DISCLAIMER: The Star Trek characters are the property of Paramount Studios, Inc. The story contents are the creation and property of Momthing and is copyright (c) 2000 by Momthing. This story is Rated PG.
The Christmas Party
"Merry Christmas, Mr. Spock," Christine Chapel said as she handed Spock his present. She had drawn his name for the annual shipwide Christmas party.
"Thank you, Miss Chapel," the Vulcan said gravely as he took the gaily wrapped package from her. He usually wasn't very comfortable at these events, but for some reason, this year he had felt led to go and participate.
Perhaps it was because the Enterprise was at the end of its first five year mission and the ship was due to return to Earth for decommissioning soon. And perhaps it was because he knew he would not be seeing these people again for a long time, if ever. His application to Gol had just been accepted.
"I have something for you also," he told the nurse and handed her a small tastefully wrapped package.
"Oh, you didn't have to do that," she blushed. She knew he hadn't drawn her name in the give-away list. Uhura had already given her that present.
"I wanted to," Spock said gently. "It is something for you to remember me by."
"Oh, I'm sure I'll have many fond memories of you, Mr. Spock," she murmured demurely.
"Just say thank you, Christine," he said in his low baritone voice, in just that almost-intimate way that always sent shivers down her spine.
"Thank you, Christine," she replied, smiling. He sighed and shook his head slightly, but she saw the smile playing at the corners of his mouth.
"Well, I'd better go hit the punch bowl before it gets too crowded," she murmured, feeling suddenly shy and awkward. This was the most conversation she'd had with Spock, outside of their professional relationship. She was aware that he knew how she felt about him, because she had told him earlier in the mission after becoming affected by a virus. And she knew he didn't return the affection. Nevertheless, he always treated her with courtesy and respect. Now, however, he surprised her.
"I shall accompany you," he said, offering her his arm. "That is, if you have no objections."
"Not at all," she answered, taking his proffered arm somewhat hesitantly, and trying to act as if his offering to escort her anywhere was a common everyday occurrence.
They made their way to the punch bowl which was filled with mock-champagne punch. It was non-alcoholic, but to judge from the giggles of some of the crewmembers who were drinking it, someone was probably passing a flask around with some slightly stronger brew to add to the punch. She sipped on hers slowly and looked around. Sure enough, there was a small group around Pavel Chekov, the young Russian ensign. She'd be willing to bet anything he was hiding a flask full of Smirnov somewhere on his person.
She looked up at Spock who seemed oddly comfortable standing next to her. He looked down at her with warm eyes and that almost-smile at the corners of his mouth. "It's hard to believe that the mission is almost over," Christine said, just to make conversation.
"Yes, it does seem that the time has passed rather quickly," Spock commented.
"Would it be too forward of me to ask what your plans are for after?"
"I will go back to Vulcan and continue my studies in the Vulcan disciplines," he replied. "I find myself in need of some rest and meditation."
"I'm sure it can't have been easy serving on a ship full of humans," Christine said sympathetically.
"Actually, it has been, on the whole, an interesting and rewarding experience," he replied. "I have learned much, and I have come to appreciate the people that I have served with ... some more than others." And he looked straight into her eyes as he said it. She couldn't help blushing.
"And may I ask what your plans are, Christine?"
"I'm going to medical school," she said proudly. "It's something I've been wanting to do for quite some time now, and both Dr. McCoy and Dr. M'Benga have been encouraging me to do so."
"I have no doubt that you will make an excellent doctor," he told her, "although you will be sorely missed in the field of bioresearch."
"Well, that will always be my first love," she started saying, before she was interrupted by Uhura's voice ringing out over the crowd.
"Attention, everyone! By now each of you has given a gift to the person whose name you drew and received one in return from somebody else. It's time to open the presents, so let the fun begin!"
Christine got the package that Uhura had given her and opened it to find a bottle of English Lavender, one of her favorite scents. She looked up in time to see Spock opening the present she'd given him: three pairs of conservative black socks.
"My father always said that a man can never have too many black socks," she grinned as he raised an eyebrow.
"Thank you," he said gravely, waiting for Christine to open the present he'd given her. She lost no time in doing so. It was a very tasteful IDIC pin made of 14 carat gold. It had the name of one of Vulcan's premier jewelers on the inside of the velvet-lined navy blue box.
"Mr. Spock, you really shouldn't have!" she gasped. "It's exquisite ... I really don't know what to say..."
"There is no need to say anything," he said. "I also gave one to Lt. Uhura in appreciation for her friendship as well. After I reach Vulcan, it is highly likely that our paths will never cross again ... and I could think of no more appropriate time to give a gift to a friend."
Christine was a bit disappointed that Uhura had also been given an IDIC pin like hers, yet at the same time, she was secretly relieved. As much as she longed to have a deeper relationship with him, she wasn't quite sure deep down in her heart that she could handle it, especially at this point in her life with medical school looming in her future. But she felt a warm glow at the thought that Spock thought of her at least as a friend.
They were suddenly surrounded by a crowd of giggling people ... some of the younger crew members as a joke were holding a mistletoe branch over their heads. Spock and Christine had been so absorbed with each other that they hadn't even noticed.
"You have to kiss her, Mr. Spock," Lt. Fred Barnes giggled; it was clear he'd been sampling too liberally of Chekov's Smirnov flask. "It's a tradi... tradi... tradishun!" He finally got the word out and stood there blinking in triumph, while Ensign Ekratiz, a ten foot tall Hilarian stood gravely holding the mistletoe over Spock's and Christine's heads.
Christine's eyes flashed with anger, and she opened her mouth to give the drunken group a piece of her mind when Spock surprised her yet again by putting his package on the buffet table and gently drawing her into a loose embrace. She barely had time to put her package down and look up at him when she felt his lips on hers very briefly but very tenderly.
For a moment, looking into his eyes afterwards, she thought she caught a glimpse of something akin to love in his eyes, but only for a moment. Then the moment passed and he stepped back, releasing her. He picked up his package and handed her presents back to her.
"Merry Christmas, Christine" he said, as he turned to leave.
"Merry Christmas, Spock," she answered and watched him go. Somewhere, deep down in her heart where no one could see, her soul was singing for joy ... he did have feelings for her after all...
Her head knew that it was not logical, but her heart told her with a certainty that was almost supernatural that she and Spock would meet again. Someday, somehow, though it might be years down the road ... they would become one. And although she realized that tomorrow she might forget again, for now, she was at peace with herself and the world. Without looking at anyone else, she left the party and went to her quarters, where she put Spock's IDIC pin in her jewelry box and got ready for bed. Tomorrow was, after all just another duty day.