Fandom: Star Trek TOS
Summary: A series of celebrations throughout the year. Written for ksadvent
Got a bit carried away! (as usual!) Instead of just the winter holidays, I ended up doing the entire year. Some of these are made up, others aren't. My personal favourite? Rumarie.
Oh, and much to my irritation, this was just too big for LJ, so it had to be split into two! Sorry for the inconvenience!
It’s pretty much a standard thing.
Each planet has their own culture, of course. They have their own history, their own religions and beliefs, and for almost every planet, their own celebratory holidays. Almost every planet has some kind of celebration for someone’s level of maturity. That seems to be the standard. It’s not necessarily every year, like Terran birthdays – sometimes it’s every five years, or maybe after certain rites of passage have been performed.
Any way people like to celebrate it, that’s the way Jim likes to celebrate it. Birthday parties can be booked in any of the recreation rooms, extra rations are available for said parties, and birthday boys and girls are always given their birthday and the next day off. With so many people aboard, it’s at least one birthday a day, and Jim likes it that way.
Then, of course, there are the religious holidays. For some, that means not working Tuesdays, and for others, it could mean three days off in March or April so that they can shut themselves in their rooms for solitary prayer and fasting. Jim’s personal favourite, which is a little known religion from a small planet, was Grayan, the festival of food and sex. As far as he was concerned, there was no better way to pay tribute to a deity than to spend an entire week eating and having sex.
The favourites on the ship were generally secular celebrations. Because they were usually very simple, most everyone could take part, and some celebrations could very well get out of hand. A wide variety of parties were booked every year, from the widely known Lohlunat right down to an obscure old Earth tradition that Scotty claimed to be called “St. Patrick’s Day.” When pressed further, he had admitted the celebration was Irish in origin, but wouldn’t say much else beside the fact that the only form of celebration seemed to be getting drunk.
“Are there any Vulcan holidays?” Jim asked Spock one bright and early Alpha shift. He was still slightly hung over at the time, despite Spock’s repeated warnings to cease drinking the night before. New Years was for celebration and alcohol, and Jim wasn’t going to waste a perfectly good excuse to get drunk without looking like a fool. It wasn't like he had the night to spend with someone special, so instead it was with a glass of alcohol.
“None similar to the one celebrated last night,” the Vulcan sounded disdainful.
Of course, the reaction was not the disinterest he might have hoped for. On the contrary, Jim looked extremely interested and leant forward, placing his forearms along his knees and bracing himself. He sounded excited, “So there are holidays? What kind?”
“Oh,” said Jim glumly after a pause of contemplation, “They sound depressing.”
“I fail to see how, given that all Vulcan practices are devoid of emotion, including negative feelings such as depression.”
“But there’s no actual celebrating going on,” Jim tapped his index finger to his chin, “Do you ever celebrate other planets’ holidays?”
“I have never been so inclined,” said Spock, looking very much like he’d like to get back to work, rather than standing in the middle of the bridge, discussing which crazy holidays he’d ever been involved with. People seemed to be ignoring them, but they were listening to their conversation. Spock could tell.
Unfortunately, Jim was about to make it worse, “I’m sure I could get you inclined if I wanted to,” he said in his typical manner and he accompanied it with a wink. Spock inwardly cringed at the outwardly lewd comment, but made no indication of it in his face. “You know what the best solution is? It’s a brand new year. We already have tonnes of parties and holidays planned! You’re hereby ordered to attend every single one of the major secular ones. Then we can find out which you like best and celebrate it every year.”
“I fail to see the purpose of this experiment.”
“Fun, Spock!” Jim smiled up at him, innocent, “You might find you enjoy trying new things. Don’t worry; I’ll be right there with you.” Without waiting for a reply, he snapped, “Dismissed,” and went back to his work.
