It had already been four days since Spock had last seen Jim. He spent that time gathering every piece of information he could about human male pregnancy. He wanted to learn more about human sexuality as well, but he wasn’t sure how to go about getting that information. Vulcans were extremely private about such matters. He knew humans weren’t quite as private with such information, but he didn’t want it known that he was interested, in case it got back to Jim. The only other option he could think of was to go ask his doctor.
Geoffrey M’Benga specialized in Vulcan physiology, and had studied on Vulcan for five years. Spock was most fortunate to have found him here, knowing he could not likely contact a Vulcan healer after being disowned by his father. Doctor M’Benga would understand not only a Vulcan’s need for discretion, but human curiosity as well. Picking up his padd, he sent a message to him asking when he could meet for a consultation of sorts, off the record. He received a reply shortly that told him the doctor was available tomorrow and could meet him in his office during his lunch period. Spock sent a reply to let him know he’d be there.
The next day, Spock arrived at Doctor M’Benga’s office promptly at twelve noon and knocked on the door. It opened to reveal the man’s good natured smile.
“Ah, Mr. Spock! Right on time, as usual.” He stepped back and gestured for Spock to enter the office. Spock stepped into the familiar room.
“Thank you for agreeing to see me on such short notice, Doctor.” M’Benga shook his head as he closed the door.
“It’s no trouble, Mr. Spock. I must admit that I’m curious about what you want to ask me about.” Spock seated himself in the chair in front of M’Benga’s desk and waited for him to take his place behind it.
“I expect I can trust you to continue to practice your usual discretion with this discussion?” Asked Spock. He already knew he could, but he was still trying to calm his nerves and steel himself for what he was about to ask.
“Of course,” said M’Benga, sounding a little confused, “you know I wouldn’t tell anyone else about this.” He looked at Spock knowingly. “What you want to ask me about, is it serious? Is there something troubling you?” Spock almost sighed. M’Benga was very perceptive.
“I have recently met a human to whom I feel…very strongly drawn.” M’Benga looked surprised, though he controlled it well.
“I see.” He shifted in his seat. “How exactly do you think I can help you with this?”
“You are human.” Replied Spock. “I had hoped you could offer me specific advice about human courting practices.”
“Maybe,” allowed M’Benga, “but I’m a medical doctor, not an expert on human social behavior.” Spock felt his face heating up a bit.
“I had hoped if you could tell me nothing else, that you might advise me on certain points of human sexuality.” M’Benga nodded.
“Ah, yes. Well, I must say I’m glad you came to me about this. I know you’re a very intelligent person, and you can probably acquire all the information you need on your own, but even in this day in age a lot of young people make mistakes that could have been avoided if they’d just asked for professional advice.”
“Indeed,” agreed Spock, “so I am correct in assuming you will help me?”
“Of course.” The doctor assured him. “First though, it might be a good idea to tell me a little bit about her.”
“The human I am interested in is a male.” Corrected Spock.
“Oh,” said M’Benga with a smile, “my apologies. Is it anyone I might know?” He frowned slightly then. “If he’s a patient of mine, or a member of Starfleet, there will be a definite limit to how much I can advise you. I can’t break confidentiality.”
“I am well aware of that.” Replied Spock. “I know for a fact that he is neither a member of Starfleet nor a patient of yours. He is, however, a patient of Doctor McCoy.” M’Benga gave a start at that.
“McCoy?” He looked at Spock, now looking a little perplexed. “What is this man’s name?”
“Jim Kirk. He is staying with his brother and sister-in-law while acting as a surrogate parent for them.” M’Benga didn’t bother to conceal his surprise at that.
“You know about his pregnancy?”
“Indeed, he told me the first time we met. Though,” he added, “I did not know the story behind the child’s paternity until we met a second time.” M’Benga nodded.
“How is it that you’ve been able to cope with sensing his pregnancy?”
“Once I realized what caused the negative sensations I experienced in his presence, I considered several possible explanations behind his pregnancy and concluded it would be unwise to associate with him. I originally sought to avoid him, however on our second meeting I learned why Jim is pregnant and have since focused strongly on that fact during my daily meditations. It has been successful in helping ease the discomfort I feel when he is with me.”
“I see.” Said M’Benga thoughtfully. “Is he aware of your discomfort?” Spock hesitated.
