Title: More Than Just Memories

Author: Jedi Buttercup

Rating: PG

Summary: She's the only member of the Enterprise that hasn't been to see him. 700 words.

Prompt: 24 Days of Ficmas, Day 2: For Demona. Brought to you by wishlist_fic. Prompt Bones & Illyria, given the summary; title's an episode quote.


Leonard opened the next scheduled patient's file on his PADD, reading over the baseline information from her previous annual physical, and wondered whether she'd actually bother to show up for her appointment.

He didn't know what it was about Lieutenant W. Illyria Burkle, but she'd caught his attention from the moment she'd come aboard Enterprise with the repair crews, and every time he'd seen her since he'd found new reasons to marvel.

She'd seemed fragile, at first glance; slight-boned and awkward, always standing at the edges of larger groups as though deflected by the mass of the crewmembers around her. Closer acquaintance, though, had proved the opposite true; by the time she'd been assigned as a permanent part of the crew, people's orbits had begun to change around her as though responding to an invisible gravitational pull. Not least of all his.

She had long brown hair, usually bound back in deference to regulations, with faint streaks of blue at the temples that matched her uniform tunic. Faint freckles ran along her hairline like ice-colored Trill spots, and when she was stressed her eye color faded from a bluish hazel to the frozen hue of winter sky. She was slender, and tended to avoid noticeable cosmetics; but she had a very human beauty to her, for all it was plain to him there was xenogamous blood somewhere in her background.

She could be animated enough when someone engaged her in shop talk, especially about advanced physics; Leonard had seen her in conversation with both Chekov and Scotty, all three a forest of waving hands and incomprehensible, excited voices, when Jim demanded some fresh crazy stunt from Engineering. But she could be surprisingly still and quiet, too; he'd seen her after hours in the hydroponics gardens, tending the plants with Sulu, brushing soft leaves with careful fingertips and a Madonna smile. She could do a Southern drawl well enough for like to recognize like; but when she was angry, all traces of it fled into flat, harsh imperatives that he suspected came more natural.

He'd seen her lift twice her own body-weight in collapsed machinery, once, and come away from it without a scratch. He'd heard her speak a language even Uhura didn't recognize, and watched the way the belligerent natives she spoke to lowered their gazes immediately and left the entire away team alone. He'd seen her stare out at the stars one evening on the observation deck, light-years of emptiness echoing in her eyes, as though someone had taken her whole planet in a divorce.

And then there was the way she watched him- especially when he was on the bridge heckling Jim or Spock- but always seemed to excuse herself from social situations around him, especially when alcohol was involved.

She was a bundle of contradictions wrapped in enigmas; and what was more, a year after the start of their mission, she was the only member of the crew who still hadn't officially been to see him. Chapel had scanned her after a few away team missions, but nothing intensive, and never when he was present to observe.

He'd had reluctant patients before- one Captain James T. Kirk chief among them- but never one who'd completely ignored every request for an informal meeting. He'd wanted to get to know the crew as people before he ended up elbow-deep in their innards- verify medical histories and ask about any conditions that might not be listed in their records. Out of several hundred crew members of all species and genders, she'd been the only one never to take him up on it before regulations forced her to visit.

Illyria bothered him. And intrigued him. But he worried he might be fixating on her as a substitute for Jocelyn- the last woman to fascinate him so deeply. He'd been a lot younger and less damaged when he'd met his ex-wife, though; Lieutenant Commander Leonard McCoy was another animal entirely from that naïve student doctor.

And of course, it remained to be seen whether he fascinated her in return- or whether whatever ancestry she was hiding from Starfleet would make a difference.

Leonard tapped his fingers against the PADD again, and waited.

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