“Jim, where are you going? The party barely started.”

Jim paused at the not so subtle condemnation in his CMO’s tone. But as his gaze swept across the rec room one more time and landed on Spock and Uhura, arms around each other, as they socialized with everyone else at the party, he was reminded as to why he considered that position on Yorktown.

“Not feeling very celebratory.”

Bones followed his gaze and then back to Jim’s face. His expression was not without sympathy even if his words were a bit. “You need to get beyond it, Jim. You can’t keep letting it eat you up. It’ll effect your duties.”

“It’s not,” Jim snapped.

“I didn’t say it was. I said it will. You didn’t heed my advice and get them transferred, so you gotta buck up and accept it. Move on.”

Jim nodded. “I have. I had a grand old time just last month on shore leave with Areel Shaw.”

“Is that serious?”

He snorted. ‘Nah, not really.” He grabbed up a glass of what Sulu had declared was Holiday Spiced Punch and a plate that contained about a dozen decorated cut-out cookies. “I’m off to my quarters, Bones.”

“You’re going to have a belly ache,” Bones called after him.

“Yeah, yeah.”

He made it back to his quarters without being accosted by anyone and the minute he did, he stuffed a cookie, in the shape of Santa’s boot, into his mouth. He set the punch down and went to his wardrobe to get out of his uniform, munching absently on the cookie. He opened a drawer and discovered a square-shaped box neatly wrapped in shiny red paper with a glossy green bow around it.

Jim pulled it out, smiling. Had to have been Bones, he thought.

There was a tag, well, a folded card anyway, so he lifted it up and saw the words To: Jim From: Spock.

Now that was weird. Spock? Give him a gift?

He brought it to the bed and sat down to open it. Inside was a knitted sweater, one that Spock’s mom had made for Spock, Jim recognized it as one Spock wore frequently, when casual, which was still not that frequently. He lifted it up and a note fell out.

I understand that sometimes a treasured possession given as a gift to another can be a way to declare ones intentions and warmer feelings. If you share those warmer feelings I ask that you wear this to the holiday gathering. If you do not, I will know.

Oh crap. No wonder Spock wouldn’t look at him. Not the entire night.

Jim hurriedly tore off his uniform shirts and slipped the sweater over his head. It smelled of Spock. He grabbed another cookie on the way out, and scrambled back to the rec room, hoping it would not be too late.

The door opened as he approached and out came Spock. He stared at Jim.

“I do,” Jim said, breathless. “I feel everything. My feelings aren’t just warmer they’re burning up.”

For far too long Spock continued to stare, wordlessly. And Jim started thinking he’d gotten it all wrong after all.

Then Spock’s lips quirked upward, his arm reached out, his hand extended, and he grabbed onto that sweater, pulling Jim toward him. Their lips met. And somewhere, Jim heard music.

“It’s the holiday music from the party,” Spock said, amused, against his lips. “Did you want to go back inside?”

“Hell no. I have cookies in my quarters. Let’s go there.”