“He is not. I do not wish for him to see this as a reason to distance himself from me.” M’Benga frowned again.
“Spock, I doubt he’ll be very appreciative of the fact that you’re concealing something like this from him. I know if I found out something about me was upsetting someone I was dating, I’d want to know about it.” Spock shifted uncomfortably.
“Jim and I are not romantically involved. We may never be.”
“Ah,” said M’Benga, “are you planning to wait until his pregnancy is over? Are you worried about stressing him out or something?”
“It is Jim who wishes to wait until his pregnancy is finished before pursuing any kind of relationship with anyone. He feels it would be ‘weird and wrong’ to start anything while he is carrying his brother’s child.” He paused a moment before adding, “He knows nothing of my interest in him. I was drawn to him immediately, in spite of his being pregnant, and now that I know more about him and the situation, I wish to get to know him better still. I do not wish for him to know of my interest, lest he feel awkward about it. If, after the child is born, I feel there is a significant enough possibility of a successful relationship between us, I will attempt to initiate it. If there cannot be any romantic relationship between us, we might at least be able to still be friends. I find him very agreeable to be with.” M’Benga listened to his whole speech, and nodded decisively.
“Well, I can give you plenty of information on human sexuality. Do you know whether or not Mr. Kirk is attracted to males?” Spock nodded.
“He has mentioned before that he is.”
“Then I can give you all the best technical information on the subject, though you may find that instinct leads you a little differently. As for the ‘pregnancy smell’,” he reached into a drawer to pull out a prescription padd and began typing, “I’m prescribing you a special nasal numbing agent. It was pretty commonly used in early Vulcan/human interactions when Vulcans had to be kept in close quarters with humans for long periods of time.” He finished typing and hit Send. “It will be ready for you to pick up tomorrow afternoon. A single dose should effectively eliminate your olfactory detection of Mr. Kirk’s pregnancy for up to twenty-four hours. I’ve actually been meaning to mention it to you in the near future, in case you should ever have a problem with a pregnant colleague or something.”
“A logical precaution.” Agreed Spock.
“It should prevent you from registering anything, unless you happen to put your nose right up against him and take a big sniff.” He added with a smile.
“Highly unlikely.” Spock muttered.
“Now,” continued M’Benga, “I’m not a counselor. I suppose the best advice I can give you on the subject of relationships is to be open, though if you don’t want him to know the extent of your interest in him at this point, just be casual with him. Ask him about himself, and let him ask you things. Just get to know each other.”
“I am grateful for your advice. I only ask that this all be kept between us. I do not wish for anyone else to know, not even your fellow doctors. I do not wish for Jim to learn of this and feel uncomfortable because of it.” M’Benga nodded.
“Spock, you have my word as your physician that I won’t tell another person what we discuss on or off the record.” He paused. “I’ll tell you this much. I happen to have met Mr. Kirk, and he seems like a fine young man, very serious about making a better life for himself. He might need to mature a little yet, but he’s very intelligent and I think he’s well on his way. I believe once he does that, he’ll make a good boyfriend, or even bondmate.”
“Thank you again, Doctor.” Said Spock quietly, getting up to leave. I will try to put your advice to good use.” M’Benga smiled and nodded.
“If you ever feel the need to talk about this, you can always call me. I’ll be glad to listen.” Spock nodded.
“Thank you again. Good day, Doctor.”
The next day…
Spock had picked up his doses of the nasal numbing agent along with a reusable hypospray. Each dose They would go into effect immediately after injection. He had enough to last one month, but he wanted to wait until actually needed it, which would be the next time he saw Jim. In the meantime, in addition to his regular studies, he was studying some of the literature on human sexuality that M’Benga had sent him. He was grateful for all the time he’d spent working ahead on his schoolwork; it allowed him to set aside more time with Jim in the near future, and to study this material right now.
He found it rather shocking how straightforward the instructions were. For Vulcans, any education about sexuality was up to the parents. Even the parents were often not helpful. For such a logical species, the total inhibition that sexual intercourse sometimes caused was considered shameful. Spock knew the causes and effects of sex, but the specifics, the positions and sensations it entailed were a mystery to him. In the privacy of his quarters, Spock found himself blushing as he read the detached, clinical guides that detailed the proper precautions and preparations of sexual intercourse between two humanoid males.
