And it Started on Halloween
“You’re going as what now?” Bones asked peering down at Jim.
Jim lay on his dorm room bed playing with a stuffed phaser that a girl he had briefly dated had given him. He kept tossing it into the air.
“A Vulcan,” Jim said with a grin.
"Isn't that considered offensive or something?"
“I don't know. But that’s your Halloween costume for Rand’s party?”
“Yeah. Gary’s gonna help me. He knows how to do makeup and ears and stuff.”
“What about the stupid bowl cut?”
“Got a wig.” Jim had thought of everything actually. “And these somber looking clothes. They’re like beige or whatever.”
“You sound like an idiot,” Bones muttered. He walked away and over to his desk. “Gary talk you into this?”
“No. It was my idea. I bet there won’t be anyone else there wearing a Vulcan costume.”
“That’ll be true enough. Maybe you’ll win the scariest costume.”
Jim laughed. “What are you going as?”
“Nothing. I got a big test the next day and I’m not failing it because I got wasted at another one of Rand’s stupid parties.”
“Ah, come on. Bones. You can come to the party and not get wasted.”
“When has that ever happened to you?”
Jim shrugged. “I don’t have a test the next day. And even if I did I’d—”
“Still pass. Yes, I know. You suck, you arrogant bastard.” Bones threw a pillow at him. “What about the eyebrows?”
“The eyebrows. The ears aren’t the only thing pointy on a Vulcan.”
Jim pursed his lips. Maybe he hadn’t thought of everything. “Hadn’t really thought about that. I gotta look authentic.”
Bones nodded. “Yep. So, what are you going to do with those bushy brows of yours?”
He chewed his bottom lip. “I’ll think of something.”
“I seriously don’t care about this,” Bones grumbled. “I got a test to study for.”
“You always have a test to study for. Boring.”
“Give me back that pillow.”
Jim frowned. “What for?”
“So I can smother you with it.”
Jim laughed. “I’ll get out of your hair. Going over to see Gary.”
“Good.” Bones grabbed his arm. “Be careful around him, okay?”
Bones shrugged. “I don’t know. I just get a weird vibe.”
“You worry too much, but I’ll be careful. Anyway, we’re just friends. I think he wants to do Rand.”
“Great. Now I have to warn her, too.”
“Love you,” Jim called out as he left their room.
“Shut up, kid.”
Okay, so Jim really hadn’t wanted to shave his eyebrows to make them look Vulcan but in the end neither he nor Gary could figure out another way. Gary had done a terrific job on his fake pointy ears, though. They looked completely real.
With his shaved and shaped eyebrows, his pointy ears, his bowl cut wig, and his light green makeup he looked fucking perfect. Jim thought he probably looked more Vulcan than most Vulcans. Okay perhaps a little bit of an exaggeration. After all he still had blue eyes.
Gary had wanted him to wear brown contacts but in the end Jim just didn’t want to go through that much bother. He looked good and it was just a costume for a party. He wasn’t trying to infiltrate the Vulcan race or anything. Though he was a little worried about it being offensive. Hadn't really considered that. And it was too late for a new costume.
Probably his least favorite part of his costume was the beige pantsuit thing Gary had made him wear. It had looked all right on the hanger, but now that he had it on, it looked, well…weird. He should have gone with the drab brown robe but now it was too late. They were about to go into the party.
Gary got off Jim’s bike like it was on fire. Gary hopped up and down, his generally hyper self. Gary had dressed like a big fluffy dog. He looked completely absurd. But apparently Rand was going as a cat and Gary wanted to chase her tail all night. That’s what he’d said anyway.
“I’ll see you inside,” Gary called, running toward the building where Rand’s apartment was. She had a large apartment off campus which was why most parties got thrown there. Jim had learned that pretty fast.
He locked his bike up and was about to head up the pathway when a guy was coming down the sidewalk toward him. Jim froze. The guy was wearing all black, like an instructor from the Academy, and he was dressed as a Vulcan.
Shit. He was not the only one dressed for the party as a Vulcan. Damn!
“Hey,” Jim said. At least if he was going to have a twin at the party, he wanted to know the guy.
The guy stopped, stared at Jim. And damn, he was gorgeous. Seriously. Wow.
“You are Vulcan?” the guy asked.
“Yeah.” Oh, Jim thought. He should probably stay somewhat in character. “Affirmative.”
