Spock did not know what giddiness felt like. He’d read about it, heard about it, but as a Vulcan the idea, the concept, seemed foreign to him, and yet he wondered if the nearly ridiculous sense of pleasure at having Jim seek him out in his dorm room was akin to that giddy feeling.

He’d invited Jim to stay for dinner and yet…Spock had nothing to cook for him. He’d been meaning to go to the store, but he simply hadn’t, and all he had was the replicator. Therefore, he’d be unable to duplicate what Jim had done and cook a meal from scratch.

“Something wrong?”

Spock turned to see Jim standing just outside the kitchen, looking as gorgeous as any human or any thing really, had a right to. He’d taken too long and Jim had begun to wonder.

Spock cleared his throat. “Unfortunately, I lack the ingredients to make dinner myself. I do, however, have replicators that I am able to use to create food. They are the latest models and are quite efficient.”

Jim laughed. It was a sound that filled Spock with unexpected warmth. “Sounds fine to me. Don’t stress over it.”

“Stress?”

“You look a little harried. I’m not at all picky, Spock. You can replicate scrambled eggs and I’m okay with it.” Jim smiled. “It’s just nice spending time with you.”

“Very well.” Spock nodded. “Sit at the table and I will bring you something.”

And that’s what Spock ended up bringing for Jim. Eggs, potatoes and toast, whereas for himself he simply replicated a salad.

As he sat beside Jim at the table, Spock commented, “In truth this probably tastes better than anything I could make. I am not much of a cook as my education did not include those types of lessons.”

“Growing up in Riverside, we didn’t have fancy replicators,” Jim explained. “Never really put them in the house as my dad’s parents preferred making their own food there. Growing it too. My ex-stepfather hated to cook and refused to do it, so my brother and I had to learn or we didn’t eat.” He shrugged.

“You had a difficult childhood.”

“Only in comparison to some. Doesn’t sound like yours was that much better.”

Spock hesitated. “Perhaps not. Though I did not exactly have an abusive parent.”

“Frank was mostly emotionally abusive. Used to say we didn’t matter, that kind of thing. Hit Sam a couple of times. And me once or twice. Worst thing he did was send me to Tarsus and by the time I got off that planet of hell, he was gone.”

“That he hit you at all sickens me,” Spock replied. “If I am ever unfortunate to meet him, I will gladly punch him in the face.”

Jim laughed. “Okay. Well. I don’t really think that’s necessary. How about your parents, what were they like?”

“When I was young and Mother still lived on Vulcan, they argued a lot. My father was very strict and insisted on adhering to only the Vulcan way, which ended up being far more difficult for my mother than she anticipated. I believe that she loved him and went into the marriage with the best of intentions, but the arrival of me changed things for her.” Spock shook his head. “In the end, my father’s coldness became too much for her and she wished to take me with her to Earth, but he would not allow it, and with Vulcan elders backing him, she lost.”

“I’m sorry.”

“I was sent to the school on Tarsus IV because my father believed I had a rebellious nature that could be curbed there with instruction. When he brought me home, and later, all that happened there came to light, my mother was furious. They barely speak now.”

“That really sucks, Spock. I get where your mom is coming from, but to be fair, no one knew what would happen on Tarsus IV, so in that regard, it’s not his fault.”

Spock agreed. “Quite. But Mother is an emotional being and it was her opinion that he should have listened to her and sent me to school on Earth near her as she wanted. In any event, when I returned to Vulcan after we were evacuated, my instruction was quite regimented. I was being groomed to attend the Vulcan Science Academy.”

“And yet here you are.” Jim smiled. “I’m glad.”

“As am I.”