Due to Vulcan secrecy, he had to make a lot of guesses for what those instructions meant for him, physically. His hybrid nature gave him even more cause for consideration. The only thing his parent’s union had taught him about sexual relations between Vulcans and humans was that the act was possible, and that they were able to bond as Vulcans did. He couldn’t say with certainty if he’d react in a Vulcan way, or a human way to any kind of sexual contact. He was leaning toward Vulcan, though, as his physiology had been manipulated to be almost completely Vulcan. All he could really do right now was study and wait for Jim to contact him again.
That last thought had barely crossed his mind when his comm sounded, alerting him to a call. He moved over to his desk and picked up his padd. It was Jim. Speak of the devil, as the humans say.
JKirk wants to chat. Yes or No? Spock tapped Yes. A question popped up immediately
Are you free this weekend? Spock typed out his answer.
I have no plans. Are you returning to the Academy grounds?
Yeah, back to the doctor. I was wondering if you wanted to meet again. Spock ignored the automatic anticipation he felt and focused on his response.
Do you wish to meet in the south quad again?
I was actually thinking you could come to Starfleet Medical after my appointment and we could go back to Golden Gate Park, if you want. We both talked about wanting to see the park. Spock’s eyes widened. Why hadn’t he thought of that?
It would be logical to spend our time together acting on a mutual desire. He hit Send, then cursed himself for his wording. It would only be too easy for a human to interpret it as sexual innuendo. Fortunately, Jim replied quickly.
That’s great! My appointment’s at 10:30, same as last time. If you can just get to the waiting area by 11:00, I should be all done.
I will be there.
The next day found Spock at Starfleet Medical. Before he left, he injected himself with the nasal numbing agent for the first time. It caused a slightly disconcerting feeling. Then, he’d simply asked where Doctor McCoy’s office was and taken a seat in the waiting room. He arrived at 10:45, but was only seated for five minutes before Jim emerged from a side door. He smiled when he saw him there. At the sight of Jim’s smile, the discomfort of having one of his senses impeded melted away. And the fact that he did not smell anything that caused an instinctive negative feeling put him even more at ease.
“Hey, you’re early.” Spock nodded.
“I did not wish to keep you waiting. It would seem I had less time to wait than you would have.” Jim grinned.
“I didn’t think it would take all the way till 11:00, but I wasn’t sure.” He gestured to the door. “Ready to go?” Spock nodded and picked up his bag.
“Have you given any thought to where you would like to go today?” Jim nodded.
“Yeah. I kind of figured that as long as I have the energy for it, I’d like to try and see more than one spot, if you don’t mind.”
“I would not.” Spock assured him. “What places would you like to see?” Jim seemed to consider.
“I want to see it all. I’ve managed to narrow it down to a few places today. For starters, I’d like to see at least one of the windmills, which probably won’t take too long. Also, I didn’t see the Academy of Sciences like I’d planned last week. Also, I wouldn’t mind seeing the De Young Museum.” Spock nodded.
“If we manage our time wisely, I see no reason that we cannot visit all three locations. I myself cut my visit to the Academy of Sciences short as I had to return to the campus prematurely.” That wasn’t exactly true. He’d left prematurely, yes, but it was to return to his dorm to try to forget the man who’d sparked such feelings in him. Jim didn’t need to know that, at least not yet. Oblivious to his thoughts, Jim nodded and said,
“Do you mind if we start with the windmill? It’ll probably take the least amount of time.” Spock nodded.
“That would be the logical choice.” They left the building and headed to the nearest shuttle stop. They barely had to wait two minutes before the next shuttle arrived. Once they boarded and took their seats, Jim by the window, Spock turned to him.
“What was the purpose of your trip to the doctor?” Jim shrugged.
“Just another checkup. I told you, Sam and Aury are pretty paranoid about having their baby grown inside someone else. I think they’ll keep sending me once a week until the end of the first trimester, at least.” He shook his head. “I really don’t mind, cause Doctor McCoy’s a good guy and it gives me a chance to look around a bit, but it’s a little aggravating. But, I want them to feel okay, so I’m not going to fight with them about it.” They remained in silence for a while, when Spock realized something.
“Jim.” Jim turned to him, surprised.
“What is it?” Spock frowned minutely.
“I have just realized that I never asked you your age. You are obviously old enough to be subject to this procedure, but I do not know your actual age.”
