Title: The Old Hall Wreathed
Genre(s): Humor, romance, crack
Warnings/Tropes: Five Times Fic, mistletoe shenanigans, ensemble cast (some TOS characters used), allusions to nonconsensual kissing, human customs continue to baffle and annoy, everyone is referred to by their surnames, except Jim, for ~reasons
Summary: (At least) five times Spock was caught under the mistletoe, and once it was with the person he wanted.
Prompt:"Spock manages to catch Jim under the mistletoe."
Author Notes: I think we can all agree that I should be given a deadline a month in advance of everyone else's? Mea maxima culpa; this is so very very late. All my apologies and grateful thanks to the ksadvent mods and the longsuffering tprillah, who has created lovely accompanying pieces for this story as well as the amazing banner below!
Author Notes p.2: I am so rusty writing for this fandom. TT^TT I apologize in advance for OOCness and other inconsistencies.
There is a certain irony in the fact that Spock has just pulled up the crew-wide memorandum from Jim on his PADD, simply and ominously titled "IT BEGINS," when the doors to sick bay slide open and something drops from the ceiling to swing gently just above his and a startled Nurse Chapel's heads.
"You will have to pardon me for saying so," he says, eyeing the sprig of plastic greenery, "but this seems an odd way to greet patients."
"Oh," Chapel says, hand going to her mouth as she stares up at it. "Oh my God. I thought it was a joke!"
"That is— it's—" The nurse clutches her PADD to her chest as her cheeks go red, something Spock observes with a dilettante anthropologist's curiosity. "It's an old T-terran custom, it's— but the captain—"
"But the captain is an idiot," McCoy snarls, storming out of his private office. He snatches at the offending bundle of leaves but it retracts into the ceiling, disappearing as smoothly and suddenly as it had appeared. "Damn it!"
"Interesting," Spock comments.
"Annoying," McCoy counters, glaring heatedly at the almost-invisible seams of the trap door. "Hell, dangerous. Thinking of the potential disease vectors has been giving me chills all morning."
"If you would please elaborate," Spock begins, but McCoy pinches the bridge of his nose waves an irate hand at the PADD in Spock's palm.
"All your elaborating is in there, commander, but it boils down to this: Jim Kirk is a goddamn menace, and we should have let that last batch of natives eat him."
Action Office: CPTN
Info Office: CPTN_INFO
MRN: 13 SF USS ENTERPRISE 988
Date/DTG: 241658Z 12 01
TAGS: CR, COMM, ENG, MED, SEC, SCI
Subject: IT BEGINS
SENSITIVE BUT UNCLASSIFIED. NOT FOR OUTSIDE DISTRIBUTION.
LADIES, AGENDERS, GENTLEMEN:
I KNOW YOU'RE ALL LOOKING FORWARD TO OUR SLOW CRAWL THROUGH THE OMICRON-PHI SECTOR FOR THE DURATION OF THE TERRAN HOLIDAY SEASON, BUT PLEASE, ALLOW ME TO ADD TO YOUR EXCITEMENT. THE ENTERPRISE HOLIDAY COMMITTEE HAS MET AND DELIBERATED, AND WE NOW HAVE OUR MASTERLIST OF FESTIVE ACTIVITIES FOR THE NEXT SIX WEEKS. AMONG THE HIGHLIGHTS ARE NEW VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES, INCREASED HOLODECK HOURS AND OPTONS, AND AN EXPANDED HOLIDAY-CENTRIC REPLICATOR MENU*.
IT IS ALSO MY GREAT PLEASURE TO ANNOUNCE THAT FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER, ENTERPRISE WILL BE HOLDING A HOLIDAY CONTEST. AS A CREW MEMBER, YOU WILL BE ABLE TO EARN POINTS FOR PARTICPATING IN ANY OF THE ACTIVITIES LISTED IN THE MASTERLIST, WHICH HAVE BEEN ASSIGNED A POINT VALUE BASED ON TIME COMMITTMENT AND OTHER CONSIDERATIONS. THOSE WITH THE MOST POINTS AT THE END OF THE HOLIDAY SEASON WILL HAVE THEIR CHOISE OF PRIZES, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO CASH AWARDS, RARITIES FROM OUR TRAVELS AROUND THE GALAXY, AND ADDITIONAL LEAVE TIME.
