Okay, so, maybe Kirk shouldn’t have had that snort of bourbon with Bones earlier.
Well, one would have been all right, and the second one probably didn’t hurt--much. The third one definitely was a bad idea.
You simply do NOT giggle at a Vulcan bonding ceremony. Not when the Grande Dame, T’Pau, is officiating.
And absolutely NOT when you are one of the participants!
But standing out in a clearing surrounded by a bunch of big rocks, dressed in a BATHROBE, for cryin’ out loud with Spock’s father on one side, and Bones on the other, plus Scotty and Uhura behind them as witnesses…it was hard not to giggle. The three (three?) belts of bourbon, and maybe that wee nip o’ fine scotch, weren’t helping matters.
Kirk took a deep breath to calm himself, and only heard T’Pau saying “thee” this and “thine” that and “thou” something else. He stifled a giggle, and then tried desperately to hide the choking sound.
“Face one another,” ordered T’Pau.
As Kirk turned to Spock, he met that familiar expression. The silliness, the nervousness, the anxiety, it fell away. Spock! There was the acknowledgement of all that was right about this in Spock’s eyes.
Kirk became stone sober instantly.
“James, does thee willingly consent to the bond of consortium with Spock?”
“Spock, does thee willingly consent to the bond of consortium with James?”
“Attend one another.”
Kirk extended the first two fingers of his right hand towards Spock. He was met with the first two fingers of Spock’s right hand. Oh, yes, there was indeed a spark at their touch, and it was welcomed by both.
“I announce to all that James and Spock have consented to the consortium bond. This is mere formality, a recognition in public of their joining. The actual bond will be forged between them in their privacy, where body, mind, and soul of both shall become one.
“It is so.”
# # #
They were all back at Sarek’s house for the Vulcan equivalent of a reception. Bones immediately started grumbling about the dress uniform. “If I’m being strangled to death, you must be dying of heat stroke in those hot robes!”
Kirk leaned over to his friend and spoke sotto voce, “Do you know how Vulcans tolerate these robes?”
McCoy shook his head “no.”
Kirk lowered his voice even more, barely above a whisper. “They’re NAKED underneath!”
Bones doubled over and squawked with a hoarse belly laugh. He had matched Kirk drink for drink before the ceremony, plus he had fortified himself with a few more. While he wasn’t completely in the bag, he was absolutely feeling it, and the mental picture from Jim’s remark just tore him to pieces.
He realized that he was behaving outrageously, and tried to compose himself. But he’d barely get squared away, and the snorts would begin, and he’d start laughing anew.
Kirk shrugged to the others and said, “He’s so uncomfortable in the dress uniform!” and escorted McCoy down the guest wing hall to the room where Sarek had placed him the day before.
Once inside the bedroom, McCoy shoved Kirk’s shoulder—hard. The blow was inconsequential, because McCoy was still laughing. “Jim, you son-of-a-bitch, you!”
The only answer was a smirk. “Get out of your monkey suit, you’ll feel better. But hurry, I think there’s food!”
Later, after stuffing themselves with Vulcan cuisine and freely imbibing from the various alcoholic and fruit-based beverages, Kirk caught Spock’s eye and motioned his head. “Wanna go change?”
“That is agreeable.”
They both went into a small bedroom directly off the parlor where the gathering was.
And they were gone.
And they were gone.
And they were gone!
Conversation dwindled, and the group started looking at each other with questions on their faces.
The silence in the parlor permitted the noises from the bedroom to become audible.
There was thumping and muffled conversation.
Individuals started gravitating towards the door.
The closer they got, the clearer the conversation became.
“No, I can’t.”
“Yes, you can.”
“It doesn’t work, I tried, I’ve been trying.”
“There was no difficulty earlier.”
“I’m telling you Spock, it isn’t working!”
“Perhaps if the contents were placed inside in a more orderly fashion?”
McCoy—or maybe it was Scotty—choked.
“Let me get on top.”
“No, that is not correct.”
“I’m telling you, it doesn’t work!”
“I shall attempt to get on top, then.”
“See, it doesn’t work for you, either!”
All the guests were now with their ears glued to the bedroom door.
“I know, I know, I know! We can BOTH get on top!”
Bones yelled, “In the interest of medical science, this I have to see!”
McCoy popped open the door, and all the guests landed in a big pile on the floor. Every eye focused on the bed.
There on the bed, Spock and Kirk were fully dressed, seated on an overstuffed duffel bag that would not fasten because of the protruding clothes.
Kirk looked at Spock and said, “I told you.”
Spock raised one eyebrow and replied, “I truly did not expect them to respond that way.”
The pair looked at the pile of foolish people and said in unison, “Gotcha!”
Sarek stepped into the doorway. “If you two are finished with this practical joke nonsense, the flitter is ready for you to take to your retreat.”