Jim's idea of vacation has merit, Spock thought as he basked in the summer sun on the beach. Although the temperature control of the ship was adequate, it was not able to replicate the soothing warmth.
Jim had just returned from his long distance swim, his hair and body dripping with water. He looked like a golden statue under the sunlight.
"Enjoying yourself, Mr. Spock?" Jim said with a smile, as he towelled off himself and lay down on the mat next to him.
"You should put on sunscreen to prevent sunburn," Spock reminded.
Jim's eyes shone with a teasing gleam. "I can't do my back. Can you help me? "
Spock hesitated at first, but conceded to Jim's logic. He took over the sunscreen.
Jim widened his eyes."Are you sure? You don't need to do that. I can do it by myself."
"It is more efficient for me to apply sunscreen to area you can't reach," Spock said ."As the first officer, I have duty to your health."
Jim sighed. "I can't argue with you on your loyalty. Very well. Go ahead."
Spock knelt by Jim's side and squeezed out a palmful of sunscreen into his hand. He started with Jim's neck and shoulders, rubbing it into his skin.
Jim was a physically attractive human, attracting attention and comments even on the ship. However, what made Jim so compelling was his bright katra, radiating enthusiasm, curiosity and open-mindedness that drew people around him into his orbit. Jim was like the sun, generous with his light and heat, which even Spock wasn't immune to.
As Spock's hands moved down Jim's muscular back, he touched lightly around the old scars of Jim's skin. Jim insisted that pain from the past was essential to what he was, but Spock illogically wished that he was there to shelter him from them.
Through skin contact, Jim's contentment and affection flew into him despite Spock's carefully constructed mental barrier. Spock would be tempted to linger and savour the banquet of feeling if he did not have Vulcan mind control.
"Your hands are magic." Jim said.
Spock was gratified by how relaxed Jim was. "Illogical, as magic does not exist."
"Are you sure? You almost made me believe in miracles." Jim laughed. "Do you want me to return the favour?"
"It is not necessary, as Vulcans are more adapted to sunlight exposure."
"My nefarious plan is foiled." Jim sounded almost … disappointed.
Spock wondered how serious Jim was and shook away an image of Jim with his hand on him. Surely Jim was using Terran humour again.
Jim said,"It is beautiful. I feel that we can stay here forever."
"You will get bored soon." Jim was unfit for any paradise.
"Perhaps." Jim turned serious. "I'm glad you're here with me, despite you thinking how illogical a vacation is."
"It is illogical to engage in physically strenuous activities supposedly to rest. However, I do not regret joining you."
Jim's transmitted joy blindsided Spock. "I wish I could tell you how much your words meant to me."
Spock was unsure how to respond, but Jim clearly sensed his uneasiness and changed the topic. "By the way, what will you choose for tomorrow: diving or surfing?"
"I notice that they both involve a large body of water."
"It's what make them fun."
Spock bantered with Jim to make him laugh, while indulging in the warmth of his sun.