It was with a heavy exhalation of breath that Spock returned to his post. It wasn’t from frustration, of course, since he was Vulcan, but nevertheless, he thought it was a suitable reaction to his situation. Thankfully, Jim had promised to also be in attendance at every one of these celebrations, which was good, given that most people wouldn’t appreciate the reticent Vulcan hovering at the edge of their parties.
Hope Day - Yanar
“I fail to see how it can be construed as a ‘major secular holiday’. Its inception is relatively new and has not yet been recognized by the Federation as an official holiday.”
Jim rolled his eyes, “Why do you need a reason to celebrate it? It’s not spreading through the universe at random, you know. People celebrate it because it’s a lovely festival.”
“And what does it entail?” Spock already knew, of course, but wanted Jim’s take on what he considered to be a waste of time.
“Well, on this day, you think of a wish, and as you think of it, you light this special candle they make. All day long, you try to be good to other people – you try and make their wishes come true, you see. And at the end of the day, you come back to your candle. Supposedly, if your candle is still lit, it means your wish will come true.” Jim looked up at him and smiled.
“Surely the lighting of so many candles would prove a fire hazard,” said Spock, as they neared their destination – the mess for their breakfast.
Jim chuckled, “Well, maybe. But there are always people in the mess, plus the automatic fire-dousing system.” They turned into the mess, and Spock observed the popularity of the festival. Already two of the tables in the mess were filled with lit candles. It made the room much warmer, as they burned with a bright flame and gave off a lot of heat. “Want to make a wish?” the Captain asked him, looking excited.
“There is no harm in doing it, irrational as it is,” he said in the end, and was surprised when he was immediately handed a candle. It was quite heavy for its size, and was a pale green colour.
“I got it for you at our last stopover,” Jim smiled his one-sided smile and gave him a knife, “Now you carve your name into the bottom of it.”
Spock did so with neat Vulcan characters. A glance at Jim’s saw him carving his own (rather messily) into the bottom of a thick golden coloured candle. When finished, the Captain walked over to a clear table, carefully setting up his candle. Spock placed his next to Jim’s and watched as the human pulled out a book of matches. Where he had gotten them, Spock did not know. They were extremely archaic and inefficient, but nonetheless, Jim closed his eyes and appeared to be in very deep concentration before he flicked his fingers and lit the match. He pressed the flame to the wick of the candle and they both watched as it caught and flared to life. “Your turn,” said Jim and handed him the matchbook, “Visualize your wish really well, as detailed as you can. Keep that vision in your mind when you light the candle.”
Spock was unsure of what to wish for, but not wanting to disappoint the Captain, he looked at his candle, sitting next to Jim's and thought quite hard about what he might want. In the end, he opted for something that wouldn’t matter whether it came true or not. He visualized an experiment he had been trying succeeding. He didn’t expect it to, hence the wish being frivolous, but it would certainly not do any harm to place the wish.
He lit the candle with the matches handed to him, and Jim smiled and nodded at them before they went to breakfast.
The remainder of that day was very strange. People all over were being more than courteous to each other. People were being nice, even to the ever-stoic Vulcan. It unnerved Spock more than a little, and by the end of shift, he was ready to snap at the next person to offer him coffee or a biscuit. Jim, however, seemed to be basking in it, though Spock couldn’t see much of a change in the Captain’s own behaviour.
It was only logical, he mused to himself as he pored over Star Charts late that afternoon. The Captain was already as generous and understanding as his station would allow. Kindness could only be taken to a certain point before it became a detriment to the running of a ship. Spock heard a Yeoman approaching with what appeared to be a plate full of miniature cakes, and warned her off with an exceptionally stern stare. Her smile faltered slightly and she changed course. Satisfied, Spock went back to work.
He and the Captain went to supper together, as they did every evening. The room was fairly crowded – especially since there were now four tables taken up by burning and extinguished candles. Estimating the number of candles on the tables, Spock estimated that 82% of the crew were taking part in the festival – or people were placing multiple candles.
“Still burning,” said Jim, where he stood on Spock’s left.
