"Keptin! A moon shuttle is coming alongside, zey say zey have a package marked "Urgent" zat zey must deliver today. It is addressed to you, Ser." The rosy-faced, curly-headed, 15- or 17-year-old Russian Ensign reported.
"Excellent, Mr Chekov," replied the golden-tawnyhaired hazel-blue-eyed blonde. "I wasn't expecting one, but packages are always fun. Dispatch an ensign to take delivery of the package."
"Captain, may I remind you that all unescorted postal material is subject to preventive confiscation and 24 hours quarantine under guard of Security Personnel?" came the chocolate-toned baritone of his First Officer as he turned from the Science Station, directing his warm molasses gaze towards his Captain and Friend (and hopefully more).
"Yes, Mr Spock, I am aware of that. I meant, of course, a Security Ensign." Kirk directed one of his patented wistful Kirk-smiles towards his First.
His First's eyes warmed and shone and smiled back at him, in that way that only Kirk could read (after the 3-year course in Reading Vulcan Facial Non-Expressions In Order to Avoid Grave Diplomatic Incidents and Inconvenient Nerve Pinches-not to mention three years of adoring secret glances on the Bridge, in the Officer's mess, over the chess board, on away missions between one phaser burst and onother).
In turn, Kirk's amber/emerald eyes sent back a smoldering sapphire gaze.
"Ah-Ser?" Chekov repeated for the fourth time. "Keptin?"
"Oh-sorry, Mr Chekov," finally answered Kirk distractedly. "I, ah, was considering-er-warp core-er--nacelle's, um...fuel consumption. Report, Ensign."
"Yes, Ser! The package has been delivered Ser. It is under guard in the Brig."
"And it hasn't even done anything yet!" McCoy, that caustic, bitchy, golden-hearted Old Country Doctor burst onto the Bridge. "Godammit, Jim! This "shoot and ask questions later" policy is gonna get you StarFleet cowboys in trouble one day! I demand that you release that package, or I'll write it up in my Weekly Medical Report to Fleet Headquarters!" the Doctor fumed.
"Doctor, your emotions will surely be your undoing," Spock observed mildly, at which McCoy turned puce in face.
"Maybe there's something in the package that interests him," mused the Captain, studying his CMO from under his indecently long, silky, golden lashes. "Perhaps something...alcoholic? Romulan ale? Saurian brandy?" The Captain perked up at the thought of a couple of evening drinks with his crotchety but golden-hearted faithful friend and ex Academy roommate.
"Let's go interrogate the package!" he cried and sprang with alacrity from his Captain's chair (that chair that figured so prominently in his fantasies regarding his First Officer). "Mr Sulu, you have the conn!"
"Aye, Sir," replied the gorgeous, inscrutable Asian, with a smoldering glance towards the bubbly, virginal Chekov.
"And remember that Mr Chekov is under age!" yelled McCoy as they whooshed out the door.
Sulu rolled his eyes. Uhura rolled her eyes, causing one of her false eyelashes to detach and her precipitous exit from the bridge, while Sulu sent a wolfish glance towards the Russian.
The trio made their way to the Brig. The guard saluted and opened the door to a reinforced, lead-lined room where the offending package sat alone in the middle of a plain table.
"It's already been x-rayed and ultrasounded Sir."
"Shoulda brought my stethoscope," quipped McCoy sarcastically, only to realize that Spock had applied one of his elegantly pointed ears to one side of the box. His more-than-humanly sensitive hearing was ever at his Captain's service, as were all his faculties and body parts other than the ears (certain body parts were still to be employed or...test-
"Oh come on, Spock!" laughed Jim, grabbing the box off the table and shaking it. "Where's your sense of adventure?"
"Captain, I must protest. Although until now the package has shown no evidence of a dangerous nature, there would still be several examinations to perform...."
"Yeah, I shoulda brought my stethoscope...." Muttered McCoy.
Chastened (but not much), Kirk replaced the box. He sent a grateful, wistful, adoring (not to mention hotter-than-Vulcan) glance Spock's way.
Spock sent back a molten gaze from his deep obsidian flame-lit orbs.
They became lost in contemplation, one of silky raven locks, thinking of running fingers through; one of the Evil Green wraparound, thinking of nipples ( and running fingers over).
"Ah-hem!" came from McCoy.
