Title: Orange and Green is for Reconciliation
Feedback: Please! starshadow AT starshadow DOT net
Disclaimer: Contains words. Gratuitious use of Peace Political Statements. And pride in Irish ancestry, no matter whether Northern or Southern Ireland. The boys owned by ParaBorg and Companies, and this is for love, not money. Darnit. No actual tricolor flags were harmed in the making of this tale. If you're offended by same gender romance, though, don't read. Crafted while listening to the Cranberries, "Zombie", about the Troubles, and made with a hope of the Troubles ending soon. All things not owned by Paraborg or others, owned by me, Starshadow Productions, Ltd.
Archiving: ASCEML, ASC, and the usual, including my website. All others, please ask. (Farfalla excluded. She has blanket permission.)
Beta: Ginger. All mistakes, as always, mine.
"Top o' the morning to you, Mr. Spock!"
Spock opened a dark eye and fixed it on his bondmate. "Admiral, that may be the worst attempt at an accent I have heard since Dr. McCoy mangled 'Kohlinahr'."
"Ah, where's your sense of fun, Spock? It's St. Patrick's Day." Jim sat on the edge of the bed and displayed a large green and white badge he had pinned to his Fleet jacket. Spock thought its flamboyant colors most offensive. It said, "Kiss me, I'm Irish."
Spock planted a kiss on Jim's mouth, which parted alluringly. All too soon, Jim reclaimed his tonsils and said, "See you at the office. Meeting at 1000, don't forget. Oh, and wear /something/ green. I don't want to have to pinch you." He was gone before Spock could formulate a particularly scathing Vulcan reply.
Grimly, Spock got ready for his day. After the meeting, the Academy had planned to have the two of them lecture on interspecies relationships. It was logical; they had been the first interspecies same-sex couple in StarFleet, after all. But Spock was not sanguine about this "St. Patrick's Day" holiday. He endured some form of it every year, and every year protested in vain against its encroachment on his day and life. He was Vulcan.
But he couldn't deny reality. He was also Human. As he dressed, a thought occurred to him. He did some research. And he knew the subject of his lecture, as soon as he downloaded a file onto his padd, added a file for Jim's use, and then replicated a number of small Irish tricolor flags and a some IDIC pins.
If he'd been more Human, he'd be whistling to himself. As it was, he bore a look of serenity.
Spock stood in front of the classroom, with Jim in a chair by his side. The students watched attentively as he began.
"I was uncertain at first of what I should speak, until my bondmate, Admiral Kirk reminded me that today is St. Patrick's Day on Earth. It is a day in which all beings in this part of Terra celebrate being 'Irish', even those of other nationalities on Earth, or who never knew Earth until they attended the Academy. As you all know, I was one of the first Vulcan students at the Academy, though hardly the first, in spite of legend. I came to StarFleet Academy in a year that saw mostly Human students. Few knew how to speak or socialize with nonhumans, though StarFleet was populated with us, and I experienced reactions ranging from xenophobia to polite indifference. Few were willing to extend the hand of friendship to one such as I.
"However, I also made a barrier where perhaps a being with more life experience would not have. In truth, I knew little about Humans, despite being raised by one. I found them illogical, emotive, and oppressive in their emotions, and I had not the grace to remember Surak's words which Vulcans are supposed to revere, especially the words of Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations. In my own way, I was quite arrogant, though I did not know it.
"When I met my bondmate-to-be, I am certain there was friction, though I cannot tell any of you what it might have been. He was also in his way arrogant and emotive--but also quite determined to become my friend. And the more I held myself apart, the more he battered at my barriers, until finally, the unstoppable force that was James Kirk tore down the immoveable object that was my barriers. I then discovered the value of friendship, and the value of love."
Spock heard a small gasp at a Vulcan making this revelation, and though his mouth did not smile, his eyes twinkled back at Kirk's, crinkled in a smile. He continued.
"Eventually, of course, we came together. How does this relate to your custom of St. Patrick's Day? Well, I have done some research, and it appears, through my Human half, that I am, indeed, Irish. And so is Admiral Kirk. However, my Human ancestors were Orange Irish--a religious and political sect called Protestantism. Admiral Kirk's were Green Irish, or Catholic Irish. Now these sects spent literally centuries in conflict with one another--much as the Federation finds itself in conflict with many governments which do not wish to join in peace with the Federation, and some which are quite hostile. By the early 21st century on this planet, in fact, there were many bloody battles fought even in the very streets and shops of that beautiful island which Humans romantically call "the Emerald Isle", and while many desired peace, many more would not give up old hatreds to reconcile.
"Thus was born the tricolor, the Irish flag, still flown today, though the old conflicts are largely forgotten. What Admiral Kirk and I represent is not only the peace of the Federation--many planets coming together to produce a harmonious whole that is different than its parts and rejoices in such differences--but in a microcosm, the reconciliation of the two sects, as shown on that flag. I have arranged to distribute small flags to each of you. I direct you to the colors--orange, for the Orange Irish, green, for the Green Irish, and white between them, signifying the hope of peace, even in 1848, C.E., before Ireland gained independence from England. That peace was not realized until after the Eugenics Wars.
"Nevertheless. we two, together, as beings who love one another not only despite our differences, but because of them, can bring a lesson to all beings, who desire the peace and joy of reconciliation with other beings.
"And so, gentlebeings, we, my bondmate and I, wish you a happy St. Patrick's Day, and hope that you take the lesson of Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combination with you, as in the IDIC each of you now has on your desks in front of you. Live long and prosper."
He raised his hand in the ta'al, and next to him, Jim Kirk stood and said "Erin go bragh! You're dismissed."
As one, the students stood and applauded, then fixed the IDIC pins to their uniforms and waved the tricolors as they filed out, smiling and wishing the stolid Vulcan and his smiling companion, the legendary Admiral Kirk, a Happy St. Patrick's Day. Some of them even attempted the ta'al back at Spock, who nodded with grave dignity as they all left.
When the room was empty, Kirk undid his jacket clasp. "Well, Spock, that was one of your better lectures, I must say. We've got til tomorrow off now, what say we go celebrate the evening? There's a nice little Irish pub down near the water.."
Spock took Jim's face between his long hot hands and kissed him thoroughly. "I," he said, removing the button that had plagued him every year since Jim had first found it three years earlier, "Have a better idea. I believe it would be a better use of our time to demonstrate privately the reconciliation of Orange and Green."
And so they did.