Title: Christmas in Long Beach
Fandom: Star Trek, TOS
Rating: M (features m/m sex)
Summary: Spock and McCoy beam down to Long Beach, CA to watch the Naples Bay Boat Parade and perhaps learn a bit about each other. A holiday story.
Disclaimer: Star Trek is owned by Paramount.
A/N: I fixed the disapearing scene breaks. Should now make this easier to read. Sorry about that, folks.
Christmas in Long Beach
The annual three-week long shore leave had reached the Enterprise. Miracle of all miracles, the captain had exclaimed, the leave had actually arrived during the month of December while they were orbiting Earth. All Earth-born crewmembers were beaming down to the planet en-mass, presumably to celebrate the various Earth festivals and holidays. Jim Kirk planned to beam home to Riverside, Iowa, to spend time with his mother, brother Sam, sister-in-law Aurelan and the new baby. It was the first time in years his family was all together.
First Officer Spock and Dr. McCoy had joined the captain in the transporter room to see the captain off. Spock operated the controls, but Jim had told him to hold off for a moment and invited Bones and Spock to accompany him. Spock had given his regrets. The doctor had also declined. The captain had appeared disappointed, but simply nodded and remarked that Bones would probably go visit his daughter Joanna in Conyers, Georgia and to say "Hi" for him.
The good doctor had replied: "Sure, I'll do that, Jim". The captain had gone on to joke-poorly- that he'd hated to think about what arguments the two would get into while he was gone- until McCoy finally beamed down- but he'd reasoned the first officer couldn't wait for solitude and would probably disappear from view immediately and be content to run computer diagnostics in the ship's innards for the duration of the leave. McCoy had whispered over to Spock: "Hurry up and get rid of him, already."
One week later the ship was nearly deserted, being refueled and staffed by a handful of various Starfleet technicians. All unessential manned stations were temporarily running on instruments. The five Enterprise officers/crew who were not Earth-based had remained on board, mostly converging in the rec-rooms, entertaining each other with enchanting alien music.
First Officer Spock had been invited to the 'jam sessions' with his harp of course but had also declined those invitations. He was indeed content to be busy running diagnostics and performing his other daily tasks. As head of shore-leave assignments, he had double checked the ships' manifest to see who was still remaining on board and found there was one remaining Earth officer who had eschewed leave entirely-the officer making a notation in the log.
Spock went in search of this officer, and as it turned out, happened to pass him in the level five corridor. "You have not beamed down, Dr. McCoy."
"Obviously, Mr. Spock."
"Did the captain not mention that you would spend leave with your daughter?"
McCoy's mouth twitched in that way it did whenever Spock had made a personal enquiry of him. The ultra-private physician rarely discussed his personal life and as a result, Spock knew little about the man's past. "Well," McCoy explained quietly, "Joanna's not on Earth anymore, she's in Medical School on Ontarius III, revising for her exams. I got her message three months ago."
"That answer your question?"
"It did. However, I now have an additional question for you." By this time they were walking slowly along the corridor.
"Why did you not join the captain? He had invited you to accompany him. You had declined his offer but you had not corrected him when he intimated you would be beaming down to Georgia to see your daughter. Was it your intention to mislead him?"
"That's more than one damned question."
"Nevertheless, I would appreciate an answer."
McCoy grimaced. "You tryin' ta get rid of me, Spock? I don't have to beam down if I don't want to."
Spock raised an eyebrow, noticed that the doctor's native accent was thicker than usual, but did not comment on the phenomenon. "I am understandably curious."
"I've got work to do, somebody's gotta be on staff, s'long as there's crew aboard, I have to mind the sickbay. I'll see you later." He stalked off, leaving Spock in his wake.
Spock paid the doctor yet another visit, this time in the CMO's office. He stood there, watching the Human curiously for a few moments, until McCoy turned around. "Jesus H. Christ, you'll be the death of me, you Goddamned pointy-eared menace! What do you want?"
"There is another doctor in your sickbay ward."
