After limping home from the fight in which Nero was stopped from destroying any more planets, Enterprise and her crew was grounded, while Starfleet worked on repairing the damage caused by the Romulan madman. Word was they would be grounded until the New Year.
The captain and the chief of security/First Officer's friendship, odd enough in itself, started to change into something...more.
It showed itself in that the chief of security felt a violent urge to protect the captain from everything, even if the captain had no need for protection, as one poor sap found out.
And let's just say it was unpleasant for him.
The way the air crackles when they are close by, and the long stares.... Well. They had been there before, but now they seemed to appear more often.
Neither of them, as of yet, made a move to do anything about this...but, well...
It was now Christmas on Earth and most of the crew had already taken their leave to visit their families. There was still two at the Academy.
And thus, our story begins.
A thought crossed Tiberius's mind as he was getting ready to leave to visit his mother. The half-Romulan paused, examining the thought.
Spock would spend the whole leave by himself, he knew, for Sarek and "Selek" would be working to find a place for the surviving Vulcans to began anew.
And, he thought, without his mother. The Romulan clenched his fists and wished, not for the first time, that he could have killed Nero with his own two hands.
Now.... Spock would have to spend Christmas by himself. Tiberius couldn't allow that. What kind of friend would he be if he just let Spock spend Christmas alone? So, he would get Spock to come with him to his mother's place.
And, well, the fact that he would also use the time to make a move on Spock... well that was just a bonus.
So, after finishing his packing, Tiberius went on a search for his captain. He had made plans what to say if Spock refused his offer to come with him. The Romulan broke into a grin when he finally found the Vulcan, and as he walked quickly toward the other man, he shouted, “Oy, Spock! There you are!”
Turning, the Vulcan raised an eyebrow. “Tiberius. What do you want?”
Fighting the gut reaction to hearing his name, Tiberius strolled up, keeping the grin on his face. “You don't have any plans, do you, except staying here alone for Christmas. Is that right?”
He watched the eyes narrow sightly, before Spock's eyebrow rose even further than before. “That is correct,” came Spock's precise tones.
“Well, then, come with me when I go to my mother's house for leave.”
Closing his eyes, the captain thoughtfully pondered the offer given. After a moment's long thought, he again opened his eyes and nodded, “Very well, I will come along.”
Tiberius firmly shoved down the urge to cheer, instead, just smiled. “Great!” he said, “I'll meet you at the shuttle in about ten minutes.” He paused, thinking, “Unless you need more time to get ready?”
Spock shook his head. “No, that should be sufficient time.”
But, after Spock had gone to pick up the few things he would need, Tiberius' Vulcan half finally made itself known, by pointing out that he should call and inform his mother that he was bringing his captain with him so he wouldn't have to spend the holiday alone.
However, in the few seconds after he'd called his mom, he devoutly wished he'd just decided to drop Spock unannounced on her.
“So, you are finally bringing him along? I was beginning to wonder if you ever would.” Before Tiberius, taken back, could inquire as to what the hell she meant, she continued, “Are you finally going to make a move? Or are you going to just pine for a few more years?”
“I don't pine... and what do you mean by 'few more years'? What makes you think I was pining before?”
Now the almost-smirk become a full-blown one as she regarded her son through the screen, and there was a hint of mischief in her voice. “Oh, I will have to say all those talks we had about Spock just gave me an idea.”
Tiberius twitched a little as he sighed off, wishing his mother didn't know him as well as she did.
Thankfully, there was no awkwardness in the shuttle as they rode, because Tiberius was able to convince Spock to converse a little.
As they stepped out of the shuttle into a world which was slowly filling up with white, Tiberius grinned, seeing his mother by the aircar. He returned her greeting wave, as Spock regarded the snowfall with curiosity.
Turning her gaze to Spock, Tiberius' mother made the ta'al,smiling a little as she did. "Greetings, Spock. I am T'Valisel. It is a pleasure to finally meet you. I've heard much about you from my son."
Spock's eyes widened slightly before he returned the gesture, replying, "Greetings, T'Valisel. I hope I am not imposing on you."
Still smiling, T'Valisel gestured toward the aircar. "Not at all. We're delighted to have you with us. Come on, let's get out of this snowfall."
In the hallway outside the kitchen, Tiberius paused. His ears pricked up when he heard his name used. From the opened doorway, he saw that his mother and Spock were talking. Being curious, and beginning to hear bits and pieces of the conversation, Tiberius eased closer so he could listen more easily. Why yes, he thought to himself, he was eavesdropping, but he didn't care. He was finally close enough that he could hear them clearly.
Spock's deep voice was precise and measured. "There was no logical reason for him to react so strongly, nor to step up to my defense." Outside the door, he could not see the raised eyebrow, but he knew it must be there. "I would have been able to subdue the man myself if I had needed to."
"He is protective and does not like to see either his friends or complete strangers hurt. He's always been defensive like that." By now Tiberius was framed by the doorway, and she turned, looking directly at him, again with that knowing smirk. "Although, Tiberius, you usually don't react that strongly."
Tiberius took a seat and scowled, “Yeah, well, the guy deserved it.”
Spock had a look on his face suggesting he was about to argue, but then he reconsidered, shaking his head slightly. "You will never change your mind about that, will you?" he sighed.
This time, Tiberius smirked. “No.”
He had been working on the clay for some time, sealing it up carefully after each attempt, so there was already some work done to the raw form. He had molded the beginnings of two beings with hints of Vulcanoid features. One was seated in a position of meditation, while the other was standing upright holding some sort of weapon.
The work on the gift began anew, and Tiberius started to carve more details into the clay, inspired. He was so intent on it that he didn't hear the opening of the door, only looking up when he heard her voice.
