He fixed up his tie once more and then threw it off his neck like it was a snake. He stared unhappily in the mirror. He wasn't sure what made him angrier, the fact he couldn't find a tie he liked or the fact he was this nervous about something so simple.
"Hank!" his wife called from downstairs. He grimaced at his reflection in the mirror. "Are you ready? The first guests will be arriving soon!"
He leaned his head back and sighed. Was he ready? Clearly, he wasn't ready. He was still trying to find the right tie and right now he was on his third go around with all of them. On and off, off and on, this was far more difficult than he remembered.
Of course, that was the point. This wasn't an official function. Hell, officially, this was completely off the books. But that's why it was going to be so special and why Bethany had ultimately convinced him that uniforms and ranks should be left at the door.
This was strictly a social function.
There was a knock at their door and he spied the violet eyes of his wife gazing at him amusingly in the mirror. "You're taking longer to dress than our daughters," she chided him.
He couldn't help but laugh. He turned around and picked up a handful of his ties. "None of these work. None of them." He tossed them to the bed and shook his head. "I need a better wardrobe."
She walked over to the bed, picked out a red tie, and began to place it around his neck. "You'll be fine."
He flushed a little at how quickly she cut to the point. But he should have expected as much ... they'd known one another too long by now. "Am I really that obvious?"
"To me," she said with a smile, her voice soft to his ears. "I know you're nervous. I remember the last time you were in a suit like this."
He grimaced. "Senior prom." The suit he wore then was larger simply because he was larger. It also had a pink undershirt and a matching tie. Bethany had helped pick it out for him, despite his protests against the idea.
She finished tying his tie and brushed off some lint from his suit. "It seems like ages ago." Her eyes locked into his, wistful. "We were young."
He weaved his fingers into hers and squeezed her hand gently. "You were young. I was old then and I'm old now." He was starting to see gray hairs. Not many, but a few here and there. "I'm going to be creaking around the house soon enough," he joked.
She rolled her eyes at him and led him out of their room. "The house is ready for guests and so are you. Come on."
He looked down the hallway and on the floor, specifically. "Are you sure we're ready? The girls' toys got put up? Are the doors to their rooms shut? It's a God-awful mess in there."
She just tugged at his hand harder as she led him down the stairs. "It's handled. You cleaned their rooms three times over the last two days." They reached the first floor and she turned around, shooting him a smirk. "This is the first time in three years we've had more than an evening without them. We're throwing a party for the first time in this house and you're worrying." She placed the palm of her hand on his cheek and brushed it softly. "Stop. Worrying." She drilled him with her eyes. "Okay?"
He felt his pulse race. He did technically outrank her, but he didn't mind being ordered around by her. Not in the least. "You're right," he said with a sigh. "I just need to breathe."
"And relax," he echoed. He leaned his head back and felt parched. "I think I need a glass of tea."
She shook her head and laughed at him.
Just then, the doorbell rang. Hank took a deep breath as he felt himself tense. He never liked throwing parties ... it wasn't his strong suit. Most of them had ended up not going nearly as well as he planned. But this one had a distinct advantage over every other party he had ever thrown: Bethany.
She turned around and twirled in her dark-green dress, her violet eyes afire with excitement. "Well?"
He grinned broadly at her. "I'll be seeing you under the mistletoe later, young lady."
She grinned back at him and turned to open the door.
Their first guests had arrived.
For one John Quigley, this wasn't exactly the type of Christmas party he was used to. He liked Christmas and he liked being around people at Christmas, who didn't, but his type of parties were never affairs where he had to dress up too nice. His type of parties usually involved a lot of booze and a lot of fun. This ... this was more socially nuanced than that.
Icheb and he had both agreed that this evening would be interesting. It wasn't an official Starfleet function which meant that dress uniforms weren't necessary. Part of John felt naked outside his uniform. Starfleet had been his escape, his way out, and it was as much a part of him as any organ ... hell, it was like getting a lifesaving transplant. If he had to be honest, Starfleet did save his life.
His closest friends, who were with him this evening, knew that. Starfleet was like that for them a lot of ways, too. Probably one of the reasons we work so well together, he mused.
"Maybe we should ring the doorbell again," Maren said with concern. She turned back to Icheb and John, her eyes looking over them both. "Are you sure I look all right?"
"You look good," John answered without hesitation. She did, really, look great.
"I agree. Your outfit is very becoming," Icheb seconded. Maren's face softened at him as her eyes lit up.
