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Spock was aware of Nyota watching him as their captain slipped out of the booth after a muttered, “I’d better take this.”

Spock’s gaze followed after Jim.

Nyota sighed but there was a small smirk on her face. “You’ve got it bad. You’re really in love.”

He thought about denying it, thought to do so was idiotic, and shrugged instead.

“It’s all you can do not to get up and follow after him,” she continued. “Anyone else wouldn’t notice, but I know you pretty well.”

“Does it…bother you?’

“Oh, not really. Maybe at first,” she conceded. “It’s difficult to maintain a friendship with your ex-lover, Spock. I don’t know many former couples that do it successfully. So I’ve had my challenges.”

“I realize,” Spock acknowledged. “And I appreciate all the efforts you’ve made.”

“It’s because of my great affection for you that I do. And I also want to maintain my position on the Enterprise. Anyway, when your relationship with Kirk first started, it bothered me. It made sense, too, because there always seemed to be an invisible third person in our relationship, and I realized then who it had always been. The point is, that doesn’t bother me anymore, Spock.”

Jim reappeared at their table. “Sorry about that.”

Spock wanted to move out of the booth and allow Jim to slide in first, mostly in a protective manner, but he also knew his captain would not appreciate it at all, so he scooted a little bit in and allowed Jim to resume his seat on the outside.

“Trouble?” Spock asked.

“Only in a purely bureaucratic matter,” Jim answered. “Did you order?”

“No,” Nyota replied. “We were waiting for you.”

Spock sniffed. “Why do you smell like perfume?”

Jim laughed. “Oh that.”

His gaze narrowed while Nyota snorted.

“After I talked to Harker, I had to go to the bathroom—”

“There was perfume in the bathroom?”

“No, no. Anyway, I was coming out and…you remember that girl from Risa I hooked up with in our second year?”

Spock’s lips thinned. “Yes.”

“Well as I came out of the bathroom, she launched herself into my arms and kissed me.”

“Kissed you?” Spock bristled.

“On the cheek. I moved at the last minute so she wouldn’t get my lips,” Jim grinned.

“I suppose she thought you would just pick up where you left off.”

Jim shrugged. “Who knows. But whatever she thought, I did tell her I was here with the two of you, and that you and I were together.”


Nyota stifled a laugh. “All that in just the few minutes you were gone?”

“I don’t know why this kinda stuff happens,” Jim said.

She rolled her eyes. “Uh-huh. Wanna share a pizza?”


“No,” Spock said. He shook his head. They continued to talk about what pizza they would get. Coming down the aisle toward their table, Spock spotted the female from Risa. He gave her a death look as she met his gaze. Her eyes widened and she turned and went the other way.

Jim glanced at him. “You look smug. Why?”

“No reason,” Spock assured him. He turned his attention to his own menu and food choices.