DISCLAIMER: The Star Trek characters are the property of Paramount Studios, Inc. and Viacom. The story contents are the creation and property of Djinn and is copyright (c) 2000 by Djinn. This story is Rated PG-13.


Cheaper by the Dozen


by Djinn


Challenge: Spock or Christine introduces the other to an aspect of either Vulcan or Terran culture that the other didn't know about before. The story must include the word "hot" and have at least one food mentioned in it.


"So to sum up what you have told me, these sentient creatures were scooped from their community, stuffed together into a transport vehicle, and then burned alive in their houses?"

Christine ignored Spock's look of distaste as she expertly flipped open the oyster. Discarding the top shell, she put some butter into the lower one to melt over the freshly barbecued flesh. She handed it to an elderly, well-rounded gentleman. "Here you go, Uncle Bill. Salt and pepper's at the end of the table. And watch the shell, it's hot."

The older man took a tentative taste, then smiled and bit into the rest. "Ah, Chrissy. Nobody does these like you do."

"Well it was Dad that taught me."

"And our father that taught him." He looked over at Spock, nudged him in the side with his elbow. "And then you can pass it on to your kids."

Spock moved imperceptibly away as the man reached for another oyster. "Perhaps our children will be vegetarian."

A third oyster followed the others. "Not in this family, Spoke. We're carnivores, and proud of it."

Spock had given up correcting anyone. To amuse himself he had begun to keep track of how many variations of his name he had heard so far. The tally was now at twenty.

Christine laughed at her husband's discomfort. "Uncle Bill, why don't you go get me another beer, huh? I'm working up quite a thirst here."

As the older man shuffled off, she smiled sardonically at her husband. "I told you that you wouldn't enjoy the Chapel/Calhoun/Hickland family reunion. But oh no, you, who have never been to a family get-together in your life, you have to say," her voice dropped and became much less animated, "I believe it is time that we meet your family as a mated pair." Her eyes sparkled wickedly. "I told you this wasn't going to be your cup of tea."

He raised an eyebrow, "It seemed like a good idea at the time." He watched her flip open another oyster and eat it with gusto. "Christine. Must you persist in murdering those creatures?"

"Spock they're oysters."

"Are you saying they are not sentient life?"

"They're phlegm with a heartbeat, Spock. Lighten up. At least I'm not eating it raw." She popped another one in her mouth, bliss momentarily transfiguring her expression. "I'm telling you, you don't know what you are missing."

He nodded, "I shall have to remain in ignorance."

"Suit yourself." She put down her tools and moved the oysters back to the shade. "Looks like I'm out of takers on these. My job is done."

"Done?" His tone was extremely hopeful.

She laughed. "Done, Spock. Let's make the rounds and then we can get the hell out of here. I believe we have an invitation to the Captains beach party?"

His expression lightened, then sobered again. "It would be unfair to take you away from your family."

"I've had just about all I can stand of my family. Six hours with this group is more than enough. Now let's go where we really feel at home, ok?"

He nodded soberly, "All right. Will you promise me one thing, Christine? No more oysters?"

She punched him gently in the arm, "Them's fighting words, Spock. Never come between a woman and her oysters. Besides, you know what they say...oysters are an aphrodisiac." She waggled her eyebrows at him.

"You," he moved her toward the house so they could say goodbye to her parents, "do not need an aphrodisiac. You are quite incorrigible as it is." At her suggestive look he continued, "Although, I must admit a certain anticipation in discovering if you can become any more wicked than you already are."

"Oh I think you'll be surprised what an ice cold lager and barbecued oysters do to me."

He gave her one of his rare half smiles. "With you, t'hy'la, surprise is the norm."