CHAPTER SEVENTEEN

"You could be a little more grateful Jim." Grunted McCoy as he tilted his chair back and planted both feet on the corner of the desk. "We did come back and get you."

"Two days later!" Snapped Kirk nearly spilling his second glass of bourbon in his vehemence. "Bad enough I had to hang in that damn smelly bag all that time but I had to listen to that screaming, filthy mouthed, flim-flaming,…."

"Fly flicker?"

"What!" Came the vexed hiss from the Captain, as he fixed look of mixed annoyance and befuddlement on to his face.

Lower jaw shifting 1.3 centimeters, Spock stared at Kirk for 2.2 seconds, flared his nostrils once then fixed his own cold stare on the opposite wall.

"Don't bellyache too damn loud Jim." McCoy snorted as he absently toyed with the limp sprig of mint in his drink. "All that caterwauling made it hellva a lot easier to find you two. Besides, I did finally figure out that I could wish the entire ship to the right sector to rescue your sorry behind."

There was a peculiar hushed noise emitted somewhere in the general vicinity of Spock, as he folded his arm and kept his stare pinned on the wall.

"Er,…of course, Spock did make the original suggestion." Appended McCoy quickly as he shot a prickly glare at the Vulcan, unsure exactly of what part of the Vulcan had made the noise. "It was more of a group consultation type of thing."

"Yes. Nearly forty hours later!" Snarled Kirk in-between gulps of his drink, not sure which of his two officers he should be the most peeved at. The one who came up with the plan or the one who executed the idiotic plot.

"Why do you insist on reiterating that point Captain?" Spock innocently inquired as he wiggled around in his seat and appeared not to notice any sound that he may have executed.

Tongue working furious to lap up any stray droplets of bourbon that lingered around his lips, Kirk gave the Vulcan an incredulous glare.

"Possibly due to the fact I have this abhorrence to dying either by the elements or the lack of food, that I've had since childhood."

Rolling his eyes, McCoy sighed from exasperated boredom. "I wouldn't have worried too much about it Jim. You could survive for a good many days on that layer of blubber you keep tucked in that girdle of yours. So cool your flaps, drink you drink and at least for our sake, pretend to be damn appreciative."

Opening then shutting his mouth, Kirk stared at the physician suspiciously before gulping the rest of his drink and slouched further in his chair.

"Yea well,….." Swirling the remnants of the amber liquor in the bottom of his glass, Kirk heaved a large unhappy sigh. "…when Scotty shot me down thanks for breaking my fall Spock. McCoy did a decent job of fixing that ear. Practically looks like the other one."

Eyebrow arching dangerously in an expression of Vulcan venom, Spock stared at the man sitting next to him for a full chilly silent ten seconds before speaking.

"Captain, may I point out that the tips of a Vulcan ear's do not normally bend at a forty five degree angle."

"Oh. Yea, Spock." Coughed Kirk while darting his nervous eyes toward the chronometer on McCoy's desk. "I knew that. Really. I was merely trying to be….supportive. Is that the real time? I need to be getting back to the bridge before Chekov finds where I've been hiding my liquor again and tires to find a drive thru at the next starbase we pass. Thanks for the drink Bones."

Downing the remaining bourbon, Kirk licked his lips loudly then set the empty glass on the Doctor's desk before sprinting from his chair and out of the office.

Eyes locking with McCoy's bothersome blue gaze, Spock heaved a small tiresome sigh.

"Well Spock," Began the Doctor, his fingers again playing with the nearly shredded mint sprig. "Already regettin' not to go along with my idea of taking Fred and leaving Jim?"

Studying McCoy's face while pursing his lips reflectively, the Vulcan suddenly stood up well aware of the strange air flow over the tilted tip of his ear.

"Logic Doctor, is pointing more toward the idea of perhaps having left both."

With that being said, Spock also took his leave of McCoy, planning on returning to his cabin to contact his mother in regards to any suggestion for his most recent affliction at the hands of his Captain.

Shaking his head, McCoy already missed his few weeks of good fortune even if it was a fluke. Then again he was thrilled down to his yellow toenails the little bugger was not longer around to complicate his simple bucolic life style.

That thought having barely echoed within his mind, McCoy suddenly froze. His face losing it's color when his somewhat disillusioned gaze fell on his glass with it's green décor.

The one time sprig of mint that hugged the lip of the glass was no longer there. In it's place, a perfect brilliant emerald hued shamrock.

FIN…………………………..……Or is it? Could there be the slightest chance that Fred or some of his kin may reappear later on to complicate the good Doctor's life again? Possibly, but one never knows.