Date: 28 May 2013 19:50 Title: Things Fall Apart
Always wanted to know more of McCoy's story and the decision that led him to go off-world, to head into Starfleet when so much of his character would have suited fine to live a life back on Earth not out and about in space, using transporters and crash ridden shuttles, alien planets with alien diseases and hob-goblin green blooded pointed eared logic heads. But of course, with no family left on Earth, with only good/bad memories and broken promises to his family and failed promises to himself he finds himself seeking elsewhere. Perhaps he can his gifts since he has thrown away his family.
Date: 28 May 2013 19:46 Title: The Worst of Times
The slippery slope has begun, he has an aptitude for medicine, for surgey but it has to be said some people in life have more of an aptitude for family. McCoy certainly has one gift in his professional life but does he have it in his personal life. He's making the self-same mistakes of his father and yet he knew going in that this was a possibility. He makes the excuse here that he had an experimental procedure he had to try; had to try because of the manner of his grandfather's death. So that works to excuse it this time but he knows himself it is his fault but will he keep convincing himself each time he has to make such a choice, decides to work those extra hours that won't see him get home for dinner and family?
Date: 28 May 2013 19:41 Title: The Best of Times
Awww. Sweet and yet it breaks the heart for the moment you describe and for the fact we know that this blissful moment will not last, that down the line things will go sour with his family, that he'll make the mistakes that will 'estrange' him from them. So very sad. And again, the marvel of your pieces is that you take a character we think we know and you teach us something more and new about them.
Date: 28 May 2013 02:46 Title: Things Fall Apart
Ah, so Joss is a bit of a social climber after all. And maybe that made it easier for her to initially be with Len and then, well, it got just far too difficult.
Despite their issues, though, it's still best for Joanna to be with Joss. How could Len care for his daughter at all? I fear most Starfleet relationships would end this way, in a divorce or at least a separation, with custody of any children going to the grounded parent. Or it's a de facto separation, and the grounded parent is, in effect, a single parent.
This is part of why I write an open marriage (it's not really a group marriage as Malcolm doesn't marry until after Doug has died, and he only weds Lili), because it just seems like it's too difficult to have a regular, straightforward relationship when someone is in Starfleet. And this way Declan has a father figure - otherwise, he wouldn't.
But this is about Joanna and not Declan! So, her stepfather is the male authority figure in her life, and not Len. Do they ever have any sort of a normalized relationship? I'm not so sure I've seen an older Joanna in your writings. What are things like between her and Len?
Date: 28 May 2013 02:38 Title: Things Fall Apart
Dare I say, that like Beverly Crusher after private practice, McCoy's found his new beginning.
As I say and say again, there is such a feel for this character that continues to make him feel like a best friend. One cannot help but feel some ill-will towards Jocelyn which is crazy.
These ficlets have been exemplary. Encore.
::blushes:: Thanks, Mac. That's some of the best praise I could get. Yes, Len blames himself for the failed marriage, but to my mind Joss has a lot to answer for as well. She had to have some idea of what she was signing up for, and had to know that prestige and accolades were not Leonard's cup of tea. If she ever really understood the man she would have to realize all that he did, all that he sacrificed, was out of a desire to help Mankind in some small way.
Further insight into McCoy's relationship with his daughter can be gained by reading chapters five and six of 'Learning Curve' and all of the sections featuring McCoy starting with the second chapter of 'Shadows and Dust.'
Date: 27 May 2013 07:50 Title: The Worst of Times
Ah Len. Here he goes, into a spiral. I wish that professor had kept his mouth shut, honestly. The whole notion of forcing someone, by using their better nature, into a situation they might not want is sort of skeezy. Sure, his skills could be an asset, but he's hardly the only talented surgeon on Earth, and dammit, basically emotionally manipulating him into it, and the cost he pays for it...
It might seem worth it when he's on the Enterprise. But then, you know, it just might not be worth the cost, either. All a matter of perspective.
Well written, and definitely emotion-provoking!
That's certainly true, but you're missing the bigger point here. Deep down, even though he is loathe to admit it to himself, *this* is what Len wants. How better to justify the decision than to convince himself he is doing it for the greater good, rather than his own selfish needs. That someone else was responsible for putting him on this path. That free will had nothing to do with it. I think this is part of the cynical, borderline misanthropic personality we see in his later years. He would like to put the blame for screwing up his life on his father, his professor, on Joss for not being understanding enough, but in the end, he knows there's no one to blame but himself.
Date: 26 May 2013 10:57 Title: The Best of Times
Cool! I never knew that McCoy was married! Though you give a possible clue with that; 'Unbeknownst to him now, it would mark the pattern of her personality in later years. Especially as a child her actions would tend to be governed by what suited her at the moment, the wishes and objectives of others in her life notwithstanding.'
Which gives a clue that perhaps when the arguments come, McCoy may not understand or appreciate her spur-of-the-moment thinking. So despite such a happy chapter there are some warning signs as well.
To sum this is a really good story which does a great job in conveying aspects of McCoy's life I had no idea about. So it's a good education for someone who is still rather unfamiliar with TOS!