“Oh,” said Jim with a smile, “I’m twenty-three. What about you?”
“I am twenty-five Earth years.” Replied Spock.
“So, not much older than me.”
“No.” The rest of the ride was completed in silence. They arrived at a stop outside the park right in time to switch to one of the park shuttles. As agreed, they went to the North Windmill first. Spock was rather fascinated by the human use of wind as a power source and the design of the structure, but other than that, did not find much to be impressed with. Jim seemed look at it for a moment before suggesting that they move on.
“I know it’s not that interesting,” he said after they’d boarded a shuttle once more, “but I’ve always wanted to see a real windmill. Every time I see a picture of one, or hear someone mention one, it reminds me of Don Quixote. It was one of my favorite stories when I was a kid.” Spock cocked his head to the side.
“I am not familiar with that story.” Jim smiled.
“It’s about a guy, Alonso Quixano, who decides to leave his home and life to try to become a hero and convinces some guy named Sancho Panza to go with him. He’s not totally in his right mind, and at one point, he tries to fight a windmill after mistaking it for a giant or something.” Spock’s eyebrow raised.
“I am somewhat familiar with the mythological humanoid creatures known as giants, and I see no resemblance between them and the structure we just viewed.” Jim laughed.
“Like I said, he wasn’t in his right mind. He probably suffered from some mental affliction that could be diagnosed today. Plus, he isn’t exactly young when he goes on his journey.”
“Did you read this story as part of an assignment?” Asked Spock. He knew that human students were often made to read something and then interpret it for school. But Jim shook his head.
“No, I actually saw it on this really old T.V. show from the late twentieth century. You may or may not know it, but humans, especially children, are fascinated by media entertainment that involves talking animals. This show I watched was called Wishbone, and it was about a storytelling dog. He would compare the events going on in the lives of his human owner and friends to a story. And he always played a part in the story. I was introduced to a lot of books that way.”
“Such as?” Asked Spock, genuinely curious.
“Oh, man, some of the works of William Shakespeare and Washington Irving, Frankenstein, A Tale of Two Cities, The Phantom of the Opera, The Time Machine, The Three Musketeers, Doctor Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Faust. The show lasted about two seasons, I think. I know I didn’t read every book they mentioned, but I have copies of a lot of them now. The stories were all way more dramatic than showed in the series, but I guess that’s to be expected, since it was a kid’s show.” Spock was familiar with some of the literature Jim mentioned, but some of the names were totally unfamiliar. He made a mental note to look into that some other time.
They arrived at their next stop, the De Young Museum. Spock was rather fascinated by the structure of the building. They got inside and began studying the artwork. Jim seemed only mildly interested. Spock, not wanting for their day to be spoiled, chose his words carefully.
“Are you finding the artwork interesting?” Jim shrugged.
“There’s definitely some interesting stuff here, but art doesn’t always get my attention. I do enjoy history though, and there are pieces here from the 1600’s. And, even if I don’t totally understand the art, it’s still cool to learn the story behind it and its creation.” Spock accepted the explanation. It was simply a case of not loving it, but not hating it either. He focused on some of the textile displays for a while, then turned to find that Jim was no longer in his line of sight. He began searching the nearby rooms quickly. He found him after a few moments in a room filled with displays of African art. He appeared to be questioning a young woman about one of the sculptures. Jim turned his head enough to see Spock in his peripheral vision.
“Oh, hey.” He said. He looked at the woman and gestured behind him. “This is my friend, Spock.” He looked back at Spock. “I was just talking to…” he frowned and turned to the woman again. “I’m sorry, I didn’t get your name.” The woman smiled in a slightly patronizing manner.
“It’s Uhura, Nyota Uhura.” She turned to Spock, looking interested. “Aren’t you the Vulcan cadet who started this year?” Spock was so wrapped up in the fact that Jim had introduced him as his friend that he was a little surprised by the question.
“Indeed.” He replied neutrally. He turned to Jim. “I was wondering where you had gone.” He tried not to let any reproach into his tone, but he must have failed because Jim rolled his eyes.
“Sorry, but I didn’t think it mattered.” He glanced at Uhura briefly, then returned his attention to Spock. “I saw a sign for a bathroom back there. I’ll just come back here when I’m done.”
“Very well.” Replied Spock, watching him leave. Uhura watched as well. As soon as Jim was gone, she turned back to Spock.
