach for them.
“No. No. I mean yes. But…there’s a Vulcan boy over there.”
Sam snorted beside him causing Jim to look down at his lounging brother.
They were on the beach in Waikiki for a family vacation. Jim, his mom, and his stupid brother. The best part? Mom had dumped her hideous boyfriend just before they’d booked the summer trip.
Jim pushed on his brother’s pale bare shoulder. “You’re gonna get burned.” Sam had refused to wear sunscreen.
Sam flipped him off.
Jim narrowed his eyes.
“Oh, yes,” his mom was saying. “I see the Vulcan boy. I overheard someone at the hotel saying a Vulcan ambassador, his human wife, and their son were arriving for a vacation too.”
“Who cares?” Sam snapped.
Jim ignored him and kept watching the young Vulcan teen. He was super thin and tall, but for some reason, Jim couldn’t stop watching him.
“Can I go over to the water?” he asked.
“Yes, but stay where I can see you. And don’t go too far in. Only get your feet wet.”
“He only wants to spy on the Vulcan,” Sam said.
“Leave your brother alone, Sam.”
Jim scrambled up from the sand, flipped off Sam, and made his way down the increasingly wet sand toward the water’s edge.
He glanced over to where the Vulcan boy sat with an older human woman, Jim assumed must he his mom. He didn’t know humans ever married Vulcans.
Jim crouched down to pick up shells, forgetting for a moment about the mysterious Vulcan, and instead concentrating on adding to his collection of souvenirs from Hawaii.
So far this had been the best thing ever. When they returned to Riverside, his mom would probably leave again to go on a science vessel, she’d been talking about it, and he wasn’t sure what would happen with him and Sam, but for now, this was great.
Jim looked up sharply from picking up a shell to see the Vulcan boy standing next to him. Jim straightened and stood, wiping his sandy hands on his trunks.
“What are you doing?”
“Getting seashells. The creature that lived in them no longer does, so I thought I’d take them with me. They’re pretty.”
The Vulcan looked down at his collection. “They are aesthetically pleasing.”
Jim smiled. “Thank you. I’m Jim.”
“Hi, Spock. Want to help me collect more shells?”
“That seems an agreeable way to pass the day.”
Jim guessed that meant yes. He grabbed Spock’s arm to pull him down the beach with him. He felt a warmth where his fingers touched and Spock stopped moving, looking startled.
“Oh. Hey. Sorry. I didn’t mean to freak you out.”
“I am…not freaked out. Jim. What is your full name?”
“It is…agreeable to meet you, T’hy’la.”
“What’s that?” Jim asked.
“I will tell you another time. Let’s go collect shells.”
Jim smiled, reached for Spock’s arm again, was just a little surprised when the Vulcan allowed it, and headed down the beach seeking shells with his new friend.