Spock found himself somewhat reluctant to leave, so he, perhaps, lingered over his coffee overlong.

Jim had an engaging personality, an animated way of speaking and acting, that Spock found, admittedly, inordinately fascinating.

He’d told a story of how a couple of years ago he and his mother ran into his ex-stepfather in the city proper of Riverside. And that they hadn’t had to do or say anything because “Frank” had managed to make an ass out of himself in public without their help.

Spock did not generally appreciate the humor behind people humiliating themselves, but given what he gathered from Jim’s stories, in this case, he would make an exception for this man.

“Hey. You hungry? I can make us some fried rice.” Jim smiled. He smiled a lot, actually. “Vegetarian of course.”

“You are a vegetarian?”

Jim laughed. “Nope. But I know you are so I can make it sans meat.”

He jumped up from the chair he had been sitting in, but never without constant motion, to go into a cabinet in the little kitchenette. He grabbed out a frying pan and the went to the refrigerator for other ingredients.

“Unless you’re in a hurry to go home?” Jim asked.

“Negative,” Spock said quickly. Home, his own dorm room in the next building over, would be especially lonely without this effervescent man there. He never really had minded being alone, but just then the idea was incredibly unappealing.

He watched while Jim added already cooked rice and assorted vegetables to the pan.

“You know, you mentioned that day that you’d been having an unpleasant conversation with the group you hang out with. Anything you want to share with the class?”

Spock hesitated for two reasons. He did not wish to admit that he was somewhat the butt of jokes and those that had teased him had since apologized for the situation getting out of hand.

“I was…being teased about my nature and I did not react well.”

Jim frowned. “Teased?”

“Yes. About being Vulcan and different than the rest of them.”

“That’s fucked up.”

“Well. They have since apologized and advised they meant no harm.” Spock paused. “I am somewhat sensitive about it due to some issues with Vulcan classmates as a child. I likely overreacted.”

“Or more likely they are a bunch of insensitive jerks.”

Spock found himself smiling just slightly in spite of himself. “Perhaps.”

Jim grinned back. “Rice is done.”

He dished it out then on two plates and brought it over to the table.

“It’s made worse when it’s done by people who are supposed to be your friends, I imagine,” Jim said, handing a fork to Spock.

“It really is a small matter, Jim. And as I said, they did offer apologies.”


“This is quite good,” Spock said, because it was true, and he wished to change the subject.

“Thanks. Mom taught me how to cook when I returned from Tarsus. Funny how so much of my time after that ended up being about food and nutrition.”

After Spock finished the rice and helped Jim wash the dishes, he had to realize that he probably ought to leave before he overstayed his welcome.

“I will be on my way now, Jim. I very much enjoyed my visit here.”

“I did too.” Jim walked him to the door. “See you soon.”

If Spock maybe had hoped for a goodnight kiss, he was disappointed, as one was not forthcoming. Jim opened the door and smiled, and Spock exited.

A moment later he left Jim’s dorm building and headed to his own.