Beatrice McCoy sat amongst the other graduates of the Starfleet Medical Academy. Though she'd be the first to admit that it wasn't an easy task to accomplish, Beatrice could now safely say that she was on the path of becoming a full-fledged doctor for Starfleet. Her parents would have been proud of her continuing the long line of doctors in the family.
Tears pricked at the corner of her eyes at the thought of her parents. They had been the only two doctors aboard the ship when it was forced to crash-land. Right up until the end they did what they could to save the crew.
Beatrice's thoughts were broken off by the sound of her name. It took her a second to realize that all eyes were on her and that the Academy's head was waiting for her to receive her diploma. She stood quickly and approached Doctor Moore who handed her the diploma. There was light applause, but it was drowned out by her older brother Leonard's cheering. Turning a shade of crimson, Beatrice hurried off stage.
After the graduation, there was a party held on the Academy's grounds. Although Beatrice didn't feel much like joining in the festivities, since her mind was now practically clouded with memories of that horrible day when her parents died.
It wasn't until seeing Leonard rushing up to her that Beatrice wiped away her tears and managed a smile.
"Doctor Beatrice McCoy." Leonard wrapped Beatrice in a hug and lifted her off the ground. "I'm so proud of you, kid."
"Thank you, Leonard." Beatrice said as she was set back on the floor. "It's so wonderful to see you."
Leonard frowned. "What's wrong?"
"Nothing's wrong, everything's fine."
"Then why are you crying?"
Beatrice gave a short laugh. "I've not been crying. This is the happiest day of my life."
Leonard made a gesture with his head. "Let's take a walk."
Beatrice and Leonard left the building and began to stroll the grounds. Neither one spoke until they rested on the grass.
"You were thinking about Mom and Dad."
Beatrice shrugged. "Does it matter?"
"Of course it matters. Listen Bee, I'm no Vulcan, but I can tell when you're upset about something and the only time you cry is when you think about them and...what happened."
"I keep seeing them, Leonard. Their bodies wrapped in those bags, every inch of them burned or injured. The captain of the ship wasn't even sure if it was our parents that were recovered, until he saw their wedding rings."
"You were only twelve when it happened, any kid your age would have been traumatized."
"There is another thing." Beatrice began to pick at the blades of grass. "It's going to sound silly."
Beatrice sighed and stood to her feet, walking over to a tree. "I'm jealous of you. I promised Mom and Dad that I'd be a doctor, and the idea that they saw you graduate and didn't even see me enter the academy...You saw them be proud of you, Lenny. I never did."
Leonard walked up to Beatrice and put a hand on her shoulder. "They are proud of you. They're not here, but they're proud. Besides, I saw you. I saw you walk through Starfleet the first time, and today I saw you become a doctor. Does that make me a bad substitute?"
Beatrice turned to Leonard who was frowning like a sad, little kid. She broke into a laugh and kissed his cheek.
"You're a wonderful substitute. Thank you."
"Well, before we go back to the party, I have a surprise."
"Well, there's been some additions to the engineering crew aboard the Enterprise, and I'm kind of short-staffed. So, I talked it over with Jim, and he thinks that I need another doctor to assist me."
"That's nice, but what does this have to do with me?"
"Well, who better to help than my baby sister?"
Beatrice gasped and hugged Leonard tight. "My first job? With you? Aboard the Enterprise? Leonard, you're wonderful! I don't know how to thank you."
"I've only got one request."
Beatrice released Leonard. "What is it?"
"Don't stop smiling. Don't ever stop smiling."
Beatrice laughed. "How could I?"