“Go ahead, open it.”
Spock eyed the present in Kirk’s hands. “It is not yet Christmas.”
“I know, but I want you to open this now, before everyone else shows up.”
Spock gingerly took the box and placed it before him on the coffee table. He eyed it again. “But I believed we were not opening our gifts until tomorrow morning. Surely, everyone will be gone by then.”
“Humor me, okay? Just open the gift.”
He threw Kirk one more look before giving in to him (as he usually did,) and began undoing the ribbon. Putting aside the bow, he tore the paper along the seam. Kirk grabbed it before he could start folding it.
“They’ll be here soon,” Kirk announced, as if that was his entire reason for the action.
Spock knew better. Kirk hated that he folded the wrapping. It wasn’t as if he wanted to keep it, but, as he’d told Kirk, it took up less room in the recycling bin that way.
With the unwrapping done, he lifted the top off the box and pushed aside the tissue paper. He looked up at Kirk, a small smile on his face. “It is beautiful, Jim. Thank you.”
“Do you really like it? The minute I saw it I knew I had to get it for you. Blue is your color, after all.”
“Is it?” Spock pulled the light blue sweater from out of the box. It was heavy, just the way he liked them.
“Of course it is. Why else do you think half the woman on the ship, and probably a fair share of the men, are after you? The blue science uniform.” Kirk’s eyes widened playfully. “It certainly got me going.”
“Yes, I was aware of that fact.”
“Hey, I was discreet...most of the time. Go ahead, put it on.”
Spock slipped the sweater over his head and pulled it down over his shirt. It fit perfectly. “Do you wish me to wear it tonight?”
“That was the whole idea.”
“Very well. But now I believe we should return to our preparations. Our guests should be arriving soon.”
They’d invited everyone over for a Christmas Eve get-together, knowing that way they’d have Christmas Day to themselves. In any event, their friends all had family plans of their own for the next day. And since Sarek and Amanda were on Vulcan and Kirk’s mother with her grandsons on Izar, mixing a Christmas holiday with a tour of the Starfleet tactical school, he and Spock had the farm all to themselves. More than that, they’d be spending their first Christmas in their brand new house.
“That’s probably a good idea. Let’s clean up this mess and get back to work.”
Discarding the wrapping paper and box, they returned to the kitchen. Kirk looked around, satisfied with how the place looked; built only a couple of months before, the house already had the feel of a home. The Christmas decorations, laboriously put out the day before, only added to the general feeling of well-being the place brought to him. And within shouting distance of the original farm house and his mom. What else could he have asked for? Except perhaps the Enterprise being given a week’s shore leave on Earth during Christmas. Somehow, he’d even managed that.
The meal would be buffet style; to Kirk it had seemed the easiest choice. Working diligently, they were able to quickly get everything out and set up. In less than an hour they had reached the last items on the list; while Kirk finished making the dip, Spock mixed up a bowl of punch.
“Make sure you put plenty of booze in that,” Kirk remarked.
Spock looked at the bottle in his hand. He’d already poured in over half of its contents. With a resigned shrug, he poured in the rest. Just as he was placing the empty bottle in the recycler, the doorbell rang.
“I’ll get it,” Kirk said as he set the last bowl of dip on the table.
“I will allow you to do so,” Spock remarked as he took a seat.
It was Uhura and Sulu. Each carried a brightly wrapped box, gifts for their captain and first officer. After a round of hugs and a kiss from Uhura, Kirk graciously took the boxes while they divested themselves of their coats. Then he shooed them into the kitchen while he placed the gifts under the tree.
“Merry Christmas, Mr. Spock,” Sulu said in greeting.
Uhura walked up to Spock and, after a moment’s hesitation, bent down and kissed him on the cheek. “I know that’s completely non-regulation, but it is Christmas.”
“Not for six hours and thirty-seven minutes but we will overlook the transgression this one time.”
“Boy, you must be mellow. Are you sure you haven’t been sampling the wares?” Kirk commented as he reentered the kitchen.
Uhura laughed and then joined Sulu, who had walked over and was perusing the table.
“I thought for sure Scotty and Pavel would already be here,” Sulu said. He had a plate in his hand and was clumsily trying to pour himself a cup of punch.
