DISCLAIMER: And seeing as I haven't received any kinda of note or email or phone call or anything in a sense of notification, I'm assuming that I still own nothing of Star Trek.



As soon as he walked into the 'Enterprises' cafeteria, Doctor Leonard 'Bones' McCoy knew that their illustrious Captain was up to something no good. Something no good that would that ultimately ended some poor young girl's ruination.

He had had a smidgen of an idea that Jim was up starting up another one of his little ploy's when a number of small boxes addressed directly to him were showing up in the mail. One or two were books sized, but the rest were three of four square inches in all and were quickly whisked away by the Captain, who would scamper off to his cabin before any noisy Doctor's had a chance to ask any unwanted question's.

This had been going from the second week of January to the first week of February, when it suddenly ceased and Jim started spending more time alone in his cabin. A fact that was definitely bothersome to the Doctor, since it raised several question's to his mind and he wasn't thrilled with too many of the answer's that were popping into his head. A few even brought an uncomfortable shiver up his spine.

He had thought of talking to Spock about it, but changed his mind before the idea had left his mind when he realized he would be forced to explain his ruminations on the matter to the Vulcan. Something that could more than faintly embarrassing to all three of them. Well two of them anyway, although McCoy thought Spock could at least have the decency to act disconcerted. Well today he would finally find out what Jim was up to. He would at least have something to blame his nightmares on.

Retrieving his tray of coffee, juice and breakfast, McCoy made his way over to the table Jim occupied along the far wall only to stop and stare at the tabletop that completely covered with dozen's of colored stones. Purple, violet, royal blue, green, green-pink, blue-green, pale blue, yellow, orange, pink, red, clear, brown and black. Nearly any color you could imagine were scattered into groups of matching colors from one corner of the table to the other leaving only a few inches for the single cup of coffee sitting at Kirk's elbow.

"Is this your subtle way of saying you don't want company, Jim? Clever. Odd, but clever." Muttered McCoy gesturing at the vivid display with this tray.

Looking up from the timeworn book he had been reading for the last twenty minutes, James. T. Kirk frowned for a second then broke into a small smile. "I didn't see you come in Bones. Let me slide some of this over."

"All this time I've been wondering what the hell you've been up to in your cabin for the last week. Worrying. Fretting." Sighed McCoy with barely believable despair as he sank down in the opposite chair sliding his tray on to the table just as quickly as Jim made space for him. "And in truth, you've been having all those rocks knocked out of your head all over the universe sent back to you and now you're trying to figure out away to get them back in, right."

With a sarcastic ripple flashing across Kirk's face when he glared across the table at his friend. "Funny. Odd, but funny. You're in normal curmudgeonly form this morning, Bones."

"That ditz of a new nurse on the graveyard shift had me outta bed an hour earlier than normal, because she forgot where she put the code I gave her to get into the medicine cabinets after she wrote it down. Like I can remember my own rank, name and what the hell ship I'm on at that time of the morning."

"Let me guess, you couldn't remember what it was either." Smirked the Captain as he carefully made sure every stone was still in their perspective groups.

Grimacing at being caught, McCoy picked up his fork and jabbed at the pile of grits on his plate. "God was Christine p.o.ed when she got to my office."

The smile grew on Kirk's face at the picture of Christine Chapel storming into sickbay, giving McCoy a lengthy, obscenity punched speech followed by a very believable threat verbally and physically before returning to her own cabin to get ready for her own shift.

Watching Jim fiddle with his little horde of stones, McCoy swallowed a mouthful of grits and eggs. "So who's the gal?"

Glancing up sharply, Kirk had what may have been indignant hint in his eyes but knew it was pointless considering who was sitting across from him. "What makes you think this is all because of a woman?"

"Because Jim, the only time you ever become interested in anything else besides this ship or yourself, ten out of ten times it has to be for a woman." Explained the Doctor as he broke the yolk on his fried egg and dunked the corner of toast into it. "Now tell me, what poor unknowing creature have you lined up now?"

Trying not to show his peevishness, Kirk folded his arms then carefully placed them on the edge of the table. "Coriander Kleinhuizen."

"That's the girl?" Asked McCoy after hesitating in retrieving his cup of coffee.