John felt a familiar feeling and, just as familiarly, pushed it down. Not here. Not tonight.
The door opened to a stunning Andorian woman -- Bethany as he recalled -- and a smile. "You're right on time, welcome!" She stood aside and the three of them proceeded in. The inside of the house was lit up with lights and the smell of wonderful food.
John's stomach audibly growled as the scents hit his nose. He should have eaten today but he got busy.
Wrapping gifts was time consuming. Especially when you weren't a former Borg-drone and super efficient at it.
"This is a beautiful home," Maren commented as her eyes took in all the details. John could already see her mind going to work. She was breaking down the design choices, how certain things were arrived at, analyzing the details. That was fun for her.
"I know, we were lucky to find it," Bethany commented. She shut the door behind them and pointed them towards the dining room. "We have food and drinks of all manners."
"But the best one is by far sweet tea," her husband, Hank, added. He flashed a grin at them all. "Care for a glass? I was needing one myself."
John nodded. "Gladly."
Hank looked to Icheb. "And you?"
"Perhaps later," he declined politely.
Hank gave a swift nod and held up two fingers. "Two glasses of the best sweet tea you'll find, coming up."
He sauntered off as John looked after him with a twinge of amusement.
Bethany pointed at in her husband's direction. "He makes it himself." She paused for a moment and added, "We do have real alcohol here, don't worry."
And at that John smiled.
The doorbell rang once more.
"Scotty, relax, it's just a little party." Corry stood outside on the front porch, his beautiful wife on one arm and his best friend next to him. He was excited, happy even. This was the first social function he and Abby had been able to go to since their daughter was born.
He loved that little girl but she was more time-consuming than he had ever expected.
"Aye, just a ‘little' party," Scotty grunted. He wasn't one for social functions, especially ones that weren't Starfleet in nature. Most of them he had to be ordered to go to or dragged to.
"It's going to be fun," Abby reminded them both. She shot Corry a look. "Don't embarrass us in there."
Corry did his best to look offended, but only managed to smile. "Me? Embarrass you?"
Scotty shot him a look. A look Corry knew all too well. A mix of mischief and a bit of amusement. "If ye do, I'll find a lobster."
The door opened before Corry could get off a response, but already he was convinced this evening would be one to remember.
The party was in full-swing at his point and, for Bethany, it was a joy to have the house so live. The old place had sat, for many years, on the market before they moved to Earth. It wasn't the newest house: in fact, it was among the oldest in the neighborhood and in the area they were in. It was retrofitted with all the modern amenities but rustic wasn't exactly in-vogue right now.
It was nearly the 25th century and people were looking for new. Fresh. Futuristic.
But this place had struck both Hank and her just right. Hank even went so far as to install a fridge, just because there was a place in the kitchen that was built for it. A replicator had been put there. Hank had that moved and a fridge stuck in its place.
She hadn't been a big fan of that idea but, she had to admit, having a place to store a few bottles of Andorian ale without having to replicate it was nice.
The doorbell rang again and Bethany excused herself from where the young Maren O'Connor and Abigail Corrigan were making talk. Over Andorian ale, of course.
She opened the door and suppressed a gasp. She wasn't sure these guests would make it.
"Ma'am, a pleasure," Leonard McCoy said as he took her hand and kissed it lightly. The Southern charm was strong with him. He presented a bottle to her. "Saurian Brandy: it has medicinal purposes if we need it."
She accepted the bottle and smiled at him. "Thank you."
"I'm afraid I'm not as generous with brandy as my doctor, but I did bring something else." James Kirk presented to her a bottle of Romulan Ale.
Bethany suppressed a laugh. Starfleet captains had been smuggling this in for what felt like forever now. "Thank you, Captain."
She felt her pulse pick up just a bit. He was Captain Kirk, after all. She stepped aside and showed them in, happy to have two legends in her house.
When Hank -- and everyone else -- caught sight of them eyes widened and smiles appeared.
"Are we in the right decade?" Otra tried to get her chavecoi to stop flailing around. She was tense and they could detect it.
Levi's eyes were focused but not quite focused. He was in that place he got in where his mind was in about a dozen different thoughts and all of them were getting some form of attention. "We should have brought pie."
"Pie isn't Christmas food."
"Pie is good, always." He looked over at her. "Like you."
And, despite his randomness and his amazing ability to be everywhere at once and nowhere at once ... she smiled at him. The chavecoi stopped their flailing.
