I found this one again after some panicing when I had some people asking about it and I couldn't find it on the disk I keep my short stories on. Ha! Imagine me doing something intelligent for once... Anyway this is the story that started the whole How To (or H2) series for me waaaayyyyyy back well over a year ago by now more like a year and a half now that I think about it. But after so many asked about it I thought I would post it for any and all to giggle over again. Thanx again to all of you who stick by me!!

DISC: Nope. Never did. Never have. Never will. But someone at either Star Trek or Paramount could still have sent out some Xmas cards to us faithful!! Sheesh!!!


"Are you going to touch it?"

"No, I'm not going to touch it. If you want someone to touch it, you go ahead and touch it." snorted McCoy, giving the man beside him a look that was a cross of irritation and pity. "I've told you for the third time Jim, I ain't got no interest in touching it. Touch it if you want to touch it. Hell, play with it to your hearts content. I frankly, just don't want to touch it."

Taking this tempered brief discourse into consideration, Captain James Kirk waggled an eyebrow before speaking again.

"So, are you saying you can't or won't touch it?"

Eyebrow arching until it nearly disappeared into his hairline, McCoy stared off in an exasperated manner. Briefly his lips moved in a silent gesture of being immediately graced with an extra helping of fortitude.

They had only been on the classic M-type planet surface for less than five minutes and the Captain was already at it. Every damn time they beam down to a planet, the man couldn't keep his damn hands to himself. Didn't matter where they were. What type of climate it was. Vegetable, mineral or animal. And admittedly some days it wasn't easy to tell, even when they dragged along that green blood Britannic set with them. Yet, the man had to glob on to the first item of interest that caught his eye.

To this day he still couldn't figure out how the man managed to get a rash over his entire body after their trip to Syntix Xalis III. Especially, considering it had been mandatory to be encased in a full bio hazard suit while on the surface.

As if that wasn't bad enough in and of itself, but the jackass had this peculiar fetish of goading his officers into behaving in a similar manner. Something that the Doctor strongly resented and frowned upon as well as just plain gave him the willies. He really didn't want to have to explain to Chapel why he had anything attached to some body part again and have her spread it throughout the ship before he had gotten the words all out.

Well, this time it wasn't any different. The Captain had this innate ability of being a pain in the ass to his officer's when the mood struck him.

Sucking in a deep breath, the Doctor then pursed his lips and glared from the corner of his blue eyes at Kirk.

"no Jim. What I'm saying is I don't want to touch it."

Again there was a hesitation on the Captain's part, as he speculated on the Doctor, his response and the subject itself.

"You're afraid in others, to touch it."

There was a smug note in Jim's voice that McCoy was determined to ignore as he gave the Captain a pointed stare, wondering how long he would be in sickbay if he tried to wipe that puffed up look on his face.

Deciding that his body probably wouldn't bounce back from the attempt, let alone another round of the mental anguish from his supposed friends and crewmates, he choose the wiser path. Especially with the four red-shirts hanging about that could be called upon as witnesses…if they ever made it back 6to the ship.

"I just don't want to touch it, Jim." Putting forth a remarkable amount of calm and patience, McCoy slipped the strap of his tricorder over his head and activated it. "See, I have a tricorder. You scan things with it close up or far away. So, I don't have to touch it or anything else. Okay? All I have to do is run this magical little gadget in it's direction and boom! I have everything I need to know about whatever it is in this neat little box. No fuss. No muss. And no need for an emergency run to sickbay."

A corner of the Captain's mouth twitched at the Doctor's obvious attempt of dodging the issue, as McCoy waved the bleeping, blinking box under his nose.

"Spock would've touched it." He finally said shifting his weight in a defensive fashion.

The first eyebrow returned to it's original position, while the other rose to take it's place, as the Doctor slowly lowered his tricorder. Lips twitching, he realized this wasn't going to be so easily handled as it had been the other 267 times.

"Spock also has the constitution of a wooly mammoth. He could pick up a nuclear armed porcupine infected with typhoid and measles and only come away with his hair been mussed and a small case of indigestion. Which I happen to be building up the longer this discussion goes on." Snarled McCoy absently glancing down at the item in question, hoping he hadn't inadvertently stepped on it. "Besides, don't you have security men to send off to their doom?"

"In other words, you are afraid to touch it." Surmised Kirk folding his arms in front of him in a gesture of triumph.

"Listen you bent minded adolescent thrill seeking freak in captain's clothes!" The Doctor immediately snapped, swinging the tricorder in a manner that could've been considered as hostile. "I've already told you forty seven times today, I don't want to touch the damn thing! Simply because I just chose not to! Now I damn well think that should satisfy your peculiar, twisted mind enough to drop the matter! I just don't want to touch the freakin' thing, okay?"

Once more, Kirk shifted his weight then barely tilted his head enough to let that infamous lock of hair to fall across his forehead. A set look on his face, that indicated he really hadn't heard a word McCoy had sputtered.

"You know, I could order you to touch it."

Face screwing up into an ugly malicious scowl, McCoy growled as he furiously threw the squawking tricorder on the hard packed ground. In the same motion he swooped down, snatched up the thing from the ground and began shaking it with a great deal of vehemence under Kirk's nose.

"All right! Damn it, are ya happy now, you yahoo!" Froth was flying with every syllable as McCoy continued brandishing the blurring thing in Kirk's face. "I'm touching the damn thing! I'm holding it! Clutching it! Grasping it! I'll even juggle the damn thing, if it'll make you shut the hell up!"

In the tirade Kirk's face paled slightly as his gold flecked hazel eyes widened in dismay as he took a step back from the berserker physician.

"What's a matter now? Too impressed or too demeaned!" Laughed the nearly hysterical McCoy, still waving his hand in Kirk's face. "Didn't think I would do it, did ya Jimbo! Ha! In yer face big man!"

With that final shout of victory, the Doctor made a grand flourish waver of triumph over his head with his arm and spiked the thing into the ground between the pair of men.

Dead silence sucked up the air around the two officers as they both stared at the grease spot at their feet. A mixture of horror, disbelief, embarrassment and guilt was reflected on both faces, as they watched the gooey mess ooze out slowly in every direction. It was a disgusting, stomach churning sight to behold. Especially the more on stared at it the more it resembled a wad of hocked up grass spittle from a choking Hereford cow.

Several seconds went by when a twin of the recently deceased thing appeared between Kirk's boots to investigate the crime scene. For a number of moments it studied the mess with an indifferent eye, while Kirk watched it contemplatively, then slowly looked back up at McCoy with a sly grin.

"Are you going to touch it?"