“Is he a cadet?”
“Negative,” replied Spock, “he is visiting relatives to assist them with an endeavor.” He wasn’t sure is Jim would be alright with him mentioning the pregnancy to someone not bound by confidentiality. Uhura nodded.
“I didn’t think so; he doesn’t really have the look.” She gazed out the entrance he’d walked through speculatively. “For a second, I thought he was going to start flirting with me or something, but he just asked me if I knew anything about the art. Even then, I still wasn’t sure.”
“I assure you,” said Spock, a little stiffly, “he was not.” He paused, realizing he sounded a little harsh and amended, “I highly doubt he would pursue a relationship here when he will eventually be returning to his home.” Even if Jim wasn’t interested in dating anyone, he still didn’t want Uhura trying to gain his interest. However, it seemed that he’d misread Uhura’s intentions, because her tone implied that she would have not welcomed such attentions from Jim. She seemed to quickly lose interest in the subject.
“So, what are you studying? Science courses?”
“Indeed.” Replied Spock. “And you?” Before she could answer, Jim returned. She almost seemed disappointed as she watched him walk back over to them.
“Hey,” he said cheerfully, “what were you guys talking about?”
“We were discussing our respective focuses.” Replied Spock.
“Oh yeah?” Jim turned back to Uhura. “What’s yours?”
“Xenolinguistics.” She replied, somewhat curtly. “You probably don’t know what that means.” Jim didn’t look fazed at all.
“Study of alien languages, morphology, phonology and syntax.” He shrugged lightly. “Means you’ve got a talented tongue.” In spite of the more salacious meaning the words could have had, Jim’s tone seemed almost careless. Perhaps that convinced Uhura, because her features smoothed out.
“I stand corrected.” She said simply. She looked between them both. “I need to go, but maybe I’ll see you around campus sometime?” The last remark was directed at Spock. He nodded.
“It is possible.” With a nod at them both, she departed. As soon as she was gone, Jim turned to Spock with a grin.
“Did you see that? She was totally into you!” Spock cocked his head to the side.
“Are you implying that she was attracted to me in some way?” Jim’s smile grew.
“Absolutely!” He replied. “Why do you think I left?” Spock stared at him, incredulously.
“You made an excuse to leave so that I would speak to her?”
“Yeah, she wanted to talk to you, and she didn’t want me around. Also, I needed my shot. It looks like you’ll be seeing more of her.”
“It is logical to assume that, given that we both attend the Academy.” Spock said neutrally. He wasn’t interested in pursuing a relationship with Uhura, and he didn’t really care for the way she’d spoken to Jim when he’d drawn Spock’s attention away from her, and how she’d implied he was of lesser intelligence just because he was not a cadet or was unfamiliar with the artwork. “I do not believe she is ‘my type’ as the human saying goes.” Jim shrugged.
“Oh well. Let’s get back to the art.” They went on to admire the art in the various rooms, never staying long. They remained for about an hour and a half before deciding to leave.
They boarded a shuttle once more and traveled to the Academy of Sciences. As they sat there, Jim pulled out a nutritional bar of sorts and began eating.
“These are really good. I haven’t been as sick lately and these are a good way to fill up and take in more nutrients.” He stared out the window for a moment before looking back at Spock. “This whole abstaining thing is different than what I thought it would be.”
“What do you mean?” Asked Spock, curiously. Jim shrugged.
“I don’t know. I mean, I didn’t sleep with just anyone. I tried to make sure my partners were clean, safe, and just interested in a one night thing to blow off some steam, though I wasn’t always so careful in the beginning. But I flirted a lot. It’s sort of what people expect from me back home. It’s kind of just second nature to me now, I guess. I know that girl Uhura thought I was going to try to flirt with her, and if it wasn’t for little Fetus here,” he gestured to his stomach, “I probably would have, and she would have just given me the brush off. I know what she was thinking; that I was just some dumb hick, and probably a manwhore on top of that. She could tell you’re a smart guy, and she liked that. Though, she seems willing enough to admit when she’s wrong. But if I really wanted to get involved someone like her, there’d be at least a few months of dating and the possibility of more down the line. I’m just not ready for that yet.” Finished speaking, Jim went back to his snack, getting out the water bottle Spock had seen before. Spock considered his words.