The door opened and Bethany Harrison greeted them both with a smile. "Welcome!" The house was filled with laughter and music, and Otra took Levi's hand and pulled him in.
She knew he was probably too distracted by trying to figure out what the music --
"Jingle Bell Rock," he announced with a bit of surprise.
"You're pie, too," she muttered happily under her breath.
"And I thought I had seen everything," Leonard McCoy mumbled. He shook his head as he watched the girl with the flowers on her head enter the room. The future never ceased to amaze him. There were teenagers with metal tattoos on their faces and Andorian women with curly brown hair.
Jim was, of course, enjoying making the rounds. He would never admit it out loud but he liked parties. Let him stretch his legs, so to speak. Be more than just a Starfleet captain.
Be more like a human being, he thought to himself a bit too deeply. Too many days it felt like the uniform was more than just a piece of clothing, it felt like it was a parasite, strangling the very foundation of being human.
"Doctor McCoy, care for a drink?" The host of party, Hank, held a glass in his hand of what looked like ...
Leonard stared at him as a smile spread across his face. "That isn't sweet tea, is it?"
Hank nodded. "My own mix. I'd be honored to see what you think."
Never one to turn down sweet tea, Leonard took the glass and took a long sip of it. He reluctantly pulled the cold glass from his lips and let out a satisfied sigh. "Hank, that's the best damn sweet tea I've had in decades."
The man smiled at him. "It took years to perfect it. I was actually wondering if you wouldn't mind helping me out with something."
"Oh?" Leonard was curious but cautious. "Medical? I'm off the clock, you know, I charge extra."
Hank waved his hand. "Actually, I wanted to ask you if you'd be willing to help me make some mint juleps. I've heard you do the best."
Chest puffed up with a bit of pride, Leonard grinned broadly. "It'd be my pleasure."
Jessica took a deep breath to calm her nerves. This was different. Not only was this different it was also really, really important. She was going to be going to a party and she wasn't going alone.
Justine was beside her, their hands together, and she looked ... well, Jessica wasn't really sure there was a word for it. Beautiful was an understatement. Justine was always prettier than she could ever be, at least in Jessica's eyes, but her love was insistent it was the other way around.
"Are you ready?" Jessica asked.
Justine smiled, her face radiant. "Absolutely."
And with that one word, Jessica felt like the world could never crush her. Not in a million years. She rang the doorbell and the sounds of music and laughter filled the air as the door opened.
Bethany Harrison stood before them and the two women exchanged a mutual smile.
"You both look wonderful," Bethany said as she showed them in. "Come on, I have glasses of chilled Andorian ale waiting." She winked at them both. "Only an appetizer."
Maren got up and headed towards the dining room table, lined with delicious foods from all over. She'd been here nearly an hour now and was starved. As she approached the table, her eyes caught sight of a man in the kitchen, one of the guests ... Otra's date, as she recalled. He was doing something with the replicator.
I wonder if it's malfunctioning. Even out of uniform her mind was still geared towards engineering and so she sauntered into the kitchen. "Excuse me, is that malfunctioning?"
The man -- Levi as she recalled -- shook his head. "Not malfunctioning. Just trying to make pie."
"Pie?" she asked aloud. She looked at him curiously before he stood up abruptly and turned towards her.
His eyes made her think she knew him for some reason. "We make good pie," he stated bluntly. He turned back around and went back to work on the replicator.
Maren stared at him.
"I dinna understand either," a distinct voice said from behind her.
If she was a little girl, she would have squealed. She saw him come in but wasn't sure what to say. What do you say to the greatest engineer of all? She turned around and found Montgomery Scott, younger looking than most of the pictures she'd seen of him, staring back at her with a slightly bemused expression. "Mr. Scott."
"Scotty," he said with a wave of his hand. "I won't be addressed as ‘Mr.' here."
She nodded, a bit speechless. "So, how long has he been at that?"
"Since the moment he came in, I think." Scotty shrugged. "He's been making pies." He pointed at the kitchen counter. Stacks of pies lined it. It was then that Maren noticed the crumbs around where Scotty was sitting.
He looked at her sheepishly and slid a half-empty pie tin towards her. "Who doesn't like pie?"
It was chilly to him, but he didn't shiver. He had gotten used to this planet's weather patterns when he had been here for the Academy years ago. Vulcan was much warmer and his quarters were much warmer, but he would make do as he always did.
"Thank you for taking me, Spock. I appreciate you coming. Your father had other commitments but I'm glad you could come." His mother offered a small touch on his arm.
