“Hey, are you okay?”
“Do you need to go to the hospital?”
Spock opened his eyes and stared into the bluest eyes he had ever seen. They were familiar, somehow, and yet…elusive.
“Hi. Do you understand me?”
Spock searched his mind for the blue-eyed man’s language. It was not standard exactly. It was…English.
“Yes, I understand you.”
The man, blond and very good-looking, smiled. “That’s a relief. Did you hit your head?”
Spock blinked. “I am uncertain. Where am I?”
“Where are you? That can’t be good. You’re in my field. In Riverside, Iowa. Let me help you sit up.”
Spock felt a little dizzy as the man helped him to straighten up off the ground. He took in his surroundings. A field as far as he could see in one direction, and in the other, a house.
“That’s my house. I’m Jim. Well, James Kirk. Do you know who you are?”
“I am Spock.”
“Spock? Nothing else?”
Spock hesitated. “No.”
“So, like Cher, huh?” Jim grinned. “Or Bono.”
Spock had no idea who Jim referred to but he chose not to reply.
“You have kind of weird ears.”
Spock stiffened. “Weird how?”
Jim shrugged. “Well, they’re kind of pointy. Like an elf.” Jim smiled. This man smiled a lot and Spock knew why. It was a very pleasing smile. “Are you an elf, Spock?”
“I am not.”
“Well, it’s cool anyway. Can you stand?”
Spock nodded. “I believe so.”
Jim rose and reached down to help Spock up. There was a spark when they touched, at least Spock noticed, but Jim did not react. “You aren’t dressed very warmly. Are you cold?”
Spock realized he was. “Yes.”
“You can come inside the farmhouse if you want. I have coffee and tea. Do you think you need to go to the hospital?”
Spock had no idea where he was or how he had gotten there, but he replied, “I do not think so.”
“Are you in Riverside with anyone?”
Jim gave him a puzzled look. “Where are you staying?”
“Nowhere?” Jim shook his head. “You’d better come in with me. You aren’t dangerous, are you? Are you going to murder me?” He laughed like it was no big deal, but there was a touch of nervousness there. And Spock did not like it. He did not want to distress this man.
“I will not murder you. I have no weapons.”
Jim bit his lip and nodded. “Well. Come in then. It’ll be warmer.”
Spock followed the man toward his house. The man, Jim, wore jeans and a flannel shirt. His blond hair was slightly windblown and his cheeks red from the cold. He was very appealing.
Jim let them into his house and then went right to the kitchen. The house was large. The kitchen had many cabinets, appliances Spock was not familiar with, and a counter separate from the rest in the middle of the kitchen. There was also a living room with a fire place and a dining room. And stairs leading up to what Spock guessed was the second floor.
“How do you take your coffee?” Jim was asking him.
“I do not recall ever having it.”
“Memory problems? Are you sure you shouldn’t go to the hospital? There’s not one close. I’d have to get you to Iowa City. But I can.”
“I do not need a hospital.”
“Well. Tea? Do you prefer tea?”
Spock thought about it. “Perhaps.”
Jim smiled. “I’ll make that for you then. If you need a place to stay for a few days I can probably put you up.”
“That would be very kind of you.”
“I have a shotgun though so don’t try anything.”
“I will not. I do not intend to harm you, James Kirk.”
“Good. You’re too cute to have to shoot.” Jim handed him a mug with tea in it. “This is just plain old Lipton’s. I don’t have anything fancy.”
“I do not need fancy.” It was odd trying to remember to speak to Jim in English. Spock had studied ancient languages before. He remembered that. And that he was Vulcan. And that he should not be here. He came from somewhere else. But where? And why was this man so familiar?
“You don’t have any other clothes? I don’t see a suitcase or anything.”
“I do not have any.”
Jim eyed him. “Well. You can borrow some of mine but I’m not sure we’re the same size. You’re a little taller, not much but an inch or so, and you’re thinner.”
“I will manage with whatever you can provide me,” Spock replied.
Jim smiled. “You look good in blue. But what’s that symbol on your shirt? Is that like a designer brand?”
Spock did not know. And he was afraid if he admitted this to Jim, the man would insist he go to the hospital. For some reason, Spock knew that would be a mistake. “Yes, it is a designer brand.”
“Starfleet,” Spock replied. He did not know how he knew that, but he did.
Jim tilted his head. “Huh. Never heard of them. Is that a division of Ralph Lauren?”
Spock sipped his tea. “I do not believe so.”