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Old November 6 2008, 10:45 PM   #1
SLWatson
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November Entry - First...

Title: First...
Rating: PG, language
Character: McCoy
Timeline: Early 2250s
Words: 607
Challenge: Survival
Disclaimer: McCoy and his family belong to Paramount. Not me.
Notes: Sometimes, you have to survive what happens to you in what everyone claims to be 'everyday life', too.

--

The reflection in the glass was... frankly, pathetic.

Real pathetic.

Len McCoy couldn't find it in himself to care much, though. Yeah, he looked like Hell. Yeah, he was hungover and the bright, hazy Georgian sunlight was making it even worse. No, he hadn't bothered to shave in... in... a couple days? At least he managed to get a shower this morning. Stood in the stream of lukewarm water, feeling like he was getting a washdown in the Goddamn morgue like a corpse.

He wanted to be angry again. At least when he was raging, he could feel it fueling his strength. But then the anger would piss away, just like the booze, and he'd feel little more than apathetic exhaustion, the kind that went into some deep spot inside of him that medical science could never define.

He wanted to be angry at himself, for falling into this cycle. He wanted to be angry with Jocelyn, for pushing him into it in the first place. He wanted to be angry with his father, for putting it on him to pull the plug, the catalyst for all of it.

First, do no harm.

Some doctor he turned out to be.

Len rubbed his hand over his face, but he couldn't drag himself away from the reflection. Not because he wanted to see it, but because he didn't have the strength. He knew that he was probably clinically depressed by now, and that surviving that meant getting help, but still he didn't seek it. He looked into a bottle, or into his work. Pity on both sides -- his own self-pity in the bottom of the bourbon, or everyone else's at the hospital.

Eventually something had to break, and eventually something did.

He passed the playground that they used to take Joanna to on his way home the day before, the one where he pushed her on the swings, the one they shared a picnic at, and he saw the image of his family, and saw his little girl with her pigtails bouncing, his daughter that his wife took away in their divorce, all the while spitting out meaningless words about how this was the best thing for them...

...and he went home, and he tried to drink the hurt away, and the rage that came with that pain buried in some place that no surgery could ever touch; went home and howled his anger and sobbed his grief and broke things.

When the sun rose, it came with a hangover and more depression, and the certain knowledge that he had only two choices now:

Live or die.

Staring into his own reflection, he didn't even know which one it would be. To live, he had to get away from the hurt, at least long enough to get his bearings. He couldn't survive when he was near his baby girl's things, the clothes packed in dressers that still smelled like her, a scent he knew from the day she was born, now fading. He couldn't survive when Jocelyn would call and update him, looking at him with those eyes filled with a sort of sorrow that only made him hate her even as he still loved her. He could not walk their roads, past the places they shared as a family, and still want to wake up each day.

He didn't know which one it would be, but the words kept haunting him, forcing him to act.

First, do no harm.

It took him several moments to get his energy up, and then Len McCoy walked to the door of the Starfleet Recruitment Office, and went inside.
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Old November 6 2008, 11:52 PM   #2
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Re: November Entry - First...

Very good insight into the character of McCoy at a key point in his career.
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Old November 7 2008, 02:54 AM   #3
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Re: November Entry - First...

Thank you!
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Old November 7 2008, 06:37 AM   #4
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Re: November Entry - First...

Wow..very good...impressed!

Rob
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Old November 7 2008, 06:38 AM   #5
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Re: November Entry - First...

Thanks much!
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Old November 7 2008, 10:57 AM   #6
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Re: November Entry - First...

Wow very good story, and an interesting take on the challenge.

My only quibble is you calling him Len McCoy. I just found that jarring, we never heard him referred to in that way, it was always Leonard.
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Old November 7 2008, 05:09 PM   #7
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Re: November Entry - First...

Starkers wrote: View Post
Wow very good story, and an interesting take on the challenge.

My only quibble is you calling him Len McCoy. I just found that jarring, we never heard him referred to in that way, it was always Leonard.
I beg to differ-Len McCoy is how he was referred to in early Trek novels that reflected on his life before Starfleet. If I recall, it was also part of the (unused) script about his daughter from TOS that Gene himself wrote.
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Old November 7 2008, 05:12 PM   #8
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Re: November Entry - First...

