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Unlikely Encounter

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Kirk was definitely out of his element. The aisles ahead of him were an intimidating maze of sculpted confusion.

As he turned down the first aisle, vegetables, he couldn’t help feel this omnipresent staring as though he was being constantly watched, scrutinised. He nervously grappled at some onions, glancing at his padd to ensure he’d gotten the right amount.

The supermarket was basically empty, with Jim’s aisle being completely deserted. The distant beeping of some clerk scanning groceries and the faint clicking sound coming from the wheel of his trolley were the only noise present.

His fingers tap the handle of the trolley as he continues down the aisle. He continues ticking off the items on the list Leonard had typed out for him as he obtains them.

Jim couldn’t remember the last time he had been grocery shopping. Frank had everything delivered to their house and everywhere else he’d lived had replicators.

It was a strange procedure for him. Time consuming. He spent ages marching up and down the aisles, at a loss for where most of the items were.

The only reason he was here was for Bones. The doctor was currently working a shift at starfleet command and had asked Jim to pick up the ingredients for their Thanksgiving Dinner.

Leonard had actually seemed excited at the concept of spending all day cooking tomorrow. Jim’s couldn’t share the enthusiasm but would undoubtedly spend the whole day both “helping” and annoying his best friend.

He turns onto the sauce aisle and begins scanning the different labels and squinting at his Padd. He nearly has them all when he realises there’s one standing on the top shelf.

Now Jim was not a short man by any standards. He’s a solid 6 foot. But this supermarket was one of those large, all ranges included supermarkets and so their aisles went high up.

He finds himself stretching up for the last sauce on the list, cran-citrus chutney, but can only manage to brush it with his fingertips.

It was infuriating to stare up at the small jar. As it was in a glass jar he was nervous about jumping up for it in fear he’d accidentally bring the shelf down. He also did not want to go to one of the clerks for help, the embarrassment.

He sighs to himself and tries to strategically come up with another solution.

It’s probably because he’s in deep thought that he doesn’t notice the figure approaching behind him until they’d grabbed the sauce off the shelf.

“Captain”

Jim can’t recall the last time he had gotten such a fright.

He could actually feel his soul catapulting itself out of his body, followed shortly by his drumming heart.

His head whips around so quickly he’s be surprised if he hadn’t sustained whiplash.

“Spock” He yelps in disbelief. The vulcan in question stares at him with his usual blank expression. Although Jim can make out the slight impression of amusement and wariness in his eyes.

It’s silent for a few seconds before Jim realises Spock is holding out the chutney for him to take.

“Thanks” Jim finds himself saying as he grabs the offending sauce from the vulcan. Really it wasn’t fair. Spock couldn’t be more than an inch or two taller than Jim, just enough to reach it.

What was the Vulcan even doing here? He hadn’t seen him at all since the debriefings two weeks ago. When they’d all finally returned from their escape from Nero.

They’d gotten on just fine in the three weeks it had taken for the Enterprise to limp back to Earth. However, since then he hadn’t heard from Spock.

“How uh- How’ve you been?”

Spock tilts his head slightly, as though confused or perhaps surprised by the question.

“I have been well Captain, and you?”

Kirk couldn't help but chuckle at the response “Please Spock, It’s Jim. Anyways, for all we know I mightn’t have that title for much longer”

“The admiralty have spoken to you?”

“Not yet, but Pike has me warned they aren’t overly impressed with how I got captaincy of the Enterprise or how young I am” Kirk rubs at the back of his neck. He hated how long it was taking to hear about his future post.

“Indeed, a logical reaction”

Jim scoffs at the Vulcan “Really Spock?”. Jim can’t help the annoyance that flashes across his face.

“Yes, although I did not mean to imply I agree with them. Your captaincy on the Enterprise was exceptional. To invalidate your talents based on age and the past would be illogical”

Jim can feel his cheeks heating up at the praise. He hadn’t expected such compliments from the stoic commander.

Spock can’t resist raising an eyebrow at the red colour now splattered across Jim’s face.

“Sheesh Spock, way to inflate my ego. Bones will be pissed” Kirk adds a chuckle and a wink in the hopes of relieving the embarrassed tension he was now feeling.

“What are you doing in a supermarket anyways? I thought replicators would be your preference” Kirk questions as he places the jar in the trolley. He continues making his way down the aisle, now joined at the shoulder by Spock.

Spock seems intrigued by the question “Replicators are invaluable for plenty of scenarios. However, when presented with the choice I do prefer to make my meals with local organic ingredients.”

“Why is that?” Jim asks as they turn into the next aisle. Spock adds some more items into his basket before answering.

“A preference that I may have inherited from my mother. She was a wonderful cook”

Jim’s face softens at the statement. It was the first time Spock had mentioned his mother to Jim.

“And you Spock...Can you cook?” Jim finds himself inquiring.

“I am proficient in the art Ca- Jim”

Kirk finds himself grinning. Both at Spock calling him Jim and at the thought of Spock in an apron. Actually-

“Say Spock, do you have any plans for tomorrow evening?”

Spock’s eyebrow hikes up again “I am unoccupied”

Jim grins brightly at him.

“Fantastic, how about joining Bone’s and I for our Thanksgiving dinner then?”

Jim can’t help the satisfaction he gets from the brief look of surprise that flashes across the Vulcan’s face.

“Thanksgiving dinner?”

“Yes, it’s a human tradition celebrated by mainly Americans. We cook this big-”

“I am aware of the holiday Jim. However, I have never witnessed it”

If possible Spock watches Jim’s grin grow wider.

“Perfect, well then it’ll be a perfect opportunity for you to observe the holiday! Bones and I can show you all the traditions”

“Indeed, and you believe the good doctor won’t be “put out” by my presence?” Spock muses

Kirk internally grins at the comment, already picturing the reaction of the “good doctor”. Although good is not a word Kirk would use when Bones does hear the news.

“Nonsense, Bones will be delighted”

Spock tilts his head looking in the most stoic way possible, incredulousness.

“I highly doubt that Jim...however I will accept your invitation.”

“Great! I’ll send you on our address and other details through our Starfleet profiles”

Spock nods at the arrangement. He was.. curious to witness the holiday.

“See you then, Jim” Spock bows slightly to convey goodbye as Kirk turns into the last aisle, the alcohol aisle.

Jim watches with a grin as he walks towards the checkout.

He has a feeling it’ll be the best...if not most eventful Thanksgiving.