“Come on, kiss me,” the female Human whined. For the fifth time by Spock’s calculations. The couple next to him were becoming rather…tiresome.
“I don’t kiss,” the cadet male responded. Again.
Cadet James Kirk, as Spock was familiar with him, shrugged. “It’s just not my thing. I’m not into it.”
“But you’re just fine having sex with me.” She pouted. “Is that it?”
Kirk smiled a little “Yeah, that’s it.”
She narrowed her eyes. “You are such a jerk!” She slammed her empty glass on the bar and stalked off.
Kirk’s smile widened as he seemed to notice Spock for the first time. “Hey. Professor Spock, right?”
“Sorry about that. Didn’t mean to make you a part of our conversation.”
“Your girlfriend did seem to be displeased with you.”
“Yeah, only she’s not. My girlfriend that is.”
Spock inclined his head. “I gathered that by the way she departed.”
Kirk laughed. “No. I mean, well, yeah, I think she was dismissing me for sure. I just meant she was never really my girlfriend.” He paused. “And why am I even bothering you with this? It’s not like you care. Hey, I don’t think I’ve ever seen you at a bar before.”
Spock nodded. “You are correct, Cadet. I was supposed to be meeting someone here. I surmise she is not going to appear.”
“That sucks. And it’s Jim. Jim Kirk. I mean we’re not even on campus right now.” Kirk leaned a little toward Spock. “Were you supposed to meet Uhura?”
“How did you know that?”
Kirk shrugged. “I’ve seen you with her.”
“As a matter of fact, I was meeting her. But it is clear something came up. We were supposed to go have tea.”
“Why didn’t you just meet her there?”
“It is a new shop that she is unfamiliar with and this establishment is close to her part time job.” Spock entered a message into his tablet and sent it to her. They would have to reschedule. He glanced at Kirk. “Would you be interested in accompanying me for tea?”
“It is only a thought,” Spock replied. “Perhaps you do not even care for tea.”
“Actually I really haven’t had much. Sure. Why not? Obviously my night isn’t going to end the way I hoped it would.” He slid off the bar stool and followed Spock from the bar.
Kirk shoved his hands into the pockets of his battered leather bomber jacket. Spock could not deny it looked good on him. As did the dark blue denim jeans he wore.
It was only a short two block walk from the drinking establishment to the tea shop where Spock intended to go. Not one for small talk, he said nothing along the way.
He allowed Kirk to enter the shop ahead of him.
“How about that table there?” Kirk asked, pointing to a table for two by a side window.
“That is acceptable. What kind of tea would you like?” Spock asked. “If you will have a seat, I will get the tea at the counter.”
“Surprise me,” Kirk said with a smile that definitely made Spock’s heart flutter illogically.
When Spock brought the pot of tea and two cups over to the table, Kirk had just been typing something into a small communication device. He put it away upon Spock’s approach.
“I chose Lapsang.”
“Smells like smoke,” Kirk commented.
“It has smoky elements.”
Kirk leaned back in his chair. “Look at me. Learning about tea and culture.”
Spock arched a brow. “The culture of tea perhaps.”
He laughed. “Probably all the culture I can handle. So. Your test.”
Spock poured the steeped tea into the two cups. “You refer to the Kobayashi Maru?”
“It is Starfleet’s test.”
“Semantics. I’ve taken it twice.”
Spock nodded. “I am aware. And failed both times.”
“The purpose of the test is not to defeat it. It is to learn how you will face death.”
“Hmm. I hate to lose. So you’re telling me if I took it a third time, I’d probably fail again.”
“You are looking at it incorrectly. There is no way to rescue the ships under attack.”
Kirk sipped his tea. Made a slight face, then took another. “Weird, but not bad. What if I re-programmed the test?”
“You would likely face charges for cheating.”
Kirk laughed again. “You don’t beat around the bush.”
“I am uncertain as to the meaning of that statement.”
“Just a stupid old earth saying. So, pretty much, isn’t the test itself a cheat?” Kirk took another sip. “I thought about it. I know another cadet, she’s Orion. She knows a lot about the systems the Academy uses. “
“You intend to coerce her to use illicit means to pass the test?”
“Well, obviously not since I am telling you about it.” Kirk shook his head. “Geez, Spock. I’m not that stupid.”
“Orions are dangerous,” Spock thought to say.
“The pheromones, yeah. But she wears one of those inhibitor bracelets. That’s how she got accepted into the academy. Anyway, I guess I’ll withdraw my interest in taking it a third time.”
Spock inclined his head. “It might be wise.”
“It’s still bullshit by the way. Uhura. Is she your girlfriend?”
Spock was slightly startled by the change in subject. “Negative. We are friends only.”
“Why didn’t she show up?”
Spock had checked his messages while waiting for the pot of tea. “Her shift at the department store ran longer than she anticipated. We have rescheduled.”
“Fortuitous for me then.”
Kirk shook his head. “I could use another friend. Don’t you want to be my friend, Spock?”
Inexplicably, Spock found he did want Kirk as his friend. They clearly had little in common and yet…
“Yes, I do want to be your friend, Jim.”
Kirk winked. “Excellent. Tell me about Vulcans.”