"You know what I love about you?" the doctor stated with profound sarcasm. "Is your inherent ability to repeatedly state the obvious. Why so there is another doctor in my sickbay. That, my dear Mr. Spock, is none other than Dr. Alene At'ut', the Denebian M.D. from Starfleet Medical. She'll be stationed here for three weeks."
Spock sat down across from the doctor. "Then what you previously stated is untrue."
"Huh? What the hell are you on about, anyways?" McCoy asked. Spock tilted his head in response. The Human's accent was even more pronounced at the moment, but that was most likely due to the half empty Saurian Brandy glass next to the man's PADD, both within grabbing reach. This was probably not his first drink of the evening and repeated dosings of this alcohol tended to have this effect on him.
"You are not required to remain in sickbay, after all," Spock observed.
"Get to the point, you greenblooded-"
"I came here, Dr. McCoy, to invite you to my quarters."
"Why?" This time, Spock noted, it was McCoy's turn to tilt his head curiously. "Thought you were busy running diagnostics."
"I have completed my tasks."
"Oh, well that didn't take long, did it? You got some new science journals you want to lose an argument about?"
"I wish to invite you for a cup of tea."
"Tea? No way. I'm not drinking that spicy Vulcan shit, it gave me the runs last time-"
"I have Earth peppermint tea."
"Peppermint tea," McCoy repeated. "How'd you get a hold of that?"
"My mother sent it to me."
"Your mother sent you peppermint tea," McCoy said. "Now why would she go and do a thing like that?"
"I asked her to."
"Oh?" McCoy raised an eyebrow. "They carry that on Vulcan?"
"Affirmative. There is a trader who deals in import goods."
McCoy was still obviously suspicious. One could read every emotion, every thought in the blue eyes. He was often as readable as an unprotected PADD. Spock found it intriguing. "I bet that cost a fair amount of credits," McCoy said. "You like that flavor?"
Spock had to admit: "I have never tasted it."
McCoy bowed his head and paused for approximately 2.75 seconds. "So...forgive me if this is a stupid question, why did you ask your mother to send it to you?"
"You had mentioned that you had favored it. You had once expressed regret that the Enterprise has only black tea in it's stores, not genuine peppermint tea."
McCoy took a deep breath and let it out, slowly. "So...let me get this straight... you asked your mother to send you peppermint tea because I liked it." He scratched his jaw and a smile ghosted across his lips before he scowled. "Hmph."
Spock stood up. "Are you coming, Dr. McCoy?"
"No, Spock. Dammit. See, I'm already working on my brandy here. I'm still on shift, even though it is technically my leave and I don't feel like..." Spock immediately turned and walked to the door without looking behind him. If the doctor was inclined, he would follow suit.
After a beat the doctor got up and followed behind Spock, and of course, uttering vulgar, Human curses.
McCoy set his teacup down onto the desk. "Uh, thanks, I enjoyed that."
Spock set his own empty cup down on its saucer, the contact making a soft 'tink' sound. "I must agree, the flavor is entirely satisfactory."
"Oh? Even your Vulcan taste buds can appreciate it? Well, good. You'll have to thank your ma from the both of us."
"I shall do so."
Spock took the opportunity during the ensuing silence after his comment to study the good doctor. The man appeared drawn, thinner than normal. Was he not eating? He was about to enquire when McCoy looked down at his feet uncomfortably and cleared his throat. "I guess...I uh... I should be going. Thanks."
"Where is your family?"
"Well, my parents, they uh..." McCoy bit on his cheek. "They're both dead."
"Do you have siblings?"
"I'm an only child."
"Ah." Spock nodded. "I understand."
"I am an only child as well."
"Yes?" McCoy asked impatiently.
"I wanted to wish you well... on your Earth holiday." He was not certain of the appropriate sentiment. His mother did not celebrate Christmas, being born of the Jewish faith, however, no Earth holidays or festivals of any kind were celebrated on Vulcan. He had no common frame of reference besides what his mother had told him. He must of said something incorrectly, as he noted McCoy's furrowed brow, so he added: "I believe it shall be your Christmas Eve tomorrow."