Spock looked to where their candles stood in the middle of one table. Both of them were still lit, though more than half melted. The tables themselves were coated in thick streaks of wax, and Spock was glad of the extremely efficient air circulation system for keeping the smoke in the room to a minimum. “Yes,” he told the Captain, “though approximately 57.8% of candles placed atop the tables are not.”
“Guess they weren’t nice enough,” laughed Jim, “here, do you want to go to my quarters for supper? It’s a bit crowded in here. And a bit hot, though I suppose you like this temperature.”
“I do,” said Spock, but then inclined his head, “but I would not be averse to dining in your quarters, as it is quite loud in here.”
So they went to Jim’s quarters and had a leisurely meal, followed by an impromptu game of chess. They were halfway through the game when Jim asked, rather suddenly, “What did you wish for, Spock?”
Remembering what he had been told by various acquaintances about making wishes before, Spock said, “Will telling you supposedly decrease the probability of my wish coming true?”
Jim laughed at him delightedly, “Fine, you got me there. You’re not supposed to tell anyone your wish.”
“I suppose then, that if I inquire, you will not tell me what you wished for,” said the Vulcan in all seriousness.
“Nope,” said Jim, “If it comes true, I’ll tell you. Otherwise, it’s a secret!”
Spock accepted this, but couldn’t ignore the way Jim kept shooting him glances from underneath his eyelashes. Being observant enough to notice this did not help his still rudimentary skills at understanding emotions from facial expressions, so he did not fully understand why Jim would be looking at him in a way he had heard someone describe as “wistful” once in the past. It must have been a mistake on his part.
When Spock left Jim’s quarters for the night, Jim came with him. “You’re supposed to see if the candle’s still lit right before you go to bed,” the Captain explained, and led him to the mess. There were not many people in there this time, and Spock’s eyes scanned the now mostly-cleared tables. Most of the unlit candles had now been removed, and their wax scraped from the table tops. There were approximately forty-nine candles remaining lit, and in the center of one of the tables, there was a green one and a gold one, burning side by side. The fact that they were both still lit was surprising, given the odds, but not inexplicable. The placement in the middle of this particular table must have offered them the greatest protection from unexpected gusts of wind or other disturbances.
For his part, Jim seemed ecstatic, though his excitement was contained, given their proximity to other crew members. Spock watched as the human approached their candles, observing the way that the wax of them had melted together so that at points they even seemed to be one candle, burning with two wicks. They were almost completely burnt out, melted wax pooling about them on the table and mixing in some places. “Spock,” said Jim, and he moved to stand next to him, “Time to blow them out. I don’t want to accidentally blow yours out...because then you’ll lose your wish.”
“We should both blow out our candles at the same time then,” said Spock and leaned forward. Jim did as well, counting backwards from three before huffing a great breath of air forward to blow out his flame. Spock gently extinguished his with a controlled stream of air. That done, he re-straightened. “When will our wishes come true?” he inquired, and observed how Jim’s eyes crinkled at the edges with amusement.
“Whenever they’re supposed to,” he said in reply, and pried the now-tiny candles off the table.
Spock experiment was a success the next day, and though he assured Jim that it was a coincidence, the Captain didn’t seem to be taking that as a viable explanation.
St. Valentine’s Day - Earth
It was traditional to exchange gifts such as cards, flowers or chocolates with the one or ones whom you love. Jim explained to him that it meant different things to different people, and that some crew members would probably give Valentines to all of their friends, or perhaps even the entire ship. Others felt it was a more intimate holiday, and only shared it with the one they loved the most.
Spock couldn’t think of anyone to whom he might give a valentines gift. The person he was closest with on the ship would certainly be the Captain, though Spock very much doubted that there would ever be a romantic relationship there. Though they certainly had sufficient closeness for it, there were many issues preventing it, not the least of which being Jim’s apparent heterosexuality. It was not worth dwelling on, Spock thought, and so he didn’t. When he was unable to think of someone to celebrate with, he informed Jim, who smiled in what seemed a sad way and told him that that was okay.