He didn't smile, though he certainly could have. He only allowed a small nod of his head. "As I had no such prior commitments asking me to escort you was logical."
His mother smiled at him, her eyes a light. "Yes, it was. I'm sorry your friends couldn't make it."
"They had other commitments aboard the Enterprise. They both send their regards."
She nodded briefly and rang the doorbell. Their all too brief conversation had come to an end.
But, for what little was said, much was expressed.
"Oh, she's the best!" Justine took a deep sip from her glass of Romulan ale and pointed at her love. "You've never seen someone so good at volleyball till you've seen her."
Jessiy blushed at the compliment as the two sat across from Jim Kirk. "I'm not really that good."
Jim -- he had actually told them to call him Jim -- flashed a smile at them both. "I've found, in my experience, when a beautiful woman says she's not that good at something she really is."
Justine just about died as she watched Jessica blush even harder. Jim Kirk was hitting on them both. She could tell how attracted he was to them and, honestly, Justine found him attractive. Not as attractive as Jessiy but attractive.
She might just entertain something more ambitious ... a few glasses from now at least.
"I've never played volleyball before, actually." His eyes flashed mischief.
Jessiy blushed harder. Justine laughed harder.
She hated being late. Hated it. As she stood, brooding on the front porch steps, she glared at her husband. "I swear, the next time you get invited to one of these we're leaving two hours before we're supposed to arrive."
Damien sighed. "I apologized already, didn't I?"
He had. It still didn't make a difference. They were late and she hated that. Being an officer meant she should have been punctual to these things. Instead, she was late. Not punctual. Late.
She crossed her arms as she waited for another apology.
Instead, he grabbed her by the shoulders, turned her around, and nibbled at her ear.
Despite how she felt, she let out a low growl.
He knew exactly where and how to nibble on her ear. "I promise," he said as he bit harder, "never, ever, to make us late again."
She looked up to the heavens and thanked whomever was in power for making him her husband. She reluctantly pushed him off and offered a soft smirk. "Later."
His eyes looked hungry. He had the heart of a warrior.
Eyes still locked onto his, the heat between them still thick, she reached out and rang the doorbell.
Amanda Grayson watched, happily, as all these people around her mingled and talked. Her life as the wife of an ambassador was filled with all kinds of social functions. Most of them were very dry and full of decorum. She didn't mind that. Even in the driest of places there were still things to love.
She had spent most of her adult life on one of the driest worlds in the Federation. There were things to love there.
But here, there was obvious love in the room. Laughter, joy ... both were present. Openly expressed and not hidden at all. It had been many years since she had been in such a place.
Amanda's ears zeroed in on something else, though. She sighed, deeply. It was one of her favorite musical pieces during this time of year. She remembered dancing to it as a little girl.
"Ma'am?" A young, broad shouldered man smiled at her. "You all right?"
She smiled back at him. He was kind. She had been sitting down in the corner for the last fifteen minutes or so ... not quite as young as she had been. Not quite the energy she once had. "I'm fine, thank you. I was just listening to the music."
"Oh?" He sat down beside her and held out his hand. "John."
She accepted the hand and lightly shook it. "Amanda."
"You know this song?"
She nodded. "From many years ago. I used to dance to it as a little girl."
There was a pause. "Would you like to dance to it now?"
She looked at him with surprise. It'd been years since anyone asked her to dance. Her husband certainly wouldn't do it and neither would her son ... both weren't that way. She stood and he stood with her. "Yes."
He held his out and she accepted it.
Her dark skin played beautifully against the silver dress she had on and he made sure to remember every detail of how she looked. Aya was stunning and he was stunned.
Predictably so. She had that effect on him. "Do you think we should have brought something?"
She laughed at him. "I think I missed the ‘Bring your own booze' part of the invitation. We'll be fine."
He nodded. The hosts were Starfleet officers, they were Starfleet officers, and there were likely other Starfleet officers here ... it somehow felt against regulations to show up at a party without something to give them.
Then again, this was completely unheard of in the annals of the fleet. You didn't see such a large social function filled with so many Starfleet officers in a strictly social setting.
"Michael, ring the doorbell," Aya said as she squeezed his arm. "Let's have fun."
With a smile, he did as he was told and rang the doorbell.
"Spock, a question." Jim Kirk looked at his first officer and best friend curiously. "When I last saw you, you were on the Enterprise."
"I can say the same to you, Captain."