"I don't celebrate Christmas anymore. It means nothing to me."
"I do not understand. Please elucidate."
"Spock, if you're fixin' to give me the third degree in return for your tea, I'd best be going. Not in the mood for all that right now. Goodnight." At that, the good doctor turned on his heel and exited.
"Forgive me," Spock said in the man's wake. He had somehow caused offense.
One hour later, without a signal, the doors to Spock's quarters suddenly slid open, re-admitting the CMO. This time, McCoy was attired in blue-jeans, a button-down white shirt, red 'cowboy' boots and a grey sweater. He walked heavier on the deck with these civilian style shoes. Normally his footfalls were quiet. The doctor stomped over to where Spock sat tuning his lyre, dropped an overnight sack onto the deck and slapped his hand onto the desk. "I know how you can make it up to me," he declared.
"Make what up to you?"
"Asking me all those damn fool questions. You can beam down with me."
Ah. "To join the captain?"
"You have decided to beam to Georgia after all?"
"Nope. Told ya there's nobody there for me."
Spock was at a loss. "Then, may I inquire as to where we are going?" He rose obediently for the doctor, hanging his lyre carefully where it lived on the bulkhead.
"Never you mind. Let's just... go. It's a surprise." McCoy nodded towards Spock's wardrobe. "You got a jacket or somethin'? It's cold and foggy down there."
"Down where, precisely?"
"I said, never mind, and put some damn civvies on and a hat too, and hurry up, it'll be startin' in an hour."
"What shall be starting, Doctor?"
McCoy looked up at the bulkhead and appeared to utter a prayer to his god to lead him not into temptation to punch this Vulcan.
Like the doctor had described, it was cold and foggy in this town on the California coast. Along with the cold and fog it was damp. Damp enough to seep right into the bones, McCoy had muttered as soon as they had materialized on the sidewalk. They were near a large body of water as Spock could hear waves crashing, though could not see them in the dark. He had also noted the descriptive signage: 'Ocean Boulevard'.
"Still looks the same 'round here," McCoy noted, his breath slightly visible in the winter air.
"You have been to this locale before?" Spock wondered and McCoy nodded back at him.
"You warm enough, Spock?"
"We're on a peninsula. Pacific ocean over here," the doctor said as he pointed, "Naples Bay over there." The area was busy with pedestrian traffic. The nearby parking lot and the adjoining streets were full of parked vehicles. There were a few hover-cars driving up and down the street apparently searching for the remaining empty spots. Along with modern hover-cars, there were a handful of older ground-cars sporting Goodyear rubber tires, a novelty in this day and age, a name the doctor referred to as "Goodyeah" when he remarked that they were the only tires worth putting on your car, adding: "Those are real quality, those are." Spock merely raised an eyebrow at the convoluted grammar and took the doctor's word for it.
They reached a driveway hidden in the dark, but McCoy knew exactly where it was. "This way," he commanded and Spock obediently followed. The long driveway was connected to a garage. "They still have it," he said.
"Have what, Doctor?" Spock was nearly afraid to ask, but nonetheless did so.
Spock looked at what the doctor was pointing at, and noticed a brown and white ground car parked in front of the garage. "It appears to be an antique."
"It used to be mine."
"Indeed," Spock replied.
"Come on," McCoy snapped. "'Don't want to miss the parade."
"Yeah, the Naples Boat Parade. These are the best seats in town."
Spock stopped in his tracks. "That is why we beamed down? To view a parade?"
"Yeah," McCoy replied archly. "You got a problem with that?"
"One could have viewed it on the live-feed on board the Enterprise," Spock protested.
"Live-feed? Now where's the fun in that?" McCoy scoffed. They started walking again and they went around the corner to the front door. "You have to experience things, see real Earth events, not just watch documentaries on the monitor all the damned time."
"I do not watch Earth documentaries all of the time."
"The hell you don't. Come on."
McCoy knocked on the door and a voice called out: "Who's there?"
