A/N: Written for McCoy-a-thon, Prompt by jadecanary :
I'd love to see a take-your-daughter-to-work scenario where young Joanna McCoy comes to stay with Bones on the Enterprise for a week. Obviously SHENANIGANS occur, because at least some of that attitude must be passed down. Bonus points for Joanna having a crush on another crew member.
“It’s a bunny.” Joanna says, trailing her small hand across the force field over their heads. Her other arm is under her head in an unconscious imitation of McCoy’s similar position beside her. McCoy feels his lips tug upward in a smile at the look of wonder on her face before focusing his attention to her fingertips as they trace an outline in the stars. He squints, trying to decide if the stars are actually that fuzzy looking, or if he should check his own eyes for vision problems.
“How’d you reckon that?” he shifts himself a bit closer to her, trying to find the constellation his daughter has found. He is pleasantly surprised when she makes a tiny sound of aggravation and rolls herself onto his shoulder until her tiny face is mashed up against his own.
“Look.” Joanna insists, her voice taking on an imperious tone, as if by commanding it, he will magically see her bunny in the stars. He rolls his eyes slightly but obliges her, wrapping his arm around her to make her more comfortable. They’re lying down at the edge of the shuttle bay, tucked up close to the force field that allows shuttles through into the black of space, but keeps the atmosphere and heat inside the ship.
He had panicked when Chapel had suggested he take Joanna there to ‘look at something besides sick bay’, but he had to admit the young woman knew her stuff. His daughter had taken to the idea with delight, and proclaimed that they were going on a camping trip. Jim had merely laughed and demanded she bring him a s’more when Bones had been coerced by his daughter and aide to ask permission. So now he was pressed up against with his sugar high daughter with an atom thin sheet of energy standing between them and painful death by asphyxiation in space.
“I’ll be damned,” McCoy chuckled as his daughter’s pointing finger and his eyes finally match on the same path. “It does look like a rabbit. What’s up doc?” He teases as he tickles his daughter lightly with the hand around her tiny body. She giggles a slightly older sounding version of her baby’s laugh, the laugh that he fell in love with even as she spit up and was a general terror as an infant. He pulls her more tightly into the protective circle of his arm, listening with half an ear as she points out other clumps of stars that could only be seen to resemble ancient cartoon characters by a bored nine year old. He allows Joanna to feed him her versions of s’mores; the crackers filled with more marshmallow than chocolate, and he chokes the sugary mess down because it makes her dark eyes sparkle up at him in a way he’s missed over the past three years since the divorce.
They lay in silence for a while after their ‘meal’ is done, Joanna wrapped up tighter than a caterpillar in one of Christine’s old robes and huddled so close to McCoy that he suspects she’s deep asleep. He stares up at the space he despised so much when first setting out with Jim Kirk to join the academy, and marvels at how at home he feels on this ship with its crew.
With his daughter.
He frowns as he realizes that technically they’ve just crossed over from Thursday to Friday in Earth standard hours. Joanna is to be dropped off at Starbase Four Sunday morning, so he only has two days left with his daughter. He swallows back a swell of emotion as Joanna shifts slightly, before letting out a ridiculously cute snore into his neck. He brushes a whiskery kiss against her dark curls, watching the swirls of starlight moving over her pale skin as the ship drifts in orbit around the war torn planet beneath them.
“Daddy,” Joanna’s mumbling in her sleep, and a small hand has emerged from the cocoon of blankets to fist in his blue regulation uniform. He hadn’t the chance to change after returning with the medical teams around lunchtime, and he’s slightly glad for that in the cooler temperature of the shuttle bay. At first he worries that the cold has cause Joanna to wake up, but she whimpers slightly and burrows into him. “Daddy don’t go. Don’t go away again.” She sniffles for a few minutes and Bones rolls more towards her to wrap his other arm around her in an awkward but comforting hug.
“Oh Jo, honey,” he whispers, and lets out a deep sigh. He murmurs soothing words, letting his voice dip into the deep Georgian drawl that he had almost eliminated from his tone in university. The sound comforts her, and she soon settles back to sleep. He knows he should wake her up, or at least get up and carry her back to his quarters so they can sleep in the clean quiet space that has become his home. But he finds himself loathe to give up even one more waking moment with his daughter before she’s taken away from him again.
So he lays there under the stars, long past shift changes and rest times, savouring the time he has left.