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Spock reluctantly went to the sickbay to speak to McCoy. Generally their discussions ended up being somewhat acrimonious and he was truly not in the mood for a sparring match with the doctor.

But he had heard the way to a Human’s heart was through his stomach and he realized, to his embarrassment, he did not know what Jim liked to eat. What his favorite dishes were. And he wished to declare his affections in this manner, as thus far, all his attempts had been unsuccessful.

Spock did not want to think that Jim was simply not interested. He preferred to hold onto the belief that Jim was oblivious. He was not used to subtle attempts to be wooed.

“Spock, what can I do for you?” McCoy looked up from studying a medical report.

It bothered Spock that there were things McCoy knew about Jim he simply did not, but he tried to remind himself that one’s favorite food dishes were trivial things.

“Can you tell me what the captain enjoys eating?”

“He eats everything, he’s not picky.” McCoy was once more studying his report.

Not at all helpful. He inwardly sighed.

“Yes, but what does he like in particular?”

McCoy glanced at him. “What’s this about?”

“I want to know what the captain likes to eat. His favorite.”

“Why?”

“Does it matter for you to give me the answer?”

McCoy snorted. “It’s October, right? So, if um, your idea is to impress him, pumpkin cheesecake.” The he smirked. “That is what you want to do, right? Impress him.”

Spock decided to be noncommittal. “Is it difficult to make?”

“Not for a genius like you.”

Spock decided it was time to depart before things became more difficult. He turned and left without another word.

***

“Uh.”

“It is pumpkin cheesecake,” Spock told Jim as he presented the slice of runny orange colored cheesecake to Jim.

They were in his quarters about to play chess.           

Jim stared at it, took it from Spock, and smiled. But Spock could tell it was one of his fake smiles.

“Well…this is a surprise.”

“You do not like pumpkin cheesecake?”

“I love it but…uh…this is nice. Why the cheesecake, Spock?”

Spock stared at it. “It is not supposed to be this consistency, is it?”

“No.” Jim smiled and put the plate down without trying it. “Did you make it yourself?”

“I attempted to.”

That earned him a genuine smile. “That’s very sweet of you. Let me try it.”

Spock watched eagerly as Jim stuck his fork into the gooey runny mess and put a forkful into his mouth. But Spock’s spirits deflated when he couldn’t miss Jim’s wince.

“Well.”

“It is terrible, isn’t it?”

“I wouldn’t say that.”

“Because you are attempting diplomacy.”

Jim laughed. “It has nice pumpkin cheesecake flavor but it’s not cooked through. Cheesecake can be difficult if you don’t know what to do. Did you put it in a bath?”

“Why would it need a bath?”

Jim laughed again. But this time to Spock’s utter delight, okay reserved delight, Jim threw his arms around Spock’s neck and kissed him.

“I love you, too,” Jim murmured.

And it was good.   The kiss…not the cheesecake.