“They’re still on the ship,” Kirk answered. “They’ll beam down from there and then hitch a ride with McCoy to the transporter station afterwards.”
“Aren’t they taking shore leave?” Uhura asked.
“Yes, but you know Scotty. He had to see to his ‘bairns’ before handing over the ship to the backup crew. Pavel stayed behind to help him. They’ve both transported their gear home already. Once they leave here, they’ll be off to visit family just like everyone else.”
“I’ll bet Mr. Scott didn’t even want to take shore leave,” Sulu said.
“You wouldn’t be wrong. I practically had to make it an order. And that’s probably them right now,” Kirk added at the sound of his communicator. He walked into the living room. He remembered leaving the thing in there somewhere and found it trilling away on the end table.
“It’s Chekov, Captain. Mr. Scott and I are in the transporter room.”
In less than a minute both men had appeared in the kitchen, a bottle of Romulan ale tucked under Scotty’s arm, a Christmas hat perched atop Chekov’s head. After greetings had been exchanged between them, and Uhura had stolen the hat, they all adjoined to the living room—but not before Scotty had poured himself a large glass of scotch, of course. Now, all that was needed was for Bones to arrive.
“Hadn’t Dr. McCoy already left the ship?” Uhura asked. She sat next to Hikaru, sharing the piano bench. “I could have sworn he logged out this morning.”
“He did,” Kirk responded. “But he and Nurse Chapel had to attend a medical seminar at the base, though who in their right mind schedules these things right before the holidays is anyone’s guess.”
“Poor Dr. McCoy. No rest for the wicked, I suppose.”
“Oh, I wouldn’t feel too sorry for him, lass,” Scotty interjected. “I’ve never known him to not have himself a grand time whilst on shore leave...if you know what I mean.”
Kirk laughed. “I’ll certainly vouch for that. And speak of the devil,” he added as he stood and headed for the front door.
It was McCoy. But Kirk had to bite his tongue when he saw who the doctor had brought with him. It was Nurse Chapel.
He took their coats, throwing them over one arm while balancing McCoy’s packages in the other, all the while hardly able to keep his eyes from Christine’s outfit. Not that it wasn’t nice, and she looked great in lavender, it’s just that it would have been even better if there’d been a little more of it. And it didn’t take a genius to figure out why she was wearing it. He managed to stop staring long enough to hang her and McCoy’s coats up and was relieved when Uhura walked over to greet Chapel and walk her into the living room. That gave him a chance to steer McCoy into the kitchen on the premise of pouring him a drink.
“Do you want anything, Christine?” McCoy called behind him as he was led away.
“No, thank you, Doctor. Maybe later.”
Kirk ushered him into the kitchen. “Are you out of your ever-loving mind?” he hissed after pulling McCoy as far into the room—and hopefully out of the hearing range of the rest—as he could.
“What? Oh, you mean Christine?” McCoy grimaced. “I’m sorry, Jim. But when she asked where I was going I didn’t have the heart not to invite her along. Do you mind so much?”
Kirk gave him a look. “Of course, I don’t. But you know how she is about Spock. Do you really think it was a good idea bringing her here?”
“Why? She knows about the two of you.”
“Does she? She certainly doesn’t act like it most of the time. And that outfit.”
“What’s the matter with it? It’s a tad dressier than I would have expected, but other than that...”
“There could be more to it, for one thing.”
McCoy gave a snort of laughter. “There’s nothing wrong with her dress. You would have thought it was great on any other woman, especially one you had plans for.”
“That’s exactly my point.”
McCoy rubbed his chin in thought. “When you put it that way, I guess she isn’t as over Spock as she claims to be.”
“Oh, and what was your first clue?”
“Now, now, Jim boy, don’t let her rile you. The woman can’t help it if she has a thing for Spock—though what she or you sees in the man is beyond me.”
“Let’s not go there, okay? Just forget I even brought it up.” Kirk moved over to where the bottles of liquor were lined up on the counter. “Whiskey?” he raised his eyebrows, and the bottle in question.
“Sure, but just one. I’m driving, remember?”
