DISCLAIMER: The Star Trek characters are the property of Paramount Studios, Inc. The story contents are the creation and property of J. M. Lane and is copyright (c) 1999 by J. M. Lane. This story is Rated PG.
According to ship's chronometers, the holiday of Halloween was coming up -- but being adults, the Enterprise crew naturally would not go "trick-or-treating", at least not in the conventional sense. Instead, they would have a party. Everyone would come in costume and refreshments would be served appropriate to the occasion. Many had chosen what they would wear before the party had been announced; others hadn't decided until afterward. Dr. Christine Chapel was one of the latter. Even so, it hadn't taken long for her to decide. She would go as a Vulcan woman.
She had tried everything imaginable to get Spock to notice her, but to no avail. This was truly her last hope. If it didn't work, she might as well give up. At least outwardly, though a part of her never would. Even so, she only dared tell a handful of people -- among them, Nyota, Dr. McCoy and the Captain. She had sworn them all to secrecy because she didn't want Spock to know her plans until the time was right. Kirk was sure he could get the Vulcan to make a token appearance, even though Spock had never been a party person and likely never would be.
It had been decided that the crew would come as whatever historical figure they most admired. Otherwise there was the option of coming as whomever, or whatever, they wished. Christine would have Leonard fix her ears and eyebrows the evening before the party. Nyota would help her with her costume and hair after she, Christine, had likewise helped her friend. Christine had a book featuring past and present hair and clothing styles from dozens of Federation planets, including Earth. Thankfully she had the day of the party off and would spend it in her quarters, not venturing from it until party time.
Despite her optimistic frame of mind, there was still a nagging doubt. Would Spock think she was making fun of him? Logically, she was sure he knew better -- but after the encounter with V'Ger just over a year ago, no one -- including Kirk and McCoy -- had a clue as to how the Vulcan might react. Even so, it was hard to keep things from a telepath. In spite of his friends' best efforts, Spock soon deduced what was going on, particularly when conversations between Jim and the Doctor abruptly terminated when he entered the room or when the two had their heads together whispering. They also seemed evasive and secretive whenever Spock deigned to question them about their topic of conversation.
It was just two days before the party when Spock again walked in on Jim and McCoy with their heads together during an off-duty moment. He had had about as much of this subterfuge as he could take and intended to find out once and for all just what his two friends were being so secretive about. He made no sound as he approached them. The Humans seemed engrossed in their conversation and thus were unaware of his presence. Spock was soon able to pick up some of McCoy's thoughts. Something about Christine, her costume for the party and his, Spock's, possible reaction to it ... provided he bothered to put in an appearance. When the Vulcan reached them, he simply stood quietly behind McCoy until he could think of something appropriate to say. Not even Jim had seen him yet.
Kirk had tried several times to invite Spock to the party, but was turned down every time. Politely and gently, of course, but still turned down ... no matter how silver-tongued Kirk was. If Spock didn't want to do something, he generally didn't do it.
"Be careful what you think, Doctor," the Vulcan spoke quietly, his voice holding a subtle warning.
McCoy nearly jumped out of his skin. "Spock, you scared the hell out of me! What do you think you're doing, sneaking up on us like that?"
Spock raised an indignant eyebrow. "Vulcans do not 'sneak', Doctor. I approached as I always do."
Kirk looked faintly guilty, unable to meet his Vulcan friend's eyes as the doctor thought of a suitable retort.
"You remind me of a cat creeping up on a mouse hole," McCoy finally said.
"Really, Doctor." The reply was long-suffering and somewhat pained.
"On second thought," the Chief Surgeon remarked. "Maybe that's what you should come as -- provided Jim can talk you into coming."
"Maybe I should come as what, Doctor?"
"A cat. All you'd need is a fur coat."
Spock sighed and rolled his eyes.
"On the other hand, maybe you should just be yourself. That way you wouldn't need a costume."
Kirk spoke before the Vulcan had a chance to reply, giving the doctor a hard look. "Stuff it, Bones."
McCoy gave the Captain an injured look but kept quiet.
Spock was the one to break the suddenly awkward silence. "If I may inquire, what were the two of you speaking about?"
"Just what we were going to wear for the Halloween party," Kirk replied cryptically.
"Then you have decided?"
"We have," the Captain answered. "Spock, it's still not too late to change your mind and come. You don't even have to wear a costume, just make a token appearance and leave."
