“Captain! If you do not desist from this foolish course of action, I will be forced to restrain you.” I placed a hand on my commanding officer’s sleeve, ready to prevent him from transporting down to the planet.
“Spock? What’s gotten into you? Why are you all of a sudden convinced that I need to remain aboard? I have been on hundreds of away missions. This is a completely standard beam-down, not even remotely hazardous. What’s wrong?” His brow pulled together and his lips turned slightly downward as he attempted to understand my reaction.
“Captain, I assure you I have no intention of preventing you from joining the shore party. I merely request that you alter your attire. When you are more appropriately dressed in your normal command shirt, I will make no attempt to stop you.”
“Spock. It’s Christmas. This is what humans do to celebrate the holidays; they dress up in a festive manner. You have adapted to all of our other human ‘frailties’, I am at a loss to understand this overreaction. ” He turned toward me, tilting his head questioningly to the side when I refused to release his arm. He tried again.
“Spock, Uhura gave me this shirt as a gift, it would be incredibly rude of me not to put it to good use. Besides, it’s warmer and more comfortable than my normal gear, and Gormativ Six is chilly this time of year… … Wait a minute ... …”
He narrowed his eyes at me, watching me glare at the offensive article of clothing. “Do you have a problem with this sweater simply because Uhura gave it to me? …”
His eyes were not angry, they were curious. He hesitated, uncertainty making his next words come out slowly. “ … Spock … You’re not jealous are you?”
I was completely taken aback. Where would my captain have gotten that idea? I spoke quickly to dissuade his ridiculous notion. “I assure you captain, Vulcans are incapable of the emotion of jealousy, and even if we were, there is no logical reason to become jealous over a length of fabric.”
My captain could tell that I was telling the truth. However, he did not seem relieved as I thought he would be. He seemed… Disappointed? Fascinating. What reason would my captain have to wish an illogical emotion on me? And what possible reason would he think I had for begrudging him a gift from a female friend?
“Oh.” He shook himself out of my grasp, his eyes unreadable. “Very well then, Mr. Spock, if you are unable to offer me a logical reason why my attire is “inappropriate”, I think this landing party had better beam down.” He turned to go, purposefully striding away from me.
“NO!” I lost control. I felt myself grab ahold of my captain and slam him against the wall. He would NOT beam down to any planet surface while I was around. Not while it was so dangerous for him. I knew, should I allow him to beam down, there was an 87% chance that would be the last time I saw him. I was NOT about to allow those odds, when such a simple solution would save my T’h… my captain from danger. I struggled to restore my calm exterior as I looked deep into his strangely appealing eyes.
“Jim, I ask you not to force me to become insubordinate… … Please…” I forced the word out. “… Please… go put on your normal attire.” He leaned in closer, the faint smell of coffee distracting my focus as I slowly forced myself back into control. I closed my eyes as I spoke again.
“Captain, I cannot bear the idea of you going to needlessly into danger when all that I request is an exchange of clothing.” How could he not understand?
“I don’t understand, Spock.” His voice was soft, and I could hear concern and … something… else… in his voice while I gently released him. He frowned again as I stepped away, as if he objected to the loss of our proximity. He stepped closer to me, closing the gap I created.
“Spock. Talk to me. Why am I in danger?” I glanced nervously towards the rest of the landing party, then leaned in and whispered in his ear.
“Captain. This sweater Ms. Uhura so kindly gave you is RED.” Jim Kirk’s eyes grew wide and he also glanced nervously towards the landing party, at the two ensigns who were also unfortunate enough to be clad in that disastrous shade. He then glanced down at his sweater, as if he realized only now the great danger he had been putting himself in. He cleared his throat uncomfortably.
“Red, did you say Mr. Spock?”
“Affirmative Captain.” I nodded, relieved that he finally understood.
“I… see… “ He shifted toward the rest of the crew. “Mr. Spock has informed me that Ms. Uhura would be quite upset if I were to soil her lovely shirt on a mission, and has requested that I change. I will return shortly.” He turned on his heels and fled the transporter room.