Well, I must say I'm thrilled and overwhelmed with everyone stopping by my stories! For those who review, those have been adding me to their alert/favorite lists, and to just those of you kind enough to keep stopping by...THANKS SO MUCH!!! you did this old heart some good and brought back a smile!

So here is the second in the xmas H2 stories from way back. Hope it makes you smile too. And I might have a new one brewing in the back of my head if anyone thinks they would like to read it!

DISC: Nope. Never. And for the most part hopefully never will. I have enough to feed without footing Star Trek and Paramount's bill too.




"It's crooked."

"No, it's not."

"Believe me Jim, I know crooked when I see it and that thing is crooked."

"Amazing how particular you've gotten since we got back to the ship, Bones. When we were on the planet I could've picked out a half-eaten pinecone with a parasite living on it that could've taken over half the crew and you would've been happy."

"Well Jim, I'm back in my natural habitat, so to speak."

One hand still grasping the trunk of the tree, Kirk partially turned to glance dubiously at the Doctor.

"Natural habitat. Right Bones. In the rec. room sitting on your butt, with boots propped up on table corner, with a two thirds of Jack Daniel's bottle in front of you, playing with a handful of tinsel."

"Works for me." Murmured the Doctor as he twirled the few strands of silver material in the air. "It's not my fault that you want to screw up your free time by trying to put a half-dead tree in the middle of the rec. room and then attempt to make it look half assed festive by tossing a bunch of cheap looking replicated decorations on it. If ya'll want to go to all that trouble I'd think you'd want the damn thing straight to begin with."

"It's not crooked." Grunted Kirk as he gave the tree another quick look up and down. "Besides, it's the holiday's Bones. We're should at least try to be festive in some way."

"You want to make it festive Jim. You should've ordered a bunch of those first year red shirts of yours to freeze their hind end's off while finding the 'perfect' tree. Then we could have festivized happily watching them jumping all around trying to make that thing look like something that Perry Como would sing about." McCoy snorted before draining the rest of his glass as a handful of tinsel floated in the air and landed unceremoniously among the dark locks of the Doctor's hair.

Giving the tree a good wiggle, Kirk again hesitated at the drawled 'festivised' and peered over his shoulder from the top of the table to study the faintly red cheeked McCoy.

"Before security comes around to give you a sobriety test Bones, why don't you get off your duff and help me."

"And if I think your doing a swell job on your own and don't want to?" Tested McCoy settling himself further into his chair for a long battle.

An evil, devious smile spread onto the Captain's face. "In that case, I'm going to make you the Christmas angel for the top of the tree this year Bones."

Grimacing at the grin and the picture that flashed through his head, McCoy reluctantly dropped his feet to the floor and slowly pushed himself out of his chair.

"Fine. But don't expect me to crawl up on that damn table with ya. I don't know why you wanted it up there to begin with. Nuthin' like tempting fate further."

Taking a cautious step back, Kirk gave the evergreen an appreciative look. "Everyone can get a better view up here instead of tucked in the corner."

"You mean, the kids aren't going to be able to strip it naked without as many witnesses as they have in the past." McCoy mumbled as he bent down to the table's edge to eye the tree base critically.

"That to."

"Okay then." Sighed Bones sizing up the situation under the branches. "If we're gonna do this right, let's start off by getting this bugger straight."

"It's not crooked."

"Trust me, Jim. It's crooked."

"No, it's not Bones"

"Believe me. It's about as straight as a Yankee carpetbagger selling a used map to a confederate unit on how to get to Washington, D.C. by going west."

"The tree didn't drink half a bottle of whiskey either." Growled Kirk.

"Listening I'm offering to help ya here Jim. Now it won't take a minute to fix this."


Twenty Minutes Later

"Bones, there is nothing left to trim off of the trunk! I've trimmed it up to the first set of branches."

"Well, it's still crooked."

"If it's crooked now, it's your fault."

"How the hell is it my fault?! You picked out the tree."

"Right! And there was nothing wrong with it then."

"Like hell! It was crooked then and possibly even more crooked now! You gotta learn how to pick out a tree better Jim."

"Bones, get the decorations." Kirk hissed dangerously from the top of the table. "Or we're both going to find out how many times you'll bounce off the rec. room walls before coming to a stop."


Ten Minutes Later

"Okay Jim." Setting the last box down, McCoy foraged around in it for a second before looking up at Kirk. "What do you want first? The garland or the light?"


"Are you sure about that?"

"What?" Was the peevish snarl.

"I mean, if it was me, I would think it would make more sense to put the lights on first. If it was me."

A silent moment weighed heavily within the rec. room walls, as Kirk pursed his lips until they disappeared while counting to ten in his head.

"Hand me the garland."


"Give me the damn lights, Bones."


Another Twenty Minutes Later

"You know Jim. I just had a thought." Mused the Doctor as he stood back from the table, a handful of mini lights in hand as he kept them straight for Kirk.

Freezing among the prickly branches of the pine, Kirk squeezed his eyes shut, trying to control the biting retort on his tongue.

"What is that Bones?" He finally asked, once extracting himself from the tree.

"It looks good, Jim. Really it does." Assured McCoy absently using the hand clutching the coiled string of light to scratch his chin. "But considering everything. Like where we are and our time frame, not to mention our technoloy means..."


"How the hell are you going to plug these in?"


Forty-five Minutes Later

"Talk about falling into luck." McCoy sighed as he gazed at the tree while Jim fiddled with a pair of cords under the tree. "Good thing Chapel knew about that outlet that Spock had in his cabin."