Jim's voice held none of the pleading evident in the other attempts; for that reason, Spock's resolve weakened slightly and he reluctantly nodded. "Very well, if you insist."
"You will? You'll come?" Kirk was incredulous.
"I have said so," was the coolly dignified reply.
"That's great, Spock. You won't regret it, I promise."
"That remains to be seen," the Vulcan returned archly. "Now, if you gentlemen would excuse me..." His voice trailed off; the two Humans nodded and watched as their alien friend departed.
"Well, so much for Step One," McCoy remarked with relief. "Now for Step Two." He reached out a hand for the nearby intercom button on the side of the table to contact Christine. "McCoy to Chapel."
"Chapel here," came her voice.
"Chris, we did it ... or rather, Jim did it. Spock's coming to the party."
"Great. Now I've got to get busy with my costume -- and I'll see you at 1800 tomorrow to get my ears and eyebrows fixed."
* * *
Christine arrived at precisely 1800 hours. She could hardly wait until her ears were done so she could put in her IDIC earrings and see how they looked. A little over an hour and a half later, the operation was completed. Neither she nor McCoy could get over the difference in her appearance. Spock would surely notice her now!
The Chief Surgeon smiled at her pleased expression. "Spock said that Jim didn't look 'aesthetically pleasing' with pointed ears and upswept eyebrows," the Doctor replied. "But you ... you look almost as though you'd been born with them!"
"Thanks, Leonard. That's just what I needed to hear." Christine smiled as she got up from the medtable. "But it still remains to be seen what Spock will think of them."
* * *
An hour later, Christine's door buzzer sounded as she prepared for Uhura's visit, laying out all the necessary hair ornaments, pins, spray mist, mousse and such. She was freshly showered, having been careful of her new ears and eyebrows. The female physician was barefoot, clad only in a bathrobe, having just finished setting up when the buzzer sounded. Christine pushed the button to unlock the door just before towel-drying her hair. "Come."
"Chris?" Uhura's voice came back.
"Here, Nyota," Christine replied.
Uhura entered, her arms full of things she needed for her own hair. The dark woman's eyes widened like saucers when she noted the difference in her friend's looks. "Oh my God, Chris! Is it really you?" Uhura told Christine to turn her head at different angles to get the total effect. "For Heaven's sake, I hardly recognized you! For a moment, I was sure I'd accidentally stumbled into Spock's quarters instead."
Christine laughed. "Can't say I blame you. Well, let's get started."
* * *
Both women slept deeply yet carefully that night, hair protected by special wraps so as not to damage their elaborate hair styles (or, in Christine's case, her ears and eyebrows). Uhura was on-shift that day, but Christine spent the day preparing her costume. She would need help dressing, as would Nyota, but the Bantu had promised to return when she was off-duty and they would help each other.
Christine was thankful her dress zippered down the back so she didn't have to pull it over her head. Her hair would be ruined, and she wanted to look as perfect as possible for Spock. Both women wore light, simple makeup in order to look decent until it was time to put on the heavier, more elaborate party makeup. Unfortunately, Nyota's dress would have to be pulled over her head. She was going as Cleopatra, so her costume had a gauze under-dress covered with a sheer over-dress. Perhaps if they took it slow and easy, there would be a minimum of damage to Uhura's hair -- and the headdress was likely to cover that.
There was also a slender gold "girdle" which went around her waist, a gold and jeweled collar, gold armbands and a ring for each finger. There would even be a delicate gold chain around one shapely brown ankle. Her friend would truly be the Queen of the Nile reincarnated. They'd be so beautiful that they'd probably have to beat the men off with sticks! If things worked out, Spock would monopolize her all evening. Of course, in the event he was late, she could dance with some of the other male crewmembers. Only six more hours to go now ... but six hours which would seem like six days!
* * *
Uhura arrived at 1430 hours with her costume finery. The women had agreed to go together, covering themselves with voluminous cloaks with large hoods to conceal their features and costumes until they decided to "unveil" themselves, like great works of art. The party was being held in the G Deck Rec Room at 1900 hours. They left Christine's quarters at 1845 hours, hoping to make a quiet entrance. Their coverings drew curious stares and whispers as they walked through the corridors, but the two women never spoke, not even to each other, until they reached the Rec Room door.
Pavel Chekov, also in costume, sat just inside the door at a folding table and stamped their hands. "And who are you ladees of mystery?" he asked.
