Disclaimer: If I owned any aspect of Star Trek, I'd be sitting on some beach somewhere with Zachary Quinto.

Author's Note: I've been a Star Trek fan for nearly ten years now, but if I make some sort of canonical error, don't hesitate to tell me.


PROLOGUE.

"You know, where I'm from, we've got a saying, Chapel -- Every dog should have a few fleas."

Christine Chapel, who was anxiously making sure her black Starfleet uniform was in top condition in the reflection of her small pocket mirror, glared at Leonard McCoy for a moment in annoyance. "And where I'm from, they have a saying also -- if you're an aviaphobic, don't join a military association based out of outer space," she shot back sarcastically.

"Touché."

A couple of officers passed the two sickbay personnel. One of them, a beautiful dark-skinned woman about her age flashed a sparkling smile at them both. McCoy nodded and gave her a small wave. "That's Uhura, our green-blooded Science Officer's ol' girl. They, er, had a few disagreements over the last few weeks and finally decided to call it quits. She didn't waste much time mourning, though. I met up with her and Kirk at the Academy bar the other night -- and both were looking pretty comfortable with each other. And that's saying something, considering they were practically at each other's throats six months ago, during the Romulan attack."

Christine sighed and shut her mirror quickly. In an attempt to block out McCoy's rambling, she stared out of the shuttlecraft window and into the Starfleet Academy hanger. She wasn't usually this thorough with her outward appearance; in fact, until quite recently, she always had a pair of bulky horn-rimmed glasses perched on the bridge of her nose that always seemed much too big for her face. Unfortunately, Starfleet had strict regulations about optometric health and she was required to have laser surgery that restored her eyes to 20/20 vision before stepping onboard a starship.

"Loosen up a bit, Chapel. Don't get too big for your britches. You may be a chick fresh out of the Medical Academy, but you were at the top of your class. I betcha that wasn't some random achievement." She couldn't tell if he was being sarcastic or sincere; with McCoy, it could be either way any day of the week.

The vessel was due for liftoff any moment now. Christine glanced down at her watch. Right on queue, the automated door that led into the hangar closed and everyone began to buckle themselves up into their seats. She heard McCoy's breathing sharply rise as his buckle wouldn't stay locked; he was jamming it too hard, causing it not stay.

"You're going to break it and then I'll be in trouble because you'll practically be in my lap the entire ride up," she muttered, slapping his large sweaty hands from the seatbelt. The buckle closed with a simple click, causing him to finally relax.

"Thanks."

"Loosen up, McCoy. The Enterprise is approximately 250 miles above the Earth. I'm sure that if the shuttle malfunctioned, you'd be dead before you hit the ground. No worries." She gave him an eerie smile.

He gulped nervously and as the shuttle began to lift off, he gripped the precaution bar on the back of the row of seats in front of them. His knuckled were turning white.

Christine leaned back in her seat and closed her eyes.

This was going to be a long ride.


A/N: So...how was it? I love Christine Chapel and I wanted to incorporate her into the Abramverse. Also, as much as I love Uhura and Spock, I don't love them together. I've always been a big Uhura/Kirk shipper, so don't butcher me. :p Also, how did I do with McCoy? I'm always worried about my characterization...