"Yes, that's the girl." Kirk replied scowling at the strange comment. "Why?"

"No reason Jim." McCoy said with a roll of a shoulder as he dunk his toast into the egg yolk again. "Just kinda sounded like a new German lettuce hybrid. So who is she and where did she unadvisedly cross your path?"

"I knew her back in at the Academy. She used to run around with Gary for a little while when she first arrived." Explained the Captain lost in a deep moment of reverie, that devilish golden glint appearing in the hazel gaze.

"Gary, huh. Not you." McCoy said with a profound tone. "That explains it. These' s rocks belong to her, and you're gonna hold to them until she come begging to you for their safe return. Then you'll have her right where you want here. And her rocks, too."

"Not hardly Bones." Snapped Kirk finally showing his exasperation at his Chief Medical Officer. "Cori specializes in alternative healing, specifically crystal's."

"Then you're just trying to cover all your bases, but getting all of them." Surmised the Doctor pointing towards the collection of stones with his fork. "So in case one wears off, you've got a long line of backups."

"Just try to be serious for one minute for me Bones." Kirk said through clenched teeth leaning forward a few centimeters.

"Me?" Blurted out the Doctor giving Jim a thoroughly amused look. "You're the one sitting here playing with two pounds of rocks in the cafeteria."

"Crystals, Bones. They're referred to as crystals." Grunted the Captain, the gaze narrowing a fraction.

"All right then, playing with two pounds of crystals in the cafeteria. What exactly do they do that's going to help get this Coriander Kleinhuizen and put her under your spell? Because it has to be pretty damn good if you find it necessary to start using them for you're hunting parties." Attacking the sausage patty on his plate, McCoy let his blue gaze flicker over towards the numerous polished stones that winked at him.

"From what I've read, if you really believe in their powers, you could be out of a job." Kirk replied picking up the book he had been reading when the Doctor showed up. "From releasing toxic energy from emotions, mind, and body. To treating fungal infections."

"I hate to ask where you're supposed to put that stone at." Murmured the Doctor through a mouthful of sausage.

Choosing to ignore the comment, Kirk started flipping through the 6 1/2 x 5 1/2-x 2 1/4-inch while reaching among the groups of stone and grabbed pale blue stone with white and dark blue lines. "Blue lace agate. This one you should seriously consider for yourself Bones."

"Why? Because it goes so well with my eyes?" Fluttering his eyelashes, McCoy was couldn't resist a hint of coquettishness to his words and grin.

"For a start it treats arthritis, blockages of the nervous system and brain fluid imbalances." Was the crisp and pointed response from the Captain as he placed it directly in front of the Doctor's tray.

"You're so thoughtful, but the way you're going Jim, you'll need it before I do." The prongs of his fork lightly tapped against the polished surface as McCoy pushed the small stone back towards Kirk.

"All right then how about moonstone." Undaunted by the Doctor's lack of enthusiasm, Kirk picked up milky, translucent stone then it held up between a forefinger and thumb.

"What does it do for me? Treat my premenstrual syndrome before I get it?"

"I think you need to worry about menopause, Bones." Kirk said not looking up from his book. "Right now it'll open your mind to sudden and irrational impulses, serendipity, and synchronicity. Calms overreactions to situations and to emotional triggers. As well as balances the hormonal system and attunes your biorhythmic clock."

"Save that one. We could use it when Spock's seven-year's are up again." Said McCoy giving the stone a dubious look. "What else ya got?"

Replacing the moonstone, the Captain chose a third stone that had all the sparkle and beauty of a mud-ball. Dark brownish-gray, and grainy with tiny little metallic flecks in the rough surface and was about the size of a peach pit.

"Magnetite." Kirk began holding up this new stone as he went through the pages of the book once more.

Squinting at the dirty looking stone, McCoy shook his head. "Nah, can't be. It looks more like a…"

"I know what it looks like Bones. But trust me, it's magnetite or lodestone." Kirk interrupted before the Doctor had the chance to finish his sentence, giving him a reprimanding glare.

"I'd still wash my hands after I was done playing with it Jim." Bones pointed out before stuffing another forkful of sausage and grits into his mouth. "So what does it do? Help with regularity?"