Mistral wrote: View Post
Starkers wrote: View Post
Wow very good story, and an interesting take on the challenge.

My only quibble is you calling him Len McCoy. I just found that jarring, we never heard him referred to in that way, it was always Leonard.
I beg to differ-Len McCoy is how he was referred to in early Trek novels that reflected on his life before Starfleet. If I recall, it was also part of the (unused) script about his daughter from TOS that Gene himself wrote.
I didn't even catch it. I thought it was a different way say his name and I accepted it...but cool to see it has been used before too. Mr. Watson did his homework perhaps???

Rob
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Old November 7 2008, 08:22 PM   #9
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Re: November Entry - First...

Starkers wrote: View Post
Wow very good story, and an interesting take on the challenge.

My only quibble is you calling him Len McCoy. I just found that jarring, we never heard him referred to in that way, it was always Leonard.
He wasn't always 'Bones', and I'm pretty sure that his wife wouldn't have called him 'Leonard'. But I'm definitely not the first person to write him being called Len over Leonard in his earlier life. Promise.

Thanks so much for the comment!

Mistral wrote: View Post
I beg to differ-Len McCoy is how he was referred to in early Trek novels that reflected on his life before Starfleet. If I recall, it was also part of the (unused) script about his daughter from TOS that Gene himself wrote.
And it was a part of how he was referred to in Shadows on the Sun and other more McCoy centric novels. I love that nickname, myself. ;-) I think it's more warm and intimate than 'Bones' to be honest, though that has quite a history to it.

Thank you!

RobertScorpio wrote: View Post
I didn't even catch it. I thought it was a different way say his name and I accepted it...but cool to see it has been used before too. Mr. Watson did his homework perhaps???

Rob
Mrs. Watson. Or, just Steff. And yeah, I tend to be a pretty obsessive researcher, but in this particular case, it just made sense to me that he'd go by Len.

Thanks for commenting!
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Old November 7 2008, 09:12 PM   #10
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Re: November Entry - First...

Mistral wrote: View Post
Starkers wrote: View Post
Wow very good story, and an interesting take on the challenge.

My only quibble is you calling him Len McCoy. I just found that jarring, we never heard him referred to in that way, it was always Leonard.
I beg to differ-Len McCoy is how he was referred to in early Trek novels that reflected on his life before Starfleet. If I recall, it was also part of the (unused) script about his daughter from TOS that Gene himself wrote.
Well I've never read those novels, so to me TOS is the benchmark and I never heard him called Len, it just doesn't sound right to me that's all- my quibble
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Old November 7 2008, 09:18 PM   #11
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Re: November Entry - First...

Starkers wrote: View Post
Well I've never read those novels, so to me TOS is the benchmark and I never heard him called Len, it just doesn't sound right to me that's all- my quibble
That's okay. ;-) You're allowed to quibble. But I just figured that Len would be what he went by before he was tagged as Bones, at least by those close to him.
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Old November 8 2008, 05:01 PM   #12
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Re: November Entry - First...

You clearly have a thing for writing deep, character pieces which explore every aspect of the TOS characters.

You also have a knack of making them quite depressing.

Regardless, this flows very well and is really just beautifully written and composed. Kudos.
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Old November 8 2008, 06:40 PM   #13
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Re: November Entry - First...

CeJay wrote: View Post
You clearly have a thing for writing deep, character pieces which explore every aspect of the TOS characters.

You also have a knack of making them quite depressing.

Regardless, this flows very well and is really just beautifully written and composed. Kudos.
::laughs:: Believe it or not, most of what I write goes the other way, but when you've got a survival theme, it's kinda hard to pull fluff out of it. Thanks much for the comment!
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Old November 9 2008, 10:56 AM   #14
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Re: November Entry - First...

A compelling, visceral story about hard choices that answers the fact of why Leonard McCoy went into Starfleet to begin with. Really nicely done!
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Old November 9 2008, 07:36 PM   #15
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Re: November Entry - First...

Gibraltar wrote: View Post
A compelling, visceral story about hard choices that answers the fact of why Leonard McCoy went into Starfleet to begin with. Really nicely done!
I wish I could take credit for the idea that the divorce drove him to it, but I think it was either in the novels or in fanon. This is just one take on a fateful moment.

Thanks for the comment!
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