Title: Joanna vs. The Enterprise
Rating: PG, mild swearing by Bonesy
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.
“Joanna, honey, I think it’s time to go to bed,” McCoy brushes her dark hair back behind her ear, smiling at the adorably grouchy look his daughter gives him from nearly closed eyes. They’re sitting in what passes for a livingroom in the CMO’s quarters, surrounded by streamers and wrapping paper from the presents the crew had collected for his daughter’s last day on the Enterprise. It touches McCoy deeply to see how much effort his crewmates – his friends – have put towards making Joanna’s last night a happy memory. “We’ve gotta get you on that shuttle bright and early. C’mon, upsy-daisy.”
“Dun wanna,” Joanna says with a soft growl, clutching the strangely predatory looking teddy bear Spock had given her closely. McCoy frowns down at her, and she gives him an equally stubborn scowl from her curled position at the end of the couch. There is a small pile of gifts on the cushion beside her; dilithium crystal fragments strung into a bracelet from Keenser, a model of the Enterprise from Jim and an outdated medical tricorder rigged to give joke diagnostics from Chekhov. “Can’t I stay up a bit longer? I’m not tired.”
“Uh huh,” McCoy says sceptically as Joanna tries and fails to hold back a large yawn. He lifts her up into his arms ignoring her sleepy protests. His daughter feels heavy in his arms, a sharp reminder of the years he missed going to the academy. He swallows back a lump in his throat as he carries her into the bedroom to tuck her in. “Sleep time, princess. You’ve got a big day tomorrow.”
“Daddy,” Joanna whispers, biting her lip as he tucks her under the warm blanket. She tugs the stuffed Sehlat closer to her chin and peers up at him with a sad look in her eyes. McCoy sits lightly on the mattress beside her, rubbing her arm comfortingly. She sets her jaw as determinedly as a nine year old can and says softly, “I don’t want to go tomorrow.”
“Honey, we talked about this,” McCoy says in an even tone, trying not to show his heartbreak to his daughter. She sniffles up at him as her eyes fill with tears, and McCoy crushes her to his chest as she begins to cry. “Shh, I know sweetie. I’d love for you to stay... but you need to go with your mother. Go back to all your friends, don’t you want that?”
“No,” Joanna hiccups out, her face tight against his neck as she cries from deep in her stomach, not the loud angry tears of a petulant child, but the quiet ones of a heart in pain. McCoy feels his eyes start to burn, and blinks in an attempt to keep the tears at bay. His baby girl needs him, damnit, and he’s not going to start blubbering in front of her. “I wanna stay daddy. I wanna stay with you, and Mr. Spock, and Jim, and Chris –”
Joanna’s voice breaks on his nurse’s name, and she cries more into his shoulder, his hands span her small back as it heaves with her sobs. McCoy feels adrift in a strange way as he attempts to calm his daughter, trying to convince her to leave when its the last thing he wants. He should never have let his ex-wife take custody; if only he hadn’t been curled up at the bottom of a bottle he’d have done right by his little girl instead of running away to Starfleet.
“I’m sorry sweetheart,” McCoy says, his own voice hitching as he can no longer keep his emotions at bay. First one tear, then another roll down his slightly unshaven cheeks as he buries his face in her hair, still smelling of the apple shampoo he borrowed from Christine. They stay curled around each other long after Joanna cries herself to sleep, and McCoy’s voice is hoarse from the apologies he repeats even after that.
The next morning is the worst day of his life, as McCoy has to carry his daughter off his ship, off his home and back to the shuttle that will carry her light-years away from him. He stands there for nearly an hour after it’s gone, looking out in the direction of Earth, thinking in circles about his past, his daughter, and their future.
Jim doesn’t bat an eyelash when he demands the paperwork for onboard dependants when he gets back on the ship.