“Whose name did you get for the gift exchange?”
Jim looked up from the annoying message from Admiral Chang to frown at Bones. His friend sat across from him sipping a muddy looking cup of coffee. “Spock’s.”
Bones rolled his eyes. “Like that wasn’t rigged.”
“Oh. It absolutely was. I figured Spock would be the only one guaranteed not to be disappointed with whatever I gave him. He doesn’t care about that stuff. In fact, Uhura twisted his arm to get him to participate at all.” He smiled. “So, yep, very much rigged.”
“What are you getting him?”
“I don’t know. She’s going to ask him what he wants.”
“Jim, could you try to make some effort here.”
“I’m busy, Bones. Do you know what it takes to captain this ship? I don’t have time to be playing ‘Here Comes, Santa Claus’ or whatever Uhura decided to call this crap this year. I only agreed if I could have either Spock or you. She chose Spock.”
“Wait.” Bones grimaced. “You didn’t care about disappointing me?”
“Eh. You’ve been disappointed by me our entire friendship.”
Bones nodded. “Touché.”
Jim nodded absently and went back to the message.
“Don’t you want to know whose name I got?” Bones asked, poking him with his right boot.
“Huh?” Jim looked up. “Oh. Uh. Yeah. Me, I’m guessing.”
“Why would you guess that?”
“Uhura handed out the names, right? She’s not going to give my name to some quaking ensign who’s worried about getting me the perfect gift or he or she will be demoted. Which is patently ridiculous by the way.”
“I know that.”
“I’m sure she gave Spock her own name. So I figure she must have given mine to you.”
“She didn’t.” Bones frowned. “Why would she give Spock her name? They broke up. She’s seeing Scotty now.”
“I know that. But Scotty is going to get her a gift anyway, right? So she’d choose someone else for the exchange. Spock knows her better than anyone, given their history, and so he’s the logical choice.”
“You’ve been hanging out with Spock too much lately. No, she didn’t give me your name, by the way. I don’t know if Spock has her, but I know I don’t have you. I got Sulu.”
“Wait. What? Then who has my name?”
“It’s a mystery.” Bones stared at him. “What’s wrong? You seem off. Well, more off than usual.”
“Funny. Nothing serious. Just annoyed with Chang. Extra reports nobody needs over missions nobody cared about. Fond of red tape and bureaucracy as usual.”
“Well he made admiral younger than anyone ever has before. Probably thinks he has to justify himself. You ought to know how that is.”
“Yeah.” Jim sighed. “Then Mom said the roof is leaking on the farmhouse.”
He shrugged. “I’m not there to fix it for her.”
“I’m sure she can call someone, Jim.”
“She can, yeah. But…” Jim shook his head. “Just, I feel bad.”
Bones squeezed his arm. “The holidays can do that to a person. I’ll leave you to your PADD for now. Let me know what you come up with for Spock.”
It was much later that Jim got back to his quarters. After a bout of rather heavy drinking with Bones, Scotty and Chekov.
As he turned to go down the corridor he saw Uhura talking to Spock.
“I wanted to ask you about the gift exchange.”
He stopped just out of their view to listen. He had thought she would be a little more discreet about finding out what Spock wanted for a gift, but what the hell. The information was the information.
A door behind him slid open with a loud buzz. Jim glanced at it in annoyance. No one came out of the conference room though, the door was opening and closing itself, obviously a malfunction, but it made it hard to overhear what Spock and Uhura were saying.
Jim scratched his head. What? Was Spock actually saying he wanted tequila for a gift? Spock didn’t drink, did he? Well. He had some fruity looking concoction at Jim’s birthday party after Altamid, but he’d assumed it was juice or something.
He was pretty sure Scotty could hook him up with tequila if that was what Spock wanted.
He leaned heavily against the wall as he heard Uhura say goodnight to Spock and head down the corridor in the other direction.
Good, now he could move. In a second or two.
He tried to open his eyes and straighten at the sound of Spock’s voice, but he just couldn’t do it.
“You are intoxicated.”
Strong arms wrapped around him and Jim had to admit Spock smelled live heaven.
“I am not certain what heaven smells like, but I appreciate the sentiment.”
“Come, Captain, I will take you to your quarters.”
“Rather go to yours,” he muttered.
The room kind of spun and Jim wasn’t sure what happened next, but suddenly he was on a bed. And it was super hot in the room.
“Computer, lower temperature ten percent.”
Jim smiled faintly. “Thanks, sweetheart.”
“You are welcome.” There was a long pause. “How do you feel?”
“Kind of woozy.”
“You imbibed a lot?”
“Bones. Mom’s roof leaks and Chang’s a pain in my ass.”
“If you feel overwhelmed by required tasks I will gladly assist you.”
Jim felt suddenly emotional and tears pricked his eyes. “Yeah?”
He felt a cool hand on his fevered brow. “Jim, what is the meaning of your tears?”
“I just…I really want you to like me, Spock.”
“You are a silly human.”
“You have nothing to worry over. I like you.”
“Not the way I like you.”
“Yes, that way.”
Jim frowned. “Do you really want tequila?”
“So you spent the night in Spock’s bed?” Bones demanded in the morning as he pushed coffee at Jim.
“Yeah. Cause when I told him I would rather stay in his quarters, he took me at my word.”
“You two are hopeless.”
Jim smiled. “At least we now know.”
Bones gave him a look. “What do we know?”
Jim rolled his eyes. “We like each other.”
“Like huh. So Spock’s tongue in your mouth this morning in the turbolift was to show you how much he liked you?”
“Yep.” Jim chuckled. “Plus he was offering to help me with reports.”
“So now you two are sweethearts for life?”
Jim laughed. “Something like that.”
Spock looked at bottle of tequila he had just unwrapped to stare at his captain. The last few days had been full of wonder and contentment. But even he found this gift from Jim puzzling.
“Was that the right thing?” Jim asked, anxiously. He was wringing his hands and looking very uncomfortable.
Jim nodded. “I-I heard you tell Uhura that you wanted tequila.”
Nyota blinked at him. “Tequila?”
“In the corridor.” Jim bit his lip. He was starting to get that panicked look that concerned Spock. “You asked and he said…”
“T’hy’la,” Spock whispered.
Nyota covered her mouth with her hand.
Jim’s eyes widened. “I got it wrong, didn’t I?”
Spock took Jim’s hand and drew him close until they were under the mistletoe Nyota had put up in the rec room. “No, T’hy’la. You got it exactly right.”
“Wait,” McCoy exclaimed. “Who had Jim’s name?”
Nyota smiled and winked. “I did. I gave him Spock.”
Spock kissed Jim.
“Oh. And Spock gave him the complete works of Charles Dickens. It’s under the tree.”
Jim kissed Spock.
And in the background the song, “Here Comes Santa Claus” played for the tenth time.