THERE IS ONE ACTIVITY WHICH WILL BE ONGOING REGARDLESS OF SHIFT, SECTION OR DATE, AND THAT IS THE MISTLETOE RUN. DRAWN FROM THE TRADITIONS OF TERRAN CHRISTMAS , THE RULES OF THIS GAME ARE SIMPLE: THE CREW MEMBERS CAUGHT UNDER THE MISTLETOE HAVE TEN SECONDS TO ACT, WHEREUPON THEY WILL BE AWARDED POINTS BASED ON THE RANK OF THEIR PARTNER . CATCHING YOUR CAPTAIN, INCIDENTALLY, WILL EARN YOU A HUNDRED POINTS.
PARTICIPATION IN THIS AND ALL OTHER CONTEST ACTIVITIES IS, AS ALWAYS, COMPLETELY VOLUNTARY.
BEST WISHES FOR A HAPPY HOLIDAY SEASON,
JAMES T. KIRKCAPTAIN, USS ENTERPRISE
* Please note that this expanded menu, as with all our menus, may contain species-specific poisons and intoxicants. Care should always be exercised when sampling new foods. An updated list of known sensitivities and reactions is available from the office of the chief medical officer.
"It's an ideal solution, really," Jim says breezily, eyes darting to the left and right as Spock backs him into a corner of the darkened observation deck. "Hardly anyone on this crew knows each other outside of the academy and intense combat situations. This is a great way to build morale, you know? Crew solidarity. Trust."
"Captain," Spock says tightly. "Please correct me if I misunderstand. You are proposing that in the interests of crew solidarity, several hundred ship-bound crewmembers should engage, while on duty, in amorous, unprofessional activities in order to accumulate 'points' towards meaningless rewards?"
"Have you taken a look at the prize list?" Jim says, relaxing back against the railing in a manner that indicates he's about to make a run for it. "Hardly meaningless. A few of those jeweled virulbrium hybrids we confiscated are on there, I knew you'd like those—"
Spock's eyes narrow. "You received approval from Starfleet to release those specimens?"
"Would you look at the time," Jim starts, and Spock side-steps neatly into his path as he starts to slip to the side. Jim holds his hands up in a placating gesture. "Look, Spock. Nothing that I'm proposing to do here breaks regulations."
"Is that because you're adhering to regulations?" a new voice asks, and Nyota comes to a stop at Spock's elbow. "Or because no one's yet thought to ban mistletoe aboard an active military vessel?" Her tone offers nothing but bland curiosity.
Jim grins at her. "Semantics are a boy's best friend. Hey, I bet I'm needed on the bridge, I'll just—"
He ducks forward and Spock once again shifts to intercept him, and something about the movement or their increased proximity must be a trigger. There's a sound like a plucked string, and this time Spock can see the glint of a tiny camera lens nestled between the imitation berries.
Reluctantly, he looks down again, and Jim is staring at him from inches away. There's a bright, speculative gleam in his eye, and Spock resigns himself to the inevitable peck, joke and probable wild reimaginings told to senior staff at the next all-hands meeting. His captain delights in encroaching on the boundaries Spock sets (tries to set) between them, poking and prodding and never seeming quite satisfied with the responses he manages to elicit. Hopefully, this newest instance of conduct unbecoming an officer will be over quickly.
"Hm," Jim says, eyes narrowing thoughtfully. "Yeah, I should probably be going."
And without so much as their sleeves brushing, he steps around Spock, making his way towards the turbolift outlined in emergency red on the far wall.
Spock is— surprised. Enough that Jim gets more than halfway across the deck before he thinks to turn and say, "This discussion is not over."