"Santa." McCoy looked over at Spock. "And his damned elf."
The doctor laughed, a soft melodic noise that Spock had never heard from him before. "Sweetheart, if you don't open up this damned door-"
The door opened. An attractive woman, aged approximately 50 years old, with cheerful brown eyes and shoulder-length brown hair peered out at them. "Leonard McCoy? Well, I never!"
"Yeah, but you should have!" McCoy said. "You gonna let us in or what?" She opened the screen, squealed, yanked the doctor inside the house and pulled him into a tight hug.
"My God," she stammered as they stood in front of her in the living room. "It's been...how long?"
"I dunno, five years, I guess. Thought I'd stop by for a house-call."
"Oh...you. Well, nobody's sick around here, 'cept maybe in the head, but I've got some food and drink all ready. Just in case anybody was planning on stopping by."
"Good thing we did," McCoy said in all seriousness as he pulled off his jacket.
"Who's your friend?" The woman asked.
"Oh," McCoy said and glanced over. "Sorry. This is Spock." Spock bowed his head to the woman. "Spock, meet Anne." Anne reached out to shake hands, but McCoy told her: "He's a Vulcan, they don't shake hands."
"Oh!" She dropped her hand and smiled warmly. "My apologies." She motioned them to make themselves comfortable on the sofa. As they sat she suddenly glanced down at the doctor's footwear. "My God, Leonard!"
"What's the matter? Ain't ya ever seen anybody wear red shoes before?"
Anne looked at Spock accusingly. "You let him leave the ship with those things on?"
Spock, befuddled at the question, was not certain how to answer her.
"It takes a real man to wear these," McCoy said. "Where's that Don of your's? He left you yet?"
She laughed. "He's out on the balcony."
Anne and McCoy howled in laughter at various shared memories, things Spock had never heard from the doctor's mouth before, as the four of them sat out on the balcony over the beach and watched the parade stream past of decorated house-boats, yachts, restaurant boats, party boats and speed-boats, boasting multi-colored or green and red laser and LED lights, usually blinking in time to music.
The dog stayed firmly in Spock's lap the entire evening, and he found himself petting its soft black and white fur. Anne and McCoy were getting sillier by the hour, daring each other to slide down the emergency pole attached to the balcony and swim out to the Christmas tree shaped buoys in the bay.
"Oh look at you!" Anne said. Spock and McCoy stood together under the low beam in the living room. Spock glanced up to where Anne was pointing. There appeared to be mistletoe above their heads. Anne and Don broke out in giggles befitting Earth schoolchildren (as Spock had seen in a documentary).
"Oh oh..." McCoy grimaced and took a half-step backward.
"You have to kiss! No getting out of this one or else you'll have bad luck for seven years!" Anne shouted with glee.
"You don't get bad luck for seven years...you're getting it confused with breaking a mirror," McCoy protested. "Besides, Spock's a Vulcan, they don't-" He was cut off by Spock's hand pulling him forward by the scruff of the neck. "Mmmmph…" The kiss lasted for a few seconds, longer than McCoy had obviously expected as his mouth had stiffened slightly and he tried to pull back. However, Spock kept the kiss going till Anne and Don broke out in applause. McCoy looked shocked as they parted, saying to Anne breathlessly, a blush creeping along his cheeks: "Oh, you liked that, did you?"
"You two make a cute couple," Anne said.
"No," McCoy said, still breathless, shaking his head. "We're not...we're not a couple."
"You should be."
"Well, we're not." He glared at Spock and muttered: "Vulcans don't shake hands, my ass."
Spock, on the camp bed, could make out McCoy tossing and turning on the couch on the other side of the room. He noticed the human sit up, letting the covers slide off. The doctor sighed, pulled his jeans on, fetched his jacket, a sleeping bag, and stole out the front door. Spock got up also, went out the door, stepped onto the deserted beach of the bay. The water was lit only by the Christmas tree shaped buoys in the distance and the dim lights of the occasional party boat still going strong. He spotted a sleeping bag shaped mass near the water. "Hello Doctor."