“I was unaware there were other Vulcans in this area.”
“Me too.” Jim shook his head. “My name is Jim.”
“Jim? That is your name?”
“Yes, well, it’s James, but no one calls me that.” He almost smiled but then remembered Vulcans didn’t smile and this guy looked like he took the Vulcan thing pretty seriously.
“I am Spock.”
“Spock,” Jim repeated. “Unusual. Sounds kind of Vulcan.”
Well, hell, Jim should have thought of inventing a Vulcan name. This guy was definitely going to win any contests.
“You look really good by the way.”
Spock arched a brow. “I beg your pardon?”
“Your costume. It’s fantastic. And you’re…you’re really hot.” Okay, now he was totally flirting. Probably a bad idea, but the guy was hot and Jim hadn’t been with anyone in a few weeks.
“My temperature is not particularly elevated,” Spock replied. “As to my attire, it is standard.”
“Wow, you’re really into it.”
Jim shook his head. “You wanna go inside?”
”The party,” Jim said patiently. He had a feeling he was going to need patience with this guy. “Rand’s party.”
Jim felt his lips curving into a smile in spite of his resolve to remain in Vulcan character. This guy, Spock, was really too cute.
“Yes, that’s her. You’re going to her Halloween party, right?”
“I…had no real intentions in that regard.”
“Where were you going then?”
“Yeah?” Jim frowned. “Well, come to the party anyway.”
Spock tilted his head. “You have blue eyes.”
“Yeah, I know. It’s weird for Vulcans, right?”
“Yes, most unusual.”
Jim sighed. “I knew that was gonna be my downfall. I should have listened to Gary, I guess. Never mind that, Spock. Let’s go to the party.”
Jim reached for Spock’s hand and his fingers curled around Spock’s wrist. There was a twitch there, almost but not quite a jump. Spock froze but didn’t pull away from Jim’s grip. He just stared, his chocolate brown eyes very wide.
“Yours are real, huh?” Jim blurted out.
“Your eyes. They’re really that color.”
Spock nodded. “Yes.”
Jim took a step closer, he didn’t know why. Something was pulling him. His fingers still gripped Spock’s wrist.
He wasn’t even sure how long they just stared at each other in front of Rand’s building. He’d never felt this strange desire before. He wanted to crawl all over Spock. Yeah, that’s how he felt. Sure, Spock was gorgeous, but Jim had been attracted to plenty of attractive guys and girls before. It was meaningless. This one was not.
“The party?” Spock finally said, breaking their weird staring contest.
“Oh, yeah.” Jim pulled Spock with him, reluctant to let go of Spock as he made his way into the building. As they approached the apartment he could hear loud, pounding music. And he felt Spock’s displeasure.
Jim did release his wrist then and he turned to stare at Spock. “What the hell?”
“It is our bond. Surely you must have recognized it too.”
Spock nodded. “We are t’hy’la. When you touched my wrist I felt our connection. We are bondmates.”
Okay, now, this guy was getting weird.
“I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
“As a Vulcan you should have felt it also,” Spock said, his brows furrowing in confusion.
Jim shook his head. Laughed. “I’m not a real Vulcan, dude. This is just a costume.”
Spock’s eyes widened and he backed up, looking vaguely like he’d been struck. “You have tricked me.”
“Tricked you? No. It’s a Halloween costume. Just like yours.”
Spock’s eyes got down right chilly. “I am not wearing a costume, Cadet.”
Jim’s breath caught. “You-you really are a Vulcan?”
“Correct. And I do not appreciate being mocked.”
“But I wasn’t. I like Vulcans and I—”
“Good night, Cadet.”
Jim suddenly felt a weird panic as Spock turned away. “Wait, you said we were bondmates or something.”
“I was mistaken.” Spock walked away and out of the apartment building without looking back.
He stared after him for a long time, feeling an ache in his chest he didn’t understand at all. His fingers tingled where they had been touching Spock.
Jim bit his lip, then turned and went into the party.
“You look like hell,” Bones said two days later, sitting across from Jim in the Academy’s cafeteria. He flicked a glance at Jim’s coffee. “You haven’t even touched that.”
“How could I be so stupid, Bones?”
“What about this time?”
“You know what. Spock. Professor Fucking Spock.”
Bones shrugged. “I didn’t know about him either, Jim. This is our first year here and neither of us have a class with him. He doesn’t teach lowly first years.”
