“You are going to the fall festival with the doctor?” Spock asked.

Jim didn’t even look up from his PADD. “Uh-huh.”

They were seated outside under an umbrella. Spock had hot tea and Jim had something called a Pumpkin Chai Latte over ice.

They had both removed their Academy attire for the day. Jim wore obscenely tight jeans and a T-shirt that declared Happy Fall Y’all, which Spock had pointed out many times was grammatically incorrect, and Spock wore much looser denim trousers and a burgundy sweater.

“But why?”

“Because he asked me.” Jim looked up at Spock at last. “If you remember, you said you had—and I’m quoting here—’zero interest in attending such a festivity’.”

“I thought we had agreed not to go.”

Jim gave Spock one of those smiles he generally reserved for those he thought were idiots. Spock was somewhat surprised to be on the receiving end of one.

“No, Spock. You agreed not to go. I did no such thing. Bones asked and I said yes.”

“But…you and I are…” And here Spock floundered for the proper term. Neither ‘dating’ nor ‘seeing each other’ quite seemed right. For that matter ‘sleeping together’ wasn’t quite it either.

At least this time, Jim helped him out.

“Right, I know. But that has nothing to do with this.”

“It does not?”

“No. Bones and I are going together as friends who want to go. No big deal.”

“Then I will go as well.”

Jim stuck the straw of his drink into his mouth, but not before Spock caught a hint of that same smile.

“Why?” Jim asked.

“Because if you are going, I should go.”

“We’re not joined at the hip, sweetheart.”

And Spock warmed at the endearment even though he tried not to. He liked it when Jim used such terms for him. Illogical nonsense but there it was.

“I realize but…”

Jim was now tilting his head this way and that as he peered at Spock. “Oh. I get it.”

“Get what?”

He laughed. “You’re jealous.”

Spock was affronted. “I most certainly am not.”

“Yeah you are. You don’t like me doing things with Bones that don’t include you. It’s silly. I’m not interested in Bones. I’m interested in you. I would think my screaming your name last night would have convinced you.” He shrugged.

“Jim.”

Jim laughed again. “We’re friends only. Just like you and…” He wrinkled his nose in the same way he did when he smelled Spock cooking broccoli.

“Nyota,” Spock supplied.

“Yeah her. Anyway, there’s no need for you to go to the fall festival. Stay home and do whatever it is Vulcans do when their mates aren’t with them.”

Spock sniffed. “Most Vulcan mates don’t date others.”

“Spock.”

“Very well.” Spock paused. “What time are we leaving for the festival?”

Jim rolled his eyes but sighed. “Ten tomorrow morning.”

Spock nodded. “I will be ready.”

“Swell.” Jim laughed. “No, I mean that. I do.” He held his drink out for Spock to try, who did so.

“Not terrible.”

“There you see. Finish up and let’s go home.”

Spock did and as they walked to their apartment, he wondered how he got manipulated into going to the fall festival. Because he was certain that somehow…he was.