Kirk jumped. Dorky, innocent smile in place, he answered, "Yes, Bones?"
Spock raised the elegant slanted Vulcan eyebrow and replied, "Yes, Doctor?"
"Shall we get on with it? That is what we came for."
"Um? Yeah. Package. By all means. Fuck,yeah."
McCoy rolled his eyes, sighed, and turned to see his Jim tearing the wrappings off the package with abandon.
Spock, entranced, observed him in total worship.
"Stop it!" growled McCoy. Spock regarded him mildly.
"Hey! Now what's this?" asked Kirk, holding up a brownish, furry object.
McCoy grasped a bit of fur and turned it. "Huh. Fangs. Looks like a stuffed sea lion to me."
"Your cultural abysses continue to amaze me, Doctor," huffed Spock (except, of course, that Vulcans do not huff). "it is a stuffed sehlat."
"Well, that's obviously for you. And this? This-these-must be for Sulu...hey! They move!!" exclaimed Jim, holding a smaller box from which emerged several greenish fronds, waving and undulating in the air as if searching for something. They latched happily onto Jim's hands, twining themselves delicately about his wrists. "You two ever see anything like these? Ha ha-they tickle!"
"Interesting," remarked the Doctor.
Oddly enough, that supreme scientist Spock said nothing, not even "Fascinating". In fact, he seemed struck dumb, a fact amazing in itself. His habitually impassive expression had not changed-but his face had gone several shades of green in rapid succession and now blazed a fiery emerald. And, even more strangely-the whites could be seen around the black pools of his eyes.
Bones was alarmed. He feared that such changes could herald a violent attack of...something...in a Vulcan. Bones wracked his brain. He was, frankly, unfamiliar with the symptoms.
"Spock?" Kirk fixed his friend with a concerned look, forgetting the tiny green-plants?-he was holding (or that were holding him). Then, intuitively: "Do you know something about these?" He held out his hands towards his XO.
And lo the fronds glommed onto Spock's hands as well in a nanosecond. He closed his eyes and shuddered violently. Something went "Ding!" in McCoy's memory.
"Wait a minute! What you did right then-that's-that's arousal! "
"Doctor, please." Spock's eyes were still closed.
"And before-when you turned all shades of green-that was...embarrassment!"
Spock actually sighed. Minimally.
Kirk gazed at him and thought of sighs. And moans.
"And these-" the Doctor said "-these are...."
"Frals!!" McCoy crowed triumphantly.
Silence. Spock had become a marble Vulcan. McCoy was enthralled by the fronds. Jim was clueless.
"Frals." Then, taken by scientific curiousity, Bones murmured, "But how in the Dickens did they manage-Spock, how do they grow them? I mean, ah...detached, so to speak."
"Vulcan staminal cells, Doctor."
"Ah. I see."
Relieved that his Vulcan had not lost the power of speech, although he was still doing a creditable imitation of Lot's wife, Kirk said, "Spock. Explain. Or Bones. One of you."
McCoy snickered evilly. "I'll let him explain ‘em. He's the expert. I'm outta here. And, Captain? Treat them nicely-after all...They're alive, Jim."
Vulcans do not roll their eyes.
As the Doctor left, Kirk turned to Spock, whose hands were still bound to his by the frals. "Spock. Embarassed? You? And-ah-the other. I think we need to talk."
"Indeed, Captain. This is, however, neither the place nor the time I would consider optimum for an explanation of...this phenomenon."
The frals, sneaky little things, seemed actually to take up on the emotions of the moment and slithered back into their box.
Kirk was carefully repositioning the small container inside the larger box, preparatory to placing the stuffed sehlat beside it, when he spied an envelope on the bottom.
He took it out, turned it over, and remarked, "There's no name on it." He held it up, tried to see through it, then shook it as he had the box.
"Captain, please be careful. That may contain some toxic substance or bacteria."
But Jim, as usual, was having no care for possible dangers in the face of possible exploration and knowledge. He opened the envelope (away from his nose, at least) and peered inside (from a distance).
"Nothing. Just a folded sheet of paper."
"Naah, what for? My instinct says it's not dangerous."
Vulcans do not roll their eyes.
Removing and unfolding the paper, he read, "Dear Captain--Please deliver these
two articles to the Most Excellent TLara. They were I believe lacking in her story. Many thanks-T'Oyboh."