Ln X! Thank you! That means a lot coming from you, as I know TOS is not your thing. Much of what is here is canon--that he was married, divorced and had a daughter named Joanna from whom he was estranged at the time of TOS. I always found it very strange that a man who was obviously so compassionate could have a temper, even a mean streak in the form of a sharp tongue that would manifest when he was upset or afraid. I asked myself why that was the case, and these are the answers I came up with. I'm so glad they ring true, and are believable. :D
Date: 26 May 2013 10:52 Title: Turning Point
So McCoy is falling into the trap of ones career, and how things don't really go to planned no matter how much you plan for it.
I've got to admit the story of McCoy is pretty sad in a way, especially since it takes deaths of friends or loved ones which create these critical junctures in his life.
Date: 26 May 2013 10:48 Title: Crossroads
I like how McCoy goes in a roundabout way with his aspirations to be doctor. Personal grief is the spark which starts this ambition, and yet also the water which douses it out. Again it is a very roundabout way of approaching things but it is quite realistic, because that is how people think- or more likely teenagers think.
They still very much follow their hearts and can't see the bigger picture, or they have not matured enough to see things from a different perspective.
Date: 26 May 2013 10:44 Title: Second Chances
It's interesting to see how McCoy is maturing, though I think it is a little naive of him to think he can balance the demands of being a doctor with those of staying in contact with loved ones and friends!
Mind you, he is only thirteen!
Date: 26 May 2013 10:41 Title: Forrest
Wow! That's deep man! So this is primary reason why McCoy, as a child, decided to become a doctor; after watching his best friend and his best friend's dad drown. There's a also a nice bit of poetic description 'Soft lips planted a lingering kiss there, etched with sorrow.'
A great start!
Date: 26 May 2013 07:57 Title: The Best of Times
I remember that feeling, and you portrayed it very well. I can't help but feel my heart aching and breaking for him, especially given his future, but for this moment, I can share his breathless joy. Well done.
Yes, much of this is drawn from personal experience, including the thirty-six hour labor. My oldest was stubborn, too and wasn't about to make his entrance until he was good and ready. But seriously, I think that moment is surreal for all first-time parents. In McCoy's case, he's sees this as the fruition of his plans--he's in med school, married to the woman of his dreams, and on his way to that large family he so desperately wanted. Too bad he doesn't yet realize he won't be successful at keeping all those balls in the air.
Date: 26 May 2013 02:55 Title: Turning Point
Despite his failures, he doesn't move too far from the ideal he expresses here. Think about him in Journey to Babylon, where he wants desperately to save Sarek, and is endlessly frustrated that he doesn't know how. He hates to see someone suffering and not be able to help. In this case, that includes his future children. So much insight packed into such short pieces!
Date: 26 May 2013 02:46 Title: Crossroads
That's a hard place to be--where your childish explanations of the world's wrongs starts to crumble. David HAS to be a hero, or his neglect of his son couldn't be borne...and now Leonard is seeing that David's not so much a hero. You write it so subtly here, it's very powerful.
Date: 26 May 2013 02:22 Title: The Best of Times
Love it. Just love it. But again, so bittersweet. This series has given me a new appreciation for McCoy. A gift. Thank you for it.
Thank you. Believe it or not, it was a gift for me, too. When I was younger I definitely had a love-hate relationship with McCoy, especially with regard to the way he treated/the things he would say to Spock. Writing this helped me to understand some of the more gruff and spiky aspects of his personality, and why a man who is obviously so compassionate can have outbursts that border on racist and/or xenophobic.
Thank Steff--she inspired this whole thing with five words: "Leonard McCoy, age twelve. Go." <3
Date: 26 May 2013 00:50 Title: Possibilities
The possibilities indeed. The jumping off point to many a life is marriage. This McCoy has longed and wanted for. He has a concept of the possibilities that lay ahead for him and Joss, their future together, his as a doctor and as a family man. Yet along the way he will stumble in that hope, that the possibilities he realises are possibilities he had hoped to avert. Quite sad.
Date: 26 May 2013 00:48 Title: Turning Point
He goes in with the knowledge of his father and grandfather's failings and wants to do better and yet we know that he does fail. It's the fact we have McCoy see-saw on his decision to enter medicine - from it will be too hard to there's too much I don't know too much I could have done if I had known - that makes him so much more compelling, vital and alive as a character. McCoy is often easily reduced to a caricature but you show that every craggy line on De Forest portrayal of McCoy was etched from one hard experience or lesson after the other. That he has made many hard calls and decisions. That he has made mistakes - mistakes that he was aware of being able to make even before he has made them and had intended to not make, to not repeat.
Date: 26 May 2013 00:44 Title: Crossroads
The wider truth of becoming a doctor is hitting home with McCoy here. The fact that not every situation will be a win or a save. The fact that there are things that cannot be averted. The fact that death will be a sure constant on that career path. He'll obviously decide different (one wonders what else might McCoy ever have applied himself to if he didn't become a doctor, what would be a good fit for him? I'm sure there's some sort of alternate universe out there that has Bones as not a doctor - with the monkier bones I can only think of an archaeologist so I'm not sure what else he could be). This too will shape him as a doctor. A wonderful ficlet in terms of roundign out an already rounded and fleshed out character in your hands. Consistently you amaze with your continued ability to add shades and depth and the richness of experiences to the canon guys you write.