With glasses in hand, they joined their friends in the living room. Kirk noticed right away that seating was going to be a problem, so he returned to the kitchen for a chair for McCoy. Allowing himself a little informality, he settled on the arm of Spock’s chair. It wouldn’t hurt to get his point across; he trusted Spock, but he wasn’t crazy. The further he kept Chapel away from Spock, the better.
Still, all in all, the night went quite well. There was plenty to eat and drink, and everyone seemed to be having a good time. He even managed to talk Spock into playing Christmas carols on the piano.
They gathered around him, singing the tunes each knew (Spock, after all, didn’t need sheet music as he memorized any song he played,) some in perfect harmony, some, well, not. And although he had feigned reluctance at first, Kirk could tell Spock was enjoying himself. Even after people started wandering off, to the kitchen for refreshments or just to sit and enjoy themselves, Spock continued to play. He didn’t stick with Christmas carols, but switched off with some light classical and even some of the somewhat romantic melodies he knew Kirk loved.
When the grandfather clock in the entryway chimed midnight, Kirk was in a deep discussion with Mr. Scott regarding the work being done on the Enterprise. He looked about and smiled. From his seat he could see Chekov and Uhura standing in the kitchen sampling the hors d’oeuvres while Sulu tried his hand at darts. Spock still sat at the piano, McCoy and Chapel to one side, singing softly in harmony. Kirk returned his attention to his engineer, only a little put out. Hell, he couldn’t build a fence around Spock.
It wasn’t more than an hour later that Uhura and Sulu took their leave. They would be spending Christmas at Sulu’s parent’s house and, while Sulu insisted his family stayed up late on Christmas Eve, they didn’t want to push their luck.
“We had a really wonderful time, Captain,” Uhura remarked as she and Sulu gathered their things. “And I think you and Mr. Spock have a lovely place. You must be very happy with it.”
“We are, Nyota. It’s nice to have a place to call our own—other than the ship, that is,” he added.
She laughed and then followed Sulu out the door. Kirk waited until they were settled in their ‘car before closing the door and returning to the rest of his guests.
Kirk was surprised when no one else seemed inclined to leave, so he settled in and tried to keep up his end of the conversation with McCoy. Mostly he succeeded, but after a couple of stifled yawns from Kirk, the doctor seemed to get the message.
“I suppose the rest of us should be pushing off, too,” McCoy commented. He finished off his drink and stood up. “Joanna wants me up early enough to play Santa Claus to those two young scamps of hers.”
“I thought her sons were teenagers,” Kirk responded.
“They are, but we’re all kids when it comes to Christmas, aren’t we? Besides, I enjoy doing it.”
Kirk tried to imagine McCoy in a Santa Claus get-up but couldn’t quite wrap his mind around it. He gave it up as a lost cause, instead seeing their guests out the door. With Spock standing behind him, Kirk waited on the porch, bemused as Scotty and Chekov, already bundled into the back seat of the air car, prodded Chapel and McCoy to hurry up and get in, since neither man had thought to bring a coat.
“Merry Christmas, you two,” the doctor called out as he slid behind the controls and started the vehicle.
They stood and watched the air car lift and move off into the darkness. Finally they reentered the house and closed the door behind them.
“I’d say that went pretty well, wouldn’t you?” Kirk asked. He’d grabbed the bathroom first, hurrying through his shower so that Spock could have his turn. Now, he relaxed on the bed, his back against the pillows, his fingers laced together behind his head, and waited for Spock to join him.
Spock walked in and removed his robe, laying it across the chair in the corner as he did every night. “Everyone appeared to have had a pleasant time,” he responded as he slipped into bed.
Kirk moved over and slid into Spock’s arms. “It was nice having them here, but I think I like it even better now that it’s just the two of us.”
“I agree,” Spock answered, his fingers busy with the buttons of Kirk’s pajamas.
“I thought you’d be sleepy by now. It’s,” he strained to see the clock behind him, “almost three.”
“Would you prefer we do not?” Spock’s hand froze.
“No, I’m not saying that, exactly.” Kirk encouraged Spock to proceed, lifting his shoulder to allow him to work Kirk’s arm out of his pajama top. “I just figured that after having to clean up that mess downstairs...”
