"Keeping Up Appearances"
Star Trek, TOS, gen, humor
Summary: Spock finds himself back in time in the late 1960's. And finds that he doesn't know as much as he thinks.
Disclaimer: Star Trek is owned by Paramount, CBS, Viacom. All names of living persons have been omitted to avoid any invasion of privacy. This is only written in fun.
Author's note: Written with acknowledgment to the short storys: "Visit to a Wierd Planet" and "Visit to a Wierd Planet Revisited" Both I believe are by Jean Lorrah. I wanted to write a story where Spock actually has to deal with life in the '60s. On the show he brags incessantly about his knowlege about 'your late 1960's'. Ha!
KEEPING UP APPEARANCES
The man in the slim trousers, trendy black turtleneck and tan corduroy jacket turned to the woman who claimed to be his wife. "Yes?"
He just now was becoming comfortable answering to that name. The name that belonged to the chief medical officer on his ship.
"Are you going to take your hat off? Or are you just going to keep it on forever?"
The crocheted black hat was scrunched down around his ears to keep the woman and indeed the rest of this world from realizing that he was not one of them; he was an alien, stuck in this time. He touched his hat in a protective stance against the woman, and this world.
This woman, as far as his precursory knowledge had told him, was apparently married to the man he resembled. An actor. A human man with the name of 'Leonard' with a house and family in Los Angeles, California.
He and his two companions were in process of beaming down to Gamma Sudra II and instead due to a rip in time, found themselves trapped in a different time and place. They materialized on Earth, in the 20th century, the late 1960's by his calculations. In a twist of irony, there was something called a 'Television Show, named Star Trek, that featured the adventures of his Enterprise. Featuring the 'characters' of Captain Kirk, Doctor McCoy and himself: First Officer Spock. Fasinating.
The captain, Doctor McCoy and himself, found themselves beamed into a transporter room which had become a 3 sided room with bright blinding lights, a peculiar, large recording device pointed at them and all sorts of men standing watching them in a large area known as a 'Television Studio'. The captain had decided it was best to keep up pretenses that they were these actors, as to not affect the time stream. That was somewhat acceptable for the daytime; the process being interesting even slightly enjoyable. Then the time came for the work day to come to a close for the weekend. The captain also had decided that each of them would chance going home to their respective actor's families as not to frighten the spouses of the actors. Perhaps an unwise decision on the captain's part, Spock surmised.
Spock continued to stare intently at the woman and did not know what sort of conversation he should be having with her.
"Daddy!" Two children ran up and hugged him, and he shied away from their touch and emotions; the woman of course noticed.
"Dammit Leonard," said the woman. "You've been gone all day long and the least you could do is hug your children."
"I am sorry." replied Spock. "And you, children." He at once wished that he had found out their names prior to leaving the studio.
"That's okay, Daddy." said the boy.
"We didn't hear you pull up dad, where's the car?" asked the girl.
"I did not bring the car home." He could not successfully drive a 20th century ground car nor could Doctor McCoy or even the captain. After much discussion and many attempts, so they all took public transportation home, known as 'cabs' in this Earth colloquialism.
"You took a cab home? You're not drunk are you?" asked the wife.
Spock suppressed a grimace at this far too inquisitive wife of the actor. "I am not. I do not drink."
"That's a laugh, it's a friday," said the woman.
"Eh, daddy, after we eat dinner do you want to play some chess?" asked the boy.
At last a refreshing similarity to his own time. "I would indeed," said Spock as the two kids went off to get ready for dinner. He would look forward to playing a game of chess with this child.
The woman looked at him in disapproval, "You might also want to drop the Spock act, Leonard."
He raised an eyebrow. "The Spock act?"
"Yes, exactly what you're doing right now. The raised eyebrow, the non emotional stuff. I've been meaning to talk to you about that for some time. You are taking your work home with you far too much. It's really affecting our marriage. You're not really that guy you know."
Spock nodded. To avoid detection, he was going to have to act as un-'Spock like' as he possibly could, but the unfortunate thing was, he did not know how.
He raised his hands in a 'mea culpa' like motion that he'd seen humans do a thousand times. "The only thing, I can do, is apologize."
"Yeah, that's about all you ever do," she snapped as she stalked off to work on dinner.