"Well, well. There you are." His mother stepped in from the doorway, peering at his work. "Now I know why you asked about the IDIC symbol. This is different from the gifts you told me you'd given him previously."
“What is the purpose of this gift,” Spock asked, looking at the box with mistrust.
Tiberius laughed smugly. "It's the Christmas spirit, Spock." His grin became mischievous with a hint of evil intent. "Besides, maybe this will help get that stick out of your ass."
Spock glared. "I have no such item in my posterior."
“Uh-huh. Right. Keep tell yourself that. Now, go ahead open it.”
A few seconds later Tiberius was certain if his roommate hadn't been a Vulcan, he would have had the prank gift thrown at him. Instead, he was rewarded by a very unVulcan glare. It had been worth it, Tiberius reflected later, for the look on Spock's face when he saw it had been hilarious.
A few days later it was the half-Romulan who was surprised as he glanced at the box and then at Spock, “You... got me a gift?”
Without waiting to hear a reply, and curious, he opened the wrapping, staring at the revealed book of meditation.
"Indeed." Now Tiberius was certain he had seen Spock's lip curl up in a slight, somewhat evil smile. "Perhaps the book will help you control yourself."
...Did he just make a joke? Tiberius laughed aloud. "Why thank you," was all he said, while thinking that if need be, it might become fuel for a fire.
Tiberius chuckled as Christmases in the past ran quickly through his mind. He smiled innocently at his mother. "Nah, it-" Seeing his mother's pointed glance, he gave up trying to dissemble."All right. All right. Yes. It is for him."
It was Christmas Eve, and Tiberius had procured some mistletoe. As his mother was helping him mount it above the door, he mused aloud, "You think Spock knows about the mistletoe custom?"
She shrugged slightly, then grinned. "Even if he does, he may not notice it's there until it's too late. If he doesn't, well...it will be fun to 'tell' him, yes?"
Tiberius grinned widely, “Why, yes, it will!”
Finally, it was Christmas Day.
"Come on, Spock, open your present. I promise it isn't anything like my past ones." Tiberius watched to see Spock's reaction.
Spock gave the box one more of his penetrating looks before unwrapping it gingerly. As he uncovered the contents, his eyes widened. The tableau in fired clay was an inspired piece of art. Spock examined it with care. There were two figures. One was apparently a Vulcan seated on the ground, and with an IDIC symbol on the front of its robe, while on the back was a Hindu symbol meaning "Om," or the All. The other figure stood and was carrying a weapon that looked as if it were an amalgam of human and Vulcan design. The figure also wore a mix of armors, from Rome or Spartan design to pre-reform Vulcan. The form was pleasing, and the sentiment most sincere.
Along the base was writing in Golic Vulcan script. Spock's lip twitched slightly. "It is beautiful. I thank you." He carefully put the sculpture next to him on a side table, and, from behind him, produced his own presentation. It was a short sword of Vulcan design, and looked ancient. The runes on it looked to be pre-Golic Vulcan script. The Vulcan, suddenly nervous, shifted slightly from one foot to another, explaining, "It is a weapon that in ancient times on Vulcan was traditionally exchanged between shieldmates."
Curious, Tiberius inspected the weapon, handling it correctly by its hilt, and testing it for balance and heft as he withdrew it from its scabbard. It had been carefully oiled and looked sharp, but it fit him as if made for his hand. In Romulan fashion, he drew himself together, making an honor salute with its blade. "Well, then," he said, with a small head bow, "I am most honored to be your shieldmate."
Spock's lip curled up ever so sightly.
Grinning widely, Tiberius glanced at the doorway above him. "Hey, Spock. Look up!"
Spock turned his gaze upward and saw greenery, with white berries and red ribbon. It was attached to the doorway under which he was standing. Without moving, he returned his gaze to Tiberius and his brow rose again.
Tiberius blinked, almost innocently, but there was a gleam in his eye. "That, my friend, is mistletoe. Do you know what the Christmas tradition says about it?" If Spock planned a reply, he didn't get a chance to speak it. Leaning closer, Tiberius continued in a low voice, "It's that anyone standing underneath it must kiss."
That was all the warning Spock had before the other man grabbed the front of his shirt and dragged him, unresisting, into a very human-like kiss. In his shock, he was unresponsive for a few moments until he felt Tiberius nipping on his bottom lip, but then he finally reacted and began kissing back. Tiberius' hands mapped his body, and Spock did not object. The two were in their own universe and did not notice T'Valisel as she came into the room from the opposite doorway, then stood, quietly and happily watching.
For a moment, she pondered whether or not to interrupt them and let them know that perhaps they might want to move to a more private place, but then she shook her head no, and quietly left them alone. This had been about ten years coming, she thought, and she left them to sort it all out, glad that it was reaching a happy conclusion at long last.
Finally, the two broke their clench to come up for air, and Tiberius leered at Spock. "Why don't we move to my room?"
“That,” Spock replied, “would indeed be logical.”
Finally, it was time to go back to Starfleet and to Enterprise.
As she saw them off, T'Valisel hugged her son, then turned her gaze to Spock. "I won't ask that you keep my son from getting into trouble, because that would be impossible. Please, just make sure he stays alive."
Spock gave a slight incline of his head. "I shall."
"Hey!" Tiberius was miffed and crossed his arms. "I don't always get into trouble" His mother and Spock both gave him twin raised eyebrows. He uncrossed his arms. "Well, it wasn't always my fault, you know."
"Perhaps." T'Valisel kept her brow up then grinned. "Farewell, son. Stay well. You too, Spock." Raising her hand in the ta'al, she watched them board the shuttle.
And when the shuttle was finally gone from her sight, she smiled again, fondly.
This had been a most fascinating Christmas, indeed.