Jim smirked a little. "We're off-duty and out of uniform."
"Jim," Spock corrected. "I cannot for certain conclude why our experiences are so close, yet not the same. I do, however, have a theory."
Jim sipped at his glass of Saurian brandy. "I'm listening."
"I postulate that we currently exist in a pocket reality where all realities intersect."
"A ... crossroad for multiple universes?"
"Precisely," Spock said, his tone indicating that he was pleased to Jim's trained ear. "Yourself and Doctor McCoy exist in a reality like my own, but not the same."
"This likely applies to everyone here who obviously aren't together." Jim looked at Spock with a mischievous smirk. "I think you'd enjoy scanning everyone with a tricorder at this point."
"Were I aware of the situation, I would have brought one. In future functions like this, I will."
Jim laughed. It was a joke, by Spock's standards. Not a bad one either.
Icheb, his hearing augmented thanks to the Borg, was able to catch every word between the two legends. Since the arrival of Captain Kirk and Spock, he had been attempting to find a way to interact with them both.
Both men were idols of his, though Kirk was more so than Spock. Though Spock's scientific and diplomatic efforts were, by themselves, quite astounding it was Captain Kirk's efforts that had served as Icheb's model as an officer.
Certain things weren't applicable in his era as they were in Kirk's, but the opportunity to speak with him was here.
He felt a nudge and turned to see Maren beside him, her eyes a bit glazed over. She had been drinking and it was beginning to take effect, but she knew it. She was holding a tall glass of water in her hand. "Go talk to him."
He looked back to Kirk. "I'm unsure of what to say."
"Say whatever you want. It's a party." She squeezed his hand before heading back over to the living room area.
He took a deep breath and went over to speak to a legend.
Another pair of guests arrived as Levi watched from the kitchen. The man was clearly in love with the woman with the crazy earrings. Martin and Lily is what they introduced themselves as. Lily had earrings on that looked like crystal balls ... shiny.
Maybe he needed to make the pies shiner. He was determined to get the exact right pie. These pies weren't right. Some were bad. Some were okay. Some were even good. Some were alive.
Otra told him not to let people eat those.
But they weren't right. Too many things weren't right. He should have brought pie.
Next time he'd bring pie.
And Branch. Branch would like pie, too.
He stared at the replicator and had a new idea.
He needed tree pie.
"Pecans," he mumbled. Maybe that was what was missing.
No, pecans first.
"I bet you I can drink you under the table," Kalara growled. The human doctor, McCoy, stared at her like she was but a child.
"You, ma'am, are one competitive lady." He raised his glass to her and drank out of it. "But I'm a Southern boy. We don't go down easily, hear." He finished the glass and motioned for Hank to come over.
The man looked at them both with amusement. "I have some pretty hard moonshine from my former chief engineer, if you're really serious about this."
Damien placed a firm hand on her shoulder and whispered in her ear, "Don't hurt him too badly."
He was being playful. She liked it when he was playful.
"Hey, I want in on this, too!" A dark-skinned woman walked up, dazzling in her silver dress. "I was the best drinker in my graduating class. I'm Aya."
McCoy smiled at them both. "If I'm going to lose to two beautiful women, so be it."
Kalara eyed Aya. "We drink him under first, then you and me."
She eyed her back. "Deal."
He stood, out in the cold, his breath before him. Earth had never been a favorite place of his. He had certainly spent plenty enough time on it in as a diplomat, but he much preferred the climate of his homeworld. He much preferred to be there.
But he had been invited to this ... party. A social function that was not, in any way, related to his dwindling duties. He was old. Getting older by the day. The years where he had been on this planet, where he had been young, were long passed and so went his usefulness in many eyes.
He was here not so much to prove to others that he could still walk, though that was difficult some days. He was here to prove that he could still live. Klingons were never one to shy away from celebrations. All too often during his days on this planet he had missed many celebrations because of his duties.
He had no such excuses this time around.
He rang the doorbell and watched as the door swung open to reveal an Andorian woman, one who was not quite as Andorian as he expected. "Councilor Kamarag!" She waved him into the warmth.
He did not refuse. He offered a thankful nod as he willed his old legs to carry him inside the house.
"Kamarag?!" A familiar voice cried out. One he hadn't heard in many long years.
It was only when she appeared before him did he believe his old ears.
"Amanda Grayson," he said in a happy roar. Too long had he missed her voice. The wife of Sarek, she and he had known one another for many years. The two had a very unlikely friendship ... she would have been a fine Klingon woman.