Jim glances over his shoulder and gives him a mocking salute before disappearing behind the hushed sweep of the lift doors, and Spock gives a silent sigh of irritation. What was Dr. McCoy's recommendation? Ah, yes. Natives. Eaten.
He starts as a soft kiss is pressed just under his jaw, and he gives Nyota an inquiring look as she draws back, smile a bit mischievous.
"As it happens, I could use a little extra leave time."
Unfortunately, her view appears to be common amongst the crew.
"I don't know if you're aware, commander," Sulu says, "but the virulbrium hybrids from Arkan IX have been listed as prizes."
"I am aware, yes," Spock responds, back pressed to the bulkhead as Sulu edges subtly closer. "Under dubious authorization, as I understand it."
"They're really wonderful specimens," Sulu says earnestly, planting a hand on the wall beside Spock's head.
"Quite exemplary," Spock agrees. "Mr. Sulu, if you would please—"
The mistletoe above them retracts, and Sulu frowns up at it, clearly disappointed. Spock pushes away from the wall and proceeds down the corridor at a pace 1.5 times more rapid than his usual, before he can be propositioned any further.
Doorways appear to be a favored target, but then again, so are the queues at the replicators. And gymnasium locker rooms. Holodecks. Turbolifts. The act of walking through the laboratory corridors, once the most mundane of his daily activities, is suddenly fraught with hazards. The sheer number and deftness of the traps' disguises indicates their engineering department's collusion on a grand scale, and leaves Spock to wonder with some irritation what Mr. Scott might accomplish if he concentrated his energies on more utilitarian pursuits.
There seem to be more crew in the corridors than usual no matter where he goes, what routes he takes, and Spock isn't self-deceiving enough to imagine there isn't a link between that and this farcical contestof Jim's. As it happens, his badge permissions are such that the Jefferies tubes and maintenance tunnels that honeycomb the Enterprise offer an attractive alternative to the suddenly overcrowded halls. They're claustrophobically narrow, dimly lit and barely insulated, but Spock breathes a sigh of relief as the access hatch closes behind him.
"Ah, for Pete's sake," someone says, and a darker patch of black slowly resolves itself into their chief engineering officer.
"Oh, it's just you, commander," the man says, with evident relief. "For a moment there, I thought one of the wee mad scunners had followed me in here. Come in! Can I help ye with something?"
"Negative," Spock says, and then amends his statement. "Unless you are aware of a path that will bring me to the officers' quarters without leaving these tunnels."
Scotty spreads his arms wide. "As it happens, I do know a way! Been using it myself," he adds as he stands.
There are detached ducts and soddering tools strewn about the floor, now that Spock's eyes have adjusted, and he picks carefully through them. Scotty pauses to wait for him at the entrance to the next series of tunnels.
"Scut work, I know," Scotty says as Spock reaches him and he turns to begin walking. "Normally I'd send an ensign, but I get no peace with these little traps of Jimmy's. Thought they'd be funny a' first, but—"
There comes a tiny plink from the ceiling, a noise that Spock is beginning to actively dread, and as one he and Scotty look slowly upwards at the innocent bit of mistletoe twirling from the angular run of pipes above them.
"Please dunna take this th' wrong way, Mr. Spock," Scotty says, staring balefully at it. "as I have th' utmost respect for ye, professionally an' personally. But not if ye were th' last little green man on earth."
"Likewise, Mr. Scott," Spock returns, and they proceed down the tunnel without further discussion.
Two hours and five attempted kisses later, base curiosity and a growing sense of uneasiness prompt Spock to open Jim's memorandum, and pull up the document containing the crew's assigned point values.
"Have you gone completely insane?" he asks, as Jim's face flickers into view on his PADD screen.
Jim tilts his head, an expression of innocent inquiry on his face. "Not clinically. Why?"
"You've listed my point value as twice your own."
"Oh, we prorated for difficulty. Uhura is worth two hundred and fifty points, if it makes you feel any better."
"Those globular clusters aren't going to name themselves, Mr. Spock. See you on beta shift!"
