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schweinsty in ficcy_fic

Ripple

Title: Ripple
Fandom: Star Trek XI
Rating: PG
Characters: Leonard McCoy
Word Count: 812
Summary: Sometimes, Leonard McCoy wonders what his life would have been like in another life. Sometimes, he's pretty sure he doesn't want to know.
Warnings: Deals with a death (not of a major character) that might be sensitive for some. Highlight for clarifying spoilers: The death of a child.
Notes: To those to whom I've promised stuff for the kink meme: I'm working on them, seriously. This just kinda snuck up on me.


Ripple

On stardate 2250.16, Leonard McCoy rushes his very pregnant wife to the hospital. She's gone into labor two months early. Leonard is frantic. He paces up and down the waiting room and drums his fingers on his thigh when the nurses tell him to sit down.

At five o'clock on the dot, Jocelyn McCoy delivers a beautiful, premature baby girl. It's a long, hard fight, but the attending doctor remembers an intubation trick she learned at her first delivery, seventeen years ago, and thanks to her skills, both mother and daughter pull through.

Leonard and Jocelyn name their precious, perfect baby Joanna after the doctor who saved her life. They hold their daughter in their arms and count her fingers and toes and cry (though Leonard will later insist he never shed any tears). They take little Joanna home and send Dr. Joanna some cookies and a boquet of lilies, and live in blissful happiness for two or three years, before Leonard's career and Jocelyn's studies and the stress of trying to raise a child drive them apart. It's a relatively amicable divorce, and, though Leonard decides it's for the best to leave when Dr. Joanna offers him a referral to Starfleet, he sends more letters and holovideos back home than most of the crew of the Enterprise combined, and, when Joanna is accepted to the microbiology program at Ole Miss, he's so proud he thinks he'll burst.

Sometimes he wonders what life would have been like if he and Jocelyn had never had children, if they would still have gotten divorced.

He thinks he's happier this way.


Eighteen years before Jocelyn McCoy gets pregnant, Joanna O'Brien recieves her degree in medicine and advances to the rank of lieutenant, garnering her a posting on a first-class starship. She has a celebratory bash with her family and friends, gets smashed, and wakes up underneath a pool table in her best friends living room the next morning with the worst hangover she's ever had.

Life is brilliant.

A few months later, she discovers that one of the lieutenants on the ship is pregnant, and Joanna has been chosen to supervise the delivery. It will be her first delivery ever, and Joanna is ecstatic. She monitors the health of mother and child with an attention to detail that has her superiors dropping hints about a possible promotion.

On stardate 2233.04, Joanna records a holovideo to send to her sister. The mission the ship is on is going better than expected, she says, and her patients are doing wonderfully. Joanna has to cut the recording short when a runner comes up with some unexpected but exhilarating news: Lieutenant Kirk is going into labor, and Joanna is needed in the sick bay.

Joanna runs to the turbolift and shuts the door. She is just grabbing onto a navigation bar when Nero fires his first wave of torpedoes, and the deck she is on explodes.


On stardate 2250.16, Leonard McCoy rushes his very pregnant wife to the hospital. She's gone into labor two months early. Leonard is frantic. He paces up and down the waiting room and drums his fingers on his thigh when the nurses tell him to sit down.

At five o'clock on the dot, Jocelyn McCoy delivers a beautiful, premature baby girl. It's a long, hard fight, and in the end, the attending doctor barely manages to save the mother's life.

Leonard and Jocelyn name their precious, perfect baby Leslie, after Leonard's mother. They hold their daughter in their arms and count her fingers and toes . Leonard cries. Jocelyn sobs uncontrollably.

Leslie McCoy dies two hours after her birth.

Leonard and Jocelyn try to grieve together, try to cope, but they grieve too differently, and words that, in another life might just have driven them apart, become weapons that sting in this one. The divorce, when it comes four years later, is less an agreement of dissolution than it is the release of all the pent-up anger they've built up over the years. It is not nice, and it is not amicable, and at the end of it they are bitter and tired and jaded and angry still, and it rankles.

Jocelyn takes it out on Leonard. Leonard takes it out on himself, and when he has nothing left but a grimy apartment and a flask of whiskey, he gives it up and joins Starfleet. He never sees Jocelyn again.

Sometimes he wonders what life would have been like if Leslie had lived, if he and Jocelyn would have weathered it out, or if fate would have dragged him onto the Enterprise instead. Sometimes, when they stop by New Vulcan, he almost convinces himself to go see Spock, to ask him whether Leonard McCoy had a daughter in this other life. But he never does.

He thinks he's happier not knowing.

He's probably right.

Comments

...ouch. :\
XD. You have no idea how happy your comment makes me.

Also...orz, did Zelenka die? *cries* *has not watched the second half of season 4*
Bah. You mock my pain. >:|

No no no, don't worry, Zelenka doesn't die! The icon is from the fabulous Pegasus Tinies, done a couple years ago for the 'Ways to Die' sga_flashfic challenge.
Mock? I would never mock it! Enjoying it, however, is an entirely different thing :P.

Ah, I see :). *runs off to looksie*
Oh, Bones. ;_; Heartbreaking and very plausible.
:). Thank you. *snuggles Bones*
Oh, thank you so much - that is really what I was going for, so I'm so happy I got it across. I think the difference between the crews is that this crew seems so much more disconnected from - Earth, I guess? I dunno, they just seemed really isolated in this movie as compared to TOS. Like they don't have a lot tying them to anybody else, and I just really really love the idea of 'families you make' and wanted to explore that in fic. So I'm really glad it worked for you :).

And thanks - glad you liked The End, too :). Though I think I've got to go write some fic with happy endings now to make up for these :P.
Ouch is right. Nice job showing all the unforeseen consequences of the Kelvin.
Thank you :).
Ow. I love this idea. We already know that both Kirk and Spock were exremely affected by Nero's presence. Why not McCoy as well?

Great idea. :)
Heartbreaking simple change to the timeline.

here via your link on the kink meme

Ouch indeed. Way to spear a person in the gut, emotionally, but you do it so well. Nothing is out of place or unnecessary here, and man, don't I just want to give Bones a damn hug.

Great fic.

Re: here via your link on the kink meme

*bounces around happily* Thank you very much! :D!
That's a good take on "why different" - I love this kind of fic. Thank you!

P.D.: I've had my own little musing here.

Edited at 2009-07-12 09:08 am (UTC)
*is tearing up* This is so heartbreaking.
Gorgeously and painfully done.
I love this. It's wonderful. Hmm...I want more scenarios of the ways it could go. I love that you took us back to the death of the original Joanna and the link to Leslie's death and the way that even when things change, some outcomes remain the same. Hmm...but it's not so much that he's on the Enterprise as the feelings that follow him there and the ties cut at home.
Oooh. Man. That hurt so good.
Oh, just sayin. This hurt so good that I had to rec it at my comm au_love.

*sobs* Sad but lovely.
Tohru

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