“You know it needed to be done.” Spock’s voice was somewhat muffled as his head was now down around Kirk’s waist, his fingers once again busy.
“It couldn’t wait until morn—” Kirk’s words degenerated into a deep moan as his pajama bottoms were pulled down and his cock engulfed in the heat of Spock’s mouth.
There was no more talk after that.
Kirk rolled over and the light shining in through the window almost blinded him. What moron had left the curtains open? He sat up and grinned. As a matter of fact, he had been the moron. If what he hoped for happened, he didn’t want to miss a minute of it. And it had. It was Christmas morning, he was home on the farm—and it had snowed!
He turned to his bed partner. All that could be seen of Spock were the tips of his ears peeking out from under the covers. “Spock, wake up, it’s Christmas.”
The Vulcan barely moved, muttering something under his breath as he tried to pull the blankets up over his head.
Kirk would have none of it. “Come on, Spock. It’s time to get up.”
Spock turned toward Kirk and came up on his elbows. His usually neatly combed hair stood up in spikes. Kirk thought he looked adorable.
“Jim, we did not retire until three forty-five this morning. I would appreciate a complete night’s sleep.”
“I can’t help it if everyone stayed late. Besides, you can sleep any time.”
“It was not all caused by people staying late,” Spock responded and then turned over and reburied himself.
Kirk stared at Spock’s back for a long moment and then leaned over to whisper in his ear. “You have presents,” he said coaxingly.
Spock didn’t answer at first, but finally he sighed. “Very well. But I will require tea first.”
“Great!” Kirk jumped out of bed and looked around for his pajama top. He could have sworn he’d tossed it over the side of the bed last night. He turned back to Spock. “Have you seen my pajama top?”
“The last time I saw it, I was aiding in its removal.”
“That’s what I thought.” Kirk looked around again. “Oh, there it is,” he exclaimed after noticing one sleeve peeking out from under the bed. He slipped it on and then hurried into his robe and slippers. “I’ll sort the presents while you get your tea.” At the doorway, he stopped and turned. “And can you get my coffee while you’re at it? Thanks, Spock, I owe you one.”
Spock did not move. He did not wish to leave the warmth of his bed. But knowing that Kirk would come looking for him if he did not make an appearance, he gave into the inevitability of the situation and sat up.
He looked out the window and shivered. Snow. He...did not appreciate snow. Kaiidth. It would at least facilitate the use of one of Kirk’s gifts. Throwing aside the covers, he maneuvered his legs out and over the side of the bed and quickly slid his bare feet into his slippers. He grabbed his robe and, tying it securely, made his way down to the kitchen. Kirk owed him more than one.
After preparing their beverages, Spock entered the living room and found his bondmate ensconced next to the tree, busily separating the gifts between Spock’s and ‘mine.’ He’d drawn open the drapes and all that could be seen was a vast expanse of white. Spock placed Kirk’s cup on the mantel over Kirk’s head and then departed for the kitchen for the plate of cookies he’d made up. He returned to the living room and, placing the plate on the coffee table, made himself comfortable on the couch.
Kirk brought over another of Spock’s gifts, snatching a cookie as he handed it to Spock.
“It’s from Bones. I hope he did a better job of picking something out for you than he did last year.”
Spock hesitantly took the box, not at all sanguine as to what he would find inside. “I am not sure where the good Doctor thought I could wear a multihued florescent jacket. At the time, I gave a great deal of thought about taking it on our next trip to Vulcan and leaving it there—preferably somewhere out on the Forge.”
“Yeah, but it’s still hanging in the closet, isn’t it?”
Kirk chuckled. “Bones should stick to giving alcohol, like Mr. Scott.” He had returned to his gift-sorting, but turned to Spock with a grin. “Best gift I’ve had so far.”
“I shall remember to tell my parents that when they ask about their gift to you.”
“I said so far,” Kirk remarked as he pulled the last gift from under the tree and sat in his chair. “I’m sure I’ll love their gift.” He looked at the tag. “But this one is from you,” Kirk added before tearing the paper open.
“I hope you like it, Jim.” Even though they’d been friends for several years and lovers for two of those years, Spock still found it difficult to pick gifts for Kirk that he thought Kirk would truly appreciate.