And Spock is left to— not seethe, because that would require admitting to a level of emotionality he is not prepared to concede.
Spock meditates, and does not seethe, or grind his teeth, or remember with detached fondness having Jim bodily disposed of via emergency escape pod.
There is a piece of mistletoe installed over Spock's station on the bridge, and this may be the shift he forces his captain out an airlock without the benefit of an emergency escape pod.
"Would you look at that," Jim says, rocking back on his heels. "Mistletoe! Weird."
And this, then, will be what Jim was waiting for: an audience. The whole bridge is turning to look that them, whispers breaking out amongst them, and Spock stares flatly back at Jim's smirk and prepares himself to be molested.
"Chekov, you'd better get in there before your ten seconds are up," Jim says, and shoves the young man standing next to him forward into Spock.
"Oh, tak harasho!" Chekov says gaily, bracing himself with a hand on Spock's shoulder. "Not good deal for you, no, but for me is very good!"
"Captain," Spock starts on a growl, and then the firm press of Chekov's lips to his quite abruptly interrupts whatever he might have said.
Somehow, over the next three days, Jim manages to set off the mistletoe above Spock's station a grand total of thirty-two times. To be entirely truthful, Spock hadn't realized until this point that they spoke so often, stood so close to one another while on duty. The mistletoe acts as a proximity alarm, and makes Spock acutely aware of Jim and his movements in a way completely new to him.
Jim never once attempts to kiss Spock. Instead, Spock watches as Jim kisses half their command crew, Sulu, Chekov, Dr. McCoy multiple times (to increasingly incendiary effect), and is witness to his multiple unsuccessful attempts to kiss Nyota. Even Giotto warrants a quick, loud smack on the cheek that has the security officer stumbling back and rubbing vigorously at the spot, staring around at the laughing bridge as though they'd all lost their minds.
The Omicron-Phi sector slides silently and uneventfully past the Enterprise, day upon day, stretching into weeks, and Jim Kirk does not kiss Spock.
It is December 23rd, according to the standard Terran terrestrial calendar. Spock has always found the habit of naming months to be highly illogical, the Terran calendar even more so as the months have been detached from their original, tidily numerical bases and set adrift in a sea of outdated references to ancient gods and kings. In a properly devised system, it would be Duodecimber 23rd. Humans are truly the most frustratingly irrational, unreasonable beings yet known in the universe, and Spock is including Klingons in this estimation.
It is also possible he is allowing the situation with their captain to influence his mood for the poorer.
Application of the scientific method has solidified his theory that Jim is consciously avoiding contact with Spock that is less than professional in nature (Question: Is the captain avoiding kissing Spock?
(Research: Through observation, he appears to be kissing everyone with the singular exception of Spock.
(Hypothesis: The captain is avoiding kissing Spock, and only Spock, for reasons at present unknown.
(Experiment: Arrange to encounter the captain at varied points of contact where mistletoe has been known to drop, accounting for changes in shift, time, and foot traffic through the areas.
(Data: Zero interactions of the desired(?) type with the captain; seventeen unanticipated interactions with other crew members, eight of which occurred after successfully triggering the mistletoe mechanism with the captain as the second primary trigger; twelve observed interactions of the captain with other crew members; two mechanisms observed destroyed by Dr. McCoy upon discovery of their locations [extraneous, consider eliminating mention in formal report].
(Conclusion: The captain is indeed avoiding kissing him).
The single question this prompts in return is, "Why?" and on that point, Spock cannot begin to offer a coherent subsequent hypothesis.
"Spock," Nyota sighs.
Wildly unlikely scenarios do occur to him— Jim is for once adhering to interpersonal protocol as dictated by Starfleet, Jim is for some reason displeased with him, Jim has decided to begin respecting his cultural bias against casual contact— but these are not borne out by past experiences and the concrete data derived thereof.
"Spock," she repeats, more insistently.
"There must be another reason," Spock says distractedly, and Nyota lays her hand on his.
He looks up at her, and she says, "Why does it matter?"
And Spock really has no answer to that, either.
