I, Joanna (Preview)
A/N: I thought it'd be interesting to write a story about McCoy's daughter, Joanna. She hasn't been mentioned in the Kelvin universe, but I imagine she's somewhere out there. Also, I tried to write in a Southern accent for her. Let me know if it's too hard to read. And let me know what you think!
After a double-shift in sickbay and a quick dinner in the mess, I reached the turbolift. I had gone a week without sleeping. While this wasn't uncommon for my kind, I was starting to feel the effects of fatigue. My feet ached from being on them for so long. One short ride, I thought, and I'm there. Our quarters. Our glorious bed.
"Hold that," came a man's voice. I groaned on the inside. I was so close to being alone in the lift. Another person would slow it down. However, I was still new and wanting to be polite. I obliged, holding out my arm to stop the doors from whooshing shut.
"Thanks." The man caught up to me and we locked eyes. Captain Kirk. I felt both relieved I hadn't decided to be rude and close the turbolift on the ship's highest ranking officer and dread at the thought of possible conversation. "Oh, Doctor," his blue eyes widened in recognition.
"Call me Joanna, Cap'n," I insisted. "Doctor McCoy is my father."
"All right…Joanna." Kirk entered the turbolift and gave a place on the ship I didn't recognize. I gave where I wanted to head, and the lift started moving.
"Actually," he started, pressing a button behind us to stop the movement, "there's something I've been meaning to talk to you about."
Oh no. Am I in trouble? I suddenly felt queasy. My stomach was already in a bit of a bind trying to adjust to human food after a long time with Sarek and bland, Vulcan cuisine. Now I'd done something to upset the captain? Well, maybe there's a place to sleep in the brig.
"I think you should know, Joanna…" Kirk paused, clearing his throat, "that Mr. Sulu is married."
For a moment I stared at the man, baffled. I did not hate the lieutenant, but I couldn't remember asking about the man's personal life. "Uh…well…tell 'im I said, 'Congratulations,' sir."
His blue eyes suddenly wanted to evade mine. "I bring this up because he told me you were staring at him when you visited the bridge today."
"Oh!" I could feel my cheeks blush a deep green. "Tell Mr. Sulu I apologize. I didn't mean ta stare, and I didn't do it 'cause I'm interested in yer pilot."
Kirk furrowed his brows, finally regaining eye contact with me. "So you're not attracted to him, but you were staring?"
Of course not! The only person I thought of in that way was Jessamy. I wasn't going to tell Kirk about my boyfriend under his command until I told Dad, but I needed to tell him at least most of the truth. I sighed. "Permission ta speak freely?" He nodded. "I'll tell ya why, Cap'n, 'cause I don't want any trouble. But would ya please keep this 'tween you and me? My father doesn't even know."
He shrugged. "Okay. What's up?" He suddenly sounded more like a friend than a superior.
"My dad has always wanted me ta follow in 'is footsteps. Be a doctor, like 'im, and a million other McCoys. Even as a kid, I showed aptitude in medicine. Had all the bones in a human skeleton memorized by age eight. Top grades in Advanced Biology and Xenobiology. So, I was on the way to be like 'im. Was admitted to Starfleet Academy and Medical. But no one ever asked me what I wanted. They only saw a lil' Leonard McCoy with pointed ears."
"What do you want?" the captain asked. "To be a diplomat?"
I shook my head. "No. I've seen what a diplomat's life entails through Sarek. It's…" I chuckled. "Boring. I have always dreamed of exploration, what y'all and the Enterprise are so lucky to do. But I've always wanted…" I stopped. God, I've never told anyone, and now I'm telling someone who's practically a stranger. I could feel my heart beating faster. Kirk put a reassuring hand on my shoulder.
"The reason I was staring at Mr. Sulu is 'cause…I wanna be like him. A pilot."
Kirk looked as if he were stifling a laugh. "Wait-you're afraid to tell Bones you want to be a helmsman?"
"You don't understand, Cap'n. I've always been pressured to be like 'im. By 'im. By the McCoy family. I mean, hell-I'm a Vulcan who acts like a human, for God's sake. Ya know how many of us do that?"
"Given the way my also half human First Officer is, I doubt many." Kirk smiled. It was my turn to snicker. I hadn't spent much time with the First Officer, but I had plenty of experience with his father, Sarek. If Sarek had not told me, I would have never guessed Commander Spock's mother was human. He had definitely been raised Vulcan.
"Joanna," said Kirk, "did you read about my father at the Academy? Lieutenant George Kirk? Of the U.S.S. Kelvin?"
I nodded. "Your dad was a hero. He saved the crew. And you and yer mother."
"He was," the Captain continued. "I had no interest in joining Starfleet." I raised an eyebrow. "Until Admiral Pike-well, then Captain Pike-found me. You remember him?" I nodded. "Well, he brought up what my dad did on the Kelvin and dared me to do better. For years, I acted on that dare. Joined Starfleet. Became Captain of this ship. All to be like my dad. Then, not too long ago, I talked to Bones about my doubts. Joining Starfleet on a dare. You know what he told me?" He asked rhetorically, pausing. "I had spent years trying to be my dad. I needed to figure out what it meant to be me."
There was a long silence. "I…think your dad will understand more than you think he will," he said. I smiled. Captain Kirk pressed the button to resume the turbolift. It opened to his stop.
"Thanks, Cap'n," I said as he disembarked.
He turned back into the turbolift to pat me on the back. "Jim," he corrected warmly.
I nodded. "Jim."