“Have you selected someone with whom to celebrate?” he asked the Captain in return.
“Well, there’s someone I’d like to celebrate with, but I don’t think that it’ll happen.” Spock gave him an inquisitive look, and Jim continued with a laugh that didn’t seem mirthful, “I don’t think they want to celebrate with me. And that’s completely fine; I understand their position on it.”
“Why do they not want to celebrate with you, Jim?” Spock asked with genuine concern buried deep in his chest, and added the Captain’s first name to the end of the sentence, as he had found that this encouraged him to share more information.
The blonde man gave a sort of half-shrug, “I don’t think they like me how I like them. And I’m not mad or anything, of course. That sometimes happens.”
“I have heard of a practise known as “secret admiring”, amongst females on this ship.”
There was a chuckle, and then, “I imagine you’ll be getting a few of those yourself, Mr Spock,” said Jim, with a smile, “From all the girls who have a crush on you, but are too afraid to approach you themselves.”
“Can you not send one of these secret Valentines to your chosen partner?” Spock asked, ignoring the last comment.
“I could,” laughed Jim, though he looked a bit incredulous. “I’ll consider it, I guess.”
They arrived on the Bridge shortly thereafter, and went to their respective stations for the duration. True to Jim’s prediction, Spock did receive three anonymous valentines. Two of them were sent electronically, and one had been placed on his seat when he had returned from lunch. Interestingly, no one seemed to have seen the person who had left it, which surprised Spock, given that Nurse Chapel was not a regular on the bridge and would certainly have been noticed by other people on duty.
It was fairly obvious that it was from her, despite the card being signed “your secret admirer”. He could easily recognize her handwriting from her signatures on medical reports, and it fit with his previous observations of her behaviour. The card itself was rather small and unobtrusive, a light pink colour, cut into the socially accepted, but anatomically incorrect shape of a human heart. The inside seemed to be clichéd professions of love, similar to the ones he had received earlier, and as such, he set it aside and got back to work.
Around 1400, he found his mind beginning to wander. Briefly, he looked over to where the Captain was graciously accepting a box of chocolates from a young ensign, somehow managing to appear appreciative without encouraging further romantic behaviour. Spock admired his Captain’s social skills, and wondered, hypothetically, how the Captain would react, if Spock were to present him with a token of affection for this Valentine’s Day.
He imagined it would be a reaction of some surprise. Beyond that, he found that he could not estimate what would happen. This was unpleasant for Spock, who enjoyed knowing possible outcomes of variable actions, so with some irritation, he turned back to his work.
Spock and the Captain ate dinner together, as usual, and then Spock headed to the science labs to complete the next few steps of an experiment he was overseeing, as well as to fill out some various pieces of paperwork. It was to his great surprise that when he returned to his quarters, quite late, that there was a paper envelope sitting on his desk. Curious, he sat in his seat, and with a thumbnail, slit open the envelope. Inside was a card. It was plain red and rectangular shaped. Opening it, he observed the neat scrawl that said,
You are the only one that I love. Illogical, but true.
Signed, a secret admirer.”
It was the first time that Spock had wished that he had taken a handwriting analysis course. It was so rare today that anyone wrote things out by hand that he had considered it a useless skill, but this person had obviously painstakingly made sure to write this in a way different to their standard handwriting – he could tell that by the even perfection of every one of the letters. A skilled professional would have been able to tell, but sadly, he could not.
It occurred to him, later as he was lying in bed, that he could simply ask the computer who had entered his rooms that evening, but, rather illogically, he found that he did not wish to know.
First Contact Day – Earth
“It is the ninety-fifth day of the Earth year,” supplied Spock, “Also known as April the fifth.”
