"It's a time for miracles Spock!"
"Doctor that does not make sense"
"Au contraire my friend" McCoy speech was slightly slurred by the brandy soaked eggnog "it is the only time of the year when miracles do make sense"
"Doctor I would suggest that…"
"Spock", Kirk's voice was low as he leant in to speak to his first officer "there is no point arguing, not today and not when Bones is filled with the Christmas spirit", both men looked over to their friend who happily raised a glass to wish their good health, for the fifteenth time.
"You may be correct Captain…Doctor" he lifted his face to McCoy " I will not argue with you today"
"See…see" McCoy excitedly exclaimed "miracles have already started." Kirk made an attempt to suppress his laughter, an attempt he failed. Spock relaxed back into his chair, allowing the illogic of the moment to wash over him.
Walking down the corridor to return to his cabin, Spock was distracted by what sounded like a small animal in pain, mixed with ancient earth piano playing.
The noise became louder, with a particularly discordant tone scratching his inner ear "Nurse Chapel are you well?"
The volume continued to increase. Using command discretion he palmed the security lock upon her cabin door to allow entry.
"Spock!" Christine was caught dancing without care in a skimpy red frock, a slight white fur trim twirling with her body as she spun to face him.
"WHAT THE F**…Mr Spock, Sir why…ummm why?" her ability to form coherent sentences lost in the futile attempt to pull her skirt over her bare thighs.
"I heard, what I believed to be someone or something in pain. I requested your attention, however there was no response"
"in pain? …oh…I was singing"
"Excuse me Nurse"
"I was singing, its Christmas, I was singing except I'm not a very good singer"
"That would explain the noise, and your current non issue outfit"
Christine took a moment to follow Spock's eyes as they trailed from the fur halter neck, down to the form figure satin mini dress finishing higher than would be considered appropriate.
Swallowing hard she attempted to regain her composure as she responded to his stare. "I am off duty sir, its Christmas and….and it's, well its Christmas!"
"You were perhaps expecting guests"
"Guests….yes" it was a blatant lie, however any excuse would be better than the truth – singing alone in her cabin, half drunk on brandy, dressed in satin and fur for no reason other than seasonal sentiment.
"Then I should leave, now that your safety has been confirmed" Turning to go, Christine noted Spock stop by the tree she had decorated in the corner of the room. His shoulders appeared to slump a little as his fingers brushed across the garish tinsel draped across the boughs.
"My um….guests….will not be here for awhile, would you like to join me for a toast to the season"
"I do not believe the tree is regulation"
"My dress is not regulation, the tree is not regulation, and the alcohol is definitely not regulation. I will make a deal with you sir, you sit with me tonight and put me in the brig tomorrow"
"Nurse Chapel I am unlikely to…" a grin, burst across her face. He quickly realised her humour.
"Do you like it?" she gestured towards the evergreen leaning in the corner "Sulu has been working on it for a few months now. I think it's beautiful". The alcohol was sweetly saturating into her body, she lurched a little towards the chair opposite Spock.
"My Mother…" Spock began "would insist each year on a tree. It was highly impractical, though my father indulged her"
"That's what people do when they are in love….brandy?"
"I have had a glass with Doctor McCoy and the Captain"
"But not with me Mr Spock"
He straightened in his chair, the woman before him was obviously influenced by alcohol, logically he should leave, she was an officer in his command, and she was barely dressed with a whimsical smile adorning her face. He should leave, he should be polite, stand and exit.
He asked for a glass of brandy.
"It seems hard to imagine you on Christmas day. My memories were of children running, and noise and laughter – I'm not sure how that translates on Vulcan"
"Vulcan was much more restrained…"
The music mix had softened as their conversation continued. Christine had programmed a slow progression earlier in the day to lull her into sleep in the latter part of the evening. At that time she had been unaware that it would form the soundtrack to the slowly creeping conversation with the first officer.
Spock lifted the glass before him, appreciating the depth of colour and robust aroma.
"I am curious to know how you appropriated a specimen of such quality"
She stifled a giggle "Leonard gave it to me a few years ago, a birthday gift. I barely ever drink, tonight felt like the right time".
"You are close to Doctor McCoy"
The intimacy of the question surprised her, she paused to consider the answer.
"He means a lot to me, more than I probably acknowledge"
She looked through her glass, making him appear dark and wavy.
"Leonard is like a father to me"
The comment calmed him, though he was unsure why.
"You must find this difficult", the words started to flow as she poured another glass "this time of year, the sentimentality of it all"
"Humans express emotion, I have learned to manage the situation"
"You manage to take the romance out of the situation when you explain it like that"
"Romance, Nurse Chapel?"
Lowering her eyes, she ran her bottom lip across the edge of the glass.
"I am sorry Mr Spock, I always seem to ruin a nice moment with discussions about such things" the alcohol encouraged her against her better judgement "but…well. Oh to hell with it, Spock" formalities dropped as did the left strap from around her neck. "I'm not going to remember this in the morning, so its now or never – I have meant all that I have said to you, but I've been pretty self centred about it. I shouldn't have forced my feelings onto you, I haven't been fair. I wanted something that was not within you to give. I've been inconsiderate and I wanted to say that I am sorry"
Spock placed his glass upon the table. Shifted upon his seat, placing his hands upon the table.
Christine could recognise his actions, it was clear he wanted to leave. She stood to escort him to the door.
His move closer to her shocked her, taking a quick step back she stumbled into the cupboards behind her.
Placing his hands upon her arms, he held her.
"Are you able to stand Nurse?"
"Goodness its seems a night to apologise, yes – sorry I thought you were leaving"
"It had not been my intention, though if you wish to me to leave….before your guests arrive"
She raised her face upwards to meet his eyes; her hair had fallen down, so that it now drifted across the soft alabaster of her face. The natural glow from her skin, highlighted by the dark red painted upon her lips.
"There are no guests Mr Spock, just me"
A moment of time enveloped them in a bubble of suspended possibility.
"I acknowledge your apology Christine" his voice now lower as she felt the slightest pull from him, bringing her closer "though it is unnecessary".
Standing now so close the smoothness of her gown caressed his uniform. Their breaths, in unison, shallow and short.
"It is not what I am unable to give, but that which I have been confused about giving"
It was Christine's turn to raise her brow in question.
"I spoke to Doctor McCoy earlier, he suggested that this is a time for miracles"
She relinquished to his hands slipping behind to the small of her back.
"Tis the season" she smiled