Kirk lifted off the lid of the box. He looked up and smiled. “A two-dimensional chess set! But how did you know I’d been thinking about getting one?”
“I did not, but the game has become quite the rage. Since we have only ever played three-dimensional chess together, I thought it would add an additional challenge to our games.”
“I’m sure it will. Thanks, Spock. Okay, on to the next.”
The next hour was spent opening up the many gifts that had sat beneath their tree. From Kirk, Spock received an original manuscript of ancient Vulcan poetry; unfortunately, from McCoy he received a pair of what Kirk described as ‘running shoes.’ They were blue, cumbersome—and thoroughly hideous.
“Something else to hide in the closet?” Kirk asked, sympathetically.
“I am afraid so.”
“I suppose you could just tell yourself that it’s the thought that counts.”
Spock gave the shoes another look. “I am not at all sure that would help.”
Still, Spock felt he had fared well: a coat from his parents—they had known where he would be spending his leave—and a lovely green scarf from Lieutenants Uhura and Sulu. They had given Kirk a blue one.
Finally, they were finished opening their gifts.
“Well, I guess we should start cleaning up this mess,” Kirk said as he looked around the room. There was wrapping paper everywhere.
“Not yet,” Spock remarked as he stood. “You have yet one more gift.”
He quickly took the stairs back to their bedroom. He knelt next to the bed and, leaning over, pulled out the box he’d placed there the previous day. He had feared Kirk finding it, but there had been nowhere else to hide a box of its size. Hauling it into a standing position, he managed to manhandle it out of the room and back down the stairs. From there, he grabbed one end and dragged it into the living room.
“What the hell is that?”
“You will need to open it in order to ascertain its contents.”
“Smart ass,” Kirk commented, but he walked over anyway and began opening this last gift.
Spock helped him remove the lid, the size of the box making it almost impossible for one person to open. He intently watched Kirk’s face as the tissue paper was pulled aside.
“It’s...a toboggan.” Kirk knelt back on his heels. “I don’t know what to say.”
“That it pleases you?”
He looked at Spock, happiness and deep love etched on his face. “You know it does. I remember having a sled as a kid. Sam and I loved to take it out to the highest hill we could find. Hey,” Kirk face brightened even more, “let’s try it out right now.”
“Now?” Spock looked out the window. There was snow everywhere. “Is it not rather cold for such an activity? And I assumed this was an endeavor you could pursue on your own.”
“It is, but it’s a better with company. Come on, Spock, it’ll be fun. You can try out your new coat and scarf at the same time.”
After a show of recalcitrance Spock eventually acquiesced (as he knew he would,) and soon found himself outside, bundled up against the cold, looking for ‘the best spot’ in which to try out Kirk’s new acquisition. They walked side by side, while Kirk pulled the sled behind him. More than once Spock pointed out an incline he felt sufficient for their needs, only to be told it wasn’t ‘quite right.’ Only after they had been walking for almost twenty minutes did Kirk finally call a halt.
“This one,” Kirk announced. In front of them stood a snow-covered mound at least seventy feet high.
“Do you not think it wiser for us to begin with something less...prohibitive?” Spock asked as he eyed the hill.
“Sam and I sled down higher hills than this all the time.”
“That was several years ago, Jim.”
“It’s like riding a bike; it comes right back to you.” Kirk started pulling the sled up the hill. “I’ll pull and you push.”
Spock had been afraid of that. Still, he got behind the contrivance and began to push, and between the two of them they managed to get the sled to the top. Spock looked back to where they had come. It seemed a very long way down.
“Okay, I’ll sit in the back. It’ll be easier for me to steer that way.”
Spock warily took his place in front of Kirk. “I was not under the impression that it was capable of being steered.”
“Sure it is. It’s all in the body motion, you lean left or right, depending on the direction you want to go.” He slipped his arms around Spock. “All right, here we go.”
As Kirk pushed off with his feet, Spock felt the sled move slowly forward. It continued its leisurely progress and Spock thought that perhaps this would not be so bad. But then they started to pick up speed, and he realized that Kirk had no control over their descent.