"Dr. Chapel and Lt. Commander Uhura," the latter said. "May we enter now?"
"By all means," the richly dressed young Russian returned gallantly. He had come as a Russian czar, Peter the Great. He had even grown a mustache in order to look more like the monarch. The women looked around the gaily decorated room as they entered. The Captain looked as though he had stepped out of the 18th century as the Revolutionary War naval hero, John Paul Jones. Scotty was bedecked in his formal uniform with appropriate embellishments to come as Robert the Bruce, a Scottish king.
McCoy had elected to come as Kirk's hero, the Great Emancipator, Abraham Lincoln. The Chief Surgeon was the tallest man among the bridge command crew other than Spock. His accent wasn't precisely the kind the genuine article had had, but it was the closest of anyone aboard the ship. It was also appropriate since Bones had always been known for speaking his mind, yet was kind and gentle at heart as Lincoln was. He looked very much like the 16th U.S. President, too -- lean and lanky, bearded ... even down to the black suit, bow tie and stovepipe hat. Sulu was dressed as a samurai warrior out of ancient Japan.
The men (or at least Kirk, McCoy and Scotty) stood near the refreshment table alternately eating and drinking, waiting for Christine and Uhura, unaware that they had already arrived. Sulu and Chekov were trading stories about each other's weapons prowess when the women decided to come out of hiding. One can only imagine the reaction of the assembled males!
There were many beautiful (and beautifully dressed) women present, but as far as the male Bridge crew was concerned, there were only Christine and Uhura. Both blushed with pleasure, almost immediately besieged with compliments and offers to dance. Christine couldn't remember ever sitting down, thankful for her padded sandals with her pale blue Vulcan gown, gold chains cris-crossing between her breasts and around her body, enhancing the curves of her waist and hips.
The dress boasted a modest V-neck and long, flowing sleeves. Her dark hair was elaborately styled in the fashion of Vulcan women, IDIC earrings dangling from pierced, pointed ears. She received so many compliments, as did Uhura, that she was sure she could have lived on them the rest of her life. However, the one she was waiting for was nowhere in sight. She was beginning to wonder if he really intended to come, even though the Captain had promised he would, and Spock never broke his word once he had given it ... so where was he?
McCoy nudged Kirk as they waited for the Vulcan to arrive as promised. "Jim, I thought you said Spock was coming. Where is he?"
"He told me he would be here," Kirk reiterated. "It's not like him to be late. I wonder what happened?"
* * *
It was Uhura who first spotted him as they danced with new partners. The Bantu woman whispered to her friend as they passed each other during a waltz. "Chris, look at the door!"
Christine stole a look at the door, scarcely able to believe her eyes. She had never seen Spock look so handsome in her life -- like the Vulcan version of Prince Charming! He wore black fitted pants with knee-high boots, complementing a thigh-length silver-grey and black long-sleeved embroidered tunic with Vulcan lettering down the right front. His hair shone like dark satin, and his dark eyes glowed ... or so it seemed to Christine.
Kirk and McCoy greeted him first, however, giving their Vulcan friend a warm welcome. "We were beginning to think you'd decided not to come after all, Spock," McCoy commented as he slapped the Vulcan on the shoulder.
"If I remember correctly, Doctor, I *was* invited to this party -- and a costume is required for entrance, is it not?" the First Officer remarked with cool dignity. "I regret my tardiness, but it took time to get ready. I wished to be appropriately attired for the occasion. This was the nearest thing I possessed to a 'Halloween costume'."
"I'm glad you're here, Spock -- and it doesn't matter that you're late. What matters is that you're here. Come have a drink."
Kirk's voice held all the warmth of the sun, matching the smile he gave his newly arrived Vulcan friend. It was now his and Bones' duty to see to it that Spock had the time of his life at this party -- or at least enjoy himself as much as a Vulcan *can* enjoy himself. But he had not yet seen Christine ... and when he did, he forgot his vow to leave after an hour or so. Nothing could have prepared him for the feelings seeing her would bring out in him. Even so, he merely continued to stand beside Jim and McCoy, leisurely sipping a glass of non-alcoholic punch as he watched the couples on the dance floor.
Christine was ready to climb the wall. Would Spock never ask her to dance -- or cut in on her present partner? But no, Spock was far too well-mannered for that. Even so, he surely must have seen what she looked like, how nicely she was dressed -- not to mention her hair and ears... The female doctor wasn't the only one wondering.
