If Spock had never stumbled in shock before in his life, he certainly did when he entered his quarters. He would have berated himself for the act, but he was far too preoccupied by the scene inside his quarters.
Thousands of tribbles. Three thousand one hundred sixty-two to be precise. Three thousand one hundred sixty-two tribbles covered every surface and 84.4% of the floor.
In his lower peripheral vision, he saw three slowly crawling towards the hall. He gently slid them with his boot back into his room, eliciting squeaks, and stepped forward so the door would automatically close. The tribbles were thankfully too short to trigger the door sensor.
Spock was completely baffled, which was not a state of mind with which he was very familiar. He was absolutely certain there had not been a tribble present the last time he was there. He quickly recalled he had left his room 3.3 hours before the emergency transmission had been received from Starfleet about a band of Romulan ships attacking planets in Federation territory. It was another 38.6 hours including their travel time at full warp, dispatching with the three birds-of-prey and transporting their ten prisoners, taken from the last ship that was damaged too severely to self-destruct, to Starbase 15.
Spock surveyed his room and determined that based on the reported breeding rates of tribbles, the original must have been placed soon after he left.
He wondered briefly whether it was a prank, but being surrounded by such a large amount of cooing, which was said to have a tranquilizing effect, calmed him. He was no where near as concerned as he should be that his quarters had somehow become infested with tribbles.
Spock shuffled his way through his quarters to reach his desk. Under the large mound of neutral colored tribbles was bright red paper that he did not believe had been there 42 hours before. He reached under the balls of fur to lift the paper up, causing many of the tribbles to fall off the edge of the table with a small bounce and a squeak.
Once all the tribbles still on the paper were placed on the table and it was fully revealed, Spock paused. He had a sneaking suspicion he knew what happened.
"You're absolutely sure?" Jim asked, a note of desperation in his voice.
"I'm sorry, Captain," Uhura said, both her tone and face apologetic, "Based on the schedules I've compiled from all the departments, there's no way we can reschedule the party again for almost another two months. The block for the last Christmas party had been made almost 8 months in advance and to make up for the lost time, most departments have a lot of things scheduled around it."
Jim sighed. "I guess we could move it from the gym to a rec room just have a 24-hour social function that people can go to off duty." He made a face. "I didn't really want to do that since it won't bring everyone together at once."
Uhura smiled, though it looked like she was trying to hide it. If Jim had to take a guess, he would say Uhura was thinking about the unbelievable fact that James T. Kirk, pervert galore during and before the academy, was being all mature and stuff. "I'm sure they'll appreciate it either way, Jim."
He grinned. "Alright, well how about Stardate 2256.12 at the beginning of Alpha Shift? We'll deck out that big rec room, 25C, and it'll stay open for 24 hours and everyone can meet up with friends whenever they can when they're off-duty."
She nodded. "Aye, sir," she said reverting back to her professional tone and starting to type on her console.
"Oh, and make sure all departments hand in their reports by 0800. I want to review and send them out to Starfleet by 1100."
"That's all, Lieutenant," he said before adding rather tiredly, "Merry Christmas. Drag Scotty out of engineering and take him to the party for a while."
"I promised him spiked eggnog," she said with a smile before the screen went black.
Jim laughed and sat back in his chair, stretching his arms up. It wasn't even ten seconds later when his comm. beeped again.
He depressed the switch. "Kirk here."
"Captain," Spock's voice came through, audio only. "Can you accompany me in my quarters?"
Jim quickly squashed any thoughts that he had been fantasizing about Spock speaking those words for a long time, only less emotionless and far more sultry. Instead, Jim frowned slightly. Past the sexier connotations, that was a weird request. Usually if Spock needed to see Jim in person he would just come to Jim's quarter's. "Sure. Is anything wrong?"
"Please come at your earliest convenience," Spock deflected.
Jim hesitated. "Alright, I'll be right there," he said before cutting the connection.
He retrieved his rumbled uniform that he had just thrown on the floor earlier. He left his rooms and walked the short distance to Spock's living quarters. He didn't bother to ring and just hit the entrance button to have the unlocked door open.
"Holy shit!" Jim said loudly, his jaw hitting the floor as he stopped just outside the doorway.
Spock stood with an eyebrow raised in the middle of a fucking swarm of tribbles that covered his whole room, all of the crawling fur almost made the room seem alive. In his hand was the remnants of a white box and red wrapping that was ripped and torn on the top. It looked almost as if it exploded from the inside because it was too small to hold what was in there.
Jim had completely forgotten about Spock's present with the whole Romulan attack. He had slipped into his First's quarters and left it there as a Christmas present. December 25th had actually been 2 weeks ago but Jim had decided to give the gifts he had gotten for people closer to the party they had set up.
He had gotten the tribble from Scotty who accidentally fed his own some of his sandwich - Jim was assuming he was drunk - and ended up with ten tribbles instead of one.
"Looks, uh, like you've got yourself some friends," Jim said warily as he entered the room. He heard what almost sounded like a squawk and looked behind him to see a tribble stuck in the door. He quickly bent down and retrieved it.
The little brown fluff ball just went right back to purring as if it hadn't just nearly been pinched in half by a door. Jim wondered again what the hell these guys were made of.