“Too right,” said Jim, crossing the bridge to where Spock was and leaning forward onto his console, “and it’s cause for another celebration.” At Spock’s extended silence, Jim continued, “it’s First Contact Day!”
“I was aware,” Spock told him, unsure of where this was going.
“So...” a wide smile appeared on the Captain’s face, “We need to celebrate!”
Immediately realising that Jim was referring to their year-long agreement to celebrate every major secular holiday, Spock turned to look at the other man more clearly, “You are aware that this is not considered to be a major holiday. There are no traditions that are generally observed on this day.”
The Captain’s smile grew, “Well, I think that’s stupid. It’s an important holiday, and we’re going to celebrate it.”
“Because if it weren’t for First Contact Day, we wouldn’t know each other.”
Spock could not argue this, and remained quietly at his station as Jim went to sit in his chair. The shift on the bridge passed slowly, as Jim refused point blank to explain how he expected to celebrate this day. He did, at one point, inform Spock that he was to eat dinner with him in the Captain’s quarters, and that that was to be at 2000. It was rather later than they traditionally took dinner, which puzzled Spock, and he could not stop thinking about it all afternoon. He had no basis on which to formulate an idea of what would be occurring tonight, as there were no traditional celebrations that he was aware of. Captain Kirk would have to make them up himself.
He reported to the Captain’s quarters at exactly 2000, as ordered, and was met at the door by a flustered looking Jim. His face was bright red, and his hair mussed, and Spock was taken aback slightly at the image it presented. “Come in,” Jim said, smiling and flattening his hair as he must have realised what he looked like.
Spock entered and was surprised once again at what he saw. Laid out across Jim’s desk was a plethora of dishes, covered in various foods. “What are these?” he asked Jim, who smiled and replied, “Food.”
“I can see that,” Spock informed him, and leant forwards to observe the food in question.
“Half of it’s Vulcan...or the best I could approximate Vulcan food anyway. The other half are some of my favourites from Earth. I also have this movie that was made about First Contact Day. It’s a bit silly, but I thought we could watch it. And,” he said, producing a box out of seemingly nowhere and smiling broadly, “I got you a present, but you have to wait til the end of the evening to open it.”
“I have not gotten you anything in return,” Spock said, almost apologetically, knowing that in human custom, it was rude to not equally exchange gifts. Kirk, however, smiled and waved his hand flippantly.
“Doesn’t matter. I wasn’t exactly expecting one.” He gestured to the table, “Have some food! I’m sorry we’re eating so late, but I needed some time after Alpha shift to actually get everything organized.”
Spock was touched, feeling a warmth inside that was impossible to squash. Resolving himself to look into it later, for now he simply decided to taste some of the delicacies that Jim had acquired, replicated or made. It was easy to tell which were which, but nevertheless, he appreciated each piece, and expressed this appreciation verbally. “These have a very pleasant taste and texture, Jim.”
Jim looked so happy that his mouth might crack from smiling too much. Spock wondered if his own mouth could even stretch that wide through force. Unlikely. After the meal, they settled upon Jim’s bed to watch the movie on the vid-screen. As warned, it was extremely...silly...as the acting was terrible and the plot was inconsistent at best. Nevertheless, Spock found himself enjoying the time spent with his Captain, who sat slumped next to him, warm and breathing slowly – more relaxed than Spock had ever seen him.
Eventually, the movie was over and Spock stood to go. “Don’t leave yet,” Jim insisted, retrieving the box from his desk and presenting it to Spock. It was a small black cube, and he opened it under Jim’s inviting gaze. Inside was a small model of a ship, silver and shiny, and able to rest easily in the palm of his hand. “The Phoenix,” Spock said, and the other man nodded.
“First Earth ship to achieve Warp Speed. Thought it would be appropriate as a symbol. I mean, if it weren’t for those brave men and women, we would never have met.”
“No, we would not,” said Spock, and allowed Jim the faintest of smiles before leaving to his own quarters.
Because it's too big for LJ, click here for second part!