The waning moon is hanging low in the night sky. Snow is gently falling on the Starfleet Campus. Perfect for the last run before the new moon. Feeling the powder snow under my paws. Having the cold wind cut through my thick fur. Just me and nature blending until we are one. Instead I'm stuck inside at the politically correct named Academy Winter Party.
I got out of this party last year because of exams, but Chris wouldn't take no for an answer this time. So I put on a button-up dress shirt, dress pants, and dress shoes - all in black, plus a smile I know doesn't reach my eyes, and head over to the ballroom.
All the holidays are represented - Christmas trees, Menorahs for Hanukkah, Kwanzaa candles, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera. Don't want anyone to feel left out. What about the people who don't celebrate this time of year? The people who prefer to hold up in their room until the holiday season is over. People whose holidays consist of Frank, frightening loneliness from being packless, and the planet-that-must-not-be-named. Chris said I had to stay no less less than two hours, but he didn't say I had to enjoy it.
"Uhura," I say when I spot the linguist standing close to the front entrance. "You look quite fetching this evening." My eyes travel down her body, taking in her dress - deep red, strapless, high-waisted, knee-length - that looks beautiful on her.
Her lips twist up into a grim sneer, then in a voice that mixes cold and disgust in a way only she can, she says, "Go slobber on someone else, wolf boy."
Before I can hit the conversation ball back into her court, we're interrupted.
"Is this Cadet bothering you?"
Professor Spock, the bane of my existence, comes up behind me sending a slight tremor down my spine. I turn sideways so I can keep my eyes on both him and Uhura. Unsurprisingly, Spock is outfitted in the standard Vulcan robe, blue in color, though not the shade of his science uniform.
"No, she's fine," I say with a great big smile.
Spock's right eyebrow raises, bringing attention to his cat slit eyes and pointy ears, as if I could forget what is crawling through his DNA.
"He was just leaving," Uhura says with a little smile aimed right at him.
No way. She's crushing on him. Thought she'd have better taste than that. Smirking at her, I walk away.
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I flirt with anyone who crosses my path but keep my eyes on the lovebirds. They are never more than three feet apart, mainly on Uhura's part, but Spock is not without blame.
Maybe it's the cat part in Spock that clings to Uhura like she is his personal play toy.
"Stalking the only girl who said no to you," Bones says, coming up behind me and looking over my shoulder.
"More like her pet cat," I say, still staring at them. "She likes him."
Uhura hands Spock a cup of punch.
"And you're wondering where you can get a pair of those ears."
She laughs at something he says, but what he could have said that was funny is beyond me.
"I just don't know what she sees in him."
"Hobgoblin is a unique taste."
"Is it because he's a professor?" I ask finally, looking at Bones. "Is she hot for the teacher?"
He looks at me, then beyond me to the twosome. "You know he can hear us, right?"
"Damn Vulcan hearing," I mumble despite knowing said Vulcan will still hear me, then I walk off.
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After making my way around the room twice, I finally head over to the refreshment table, but the spread is disappointing. Most of the food I can identify only because I should know what to avoid because of my allergies, or I don't know what it is and can't chance eating it in case of an allergic reaction.
Reaching for the last MnM cookie, a hand beats me to it. I run my eyes up the arm and feel my fake smile fall at the sight of the face attached to the hand/arm. "Professor," I say, not quite keeping all the anger and hate out from my voice.
"Cadet," he responds in his most emotionless voice I believe he reserves just for me.
"Getting into the chocolate for the holidays?" Translation 'Are you getting drunk?'
"Cadet Kirk, what a professor chooses to do is of no business to you."
"It is when said professor takes the last cookie," I snap back before my brain or mouth filter can kick in.
"There are twenty other different desserts still available."
"And I'm for various reasons allergic to all 20 of them."
"Fascinating," Spock says before breaking the cookie in half then handing me one.
I quickly take it before he changes his mind. Taking a bite, I ask, "Didn't take you for someone who indulged in chocolate, or does it not affect you that much?"
He takes a small bite of his half of cookie as if he needs the courage to talk with me. Once he finally swallows, he answers, "My tolerance is higher than a full Vulcan."
"So you just get a little buzzed?"
"Tipsy, while others would be falling over themselves."
"Yes, I get a little buzzed."
"So you won't be dipping into the chocolate fountain and time soon?"
"No," Spock says then looks down at his cookie half. "These cookies remind me of a kind my mother makes."
"She got you drunk as a kid?"
"It is not any different than using whiskey on a tooth ache."
"If you say so," I say and finish my half of the last cookie. "Thank you for sharing." I walk away before this somewhat pleasant conversation turns into an argument.
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After a bit of looking, I find Chris lending against a wall. "It's been two hours," I inform him. "I'm leaving now."
"Didn't you have any fun?"
A picture of Spock biting a cookie flashes through my head before I can stop it. "It wasn't that bad."
"Alright. I'll see you later."
As I am walking towards the exit, a voice stops me in my tracks.
"Leaving already, Cadet?"
I turn to face the Vulcan professor walking up to me. "Yeah," I say as I run my fingers through my hair, trying to look tired so he'll let me go quickly. "I'm turning in early. With the moon waning..."
"Then good night, Cadet."
"Good night, Professor."
As I turn to leave, a voice calls out.
We look at each other, then at the source. An Asian man around my age is looking at a spot above our heads. "Mistletoe," he says.
I look up, sees the plant then looks back at Spock.
"Rules state there should be no relations between a professor and student," Spock says to the man while avoiding looking at me.
"Mistletoe clause," the man says with such conviction that you have to believe him.
Spock raises an eyebrow at that like he believes the guy.
"Go on," the man says with a smirk on his lips.
Finally Spock looks at me.
"You don't have to do this. It's a stupid human tradition," I say trying to convince him before I do something stupid like kiss him. "Whoever first thought of kissing under a poisonous plant must have been..."
I'm cut off by a chaste kiss on my lips.
"...crazy," completing my sentence mindlessly while trying to process what just happened.
"Good night again, Cadet," Spock says then walks away.
"Too bad about the no fraternizing rule," the guy says. "Because you would make a good couple."
"Really?" I ask looking over at Spock who has been once again claimed by Uhura.
"If that kiss was anything to go by," he confesses. "But I guess he could be worth the wait until you graduate."
"What’s your name?"
"James Kirk," I say. "I'm going now but want to have lunch later?"
"Trying to make the professor jealous?"
"No," I say trying not to blush but failing miserably.
"Right," Sulu says with a knowing smirk. "See you tomorrow in front of the Cochrane dorm building."
"Sure," I say then walk out of the room before things get any more weird.