She took his hand with both of hers and squeezed. "It's good to see a familiar face."
He smiled at her. She had been dead for many years but here she was, alive. When news of her death had reached him, he mourned her silently. Their friendship was very private ... it wouldn't have been proper for him to be seen associating with the wife of another diplomat, especially a Human.
He was glad he had come.
"I love those earrings." Bethany pointed at them as they spun on Lily's ears. "Where did you get them?"
"Believe it or not, a market on Risa."
Laughter echoed in the group. It had been a while since she had properly associated with people who weren't going to drudge up old feelings. These people didn't know about what happened and probably didn't care.
All the better.
"Risa?" Bethany smirked at her. "Official business?"
"Yes, do tell," Abby said with a wink. "I know Starfleet officers go there for all sorts of really important things."
"You'd never guess how many supply runs I've had to do there, actually," Hank offered from behind her.
His wife smiled at him before taking her napkin, balling it up, and throwing it his way. "Don't distract from the story!"
Lily looked up at the ceiling playfully. "And how do you know there's a story?"
"I'm sure there's a regulation against telling, right Lily?" Martin asked from beside her, a smile stretched across his face.
He chuckled. "The brandy's getting to you."
She winked at him. "Then I'll just leave out the part where you lost your clothes in the market place."
Laughter echoed around them as Martin's face flushed.
Hank looked at the chronometer on the wall and shook his head as he retook his seat, the balled up napkin firmly in his hand. "I want to march upstairs and check on the girls, make sure they're okay."
Corry nodded as he ate some of his pie -- this one cherry flavored -- and sipped his glass of milk. "I get it. I had to stop myself from asking my wife if the baby was asleep."
"Aye," Scotty chimed in, a glass of Scotch in his hand. "The wee ones have that effect on you."
"Don't they?" Hank sighed happily. "I always thought my greatest adventure would be as a starship captain."
"Starfleet is just the beginning," Corry offered.
"Aye," Scotty seconded.
Hank out his glass. "To beginnings, gentlemen. May they lead to happy endings."
"Here here," Corry said as he clinked his glass. Scotty followed suit with a clink.
And they drank. One Saurian Brandy. One Scotch. One glass of milk.
"So, you think he's going to hit on me anymore?" Jessica asked the completely drunk Doctor McCoy, who has just lost the drinking contest. Impressively, she had to add. He had downed seven shots of moonshine, whatever that was, and couldn't keep going.
"I've never seen him not hit on a pretty lady," McCoy offered with a bit of a slur as he sat on the carpet beside her. "But, ma'am, let me tell you: he has never disappointed."
She shot him a look.
He smirked at her. "I'm a doctor, not a --" but whatever else he was going to say was promptly cut off by a hiccup and then a fit of laughter.
And Jessica couldn't help but laugh with him. This was insane.
But it was the best kind.
"And that's how we met," Bethany finished.
"You've known each other that long?" Maren looked at her wide-eyed. "That's so sweet."
Justine nodded in agreement. "It's like me and Jessiy. We found our way to each other, too."
Bethany looked happily at both the young women. "When you find it, don't ever let it go. Ever. Even if they can be weird sometimes."
"You don't know weird," both Justine and Maren said in unison.
The three of them laughed before something sounded like it exploded.
Smoke billowed out from the kitchen area as Bethany stood.
The form of Levi staggered out, face covered in black soot, his clothes covered in various forms of pie. But in his hands he held a large dish, at least the size of four pies, and he wore a smile on his face.
"I got it." He looked over to Otra, who had rushed up to be near him. "It's right." He held out the giant platter of pie towards her.
She rubbed her forehead and turned around. "I'm so sorry --"
"Don't apologize, it's fine," Bethany said as she smiled.
"We were actually thinking of remodeling anyway," Hank added. The room burst out into laughter at that.
Hank and John both went up to Levi and helped take the giant platter of pie to the dining room table. Hank began cutting as Corry served. Everyone waited till all had a piece of pie.
"I'd like to thank Levi, for the pie," Hank said with a small chuckle. "And I'd like to thank all of you for coming. This has truly been a Christmas party for the ages." He held up his fork and everyone did the same. "Ready?"
"Ready," the room answered.
"Then we may we boldly eat pie as no one has eaten pie before." With that, everyone dug their forks into the pie.
And there was a moan of pleasure from every soul.
The pie was right.
And maybe it was a little alive.