“I find it somewhat disturbing that she judged you so hastily. In the short time I have known you, I have found you to be neither unintelligent or promiscuous.” Though, he thought guiltily, I had considered it a possibility. Jim smiled at him.
“Thanks, Spock. But you didn’t know me back in Iowa. I might not be all that bad, but I did make some pretty stupid decisions. I did a few things that I’d take back if I could. That includes my choices to ‘socialize’ with some of the people I did.” Jim shrugged. “I guess that’s all in the past now. I just have to try and keep living better and hope that everyone back home understands that I’m serious about turning over a new leaf.” Spock nodded.
“If they truly are your friends, then logically they should have no trouble accepting your choices, especially if they improve your life.”
“Yeah, I guess you’re right.” Jim looked out at the scenery again. “Hey, we’re here.”
They stepped off the shuttle and entered the science museum. This took a little longer than the art museum. Spock showed Jim several of the exhibits he’d viewed before and discussed them with him. At one point, they came across the exhibits for artificial and natural male pregnancy.
“I was really surprised you were interested in talking to me about my pregnancy.” Jim said as they stood in front of it. “That first day we met, you walked away from me as soon as I mentioned being pregnant.” Spock hesitated to respond. He didn’t want to lie to Jim, but he didn’t want to make any negative implications either. He decided to tell a portion of the truth.
“On Vulcan,” he began, “there are certain unspoken rules surrounding pregnancies. Vulcans are very protective of their mates, especially if the mate is pregnant. It is considered inappropriate for an unattached male such as myself to share the company of another’s pregnant mate.” It wasn’t entirely untrue. Vulcans were always protective of their mates, but males could sometimes have a difficult time dealing with it, such as shortly after bonding or their Time of Mating, and during their mates pregnancy. Jim nodded.
“So when I said I was pregnant, you thought you were violating some taboo by sitting in the car with me?”
“Essentially.” Replied Spock, trying not to let his guilt show. If he and Jim grew close enough, he might be able to admit the whole truth someday. Jim wanted to know more though.
“So, what made you change your mind? Good old scientific curiosity?”
“I am curious about your condition.” Replied Spock. “And…” he hesitated.
“What is it?” Asked Jim. Spock decided to try for a little more honesty.
“I was intrigued by your behavior toward me. On Vulcan, I was considered too human for my peers’ taste, and here on Earth, I am considered too Vulcan to fit in with humans. There are few people I have met who have been able to see past my genetic heritage without first getting used to my ‘Vulcanness’. You, on the other hand, treated me as you would any new acquaintance you had just met. You were…friendly. I admit I had hoped to experience more interaction like that.” Jim just looked at him for a moment.
“Oh.” He looked around for a moment before looking Spock in the eye again. “Why don’t we keep looking?” They continued to examine exhibits, Jim occasionally asking Spock questions. Spock wondered if this was just his way of changing the subject and trying to ignore Spock’s display of emotionalism. There were some humans who were uncomfortable with emotional expression. After about three hours, Jim announced that he had to get home to get some work done. After they’d boarded their shuttle, Jim suddenly turned to Spock, touching him on the wrist lightly to get his attention.
“I’m coming back onto campus on Wednesday to meet Bones- uh, Doctor McCoy for lunch. Would you maybe want to join us?” Spock might not have been sure of the sincerity of his offer if it wasn’t for the fact that Jim’s fingertips had briefly grazed the skin of his hand right at the edge of his sleeve. Through that tiny, short bit of contact he felt Jim’s sympathy, his desire to help, and his…empathy. He realized that Jim was hoping to help ease his loneliness by including him in other activities and introducing him to other people.
“That would be agreeable.” He said quietly. Jim smiled brightly.
“Great!” The spent the remainder of the trip back outside of the park in silence. They parted ways at the next shuttle station. Jim got on a shuttle that would take him close to his family’s home. Before he got on, he turned back to Spock.
“So I’ll see you Wednesday in the Mess Hall at 12:00?”
“Affirmative.” Replied Spock.
As he prepared himself for bed that night, he thought about what Jim was trying to do for him. Now not only was Jim interested in being his friend, he wanted him to associate with his other friends as well. He still stood by his conviction to wait until Jim was no longer pregnant to pursue anything more with him, but he was becoming more and more determined to do so. Right now, however, he was content to dwell on the fact that for the first time in his life, he had a friend