Continuing my conversations after mission episodes…

Jim supposed he should have checked with Spock to see if they were still on for chess tonight after one hell of a day, but he found himself pressing for entry and a little to his surprise the door opened.

Normally Spock still wore his uniform when they played, but he was dressed far mor casually tonight, wearing loose fitting trousers that could have been exercise attire or something similar to a Karate gi.

“Am I interrupting anything?”

“No.” But it was said with reluctance and Jim got the feeling Jim would have canceled if Jim had thought to check with him.

“Listen, about…Stiles…”

That caught Spock’s attention and he looked up at Jim, dark eyes curious. “What about him?”

“His family …the Romulans…” he trailed off, shrugged. Then he shook head. “That doesn’t excuse his behavior.”

“No. But I’m used to it.”

Jim frowned. “Used to it?”

“I have experienced a number of incidents related to my interactions with biased Humans.”

“Bias,” Jim repeated. “You mean bigoted.”

“As you say.”

“You shouldn’t be used to it, Spock. Next time someone says something to you, you tell me.”

“I will not.”

“Why?”

“That would not improve the behavior, and in fact would likely make the number of incidences increase.”

“Spock—”

“Jim. If you do not mind, I would like to postpone tonight’s match. I find I do not have the capability to concentrate.”

Jim nodded. “Okay, sure. God knows it’s been a terrible day.” He pinched the bridge of his nose. “I started off officiating at the wedding of Tomlinson and Martine and now…I came from the chapel where Martine was…yeah, terrible day.”

He turned away.

“Captain. Jim. Perhaps…”

Jim looked back at him. “Perhaps?”

“We might experience a level of compatible comfort in each other’s company even without chess tonight.”

He smiled faintly. “What do you have in mind?”

“You might like to read one of your books in here while meditate.”

It wasn’t something Spock had ever suggested before and though it had been on the tip of Jim’s tongue to brush off the invitation with a ‘No, that’s all right’, it suddenly occurred to him what it must have meant for Spock to even suggest such a thing. He could not imagine Spock would with anyone else, and if he refused, that invitation would not come again.

He allowed his smile to widen. “Let me go grab a book and I’ll be right back.”

“I’m going to have tea. Shall I make one for you?”

“Yes, thank you, Mister Spock.”

And Jim went through their shared bathroom to fetch a book, his glum mood much improved.