"Indeed," Spock said, and thank God he sounded amused and not irritated that his room was now completely infested with living balls of fur.
"I swear I didn't know she was pregnant," Jim said, which wasn't a phrase he had to say as often as most would think. "I didn't even know she was a she."
"I believe I have heard the theory that tribbles are asexual and some believe they are born pregnant," Spock said, his tone reverting slightly back to what Jim liked to call his 'professor voice'.
"That's actually pretty Christmasy," Jim said.
"Pardon?" Spock asked, confused.
"Immaculate conception. Giving birth without sex. Like Mary." Wow, did Jim just compare Jesus to a tribble?
Spock raised an eyebrow and appeared to be asking himself the same question.
"Man, what did they eat?" he asked, suddenly changing the subject as he carefully made his way to the middle of the room. "Don't they only reproduce when then they eat?"
"They apparently found the cache of Vulcan vegetables I had acquired on our last visit to the Vulcan colony," Spock said, indicating a low open cupboard behind his desk.
Jim winced. "Fuck. I am so sorry, Spock."
"As this was not your intention, there is nothing for which you need to apologize," Spock assured as he placed the torn box onto the tribbles covering his desk. They didn't seem to mind.
"Uh, I don't want to sound like I don't know the regulations, but..." Jim trailed off and looked around again. He definitely needed to get some holos of this. "What exactly is the procedure for something like this? I mean, assuming you want to get rid of them. I wouldn't judge you if you wanted to keep them," Jim teased.
"I do not believe there is a precedent for the removal of a large number of animals," Spock admitted as he picked up a large gray tribble, which Jim was pretty sure was the original, to examine it. "I doubt anything like this has ever occurred before."
Jim couldn't help but smile when he noticed Spock start to pet the it.
Spock looked back over to Jim and raised an eyebrow. He glanced down at the tribble in his hands seeming to just realize he was petting it. He promptly set it back down.
Jim carefully navigated the tribbles covering the floor and approached Spock. He picked the gray tribble back up and handed it back to Spock, who took it, either out of surprise or just indulging Jim.
"That's what a tribble's for, Spock," he said with a grin. "You pet it. You seemed tense lately. I thought you would use something to help calm your nerves a bit," he explained. It was probably hard to tell for most anyone else, but Spock had seemed even more emotionless than usual. It had been a signal to Jim what Spock was more upset, causing him to be more controlled. Especially with all the Romulan attacks that had been happening recently.
Spock seemed to hesitate, and Jim wondered if he was decided whether to be evasive or not about the fact he was upset lately.
"Their relaxing effect does seem intensified by their larger numbers," Spock admitted as he gave almost and experimental pet to the tribble given back to him. And damn if that wasn't one of the most cutest things Jim had ever seen. Like a little kid petting a rabbit for the first time.
Jim grinned. "It could be hard to part with any," he warned.
"Perhaps," Spock said and sounded like it might actually be true.
"It's certainly an interesting decor choice," Jim said. "Can you imagine what it would be like to sleep in a bed full of tribbles."
Spock seemed to study Jim for a long moment with far more interest than he spared for the tribble and Jim felt himself squirm under the scrutiny.
"Would you like to find out?" Spock suddenly asked.
Jim's eyes widened. "What?" he asked eloquently. "Really?"
Spock hesitated uncertainly as if wondering if he asked the wrong thing.
"Yeah," Jim quickly blurted out before Spock even considered retracting the offer. "I mean, yes. If you're asking what I think you're asking."
"As I do not know what you are thinking, I can neither confirm or refute it," Spock said, and although his tone was slightly cheeky, Jim could tell he wasn't just being obtuse and was as uncertain as Jim.
Jim quickly bent forward and kissed Spock on an amazingly warm cheek.
When Jim pulled back, Spock was flushing green. "Yes," he said. "I believe we have generally the same idea."
Jim grinned and pulled Spock back towards his tribble covered bed. He wouldn't normally go to bed at 1800 hours but he hadn't slept in three damn days and he was pretty sure Spock hadn't slept in longer.
It took some maneuvering to keep tribbles on the bed but not squish them. Spock lied down on his back and Jim lied on his front, his arm over Spock possessively, his nose nuzzling against Spock's ear.
They were quiet and still for a long moment. Soon however Jim couldn't help but laugh both at the sensation and the fact that he was actually lying in Spock's bed with Spock. Spock didn't laugh, of course, but Jim was pretty sure he was just as amused.
"Merry Christmas, Spock."
"To you as well."
Author's note: So I was browsing the store on the Star Trek official site and found this AMAZING statue of Spock surrounded by and holding a present filled with tribbles, and Spock's holding one up and examining. I so want it (but it's really expensive D:) and it inspired this fic where Jim gives Spock a present that originally only had one tribble and it turns into more.
So I'm currently working on a 12 Days of Christmas type story where Jim is Santa (and magical) and the Enterprise crew helps him make Christmas happen every year. First Chapter should hopefully be posted on the 12th, although if I can't end up finishing it by then, I'll probably be posting it all on Christmas. I am determined to finish though! Especially since I got art promised. So I may not do a Christmas chapter for That Would Be Illogical. Depends on if I can get inspired again, again.
Merry Christmas/Happy Holidays!