Spock might not be able to catch the nuances of human emotion and non-verbal behavior but he is 64.07% sure that his Captain loves to irritate him.
The number of situations that have taken place between them, for him to form his hypothesis, have been woefully irregular, but quite enough for Spock not to dismiss the notion that yes, his Captain might be irritating him.
He is currently in the Mess Hall watching Jim through observant eyes. Doctor McCoy, Lieutenant Sulu, Ensign Chekov and Nyota are currently sitting with him at the table. Conversation is flowing quite well between them and occasionally one of one of them will throw a comment towards Spock, who will make a noncommittal noise, thus creating the illusion that yes, he is in fact listening to them, but no, he does not have anything of potential significance to add to the topic.
He watches his Captain coming towards their table, a bowl of soup in his tray and what looks like bread next to it. As he nears the table Spock realizes with a jolt of shock, that it is kreyla. When the Captain sits down and Spock sees the contents of the soup bowl, a thrum of something runs through his heart to see that it is plomeek soup.
The Captain is smiling as always, laughing and greeting everyone at the table. Spock cannot focus on anything else other than the food present in his Captain’s plate.
“This is the first time I have seen you eat Vulcan food, Captain and I am gratified to know that you are sampling it. I do hope you find it pleasing to your taste as many humans have complained of its blandness.”
“Believe me, Mr. Spock,” the Captain says mischievously, “anything Vulcan is pleasing to my tastes.”
“But,” he continues, his eyes twinkling with that special emotion just reserved for Spock, his smile much warmer now “I’m sure that I will find it as alluring and exotic as the species themselves.”
Spock manages not to blush before his Captain but it is quite a close call. Even though there is no trace of emotion on his face, he is quite sure that his eyes give him away.
“If you find out that you do in fact like Vulcan food, I would be delighted to spend an evening with you and show you the various Vulcan foods programmed in the replicator. I am sure it would be an exercise in culture, if nothing else.” Spock is not eager per se, but he would like to show his long-deceased planet’s various foods to his Captain. It is something private; he would like to share it with the man who he has begun to look at, in a more than platonic light.
“I’d quite like that, Mr. Spock,” the Captain says softly, as if it is a secret only the two of them share. In a way, Spock thinks it is. “I’d love to know more about you and your world.”
The slow tentative smile that the Captain sends him is nothing short of amazing and Spock irrationally wishes to cup the Captain’s face with his hands so that no one else gets to see that smile.
They share a warm, heavy look and return their gazes to their respective trays in order to finish their meals when something suddenly occurs to Spock.
“Captain, if you do not mind me asking, how did you replicate kreyla and plomeek soup? You have never asked me the names of these dishes when I have eaten them and there is no other Vulcan aboard the Enterprise other than myself, so it is quite a mystery as to how you managed to replicate them.” Maybe his Captain has taken a deep interest, that he researched the various foods of Vulcan by himself. If that is the case, then yes, Spock would be delighted to show him the rest of the Vulcan menu.
“Oh, I asked M’Benga what were the most popular Vulcan foods and if I could have some. So he replicated a bowl of plowmik soup and kareyla bread and said that it was the best thing around. Why? Is there something better than this?” His Captain has already drunk half the plomeek soup and eaten some of the kreyla.
Spock feels cold all over. A rage begins to build.
He abruptly stands up, quieting down the rest of the table and startling his Captain. Spock is the resident Vulcan aboard the Enterprise. If the Captain had any questions pertaining to Vulcan, be it food or dressing, he should have come to Spock and asked him about it. If the Captain prefers to gain his knowledge from secondary sources, then Spock cannot help him. He should not be angry, but he is. He picks up his tray and makes to leave.
“Spock,” the Captain’s voice is startled; cautious but hopeful. “We’ll be catching up later in my quarters, right? To sample the rest of the replicator’s menu?”
“I am sorry, Captain.” Spock gives a stiff nod. “I have a plethora of experiments to oversee in the Science labs and I am quite sure that I will have no time to indulge in the frivolousness of sampling food that I have already tasted. I will take your leave.”
“But Spock,” the Captain’s voice is a mixture of frustration and consternation. It is good, Spock thinks. The Captain should feel some of the emotional upheaval that he puts Spock through. “I thought we were going to do it later. Together.” The last word carries so much hope that Spock has half a mind to turn back around and convince his Captain that yes, he would meet him later at his quarters.
“I am sure that Doctor M’Benga has his evening free. You should ask him to accompany you to sample the dishes.”
With that parting shot, Spock leaves.
Like Spock deduced.
His captain loves to irritate him.