"Bones, if you don't try to take this seriously for at least a few minutes…"

"I'm taking it seriously. I'm still sitting here, ain't I? And look who's talking about taking this 'seriously'. The only reason you're even going through all of this is to corner some woman in your cabin for a couple of hours or until she finally makes a break for it." Grunted McCoy scooping up another mound of grits then hesitated with the spoon only a few inches from his lips. "What I don't understand is, if this Coriander Kleinhuizen was at the Academy the same time as you and Gary. And during this time ran around with Gary for awhile, she must've known about your reputation even then, although Gary's wasn't that far behind it. What makes you think that she'd be dumb, naïve, or eager enough to agree to anything with you?"

A charismatic grin swept over Kirk's face, as he sat up straighter in his chair. "You forget who you're talking to Doctor."

"No. You apparently have forgotten who you're talking to Jim." Answered McCoy with a single shake of his head.

Grin disappearing from Kirk's face he pursed his lips annoyingly, then slowly continued on with what he started. "There's an interesting piece of folklore that goes with the magnetite. Supposedly, to test the loyalty and fidelity of your spouse, you placed the stone under their pillow and if they fell out of bed, they no longer are virtuous."

A light of complete and utter hilarity exploded in McCoy's blue eyes. "I can just imagine you trying to explain to you're future wife, if any of us live that long, the necessity of keeping the mattress on the floor. Four inches is easier to take than two feet in the middle of the night in a dead sleep every ten minutes. Or better yet, have a decorator do the entire apartment in Oriental, and you could have one of those mats they use for a bed."

"Your humor is just mind numbing this morning, Bones." Kirk growled replacing the magnetite in with the other brown hued stones. "Just like anesthesia."

Allowing himself a moment to chuckle to himself then sobered up after a gulp of coffee. "Okay, okay. Why not get on with what you going to do with all of this, that's going to convince this woman that she trust being alone in a room with you?'

A doubtful eyebrow twitched then rose about five centimeters, as Kirk shifted his gold flecked gaze back to the groups of stones and picked the only one that was set as a piece of jewelry. A pink stone carved into an 1 ½ x 1 ½ x ¼ inch heart, with a silver thread wrapped abstractly about it and hung from a thin seventeen inch black cord. The cafeteria light glinted off the smooth silver and pale pink stone as the pendant swung back and forth between Kirk's fingers.

"Right." McCoy finally said his own eyebrow rose quite high as he watched the pink heart move. "You're gonna hypnotize her into thinking you're back at the Academy and your Gary."

Flopping back in his chair, Kirk stared at the Doctor fighting the urge to call security. "No Bones."

"No, huh. Well, it sounded good to me." Sighed McCoy shrugging his shoulders in-between sips of coffee. "Only one other conclusion comes to mind, but considering we're in a public space with mixed company I think I'll just keep it to myself. So I guess you'll have to tell me what it is you've got up that salacious sleeve of yours."

"It's quite simple Bones." Flipping through the pages to the back of the book, Kirk handed it over to the Doctor. "Read that and I think you'll get what I'm striving for here."

With one more quick gulp of coffee, McCoy took the book and began scanning the four short paragraphs on the page indicated. Right away he stumbled over the title of the page and gave Jim a curious peek over the top of the book.

"Invoking Love?" He barely managed to squeak out, but Kirk said nothing McCoy rolled his eyes and started reading again.

It took less than five minutes to read but the Doctor took an extra five to re-read it, just to make sure this was what his friend was considering. Four candles with holders, four rose quartz stones and a large piece of amethyst were required. The candles in holders were to be placed north, south, east and west on a table covered with silk. Supposedly this was to welcome the spirits from these different directions and ask them to be guardians over the process.

At this part, McCoy snuck another look over at Kirk. That didn't sound too promising in the Doctor's mind, as wondered what type of spirits the man would inadvertently wrought up in his haphazard attempt.

Once the spirits had arrived and had decided not to destroy the ship, one was to hold the rose quartz in your hands and focus on the power and energy they were giving off. And if this went well, and the spirits were still in a good mood you were to feel the force traveling along your arms into your heart. After arriving at your heart, if you hadn't collapsed or exploded, you were to begin feeling your heart open up.