“Hold on, Spock!” he heard Kirk shout into his ear.
Spock wished he knew what to hold on to. The wind was blowing past them as they flew down the hill and level ground appeared a distant haven. Without warning, the sled began to slip and before he could communicate his distress, Spock found himself off the sled and sliding down and away from Kirk.
Almost as suddenly as it had begun, his plummet ceased. Spock removed the snow from his eyes and looked around; he appeared to have fallen into a deep cavity of snow. Above him, only blue sky was visible. To make matters worse, not only was he surrounded by snow, but somehow the cold and wet substance had managed to insinuate itself inside his clothes.
“Spock! Spock, where are you?”
Kirk’s voice sounded very far away.
“Jim, I am here.” Even to Spock that sounded foolish, since he had no idea where ‘here’ was.
“Where? I can’t see you.”
At least Kirk now sounded closer. “I am in a depression,” he called out. “If you would follow the sound of my voice, I am sure it will lead you to me.”
“Okay, keep talking.”
He did as he was told. Minutes later Kirk’s head appeared in the opening above him.
“What are you doing down there?”
“Believe me, it was not intentional.” He stood up as best he could, the snow not an adequate support. “I would appreciate your assistance in removing myself from this cavity.”
“Oh, sure. Sorry.” Kirk leaned down and put his hand out. “The sled’s here, too. You’re lucky it didn’t land on top of you.”
“Yes, I feel very fortunate at the moment,” Spock shot back, feeling not at all lucky.
Kirk grabbed his hand and began pulling him out. “I seem to remember that the person in front is supposed to sit cross-legged.”
“It is regrettable that you only now recall that particular detail.”
“We’ll do better next time.”
At that moment Spock was certain there would not be a next time, and by the time they’d managed to extract him from his predicament, he was shivering and his face and hands felt decidedly numb.
“We need to get you back home.” Kirk wrapped one arm around Spock and pulled him close before he began leading them back to the house. Their progress was slow and awkward, what with Kirk dragging the sled behind him. It only added to his displeasure when Kirk had refused to abandon the vehicle.
Once finally home, Kirk began to swiftly divest Spock of his clothes.
“You need to get out of these wet things.” He hung up their coats and scarves and then began working at Spock’s tunic. “If you think you can do this yourself, I’ll go and start a bath for you.”
“I believe I am capable of undressing myself.” Spock took over pulling his tunic off. At least he could feel his hands now. “And a hot bath would be most appreciated.”
Kirk nodded and ran swiftly up the stairs. After a moment, Spock heard the water turn on. It gave him the incentive to quicken his progress. He managed to get his boots and pants off, leaving them in a puddle at the foot of the stairs as he followed Kirk up.
When he entered the bathroom, the room was warm and steamy. Kirk sat on the edge of the tub, one hand trailing back and forth in the hot water. For some strange reason (though Spock was pretty sure he knew what the reason was,) Kirk’s clothes were nowhere to be seen.
“I think it should be hot enough for you,” Kirk said as he stood and moved out of the way.
Spock gingerly placed one foot in the tub. He gave a sigh of relief and brought his other leg over and then lowered himself into the water. It was wonderful.
“I’m really sorry about what happened.”
Spock looked over at Kirk who had taken a seat on the commode. He looked decidedly contrite. It went a long way at placating him.
“It is all right, Jim. I will survive. And it was a....unique experience.”
Kirk lowered his head, trying unsuccessfully to hide his grin. “I’ll never forget the sight of you, neck-deep in snow.”
“Yes, I am sure,” Spock intoned, not at all sure if it was something he wished to remember. Much better to just luxuriate in the steaming water. He slid lower until only his head remained exposed. He closed his eyes, and was not at all surprised when, only a minute or so later, he felt his lover join him. It was a tight fit, and not a small amount of water ended up on the floor, but, somehow, they managed.
Later, as he lay with Kirk in his arms, his lover’s back pressed warmly against his chest, he watched as the snow drifted silently past their window. Seen from the safe confines of their bed, snow was actually quite nice. It surrounded their house in a blanket of white, cocooning them from the world. Still, Spock thought as he held his sleeping lover, he believed that next year his gift to Kirk would most likely be a tie.