“I still should have known there was a damn Vulcan instructor here. God, a real Vulcan. I should have known just by looking at him. Apparently I’m not the genius everyone thinks I am.”
"And I looked it up."
"Looked what up?"
"It is considered offensive. To dress as one. Fuck. He must really hate my guts. And who can blame him? I'm an idiot."
“Don’t be so hard on yourself. And anyway, so what? He left, you went to the party, no harm done.”
Jim reached for his coffee. “He thought we were connected or something.”
“He spoke of a bond. Between him and me.” Jim grimaced. “Until he found out I was just a human.”
“Good riddance then. You don’t need some weird Vulcan talking about his voodoo.”
“I liked him, Bones.”
“You like everyone.”
“No, I mean I liked him.”
“I know. You like everyone.”
Jim made a face and took a sip of coffee. “Yeah.”
“Look, I have yet another test, so I have to go,” Bones said. “But when I’m back we’ll go have dinner at that place you like and then go to the bar and meet some girls. Sound good?”
“Okay. Thanks, Bones. Good luck with your test.”
Jim leaned his head on his folded arms on the table and closed his eyes. He was super tired and now he had weird looking eyebrows. He hoped they would grow back soon. Worse thing was Rand’s party hadn’t even been that great. He’d done some drinking, but he didn’t want to hook up with anyone there and he just kept thinking about Spock. Which was really crazy since he’d only just met the guy.
And anyway, he should have guessed Spock had been incorrect about them being bonded or whatever. Jim wasn’t special to anyone. Except for Bones.
Jim raised his head and peered through the little slits of his eyelids. He straightened immediately, fully awake now.
“May I sit?”
Spock was dressed much as he was last time Jim had seen him. All black, looking absurdly Vulcanly gorgeous. How had Jim ever doubted this was the real thing? He was so very Vulcan.
Spock sat, his posture very straight and stiff.
“Look, I’m sorry—”
Spock held up his hand to silence Jim. “It is I who owe you an apology.”
He nodded. “I confess I find your natural appearance more appealing.”
“You do?” Lord, he sounded stupid.
Spock’s gaze swept over Jim’s face. “Except for the odd way you have shaped your brows.”
“They were, uh, supposed to look Vulcan.”
“They do not.” Spock held out his hand, palm up. “Your hand. Please?”
Jim thought his hand was probably shaking like a leaf but he placed it in Spock’s and felt that little almost jump as soon as their palms touched, it got even stronger when their fingers touched. He swallowed.
“What-what is that?”
“It is our bond,” Spock said softly, meeting Jim’s gaze.
“I thought you said you were mistaken.”
“That is why I must apologize. I was…surprised by the events of that night. I needed meditation. I spoke hastily because of that surprise.”
“What does all this mean?”
“I have accepted that we are indeed t’hy’la.”
Jim exhaled very slowly. “I tried to read about it. There wasn’t much information.”
“There would not be. It is the rarest of bonds. It has been many years since there has been such a pair.” Spock’s brown eyes were very serious and very intense. He pulled his hand away from Jim’s. “I know that you are not Vulcan.”
Jim’s stomach twisted in disappointment. “Oh. Okay. I get it.”
“I am certain you can understand my surprise since you are human. I have been in contact with my father and elders of Vulcan about the bond. Normally such a bond should not be broken.”
Spock spoke coolly and succinctly. As though what he spoke of was a test from a class or something. Jim didn’t really know what he expected.
“The other night I could feel some of your emotions. Your irritation at the loud music, for instance.”
“That is typical for bonded couples. I felt your excitement.”
“But I don’t now. I mean, I felt a tingly thing when we touched, but that was it.”
Spock nodded. “I am shielding. And you are psi-null. With my shields in place you will feel nothing.”
“As I was saying, under ordinary circumstances we would not think of breaking such a revered bond, however, with your being human that is one of the acceptable reasons for the dissolution of it.”
“Aren’t you half human?” Jim asked. He’d learned a lot about Spock since he’d found out who he really was. Not that it seemed to matter now. Spock was dismissing him.
“Yes. My father married and bonded with my mother for diplomatic reasons. It was entirely logical. There is no such compelling, logical reason for us.”
Jim shut down his emotions. If he didn’t, Spock’s cool words basically saying he had no interest in being with Jim would probably hurt a lot more. But he’d learned as a small boy words could be as cruel as a physical blow if you weren’t careful. As it was a little pain leaked through. But Jim was used to people not wanting him, not wanting him around. He often shut down.