Duodecimber 24th, and their shift has been over for 5.6 seconds when Spock steps up to the captain's chair. "If I may have a word—"
Jim, draped across the seat in that leonine way of his, snaps his fingers. "Yeoman."
At his side, Rand snaps to attention. "Sir."
"Commander Spock is requesting a meeting," and he smiles slow and mean into Spock's carefully blanked glare. "How's my calendar for today?"
Her eyes go flinty. "Full, sir."
"Even after shift?" Jim asks, voice ringing with false surprise.
"Tomorrow is Christmas, sir. You have twenty-two crew parties to attend in person and three on-planet parties to ring in to."
Spock allows one eyebrow to slowly rise. "Your yeoman keeps your calendar?"
Jim gives a careless shrug, and Rand says, "Out of pure self-defense. Sir."
"That's that, then. Unless it's of vital importance to ship's business," Jim says thoughtfully, head braced on his hand. "Is it, Mr. Spock?"
"Not as such," Spock says, words forced out between his teeth.
"Guess I'll catch you later then, commander," Jim says, sitting up.
He goes to stand, and just as he's risen to his feet from above their heads comes a familiar sharp twang. Jim's eyes flick up but Spock's stay focused on the man's face. Waiting.
Without looking at Spock, Jim tskes and nudges Rand forward. "Well, alright, but don't stay out too late, kids, or Santa won't bring you any presents." He has the nerve to pat Spock's shoulder as he makes for the lift. "Merry Christmas!"
"Felicitations," Spock growls.
It's better like this. Tomorrow, this farce will be over, and any questions regarding mistletoe will cease to factor into their working relationship. In any case, it's mere curiosity that prompts Spock's interest in Jim's motives, and furthermore—
Jim looks over his shoulder as the lift doors begin to slide shut, and for a brief moment his eyes meet Spock's.
The doors close, and Spock says, very levelly, "Mr. Chekov, you have the comm."
Jim is laughing, laughing at him as Spock wrenches the door to the captain's quarters back in its tracks and shoulders his way into the room, stalking forward as Jim backs away.
"I have to give you credit," he says with a wide, wicked grin, "you're fast," and his back hits the wall just as Spock reaches up to slam a hand against the bulkhead.
"It's on your head if I miss that conference call with the admiralty," Jim says, tilting his chin up as Spock crowds into him.
"I find that I currently do not care, captain," Spock grinds out. His eyes are fixed on the sly curve of Jim's lips as he leans forward, fully intending to finally take the kiss he's been taunted with.
Jim lays a hand against his throat and Spock stops, their mouths are so close he can feel Jim's next huff of laughter as a warm exhalation against his lips.
"Changed your mind, have you?" Jim murmurs, hands sliding back to run up the sensitive line of Spock's neck, dragging through his hair and bracing themselves on each side of his face keep him close. "Kissing me's not such a bad— ungh, God—"
Spock is on fire, or perhaps it's the room, air gone hot and thin as he presses forward, hands under Jim's thighs lifting him up and Spock's weight pinning him to the wall. He takes the breathless sounds spilling out of Jim's mouth and swallows them whole, subsumes them into a kiss that's teeth and thrusting tongues, Jim giving way to Spock until the only things coming out of his mouth are low moans and cut-off curses.
"Vulcans don't kiss with their mouths, right?" Jim pants, head falling back as his hips rock up restlessly into Spock's. "My compliments, ngh, to Uhura—"
Spock fixes his teeth into the vulnerable stretch of skin laid bare, and Jim lets a gasping "Ah, fuck," slip loose.
"I could say that I was respecting your boundaries," he offers, fingers digging into Spock's shoulders. "That I—oh, there, yeah— I knew it would make you uncomfortable."
"But that," Spock murmurs, words breathed low and intimate between them, "is not why. Is it?"
"I wanted you to come to me," Jim says in a rush, "Oh God, come on, Spock," and Spock allows himself the pleasure of forcing Jim quiet, reducing him to ragged breaths and then, eventually, to silence.