Eventually it came down to the last dance of the evening, usually reserved for sweethearts and married couples ... or those who wished to be. By this time, Spock had indeed noticed Christine.
After his initial shock at seeing her in pointed ears and upswept eyebrows (she had passed him as she was dancing and smiled at him), he had been nearly overwhelmed at how attractive they had made her, how well they suited her. If he hadn't known better, he would have sworn she had been born Vulcan. It was unbelievable how beautiful she looked ... but it did not seem as though he would ever get a chance to be her partner; so many other men were vying for her attention. Even the Captain and Doctor had claimed a dance with her.
He barely heard the announcement that the next dance would be the last. He had best claim her now and forever lose the chance. He waited until just before the next-to-last dance ended, making himself walk up to Christine and speak to her...
"May I have the honor of this dance, Christine?" Spock asked tentatively, reaching out a hand to her.
A radiant smile greeted him when she lifted her head, a mixture of surprise and happiness in her blue eyes at his actually approaching her. "Oh yes, Spock. Of course." But even as he drew her into his arms, she said, only loud enough for her partner to hear, "You realize that this is the last dance of the evening."
"It's only for sweethearts and married couples ... and we are neither."
"You forgot one other thing. It is also for those who *wish* to be sweethearts." His eyes held a warmth she had never seen before.
Christine could hardly believe her ears. "Are you saying that you--?"
His answer was to pull her closer and gently press her head down to rest on his shoulder, but it was enough for her. His arms were so warm and strong, yet infinitely gentle as they held her. Her own tentatively slid around his slender waist, cautiously tightening when he did not object.
"Spock..." she whispered after they had danced a short time.
"Shh..." he whispered back. "I have waited all evening for this. You are -- very attractive tonight."
Other couples stopped to watch them, nibbling on candy or sandwiches, candied apples or pumpkin pie, as well as cookies in the shape of black cats, witches or pumpkins. Hot apple cider was also provided. Even the napkins were orange, showing a black cat with green eyes perched on a fence, its back arched, and a full moon in the background.
Christine felt herself blush right through her greenish-gold makeup at his unexpected but most welcomed compliment. She had received many such compliments from her various partners, but none meant nearly as much as the one from Spock. "T-thank you, Spock," she murmured shakily, heart pounding so hard she was sure he could hear it. "I ... hoped you would like it."
"Very much," he answered quietly but sincerely -- then was quiet for a long time. All Christine knew or felt was the warmth of his body close to hers, the gentle strength of his arms around her. "Christine?" he asked softly, lips resting on her hair. The smell of his exotic cologne intoxicated her.
"May I escort you back to your quarters after the dance?"
She merely snuggled her head more comfortably on his strong, broad shoulder. How long she had waited for this ... Spock was in her arms at last!
"I assume that to mean an affirmative answer," he remarked as they circled the floor once again. The music of "Beyond Antares" had filled the room when they first began dancing, but she no longer heard it -- at least not with her ears. It was in her mind ... Spock's, too.
She was brought back to earth by another whisper from Spock. "Christine?"
"I would ... like to bond with you. That is, if you would not object."
"Spock, if you only knew how long I've waited to hear you say that..." Her voice trailed off.
"Then you are willing?"
She nodded and smiled. "But isn't this a rather ... public place?"
"Not if we are discreet. We shall merely need one hand each. Place your fingers on my face in this manner..." After positioning her fingers, he lifted her hand to his face and gently pressed her fingers on the proper nerve points. "Now keep your hand there while I put my hand on your face." She soon felt gentle pressure on her temple, nose and upper lip -- then a mellow warmth filled her consciousness.
*Spock, is it really you?* she asked as she pressed gently on his face.
*Indeed,* came his gentle, cautiously affectionate mind-voice. *Now repeat after me... Never and always touching and touched. Separate and together. Our minds are one, our hearts are one...*
Christine noted his half-smile as she did so. *Now what, Spock?*
*This,* came his answer, his voice echoing inside her head. *Will thee cherish me, and also bear children so that my name is perpetuated, and care for us all in sickness and in health?*
*I will,* she smiled.
*Just as I will cherish thee, Christine, build a family with you ... and care for you all in sickness and in health.*
*Is there any more?* she wondered.