Sucking in a breath, McCoy tried to visualize Jim sitting in his cabin doing all of this in it's proper and what not, but it was like trying to visualize Spock taking up jitterbugging or stand up comedy.

Finally, you are to place the rose quartz around the piece of amethyst sitting in the middle of the table while speaking out loud either to yourself or the spirits, it wasn't specific on that fact. Then you were to sit quietly for a few moments focusing your eyes on the crystals. When you've decided to completed the ritual, you were to around the table blowing on each candle saying in turn, 'I send your light and love into the world.'. Then you could either leave the stones on the table or put them around your bed.

"'I am a magnet of love?' 'I welcome love into my heart?' 'And love in my life?'" Slowly lowering the book, the grin had returned to his face and literally spread from ear to ear. "Gees, where'd this author find out what your personal mantra was?"

"You've got a very ugly jealous streak, Bones." Kirk smugly said leaning against the table edge again.

"You know Jim, if you ever have the room in there with the narcissism and egomania, you should invite the rest of us into your strange little world." Was McCoy dry reply, as he handed the book back to the Captain. "You're not really going to go through all of that are you, just to get your hands on that obviously too trusting woman. That doesn't sound like you, Jim."

"I never claimed I was going to do it, Bones." Answered Kirk snapping the book shut while wrapping the cord of the necklace around his fingers. "Just as long as she believes it, is all that matters."

"That sounds like my old Jimbo." Came the relieved sound from McCoy, as he wiped his napkin over his mouth. "Had me worried there. With Spock gone to that epistemology convention, I was beginning to think you were going to try to bring some intelligent culture back into our lives."

"Touching Bones." Murmured Kirk starting to gather up the stones from the tabletop and slipping them into black velvet bags. "I'll make a note of this in my personal log tonight."

"So when is Ms. Kleinhuizen going to arrive?" Inquired the Doctor pushing away from the table and started to stand up when the cafeteria intercom buzzed.

"Bridge to Captain Kirk." The familiar voice of Lt. Uhura filtered throughout the cafeteria.

Scowling at words, Kirk dropped everything on the tabletop and jumped from his chair. Marching across the room, hesitating once to glance back at McCoy, half expecting to be plunked in the back of the head with the magnetite by the physician.

Punching the intercom, Kirk kept his eyes on McCoy who was still standing at the table nursing his cup of coffee

Gazing at the array of stones still scattered on the table. "This is Captain Kirk. What is it Lieutenant?"

"We just received word from Star Base 43 that a Ms. Kleinhuizen has arrived and Mr. Spock will be arriving tomorrow to rendezvous with the 'Enterprise'." Came the melodious response from the Communications officer.

"Very good, Lieutenant. Captain Kirk out."

"Bridge out."

Flipping the intercom off, Kirk's eyes narrowed slightly as he watched McCoy lean over the table, coffee cup in one hand and tray in the other. He looked innocent enough, which meant generally the opposite.

"Off to sickbay then?" Asked Kirk as he returned to the table, keeping in mind he was going to have to remain on his toes for atleast the next few hours.

Draining the last of his coffee, McCoy gave him a cynical look. "No, I thought I'd go down to engineering and give the dilithium crystals an examination and catch them up on their shots. You know how hard it is get those things to turn their head and cough. Where the hell do you think I'd be going, Jim?"

"With you it's hard to tell." Smiling again, Kirk picked the book back up gave the cover a quick glance then looked back over at McCoy with a sinister glint. "What do you think?"

"You're a deceptive, sick bastard." McCoy threw back before the Captain's words were hardly said. "Using something that has been proven to benefit thousands of individuals throughout the galaxy for God knows how many centuries, to lure a woman that at one time you might've considered a friend for what? Anti-gravity romp? I'm not surprised by it in the least, Jim. And if it does work by some miracle, let me know. I'll make sure we'll get a supply in during the next inventory. I might not have a date for Valentine's Day. But I can have some hope for St. Patrick's Day. I kinda like those Irish gals."

"Let's face it Bones, you like nearly any kind of gal." Kirk chuckled cinching up another bag; to preoccupied with his planning for the next day to notice that something was a miss among his collection.

"Yea, well Jim, I see it like this." McCoy began starting to walk away. "I'm just following the example of my commanding officer."