"Spock," came the faint reply.
"May I join you?" Spock sat himself down on the cold sand.
"You'll freeze your ass off. Get under here." McCoy opened up the sleeping bag, which was actually large enough to accommodate two people quite comfortably if not snugly.
Spock found himself hesitating. "Are you certain?"
"Dammit! Get in here," McCoy said in an exasperated tone that left no more room for discussion. Spock threw all caution to the wind and joined him. After they both got situated, no matter how much McCoy fidgeted, they would still be touching by the shoulders. Neither man spoke for long minutes as they stared out onto the bay. "Why did you do that?" McCoy suddenly asked.
"We were standing underneath the mistletoe. As instructed by our hosts we were required to kiss-"
"You didn't have to kiss me like that."
"Perhaps not," Spock agreed. It had been rather passionate. "However, I was under the impression our hosts preferred it that way."
"Yeah." McCoy shifted uncomfortably. "Maybe they did." After a few moments of silence, he dove into the story about how he'd once dated Anne back in Conyers, Georgia, right before he'd married Jocelyn. In fact he couldn't choose between the two girls at first, but Jocelyn had won out. Five years into the marriage, his father was dying, in excruciating pain-being kept alive by machines. He couldn't bear it and committed patricide. Got himself a suspended medical license as a result. His mother had died shortly after-a broken heart, they'd said. He was having difficulty finding work as a doctor in the state of Georgia. Jocelyn was embarrassed by him- left him- took their daughter.
When the divorce was final, he drove all the way from Conyers to Long Beach, California with only the clothes on his back, a credit card and his last remaining possession, the antique Lexus. Jocelyn had gotten the Thunderbird in the divorce, damn her. Anne had moved out here, she and Don took him in while he decided what to do next. He lived with them for a few months until he made the decision to take a shuttle to San Francisco and join Starfleet. "You have to understand that they want me to be happy. I was really in bad shape when I turned up on their doorstep. I owe them a heap of gratitude."
"So," McCoy said, apparently needing to change the subject. "Did you want to kiss me or were you simply obeying the Earth tradition?"
"I wanted to."
Spock could sense that McCoy was stunned into silence and the doctor spent the next few moments pointedly not looking at him. When McCoy finally could speak he said: "I'm not harboring some kind of mad crush on you, just in case you were wondering."
"Nor I, you."
"Good. Glad to hear it."
The doctor cleared his throat. "Kiss me again?"
"Nothing would please me more."
The kisses began cautiously but soon became warm, wet, enthusiastic as Spock felt McCoy gradually growing accustomed to the idea. They'd shifted inside the sleeping bag, to where McCoy was straddling him. Spock's hands were laced protectively around the man's waist, the doctor rubbing against him and whispering into his neck: "Oh..." Eventually, the doctor reached down to undo the fastening on Spock's trousers then slid himself down. Spock moved to stop the doct-Leonard, but his hands were batted away. "Come on, let me. Nobody else is here." Spock allowed him to resume, and with delighted, hitched breaths and soft moans he looked up at the stars in the night sky and submitted to the pleasures of fellatio.
"Not a couple, my ass!" Anne said to them, laughing her head off the next morning as Spock and Leonard joined her and Don at the breakfast table.
"Jealous?" Leonard smiled.
"Hmph. I might be."
Leonard walked around to stand behind Anne and slid his arms around her waist. "You know I'll always love you best," he teased and planted a kiss on her cheek. "But isn't that Vulcan irresistible when he's got two days worth of stubble on his face?"
"He sure is," she said. "Don, I'm gonna dump you and go off with Spock and Leonard."
"Alright," Don replied. "Just be home in time for dinner."
'Midnight, Christmas Eve, candlelight services at St. Luke's Lutheran Church. Belmont Shore'. Anne had spotted the announcement on the Press-Telegramfeed on the AppleTablet, the civilian version of the Starfleet PADD. Don and Anne never usually attended, but since Leonard and Spock were visiting, perhaps they would? Leonard looked over at Spock, Spock nodded back, and they all made plans to go.