“What do you need me to do then?” he asked in his calmest, most detached voice.
“There is no requirement from you. I will work with the elders of Vulcan to dissolve it. It should not harm you in anyway. Since the bond is shielded it is unlikely you will ever feel any difference. I will inform you when it is officially ended.”
“Okay. Sounds fine.” Jim rose. “See you around, Professor.”
He started walking away, and then turned back. “You know, I should have known all along. It had to be a mistake. I’ve never been someone’s special something ever. Why would I be yours?”
Shaking his head at his own stupidity, Jim finally did turn around and walk away.
He didn’t hear from or see Spock for three weeks. He’d almost put the Vulcan completely from his mind. Sure, once in a while he’d spend time daydreaming about what might have been if Spock had actually wanted to be with him. But then he got a dose of ‘get real’ and he put it out of his mind.
Jim was late to class, he’d met a girl for coffee and he spent far too long talking to her. He was running toward the campus as fast as he could, already planning his evening where he would meet up with her again when he ran across the street. He heard the squeal of brakes just before he saw the hover bike about to hit him.
Jim woke to cool fingers on his face. He was flat on his back, lying on a bed. A hospital bed? He sort of remembered being hit by a hover bike.
“I am not Bones.”
Jim blinked rapidly, recognizing the voice, but really wondering what the fuck he was doing here. “Professor Spock?”
Jim shook his head, closed his eyes. “What are you doing here?”
“You have been injured and are in the medical ward of Starfleet. There is nothing broken. You have a mild concussion only. You are fortunate.”
“All right. Thanks. You can go now.” The cool fingers were still on his face. Jim opened his eyes. “Are you here to tell me the bond has been broken? If so, okay. Thanks for the information.”
Spock said nothing. He moved his fingers off Jim’s face and then went to the side of the bed and lifted some lever to raise the bed. Jim was now sitting up.
“Thanks,” Jim mumbled. “Where’s Bones?”
“I do not know Bones.”
“Leonard McCoy. My friend and roommate. He’s a doctor.”
Spock stiffened. “Your boyfriend?”
“That’s really not your business.”
“You are angry with me.”
“No. I don’t know you well enough to be angry with you. But then you saw to it I never would, didn’t you?”
“I was…hasty before.”
“What’s that mean? Cause really? My head hurts.” Jim frowned. “Wait. You’re anxious. How come I can feel that?”
“I am not shielding. You are getting my emotions as I am getting yours.”
“But…didn’t you want to break the bond?”
Spock shifted and then sat on the edge of Jim’s hospital bed. “Cadet. May I call you Jim?”
“I told you to before.”
“Jim, I have been unable to attempt to dissolve the bond due to my growing fascination for you.”
“That means you’ve been procrastinating?”
Spock nodded. “Yes. I have been looking into your background and also studying you.”
Jim’s eyes widened. “You’ve been spying on me?”
“Perhaps it could be viewed that way. I wished to see if we could be as compatible as our minds were. I witnessed you being hit today.” Spock reached for Jim’s hand. “I was…emotionally compromised.”
Jim exhaled slowly. He felt Spock’s anxiety, confusion, but also relief and hope. “You don’t want to break the bond, do you?”
“I do not. If you are willing.”
“I don’t know. I’m still human, you know.”
“I am aware. I will not blame you if you refuse. But I would like you to accept.”
“What happens if I do?”
“We become acquainted with the bond, with each other. A day in the future we would go through a formal bonding ceremony to complete the bond. We may have an Earth marriage ceremony if you wish.”
Jim smiled in spite of his body pretty much aching all over. “That almost sounds like a proposal.”
Jim laughed. “You’re cute, Professor, but that’s a little fast for me. I’ve only known you since Halloween. And most of that time you didn’t even like me.”
“You may call me Spock.”
“I kind of like calling you professor.”
Spock fingers stroked across his. Jim’s eyes widened. Spock totally just kissed him. “I do not mind it.”
“Where is Bones anyway?”
“Leonard McCoy will be back shortly. You did not answer my question.”
“Is he your boyfriend? Will you bond with me?”
Spock looked a bit startled. “Which one is that the answer to?”
“The first.” Jim fisted Spock’s sweater and pulled him down until he was just a few inches from Jim’s lips. “The second? Kiss me first.”