"Cooking," Jim says slowly, repeating the word almost as if it is part of a foreign dialect, like he is preparing for a diplomatic mission and the word is important to remember.
"The act of preparing--" Spock starts, feeling only mildly exasperated already, but Jim cuts him off.
"I know what cooking is," he says, rolling his eyes and leaning on the stone counter of Sarek's kitchen area, "I'm just no good at it."
Spock processes that, taking a small private moment to relish the fact Jim Kirk has admitted to factually not being good at something. "Well," he says, after a pause, "then we are, as I believe the phrase applies here, 'in the same boat.'"
Jim laughs under his breath, eyes scrunching at the corners in a barely perceivable fashion as they generally do when he finds something Spock has said to be amusing. Spock notices because it's his job to notice what his captain does, but also because -- well, against all logic, he just does. He notices little motions and changes in vocal patterns and tone and catalogs it all. Can't help but do it.
"So, somewhere in the vast encyclopedia of your mind you must know the recipe, right?" Jim asks, muffled from where he's bent down close to the knobs and inputs on the counter.
"Plomeek soup is a common and traditional dish, yes." Spock agrees. "However, I must admit to never having endeavored to make it before."
"And we can't just make pancakes or something?" Jim laughs, elbow pressing into Spock's side just lightly, friendly.
"It is customary for the guests of a Vulcan household to make plomeek soup as a breakfast dish," Spock tells him, indifferent.
Jim sighs. "We could just have the Enterprise beam it down from a replicator," he replies, overly thoughtful, grinning.
While the idea has merits in the strange way Kirk's ideas usually have some form of merit and value despite being, in general, illogical and sometimes based on humor, Spock ignores him, ducking down to pull out the needed ingredients.
"I believe together we are entirely capable of cooking a simple broth," Spock says, already lining up various powders and liquids in order of their use.
Jim bends down beside him, takes a pot from Spock's hands. "Yeah, I don't think putting 'unable to cook basic breakfast for a Vulcan tradition' would go over very well in the log for this stay," he agrees.
They manage it fairly well, the push-pull and delegation of tasks between them reminiscent of any sort of task on the bridge, each having a way beyond lists of duties to know just went to step in or step out.
Spock steps away from the pot, broth simmering a little and just the color he remembers it being. He takes a spoon and ladles out a bit, keeping his arm perfectly still as he brings it up level with his face. He can feel Jim watching him, most likely about to add some Earth-idiom about Spock being the type to take cookies from the cookie jar, or whatever other phrase he's employed before, but Spock turns his arm and presents the spoon for Jim's tasting before Jim can say anything.
Jim makes a face at the taste as soon as his lips are wrapped around the spoon, curling his tongue up on the roof of his mouth. "You eat this willingly?" he asks, pulling a face and letting Spock drag the spoon off his tongue.
"Non-Vulcans traditionally find it bland," Spock admits, tasting a bit himself. The flavor is quite the same as he remembers, and he counts his and Jim's attempt at cooking successful.
Jim keeps his face pulled in faux-distaste but relaxes back against the counter. "I still think we should have beamed it down," he says, shooting a grin quick and wide at Spock.
He stays grinning far beyond the amount of time in which Spock searches for something to say.
"What is so amusing?" he finally relents, leaning into the counter as well, if only to feel the pressure of the stone edge against his spine.
"I still have that damn taste in my mouth," Jim says instead of answering, flicking his tongue in a motion that Spock follows with narrowed eyes.
"A regrettable after effect of most consumed products," Spock tells him, very aware that the small glint in Jim's gaze is leading somewhere beyond factual information.
"I can think of something else I'd rather be tasting," Jim says after a pause, drawing the words out with a lazy smile that curls itself around his teeth, white.
Spock allows himself a moment of shutting his eyes briefly, leaning back off the counter. "I do not believe this is the time or place," he says, albeit feeling almost regrettable. He is used to Jim's frequent inappropriate intones almost as much as he is used to the frequent press of Jim's body against his own. Cool and hot.
"Doing it on Sarek's bed isn't appealing at all?" Jim grins, leaning close.
Spock grants him the response of one minutely raised eyebrow and Jim rolls his eyes. Spock can already hear Sarek stirring in the house, knows he had given Jim and himself the privacy of the morning to prepare breakfast.
"No fun," Jim mutters although he's still looking at Spock in a way that curls warm around Spock's spine.
Spock straightens in hesitance for a moment, pausing to calculate the amount of time it will take Sarek to come down the main hall to the kitchen (41.2 seconds.) Satisfied he leans down, tipping Jim's chin up with a careful and barely there brush of his fingers, the spike in awareness between them evident from just the small touch.
Jim tips up willingly, quickly, taking taste and feeling from Spock's lips and tongue.
"Now that," Jim says, leaning away, voice lower, "is much better." He runs a hand over the collar of Spock's ship blacks, before stepping back.
Spock resists a change in facial expression, although he's pretty sure some of the residual fondness is left over in his features when Sarek finally walks into the room. Jim ducks past him to get a bowl after greeting Sarek in his over-done way and Sarek nods just barely over from across the counter, acceptance or just a greeting Spock does not know, but he lets it sink in slow and warm, anyway.