Don tossed the keys to the Lexus to Leonard. Anne sat in the front passenger seat. The "death-seat" was how she'd referred to her position in the car, however, the whole way up she'd encouraged Leonard to "step on it" and complained to Spock that his boyfriend drove like a grandma. Spock sat in back with Don in relative eye-rolling safety.
Spock had only seen this in a documentary, the unique experience of singing Christmas carols by candlelight. He'd raised an eyebrow but kept singing, as he felt a hand clasp onto his.
Christmas morning, there were presents for Spock (sweaters, a scarf) and Leonard from Anne and Don, gifts for Anne and Don from Leonard...with Spock's name on the tag as well. Anne hugged Spock, because if Vulcan's could kiss, they could hug. And there was a gift for Spock from Leonard. Spock looked at Leonard, Leonard looked back at Spock, a mischievous grin on his face.
"I've made up a bed for you two in the guest room," Anne declared that evening. "That'll be more comfortable than the couch and camp bed you haven't been sleeping in."
Leonard laughed. Spock noted it was something the good doctor was doing rather a lot of lately. "Is that a hint?"
"More like hitting you over the head with a baseball bat," she said.
"See that painting up there?" Leonard asked. He pointed to where there was a image on the wall of a tiny mouse being spied on by two huge yellow cat eyes. "I titled it: 'Oh shit'."
"An apt description." They undressed and climbed into bed together. "I thought you no longer celebrated Christmas."
"I figured that maybe I should, again. That okay with you?"
"You ever been with a man before?"
"Oh...God...yes...Spock..." The window was shut, the heat was on, but Spock could still hear the waves crashing in the distance, as he held a writhing Leonard in his arms.
"Oh oh!" Anne said, and pointed up. Anne and Spock were standing together underneath the mistletoe. "Leonard? I'm gonna have to kiss your boyfriend, or else I'll get seven years bad luck."
"First of all," Leonard said from the couch. "He's not my boyfriend."
"Yes he is," Don said.
"Second, you don't get seven years bad luck-"
"I've been telling her that for decades." Don replied.
"Third, just how many places do you have mistletoe hanging up?"
"Everywhere," Anne said and grinned.
"And she leaves it up all year," Don added.
Leonard and Spock stood on the doorstep saying their goodbyes. Spock shook Don's hand, because-according to Anne- if he could kiss underneath the mistletoe and hug, he could damn well shake hands.
"We'd better get an invitation to the wedding," Anne said to Leonard. "Or at least an announcement. No disappearing like you did last time."
"Listen," Leonard said to her in mock annoyance. "Now you've upgraded him to my fiancé. He's only just become my boyfriend. Aren't you moving a little too fast?"
"Not when it's meant to be," Anne replied. "What do you think, Spock?"
"I would not be adverse."
"To what?" Leonard asked.
Leonard turned around and pounded his head against the stucco wall outside the doorway. "Anne baby, I think you put something in that peppermint tea."
"I regret that I did not have the opportunity on Earth to present you with a gift," Spock said. They were in his quarters, on the bed, wrapped around each other.
"Wrong. This is my gift."
"Being with you is what I've always wanted."
Fascinating, Leonard had said that night on the beach that he had not harbored a crush-
"Forget what I'd told you before. I've been in love with you for years."
They stood in the transporter room, with Spock at the controls. He felt Leonard reach over for a brief touch of the fingers before pulling away at the now solidified figure of Jim Kirk.
"Boy am I stuffed," Jim said, as he jumped off the pads. "I have a stomach ache. I think I'm gonna pay a visit to the sickbay. What'd you two get up to while I was gone?"
"Oh..." Leonard said, "uh..."
"Didn't get to Georgia, after all, Bones?"
"Nope," Leonard said breezily. "Spock and I are getting married." Spock nodded at Jim in agreement.
"Very funny, you two," Jim grumbled and strode out of the transporter room.