*Only this. May the regard that I, Spock of Vulcan, and you, Christine of Terra, hold for one another remain as perpetual as the Vulcan sun -- and may only death sever the strong bond we now share.*
Moments later, the Vulcan gently broke the meld, removing his hand from Christine's face and mentally instructing her to follow suit with hers. They had merely slowed their pace as they danced, holding one another with their free arms. The bonding had taken only ten minutes to accomplish, but the link they had established would last for the rest of their lives.
Her arms tightened around him in response, as did his around her. They were oblivious to the eyes upon them, even those of their friends. Kirk, McCoy and Uhura watched discreetly, exchanging knowing looks and smiles as they stood together near the refreshment table. The two men held half-empty glasses of Saurian brandy in their hands, as did Uhura ... but she was also nibbling daintily on a wedge of deviled-egg sandwich.
As time passed, crewmembers had gradually departed; finally there were just the five of them in the large room. Kirk noted the hour -- 2400. The "witching" hour ... or should he say the "*be*witching" hour? ... for Spock was certainly *acting* like a man bewitched.
"Looks like Christine's idea paid off," the dark woman observed with a smile. "It would seem so," McCoy agreed, a wicked gleam in his eyes. "But it also remains to be seen whether or not his feelings will remain once Christine is back to herself--Human. He was attracted to her because she looked Vulcan."
Kirk gave him a hard look but said, "And to think I had to practically drag Spock here..." His voice trailed off, an equally wicked gleam in his hazel eyes.
Then someone said, "I've got a feeling that nothing could separate those two now." The three looked at each other but none would admit to having said it. Probably because it was what they were all thinking...
Another hour passed before they could bring themselves to disturb the happy couple. Kirk finally walked up to them and tentatively touched the Vulcan's shoulder.
"Spock, it's 0100. It's time to go... Spock!" he repeated a little louder.
Spock acted as though he was coming out of a trance. "Who...? What...? Oh, Jim. What is it?"
"It's late. We'd better leave. We have to be on duty in a few hours."
"Indeed?" He only reluctantly released Christine, the two of them turning toward the door after crossing fingers.
"Indeed," Kirk echoed.
Only then did Spock look around and notice the empty room. His cheeks turned green with embarrassment for a moment -- until he remembered the woman beside him and all they had shared this evening. He really hadn't needed her to don pointed ears and upswept eyebrows, but when she did ... that was it. Now that the evening was over, it was time to escort his lovely partner back to her quarters. Their friends accompanied them as far as their own quarters, then bade them good night.
"Did you have a good time, Spock?" Kirk asked.
"It was a ... most interesting experience," the Vulcan admitted.
"How about you, Miss Chapel?" the Captain asked of his top female doctor.
"Oh yes, Captain. I had a marvelous time." She couldn't help a tender smile in Spock's direction. He seemed unaware of it, although he did keep his fingers crossed with hers.
"Well, good night, you two. See you later." Kirk stepped forward to open his cabin door. The couple nodded in his direction and he disappeared through it. Alone at last! The Vulcan slipped an arm around his intended as they turned the corner near her quarters, drawing her close after stepping into the shadows of the darkened corridor.
"Did you enjoy tonight, Christine?"
She lifted her face to his, putting a tender hand on his cheek. "Need you ask?" Her whole heart was in her eyes. "Did you?"
He merely smiled and nodded. "Christine?"
"May I kiss you?"
She nodded and smiled again. His dark head bent and their lips met softly, lingeringly. Christine prayed the kiss would never end as the couple held each other. How could any man's lips taste so sweet? And now this perfect kiss was topping off an already perfect evening...
*Spock, I love you so much,* she thought as she put all her heart into the kiss.
*As I will cherish thee -- now and always.* He seemed to answer her, even as they reluctantly ended the kiss. Christine would rather have been beaten than to have to release his lips. She had waited an eternity for this moment! Or at least it had seemed that long ... and now that she had him, she had no intention of ever letting him go. The couple finally reluctantly separated.
"Good night, Christine." His voice held a new, even exciting tenderness.
"Good night, Spock. Will I see you again later today?"
"If you wish it, I will come to your quarters this evening at 2100 hours and play my lyrette for you."
"I'd like that ... but only if you really want to."
"I do," he confessed. "I must go now. Sleep well."
She merely smiled as he touched her cheek and departed. She watched until he turned the corner, then stepped into her own quarters, removing her costume to shower and eat a late dinner before going to bed. Her ears and eyebrows would have to be put back to normal at the earliest opportunity, but the new look had served its purpose. It had given her the man she loved ... but it would now be up to her to *keep* him!