The party was half over by the time the captain and first officer arrived; Kirk had played nearly every Spock-coercion card he had to get the Vulcan to come along, eventually beating down a string of "I fail to see the logic" protests with a carefully aimed, Kirkian grin.

The doors swished open and they walked into a green room. The walls were adorned with green banners and streamers; green confetti and an unidentifiable green liquid decorated the floor. Lieutenant Kevin Riley was decked from head to foot in an outfit of emerald velvet, attempting to dance a lively Irish jig to the slow Irish ballad pouring from the sound system speakers. The contents of a mug in his hand sloshed vigorously as he danced, creating new green puddles as he jigged around the room.

Chief Engineer Scott sat hunched over a table in the corner, a half full glass and several empty jugs in front of him. He greeted the new arrivals with a hearty smile and a cheery toast. "Och, lads, ye made it! And a fine do it is, too!" He slurped at the remains of his drink and lurched to his feet. "If ye'll excuse me, I'm gonna teach the lad what real dancing's all aboot." He straightened his kilt and swaggered unsteadily over to Riley, who was into his third rendition of "I'll Take You Home Again, Kathleen", serenading three male crewmen who were too drunk to care.

Kirk and Spock cleared the table and sat down, planning to observe the socialising from the relative safety of the corner. Spock started to rise, offering to get a drink for his friend, when he felt a hand push him back into his chair.

"Don't get up, Spocko - or should that be O'Spock today?" McCoy dumped three glasses onto the table and poured something green into them, sitting down opposite Kirk and Spock when he was done. "Well, don't just stare at it, Spock; drink up."

"I do not even know what 'it' is, Doctor." The Vulcan actually had a fair idea of what the green concoction was, but its startling resemblance to Vulcan blood left him with an odd feeling in his stomach.

The doctor took a swig of his drink. "It's beer, dammit - and you have to drink it for once, Spock, 'cause you're the guest of honour."

A dark brow rose. "Really, Doctor? I doubt Mr Riley would agree."

They all turned to look at the young lieutenant, who was currently faced off against the Scottish engineer, gesticulating wildly and declaring, in a fake, drunken Irish lilt, that kilts were for girls.

"Look, Spock," McCoy began, raising his voice above the escalating din on the other side of the room, "St Patrick's day is the day when we celebrate all things Irish - green things, good luck and leprechauns. Apart from the good luck - which Jim has in spades, you fit the bill better than anyone else on board." He lifted his mug. "Bottoms up."

Spock shot a disdainful glare at McCoy, but his expression softened when he heard Kirk chuckle.

"Frankly, Bones, I'm insulted," Kirk laughed. "I mean, I'm the one with the Irish ancestry, the Irish luck. I've even been to Ireland and kissed the Blarney Stone. And I don't get to be guest of honour? I'm crushed." He smirked into his mug.

McCoy snorted. "Well, I guess I can't deny you've got the gift of the gab. If I had half your charm, I wouldn't be such a miserable old crank." He swilled the contents of his mug. "And your luck defies belief. The Klingons should've killed you fifty times over, by now."

Kirk smiled. "Can't argue with that. That time we fought the cloud creature was a close call. If Spock hadn't beamed me up when he did.... And then there was the court martial. The evidence seemed pretty damning to me. I thought I was going to grow old in some Outer Rim penal colony."

"That's not the half of it! What about the time you lost your memory, or when you were creeping around that Romulan ship? You were lucky you didn't get caught before you had that cloaking device." He raised his glass. "Here's to the luckiest damn man I know."

A shout drew their attention back to Riley and Scott.

"What's that, laddie? Ye tryin' t' tell an Aberdeen pub-crawler he cannae hold his drink?"

"Uh-oh," muttered McCoy. He lifted the jug of green beer and stood up. "It seems your ol' country doctor is needed elsewhere, folks." He sauntered over to the hackle-raised Scot, grabbed an arm and pulled the engineer to another table, pouring him a drink before he could protest.

Spock eyed his untouched drink. "Captain, I do not believe any of the outcomes of those events could be attributed to 'luck'. In each case, the situation was resolved through the accurate application of intellect and skill. I would think that it is demeaning to you to have your achievements ascribed to elements beyond your control."

"Yes, I suppose you're right, Spock. It was your cross-circuiting that fixed the transporter and had me beamed up in time. It was your investigation of the computer that found the fault in the testimony against me and cleared me of the charges against Finney. It was your mind meld with me that returned my memory, and your stalling the Romulan Commander that gave me the time to get the cloaking device and escape."

Spock blushed a little at the praise apparent in Kirk's tone, but was satisfied he had convinced his captain that notions of "fate" and "luck" were quite illogical.

Kirk paused in thought for a minute, a sudden smile painted on his face. "You know what, Spock? You're a lucky guy to have around. Maybe Bones was right - you're my own lucky green leprechaun."

Spock's retort was interrupted by McCoy's return.

Kirk looked over the doctor's shoulder. "Where's Scotty, Bones?"

"Oh, I packed him off to his cabin with the promise of a bottle of beer, and slipped him a hypo when he wasn't looking. He'll probably wake up tomorrow, remember nothing about tonight and wonder what the heck the green stuff is lying around his quarters." He eyed his companions. "So, what have you two been talking about?"

"How lucky I am," said Kirk.

"Don't tell me," grunted the doctor. "Spock told you that luck was 'illogical'."

"On the contrary," said Spock, standing up. "I believe I am quite 'lucky' to have a legitimate reason to leave at this time. I have an experiment which requires my attention at regular intervals. If you will excuse me, gentlemen."

Before they could ponder Spock's abrupt leave-taking, Kirk and McCoy found themselves pinned in their corner booth by Lieutenant Riley. "And now," he slurred, "for the twenty-second time... I'll take you home again, Kathleen..."


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