"Yea. Right." Grunted Kirk from his spot.

"I wonder how she happened to know about that?" Mused the Doctor after a moment, the blue eyes wandering off in thought. "I don't' think I've ever seen her blush like that before either."

"Whatever." Kirk grumbled offhandedly. "Why the hell won't this damn thing fit in here right?!"

"Gee, I wonder how many times you've said that line since you've hit puberty?" McCoy ruminated with a slight wicked grin of his own.

There was a muffled reply from the shaking branches, that the Doctor wisely chose to ignore and instead let his gaze follow the long line of extension cords that crossed the room and out the rec. room door.

"I'd also like to know why Chapel would just happen to have a stock pile of extension cords tucked away, unbeknownst to me. And why that giggling fit when she was digging them out?" Again McCoy fell into a deep pool of pondering. "I may have to have a sit down with that girl later."

"When you do, you might want to take a recorder with you Bones. I'm sure you're going to find out more than you'll ever remember." Kirk said with one finally struggle with the plugs.

Suddenly the tree lite up in a glow of multi colors, as Kirk quickly scrambled down from the tree to admire their work so far.

"Not too bad, eh Bones."

"Nope. Not bad at all Jim." McCoy grudgingly admitted.

Then the entire middle section of the tree went dark.

"Except for that Jim."



Fifteen Minutes Later

"Who would've thought it woulda been harder to make a replica of one replacement bulb instead of the entire a whole string." McCoy ruminated outloud as he started rocking on his heels in private delight, as he watched Kirk grapple with his mortal evergreen enemy.

"Okay, I think I found it. Are they working now?"

"Yea. But they're blinking."


"It's only half of the one string though, Jim."



Ten Minutes Later

"Okay. They're blinking. But it's the whole tree now." Kirk groused with a haggard look. "Hand me the garland, Bones."

"You want the garland or the tinsel?"

"I don't care! Just give me one!"

"Don't get snippy with me fella!" Snapped McCoy holding the armful of glitter and glitz tightly to his chest. "Hey, I'm offering to help here! I don't have ta, ya know!"

"Give me the garland then."

"Are you sure about that?"



Ten Minutes Later

"I don't think I've ever witnessed a tree with both garland and tinsel on it before." Murmured McCoy with some minor dismay, as Jim threw the last handful of tinsel at the tree without even looking.

"Don't start Bones."

"I was just making an observation. Ain't nothing wrong with that all of sudden, is there?" Replied the Doctor with some huffiness as an eyebrow arched over a pale indignant blue eye. "If I had pointed ears and the personality of a silverfish, you'd be making damn sure this was being recorded for prosperity."

"At this point Bones, I might be inclined to take the silverfish and it's opinion over a certain bucolic, temperamentally fickle physician." Grunted Kirk stepping down from the table to admire his progress again.

Mouth twitching, McCoy gave the Captain a complacent glint from the corner of his eye.

"The middle string just went out again."



Some Twenty Three Minutes Later

"Hey! Did you drink the rest of my whiskey while I was gone!?" Demanded the mortified Doctor as he held the empty bottle up to inspect.

"No. Santa's helper did." Replied Kirk from the table top followed by a half-concealed belch.

"I'm off looking for ornament hooks for you and you get swizzled! Without me." Fumed McCoy glaring up at Kirk and the tree. "And amazingly while I'm gone the ornaments somehow manage to get on the tree without the damn hooks."

Oddly he still sounded more upset with the idea of being left out of the partaking of drink than the wild goose chase, as the Doctor sauntered up to the table.

"I suppose Santa's helper did all of that too?" Gesturing toward the dozen's of ornaments spread over the tree, McCoy tried to sound vaguely impressed.

"Nope. That I managed that all on my own." Was the self-satisfied reply.

"There are too many on the left side."


"What? I'm trying to be helpful here."

"You don't even know what that word means!"

"Do you realize that you have an even number of candy canes on that thing?" Continued the Doctor with prize winning innocent expression in his eyes. "Everyone knows that the best displays always have odd number in them Jim."


At that moment the rec. room door hissed open, saving McCoy from being strangled under the tree with one of the remaining strings of lights.


"Spock. How did you know we were here?" Kirk asked giving the Doctor a hard meaningful look, that meant more than coal was going to be McCoy's sock on Christmas Eve.

"I noticed the line of extension cords and simply reasoned the rest."

Kirk and McCoy exchanged looks but refrained from saying anything on the matter, as the Vulcan surveyed the presentation in front of him.

"So what do you think Spock?" Asked Kirk before McCoy had a chance to rethink the matter and query the Vulcan on the extension cord matter.

"Interesting..." Murmured the Vulcan as he folded his arms and slowly moved around the table to inspect the opposite side of the quivering pine.

"You know Jim, I just had another thought."

"Oh God."

A shutter swept through the ship. Nothing large enough to setoff the alarms, but did manage to make the men stagger briefly to keep their footing and glance up in time to watch their magnificent evergreen slowly teeter.

After a heartbeat, it shook once then tipped off the table backwards in a cloud of pine needles and silver tinsel before landing with a muffled thud.

"Yea...that's kinda what I was wonderin' about." Lower lip puckering out in his reflectiveness, McCoy clasped his hands behind his back and tilted his head to one side. "How the hell we were going keep that bugger from tippin' over if we ran into any thing. But look at this way Jim. Were probably the only ones to ever find an actual elf under our tree."