He was alone, for the moment and decided to investigate the remainder of the house to get an idea of what this person he was meant to impersonate was like. He walked from the living area with it's large blue sofa and large paintings on the wall into the music room. This man owned several musical instruments which Spock himself could play. That in itself was comforting. But there was an odd device on the shelf that caught Spock's eye. It had a flat turntable with an arm-like appendage attached to it. Underneath the arm there was a tiny diamond needle that made a loud scratching sound when he touched it. What was it for? Perhaps the answer lay in several black disks that were stacked neatly nearby in paper sleeves. He pulled one out and looked at it: "Mr Spock's music from outer Space." There was a picture of himself on it. Fascinating. This was apparently a device to play music recordings. Albeit Primitive.
"Leonard!" the woman's voice called from the other room. "Or Mister Spock! Whatever you're calling yourself these days!"
Ah, the female's attempt at humor.
"Telephone for you!"
'Telephone? What is a telephone?' he wondered; as he walked back into the living quarters… or rather the living room. He looked quizzically at her, till she handed him a black object and went off into the kitchen. He was now holding was appeared to be a primitive communications device. He spoke into what he hoped was the proper receiver. "Uh…Leonard…here."
"Spock?" a familiar voice. "How's everything going?"
"Awkward, Jim. Awkward." Spock whispered into the receiver so the family wouldn't hear. "You should have realized that impersonating a human to his own family for me would be at the very least difficult if not impossible."
"Oh," said Captain James T. Kirk. "I'm sorry about that. I can't say the same for me. I've been having the best sex of my life."
"Jim, are you certain that is wise?"
"No…I guess not… but I thought, that since that guy I'm supposed to be impersonating and I look exactly the same, there was no harm in it. Besides, I couldn't resist his wife, she was wearing nothing but these…"
"Jim…" Spock interrupted. "I do not want to know."
"Sorry," the captain said sheepishly.
"Have you endeavored to contact Doctor McCoy?"
"Yeah, he's fine."
An eyebrow went up. "Fine? Are you certain?"
"Yeah, he's having a blast playing with a dog… it's a Schnoodle, and a turtle."
"Turtle?" asked Spock incredulously.
"Yeah, 'Myrtle the Turtle', apparently." That started off a bout of hysterical laughter from the captain.
"Jim," said Spock impatiently. "I am overjoyed that you are having an agreeable time in this adventure but I am not."
"Sorry Spock. You are going to have to deal with it till we get back to the studio on Monday morning. That at least will give Scotty time to locate us."
"Yes, an effort that will in of itself be difficult since that gentleman insisted on taking our communicators and phasers and even my tricorder away from us as we left the studio."
"Oh yeah," said Kirk. "The properties man, correct? Yeah, he claims that he has control over all the 'props' so what could I do? I couldn't insist we take our communicators 'home' with us. That would have given us away. He had the determination of a Fleet Admiral."
"Yes Jim," Spock replied. "But what if he is to find that they are in fact: working phaser's and communicators…"
"Yeah Spock I know, we'll have to take that chance. I'm sure he's just locked them up… Uh Spock…I have to go now. She's back."
"Spock. Just find a way to deal with it till Monday. Okay? Bye Spock." There was a click and the captain's voice was gone. Spock did not know what to do with the receiver next so simply laid it down.
"Dinner's ready!" the woman said as she placed food on the table.
"Does the dinner, by any chance contain, animal flesh?" Spock inquired, then immediately wished he hadn't.
"Yeah it does contain animal flesh. Oh, are we now becoming a vegetarian just like Spock?"
Spock said nothing as he joined the family around the table. As the family ate dinner and chatted around him; himself attempting to field questions about how his 'day' was, he picked at his food much to the annoyance of the woman. Spock could sense the woman's growing irritation at him but he was helpless to do anything about it. Finally the torture that was a family dinner was over and the kids helped their mother clear the dishes from the table. Spock was determined to get into the woman's good graces at least for the weekend.
"I could…assist you…with clean up," he offered.
"No Len, I can handle it. How about you play some chess with your son?"
Len? Now it was Len? He gratefully sauntered off to find the boy and the chess set. When he found them, he was disappointed. It was not a three dimensional board; simply a flat version. "This is it?" he demanded of the child.
"Yeah dad, what color do you want to be?"
"He would let the child go first. "Black," said Spock.
As they played he noticed the child showed remarkable talent but Spock of course won. "Wow, dad!" said the boy. "You played pretty good!"
"Don't I always?"
"No, you usually lose."
"I see." Spock steepled his fingers and studied the chessboard. How one could not win with a young child as an opponent was beyond him.
The woman was back, watching him with a piercing glare. "It's time for bed." she said to the boy, but not taking her eyes off Spock.
"Okay mom.." the boy sighed as he left the room.
After a time, Spock got up from the chess table and sat down on the sofa in the quiet. The woman came over and sat down very close next to him; making him feel very uncomfortable. He had been dreading this eventuality. "What's the matter?" she asked sensing his awkwardness.
"Nothing is the matter," replied Spock.
"Wanna watch some television?"
Spock nodded, perhaps that activity is what the man normally did at home. "Certainly," he said.
The woman got up to turn the knob on a device she had called a 'Television'. It appeared to be made of wood, with legs and a glass screen in the center; it warmed up for a minute till the image appeared. Spock watched the 'News with Walter Cronkite' for a few moments. "This transmission is not in color?" He asked, puzzled.
"Well, yes, but remember we haven't gotten around to buying a color set yet?"
"We will have to remedy that," Spock said. "It is difficult to successfully enjoy the image when it is not sufficiently representational…"
"Maybe I should change the channel..." She quickly flipped it to NBC.
"What is that?" asked Spock with raised eyebrow.
"What do you mean, what is that? That's your show. You know, the one that paid for this house?"
"Fasinating. That is an image of me."
"That's a brilliant observation, Leonard. Maybe I will turn the set off. I think you're a little punchy, either that or drunk," the woman said quickly as she again walked up and flipped the knob to off." Then she flopped back down on the sofa, leaned over and started to kiss him on the cheek. "You've still got your make-up on?" she discovered.
Oh oh. "Yes. There was insufficient time to remove it tonight."
"Insufficient time? Or did you just want to make love to me with your Spock make-up on?"
"Oh," she said. "I think you are drunk."
Spock sighed, slightly exasperated and amazed that this woman could irritate him as much as someone else: Doctor McCoy. "I assure you. I have had no alcoholic beverages. Nor do I ever. I am merely…extremely fatigued," he said as he got up and found his way to the master bedroom. Keeping this woman at bay all weekend was going to be a insurmountable task. He walked into the large closet, found some night clothes that this man would obviously wear and got ready for bed. He crawled into bed and under the covers, still wearing the black cap.
The woman of course followed him into the bedroom but moved to the connecting bathroom. Gladly she took longer to do her involutions than he had just done. As he struggled to fall asleep before she returned, he noted that she stayed 25.34 minutes in the shower, a device that obviously sprayed real water not Sonics as he was used to. The water spray was annoyingly loud to his ears.
He was nearly asleep when she crawled into bed. "Leonard," she said softly. "Look what I bought for you today."
He opened his eyes, looked around for the gift and could find none. "I do not see anything."
"It's right here, you lunk head. I'm wearing it! This new nightie! Do you like it?"
This woman did not give up easily. "It is agreeable for your figure," said Spock.
"Agreeable?! Just what the hell does that mean?"
Oh no, he had upset the woman, once again.
"You know, Leonard. I keep in shape for you and everything and the least you could do is say something better than that. You've been acting kooky all evening, and you're still….STILL wearing that damn make-up of yours and that damn hat!" She snatched at the hat but he avoided her grasp.
"My apologies, but there was no offense meant at your appearance. I merely meant, that you looked well in your night clothing," Spock attempted.
The woman started to cry. "You can't even stop sounding like Spock, anymore…"
Spock was at a loss at how he could help this woman and instead stared at her blankly. "I'm sorry. I really am. Please don't cry," he said, helplessly.
She nodded and dried her tears. "I know you work hard, at what you do and that you're really tired. I'm sorry too."
After a few moments the woman leaned over to kiss him tenderly. He gave in reluctantly, knowing he had to keep up appearances.
The next morning the telephone rang and the woman reached over to answer it.
"It's for you Leonard!" her voice rang out sweetly. Spock took the receiver from her and held it up to his ear. "Leonard here."
"Good morning Spock!" said Captain Kirk. "Hey, why is that woman so happy?"
Spock looked over at the woman, and she winked at him. "I do not know…Jim."